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Sallie Harris

"If you want something done right, send a woman in to do the job for you, then stay out of her way."

0 · 284 views · located in More Phenomenal Earth

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

Description

Newborn Vampire

Sallie Harris

”It's impolite to ask a lady her age—but if you must know, I just turned thirty-seven last month.”






LOOKS


Image
Height and Weight: Although she passed up five feet around the age of twelve, it seems that Sallie's growth slowed considerably after that, leaving her at a whopping five foot four in her adult life. While this is a perfectly respectable height for a woman, she felt it left her at something of a disadvantage in her former profession. She also weighs about a hundred and twenty pounds soaking wet, again a disadvantage in a career dominated almost entirely by men.

Body Type and Health: While the last year or so of her life has not been the most physically active one Sallie has ever experienced, years of physical training and exertion have left her in excellent physical condition—at least for given values thereof. As far as her health is concerned, she supposes that, being dead and all, she probably couldn't pass a proper physical examination, but considering it's unlikely that she'll have a massive coronary or slip a disk anytime in the near future, she's feeling pretty good about her body.

Since high school, Sallie has always been something of a small, frail looking young woman—not so small or frail looking as to effect any silly notions of fae heritage or anything like that, but small enough that, like most women, several of the men in her life thought it was a safe bet to try to take advantage of her lack of size. However, now as ever (perhaps especially now, with the introduction of her vampiric condition), what Sallie lacks physical size she makes up for in knowing exactly where and how to land a wallop and knock the wind out of someone.

Her shoulders are square, though sharply so, and her body has always been on the lean side (to the point that although she's not as flat chested as she was in high school, she requires a certain measure of “assistance” to feel like a proper woman from time to time). With a long neck and long fingers, both of which could be considered spindly, she might have been pegged for corpselike long before she was turned.

Hair and eyes: Large and bulging, Sallie's heavily lidded eyes tell the tale of a women who might have discovered serious thyroid problems down the road, had she remained human long enough to do so. When she thinks to do so, she lines them lightly and applies a bit of mascara to offset the wet, buggish look she feels they give to her face. They're a dark brown, although nowhere near dark enough to be mistaken for black.

Her dull brown hair, despite numerous attempts to keep it combed or brushed, is generally a mess—and not in the intentional “I want to be a supermodel when I grow up” way, either. To avoid the rat's nest of snarls and tangles that would inevitably ensue from even the slightest amount of negligence, she tends to keep it pulled back away from her face, secured loosely in a bun on the back of her head. Considering the fact that long hair is highly impractical for anyone in the job she used to hold (or anyone doing the job she's recently accepted, for that matter), this might be more of a force of habit than an effort to look presentable.

Apparent Temperament: It wouldn't be fair to say that Sallie looks like she's usually bored with her surroundings—while some people have gotten that impression, it's probably closer to accurate to say that she looks like she has other places to be. Not necessarily places she'd rather be, but places that she knows she needs to be. Until you engage her in conversation, she might seem like she's a big distant, a million miles away in some thought she doesn't want to share. She doesn't seem particularly unapproachable for all that, though.

Although she's typically blunt about her opinions and advice, most strangers find Sallie's conversation to be warm and friendly (though not to an extreme). She seems like a pleasant enough human being to anyone who hasn't particularly offended her. Easy to get along with and quick to give a very sensible bout of advice to anyone (whether they've asked or not), Sallie tends to get along fairly well with most people.

Facial features: Sallie has high cheekbones and a square face, both of which do little to offset her bulging eyes. Her lips are thin, her eyebrows carefully plucked (perhaps overly so), and her nose might be described as “beakish,” except that it's a little bit blunter than all of that.

Her age shows, which, unlike many modern women, is something Sallie is fairly proud of. After all, thirty-seven isn't especially old, and if she's starting to show some bags under her eyes, well, she's certainly earned them. She's also earned the beginnings of the laugh lines surrounding her mouth, and the tiny fledgling crow's feet at the corners of her eyes. Above her lips to the right of her face is a small mole she's had for as long as she can remember. She doesn't let any of the above bother her too much, though—she's a woman with better things on her mind than “ohh, am I the prettiest?”

She does wish her lips didn't stick out so far, though.

Distinguishing marks: Numerous faint scars from this injury or that criss-cross over Sallie's legs and shoulders. It's not that she's seen so much combat in her time that she's earned this network of battle-wounds—it's just that she scars incredibly easy, and once got into a fight with a barbed wire fence when she was about thirteen years old. The pattern on the lower half of her legs is a testament to the fact that she most definitely lost that fight. Just about anything will leave a scar on her, from a knife wound to a cat-scratch.

She's also got a birthmark on her lower stomach. When she was little, she thought it looked like a cat, and when she was fifteen she decided she had skin cancer (she didn't). Now it mostly looks like a splotch, or perhaps an unfortunate burn.

Casual wardrobe: As mentioned previously, Sallie wears a lot of white in order to reduce the effects of the sun when she does have to expose her hands and arms to it. This includes gloves and a white cap when necessary. She owns plenty of other colors, though, including black and grey and—those aren't colors, are they? Anyway, Sallie prefers to dress casually, usually in jeans and a shirt that is half a hair fancier than your standard T-shirt (and generally long sleeved), and for formal occasions the most dressy she gets is a pair of slacks and a nice shirt.

ACTION TIME wardrobe: Usually, loose fitting clothing for easy movement, preferably not in lime green or anything like that. She has several pairs of black sweatpants (of the sort that might be called “yoga pants” today) which are not so loose-fitting, but also get the job done. Most of these have pockets. Short sleeves and a sports bra generally serve her purposes for the upper half.

Just sensible clothes that won't get caught in radiators, air vents, or heavy machinery.

She also still owns a bullet proof vest, which she wears when she thinks she'll need it. It hasn't come up much while driving trucks, but she can definitely see it coming in handy here in the near future.





PERSONALITY


The best word to describe our girl here is sensible—she doesn't muck around with things like rumors, gossip, and uneducated assumptions, choosing instead to stick to the cold, hard facts as she knows them and often choosing the simplest solution she can muster when a problem occurs. While she is intelligent, Sallie has mastered the art of not overthinking things, at least for the most part, and generally arrives at a concrete conclusion fairly quickly, assuming there's sufficient evidence to support that process. Once she reaches a solution, she's very difficult to dissuade.

Though some might insist that this makes her seem inflexible and hard to get along with, she doesn't exactly see the harm in cutting through all the crap, and tries to live her life by the theory of Occam's razor. This has gotten her into trouble on several occasions, including the night she was turned. However, it's also saved her life more times than she can count on one hand, and that has to count for something.

Even at first glance, it's easy to tell that Sallie doesn't like being the life of the party. Although being alone isn't always her first choice, the more people she finds involved in a situation, the more she desperately wants to get out of it. “Loner” is the wrong word-social situations just wear her out, and catering to other people's expectations of her makes her terribly uncomfortable.

Don't let the doe-eyed expression of terror fool you, though! If need be, Sallie is capable of putting on her business face and dealing in social situations. Usually this involves barking orders or informing people that they can zip it until they're spoken to. This doesn't earn her a lot of fans, but usually lends to her effectiveness at doing her job (or did, when she was still a cop), and ultimately gets things done. It's not talking to people that makes her uncomfortable, it's just trying to be nice to them.

In the company of close friends, who she's finding to be fewer and farther between these days, it might not be a stretch to describe Sallie as pleasant, or perhaps even helpful. When she forms emotional attachments to people, they tend to be fairly strong, and she does everything in her power to preserve those attachments. Although she still couldn't be described as sweet, those who learn to tolerate Sallie's blunt attitude and to-the-point outlook on life might even begin to appreciate her unsolicited advice, assuming they know how to take it with a grain of salt.

She can't necessarily be described as arrogant, but there's certainly no questioning the fact that Sallie's confidence is not in short supply. On the rare occasion that she second-guesses herself, the cause is anything but self doub—instead, she simply wants to be sure that with lives at stake, she's yielded the correct answer, and saved as many as possible.

Sallie has something of a sort fuse as far as her temper is involved, made shorter by hunger, sleep deprivation, and loud humming noises (although she's starting to find the thrum of her engine more comforting than irritating these days). While she isn't necessarily a violent person, given the right amount of push and shove, it's not a stretch to say that things will come to blows fairly easily. However, she's more likely to explode verbally, and the amount of expletives this little lady knows is more than enough to make a sailor blush. Sailors run home crying to their mamas when Sallie gets going.

When her temper hasn't been triggered, she's not nearly as prone to fits of fisty doom, although “pacifist” isn't quite the right word. She's well aware that violence is the answer to several of life's questions, and isn't even opposed to dishing it out. She's got a pretty high level of respect for human life, though, and tries not to kill unless it's absolutely necessary, as in the case of someone who might have figured out that she was a vampire (and now, in the case of someone whose lack of pulse is a direct order).

She's not quite used to this vampire thing yet, and as a result, tends to be a little unsure of her footing around other vampires and supernatural beings. She'll figure that out as time goes on, though.

Speech: A heavy smoker for most of her life, Sallie's voice is a little bit deeper than the average woman her age and beginning to grow husky. Given her stature, this often comes as a small but confounding surprise to those who haven't known her very long. She supposes it's a good thing that vampires can't get cancer; in the last few months, she's upped the number of cigs she smokes to almost two packs a day to drown out the smell. Being a vampire is a stressful job, and let her tell you about the assholes on the Interstate that make driving a truck equally trying.

Perhaps more appropriate to a woman of her size and appearance are the lingering remnants of a Midwestern accent that she made the (failed) attempt to unlearn when working in the FBI. Although she can do a fairly decent job of covering it up when imitating other accents, her everyday speech is still riddled with traces of squished vowels, and this grows much stronger when she spends any length of time with other individuals who speak that way naturally.

Though this is in part due to the fact that this is the accent Sallie was raised with, she also has a tendency to mimic the speech patterns of those around her. Usually, she does this subconsciously, and her poor mimicry of other accents sometimes gets her into trouble with native speakers. On more than one occasion, she's gotten anything from a dirty look to a face full of fist from an individual whose accent she's copied without realizing it.

She rarely speaks first in a conversation, and tries not to waste her time
Pet Peeves: Overly loud conversation, people who don't get the hint that she doesn't want the dick, the word “copper” (to refer to cops, not to the metal), gum smacking, humming machinery.




EQUIPMENT


Sallie keeps most of her on-hand equipment in her truck, often strewn somewhere between the driver's seat and the cot at the back of the cabin. She has a locked cabinet above said cot as well, and a locked drawer underneath. There's also something that might be a closet, if you look at it closely, although it better resembles a locker. It's a nice truck cabin, and she doesn't mind calling it her home away from home.

She also has a small house somewhere in Pennsylvania, which is long since paid for and will be waiting for her when she returns from her adventures in truckerland or hired-gun land, but she hasn't had a chance to go back there for quite some time now, which is quite a shame, because that's where she keeps all the nice guns—as well as all of her photo albums.

Communication
Of course, what sort of special super secret causer of mayhem and chaos would Sallie be without a pager in order to keep in touch with the boss? She also has one of them newfangled cell phone thingies, though it gets little enough reception that it might as well be useless most of the time. Despite the lack of privacy, she's also got a couple of walkie-talkies, just in case something goes terribly wrong or something comes up. You never know when that sort of thing is going to come in handy, and Sallie is not about to be the one who goes unprepared.

Defense
Sallie's got one bullet proof vest in her possession, of pretty high quality. She's spent the majority of her life being shot at, and figures she hasn't made a great many friends in doing so, so having the vest as a precautionary measure seemed like a good idea even before she took this job. Now that she's got the job, she's thinking about getting a second one, just in case the first one gets lost somewhere.

She's nothing if not cautious.

Combat
At first, Sallie had something of a hard time transporting anything of use in her truck—some funny laws about taking guns over state lines and being licensed to use them and all of that. But, while our girl is an ex-cop, she'll certainly tell you that rules are made to be broken, and has locked a rifle and her favorite handgun in the case below her cot. She keeps both unloaded and in their proper cases, and rather than risk something filled with, you know, gunpowder overheating from the bottom of the truck in an emergency, keeps her ammunition in a the cabinet above where she sleeps. Easy enough to slap together in an emergency, and as she very rarely has folks snooping around in her cab, she's not especially worried about getting into any sort of trouble.

She also has a small pocketknife. This is not the sort of woman who goes into truckstops unarmed, especially truckstops where alcohol is served. Just because she doesn't like men doesn't mean she casts some sort of man-repelling beacon around her at all times, and she's always operated on a "better safe than sorry" philosophy.

She's also got a baseball bat that she keeps under the front seat.

Other
With the amount of over the counter painkillers and cough medications this woman keeps in her truck, she could run a small drugstore out of its cabin, if she took a meaning to. Well, that might be an exaggeration—but looking at the contents of the cabinet above her bed certainly gives one the impression that Sallie is no stranger to the occasional migraine headache or sleepless night. This cabinet also contains a small selection of (mostly gentle) perfumes, a handful of cosmetics, a letter opener, a journal, and a small box of pens. All of these things are packed in neatly (mostly stacked in front of her ammunition) so that nothing slides around when she has to make a sharp turn.

She keeps enough clothes with her on a regular basis to change out daily, do laundry weekly, and still have a few left over, and has three different pairs of sensible shoes (one for rain, one for driving, and one for hiking up the road if something goes horribly wrong) at the bottom of her closet...ish thing. She doesn't hang anything, just folds and stack. You get surprisingly more use out of a locker-type wanna-be closet that way.




LIFE


Favorite color: Though you may never see her wearing it, Sallie's favorite color is a shade of dark purple that resembles eggplant or aubergine, except less boring. Unless she's wearing thin white clothing (which happens rarely, if ever), she's probably wearing undergarments of this color at any given time. She owns exactly one sweater that is also this shade of purple, although she hasn't had the occasion to wear it in quite some time.

Hobbies:
  • Knitting; Sallie's a champion knitter, did you know? She can knit with the best of them, and when she has time, finds it cathartic to knit complicated sweaters. She hasn't had the time since she started this trucking job, what with balancing the profession with the need to find food, and imagines she'll have even less time to knit while she's working for Abe. Who knows, though—the rest of the Monsters might end up with handmade sweaters for Christmas, and we aren't talking about ugly Weasley sweaters, either!
  • Swimming; Try challenging this kiddo to laps in the pool, we dare you. She had to keep in shape somehow while she was in the FBI.

Likes:
  • Milk! Despite being lactose intolerant, milk is probably Sallie's favorite choice of beverage, and dairy-based products some of her favorite foods. She's glad she doesn't actually have to eat, otherwise she isn't sure how she'd manage.
  • Fast cars; Before her mother kicked her out of the house, Sallie's father had purchased her a nice little sports car (which she later had to sell in order to make her rent), and she's been fascinated with them ever since. The interest was there when she was young, but that was when it really blossomed. There were a lot of nice memories made in that car, too.
  • Coffee; Dark, bitter, and hot just like Sallie. She drinks it black, although if she's feeling particularly adventurous she might try one of those fancy flavored coffees.
  • Dry wine.
  • Air conditioning; The cab of her truck would be miserable without it, considering the sheer amount of clothing she wears at any given time.
  • Lace; On herself or someone else. Doesn't even have to be particularly sexy lace—lace details on camisoles, lace doilies (if they're done right), lace drapes, she thinks they're all lovely. Not to the point of obsession, but she notices a fine lace fairly easily. She's actually pretty skilled at knitting lace herself, although she hasn't had occasion to do so in years.

Dislikes:
  • Southern accents; She dated a boy with a southern accent, before she realized that men weren't her thing. It didn't end well.
  • The radio; Damn thing's too fussy. Give her some cassettes, or better yet, silence.
  • Cats; she's not afraid of them, but she thinks they're uppity and doesn't want one for herself. This could have something to do with lingering guilt, involving an incident with a neighbor's cat and fireworks.
  • Dating; Don't get me wrong, she doesn't have an aversion to romance or couples or anything bitter like that. Sallie just finds the initial part of dating (known as the “getting to know you” stage) to be tedious and unpleasant.
  • Driving stick shifts; Automatic transmissions were pretty much the be all and the end all of car improvement, as far as Sallie is concerned.
  • Hooligans and Whippersnappers; Does anyone like teenage hooligans?

Fears: To speak of, Sallie doesn't have any especially great fears. She doesn't want to be alone for the rest of her life, but she's not afraid to do so. She's not particularly interested in dying, but has more than come to terms with the fact that all of the professions she's chosen in the last ten years make this a likely event. Spiders wig her out just a little and make her stomach churn, but she's content to squish them and be done with it, instead of screaming like a little girl and calling for the nearest adult.

She'll admit, though, that unless she's indoors, she's got a little bit of a fear of thunder.

This isn't to say Sallie is fearless, just that she doesn't have any specific fears that she thinks about during the day. While she doesn't have some of the hangups that most folks do, she experiences fear just like everyone else, especially when there's guns being fired or knives being flashed, all of which happen on a pretty regular basis in her life. The idea of falling asleep at the wheel also spooks her a little, but as that's never happened, it's seldom on the forefront of her mind.

As far as allergies are concerned, Sallie is lactose intolerant. Extremely lactose intolerant. Miserably, unpleasantly lactose intolerant-which is unfortunate, since dairy products are some of her favorite foods. When she bothers to eat, she takes one of those chalky little enzyme pills to make sure that she's not going to be in and out of the ladies' room for the rest of the day, so that she can stop and have a cheeseburger without regrets.

Homeland: Northern Minnesota, land of hot dishes and a thousand state this-or-thats. Sallie was an only child, and no longer keeps in contact with her mother, who kicked her out of her family homestead when she was just seventeen years old for kissing another girl. She doesn't dwell on that particular instance; her relationship with her mother had been toxic since her early teens, and she was glad to be rid of her.

She kept in contact with her father up until his untimely death in 1994.

Day job: Sallie drives trucks, which gives her a great deal of flexibility in her everyday dealings—if she isn't planning on being in the country for a while, then she can just neglect to take any jobs for that week. It also serves as good cover for any missions that actually take place in the good old U.S. of A, as trucks need to be just about anywhere, and no one is going to follow them from one murder to the next. She intends to mention this to the rest of the Monsters at some point, if it comes up.

Probably.

General Agenda: Simply put, Sallie's motivation is that she has no particular motivation. She simply can't stand being idle, which she assumes what death is like, and would prefer to be doing something with herself instead of rotting in the ground. At some point in the future, she'd like to settle down with a nice girl, even if “settle down” means moving from place to place in order to keep quiet about her condition—and in part, this is what keeps her going in the everyday. But really, Sallie keeps on trucking (err, pun not intended) because that's what she's always done, and probably what she'll always do.

I'm sure you've met those people. Directionless immortality is sometimes the best kind.

What keeps you a Monster?: It's no secret that Sallie cherished her job at the FBI, and had she been a less sensible young woman, she probably would have kept it after becoming a vampire. However, she felt that was much too dangerous for her coworkers and anyone involved in the cases she was working. It also wasn't so much a good idea for herself—letting the whole FBI know you're a vampire because you start getting singe-y in the sun is probably not the best way to keep yourself out of some weird containment tank.

It's also no secret, though, that she misses the danger and the feeling of having a purpose. If Ebenezer used any kind of incentive to get her to join up with his merry band of misfits, it was this. Though she isn't malicious, for the most part, Sallie's foremost priority is to attain a sense of purpose and belonging, and for the most part, it doesn't matter what this particular purpose is. She likes feeling useful, and she likes feeling powerful, and this job provides her a combination of both.

What made you what you are today?: It was a day like any other day—the sun had been particularly hot, but now that it was setting, the Arizona air was settling into cool night around Sallie and her partner. They'd been hunting a real sicko, the kind of guy you don't want to let even the cat out when he's roaming the streets. Twenty deaths so far in one town, and not a whiff of the bastard—well, except maybe for the smell of rotten corpses, which were usually dry as a bone before police had even arrived on the scene. Sallie had seen some of his handiwork; a familiar-looking young woman with her throat ripped out was going to give her nightmares to the end of her days, she was sure of it. Maybe she should have called before she left—

But I digress.

Since the feds had arrived nearly two weeks previous, the killings had ceased almost entirely, and they'd almost given up on finding their killer, but the bodies of a few dead cats, their flesh torn into in the same fashion as the woman they'd found on their arrival. Whoever or whatever was killing in Tempe had certainly not left.

Night was settling over the Arizona streets, and rumor had it that the killer refused to leave his domain by day. Hunting him while he was hunting others had seemed the logical decision, and though her partner had objected that the cover of nightfall was what this freak worked best in, Sallie had insisted (as per usual) that things be done her way. So they waited outside the home of the suspected killer, dark and uneventful for hours and hours, until at last the dawn began to break. Nothing had happened, and her partner, a young man of about thirty, began to make his way back to the car, more than ready to leave and be done with it and go about things like proper police officers instead of sneaking around in the night.

There was movement inside the small stucco house, a quick, desperate rustle of curtains closing. Sallie's instincts told her they had their man, and her partner had learned to listen to her instincts just long enough to get them both into a little bit of hot water. Spotting a questionable stain on the doorframe, suspiciously like faded blood in the shape of a handprint, Sallie decided that the two had probable cause to enter the home, and in a joint effort, kicked in the door, which swung inwards with ease.

Whoever or whatever was inside was way ahead of them—it hadn't been hiding from them at all, it had been baiting them, waiting for them to enter its domain so that it could be rid of them. His face was obscured in the darkness, and to this day Sallie can't remember the face of her attacker; only the blood, and the sound of flesh tearing away from flesh. They found her partner on the front step, his throat torn out and his body bled dry, and Sallie unconscious in the center of a broken living room, fairly seriously damaged herself (but alive). She carries a large, haphazard scar on the left side of her neck from the attack (if you squint closely, she says, it looks a little like Atlanta traffic). Their attacker was long since gone.

Of course, realizing a few short days later when she was at home recovering that the sunlight burned her skin and that her pulse was suspiciously absent was not the most pleasant moment in Sallie's short life. She made her resignation from the FBI within the next few days; suspiciously, no one seemed terribly surprised.

Several months later, she received the call from Abe, and packed up the most useful things she could think of to make the trek to Ohio. It wasn't terribly difficult to catch a delivery scheduled for the area.

Notable experiences since then: While the vampire thing has affected Sallie's life in a big way, it hasn't done much to change her life or who she is, for better or ill. Come to think of it, it really hasn't had time. After her resignation from the FBI, Sallie was forced to break things off with her romantic partner, and in doing so learned that there are very few warm, squishy feelings involved in doing the selfless thing in order to keep someone safe.

But honestly? She's just been idling since then, and the most notable thing that's happened to her is getting Abe's call. During her years at the FBI, Sallie was practically married to her job, and without the action and excitement of bringing down the bad guy, she hasn't quite known what to do with herself. While she wouldn't call her recent state a “depression” or anything of the sort, she'd probably have to fight tooth and nail to convince a proper psychologist of that.

Opinion of Others: At the moment, Sallie's not so sure what she ought to think. She's brand new to this supernatural realm, and figures that if she forms too many opinions too early, she's going to get stuck in her own head, and things are going to turn out quite the opposite of how she expects. She's starting to form a few loose impressions of the folks she'll be working with, though, as well as the races they belong to—and she's not sure how she feels about all of that, either.

Micah: ”...I'm pretty sure I've heard that name before. Ames....Partner of mine (...err...no, not the professional sort...) worked a case involving a Micah Ames before we met. Real sicko, I heard—killed a lot of folks before they finally nabbed him. I wonder what became of him. Surely this can't be the same guy, though.”
Ohhh, Sallie, how naïve you are.

Vampires: ”I suppose I ought to take their side, or something along that lines, but I never could abide by slinking around in the shadows unless I had to. This whole 'stinking to high heaven' thing just ain't doin' it for me either.”

Criminal Record: Aside from an incident when she was fifteen involving some fireworks and a neighbor's pet cat (who was never meant to get involved), Sallie's criminal record is clean as a whistle. Seeing as she's spent the majority of her adult life enforcing the laws of the land, this makes a certain amount of sense.


Specialty: Though her newfound vampiric abilities have increased Sallie's strength quite impressively, she assumes (probably not incorrectly) that her desirability comes from her years of training in the FBI before she was turned. An active agent for more than ten years, her reputation for rapid processing and sensible conclusions would have caught the eye of anyone looking to assemble a task force of any sort.

Her status as a vampire has led to a slight but noticeable increase in many of her abilities, such as her senses, speed, and the distance/height she can jump. However, by far the most augmented of these abilities is Sallie's physical strength, a change she's still learning how to cope with. Her FBI training already involved compensating for her lack of physical size/strength by throwing all her weight into vital hits, but now, instead of knocking the wind out of someone, she finds herself cracking ribs or worse. This ability, like all vampiric abilities aside from senses, begins to weaken during the times between each feed.

She'll get used to it eventually.

Preferred feed: Although she initially found the idea of killing other human beings just to get a meal distasteful, Sallie is a sensible young woman, and after twelve years in the FBI, her first feed was most certainly not her first kill.

She prefers to feed on those who would otherwise contribute little or nothing positive to society. In the early days of her condition, before she realized that being inconspicuous was so important, Sallie went after those individuals whom she remembered from her time at the FBI, usually criminals who had only earned their freedom because the evidence against them was not as substantial as it was initially thought. This trend was eventually noticed, though, and she eased up on that line of thinking. A few unreported accomplices go missing every now and again, though.

While criminals, lowlifes, and layabouts are her primary target, Sallie's mentality on the matter of feeding is beginning to change. She's beginning to see herself as a vampire, rather than a human being, and this makes deciding who to make a meal out of much easier and more remorse-free. She tries to keep the folks she wants to eat and the ones she wants to sleep with in separate categories, though, lest she live alone of her own hand for the rest of her unnaturally long life.

Sunlight tolerance: Direct sunlight, around fifteen minutes before she starts to crackle and burst into flames. Through heavily tinted windows or otherwise extremely indirect sunlight, Sallie has about four to eight hours of sunlight tolerance, but she doesn't push her luck on this, and wears a lot of white during the day to reflect the sun away from her skin and protect it from any wayward UV radiation that might find its way through the fibers. This includes driving gloves.

It takes her somewhat longer than better-adjusted vampires to recover from sunlight exposure, as she is incredibly young. A day's worth of minor sun exposure in the cabin of a truck often takes her another six to eight hours to recover from, leading to a cycle of grumbling mornings and uncomfortable nights. She prefers driving after sundown if she can help it.

Of course, now that she's taken up this gig with Abe, driving times aren't at the top of her list of concerns.

Social standing: She's generally an unknown, although the vampire who turned her would probably recognize her upon meeting her again (the smug bastard). Living in a truck cabin and avoiding other vampires has a tendency to do that to a person—not that Sallie is complaining. Before getting a grip on her hunger and her abilities, she would have been too embarrassed by her lack of prowess to spend any time around real vampires anyway.

Social stealth: She's doing alright, as far as she's concerned, although that might have more to do with flying under the radar than actually blending in. Until getting the call that turned her onto this little opportunity, Sallie was driving trucks, a job which allowed her to cover as much of her skin as possible on sunny days and still remain comfortable (air conditioning is surprisingly efficient in tiny cabins). In general, she hasn't caused very much suspicion at all.

On a personal level, Sallie's a little less capable of hiding her supernatural status, unless she's fed in the past week or so. Her heightened senses make her aware of just how easy it would be to procure a fresh meal. The arrhythmic sound of each beating heart around her beating out of step with the next, the subtle rise and fall in the skin of an attractive young lady, even the gentle discoloration of broken blood vessels—all of these things become incredibly distracting when she's hungry, even when she's made the desperate (and mostly successful) attempt to put it out of her mind. People tend to notice the staring when she gets like that.

At the moment, she's still more human than vampire, having been a member of the undead for less than a full year. As a matter of fact, her fangs are still budding, and while they're suspiciously sharp, they're often mistaken for particularly interesting canines. She's been watching them change, however, and will have to watch herself carefully when she smiles very soon.

So far, she hasn't been pegged as a vampire. At least not by anyone she hasn't eaten.

STRENGTHS
  • Starvation Tolerance - Up to a point, Sallie puts up with hunger very well. While she finds it distracting after about a week, she doesn't start to lose rationality on the matter for at least two, and if she's got something to occupy her time, as long as three. During this period, she can interact normally with human beings, including (although with a little less consistency) having intimate relations, with only a few indications that she'd rather be chowing down on them than having conversations with them. Though she can keep her wits about her for quite a while, going longer than three weeks without feeding drives her into something of a dangerous state (see Weaknesses).
  • Social Advantage - As a Monster with slightly more self control than some vampires and a solid, mostly innocuous background, Sallie has a little more wiggle room around humans than older members of her kind. She hasn't lost any of the mannerisms that fullblood vampires never learn, and her reputation as a respectable member of the FBI still holds fairly true. It gets her into a few fights with folks on the other side of the law, but your everyday citizen treats the news that she's an ex cop with a fair bit of respect. Not looking at humans with the same eyes that one might look at a sandwich also helps her get around.
  • The Strength of Ten Men - ...well, maybe more like two men. Two men and a largeish housecat. However many men she measures, Sallie's vampiric status augments her physical ability. The differences aren't so much that she crushes glasses without thinking or anything silly like that—the amount of strength she possesses would be natural for a human being who kept up with a decent amount of training in that particular area. Well, assuming that human was a good deal larger than Sallie. She keeps up with a regular training regimen despite her early retirement, and the result is a wallop that surprises many who wind up in the receiving end.

    Stronger muscles mean her running speed is also augmented slightly, though this may be wrought of personal determination rather than vampiric ability.
  • P-P-Pokerface - This woman's got a bluff check like you wouldn't believe, and she rolls high just about every time. Every once in a while, she comes up against someone who knows better than to believe a silly little girl (or silly little vampire), but more often than not the average Joe or Jane isn't paranoid enough to be suspicious. She manages to convince even some less-than-average Joes, although this takes considerably more work. Incidentally, this is how she managed to keep the boys at the FBI from snooping around about her sex life.

WEAKNESSES
  • Blood Frenzy - If she takes her resistance to starvation for granted or underestimates the time it will take her to secure a kill after waiting the full three weeks, the weakened Sallie begins to lose all manner of human rationale, often putting herself in immediate danger to secure a meal. In this state, Sallie acts much like an addict scrambling for her next fix (and she likens the condition to that even when sated). Only the most familiar faces can talk her down from killing them in this state, although fighting Sallie in her weakened state also seems to have promising results. She tries not to allow things to get to this point.
  • Vampire Newbie - On occasion, Sallie's status as a member of the undead escapes her immediate memory. This can lead to potentially dangerous situations, and on one occasion earned her a vigorous sunburn that stuck with her for a couple of months. She is especially prone to forget herself in situations that revolve around intense human emotion, and though these instances are few and far between, if her “saving people thing” kicks in, all sense of self-preservation regarding her vampiric status is lost. With basic paramedic training and an urge to lend a hand when people around her are hurt, she's gotten herself into more distracting spots than she cares to mention, and once collapsed a man's lungs trying to perform CPR.
  • Hesitant Killer - Even if a dead man leaves a good clue that someone was killed, a dead man can't tell the police that his attacker tried to bleed him dry. Sallie rarely takes this to her advantage. Although she doesn't have a “Peace, love, and harmony” sort of aversion to killing, she gets no joy out of it, and killing individuals who might have something to contribute doesn't sit well with her—especially not before the fact. Although she doesn't angst over previous kills, having long since accepted into her heart that sometimes people die in order to keep other people alive, she's done her dead-level best (pun not intended) to feed on victims who are either willing, already bleeding, or are far too high to remember that they got munched on in the morning. This has led to some interesting nights, and she now tries to avoid the last of those options.
  • Don't Confuse Me With The Facts – As far as Sallie's concerned, her opinions might as well be facts, at least the majority of the time. This young woman could give your conservative Republican grandparents a run for their money in stubbornness, and even cold, hard evidence against whatever nonsense she's thinking at the time won't usually change her mind. It's not that she's ill-informed—generally speaking, Sallie keeps a good grasp on the actual facts. She just doesn't like admitting she's wrong when she doesn't, and she doesn't understand the concept that people could possibly have opinions outside of her own. Though she's willing to lay down her opinions in order to get shit done, it's led to a fair share of fallings out with partners, romantic and professional, as well as friends and family.
  • Introvert - Sallie finds people completely exhausting, and interacting one on one with anyone that hasn't reached the status of “intimate friend” (no, not in a sexy way) usually leaves her feeling like a pile of something unpleasant. It's not that she's particularly shy, or even uncomfortable around people. She just values her alone time, and tends to get snappy when she hasn't had any of it in a while. Large groups of people (more than ten, usually) might also shorten her temper, if she's being forced to interact with all of them. She'd much rather enjoy her drink in peace, and perhaps have a few nice conversations before heading back to the cab of her truck.

So begins...

Sallie Harris'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: Sallie Harris
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To say that Sallie was worried about the evening's itinerary was, if one was being extremely conservative, the understatement of the century. Every bone in her body, every nerve from the tip of her toes to the top of her head, every synapse firing off inside her thick little skull was screaming that meeting strangers on an unfamiliar dock in the dark was a bad idea, especially when several of them could potentially rip her throat out with their teeth. She had seen more than her fair share of hapless young girls, lured out into the night by this tantalizing proposition or that, sometimes by strangers, sometimes by close friends...and she'd seen how those girls had ended up, usually on the other side of thick surgical gloves with a medical examiner reading out his report.

But she'd been stuck in the cabin of an eighteen-wheeler off and on for the last six months with nothing so much as a heinous accident to distract her from her troubles, and damn it all, Sallie was beginning to get restless. If they paycheck was all she'd been offered, if it had been a different job, she might have been less inclined to show tonight—she'd have told that voice on the other end of the line where he could stick his death threats, and that would have been the end of that. He'd known, though, through some manner of thievery or witchcraft or skulking around and calling it recon. He'd been right on the nose, in fact, calling her out on how much she missed the thrill of it all.

And here she was. It was like the start of some overly dramatic mystery film, the sort they didn't make anymore because the kids thought they were too cheesy. Or, she thought....Isn't there a Stephen King novel that started this way? If there isn't, it's only a matter of time. She thought about what happened to the characters in the openings of Stephen King novels, and then tried to unthink it. That was easier said than done.

By the time Sallie pulled up to the docks in the boxy white Ford, the sputtering engine nearly as silent as a children's toy machine gun, the anxiety had all but subsided, converted into nervous energy (and if she had to be honest with herself, a mote of excitement). She parked as close as she thought was wise, and gave the area a quick sweep before unlocking the doors. Had anyone arrived already? On a distant crate, she saw what might have been a man—or it might have been a tarp, or a particularly unfortunate piece of artwork. At this distance, with the pale moon glinting off the water behind, she couldn't tell for certain.

Best to assume someone was already here, she supposed.

Sallie double, then triple checked her gun, making sure the holster was secure. She wasn't going to be the one to show up without a weapon, especially considering she hadn't gotten used to the natural ones just yet. Content to find that she was all strapped in, the young woman tied a sweater around her waist extracted a case from the trunk of her car. It wasn't a very large case—a few practical changes of clothes, extra ammunition, a small bottle of perfume in case someone got suspicious, and enough cigarettes to last her a week or so were all she'd bothered to bring along on this little excursion, barring essentials like her toothbrush. She wasn't going on vacation, after all.

Car shut, locked, and hopefully in an unobtrusive enough place that it would still be there when she returned, Sallie made her way over to the meeting point she'd been given.

It was a man, she discovered a moment later, seated on a sizeable crate. He wasn't moving very much. As a matter of fact, as far as she could tell, he wasn't moving at all. For a second, Sallie found herself wondering if that was normal behavior for the sort of person that would have been called out on this sort of mission. It only took a second, though—then it occurred to her that "normal" was perhaps not a term she should try to apply to any situation henceforth.

Not one to mince words, Sallie sat down on the wooden planks beneath the crate, pulling the case into her lap and letting one hand fall to her hip, just in case. She'd relax when there were more of them about, but not a moment sooner. Who knew what sort of miscreant got propositioned for this kind of mission?

My kind of miscreant, apparently, she thought to herself, in an effort to reprimand her poor decision. She didn't feel especially corrected, even as far as self-chastising went. More than anything, she felt a little proud, and a little more excited to be doing something with her life again.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Micah Colby Ames Character Portrait: Wolfgang Wolf von Krieger Character Portrait: Sallie Harris
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#, as written by Ezarael
Wolfgang „Wolf“ von Krieger


“No, Mr. von Krieger you will not be the Captain of the ship nor will there be time for fun and games. There is work to be done.”

A feeble attempt at making static sound filtered through the receiver of Abe’s phone. Wolfgang was intent upon claiming plausible deniability of his responsibilities concerning this trip. Sure, maybe he was breaking the rules by intentionally drowning out the sound of Abe’s voice, well in all honesty that was not possible, his ears were so sensitive that even with the phone turned down to the lowest volume possible he could still clearly understand the words spoken, but he could always feign ignorance with the best of them.

“What’s static sound I can’t static sound losing recpet-static sound With the end of the charade he finally hung up his phone and tossed the brick away. Maybe in a few years these cellphones will be a bit more convenient, but at the moment they’re just a nuisance. Sure it was expensive, but it’s not like I paid for it. Indeed the portable phone was just one of many perks he had this Abe person purchase for him before he agreed to take any work from the man. What he just did could be considered both wasteful and rude, sure, but it was not like he needed this job or anything. It definitely would help pay for his monthly quelling, but by no means could you say he depended upon this extra income.

The sound of flip-flops plodded along loudly as Wolfgang strolled down the docks towards his intended destination. By the looks of his you might assume Captain Ron was setting sail on yet another epic voyage, what with the unbuttoned button-down tropical shirt flailing in the breeze, white captain’s hat tilted off to the left, and comfortable shorts revealing a pair of muscular yet very pale shanks. Well, you might think I was Captain Ron if Kurt Russel was ten times as handsome and did not wear a patch in the movie! The German engineer guffawed loudly at his joke, surely anyone would have if they had been nearby, and threw his head back in merriment as he continued along happily.

On his right side was being carried a rather large duffle bag with a rather odd assortment of supposed necessities carelessly tossed inside, almost as if the traveler had merely scooped the items from a large bin. He had brought with him several changes of clothes, all very comfortable once might notice, several hygiene related items, of course, several magazines ranging from mathematics to pornography, all very necessary of course, and there also happened to be a large assortment of lubricant and condoms strewn about as well, just in case.

The salty-air stung his nostrils as the scent nearly over-powered his delicate sense of smell, but that was not the only lingering scent on the air. Whenever the wind blew his direction the werewolf would catch the scent of two individuals up ahead, one was obviously human, but the other was something else entirely. The strange one smelled of…death, oddly enough as that may be. His employer had informed him that he would be working with other supernatural beings, ranging from vampires to what have you, but he was never told they would smell so…repulsive!

Ach mein Gott, at least the salt will take away from that disgusting smell.

Luckily the docks were not a massive construction; it only took him a few short minutes to reach where he wanted, and when Wolfgang approached the two others who had arrived so far he was rather amused. The human was very thin, all skin and bones as they said here in America, but not much shorter than Wolfgang himself. He had a strange look about him, and a sense of danger pervaded from his scent, like he was a seasoned killer who did it for the thrills. The other, the dead smelling one, was actually a somewhat attractive female. Sure, she smelled awful, was extremely thin and frail looking, and didn’t seem very friendly to tell the truth, but Wolfgang’s shorts began to tighten up very quickly.

A broad grin spread across his face as he continued towards his two new associates and proceeded to seat himself next to the woman. His nose visibly crinkled up as the pungent odor was so blatantly obvious, but there were more important things to worry about right now, like the loss of blood from his brain. “Hello my little Liebschen, my name is Wolfgang von Krieger. Would you care to play fetch?“

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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Image

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."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wolfgang Wolf von Krieger Character Portrait: Sallie Harris
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"Ooh, yes!" Ylaine said, perking up abruptly. That was an idea she approved of! She wasn't one to enjoy standing idle--especially without mint gum to occupy her maws. She made a quiet note to put in a good word for Wolfgang, assuming she would have the capability to do so after all this was said and done. "Go time--uh... I don't suppose you guys have a team name of some sort, do ya? Like the A-Team or Thundercats?"

Her flippant nonchalance evaporated when she overheard Sallie's quip. She directed her attention to the object the older (hm... no, younger) woman referred to, and then Ylaine's left brow propelled straight up. She wasn't blushing. Goodness knows it's been a long time since she last blushed, and something as standard as a bit of risque was not about to make her start anew. What the bundle of bouncing pornographic pamphlets did do was remind her just how long they were expected to hang out in the middle of the ocean. Ylaine loved the ocean and loved being in it, but she couldn't say the same of being on a gigantic, wholly sinkable metal construction.

It wasn't a big, hulking thing that awaited them. As anyone acquainted with Ebenezer's benevolence would expect, it was modest; save the sleek coat of black paint, with nary a barnacle in sight. The vessel was no cruise ship, but a sensible cargo ship: its wooden tongue rolled out in welcome from the center of its body. Two crewmen punctuated the sides of the plank bridge. Their heads were bowed reverently, but it was neither for Ylaine nor the Monsters in her company. When all were aboard, the men would murmur a few anxious southeast asian words, to Ylaine and to one another, then made themselves scarce behind the locked doors. Every other working member of the ship seemed to emulate the behavior.