Darkness in New Orleans

The Priss and the Pompus

Of all the things I've seen in the last month and change, there are some people I've come to dislike just off of my gut feeling. Thornton that rat bastard tech head is one of them. Stupid guy acting like we have to give up Layla. It sounds like she is going to be an avatar for the tech heads. All that only she is strong enough stuff. it sounds like they need to get better themselves instead of their head up their asses. But that is at the end.

There is some storm heading into the Louisiana. There is some weird structure of magic protecting the city but I wonder if it was a good thing to put it up. Its like sleeping in dumpsters. Most nights you don't have anything to worry about but if you forget what night the trash runs, you can wind up going for a ride. Ever been shook into the back of dump truck? Its not pleasant. The point is, some protections fail and you find yourself in a trash heap. It seems like the reason the "forces of the dymanic" fight so hard is because they were restrained and kept out. I don't know what to think about this. 

Lady Priss got to meet Lee and she seemed to enjoy it. She said he played wonderful music. That made me happy to hear. I hope those two hit it off. She seemed really helpful. She was able to let us know something called the Winter Court may be partly responsible and a guy to see. She said I probably wouldn't like him but the gun chicks might. When i see them next, I'm going the info to them. They might be able to do something with it.

Water. Safe place to be. Might challenge my way of thinking. Bed pan.

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Shit, Shit, SHIT!!
The Hell is wrong with me?!

I fell asleep on watch! I never do that! Fuck! What if the Tech heads had come crashing in while I was asleep? Apparently someone did because they left a damn threatening letter and caused a shit ton of mess. I'm lucky as all Hell that that was all that happened. I'm lucky Layla is still here. Lucky that Lan was all right. I had one fucking job and I slipped up.

I can't afford to mess up like this. Can't afford to…lose anyone. Can't afford to fail…period. I swear, Allison and Adelaide better not let me live this down because I certain as Hell won't. There just isn't enough words for how pissed off at myself I am for this. You don't mess up like this and walk away scot-free.

Just I literally had the lives of two people in my hands, and just like that I put their lives at risk. You just don't make that mistake. Ever.

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Memory in Living Color

I don't have a lot of happy memories from when I was a kid. A face of a beautiful woman taking me to school for the first time. A face that I can't remember clearly anymore. A stern face of a man when I broke the TV  because I was running around the house. Again, can't remember it clearly. But at some point early in the second grade, that all changed. It was a bright and sunny day when my parents left me in the alley. From that day on, the world darkened and greyed. Everything slowly became muted. Three months,  cops thought I was lying. No one, not even the bums who saw my parents leave me there believed me.

Then as if by some perfect design, while I was hungry and didn't know what to do, Lee said, "if you want it kid, there is a pizza in the dumpster." Once Lee was there, the world seemed full of color again. I noticed patterns in the bricks and street and even in the green dumpsters with the big WMs. So I took a look into the dumpster and there was a hot pizza that I wanted. The first time in nearly week I had good food. Then over the next few weeks, he taught me. Learned to defend myself, pick pocket only when I needed to. Begging never worked, no one noticed me. After a few months, I was able to live and Lee would come and go.

All this for the Tie It Off Club. Besides the amazing jazz and letting someone my age into the place, the purple drink was like meeting Lee for the first time again. The world burst open with colors and new sounds. Cat people, dwarves, and beautiful women I couldn't describe if I ever tried. And I learned what it was like to be a cat. The princess was asking me about a whole bunch things I didn't understand but she let me have a request. I'd be lying if I told didn't want to you, screw her… even right there on the counter. She seemed really sweet on me. But we still needed help with the Man with the red eyes, so I asked for help. I'm not sure what would have happened if I asked for the other thing.

Now Lady Priss. She is stunningly purfect. White kitty girl for most of the night. Shortly after we left the club though her whiskers and white fur disappeared.  I'm pretty sure she had a tail as well. But even blue jeans and a t shirt looked gorgeous. The cat ears were a little off, but that was fine. And then gun totting psycho bitches manage to turn a helpful person into a suspect like I had brought home a heroine junkie.  Every time with those two. Every single time. I can't seem to meet new people without their first choice being to shot them. Maybe Adelaide will chill out, apparently she screwed a werewolf. It almost looked like a fun thing to do. 

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Spiders in the Church

All this began after breakfast. Like half the crap with the cabal, at least I got to eat this time.

I've never been a fan of the churches. Most of them are creepy and even when i was first one the street before help found me, I heard stories about "touchy" priests with kids. I don't often go to churches. You can steal shoes from them occasionally. All Saints made me feel out of place, even when I went back.  After breakfast, after lunch; we took Layla to go see the "Good reverend Williams" he started trying to take her to his office.

The fight was quick, but that baton I counted on as a kid, keeps slipping from my hand now. Phreak Weasel smacked the living hell out of the priest though. I think he died. EMS and cops and Tech Heads. I couldn't tell if it was a good time to hug Layla, but I kept trying. I finally got one time right. My shoulder was a little wet when she pulled away but she seemed a little happier, if that's the right word.

It gets weirder. Adelaide spoke Layla's father. That ass hat Dr Thorton seems to want Layla for some reason. Then the bikers came back. I looked around and they seemed to want to fight one on one. Some in weird ways like with a gameboy. I haven't ever played with one but they plugged them together. Adelaide was waving her hands around before doing what she does best and shooting things. What do i get for a fight. You want to know?  Knight rider head wants to stare at me until he disappeared. Just poof and gone. But I wouldn't want to continue existing with motorcycle parts poked into my flesh either. 

Can't believe I'm saying this, but the Tech heads saved the day. Layla seemed to recover from whatever they were doing to her. All I know I ain't doing shit for the next couple days. Maybe talk with Lee and Bunny.

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That Was Uncalled For

Seriously, the girl is grieving, lost, and the first thing you guys think of is a joke? I may be 'just a kid', but even I know better than that, more than these assholes know. I don't know what they were thinking. You seriously don't make light of something like…this.

I'll…have some time to sort this shit out…hopefully. This has been a busy weekend. Attacking a research hospital, hit by a car, chasing after a brawler that could beat the shit out of me with a thought, a demonic priest, and now Ghost Rider wannabes? It's getting a bit much.

Layla should be fine, hopefully. Losing your family like that so suddenly, that's too much on anyone, let alone anyone like…well…us. I just…hope she's willing to open up. It's not something easy to get over. It's been a couple years and I don't think I've completely gotten over it. She needs an outlet though, and soon.

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There Shall Be War, Chapter 2 Epilogue
27 March 1997, Thursday, 4:33 AM

"This is getting tiring, how many damn havens can they have?" Karen says to Avery as she steps away from the befuddled director of Parker Meadows Hospital.

"Dutch called, "Avery replies while rifling through hospital records. "Sebastian pulled some strings in the mayor's office to get a stay on construction in the whole subdivision of Lady Anne Place out in Bywater. Sounds like they're going to level the place and start over again. The whole 'gas explosion' bit is going to start to get trite though. The media are asking too many questions. That shock jock, Kid Kellex on WNOZ is already calling these things a conspiracy."

Karen pulls out a new Virginia Slim and lights it up. "Well, we got rid of Trixie, but it seems her replacement is still selling explosives. We're gonna have to put an end to that. The Court doesn't like it when we try to impose strictures. I understand Kindred wanting to protect themselves, but there's far too much military hardware out there. And for all we know some sloppy neonate could be leaving these weapons around for the Sabbat to find them."

"I hate faeries," Avery grunts, pulling out a file and examining it closely.

Avery hands Karen the file after looking it over. "Rae Lyndon, some recent arrival. Seems like Dr. O' Hannigan was giving her a lot of privileges for some reason. Unusual for a doctor to trust a mental patient so much. You think she might be a Sabbat sleeper with the doctor under her control?"

Karen looks over the file for a few moments and lets her cigarette burn on an ashtray, "No, that seems unlikely. Too many people are missing from this ward. If the Sabbat had long-term plans to hide here, they wouldn't have made it so obvious. No, this was done to hurt us. Imagine what a breach of the Masquerade it would be if this had gotten out. We're just lucky our friend showed up before the police did."

"Got that for sure," Avery nods in agreement, "and what about this one? Daphne Vivas? Also unaccounted for, but according to your 'interviews' not one of the ones they took the night before. Holy shit! I didn't see these notes before. Black-belt in Tae-Kwon Do and Krav Maga. Claimed political asylum from persecution in Guatemala, but claims she spent eight years as a resistance fighter. This one is probably dangerous as a mortal. If they Embraced her…"

"I know," Karen says, picking up her cigarette and taking a long puff, "they knew exactly who to take."

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Little Willa, Chapter 6 Epilogue
Sunday, 23 March 1997 11:25 PM

Fire engines and other emergency vehicles crowd Evergreen Dr. as a two-story home rapidly burns. Geffrey Read, a fourteen-year veteran of the Gretna Fire Department plunges out of the smoke with a body as onlookers gasp. The burns are horrific. The body is indescribable in its mutilation. "She must have been close to the blast, but she's the only one in there near as I can figure," Geffrey explains as the paramedics rush up.

Within moments, the paramedics end attempts to resuscitate. There is obviously no point. Her head is barely intact from the gas explosion despite countless other injuries. A police officer speaks with neighbors. Elsa Weaver was her name. She lived with her youngest daughter who had recently gone missing. The father had died many years ago in a hospital accident. Another daughter had run away from home five years ago. Such a tragedy.

Geffrey puzzles things out in his head. He's seen some terrible fires, gas explosions even, but never anything like this. It doesn't make sense. Something blew that womans' head off, but he doesn't know what. He sees the M.E. arriving and quickly makes his way over, "Sir, I'm sorry to approach you like this, but something about this isn't right."

The M.E. looks at Geffrey for a moment through his glasses, then asks what the matter is. Geffrey explains the nature of the wounds, where he found the body. He's not a detective obviously, but things don't add up. The firefighter says it looks like a cover up. The M.E. sighs, "you really need to hydrate before we talk more. I can tell you've been sweating a lot. Have a bottle of water."

Geffrey is indeed thirsty and drinks the water. A hazy look falls over his eyes. The M.E. steps closer and speaks softly, "there's nothing you need to concern yourself with here. Nothing about the way you found Mrs. Weaver was out of the ordinary, and this is exactly what you will say if you are ever asked."

Geffrey seems to come back to his senses when the M.E. snaps his fingers, "Are you okay? Perhaps you inhaled too much smoke. You should go see those paramedics, get yourself checked out."

Geffrey nods. Another day, another life lost. It's a tragedy to be sure, but what could he do? She was clearly just standing too close to the oven when the gas exploded.

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That was awesome!!

I really like sex. Well. I'm getting ahead of myself.

The crazy gun totting bitch was helpful. Lee told something about mages that are crazy and refuse to follow the laws of reality. Dozen or so bikers come driving through the area. I wasn't paying that close attention but it didn't look like any of them had the same motorcycle, all different, all weird. They had axes and all other manner of weapons too. Then she was helpful for a moment, she took there and tried to escape but one of the bikers teleported in her way. From there, I couldn't tell exactly what happened but she was on her back. We took off to the chantry.

That's when I met Nora. I ask for directions and I get kissed. Out of nowhere. Random horny chick. Now, I have no idea how I held my cool long enough to get help. I found Jewel's second in command and sent her downstairs. Then I let go. I went over to kiss Nora and next thing I know. My world was rocked. Is it even okay to talk about this? I know a lot of guys would brag, but if I talk about too much about it, I wonder if I won't get another chance. Although I remember why I don't like most drugs, whatever pill she gave me had me touching everything… in my underwear. Apparently I left them on the roof.

Some of the details are a little fuzzy, but I remember a very cold shower. Something about my palm being cut with a bone. Then things became clearer. I saw Bunny after all that and it felt so weird. Ya know when you think someone is digging you and they ask you if you just got laid. I couldn't tell if she was jealous, amused or ya know, proud. I hugged her but I don't know if she wanted it or if I needed it. I always feel weird around her. she did let me know about Reverend Williams.

Another bag of weird in a two days. The All Saints Church had the creepiest feeling I've had in a while. That includes the conversation with Bunny. I couldn't put my finger on the feeling but it was creepy. Not many people wake up with bugs crawling them but I have. It felt like that. For now, we are going to the reverend after services. Jim was able to pay for breakfast but now I have to worry about where to sleep since the men in black are looking for us again.  Now I have to figure out where to sleep at night again.

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There Shall Be War, Chapter 1 Prologue
Monday, 24 March 1997, 5:28 PM, just before dusk

"What's that, Charlie?" Bobby Joe asks as an enormous metal crate is lifted off the boat by a crane.

Charlie looks it up and down, noting strange markings in red on the side. He double checks the listings on his clipboard as the crane sets the crate down on the shore side. "Not quite sure. It's not even listed on the manifest. That thing could be holding a tank for all I know."

The two men standing on the dock are so keen on the enormous box that they barely notice the approach of a rugged young man of Puerto Rican descent with a brutal scar across his chin. He is dressed in a fine black suit, shining black shoes, and a red tie. The cuff links of his suit are fashioned into gold crucifixes.

"Whoa, hey," Bobby Joe says as the man approaches, "I'm not sure who you are fancypants, but you're not supposed to be on this dock."

The rugged man in the suit chuckles and looks down at the water for a moment, then quickly locks eyes with Bobby Joe, "I think you should go find yourself a lonely stretch of the Mississippi and JUMP into the river."

The command is emphatic and bizarrely persuasive. As soon as Bobby Joe hears it, he moves away and starts rushing along the river, looking at the water.

"Whatinthedamnhell," Charlie says dumbfounded as he watches Bobby Joe wander off.

Charlie fails to notice the man sliding up behind him. With great speed and strength, the man puts Charlie in a sleeper hold and cups his mouth to keep him from screaming. Charlie struggles in futility, eventually succumbing to the stranger's grasp and collapsing on the pier. "Come along now," the man says, gently hoisting the unconscious Charlie onto his shoulders and carrying him to shore, "the trip from New York has been a long one. Nightfall is nearly upon us, and my Domitor will be hungry. "

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Late Surveillance
A Prequel Short

Tyler woke up at late at night. He shifted as he reached for the radio, now playing some late night advertisement when it normally plays the likes of Nirvana. He shifted the channel to one not known by most, almost as if driven to change the channel. A late night news show, almost nonsensical stories, but they seem to make sense to him. He continued to lie back and listen to the radio show. The rough but light hearted voice seemed to delight in the story hiding the real news, as if recalling old times.

What he just heard about may have taken place nearby, but there was nothing he could do. That didn’t mean he couldn’t prepare for it and keep the place safe. Right now, he felt he had time for now. He had a more important thing to check out, or more important to him anyway. He crawled out of bed, not bothering to get dressed. He walked down the hallway towards his parents’ room.

Every night he had done this with dread, peeking into his parents’ room to see if they were still there. The worst fear he had was looking in and finding the bed empty. To his relief, he found both of his parents sleeping soundly. Breathing a sigh of relief, but not relaxing, he walked back toward his room. He knew his parents were safe for now, but he had to make absolutely certain they were.

As he got back to the room, he opened up his laptop waiting for the operating system to boot up. The moment he was able to, he opened the word processor and started typing, describing the surroundings around him and the neighborhood as he was aware of them. In doing so, his vision started to reach out, beyond the building he was in and throughout the neighborhood. He reached out as if to find every little detail around him to find out if it was a threat, every car that passed through, every person walking the late night hours.

This went on for several hours. If it weren’t for how important this was, he would have fallen asleep from boredom. Then, he found the threat, a troubled mage that had been causing problems looking for its next victim. He suddenly looked up, as if looking straight at Tyler. “I don’t think so,” Tyler thought. Immediately looking for any mages in the area he could warn. 

Thankfully, he found a Euthanos nearby where the young mage was. Such a mage could always use the glory of taking down a criminal. Tyler wasn’t interested in that stuff, only to make sure this kid got nowhere near him or his family. He quickly typed a mental suggestion for the mage to wake up and begin his ‘training’ early. 

It was starting to reach the morning hours anyway. He continued to watch the Euthanos get up and take the early morning session. The young mage that had ‘seen’ Tyler was now distracted by something new, trying to figure out if the Euthanos was a target or a threat. He watched as the young mage try to assault the Euthanos, only to be repelled easy by the warrior mage, now recognizing it as the threat from the reports. He was more than happy to subdue the rogue mage.

Satisfied that the threat was gone, Tyler ended the ritualized spell. He knew the Euthanos would gladly take credit for stopping the criminal, but didn’t care. He got what he wanted and that was his family’s safety. He closed the laptop, shutting it down. Despite letting out a yawn, he was still too restless to go back to sleep, so he sat up on the side of the bed, rolling through his thoughts.

“Tyler?” his mother asked. Tyler looked up at the woman, already looking like she was ready for work. “What’s wrong?”

“Just woke up early. Usual nightmares, he half lied. It may have been nightmares that woke him up, but he had been up longer than he let on. He stood up  and walked up to the doorway, embracing the woman hat took him in not too long ago. “Thank you,” he told her. After awhile, the woman swore she heard her son snoring as he fell asleep on her shoulder. She slowly let the young man fall asleep, needing it after last night. She just wasn’t aware what all last night entailed.
 

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