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The Den: Cellar

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The Den: Cellar is a part of The Den.

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Melanthe Nightengale [0] A young woman who longs to find a purpose to her life, events have taken most of her friends and family from her. She seeks someone who would be willing to help her change in the larger picture.

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Character Portrait: Jesse Allard Character Portrait: Re'Altarm
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#, as written by Tiko
"I know, we're trying to keep your fever down," he told her.

He picked up a wash cloth and dipped it in a bowl of cool water before using it to mop up the sweat from her forehead. If they didn't keep her temperature down, she would be risking brain damage. Their kind could tolerate much higher temperatures than a human, but her body was still adjusting and despite the chills that wracked her body, her fever was raging.

"Just try to get some more sleep, alright?"

He knew she would be beyond the point of sleep soon, and she could use whatever relief she could get for now to keep her strength up.

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Character Portrait: Jesse Allard Character Portrait: Re'Altarm
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#, as written by Knosis
She held on to him still and nodded her head, giving him one long look. "I'm scared.." She whispered. She wasn't sure when or if she would be lucid enough to speak to Jesse. "T-thank you.. Y-you've been a great companion.." She managed a small smile.

She closed her eyes and slowly drifted off to another uneasy dream.

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Character Portrait: Jesse Allard Character Portrait: Re'Altarm
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#, as written by Tiko
Two days later and Jesse was back in the cellar with her, having scarcely left more than a few hours here and there. He lay the back of his hand against her face to feel her temperature. It was still running hot, but her fever was breaking. It wouldn't be long now at all. An hour or two at most.

Unfortunately with lucidity came all the pain that was being wrought on her body.

Every breath, ever twitch of a muscle, or shift of her head was agonizing. She might not be delirious with fever anymore, but this kind of pain was enough to drive anyone mad.

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Character Portrait: Jesse Allard Character Portrait: Re'Altarm
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#, as written by Knosis
The weeks leading up to this point had been bad for the girl. But of all the fever, delusions, and pain she had to deal with before now paled in comparison.

This was hell on earth to her. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she pondered the possibility that she had died.

Breathing came in short bursts, every breath making her cry out until her voice had nearly gone. Now she made only weak whimpers and whines. Touches, smells, changes in light also was painful. Now she didn't care if she lived or died. She just wanted an end.

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Character Portrait: Jesse Allard Character Portrait: Re'Altarm
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#, as written by Tiko
"Hey," Jesse told her as he brushed a few strands of sweaty hair from her face. "Can you hear me?" he asked.

"I know this won't be easy, but there's some police upstairs. We need you to try and keep as quiet as I you can," he told her.

He lay a hand atop hers, holding it gently as he gave it an encouraging squeeze to remind her he was right there. "Baron's trying to get rid of them as quickly as he can."

The last thing they needed was the police happening down here in the middle of investigating a murder that happened outside their ally last night.

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Character Portrait: Jesse Allard Character Portrait: Re'Altarm
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#, as written by Knosis
Her eyes shot open as she heard Jesse's voice. All she could do was nod in reply or else she would have screamed.

The pain was eating at her though. Her body felt like it was close to ripping apart. As he squeezed her hand, a jolt of pain ran up her arm and resonated in the rest of her body and began to magnify. It was too much. She whimpered and closed her eyes but it was enough.

Her back arched and she let out a pained cry.

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Character Portrait: Jesse Allard Character Portrait: Re'Altarm
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#, as written by Tiko
"Shhh," he told her gently. "It's alright."

Though it really wasn't alright. He threw a worried glance to the cellar steps but there was no sign of the police yet. And despite his reassuring words, Re'Altarn would see it on his face.

Baron needed to get those police out of the bar, and soon. He could hear voices now at the top of the stairs though and he ran a hand through his hair nervously.

"Look, whatever happens, I won't be far, alright?" he told her.

He withdrew his hand from her as he shed his jacket, followed quickly by the rest of his clothes. He staggered and caught himself against the iron bars as his body contorted beneath bulging muscle and sinew, but the process was swift, and a minute later there was a shaggy wolf standing in there with her.

It was quick thinking on his part, and for once his small size and somewhat ordinary appearance would work in his favor. It wasn't uncommon for him to be mistaken as a domestic animal next to his typically much larger counterparts. To add to the ruse he used his snout to shove his clothes discretely away beneath the cot before laying down on the floor and resting his head on his paws. For all intents and purposes, he looked like little more than a large dog, or a wolf-dog.

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Character Portrait: Jesse Allard Character Portrait: Re'Altarm
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#, as written by Knosis
She was losing her mind. Hot tears streamed down her cheeks and she writhed in pain. All her thoughts raced of wanting it to just end, for everything to just end. How was she still alive..? How was she still conscious through this? What -had- she done to deserve to go through this mind bending torture? Her eyes pleaded to Jesse for help and she barely heard Jesse before he disappeared from her sight.

That last of what was keeping her from breaking was gone. Her fingers from her left hand dug into the palm as her body seized up. And she let out a bloody curdling cry of pure agony.

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Character Portrait: Jesse Allard Character Portrait: Re'Altarm Character Portrait: Jeanne Bonheur Character Portrait: Élodie Blanc
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Without a second glance back at Baron, Jeanne descended into the cellar, drawing her gun as her boot hit the first step. She held it out in front of her, safety off. She took each step carefully, cautiously, until she was at the bottom. Her eyebrows rose up.

"Selene Evequec praised be," breathed the detective as her eyes came down on the woman in the cage. She tilted her head toward Élodie. "Baron's in some shit now."

She walked toward the cage with even more caution than she had descending the stairs. Her eyes skipped over to the dog laying down, then back to the woman. "Shit. What's going on? Are you alright? Miss? Can you respond?"

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Character Portrait: Jesse Allard Character Portrait: Re'Altarm Character Portrait: Jeanne Bonheur Character Portrait: Élodie Blanc
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#, as written by Lialore
The ‘This isn't what it's going to look like’ snatched away some of her hope for the scream having come from some dazed barmaid who’d dropped a good bottle of ale straight onto her foot.

But when she looked upon the scene down below, all hope was siphoned away by what she saw.

Some shit indeed.

All of her senses were shouting at her about the nastiness she was beholding, but it was the tightening in her chest which she noticed the most. That overwhelming feeling of pity. She had been wrong to allow her perception of werewolves to be diluted with their remaining humanity. Monsters.

The shock was subsiding some as the other officer's voice pulled her back to current priorities. Nervousness etched in fright crept in instead. She’d drawn her handgun whilst descending into the cellar, and now she held it practically at the ready whilst sweeping the dim cellar.

“Is it locked?” she asked after drawing in a long, steadying breath.

Something she'd not noticed at first caught her eye. She blinked at the creature which was lying timidly beside the cage. Her heart had leapt upon first spotting it. The barrel of her gun stared into its form whilst El struggled to get a hold on returning distorted childhood fears of wicked beasts which howled at the moon. Just a dog. Just a dog?

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Character Portrait: Jesse Allard Character Portrait: Re'Altarm Character Portrait: Jeanne Bonheur Character Portrait: Élodie Blanc
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"The door is open," said Jeanne, moving towards the cage. "I want you to call the hospital right now. She's hurt. If I had to guess, one of Baron's pack members attacked the girl and now they're trying to hide her." She whistled for the dog, motioning to the side. "C'mon, puppy. Out of the way. Move. Now."

Guard dog for a bunch of werewolves. It seemed silly.

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Character Portrait: Jesse Allard Character Portrait: Re'Altarm Character Portrait: Jeanne Bonheur Character Portrait: Élodie Blanc
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#, as written by Tiko
Jesse let out a whine as he stood up, and he ducked his head low and slunk out of the way. Best to keep up the ruse that he was just some dog. What normally served as the butt end of jokes within the pack afforded him a measure of freedom at the moment. He could hear the commotion upstairs, but he had promised Re'Altarm he would stay with her, and so stay with her he did.

He could do little to dissuade the police though, not without risking them shooting him. And so he simply stood vigil to one side, hopeful that Baron would appear at the top of steps any minute now.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Jesse Allard Character Portrait: Re'Altarm Character Portrait: Jeanne Bonheur Character Portrait: Élodie Blanc
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#, as written by Lialore
Just a dog.
A breath rushed out as she lowered her arm and tuned all of her attention back to Jeanne and the undeniable victim.

The closer she looked the worse it got. Not only did the woman seem to be suffering from some kind of sickness, but there were wounds on her neck, her shoulders, her arms. And the state of the cage wouldn’t be called hygienic under any circumstances.

Elodie did as she was told. She took a few steps away from the cage, in the few moments it took for the call to be connected, she’s convinced herself that what was going to come out of her mouth was panicked garble. To her own surprise, it wasn’t.

The ambulance was on its way, and after a brief explanation of what had happened and what they had found – though Elodie hadn’t been sure how to word what was before her – probably backup.

With her phone back in her pocket, her focus was back on this sorry sight.

As Jeanne was making for the cage, El bit her lip, wanting to say something, but not certain if her observations hadn’t already been digested by the more experienced officer.

“She’s hurt… scratched, bit… Shouldn’t we keep our distance?”
She didn’t like the idea of contracting lycanthropy too much herself, in all honesty. Her empathy was not powerful enough to overcome that. This woman did not look too... with it. Instability rolled off her.

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Character Portrait: Jesse Allard Character Portrait: Re'Altarm Character Portrait: Jeanne Bonheur Character Portrait: Élodie Blanc
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"They take time to change. If she shifts- assuming she's been infected- I'll have more than enough time to get away," said Jeanne, pulling a walkie from her belt.

The detective radioed orders to the cops above, letting them know the situation, as well. A woman down in the cellar, hurt, in a cage. "Arrest Baron and anyone who tries to create a disturbance. Get everyone outside and question any and all patrons and employees. I want a thorough search of the Den after the ambulance arrives and Baron's been taken to jail."

She tucked the walkie back on her belt, glancing at Elodie. "First day on the job?" she asked her, keeping an eye on the writing woman. Until the ambulance got there, they couldn't do anything, unless Elodie had medical experience. "Got an EMT license?"

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Character Portrait: Jesse Allard Character Portrait: Re'Altarm Character Portrait: Jeanne Bonheur Character Portrait: Élodie Blanc
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#, as written by Lialore
She nodded in response. El wasn’t about to admit that she was somewhat grateful for the cage separating them from this perhaps, potential threat.

“Been let loose a few times. Interviews, scene searching, nothing… nothing like this.” Definitely not. Here it was: that experience she’d been wanting for so long. Now she stood there in the raw horrors of criminal actions, she was questioning her choices, motives, perhaps her sanity for wanting to spend her life dealing with such things.

Noticing that she was still unreasonably tensed up even though nothing aggressive had happened so far, she tried to get herself to loosen up. A quick glance at the dog which was still lingering made certain that her muscles remained wound up.

“Not an EMT.” It was something she planned to get to. She hadn’t been expecting to need it so soon. Besides, she might have considered telling a lie simply because she didn't want her hands anywhere near the maybe-infected and definitely out-of-her-mind woman. “I just wanted to drive fast and have lots of guns.”

Half-hysteric laughter collected in her throat, but she swallowed it down with a gulp.

“Shouldn’t be long.
This is… this is horrible. They didn’t seem so bad.” Elodie was perfectly aware of how childish she sounded.

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Character Portrait: Chloe Sandara Character Portrait: Baron
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#, as written by Tiko
Chloe stirred on the stone floor, huddled up underneath a blanket she happened to find half unconcious after she had shifted the night before. She was still in her birthday suit, finding it better to just let herself pass out and freeze than to force herself to find where her clothes had been scattered to.

Her body was stiff, both from the shift and the stone floor, and there was some dried blood on the stone floor from where she had most likely gnawed or bashed against the bars. She felt her head tenderly and winced at the goose egg there.

"Desmond..?" She called skeptically. No doubt he couldn't hear her or he was gone.. Or most likely out cold drunk.

"I sent him away," a man's voice spoke up.

Baron was seated on a wooden crate with an ashtray on top of an empty cask next to him. From the accumulation of cigarette butts in the tray, he had been there a while.

"Do you know who I am?" he asked.

Wolfish eyes found her own through the gloomy cellar as he watched her from his seat.

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Character Portrait: Chloe Sandara Character Portrait: Baron
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#, as written by Tiko
Chloe's neck hairs went on end at the sound of his voice. Her green hues turning bright almost instantly as her head whipped around to gaze up at Baron.

She remained silent for a long moment after his question, it was almost uncertain she would answer.

"I'm assuming that you're Baron." She said quietly, her voice oddly calm.

She felt that he was judging her with every move she made, and so she remained perfectly still, crouched on the ground. The blanket had long fallen away and the cellar was freezing even with her higher tolerance of the cold.

"I am. Do you know what that means?" he asked.

Her jaw clenched slightly. At least Desmond could have given her some warning...

"Guess you're here to judge me." She muttered.

"It means that I'm in charge around here," he corrected. "And it means I'm responsible for the safety of my pack, and this territory. Something that your presence in Lupaix endangers," he continued as he stubbed out his half-finished cigarette.

He leaned forward with his elbows on his knees as he spoke, and his stare was unwavering as he watched her through the bars of the cage.

"With that said, this can go one of two ways. You can leave Lupaix, or you can convince me that you're not a danger to my pack. Julienne says you have lunentia, while Desmond says you have shown progress in controlling yourself. So I ask you, which is it."

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Character Portrait: Chloe Sandara Character Portrait: Baron
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#, as written by Tiko
She gazed back into his eyes, just as unmoving as he was. She took a deep breath and her eyes faded from the neon light that had began to grow behind them.

"You tell me." She answered quietly.

"I'm no danger to your pack."

"Your denial makes you more of a danger than your lack of control," Baron replied unwavering. "You nearly killed one of mine, and yet say you're no danger."

He stood then, seeming to move to head back upstairs.

"Then what do you suggest?" She asked, her eyes following him. "I admit that it slipped. I am trying to fix my problem.." She said.

"Give me a direction to go in. I don't want to be run out of of Lupaix, and our paths will cross again if I remain in Lutetia. Tell me how I can fix this, and I will."

"I don't want to be made an enemy of your pack because of something that can be mended before it gets worse.."

He paused two steps from the top of the stairs, seemingly thinking. Finally he opened the cellar door and headed upstairs, leaving Chloe be for the time being.

Chloe began to pace in silence.

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Character Portrait: Chloe Sandara Character Portrait: Carlisle
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#, as written by Tiko
It was a half-hour later when the door re-opened, and this time it was Carlisle who appeared at the top of the steps.

He had the keys to the cell in hand which he used to unlock the door to the cage.

"Go on then, Baron'll see you upstairs," he told her.

Chloe had taken the time to get back into Desmond's spare clothes in her free time. But her mind was going a million miles a minute.

Her eyes followed Carlisle as he came to unlock the cage. She seemed hesitant on crossing through, as if suddenly the cage was the safest place she could be in right that moment. Still, she had to face it sooner or later.

Taking a deep breath, she slowly moved towards the man. "Thanks.." She breathed, meekly smiling at Carlisle as she passed through the door. She would then start to head up the stairs into the bar.