Another Long Night [Closed]

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Lord of Nothing
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Another Long Night [Closed]

Post by Lord of Nothing » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:29 pm

Intruder Alert!

Intruder Alert!


Not this again.

He whiffs the air. And he smells blood.

"I think he went this way." A soldier says. In some part of the facility, a man in a cape and body armor not strong enough trudges through the facility. He watches the Assurance Soldiers move along the warehouse, their formation covering every angle. Guns trained into the overheads. It was only a matter of time before they found the crusader who nimbly hid in the rafters above. This night, the Commander would not stand idly by.

"Come peacefully." Septimus spoke, surprising the man as he noticed the black, armor silhouette standing in the darkness. Septimus could smell the man and identify that he was indeed, not a metahuman. He could hear his frantically beating heart and if he closed his eyes, he could estimate how long it would be before the vigilante in question bled out in the hands of Assurance soldiers.

A hand whips out towards Septimus. Two throwing projectiles releases.

Ching ching.

They are batted away with the swipe of his sword, exploding with a BOOM off in the distance. The man for more but by the time his hand touches it, he feels a palm in his face smashing his head into the back of the support beam, his skull pushed up against ballistic plate. His body falls limp promptly after. The men look up to see their commander.

Thump.

Septimus appears outside of the corner, dragging the man down by his cape before he drops him in front of the men.

"Cuff him. Get him a medic. And then call him an ambulance. Confirmed not metahuman. Conventional restraints are all that is necessary." The men all stared. He received prompt "Yes sirs" while he was present, and as they walked away, their thought. "Damn. I wanted another notch on my armor." and "You know we can take our time calling the ambulance."

"What was that?" Said Septimus over the radio. The men then all all exchanged glances before promptly following up as ordered.

The power came back on promptly after. Men were resuming their posts. There were no casualties. And everyone resumed as though nothing had happened. All the while Septimus now sat at a desk, filling out a detailed report of the incident in question. Once a few people were relieved, they were made to fill out their reports on what happened. Being that they just ended a life, he was informed of the investigation that would take place, which would likely be dismissed with the report he gave as he went on about his merry way. And for now he was dismissed to go home.

With a neat stack of paperwork lying in wait, the night had come to nearly an end and the beginning of Septimus' weekend would finally begin. His mind however, wandered in dread at the thought of doing something so much as carving wooden sculptures, reading a book or otherwise doing the same things he often tended to do.

Now was a time to do something different. The Nosferatu tended to be creatures of stasis as far as the mind went. He did not usually change over even decades of time until he interfaced with someone else. And so, to break the monotony of his every day life did in part feel that there was no better opportunity than to speak with someone who he hasn't had the chance to speak with in a long time. Someone who he hadn't really seen since during the meeting.

Sitri was one who Septimus knew. In a way, he was glad she was there and he'd look forward to meeting her. But the last impression he wanted to give was that he had joined for her. It was quite an odd coincidence even that the two would be monsters found themselves drawn to the organization. He could only really wonder. He hadn't the time to really pay her a greater amount of attention during the ACF meeting. However, from what little he could tell, something of her had changed.

He sent her text. Simply titled "Coffee?"

Coffee seemed an obvious choice. Humans are not quite very good at. He himself already fed at home, desiring caffeinated blood to aid in his own staying awake during the daylight owners. The owner of the mansion he lived in was all too happy to provide, being that Septimus himself had saved the life of the man's mother. Who was endangered of being abused by their father. Now that the man was rich, he was all too happy to give back to the otherwise Outcast of a vampire. Plus he already liked to start his day off with coffee as well.

The sun had begun to peak over the horizon. Septimus sat in the coffee shop in question, seemingly appropriately dressed for winter weather despite his affinity for the cold was dressed in heavier clothing. A winter coat with a hoodie. Gloves which hid his fingernail-less hands. And sunglasses which he removed upon entering indoors. The light did not grace the corner which he sat in too heavily.

He sat a bit still. Time generally passing by quickly. But he looked about, and saw many people on their phones. To his irritation, some where even on their phones while they were talking to people. But, he had some stares from sitting in the cafe corner alone and staring at the wall.

He whips out his phone, pale blue eyes staring into the screen and pulling up the "youtube" app to see what appears on the latest trends. His finger flicks through an endless array of music....not to his personal taste. He settled on a video questioning about whether or not a metal boomerang would return to the person. And becoming promptly occupied with the device and video in question as he waits.

When in Rome.
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Re: Another Long Night [Closed]

Post by illirica » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:58 pm

She hadn't really meant to be there all night.

Sitri had figured she'd work for a while that evening, while things were quieter and there weren't so many distractions. Ms. Brown always had things that needed to be done, and while she never asked Sitri to do too much, there was plenty to be found that needed doing, and Sitri wanted to make sure it was done right. Most people simply didn't have her advantages when it came to personnel situations - it wasn't just the empathy, either. Sitri's audio recall was the difference between I think he said and he said, which could end up being a very important distinction.

She'd reached a sensible stopping point and started thinking about going home when there'd been an attack. Not much of one, from the sounds of it, but enough to put the place on lockdown while the problem was sorted out - and once it had been sorted out, there had been a sudden influx of additional paperwork, and since she'd been there already, she'd figured she might as well deal with it. She'd wandered down briefly while they were taking the perpetrator away in an ambulance, just to get a quick sense of him, but since her special ability wasn't public, she hadn't wanted to stick around too long, and contented herself with a quick pass.

Mostly, he'd been in a world of hurt, but she couldn't exactly feel too sorry for him. Attacking Assurance's facility as a solo attempt was a bad decision worthy of some of her younger escapades. She'd grabbed a Coke, having given up on her not-having-a-caffeine-habit after one too many early meetings, and gone back to write up reports so that everything would be ready for Ms. Brown when she got in in the morning.

Given the hour, the text was the only interruption, and an unexpected one at that. Sitri had smiled a little bit when it came in, then went back to finishing the report. By the time she left for the night, she could feel the insufficient warmth of the winter sun starting to creep up through the bitter chill. It probably would have been a better decision to go home and go to bed, but she didn't feel like standing around waiting for the El, and the coffee shop was closer... and warmer.

She slipped in through the doorway, taking a step to the side and humming softly to herself, getting her bearings as she removed her hat and gloves and tucked them into her coat pockets. Days like this made her miss California, for the weather if nothing else... and she supposed there would always be a few other things she missed about California, as well.

There wasn't much of a line at this hour, and she ordered a drink quickly, fully aware of Septimus in the corner. He'd noticed her when she'd come in, but was waiting with a sense of patience few possessed. A few minutes passed, and she took her drink - chai, not coffee, and went carefully over to the table where he sat. Navigating unfamiliar spaces still made her nervous, sometimes, even if she hadn't had difficulty with it for years.

"Septimus." A smile, unhidden. "Is this late for a social call, or early for a work meeting? Please tell me it's the first, I've had enough meetings lately."

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Re: Another Long Night [Closed]

Post by Lord of Nothing » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:24 pm

His ears begin to twitch as she does. He knew what it was like to be blinded now, oddly enough. And his hearing had since become more acute. Indeed, if he closed his eyes he could navigate the dark. Operate without any light whatsoever. Something fitting for a creature of the dark. Timed moved a bit more slowly oddly enough as he watched video seemingly, impatiently waiting for them to get to the point. But he would find the results later. There was a part of him, thinking of what to say when she approached. Watching people was easy. Talking to them was a bit harder.

As soon as she appeared before him, he tapped the video and paused it with them almost reaching the "testing phase" of the potential weapon. A question which he would rather find out later.

"Hello Sitri." He said in his usual accent and overtly wordy phrasing. He found his often stoic expression finally giving way to a subtle and yet genuine smile in return. He stood up and gave her a brief single armed hug. The same as one would give to any long time friend. It seemed to be appropriate from what he observed at least. After which he promptly sat back down.

"It is the first. Luckily, my patience is eternal. So it is acceptable in this case, Ms. Slyker." He said, his humor a little a dry. His mind, admittedly unaccustomed to such wit. It wasn't like this happened often.

"It's good to see. I honestly was unsure to if we would meet again. Particularly not under such....circumstance. I never really pictured you as the office type." There was image there of Sitri standing before Septimus in the alleyway of Prague. Holding a sword masquerading as a cane before him. Her smiling and him secretly reveling in the opportunity to punch her. All in good fun, as he remembered it. People rarely challenged him to duels anymore.

It is a different time.

"How have you been?"
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Re: Another Long Night [Closed]

Post by illirica » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:41 pm

"I've been good," she answered, with the quick flash of a smile that was maybe a little more pointed than it could have been: a little more mischievous. Sitri tried to be good. She had not, in the past, always succeeded. She sat down across from him after a moment's brief contact - the hug had been unexpected, even if it hadn't been unwanted.

"I'm adapting, I would say. I never expected to be the office type either, but... well. Times have changed... and if I'm not who I thought I would be, at least I'm not who I feared I would be." She raised her cup to her lips, blowing gently on the liquid to cool it enough to take a tiny sip. Spice, cinnamon and cardamom. More of the first than she liked, but it was blessedly hot, at least.

Much like- No, she wasn't going to go there. She was being good, wasn't she? A soft hint of laughter escaped, but she didn't share what had provoked it. "Did you want me to Mr. Nier at you like we're in a bad Jane Austen novel? You know, Oliver does this little thing where he doesn't quite twitch every time I call him by his given name; it's quite delightful." Another of those little hints of amused laughter, followed by "All right, so I haven't been entirely good. You've changed too, you know. You were always more the loner."

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Re: Another Long Night [Closed]

Post by Lord of Nothing » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:59 pm

He watched her smile. Mischievously. Almost demonic. Perhaps some people might have found it off-putting or even ominious. But Septimus liked to think he knew better than to mistake her for that. It was apart of her, intertwined with her being. It reminded him of the fact that she, much like him, lived with her nature.

"A sentiment I understand all too well." He said, raising his hairless brow curiously. Her amusement was infectious.

"As a matter a fact, I would much rather you not. I have grown rather accustomed to Mr. Nier and Sir. Perhaps I am a little proper, but I don't have such a "stick up my ass" yet at least. I would rather be called something else for a change."

The men did respect him. But for that reason, he kept most of those who were under him at a professional distance. Sitri was one far removed from the world of soldiers who did harbor some respect for him. And oddly enough, he could see himself working with her specifically. Particularly when it comes to the PR complexities of Assurance hiring a bloodsucker such as him.

Already thinking like a proper businessman, I suppose. Or a general trying to phosphor relations. Or a proper vampire lord reigning above his kingdom. With wolves at the gate of his castle and sheep roaming the outskirts ready to eat approaching hunters.

Did not particularly like the last analogy.

He could feel the gaze of others on him occasionally. Quick glances to his direction. Hushed whispers. A "Weird lookin' meta" here. And a "Is he sick?" there. It brought him no distress. It would be better if they knew. Despite what it might do to him and those who were seen as too close.

"It seems you've been good enough. But some things say the same." He said with his own smile growing a bit wider. Sitri herself remained a host of darker desires. But to see her doing well in spite of that made it rather meaningful. Especially to him.

Not all with darkness in their hearts must fall into it. And it may be embraced all the same.

"I have been socializing more. I figured it is time for a change. So many years of doing the same thing. And getting the same results. Ironically, I have done something similar. Long ago during a darker time. I would help groups of hunters and feed them information. It seems now I find myself in a similar position. But...a little closer to the people. Much longer term. And helping against the newest craze of things walking a muck. The world seems not so short on costumed lunatics among those who do well enough."

He sighs smelling the cinnamon, spice and cardamom in her tea. He couldn't taste it and it no longer smelled appetizing. But the sensation brought about something similar sensation to smelling a candle for him.

"I like to think I am helping people help themselves. To fight with rather than for. I used to not be the greatest fan of large systems. Corporations. But, corporations are people too I feel. Some would just do better to act like it." It might be something ambiguous to talk about. But he found an affinity for particularly in depth topics.
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Re: Another Long Night [Closed]

Post by illirica » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:37 pm

"Assurance is something important, I think, or... it was meant to be. A way to give power, rather than to amass it. I know I'm not exactly on the front lines any more-" There was no hiding the wistfulness in her tone; office job or not, there was still a part of her that very much still wanted to be the girl who got in a fight with a vampire because it sounded like fun. "-but for the people who still are, I want them to have the equipment they need, the knowledge that they can do what they need to, without resorting to becoming someone like-" You. Me. Us.

She shook her head, and sipped her tea. "You'd do it, if I asked you to, wouldn't you?" Soft words, a gentle tone, something that was... not quite desire, and yet not quite entirely different from that, either. Septimus wasn't one to leave offspring in his wake like a fifteenth-century nobleman who couldn't keep it in his pants, but Sitri still had no doubt that if she asked him...

No, she wasn't going to ask him. She shook her head again, and smiled. "Don't answer that. I shouldn't have brought it up; it was inappropriate." Not that Sitri had ever been one to care about propriety in the conventional sense, of course, but this was something different. She sipped her tea instead, burning fire at the tip of her tongue. Dangerous... but only a hint of danger, only a small provocation. She didn't allow herself more than that. Not any more.

Too well, she knew where that path could lead. "Corporations are just one more way for people to band together. To be a part of something greater than ourselves. Better than ourselves, maybe. And... even if not that, at least we aren't alone in our sins."

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Re: Another Long Night [Closed]

Post by Lord of Nothing » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:20 am

She really had changed. And also not. He could sense the desire for the battlefield she held. Some part of him still yet hungered to crush the other baseline mortals beneath his feet so that he may gouge upon their blood. The part which rejected humankind and reveled in their fear of him. Which only held some shrivel of the man left so that it may gain the one thing it needs. The blood of man. And to survive.

There was some part of her like that too. Only it fed not upon flesh. But upon ethereal things. Pain. Sorrow. Hate. Something which was anti-thetical to humanity. Which fed upon it. A predator. Like him.

As she spoke, he detected something in her tone. The words had almost a grave implication, but the almost longing way she spoke them indicated something else.

"Sitri I-"

She cut him off. His words hung in the air. His lips sealed as he listened. He nodded, in acknowledgement, his expression letting off a bit of a colder expression. Earnest in that he knew something of the great implication of what she'd ask.

"As you wish...." He says. There wasn't a desire to make her uncomfortable. And she oddly seemed to feel the same way. Perhaps, another time.

"....Sometimes better. Sometimes worse. People tend to be complicated. And thus, so to do corporations." Septimus remembers looking over the files given to him by Axiom. Things on it he could talk about with no one. Copies which sat distributed and ready to be release. If ever need be. There was information there. One which could damage the company. But Septimus liked to think that there was something better than...destruction. Perhaps, change? And where better than from the inside?

"Did you approach them or...did they come to you? What exactly was it that made you want to join this one?"

He thinks for a moment, deciding.

"I ask you this as a person rather than...as an employee, Sitri."
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Re: Another Long Night [Closed]

Post by illirica » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:06 pm

“They came to me.” She didn’t mention how or why, but she had her suspicions. She’d been a bartender in Cincinnati, and they got all types going through there. It was a big enough city, she suspected some Assurance types had been through for something or other, stopped for a late night drink somewhere - she knew who it was, too - could recall the conversations they’d had with one another if she tried.

They hadn’t said anything then, but she suspected they’d passed along her name - to someone, somewhere, who had decided that she was worth checking out. It had been about a week later when there’d been another Assurance person through her bar, and unlike the others, this one had been wanting to talk to her, not to one of his companions.

The offer to come up to Chicago for a formal interview had come the next day. At the time, Sitri had questioned how they’d gotten her phone number when she hadn’t given it out, but having worked for Assurance for some time now, she no longer questioned such things. She’d expected the ‘interview’ to go nowhere, but they had been willing to pay for the trip to Chicago, and that had sounded like a fun little vacation that she wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.

Actually getting a job offer had been... unexpected. She’d debated it for a while, not sure if it was a good idea. “Assurance... believed in something bigger, back then. Maybe they still do. I think it’s gotten buried a little, beneath projects like Augustus and similar, but there’s something worthwhile in their ideals. When I signed on, that’s what I wanted. A chance for people to be... relevant, I suppose. A chance for normal people to be able to stand up and not get killed by the latest exonormal criminal. Not end up like me.”

She shrugged, and took another sip of tea. It wasn’t quite as scalding any more, but still hot, nicely so after the Chicago outdoors. In another world, someone like Septimus could have been the reason Sitri had ended up disabled. Someone like him, with fewer morals, a hint more cruelty. His abilities, her personality?

But no, she wasn’t like that any more - at least, she tried not to be. As much as she’d have liked to say she didn’t think about those things any more, that wasn’t the case. Growing up with a demon in her head had warped her mind, she supposed, and now those thoughts were just a part of her she had to ignore, to tell herself weren’t right. Kind of like the whole racism thing, she supposed - grow up with that as normal, turn out that way yourself.

Or maybe she’d always just been crazy, and the demon had just been an excuse. Sitri tried not to think about that sort of thing too much. Philosophy was a one-way ticket to depression. Too much thinking was never a good thing.

That was why she tried to do as little of it as possible. “So, what about you? Why’d you sign on? You seemed to be doing all right by yourself.”

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Re: Another Long Night [Closed]

Post by Lord of Nothing » Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:27 am

A bit of Sitri's wistfulness began to make sense. It became clear that someone came to her with something in mind for her to do already. And seemingly.

"I came to them." He paused for a moment to consider the way he would word it. He remembered when he spoke to Ryoko, going off on a long tangent. One which did.

"I suppose you could say I was bored. Despite what one might think, I am well off as far my physical needs are concerned. I have been for a long time. Resources and money only a means to an end. I seek purpose."

He shrugs.

"I was once hollow. Lost in pleasures that can come of having far too much time. Lost in greed and lust. Many of my kind are to this day. It wouldn't surprise me if many of the ones that are left are just sitting in the shadows and living a lavish life.It isn't too different from a human. But you watch the news and see how some celebrities. Some well off. Some with life ripe with scandals. Idle hands are the devil's plaything, and all that."

He opens his palms. And seemingly moments after, realizes that he may have unintentionally made a joke. And then continued.

"So, there was a part of me that wished to not fall into this trend. I never thought of myself as a..."hero" as one would say. Never a hero. But I wanted to do good. It was a different kind of satisfaction one got simply from...power. Making an impact on someone. But for the better. So I did what it is in my nature to do. I hunted.

And Hunted.

And hunted.

I hear about Assurance and I watch them. And for some time I think them no different than the other corporations. Too greedy to no end. There other other such entities who were. Generous. But sometimes unwilling to do what truly needs to be done. Too kind. Ironically, it was observing Kismet who. Even seeing her behind closed doors reinforced my faith in the company's ability to do good. So now I hunt and protect for Assurance So long as they stay true to the people."


And perhaps I may die for them.

He did not mention that part. As an immortal, he had already content himself with the fact that his life was meant to be forever. That at some point, it must end. One way or another. But this was not a depressing thought to him. What better way to die than a death with meaning? To live and die for other's sake.

"It seems to have worked out well enough. I fought side by side with men who held their own during the attack on the Chicago. From killing the insects to even...wounding the thing that caused it. Even if a little. Not to mention the people protected."

He takes a moment, and then something does occur to him. Something he wouldn't have really thought about until after he did so talk to her. If, he ever did reach that point where he was no longer needed. It was a nice thought to think that the world would be more balanced.

"Since you didn't approach them, I presume you didn't ask for the desk job. So that does lead to the question." He said. "You seem to desire some type of excitement. Have you considered. Hiking. Skydiving....Perhaps....sparring?" She had to channel her urges into something didn't she? He could feel that the urge was still there. Even if...the demon did not seem to be. Even if she smelled different from when he last, those inflections in her voice seemed to still yet linger.

There was something that seemed to be almost missing, from her. They control her life on the job. But Assurance doesn't control what she does in her spare time, do they?
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Re: Another Long Night [Closed]

Post by illirica » Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:49 pm

Sitri nodded a little bit as Septimus set out his tale. It made sense, she supposed - she couldn't have imagined him just accepting an offer, but if it were something he'd sought out... no, 'seeking' wasn't the right word, was it? He'd used the right word, over and over: hunted.

She smiled a little at it, with the understanding that the joining had necessarily come with disappointment at the end, the culmination of what he'd hunted, but at the same time, the end of the hunt itself. Without that end, the hunt itself would have been meaningless, but the joy had come in the hunt itself, in learning, stalking, seeking, striking.

She wondered if he knew how obvious it was - the way he talked about the hunt itself, the things he had found out - there was passion in his voice then, and an interest in the story he was telling, but he ended only with 'It seems to have worked out.' Acceptance, but he wasn't going on and on about Assurance the way he had been going on about looking for them.

"Ms. Brown is... worth protecting, I feel. I might not always agree with her, but I believe in her." She avoided the subject of the Chicago thing entirely, aware that her omission might seem glaring - but even if Assurance had engaged the thing, it hadn't been there for them. It had been there for another organization, and she still didn't know what sort of havoc it had wreaked among them.

There was no reason for anyone to have told her, of course. No reason for her to ask. She shifted her position in her seat, taking a drink and circumnavigating the subject. Even if she couldn't have been out there in Chicago fighting the thing, at least she still possessed an excellent ability to avoid the subject.

"Assurance is... right about me." The words hurt, and if her voice held steady, there was still the hint of discomfort in the motion of her fingertips on the cup before her. "I don't belong in a fight like that, Septimus. I'd be a liability to people like Ray, people like Victor. People like your men. They don't need the difficulty of doing their jobs around my disabilities when their jobs are difficult enough." She wasn't what she'd once been - and if she had taken up that mantle again... no, she knew too well where that led. It was something she had to deny herself.

"I still do kickboxing. Target shooting. It's..." Sitri trailed off, her fingers tracing an arc around her cup. "When an alcoholic tells you coffee is enough, it's like that." It wasn't enough, and she knew it never would be, but it was all she could allow herself, because she knew what the alternative would be.

She supposed Septimus knew a bit about how that was, as well.

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