It hadn't actually taken him long to find Vex. Dexter had been hiding amid the halls and somehow avoided all contact with any of Mevolent's men since the last time he had managed to get free. Maybe he had just been hungry, because the first thing he had done was steal food from the pantry and attempt to return to the cells for Ravel, only to find the path too full of Mevolent and Vengeous. Up until now, he had been sneaking around, avoiding the enemies and surviving off whatever he could steal. True to his word about helping Esra stop the Grotesquery falling into the wrong hands, he had remained in the castle and made sure nobody went in that office when Esra was away. Esra found him by his office, dragging an unconscious girl along. She was very unfamiliar. "Well...I can't say I'm not surprised, Mr Vex..."
He jumped and looked up. "Oh, you. I was thinking she might need medical attention, but now I think she's one of the vampires from last night."
Sunshine slipped into his office, staring miserably at the splintered door. He got something reminiscent of a red children's play wagon out of a cupboard and piled it high with the Grotesquery, the silver chest that had burnt Jack and a few clothes and personal belongings. "What exactly are you doing with the vampire?"
"I have no idea. What exactly are you doing with the Grotesquery?"
"We're getting out of here. This is a hellhole and everyone's dying."
"We can go to my friend's place. You can bring your vampire girlfriend. He has a dungeon for vampires, and I hate to say it, but there's a possibility there's been a recent vacancy...Mr Twist knew about the vampires. I have a text to prove it...then again, I never really liked his vampire friend. He was horrible before he got bitten and he was a vampire afterwards."
Vex nodded and lay the girl on the wagon. After all, she was hurt and the whole 'she's a vampire' thing was only a theory, and only because he had never seen her around before that night.
Austin and Daemon ducked under the table. Katharine looked the group of assailants over, listing off the ones she knew in her head and then relaying them back to Aleron. He responded with three more he recognised and they both got up and went out the front. Hadrian hung back as Burn went to talk to them. "Hi, Sierra." She cooed to the leader. Sierra Lee glared at her, looking her up and down. She was flanked instantly by two others. Afton Redbird and Maxim Pledge. Pledge had his arm around Lee's shoulders. Katharine met their cold looks with a wide smile. "I thought you three hated this neck of the woods. What brings you here?"
"Lookin' for somethin'." Pledge drawled. His accent was weird; a strange mix of eastern-European and American. Sierra elbowed him in the chest and he elbowed her back. They seemed to enter into a little elbow war thing.Katharine stared for a few seconds and turned to Afton.
"Looking for what?"
"Just a thing."
"A thing of interest?"
"A thing some ladyboy has."
Katharine laughed. "Ladyboy?"
"That's what I heard."
Burn looked over her shoulder. "Hey, Ron! You know any ladyboys?"
The bewildered look on Aleron's face was priceless. "Crystalline Noon?"
"Never met her." She turned back to Afton. "Don't know any ladyboys. Is Sierra's boyfriend a ladyboy? I like his owl tattoo. Does it hurt to have your throat tattooed like that?"
"Not really, viz ze right people."
"Your accent is weird."
Sierra sighed. "Right. Katharine, long time no see."
"You're one of Lilia's group, right? The stuck-up brigade?"
Sierra punched her. Katharine staggered back. "Never really liked you, Katy." She motioned for the others to attack. The trio closed in and shadows stabbed out at Pledge. Katharine didn't know his magical discipline, but he probably wasn't there for his good looks alone. As Aleron's shadows raked his shoulders, he swore in what Katharine thought was Russian and turned, his hand seeming to bubble and tear open and a blast of energy rocketing out. Katharine clicked her fingers and turned to Afton, but she was already shadow-walking behind her, next to Sierra. Rolling her eyes, Cadence stepped out of the Cafe to lend a hand, followed reluctantly by Austin and Daemon.
Sierra's eyes flicked to Daemon like a hawk. She dodged around Katharine and Afton, running straight at Scaroe, only to be slammed from both sides by the shadows of Nightwish and Baritone. She shook her head to clear it and retreated to draw a sigil to aid in her battle. "I never get a break!" Aleron moaned as the warlock came at him again. Sierra's group was outnumbered, but they were more skilled than Austin's party. One way or another, she was getting Daemon and the little trinket in her pocket. She just needed the others to draw fire of all the others. Easily done when Afton got a good shot in disabling Burn with one good stab that probably took out a kidney and when Aleron finally dodged poorly and got stunned by one of Maxim's blasts. Cadence went to the aid of the other Necromancer as Maxim began to widen his jaw while Austin went to help his precious girlfriend. Sierra stepped up, now having a clear run to Daemon.
"You sure went to an awful lot of trouble for this. How much did it cost to get the Warlock over?"
"One fake passport. Those are cheap for someone like me. Unfortunately, letting you get away would be very costly." She finished the symbol and brought her foot down hard as Daemon threw forward a ram of shadows...
The knocking always irritated Niamh when someone knocked on the door during a Yoga session. It just did. Sighing, she told her husband to keep doing sun salutation and went to answer the door, knowing full well Rachel and Emily never would. She didn't even try and force a smile. "Esra. Bringing some sort of danger to my doorstep again?"
"I'm trying to distance myself from trouble, actually. I'll be moving on swiftly, but I need time to gather my wits and plan things out a little."
Niamh's eyes turned then to the girl on the wagon and finally to the blonde man. This looked like trouble to her. "New friends?"
"On the contrary, Mr Vex is not my friend. I would like nothing more than to rip off his arm, use it to claw his eyes out and then ram the whole thing down his throat, only we have a truce."
"...That reminds me of something Erskine told me..." Vex mumbled. Esra gave him an odd look. He then shrugged.
"Niamh, can we come in and talk to Mr Twist? Did...Is Erin there?"
"Erin isn't here." Niamh mumbled. "A man named McMooney took him and a few other vampires and-"
"Okay, I know the rest."
"You weren't the one who screamed something about wetting himself from the roof, were you?"
"Shut up, Vex, or the truce is off and I skin you alive."
"...That sounds oddly familiar as well...are you also going to turn me into a suitcase or...?"
Sighing, Niamh let them in and helped them get the wagon safely up the stairs.
"Turning you into a suitcase sounds like a good idea once your usefulness has worn out. It would mean you could be useful every now and then afterwards."
"What if you find you need me alive after turning me into a suitcase?"
"That's a problem, yeah. Setback in all great partnership threats."
"How long is this partnership thing supposed to last?"
"Until Mevolent's dead again."
"Thought as much."
"First, I'm going to try and mutilate the torso. If that doesn't work...well, I can still get rid of the additions I've made and leave the torso in with our new vampire friend."
"Providing she is a vampire."
"You're keeping an interesting company, Mr Vex." Lovejoy stated.
Vex nodded. "Only when necessary."
There were several things Ekaterina hated about planes. There were always annoying people, the food sucked, she always vomited, the airports were hell, passport control refused to believe her real name was Biddy Butler (A stupid name, but her given name nonetheless) but seemed quite happy to believe Hibernia's real name was Rathnait. Harrison seemed to be having trouble with boarding passes as well. She wanted to get on the plane before she next needed to use the bathroom, because to use the damn bathroom in this particular airport she would need to go through customs and baggage checks and everything all over again. Thus, she was annoyed. She tapped her knee with her hand over and over, becoming increasingly agitated and then someone tapped her shoulder and she turned and screamed 'what the **** do you want?' at them. People stared, some parents covered their children's ears a little too late and Scaramouch shrank back a little.
"Harrison found the boarding passes...the plane is boarding..."
"Try not to yell so loud next time. Some small children didn't hear you past customs."
Two men were waiting for McMooney when he left the Sanctuary. He hardly looked at them, but they had a third man between them in chains. He thought they were escorting a prisoner. but one of them reached out and touched his shoulder, turning him towards them. It was a white-haired man with piercing blue eyes and...oh hell. Maybe part of McMooney knew they would come back for him eventually, the survivors, but most of him was sure Fiable and Orage had forgotten who he was or at least what he looked like...or had killed one of his brothers by mistake. Apparently no such luck. They both had rather cruel smirks on their faces. "McMooney." Fiable said, nodding in greeting.
"Sharleen." He looked at Jasmin. "I can't make anything out of the way you pronounce your name. It's just weird." Then he turned his attentions to the third man. "Who're you?"
"Perseus." He spat. Suddenly the chains were gone and McMooney realised they had never been secured. He barely registered the flash of metal.
Perseus cocked his head curiously. "That was easy. I thought you said he was formidable even in human form." He nudged McMooney's severed head with the side of his boot.
((It is complete. I don't own Sierra or Afton, they belong to the owner of Daemon...and Maxim comes from the Czech Republic, which I wanted to introduce via his twin, but I'm finding it hard to introduce Raz.))