They slept in the little run-down house over night. Xerxes and Nemo guarded their little shelter in turns, and as dawn broke, Xerxes collapsed onto the little pile of coats he had been using as a makeshift mattress, complaining about the night shifts. Nemo sat up from the table he had been sleeping on and stretched, perfectly awake. Refreshed, even. Memphis and River watched them closely from their little corner as they exchanged witticisms. They seemed quite close as friends. Memphis wondered briefly if Bernard had been like that with them before working at the Sanctuary. He titled his head back slightly, wondering about whether he could befriend them. He had never been especially close to Xerxes and Nemo. Almost everything he knew about them was through Bernard, but he had met Nemo's wife before. He crossed his arms, feeling an awkwardness envelope him. Memphis had never actually felt lonely before, but right now he was certainly getting a taste of that feeling, and he didn't like it. When he was young, he had had his parents, and that was enough for him. Ever since they died, he had had Amadeus there for him, every day of his life up until he kicked it. Amadeus had saved his life on no less than four occasions, possibly more, and Memphis had never been able to repay him for all that. He felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Mem, you okay?"
He replied in Spanish, claiming he didn't feel well. River quickly switched to the same language, thinking her husband didn't want to let the others hear. She asked him what was wrong.
Memphis shrugged. "It's up here." He told her quietly, tapping his temple. "It's thoughts and feelings. You know what I'm like."
"Better than anyone else." She told him softly, wrapping her arms around him. He was tempted to say Amadeus knew him best, but he kept his mouth shut. That would have just been a stupid thing to say. It was kind of true, though. Amadeus knew everything about him, right down to certain self-harm and suicide things that River would never know about.
Nemo left the little house and looked around, smiling. Nice day. Would be nicer without the thing in the distance that looked a horrible lot like...like...Nemo turned and ran back inside the run-down building. "We have to get out of here, guys."
The others gave him a look. "Why?" asked Memphis exasperatedly.
"Lord Vile. We gotta get away and fast."
Memphis swore. "How the hell are we supposed to get away?" He yelled, trying not to let the others see he was panicking.
Xerxes frowned, rolling off his collection of coats and stomping his way across the ground. "Me and some Hungarian girl used to use this place. I know, a bit far out for us, but desperate times." Suddenly his foot hit something that gave an unpleasant juddering sound. He grinned. "Trap door, Heatwave." He held his hand over the piece that had juddered and it bubbled and dissolved. Xerxes lowered himself down and the others hurried after him. In the darkness, the sorcerer with the wart did something and the floorboards closed back over them.
"Dark in here..." Memphis muttered, arms out to feel his way through what was effectively pitch darkness. He had felt a sinking feeling as he had entered the hole and already knew his magic was bound.
The Mage with the limp frowned. The things he could hear through the door unnerved him ever so slightly. The elders were discussing with a girl, a Luca. He could hear everything. He really should not have been standing there. The door opened and he didn't have enough time to dart away. Mist nodded to him in greeting. "Paraplegia."
"Elder." He replied, nodding back. The other two elders and the red-haired vampire they had been conversing with followed Mist out and all caught sight of Paraplegia, who bit his lip, sensing something bad was about to happen to him.
An hour later he was in a conference room with a team he had called together himself. Curious Paraplegia was known for fighting in the war, as were Cain Kenelm, Cain Banderas and Cyrenaica Rust. The four of them had been a hit-team, in a way. Paraplegia sighed. It had been a long time since he had been into this sort of job. He was also joined by Elders Mist and Popularity. The air was tense and awkward, with the occasional uncomfortable shift or clearing of throat. Luca stood in the corner. There was a plan, a set plan, and it included all seven people in the room. Of course, they had to be secretive, so all you need to know for now, and indeed all I, the humble narrator, knows is that they were going after B-J Maleficent, striving to retrieve the kidnapped daughter of Ravel and Mist.
Elsewhere, a good day and a half after the first section in this chapter, Memphis awoke in some kind of cellar, wrist chained above his head. He was lying flat on the floor, and when he looked to his wrist he found it bound tightly to a radiator with one of his own handcuffs. The last thing he remembered was going down into that hole and trying to make his way through the darkness. Obviously he had been successful at getting through-he could see the hole they had come through from where he lay-but something unnerved him greatly. Possibly because the ginger man above him was pointing a gun at his forehead.
((Here, have a short bridging chapter before more Rist events...RIST, MAN, RIIIIIIST))