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Waxing And Waning [Closed] Read 10612 times

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2013, 09:46:42 pm »
‘I wonder where that casket idea began?’ Did vampires like to pretend they were dead, too? Alexia wondered, not for the first time, if it was a curse not to be able to sleep. Much as she hated sleep for the vulnerability of it, she did cherish dreams and the ideas that could spring from them.

Gaston wasn’t sure where they were going. She bit her cheek on the idea of offering him passage to those in Riverpasse. It seemed like that was an idea she ought to broach with the others when he was absent.
‘There might not be time for such a luxury.’ Before she could consider even making the offer in jest, he answered her question. No explosives. Few guns. A suitcase was brought out, and she examined the contents with eyes only. “Some of those I know are moderates,” she reminded him. Some would be open-minded.

She took only one gun and a bit of ammunition from the case before shutting it. Those things were placed in the luggage. With the extra space, she decided to fill it with other things, preferences of those who ran with her group going through her head as she fitted the items neatly in the case.

Then, steps. Enter Benjamin. Everyone in the room had tensed at the sound, but when he spoke, a smile broke across Alexia’s lips.
‘That’s familiar.’ A rough life led to rough language. She was quite accustomed to hearing curses in every other sentence from a few she ran with. From Eric. The smile faltered, half-formed as he referred to her as a pet. The sentiment was clear as a joke, but her expression must have suggested otherwise for him to quickly clarify.

She couldn’t find a quick enough retort, so the smile widened a bit with a nod of acceptance. She went to her suitcase to close it, deciding it adequately filled for how much she could truly stand to carry. She liked Benjamin the more he talked. Seemed he wanted this war, wanted things to change and quickly.
‘Shame we didn’t know of you sooner.’ Someone like him would appeal more to the rebels than Gaston. He was wild, brutish, and far from the stereotypical image of vampires—even if they were all imagined as such.

Perhaps it was that queer honesty that would appeal. It might just be the language that made him seem far more...human.
"Good to meet you at last, Benjamin." Alexia finally said, before words were exchanged about drinks. Would Gaston pack that? Could he? Alexia might have to ask later. That could become an issue.

“Gaston, I shall go check on Dean, then, and make sure he eats something. If…if you have not come up with a place to go, then it may be possible to bring you along.”
The suitcase was heavy when she picked it up, but she refused to show that sort of weakness before the vampires. 

Catherine eyed Benjamin up and down, curious as to how on earth a vampire like Gaston could befriend someone like him. He looked so dirty, uncivil. Of course, she didn’t say so, but her face now had the expression one would have if they could permanently smell crap. She lifted her suitcase with ease, as did Gaston. The ease they had was not shared by Alexia, who was not as strong as they were. Gaston felt that perhaps her pride would prevent her from asking for help, or even accept help from them.

“Thank you,” said Gaston, despite Catherine’s expression. “Meet us back as soon as you can, we will leave immediately.”

Benjamin had no filter, he said what he thought.

“Tough little trooper, aren’t you?” He asked, nodding his head, impressed. “I can carry that for ya.”

He offered his hand to take the suitcase, whether she accepted the help would be up to her.

They traveled back up the stairs, where three other vampires were waiting. They were all considerably shorter than Benjamin, but they all looked similar to him. The resemblance was that of members of the same gang. They used the same style of clothing; they carried themselves with the same confidence. They looked at Gaston, nodded, and looked at Catherine. All of their eyes lingered a little too long on her, and she noticed.

“Go on down guys, pack everything that’s left and take it to the truck out back –”

“There are some more suitcases under the bed. There’s a door down there, the closet has some more ammunition.”

“They’ll find it, Gaston. They're capable kids,” muttered Benjamin.

Gaston left Catherine and Benjamin alone in the study while he went to get them some blood for them to drink. It had been a while since then, and he was sure that Catherine was starting to get thirsty. He had enough reserves to last him for a while, but in the event he should need any more blood, he could smuggle some into wherever he was staying. He knew a lot of contacts, and he had enough money to last him several human lifetimes. That didn’t immediately worry him.

“Thank god you’re back,” said Catherine when Gaston returned with a tray with six large cups of blood. “How did you meet this oaf?”

“She likes me, old man,” teased Benjamin with a grin that was all teeth.

Catherine and Benjamin both took a glass and drank. Gaston was not really thirsty; he had learned how to tame it. He didn’t like the fact that he had to drink blood to survive. He wouldn’t if he could help it. Truth was that in the end, he could never help it. The thirst always proved too severe. The intention was still there, however, and if it made him feel better, he’d continue to resist.

“Settle down,” he half joked at Benjamin, though he knew that Catherine expected a little more punishment. “Have you heard anything?”

“Other than what is happening in Riverpasse? A lot of shit has been happening. Rennes is seeing lots of activity in the south. Your guards are wary of an uprising there. Nanterre is burning, but of course we all knew that would happen. Troyes is safe, for now, but we’re planning something for them.” He let Gaston take all the information in. “You know you can both come back to Quentin with us, we’ve got plenty of space. Bring the girl with you, Riverpasse can't possibly be safe right now.”

“I would prefer to be close to the council, not far from them.”

“What would make you think that, blondie?”

Catherine hissed at him. “They’ll never expect for us to linger close.”

“They might,” admitted Gaston. Adrian was clever. “I’ve got a plan, but we must be safe before we discuss this.”

“I hope it’s not more of that financial bullshit,” remarked Benji.

Gaston smiled, for it was – and it would work.

Back in his room, Dean was trying to move away from his bed. His clothes had been burnt away, and now he was bandaged and oiled. His skin was still paining him, but he could see that some of the minor burns were already healing. He didn’t know what medicine Eva had, but it was working its magic. He tried sitting up, and through struggle, he managed. When he moved, however, the pain would increase. Dean found himself groaning at its peskiness.

‘Damn fire. Damn vampires. You all need to die…’


Yes, Benjamin was approved of, even if he insulted at the time he complimented. The fact he seemed to disgust Catherine was also a plus. “I need to work on my weight lifting. Don’t worry,” she shook off his request, and managed to heft the bag up the stairs on her own, and noted the three other vampires. Obviously, they were with Benjamin. The appearance was uncanny. ‘Do you run a gang?’ How had he not been rooted out before this? Something about the fact there were a group that ran around in such similar attire screamed that they would be dangerous to the council.

Perhaps he didn’t have much dealings with council members, though.

She carried the suitcase with her, to where Dean was.
‘Definitely more work on that.’ Alexia was an agility fighter, though. Always would be. To her, it was the safer bet over trying to face a vampire when it came to strength. Strength wasn’t bad, though. Carrying this, and carrying Dean, reminded her of that.

Dean was at least moving, groaning. Alexia set the suitcase by the door. He needed clothes and food.
“Dean,” she hoped to draw his attention. “There are more vampires in the house,” she let him know, “And we will be leaving it soon. There are weapons in the suitcase. Don’t use them on anyone here. If you want to grab any of the clothes here, there’s room in the suitcase. I’m going to get some food for you.” She probably ought to eat as well, but she didn’t feel hungry. ‘You will when you leave.’

She knew her way to the kitchen. It was eerie without Eva or Deirdre there. Without Abby. She tried not to dwell on it as she filled two cups of water, and found bread to make sandwiches. There weren’t deli meats, but there did appear to be turkey that had been cooked some time earlier stored in the fridge. The sandwich became something of a BLT, but the bacon was turkey. Two apples were snatched and placed on the plates with the sandwiches, the cups balanced there as well.

She didn’t yet know if Dean would be able to eat such things, but if not there was bread and water. He could remove the bread from the rest of the sandwich.

Alexia returned to the room and set one of the plates down on an end table, before she found a chair and set her own food by it. A drink of the water was refreshing. Despite Gaston’s words, she knew there was a decent chance that it would be a while before she had access to such clean water, and variety of food.




Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2013, 10:00:34 pm »
“More vampires?”

‘Weapons? What?’

Dean managed to mutter when Alexia came in. The rebel couldn’t help to fight back a smile at her familiar face. Slowly his mind began to remember all that happened; for a second he gave thanks that she had not been hurt by Amon – or by Gaston, who was just one of them in disguise. What had happened to Abby? To Deirdre? His mind wandered to the worst possible news, fearing that his futile attempts to stop the monster had not given them enough time to stop Amon.

Before he had the chance to ask her, she had gone to the kitchen to fetch some food for him. With struggle Dean found that he could support himself, even if just barely. His legs had not been burned, but he had lost whatever little energy he had recovered since his capture. By the time that Alexia came back, he had managed to dress himself, atrociously – but it would work for the time being.

“Thank you,” said he robotically. “What’s happened?” He took a bite of the food, wondering what exactly had happened while he was delirious. Where were they going? Why were the vampires here? Was Abby alright? Was Deirdre? He couldn’t voice them, but he wondered still. If simply wanting to know were enough to speak, he would have done so already.

Although time was scarce, Benjamin insisted upon hearing the plan. He couldn’t wait, and Gaston wouldn’t keep him. Gaston turned to Benji, who had been shaking his head throughout all of Gaston’s explanation of his plan. Lady Catherine remained mostly silent, but she gave approving nods every once in a while.

“It won’t work,” said the brute with angered force.

Catherine flinched, but Gaston stood firm.

“Once my farms fail, they will all come tumbling down. The council will appoint someone to take over for me, but my money will be gone. They won’t be able to access it, and even though they can supply the farms and the firms for a while, they won’t be able to sustain them. The banks will fail, the rich will lose their money. Chaos will emerge.”

He was certain of it.

“How can you be sure?” Insisted Benji.

“It’s happened before, my friend, a very long time ago. Once people begin to struggle, vampiric civilians will begin to revolt. Even Adrian won’t be able to handle the hell that will be unleashed upon him and the council. The only downside is that after the farms fail, blood will become scarce. Humans will be in greater danger, but the council will be unstable.”

“It could work,” said Catherine to a still skeptical Benji.

“But now we are out of time,” said Gaston when Benji’s posse came back in. They were on their last trip to the room and back.

“We’ve got everything packed,” said the shorter of them all, with blazing red hair to match his eyes.

“Awesome. I’ll accompany Gaston to Riverpasse and meet back with you in Quentin after we drop off the rebel humans. Take the weapons and the truck, guard that shit – keep the humans safe from your brothers and sisters, too. They’re Gaston’s, so be nice.”

They each expressed their understanding before they left. The car had already been arranged, and their suitcases loaded. All he needed to do was wait for Alexia to fetch Dean. Riverpasse wasn’t far off. Gaston wouldn’t be happy about leaving Eva to fend for herself in Quentin, but it would be best if he remained with Alexia. They had things to do, attacks to plan. A council to take down.


Dean had pulled himself together by the time she returned. He was dressed, and he was able to eat. He was able to inquire about the situation, and his first muttered words weren’t forgotten. Another sip of water. “Amon is gone. Gaston was able to talk him down. Abby is fine, as are Minerva and Kuno.” She didn’t know the other humans of the house. “Deirdre is dead.”

She allowed him a moment with that thought, taking up her sandwich and biting in to it. Once that was swallowed, she continued,
“Gaston has been organizing us all to leave now that it is likely he has made an enemy of Adrian.” Would that even register with Dean? Alexia didn’t know. She motioned to the weapons, “We’ll be taking those, and joining my group near Riverpasse.” Hopefully Dean would brighten at that. “When you’re ready, we’ll go see Gaston once more.” She intended to at least finish her sandwich before then.

Quite honestly, she would have preferred to waste time until day light, but she knew that wouldn’t be wise. Time lost would be bad for all of them.


~***~

“There’s quite a bit of…Amon?”


Amon had gotten on Adrian’s last nerve when he broke the monitor. He hadn't shown it in anger, but in his own way of small manipulations.

Of course, there was now a laptop set up on Adrian’s desk while the monitor smoldered where it was. Amon suffered for the transgression, but not for any discernable reason. Adrian’s focus on Amon’s emotions wasn’t clear; he was occupied with computer solitaire game, after all.

And so, Amon wept and moaned in a corner, knowing full well why, but unable to fight against it. Their bond of blood made Adrian’s talents more effective against him, or so Amon reasoned every time he became an emotional mess.

The vampire had stopped talking long enough that Adrian had to look up to glare at him.
“Did you have something to report, or did you just intend to gawk at him?”

“Is he all right?”
The vampire motioned to the pharaoh.

“Yes,”
Adrian answered. “One of his cats died while he was away.” That did elicit a wail, as if he believed it true. Perhaps the fear, yes, the fear, did it. Adrian played that up while looking at the intruder. “What do you want?”

“There has been movement at Gaston’s estate. An unusual amount.”


“Oh?”
Adrian smiled, one fang revealed in the action. Seemed there would be no meeting. “Continue observations. Set watchers at every road, major or minor. Encircle this town.” He directed.

The vampire nodded, placing a fist over his heart as he bowed slightly.
“Um, should we do something about Amon?”

“Find him a cat. A Persian.”
Adrian said with a dismissive wave before looking back to his solitaire game. Why was he losing? ‘Amon.’ Those distracting cries. He decided to release the man from his emotional control so he could win his game. "You are, by far, my most annoying childe."

Amon's words came out in Egyptian, a hissing curse against everything Adrian was.


An angry look flooded Dean’s face at the news regarding Deirdre. He didn’t really know her, but in his gut he knew that he could’ve done something about it, instead of just standing there. He’d be dead for sure, but perhaps she might have lived. He tried to finish his food, but left a little behind. As he drank the water, Dean tried not to look at Alexia. He didn’t know why he avoided her gaze; he knew her, and he didn’t mind telling her anything that crossed his mind.

What was wrong with him, then?

“Son of a bitch…” It was just a whisper.

The news had just weighed heavily on him, even though it was expected.

“Are you seriously following him?” Dean asked Alexia, though he was not confrontational – it was only a little hard to believe. “Well at least there is good news in that,” said the rebel with no smile, but his spirits were heightened. So they would at last return to the rebellion in Riverpasse. He rose from the bed, leaving only a little of the sandwich and an empty glass of water. He didn’t have any belongings, so he didn’t need to pack much. Once he’d met up with the rebels in Riverpasse he was sure he’d find other things he needed.

“Let’s go, then.”

Gaston brightened when Alexia came back with Dean after some time, though he could see the latter’s ill spirits. The vampire knew that Dean had been in the room when it had happened, and he didn’t blame him in the least for not trying to stop Amon. Silently, he was grateful that he waited as long as he could. It was only until Amon had expressed his desire to leave with the child that he attacked. Amon would have what he deserved coming to him. Gaston would make sure of that.

“I assume that everything is settled then,” said Gaston, two suitcases in hand.

Catherine had her own strapped across her chest, the broadsword behind it – her new toy. Benjamin turned to look at Dean, and didn’t need to ask anything to know what had happened. He wouldn’t tease him for it, at least not yet anyways. There would be a time for that later. Perhaps they would first have to kill some vampires together. Either way, killing vampires with the lad would be a good thing. 

“I did not expect us to leave so soon,” said Catherine, picking up the phone deftly. She dialed it quickly, excusing herself and assuring that the call would take no more than a few moments. She had been right, for whomever had answered the phone on the other end had clearly been expecting her. “Do not come, we are leaving and it is not safe. Meet us in the place we’d been doing business. I don’t want to attract too much attention to my estate in Riverpasse. I have to go.”

With a click, she ended the call. Catherine did not even let them argue or dismiss her orders, for now they would have to listen.
 
“Catherine, why don’t you help Dean towards the car?” Gaston knew that Dean would not fight back if the vampire helping him was a woman. She didn’t say anything, but nodded. When she stepped towards him, Dean flinched, not wanting to admit that he needed the help. When she took his arm, however, her cold touch felt good against his skin, and she had gently helped him stand up straighter. Walking had been made a whole lot easier with her freakishly strong support.

“Thanks…” He turned and said to Gaston. The words felt like poison going through Dean’s mouth, and he was sure that it would be the last time he’d thank him. As soon as his memory began to come back to him, Dean realized that Gaston had made an enemy out of Adrian by denying him Alexia. He didn’t like that he felt grateful for it, but he couldn’t help it. If he had remained silent, Dean would have felt worse about it later. Yes, it would be better in the long wrong for it to be out in the open already.

Gaston smiled, but said nothing in return. The vampire knew why the rebel was thanking him, but he would respond to him when they were guaranteed safety.

Together they moved back to the garage where a larger car had been made ready for them. It was black, longer, and wider. It looked sturdier than the others, and much faster.

“I’ll drive,” said Benji as he secretly admired the fancy car. “You crazy kids better put on your seatbelt.”

Gaston took all the suitcases and loaded them in the trunk, while Catherine helped Dean unto the back seat, afterwards taking the passenger seat next to Benji. All of the vampires knew that the humans would be more comfortable if the vampire riding with them in the back were Gaston – no words needed be exchanged on this matter. Once they had all managed to make their way into the car, Benji turned the car on and it roared into life.

He backed it out, and with impressive acceleration drove right through the open gates and towards Riverpasse.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2013, 10:03:30 pm »
Alexia could only offer Dean a nod before he decided that he might as well go along with the plan. She picked up the suitcase once more and followed him out. She might have helped him along, but the suitcase was quite an irksome weight. Fortunately, Catherine helped Dean once everything was gathered and all were prepared to leave. Alexia followed after, and grimaced at the fact they were taking the car. “We really can’t walk?” rhetorical question.

It was a new car this time, and Alexia eyed it with suspicion. It did look faster.
“If you’re trying to kill me, I’d prefer any other method,” she muttered, hoping only Gaston would pick up the words as she handed off her suitcase to be stowed away, before taking a seat in the car, in the middle so that Dean would not have to sit besides Gaston.

Once the doors were shut, the car roared to life.
‘Yep, going to die.’ The nagging feeling wouldn’t leave this time. She tried to convince herself that the vampires could drive at these ridiculous speeds as Benjamin peeled out of the driveway because they could see better, but it wasn’t helping.

Something else was wrong. Alexia couldn’t place it, but she felt it in her gut. Try as she might to slow her breathing, she kept glancing out either window and moving, not hiding her anxiety this time. She bit the inside of her cheek to keep quiet, to keep from asking if this was, indeed, better than walking.

How could the other vampires not notice this? How could such haste go unnoticed? Was this normal for them? It hadn’t seemed so the first time Gaston drove, when there was no emergency.
‘This is too easy.’ And all she wanted was out of it, out of it right then, but she wouldn’t let the demand escape her lips. Rationality was still fighting its losing battle in her head.

~***~

“—distic son of a bitch, it was just a monitor, you have thousands of them!”


Dress shoes rested upon a desk while Adrian listened to Amon hiss and spit, so like the cats he loved. He wasn't quite sure when Amon shifted to English, but he'd started to listen.
“I am not upset with you for that. That was merely the last straw. I asked for a cat for you, since you seem inclined to stay a while.”

His nose wrinkled, his expression one of disgust.
“You think that wil—”

Phone rang. Adrian held up a single finger before answering it.
“Yes?” Amon’s look suggested he’d set the phone on fire, but he knew what that would cause. The phone was too close to Adrian. Injuring Adrian would not be forgiven, nor would Adrian humor listening to him vent his rage.


The vampire had been watching the goings on of Gaston’s manor.
“Gaston has left. Peeled out.” Quite a ruckus.

“Direction?”


“Riverpasse.”

“Ah, to the rebels,” Amon chuckled. “Alert the guards out that way. Set up explosives. Orders are to kill everyone.” He might want Gaston and Alexia alive, but he’d settle for their deaths as well. That was usually easier. Tended to muck with plans if leaders died, too. “Unless it is feasible to capture any of them alive, but do not allow them to risk their own lives for that.”

“Understood. I’ll call ahead.”


“Thank you. Good bye,”
Adrian hung up before hearing any more. He set the phone down, and dared Amon to pick it up with a look.

Amon did not.
“Kill?”

“It is the best way,”
Adrian rose as he saw that annoying smile come to Amon’s lips. He closed the laptop, pocketed the phone, and carried the laptop under an arm as he walked towards the door.

“You do try to hide your nature behind all this finery and all your minions. Go get your hands dirty for once. Go kill. I know you miss the thrill of hunting.”
Fangs were bared, and Amon found himself cold with fear. He tried to sneer, to let Adrian know he understood it wasn’t real, but couldn’t.

It was still intense.
“My nature is what I want, and I have shaped it to be this,” he motioned to the home around him. “I have simply learned it is easier to kill things to maintain what I want. The living go against deals and peace treaties. They attempt deception. The dead cannot do that."

"You're still bitter over Odysseus."


Adrian didn't offer a response to that. That had been the lesson that finally set in when it came to traitors. He trusted none, though he used them. Human traitors were useful, after all.
"Call up that Russian, Inna. We need someone to take up where Gaston left off,” and Inna was as cold as her motherland. She’d be efficient, and alert him to any issues that needed fixing.

“I’m not your manservant, that’s Claude.”


“You’re staying at my home, and you are an inferior,”
Amon was never treated as guest. He never earned it. “Act or I will send you to stay with another vampire while you are here.” Freeloader.

It took only a few seconds.
“Fine.” He’d call Inna.

The car darted forward at a speed similar to that of Gaston and Alexia’s return trip. Benji was a smooth driver, but he took curves and turns with risk – to him, it was fun. Of course, the immediate concern that a more fragile human may think such maneuvers were scary escaped his mind. Gaston knew how Alexia must have been feeling, for he moved his hand through the open partition and placed it on his friend’s shoulders. Benji turned to look at him briefly, wondering exactly what it was he wanted.

“You need not do that,” said Gaston gently.

Benji muttered something under his breath, but stopped with his playful tricks. In reality, Benji was surprised to see just how much Gaston had changed in the last couple of months. Given the talks that they had shared, Benji had concluded that his friend’s patience was running out. When he received Kuno’s call, he knew that Amon must have done something terrible. Seeing the unusual, mostly silent, relationship that Gaston had with Alexia made him realize just how much Gaston supported the rebellion.

Gaston was risking his own life to further their cause. He kept her safe and defied Adrian.

Dean turned to Alexia, offered his hand for her to take if it meant easing her fears. He didn’t feel particularly comfortable, but he wasn’t nearly as uncomfortable as she was. His gaze moved from Alexia to Gaston. The vampire had crossed his legs, and his face was looking forward. He was so still, and it was hard for him to guess what the leech was thinking.

‘I still don’t trust you…’


“Something ain’t right,” said Benjamin suddenly. His eyes were squinting, as if focusing on something up ahead. Gaston stirred looking on to the road. Several cars had assembled themselves close to them, located just outside the clearing that guarded them from sight. By the time they could really see them, it had been too late. The explosives were near them. The car was going at an outrageously fast speed, so slowing down abruptly would only flip the car. “It’s an ambush!”

Instead of slowing down, Benji sped up. He turned sharply and exchanged a look with Gaston. Gaston nodded his head, turning to Catherine, who seemed to be on the same page as them. There was no time, so Gaston did not ask permission. He ripped Alexia’s seatbelt off and with one arm reached for her and grabbed her by the waist. He opened the door and kicked it open, lunging from inside the car and towards the outskirts of the woods. Gaston landed on the floor hard, breaking Alexia’s fall.

At the same time, Catherine had grabbed on to Dean and escaped through the sunroof. Benji had used his brutish arms to tear the car from the inside, jumping out from the back with some of the suitcases strapped in his arms. Behind him the car continued to dart forward, and in merely instants, it exploded. The momentum carried it forward. The attackers moved out of the way quickly enough, but they did not stay for long.

There were many of them, each with weapons pointed at them. The guns began firing, and those with melee weapons charged.

Gaston stood and let Alexia down gently on the floor, an apologetic look forming on his face. He turned, quickly counting the attackers. There were more than a dozen, at least. Debris was falling from the sky, and the smoke caused by the explosions had made a cloud above them. Some of them looked like they hadn’t expected an escaped, and they stood there just looking.

‘How did they know where we were? This road was supposed to be secret!’

There was no time to waste, for the vampires were soon upon them. The first they reached was Benjamin, who was furthest forward. Before one of them tackled him down, he lunged what suitcases he could save back to the others. He hit the ground hard, and as he looked at his attacker, he saw a sword coming down at him. He moved his head out of the way and the sword pierced the pavement. The vampire’s hands were tiny compared to Benjamin’s, and the brute used his to reach for the sword, pushing the other’s hand away and breaking his attacker’s arm in the process.

“Gah!” A stone-like hand fell limp on the floor.

“Move, bitch!”

With a powerful kick Benjamin threw his attacker quite a ways back, only to stand and see several others already there to kill him – weapons drawn. A devilish smile appeared on Benjamin’s face, and he literally welcome them with open arms.

Catherine had landed wrong on the side, breaking the fall for Dean who was still weak. With a pained gasp she stood and took a bullet to her shoulder. She stumbled back, but didn’t fall. “You’ll pay for that…” She hissed and instead of retaliating, she took the rebel and ran towards the trees. Her priority was to find cover from the bullets and strategize from within. Her arm hurt, but her skin began to regenerate once she’d escaped from immediate attack.

“Stay here,” she breathed out to Dean, whom she was on top of.

Dean could not just stand by, instead he looked back to where the suitcases had landed. He needed a weapon to fight back.

Gaston moved forward, drawing in the fire directly to him and away from Alexia. He looked at everything at once. At least four of the vampires were attacking him, two of them running right at him while the other two shot firearms. When he reached into his pockets, time seemed to slow – just as it did when he practiced. He could see the subtle movements the ambushers made, and predicted their attacks. He took several throwing needles and shot them at those who remained in the back – the gunners.

Their screams were loud, and both of them fell to their knees, dropping the guns and reaching for their eyes with their hands. The needles had gone through them. They weren’t dead, but they were at least blinded.

The others, who carried daggers and swords, continued their attack. Gaston was waiting for them,  his right hand wielded a single thin curved blade.

Everything was happening at once. Benjamin was being held back by no less than three attackers. His way of fighting was wild, animalistic and reckless, but every blow of his seemed to pull the very air from the ambushers. Gaston had met up with his attackers, but his method of attack was much more disciplined. He took his attackers down with powerful, swift, and precise strikes – swirling and dodging left and right. Benjamin was slow, and resisted many attacks. Gaston was swift, and he dodged all the predictable strikes.

It looked as if Gaston and the others had handled the situation, but more vampires emerged from the sides, flanking them and targeting Alexia and Dean. Catherine emerged from the trees, her broadsword drawn. It looked like the ambush was only just beginning.

"Care to dance, gentlemen?"
 


Alexia took Dean’s hand, and tried to settle down. She knew what the gesture was for, and the contact did ease her a bit. Warmth.

Then, Benjamin had to speak.
‘Knew it.’ A silent discussion occurred between the vampires as the car sped up. Before she could protest, her seatbelt was ripped off, “HEY!” Hand released Dean, door was kicked open. Alexia didn’t get much of a choice, though at least she was quick to understand what was occurring. As such, she did not struggle and make Gaston’s life harder.

They were outside soon enough, and Alexia’s adrenaline was high. Gaston and she disentangled soon enough, and he rose first. She shook her head at the smile, apologetic, as unnecessary. At least, for taking her out of the car. They might have words about ever riding in a car again, though. She rose after him, adrenaline high from the trip. A dagger was quickly found, though the gunners were already taken care of. At least, temporarily, they weren’t dead.

Gaston took the heat, the melee attackers seeming to rush for him. He had it handled, so Alexia slid away to finish off the vampires he left blinded. They were starting to recover from their pain, and their hearing was still fantastic. Alexia walked. Her footsteps were, no doubt, unfamiliar and too heavy to be a vampire’s steps. She saw the shift in attention. She didn’t switch for the blades at either hip, though.

The gunners weren’t far from each other. One reached out a hand to catch her leg as the other began to feel around for the gun he’d dropped. Alexia was just able to avoid being caught, last second, like always. Without sight, he was left momentarily unbalanced, stretched forward.

The second found his gun, and found a dagger cut by his neck. Alexia did not throw it to impale, but to cut open that vein so the blood would come rushing out. He would heal, they always did, but in the moment that healing didn’t matter.

She danced back from a second attempt to grasp her as the gun clattered again to the ground, hand covering the gushing wound. The two blades were drawn then as the wounded vampire twisted himself back up to his feet, fangs bared. He could hear her, and that was enough to embolden him. He didn’t consider the human might only be playing. He was rewarded with his lunge ending gruesomely. His head was removed, and Alexia didn’t waste time. The shock of the second was taken advantage of, and he, too, was dispatched.
‘Great, blood.’ Now she wouldn’t be getting anywhere unnoticed. Well, they were going to Riverpasse. There had to be a river somewhere.

Just as things settled down, though, more vampires showed up. Alexia retrieved the fallen dagger as some of the vampires seemed to target her specifically, sheathing one sword.
‘Gun.’ In a group, she'd have another to handle the gunners. They were the bane of her existence. The dagger was thrown at the one with the gun as Alexia made him her target. Guns fired too quickly, were much too dangerous. She couldn’t really evade a bullet once fired.

Of course, the vampire could evade a throwing dagger, and with ease. Alexia rushed forward regardless, another dagger found, and another thrown. If she could keep him on the defensive, he might not be able to fire a good shot.

There were others, of course, who decided variously to take on the returned Catherine, or go after Dean. One of the melee fighters forced her from her target. The strike came from the left, and Alexia narrowly dodged, but the offensive wasn’t relinquished. She threw the dagger presently in her hand at close range, into the vampire’s neck. It reeled back, but Alexia continued forward. The vampire gathered himself quickly, twisted its body in an attempt to cut her with its own blade, but had it parried as she stepped around. The vampire had speed and strength on her, but she wasn’t concerned in the moment.
‘Three steps.’ Alexia counted them, placing her feet accordingly as she wove a pattern to trip him up. Their own agility could be used against them when the pace wasn’t going as they hoped.

It worked, and he tripped. His arm reached out to catch himself, finding Alexia’s shoulder for balance. Nails dug into it, but she ignored the pain. A poor choice. Before he could recover, his head was removed, his bent-over frame giving her the perfect opportunity.

The shot was finally fired.

Lights seemed to flash before her vision, before the roaring pain made itself known.
‘Upper arm.’ Clearly aimed elsewhere, but she had been moving. The true target was missed. The blade fell from her hand, fingers extending against her will in a twitch. The barrel rolled in the gun, the next bullet ready. The orders they had were made quite clear in that second. A moment’s regret that she didn’t look for anything bulletproof was gone just as she saw his finger move.

No time for that.

She kicked off from the ground as trigger was pulled, timed so she just felt the heat of the bullet brush by her ear. There might be blood. She couldn’t feel its warmth after the passing of the bullet, though her ear was certainly pounding from the sound of it. Her uninjured arm found the blade still at her side and grasped it. 

The barrel spun, bullet clicked into place, and it exploded in his hand as Alexia aimed for the barrel. It didn’t break open or cut through, but she definitely cracked it. That was more than enough. The vampire recoiled at the burning sensation, dropped the metal with a finger, and then joined it on the ground, headless.

With a deep, shaky breath, Alexia looked back to see how the others were fairing against these foes, and to check her own surroundings. She was contemplating moving into the forested area and playing archer if it was necessary, although her body was starting to lose the push of adrenaline, mind over matter a struggle as the blood slid down her neck from her ear. The heat of that wound was distracting, on top of the fact she couldn't quite hear out of that ear right then.


Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2013, 10:14:20 pm »
Despite the fact that more vampires showed up to the scene, slowly things began to favor Gaston and the others. Benjamin had taken a couple of good hits, but he pushed through them effortlessly. His broad fists delivered blows that were as harming and crippling as any weapon. In one instance, he had pounded a vampire’s face so hard on the ground that it literally shattered. Around him, the ambushers seemed to be out of their element. A vampire’s physical capabilities were heightened from that of humans, but even these vampires had grown tired of aimlessly targeting the big brute. He seemed to be unstoppable.

Catherine had kept an eye on the place where she had left Dean, and made an effort to keep the attackers from reaching him. Her broadsword cut through the vampires like a knife to butter – leaving them lifeless and limp on the floor. When she saw Dean engaging a vampire on his own, her glare could’ve turned him to stone. ‘What the hell is that fool thinking?!’ She could not immediately leave her target to go help him out, as much as she would have wanted to. Unlike her fellow vampires, Catherine was not used to combat, and she was soon surrounded.

Her advantage was the weapon that she held – that beautiful broadsword. It was made of a rare metal that was particularly effective against vampires. It sliced through them easily, and it rotted the hardened flesh around it almost instantly. The others, although more capable than Catherine, did not have weapons of the sort. Gaston didn’t know anyone other than himself who possessed such weapons. They could not be destroyed by fire, which is why he didn’t want to leave any behind in his estate. They would have been found after Amon torched the place. No, these weapons were worth protecting.

Gaston was the one going through kills the fastest, for his adrenaline only increased further. He sliced, struck, and fought skillfully. He disposed of his attackers within instants of their attack. He took a look around and saw that Alexia had taken care of the gunners. She was quick and skillful – more than any human he had ever seen. He took a look back at the suitcases that Benji was able to save and saw Dean with a long blade in his hands. Vampires were soon surrounding him.

Dust scattered as Gaston jumped off the floor and landed several feet from the rebel. It was silent and stealthy in every way. Dean fought valiantly, but his wounds were catching up to him. His breathing was quickened, and he struggled to even swing the sword. Gaston was sure that his burns were paining him still, but imagined that the desire to kill vampires was motivational enough to try. The vampires around him laughed, the fact that Gaston was so near escaped their notice. That was their deadly mistake. As they mocked the bandaged rebel, Gaston moved swiftly around them, taking refuge in the trees’ shadows that were casted by the moonlight. One by one, they fell.

Benji met up with them both, several scars and open wounds around his arms. His expression seemed unchanged, his smile as wide as ever. To him, this was all but a fun game. He’d finished off his attacking vampires already, and with a look he confided into Gaston that he’d watch over the foolish rebel. He could keep going, but Gaston was better at combat than he ever could be. Gaston nodded and dashed forward, looking at both Catherine and Alexia.

The first looked like she was finally getting the hand of the blade, and although she had several more vampires incoming, Gaston was not concerned.

The second had been wounded, and Gaston could sense that her adrenaline was dropping. His destination therefore became obvious. He reached into the folds of his suit and took out more throwing needles. With them, he pierced their eyes just as he had done with the others. They were barely falling in their desperation when Gaston reached them. Their head were sliced off only moments afterwards. Lady Catherine was soon with him.

“That was the last of them,” said she, looking a little ruffled but otherwise fine.

“I hardly doubt that,” said Gaston, looking away into the open field. He couldn’t see anyone else, or hear them for that matter. They were alone. Still, he really didn’t believe that they had taken care of all of them. Some of them would have surely had the sense of fleeing after realizing that they could not win this skirmish. “They knew we were here. Adrian must have more spies than I had anticipated. Damn it.” Veronique would have to be more careful now, but she would. She was clever.

“I’m not surprised,” said Catherine. “We’ve wasted too much time, sunrise is near. We need to get moving, Gaston. I don’t think we can make it to Riverpasse, but we can make it somewhere else. The other rebel is okay, though he is a fool like I have never met. He tried engaging a vampire on his own only minutes after I told him to stay hidden.”

“Foolish, yes,” said Gaston, approaching Alexia and visibly inspecting her wound. He looked at her and motioned if it were alright if he further inspected the bullet wound, this time physically. “Feeling helpless is like a poison, especially to a rebel. He shouldn’t have done it, but I don’t blame him for acting up. It’s only natural. I think we should at least take the humans close enough to where they can find their own.” They could still make it to the rebellion, and it would be safe after sunrise.

Lady Catherine said nothing more on the subject, but motioned for Benji and Dean to join them. Hanging from Benjamin’s hands were all the suitcases that were salvaged. Gaston wanted to know, more than anything, whether his suitcase had been saved. He really couldn’t care less for the weapons, but the picture of his human life was of immeasurable importance to him. The picture of little Marjorie and his wife.

“Are you all right?” He asked Alexia, remaining with her, though his gaze moved to Benji when he arrived. He cocked his head, slightly pointing to the suitcases his friend was carrying. Benji nodded his head, and relief flooded through Gaston. If he’d been tense even after finding out that no one was near, now he could at last relax.

Dean was sulking next to Benjamin. He'd promised himself that he wouldn't be grateful to Gaston anymore, and once more, he was wrong.


Dean had briefly been in trouble, but Gaston handled that. Catherine and Benjamin seemed to be handling things on their own, and Gaston clearly needed no help. Alexia glanced around to locate her scattered weaponry, just before she caught the sounds of footsteps. ‘Damn it!’ She whipped around to engage, but saw the needles fly and strike eyes. Quicker than she’d seen a vampire move before, Gaston dispatched them, heads taken off.

Alexia banked her momentary awe. They were regrouping, the last wave of the vampires dealt with. Alexia stepped away from Catherine and Gaston to retrieve the daggers and the blade that had fallen. She felt the pain easily now, the adrenaline dying away to reveal it. She flexed the fingers of the wounded arm once the weapons had been retrieved. It bent at the elbow still, though the action hurt. She could lift it, but right then it wasn’t worth it.
‘Mostly superficial.’ Muscle and flesh damage, perhaps nerve. Nerve would be worrisome, but no broken bones.

She walked back to Gaston and Catherine as she spoke of Dean, frowning that this seemed to be the topic. Uninjured arm lifted to brush hair back behind the wounded ear, trace over it for her own inspection since she couldn’t see.
‘Definitely blood.’ She winced as the fingertip grazed over something quite tender. Another hesitant touch, and another wince. She dropped her hand. ‘Nope.’ She wanted rubbing alcohol and bandages. There wouldn’t be time for that, though. Movement was key. If there were other vampires around, they wouldn’t be frightened off for long.

Benjamin and Dean soon started walking over. Benjamin had literally every suitcase, and Alexia started to smile, despite her own pain, at that. She was half-tempted to volunteer to take one anyway, but she heard Gaston’s question. Or his words. It took a moment of her staring at him for her to discern what was said, ear still ringing.
“I’m all right,” she said, swallowed down a vocal complaint. Deep breaths. She noted his look then, and nodded. He didn't seem to be too bothered by the blood. “You can check—I can’t see my ear.” It didn’t feel completely destroyed, but she only checked so far with her finger tracing the known image of it. From the feel of it, it seemed she might have lost a bit of the upper ear. That wouldn't heal back normally, but she was more concerned about her hearing. “I think the bullet moved cleanly out of my arm,” there were two holes, entrance and exit, still bleeding. She was already plotting to rip off the sleeve of her other arm and tie it tight to stop the bleeding. She humored the thought of a tourniquet. She was lucky, wouldn’t even dare chalk that up to skill. That had been luck.

‘Had worse than this.’
Though she was loathed to admit even that, even if it might give credit to her words of being all right.

Catherine looked at Dean, and could not contain her face from expressing unhindered anger. She said nothing to the rebel, but she was clearly upset that they boy had decided not to listen to her. Didn’t he know that he was injured? Weak? She wouldn’t voice her complaints to Gaston, for he wouldn’t put any blame on the foolish rebel. She turned to look at Benjamin, and when he winked at her, she groaned and looked away. The only person she wasn’t completely mad at was Alexia, and she hardly even knew the human.

Gaston paid no attention to Catherine’s little silent tantrum, but instead inspected Alexia’s wounds. The blood didn’t bother him any longer – and especially not when he had sworn it forbidden for most of his life. The blood was merely a motive of survival for him, and although the scent was powerful enough to keep both Benjamin and Catherine several feet from her, it didn’t affect him. He looked over her arm, gently raising it and stopping if he felt she was in pain. There was an exit wound, and she still had function in her arm.
Her ear had been affected and needed to be cleaned, but nothing severe.

He was no doctor, but he didn’t think Alexia would have any nerve damage. He was grateful that she was alive, and relieved that the wounds she had suffered were considerably minimal. It could’ve been worse. Gaston shook his head and cursed under his breath – a whisper. Out of everything that he could have forgotten, it’d been the alcohol that had escaped his memory – a foolish, foolish mistake. From one of his inner pockets he took a handkerchief that easily wrapped itself around Alexia’s arm twice, and knotted it appropriately.

“I don’t have any alcohol, but you should be fine. I’m sorry about all this,” said Gaston, still trying to go over the possibilities that might have led an ambush group to them. It had to be Adrian. “I didn’t think anybody knew about this road.”

“Who forgets alcohol?” Benjamin had no filter, so he couldn’t keep his question to himself. With a threateningly cold look from Catherine, he fell silent. She would serve as his filter from now on.

“I do, clearly,” said Gaston, seriously. But there was no time to mope around, they needed to keep moving and get the humans as close as they could to Riverpasse. It would be unlikely that they would make it before sunrise, so they could not join them. They also couldn’t turn back. Gaston would have to trust Catherine in leading them to safety. “We must move, and quickly. I know you won’t like it, but we will be faster if we carry you. I cannot think of anything else, for we can’t turn back, and we can’t stay here.”

“I’m not letting any of you carry me,” spat Dean firmly, earning an approving nod and a grin from Benjamin. “I don’t care what you say.”

“Ha, the kid has guts, doesn’t he?”

“I’m serious.” Dean’s lips formed a thin, tense, line.

“You don’t have a choice,” hissed Catherine, still clearly upset at him. “If you have something else to suggest, by all means let us know. If not, remain silent. I sure as hell won’t be looking forward to carrying you.”

“This is not the time nor the place for this, we need to move.”


Another groan. “We won’t make it to Riverpasse on foot, it's far. We can make it to where I told you, it's only a little ways away. We can take them there.” Catherine insisted, but her plan still had some flaws.

“Alexia and Dean won’t have the advantage of daylight if we go to your place, we need to get them as close as we can to Riverpasse.”


Alexia shook her head at Gaston’s words. “I don’t always have access to it myself.” It was more common than most things. First aid was often more important than food when it came to gathering supplies, but even that suffered. She wasn’t surprised others knew about the road. It was a road, they seemed like obvious things to her. Perhaps in the vampire world they could be overlooked, though.

She did not like his idea, and glanced at Dean as he protested.
‘How far are we?’ A good question. Did she hedge her bets that the rebels were closer to this spot? They would never make a residence too near the city itself. If they knew a road was here, they likely wouldn’t know its secretive nature, and want to be near enough to hear traffic. ‘Perhaps that is how Adrian knows.’ That thought caused her to be uncomfortable.

Well, if Dean was going to be stubborn, he could prove he had the strength for it.


“If the suitcase I packed is still among those saved, I’ll take it,”
Alexia said to Benjamin. “I have one good arm, and I’ve walked more than this with burdens,” she looked to Gaston, “I have already lost my autonomy of movement and suffered for it. I’d prefer to take things at a pace I like,” it probably was dangerous, but Alexia didn’t let any worry show. The world belonged to vampires. She was not unfamiliar in walking through such territory while wounded, bloody, or burdened. She had survived thus far. “I’m not going to be carried by you, only for you to end up tripped. You move too fast,” and she was not having any more of that nonsense. She was very much on Dean’s side this time. “And you have places to get before sunrise, from the sound of it.” Sun didn’t bother her. It was the human advantage.

She wasn’t certain if Gaston would lay low in that place just until night, and then regroup with Alexia. Somehow, she doubted it. Being near Riverpasse could not be a good idea for him, now that Adrian was aware he was taking this route. He’d have to move elsewhere. If she could maintain the position near Riverpasse, it might be possible to continue communications, but Alexia doubted it. Once the rebels heard of this, they’d have to move.


“Well,” said Gaston, looking down in deep though. “You know that I will never force you to do anything, so we won’t carry you.” He didn’t like that he could take them as far as he’d promised, and carrying them was not exactly part of his plan, but it would’ve been safest for them. Gaston would not fall while carrying her and neither would Catherine with Dean, but perhaps just the idea of it might have been too much. He wouldn’t force it, for neither was clearly willing. 

“It’s not like we can go to Riverpasse still, Gaston,” said Catherine, trying to find some sort of alternate solution herself. “If they found this road they’ll have the place surrounded. We cannot all join her in the rebellion – they’ll attack us. I know where some of the rebels are sheltered on the outskirts of Riverpasse, the closest to us, but that still may be too far.”

“I can call the others to come pick us up,” said Benji, handing Alexia’s suitcase to her. Only one suitcase had been destroyed, but all the weapons had been saved. “They’ll be pissed, but they’ll come. Yeah, they won’t leave us out here.”

Gaston shook his head. “No, and we cannot just leave Alexia and Dean out here to fend for themselves, others might be near. I won’t force them into another car either, that didn’t work out well for us last time. I won’t risk your brothers’ wellbeing if we can survive on our own.” He couldn't have that added on to his already burdening regrets.

“No, it didn’t well,” spat Dean, glaring back at Catherine. “We’ll be fine come sunrise.”

“If we won’t carry you, we’ll escort you as far as we can on foot. We’ll probably take to the sides, travel through the trees. If others are hiding, we’ll be able to hear them. We can react more quickly, hide from them. We'll also be able to hear the humans.” Gaston could not think of any other way to close the gap between them and the rebellion around Riverpasse. The last thing he would do would be to leave them there alone. Once they joined the rebellion, he would be more at ease to be parted from her.

“You’re serious?” Catherine didn’t seem to like the idea, but she didn’t try to further coerce Gaston out of it. He was truly incorrigible, and now was not the time to test him. She'd promised to follow him wherever he went, and that included the daylight. She wouldn't immediately die from it, for with age came some resistance.

“Well, if we stick to the shadows when that motherfucker rises we’ll be at least be partially safe. The problem is we’ll be stuck. Besides, I burn easier than y'all.” Benjamin was considerably younger than Gaston and Catherine.

“We’ll be safe in the shadows, because we’ll be unreachable from the outside. Sun will keep other vampires out, too. We can get Alexia and Dean as close as we can to the rebel strongholds, and travel by night to meet your contacts, Catherine.”


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2013, 10:20:23 pm »
Alexia took the suitcase with a grateful nod. Heavy though it was, she preferred the burden. It kept the weapons near. Catherine doubted the influence Alexia could have with the rebels, positive they’d attack. She didn’t speak up to contradict. She might be right, after all, and she’d not make any promises she couldn’t keep.

'You don’t have to come,'
Alexia didn't say it aloud, though. It seemed they were determined, even if it meant they were trapped in the sun. Alexia wasn’t sure she’d feel comfortable just leaving them in the shadows. “Let’s get moving, then.” She lifted the suitcase from the ground, nodded to Dean, and then took to walking through the forest rather than on the road. The trees would certainly provide shelter.

Alexia was able to walk with the weight, a single-minded determination taking over nearly all other thought. It numbed the pain and made the weight seem non-existent. As such, when dawn threatened to paint the sky orange, she almost missed the chirping of a robin. It took a couple of seconds for it to register, and then without thought her own voice came out as bird’s trill. It was answered, and she stopped walking.
“Robin!” She called out, and the ‘bird’ revealed itself, dropping from a tree some distance away before walking to where they were. He was pale, not with fear, though. His eyes glanced between the three vampires and Dean before resting on Alexia. He was still garbed in all black from earlier, hair matching, and the poison just starting to wear off. “How far is everyone else?”

“Still a bit aways,”
he answered. His eyes lingered on the evident wounds she had before shifting to Dean and how weak he looked. He didn't recall Dean, though, but knew he was human. “I’ve been on scouting duty,” he answered, explaining his distance from the general group. “There’s been more activity than usual tonight.”

“We’re responsible,” she answered, placed the suitcase down for a moment and turned back to Gaston, “Gaston, this is the Robin,” she smiled, “Robin, this is the vampire who turned on Adrian.”

“Yeah?”
Robin seemed happy, seemed to believe it. His own idealistic hopes fed the want to believe such things could still happen despite the purges of the past. Considering Alexia was walking among them, clearly armed, he was pretty certain it wasn't a lie. “Well, maybe it is our time,” humans had spent so many years fighting, that most humans accepted the fact that change would not occur in their lifetime. They just had to keep up the fight, pass on the stories, and prepare the next generations.

They walked on, wary of their surroundings. Nothing threatened them at first, for the woods were silent. Whatever faint sounds nature made, they were nothing out of the ordinary – and they weren’t entirely unpleasant. It wasn’t until later that Gaston heard something strange. It sounded like a heartbeat, but it was faint, almost dying. He turned to look at Catherine and then at Benjamin; neither of them seemed to notice this little noise. It was growing stronger, and Gaston deduced that a human was near.

He continued to walk next to Alexia, his eyes following the faint sound up ahead. Then a bird sounded off, something that Alexia returned with a call of her own. When she spoke of Robin, everything began to make sense. When the human dropped from the trees and approached the pair, Gaston had already known where he was. The vampire wondered whether practice had garnered the human’s expertise at slowing his heartbeat. Or was it something else?

Benjamin did not stir, but grinned at the sight of the boy who was tiny in comparison to him. Catherine tensed, but only slightly, her hand gripping at the broadsword. When Alexia engaged him in conversation, however, she relaxed a little, sharing a look of slight concern with Gaston.  Dean remained closer to Alexia throughout, and when the rebel came out, his first real smile appeared on his face.

Apparently this young rebel, dressed in black, had been scouting and found that activity had seen an increase that night. Gaston wasn’t surprised, but he was disappointed still. Adrian must have had access to more eyes than Gaston anticipated, but then again, so did he. He would not underestimate his enemy again. If he could manage, he would be even more cautious when travelling. Once he’d found a safe place, he could send word out and continue operations from the inside.

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Robin,” Gaston extended his arm for the rebel to shake if he wished right after Alexia introduced him. Neither did Catherine nor Benjamin repeat the gesture, but the latter gave a wave and a smiled. “Gaston Pianette.”

“Catherine Blanc,” said the platinum haired beauty, but she knew that he knew that already.

“Benjamin Porter, sup?” This was a more informal greeting.

“Dean,” managed the weakened human. “It’s so good to see another human around.”

“It is most excellent,” agreed Gaston with a warm smile. “So this is the little Robin you had heard earlier, then? How clever. Do you know the distance separating us from your stronghold? I would prefer to keep my promise fully and return Alexia here to the other rebel forces.”

“It’s almost morning,” warned Catherine.  Benjamin shrugged it off, the woods were cool in his eyes.


Robin immediately returned Dean’s smile, an optimist by nature and always quick to smile. This gathering was increasing his hopes rapidly, though he tried not to let it show in his eyes. When the hand extended, he glanced towards Alexia for direction. None came, so he took his own initiative to walk forward and test the waters himself. He took the man’s hand, “Robin,” no surname. Few humans adopted them any longer, at least, that he’d met.

His eyes fell on Catherine and he nodded to her. One shake, and he released Gaston’s hand and stepped back, the frown pensive, before his gaze flickered towards the motion of a wave.
“Ah, you,” he knew of Benjamin, too. Robin had initially been born in territory closer to Benjamin. His gang was known. He wasn't sure what to make of him.

Robin turned to Dean and nodded,
“Good to meet you, Dean,” he said, noted how injured he was. He wouldn’t offer then, but he imagined he could serve as a bit of a crutch for Dean if it was needed.

Alexia, though wounded, he found he wasn’t concerned about. She was carrying a suitcase, after all.

Distance was measured by time. Robin looked back over his shoulder and tried to estimate how far he must be from the stronghold.
“We’re maybe five or six hours away,” he said. The sun would be high then. “They’re never going to believe this,” excitement broke in his tone. Even in that excitement, though, his heartbeat never increased. “I told them, for years, I told you, Alex!”

Alexia rolled her eyes,
“Yes, yes, brag later, Robin.” She couldn’t be angry with him for being right. Her arm was going to fall off before they ever got there. 

Gaston shook Robin’s hand with a warm smile, pleasantly surprised that he was willing. Benjamin did not stiffen at Robin’s familiar yet underwhelmed salute, but instead kept his smile. Dean, however, was the most pleased about making this new acquaintance. He had not actually known him, but was glad that he was quick to be friendly. The fact that he was a rebel who knew where the others were, however, was what made his smile widest.

“What is it that you told her, and the other rebels, Robin?” Catherine spoke, but one could hear how hard it was for her to speak so casually with other humans. She was just now getting used to Alexia. The beautiful vampire soon began to realize just how much more she would be interacting with humans from now on. The thought wasn’t pleasant, but that she didn’t show. She thought of only her loyalty to Gaston, and that was enough motivation.

“Five or six hours, you say?” Said Gaston with a frown – the location was still quite the ways away.

“Shit news, I reckon.” It sounded like Benjamin could really care less about it, for his smile did not waver.

“I would still feel more comfortable if I remained with you for as long as possible.” There was really no persuading him on this. He knew that Alexia and he would have to separate soon, but he wanted to ensure her safety before that happened. “I would like to escort you, still.”

“It’ll be sunny by then, Gaston.” Catherine pointed out, but she knew it was useless.

“Why don’t you and Benjamin lead the way ahead? Scout for me while I remain with Alexia, Dean, and Robin. Be especially careful, the human’s heartbeats from around here are unusually silent.”

“You sure?”


“Certainly, if you don’t mind,” he looked over to Alexia, “of course.” He then moved his attention back to Catherine, who was not too thrilled by the idea – he gave her a friendly smile of encouragement. “If you want you can go ahead and meet with your friends, I’m sure I can catch up with you later.”

“You don’t know the way,” she countered.

“I’m sure I can find you, Catherine.”

“I think we are nearer to them than we are the humans,” she added. This was not entirely a bad thing.

“Well, we need to keep moving, and I would rather you scout ahead with Benji. We’ve got at least another hour before sunrise is truly upon us.”

Lady Catherine was hesitant to move forward, but once Benjamin had dashed ahead, she didn’t have much choice. They would all benefit from their scouting ahead, especially if more vampires had found their way into the woods. With a surrendering expression, she sped ahead, leaving Gaston to be the only vampire with the rebel humans.


Robin heard Catherine’s question, and answered quickly, “I told her that we didn’t need to use Amon ‘cause there were still good vampires out there. I told her the reason we didn’t know was ‘cause of the purges, but that couldn’t have gotten rid of all of them.”

‘And I told you it didn’t matter.’
She had good reasons then. Obviously, any vampire that was sympathetic to humans was not going to come work with rebels, and Alexia had no time, no way, to find them out.

Though Robin certainly had his hopes, when the two vampires left Gaston alone he still shot Alexia a look, a question. He half-expected her disposition would change to the one he was familiar with, the cold and calculating leader who had humored crafting a vampiric civil war before it was decided Amon was too chaotic. She had no love of vampires then. They were tools, a means to an end.

If Gaston were there, here she would have changed.

She did no such thing. Instead, she asked out right,
“How much and how long ago?”

Robin blinked, surprised to be asked so bluntly about the poison before a vampire,
“Um, about eight hours ago, 2 tablespoons,” he answered. It was a difficult poison. One could develop tolerance to it. He understood that Alexia tended to ingest half a cup anymore. It would certainly be fatal at some dose—that much was fatal for most—but they’d yet to find out what that was.

She nodded, knew where Robin was,
“Carry this,” she offered out the suitcase, “You should be fine in an hour.”

“I have more,”
as if that mattered. Dean wouldn't have much of a tolerance right now as it was. Alexia shook her head. “It’s not safe up ahead.” Robin's job had not been elimination.

“Dean and I have none. We’ll be careful.” They’d listen. They’d move.

Robin walked forward to take the luggage from Alexia despite how little feeling there was in his fingers. He wrapped his cold hands around it and pulled it away, though it did slip through his fingers at first, grip not tight enough. He sighed, tried again, testing the weight until he was certain of his grip. It came up with him, no issue except a slight struggle with the weight. He wasn’t exactly a hulking mass of muscle.
“Lead the way,” she directed.

Robin nodded and took the lead. Apparently he wouldn’t be helping Dean now, though he saw Alexia walk to him. Wordlessly, she motioned towards Dean and tilted her head in question.
‘Do you need help?’ The motion promised that it was all right to step closer and lean against her if he needed to, now that she’d relieved herself of the extra weight.



Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2013, 10:23:24 pm »
More rebels like Robin were needed at a time like that. Humans who believed that not all vampires were demons to be killed on sight; these were the rebels that would help their cause. Many times Gaston contemplated purchasing rebels that had a history of that, and in his past attempts he had. They proved too eager, impatient to see results. More often than not, this had caused certain carelessness, and therefore jeopardy to it all.

No, Gaston needed humans who could be shown a better alternative, but those who would always be doubtful of vampires. Finding Alexia was like finding the rarest of gems in a world long since deprived of them. She was wary, but willing to listen. Gaston still liked to believe that others like Alexia could be on his side. One of the greater leaders of the rebellion was already accepting his help. That was a greater start than he could have hoped for.

“So that’s what it does,” Gaston spoke once he had put all the pieces together. “Useful, I dare say.”

They began to move forward, Robin leading the way while Alexia moved back to help Dean. The vampire knew better than to offer his help to the burned rebel, for his pride would impair his judgment. Dean looked over at Alexia, and with a slight smile he shook his head. She was injured, and it wouldn’t be easier for her to support herself and him with an injured shoulder. He could manage his own. He would certainly not accept any help from the vampire that could have very well caused everything.

“I assure you we won’t be taken by surprise up ahead; Benjamin is excellent at what he does, even if he is all over the place.” It was true; Benjamin was brought up and raised in a lifestyle that demanded he be wary of his surrounding, especially around vampires. He and his gang were not particularly appreciated back in Quentin. “I won’t tell you that you are all safe, but we’ll at least be warned given anything strange.” He looked over at Robin and the briefcase he was carrying. “I can help you with that,” he offered, and before the rebel could say anything the vampire continued, “even if it is just for the remaining hour until you are back to normal.”

He motioned with his hand to take the suitcase. Robin would be less restrained without it, and maybe then perhaps he could help Dean. Gaston even subtly hinted at with his eyes.

“So it seems,” he began softly, “that we will be separated for a while once you’ve settled with the Riverpasse rebels. I’m sure we’ll have a greater understanding of when we’ll next see each other once we’re each relatively safe, but it will be different won’t it?”

Different indeed.

"It'll be better," muttered Dean from behind.


Alexia couldn’t help but add, “My creation,” when dawning came to Gaston. She wasn’t trying to hide it now. It would be good for Gaston to know it was her creation. Only those associated with her would have access to it. The recipe was known to three—Robin was one, Willow the other. “Romeo and Juliet inspired—I read much too much.” Willow once thought it was stupid. Then she saw what it inspired, and came to understand that reading was a skill that had to be taught. It allowed creative and imagination. All rebels who joined their cause, if they could not read, were taught.

Dean denied her assistance, so Robin went to aid when the suitcase was taken from him instead, offering his assistance more verbally. He still took to leading, though not from the front. He called out directions as necessary, and Alexia followed them.

All the while, her mind was turning. Now would be a time to pull the human forces together, and she imagined that if she took Riverpasse it would be a great gathering area—close to Adrian, close to the action. It might draw the heat from Gaston for a little while. If Catherine was abandoning the area, one powerful vampire would be out. Her home could even become the base of operations.


‘We can’t survive that way!’ Already she could hear Willow’s protests, but now she reconsidered.

Attention would be split. Not all the humans would be out in the open—Willow could continue hiding and running those operations, but Alexia had always known her status as a figurehead. It was why Adrian wanted her. It was why she could stand in the open.
‘Or Robin….’ Alex was masculine, Alex was the Conqueror—Alexander the Great.

Hadn’t that been the reason? She vaguely recalled the father-figure who named her telling her about that man. The name her parents had given her was long lost, never to be known. Briefly, she wondered if Gaston had ever known the supposed Son of Zeus.

His quiet words took her from her thoughts, and she glanced to him. Her lips quirked up at the ‘relatively safe’.
‘Good luck.’ “Yes, things will change,” and she’d agree with Dean—for the better—but not for the same reasons. “But that is what we need. Our network of allies grows this way. I’ll position myself in the open to take some of the heat off you,” it wasn’t misguided arrogance that considered it. “Is there anyone in Riverpasse I should be concerned with?” It would become the base. “For talking to, or for destroying?” Move while chaos ensued the council. Move while emotions were high. She’d talk to vampires Gaston suggested and let them flee or join the cause, but otherwise she’d bring down Riverpasse with the rebel groups nearby, just as Eventide had fallen. There would be plenty of human allies from that event, not strong, but bodies nonetheless.

“I’m not surprised,” said Gaston with a chuckle. “I had a feeling that you could read, too. You were quite clever in trying, and succeeding might I add, in keeping that from me. I admit that reading is a skill worth keeping, and I understand not a lot of rebels have such a skill, sadly.” If he could help it, he would have his staff read. Given time, they all did. Eva had been in charge of teaching Abby to read, though he now realized that probably had not even started yet. He was unsure if it ever would.

“You need not risk yourself on my behalf,” Gaston said to Alexia, with a slight smile. “I’ll be able to move around much more easily once Veronique sends word. For now I’ll have to be patient, and since things have been set in motion, I don’t think it’ll be a problem. We must not take any unnecessary risks,” Alexia’s next question required some thought, but it proved unnecessary. The only notably dangerous vampire near Riverpasse aside from the council and their minions was Catherine, and she was on their side.

The vampire shook his head. “I can’t think of anyone you need to be wary of aside from Adrian, but Catherine is more familiar with the lands. All of her allies are waiting for us already, so you needn’t contact them, either. We may not be together, but I will send word to you every chance that I can get. You won’t be in need of supplies either,” by that time his accounts were empty and reachable only by him. He would be able to send them hidden supplies once the economy fell.

The distance between Benjamin and Gaston grew smaller, which Gaston knew to be a sign. Something was wrong. He didn’t let the others know verbally because they might react in a way that would compromise them. He instead gave Alexia, and only her, a careful look, and hoped that she could understand him. He kept his expression pleasant, but he listened in to the sides of the deepening trees. If he hadn’t been actively listening for it, he would have probably overlooked it. There was a single vampire hidden away in the trees, which explained why Benjamin had not personally taken care of it. He couldn’t reach it without putting the others in danger. Besides, it was still far away.

This was a stealth or surprise kill, and Gaston was probably the best person for the job, for he excelled at ranged weapons. He didn’t have fire at his command, but he sure knew how to use his bow. As they kept walking, Gaston didn’t turn to the direction where the vampire was biding his time. The closer they got, however, the more Gaston confirmed his location, the more he identified him as an enemy.

In a split second, Gaston turned to face the tree where the vampire was.

The leaves rustled immediately, for the vampire hiding within realized that he had been found. It was too late, for Gaston had drawn his bow, and the arrow that shot from it found the vampires head before he could do much to escape. In that second of panic, the stranger had guaranteed his death. The body fell from the tree and landed limp on the floor.

Catherine seemed surprised at the sudden movement, but Benjamin raised his hand to let her know that everything had been taken care of. Gaston moved towards the body, retrieving the arrow from his deformed face.

“One of Adrian’s men,” he announced, “there are probably more up ahead. They seem to be inexperienced.”


Alexia nodded to show she heard what Gaston had to say, but she had not decided if she would not take any ‘unnecessary risks’. It would become known, if it wasn’t already known, that the rebels were here. If she had to move, Gaston might not be able to find her as well. It might even work out, if Catherine were the only vampire of note in this area, to take it over. There was no one to contact, according to Gaston, which meant the usual tactics would work just fine. Eliminate the vampires in the area, bring the humans into the fold, and then hold down this fort.

It’d be an interesting change of pace.

She caught Gaston’s look,
“I will keep it in mind,” she said, but it was no promise not to cause trouble. The idea of a fort was growing appealing. Staying grounded, in the heart of vampiric territory…if they could hold it for even a month, it would be a grand success.

As they continued walking, Gaston did nothing about that look he sent. At least, not for a while. Then, the bow was drawn, and Alexia watched as the vampire was felled. She smirked.
“Very good,” couldn’t help the comment.

She couldn’t see the vampires up ahead. From the looks of this one, she would have agreed with Gaston. Even a vampire should know better than to deal with others in such a way, hiding within a tree, alone. And it was alone in this area, for no others revealed themselves.
“They’ll be simple to push through, but if they aren’t aware we’re here,” the humans were hardly in conditions to engage, regardless of how inexperienced. Alexia glanced around, “Perhaps we can go around them?”

She looked to Robin, who shook his head,
“If they’re this close….” He sounded worried, and Alexia understood, “Maybe they aren’t Adrian’s men, so much as the vampires of the area. They might not be looking for you lot, but us,” the human rebels the vampires knew to be in the area.

Gaston nodded at Robin, acknowledging that these scattered vampires could indeed be after the humans. Such separated patrols, however, were not something he had heard often from his recent reports – even in Riverpasse. Something strange was going on, for neither answer seemed to make sense completely. They weren’t exactly out in the open, so to find a vampire so close to them, hidden away, was a little unusual.

“If that is so, then Benji and Catherine would have scared them off. The weapons they carry are of fine make, so no vampire would engage them without a backbone of talent to help them out.” Benjamin nodded, but remained just as silent as Catherine. “If they aren’t Adrian’s men, then they must be employed by the council to deal with rebels. If neither, I’m afraid I’m at a loss.”

Dean appreciated the help that Robin was giving him, but Gaston’s presence kept him on the edge. “At this point it doesn’t really matter who they were tracking. He was foolish to rest in a tree like that, and now he’s dead. That should show some kind of warning to those ahead.”

“There aren’t any more of my kin up ahead,” responded Gaston in polite disagreement, “at least not that we can hear.”

Catherine scoffed slightly. “We went up ahead quite a bit, and nothing raised a red flag to us.”

This conversation continued, although less fervently, as they walked on. Eventually Benji and Catherine patrolled up ahead as they had done before, with no further disturbances reported. Gaston walked alongside Alexia, silent and attentive. They were making good time, but sunrise was so near to them that the vampire concluded that no other vampires would risk remaining outside. They travelled on for quite some time still, and as soon as the sky began to tint its screen a dark orange color, Gaston was joined by his two other vampiric companions.

“We cannot stay here any longer,” said Catherine, whose patience finally seemed to have run out. “We are close, but we’ll have to run.” Her eyes made no contact with the humans, and they were even hesitant to meet Gaston’s. One could see just how hard it was for her to follow without question, and although her loyalty would never waver, she had no problem letting others know of her discomfort. She needed such expressions to let some steam loose. She would go mad otherwise.

“I hate,” began Benjamin with his usual smirk, though his eyes had a bit of worry in them, “and I do mean hate, to agree with this pretty thing over here,” Catherine hissed, “but we have to go.”

Gaston looked at his companions, his lips frowning slightly at the corners. He would have preferred to accompany his new human friends farther, but he would be putting Benjamin and Catherine at risk. They didn’t deserve what was happening all because of him, but they did deserve that same, equal, consideration that Gaston had given the humans. They were right, and it looked like it was the right time to separate, even if just for some time. He believed that sometime in the near future they would see each other again.

“Well,” began Gaston, “it looks like this is as far as I can accompany you. The sunlight is painting the sky already, so I believe you are safe.” He looked at Dean, giving him a smile – one that the rebel did not return in the slightest. He gave a familiar nod to Robin before finally looking at Alexia last, the one he had come to know best – with what little information he actually had. “I know you can take care of yourself, but please be as cautious as you can. Look to the birds, for they bear gifts from us.”

He offered his hand, for her to shake one last time before an undetermined period of separation. This wasn’t really a goodbye, but merely a pause in this interesting adventure of theirs. Or at least, that’s what they hoped for.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #36 on: September 23, 2013, 12:11:42 am »
The exchange between Benjamin and Catherine caused Alexia to smirk. She managed not to laugh, at least. That wouldn’t have been proper; poor Catherine didn’t seem to like being a part of a joke. Still, Benji amused her. She’d miss his presence, as well as Gaston’s.

“We will be fine!”
Robin was much more chipper now that the poison had worn up. It was a shame that the vampires could accompany them no further, but Robin was secure in how close they were, as well as the hour. Very few vampires would risk hunting them down at this time, and those few that might risk it were smart enough not to.

Alexia echoed Robin’s feelings with a nod, before she approached Gaston and shook his hand one last time.
“Don’t worry, I know how to look for birds,” she said. That was evident with Robin. Birds had become a great mask so far as sounds went, more subtle than other animal options. “Until next time, Gaston,” other hand moved to take the baggage from him, “Take care of yourself.” She released the cold hand and looked to Catherine, “You as well, Lady Catherine,” she had earned enough respect. “And you, Benjamin.”

“Good luck and god’s speed,” Robin added. They’d need the speed, certainly, and he was briefly paranoid about the term. He’d heard theories that vampires came from Cain, were cursed by God. He didn’t know the truth, wasn’t even sure vampires knew the truth, but he suddenly felt guilty for saying that just in case. He still held fast to the Christian faith, though it was not a faith that would have been recognized by humans from years before. The loss of widespread literacy and churches had changed the faith.

Gaston gave Alexia the bag and shook her hand. He hoped that the weapons therein would provide some sort of support for them while he was away. Although unsure about how long this separation would last, the vampire remained optimistic about the situation. The worst part, which was defying Adrian, was already over. His retaliation, as Gaston had feared, had been swift but it proved unsuccessful.  More was surely to come once he’d receive word of his defeat.

“You do the same,” said Gaston with a warm smile, even if it came from a person who was generally cold. “Dean, I hope you have a swift recovery. Robin, farewell. It’s been a pleasure.” He offered his hand to Robin and Dean, the latter keeping his to himself.

Dean said nothing, and his expression of loathing did not change.

Catherine smiled, for she surprised about how kindly Alexia had given her farewell. The blond vampire inclined her head, but said nothing. As pleased as she had been with the small gesture, she didn’t muster anything in return. Perhaps there would be time for that later? The thought was troublesome and comforting at the same time. It puzzled her.

“I’ll see ya,” replied Benjamin simply.

Without hesitation, the trio of vampires darted of with speed. Catherine led the other two, with Gaston following closely behind her, and Benji behind him. They moved as if they were a single current in the sea, together and sharp. In only seconds, they were completely out of sight. The sky was now more orange, like if the sun were already taking a peek from the horizon.

Dean let out a breath of relief. He couldn’t explain it, but their departure made him feel a lot better. Hopefully the separation would be a long one. Even better, Dean hoped against a reunion at all. A world where he could only encounter vampires to kill them was one he looked forward to.

“He’ll be livid,” said Catherine as they ran, her platinum hair tailing and whipping behind her.

“I know,” said Gaston. “He’ll get what’s coming to him. Amon, too.”

“Hear, hear.”


Yes, Alexia would miss them all. It was a strange feeling, and she wasn’t sure how to come to terms with it right then. It was Robin’s smile that made it easier. It was as smug as it was sincerely happy as he took the baggage from her. “You get to be mule.”

“I know,”
and he knew why. He imagined his smile was far more smug than it ought to be. He probably would have sung, if he could have thought of anything besides ‘I told you so’. “I can’t believe it, though. I can’t really believe. I was nearly convinced….” And he didn’t like himself for it. “I thought there wasn’t any hope.”

“Well, there is. We’re still going to have a lot to kill, starting with Riverpasse.”


“Huh?”


“We’re setting up a base here. We’re taking this town as our own.”


Robin blinked, surprised,
“We’ve never…that’s…we’ll be killed.” But Alexia shook her head. “You sure?” Of course she wasn’t sure.

“We took many humans from those farms around Valerius, didn’t we?”


“Ah, yes, we did. They’re not really in the best of condition yet, but…yes. Our numbers grew substantially.”


“Then we will manage.”
They would have to act in under a week. “What other groups are here?”

~***~

‘Why do I deal with this?’


Councils tended to meet in the daylight. It was the best way to get everyone together in one place, and make sure they stayed. Adrian sat at the head of the white, oval table, elbow on it, head resting in hand, eyes shut. He was hardly paying attention. Everyone was upset, and they were feeding off of his own rage, which was pouring out of him and into others.

He could kill them all if he wanted to, and he did.
‘Money, money, money.’ As if they should give two figs.

Amon was at his ear,
“I told you we should have gotten rid of currency.” Adrian could have lived without it. He began in a world with hardly any concept of trade, let alone money. There was enough wealth. He wasn’t a socialist, but he had no problem making certain things ‘free’ to vampires—food, shelter, the basics. Luxuries were gained through trade, through craft, through luck, through violence. Survival of the fittest. It was a world Adrian could survive in.

“It keeps order.”
Her voice still had a thick accent. Irna’s voice had an edge, suggesting she was also feeling Adrian’s wrath. Amon wasn’t. If Adrian opened his eyes, he’d know the reason why. The damn vampire had gotten a cat, a pretty Persian, white. Perfect villain cat.

“ADRIAN!”

Did someone just yell at him?

He opened one eye.
“What are we going to do about this?”

“Do about what?”
He didn’t truly know the situation with the departure of Gaston and Catherine. The fact they were discussing finances over hunting him down and killing him was bothersome. ‘Why don’t I kill you all?’

“You could,”
Amon whispered, as if he could read his mind.

Dean wanted to disagree with both Alexia and Robin. How could they see an alliance with vampires as something other than a mistake? What if Gaston was still playing them? Dean could never be sure where the vampire’s loyalties really were, and he didn’t want to stick around him long enough to find out. As much as his hatred towards vampires fueled his determination to kill them all, a little part of Dean kept reminding him of all the little things Gaston had done to help them.

Could Gaston be fooling even him?

“How many are we talking about?”

Talking about actual rebel movements lifted his mood, for this is what they should be doing in the first place – not seeking out vampire alliances. Still, those same creeping thoughts that made him think twice about Gaston kept coming back. Dean tried to push them aside, ignore them to keep his sanity, but they were persistent. It didn’t make sense for Gaston to go through all this trouble just to find out information about the rebellion. But he was a vampire, and therefore could not be trusted at all.

The rebel cursed, refusing to play pointless mind games. “My entire group perished,” said Dean in response to Alexia’s inquiry, “but we worked closely with a group east of Riverpasse. I lost contact with them when I went into hiding, but I’m sure they are still around. A rebel that went by the name of Sky was – is – their leader, I don’t know if you’ve heard of him.” His name was common among the rebellion, though not as much as Alex.

Yes, Sky would put an end to this madness. From what he had dealt with the man, Dean knew that the rebel was intelligent, clever, and cutthroat. He would never stand for an alliance with vampires. Although he could not be certain about it, Dean convinced himself of this. Part of it was to make himself feel more secure in his own feelings.

***

A white slender hand fetched a glass of blood, sipping through it slowly before placing it back down on the table. He was a weathered man, with long gray hair pushed back and falling to his shoulders. He was dressed in gothic attire, fancy and intimidating at the same time. His name was Vhadir Bourke, the council member appointed to take care of trade and finance.  The other members of the council were assembled there with him, with Adrian and his pet included. Irna, who was supposed to be taking care of the mess Gaston left behind, was also there.

“I thought you would take care of Gaston and Catherine,” said he, silently fuming over the situation, his tone clearly disappointed with Adrian’s failure. “We were going to take over his currency, but it had been drained by the time we received word. It’s not nonexistent, just missing. The farms which his money supported account for over fifty percent of them all. He’d been underestimating the costs to sustain them, to fool us into believing how dispensable he was.”

“We could implement some sort of replacement plan,” replied another member of the council. “We can simply print more money and keep the farms going.”

Vhadir scoffed, fangs bared. “If it were only that simple. That is precisely what that damn traitor would want us to do. If we print more money, then there is more money circulating, and that can be a dangerous game when the money that’s gone missing hasn’t actually disappeared. He’ll use it to collapse our whole currency. We do not have the money ourselves to provide for the losses.” His tone dismissed that option, and Vhadir turned back to Adrian. “You should really be more concerned about this, Adrian.”

The councilmen looked to Amon, who seemed to be just peachy about the whole situation, which only angered him more. “Without currency, the farms will fail. All those employees will want some sort of payment, compensation, for the pesky work they provide so that people can drink comfortably. They are not like you and I, who can survive by trading our valuables and drinking from the already scarce vermin we are so dependent on. They will retaliate if they cannot survive, and we cannot wager a civil war. We do not have the men, and we do not have to power to worry about that and about the rebellion.”

“Then what the hell do we do?”

“Gaston wanted to cripple us, and unless we find a way to fund the farms, he will have succeeded in doing so.” Vhadir turned to Adrian, his anger rising once more. “Do something about this. We have to find him.”  [/COLOR][/FONT]

“Sky is around. Will has been working closely with Sky,” Robin confirmed. “And as for numbers, um, upwards of three hundred.”

Dean might be surprised by the amount, but Alexia smiled. That was about what she’d mentally estimated. Originally, the plan would have been to split the groups up some, make smaller groups of approximately fifty each. Her own group was a little over one hundred strong, but usually spread out.
“From the farm’s. Sky’s group has pretty decent numbers, too. Trained.” That was the key word. The three hundred extra weren’t trained. “We also have a few smaller groups, rogues.” Those not part of known, large groups. “One we’ve worked with before, Tao.”

“Aah,”
she liked Tao. Tao was a wonderful assassin. “Good. So, a total count?”

“Somewhere around maybe six hundred humans in the area that we can gather together, plus the humans we’ve tapped in Riverpasse for assistance,”
Robin sounded happy. It was a rather large scale thing. Humans could rarely gather in such numbers. No doubt, they were still spread out around the general area. No gatherings of more than 20-30.

~***~

Put simply, Adrian was not a man of finances. He had more money than he cared to know what to do with, and he imagined he could fund the farms on his own. They never should have been privately owned in the first place. Who thought that was a good idea?

He understood inflation, somewhat, and that it ought to be avoided. Amon was too happy, which only caused more of Adrian’s anger to push out and effect the others in the room. He was not ignorant of what was occurring, of why he was being addressed in such wretched ways. Honestly, he’d rather they be reacting to his emotions than suffer them himself.


“Vhadir,”
Adrian’s voice was ice, cutting, “This currency that has gone missing won’t be found, of that I am certain, even if we find Gaston,” that left them with an issue, “Which means we must pay for it in some way?” It was a bit of a question. There was only one form of moveable currency, but it was all backed up by gold. “Amon has items of value that could perhaps be used to ‘pay’ for these…missing funds.”

“You are assuming I will part with them.”
He had quite the collection of things, taking Egypt over and plundering the tombs he knew of. For a pharaoh, he had very little respect of the dead.

“You are assuming you have a choice,”
Adrian didn’t look over at the ‘pet’. The cat hissed at him. “Would such a thing work, Vhadir? Or what ideas do you have to deal with this,” he resisted saying the word ‘petty’, “financial issue. We must keep the farms running at all costs, and for the moment, must work on the assumption that finding Gaston will not aid us.”

There were enough priceless goods between the council members that this shouldn’t be an issue, but Amon could bear the burden. The pharaoh glared daggers into Adrian’s skull, but did not speak. He hoped it wasn’t as simple as that.
‘Not that it matters.’ Soon enough, Adrian would be dead. They would all be dead. The blood Vhadir drank was tainted. Adrian would encounter the tainted blood soon enough himself, for the humans he feasted on drank of the water in the area.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 07:35:09 pm by Krystal Itzume »

Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #37 on: September 23, 2013, 06:39:19 am »
Dean could not help his relief when he’d heard that Sky was still around, and that his numbers sounded more or less intact. Although surprised about the increased numbers in the rebellion, Dean did not bother to show it. There was a lot of work still to be done. The new rebels needed to be trained and taught at least the basics about engaging a vampire in combat. The rebel’s wounds were healing quickly, so he was thankful that in no time he’d be able to help out in taking over Riverpasse. It was a risky attempt, but it would be an excellent victory for the rebellion.

“We must train them, then,” he knew he sounded ridiculous in his current status, but he was already managing to walk on his own. Whatever Eva had given him, it was working wonders for his wounds. “We’ll be able to use the weapons we got from the vampire; I haven’t seen anything like them, not even in the vampires we hunted before.” That was a lie, he had seen a similar weapon in Simon, but the memory of his endeavors was too near for him to even think about it.

“Lead the way, then.” Dean said to Robin, holding his own ground for now. More than anything, he was anxious to finally arrive at the rebel stronghold – whatever future developments waited for him, he’d at least be around other humans.

***

Vhadir let out a laugh, not at all flinching at Adrian’s acidic tone – perhaps he underestimated the vampire. Perhaps he was simply too worried about the situation. Other members of the council looked over at him, wondering what they ought to do. They each had been provided a folder with their current situation, but for most of the members who had joined through lineage as opposed to merit, the figures inside meant nothing – simple numbers and percentages.

Bothersome information.

“What did you do to Gaston to send him off?” Vhadir asked casually. His tone was dangerous, however, and his eyes naturally looked over to Amon, whom he knew to be the real culprit. “You know none of this would have happened if your little companion had not overstepped his liberties in a house not his own.”

This caused outrage in a particular member, Vincent, who overlooked the security of the land. “This is quite enough! The last thing we need right now is to point fingers. Whatever motives Gaston had for deserting are not important right now, and if we turn against each other he’ll get his way.” In his anger, the dark skinned vampire had risen from his seat, planting his hands firmly on the table.

Several coughs echoed around the temporarily silent room.

“We need to address the issue of the farms, not Gaston.” He continued.

“Well if we cannot find him,” said a slightly sedated Vhadir, “then we have to find the currency to cover the expenses. You,” he commanded to a vampire who had been silently observing from the side of the room. “Did you gain access to Catherine’s accounts?”

The vampire shook his head, looking over the papers he was carrying. “No, sir. Those accounts were emptied the same day Lord Pianette’s were, by the same source. Which means that Catherine and Gaston have been working together for a while now, for such a task could not be orchestrated in just a couple of hours. It would take weeks, months, even.  We could try removing small amounts of money from other accounts, workers and guardsmen, but that will attract some unwanted notice. Not to mention we will be breaching the confidence of many.”

Vhadir cursed, containing most of his rage to himself. “We may have to, if nothing else results fruitful. It seems that we will have to provide that money ourselves, and trust me council members, it is a significant amount.”

A knock was heard at the door, and a vampire came in.

“Excuse me council members,” he said apologetically, “but I have a call waiting for you, Adrian.”

“Take a message,”
said Vhadir spitefully.

“You should all take this,” said the vampire gently. “It’s Lord Gaston.”


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #38 on: September 23, 2013, 07:09:38 am »
Alexia agreed, of course. However, there would be little time to train them decently before taking Riverpasse. Confronting vampires head-on would not be something this group did. Perhaps some things explosives, distractions, or other such things, but the new crop would not be used for anything crucial.

The numbers alone would have to be enough to provide an edge.
‘We have enough that are trained around here.’ Riverpasse would fall.

Robin soon brought them in to one of the camps, easily walking in. He’d been recognized before he came near, and the scout moved ahead. Will had been woken—Will usually took night duties. She was there to greet them.
“Alex,” she smiled.

Alex walked into the embrace, the black haired woman just careful enough not to damage Alexia’s arm further,
“I was so worried when I saw you with them,” she hissed the word.

Alexia chuckled,
“Don’t worry about that. We have allies in them.” Will quickly pulled away, though her hand remained on Alexia’s shoulder. Before she could ask further, Alexia spoke, “We need to prepare to take Riverpasse, dear,” a smirk played on her lips, “I come with weapons.”

Robin set the suitcase down and quickly popped it open for Will to see.

Will’s eyes lit up at the sight of the gun. That was her preference, after all. Her eyes shifted back to Alexia,
“Take Riverpasse?”

“Yes.”


Another look to the gun.
“All right.” Alexia arched an eyebrow. She expected Will to protest the idea as insane, the way she’d protested even going after Valerius. She then looked to Dean, squinted, then nodded, “Harold, wasn’t it?” She recalled his face, hoped she had the name right. That was certainly someone from his group if not him.

~***~

Amon smiled at Vhadir when the man dared accuse him of any wrong. His hand lit on fire, and the vampires near him practically jumped from their seats at the sight. It wasn’t a true threat though. Adrian didn’t even bother to tell him to get rid of the fire.
‘Do recall your place.’ Vhadir didn’t answer the question.

Well, not the way Adrian wanted him to.
“We will not take from guards,” Adrian rose as another entered the room. Vhadir tried to silence him, and Adrian’s gaze hardened. His words were acid. Vhadir ought not to consider he could command others in Adrian’s presence. He would decide who stayed and who went. “You and Amon can certainly cover the bulk of the cost,” he spat the words at Vhadir, before turning back towards the table. There was a phone in the center, and he didn’t bother to explain himself as he turned towards it, and pressed a few quick buttons to patch Gaston through.

Amon quenched his fire, lest he be tempted to destroy this piece of technology. He resumed petting his cat, who had been wholly apathetic to the appearance of the flame.
“Gaston,” Adrian greeted, “You have forced the topic of this council meeting to be you. Do you have any idea how much I detest that?” A smirk was on his lips and he motioned to Irna, who moved to get a laptop and try to trace the call.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 07:39:57 am by Krystal Itzume »

Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #39 on: September 28, 2013, 08:23:27 am »
Dean looked around the camp as they entered, recognizing the girl that came to greet them slightly. He had seen her before, and clearly she had seen him, for she remembered the name of one of his companions. When she spoke it, Dean did not wince. The wounds still hurt from their deaths, but he was not going to let it impact him longer. Times were hard, and the rebellion was going to need all of his attention now.

“Dean,” corrected the rebel, remembering her name. “You’re Will.”

Yes, he had remembered her just as well as he had remembered Alexia. “It’s good to see you again,” it was a genuine expression, “and it’s good to be around humans again.”

The atmosphere felt different, almost as if a tangible change in the air was present. Dean knew this to be impossible, of course, but the magnitude of the change was evident. Sure, vampires were still threats to them, but the possibilities were brighter around other rebels. Where hope was only faint in the presence of vampires, among rebels, it was a force to be reckoned with.

***

Vhadir would stand for such a solution. He had money, but not nearly enough to replace what was lost – and he was not going to give up his lifestyle while others resumed their lives as normal. Especially not Adrian, who was the true culprit. Before the council man could say anything, the call was pushed through, and Adrian greeted Gaston, mocking and angered at the same time.

A laugh could be heard on the other end of the line. “Adrian,” Gaston spoke. “Surely you cannot blame me for that, old friend. I’ve just decided to take a little vacation after the unpleasant visit Amon paid me on your behalf. I hope you understand.”

Chuckles could be heard behind Gaston’s dominant voice. They could try tracing the call, but the phone had been redirected to endless locations. Gaston would first be in the middle of the Atlantic, and then suddenly in the Americas. The conversation could go on for hours, and their location would remain hidden. Gaston would still not take any chances.

Vhadir turned to glare at Adrian, not even bothering to glance at Amon. Vincent had warned them against pointing fingers, but Vhadir was having a hard time letting Adrian go without punishment. All of this could have been avoided in his eyes – Gaston would not have been threatened and the money would have never gone missing.

This, of course, was not true. It was just a matter of time before Gaston turned against the council, but one of his goals had been to break the council. At this rate, they would fall.

“Don’t trouble yourself with my wellbeing, though. I was a little touched that you sent some of your friends to make sure I was alright. It turns out we had a little disagreement. I tried to spare them, but they were so insistent in their aggression.”


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #40 on: September 28, 2013, 11:45:56 pm »
Willow flushed, “Sorry,” she said quickly, “I’m good with names, not so much faces,” she told Dean, tried to commit his name and face to memory. She was repeating it, over and over. “It’s good to have you here, Dean.”

She looked them over, noted that both Alexia and Dean were wounded.
“Come with me, we can see that those injuries are properly treated, and you can let me know all that’s happened on your end.”

“Not too much,”
Alexia said as Robin began to close the suitcase, and follow after them. “We do have a vampire ally now, if he can be trusted,” there was language to use here. She couldn’t show that she was fully supportive of the idea, “It’ll help for a little while if nothing else.”

“That Gaston?”


Alexia nodded. At least Robin had reported.
“Hm.” She made no further comment on it, except, “What do you think, Dean?” Just as they came to where the general ‘doctor’ was. The woman looked up, noted the wounds, and dashed into a tent to fetch first aid supplies.

~***~

“They wouldn’t have needed to be so aggressive if you’d simply allowed them to make sure you were in an appropriate state of health.”
Dead. Adrian glanced to Irna and saw she appeared bewildered behind the laptop. He realized that wasn’t going to work. No matter. “I don’t suppose you have a reason for making this call, do you? As much as I enjoy hearing from you, I am afraid that I am busy.”

Amon set the cat down and walked over to where Irna was, curious by the way the laptop was making her so angry as she tried to get Gaston’s location to remain pinpointed. He couldn’t already be in Japan! That just wasn’t possible, regardless of what connections he had.


Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #41 on: October 02, 2013, 10:14:28 pm »
Dean was glad that she was welcoming. Usually other rebels were, considering the situation in which they were in. Still, it did help him feel more comfortable around the place. When Alexia spoke, it surprise Dean. Was she really hesitant in trusting Gaston? It made him feel better, even if she didn’t mean it. Will led them to a medic to treat their wounds. With one good look, the medic woman left to go fetch whatever supplies she needed.

When Willow asked Dean what he though, his face hardened slightly. He didn’t want it to, but he couldn’t have stopped it.

“I think he’s a vampire,” the rebel tried to contain his disgust because he knew that Alexia knew the vampire more. She was a smart girl, and perhaps Gaston was worth trusting, but he just couldn’t see it. “I don’t want anything to do with them, but I didn’t engage him as much as Alex did.” Still, an alliance would not be something he would want. “I don’t know.”

Dean looked at the floor as he waited for the medic. “Just know that Gaston apparently defied Amon, and therefore Adrian. That rotten scum sent some of his minions to try and kill us, but things didn’t get too out of hand.” That was in part because of Gaston, though he would never verbally admit it. “Things are changing quickly out there.”

***

As the conversation progressed, Vhadir only tensed more. Adrian and Gaston were playing a game, and all the council could do was sit by and listen.

“Ah, I do have a reason for interrupting a meeting about me,” said Gaston calmly. His voice sounded as if he were perfectly amicable with Adrian, as if nothing had happened between them and they were still good old friends. Still, Gaston’s voice had poison in its intent, subtle. “I just wanted to make sure that you understood the reasons for my departure. I value our friendship more than you know, and I want not to part ways with you in an ill manner.”

There was a pause, as if the council were figuratively holding their breath.

“I’m afraid that since I’ve taken all my money with me, that most of my farms will go without funding. If I estimate correctly, those in the north will already be failing. Payment was today. Do hurry.”


Vhadir stood. “You fix this right now!” He spat to the voice on the phone. “Right now!”

Gaston remained silent for only a second. “Vhadir,” greeted he, “I thought you might have been there.” Commotion could be heard on the other end of the line. There was no panic, however. “It seems that I am out of time. You’re a smart man, Vhadir, as are you Adrian. I’m sure you will all figure something out to avoid any…discomfort. Keep your phones close, gentlemen. I won’t be far off.”


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2013, 03:32:59 pm »
Willow almost laughed at Dean’s statement. She could see that blind hatred. She knew that blind hatred from others. She wished she could say the same, but years had changed her, more than she’d ever admit to Alex.

Alexia was actually surprised at his honesty. She’d expected more hatred, more venom, and more avoiding the truth. Instead, he even admitted the issue Gaston had with Amon, just as Alexia took a seat outside the medic tent. The woman returned then and moved to take care of Dean first. She was familiar with the fact that Alexia usually ordered her to take care of others.
“You’ve already been treated pretty well,” better than anything the medic had access to here. “Just need new dressings, then. May I remove these?” She asked him.

Will’s attention was still on Alex,
“Defied Amon?” She wanted confirmation.

“Yes, for me,” another moment she might have smirked and added something about how sweet it was, but such was not even considered. It had all been business, it had all been towards similar goals, “Amon figured out who I was. He wanted to take me to Adrian. If I’d had a weapon I might have just gone along.” She was only half-joking. A chance at Adrian was too rare an opportunity to pass up. Fortunately or not, she didn’t have a weapon then. It’d been handed off to Gaston by that point. “Gaston didn’t let him, though. That’s what brings us here.”

“Ah….” Will didn’t sound too enthused. “I’ll go find Sky and fill him in on your idea about Riverpasse. I’ll see about bringing him here.” Sky wasn’t in this camp, but Will still knew how to find him. “Rest until then,” she advised, and Alex nodded, relaxed.

~***~

‘Oh yes, Vhadir, that is going to work.’
How did Vhadir get on the council again? It was truly slipping Adrian’s mind why. “Thank you for the warning,” he said before pressing the button to end the call. Even if it weren’t that day, the situation itself was a tense one.

Emotions shifted. Fear, Adrian had always been able to use, but he needed fear and concern within them. Anger was only going to feed anger. Vhadir would end up dead in the middle of the table. The cat hissed at him as he walked by, back to where his seat was. Animals didn’t generally appreciate his manipulations of emotions, particularly on so wide a scale.

He didn’t sit,
“You have evaded telling me what, besides our own funds, will fix the problem, Vhadir, so I am going to assume that is all there is to it,” they would throw money at the problem and it would go away. Amon did that often enough. That or fire. ‘No throwing fire around.’ No, he had to pretend to be diplomatic, “Clearly, these farms turn a profit. These funds will pay us back later, but right now, I want an even split. We’ll all pay an equal amount to the farms.”

Amon could consent to that. It meant he wasn’t paying half of it
. “Fine,” he took out his phone, a contraption he thought was ridiculous. He could easily send funds to the council’s joint account that way. Only a couple of people had the access to withdraw from it, but all those on the council did get a monthly stipend, even when nothing council-ish was done. “Someone do math,” he said with a dismissive wave. He wasn’t going to do division to figure out how much he ‘owed’. So long as this ended up turning a profit, as it clearly did for Gaston, he’d be satisfied. All that the farms got from this point on would go to the council members as they took control over it. Irna would just monitor them, re-hire the necessary people.

Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #43 on: October 05, 2013, 05:07:07 am »
Dean let the medic change the dressings on his burns. His skin was already scarring, healing like he had never expected. He let Alexia explain the situation further, and whatever she chose to leave out, he would not fill in. He didn’t know what reasons she had for saying what she did, but he would not go against her. Gaston was still scum in his eyes, but a scum that he would no longer kill on sight. No. Some hesitation would now follow.

‘What if…’

His mind constantly teased him.

When Willow went to go find Sky, Dean turned to Alexia. “Good to be home isn’t it?”

That it was.

***

The conversation was far too short for Vhadir’s liking. He wanted to ask more of Gaston, to demand his attention and to fix the mess that he had left them all with. It seemed that Adrian couldn’t even handle that tiny little task, of keeping the other fool on the line. He didn’t say anything, but his eyes showed enough hatred on their own.

“You underestimate what money can do,” said Vhadir, no longer wanting to continue the conversation himself. They would get nowhere with people like him. They would at least have some money to flow through what farms they could. When Gaston spoke of some farms that were apparently already failing, the same vampire that informed Vhadir of the accounts, took note of it. He was already looking into the status of the farms in the northern part of the land.

“We’ll make do with what we can,” Vhadir rose, thereby dismissing their meeting. “We all put half up front and see what it does. If we cannot stop the problem, more radical measure will need to be taken.”

***

The daylight was fierce, and the camp needed further supplies. The sight of vampires moving through the out woods so close to daylight raised a flag. Their scavenge mission had therefore been cut short, and only Sky remained to monitor the activity. He felt his eyes grow heavy. It had been a while since he had last slept, but they were risking too much by allowing sleep so close to the enemy. He pushed his sandy colored hand through his dark brown hair.

A sigh escaped his lips.

Sky was a tall man, in his late twenties, with a cigarette between his fingers and a gun gripped in his other hand. His dark green eyes gave him an exotic appearance, foreign. He stayed away from the city, taking refuge under the largest tree around. This was the only time where he could smoke comfortably. During the day, where the threat of vampires was at its lowest, and away from camp, where his companions wouldn’t give him shit about it. Those couple of hours were a treasure in a time like that.

“Something is different,” his deep voice was a whisper. He often talked to himself. The sight of the three vampires out and about, as well as the sudden activity by the Council Hall, were signs that something had changed.

But what?


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #44 on: October 12, 2013, 10:48:32 pm »
Alexia smiled in agreement to Dean’s query, “Of course it is,” there was no lie to that. It was always good to be back, good to be plotting again. Soon she would catch up with Sky and some of the other local leaders to plot how best to use their forces to take Riverpasse. ‘Will they agree?’ That was the only concern.

Did they have enough explosives left from the Valerius incident? Enough material?

Could they get enough in a short period of time? Alexia knew once movements started to be made to strike Riverpasse, they would be noticed. Humans didn’t have the luxury of time and patience. Three to seven days was all they would have to prepare and strike. If the vampires were already aware of the presence of humans, it was best to consider the least amount of time.

The nurse finished with Dean and moved to her, brushed Alexia’s hair away from the wounded ear and hissed in breath. Her eyes shifted down to the bullet wound. Alexia did need her wounds clean.
“How are you worse off than him?”

Alexia chuckled at the question,
“Location. He had access to medical supplies and I didn’t.” Simple. “I can keep my ear, right?”

“Yes,”
the nurse said, but shook her head anyway. “Just sit still. This will sting.”

‘As if I’m not used to that.’
The upper arm wound would be looked at, but somehow that was seen as typical as compared to the ear. They knew how to treat such wounds by now.

~***~

‘Hate, Vhadir?’
A poor emotion to reveal. Adrian took note of it as the man tried to dictate how things would go. How he tried to dismiss the meeting. Adrian didn’t rise to stop him, but he took an appreciative note of how many vampires remained sitting despite Vhadir’s clear intentions. ‘Oh, you are an arrogant fool.’ Not that most in the room were exceptions, but most did not exhibit hatred towards him.

Someone did the math quickly for Amon as he glared at the room, waiting. Others took note of the number they’d be expected to deposit, some with clear horror. Adrian didn’t care.

Adrian would shift the money to Irna’s accounts later. She was working through e-mail and conversations to get the farms put into her name. Adrian would change that later to make them property of the council. They’d turn a profit out of it in time.
“Do make sure you all find the funds. Anyone who does not pay will have the money stripped from them in some manner. You will be paid back in time,” and he made a dismissive motion then, “Good day.”

Others stood and began to leave.

Amon remained, money already sent via phone, and walked back towards Adrian. Adrian bristled as both of Amon’s arms wrapped around his shoulders—still in plain sight of Vhadir no less—and he brought his head down so he could speak into Adrian’s ear,
“The word you’re looking for is ‘proscription’.”

Adrian sighed,
“No.”

Amon squeezed, just a bit, eyes drifting to Vhadir to make it clear that in some way, he was referring to the vampire.
“But it works so well. It did work so well.” In the beginning, all the proscriptions had funded this hostile takeover of the world in general. “We can start anew.”

“I would begin with you.”


Amon’s grip loosened, half-believing.


~***~

It took Willow time to walk the distance to the camp where Sky was supposed to be. She was soon informed that he was no longer there, but given an idea of where he might be.

She was a decent tracker on her own.
“You can smell that shit for miles, Sky.” A lie, of course, but she spoke it anyway as she approached the tall man leaning against a tree. She didn’t come too close, guessed he had heard her approach and knew who it was.

You didn’t catch humans such as Sky off guard.


“Alex is back,”
the words were softer, “She wants to take over Riverpasse.”

Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #45 on: October 21, 2013, 06:18:55 am »
His burns were left to heal, for the real concern resided with Alexia. Her wounds, though not as potentially catastrophic as Dean’s, were somehow more severe at the moment. It was with subtle eyes that he looked over the nurse as she tended to his fellow rebel. She would endure this just fine, and he knew it, but he was still concerned just how big a burden she carried on her shoulders. It would be to where that people would look for in guidance. Sure they were all united with a singular purpose, but leaders were only natural.

Dean would help in any way that he could.

“When are we going to start?” The question was serious, but it was clear just how more relaxed he was at the camp. He knew what was coming; he had accepted it, but his voice didn’t have the severity that it often would back at Gaston’s estate. “You know we don’t have to start immediately,” yes, rest would be welcomed, “but then again, every moment we don’t act is a moment wasted.”

They endured a tough life, and that didn’t look like it was going to change.

***

The other council members did not listen to Vhadir. They waited, instead, for Adrian to dismiss them, which irritated the finance overseer that much more. Just who did he think he was to dismiss the council? His arrogance rivaled that of vampires of legend – those who had started it all. The fact that Adrian was an old vampire temporarily escaped the man’s mind.

‘You don’t fool me…’
his mind encouraged, but even the thought seemed disheartened.

Vhadir had a hard time controlling his emotions around that man – his hatred limitless regardless.

The vampire turned to look at Adrian and Amon, clearly knowing that they were speaking about him. A twinge of fear crept on him, sending brief chills down his spine. Whether that emotion was his own or merely an exaggeration brought on by Adrian was unclear.

***

“Can’t a man enjoy a goddamn cigarette in peace these days?”


He had seen her coming, and needed not to hear her response to know the answer to his question. His words had been defensive, but not unfriendly. Sky was always forceful in his greetings, serious and completely unfiltered. The man cocked his head back to meet Will’s gaze, silently nodding in greeting. Fingers flicked, and the cigarette fell to the floor only to be stepped on by black boots shortly afterwards.

The moment was gone.

Then Willow spoke – softer and with news about Alex. That very quickly gathered the rest of his attention. Excellent news, at long last.

“Sounds like her,” he breathed out with a huff. “Is she with you?”

He stood, cracking his neck as he did and ready to follow Willow back to see Alex.

“There’s been some unusual activity around here,” he said, finding it better to tell Willow sooner rather than later. “Three vampires, one local, heading south. You know anything about that?”

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #46 on: October 21, 2013, 06:56:07 am »
Stinging was no fun. Alexia managed not wince, focused instead on Dean’s question. A pleasant distraction. “Three days. Seven days, most.” Quite a bit of that time would be spent preparing. “There are many novices now amongst us, yes?”

“Yes,” the nurse answered. Blood was cleaned away. A bandage of sorts was put over the ear wound.

“Has any training started?”

“Yes,” the nurse looked at her with a smile. “With multiple groups in one area, we’ve been able to spread the forces and have more…advanced forces train the new recruits. I have an apprentice,” she noted. Alexia nodded. More medics were always useful. “Will we really take over Riverpasse?”

“You all took down Valerius without me, without this,”
she motioned outward, knowing there were other groups around. The nurse adjusted the other arm's sleeve, giving herself access to the wound. “I think we’ll do just fine.” The vampire of note, Catherine, was absent. The others would be destroyed easily enough.

~***~

Amon moved, straightening, deciding not to toy with Adrian any more. No, Vhadir would be more fun. He could tell Adrian was plotting, but what he was not sure. There were many things about Adrian that didn’t make sense, and it all stemmed from one, simple, fact.


“You know, he comes from a time before currency,”
Amon said to Vhadir as he passed him, cat following after his feet, “You would think he’d understand it by now.” ‘Makes you wonder.’ Amon had no idea how old Adrian was. He knew that all the council were old by vampiric standards, but he was quite sure that there was no vampire older than Adrian.

At least, not alive.

Irna also rose to leave with a look from Adrian.
“It will be handled, sir.” Mute nod. He would let her set everything up after this first crisis was averted. The months would be easier in the future. 

~***~

Apparently this was viewed as normal behavior. Willow had to wonder how Sky imagined this was typical when such had never been tried before. Still, she answered him without questioning his knowledge,
“She is back at the base, getting healed,” Willow answered.

The unusual activity wasn’t unknown, part of the reason Robin was sent out,
“Yes,” she nodded, “I suspect it has something to do with Alex’s…arrival. To say the least, it was not smiled upon by Adrian,” Willow elaborated quickly, “Seems she believes the vampire who bought her was a sympathizer. She and Dean—you’ve met?—note that he defied Amon’s request to give her over to Adrian. So, Adrian has the ‘Alex’ thing figured out.” No more pretending Alex was male, or someone other than who she was. “Gaston Pianette,” that full name had been given to her by Robin earlier that evening. His group might know more about this Gaston figure.

Willow shook her head then.
“I don’t know what to think about…that.” Alex hadn’t been an extremist, but she was certainly no moderate. Most of her plots that involved vampires involved turning them on each other, rather than working with them.

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #47 on: November 01, 2013, 10:14:44 pm »
The rebels had better odds to work with than in the past, that much was true. It seemed that they had more numbers, more people who could train, weapons for those who knew how to best use them. In other words, the rebellion had rarely been in better shape. Catherine was gone, too – working now for their side apparently. This gave them the opportunity to take down her estate, which was closer to them than they immediately realized.

If they could take control of that land, it would be a milestone to celebrate. All this, starting within a week.

Dean smiled.

“I can train them, or some of them,” said the rebel, despite his current injuries. A lot of the training could be done in groups, with words and with practice at the same time. It wouldn’t be ideal, but it would be much better than doing absolutely nothing. Dean was not used to being a burden, in fact, he hated it. The sooner he was up on his feet again, the sooner he could really help whip the untrained rebels back into shape. “Teach them the tactics; inform them on what they may not yet know.”

That could also help.

“Riverpasse will be ours.”

***

The couple walked on, wary but confident that they were – more or less – safe. Sky always kept an ear open, however. The man was not easily surprised.

“So I take it her wounds aren’t severe,” he had gathered that much from Will’s tone. Sky was glad to hear that Alex was okay, but the news of her discovery was not something he wanted to hear. It had been one of their strengths against the vampires – the secrecy and the power of the name. Now it was gone, and Sky was not going to hide his disappointment.

At least Dean had survived.

“I thought him dead,” confessed Sky, “the son of a bitch made it, then.” A smile came across his face, though only briefly. The boy was good – young, but able. He listened in on what else Will had to say, the sympathizer and the fact that Adrian had retaliated. Amon’s participation in the situation had been suspected from the start, and later confirmed. Everything that had happened quickly fell into place.

Sky turned to look at Willow.

“Gaston,” it was a name that Sky was very familiar with. “He’s the owner of most of the farms around here,” he suspected that those farms would soon be somehow affected by his escape. “It doesn’t make sense for him to be lying,” he said at last, despite the fact that he hated the idea. “If he risked his own well-being to protect Alex, then he must really be against his own kind.”

Not necessarily on the human’s side, though.

The rest of the questions he had, however, were for Alex and not Willow. He continued to walk in silence.
Gaston Pianette.

Could he be trusted?

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #48 on: November 01, 2013, 11:56:48 pm »
The disappointment was written on Sky’s face. It should have affected Willow as much as it did him, but it did not. She had helped make that name famous, she had helped spread it. “If anything happens to her, we deny it.” They put up a new Alex if Alex died. Willow had already been planning it anyway. “We deny it to the end.” Enough denial was often enough to make people and vampires alike wonder, and humans could play doubt to their advantage.

But he noted the farms were owned by Gaston?
“Really?” Not actually a question. It cast doubt on him, but Sky seemed to think otherwise. ‘She’s going to want to do something rash.’ If she heard of the farms near being owned by Gaston, she’d think it was easy recruits. Money was not something well-understood by humans any longer, but they did know it was something that bothered vampires to distraction.

There was nothing else to say, and Willow did not mind silence. It kept her alert. There was rarely need for small talk, even though she imagined this area secure.


~***~

Alexia shared the smile with Dean, glad to have his enthusiasm.
“Good,” she nodded. “We’ll set out to walk the bases soon.” The nurse finally finished with her, wounds wrapped, gave Alex a quizzical look. “Will,” she said. Alex knew that Will would be returning, and it wouldn’t do to leave her Second waiting.

“Ah, she might be a while, depending on where Sky has stationed himself.”
The nurse noted.

That didn’t matter. Alexia needed to see Skylar, and Willow would also serve as a good guide to the rest of the bases, even if Alex could imagine how they’d positioned themselves around Riverpasse.

Alexia did get up and move about the current base, figured out where Tao was residing and the names of some of the other local leaders in the area. A few rogues had also wandered in.
‘Will allowed this?’ Rogues. Alexia did not trust rogues too much. A few too many had ended up spies that had to be executed. Rogues were often excellent fighters, though. Surviving alone forced them to become that.

It did not take terribly long for Alexia to spot Willow and Sky, though. Apparently, it hadn’t taken much for Willow to convince him to come to the base. She raised her uninjured arm in silent greeting, one returned by Willow.


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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #49 on: November 08, 2013, 08:09:41 pm »
Dean couldn’t comfortably follow Alexia to wherever she went. It didn’t matter – perhaps she needed some time to herself, and he would just get in the way. Such thoughts did not bother him long, though, for as opposed to him venturing out, rebels came to him. Some faces were vaguely familiar, and most of the ones that weren’t had in some way recognized him. He had forgotten how much his hard work had been noted by others.

The others’ deaths had not been for nothing, and this single thought made him feel much better than he had in a long time.

“Sky,” he muttered, a grin forming on his face as the sight of the tall man became familiar.

Sky walked in as if this was also his home, and even if people didn’t like it, no one questioned it. There was no need to, and he was a very intimidating man. As he approached he caught sight of Alex, and behind her, Dean. Willow, who was walking next to him, returned Alex’s greeting. Sky merely nodded with the best smile he could muster. Seeing he was good news, but they were in a bad world. Smiles came rarely from that man.

“Alex, Dean,” said Sky. Dean managed to stumble his way closer to them. “It is good to see you both. I’m sorry about what happened.” He turned to Dean.

“Appreciate that,” said Dean simply. “How are things on your side?” Business always came first.

“We haven’t lost many,” said Sky. He was very good at keeping his rebels alive. “The base is secure for now. There aren't many guards poking their heads where they shouldn't. We’ve got eyes on the council, so if they move, we’ll know. Toulon,” the city east of Riverpasse, “has not seen much activity. It can be taken,” his eyes then moved to Alex - the more important matter quickly rising.

“I hear you want to take Riverpasse, Alex,” said he. Despite the fact that he didn’t smile, his expression was agreeable with the idea. “What do you have planned?”


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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #50 on: November 11, 2013, 04:44:55 pm »
Sky could not be forgotten. He was one of the few rebels who always seemed comfortable, regardless of the situation. Some rebels found it offensive, those who had a need to be superior, but Alex did not. Though he did not smile, her own grin remained as the group pooled together in the midst of the camp.

He spoke first to Dean, relating the necessary knowledge and sympathy. Dean acknowledged, but did not dwell. Business first, because business was going to start very soon. Toulon was noted, and Alex arched an eyebrow. She had guessed Will informed him of her plan to take Riverpasse, which he soon related.
“Yes, I do want Riverpasse,” she agreed. “Very simply, I would like to train what new rebels we have, dividing the veteran forces in the groups present to achieve that, and the rogues. We will not go to the humans in Riverpasse lest some are loyal to the vampires who claim ownership over them, but we will not kill any unnecessarily.” Normally, Alex tried to get an insider or two. They could lower the defenses to an estate of a vampire.

That was how Eventide was taken, through the humans on the farms who assisted in making the takeover job easier.
“If Toulon is as insecure as you state, perhaps we shall branch out to that a day or two later.” If they waited any longer, the vampires in Toulon would be prepared for an assault. “We won’t be able to teach the novices much, but they should have some skill already,” those who had assisted in claiming their own freedom from Eventide, certainly. “We’ll set Riverpasse up as a base of operations to bring in other human groups. And then,” a smile. She wouldn’t say her true goal explicitly. Everyone knew it, but it was much too ambitious for some.

Take down Adrian.
“We’ll have a spot close to the council.” Close to Adrian’s home. The rest of the council didn’t concern her half as much. “First, I need a tour of our camps, and to meet with Tao, Harley, and Akira.” Other leaders supposedly nearby. She’d met them all before. “We must all be in accord for this to work.”

“I can see to the rogues,”
Will volunteered.

“Leave them ignorant for now.”
Alexia wouldn’t trust them just yet. At the last minute, they could make their decision. They wouldn’t question training operations—that was to be expected.

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #51 on: January 15, 2014, 04:39:25 pm »
Sky and Dean listened as Alexia spoke. Dean’s expression changed into one of excitement as she revealed what she had planned, while Sky’s expression remained serious throughout. One could tell, however, that Sky was already planning on ways to help Alexia as she spoke. Training the rebels was something that everyone would agree to, and he had several veterans back in his camp that could help, should they be needed.

“We know of the humans in Riverpasse that cannot be trusted,” said Sky as Alexia spoke. There were some that clearly had their allegiance to the rebellion. Such a clear support for the underdogs, however, could often result in bad news. Sky would consider using the other humans to help with their endeavors, but he was hesitant. He preferred working exclusively with the rebellion.  “There are some who have done things to help the rebellion in secret, but they could be presenting us with a trap. I agree that we should stay away from the humans in Riverpasse.”

Sky did not speak anymore until Alexia had finished talking.

“Riverpasse will be easy to defend,” he added, nodding in agreement about using it as a base of operations.

“Is that  not a bit obvious?” Dean spoke for the first time, breaking his smile into a frown.

“Perhaps it is,” said Sky, though he did not necessarily agree. “We know that the council will not expect it from us, and if we also take Toulon within the next couple of days, we will have enough flexibility to move from one place to the other. Travelling in the day will be a lot easier, too. This will work.”

Sky’s answer was enough for Dean to agree with the plan, but his own concerns still remained. Sky took notice of this, but said nothing. Talk of rogues did not worry Sky, nor did the issues that would probably rise with his group. Instead he moved to a topic of greater severity.

“Tell me of this Gaston Pianette,” said Sky, taking notice of Dean’s immediately souring face.

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #52 on: January 15, 2014, 05:13:46 pm »
Alexia shook her head at Dean’s query, though to her it was not obvious. Even now, she imagined those in her rebellion would find it surprising. She had been rather against having a set base before now. The circumstances never would have allowed it prior to now, though. The tables had turned.

Fortunately, Sky seemed to think the same. Alexia wouldn’t claim defending it would be easy. That wasn’t her forte.

Gaston was mentioned again.
“The man of the hour,” Alexia noted Dean’s reaction. With a moment’s thought, she decided that now she needed to make her own thoughts on him clear.  “What do you want to hear? No doubt, Will has mentioned his sacrifice,” Willow nodded to confirm it had been mentioned. That would never be enough, “He has promised us supplies, and has already given us some in the form of weapons. Though I do not hold my breath for further supplies, if they come they could be useful in taking, or holding, Riverpasse,” depending on when and how the supplies arrived.

Did he want to hear that Gaston mourned the passing of a human? Did those frivolities that proved Gaston on their side matter to him, such as how he bought Dean for himself and answered her questions?
“I trust him, and I have reason for doing so.” There was no wavering, no doubt. She would have to take responsibility if Gaston proved untrustworthy down the road, but she had enough faith to believe that would not happen, “Gaston Pianette is our ally. He is old, and he is talented in that he is physically superior to other vampires. He is quicker than Amon—quicker than any I’ve seen,” she clarified, though Amon certainly was the oldest she’d seen in a situation close to combat, and those talents did seem to improve with age, “I am not sure if he is older than Amon or not,” Alexia did not consider that long. If he was an elder vampire, somehow she imagined his relations with Adrian would have been better.

Perhaps there was a longer history there.
“At another time, Sky, I would have you meet Gaston to decide for yourself.” 

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #53 on: January 16, 2014, 03:53:31 am »
Sky could tell that this was a difficult subject for Dean. Regardless, information regarding the vampire was a necessity. If someone’s troubles could be avoided without any adverse effects, it should be avoided. Sacrificing information because of personal problems was, in Sky’s eyes, and adverse effect. If he felt like Dean could add to the topic, he would ask.

Apparently, Alexia trusted the vampire. Sky had expected Alexia to suggest or contemplate the possibility that Gaston was an ally, so when she spoke her opinion so decidedly, his eyebrows formed a tight line. Alexia was no fool, but he also had it on good authority that Gaston was no fool either. Over the years he had basically monopolized the farming industry. There were some farms that were already reporting distress because of his absence.

“He promised us supplies,” it wasn’t a question; it was more of an echo. Supplies would be useful, but at what price would they come? The more Alexia spoke of the vampire, the more Sky felt like he needed to speak with her privately. Perhaps without Dean present.

When Alexia spoke of Gaston being physically superior to other vampires, Sky’s eyes sharpened. What did she mean? Simply faster than them? Sky had met a handful of vampires that had been unbelievably fast. Was he even more so? Sky did not care to disguise his curiosity, but he didn’t question the young rebel further. That would be a topic to discuss if they were to meet privately.

“What say you, Dean?”

Clearly, Dean didn’t want to talk about Gaston, but he knew better than to leave Sky’s questions unanswered.

“He is very fast,” said Dean, “and he knows how to wield weapons better than any other vampire I have seen.”

Sky nodded, beginning to further understand what Alexia meant.

“What else?”

Dean shook his head but did not retaliate.

“I can see why Alexia would trust him. His staff also seemed to like him. I’m sure he sent them to a safe-house when Amon threatened to return. That vampire also stopped Amon from killing me,” he cursed under his breath, “but I still don’t trust the scum. All vampires are the same, you know that.”

Hatred.

“It would be foolish to think so,” said Sky, despite his own conflicting feelings. “I should like to meet this Gaston, but what about other two companions? Three were seen escaping to the south.”


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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #54 on: January 16, 2014, 04:26:00 am »
Alexia recognized that look on Sky’s face, but she would not take back or soften her words about Gaston. She respected Sky’s doubt, though. It was good, and safe. He would be prepared if Alexia’s trust was misplaced.

She nodded to his echo, and allowed Dean to answer uninterrupted the other queries. When it came to Catherine and Benjamin, Alexia’s words were more tempered.
“I can say little on either. Catherine Blanc is intelligent. Her loyalty seems to be to Gaston, perhaps to a fault,” Alexia did not have enough time to examine it, and certainly could not claim to know her history. She merely had her suspicions. “Benjamin Porter I like, but I do not trust him. He is young, but seems to have something of a gang around himself. His influence is not with the nobility.” A smirk, “He seems a bit like a firebrand,” and that made him untrustworthy. Even if Alexia liked him, she was not as certain of his loyalties. She did believe he was on Gaston’s side, but she had seen people of passion flicker to another side too easily.

They were emotional, and easily persuaded because of that. Too many times, she’d seen humans shift over to Adrian, and it was always the ones who had shouted their loyalty to the cause from the rooftops.


‘Is he a mind reader?’


No, but for a brief moment, she considered that she was not far off with that guess.
“I know not Catherine’s talent, nor if Benjamin has developed one. They assisted Gaston against the vampires sent to catch us. Catherine was present when Amon was,” her brow furrowed, “He actually seemed to retreat because of her.” Alexia had been unable to discern why, but away from the situation, it did seem strange.

Amon should have been able to burn the entire mansion down, with everyone inside it. There was no reason for his retreat.


“What did she do?”


Alexia shook her head. She did not know. She knew of no history between the two, either, and her eyes questioned Sky for insight. 


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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #55 on: January 17, 2014, 01:29:35 am »
Sky knew of Catherine and her affiliation with Gaston. He knew that people in Riverpasse were afraid of her. The man had not, however, heard of Amon ever backing off, especially when confronted. Something about this vampiress had made him retreat, and Sky wanted to find out just what she was capable of. The fastest way of finding that out would be to meet up with the other vampire, Gaston – the one Alexia trusted.  He also didn’t know just how loyal she seemed to be towards Gaston. It was clear that the vampire had his allies.

Not very many vampires would sacrifice a life of luxury to fight for a cause that had long since seemed lost.

“Whatever it is,” said Sky, “I think we had better find it out. Whatever we can use against the council is worth looking into. If you believe this vampire trustworthy, then we should meet him. With certain safeguards, of course.” He turned and eyed Alexia. “For now, I suspect that the vampires are still moving south. I don’t know about this Benjamin, but I will ask around back at my camp.”

“You want to meet him?” Questioned Dean.

Sky turned to him.

“Wouldn’t you?”

Dean didn’t answer, but one could see the disappointment in his eyes.

Sky turned back to Alexia, not at all affected by the lack of approval.

“Send word if you are contacted by the vampire, and if you are able express my desire to meet him. For now we must train all that can be trained – if we are wise with our time, we can strike by the end of the week. Whether we train in unison or separately, we cannot waste time.”

Whatever Sky’s personal beliefs regarding vampires, Dean was at least pleased to hear that training would start soon. In time, Riverpasse would be under the control of the rebellion.


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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #56 on: January 17, 2014, 06:35:42 pm »
They organized together, a quick council that understood their team’s areas of expertise, to train the new faces. The rogues soon caught on to the movement and some offered their assistance willingly.

One was executed before he could run off to warn Riverpasse. Willow seemed rather displeased with the quick action, much as she was a touch wary of the communication that Gaston and Alexia managed to have. Gaston was informed of the planned strike within a week’s time.
'Should have done it sooner.' It was a thought she had now since a couple of days back she had started to feel ill. Alex knew she was running a fever, and was a bit dehydrated. Willow was sworn to silence on the matter. Most of the others who happened to notice a shift were made to believe it stemmed from a minor infection from her wounds. They didn't know any better to question it.

Alexia didn't dwell on that. When Riverpasse was taken, she'd try to figure a remedy.

Right now she was concerned with meeting Gaston and keeping everything running on schedule. She had also secured a meeting with him for Sky, but left out Tao, Akira, and Harley. On that day, those three were sent to various positions, much as Willow was.

They were set up. Explosives were made. The sun was bright. Alexia was unforgiving to Gaston in that respect. The attack was going to be at the start of dusk. She did at least consider a covered area where they could meet, not at all considering it risky. Gaston was no enemy. She became more certain of that as some supplies did, indeed, find their way to camp.

Robin had been ecstatic. His vampiric sympathies were more openly shown now. He would have come around to the meeting, but he was an explosives expert. He needed to get things set up as best he could.

A good portion of the human population took part of the poison. Alexia was able to make a few batches, and carried a vial in her pocket that day. Even when the humans made the attack obvious, it was still useful to deprive vampires of some of their senses.

The only issue with meeting in such a location was how far it was from everyone else.
‘We are fine on time.’ If necessary, everything could still be delayed a little while. That would cause some issues, but it was doable. She located the building, the door. She glanced back to Sky, offered a reassuring smile before stepping forward and knocking in the pattern that had been agreed upon earlier.

~***~

“Are you sleeping?”


Adrian wished he was sleeping. He lifted a hand to give a dismissive wave to Amon, either for him to continue with whatever point he had, or to leave.

He didn’t see Amon roll his eyes as he kept his head bowed to the table.
“No, of course not.” And for once he wasn’t exuding emotion, either. The room was disturbingly still, the air colder than Amon liked. “Gaston was seen not terribly far from here,” Amon noted. “Inna has managed to make some of the farms more stable. We are doing better, there. I expect in a month or two things will be back to normal.” He left out the full report about the farms. Adrian didn't seem nearly sick enough to tell him.

Adrian lifted his head enough to see Amon.
“Is that what you came to tell me?” His pale eyes seemed dead.

Amon looked sick. He was paler than normal, and his face seemed slick. Adrian imagined if he had gone to touch him, he would have been hot to the touch. Adrian himself had started feeling that way, though it was starting to subside now. He'd taken actions to get rid of it. Too many other vampires were also starting to look ill.


“I also wanted to note that the vampire Liam has gone missing."
Actions already discovered. "His home shows signs of attack. There may be rebels near our town.”

“Find and execute them.”
He wasn’t bothered with the thought. He knew there were not any rebels.

“There is a second rumor.”
Adrian waited in silence, “Given how the attack appears to have gone, and the lack of body or ashes, someone’s started whispering about a diablerist.”

That caused Adrian to straighten up. Amon lifted his hands,
“I know.” Taboo word. For most of the vampiric world, such things had never existed. Adrian and Amon knew better. In years before, when the council had other elders, Adrian banned the practice outright, with the penalty being immediate death for any who dared to commit it. “Just a rumor. I do think he was attacked by a vampire in town.”

Adrian nodded, settled.
“Find out more.”

Now Amon could feel a bit of the emotion. Anxiety. Strange, coming from Adrian. He couldn’t help but laugh,
“It’ll be fine,” he told him, “I doubt that man is in town.” There was an elder Adrian had told him, an elder that he blamed for the death of an old friend through diablerie. “Most of those your age are dead or inactive.” And that man had certainly been around Adrian’s age, if not older.

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #57 on: January 17, 2014, 09:53:36 pm »
Dean had refused to meet with Gaston, for he saw no benefit in his attendance. The young rebel didn’t want to see the vampire that had saved him multiple times in the past. He told himself that he didn’t want to see him because he hated vampire scum, but he didn’t exactly know what to believe anymore. All he knew was that he didn’t want to see him – he didn’t want to trust him. Dean instead decided to stay close to Willow in the while before beginning the assault on Riverpasse.

When the supplies arrived some time before, people began to have conflicting feelings about vampiric allies. Most of the rebellion, however, remained wary of the thought. This didn’t prevent them from partaking in the food and training with the weapons that were sent. Rebels analyzed them to make sure that they weren’t poisoned, and after they couldn’t find anything wrong with them the supplies were used.

Sky had been spending a great deal of time with Alexia and helping train the rebels in every way possible. When Gaston sent word and supplies, Sky grew increasingly curious about the vampire. The rebel leader was surprisingly happy when he heard that Gaston had agreed to a meeting before the assault.

“I don’t like that the sun is still out,” said Catherine to Gaston as they waited. Several vampires stood behind her, lurking in the shadows of the building. As opposed to her fancy dress and extravagant hair, Catherine looked a lot more prepared for the assault, though still carried herself with the same elegance and grace. Her platinum hair was pushed back into a ponytail that fell in curls to her upper back. She wore jeans and boots, as well as a quite fashionable vest.

“There is no other way,” said Gaston calmly. He was wearing similar clothing. The elegant suits that he used to wear suited him – he looked handsome, young, and elegant. The clothing he wore now, however, suited him better. His figure was slim, but he looked more able to fight than he had ever looked before. He was more intimidating than before. “Alexia should be here soon.” The urge to call her Livia came to him, and it fashioned a smile.

As if on cue, there was a knock on the door. It was the correct pattern.

Gaston did not take any chances, however, and listened in. Two bodies – one definitely familiar. He opened the door, and as he looked towards Alexia, Gaston knew that something was different. The vampire did not let his expression alter however, and with a warm smile welcomed her and her companion in.

“Alexia,” he breathed, happy about their quick reunion. “I’m glad to see you have recovered well.” Gaston knew that whatever was wrong with her was not connected to the injuries she endured. Pleasantries were exchanged, and an introduction was given.

“Sky,” said Gaston with a polite nod and smile. This did not contain the warmth that had been given to Alexia, however. “It is a pleasure to meet you, I am Gaston Pianette.” A hand stretched out in greeting.

“Hello,” said Catherine simply. She was definitely as equally detached as before.

Sky had been checking out the room while Gaston had been speaking to Alexia, and he was not very happy to see so many vampires with him – even if the one closest to him was an incredibly beautiful one. He looked down at the hand that was offered to him, and shook it. There was no point in acting hostile with someone Alexia trusted.

“Sky,” the rebel gave his name again in greeting.

Gaston turned to Alexia after welcoming Sky.

“What has changed since we last communicated?”


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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #58 on: January 17, 2014, 10:29:04 pm »
Alexia was pleased to see Gaston as well. A smile came to her lips, “Gaston,” she echoed, “I am glad you have kept yourself safe.” How he did it was a mystery, for she was certain Adrian must be seeking him out.

Introductions were made, Alexia introducing Sky to both Gaston and Catherine. She quite approved of Catherine’s new attire. It was sensible, but still in a way that was ridiculously well-made. The vampiress was vain, even on the eve of a battle. Alexia didn’t understand how the woman managed it.

She found it odd that Benjamin was not there. Perhaps he had finally gotten on Catherine’s last nerve.

Alexia shook her head at the query,
“To me it seems like nothing much, here. We are prepared, and Riverpasse has continued about its nights without paying us much mind.” Her scouts heard nothing to show the vampires were interested. “The fates have conspired to give them many other distractions besides us. It seems there is more talk about the council and concern there, than our presence nearby,” overconfidence or stupidity, Alexia didn’t know. The vampires were not ignorant of them. She wouldn’t believe it was fear. “A vampire was attacked and killed within the walls of the capital,” that had created quite a bit of reason to gossip. If it was another human group, as some thought, Alexia wanted to meet them.

It sounded more like a solo human, if human at all. Tao didn’t claim to be behind it. He would have been one of the few capable of it.
“There’s been talk of an Inna moving to Riverpasse to take over Catherine's estate, but so far there has been no such movement.” Another reason to act fast, though. "Concerns over failing farms have also occupied their attentions. Inna seems tied to that." She had put the pieces together as the worries began, and others in the rebel camp developed such mixed feelings over their vampiric supplier.

It was brushed over.
“But nothing has truly changed. The plan remains the same.” And the timing was good with all the uncertainty and distractions among the vampires of Riverpasse. "Have there been any changes on your end? And where is Benjamin?" She couldn't help but ask.

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #59 on: January 30, 2014, 02:31:36 am »
Staying safe had not been easy. Gaston had purposefully made himself visible in parts outside of Riverpasse, but he couldn’t be sure that he lures had worked on the enemy. When combat arose, Gaston had managed himself just fine. Very few vampires could equal him on the battlefield. Some vampires, however, needed not a battlefield to get their way. Adrian being one of those powerful ones.

When Inna was mentioned, Gaston smiled.

“Of course they would call on her to deal with my business,” he neither seemed surprised nor worried about it. ‘She’ll do what she can, but it won’t be enough. I have set things in an irreversible motion.’

Alexia’s words showed how little their situation had changed – this pleased Gaston. He found that in these situations, change was almost never preferable. When Alexia asked of Benjamin, Gaston looked to her with a smile. His pause was done in brevity.

“Benjamin and his friends will join us – they will be flanking from the west side. Their faces will have war paint, so as to distinguish them from the others.”

“I still think they should have gone with something a little more subtle,”
said Catherine. “Blending in could have been used in our favor, too.”

Gaston shook his head. “He’ll be glad to see you are well,” said Gaston.

“Friends?” Sky spoke from the side – noting that perhaps Gaston was not as acquainted with the mercenaries as he thought.

“I felt like gang would be a bit too much,” Gaston explained. “If they follow Benjamin with the allegiance that I know, then they will follow us, too. Do not worry on that account.” Gaston turned his attention back to Alexia. “Could I have a word, privately?”