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Sable Gossamer Valante

"I've been there a thousand times. You hate your pulse because it thinks you're still alive and everything's wrong."

0 · 306 views · located in More Phenomenal Earth

a character in “Good Evening, Monsters! Good Evening, Abe!”, as played by Yonbibuns

Description

UNDER CONSTRUCTION RAAAH



The Coward Inside The Bat-Man




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B a s i c s

Race: Vampire; Fullblood
Name: Sable Gossamer Valante; "Mink"
Age: Early eighties, or even possibly in his seventies; a youngen' by all accounts.


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LOOKS
Height and Weight: Really, did you expect him to grow any? He's been that short for ages, so don't come back expecting that he's decided to wear some sissy high-heel shoes or platforms just to make himself look bigger – he's not a peacock and he's not gonna' cater to your needs. So, Sable's still approximately five feet and five inches tall, give or take a few inches depending on how straight he's standing or if he's lounging on the stairs. This little bitty weasel-boy isn't the poster boy for beautifully elegant Vampire's strutting around the modelling world. In other words, he's not the tallest fella' around and if you're swift enough to point it out, or ballsy enough to mock him: he might snarl and metaphorically slobber like an angry Rottweiler thrown into a fighting pit. It's a touchy subject, so you've been warned. He's all rawboned, gangly and awkwardly spindling with his beefless bones. It's not surprising that he doesn't weight that much but since he's gotten into the rather grisly and physically demanding business, Sable's surprisingly managed to gain a little muscle mass along with a few much-needed pounds so he doesn't look so much like a wasting cadaver on spider legs.

Complexion: Imagine the white, milky, polished exterior of hospital room walls, or marble slate, or even alabaster or all of the metaphors you can imagine for ghostly, ghastly and fish-white bones. Don't get me wrong, Sable's still apt to make his servants powder his entire body so that he doesn't look like he's disintegrating, but he wishes that he could hold a healthy, glowing hue naturally. Y'know? Peach and cream skinsicles so that he didn't look like he doused himself in white finishing powder or chalk. It gets embarrassing after awhile to explain – the sun doesn't agree with him, he's naturally pale, he's a rich sonofabitch who doesn't need to do any work outside: whatever. Unfortunately, the suns' terrifying ray's could render him into puddle of useless limbs and ash and horrible things that he doesn't even like imagining. His skin – sans spray tans and bronzer – looks like soft typing paper that has been through the wash. Regardless of his skin colour, there's spatters of freckles covering the bridge of his broken-one-too-many-times nose, the majority of his shoulder blades, and though it's less apparent, patterning his elbows, knees, and hips.

Body Type/Health: Straight out of the lions mouth and back again, this Vampire's not starkly different from the husk of hip bones and rattling limbs he was when he first undertook Ebenezer's offer. He's gained a few pounds. He looks less like your weak-kneed grandmother and a little more like that hipster who's been caught nosing around murky bars. He's still considered: spindle-shanks, bag of bones, skeletal, scarecrow and lolly-legs. But, now, it's more of a running gag of how he used to be. He's still not the poster boy for health. You won't catch him flexing any washboard abs or puzzle-piece biceps because it's just not in his body structure to form himself properly. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can't have everything you want. He's given up his wants to be a hulking David statue. It's never gonna' happen, anyway. Instead, Sable understands that the measure of a man is what's underneath his skin. It's his heart. Or else, that's what he's been told. He wouldn't be Sable without his long spindly arms and heaving platter of ribs. You can tell there's something different in the way he carries himself. It's not swag, it's definitely not a strut, but it's confidence with such an unfitting package.

Facial features: Fortunately, a strong bloodline of comely looking vampires runs thick in Sable's veins: though, it's Balthazar's influence that has made it so that he is no longer mistaken for a woman – half the time, anyway, but it's good enough – and he's managed to look less like a gangly adolescent stepping off the steps of his school and more like an awkward looking adult who handles himself pretty well at the nearest Starbuck's. It's a giant leap in the right direction and he's not complaining. Essentially, Sable has a small nose, average ears and defined, cupid-shaped lips. He's got a set of shapely eyebrows that are slightly grizzled and patchy on the left side; definitely his most expressive feature, whether he's waggling his eyebrows in a contrite way or squinting like a one-eyed octopus.

No longer do childish band-aids plague his face (someone must have traumatized him)! Half the time he just doesn't care whether or not he's got any gaping wounds on his face, and if it bothers him enough he'll get someone else to patch him up or slather on some stinky ointment. He's still got a multitude of scars because he's a clumsy, two left-legged prick, but it's not necessarily covered in coloured sheets of origami anymore. And oh god, what's the catastrophe on his face? Is it a caterpillar? Is it pubic hair masterfully glued on his upper lip like some kind of sick macaroni abstract artwork attempt? Oh no, no. It's facial hair. Didn't think the little bugger could grow anything on his face, did you? Well, he managed. He tended to that thing like a spinster woman who only had her garden to love and adore. Admit it. It's beautiful. The rest of his face still begs for fists, occasionally.

Distinguishing marks: He's got a tiny mole underneath his left eye and a smattering of freckles across the bridge of his nose. Several scars are subsequently notched along his jawline as if someone had been counting days, weeks, or months; and a more prominent scar is slashed across his lips, an inch high. Sable doesn't have any tattoos because he's terrified of needles, but he wishes he did. He's just too chickenshit to actually stumble into one of the parlours. But, he's convinced that if he gets drunk enough he'll eventually get something tattooed on his ass. Maybe his family crest and name, ha!

Apparent Temperament: Stooping low with a hunkered, galling step, it's not likely that you'll see this punk standing tall and proud. Not unless he's trying to prove an unlikely point, though his small stature always plays against him. His posture disguises his noble blood, and he'd have you believe that he couldn't care less. Sable has the air of one with a previous brightness and enthusiasm that has been ground down to the quick by endless cycles of resentment and disappointment. Anxious and self-conscious while sober, and variously warm or bitter when drunk, his need to please people does occasionally shine through. But increasingly, and especially since his father's taken a liking to making him feel like it was a mistake allowing him to even exist in his meticulous world, he has become self-loathing and rather frivolous with his money, affections, and humiliating hobbies.

His gaunt, exhausted-looking face is framed with shaggy mahogany hair, originally a gleaming, healthy ebon. Somehow scrawny without being tall, and painfully thin, overall there really isn't all at much to Sable; physically speaking. And as it happens, there's less to him than there used to be. Where once there were two wide chocolate eyes there is now only one; the other a fitting, expensive, plastiglass facsimile that follows it's predecessors movements. It's incredibly hard to tell whether or not it's fake, but if one was too look close enough they would notice that it's range of movement is considerably lower than it's authentic one. His plastiglass eye is the same deep brown, yet slightly richer; and vacant.

Though, Sable always tends to react in an overly-emotional way; think beaming expressions, and wide, expressive gestures. He's a bit goofy, a bit of a klutz, and damned passionate about those around him. He's got a tendency to fall hard in love and have things work out badly, often humiliating himself because he's so nervous. He is greatly concerned with the way he appears. As a young vampire just breaking into the world of awareness, Sable gradually recognizes just how different he looks from everyone else; pasty-skinned, long canine teeth, stippled fingers and his insatiable desires—he's different, and he finds it hard to accept. He doesn't carry himself with a proud creatures' dignity, but rather the swaggering steps of a man who wishes he were something else. Something normal.

Hair and eyes: Messy tresses of auburn-mahogany tumble in careless, choppy locks that might've been cut by Sable himself. Y'see, he doesn't really like hairdressers or barbers, so he's cultivated an appreciative art to cutting his own hair, and helping his siblings' with their own haircuts; he really doesn't mind doing it. For some reason, despite being born with straight hair, the ends of his locks twist into elegant twirls; particularly around the base of his neck and around his ears. It's not unusual to see him combing his fingers through it, or fish out a fine-toothed comb to brush his bangs back. Now, his bangs are a little less intricate, falling in choppy lines to obscure his coffee-coloured eyes beneath. Eyebrows of the same colouration as his hair are thin and sculpted, curving and fading out above long, thick eyelashes.

His eyes are different; they aren't lively, they aren't modestly open, but they aren't entirely dark. They are, however, hiding a plenitude of secrets. Almond shaped, though slightly lidded, his eyes always take the countenance of exhaustion; oft times rimmed with dark, bruised-coloured discolouration. “Puppy dog eyes,” through and through. The windows of his nonexistent souls makes his emotions clear as day. Honestly, he's an open book. By looking into his eyes, one can sometimes tell how he's feeling at that moment, be it angry, happy or just plain indifferent. So, forget about playing poker with him, he'll outright refuse. In certain lights, Sable's eyes appear an abysmal black, until further inspection when you realize they're cocoa coloured, whilst his right eye seems considerably off. You can't put your finger on it, but it looks like there's impossible lights shining off of it, or else reflecting it. His ocular prosthesis is a few shades lighter than his authentic eye, speckled with cawfee flecks and striking yellows; if anyone asks, he'll simply say that he has heterochromia. His perception skills suffer from this, but he readily believes he's getting better and better.

Casual wardrobe: The easiest way to describe Sable's uncanny fashion sense is to say that he has practically none at all. In the conventional sense, anyhow. Clashing he can generally avoid, but what’s in this season? It passes right over his head. Sable normally ends up in striped jackets with silver nicknacks clipped to his lapel, vulgar t-shirts (indie band names included), ripped jeans, and a pair of ratty sandals that somehow haven’t tripped him up. That isn't to say that he's always dresses like this, but he prefers to dress casually rather than wear those stuffy, starch-injected apparel his mother continuously harps over. He's a modernist—and he'll damn well wear that ratty t-shirt with those ratty pants. And maybe, just maybe, he'll even wear those snazzy Puma's.

He's also the sort of irritating guy who often changes his clothes a lot, without rhyme or reason. However, one of Sable's outfits is actually considered presentable. The outfit consists of a dark suit jacket, usually black but sometimes grey if it's muggy, covering a waistcoat of varying designs; preferably tiny polka-dots. Underneath he wears a light coloured, most commonly white, linen shirt. For trousers he wears a pair of jeans also of varying colours but usually a dark blue, faded and torn across the knees. It's the in style, y'know?

ACTION TIME wardrobe: “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” Just kidding, Sable would probably explode from humiliation and the indecency of it all, anyway. Seeing as his closet's large than Narnia, and has a myriad of outfits for all settings, atmospheres and environments; he's got tons of action time outfits at his disposal. For starters, he'll wear a paper thin, soft Oxford dress shirt with French cuffs for flair; then, he'll move on to a Giallo three-piece slim-cut plaid suit with yellow paisley lining and matching vest, in dark greys and subtle dull silvers; and the entire ensemble is like a martini without olives without a suitable tie, so he wears his favourite Moda Bruno Tie. Overall, he'd looked sharper if he didn't look like some punk who'd gotten into a few fisticuffs.

Etc: His fingers are slender, pianists' digits at their finest, with nails trimmed short for more workability. Sometimes, he lets his sisters paint his fingernails an array of colours and proclaims that it's only because he's comfortable with his sexuality, and you, obviously, are not.




PERSONALITY

"Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them."
— Jodi Picoult


To the outside world, Sable is a weak-willed, guileless person. He's outgoing, and never fails to make an acquaintance. He completely doesn’t care what the world thinks of him and isn’t afraid to speak his mind; unless there's someone ruefully frightening lurking about. His temper is quick to flare, but quick to extinguish. He’ll also be the first to apologize if he realizes he’s wrong. And he understands that the majority of the time, he's always wrong. If he doesn’t have an apology cocked and ready, however, he’ll stick to his argument like a stubborn child and resort to petty pouting. Sable appears to see a lot of the world in black and white. He has a strong sense of right and wrong that he adheres to, though not always strictly. He’s often getting herself in more trouble than he should. He sneaks about, pokes about things and places he has no business with, gets caught out of bounds at all hours and is rather high-handed with authority figures from time to time. He’s completely reckless when he drives and doesn’t always think his decisions through.

Beneath the charming, southern boy gentility is an amoral monster who’s business is between the crook of your neck; Sable doesn't like the fact that vampires thrive on humans to live, but he understands more than anything that there's nothing he can do about it. He's not a prideful predator with his head up his arse, either. However, he's not an easy one to slice apart, and no one knows what he’s truly thinking. But, sometimes he's so humiliatingly cheesy and predictable—it's painful. The luck of the Irish runs freely in his veins and Sable jokes it keeps him a float. It's probably the only reason a hunter hasn't shoved a wooden stake through his still-beating heart. He's too sensitive, and too outspoken, spoilt, impulsive, unsteady and reckless. And more than that, Sable's a self-professed coward. Easily cowed in confrontations and bullied into situations he'd prefer to steer clear from, it isn't in him to deny the fact that he's spineless. He's the black creature that never wanders too far from the herd of sheep, in fear of the wolves, oft forgetting that he is one. His ailments are frailty, loneliness and selfishness. His bane and vices walk hand-in-hand, and he'd have you believe he's some hot-shot who doesn't give a shit about what you're saying to him. But, he does. He always does.

Yet, for someone so calm, not impulsive and very smiley he has a very pessimistic outlook on life. There's nothing he can view without a hint of distrust or suspicion; mostly stemming from all those damned horror stories his siblings shared beneath silken blankets and fluffy pillows. They've mystified and terrified him, moulding him into a frightful creature that shouldn't have anything to fear. It brings out his insatiable curiosity and boldness to get the dirty intel, but has influenced his own integrity into an unscrupulous shade. To him, she comes first, the greater good comes second, people in his good books next and other categories dead last. This affinity is considered to be cold and uncaring when it comes to a one on one relationship with him, but he believes that they'd do the same in his shoes. No one does anything for free, and everyone's secretly watching their backs, or necks. Anyone whose willing to put their necks on the line are only doing it to further themselves, so he doesn't fault himself in being a little more cautious. Not that most would know, seeing as he puts on the show of being engaging, agreeable and charming. Just like his habit of forcing herself to laugh at any joke, but only finds true humour in the crude and mean-spirited. However, if someone were to actually be curious about him they'd find themselves hitting a wall secrets and then on a different topic of conversation.

Sable is someone who rarely ever sleeps. He believes he has some kind of sleep Apnoea, but isn't willing to get any help about it. Besides, vampire aren't supposed to complain about any lack of sleep, right? You can find him any hour of the day at the grungy pub where he works. Except for when he's got a day off that is. The first impression you'd get would probably be that he is friendly and talkative. This is partly true. But while he's talking to you, he's probably also digging through your mind, figuring out what makes you tick, your first crush, the name of your dog etc. etc. He wants to know everything and anything you've got to say. And he wants you to listen when it's his turn. That is, if you haven't high-tailed it for the door yet. He's more apt to listen and take mental notes than barge in "hootin' an hollerin'". While he always treats ladies with respect, he has been caught staring at girls' faces in a petrified stupor before. He's an overly emotional train wreck that just wants your damned approval and maybe, just maybe, a nice hug. Not one of those one-armed, awkward hugs you get from that old haggard Uncle that hates your existence. Hugs aren't obligated, they're felt and appreciated and make you feel, generally, better.

He's the kind of guy who takes in stray cats because they remind him of himself—or something like that, anyway. Maybe he just can't stand that melancholic mewling, or the fact that everyone's been passing it by when it's fur is sodden and soaked and it's little tummy is rumbling and no one seems to give a fuck about it. Sable cares. He cares too much. No matter how vulgar his language, how mean his tone, how harsh his words or how bad his attitude, in his heart one is mostly to find good intentions. Some attribute this purity to how childish he can be. Indeed, you wouldn't be too far from the mark considering this kid being pretty laid back and immature. He enjoys joking around, never missing a chance to try and lighten the mood. He has a certain mindset that everything has a fun and bright side to it if you know how to bring it out, as long as you're not taking your family into consideration.

A father's disappointment can be a very powerful tool, and a mother's wroth is just as painful.


Speech: Unfortunately, Sable's sensual Iranian dialect has been skewed from all the time he's spent in English-speaking cities, so it's only recognized by skilled linguistics or those who've grown up in the Romani regions where he hailed from. A slightly lazy purr-drawl predicates his Romanesco; Standard Italian. Born in the midst of Rome, and experiencing lengthy travels across Persia, Iran and Germany; it isn't surprising that he's learned so many languages. He's had many years to learn them all, as well. Each language is spoken surprisingly well for someone who appears that he doesn't give two hands about linguistics, but he does, he finds them equally beautiful: especially Hebrew. His voice is a mixture of soft mewls, tawdry complaints and expressive bouts of endearment, which wholly describes a youthful foreigner, or a bratty teen, who doesn't have much to hide when he's found someone to listen to him.

Pet Peeves: There's many things that irritate, bother and bustle Sable, and he'll be quick to make his annoyances known so that they'll stop, or else you'll see his back retreating in the opposite direction. Here's a lengthy, descriptive list he's made up himself over crumpets, coffee cakes and green tea: The expression that "Nobody can hurt you unless you let them,” because that's bullshit and everyone knows it; Mumbling, then annoyedly saying "Forget it!" when people naturally don't hear. His hearing isn't that great to begin with, so you better repeat yourself; Thinking that one has the only correct background for understanding an issue, and then trying to solve it when you'd rather they leave you alone; Rude people purposefully mangling someone's name or handle as a form of ridicule; Clothes hangers laden with clothes that are facing opposite directions; Dirty or stained cutlery, it's disgusting; People who use napkins for eating messy food and leaving it on the table throughout the meal, bearing it's BBQ mess for all to see; People who don't change to the toilet paper roll due to laziness, even if there's a wastebasket directly one foot away from the subsequent toilet; Filthy, filthy, grimy, dirty keyboards, cupboards, or tabletops; Speed bumps; Braille signs at drive through windows; People with the inability to park straight, or else they take two parking spaces in hopes to salvage their crappy Mazda's from being scratched; and lastly, but more importantly, children.

Screaming, hair-pulling, little snot-nosed banshee's who run freely through stores, fancy restaurants, theatres, or otherwise any other place you'd like to find a small slice of silence. They are there, and they're going to be squalling like the little monsters they are. Horribly sudden, high-pitched squeals. In spite of being pretty compassionate, Sable thinks they're abominations.

Quirks: Rubs his earlobes when he's lying; Sable has the habit of licking his lips frequently, mostly because his lips go dry easily and he tends to keep his mouth not entirely closed. He's a flavoured chapstick fan; He signs his name with a small picture of crossbones next to the signature; He's a sucker for a girl. He won't act like the stereotypical guy, but he can't help but see girls as the most beautiful creatures ever created: their smiles, their hair, their lips, the way they talk, walk and breathe, their laughs, their likes, their silly quirks... you get the picture? Hopeless romantic, to a fault; Often is seen smirking in circumstances that seem out of the blue, because his mind is elsewhere and whatever he's thinking about is particularly funny. It's not you, I swear; Sometimes winks at people to entertain himself, then feels weird about doing it; Always feels like people are listening to his thoughts, despite the ridiculousness of these magical abilities; Grinds his teeth when he's angry.



EQUIPMENT

Firstly, Sable's plain pager is clipped to the right side of his leather belt, tucked into a dull grey holster with vibrant stickers plastered across it's face. He doesn't really like the idea of having a pager, but it seems like he has no choice but to have the outdated piece on him at all times. Apparently, it's a cost effective way to keep in touch with fellow employers, as well as his boss, but he couldn't care less. He's got all the money in the world, so why couldn't he have a purple pager?

Headquarters: Nestled in the hidden part of the Italian Countryside, Sable's luxurious home erupts from the trees and rolling hills of Sabina. Honestly, Sable's the kind of geek that refers to his home as his headquarters, but it might as well be something of that nature since it's big enough to hide all of his secrets and goodies. Just six miles south of the estate built for Ser Horrus Haust sits Castillo del Cielo Azul, Castle of the Blue Skies. This spectacular Venetian-style castle is a masterwork of bold design, luxury finishes and exquisite embellishments. With a half-mile of ocean frontage across from the uncrowded sands of legendary Playa Dorada, the power and beauty of the great Pacific is never more than a few short steps away.

The lavish, museum-quality ambiance of the ocean-view Main Residence supports a regal lifestyle and provides an incomparable setting for entertaining on a grand or intimate scale. Served by the stylish 30 ft-long Onyx Bar, the Grand Ballroom is the heart of the Castle— a glittering expanse of marble, crystal, and fine mural artwork, all spanning across the immense ceilings and walls. In the nurturing privacy of the East Wing, the romantic Master Suite has been promptly claimed by Sable himself. This serene retreat features a sitting area, fireplace, dressing area, whirlpool tub, traditional sauna room, steam shower with 12 showerheads and drench, two story walk-in wardrobe with wet bar, and a wall of French doors to the ocean-view terrace.

Additional guest suites are equally exquisite, graced with mural domes, marble baths (one with steam), generous wardrobes and expansive ocean or vineyard views. It isn't uncommon for Sable to invite acquaintances, guests, and friends over—though, sometimes his intentions are quite skewed. The West Wing includes the impressive Theatre Room, the stately Executive Office Suite, Butler’s quarters, Morning Room, and a formal Family Room with fireplace, dining alcove, and southern-facing ocean-view terrace. The splendid Wine Cellar features a tasting room, case storage, built-in 3500-bottle rack system, and delightful trompe l’oeil painted ceiling. Foreign vintages remain wholly untouched, and wonderfully aged. He keeps his best bottles for special occasions.

Kitchen facilities include a professional-quality dream kitchen with Viking Professional appliances—two full-size refrigerators, wine cooler, dishwasher, 6 burner gas range with griddle and two ovens, 2 convection wall ovens, 2 warming drawers, trash compactor, immense marble-topped prep island with deep sink and 50 in. flat-screen television. An additional complete catering kitchen with butler’s pantry is adjacent to the Morning Room. On the ocean-view Vineyard Terrace, the outdoor kitchen is the perfect gathering place, equipped with a wood-fired stone pizza oven, under-counter refrigeration, wine coolers, warming drawers, gas burners, resort-sized grill, beer tapper and gas fireplace. Touch-screens in all rooms control lighting, sound and security systems, allowing complete environmental control and visual monitoring of the residence from anywhere in the world. Flat–screen televisions of generous dimensions are featured throughout. Across the vineyard motor courtyard, the 4500 sq ft Entertainment Hall stands ready for gatherings of up to 400. A full bar, Murano chandeliers, sound system, grand piano and wrap-around Italian vineyard murals make an unforgettable backdrop for formal dinners and dances.

There's a Yach mooring and guest docking available in the Castillo scenic harbour. Monterey cypress trees frame whitewater views, pressing tightly against one another but giving way to a beautifully crafted trails for brisk, nature walks in the mornings. The lush landscaping around the residence and along the quarter-mile-long driveway is accented by bronze fire urns and mature 30 ft tall Canary Island palms. The estate’s 80 acres are in Pinot Noir grapes, olives, fenced pasture, riparian corridor and rare Monterey pine forest—one of only three such stands in the world. There's a plenitude of cathedrals scattered across the landscape, oft times hiding amidst the trees with only their high-tower peeks poking up towards the skies. Several olive oil and wine factories are also present.

He's a rich sonnuva bitch who takes everything for granted, though now he's been cast out of his luxurious home for some type of goose chase that he doesn't particularly understand. All he knows is that his parents don't want him in the household, anymore.

He guesses that there was only so much disappointment his parent's could stomach.

Cars: Sable owns a carmine ’67 Camaro for special occasions, a black Ford Explorer for dirtier expeditions, and a custom chopper with black, white, and silver detailing for joyriding purposes. Also, he's affectionately named each vehicle in the following order: “Judge Judy,” “Stella” and “Bonnie.” There's several bobble head collectible felines plastered across the back of his car alongside the back wind-shield and he'll chance crashing into trees, lamp posts and cars, especially if they hold all of those dirty, banshee-things inside, if he sees you fingering them. Just don't do it! Seriously. Seriously. Especially not the white one, it's name is Fluffy, and he'll threaten bodily harm if he so much as sees a smidgen of grease on it's little, adorable muzzle. So, don't!




LIFE

Favorite color: A particular shade of brown: sepia. Not only is it the best visual setting on a camera, it also reminds him of coffee, chocolate, warmth and bacon. It's earthy, and it's everywhere. And it's a colour that can practically match with any outfit you wear. Brown's a neutral colour.

Hobbies: Sable's a hobbyist of sorts. He likes trying pretty much anything, which is frequently frowned upon by his family. A creature of his birthing and stature should be strong, valiant, and ruthless! Ah, but expectations like that are ridiculous, aren't they? He enjoys collecting minerals and pretty rocks, and has gathered quite an extensive collection. He's also exceptional at knitting and crocheting; he's got no qualms making some for friends, if you're interested. He used to make candles, but always ended up burning himself so he recently quit. Anyone who doesn't think cloud watching's a hobby's probably going to get an earful from Sable. Practising and learning different cultural languages has become a subconscious hobby, though he prefers to speak languages he feels comfortable with. Apparently, he's taken with writing romance novels but hasn't had the guts to publish any of them—despite having several publishers and resources at his fingertips, he doesn't want to shame his family even more. And unsurprisingly, he's also learned to make a damn good bottle of wine.

Likes:
  • Gambling; it’s hard for him to resist a bet, and he's convinced that he's a really, really lucky guy.
  • Learning useless but interesting facts; he's almost completed his 'Snapple Lid Useless Facts' collection, and just recently bought '100 Uses for Duct Tape.' He enjoys educating anyone that will listen about random, often useless, facts.
  • Freshly squeezed human blood, on the rocks; Well, he does enjoy blood. He is a vampire, after all. He's just not in the habit of fetching his own meals, so now he's struggling on the streets, demanding others to help him hunt and resorting to eating disgusting pig's blood.
  • Sweet, fruity wines from Rome; strong, frothy ales from Scotland
  • Energy drinks ; particularly Amp or Tabs, flavoured sweetly
  • Well-written romance novels, or horribly corny ones; he's a sucker for romantics.
  • Gossiping

Dislikes:
  • Hospitals, doctors, and nurses; Actually, they terrify him. Whilst growing up, his fellow siblings often told him horror stories involving scalpels, illegal lobotomies that left them paralysed and end of all brain activity, in the hopes of curing mental illnesses. Ironically, he's terrified of needles as well and so, he will suffer through broken bones, shattered femurs and oozing cuts to steer clear of any of those horrid establishments.
  • Long road trips and not getting to drive, and the idea of anyone else driving his cars; only he knows how all of the added-on buttons work! And only he has the capping permission to change the radio channel or iPod's song. Seriously, don't even tease your fingers across the air-conditioning.
  • Lying; the art of deception is weak with this one, but he still occasionally attempts to fib his way out of tight spots whilst failing horribly. For example: “Oh, yeah, my dog ate all of that money you recently loaned me.” “You don’t own a dog.” “Uh.”
  • Almost all “modern” mainstream music, especially: Rap, Metal and Garage. It's horrible crap that he'd rather not hear, when he could be listening to smooth Jazz, classical tunes and instrumentals.
  • Strict social structures and proper etiquette
  • Bad break-ups; He can stand mutual agreements to end seeing one another, things happen after all, but he gets a pang inside every time two people have a vicious fight before ending their relationship, and don’t reconcile.

Fears: Ho boy, Sable's fears are extensive and ridiculous, even he doesn't have a hard time admitting it. He's terrified of human hunters, witch hunters, or anyone whose livelihood involves killing those of his own race, and so he's often cautious of meagre, innocent-looking humans. It's one of the many reasons why he fails so badly when he's sent out on his father's hunting excursions. And those insane, bloodthirsty great white sharks! Sable doesn't deny fearing for his own safety being next to large bodies of water, in spite of being raised next to the ocean. He's also pretty suspicious of rivers, lakes and deep streams, thinking there's unseen creatures that could grab his legs and drag him to the depths. Drowning would be a terrible way to die. He hates horror movies, especially ones involving creepy children that kill you; the Grudge, or the Ring, notably. He also suffers an irrational fear of tunnels, fearing that they'll collapse on him while he's walking through, or driving through, so he makes a heap load of detours to avoid them. Elevators and mannequins make him queasy. Sable's more ordinary fear involves never pleasing his father and mother, and always disappointing them.

Agenda: Of course, it was his promise for grandiose illustriousness, a chance to redeem himself in his family's eyes. For you see, Sable's lineage is twisted, gnarled and intertwined with Ebenezer Valante's. He's his nephew, and since the unsettling phone call, it was the first he's ever heard of the wizened fellow. They share the same putrid, cursed blood and it seems that he and his parents share the same high expectations and snobbish views of nobility. After all, it was his parents who'd contacted Ebenezer about these missions, these political ambitions that somehow involved a bodyguard prowess that Sable didn't possess. It might've been his family's only means of transforming their humiliating son into more than a crocheting, unruly hooligan. Deep down, Sable mutely agrees and wants to better himself. Perhaps, this is the one thing that'll earn himself recognition, acceptance, and respect. And so he goes on, willingly. Well, semi-willingly. Either that, or his parents were simply wishing for a way to off him.

What guarantees the fact that you'll stick around?: Ebenezer can be quite convincing on his own, but it's Sable's heady determination to better himself that will always be the iron anchor dragging him along. Returning to his mansion empty-handed isn't an option. That, at least, is something that he understands. Dogmatic in his endeavours, Sable won't be returning home until he's proven something to them, or himself.

Day job: Honestly, Sable's never worked a day in his life. He's that rich sunnavagun whose always thrived on his wealth, without needing to lift a finger for anything. So, he didn't sacrifice any promising careers, or crappy jobs, to join Ebenezer's merry troupe.

Where they hail from: On an awkwardly warm day in December, two days before the twenty-fifth, a baby boy was born on the outskirts of Rome, in the Sabina hills.

How they became what they are: Unfortunately, the youthful vampire has no horror stories involving his family being slaughtered by rueful, merciless vampires and he, being the sole survivor, being turned and taken as some sort of slave. No, no. It's a lot less interesting than that, though Sable might've proclaimed otherwise just to spice things up. He was born into a family of fullblood vampires. Apparently, it was Ebenezer himself who turned his father and then married him off to a distant, distant relative of his own blood, to begin their own lives squalling strong, healthy babes. That's it, that's all. And just to irk his... long lost relative, he's recently changed his last name from Cassius to Lavante.

Notable experiences since then: (optional believe it or not!)

Opinion of the others:
  • Ebenezer: He really thinks that he's got starch shoved up his ass. But even then, he likes him. It might be because he's so dark, so mysterious and so wizened. He doesn't really understand why he doesn't mind him, but he's not a hard man to follow. And all of those promises, can he really grant them? He's become sort of a role model in Sable's eyes, and probably the only one in his extended family that he actually likes.
  • Charlie: Y'know what he thought of her, at first? Actually, he still does. Charlie scares the crap out of him; quite literally. And hearing that she doesn't particularly like vampires was even scarier. He always does his best not to piss her off, and tones down his sarcastic quips whenever she's raring and swearing. Other than that, he admires her boldness—but still, she scares the crap out of him.
  • Balthazar: Even though Sable's a few decades older, he still feels slightly inferior and immature compare to the debonair man. He seems to be afraid of nothing, and he wishes he felt the same. Sometimes, he finds himself trying to mimic him, but to no avail. Overall, he always feels moody when he's around because he's a constant reminder that Sable's a piss-poor vampire.
  • Colm: Those laughing eyes, wily smirks and childish eyes. He doesn't really know what to make of him, but feels really uncomfortable whenever he hears his teasing gibes. He does offer hugs though, and often.
  • Seamus: This barbarian is an intimidating clout. He's the original Conan, or at least that's what Sable thinks of whenever he's lumbering past. He's pretty sure that he could clock his head clean off his shoulders, and doesn't want to test his patience, so... you could say that he's scared witless of him. Him and his rippling muscles. Wouldn't you be?
  • Winston: It might sound weird coming from Sable, but he thinks he's amazing. He thrives on intelligence and science, and doesn't condone violence. Honestly, he believes he's the perfect companion, because they agree on a lot of matters. But, he always feels like a waddling child following after his tailcoats because Winston's the one he fears the least. Well, if you try to ignore the fact that his cane's a deathly weapon that could probe many, many holes through your face. Other than that, yes, Sable thinks Winston's more than just “an old man.”
  • Una: Women, by all accounts, have always intimidated Sable. Even if they're just soccer mom's, or nurses, or people that aren't witch hunters who could easily wring his neck with a harrowing glare. However, he does respect her a great deal. He just doesn't know how to approach her without feeling like he'd rather turn tail and run.

Criminal Record: According to the authorities, Sable's got a clean slate. Any and all of his harmless misdemeanours were hidden and brushed under the carpet, and then forgotten. No one instigated any further searches. If anyone has enough money, enough power, enough bloodthirsty siblings slavering across your shoulders, then you could get away with nearly anything. He's got a nasty habit of stealing shiny objects, particularly from prestigious jewelry shops and then escaping in less than graceful ways, without anyone coming to harm. Except for himself, on several occasions. He's too clumsy and softhearted to perform any nasty crimes, or slaughter a whole family for their life blood. A disappointment, really.

Etc: He speaks fluent English, French, Yiddish, and Hebrew. German was his first language, though he only usually swears in it. If he's flirting with you, he'll most likely pull some French words from his sleeves—though, in all likelihood, if he's flirting with you he's either trying to lull you into a false sense of security or he's incredibly intoxicated.

Despite being born into wealth with a silver platter shoved under his nose and a nice intricately designed spoon gilded with who-knows-what bouncing from the corner of his mouth; Sable's a cheapskate who occasionally gambles away half the money he’s made with his truck as his only asset. Now, that's saying the money he actually makes on his own. The vast majority of his wealth is tucked away in a steel vault; thanks to his dutiful mother whose intentions are always in the right places. On the bright side, he’s one of the few vampires who couldn’t be convicted for credit card fraud, partially due to the fact that he’s never owned one.

Specialty: Like most of the Vampiric race, Sable possesses an inhuman level of speed, flexibility, and strength. Though, his insufferable fears dampens his abilities. Instead, he has a myriad of practised specialities to offer the group, which includes the following: a mild clairvoyance, or precognitive ability, that allows him to see the entirety of his surroundings, even when not looking at them with his eyes. Consider it a “spidey sense,” that's been keeping him alive and well thus far. His determination is uncanny, as well. He's not like to quit when the going get's tough, and doesn't mind having the dirtier, unwanted jobs sloughed onto him; making him rather scurrilous and adaptable. And even though the idea of fighting someone in the streets sends shivers down his spine, if you hand him a pistol; he's quite proficient. He's an acclaimed marksman, but always prefers two serrated blades. Or, not fighting at all.

He's also knowledgeable about the political maneuverings among vampires, werewolves and witches, on varying degrees. Being a lord's son and born into nobility grants you all kind of tasty information regarding other races, their politics, cultural differences and movements. It was one of the many things he thought was useless, until he joined Ebenezer's ranks. Sable's technological abilities are quite astute, as well. He can manage his way through competent firewalls, hack through computers and weasel his way through locked doors. His knowledge on such sleights grow each day, and he's happy that it's something he can contribute.

Preferred feed: Quartered and drawn. Or else, freshly caught and served on the rocks. Sable isn't the type of vampire that enjoys hunting for his meals; it's too messy, and there's chance that he'll go hungry. For as long as he could remember, he's relied on his parent's servants to supply him with fresh victims everyday, without the hustle and bustle or worries of going hungry. Sometimes, he keeps platelets safe and sound, cold and delicious, in his fridge and serves them himself whenever his stomach rumbles. The few times his father forced him to attend one of the hunts, he humiliated himself and nearly let the human scramble away. If it hadn't been for his adept, ruthless father... he doesn't like thinking about it. But, now that he's been forced out of his comfortable home, he realizes that he needs to learn to fend for himself. Else-wise, he'll be weak on pig's blood and miserable; he's already lost a considerable amount of weight from malnourishment, and his inability at capturing his prey. Blood renews him, strengthens him, simply invigorates him and sets every nerve on fire. Without it, he feels exhausted.

Sunlight tolerance: His sunlight tolerance, especially now that he's not being fed properly, is considerably lower than before. Sable doesn't even want to chance it for a couple hours, let alone twenty minutes. The idea that he could end up a heaping mass of melting tissue, with ashes strewn about and popping eyeballs—he can't even think about it! It makes him sick. Fortunately, he's never suffered any ailments due to sunlight exposure, but he's heard some horror stories from fellow vampires.

Social standing: Seeing as the Crassius' are renown for their wealth, power and wine companies, it isn't unusual that he's recognized as their eldest son and the heir to many family businesses. He's had pictures taken, he's posed for magazines, he's been interviewed and picked apart by the media, he's been the rousing talk of Rome and the target of malicious rumours. It isn't anything he isn't used to, but now that he's left the comforts of home, he's little recognized.

Social stealth: To the world, there is naught a word of vampires when you take the Crassius family into consideration. And it's better that way, so Sable's father would believe. They aren't bothered, they aren't under a magnifying glass with their wings being torn off, and they aren't being watched by bothersome authorities, even if there are several men and women missing along the European countryside.

BENEFITS FROM THE RACE (or otherwise)
  • Any poisons or other toxic substances that circulate in his bloodstream adversely affects him, and no dosage is large enough to cause death.
  • A heightened resilience to pain; he's a bit of a masochist in the way that he doesn't mind when he gets hurt, but prefers to keep out of scraps because he's afraid that he'll get killed.
  • Vampires new and old possess senses much greater than that of humans. Even the newly dead have better hearing than most dogs, and their sense of sight is much greater as well. He's no exception, with the added bonus of having clairvoyant abilities.
  • Over the years, Sable has learned the art of smiling without flashing his fangs – it is considered juvenile to do otherwise. Most vampires have the ability to move without sound, without the slap of feet, but Sable struggles with this. He's gotten better, though.

WEAKNESSES FROM THE RACE (or otherwise)
  • Standard vampire weaknesses (in this universe, including silver, as well as suffering a screaming, fiery death in sunlight and being incredibly flammable); this includes a stake to the heart, or being decapitated.
  • He can get lazy with secrecy, and is rather loose of tongue when it comes to things other people have told him; he doesn't do it intentionally, but he enjoys a good gossip session.
  • His malnourishment and poor diet often leaves him debilitated, everlastingly hungry and oft times, prone to violent tantrums. He's been caught chewing his fingers and biting his lips, hard enough to draw blood. Or staring awkwardly at his companions.


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So begins...

Sable Gossamer Valante's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Micah Colby Ames Character Portrait: Balthazar Eskandar Shirazi Character Portrait: Wolfgang Wolf von Krieger Character Portrait: Sable Gossamer Valante Character Portrait: Sallie Harris Character Portrait: Annabelle Reed Character Portrait: Constantine Augustus Meyac

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KEY

Ebenezer
Your employer, kindly benefactor, and all-around fatherly figure. You've never seen his face, unless you count the Benjamins (or Queen Elizabeths or whoever mars your currency with their sagely visage).

Allies
Folks openly professed to be in cahoots with old Abe, most notably mission guides. The guides grade performance, all in all acting as a pair of eyes away from home. The helpfulness and openness of allies range, however--not all of them will like being useful. You very probably can't kill them without a severe cut in the salary.

Enemies
Folks openly against Ebenezer or his friends, and likely wanted dead for the effort. Poor jerks. You can try to talk to them, because they will have more to say than regular enemies, but ultimately you cannot go home and do your laundry until you've killed them.

???
Alliance unknown for these NPCs! They could be smallfry enemies, or they could vaguely want to further your cause.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Micah Colby Ames Character Portrait: Balthazar Eskandar Shirazi Character Portrait: Wolfgan Wolf von Krieger Character Portrait: Sable Gossamer Valante Character Portrait: Sallie Harris Character Portrait: Annabelle Reed Character Portrait: Constantine Augustus Meyac

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#, as written by Deallo
The windows were let down a bit to let the night air rush into the speeding car. Loud salsa music escaped the radio and blared outside of the confines of the powder blue Ford sedan, going 90km/h with no signs of slowing down in sight. Observers who might've caught a glimpse at the speeding vehicle would've thought it belonged to some young reckless driver who just got their license or a thief who might've stolen the car. Of course, they were wrong.

It was the driving of an elderly woman who was all the more glad to be alive and free.

Not the "I'm glad I woke up today" alive either, like some spry elderly gentlemen, but the "I'm glad I didn't get in the shot in the face" alive that criminals often face in a day to day basis. It was because of Ebenezer, even if by accident, that she's managed to get behind the wheel of a car instead of shot, liquified, dumped, and forgotten. Driving was also a joy she enjoyed too much. Back in Mexico, everything needed discretion, driving was off-limits unless the police were a little too close for comfort and an operation needed to be evacuated. Now, she drive free and fast, the way driving was meant to be. Annabelle couldn't understand how people drove so slowly like they were scared. Excruciatingly painful is what it must feel like to drive slow. There was no rush, no excitement, from being able to take control of a strong speed machine, and just using it to trot along the roads. It needed to gallop, speed down the roads, as cars were meant to.

If only it wasn't so dangerous; everyone would've been doing it. Police would've chased her if there were more patrols that night but as luck would behold there wasn't any that had met her. She swerved around cars and turned, nearly running over a young man who was running across the street to get to a bank, cutting off a taxi, scratching it's side, the blue paint scratching off the bumper. As Annabelle was driving away, she noticed the taxi was either following her trail, or going the same direction as her. Obscenities were shouted from the drivers side of the taxi but she was going too fast and was too far to listen in. She eyed the taxi in the rear view mirror, seemingly speeding up behind her, pupils flashing back and forth to the front of the road then to the yellow car.

Seconds were passing away before beads of sweat started forming on her aged forehead and her teeth started to lightly bite her lower lip. Suddenly a loud screeching pierced the air, the smell of burnt rubber crinkling any nearby nose, powder blue Ford sedan ducking into an alley and out the other side. Annabelle turned off the radio and made a few more turns to make sure the taxi didn't follow her. The paranoia instilled in her from years of working with The Cartel were satiated as the taxi was nowhere in sight.

The docks were now in sight but the car was in no speed near stopping. Headlights illuminated the three figures and for a brief moment; seemed like it was destined to run them over at top speeds until the brakes were slammed. The screeching was enough to pain the ears and the smell of burnt rubber filled the air. The engine hummed for a moment, headlights illuminating everyone on the docks before the ignition key was turned and pulled. Annabelle took a deep breath and checked herself, padding the Kevlar jacket, and her husbands black trench coat she had on. There were four pockets inside the coat, two on each side, and each had a revolver. Her prized M1 was in a shoulder holster, seeing as how much work she put into it, it was worth it to at least buy a proper holster for it. She brought her white purse along and had it hang in her right hand; not for stylish purposes but just in case anything happened, she could make a quick grab for the M1, which would take one solid movement.

Despite Ebenezer's kindness; paranoia was still creeping up. Rightfully so, at that.

She exited the car door and slammed it behind her before she opened up the back door, the cold bite of the wind rushing over her. "Darn it." Ana silently cursed herself, spotting the luggage bag containing the rest of her equipment trapped under the back seat, where she'd have to force it out.

Her head twisted, spotting the solitary individual on the dock, and moved towards him. Annabelle did look rather odd, suiting black dress pants, a blue Hawaiian shirt with a Kevlar jacket underneath and a trenchcoat. Almost as odd as the man, who at this distance, could see he was sitting on a crate.

In any regular circumstances, she would've tried to pull out the bag herself had it not been filled with munitions and weighed heavily. The Texan didn't see it fit to bother the couple either; as it would've been very rude. She smiled sweetly at the strange man before she spoke to him.

"Excuse me dear but can you help me? One of my bags is stuck in the backseat of the car and I can't seem to get it out. If only a strong man could help me..." Annabelle said, waiting for either him to help her, or wave her away...but right arm was precariously up, holding the purse by the forearm, and across the M1 in case she was speaking to some crazy man.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Micah Colby Ames Character Portrait: Balthazar Eskandar Shirazi Character Portrait: Wolfgang Wolf von Krieger Character Portrait: Sable Gossamer Valante Character Portrait: Sallie Harris

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An obtrusive amount of paper towel, skewed assortments of scented hand sanitizer, an unnecessary amount of chlorhexidine gluconate hand sanitizing liquids, organized slew of gloves tucked within the confines of the walkway dresser, cupboards chalk-full of bleach containers, and a myriad of colourful Kleenex boxes placed, calculatingly, thoughtfully, throughout the expanse of the apartment complex. It was every germaphobes paradise, so clean, so deliciously palpable. Reminiscent of a hospital, minus the sickly, scummy-faced individuals inhabiting uncomfortable chairs. Flat surfaces could be, quite literally, eaten from – though, that'd be really gross and ruin their continuous efforts to continue living in the cleanest, most immaculate, environment possible.

Sable had always been meticulous about his hygiene, even more so now that his roommate, Balthazar, had entered his private life. They'd been fast friends, despite the obvious gap in abilities and physical prowess, in their mutual abhorrence for everything dirty and disgustingly filthy. He showered twice a day (for ten minutes exactly), had a standing monthly appointment for his hair, and washed his hands before every meal. Slathering on hand sanitizer, as his repetitive ritual, didn't count. Pride, self-respect, and mild, recurrent, urges merely insisted that they kept an organized, pristine house. Every inch of every room retains the dignity of frayed ends tucked in, or simply removed with the snip-snip-snip of scissors, stains bleached with careful hands, and the absence of gathering dust. Quite honestly, it's Balthazar's interior decorating sense that keeps the apartment from looking like an out-of-place funeral home – and there's a couple of adult cats skulking around the corners, balefully regarding whoever is invading their territory. He wouldn't have been surprised if he'd found out that Balthazar ritually plopped them on his lap to brush out their fur because their coats, their coats, were perfect. Lamplight’s and interesting light fixtures were artfully anchored to the tiered ceiling, sharing an uncanny resemblance to studio lights.

Roomy bookcases lined the café au lait-coloured walls. Sable hadn't had the chance to peruse them, but honestly, he wasn't much of a reader, anyway. Beyond, ironically, dirty magazines of artistically posed nudes and the no-nonsense novel Skinny Bitch or romanticist novels like Twilight: his pursuits of literacy abruptly ended in a faint spit of boredom. Balthazar had been trying, unsuccessfully, to intrigue Sable's affronted senses of proficiency by nonchalantly leaving books in his room, on the dresser, on the night table, next to the toaster. Even if Sable annoyed him with his utter ignorance, his clumsiness, his awful vocabulary skills – they were, admittedly, two awkward ducklings with a penchant for sanitation. Hadn't he nearly begged Balthazar to let him live with him? No one else would do. Especially not that crazy she-devil who'd flicked gum on his forehead, so long ago. He didn't forget. He never forgot anything.

Regardless of Sable's initial shortcomings, the young Vampire was getting better and better at not being so damn inept, so damn useless. He wasn't bad singer, either, so that's probably why Balthazar hadn't harpooned him in the throat for belting out in the wee hours of the morning, totting his organic tea like a brandished sword. He thumped his chest, softly, with the heel of his hand. “Beggin, beggin you, so put your loving hand out baby, beggin, beggin you, put your loving hand out darlin.” Passionately, obtrusively, practically yelling, into the swirls of his coffee mug. “ Riding high', when I was king. Played it hard and fast, cause' I had everything – shit, Balthazar, how long has 'e been waiting there?

Sharp jabs indicating the window. New taxi cab, new, usually grouchy, acquaintance. Was it already time to rendezvous with the newlings?




Elegant spindle-fingers tugged insistently at the hem of a cuff that would not quite sit the way he preferred it, which was to say flat, immaculate, and perfectly in place. Once he was convinced that the burgundy silk lay exactly as it should, he glanced up into his hanging mirror and repeated the process with his shirt collar. His hair was never quite so cooperative, but with enough work, it retained a degree of pleasant dishevelment that he was given to believe was fairly usual among the general human populace.

Perhaps the bulletproof vest that he slid on over the shirt was less so, and the knives that slid noiselessly into thigh-strapped sheaths were certainly illegal in many places, but Balthazar didn’t much mind that. He tested the heft and balance of each before stowing it, sighting down the length of the blade for any stray speck of dried blood or grime, but of course he’d been meticulous when cleaning them, and there was no such stain along the pearlescent lengths of folded steel-silver alloy.

His flatmate’s bombastic singing voice drifted through the thick wooden door of his bedroom, and Balthazar smiled indulgently, which for him was nothing more than the most infinitesimal upward tilt of his lips. Should they come out of this monster-slaying venture with all relevant limbs intact, he might have to inquire of Sable whether or not he thought it best to go into performance. The last scion of House Shirazi was no mean pianist himself, and probably have taken up that profession were there not certain… matters that required his attention.

The smile, if indeed it could be characterized as that, disappeared when the thought took over, his mouth compressing instead into a thin line of displeasure. Smoothing it out, he slid the last knife home and glanced out his bay window. The vehicle there remained, and he supposed it would perhaps be time to get moving in earnest.

A venture into his walk-in closet produced a black longcoat, tailored to his frame, but with enough room to conceal his more unconventional accoutrements, and he paused only once in his subsequent egress, to rub behind the left ear of a cashmere-soft white kitten with half her tail missing. “Back soon, dove,” he murmured, not so far from purring himself.

He exited in time to catch Sable’s question. “About five minutes, now,” he replied with an air of indifference. This was not as much a product of his upbringing as his demeanor, for though his feathers were easy-enough to ruffle, if one knew the appropriate triggers, he did try for dignity at most times.

Allowing time for Sable to scramble around and grab his things, Balthazar took up his own small roll-along suitcase and double-checked that the cats had enough food and water for the intervening time, then made a mental note to call the girl downstairs anyway, just so someone would be there to check in case they were away longer than expected. She knew well enough not to touch anything, not that the elegant fusion of sleek modernity and sumptuous antiquity generally invited the perusal of anyone not wealthy enough to replace anything they unintentionally ruined. To the average person off the street, theirs was a very “look, don’t touch” abode, not that either of the two vampires raised in privilege knew that.

If you’re ready, I believe we must depart. The flight leaves in an hour and a half.




Had Balthazar proffered his melodious alliance, as his resolute pianist, then Sable would've clinched the deal in a heartbeat – or lack thereof. He was a mewling coward with the weak-willed spine of a jellyfish and somehow, someway, Balthazar still put up with him and even, with the confounded patience of a God, offered his advice, completely free of charge. His physical architecture held a semblance of shaking bones and awkwardly spindling lion-limbs, skinned and worn and concealed within a fancy-shmancy waistcoat with his sleeves folded to his knobby elbows. His lips idled at the mugs chipped corner, breathing softly across the creamy froth – it was his favourite, so he wasn't very well going to throw it out because of a little imperfection – before glancing over the steam towards Balthazar's closed door. Respectfully, he never interrupted his daily routine.

Fixated in front of the open window, draped elegantly with stylish, contemporary white sheers, Sable sighed loudly, obnoxiously, through his nose. How many days had it been since Ebenezer contacted them? It wasn't like he was counting down the days until their next mission, slashing unfortunate markings through the calendared nights like an overexcited school girl. Organic tea, unfortunately, would have to wait. “Doubt he'll wait any longer.” He placed his steaming mug in the microwave before scuttling away from the kitchen, inherently disappointed, like a spooked crustacean or a sullen hound dog. He soaked in that disappointment, fully marinated. Metaphorically born with twisted feet and the unbalance of a lopsided seesaw, Sable's swaggering footsteps transformed themselves into hopping sidesteps and mismanaged tumbles towards his neatly-made bed.

His fingers used to be bandaged from climbing rooftops, often bruised and beaten from scrambling across shingles and sandpaper tilings. His knees used to be plastered with horrendously coloured band-aids because his legs refused to bend properly – no longer, no longer. He wasn't nearly as useless. Thoughtfully, ponderously, Sable crossed his room and plucked his weapons from his bottom dresser, hidden in a secret compartment with his cleaning utilities. They were nowhere near as immaculate as Balthazar's weapons, but through him, he'd been able to learn how to properly oil and maintain his curved blades. His eyes crinkled, shining, observing the incandescent reflection of folded steel. These, in particular, had been Ebenezer's gift to him on his birthday last year since his family hadn't sent him anything at all. It might've been out of sheer goodwill or to keep him from blubbering in his bedroom. Either way, they fit perfectly into the grooves of his palms: lightweight, harmonized. Custom twin leather sheaths, mimicking a policeman’s tactical armpit holsters, hung from his bed frame, which he quickly snatched and strapped to his back. The blades themselves pointed downwards, extracted from the sheaths' in an easy, cross-armed motion – looked pretty damn cool, too.

Instead of automatically grappling with a snazzy, matching suit-jacket, Sable opted for his lucky leather jacket and zipped it halfway to obscure his dapper waistcoat. Anyone with a lick of fashion sense would've immediately declared his faux pas uncorrespondent, unbearably so – but he couldn't leave the apartment, on a mission, without his bomber jacket. It practically had magical properties. It was practically bulletproof. As quickly as he'd entered, Sable scurried out with an undignified bounce. He, offhandedly, pretended to fix the collar of his shirt and shrugged his shoulders. He pulled the lower compartments of the kitchen sink open, revealing a packed emergency knapsack, and hefted it over his shoulder before nodding thoughtfully, mentally flicking things off his checklist. “ Alright, alright, let's get going – wouldn't want to keep anyone waitin', would we?




Off Sable scuttled, like a crab with slightly mismatched limbs, and privately Balthazar had determined that if he didn’t try so hard to impress, he’d have much more success with it. Such contradictions were only observed with time and never believed when spoken frankly, so it was not a piece of advice he could simply offer as he had offered the services of an old-fashioned whetstone one idle afternoon when a mission was done but the grime remained. Earnestness would get one so few places in life; fortune favored the reserved, the reticent, the consciously-mysterious, if for no other reason than because their secrets were more likely to remain that way.

Sighing to himself, Balthazar opened the microwave and sniffed, determining the precise blend of tea Sable had used and how strong he’d made it, then dumped the contents of the chipped mug down the sink and washed it, placing it neatly into the drying rack before removing a more travel-worthy vessel from the cupboard and filling it with the still-hot water from the kettle. In went the teabag, and when this lot smelled the same as the last, he removed it and affixed the lid to the travel-mug with a decisive click. He preferred coffee, himself, but then tea had its uses.

His- what? Comrade-in-arms? Partner-in-crime? Flatmate? Only friend? For Sable was indeed all of these things to Balthazar, in some odd combination that meant only the most cursory of boundaries really existed anymore- emerged right around then, and the Persian man quite nearly pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers, stopped only by the fact that was holding the tea in one hand and his apartment key in the other.

Shaking his head, he handed the first to Sable and dropped the second in his pocket. “You,” he pronounced slowly, “are truly hopeless.” It was uttered with all the gravity but none of the sincerity of a much more dire proclamation, but in the end all Balthazar did about it was step forward and tug at Sable’s collar until it lay flat. The jacket, he had long learned he could do nothing about, and so he left it be. Since neither man was much for prolonged physical contact, the exchange was quick, both perhaps somewhat assuaged by genuine knowledge of the other’s cleanliness, but then Balthazar stepped back, and opened the door to usher the other man through, locking it behind him and picking up his suitcase to head down the stairs.

As it turned out, they made the taxi in plenty of time, though that did him no favors when he really thought about it. Public transportation was something that Balthazar quite supported in theory, but that theory at no point involved him actually having to touch its surfaces. To distract himself (mostly unsuccessfully) from this atrocity, he spoke.

Myanmar this time, as I understand it.




How much had he jammed into that backpack? It sagged considerably on his back, reminiscent of a repulsive slug-creature trying to jockey itself on a succulent host. Yeah yeah – he watched too many horror flicks. Too many anonymous, underrated movies he'd practically forced Balthazar to watch, too. Weren't they pretty much like study materials for future missions? He rubbed the kinks already pinching his shoulders, massaged between his knobby knuckles and slender digits. If it hadn't been for the deliciously wafting smell of freshly brewed tea, Sable wouldn't have noticed Balthazar's reappearance until he stood directly in front of him. Everything Balthazar did was reprehensibly, resolutely, passive: a viper's cunning slither. A panther's rolling shoulder blades, demonstrating it's sheer competency. A gazelle's jaunting haunches prepared to leap forward with unending grace – and a number of other African animals that had the ability to tear things apart or, however unlikely, flee before you could flap your gums. He admired him. Balthazar's expression, needled, nettled, and piqued, was always tolerant. In one hand, keys. The other held his lucky mug.

Like a preening mother he – albeit sans annoying clucking – or a nitpicking old ditty who'd done it all before – Balthazar resumed what he usually did whenever Sable bustled out of his bedroom looking a complete mess, far too busy trying to keep himself firmly planted on the ground. He felt the jingling keys drop into his front pocket and happily accepted the advancing thermos, grinning like a floppy-eared puppy who'd been rewarded. This wasn't his mother. This certainly wasn't his father. But in him, even if he hadn't initially planned it, he'd found a fast friend, an appreciated mentor and an unfathomably tangled mess – not in the literal sense, heavens no – that continued to puzzle him. “And what would I do without you t' straighten me out?” He responded breezily, jutting his chin unnecessarily forward to appear inexplicably thankful without coming straight out and saying it. Cleanliness and awkward displays of emotion held hands in the dark. Straightening the straps of his heavy pack, Sable ambled out of the apartment and led the way down the stairs. Balthazar always locked the door, anyway.

Sniffing indignantly. Squinting sternly. Mentally proposing some kind of truce with the taxi cab's dusty door handle with a hastily retrieved Walgreen's antiseptic wipes. He took intensified care to wipe down the areas he knew he would touch before doing the same to Balthazar's door, then slathered a hooping blob of smelly antibacterial liquid. Might've been strawberry. “Myanmar? Burma? Whu—.” It was almost a wheeze, or an intake of breath through the gaps of his front teeth. Of course, he hadn't heard any of the details because he probably hadn't been listening. Ebenezer usually relied on Balthazar to fill him in. His eyebrows furrowed, knitting together: concerned. Grumbling noises. Slowly, cautiously, Sable entered the vehicle and flicked his wrist at the taxi cab – airport, respectively. He didn't really want to clutch the back of his seat like a child, considering he didn't know how many people had draped themselves across it prior to him, so he twisted around to face his companion like a chortled rooster.

Balthazar. Diseases. There's so many diseases there.




Mmm.” His noncommittal answer was blocked from further elaboration when the driver of the cab slammed on the brakes, swearing at great volume in Spanish invectives which Balthazar understood but had no desire to translate. Were his balance any less finely-tuned, he would have been slammed face-first into the seat in front of him. As it was, he threw a hand out sideways to spare Sable a similar fate, though his dark eyes were fixed ahead, assessing the cause of the incident.

A light blue vehicle of some kind had apparently cut off the cab in traffic, and was now speeding ahead at an impressive rate, towards the airport. Balthazar blinked and shook his head, adjusting his posture to compensate for their altered speed, and exhaled from his nose. Some people, truly.

Hadn't it been for Balthazar's feline-like reactions, then Sable's face would've mashed itself across the dashboard. His reaction time and balance were as skewed as a one-legged man attempting to ride a unicycle, so he grinned shakily, more out of pure, unadulterated fear than anything else, before steadying himself by gripping the vehicles overhead sidebar. His eyes darted towards the light blue vehicle, speeding ahead – but for a split second, he would've sworn he saw a breezy mass of grey hair whipping past the woman's shoulders. It was a woman, wasn't it? Even if she wouldn't see it, Sable still flipped her the bird and grumbled: “Crazy coot.




Fortunately, Ebenezer had long ensured that his two armed veterans did not have to pass conventional airport security, and their plane, too, was private, the windows treated to filter out UV rays and thus ensure that the both of them were considerably more comfortable than they would normally have been. It helped that every surface was polished to shine, and enough of their home had seeped into the air transport that Balthazar even had a decent collection of reading material for the journey.

Diseases are far from the worst of it, I’m afraid,” Balthazar mentioned as soon as the aircraft took off. They often spoke in this manner, picking up threads from old conversations that had petered out It was not as though they often forgot things, after all, and if they did, well, it was not such a trying thing to continue anyway. The man with the dusky complexion did not point out that they were immune to diseases, because it was the principle of the thing and not the actual risk. “My understanding is that this is an escort mission, and there are to be… others.

Others?” The less-than-subtle scraggle-hound snorted while he absently shuffled through various magazines and discarded those that didn't interest him in the overhead compartment. Fortunately, Ebenezer understood his limited taste in literature. There were plenty of magazines to his liking. His eyebrows furrowed, dramatically, as his thoughts went rampant. He generally didn't play well with others because they thought he was annoying – more of a bother than an actual companion. Regardless, he'd been making real progress since initially being called by Ebenezer. “As long as there's no gum, no dirty fingernails – can't 'e ever enlist normal help?” He counted each offence off the tips of his fingers, ticking them off and tucking them closed. They couldn't all be bad, right?

This last was perhaps not so unfortunate, but frankly Balthazar was not a ‘people person.’ Polite, yes, and a good candidate for intellectual conversation, but the folk Ebenezer tended to pick up were not usually inclined to appreciate either of these qualities, and he had little else to offer save a steady hand and a repertoire of less-social skills.




The two men arrived at the docks in time for a raucous laugh to be carried towards them on the wind, and Balthazar cringed inwardly, removing his small case from the trunk of the rickety Burmese cab and extending the collapsible handle. He took a deep breath, which registered mostly ocean and slightly too-old fish blood, and shot his companion a sidelong glance. The expression was grim, but for all that his mouth retained a neutral cast. A job was a job, and it would be done, one way or another.

Shall we?

Reluctantly, Sable disembarked from the safety of the vehicle and surveyed the area with a quick sweep of his eyes. Dingy docks chock-full of smelly fish. It seemed like the prime location where Ebenezer would send them all to meet before a mission, right along with abandoned barns that were ready to fall apart with the slightest creaking winds – filled to the nuts with hungry, dribbling vampires. He wished he'd actually listened to Ebenezer's droning mission statements, or payed more attention to the dossiers he occasionally slid them. He nodded solemnly. It came off as a nearly robotic jerk, like a puppet's whose strings were tightly wound. If he'd started walking like his knees had less bones and less connectible muscles: it certainly wouldn't have been surprising. Faint silhouettes indicated an already animated group – probably the ones' they were supposed to meet. It was only when he heard a particularly lecherous voice crooning that his older, much barefaced self crept out of it's hole:

“Hello my little Liebschen, my name is Wolfgang von Krieger. Would you care to play fetch?”

If I threw something in the water, would you jump in, slick?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Micah Colby Ames Character Portrait: Balthazar Eskandar Shirazi Character Portrait: Wolfgang Wolf von Krieger Character Portrait: Sable Gossamer Valante Character Portrait: Sallie Harris Character Portrait: Annabelle Reed

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The more time passed, the more his mind began to drift. The currents must have been to blame, cascading and crashing rhythmically as a ticking clock or a heartbeat. His thoughts delved into darker depths, around where the fish had antennae that glowed like fireflies. Why do people drive on parkways and park on driveways? he wondered as a vehicle slid into view. And why, pray tell, is it that transporting something by car is called a shipment, whilst items transported by ship is called cargo? Such inexplicable phenomena had never occurred to him before, and he found it distressing. So distressing, in fact, that he didn't note the shadow of a silhouette until the shadow began to consume him.

"D'AH!" he hollered when she neared, jolting in a manner similarly to those blow-up car dealer nylon dolls. "Who are you!" His hands, so resembling roots used in premodern medicine, hovered protectively near his head. When he saw it was merely a woman who proceeded to sit like a tail-wagging dog, he reeled forward, slapping his chest as he exhaled a long held breath. His lips felt sewn up, undulating with every sharp, flaking bit of skin, and still he retained a deep-set uncertainty in his shuddering eyes. They prickled at her presence, likely due to the prevalent smell of smog. He was no stranger to the cigarettes himself, as there were many back in Italy who would lean precariously from their balconies, puffing and spewing swirling masses toward unfortunates who dwelled in the narrow streets below. But before the woman could answer him, another figure appeared on the scene, rendering Micah even more speechless. Why, that... what... That was a pick-up line, wasn't it? How... daring? If not unexpected. Perhaps he succeeded more often with the element of surprise? Micah nodded to himself, mulling over bringing it into play as soon as he mustered up the courage (which would be 'never,' he dimly realized). More gentlemen appeared, the first with darker skin than the former (causing him to cross out the idea of their being brothers), and he grew increasingly anxious. He'd not been aware that he would be traveling with such a large group of people. One of the newcomers--Micah sniffed the air, brows furrowing for a moment--arrived in time to hear the first man's words, and saw fit to respond. Oh, Dio. Conflict. Micah began to panic, hastily glancing left and right to find an escape route lest he be caught in the middle of a brawl.

His savior came in the form of a little old lady, and the skinny Mr. Ames heaved another breath, this time of relief. "Excuse me dear but can you help me?" she had rambled sweetly, "One of my bags is stuck in the backseat of the car and I can't seem to get it out. If only a strong man could help me..."

This, this was familiar. Campania did not receive as many tourists as the bigger cities, but he had his fair share of strangers ambling over, requesting directions with language booklets and travel pamphlets clutched like lifelines, smiling meekly and handing him a fragile photographic device with so many buttons. He supposed being often seen in a uniform did him favors in appearing approachable. He remembered this one time, a young woman and her pessimistically bored boyfriend came up to him just after he'd finished burying a body in a hedge maze. He had to tell them he was the gardener's cousin, helping out... Snuffed out as quickly as it lit up in his mind, Micah pushed the memory aside to tend to the matter at hand. She wished for help with her bags. "Yes." He replied, but in then recognizing her fluent American English, tried to blend in with less awkward vocabulary: "Sure."
He straightened, taking care not to touch or bump into anyone during his retreat, and made for the old woman's car like a terrified water skeeter scuttling across ripples. He'd noticed the black shining barrel of a gun only recently. Was he just coerced into helping an old woman unload her things at gunpoint....? He didn't know what to think of this, not at all. It was easy to tell which vehicle belonged to her--it was the only one untended, and the only one with its trunk flaring open like the enticing legs of a prostitute. Oh... that was a discomforting thought... Carefully gripping the bag and lightly jolting it from side to side, he managed to dislodge the thing (momentarily losing his balance--it was heavier than he'd expected), and closed the trunk behind him for good measure. "Er," he said then, looking meekly at the elderly lady as a means of inquiring where she wished him to put it. She couldn't be one of those people that suddenly expected him to carry her things everywhere for her... right...?

The dismayed thought lingered for a moment, but he'd caught sight of someone else meandering over. Another woman, with thinly braided hair. What were they called... corn fields--no, cornrows. They were longer than any he'd ever seen, hanging over her small shoulders past her ribs, and beaded with something that shined in the light. Seashells? How quaint. Contrary to his expectations, she was blonde, and quite lacking in hints of Southeast Asian descent. She was wearing a cropped denim jacket and slimming pants, which was probably what made her limbs seem so skinny. Yet despite that, there was a bulge protruding from her center. Ah... Pregnant...?

Oh, no no, it was merely some sort of large parcel wrapped in a dark fabric or paper. A rounded thing, perhaps a ball or a pot. She grinned in greeting when she was close enough to see them. "Hi there, mister and granny." She paused to appraise them coming to a halt in front of Micah. There was that funny smell again. "This isn't your mother, is it?" teased the girl, before laughing like a sprightly thing at his expense. Micah couldn't recount a time he was more flustered, and though he blubbered silently, he said nothing comprehensible.

Besides, she was already moving on, balancing the object with one hand at the pit of her stomach, and the other hand waving in a wide arc. "Yooo, guys!" she called. "Ylaine here! That Ebenezer guy told you about me, right?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Micah Colby Ames Character Portrait: Balthazar Eskandar Shirazi Character Portrait: Wolfgan Wolf von Krieger Character Portrait: Sable Gossamer Valante Character Portrait: Sallie Harris Character Portrait: Annabelle Reed Character Portrait: Constantine Augustus Meyac

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“If I threw something in the water, would you jump in, slick?”

Sallie's only regret about the present turn of events was that she hadn't gotten to make the statement herself—it was clever, and sounded like the sort of thing she might have come up with if she hadn't been so busy staring in reproachful confusion at the man who'd approached her. She'd never particularly been one to waste words on a disrespectful stranger, but now that she was going to be forced to work with this one, she wondered if this was perhaps a less than ideal course of action. Sallie rested her hand protectively on the gun at her hip, sincerely hopeful that she wouldn't have to use it this early in the game. With any luck, however, this newcomer would distract the would-be Casanova.

"You'd better take your business elsewhere, pal, or the stick you'll be fetching from God-knows-where will be your own," she thought to herself, but at the moment the urge to have the attention directed anywhere but herself overwhelmed her urge to be smug (which was a rare enough occurrence in and of itself), so she kept her mouth shut.

The newcomers were an interesting pair to say the least, both well-dressed and well-groomed. Dandies, Sallie wagered, though whether she meant in the innocuous traditional sense or the more accusatory modern presumption, she wasn't sure. Not that she was one to judge. The little one was only marginally taller than herself, and in total mass, might have been smaller (at least if Sallie wasn't taking a reality check on her own slight frame).

Conflict among their ill-matched group seemed inevitable, but she supposed someone had to step in to play the role of peacekeeper. Or at least handy distraction. She clutched the case awkwardly to her stomach and pulled herself up using one of the crates. "No need to get testy, boys. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing a lot of each other in the coming weeks. Sallie Harris, former FBI. This charming gentleman," the sarcasm in her voice was heavy, "has already introduced himself, but we could start the round all over again if you'd like."

The man (who had turned out not to be a statue at all, though she was surprised to find that out) she'd sat down beneath had taken his leave of matters, which she supposed she envied him for; if it weren't for the case in her arms, Sallie might have offered to help the little old woman herself. Now she had to interact with these upstanding gentlemen (and Wolfgang, but she supposed he was an "upstanding" gentleman of a different sort, as long as the term "gentleman" was used sarcastically), and she hadn't had a smoke in over an hour.

Fumbling with her pocket, Sallie produced a lighter and an open pack of Marlboro red. "You boys mind if I smoke?" The cigarette was already drooping from the corner of her mouth as she spoke; it was more a warning than a courtesy, and if the gentlemen in question minded, well—there was a perfectly good body of water they could douse themselves in, she supposed. Right behind them, even.

Before she had a chance to light up, yet another new voice was added the conversation, this one calling out over the already-abandoned docks. "Yooo, guys! Ylaine here! That Ebenezer guy told you about me, right?" Sallie squinted in the direction of this new addition, a small woman who reminded her of the sorts of young women she went to college with, sans the slouching hat. Assuming Dorian Gray over there was joining their party as well, the rag-tag bunch appeared to be quite the crowd.

The realization that she would be spending a considerable amount of time in close quarters with this bunch didn't bring Sallie much joy. She lit the cigarette in her mouth and took a long, calming drag, replacing the lighter as she did so. She was even polite enough to aim away from the faces of the men surrounding her—one of them in particular might have taken the gesture as undue flirtation, and that was the last thing she wanted to encourage before what already promised to be a long and uncomfortable boat ride. "Ylaine," she said thoughtfully, giving a wave with her cigarette in hand. The tip brightened and flaked along with the gesture. "Name sounds familiar, but I'm drawing a blank."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Micah Colby Ames Character Portrait: Balthazar Eskandar Shirazi Character Portrait: Wolfgang Wolf von Krieger Character Portrait: Sable Gossamer Valante Character Portrait: Sallie Harris Character Portrait: Annabelle Reed Character Portrait: Constantine Augustus Meyac

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#, as written by Ezarael
Wolfgang „Wolf“ von Krieger


“If I threw something in the water, would you jump in, slick?”

Why did this sort of thing always occur when he was preoccupied with a woman? For some reason he was never able to pay attention to whatever else was going on around him if women were involved. In all actuality it would have been better had he not take his focus off of his intended target, but as they say, "The best laid plans of mice and men.” The woman seemed like a cold-fish anyway, so there probably wasn’t much ground lost to be honest.

The werewolf almost wished he had kept focused on anything else though, because as soon as he let the outside world back into his realm of attention his superior senses were assailed by a cacophony of sensations. The acrid smell of burning rubber, brake fluid, and dead flesh slammed into his nostrils like a brick whilst squealing brakes, chattering women, and obscenities from none too far off battered his ear drums. An old woman with a strange accent was inquiring for some assistance from the dangerous-smelling man, just another reason Wolfgang never wanted to live to a ripe old age, if he couldn’t take care of himself it was time to go.

There was too much to respond to, but first things first. The flowery one with the comments was first up on the list. He reeked of death as the rail-thin woman from earlier, which was simply awful. The German uneasily lifted himself from his seated position, using his right hand to lean against the crate for a few moments until he could regain his composure amidst the overpower stench in the air. The other man smelled of death as well, just great this was going to be an awful boat trip, he would definitely need to pay attention to which way the wind blew whilst on the ocean, and of course he was going to Captain the ship and whatever Abe said be damned.

After settling his knees enough to walk again Wolfgang waltzed his not so merry self towards the one who spoke up, pale and short like all but the one with the dark complexion. When he came within two feet of the tiny man he laid his left hand gingerly upon the other’s shoulder and bent forward to speak in his ear, not much of an easy feat given the putrid stench emanating from him. He spoke very quietly, barely louder than a whisper, he imagined this one might have extraordinary hearing such as his self and if the others did he did not necessarily want to start any trouble right off the bat. He did need to work with these people after all. “There’s a pair of large balls in my pants if you care to find out friend, otherwise let us keep the wise-cracking to a minimum, ja?”

With a hearty laugh and slap on the shoulder Wolfgang straightened himself and gazed upon the others gathering around so far. A strange bunch to be certain, and it seemed the rail-thin woman had something to say, or at least she looked like she did what with the standing up and what have you with a “keep the peace” kind of look plastered on her face. If only she knew he detested violence then she might not have wasted the precious air reminding them of the fact. "No need to get testy, boys. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing a lot of each other in the coming weeks. Sallie Harris, former FBI. This charming gentleman," the sarcasm in her voice was heavy, "has already introduced himself, but we could start the round all over again if you'd like.”

“Ah, why ja definitely. How could I have forgotten my manners at a time like this? Wilkommen gentlemen! My name is Wolfgang von Krieger, and it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance!”

Before he could even being his splendid self-introduction the toxic smell of a cigarette assaulted his delicate nose quickly after the FBI woman asked them quickly, "You boys mind if I smoke?" Wolfgang coughed lightly to clear his throat as the smoke coated his lungs without permission, sure she didn’t blow it straight at his face but that hardly mattered when you were dealing with senses as acute as his own. Two new figures caught his attention though, one in a good way and the other in a bad way.

"Yooo, guys! Ylaine here! That Ebenezer guy told you about me, right?"

Now THIS was right up his alley of expertise, or however the Americans put it. She was small, in all the right ways, blonde, and fairly attractive, plus she didn’t smell of death like three others he need not mention, which was definitely a plus in his book right now. The other man though, he seemed like a pretty boy and cocky as well, probably the man who was swearing earlier, he would definitely need to divert this Ylaine’s attention from this man’s general proximity. Not that he was competition or any nonsense like that, no one was competition for Wolfgang’s stunning combination of beauty and brains, but it was always a good idea to hedge your bets.

“Ylaine you said? What a beautiful name you have Liebschen!” As he started with his moves Wolfgang quickly walked up next to the pretty young Ylaine and draped his right arm around her shoulders, holding his left hand out towards the package grasped in her arms. “Are you in need of any assistance my dear? Ach mein Gott, I am so sorry, but proper etiquette slipped my mind after seeing you. My name is Wolfgang my dear, and I am both ashamed for Ebenezer and insulted by the fact he told me nothing of your coming here!”

While continuing on with his small speech, or whatever you might call it, the werewolf began slowing urging the woman away from the pretty boy newcomer and closer to the docks. “So my dear what are we gathered here for? I am eager to start with my first assignment, when do we leave?”

Looking back at the others in their motley crew Wolfgang put an earnest and somewhat stern look upon his face before speaking. “So are we ready, ja? Is this everyone or is it time to go? I’ll be piloting the boat, ja, so you should hurry before both Ylaine and I leave you behind!”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Micah Colby Ames Character Portrait: Balthazar Eskandar Shirazi Character Portrait: Wolfgang Wolf von Krieger Character Portrait: Sable Gossamer Valante Character Portrait: Sallie Harris Character Portrait: Annabelle Reed Character Portrait: Constantine Augustus Meyac

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Sable saw fit to open their acquaintance with this group by leveling a quip at the… werewolf. Yes, that certainly had to be what he was, if the large frame and scent of wet dog that lingered about his rather comparatively disheveled self were anything to go by. Of course, the last werewolf he’d met had informed him in no uncertain terms that while he was the cleanest vampire she’d ever met, he still smelled worse than that. Having grown up with it himself, he was bound to disagree.

He noted but did not specifically acknowledge the human man and the older lady he went to help, though he swore there was something just a touch familiar about that vehicle, which was of course impossible, since he had never in all of his extensive travel been to Myanmar before.

All was put from his mind anyway when the werewolf, who’d predictably taken machismo-laden offense to Sable’s commentary, placed a hand on his flatmate’s shoulder and loomed over him, his retort crude as Balthazar would have guessed, had anyone asked him to hazard an opinion. The annoyed hiss that escaped the Persian man’s teeth was barely-audible to human senses, but of course humans were a minority here, weren’t they? One side of his upper lip lifted, an almost involuntary sneer that flashed a pearlescent fang.

How entirely reprehensible, to use your size and physique to intimidate when you had been challenged on another level entirely. Perhaps his mind was inadequate to the task, but this in itself was no excuse.

Perhaps fortunately, the situation was dissolved a good deal more civilly with the intervention of the group’s third vampire, and Balthazar relaxed, smoothing his face out again before his display, subtle as it was when compared to the main event, became too obvious. He was not an emotive man as a rule, but certainly, those he kept closer than arms’ length, while few in number, were his most obvious triggers. He made it a point to give the woman a courteous half-bow. “FBI?” he repeated with some faint trace of amusement nearly imperceptible beneath his usual accented lilt. “I do some work with Interpol, myself. Balthazar Shirazi, at your service.”

This last was directed at the group, which by now seemed to contain all of its members, including three humans (though the more youthful of the two males seemed a tad…off somehow, but Balthazar was no expert in humanity, so he might well have been imagining it), the werewolf, and the three vampires. Interesting; he’d almost been expecting a witch or two, but then perhaps one of them was. No herb smells, though, but… a faint hint of metal? From the elderly woman, no less. If he was surprised by this, Balthazar chose not to show it.

He certainly did not mind the scent of cigarettes, as his father had been quite fond of Cuban cigars for much of Balthazar’s life, and those were considerably worse than their slimmer cousins. He noted Wolfgang (ah, but the irony of such an appellation- was it his birth one?) seemed uncomfortable, and supposed that was the trade-off for a nose better even than a vampire’s.

By the time that anyone else who wanted to make introductions had done so, there was a shout from not too far off, and Balthazar turned to see a young female approaching. This, already predictably, set the German hound to baying like a fool puppy, and he introduced himself for what must have been the third time.

Charming.

His hastiness was even more problematic. “Only a fool runs headlong into a situation without understanding it,” Balthazar cut in with cool tones. “Miss Ylaine, Ebenezer was rather sparing with the details of our task. All we were told is that we were to escort someone or something somewhere, and that doing so involved travelling by boat. If there is any other information you would be willing to part with before we begin, I’m sure it would be most helpful.” He might have mentioned that Ebenezer hadn’t even mentioned her, but every species he'd ever encountered were alike enough in their desire to be important that he supposed this notion might be mildly offensive, so he tactfully omitted it.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Micah Colby Ames Character Portrait: Balthazar Eskandar Shirazi Character Portrait: Wolfgang Wolf von Krieger Character Portrait: Sable Gossamer Valante Character Portrait: Sallie Harris Character Portrait: Annabelle Reed Character Portrait: Constantine Augustus Meyac

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It's the little things that always counted. The irrelevant quips that sloughed from his flapping tongue before his fangs could rattle them to a close, and so Sable's mouth twitched into a slight smirk before trembling back into it's usual frown – clearly worried that this hulking menace would grab him by the throat and throttle him like a restless turkey, ringing his neck until he plopped across his feet like a broken marionette. He wasn't going to end up one of the man's dirty barbie dolls, if that was what he was thinking. It was never the big things that threw him off – always and only the little ones. The collar of his leather coat was pulled up to hug his slender neck and chin, and the dark circles under his eyes only revealed a fraction of how exhausted he actually was after such a long day. One his innards aren't panicky and his heart isn't thumping hollowly in his chest and spurred about so restlessly. His pulse ran sluggishly, as always.

Certainly, this werewolf was going to chase off all the women or earn himself a sharpened heel straight into his pelvic area, crushing all the important bits – if he pushed enough, if he spat enough slime at them like a tweed-suit wearing creep in A Night at the Roxbury. It wasn't difficult to picture him thrusting his hips, arms flailing fruitlessly as he crunched himself against several other bodies in an attempt to rid himself of whatever rapid hormones that ailed him. Thankfully, there weren't any appalling stenches that assailed his nose. It might've been because he, himself, smelled like death. The awkwardly soft smells of an open coffin or a room belonging solely to cleaned cadavers: grey flesh, dying molecules and a smattering of flavoured hand sanitizer. These were the scents that made up Sable's caricature: a dying fruit bowl, albeit without any swarms of fruit flies.

The muscles in Sable's arms immediately tensed, sending tendrils of dismay through his shoulder blades and biceps. It felt like pebbles had crept under his skin, pushing uncomfortably against his flesh and making them, quite, impossible to move. The larger German's fingers twitched, then he was suddenly moving away from the amalgamation of crates surrounding the woman he'd been smoothly attempting to accost. His eyes widened, quickly, then narrowed into sharp corners and angles. Had he ever had any altercations with the other group? Surely not. They'd treated him little more than a silly pup who hadn't learned his place but now – this creature, this mass of muscles, was stomping towards him as if he'd pulled his earlobes between pinched fingers. There wasn't anywhere to retreat to unless he wasn't to back in the ocean and plummet to it's depths, drowning in it's noticeably murky waters. It certainly looked dirty from where he was standing. The man's hand clamped down on his shoulder. He swore that if he'd wanted to crush his collarbone, he could've. It was in the subtle tension of the man's probing fingers, so gingerly, so softly depicting what could possibly happen.

Inadvertently leaning backwards, trying to disentangle the man's fingers from his person, Sable's mouth curled distastefully from the threatening whisper. “N-No need to get your panties in a bunch, I don't play fetch.” He threw his hands up, finally, defeated. He didn't want his head bashed in before the mission was complete – or really, at all. The vampire's composure shifted. It wasn't quite like a dog's whipping tail tucking between his legs, pressed against his abdomen, but it sure was close. This guy was the embodiment of flexing, muscle-pumping body builders. He could snap him like a twig if he so wished to, but more or less, Ebenezer would take the proper precautions, wouldn't he? He wouldn't let his only loving nephew be fed to the sharks, would he? “Wise-cracking. Minimum, got it.” His fingers, like thin harp strings, wiggled in front of his face as if he were making a solemn promise.

He'd already decided that Wolfgang was frightening even if he wasn't tearing his limbs into a mess of beef jerky. Sable laughed awkwardly when the werewolf slapped him across the shoulder, carrying himself as if nothing had truly occurred. “We will – be living side by side, that is.” Wolfgang von Krieger? If Ebenezer hadn't strictly told them that a werewolf was involved, then he wouldn't have noticed the faint smell of wet dog wafting from the man before him. He wasn't very perceptive to smells unless he was pressing his face into said article, which did not seem like a promising thing to do given Wolfgang's alternating moods. He took note of those who'd already introduced themselves and shuffled the names away with conventional, insatiably silly, words so that he'd remember them later. Nicknames were useful enough, so long as no one was testy enough to correct him. Sallie was all cigarettes and lipstick stains and something else that reminded him solely of business and piles of work sheets haphazardly strewn across the floor. Wolfgang – as he'd described before – reminded him of a large shaggy hound who'd mistakenly eaten steroids for the majority of his life. The older woman, who he'd been squinting at moments before, reminded him of that crazy coot who nearly drove them off the road. He didn't have experience for older lasses. He didn't have any dotting nannies cooking him blood cookies as a youngster, nor was he allowed to speak to any of his older ancestors unless he was spoken to: which, was clearly, not very often. The oddly grinning fellow had already bumbled forward with his offer to take the older woman's luggage, shuffling uncomfortably, while regarding the nannie's flashing gun barrel.

Another man entered the unusual scene, dressed purposefully well. If it hadn't been for the fact that this man had been invited by Ebenezer himself, then Sable would've guessed that he was a wayward model who'd lost his way and stumbled onto them, coincidentally. There was something off about him. He discarded his neurotic thoughts and shrugged his shoulders, offering a slight nod that seemed jerky, mechanical. He was still rattled. His plexiglass eye itched, so he knuckled it thoughtfully, glancing upwards until he caught sight, from the corner of his functional eye, of another woman who looked as if she'd missed the bus headed for a roller rink. Her optimism spilled over the brim of her cup. Sable couldn't help but flash a smile, waving a little more chipperly. Ebenezer hadn't mentioned who'd be guiding them, but he'd slipped out that, this time, it was a woman. She looked as if she sang off tune and didn't particularly care what she sounded like – it put him at ease. Optimism, optimism, optimism. Balthazar and Sable had little use of such things.

He shrugged, nonchalantly, when Sallie asked if anyone cared whether or not she smoked. Inevitably, even if anyone had any qualms, Sable doubted that she'd stub it out and respect their wishes. He didn't care either way. His lungs were feverish with poison and rot – what would a little tar and chemicals do to them? Absolutely nothing. After Balthazar had introduced himself with a quick, courteous bow, then Sable bobbed his head forward and added: “Sable Valante, or Mink.” Clearly, if anyone knew the mysterious phone-caller's last name, they'd know he was related to Ebenezer. Sadly, this fact never worked in his advantage. He was never treated any differently, anyway. His eyebrows flashed up, then sidled down when Wolfgang's eagerness to introduce himself to another woman, equipped with bouncing breasts, introduced herself. Honestly. Were all werewolves like this? Perhaps, there were reasons why Ebenezer hadn't told Wolfgang that there'd be women involved. He opened his mouth, thought better of it, and promptly clinched it closed.

When hadn't Ebenezer left out all of the important details, allowing them to stumble forward and figure out things for themselves even if it meant attempting to scale rooftops and smashing your face, unpleasantly, against rotten shingles. Junctures of skin and bones and tepid memories. It was enough to say that ridicule did not spill from his pores, anymore. His attention turned back towards Balthazar – the one who'd always known just what to say, just how to press the wrinkles out of their conjunctive missions. There was nothing to add, so Sable merely slipped his hands into his pockets and waited for a better explanation.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Balthazar Eskandar Shirazi Character Portrait: Wolfgang “Wolf” von Krieger Character Portrait: Wolfgang Wolf von Krieger Character Portrait: Sable Gossamer Valante Character Portrait: Sallie Harris Character Portrait: Annabelle Reed Character Portrait: Constantine Augustus Meyac

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#, as written by Deallo
The gentlemen had an accent, one that Annabelle couldn't quite place, but agreed to help her out none the less. She mentally remarked how fast the foreigner ran to her car; like someone lit his bottom on fire. It was suspicious, even more since there was a hint of...fear? Was it fear in his steps? Or hesitation? The old lady took a deep breath, reminding herself to be mindful of her surroundings.

On that note, she finally noticed the commotion that was occurring beside her and finally understood what he was running away from. He was just like my daughter Mary, never liked confrontation, running with her tail between her legs at the first sight of it. Of course, Annabelle knew it wasn't kind to compare a fully grown man to her daughter when she was sixteen. The fight that was brewing seemed to be an almost stereotypical challenge the old lady saw too much of back in Texas. Two men fighting over a girl. The idea was something only men can think of: if a guy beats up a lady's boyfriend, she'll leave him, and go to the man who's stupid enough to throw punches in the first place.

The really stupid girls are the ones who actually go along with it.

It brought her back thirty-five years ago sitting in a bar, sipping on some beer, when two gentlemen she didn't know tried to court her. Neither had the eye to see the ring of a married woman placed ever so precariously on her left hand.

One of them was a tall, strong fellow, who dressed like he was going on vacation, wearing a ridiculous captain's hat. He reminded her of her son Ronnie, the running-back for the Houston Texans, and she was going to assume he was just as dumb until he started to laugh the situation off. Annabelle managed to crack a smile; surprised he saw a man who's muscles didn't crush his brain. The other two men had an air of professionalism about them, one who was as white as the ghost and had been the one issuing the challenge while the other one, which Annabelle was quick enough to assume, was Indian. Both of them were rather scrawny at first sight. It was rather odd how they came out of the same car, and both dressed alike in suits. For a moment, the old lady could have sworn she saw the white one of the two before...but she couldn't place her finger on it. Her mind was a bit busy trying to decipher the relationship between those two...were they..? Naaah.

Tossing aside the ridiculous notion, the gentlemen with her bag cam back, and just as she was going to think him, the final stranger appeared. A young looking lady who had her hair all bunched up like some of the black woman she saw in New York when she went on a "business" trip. On the other hand, she looked like one of the free-spirited hippies who'd protest in the front of the white house with those seashells stuck to her head. "Ylaine" her name was; an awkward name to say if Annabelle dared to read it from a list. Still, it was nice to see an enthusiastic face in here. The rest of the group started to introduce themselves, making it easier for Annabelle to distinguish people rather then using "he" "she" or possibly "the brown one". Everyone had relatively simple names, slightly relieved the Indian one had a name that was easy to say, arching an eyebrow at Wolfgang's too enthusiastic behavior.

She perked up as the small woman introduced herself as Sallie Harris; freaking FBI. Sallie...Sallie...

The name was too familiar. Annabelle knew she heard it before but where? Working with the cartel? FBI were a problem in her line of work but was it somewhere else? It only took a moment to realize she wasn't breathing; somehow forgetting to exhale. Former FBI. Former FBI she kept thinking to herself, steadily taking breaths. There was also another character, one who hadn't introduced himself yet, just looking at everyone. It was safe to say he was letting out creepy vibes. Annabelle turned to her attention to Ylaine; for her turn to introduce herself.

"Oh, it so nice to meet you dear. Ebenezer told me all about you-" He hadn't. "-oh, how rude of me, name's Annabelle, darling. I own a gun shop called 'The Silver Bullet' back in Texas." The old lady said cheerfully, omitting her illegal occupation and last name. Trust was something that needed to be earned; not given after all. Amongst all of the introductions, Annabelle completely forgot about the awkward gentlemen who went to grab her bags, leaving him holding about 30 lbs of metal.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Micah Colby Ames Character Portrait: Balthazar Eskandar Shirazi Character Portrait: Wolfgan Wolf von Krieger Character Portrait: Sable Gossamer Valante Character Portrait: Sallie Harris Character Portrait: Annabelle Reed Character Portrait: Constantine Augustus Meyac

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The notion of the large man in front of them having any semblance of manners might have, in another setting, caused Sallie to lose her metaphorical soup in uproarious laughter, or at least given her a decent snicker. Presently, she wasn't feeling so much like laughing—there was a time and a place for jokes, and this wasn't it. She did, however, get a good smirk out of the matter, which was more than she could say for the rest of the day's events. The somewhat hostile introductions (and Sallie knew that "hostile" was probably too strong a word, but it was the best she could think of at the moment) didn't bode well for the rest of this endeavor.

And all at once, a vague sense of dread at being the voice of reason for this group of less-than-conventional individuals washed over her. Even vampires weren't immortal, per se, and she'd rather like to keep her head where it sat on her shoulders. Standing around sulking was probably not conducive to that, she decided, perching her already impressively shortened cigarette on her lips and taking the old white case in her off hand. "Maybe the big lug has a point," she said, largely good-naturedly. "We certainly won't get much done standing around with our teeth in our mouth."

Sallie had a few questions she wanted to ask Ylaine. As a matter of fact, she had a few questions she wanted to ask everyone present. Who, exactly, was she dealing with? She knew that the answer as far as their employer would likely come to a dead-end; she'd been 'round the track a few times, and had made a point to glean as much out of their phone conversation as she could manage (which was about enough to fill one of the little divots in a golf-ball, truth be told). He didn't seem like the sort of man to leave information lying around, and those who knew anything about him probably wouldn't divulge that information to a stranger in cordial conversation. But the rest of the myriad of Monsters—now that was another story. Face-to-face, she had a much better chance of getting a feel for who she was working with, and already she was starting to get some small indication as to who would prove to be bearable and whom she would want to keep a good distance from on their venture.

The two vampires who had arrived earlier (she assumed they were vampires, at least, from the smell) seemed congenial enough, at least for given values thereof, and though Wolfgang made her somewhat uncomfortable and smelled a mite like wet dog, he seemed, when his wits were about him, like he was willing enough to cooperate. She'd dealt with big guys before—it was rare that she felt threatened by them nowadays. The old woman, now she looked familiar, although Sallie couldn't place her face off the top of her head. This was what filing systems were for, and she hadn't had access to one of those in over a year. The man who'd been sitting on the crates when she'd arrived reminded her of a small dog, not necessarily meek, but—well, alright, meek was probably the best word.

She had the sneaking suspicion that the was more than he seemed—otherwise, why would Abe have hired him? After all, each of them seemed to have something nasty lurking just under the surface of their humanity. He sat near the top of her list, along with the long-haired chap who hadn't said a word since he'd arrived.

Flicking the butt of her cigarette unceremoniously off the dock and into the water, Sallie decided that the best course of action was to move herself along, and made towards the end of the dock herself. "Your bag's unzipped, just so you know, big guy," she added politely as she approached. "I didn't think it was legal for women to bend that way."