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Meredith Bell's picture

Okay so here it is kids, now there's all this talk of writer's block, but what about the opposite? Yeah this is the space (as Heather called it) where all the 'out takes' will go.

SO you had a post all writen out, maybe even a collab and then something happened. You were restricted by time, it didn't fit any more, something just didn't seem right so you had to re-write the entire thing. HEY! THIS DOES HAPPEN!!

So, post that 'cut' post here, let us see the path you MAY have chosen, or a special 'deleted scene' that never made it to the final cut.

Go on, do it for puppies and christmas

The Cutting Room

Meredith Bell's picture

Okay I will kick things off here, this is a collab that robin and I did for the party at Bibliophile - it never made the cut because Robin and April both went AWOL and never got the chance to intergrate their characters into the party scene. So here it is, in all it's glory, Kate's justifiable anger and (sorry girls) Sorrow - fully clothed. :D

Sorrow smiled at Jade then headed towards the bar to get their drinks. As he moved across the edge of the dance floor he kept an eye on the vampire Parasol. While he was more willing to accept her more than Tash, he still didn't trust her. However, he would take a guess that there were more than enough stakes and vials of holy water in this room to deal with one solitary vampire should she become a ‘problem’. He had a few on him and no doubt Tash was carrying too. *So kick back relax otherwise you'll end up like Tash!*

Sorrow shook his head Tash's problems weren't connected with vampires except in the most tenuous fashion. Suddenly sorrow was jerked out of his reverie as he bumped into a short redhead. "Kate..."

Kate recovered from the blow and turned with annoyance to see who had almost knocked her over. She stopped short seeing Sorrow behind her, an apologetic look on his face.

“Oh isn’t this wonderful?” said Kate sourly, only moments after her argument with Daye and now she was going to have to deal with her feelings for, for this… thing. “Some party this is turning out to be.”

Sorrow took another step back the venom in Kate's voice was surprising, "Look I'm sorry."

“Oh, well, you’re sorry. That’s okay then, that makes everything just damn fine so long as you’re sorry.” Kate felt the anger and indignation rise inside her. Although she had seen very little of what had happened that night Inanna had taken no small amount of pleasure in filling her in on everything - how Sorrow had attacked and almost killed her, and also how he’d aided Serapis in murdering Luc. Ever since Kate had heard of Jade and Sorrow’s return to Los Angeles she had dreaded this moment.

Sorrow realised Kate was talking about him bumping her, no she was thinking about February when he blasted Luc in the back and laughed after nearly draining her protege to death. "Is this the time Kate? There are things we need to say to each other but do you want to say them here?" he gestured around Bibliophile.

He wondered who had spoken to Kate, if it was Inanna then he understood Kate's venom. He remembered Inanna's words when she realised he would survive the injuries he'd sustained that night. Still, even the bald facts were pretty damning.

Kate looked around Bibliophile at the other partygoers at her friends and realised she didn’t want to ruin all the hard work Daye had put into this party to make it a success. But just seeing Sorrow made her feel angry, and confused. Here he was having fun with Jade, his love, and maybe if he hadn’t done what he did Luc might still be alive. *But then what about Galen?* Kate glanced over at Galen still sat slumped over the bar, drink in his hand, and felt more confused than ever.

“You’re right, this isn’t the time. Whatever we have to say to each other can wait, I won’t spoil Daye’s party because of you.”

"Thank you" Sorrow had seen Kate's glance towards the man at the bar. *Looks like she's moved on maybe this won’t be as unpleasant as you're expecting*

“Don’t thank me,” said Kate coldly. “I’m doing this for Daye not you.” She followed Sorrow’s glance towards Galen. “And if you’re stupid enough to think that Galen changes anything between us then you’re sadly mistaken.”

Sorrow turned away to the bar, he had drinks to get and he didn't feel up to facing Kate’s justifiable anger and pain.

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MrDave's picture

This was an aborted idea of linking Paul to the twins to develop his character as a sympathetic one rather than some opportunistic thug. But alas it was not to be...This is as far as I got...
June 3, 2005...4pm
Paul didn't know why he was here. He kept coming back here when his concience bothered him. He picked up the book on the bedside table: "The Little Engine That Could" declared the title.

He flipped through the coulorful pages and smiled in childhood rememberance at the tale. Someone had been reading this book to these girls. These sleeping girls who had been here for months. Paul checked the "Blinkenlites" amulet he had and it was still blinking. Magic still worked here.

The doctor he had spoken to earlier said that the one girl: Cassie had severe brain trauma and might never awaken. Her brain was barely functioning. He also said that Celia's brain was uninjured but it exhibited the same sort of flattened pattern as Cassie.

Whatever it was that made these girl's power work was broken. * All the kings horses and all the king men... *

He quietly left and went back to his office in the warehouse known locally as Narcosis. He was not there long when Fugue entered the room. Fugue didn't so much as enter a room as infiltrate it. He had been standing in the room a while before Paul noticed him.

The Cutting Room

Heather's picture

There's a bit of a saga behind this one. When Robin and I did this collab. Dave and I hadn't yet done the bit where Victor calls Tash to say he's ok and to explain a little about what Sorrow did and why. So for this version of the post, Tash had no warning about Sorrow's part in the whole Xavier thing.

A second, more personal, note, is that during this collaboration other stuff was going on at Robin's end (which I don't need to go into here) that meant he was feeling progressively angrier as we went. That was definitely reflected in Sorrow's behaviour, as you'll now see.

I have to say, I'm very glad we decided to redo this scene entirely. The addition of the phone call from Victor was a large factor, but also neither Robin nor I were terribly happy with the direction this one had taken (in fact, right after we finished I was so upset I was in tears).


Tuesday, 16th August 2005 – 6pm

Tash was dozing fitfully, trying to ignore the dull throbbing behind her eyes. She was thinking about Victor and fretting. But he'd made it clear he wanted to deal with this hunter alone. Her reverie was broken by a firm knock. *Victor!* was her first thought, but then she gave herself a mental shake. *No, of course. Probably not.* She sighed heavily and slid out of her bed, grabbing a long t-shirt and dragging it over her head before she headed to the door.

"Who is it?" she queried from behind the locked door.

"Hi, Tash. It's Sorrow."

Sorrow. Tash's smile faded as her face became an impassive mask. She unlocked the door and opened it. She looked up at him, standing nervously in the doorway. Her expression softened slightly - very slightly. She had to admit it took a bit of nerve to come see her. But she was still mad at him.

"What do you want?" she asked bluntly, not yet inviting him in.

*Ok, so I cast a spell on her, but I do seem to remember she was attacking me at the time.* "I thought you might like to do some training before you went out tonight." He could be blunt too.

Tash blinked. This was the last thing she expected. "I'm not sure I'm going out tonight..." She sighed and held the door open. "Look, you might as well come in if you want."

As Sorrow moved past her into the room, she closed the door and commented, "Victor said he had a hunter after him. From the Society of Ulle." She turned to Sorrow. "I imagine you're the one who warned him. Thanks for that." Tash finally smiled.

Sorrow boosted his shields with everything he had. It was obvious Victor hadn't told her everything and he really didn't want Tash picking up his actual involvement with Xavier. Sorrow gave a slight smile. "Don't mention it."

Tash's earlier comment finally registered "You aren't hunting?" *Maybe Victor managed to talk some sense into her.*

Tash was starting to feel a little wobbly. She moved to the couch and sat carefully, trying not to let the t-shirt ride up too much. She really should put more clothes on, but couldn't be bothered. "Uh, no. I've been convinced it's not a good idea tonight, what with the concussion and all..." She looked over to the Stone of Ghortab, reassuring herself of its presence and everything that represented. *He will be back.*

*A concussion? Something got close then; other than that she'd be out again.* Sorrow looked over Tash; she seemed quite fragile at the moment. "Look, I just came over to see if you wanted to do some training before.... You're obviously not up to it so I'll go."

Tash was tempted to just let him walk straight out. She really wasn't up to dealing with him. But Victor was in need of help, and she'd be damned if she'd pass up any opportunity to do something for him.

"No, it's ok," she said. "I'm going to go upstairs later tonight to train Sam some more. But training aside, is there anything you know about this hunter that you haven't told Victor? He's out there alone - won't accept my help..." Tash closed her eyes, willing herself not to start crying again.

Sorrow looked back from the doorway. He could see the tears starting to form in Tash's eyes. *Damn it!* "Yeah there's stuff he doesn't know. He didn't seem too interested in it when I spoke to him earlier; I guess he had other things on his mind. "

*Sam? Who's Sam? And training upstairs? It can wait I guess,* he thought.

"Why don't you put some clothes on, I'll make us a drink and we can talk about Xavier."

Tash smiled weakly. She wondered why she'd been so furious with Sorrow on Saturday night. *Still, did he have to cast a damn spell on me to calm me down? Sheesh!* She held onto the back of the couch for support as she rose, then made her way to the bedroom to find some clothes. She could hear Sorrow rummaging around in the kitchen. She sighed. The things he'd been telling her had been repeated a few times now. And today she didn't seem capable of sustaining anger, so it was probably a good thing he had chosen tonight to visit. She found a pair of jeans and pulled them on before heading back to the lounge room.

Sorrow struggled with Tash's coffeemaker for a while but finally got it going. While he waited for the coffee to brew he thought on how much he would tell Tash. In her seemingly distressed state of mind telling her how Xavier had found Victor would probably be a bad idea, so he'd stick to Xavier's goals and previous activities. Victor hadn't taken the threat as seriously as Sorrow had hoped - maybe Tash could change his mind. Sorrow found a couple of mugs, poured the coffee and walked into the lounge trailing clouds of steam.

Tash sniffed the heavenly aroma. "Hmm, coffee." She took a mug from Sorrow with a small smile of thanks and placed it on the coffee table before settling herself gingerly on the couch. She looked at Sorrow's damaged face. "Looks like you've had a recent run-in, too."

"This?" He touched his bruised jaw "I got overconfident with a vamp. Thought I had him when I didn't." Sorrow settled into the couch opposite Tash and sipped his coffee. "Better?"

Tash nodded slowly, "Yeah, thanks." She tilted her head and appraised Sorrow thoughtfully. He wasn't leaking any thoughts at all. Her first instinct when Victor had mentioned the Society was that Sorrow was involved. But of course there were hundreds of members. They could have tracked Victor here. And Sorrow had warned Victor. "I hope you won't get into trouble with the Society for tipping off Victor. Though I imagine you won't exactly volunteer that to them."

She cradled her coffee mug, the warmth seeping through her gloves. "And it's probably my fault Victor wasn't concentrating about the hunter when you told him. He's worried about me. But I'm worried about him, now. So what else can you tell us about this Xavier?"

"Xavier's a glory hound. He looks for the toughest kills. Not the biggest, not the baddest, but the toughest. The Society doesn't have much on why he hunts but he's good at what he does. He usually has a couple of assistants - they aren't Society and he's sacrificed them before to get the job done. He's inventive and he likes to keep his prey off balance and he'll keep digging at any perceived weakness until he gets what he wants. Don't underestimate this man, Tash. Victor's tough but if he can be killed Xavier will find a way."

Tash's heart sank as Sorrow spoke. This Xavier sounded like the sort who would never give up until he or his prey were dead. *And that means Victor's going to have to kill him to be safe.* She put her head in her hands and tried to quell the fluttering in her stomach. And Sorrow was in the middle of it all. She raised her head and stared him in the eye.

"I have to ask, Sorrow. Where do your loyalties lie in this? You've told us a bit about this guy, but what next? It sounds to me like either Victor or Xavier has to die before this will be over. Are you willing to give us detailed information on Xavier from your files?"

"You're right. It is Xavier or Victor and my loyalties in this are mixed. I'm obligated to assist Xavier if he asks, though I can refuse to join his hunt. As for telling you about Xavier I'll give you what I can. Description, habits, everything in the files - but I can't offer any more assistance than that."

Tash didn't want to ask the next question that was begging to be aired. She didn't want to know. So she nodded, "I understand. You can't openly defy the Society by blocking one of its members, right?" *Oh, dammit,* she thought. Not only did she not want to ask the question, she had a good idea what the answer would be. She drained the dregs of her coffee and placed the mug on the low table between them before fixing Sorrow with a penetrating gaze.

“That's right, you can't block a member, can you? And you've been in LA for a while - off and on. He's new." The look on Sorrow's face confirmed her suspicions. "He came to you, didn't he?"


The flat reply said it all, really. "Ok," Tash kept her voice steady. "I have to say I'm really not happy about that. But I do understand your dilemma. And maybe if it were me I'd have to choose the same. But goddammit Sorrow!"

Tash clamped her mouth shut before she said anything more. She was upset. She hurt. She missed Victor. She was worried about Victor - more so now that she'd found out a little about the psychopath hunting him. And she wanted to lash out. Wanted to hurt Sorrow. She breathed deeply a few times before opening her eyes again.

“It's ok," she said, "I'm not going to tear you limb from limb. Don't want you blasting me with magic again," she said wryly.

Sorrow was surprised. He'd been expecting more than a short outburst. He'd just told her he'd helped the man who was trying to kill Victor. Had their positions been reversed a short outburst would have been the least of her worries. "It was hardly a blast," he commented.

He let his shields down just a little. "Look, I'm sorry Tash. I really am, but I can't refuse Xavier help. The whole Society relies on the oaths of mutual assistance. The contact I used to get into Beazor back in February was from the Society. Without them I wouldn't have survived this summer. God, I understand how you hurt. If our positions were reversed and you'd helped someone hunting Jade..."

He fell silent. Out of practice as he was and restricted in his magic as he would always be, still if that had happen they'd have found less of Tash than one of his kills.

Tash felt something spill over from Sorrow suddenly. She felt his conviction about his oaths. And his thoughts on how he'd have reacted. "Oh, don't worry, Sorrow. Turning you into a smear on the pavement is uppermost in my mind right now. Believe me, if Victor is hurt I'll hold you responsible. And if he dies..." Tash shook her head. She didn't really know what she'd do if Xavier killed her love.

She looked across at Sorrow sitting calmly on her couch. "I can't trust you any more, Sorrow," she said quietly. "What happens if Xavier fails? Will you point Victor out to the next hunter, and the next? Where does it stop?"

"It doesn't, though I doubt any will come looking for Victor after he kills Xavier. There is no guiding mind here, Tash. No one has marked Victor for death except Xavier." *Unless someone has proposed a bounty.* "But you're right. If another hunter came after Victor I'd help him if he asked. And the next, and the next. I'd let them know how the last died, I'd place the same restrictions on their actions that I put on Xavier and I'd let you know they were coming. But I'd abide by my oaths."

He met Tash's gaze squarely, "You can trust that I will always do that."

Tash's muscles clenched. The headache grew to a pounding and her innards twisted. She was desperately fighting the urge to break every bone in his body. She needed him. Needed the information he had, to save Victor. Victor was all that mattered. The fact that Victor wouldn't be in danger if not for Sorrow wasn't lost on her, but neither was the fact that Sorrow could help them combat it. Through gritted teeth she said, "Just give me what you have on Xavier. I'll get it to Victor. Then get out."

Sorrow got up and walked to the door. "I'm not the architect of this, Tash. Xavier would have found Victor with or without my help. Without me, the first you would have know was when Xavier had taken your lover's head. I have offered what assistance I can and risked more than you realise, but if you wish to cast the blame upon me then fine. Wait here, I will get what you need."

Sorrow gathered up his bag and walked out of the apartment. A few minutes later he returned and placed a computer disk on the coffee table. He looked down at Tash - he'd offered what help he could and Victor at least understood his position.

"Blind yourself if you must Tash, but there are people who care about you. Think what you will but I will not go to my death to prove I am worthy of your trust."

"Sorrow, I," Tash paused, unsure how to continue, "I see why you've done what you've done. But I'm not sure I can forgive you. Couldn't you have lied, said you didn't recognise the demon? Then you could still have warned Victor. Oh, I know. Your damn oaths. But what if he'd been hunting Jade? Would you have told him where she lived?"

Tash turned her head, taking a deep breath to stop herself breaking down completely. "And aren't you being melodramatic, saying you'd go to your death by not helping them?"

"It is the first Oath! The heart stone of the entire Society. Without it we're just a rabble to be picked off by the unknown that lies in the dark. It's not something you ignore because you don't like who you're helping or you know his prey. A hunter might be able to get away with a censure for ignoring it once, but I'm huntmaster. For me to refuse a hunter aid is to be declared anathema and that is a death sentence. That means you are hunted down by your own!"

Sorrow's voice held a barely constrained rage. "And yes, for Jade I would accept that, but for Victor..."

"As for lying, I live in the same building! ‘Sorry, I had no idea the guy next door who makes the floor creak every time he passes was a demon!’ Come on Tash, how do I get away with that? I had no option. Now if that offends your oh so pure sensibilities then fine, but some of us didn't have the luxury of a Fae to help us. Some of us had to find our allies where we could! And yes, some of them are psychopaths. Some of them are fools. But every one of them will back me to the hilt should I ask. I wonder could I ever have said the same of you?"

Half way through Sorrow's diatribe Tash just sat back in the couch and stared. Huntmaster? She guessed that meant he was the ranking member in LA. Anathema? The Society would hunt down its own people simply because they held back information? She let the personal attacks flow off her back. Sorrow was upset and to a point she was willing to make allowances. The minutes Sorrow had been gone she'd spent howling on the couch, and a lot of the rage was out of her system as a result. But some things she couldn't just let lie.

"And when haven't I been there for you, Sorrow? When you needed time alone, especially from Jade, who kept your secret? When you were losing your soul in the church, who arranged for help? Who stood outside your own magic barrier, waiting to see if there was anything left to salvage, even after you'd just tried to kill me?"

Tash shook her head and sighed. In a calmer tone she said, "What's done is done. And at least I know where you stand. And why, now..." She picked up the disk. "And it's no bad thing to have the Huntmaster of Los Angeles as an ally," she grinned.

"You and I are not allies. Some would say I have broken the spirit of my oath by giving you that," he gestured towards the disk, "but I have done that for what we have shared in the past. I will not count a frightened woman who will not face her inner darkness as ally. I will not count a woman who thinks my oaths meaningless an ally." Sorrow finally fought his way to something resembling calm, though others might have called it a cold rage. "Do not call on me for aid, Tash."

Tash looked at Sorrow for a long moment. When she'd first worked out what he'd done, she'd been furious. But she could understand his position now that he'd explained it. She still wasn't happy, but she understood. Ironically, Sorrow had now changed his tone and was on the attack. Tash sighed. It seemed she could never come out even in any argument lately. Her expression grew sad as she realised that whatever friendship they may have had, this had rent it, maybe for good.

“No, I won't ask for your aid. I can see that you've already stretched what your oaths allow you." She no longer cared about appearances and let the tears fall freely. "I'm just so frightened for Victor. I don't want to lose him. I thought I had..." she lifted a hand absently to the back of her head.

*Frightened...* "Victor will be fine. He's strong enough to survive this. He'll even come back because he does love you." Once her tears would have moved him but right now Sorrow felt nothing but anger. He had done what he could for these two and she had thrown it back in his face. "Goodbye Tash."

As Sorrow turned to leave, Tash swallowed the last vestiges of her anger. She spoke to his back, "I didn't understand. I'm sorry - and thanks..."

The door shut with a solid finality.

The Cutting Room

Jadyn's picture

woah... ok... seems like sorrow's been on the receiving end of a lot of fire lately... poor baby. :wink: it's too bad none of those posts ever got to the game thread... the one with tash was pretty powerful.

The Cutting Room

Meredith Bell's picture

This post should have occured the day after Kate bailed Galen out of jail. I can't quite remember why adam and I decided not to use it, I think it was because of Daye's party - if we'd done this post then things with Majestic would have progressed too far to believably put them into the party mood.

When it came to maybe re-writing it and using it, well lets just say, we are WAY ahead of this post NOW. :D

Light music played in the background as Galen laid the plates on the table and slid into his chair next to Kate. He’d invited her over to dinner as a sort of ‘I’m sorry I worried you/thanks for bailing me out’ kind of affair. Kate smiled appreciatively, stifling back another tired yawn as she picked up her fork and tasted the pasta dish he’d just whipped up.

“Hmm, this is amazing!” said Kate in appreciation as she raised another forkful to her mouth, “Is this fresh basil?”

“Uh huh, I also used a pinch of oregano and Tabasco too, just to add a kick. You like?”

“I adore!” Kate smiled leaning over to lay a small kiss upon his lips. “I may have to chain you to the stove and never let you go!”

"Glad you approve," Galen said, smiling back at her. "Think I can live with being chained in your kitchen, on one condition. Don't make me wear one of those orange prison jump-suits."

"Why not?" Kate asked.

"Blue brings out my eyes better." Galen glanced sideways at Kate, and saw her trying to contain a laugh. He gave her another kiss before attacking the food on his plate. "So, is there any way I can talk you in to going to the movies after dinner? I remember you mentioning something about that new comedy the other day...."

“The other day?” Kate was hard pushed trying to remember what had happened five minutes ago at the moment; the restless nights were really starting to get to her. She couldn’t understand how she could sleep for eight hours and still feel totally drained. “Was that the movie by that Bridget Jones author? Helen Fielding? Did she write something new?” Kate stifled another yawn behind the back of her hand.

Galen's brow knitted together in concern at Kate's exhausted condition. Something was certainly wrong with her, though he had no idea as to the cause. "Are you feeling well? Have you been getting enough sleep?" Before she could answer, he pulled her closer to him and pressed his lips to her forehead. At least she felt cool, but that might not mean much if she was just coming down with something.

Kate uttered a slight protest at Galen’s concern. “Hmm, no, I mean yes I am sleeping, just, I don’t seem to feel any better for it. I think I might be having nightmares or something. I’m sure it’ll pass.” Kate picked up her fork again, and ate a little more before replacing it on the edge of her plate. “I think I just lost my appetite, sorry.”

Galen was about to voice his concern again when he thought better of it. "That's alright, let me clean up," he said, taking the plates over to the sink before scraping the contents in to a couple of plastic containers. No sense in letting good food go to waste, after all. When he turned, he noticed that Kate was standing and stifling another yawn. "Tell you what, you lay down on the sofa or in the bedroom, and I'll be along with some camomile tea shortly. Don't argue, you need to get some rest."

Kate let Galen lead her over to the couch where she huddled up into the corner, then he went back into the kitchen to make some tea. Moments later he returned and handed her the tea.

“Thanks” she smiled tiredly as she sipped at the hot tea. Galen sat down and wrapped an arm around her protectively, drawing her to lie against him. Kate took another drink of the tea and then placed it on the table. She sighed contentedly and closed her eyes, snuggling down into Galen’s arms.

Galen continued to hold Kate for a long while, feeling her occasionally shift position and finally fall asleep. His mind started going over various possibilities as to what could be the problem when he caught himself. *You're just being paranoid again,* he thought. *Everyone has sleepless nights on occasion. It probably will pass, just give it time.*

Kate began to stir and move again about 20 minutes later. "How long was I asleep?" she asked tiredly.

"Not long." Galen leaned down to give her a kiss on the lips while rubbing her back.

“Hmm, seemed longer…” said Kate, her voice still heavy with sleep. She closed her eyes again as Galen continued to rub her back soothingly. Kate had almost fallen back to sleep when there was a loud knock at the door. Kate woke immediately, sitting up and rubbing her eyes as Galen stood to answer the door.

As he opened the door, Galen was not surprised to see the heavyset form of Anthony Constillias outside. What was surprising was the hurried, panicked look about him, which only got worse when he saw Kate lying on the sofa. The look of disapproval was evident when he entered the apartment. "It's alright. You can trust her," Galen assured him.

Anthony forced himself to calm down visibly at the implication, trying to avoid going in to another of his lectures. "Do you have the Lazarus documents?" he asked, his eyes never leaving Kate. Galen was disturbed by the outright distrust Anthony felt for the woman he loved.

"They're in a safe location," Galen replied, not sure how far he could fully trust Anthony.

"Hopefully not here," Anthony replied. "I received a phone call half an hour ago that the strike team was dispatched. We have 30 minutes to get out of here, assuming of course the two of you don't have anything else you'd rather be doing."

Kate rose from the sofa, a confused expression painted across her face. “Strike team? Galen? What’s going on?”

Anthony raised an eyebrow at her question and then looked sternly at Galen. “Now Ms Wiccham…”

“Have we met?” asked Kate turning towards Anthony, “your voice sounds awfully familiar.”

Galen was busy moving towards the bookshelf to remove the package at the time, before going to Kate and putting his arms around her. "I'll explain more fully later. Kate, I'm sorry.... I never wanted you to get involved in this." Now it looked like he didn't have a choice. He would have to tell her the truth - later. First they had to survive. "Remember those papers?"

"Vaguely," she answered, yawning again.

"They'll be trying to get them back now," Galen told her. Anthony's look never softened as he started for the door, Galen following and gently pulling Kate along. "He's right. We have to get out of here."

Anthony was about to open the door when there came a sharp knocking. His hand hovered over the handle *were they here already? What would happen if they caught him here helping Galen?*

Kate watched his concern as his hand wrapped around the door handle firmly. “Wait” she whispered softly. She motioned for them both to move away from the door and then pressed her cheek against it. She waited a moment in complete stillness and waited. The impatient knock came again.

“What the hell is she doing?” Anthony muttered anxiously under his breath.

Kate closed her eyes as she slowly moved her hand across the surface of the door. Finally she sighed in relief, turning to Galen and Anthony. “It’s Mr Shempski, his wife’s cat Binky has been missing since last Tuesday and he’s worried.” She smiled slightly as she opened the door and Mr Shempski – the Superintendent, a portly middle-aged man with balding hair, shuffled into the doorway.

“Oy Miss Catherine I thought no one was home, is Mr Galen here? Ah I see he is…”

“We were just about to leave Mr Shempski.”

“It’s Audrey, she worried about Binky, he been missing for days now,” said Shempski, walking backwards into the corridor as Galen, Anthony and Kate closed the apartment door after leaving.

“It’s okay” said Kate taking the man’s hand in her own, turning it over gently. She suddenly smiled in amusement. “Mr Shempski, I think you’ll find Binky is a girl, you look in the quietest, warmest place in this building and I think you’ll find your Binky is also a mommy.”

Galen grinned at Kate in amazement as he took her hand calmly and led her down the hallway, leaving a delighted Mr Shempski to go and check out his boiler room in search of Binky.

The Cutting Room

Meredith Bell's picture

This post was to be the second part to the last one, it is also now defunct... but it's a nice indicator of a way in which Kate NEARLY learned the truth about Majestic...

They arrived at Anthony's apartment twenty minutes later, the sounds of a helicopter clearly audible along the way. Though none of them could see it, Galen suspected that the helicopter would be both unmarked and black. He was nothing less than amazed that Anthony decided to allow both of them to stay there for the night, though his displeasure at the couple was evident enough no telepath was needed to detect it.

Anthony had given Kate and Galen the use of his guestroom for the night. While Anthony slept soundly only a few doors away, Kate and Galen were still awake, though lying in bed, their arms wrapped around each other.

Galen absently stroked Kate’s bare shoulder, contemplating how he could begin to unravel the web of lies he had so artfully spun over the last six months. "There's something I have to tell you," he finally said. "I haven’t exactly told you everything about this project. Whether I wanted it or not, you're involved...."

“You’re right, I am involved now,” said Kate tiredly, laying down to rest in his arms, “I think it’s about time you told me what was going on.”

Galen sighed and stroked Kate's hair. He really had no choice but to tell her the truth - the whole truth - but had no idea where to begin. "We don't know when the project began exactly. Just that in 2000, its main facility was in Sunnydale, operating under the name 'Initiative.' The official codename was Lazarus, terminated after suffering 'massive failure.' This project was being controlled by an agency called Majestic 12, which carries with it a classification above top secret. Someone in MJ12 has been continuing the project in secret."

“Majestic?” Kate murmured in interest, rubbing her cheek against Galen’s chest gently.

"Majestic," he said softly, lowering his voice to make sure Anthony would not hear. "A secret organisation, created in 1947 with the purpose of concealing and controlling occult activity. Protected by the law in the name of national security, its existence officially denied."

Kate moved around tiredly while listening to Galen’s words. “Sound like dangerous… people,” Kate yawned again, her eyelids dipping slightly, “you should be careful…”

"You have no idea," Galen said, kissing her lightly. He reached down only to pull the covers up over both of them. Rolling over on his side, he wrapped his arms around Kate and held her close. "Let's just try to get some sleep." Giving Kate one final, lingering kiss, Galen turned out the light and hoped she could get some sleep tonight.

The Cutting Room

Soulless Zombie's picture

Since this thread is here, I may as well post Sam's party stuff. The following words were never meant to appear in the game, but I wrote them as a focusing excercise the morning of the Daye Party collab. I was sitting there waiting for my turn to enter and wanted to be in the right state of mind. 'Course, I only ended up leaving before the party started.


Sam’s first drink.

Alcohol. Sam had been raised without it. His mother never drank. His father never drank. His father didn’t need to drink; Dad was a big jerk all on his own.

Since arriving in L.A., Sam was testing the theory that if he engaged in activities that his father did not, he would avoid turning into the man. The thought of growing into the family jeans was a horrible idea, likened to the metamorphosis of man into wolf. Sam considered this, and the drink appealed to his sense of rebellion. All his life, he’d been a leaf floating on the wind. Now, though, he was Sam Aubrey, a guy who lived in L.A., and he was capable of flying in his own direction. He twirled the ice cubes against the sides of his glass and watched it fizz. It smelled like Coke, but the carbonation looked more like one of those mad scientist concoctions on Saturday cartoons, the kind that melts spoons.

Sam sucked up a mouthful. This was not Coca-cola! Maybe at one time it had been, but no longer. The taste rushed into his sinus cavity, and there it burned. A bitter expression upon his face, he tilted back his head and swallowed the heinous stuff. It burned going down his chest, and it coated his stomach like Pepto Bismol—except made out of battery acid. It stung his eyes as he burped, coughing, “Tha-hank you! Tastes great.”


Daye. Mother of cordiality. This lady struck him as soft and lovely around the edges, hard and lovely underneath. She was like a feisty summer flower, rising above the faces into the limelight to unfurl her petals and take a dry photosynthetic dip. Out of all the faces, hers seemed likely to be complimented by green, rolling hills and bright, blue skies, and Sam took a moment to imagine her there. He imagined her snoozing in a rowboat, and gaily sprawled over a picnic blanket, and even meditating amid a field of daisies. The country knew her name. There, she belonged. That is, if such places truly existed in the world. This room, for instance, was no such place. Oh sure, Sam was impressed by the décor—the buffet tables, the professionally finished walls, the brass trim—but nevertheless, some folks were suffocated by the indoors lifestyle. Daye was this type of person, Sam guessed. Some ladies were simply born to march at the head of parades and wave at the peoples, to emanate pastoral scents and to wear red impatiens in their hair. This was Daye.


Finally, someone he recognized. Her presence beckoned him. Until now, the party had been reminiscent of his days in junior high school, as if his unpopularity had followed him into adulthood. Here in L.A. it existed once more. As a shy child on campus, Sam would make up reasons to look busy, to fool his classmates into believing he was isolated by design. He picked trash off the ground. Or he rearranged his locker every break after 3rd period, rubbing his chin, moving a book from the left side to the right, smoothing out a poster, dusting eraser shavings onto the ground. He made it all seem so important. As he got older, he came to realize just how transparent the performance was, and in fact it made him appear all the lonelier. Now standing by himself, conscientiously stirring the punch bowl, he must have seemed totally pathetic to these people. It was the sight of Reah that pulled him away from the refreshment table. He was being sucked toward her and out of his anonymity. He politely excused himself through the shoulders of the other guests. She was standing laughing with a clique of people when he arrived. He laid a hand on Reah’s shoulder, ready to bestow upon her a very sincere hello smile.


It was her, alright, the girl that Bob warned him about. She didn’t look dangerous. Sometimes it seemed that Bob exaggerated when he talked about the local nightlife. On the other hand, Mantheana hadn’t shown a twinkle of fear that time in the bar when Jem the vampire attacked her. Maybe the problem with Bob’s advice was that—despite costing an arm, a leg, and a sperm sample—it wasn’t quite exaggerated enough. Sam nodded to himself. Maybe. And jus to push the point, Sam reminded himself that Bob’s suggestions were way overpriced. . .though not inaccurate. So far.

Not that Bob was automatically right or anything, but all the same Sam made his way casually toward the exit. He really didn’t need to meet Mantheana proper. Hopefully Mantheana wasn’t a vampire, because Sam didn’t think Thumper needed to meet her either. Why tempt fate? He was keeping his stake hidden inside the inner pocket of his coat. It was close to his heart, in reach if need be.


It was the boss’s girlfriend. Sam had a weird feeling about her. She was one of those people that came off as too knowing, like how mother knows all the mischief her child is capable of causing. Tash put Sam on edge, on guard of even his private musings. Which only caused him to think about everything but acceptable things! A random image of himself having sex with Tash came to mind, which he shrugged off; then, the use of the word “nigger” popped in there, and he winced; random acts violence flowed in next, instilling shame in his heart; and, finally, his thoughts drifted to monsters, the least embarrassing of this sudden mental assault. Sam was relieved to block out the other stuff. Not that his belief in monsters was healthy! Good thing Tash really couldn’t read minds. If she knew he was harboring memories of vampires and werewolves, she’d think him loony. She already considered him a goober. Tash was just a normal person, and Sam was just a paranoid freak—end of story. Sam considered the matter closed for five seconds, then his imagination continued the attack. What if, for exampe, his insecurities showed up in his demeanor? Mind reader or not, Tash would be able to see that. Therefore, Sam needed to dazzle her with his graciousness. This party was an excellent platform for proving to Tash that her boyfriend had hired a decent guy. Rational or not, this is why Sam filled a glass with punch, marched clear across the room, and presented her with it, just as though it were “nuthin’ but a thang.” He waited nervously for her to take the glass and say “thank you.”

Jem and Chris

Oh lord! It was him, Chris, the vampire lover. Which meant that his girlfriend should be—

There! There was Jem, downing a glass of liquor and pulling her long hair back. Sam set his drink on the floor and, in the crouching position, hobbled through the legs of the guests toward the exit. He remembered how she’d looked at him, looked right into his soul and found his weakest self. She’d looked hungry. It wouldn’t help things if she found Sam standing naively by the buffet table.

Impressions of the Beautiful People

This party was an enclave in the night. How could it exist in the middle of such debauchery? L.A. could surprise a person. Until recently, most of Sam’s time had been spent in the day, where the people were plain. The night, in contrast, was populated by ugly folk. Even the beautiful people, those that stood outside of the clubs and called him names like “baby face” as he walked by, were kind of ugly. Or perhaps “trashy” was a better word to describe them. Not elegant, not like the people mingling around this place. The party was populated by numerous visages that were consistently attractive, and many of them were nice, to boot. Sam was feeling inferior, like he was among the ugliest of the bunch. He found himself unable to look people in the eye, as if avoiding eye contact meant avoiding being seen. The ostrich theory compelled him to avoid mirrors at all costs. If only, like a classic movie vampire, he could obliterate all reflections of himself, he’d be fine. And florescent bathroom lights be cursed!

Kate and Galen

Kate reminded him of a movie star. She probably did commercials in Hollywood or something. Sam always imagined cast parties would be a lot like this. He pondered the possibility that this was a cast party, and he had been mistakenly invited. Maybe Kate would discover him. No wait. Now he was imagining her to be a talent scout. Clearly, just to watch her mesmerizing those around her, she was the talent.

Galen, his arm around Kate, was striking to behold. Sam could only wish he looked like that: skinny yet lean, subtly strong, handsome yet grim, stubbornly unwilling to revel in his excellence, authoritative, reserved, and cool to the bone. Galen seemed so in tune with Kate’s needs. Poor Galen. Sam had been attentive to Bunny’s needs for almost two years. Look what that got him. As if Kate had already cheated on Galen, Sam felt a kinship with him that absolutely required that the two fellows meet.

Drunken Sam

Hoo! The drink was clawing and growling in his stomach. Unable to navigate past the blur of his eyeballs, he kind of sort of swayed side to side, somewhat kind of forward through the people, sort of somewhat backward every so often. Vomit sat in his throat, and he stopped to go whoa! and hope that the vile stuff would decide to stay put until he located a bathroom.

He had this funny idea—it was suddenly the most hilarious thing he’d ever come up with—that everyone was a monster. He meant, well, if there were vampires, and if vampires were, like, here at this party, then why couldn’t there be werewolves, too?, and demons and snake people and vampires and werewolves, too. Or had he mentioned snake people already? Well, anyway, it was funny as all get-out, and Sam, while pushing through the crowd, started giggling. To think that he might be surrounded by flesh-eating, brain-sucking monsters at that very moment! Well, it was funny. Sort of. Maybe not.

Suddenly the situation began scaring Sam. He started rushing through the crowd, stumbling, sort of walking, partially running. He knocked into a woman. Her drink hit the floor and shattered. Sam didn’t stop to clean it up, but pushed his way out of the room, saying, “Sorry, sorry,” even after it was too late.

He found a busboy and pulled him close by the bow tie. “Hey, man,” he said, “I’m sorry.”

“I-It’s okay, sir.”

“I’m not a sir. I’m a regular guy just like you.”

“Of course you are, sir.”

Sam put his arm around the guy’s neck and pulled him into a friendly huddle. The busboy cringed as he spoke in stinky breaths: “Where’s the bath. . .the bath. . .bathroom?”

“Over there, sir.”

Sam looked. “Over there” was someplace up ahead, but it all looked fuzzy to Sam. “Thanks,” he said. Then he threw up, right there where they stood. The busboy exclaimed something obscene, but Sam patted him reassuringly, said bye, and stumbled his way toward the restroom. It wasn’t a certainty, however, that he would make it.

The Cutting Room

Parasol's picture

Here's something I still might use somewhere. It's one of the many fits and starts I have all over my LABN folder. I wanted to use Hesch, but then Sid told me that he was back with Kimmie so I integrated it, sorta.

He watched her walk from her front door to his cab at a seductive clip. “Where to, lady?” he felt Maddie dip as she slid into the back seat. Al Hesch pushed Maddie’s flag. His tired brain attempted to force boxes of numbered types into round holes. She was some kind of netherworld denizen. Absolutely. Vampire, he ventured. Clean. Pretty. Real pretty. Not Kimmie pretty, but then who was.

“Alhambra,” she said as she settled into the back seat’s darkest corner. Al decided he didn’t need to see who was behind him, but tilted the rearview to the blackness of the vampire’s corner of the cab. Vamp, all right. He turned, slapping his arm across the bench of the front seat to get the real look at her.

“Lady, Alhambra’s a big-ass ballpark. Any where in partic’lar?” The vampire tilted only her eyes up to regard his own. From the darkness of the back seat, only they were visible, seeming to shine that green nuclear glow of the VCR. Neat trick.

“I’m looking for a bar.” She kept her eyes on him.

“Ok, lady – you’ve eliminated the outfield. Wanna slide into a base?”

“Thank you, LaSorda.” She leaned into what light there was in the cab and gave him a tight smile. “I’m not sure. Just drive.” With that, she turned her eyes and face to look out the window. Hesch watched her put one of those Starbucks thermos cups to her lips, sip, and settle her head back on the seat. Only the edges of her shirt and the tip of her long braid hanging over her shoulder were visible.

Now, this was unusual. He hardly ever had a fare order him on the telephone. If their fingers were doing the walking, they walked past his ad like it was a ten dollar whorehouse on main street. Could be the two-day stubble around a ragged smile of his caricature Kimmie drew for the ad. But, marketing was marketing. The ten out of a thousand fares a year that did call paid for the ad. No harm no foul. Hesch headed to Alhambra.

Parasol watched the lights on the 105 go by from the window of the cab. She told herself that this was smarter. If she wanted to find London – and she really wanted to find London – she’d have to keep a low profile. She didn’t want him sneaking up on her like he did at Chevrine’s. That was stupid and lacked forethought on her part. She didn’t want him to see her coming this time.

No. Tonight she wanted to keep a low profile and her baby was not a low profile car.

She put all that hair in a braid. She threw on a pair of comfortable Levi’s and a plain man’s shirt, Nikes on her feet. The look she was going for was college student blowing off the books or on her way to the library. The digital picture of herself she took before she left said she got the look right.

Parasol had an inkling that the cab she called was the right one to get her where she needed to be when she climbed in. She could smell blood on the car. And when the cabbie turned the condemned property he wore for a face to her, she knew that this was a man who could take her where she needed to go. Hesch his hack license said. Al Hesch.

Al heard her think his name. “Bob’s. Bob’s Bar is where you need to be. Ten minutes away.”

“Wait for me?”

“Dunno. Money to be had.” Hesch glanced in the rearview at nothing in Madeleine’s broad back seat.

Parasol hitched her hips up from the seat to reach into her back pocket. She folded the hundred dollar bill in half lengthwise, pulling her nails across the fold to crease it sharply. She folded some more until it had aerodynamic abilities, leaned forward and sailed the bill into the front seat. “This cover it?”

Hesch took his eyes off the road for a hot second. “Buy you a couple of hours.”

“That’ll do for now. Tell me when it runs out. Hesch, don’t make me find you.”

The taxicab with the blood ingrained in the paint pulled up in front of Bob’s Bar. Hesch heard a long sigh from the back.

Parasol recognized the joint. Different decade, same dirt.

The Cutting Room

Tarix Conny's picture

ok, i have just posted my recent post. That post in particular is supposed to be about the morning that thule ivites tarix to see him. Now most of that post was inspired by Dave.

A few weeks back Dave had this idea on which he worked very hard on, so i would like to really thank him for that. THANK YOU DAVE!!! :D.

Secondly, i couldn't use that post Dave wrote because of my other plans for Tarix in the future.

ok, here it is:
Thule sat in the well appointed office. He idly twirled the ruby-tipped walking stick he had carried for years watchin the light refract within the red crystal. The door opened and a stocky orange-skinned man came in and sat behind the massive teak desk.

"Thule, my old friend. How are you? I see from your travel expenses you have been in LA for a few days. Why didn't you call on me earlier?"

Thule continued to stare into the ruby as he spoke, "Alaric, we have been partners for many years. I was content with that. You paid me well, and I have done your footwork. But we are not friends, not for many years."

Alaric laughed, "Thule, you are too melodramatic. You still pine for the life of a human who married a Koolang. It was his own misfortune to love badly that sealed his fate. You cannot blame me for upholding a blood oath sworn upon their cursed race by mine before there were even humans to worry about!"

Thule looked up at Alaric. It was clear to Thule that Alaric truly believed his destiny was to erradicate the Koolang. Some prophesy or another back when humanity was still facinated with the wheel no doubt. As a Zareen, Thule would not be fortunate to live the centuries that Alaric had (or would still). His lifespan would barely cover a century. He could appreciate humanity's lust for life in a way that Alaric would never understand.

"Alaric, I reported here when it was convenient for me to do so. Our arrangement does not require me to be sociable or punctual, only to deliver."

Alaric looked almost excited, "Then you have found another one? There are Koolang that yet survive?"

"Yes," was all Thule said.

"Well, well! Tell me? Here in LA, perhaps?" Alaric leaned closer, "Yes I think they may be, your color is looking bluish...that is the color you wear when you are embarrassed."

Thule could feel himself flush even deeper blue, "No. Not in LA. But the reason I am here. I am no longer your bloodhound, Alaric. I am resigning."

*** Summer 1999 - Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Alfred turned over the hamburgers on the grill. The fire leapt up from the charcoal and ash beneath as the juices of the meat dripped down. He heard the doorbell ring. He shouted into the house, "Connyx! Can you get the door?"

The attractive blonde woman looked through the eyehole as she always did. She did not recognise the man on the other side of the door. "Who is it?" she asked.

The man on the other side spoke in a cultured British accent, "Thackary Guys, madam. Known usually as 'Thule'. Your husband and I work together."

Connyx swing the door open. "So pleased to meet you! At long last. Alfred has spoken of you many times, although he has not told me much about what you do." She smiled at Thule and his mind opened up.

Neurons fired, ideas connected and his senses exploded. He could see across the spectrum of visible and invisible light. He could smell nuances of flavors in the air. His past opened up and he could remember back to even his infantcy.

He must have staggered becasue she caught him by the arm. Her touch gave him something to focus on and he could feel his skin going alternately spikey, skaly and rotating through the color spectrum. As he managed to get himself under control, he looked her wide eyed, "How? What?"

"She pulled him inside and closed the door, "I am dreadfully sorry, Mr. Guys. I had no idea you were a demon. I generally am more careful about extending my powers. My aura can enhance certain abilities in others. You see, I am also a demon, a..."

"Koolang," said Thule.

She smiled, "How perceptive of you, Mr. Thule! But please, come in. Let me take your hat and stick."

He handed her his cane and chapeau and composed himself as she busied herself with placing them properly by the door. * A Koolang! That would explain Alfred's remarkable intellect! I must keep this secret. I cannot betray my best friend's spouse *

Alfred came in and must have seen something in Thule's face because he stopped short. He spoke into the kitchen from the foyer while holding Thule's gaze, "Connyx would you check the grill for me?"

Her musical and cheerful reply played against the background of Alfred's conspiratorial whisper., "Whatever you know stays here, Thule. We have too many of each other's secrets for me to not trust you now. But this is my wife and daughter you are thinking about. And I swear I will kill you if anything happens."

Thule knew exactly what he meant. Alaric had been very clear in assigning tasks to Alfred and Thule. Between the two of them they had discovered and exterminated hundreds of Koolang. That Alfred would be wed to one was unimaginable and worse yet--a daughter!

A young girl on the verge of womanhood descended the stairs. Her proud father looked up and smiled. She was his world at that moment. "Daddy? Who is your friend?" she asked.

"Tarix, I want you to meet Mr. Thule. He and I work together. Why don't you run outside with some burger rolls? Your mother looks like she is ready for them. My friend and I have to talk for just a moment."

She smiled and bounded off with the carefree attitude of the young. Alfred turned to Thule once more, "Why have you come here?" His tone was one of alarm and subdued anger. They shared with each other but they had lived separate lives. * Now I know why * thought Thule.

"I found it, Alfred. It was in the artifacts we uncovered in that last enclave. The legends were true. I have not told Alaric and I did not want to risk being discovered with it in my possession. I came here hoping you would know what to do."

Alfred was quiet. He was obviously torn. The Codex of Macaber, if real, could end the blood feud between the Koolang and Macaber races once and for all. But to possess it was a death sentance from both Koolang and Macaber both.

Albert finally spoke almost reverently, "Show me."

Thule reached into his pocket and pulled out the medallion. He offered it to Albert who stepped back like it was radioactive. "No. Not me. You touched it, you live with it. Keep it secret if you can, but don't ever show it to..."

Just then a little voice said, "What is that? Wow, its beautiful!"

A slender hand reached for the Codex as Tarix could not resist the urge to verify it with her fingertips. Her father's hand closed roughly over her wrist. "OW!" she cried out.

Her father was distressed but firm, "I am sorry dear, but you cannot touch that. Ever. Now go set the table and I'll be right out."

She gave him a look of the sort that only teenage girls can give but that cuts fathers to the quick. Alfred watched her sulk away. He turned on Thule, "Get rid of it. Throw it in the ocean. Or better yet a volcano. Thule, you know that it brings nothing but death to whomever holds it."

Thule nodded. He had read the texts and heard the legends. He knew what it meant. But something within him could not bear to destroy it. He tucked it away safely and turned to recover his cane and hat.

He lifted the hat off the cane and placed it on his head and withdrew the cane from the holder by the door. "Alfred, your wife and daughter are safe with me."

Alfred smiled but deep inside he knew that they were fated to die. There was nothing he could do to prevent that now. The Codex had been inside their home.


Alaric seemed to remember something and stood up. "Resign?" he said, "I'm sorry, that was not part of our arrangement."

Thule began to yellow. Alaric could be intimidating. "Alaric, I am getting too old to continue to globetrot for you and your divine mission. This is a job for younger demons."

Alaric nodded. "I see. Very well, Thule, I understand. Give me your walking stick and I'll let you retire here and now. With my blessing."

* My stick? * Thule had been flattered when Alaric had given it to him more than 30 years ago--a present for ten years of faithful service. "Why do you want it back? I thought it was a gift?"

Alaric circled the desk and reached for the ruby-tipped cane. "It is, and you are welcome to keep it after I am done with it."

Thule was too stunned to move. *What is he up to? * Alarick paused briefly waiting to see if Thule would react and when he didn't lifted the cane from Thule's frightened grasp. Alaric chuckled to himself as Thule's pigment changed from yellow to chalk white from fear.

Alaric set the stick on his desktop and waved a hand over it while uttering a gutteral chant. The red stone sparked and then glowed furiously. On the wall a projection of Thule's journey here on foot was being played.

"Baethrek." said Alaric. The motion halted and rewound like a videotape in reverse.

"Baethrek togo" came Alaric's command. The scene skipped backwards seveal hours. He repeated the command several times then said, "Fthoog." The scene froze. It was the girl...the daughter.

"Who is she, Thule?" Alaric asked calmly, "You've been seen talking to her twice."

"You had me followed?" Thule was aghast. He had lead Alaric right to her. His plan to hide her under Alaric's nose as a new recruit had already been foiled. And his very own prized possession had probably betrayed her family. Thule could feel his anger rising. His tone changed to pink, then red. First scales then spines jumped from his skin. "No!" He shouted.

Alaric laughed. "I enjoy working with Zareen. They are always so apparent. Deception is something they can never master because they are always betrayed by their skin. She is Alfred's daughter isn't she? And half Koolang."

He reached for the phone and Thule could contain himself no longer. He snatched up his cane and brought it down on the phone shattering it into plastic pieces. Alaric looked at him in amusement. "Thule, you know you cannot so much as bruise me. Walk away and I'll see you get a generous bonus for this last assignment."

"Damn you and your money. I won't accept it! I will defend this girl with my last breath. She will never fall into your clutches!"

Alaric laughed. "My clutches?" he mocked, "Thule you are an old fool. She is already being met by my operatives at your rendesvous."

Thule looked at the steel and onyx clock on the wall. 8:00 AM. He had stayed longer than planned and would not be able to save her in time. He fled the office running wildly knowing he had failed Alfred once more.

what i left out

Firefly's picture

Ok...once upon a time I had an idea for Mrs. Wyldling to be taken by the dopplegangers and I thought I posted it. As it turns out, I miffed that up completely, so here is that post for those who would like a bit of insight into the story of Mrs. Wyldling...

Standing in front of the brownstone, Alicia Wyldling felt a grip of fear within her. She had not informed anyone from the Council of her return to L.A. Alicia had not even bothered to check in on Amanda or Bibliophile. The reports she’d seen while in England had been encouraging, but ultimately, the shop was of little to concern to her. There were more pressing matters, matters that centered around this building, and the power that had long rested here. Glancing quickly up and down Poplar Avenue, Alicia was relieved to see that at this early hour, the city had yet to really stir around her. Taking a deep, fortifying breath, Alicia Wyldling drew the cloak out of her bag, settled it around her shoulders, and disappeared from sight. A moment later, the front door of the brownstone swung briefly open and then shut again.

Alicia could still see clearly, although thanks to the Ashrin cloak, she could no longer be seen herself. She made her way down through the entry hall and down towards a closed door which led to the basement. Alicia wasn’t sure what was going on, but her aunt Gina had been adamant. ”You must check into it, Alicia,” Gina’s voice still echoed in Alicia’s mind. ”There is some sort of power there, beneath the city, and it is growing or changing somehow. You are The Family’s eyes and ears now. Do not forget where your loyalty lies. The Council trained you, but The Family gave you life. You owe us everything.”

Like a good little soldier, Alicia had promised to find out what rested within the stone and timber of this building. Steeling her nerve, Alicia turned the knob on the basement door and was surprised to find it unlocked. Glancing again around at the empty hall, she slipped through the door and shut it behind her. Alicia shed the cloak, stuffing it back into her bag. She blinked several times, to adjust to the darkness in the basement, and very nearly screamed out loud when her eyes adjusted. Standing before her on the stairs, was, well, her.

Alicia Wyldling stood face to face with Alicia Wyldling. They were identical and the original Alicia was filled with horror at the sight of a stranger wearing her face. Just as she prepared to attack the abomination, the second Alicia reached out and grabbed hold of the first’s bare arm. The copy pulled Alicia forward suddenly, dragging her off balance and sidestepping as Alicia tumbled forward, down the steps. The second Alicia sauntered slowly down, coming to squat beside the other woman, who lay at the foot of the stairs in a crumpled heap, blood pouring from the large gash in her head. Alicia Wyldling, scout for The Family, watched in growing horror as her evil twin dragged her away from the stairway and settled her in a dark corner. The first girl’s mind was clouded with pain and she was growing weaker and weaker from the loss of blood. She swam in and out of consciousness, sensing the gradual theft of self as the copy continued to hover nearby.

After a few hours, Alicia Wyldling, daughter of The Family, researcher for The Council, rose from the basement floor of the Poplar building and danced her way back upstairs, feeling more free and at ease than she had in all her 35 years. Alicia never glanced back as she exited the dark basement, forgetting immediately why she’d ever wanted to go down there. She never noticed the lifeless body in the dark corner, the one that wore her face, the one that was suddenly pulled down into the ground, leaving no trace of Alicia Wyldling behind.

The Cutting Room

Kaarin's picture

This was supposed to be a nice, wierd dream for Galen to get in the recent series of events with Kate. It should be obvious that the entire thing is mish-mash of events from Casablanca, with Galen in the role of his favourite actor, Humphrey Bogart. The one note I should make is the replacing of As Time Goes By with Sparks - the first song Kate and Galen danced to at Maxim's. :)

While the doctors worked to save Galen’s life, he dreamed.

It must have been some time in either the ‘30s or ‘40s, he wasn’t sure what. Galen was wearing a white suit jacket, dark pants, and bow tie, with his hair slicked back. Tables of the Café Majestic were elegantly placed out with a piano player in the middle. There was a nice bar where you could go to get drinks, and a couple of craps tables and roulette wheels sat openly off to the sides as people gambled; and at the bar, you could rent chess tables to play on.

Jade sat at the piano, playing something nice for the various patrons of the place to listen to as they talked, ate, or gambled. Which was when he noticed Anthony Constillias coming up to him again. “Excuse me, Mr. Eldridge,” he said. “Might I have a word with you?”

“The bar is open for your drinks,” Galen replied, pointedly ignoring the Majestic bureaucrat who ordered the death of the woman he loved. “Other than that, I have nothing to say to you. And the casino is off-limits.”

“You do know who I am, don’t you?” Anthony asked incredulously.

“Yes, I do,” replied Galen. “You’re lucky the bar is open.” Saying nothing else, he pushed passed the man to greet Victor, who was just starting in the door with Tash by his side. Both of them were dressed elegantly, but didn’t stand out too much because they were dressed just like the other patrons.

“Hi, Galen, we need to talk,” Victor said when he reached them, then noticed Anthony’s look as he was turned away from the casino. Angry, the man left the bar. “From the way you handled him, you would think you’ve been taking care of those bureaucrats all your life.”

“What makes you think I haven’t?” Galen asked with a perfectly straight face. “What’s the problem, Vic?”

“Someone or something,” Tash said, “is making copies of people, trying to replace the world?”


“Galen, if we don’t do something to stop it, the world will die.”

“Well then, it’ll be out of its misery,” he said in his best Humphrey Bogary voice. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do. Enjoy the bar.” As he said this, Galen went back towards the casino section, where Serapis stood at a table in an old-style French uniform.

“You know,” he said to Galen as he came over to the table, “I really should close this place down.”

“Why’s that?” Galen asked.

“I am shocked, shocked to find that there is gambling going on here!” At which point, a pile of chips was slip across the table to him. The man who was running the table identified it as Serapis’ winnings. “Oh, thank you,” he said, picking them up.

“Good job,” he said to the man running the table. “Look, to give you a heads up, there’s something going around here. Some creature creating doubles of people to get new experiences.”

Serapis nodded as the wheel spun again. “Very well. We shall round up the usual suspects.”

“I think this is a little more important than that.”

“Alright, then,” Serapis said, nodding again as a wad of money entered his hand from Galen. “We shall round up twice the usual suspects.”

Galen started back out into the main room again, deliberately walking past Anubis, who had a panicked look on his face. He grabbed Galen by the arm as he was walking out. “Look, mistah Galen, I know yus don’ think too highly of me-“

“I probably wouldn’t if I thought of you at all,” Galen quipped.

“-but, I need yo’ help,” Anubis finished. He pulled a package from his jacket, and passed it to Galen. “I need yo’ to hide this fo me, jus’ fo a few days.”

“Why don’t you just save us both the trouble and throw yourself out?”

“I know what yous thinkin’,” said Anubis. “Eyes jus a parasite. But I do you fo half what Mistah-Serapis asks. That so parasitic?”

“I don’t mind a parasite,” Galen said, looking him firm in the eye. “What I object to is a cut rate one.” He pushed passed Anubis, before heading over to the piano. There was Algernon on the piano, playing songs. Galen told him he would be in the office if anything was needed, he had to take a short rest.

Time passed. He wasn’t sure how he was aware of it, but the scene shifted again. Now he was observing, and Serapis was meeting with someone. He couldn’t tell who the woman was, but he could quite clearly identify the man as Lucien. Both of them were speaking with Serapis, still in his French uniform. “Captain Serapis, may I?” said Lucien, offering an envelope full of money.

“Oh no, not here,” protested Serapis. “Come by my office. Tomorrow. I prefer to have everything done nice and businesslike.” The couple thanked him, and went past Serapis out to the main room.

Lucien went off to the bar, while the woman walked over to Jade at the piano. She couldn’t believe it, walking here into the Café Majestic, that she was here. “Hello, Jade,” she said.

“Oh, hi, Kate,” Jade replied, stopping. “Um.. it’s been a while, hasn’t it?”

“Yes, it has. Is he here, do you know?”

“Oh, I’m sure he’s around here somewhere.”

Kate leaned on the piano for a moment. “Play it, Jade. You know the song.”

“Oh, I’m afraid I can’t remember the tune,” Jade lied.

“Sure you do, Jade,” said Kate. “Play Sparks for me, Jade. I’ll hum the tune for you.” Then she began to hum the first few bars of the Coldplay song softly for Jade. Finally unable to resist, Jade began to play the tune on the piano.

Kate stood there, listening, enjoying the music, as though caught up in the past. In happier times. By this point, Galen had emerged from the office. It was painful for him, reminding him of Kate, the woman he loved, who had left him. “I told you never to play that song,” he said to Jade, before noticing the other woman there. “Hello, Kate,” he said seriously.

“Hello, Galen,” she replied, in that same serious voice with those eyes full of affection. “It’s been a while.”

“Yes, it has,” he said. “Almost 4 days since you had me leave you at the building. What are you doing here now?”

“I’m travelling, with a friend,” she said, looking down, as though afraid to hurt him. “We’re trying to get our papers, from Lisbon, before we head out.”

“Lisbon?” he asked. “Well then, be careful not to buy from Anubis.” It was then that Anubis staggered back into the restaurant. Shot. Dying. “Then again, that might not be a problem.”

“We’ll always have Club Asylum,” Kate said, grabbing his arm when Lucien returned with two passports in hand. Where had they gotten those from?

“Always,” replied Galen, watching the two leave.

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MrDave's picture

I realized after I deleted it I should have moved it here with an editor's note. This is Cassidy/Slayage's first game post. It was removed becasue Cassidy had not been approved as a character yet...

Posted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 8:42 pm Post subject: Emergence Of Someone New wrote:
Alaric and Thule stirred and spoke inside as they heard a knock on the door.
Alaric cautiously asked, "Who's there?"

They heard the voice of a young man named Cassidy telling them, "I'm an ally".

Alaric opens up the door slightly and sees him. Cassidy stands there in a black t-shirt and black jeans. His hair is black, his eyes are black, and the tip of the cigarette resting between his lips has burned black.

"Hi", Cassidy says. "My name's Cassidy. Friend of mine told me you're fighting some serious demons. So tell me". He pauses for a moment as he takes the cigarette between two fingers. "What are we up against here".

Alaric looks at Thule who nods slightly. And they tell him.

Just by way of illustration I'll break down a few elements of this post that would have had me ask for revision even if I had not removed it:
-- There is no date or time. Its hard to figure out where this might fit into the timeline without that crucial information...especially in Midseason which isn't linear.

-- Where is this taking place? Alaraic and Thule meet very infrequently and then only in predetermined places. I find it hard to beleive that an outsider like Cassidy could just waltz into a meeting of either of these men.

-- The Order of Valor isn't a demon fighting organization. Alaric might send Cassidy into a situation to get rid of him, but doubtless it would be a deathtrap as punishment for his arrogance.

and those are just what jumped out at me.

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MrDave's picture

I almost thought that the "Hotel California" post would end up here. I came up with the idea during Season 2 and emailed it to Heather when she was still in Australia.

At the time she said "Great idea" but somehow we could never fit in the time for it. We mentioned the trip in one post. We got married (and talked about the trip) and we mentioned in G'rnatha that we had been on the trip...but it was never posted.

why? We never finished writing it. It just never seemed to gel at the right time. We'd start it, and then go back to it, then drop it and so on. And then it was too too late.

Alessa and Chance went to Paraguay and Heather and I both pointed to it and said 'See' we had the idea first ;)

Suddenly in a recent post, Alessa talked to Tash about that trip to Paraguay and I when I read that I saw the perfect opportunity to pull in some striking contrast by showing the "happy" Tash agasint the 'mourning' Tash.

It is a powerful idea that seems to work. I'm glad I didn't put that Hotel California post out to pasture here.

The Cutting Room

Parasol's picture

Y'know -- I'm so very old-school. I really do visit the site pretty much every day at lunch, but invariably my boss is all "Sherlynn -- can you get me, find me, call for me..." And the LABN takes low priority. I'm so sorry. So sorry.

The other old schoolers believe, I'm sure, I'm full of shit, but I really do write -- just apparently -- not here. But I am full of shit. I'm waiting for the epiphany that'll set me at the computer to write the great novel that's within me. But not yet. So not yet.

Thank you so much for not kicking me out with a clang of the iron door and a surly "And don't bring your black ass back." I value that I'm part of a community, though I'm all subversive.

What keeps me most from writing here is that I don't have time to read and I don't feel that's fair. But enough of my begging...

Hey, y'all. I keep in contact with Sam. Sam. Sam (aka Jeppi, Jeff, Sam). He's the love of my writing life whom I've never laid eyes on. The most amazing writer in the world who thinks he writes for shit. (I hate him for that.) But we sit on the phone and talk for hours about writing, life, philosophy... He's healthy. Still with Karie (or is it Kari, or Carey or Carrey -- I don't remember).

Feel better, my baby boy Adam. Drink some scotch. It usually kills a virus or two.

I remember and love you all. I try to see you every day at lunch.

Anyhow. Below is an avenue I, of course, never pursued. Small, but it's an outtake I really like. Sorry if I've posted it before and there's really no context but... Note the date from long ago. Oh, and also, for those who don't know me, I'm the old broad who is obsessed with sex. For the record, it was my intention to add the character Oriana as a conduit between Parasol and London and the Cadre -- which will make sense to no one except those who read a thousand years ago. She bartered something, I don't remember what and with whom, for a bit of youth.

Here are 5 separating asterisks...


***Monday, August 29, 2005 – 10:30 a.m.***

The change in Oriana was the talk of Wolfram & Hart. The men mentioned it over 2 hour sparkling water lunches, marveling that she was an employee well before they were, so she had to be at least, oh, what – over 50? And those tits. Who knew?

The women dished it on their 20-minute lunch bolted in the firm kitchen. And for the record, the women knew Oriana had gotten some work done on those boobs. No way they rode that high at, what, she must have been over 50 if she was a day. Yep. Old girl finally got a man.

The partners, many of them hired well after Oriana, regarded her with watchful interest, confident that she was victim to some hell-dimensional shenanigans. Nobody changes that much so quickly. New business discussed at the Partners’ meetings consisted of how it could be turned to their advantage…and the view of those kissable, lickable, suckable, bllblllable Italian knockers set free to breathe.


Oriana sat at her desk, absent-mindedly swiveling in her chair, legs crossed from up high on her thigh. *Interesting how that feels,* she thought. She squeezed a little forward. She fingered the material of the silk skirt, swishing it across her knees. It was so smooth. The cashmere of her sweater soothed the palms she ran across her shoulders. Her hands ran across her shin. That waxing thing was a bitch, but her legs had been really hairy and now they were baby bum smooth.

A group of 5th year associates stood gawking at Oriana wiggling and touching herself. Simpson’s eyes were crawling from Oriana’s ankle to just inside her knee. Baker, Lassiter and Weiss’ eyes were doing bank shots down her generous cleavage. And Ettinger’s eyes, bless their me-tarzan honesty, fairly licking her from tip to stern, with a couple of interesting side trips.

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Meredith Bell's picture

I just found this post (along with a couple of others too) and thought I would put it up here. I think it's self explanatory when this occurs (during Marcus' teach of Kate in preparation for her bringing back Emma - in case you're wondering) I actually didn't post this on the gameboard because I thought that it portrayed Kate as having more power than actually is the case (always dodgy ground) but I like the post so i'm putting it up here. :D

Monday, 30th April 2007 – 4:02am – Sunnyview Cemetery

The night was cold, almost chilly – a stark contrast to the previous warm spell. Kate pulled the long, ankle-length coat around her body more firmly, brushing back a long wave of hair from her face. In a few hours the sun would rise, morning would come and a new day would begin again. Her last session with Marcus had ended early that night, the necromancer had said the words himself, he had no more to teach her. Instead, Marcus had told her to go home, sleep well and he would see her in two days time.

Kate already felt a flutter of apprehension in her breast as she thought about her impending destiny. It wouldn’t be long now, the time for the ritual was so close Kate could almost feel it in the air. She slowly ran her hand over the smooth white marble of Emma’s gravestone. She always came here after her time with Marcus; somehow it helped her to put things back into perspective, allowed her to see the bigger picture. Bringing her daughter back from the dead was the only thing that mattered to Kate right now, it consumed all her thoughts, haunted her dreams…

Kate held a rose in her hand, her fingers wrapping tightly around the stem until the thorns cut into her flesh. Several thin rivulets of crimson blood rolled over her palm, dripping down her pale flesh and falling on the ground where she stood.

“Soon, my angel,” she whispered softly, kneeling down and laying the rose in front of the headstone. The white petals glowed in the darkness, marred only by a few stray drops of blood. The image stuck in her head for some reason but she couldn’t think why.

Kate’s training with Marcus had been intensive, every night for almost two weeks. She felt exhausted from the complexity of it all and at the same time she could feel her strength growing, night after night while they toiled and practised, working at an almost feverish pace. Kate sometimes felt like it was all too much, that she was learning far too much too quickly, that she would never be able to control such powers as Marcus was teaching her about.

But she had to, it was the only way to succeed and she HAD to succeed, for Emma’s sake, for the sake of her marriage, and her sanity. Marcus was a proficient mentor, he had patience and skill and Kate had always been a quick study. In many ways it was like being back at Sindell, she was a teenager again learning her first lessons in the Craft, the only difference being that this time she was dealing with much darker forces than she had ever dared before in her life.

Kate trailed her fingers over the headstone again, tracing the letters that made up the name, Emma Grace Eldridge. “Oh sweetheart…” she mused quietly, “you should never have been taken from this life so soon, you should never have been taken from us…” Kate raised the rose to her lips and kissed it softly before placing it back in front of the grave.

“Soon,” she promised, her voice filled with impatience, “soon, my angel.”

“Pretty girl, didn’t your mommy ever tell you not to play out late?”

Kate tilted her head to one side as the ghostly voice emerged from the darkness. She could sense the base, corruptness of her companion, empty and barren like the earth he had left behind - death reanimated. Slowly Kate rose to her feet and turned around to face the owner of the voice. Just a few feet away there stood a tall, skinny looking man, completely dressed in black, his face displaying the pallid constitution of a newly born vampire.

Kate’s eyes briefly flickered over the man before she turned away again. “Did you ever pick the wrong person on the wrong day,” she whispered hollowly. Kate’s face was a picture of uncompromising, controlled hatred as she returned her gaze back to her daughter’s headstone.

The vampire stopped, slightly unnerved by the woman’s unflinching posture. Even the most foolhardy humans didn’t appear this confident.

“All alone?” he asked, trying to appear as sinister and menacing as possible. It was getting early, his newly acquired instincts were all telling him to seek out some dark, sunless place to take refuge, but if he didn’t get a feed before dawn he wouldn’t have the strength to hunt come nightfall.

Kate’s fist clenched and unclenched at her side, she could feel the mystical energies building around her, alive from her most recent training with Marcus and stirring, churning, in response to her inner turmoil.

“You might consider leaving,” she said firmly, “find some dumb high school student to snack on…”

“And why would I do that?” asked the vampire suavely, “when I have such a delicious looking morsel right in front of me?”

Kate looked out over the dark, black hills, her eyes matching their sinister emptiness, blank and lost as they fixed on the horizon. She could remember when her family and friends had all gathered here in memorial, paying their respects and offering condolences. That seemed like such a long time ago now.

“Well… the thing is…” said Kate listlessly, “I would have to kill you… and while I don’t have many qualms about ridding the world of one more bloodsucking parasite, I think that, right now, I might enjoy it. That’s not something I want to develop a taste for.”

“A taste?” the vampire took a few steps towards her, he was hungry and maybe a little too anxious for a feed that he was prepared to take a chance. His eyes focused on her bloody hand. “A taste is all I want.”

Kate sighed in response and the wind seemed to suddenly rise accordingly. She turned back to face the vampire, “how can you not feel this?” she said, her dark features fixing on the creature. “How can you be so unconnected to everything?”

She slowly crouched down low, reaching her hand out to touch a small plant, as soon as her fingers came into contact it began to shrivel and turn brown until it was nothing more than a dead root clinging to the soil. Kate’s fingers trembled slightly as she rose to her feet, taking several steps towards the vampire, closing that distance between them. She reached up towards the sky, closing her eyes in deep concentration and drawing on the energies that surrounded her until she felt the air swelling and a negative charge beginning to rise.

The vampire looked overhead as several large storm clouds appeared to have gathered close-by, jumping as a low rumble of thunder broke the silence.

Kate’s eyes were black as treacle now, glittering in the darkness. She turned her focus back to the vampire, who looked almost petrified. Her eyes bore into his, filled with sorrow and pain. “Want to see more?”

She suddenly took his hand and squeezed it tightly, “tell me you can feel it…”

The vampire winced in pain as his flesh began to sizzle and burn as though he had been caught in the sun. He ripped his hand free, looking at the scalding flesh. “Stop! Stop! I can, I can feel it!”

Kate let go of the vampire, watching him scramble on the ground as he held onto his scorched hand. Her eyes looked through him, immovable and desolate. “Good… then maybe you can feel this…”

Kate’s eyes rolled back into her head and she trembled from her toes to her fingertips as she garnered the disparate strands of energy that made up the tapestry of life, drew on that as only a witch can. When she opened her eyes again they were a solid black mass, a rolling void of emptiness.

The vampire gulped. “I think I know when I’m in over my head.”

Kate’s glittering black eyes barely focused on the retreating form of the vampire as he rushed to get the hell out of her path.

“But you forgot something…” she called sadly, reaching out towards his retreating form with her hand. ”Powers of light, Magic’s bright fire, Under Hecate’s sight, Let this spell be your funeral pyre.”

A ball of fire suddenly appeared in Kate’s open hand shooting out at the vampire and engulfing him in flames. As he turned to dust Kate sighed tiredly, turning back to her daughter’s grave and kneeling by the headstone as she trailed her fingers over the engraved letters of Emma’s name.

“Alone again…”

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Meredith Bell's picture

Here's another post I just found on my disk of posts forgotten :? It didn't go up because, well I'd lost it, forgotten where the disk was until now. Oh well here it is anyway, the scene is set the night that Galen moved out of home.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007 – 10:23pm – Days Inn, Downtown Los Angeles

Galen walked into the motel room with a sigh, dropping his bag on the bed as he looked around. The room was inexpensively decorated with a minimal of furniture, just the bed, a flimsy looking built-in wardrobe, a couple of chairs and a set of drawers. The wallpaper was faded in places, giving the room a shabby, aged feel, and the floorboards creaked underfoot. It was a far cry from the attractive, inviting home he was used to living in – but at least it was cheap and clean with hot and cold running water.

He moved over to the window and glanced out before pulling shut the curtains. When Majestic had first transferred him to Los Angeles he had stayed in this very motel and two years later here he was again. That thought alone was particularly depressing to say the least. Back then the name Catherine Wiccham had meant nothing to him, she was just some woman who’s kidnapping he’d been sent to investigate. He’d never expected to fall in love with her let alone to marry her! She was a witch and more than that, a telepath – strictly off limits. He’d known the rules back then, known what would happen to him if he broke them… and he’d gone and done it anyway.

Trying to shrug those thoughts away Galen turned his attention to his bag and began to unpack the things he had picked up from home earlier that morning. He carefully removed a pile of shirts, pants – hanging them all up in the rickety wardrobe.

He and Kate really had been happy, despite all the hurdles that had stood in their way. Her sense of duty to honour the death of Luc, his position with Majestic, the lies, the deceit… Kate had forgiven him for lying to her back then, that was the moment when they had promised one another never to keep secrets, to always be honest and open with one another.

Galen closed his eyes momentarily and shook his head sadly. He would never have believed that things could have turned out like this. That they would lose their baby, that Kate would sleep with another man… that he would sleep with another woman!

He sighed again tiredly, picking up the sweater that Kate had packed and remembering the sad look in her face, her slow, reluctant folding as she squashed it into the bag with the rest of his things.

He held the soft wool to his face, discerning the faint scent of Kate’s perfume imbedded into the fabric. He sighed slightly, even when he tried to leave her behind, to forget her, he couldn’t. She was everywhere, like the air he breathed or the moon glowing in the dark of the night.

Galen tiredly dropped the bag and the rest of its contents onto the floor as he pulled back the stale bedsheets, sitting down momentarily while he undressed before climbing into bed.

It was cold.

He moved around some, trying to get comfortable, trying to warm up that spot on the mattress but it was useless. Eventually he climbed back out of bed and pulled on the sweater. Well he might not be able to improve the state of the mattress but he sure as hell wouldn’t freeze to death in the middle of the night.

He settled down between the sheets once more, laying on his side and just staring at the vast expanse of bed that spread out before him. He’d never realised that a bed could feel so big!

*Why did I ask for a double anyway?* he thought irritably, his hand reaching out and skimming over the vacant pillow and empty bed that faced him. He pulled the high collar of his sweater up around his face, once more catching that familiar, delicate scent of jasmine and vanilla.

He could almost have imagined that Kate was laying next to him… her lithe body spread languidly across the bed, her long hair trailing across her pillow. Her soft, supple breast rising and falling gently in time with her slow, methodical breathing, sometimes, occasionally she would mumble something incomprehensible while she slept, her eyelids fluttering or her fingers twitching as she bore out some vivid dream. Galen would awake sometimes, and seeing her gripped by such a torment would gently brush aside her hair, damp with perspiration, and draw her into his arms until the moment had passed.

*What am I doing?* thought Galen blankly as he rolled onto his back, staring at the ceiling. He’d moved out because he wanted to be able to put some distance between himself and his wife and here he was, laying in bed and she was all he could think about!

***Birch Street, Alhambra***

Kate lay in bed alone, listening to the dull tone of the grandfather clock in the hallway chiming the half-hour. She’d been in bed for an hour now but sleep refused to come despite the fact that she was exhausted. She hadn’t slept the previous night, too worried about Galen to relax properly, and now… well she wasn’t any better.

She closed her eyes and listened to the final chime of the clock fade into silence. He’d left her. Packed his bags and left her! Kate could barely believe it. Idly she rubbed her cheek, frowning. He’d been right of course, they couldn’t carry on living the way they had been and she could hardly blame Galen for needing some space and time alone after what she’d done. That didn’t mean that she couldn’t miss him though, that she couldn’t long to feel him wrap his arms around her like he used to when they lay in bed together, spooning against her body and kissing the back of her neck…

Kate sighed, rolling onto her back and looking up at the ceiling. *Please don’t let it be over, please don’t let him leave me for good, please let him come back to me…* she begged silently to whatever entity was listening. She spread her arms out, reaching the edges of the mattress with the very tips of her fingers. The bed felt so empty though that wasn’t such an unfamiliar feeling after the past few weeks.

Since Emma had died… Kate sighed tiredly, her eyelids drooping at the remembrance of her daughter. Still at least she could think the words, could actually conjure Emma’s name into her mind without crying. Kate didn’t know if that was a good thing or not. She remembered the morning after that terrible night when Tash had come around to see her. She had felt so numb back then, so… empty, drained of emotion. After that she’d managed to open up, acknowledge her feelings, so much so that she’d sometimes felt like she would never be able to stop crying.

But now…

She felt that numbness sweep over her once more, the empty void that had closed up was open again. Kate felt so empty inside, so lost…

She rolled over to the bedside table and fumbled around inside one of the drawers. She didn’t care anymore, she just wanted to go to sleep and forget everything… Kate picked up the jar of sleeping pills and tipped a couple into her hand before swallowing them down.

The Cutting Room

Kaarin's picture

The following two posts are from the original midseason plot I was going to do. It's interesting to see how plans alter. This would have assumed a number of things, such as Nikolai and Alessa still being together. It's also what happens when I watch one of the wishmaster movies and get inspired.

So I was going to unleash a Djinn on the world, give me a chance to work with Alicia's charecter some more. Ultimately, I was trying to design the scenario such that the right wish would allow you to literally UNDO that timeline - thus giving a lot of greater freedom to anyone who came across the Djinn.

Most of the plot would have involved Alicia trying to determine exactly what the thing was, and finding a way to stop it - and the Djinn trying to track her down and extract three wishes, possibly running across other people to, erm, do the same with. Since the timeline would be undone, people could really have fun, including finding nice ways to die. :)

If anyone wants to do a 'what if' collab with me on the subject, let me know and I'll be glad to do it. Would be fun to see what some people would ask for when encountering a being who could literally fulfill our every desires.

For the moment, though, here is the first scene - where Alicia gets the necklace which holds the Djinn. This is one of two scenes already written.



Nikolai and Alicia had enjoyed the chance to have a nice dinner together again after the events with the Council and Delancre. Things were slightly awkward and they had avoided discussing her decision to remain with the Council at least for now. For the moment, at least, they enjoyed the chance to have a romantic evening together without worry that the world would end, Nikolai would be evil, the First Elder was trying to take over the world, or any other of the myriad of problems which seemed to find their way to Los Angeles.

Alicia was in the middle of laughing at a joke that Nikolai made when it happened. There was a loud banging sound, almost like a gunshot, and the car made a small jump. “Oh crap,” Nikolai said after a moment, pulling over to the side of the road.

“What’s wrong?” Alicia asked with a hint of worry in her voice.

“The transmission just blew,” he replied, shaking his head in frustration. Alicia sighed at the news. She knew that the car was slightly older, but some of the problems were starting to get ridiculous. The only reason she didn’t get a new one was because this one had been working fine before. *We should have taken Nikolai’s car.* “I knew I should have gotten a cell phone.”

Alicia pulled out her purse to look for hers. “I still can’t believe you don’t have one in this day and age.” She pulled it out, noted that it was off then tried to turn it on. The batteries were dead. “Well, that worked well,” she tossed it back in her purse.

“That’s why I don’t use them, I would never remember to charge it.” Nikolai laughed some, it seemed almost silly. Despite the other cars on the street, they merely avoided the couple who were probably pulling over to see a shop. “We could see if they’ll let us use their phone,” he suggested of a store across from them.

The pair got out of the car together, looking at the small shop front. Lelund’s Antiques, the sign above the door read. A sign in the door announced that it was open, while the hours indicated that it would not be much longer. Nikolai waited for Alicia to walk around the car to him before taking her hand into his, they made their way inside.

A smell bell tinkled overhead, an older gentleman looking up from behind a counter. A number of older desks were around the floor of the shop, along with a number of antique dressers and cupboards. Several display cases held jewellery. “Ah, good evening,” said the man, looking up from a ledger, next to which sat an open sandalwood box. “Can I help you?”

Nikolai and Alicia made their way over to him, so that they wouldn’t have to yell. “Our car broke down outside. Could we use your phone?” Nikolai asked. At the elderly gentleman’s nod, the phone was placed on the desk so that he could call the tow truck. Alicia decided to wander some and look around. She was amazed at the selection of little trinkets in the glass display case.

She stopped when she noticed the little sandalwood box with the velvet lining. Inside sat a necklace with a golden Persian style chain. This connected to a piece in the centre with a crest, the rounded edge pointing up and tapering down to a clasp, with a small jewel in the centre of that. Below that was an ovular piece with a turquoise emerald in the centre. “Do you like it?” asked the shop owner.

“Hmmm,” Alicia started, shaken out of her examination of the necklace. The turquoise jewel in the centre particularly caught her attention. It seemed unusually fine when compared to others. “I’m just admiring the quality is all.”

“It is of very good quality, is it not?” he said, smiling at her admiration. There was, he could see, the possibility of a sale. “Though I wish it came to me under better circumstances,” there was a hint of regret in his voice.

“Oh?” Alicia considered the elderly gentleman carefully. He seemed to be the honest enough sort, but… *Stop that. You’ll end up like Kate’s husband, jumping at shadows.*

“It’s not important,” he deflected the question. “It’s Persian, I think. According to the woman who sold it to me, her mother claimed it was 500 years old, but the stone is a bit older. About 1,200 years to be precise.”

“You’re kidding. And it’s in that good of a condition?”

“It does have a certificate of authenticity, which only adds to the confusion – that claims it’s 500 years old, but mentions nothing in the description of it being jewelled.” The shop owner smiled, motioning to the necklace. He looked over at Nikolai, who was in the middle of arguing with someone on the phone. “Would you care to see how it looks?”

Alicia stammered, “Oh, no, I’m not sure-“

“There’s no harm in looking, is there?” The shopkeeper reached into the box, deftly picking up the necklace. Alicia sighed, thinking that there really would be no harm in at least seeing what the necklace looked like. She lifted her hair as he brought the necklace around, attaching it behind her neck.

Did she just feel a warmth stir in the stone against her bare skin? Alicia dismissed it as a momentary trick of her mind.

“Wow, that looks wonderful.” The two turned to see Nikolai beginning to purposely stride back over towards them, hanging up the phone. He took in Alicia’s appearance with the necklace, smiling appreciatively. “I particularly like the way it offsets your eyes.”

Alicia looked slightly embarrassed at this, when Nikolai suddenly asked how much it would cost. “No, no, that’s quite all right,” she interjected, hearing the figure spoken. He could not be seriously considering paying that amount of money for a necklace. She unhooked it quickly, going to replace it in the box.

“Well, of course, that’s not the final price,” the gentleman pointed out, eyeing the couple carefully. He did not tell them the full story behind the necklace, or his desire to get rid of it – he was certain that the thing must have been cursed – but nobody would buy it at a reduced price. Now… he would not let the chance for the sale escape. “I do enjoy a good dickering session, and for such a lovely couple and such a beautiful woman, I’m sure we could come to an arrangement.”

“Is something wrong?” Nikolai was asking ten minutes later as they stepped out of the shop, with the new necklace hanging around Alicia’s neck. He slipped his hand into hers again as they waited for the tow truck to arrive.

Alicia’s voice was slightly hesitant. “No, no, it’s just…” she turned to meet his eyes. “I know you still feel badly about… what happened… the way you were. But you don’t have to try to make up for it.” Nikolai flushed at the remark, lowering his head. She felt some sympathy for him, and could understand it after everything they had been through. Smiling, she leaned in to kiss him softly. “But thank you, anyway.”

The Cutting Room

Kaarin's picture

THis is the second post, which was meant to set everything up for the task. It'll be obvious how the Djinn could pull the wool over our eyes by the end of this. It was a fun post to write to explore a more sane and at home with himself Nikolai than this; originally, the Finding was to get his mind in order even more.

Ah well! On with the wishing! Mwahahahahaha!


Inside the emerald, a creature waited, biding its time.

Aware of the outside world, it knew instinctively the woman who had awakened him. It also knew from long experience that if she knew of his kind, she would distrust him. Despite the millennia in his prison, it was a chance he could not take. And so this creature watched and waited for an opportunity. When it felt the time was right, it made its move – the one move that it could make, to escape from its prison.

Then the creature waited…


While Nikolai was glad to enjoy the day off, he had been surprised to find that Alicia asked him for his help in looking for information on the necklace. Something about it struck her as odd when she looked at it more closely, the markings seeming familiar. So Nikolai had offered to go through the books and try to find out about it after taking her to work. Opening the door, he walked into Alicia’s apartment, heading for the box which held the necklace before stopping.


That was the first and most obvious emotion that he felt. Directed at… what? He wasn’t sure. But it was there with enough force to make it clear that something was there. Then the undercurrent made its way to the forefront. Nikolai reached into his jacket to slowly draw his pistol. That kind of malevolence, experience told him, came only with non-human creatures.

Nikolai slowly started to move through the apartment moving slowly, deliberately, trying to avoid any unnecessary motion. If he found whatever was there, he was not about to alert it to his presence if he could help it. When such a creature was around, it could only be bad news.

“What is it with humans and their weapons?” a voice came from the darkness.

Nikolai turned around, trying to see the figure. He could make out only a vague figure in the darkness which was standing there, the lights off. Although he was tempted to shoot right away, part of him nagged… this creature probably could have killed him.


With that level of malevolence that he could now feel from it, part of him rose up in pity. Whatever had happened to make this demon hate as much as it did, there was only one reason he was still alive. For some reason, it couldn’t kill him.

“What are you?” Nikolai asked cautiously, keeping the gun trained on the demon out of instinct. *Come on, do you really expect a demon to answer that question honestly?*

The creature laughed, a sound filled with the depths of hatred and amusement at the same time. “Has it really been so long that the sound of our voice no longer is enough to tell you what we are?”

Nikolai looked on in slight confusion, remembering some of the stories that Alicia had told him. *Why is it always an ancient evil and never a young evil?* “I can tell you aren’t human.”

“How noncommittal.”

Nikolai was even more confused. Trying to get a straight answer out of this demon was impossible. All it was answering his questions with were riddles. Had he wanted that, he could have gone to the Sphinx or read more Xangyarj philosophy. “What do you want?”

“Funny.” There was no hint of amusement in the creature’s voice at all. “I was just about to ask you the same question.”

Nikolai rolled his eyes. “Either explain yourself or get out.” But he could feel the creature’s desires more clearly now. An immense hatred, even the direction was clear. This thing hated man, demons, vampires – it hated all life. A truly sociopathic outlook, in which only its own kind’s desires ultimately mattered.

When the creature stepped out of the shadows, he stopped to stare at it. It wasn’t the horns, the powerful build, or the Persian clothing that made him weary of the creature. The eyes were enough to do that, red that burned with fire of searing hatred. “Do not make demands of me, human,” said the creature, before smiling. “Make a wish.”

“Excuse me?”

“A wish,” repeated the creature, keeping its distance. “It is a simple proposition, human. One wish for one soul.” The creature said nothing further, but it considered the man carefully. His instinct told him of this man’s connection to the Waker; taking his face would doubtlessly make his job easier. But first, he needed the wish.

Fear welled up in Nikolai. He vaguely remembered the stories that he had heard of, the myths behind the tales of some popularised legends. If this creature was what it seemed to be… he fired several rounds, watching them harmlessly strike the creature. “Bozhemi.”

The creature kept its malevolent smile as it stared at Nikolai. “Leave God out of this.” As the creature began to move again, Nikolai took several steps back. Frustration built up inside the creature, the same frustration that plagued his species constantly. “I can see your fear. Do you wish me to release you from it?”

“No!” he instantly shot out, dropping the pistol. He still couldn’t believe it, almost. He had come face to face with a Djinn, and it appeared to be a particularly malevolent one. “Who woke you?”

The Djinn seemed more amused than anything else by that particular question. “So, the little human recognises me at last,” he looked around the apartment. “You know who my waker is already.”

How was he supposed to know who woke this creature? It could be telling him that he or Alicia did – the coincidence that he just bought her a Persian necklace and this thing showing up was too great – but that was no solid guarantee. At once he knew that the waker had to be one of them, but it meant a gamble. “What do you want?” he asked again.

“Is that your wish to know?”

“I’m not stupid enough to make a wish for you to twist around.” Nikolai felt the amusement rise in the Djinn again. He knew what he wanted: a way to kill it, to send it away, to make sure that Alicia was safe.

“I can feel the conflict within you,” his adversary pointed out. The Djinn looked like it was sizing him up. “Caring about the one you love. You could always make a wish to protect her… I don’t think a soul is too small a price to pay for that. Do you?”

Nikolai shook his head. It never quit campaigning, did it? “And give you a way to twist it around to hurt her? I doubt it.”

The Djinn growled in annoyance, then calmed down with a visible force of effort. This human was making it much harder on him than it had to be. “Think of it,” he said. “I am offering you anything you wish for. Protection. Security. Wealth. Love. Wisdom. Anything at all.”

The temptation came up in Nikolai’s head. Protection, security, wisdom. Things that he would without a doubt be interesting in. Love he already had, money he felt he could go without. “Anything?” he asked.

“Your imagination is the limit!”

Nikolai thought back. There was too much coincidence; the fact that this creature was here had to be because he bought the necklace. Part of him told him to sit down and think about it, try to figure out exactly what to do, but this thing could easily threaten everyone he cared about. He only knew of one way for certain that he could use the wish to protect them. “Alright then, I think I will make a wish.”

“Good! Choose your words carefully.”

Nikolai thought for a moment, the caution was one that he did not need. “I wish…” he started, then stopped. No, that would have been a bad wording. Then he found the one that he wanted, smiling. “I wish that I never bought that necklace last night.”

The Djinn smiled. “As you wish.” It reach out with its power, subtly changing the world. Memories changed to reflect the new order of things. No longer did Nikolai make the final purchase; now Alicia, at the last moment, changed her mind, noticing the markings on the necklace. And she then decided to buy it herself.

The Djinn was still there.

Nikolai gulped heavily, taking a step back. He had just failed. *I should have worded that better.* With horror, he realised too late that it was probably not the purchasing that would have ‘woken’ the creature in the first place. “I’m in trouble now….”

“I could not have put it better.” The Djinn suddenly advanced on him, taking by the throat and lifting him up. “Now then, I believe the deal was a wish… for a soul?”

Nikolai screamed, kicking furiously at the powerful grip of the creature. It seemed completely unaffected by his attempts to kick lose from the vice-like hold that it held him in, labouring in his attempts to breath. Slowly the world turned black… *Please, let Alicia remain safe* were his last thoughts.

The Djinn dropped the body to the floor, holding out one of its fingers. The human had almost found the wish that would have defeated it, but now left him free to find the woman who woke him. Reaching down, he cut off the human’s face, placing it over his own. Then his appearance morphed…

…into the exact likeness of Nikolai. Walking over to the mirror, the newly formed creature examined the new appearance. “Just three wishes is all I need,” it said in Nikolai’s voice, though with a slight undertone of darkness which was not there before. “What do you want, my dear?” Then it laughed.

Stepping outside of the apartment, the Djinn shut the door before heading outside. It was time to go find the waker.

The Cutting Room

Meredith Bell's picture

Gods the really stupid thing is I absolutely remember you sending me (especially the first) posts to read about this, but I had totally forgotten about this storyline until now :roll: Anyway, great to be able to read them again. :D

The Cutting Room

Kaarin's picture

hehehhe, yes, and I also remember you saying that I even if I changed the plotline I had to post these. So I've had these for a whlie, just wanted to wait until I had my present plotline underway before posting the one that got (unfortunately) set aside. :)

The Cutting Room

Kent's picture

Here is something I wrote in the process of figuring out how to help with Season 5, but it led me to places it ought not. Since I've ammended Vespajan's profile, none of this is relevant anyway :) Still thought it was nifty, though. It says "The Present" because it appears after a series of flashbacks, which I'm still going to use.


Tuesday, October 2 2007
1:00 AM - The Sunnydale Crater

**The Present**

The van rumbled down the highway, around the large road-block, up to the wire fences. Its driver, the vampire Benji Law, put the vehicle in park and turned to the passenger behind him. Julia huddled up in the back with two cats, but set them down when Benji called to her.

"This is it, Jules," Benji announced. "They call it Sunnydale…or what used to be Sunnydale." He snickered. "The name just screams 'bite me', doesn't it?"

Julia set down the two cats, but the soft black one she'd had for over a month and the new one from a few weeks ago--a small, scrappy-looking brown cat. "C'mere Bird," she called to the black cat. "You and Wally play while me and Benji look around." She slid out of the back of the van and skipped up to Benji. "Where the Hell is the place?" she asked, placing a hand on Benji's back.

"Hell is right," Benji cracked. As the two approached chain-link fence Julia saw beyond. There was barren land ahead, almost a desert, though there was some construction in the distance. "So, the place just, what? Sank into the ground?" Benji asked himself. He clutched the fence, then in one swift motion flung himself up over the top of it. "C'mon," he motioned to Julia, and a second later she joined him.

"It' quiet here," Julia commented as she crossed the barren moonlit landscape. "Kinda nice. Much better than San Francisco." She glowered at Benji.

Benji threw up his hands apologetically. "Yeah, yeah! San Fran was a bust. And who knew the place would be crawling with vampire hunters? Seriously…the place is like a no-go zone for the evil undead! But hey--the eight-ball told us 'Definitely', so of course we had to check it out."

"Oh, Benji," Julia said, shaking her head in disappointment that was only slightly exaggerated. "You and your magic eight-ball. Sometimes I think you love that…that toy more than me!" She pretended to sob.

"Heh…you're right," Benji taunted, which earned him a slap in the arm. "After Las Vegas--where you couldn't throw a corpse without hitting someone--and San Francisco--where an army of demon killers greets you as soon as you cross the city limits--this is nice. No people, which isn't a problem for me. And there's a good sense of…history, I guess. I don't know. Nice to be the only undead thing for miles…"

Benji Law wondered if he had spoken too soon. Over a small mound of dirt sat a strange figure--a bare-chested man with his head and legs wrapped in a dark shroud. He seemed to be in a trance, or meditating or something, but he sat cross-legged in the sand. On closer inspection, there was something even odder about the man. His skin was blue. For a long moment, Benji paused and stared at the person, then took to pacing around him curiously. He waited there for about ten minutes, just watching the man think.

"Uh…Benji?" Julia stuttered. "What are we doing?"

"Whatever he is doing."

"Oh. And what is that?" she asked.

"Don't know."

1:10 AM

Finally, when his curiosity was full to brimming over, he gestured to Julia. "Eight-ball," he whispered. She produced the item, Benji shook it, and awaited a verdict. "Should I…like, approach him?" Benji had asked.

"YES!" the toy urged him. Benji tossed the ball to Julia and stepped towards the silent humanoid. "Hey. Hey guy," Benji greeted the man loudly. "What's up?" The man opened his eyes drowsily. They were bright green eyes, glowing in the darkness. Benji lowered himself, eventually mimicking the man's position across from him. "What are you doing?"

"Who wants to know?" the man replied in a low growl, arching an eyebrow in contempt.

Benji jerked back and patted himself in the chest. "It's me! Your oldest and bestest friend, Benji Law! Just came by to, you know, check up on my boy," Benji said with fake affection. Julia giggled and waved Benji to give up his reckless annoyance of the mystery man. Benji persisted, but in a less bothersome tone. "What can you tell me about this place?"

The blue man scoffed and closed his eyes again. "This place is empty," the man rumbled. "Merely a shell of its former power."

Benji surveyed the land quickly and agreed. "Yep. Nothing left. But they say that this is a dark place…it attracts things. Things like demons," he said to the blue man in a proud tone. "Things like you, am I right?"

"Or vampires," the blue demon replied with a sinister grin, still keeping his eyes closed. "But, as I said before, this place is empty. There is nothing of power here."

Julia finally stepped up to address the demon. "This place looks pretty beat. So, I'm guessing someone destroyed the dark power here? You know--spoiled the fun?"

The blue demon laughed grimly. "They tried! They failed miserably in their attempts, only bringing about their own much-deserved demise." The demon opened one emerald eye. "But they could not destroy the power. This was the purest evil, you see. In it's pure state, evil is energy. Like all energy, it could not be destroyed by conventional means. It has changed its form."

Benji soaked up the information readily. "Hmm. Neat. But what did it change into?"

The demon began to snarl. "Are you cursed with an eternal thirst for knowledge, vampire, or are you just retarded?" Both of his eyes opened now and fixed on Benji sitting across from him.

"Listen, pal," Benji snapped, "I'm on vacation here. Least you can do is show us some hospitality."

"My apologies," the demon smiled. With a sudden leap the demon rose to his feet, then lashed out in a flurry of cloth. Distracted by the demon's skirt, Benji did not see a dark shape coming towards his face. It was only after it sent him reeling onto the barren earth that he realized that it was most likely a foot. "Welcome to the Hellmouth," the demon laughed, then rushed over to Benji and kicked him in the rib.

With a banshee cry Julia thrashed at the demon, clawing his naked arms and chest. He reached back and grabbed her shoulder, launching her over his back and face-first into the dirt. "Have you had quite enough?" the dark demon smirked as he kicked Julia along the ground. He'd lost track of Benji, but called out to him in the darkness. "It was not my wish to come to this, vampire. I simply came to do a job…a job you interfered with. And now I am forced to--"

His words were cut off by a sudden blow to the back of the head. Benji had clasped his hands together and smashed them into the demon, reeling the foe to his knees. As the demon rolled onto his back, Benji slammed his size-11 skate shoes onto the fiend's throat. Julia scrambled up to the demon and began to unleash a volley of punches on his abdomen. As the demon gagged and Julia freaked out, Benji stared down at his fallen acquaintance.

"You interrupted the story. I actually liked it," Benji explained. "So tell me more--now." He pressed harder on the demon's neck.

"You have no honor," the demon wheezed.

"What? You mean the playing dirty?" Benji shrugged indifferently. "Yeah, I guess I don't." The demon motioned that he would comply with Benji's wishes and Benji released him from under foot. "Benji Law, and that's Julia," Benji said while extending his hand to lift the demon.

"Vespajan of the Order of Valor. I am disgraced to have been bested by a lowly vampire such as you," the demon explained graciously. "You are wild, and without a code of behavior. In the Order we give purpose to lives without--"

"Ooh, sorry. I had sort of an encounter session in Vegas, and I'm just easing into this whole 'purpose-driven after-life' thing. But…Order of Valor, eh? I'll keep it in mind." He stepped back and waited for the demon to continue. "Where were we? Oh. What did the power-source change into?"

"Hellmouth," Julia panted, licking the filthy blood from her lip. "That's what he called it!"

The demon dusted himself off and pressed his palms together serenely. He didn't look damaged at all, and probably could've gone another ten rounds. "The power-source was known as the Hellmouth. After it closed in Sunnydale, it has moved to parts unknown."

"Moved?" Benji patted his bruised rib. "So that's what you meant by 'changing form'. Now what's this job that we so rudely interrupted?"

"I was sent here to study the Hellmouth." The demon glanced at the empty ground upon which Sunnydale once stood. "It is here no longer, but when you…ahem…interrupted me I was meditating on the Hellmouth's trail. I would have found it, if you had not…you see. I am a Pathfinder. My expertise is in tracking, sensing."

Benji nodded. "Super senses, eh? Yeah, I can relate," he explained, temporarily flashing into vampire mode.

"You are an idiot-child if you believe that vampire senses are anywhere near as honed as mine," the demon corrected Benji.

Benji spit. "Damn! What's with the insults? You'd think a little respect for the vamp that just kicked your ass wouldn't be too much to ask!" Julia growled in agreement.

After a moment of staring in awe at the two young vamps, Vespajan turned away. "I don't have time for this." As Julia lunged for the demon he leapt aside quickly and struck her in the side. "The Hellmouth is on the move," Vespajan noted. "It's powerful…possibly more powerful now than ever. Something is rising." Facing away confidently, Vespajan glided across the dry Sunnydale dirt, but he moved as if wading through a shallow pool.

Julia rubbed her eyes and Benji shifted his weight to one foot. "Thanks for all your help, bud. Keep in touch." He began to walk back to the van.

"That…that was the strangest thing I've ever done," Julia mumbled to herself. "Was there any point to any of it?"

"Yep," Benji answered. "We got something to write on a postcard to send back home. And we've got a good vacation story to tell the…well, not the grand-kids." He glanced quickly and nervously at Julia, but she didn't let on.

Julia sighed tiredly. "And?"

"And we know that something big and wicked is out there…wandering."

"Yeah," Julia agreed. "And that Hellmouth sounds pretty scary, too."

Benji flashed a twisted smile. "Don't be so hard on ol' Vespy. Sure, he's a real Grade-A dick, but he's just a man on a mission."

"What do you think his people are gonna do with the Hellthingy when they finally track it down?" Julia mused as she rubbed her broken back. The van was only a few feet ahead, and Julia looked forward to throwing herself inside.

"I…I don't know," Benji realized out loud as he slid into the driver's seat. "Probably something apocalyptically bad." This made Benji smile again.

"There you go!" Julia said with a laugh. "You freakin' smiled again."

Benji was slightly embarrassed. "I what?"

"You've been different lately, Benj. Even after all that's happened. Since we split in Mexico--Hell, I bet it was Vegas. Or maybe that's just the satisfaction of letting loose on that Vespajan dude."

It was Vegas, mostly his encounter with the host and what was said there. And it was Vespajan, too. Something Vespajan said. "Something is rising". Perhaps it was the very thing Benji was looking for, just as the host had said. Even if the Hellmouth was a million miles away, it did him good just to know that something powerful was out there, wandering the earth, destination unknown. The Hellmouth was just like him.

"Where to now?" Benji asked as he started up the van.

"We've been all over the place, Benji," Julia whined as she picked up the cats, Bird and Wally. "You know, LA isn't far. Let's just drop by to see if the months were good to her." She scratched Wally's chin. "I wonder if the other Veins came back yet."

"I wonder if any nasties came back at all," Benji interjected. There would be only one way to find out. "Let's saddle up."


And there was a bit after that which I'll probably keep in some form, so I won't spoil it here.

The Cutting Room

Meredith Bell's picture

I just found another of my infamous disks full of posts, here's a collab that Kris and I started and never got to finish cos we suddenly never seemed to be online at the same time anymore :?. There isn't a date but it takes place after the meeting at Alessa's to discuss hunting Tash.

Daye sat in the backseat of Kate's car and tried to control her shivering. She felt cold, but knew that it was only a residual effect of the mad mix of emotions she'd experienced during the meeting at Alessa's house. How could they just matter-of-factly plan the destruction of one of their own? Daye herself, despite having already been Tash's unwitting victim, could still hardly believe this was happening. Maybe it was true that Tash would want them, no expect them to do this thing. That still didn't make it easy.

The car hurtled forward with Galen at the wheel. They were following Marcus' vague lead, but at some point they would be forced to stop and try the spell again...and again. The chances of flushing Tash out before nightfall were slim, and after nightfall well, they would have to take complete leave of their senses to consider facing Tash at full strength. She had been their leader. She had taught nearly all of them something about fighting, about hunting. She knew them far too well. Add to that her now preternatural senses and Tash was a more deadly threat than any of them really wanted to imagine.

Daye gazed out the window and thought of what lay ahead. Now they had to find Tash and stop her from hurting anyone else. Soon enough, though, Daye would have to deal with everything else. She still needed to contact Drew's parents, and she needed to make arrangements with them for his funeral. She would have to deal with all the little details. And she would have to do it alone. This was no one else's responsibility. She had been his wife. She had led him into this world, and he had died because of it, because of her. At moments, Daye could barely draw breath through the terrible pain pressing down upon her.

In the front seat of the car Kate sat equally quiet, focusing on trying to keep her centre, her eyes staring glassily through the windshield. She started at every movement in the shadows, her heart fluttering beneath her breast with a mixture of unease and apprehension. Daye’s worry and sorrow flooded through her from the backseat like tiny waves on a lake, lapping at the shore of her consciousness. She’d tried to hold them back but it was no use so Kate just let them wash over her, at least in sensing Daye’s fraught emotions they helped to mask her own.

Kate fiddled with her fingers, occasionally chewing at the nail. She hadn’t bitten her nails since she was sixteen. For the hundredth time in the past hour, Kate checked her wristwatch. It was getting late; the sky was already starting to grow dusky.

Suddenly the car came to an abrupt stop, bumping against the curb as they pulled up on the side of the road. Galen swivelled around in his seat so that he could address Daye at the same time as his wife. “Where now?”

The sound of Galen's voice drew Daye back to the here and now. She stared out the window for a moment, chewing her lip. She then reached into the bag lying beside her on the seat and pulled out the items inside. She fought to focus as she began the spell she had watched Marcus perform earlier. It was harder than she had imagined, trying to manipulate these energies when her mind was so fractured from the tragedy of last night. She struggled for a few moments and then dropped the crystal with a sigh into her lap.

"I'm sorry, Kate," she said softly, defeat evident in her voice. "I just can't...maybe you should try."

Kate nodded, deftly swiping up the map and crystal pendulum, laying the former out on her lap neatly. Her focus narrowed to an apex and the pendulum swung in small concentric circles, gradually growing tighter until the point of the crystal snapped towards a point on the map.

Galen noted the position and started up the car again. Soon they were on their way, dodging between the busy evening traffic. He muttered irritably, blaring his horn whenever some over-cautious driver made them slow down. Kate tightened her hold on the armrest but it wasn’t just her husband’s dangerous driving that was setting her nerves on edge, she was more worried about Marcus finding Tash before they did. His promise of crucifying their friend on an east-facing wall left a vivid image in Kate’s mind.

She turned in her chair to glance at Daye. She looked like she was going to be sick. “Are you going to be okay?” she asked softly, knowing the answer but feeling like it needed to be asked anyway.

Galen's driving, while absolutely necessary, was a sudden reminder to Daye that she'd neither eaten nor slept in quite a while. She felt suddenly ill, her stomach revolting against the lurching motion of the car. She closed her eyes and breathed slowly through her nose, trying to fend off sudden waves of nausea.

At Kate's softly spoken words, Daye opened her eyes and looked at her friend. She shook her head slowly. "No, but there's nothing you can do either," Daye replied. "We have to do this. I'll be alright. Don't worry."

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Meredith Bell's picture

This post I wrote for Season Four, before I hooked up with Robin and decided to have Marcus be Kate's mentor in trying to bring back Emma from the dead. The idea would have been running along the same track only in this post Kate called upon an ancient vampire whom the Coven of Sindell had imprisoned many years ago. (I actually set up some foreshadowing for this scene where Galen notices Ludlow's name in Kate's Book of Shadows) :wink:

SEASON FOUR - 11:55pm - 64 Birch Street, Los Angeles

Introducing – Julian McMahon as The Vampire Ludlow

The living room was in disarray and had been all night since Kate had picked up the book and started work. She had rolled up the antique floor coverings to one side of the room; the furniture all pushed to the outer perimeter too as she busily sketched a chalk outline on the dark oak floorboards. She’d been working in such a manner all night, copying the intricate summoning circle from the Wiccham Book of Shadows. Finally all her hours of frantic toil appeared finished and Kate rose to her feet to survey the fruits of her labours.

The circle stretched the entire width of the room almost twenty feet, within that a smaller circle mirrored the outer by about two feet and within that two overlapping squares criss-crossed to create an eight pointed star. Inside each of the sixteen triangular points an intricate symbol had been drawn in the same thick white chalk, the first four represented the elements of fire, wind, air and earth. The next four the substantives of man, woman, spirit and magic. The remaining eight outer symbols dictated the terms of the conjure in ancient Theban, the language of witches. Within all of this a hexagon shape formed the innermost part of the structure neatly marking out the space from which the invocation would take place.

Kate sighed, looking at her work with a certain amount of satisfaction. She carefully placed the finishing touches, eight thick black candles to each of the points.

The clock suddenly began to strike the hour, it was time, midnight. Kate quickly shed her clothing and carefully stepped into the middle. She closed her eyes and the lights all suddenly went out. She stayed this way for a while before slowly raising her arms in the air. As she performed this gesture the candles all immediately hissed to life, their fiery glow transporting eerie images across the pale walls.

The clock continued to chime, its sonorous tone sounding louder than usual in the empty house. As the last bell tolled Kate opened her eyes, black and devoid of humanity.

“Magic forces heed me!” she cried into the silence, her naked body trembling with the power of the energies she was invoking.

“I summon tonight the Akhkharu to do my bidding, and offer my blood in payment for his services! I summon the Akhkharu, come to me now!” She raised a curved blade out before her, catching a glimpse of her reflection in the gleaming metal before bringing it to her hand, cutting a crimson path across the palm. She balled her hand into a fist causing the thick red liquid to spider down her hand and drip upon the chalked symbols of the circle. As the blood fell, the markings appeared to glow brighter, infusing them with pure magic.

Kate lifted the blood coated blade in the air, making a slicing motion, “I cut a path between the plains, strengthened by blood and reaching out through space and time, wherever he may be! I summon thee, appear before me, Akhkharu, heed my call!”

The symbols glowed brighter until their light filled the entire room forcing Kate to shield her eyes. At the same time a loud whistling, squealing sound also seemed to whip around the room like a spiritual entity flying in a chaotic dance, the noise was unearthly, frightening, a sound that felt as though it had flown from the gravely depths of the earth. Kate stood fast, rooted to the spot throughout the entire ordeal, her long tresses billowing around her face as the combined entities swirled in tight circles around the room until she felt as though she were swimming in a vortex of light and sound.

Then just as suddenly it stopped.

Kate slowly opened her eyes, a temporary blindness flooding her senses as she struggled to readjust her sight to the sudden darkness. An eerie silence assailed her ears, making the ringing sound even louder, or was that just the pounding of her heart?

Suddenly a voice wafted from deep in the shadows. “You called for me?”

Slowly a man issued forth, tall and lean with a slightly toned physique. He could have been quite handsome, had he mastered the art of personal grooming. His short black hair was receding slightly and unwashed, hidden only partially by the hood of his cloak. He peered out from the dark depths, his face appearing gaunt, almost wasted not to mention unshaven and dirty, twisted into an amused expression as his dark eyes carefully travelled up Kate’s naked body, mapping out every curve.

“See, this is why I always insist that the ritual for my summoning be performed skyclad,” he said, his voice like treacle, rich and dark. “Of course that’s led to some rather, unsavoury situations in the past… but every so often you come across something that makes it all worth while...”

His eyes continued to rake in the beauty of her form, naked and waiting for his inviting hand. He stood outside the circle, walking slowly on the edge of its border, careful not to cross the chalk line. “I can tell you a few stories that would make your hair curl, a naked eighty-two year old magician is not a sight I wish to see after forty years of exile I can tell you. I find this situation far more to my liking.” He continued to follow the circle, carefully keeping one eye on Kate and the other on his path. “You must excuse me if I prattle on a bit, two hundred years of existence can alter even the most stable of minds.”

Finally he stopped, his hand reaching over towards where she stood. He knew that she needed his hand to cross back over, it completed the summoning and the blood promise between them, but he wasn’t quite ready to make that motion just yet. “You are a Sindell witch are you not? Don’t ask me how I know it’s a talent I have.” He looked her up once more, his face contorting into a smirk, “I must say, Sindell witches grow more beautiful every time I see them, though you can imagine, that isn’t often.”

He held his hand out further, extending his fingers in an open gesture. Kate watched him warily before reaching out also, placing her thin, bloodied hand in his. “Aren’t you going to talk to me?” He asked, contemplatively stroking her hand with his own icy fingers, it was all he could do after years without a human feed to restrain himself from just taking her then and there. The aroma of her blood was intoxicating.

“Not even to tell me your name? Though I can probably guess, yes! Let me guess it will be fun. The red hair really is a giveaway, I know of only two prominent wiccan families with such dominant physical characteristics, and you are definitely not a Blaise.” He smirked again his grip on her hand tightening, “Not Irish enough, Wiccham.”

With one firm gesture he pulled Kate forwards out of the circle, penetrating the shield of magical energies like a pin bursting a balloon. The energy in the room deflated and the light shed by the still burning candles dipped slightly in response.

Kate beheld this creature that stood before her with wary scrutiny. He certainly didn’t look like a century old mystic. “You are the Akhkharu?”

The man smiled again, a dark glimmer in his eye; “I am he. The Vampire, you may call me Ludlow.”

He let go of her hand and removed his cloak, wrapping it around her body carefully. His eyes hypnotised Kate, such power and strength combined in that dark, sinister core. Ludlow held her in his thrall as he dressed the fluid material about her soft naked limbs, his cold fingers trailing across the gentle curve of her breast most accidentally.

“I have to admit, it has been a long while since I last lay with a woman, especially one as… bewitching as you…”

As Ludlow’s hand sought to find its way beneath her covering Kate grabbed his wrist firmly as though she might break it before pushing him away. Ludlow just grinned and shrugged, turning away and kicking the chalk outline a little, disturbing the once perfect lines. He glanced around the old house, the gleam in his eye brightening.

“I’ve known your family for many years you know?” he spoke nonchalantly, still looking around the room. “None of them ever called upon me before though, you Wiccham’s normally sort out your own problems, which has been a pity for me, I’ve desired a taste of your family bloodline for centuries.” He eventually turned to face her again, his expression having changed to one of evil malevolence. “So what do you want? I don’t have all day.”

Kate looked hesitant; there was no going back now she knew that. The vampire would want his payment either way and it still seemed… getting Emma back would solve all her problems. Would make her happy, complete, would make Galen love her again, would bring her family back. Still she found the words hard to say and instead continued in her silence.

Ludlow smiled in a sickly manner, reading her mind effortlessly. “My dear,” he said, walking around her, letting his icy fingers trail slowly through her hair, “you are haunting to look at. Deepest despair claws at your soul, I can see it. You are in great pain. Do you wish for me to end it for you?”

“Yes,” said Kate with desperation, her voice catching in her throat she said the word so quickly and without hesitation. “I want it to end.”

“You want your daughter back.” Ludlow’s voice was nothing like a question, he knew the answer, there was no need to delay the inevitable.

“Yes,” repeated Kate, her voice full of pleading heartache, “yes, yes, more than anything!”

Ludlow seemed to ponder her reply for a moment before continuing. “Resurrection is a difficult business… it defies the natural laws of life and death. The price will be high.”

Kate slowly let her eyes rise to meet his, “I know. I don’t care. You can take what you want, just please help me.”

A vicious smile curved Ludlow’s lips and he ran his cold, dead hands against Kate’s cheek, wiping away her tears and eliciting a small gasp of fear from deep inside her. He laughed again and drew the woman roughly against his body, holding her firmly in his strong arms.

“Then we have a deal.”

Ludlow smiled in satisfaction as he roughly grabbed hold of Kate’s neck, pulling her head back to one side so that the long, graceful line of her throat faced him directly. He ran his hands down the smooth flesh, feeling the throb of her pulse and the swell of her arteries beneath his bony fingers. He sucked carefully at her warm skin, feeling the delicate ease with which it would yield to his sharp fangs. Suddenly his face morphed as he bit down hard, blood flooding his mouth, warm and sweet with that distinct coppery tang. He eagerly gulped at the crimson liquid, his grip around Kate’s throat tightening as his desire for her blood increased.

Kate gasped in shock as the initial bite pierced the flesh of her neck. She had always wondered what it would feel like but it was nothing like she’d imagined. It was so painful, draining, like the life was being pulled out of her. Desperately she held on to him for support, her eyes becoming blank and expressionless, fixing upon some far away point in the distance as Ludlow drank deeper. With a sigh Kate closed her eyes as the roaring sound of her own blood filled her ears, she could feel her strength leaving her body replaced with a draining sense of fatigue. She gasped in shock again and tightened her hold on the vampire as he continued to drink with feverish impatience, she could feel the vitality leaving her body, she could feel the darkness swallowing her up.

Suddenly Ludlow stopped drinking, his face returning to ‘normal’ except his lips which were coated with fresh blood. He held Kate’s limp body in his arms as she threatened to slip from his grasp, his eyes glittered darkly as the girl gasped and choked for breath. Slowly, he dropped Kate’s body to the floor.

Ludlow inhaled deeply, though he had no breath it was like breathing for the very first time. He could feel Kate’s powerful blood coursing through his veins, reinvigorating his decaying flesh and bones and he stood silently, feeling strong and invincible for the first time in decades. Ludlow wiped the remnants of blood from his lips, turning to Kate who still lay on the floor, gasping for air.

“My lady I sincerely thank you.” He laughed aloud, staggering around a little in a drunken manner before leaning against the fireplace. He held his head in amusement, such power… her blood had him intoxicated like a fine wine.

Kate opened her eyes and stared at him while she struggled to regain some strength. “Don’t thank me. Just… bring my baby back.”

Ludlow gazed down at her while he attempted to regain his composure, she would do he thought, shaking the dizziness from his head. He was still very weak, having not fed in such a manner for years; he would need more blood soon, lots of it. “Your every wish is my desire,” he chuckled. His eye lingering on Kate’s exposed flesh while he licked a stray drop of blood from the corner of his mouth. “Though perhaps you should dress a little more appropriately…”

Kate managed to pull herself into a sitting position as she gathered her previously discarded clothing together and began to dress, slowly, occasionally touching the two bite marks on her throat. She could feel Ludlow’s eyes on her, burning through her clothing, tracing the curves of her body, the contours of her flesh and the spread of arteries and veins that pumped her covetous blood around her body.

When Kate was finally dressed he smiled, taking her hand and pulling her up from the floor. “Come with me witch,” he said with a conspiratorial grin, “we have much work to do.”

The Cutting Room

Allyana's picture

Ok, I'll follow Lou's lead and post the collab Robin, Adam and I were doing and never finished too. It seems none of us really wanted to dust Tash.

Alone in her room, Alessa changed quickly her clothes. A pair of well worn jeans, her military boots, Chance’s jacket... her ‘hunting’ gear. *To hunt Tash...* Alessa’s shoulders slumped and her vision grew blurry, but she didn’t want to cry. Not again.

A gentle rapping on her door startled her and she straightened quickly, wiping her eyes. “Come in,” she called, and watched Ellis peek into the room.

“Are you ready?” He asked, “Nikolai and Dalton are already in the car.” He frowned, feeling her distress, and walked into the room. “Are you all right?”

,” she answered, leaning on his chest. “No. It’s just-”

“I know,” he said. “Come on; they are waiting for us.”

Alessa nodded, and disentangled from his embrace, but Ellis didn’t move. “There’s something else, isn’t it?”

She sighed, thinking of Kyle’s words. Morris was in town, and he had been asking for her. Roxana had been dusted. The Elders were responsible for it, with what seemed a very capable vampiress in charge, which meant they were putting their eyes on LA again... And Kyle had been in the middle of all that. *Something else? Oh, dear.*

“Yeah, there is.” She answered, taking Chance’s jacket and walking to the door. “But it can wait.” Ellis just nodded and followed her out of the room.

In the driving lane, Nikolai and Marcus were indeed waiting for her, but she didn’t feel like apologizing. It seemed that the Russian’s Monte Carlo was the chosen vehicle.

“So, what are we waiting for?” she asked, smiling slightly. Nikolai chuckled, but Marcus didn’t even flinch. Sighing, Alessa got into the car.

There was enough tension in the air that it felt as though it might visibly snap. Nikolai could tell that a lot of it was directed at Marcus, and wished he knew why. It was likely that he would learn it soon enough, though, without having to ask anything. If they were lucky, it wouldn't just blow up in their faces.

Getting in the car, Nikolai placed the hilt of his sword on the dashboard of the car, oblivious to the curious looks of his passengers at seeing only a hilt placed there. "So, how does this tracking device of yours work?"

"It's a simple Vampire detection spell, filtered via sympathetic magic using an object of significance to the former life of the host body." Marcus frowned. "It requires us to be stationary to work but I'm trying to correct that..."

Alessa frowned at Marcus’ defensive tone. Or maybe she was being oversensitive. She didn’t like the way things were developing, they were not the enemy. Dalton was not the enemy. She took a deep breath and tried to smile, leaning forward over the passenger seat to speak to the necromancer.

“I’m sorry if I jumped over your words at the house. I guess we’re all on nerve’s edges.” She smiled slightly. “What do you need us to do? Stop at times?”

Nikolai chuckled. "Or we can just take the Freeway. That's the same thing as stopping."

Marcus smiled slightly, but didn't bother responding to Alessa's apology, instead he pulled out a map with a red line drawn on it. "I took a bearing from the house. She's somewhere in this direction. I say we head That way."

Marcus pointed down the road, "a few miles and take another bearing. It'll gives us a much narrower area to search then we drive like crazy and take a few more once were closer to her."

“Ok," Alessa said, and she noticed Nikolai start the car’s turn signal and drive towards the direction Marcus had pointed. There was an uncomfortable silence while the Russian manoeuvred the car. It seemed that everything that had to be said, had been said already. But they were not enemies!

She shifted uncomfortably in the back seat, and felt Ellis hand slid into hers. She smiled at him and leant back onto his chest, preparing to wait to get to the new bearing point.

It was going to be a looong afternoon.

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