Motor City Burning
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Long hard road

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Long hard road

Post by Nil on Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:14 pm

He sat in an old wooden table, flacked and peeling layers of plastic over packed glued shavings of wood, flickering through the different letters that he had received. Sliding in the blade and peeling back, opening the yellowed envelopes with a old switchblade he had found in one of the drawers of the house, which he had bought a couple of years back in one of the many blinks of existence that accentuated the last few years.

The Fog hadn't faded thoroughly yet, but he had a code. They had a code. The answer was there somewhere among the notes that he had received; he just had to work through it and find it. He was missing the first pieces, the frame of the puzzle, he couldn't begin to put the pieces together.

"Are you certain this is all my correspondence?"

He didn't raise his gaze to meet the retainer that he had acquired by spending his last few favors with the Ordo. A caretaker to take care of his affairs while he slept. His hands were shaking as if he was nervous, or furious, but he was neither; He was simply reeling from the awakening, the Beast coiling in his long-dead heart anxiously.

He flickered once more through the notes, from the beginning.

"All of it?"

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:31 pm

Lillian stands by with all the activity one might expect of a piece of furniture. She was an after thought, at least until needed. Now that he was addressing her, she's forced to respond.

"I am doubtlessly certain that is all of your correspondence, Sir." She measures each word, the paranoia of a ghoul abused over every little perceived slight. Given that her current Handler was trembling in rage did nothing to quell her fears.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:43 pm

"It doesn't seem to be. This seems incomplete." Anasztaz says, cupping his forehead with a hand.

"The last of these came a couple of years back. There should have been at least four more envelopes since. Have there been issues with any other deliveries?"

He went back to the pile, the paper was a hue scale of yellows. Some of them went way back, to the more whiter and recent. He was spinning the rusty switchblade on its tip against the table with one hand.

"Bills, bank statements, anything. Has it all been coming in consistently?"

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:46 pm

"Everything else has come as scheduled. The unmarked letters stopped arriving two years back." Lillian keeps her hands clasped in front of her, remaining as passive to the situation as possible.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:01 pm

Anasztaz dropped hold of the switchblade hilt and let it clatter against the table. It was a hollow thud against a bubble of air under the wrecked layer of plastic. He grabbed his temples with both hands now.

"I may need to remain awake for a bit longer now, then, and find out why there letters were interrupted." he says at last, it wasn't much by choice - for all he knew his brethren were fell, or interrogated. He could be compromised too. He couldn't afford to just lay down.

He felt much fresher after so long anyway, perhaps it was just time.

"Are my funds still kept available?" he says, standing from the pile of cryptic notes. Before she could respond he kept on. After all, he assumed the answer was 'yes' and would have taken nothing else.

"I will need to get reacquainted with the night to night. Beginning with the Ordo. I will also need a new wardrobe, I will leave you with my measures before I turn in before dawn. See to it."

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:07 pm

"Your funds are still available but I took the liberty of moving them to a bank that would provide you with a higher interest return." It was her job to make sure he was acquainted and up to date, but she still looks markedly nervous at having done something without approval.

"I will find a wardrobe for you to suit a wide variety of tastes. As an aside, your banking information and identifications have been left in the top drawer of your curio." She fidgets, momentarily, quickly, long enough to ruffle the top spikes of her hair before she catches herself and resumes her silence.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:21 pm

"Good. Well done."

His tone wasn't very warm or appreciative, he still looked bothered by whatever the issue with the notes missing meant and was almost having this conversation as an afterthought. He went to his closet and grabbed an old dressing jacket, it was definitely old but well kept under his retainer's care.

"I will go out and feed. Try to have matters arranged by the time I return. I do not want to have to wander through the city much and risk waltzing in someone else's territory by act of ignorance and make things worse."

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:26 pm

"Understood." Lillian knows better than to snap her phone out in order to call someone else up while Anasztaz might still have tasks for her.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:17 am

"The bathroom in my dormitory is off-limits." he says, his last instruction before he leaves the room, still slipping an arm into the matching sleeve of the jacket.

He was always gaunt, but he looked ravished. Likely he was being driven by hunger now more than by his own schemes.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:47 am

"Yes, of course." Lillian agreed again. She watches after Anasztaz, tending his every whim until he finally leaves.

Content that he's gone she settles down in to a chair, pulling out a battered phone and scrolling through the contacts until she reached the number of her former handler. Slowly but surely she managed to compose a text message to him, not so brazen as to call directly and expect attention.

When you are free might you call me concerning my new task?

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Dean on Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:34 am

Twenty minutes pass before Lillian's message receives a response. The thing at the other end is Bergman, shadow and scientist.

"You contacted me." It's one part question to two parts statement. The distracted arrogance is offset by a faint and crackly vocal quality, as though the reception is poor. Lillian knows better though. Bergman's voice is no different in person. It always sounds as though he's fading away.

"Where is he?" A scratching sound is audible in the background.
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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:10 pm

"Getting dinner." Lillian had a healthy, or not so healthy, dose of paranoia in her voice. She didn't seem to trust that she wasn't being listened in on and kept everything as vague as she could without dipping in to offensive.

"He wished to have someone contact him." She tried not to sound timid, but was failing.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Dean on Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:29 pm

"Then direct him to the Chaldea Town property," Bergman shoots back impatiently.
"My deadlines are many. Far, far too plentiful to allow for house calls paid to guests of torpor,"

Spoiler:
2010-07-15 20:25:41 Lillian Page rolled 6 dice to "Wits+Empathy" 5,7,6,2,2,2 (0 successes)

Bergman's brittle voice is filled with disgust, though Lillian's unable to determine what it's directed towards. The call is terminated from Bergman's end, leaving her alone in Delray in an old building with a forbidden bathroom.
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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:26 pm

Anazstaz sat by the clamy body of the man, gazing down at the ragged breathing. The man would live, maybe, if someone managed to get to him and drag him to safety. He was just bled enough to be deliriously weak.

Old tricks still worked. Sit somewhere bad enough and let the presence awash with your own overwhelming majesty. Someone would bite, seeing the lean and delicate frame and thinking of it a weak and easy target to predating urges.

He stood up and cleaned the corner of his lip with his thumb. Let fate sort them out.

With that he returned home, now with the leash tighter on the neck of the Beast.

"Is it done?" he asks Lillian. It was a vague question, but there was no mistaking what he was actually asking about.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:36 pm

Lillian is sitting on a sofa, still as a doll while she was waiting for Anazstaz return. After all the protege had little else to do with no one guiding her. When Anasztaz returns, she snaps out of whatever dark thoughts she'd given herself to, still evident on her face as she looks at him.

"I was instructed to direct you to the Chaldea Town property." She repeats it off like a human answering machine.


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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:38 pm

"Outstanding. And we will attend tomorrow evening after I try the new wardrobe you will get me." Anasztaz says, smiling. It was a rehearsed smile, no doubt, but it meant he was satisfied.

"Take my measures if you must. I don't want to wear clothes that ill fit me."

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:45 pm

"I don't have a tape measurer." Lillian made a face as she said this, not quite a grimace but she was expecting something. She shifted about, pulling the sleeves of her shirt down in to her palms.

"I think I can guess accurately enough." She adds slowly, looking down at the floor. "At least for one outfit for tomorrow night."


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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:48 pm

Anasztaz sighs and takes his jacket off, handing it off to her with a bit of disdain that he tried to cover but didn't manage to quite succeed.

"This fits me like a glove, use it as reference. There are other garments in my closet are old and mostly eaten by bugs, but should serve for a size."

He unbuttons the cuffs of his shirt and looks around at the derelict room.

"Pick something to make the room more lively. Maybe something to keep yourself amused while I am resting. Books, TV, stereo. Whatever. Spend within reason."

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:52 pm

Whatever Lillian had been expecting it wasn't that. She raised an eyebrow and opened her mouth to speak but left it at just a nod instead.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:00 pm

The reason was simple. Idle hands were the devil's playground. If she kept her amused, she'd see less reasons to go out or slip. Keeping her in guarding his slumber most of the time was the best course of action.

"I will rest now." he says, after the brief moment of pause. "Have everything ready by the time I awaken."

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:07 pm

"Rest well." Lillian replied in true human fashion before she realized she had said it. Too late now.

Once he disappeared she settled down on to the couch, putting her legs up on the opposite armrest. Closing her eyes she drifted off to get what little sleep she could before a busy day began.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:12 pm

He arose early with the new evening, and his first thoughts were back to the man he left in a delirious fever in that alley. What became of him?

In one hand he hoped his toes had been eaten by rats, but on the other hand he felt a pang of regret for such a heartless course. That made him somewhat angrier, that was an emotion that he shouldn't be feeling.

He emerges to the room in a huff, still his mask wasn't on to conceal his emotions.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:19 pm

Lillian had lost track of time and stands in the kitchen, trying to eat down a donut in one bite. Her eyes widen up when she spots Anasztaz, quickly turning her head aside before giving a dry swallow and clearing her throat. She cleans her hands over the sink, keeping her gaze away at all costs.

"Your new suit is there." She motioned her head back to the chair, over it hung the wrapped up bag that contained a simple but fitted, Theory branded suit and gray dress shirt. It was likely she was helped in picking it out, seeming to have no fashion sense when it came to her own clothing. The jacket Anasztaz provided for her to use as a measure was also on the chair, clean and fresh in a dry cleaning bag.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:23 pm

He started to dress on the spot, unceremoniously although with a hint of pride. His last bath was holding and he still looked at his best. His narcissism hoped that she watched.

Once he was ready, still making sure everything fitted in all the right places, he turned to her.

"Call a cab. We're heading out now." he says, before heading to the mirror in the bathroom. He focused to make his reflection still, just to make sure he looked good.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:26 pm

Lillian didn't watch or even go through pretending to be interested or embarrassed. When he said we're heading out, that got her attention.

"Forgive me but I do not know if that is prudent. I may be a protege but I am still a ghoul." Her former mentor was not happy to hear from her and she felt on tenuous ground, the last bit obvious in her voice.


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