Ultimate New York By Night

Fortunetelling and a Supper of Ferrets
In which Regina and Lalla discuss ponds, throwing stones, and leaders with wet toes.

“I brought you something, Lalla,” Regina smiles and kneels down, her hands slipping into the sack she carried in with her. She pulls out a pair of albino ferrets, their muscles corded out in panic and their red eyes rolling in fear.

“Darlings,” croons the translucent and fragile beauty that accepts them. “Such darlings, you are so good to me, my sweet Princess.”

Regina smiles and shakes her head at the familiar and ridiculous nickname. Listening to the tiny death knells from behind her, Regina moves around the sanctum, picking up the remains of other small animals. “You really do need to stop letting them lie about like this after you’re done,” she says over her shoulder, picking up a desiccated tabby cat off a table covered with books. “The bugs and the rot will get into your books and it’ll ruin them. You don’t want that, right?”

The visceral slurping ends in the soft thump of white fur hitting the ground. “Always looking out for me, so like the Prince, may the ferrymen and the Dark Father accept his soul.” Lalla chuckles and turns to Regina, motioning her to sit next to her and offering a hand. Regina drops the dead animals by the door and sits in the offered place, cradling the ancient hand between her own. “You do your sire’s memory the greatest of honors by your kindness and your courage.”

Regina’s brows furrow ever so slightly. “I would do him honor by bringing his murderers to justice, but I can only ever do the best that I can. I’m worried though,” she pulls back one hand to brush a wayward strand of hair back behind her ear. “I found the ones you told me to look for, the ones Razorback led me to… but I’m beginning to wonder if they’re not the right ones, especially their leader. It’s in his mind, I can tell, he’s hungry for a chance to sit at the top of his own Ivory Tower. He’d be a great ally against the Tyranny but-“

“But he has only the mind for power,” interrupts the aged seer. “He does not have the heart of a leader.”

“Yes,” Regina nods, “it’s more than just that, though. I’ve seen men like him. Any blow to his pride strikes harder than any blow to his body, and so he tries to shield himself.” She lets the fragile hand fall as she stands up begins to pace, calculating and agitated. “I’ve seen him brush aside guilt, demand blame of others and strike back against even the smallest insult. I’m afraid he’s not the one who’ll be able to help me bring back balance.”

Lalla watches her guest as Regina paces back and forth, dropping into a mesmerist rhythm. She smiles so faintly and breathes in sharp and quiet. Noticing this, Regina stops and moves quickly to the seer’s side. “Just a little boy, throwing rocks into the pond. Watching the ripples, but when his ripples reach him he hates the water as it dampens his toes. He throws more stones, striking back, only to make more ripples and get his toes damp again.” Lalla smiles at the vision behind her unseeing eyes. “The boy will stay by the pond and throw rocks to the end of time until he understands it’s the way of things. A reaction for an action, both of his creation both he must accept.” Her eyes open and she stares meaningfully into Regina’s eyes. “He needs to know, you need to help him understand: if he cannot stop throwing rocks in retaliation those little waves will rise up and drown him. If he can understand that, he may still be able to climb his tower and strike help you strike down the Tyrant.”

Regina shivers and nods, bowing her head and resting it against Lalla’s open hand. “Thank you,” she whispers. “I’ll do my best. For the Sword… for his memory”

“I know, my Princess. I know.”

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SCN close to a Major Deal???
Posted by: Nicole

OMG U GuYz!

Is SCN signing a deal right now? We just got this pic from one of our intrepid correspondents. Looks like the oh so dreamy SpYttE meeting in a swanky hotel with some rilly rilly rich dude. Check ya tweets, we’re on the case!

UPDATE: Your girl has sources! A spokesthang for SCN says no deal! Fuck Interscope! SCN keeps it real and that’s why they’re the best!

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Broken Home

::A sudden squall has blown off the coast – cloaking the city in a haze of a million scattered lights and the cacophony of countless pattering droplets. Perfect weather to obscure a shadow skulking into the under city::

::The darkness below swallows up all sound – leaving only the gentle slosh of light footfalls to reveal the silent visitor. The lights of the hidden warren run along the sodden stones underneath and a long taloned hand reaches out to knock upon the door – the manner demanding obedience.::

::The thick iron door silently swings out, light flooding the tunnel, before Rutgar stands a pitiful and drenched vampire – but one who commands respect. His master has returned home.::

Rutgar, I have some troublesome news. Milan may not be safe – even here. Buchanan has sacrificed me I think – asking us to “clean house” and now pursuing her for the rewards that act would entail to his mobility in the social strata. ::Albrecht sloughs of the drowned cloths, analyzing the progress on S.S.:: Have you been able to learn anything from Sharpbone?

::Rutgar rushes to help his master into a dry lab-coat and usher him deeper into the haven, even as he reports the recent happenings:: He has been much more responsive since he has been moved into the “suite” and given free reign of those chamber. More than that, being able to work upon Milan has been a delight to him, he goes on about that for hours. In opening up he has begun to tell tales about his flesh crafting. War ghouls and moving organs about and other wonders. ::The cheerful light leeches out of Rutgar’s eyes as his excitement at telling the master of his good news plays out:: Still, Milan needs to be moved? Where is safer than here?

::As Rutgar explains the more advanced uses of Vicissitude, Albrecht takes a few thoughts to confirm before the night is over. Sliding the notepad away, Al quickly unlatches the two doors to his guests.:: Good night Geert, Milan, I am sad to say this will be last night we will all be together for awhile. The selfless paragon of Kindred, Alan Buchanan, has sworn to find our princess dear and with the powers at the Ventrue’s command he might well gouge her location from my mind. That would, quite simply, doom us all. ::The look on Al’s face as he speaks in not one of fear, he is confident of the situation and calm:: First, Rutgar has told me a bit of this flesh crafting discipline. War ghouls and the like, from the stories am I correct in assuming you can increase the muscle mass of ghouls and of your own body with enough time and effort?

::Geert playfully struggles against the loose cuffs about his hands – the kindest measure his keepers could devise to ensure their protection:: Ya, that’s about right. What of it though? Milan is the issue, our test subject is going away. ::The disappointment and interestingly enough, anger, is clear in his voice:: The deal Albrecht ::His silence speaking volumes::

::Albrecht ignores Geerts displays as he wheels the princess into the only truly large room of the haven, re-purposed as the O.R.:: Geert, I assure you my dissatisfaction at this event is several degrees greater than your own. Before we begin I wanted to ask, if you can increase the muscle mass of a ghoul – are you able to decrease the mass of a Kindred. For example, shunt the ribs into mere nodules or the legs to stubs? In my experience I’ve seen Kindred with their whole chests carved out by Werewolf claws and continue to function.

::Geert playfully runs his fingers along Milan’s cheek, warping and repairing the flesh slightly in the process – only half listening to Al’s droning words:: Yes yes, I believe with enough time ::Geert stops speaking for a moment – mesmerized by a small freckle next to Milan’s eye – carefully rubbing it out of existence:: and skill, nearly anything could be done. Though why you would want to waste so much flesh is beyond me.

::The last of the medical implements autoclaved and the final binding tightened, Al begins to drip a few drops of kine blood upon her lips:: Darling, wake up. ::looking back to his assistant:: Geert, I wish to find a procedure to immortalize beauty. If it were possible to remove the unneeded components and apply the remaining as a second skin to one of my clan – the curse could be ignored. Granted such research has many off branches that could prove useful to you’re own goals.

::The two speak back and forth of their philosophies of the flesh as they work, the dull moans of their subject struggling hopelessly underneath their inhuman hands. Her body used in indescribable ways, broken down into baser components and carefully re-affixed. A toy to be taken apart and reassembled to better understand how it works. After what seems only a few moments, Rutgar lays a light hand upon his masters shoulder:: Sir, its time to move her. I’ve got the van prepped and I brought what you requested.

::Albrecht sullenly wheels Milan towards the exit of the Haven. In the darkness and chill falling rain he pulls a thick burlap bag over his head and crawls into the back of the van:: Drive Rutgar, and tell me nothing of where we are going. Just take me to water, a place I won’t know by sight, and I’ll take care of the rest.

::The van rolls back towards the light of town, the wheels that much lighter::

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A Psychic Mosquito Buzzes in the Ear

Arturo: (Reluctantly) Hello?

Pooh:(Enthusiastically) Hey Buddy! What are you doing right now?

Arturo:(Reluctantly) Is this Pooh?

Pooh:(Impatiently) Yeah man! What are you doing right now?

Arturo:Did you get a new phone or something? Your name didn’t come up.

Pooh: Nah I just used a buddy’s cell.I kept getting your voice mail-(One can almost hear Pooh smiling sadistically if such a thing were possible)

Arturo: I see. What’s up?

Pooh: Dude there’s some top-notch E gonna flood the New York market-Some boys outta Jersey I know of.I don’t want to say more over the phone.What I called about is a trilogy I am putting together!

Arturo: A trilogy?

Pooh: Yeah man-I call it the Camelot trilogy and I have it all set up.It’s a tragedy in three acts!!

Arturo: Ok.(with trepidation) Tell me about it.

Pooh: Dude first we start with John F. Kennedy on Dally Plaza. Jerry is going to play Oswald-Hank is going to be the shooter on the grassy knowl and Larry is the undeniable third shooter. I’ll be Zapruder and film the whole fucking thing. I made a diarama in scale with the pigeons and the radio car.Dude it’s so fucking sweet! You gotta see it.

Arturo: Yeah cool.

Pooh: I even made a tiny hat and dress for the pigeon playing Jackie.

Arturo:(sighs) Nice

Pooh: Then we have Bobby. It’s very straight forward.I’m gonna be Siran-Siran except I’ll use a 12 gauge instead of a faggoty handgun!

Arturo: I imagine there won’t be much left of Bobby

Pooh: Hell no Buddy-Then I was torn should I shell out the cash to get a replica World War II plane where Jack Jr. bought it or a Cesna where John-John bought it? After talking to the guy at the hobby store-He told me the plane wouldn’t fly with pigeons strapped to them,so you know what I decided?

Arturo: I feel certain you are about to tell me.

Pooh: Chappaquidick Man!! It’s perfect!! Imagine it-We use another radio car and strap in Teddy’s female victim and weigh down the the car and have the car crash through the guard rails on the bridge. The car will sink like a goddamned stone.Teddy will fly away-character forever besmirched and his lady friend-we’ll strap her in nice and tight.I worked on it for days!

Arturo: (Ironically) Impressive.

Pooh: So Buddy are ya gonna come by and check it out?

Arturo: I do have that matter to discuss about the shipment of E among other things. Am I right in guessing that you cooked up more gack?

Pooh: Hell yeah! It’s the bomb!

Arturo: Ok I’ll be there around 3
::Click::

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Men of Few Words are the Best Men
The Foustian Syndicate, 3:30am

Thin metal doors swing open with a loud clang. Two figures in fitting leather uniforms step through into the dim lit server room deep in the bowels of the Foustian Syndicate.

“Hierophant! Are you in here?”

Eddie Dixby steps out from behind a bank of monitors, his mask dangling awkwardly from a strap around his neck. He folds his netbook shut and places it under the monitors.

“What’s up, guys,” he asks, searching the faces of the young Syndicate operatives for some clue.

One of the Tremere steps forward. “Hierophant, it’s the task force.”

Eddie blinks a few times, clearly taken aback. “Really? Already?”

“You have to listen.” The operative opens his hand to Eddie revealing a USB thumb drive.

“Look, just tell me. It’s Jafar, right? I’m sorry I didn’t want to bug his office, I just didn’t think it would be worth it. If that’s him confessing on tape, you win, I’m glad we-”

The second operative cuts him off. “No. Listen.”

The other Tremere nods, and again dangles the thumb drive.

“If you say so.” Eddie shrugs and takes the drive.

* * *

Eddie settles into his chair at his desk and plugs the thumb drive into his tower.

“OK, this better be good.”

The monitor flips to an audio player. A thin yellow line squiggles in the blackness of the equalizer.

“OK Jafar, tell me where she is,” Eddie says as he leans back in his chair.

And I won’t – can’t – know about it if someone else were to take a different route, d’you see?

Looks like we’ll be riding the subways then

Eddie furrows his brow and glances at the two young Tremere. “What the fuck is this?”

Yes, I merely wish to speak to them about the sour blood between us. They may have other jobs – less distateful ones

Listen, in the short time I’ve known you I’ve even so come to trust you. If you see something needing doing, do it.

“Oh no,” Eddie says, leaning forward and gripping the armrests of his chair.

“Wait,” says one of the young Tremere.

All I can do is emulate King Henry and say “who will rid me of this turbulent priest?”

You’re talking about wacking this rose?

Eddie’s mouth drops open.

“You see why we wanted you to -”

“Shhhh!” Eddie waves an arm at the operative.

…see things that need doing – my warehouse is a bit dusty.

Yet such trivial tasks need not be brought to your attention – yet I think we would all profit from cleaner havens

Yes, I’d noticed some are overcrowded.

“He’s saying that he doesn’t -”

“Shut up!”

I always hand the trash to the trash collectors, myself.

Eddie stares at the screen, a look of shock and horror plastered on his face. He taps a few buttons on the keyboard.

You’re talking about wacking this rose?

Again.

You’re talking about wacking this rose?

Again.

You’re talking about wacking this rose?

Eddie stares. Slowly he twists his head to stare at the two young operatives, both transfixed by his reaction.

“Hierophant -?”

Eddie holds up his hand to quiet them. He speaks slowly through gritted teeth.

“Get me Christophe.”

One of the operatives opens his mouth to speak.

“Get me Christophe!”

They turn and bolt for the door, nearly tripping over one another.

“And find out who the fuck this Italian guy is, too,” he says, lowering his gaze back to the computer monitor. He thinks a moment, biting his lip. He taps the keyboard.

You’re talking about wacking this rose?

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The Phone Call
Something More Than Food?

As I stare at my phone, screen displaying this new number, all I can think is how much of a bad idea it would be to answer. Against my better judgement, I flip it open and brace myself…

“Hello?” I answered in the best way I could being half awake.
“Hey tall, dark, and sexy,” was the sensually-toned reply. I don’t think my judgement has ever been so wrong.
“Hey Nicole. New Number?"
“Yeah. New Phone too. It’s a DROID. It was a gift from my mom. Do you know why it was gifted?”
“Uhhh… birthday?” was my half-assed guess.
“Yeah. Do you know when it was?” she asked, her tone souring subtly.
“Today?” my next half-assed guess.
“No.” her tone souring further.
“Yesterday?” another guess of the half-assed nature.
“Yeah, you fucking prick!” she blared through the ear-piece, “Why the hell didn’t you remember? I remembered yours!” Any hint of the sweet, semi-erotic voiced Nicole that started this was quickly sacked, and replaced by a very angry, on the verge of tears Nicole.
“Look! I’m sorry! I’ve been really busy lately, and it slipped my mind! I’m sorry!” If my heart were still beating, it would be doing blast-beats. Now, I think my judgement was horribly right.
“Bullsh*t! I’ve talked to the guys! They said you’ve been spending less time with them and more time with those goddamn drinking buddies of yours! Busy, my goddamn ass!"

Sh*t. Either I’ve been caught being lazy, or I’m violating Masquerade. How the hell do I survive this?
“They’re not exactly my drinking buddies! I owe them a little favor, and I this is what I’m doing to repay them!”
“Stop shouting at me!” was her audibly closer-to-tears reply, “and what sort of f*cking favor do you owe them? Did you not pay them back for the pot you didn’t sell or some sh*t like that?!"
I pause in confusion. Does she actually think I’m a dealer? Is that how she explains to herself why I act the way I do?
“Hey, I don’t fucking deal drugs!” I grate back at her. I then try to calm down and give her at least one calm line of words for my defense. “It is something that they made me swear not to talk about, though. I don’t know if it’s illegal or if it’s just bad for their image or some shit like that, but they don’t want me telling anyone, okay?”
Not buying it, she screams back, “What-the-f*ck-ever! You just don’t goddamn care anymore! The guys are sick of your shit and so am I!”

It’s at this point that she breaks down completely. I have no idea what has gotten into her, but I can see that she is clearly quite pissed at me, along with the guys. Apparently, my work with the Coeterie, and the excuse that I’ve used to cover it, has not gone over well with any of them. While calming her down, I was trying to piece together a way to better balance this. I guess I need to give the band a little more attention, or else lose them, and by extension my primary means of feeding. That most certainly wouldn’t be good. Not to mention with us being so close to being signed, I need to keep my hands on the wheel of it. As brutal as it is, I certainly don’t want my discography to end with BloodRape, right?

She did calm down, eventually. Don’t know how long it took, but it didn’t come quickly.

“Please understand me. I can’t back out of this. I owe these guys, and it wouldn’t sit well with me to back out on them. I love you, but this is a personal obligation that I can’t back out of. I couldn’t live with myself if I did.”
There was a painfully long pause, until she hoarsely says, “Just don’t forget about us. Please. They’re your band. I’m your girlfriend. Shouldn’t you make time for us too?”
I pause too. Not because I needed to, but because I knew the effect of timing could be crucial. Then I said, “Yeah. I should. So I will.”
“Promise?”
“I promise. And I will buy you something nice, for your birthday. Sound nice at all?”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll be fine.”
“Nope. Buying you something. End of story.”
“Alright…”

I was exhausted. But I was feeling a little empty. Not emotionally empty, but hungry I guess. Which gave me an idea…

“Hey babe?” I ask as sweetly as I can sound.
“Yeah?” was her reply, similarly sweet.
“You working today?” I ask , trying to keep the sugary tone, and getting the feeling I wasn‘t saying it right.
“No? Why?” She asks back, even though she might already know what I’m asking.
Perfect, I remember thinking.
“You wanna stay the day with me?”
“Yeah,” her tone audibly brightening.
“Cool. See you when you get here!” I say, a little bit too dorkily for my own taste.
“’Kay, Love you,” she says warmly.
“Love you too,” I reply.

::Click::

I then laid in bed, staring at the ceiling for about an hour. I wondered why I put up with her. Then I remembered it was because she was sexy and delicious, along with an undeniable charm that she has definitely ensnared me in. And I was even more surprised that I was (and still am) OK with it.

Eh. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe crazy doesn’t apply to vampires…

Knock Knock

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An Interlude With Evie
Who's using who here...and can love come from it?

4 a.m. A late Summer storm is breaking over the city, alleviating some of the oppressive humidity of the last few days that’s made everyone so cranky and itchy. Well, almost everyone. Some don’t feel the humidity any more.

Alan Buchanan shifts a little as he watches the storm from a 32nd floor vantage point, through the huge picture window of Eveline Ward’s sumptuous luxury bedroom in upscale, midtown West 52nd Street, New York. Far below, the rain lashes Central Park. He hopes the storm lasts a while longer, he loves walking in the rain and he must be gone by dawn. It’d be nice to feel cut loose from the world by the elements for a little as he walks. So many worries, so many things to think about and plan.

A combination of Buchanan’s movement and a tumultuous thunderclap wake the apartment’s owner and she opens her eyes, staring up at her “friend” from her position pillowed on his naked hip. Smiling softly and still tired from what she remembers as passionate lovemaking earlier, she draws a circle around his left nipple with one perfectly manicured fingernail. Buchanan continues to stare out into the storm, a slight frown on his fine features, and she makes a small, plaintive mewl as she raises her head to bring herself into his field of view.

“Penny for them?“ she asks, her wantonly (and carefully) untamed blonde hair trailing over his hip and stomach as she sits up, as naked as he is. He blinks, coming back from miles away, and a fleeting hint of annoyance crosses her face at being ignored. She knows she’s beautiful, this one, especially like this, and is used to that beauty being her passport to complete attention. She digs in her fingernail, bringing a little flinch from her pale and gorgeous lover.

“Oh, I’m sorry, love. I was miles away there. I thought you were asleep.” Buchanan shakes his head “Just business. Nothing you’d want to know.”

Evie leans in and kisses his chest. “Shame on you. No business unless there’s juicy gossip involved.” Bite.

That makes Buchanan shift, laughing and sitting up suddenly and grabbing Evie around the waist, then pulling her to the side so she’s cradles against his side, her head on his shoulder and wrapping one hand about both of her wrists to hold her still.

“No biting! That’s my job.”

“Yes Sir, oh long, strong and handsome!” she giggles.

“And anyway, I may have some gossip” Buchanan teases, waiting for her reaction.

Evie kicks him lightly in the shin “Give, you bully-beast!”

“Well, you know the businessman Vincent Viennatti, the one who just squirmed out from under a federal indictment? Well, the F.B.I. are still after him. He made the mistake of trying to rip-off one of the companies my boss is involved in and our forensic accounting department are ready to turn their whole file over to the feds. My boss tipped off his contacts at the British Foreign Office and M.I.6 too, and they’ll be turning anything they have on him over to the F.B.I. too. He’s going to suddenly decide he should take a long vacation somewhere without an extradition treaty, mark my words. But you mustn’t tell anyone, honey. It’s all sub judice still.”

“Like I would. It’s nice to know you don’t trust me, “she pouts. “Beast.”

Hey, no pouting! You know the rules.” In one swift movement Buchanan is sat upright, and Evie is trapped face-down across his lap. “Now you have do take your punishment!”

Evie squirms helplessly against the strength of will and arm in her lover, so unexpected from his build or usual manner but something she secretly finds immensely attractive about him. She squeals happily in mock-fear as the flat of his hand descends for the first time.

Later, as she’s tidying up the bedroom after Buchanan has gone., Eveline snags the bedside phone and hit’s the quick dial number for her stockbroker – her lover before Buchanan came along and a work colleague of her always-absent husband.

“George, do I have any stock in any of the companies Vincent Viennatti controls?”

“Huh, Evie?” comes back the voice of a man still fuzzy from being woken at 6 a.m. “Ugh, I think so. Most people do. Why?”

“A little bird tells me he’s not going to beat that federal rap, Georgie. Sell. Sell it all and fast!”

…And as the first lightening of the sky that presages dawn breaks over the city, Buchanan lets himself into his Lower eastside apartment, humming happily to himself. By mid-day, Viennatti stock should be in freefall. If that and the Feds isn’t enough to get Vincent the Troublesome out of the city then his Sire still has a few tricks up his old Ventrue sleeve.

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A Little Delay... And a Lot of Drama
Written as Dawn Approaches...

Last night, I went to rehearse some new material with the guys. I was surprised to see Scott Hemato back with us. I figured the damage to his Flying-V would have dissuaded him from coming back. Oh well, that’s actually useful. I pitched two new songs, “Salted Wounds” and “Final Taste of You”. The guys liked both songs, but didn’t like the arrangement of their parts as much.

When I received a text from Buch, the guys got pissed.
slEDGe eyed me suspiciously. Goddammit, if he knows anything, or if he notices that I’ve lightly padded my chest for the illusion of still having ribs, I really don’t know what I could’ve done. I told them that I had a previous arrangement that I had forgotten about. They didn’t seem to buy it. But that couldn’t matter at the immediate second. The night was young, but still too short.

I slid into my car, and sped off to Buch’s place. Just as I had arrived, I saw Art standing around nervously. I didn’t know Art that well, but he doesn’t seem like the nervous type. I gave him a good honk of the horn to make him piss himself, if he could. He sure as hell jumped a mile. I stuck my head out and shouted at him to help him recognize me, which worked, and I stepped out to chat with him(He was spooked about some black SUV’s that had been tailing him), before joining him with heading inside.

After passing Don, hearing some piss-poor musak rehash of “Rock the Casbah” in the elevator, and screaming my opinion of it upon exiting the elevator, we had finally arrived at Buch’s conference room. As we had entered, Buch instructed me to stand guard by the door, so I shut the door, locked it, and stood to right of it. As I had turned around, I noticed our guest. She was definitely a looker, but I got a feeling in my still-regrowing ribcage that told me to watch her like you would watch someone waving a loaded gun at you. She came to eventually reveal herself asRegina Chapman and as a member of the Sabbat clan. Having heard that, I did quite a job of restraining myself from attacking her rib-curling associating ass as proxy to the pricks who had done me dirty. I thought otherwise within minutes of explaining herself. It didn’t take much to convince me of her innocence, but it took the world for Buch’s belief, so I watched as he tore her story open to see if it bled lies. Through much arguing, interjections on everyone’s part, and a phone call to that Antonio Banderas look-alike snake, Victor, for Buch to finally give her credibility and sanctuary from the murderous members of her clan.

But, oh no, that wasn’t the end of this. Not at all.

The moment we step out, the SUV’s that Art was freaking out over were parked outside of the building, and had lit up with blue and red lights. The kind that the pigs use. Body armored pricks popped out and pointed rifles at us, with another pig screaming accusations at us. He said he wanted to ask us questions. If that was true, than why the f*ck did he bring his armed-asswipes to ask us anything other than our “last words”?

Buch talked them away, thankfully. I talked big game, and I would’ve backed my words up, but I knew I wouldn’t live through that. No way in hell. It was then, that we parted ways. I returned to SLyMe’s place in northern Queens, where we fleshed out the songs and practiced our next masterpiece setlist. Then I headed home, and prepared to pass out on my bed.

And just as I thought I was going to drift into sleep, my phone rings with a number I could not recognize…

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Buchanan's Journal #6
"if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you"

I definitely should start these entries “Dear diary”. The way things are going I feel I’m trapped in a soap opera.

Some very odd behaviour from Albrecht. Every time anyone mentions trying to find the missing Milan he gets increasingly anxious looking, evasive and — to be honest — downright shifty. I’m now pretty sure he knows what happened to her and that it would be at the very least intensely and damagingly embarassing if others found out. Perhaps downright deadly. And he let the Tzimsce go! I am hoping against hope my trust wasn’t misplaced and that he’ll turn out to be worthy of the position I’ve earmarked for him. Well, Sir E. would tell me “let all men count with you, but none too much”. If it turns out he’s too much of a liability then I’ll simply send an anonymous letter to Cristophe, maybe use Evie‘s computer, saying “Ask A about M” or somesuch. That way, I’m out of the frame and he’s well and truly in it. Only at the last gasp though – I’ll give him every chance to come through.

And if loving friends can hurt me, then for sure foes can. Had an…interesting…meeting with the Grand Vizier. I basically burned my bridges and told him I wouldn’t be doing any little favors for him anymore. Scary bugger and absolutely malicious, I am pretty sure he was using some “juice” in the meeting to send that feeling of immense dread I was experiencing. Still, as the poem goes, “Or being hated, don’t give way to hating”. He must have felt the need to send out that dread, and that he felt the need for little old me is a victory of a sorts too.

I’ve got to see Evie soon, spend some real time with her. Maybe after Elysium. She’s a flirty baggage and if I don’t pay her some heed she’ll be off with some other chap in a flash. Damn, I miss her when she’s not around.

And talking of Elysium, I better get of my whiny arse and get all the pieces of the jigsaw in place. No rest for the wicked…

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Safe and Secure

::The night is growing short after the meeting with Jafar, but with SpYtte having knowledge of Milan’s whereabouts, it would only be a matter of time before Buchanan discovered the Princess of Roses. With this in mind Al is acting fast to establish the “second haven” – a project begun when the support for finding Milan turned out fiercer and closer to home than expected::

::Albrecht is moving about the underside of Warehouse 9 – ordering Rutgar about in hurried tone:: You’re sure we can finish this tonight Rutgar? I confronted SpYtte about the Milan business. We were correct in the assumption he knew – SpYtte told me he will keep it secret. However, I feel he will tell Buchanan in short order.

::Rutgar is binding Milan diligently while Albrecht is working on Sharpbone – dealing with one who can so simply slip his bonds a more demanding task:: Yes master, I completed the transfer of funds today. I also updated the lighting and locks as per your request master, everything is in order.

::Al completes the last of the restrains on the straitjacket and administers a dose of succinylcholine via means of blood transfusion:: Very good – when you finish with her go prep the Sprinter. I want to get this done quickly and quietly. ::With that Al carefully slips a gag into the fiends mouth:: Sorry Geert, you must understand that the gravity of the situation forces my hand.

::A short time later the two prisoners are loaded via stretchers into the back of the Sprinter and the van rolls off towards Bay Ridge at the extreme southern end of Brooklyn. The van rolls behind a large dreg of a building and Al hops out to open the door to the darkness below, once underground the only sounds are the klack of the stretcher wheels and the soft drip drip of the leaky pipes overhead.::

::The two turn a corner and proceed into “Safe Storage” proper:: Rutgar I really must know, how did you manage to find this place? It suits our purposes perfectly.

::Rutgar nods his head and smiles at his master’s praise as he deftly undoes the locks to rooms sixteen and fifteen.:: To tell the truth master I received a letter detailing the location and seller details shortly after Christophe summoned you. If I were to guess master, I believe the Nos may be assisting us. ::Rutgar rambles on in distracted tones about the number of tiny rooms for future captives before regaining his focus:: The only issue is that S.S. has completely drained the Rosy Cross coffers. We will have to buy equipment through some other means. It was necessary but I fear Buchanan may be upset, not understanding the necessity of our action.

::Albrecht latches the last lock and gives a energetic knock to each door before turning to face Rutgar:: Rosy Cross would never be successful if I were to be sentenced to final death and my studies brought to a premature end. I will deal with Buchanan – worry not.
::The two walk back through the damp tunnels speaking enthusiastically of their plans for S.S. and the experiments to be conducted within. It seems Rosy Cross Ltd. will be successful after-all.::

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