Author Topic: The Professionals  (Read 136 times)

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Online Billiam

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The Professionals
« on: August 13, 2019, 10:23:49 AM »
Reserved

It was just past sundown, not that the time of day mattered to the nice group of people who lived in the cushy two story at the end of the block. They were a nice group, three boys and two girls. They all had copper skin and had dark hair colors, with the exception of one redhead. Red was a sign of their god, and was good fortune on their home. These humans were known for coming back from the city on the weekends, lots of young people going in for parties. Mrs. Hernandez told Marge Henderson that she thought the place was a drug den, but Marge said that they were just kids and having fun. That was the thing about appearances; they were often deceiving by nature.

In reality, Mrs. Hernandez was right, but only a few days after her speculation she died. You see, she'd committed suicide via rat poison. It was really quite sad. The young people who lived at the end of the block went to the funeral, and the sly looking young man who led this little group paid respects to Mrs. Hernandez's son.

"I'm terribly sorry about your mother," Apep said, his voice sounding like liquid honey mixed with a soft tenor. "She and I would talk about our gardens almost everyday at the fence," he lied, never having spoken more than three words to the woman.

"She loved her garden," her son said, nodding at Apep and wiping away a tear. Apep didn't miss a beat, and pulled a perfectly folded handkerchief from the breast pocket of the blue-grey suit he'd worn to the service. His hair was slicked back, and the other vampires were all equally well dressed and polished. He handed it to the grieving man.

"Don't worry Mr. Henderson," Apep consoled, looking quite distraught as he provided sympathy. "She's in a better place."

The man cried out, tears staining his cheap third-rate suit. Apep considered the tears an improvement. He'd touched polyester! "I know mom is. Thank you sir. She was lucky to have you and your friends as neighbors."

"So lucky," he parroted, taking back his handkerchief. "But you have so many guests, and we were such recent friends. Let me get you back to them."

Apep then led the man back to hear more condolences from people who actually knew the dead woman. Apep turned to Sytheria, the eldest. "Stay till the service is done, and be seen crying at the coffin. I paid off the medical examiner. You owe him head."

"I do not," she spat back in their native tongue, the rest of the world hearing nothing but low hisses and the occasional hard consonant. She looked at her leader with nothing but scorn.

"Relax," he said, smiling wide and laughing. "I owe him head, and service rendered." He placed a finger into his check, and pulled it out quick, making an audible pop noise. He bowed to her.

"You're disgusting," she criticized, agreeing to keep the others here at the funeral. Apep said his goodbyes and headed out to where his car waited. He jumped inside and pulled out a ruby ring. He stared deeply into it, and the image of Mrs. Henderson appeared inside.

"Enjoy your funeral bitch," he asked her soul, beaming as her face stared back in horror. "Calling the cops was a mistake," he said, pocketing the ring and starting the engine. He drove a pickup truck, a red Ford F150. He plugged in his phone, and put on EDM music, his driving music, and began the short ride home. The comfy looking two story had aluminum side paneling, shuttered windows, and a neat little roof with a chimney. It was a perfectly ordinary, and frankly boring looking home. The grass was mowed and the fence was painted. The remaining cars, as they'd gone in only two, were neatly parked in the driveway. Apep turned off the engine and was greeted by a cobra slithering up to him.

"Hello Sutekh," he whispered to the snake. "Anything interesting to show me?" The snake nodded no. That meant nobody came to look at the house today. Good. The whole thing was coming off the way he wanted.

The snake demon entered his home, the inside matching the group's style more than the outside. He tossed his jacket, tie, and shirt on a black leather couch. He stripped down to nothing, his feet feeling soft on the white carpet. He wanted to transform; to be his real self and slither about the home. However, he knew he had a visitor coming, and needed to be ready. This was the kind of break Apep had been waiting for.

He went to his room in the basement, which was the largest bedroom in the house, and pulled out a fresh pair of basketball shorts, tank and a baseball cap. He wore the hat backward, and put on the other clothes, returning to the living room, and collapsing on the couch with a bowl of weed. While he waited for his guest to arrive, he smoked and relaxed. Sutekh would see his visitor coming and let him know. There was nothing the snake saw that Apep couldn't see too.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: The Professionals
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 12:55:09 PM »
The time was long Overdue to seek out alternate connections.  Since Zeus unceremoniously released him of his services, the other shadows under Laurent's employ deserted him without a word.  Infuriating, since these demons had nothing to do with the District Leader, but it was only a minor setback.  Laurent had other Strings to Pull, and as far as he was concerned, the lesser demons were Dead Weight. 

This snake demon had reputation enough to reach his ears.  The art of catching and keeping souls alone was an Impressive Trade--but that was not what Va'tamal was after.  Apep was easy enough to find if you knew who to ask.  Laurent always knew who to ask.  The message he sent ahead was simple.

I would like to make a deal.

Traveling along the outskirts of the city was easy enough compared to within it--far fewer Eyes and Ears.  He stuck to the shadows regardless, more out of habit than fear, and slipped out just in front of the two-story house.  It was unassuming enough to make the average demon question whether or not he'd found the right place--but Laurent was no overage demon.  He approached the building slowly, eyes darting around the potential places where unfriendly individuals could be lurking.

Laurent had dressed in all black--jeans and a teeshirt with immaculate combat boots.  He lingered at the curb for a moment, smoking a cigarette and watching the building for signs of movement.  After smoking half the cigarette, he crushed it beneath the toe of his boot and went to the door to make his presence known--if it was not already.

Online Billiam

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Re: The Professionals
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 01:16:31 PM »
Sutekh waited outside. The snake slept coiled on the cool earth, as comfortable as it's master. It felt a ripple in the air as the shadow demon crept into view, and turned it's head towards were Laurent now stood. Apep's own eyes were only whites as he stared through the snake's eyes. He called the serpent back into the home, and it slithered through a doggy door, and around Apep's shoulders, looking like a proper sentinel. Apep stroked the snake's scales in thanks, and would be sure to give him a fat rat later. Apep took a moment to check his reflection. He was pleased enough, although he took off the hat. It was too bro. Apep's timing was impeccable, as he opened the door right at the moment Laurent stepped to it. The effect was almost magical looking.

"May I help you," he played dumb, although not for Laurent's sake. "Are you here about the leak?"

Apep's face looked like an inpatient and needy human. An eye looked to the street, and there was something in his face that suggested that Laurent should play his little game. 
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: The Professionals
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 01:38:13 PM »
Laurent narrowed his eyes for a moment and slipped his hands into the front pockets of his jeans. 

"Yup."  His expression blank, he waited for Apep to continue with his little Game.  Whether or not someone was actually watching was of little consequence--this was Apep's home and the shadow would play by his rules.  For now.

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Re: The Professionals
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 01:51:17 PM »
Apep looked so relieved, and opened the door wide. As Laurent entered, Apep finished his charade. "Yeah bathroom is this way."

Once the door was shut, and locked, Apep would attempt to greet Laurent with a fist pump, his youth easily visible beneath his smiley face. The snake regarded Laurent more cautiously. It's said animals can sense evil, and if so Sutekh was sensing it. It's tongue flexed uneasily, and it looked at it's master, it's expression vexed. Once the BroShake was complete, or not, Apep would motion for Laurent to follow.

"So it's Laurent I hear," he asked, an almost small talk style about it. He'd heard the other name, but demons weren't often fond of true names being uttered in new company. Apep was easy and confident, but also receptive and surprisingly easy to look at. He wore a smile that seemed to draw people into it. He didn't expect these charms to work on a big bad like this bro, but he expected that the other would see through him, somewhat. They were in the living room now, and Apep motioned for Laurent to have his pick of the various seating. In addition to the couch were a few chairs, and a love seat, that was perpendicular to the couch. A large TV was perched opposite the couch. The overall feel was expensive, but a lack of real style.

He pushed the bowl and his weed toward the other in offering as he waited for his answer.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: The Professionals
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2019, 03:23:22 AM »
How juvenile. 

Laurent glanced distastefully at the extended fist, then the snake around Apep's shoulders.  He couldn't read "snake" and didn't care enough to wonder what the pet thought of him.  The shadow demon's hands remained in his pockets, acknowledging the greeting with the slightest respectful nod in Apep's direction.  When Apep indicated that he follow, Laurent wordlessly complied.

The snake demon was attractive enough, at the very least.  Laurent took the time while his back was turned to look over his body with vague interest.  Once they were in the living room, an easy charming smile fell over his face as he glided over to the love seat.  His arms draped on either armrest, taking up as much of the chair as comfortably as possible.

"Yes, it is."  he held his hand up and gently shook his head at the offered bowl.  Laurent inhaled slowly speaking with a honeyed tone and smile.  "I believe we can help each other." 

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Re: The Professionals
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 03:58:22 AM »
With his fist pump ignored, Apep broke into an even bigger smile, as if Laurent had done the right thing by refusing it. With his offer of weed denied, he helped himself, hitting the corner of the bowl to smoke just the greens. The room already smelled like pot, but a new wave refreshed the odor as the snake demon exhaled. Sutekh stayed near it's master, coiled up at his feet. The snake's eyes were squarely on Laurent. As Laurent said they could help each other, Apep leaned in closer, hanging on Laurent's words.

"Really," he played innocent. "How can a small timer like me, help you?"

He was incredibly respectful, and easy to look at. He looked unassuming and ready to help in whatever way Laurent required; a perfect assistant. 
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: The Professionals
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2019, 07:05:05 AM »
Laurent watched the snake demon smoke, unaffected by the act.

"I hear you can bottle that venom of yours."  He said simply, lips curling into a wider smile.  "And I would like to make a deal with you for it."

Laurent held up one finger and gave Apep a devious smile.  Leaning to one side, he slipped his hand into his pocket, soft clacking sounds coming from within.  When his hand emerged, he held a smooth stone no larger than his thumb. 

"Do you know what this is?"  He held it up for Apep to see, its polished black surface glinted with red specks in the light.  For those with keener senses, it emanated a subtle metallic scent, not unlike the mist over a battlefield.

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Re: The Professionals
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 07:34:05 AM »
Apep nodded slowly, as if just realizing that was something he could do.

"I think I can hook you up," he said slowly, as if testing the words. He looked at Laurent quizzically as he pulled out what was obviously a soul gem. It was beautiful. The snake demon uttered a short phrase, and his eyes looked more serpent like as he stared into the gem.  He'd captured a rare soul. Vampire souls were hard to pry from their physical tombs. Apep had never achieved such a feat, although he had plans to get there eventually. The deal was fairly apparent, and it was one that Apep was more than willing to make.

"I do," he said simply, "and isn't it a pretty little fanger?" He stood, moving his body slowly and never once looking away from Laurent. "Follow me," he instructed, and led the shadow demon to  a small wooden staircase that led into the basement. He began walking down and motioned for Laurent to follow. Once they were down in Apep's chambers, the first thing Laurent would notice is a large golden tub, covered with some kind of hatch. It was about the size of a hot tub and was positioned in the left corner of the room. A wave of protective magic covered the surface. The rest of the room was fairly college dorm. There was a TV, Nintendo, mattress on the floor and posters hung on the wall without frames. Most were bands, some were marijuana themed. Despite the youthful appearance, the room was very clean. There was not a sock on the floor, or piece of dust on the dresser. The only other thing of note was a large reptile tank, with tubs that led to the house's other rooms.

Apep went to a closet, and revealed a much more advanced looking safe. He entered a combo and spun the lock open, removing a single vial of bright green liquid. It looked sweet, almost like candy, and he shook it up to warm it.

"What do you know about this stuff," he said, offering Laurent a chance to hold it. "And what can you tell me about the prize inside your gem?"

He suddenly looked a great deal older.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: The Professionals
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2019, 11:30:06 AM »
Laurent gave a look of sinister pride at the compliment. 

Closing his fist around the pretty gem, he rose from the chair and followed Apep into the basement.  His eyes roamed over the new surroundings, taking in the distinct scent of magic and undercurrent of death hanging around the room.  Particularly the hot tub--this piqued his curiosity.

At the sound of an opening safe, Laurent's attention was pulled from the gold tub to what Apep had busied himself with.  His eyes lit up at the sight of the vial, and he eagerly took it into his empty hand.  It was perfect.

"I hear it makes your prey docile,"  his eyes didn't move away from the vivid liquid as he tilted the bottle from side to side to observe the viscosity.  "That it makes them feel like liquid sugar and see things that aren't there."  After a moment he looked up and held the gem out at Apep to press into his palm.

This was a freshly turned one caught in the Brazillian Quarter feeding on--and killing--some homeless bum.  An easy catch, a two-for-one in fact.  Though the fledgling did put up a teeny bit of a fight.  Older vampires were much harder, and Laurent wondered if this fledge was somehow sick.  What did they call them--skinny bloods?  Something like that.

"Not my best quality work, but a vampire nonetheless."  His smile bordered on seductive, "It is...fun to collect them."  He patted his pocket lightly to indicate that not only could he acquire more, but he had more on him.

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Re: The Professionals
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2019, 05:09:58 AM »
Apep nodded thoughtfully as Laurent both explained what he knew, and what he had brought. He prided himself on a cool, calm demeanor, and that didn't give way now. He did seem more engaged than before, as Laurent had brought him an actual deal instead of just pretty words and no payout. He looked inclined to make this one for one trade right now, and the implication of more souls for more venom had Apep ready to play very nice. He sauntered closer to Laurent than was strictly needed, and let his big eyes look soft and doe like as he accepted the soul gem into his hand. The vampire soul would catch a high price, and while not as pure as some others he'd seen, he figured a demon might get over a year of power with this one. He uttered a few more words in snake tongue, and his eyes glowed softly. He was staring into the soul now, and saw the vampire's terror and confusion.

"Your trade is acceptable," he said, all business like in his words, even if his body and face looked quite seductive. "Let me get you up to date on the V though. You'll want to know exactly what you're getting."

He motioned for Laurent to trade him back the vial for the moment, and offered his soul gem back to make sure Laurent knew this wasn't a trick. "You ever get high bro? The best way to see the good side of this shit is to experience it. It doesn't get me high, but..." He pulled out a tab of acid. "I can keep up."

He moved to pull out a small nurse's kit, and inside were the various instruments of heroin use. "You'll still be able to fuck me up while high if I double cross you, which I won't. That soul was a beaut."
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: The Professionals
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2019, 05:56:33 AM »
As Apep examined the gem, Laurent watched him intently while angling his body closer.  Observing others Look provided another morsel of information.  It was nice to be dealing with someone who wasn't an amateur.  There were so very many in this trade.

Without hesitation, the objects were swapped.  At Apep's question, he let out a soft chuckle.  This was so very reminiscent of his recent dealings with Mitchelletto and his cocaine.  Laurent was nothing if not professional, and this meeting was no different.  Playtime was reserved always for after and never for the first time in a stranger's home.  It would be Interesting to play with this Pretty Snake in the future.  He was confident that this would be the first of many transactions.

"I keep a clear head during business," his tone was almost apologetic, but his expression showed nothing of the sort with its dark mischevious glint.  His gaze moved over the kit Apep produced, putting together the pieces on how this venom was typically administered.  The additional complement directed toward the collected soul made the shadow demon grin.  If Apep thought that one was a beaut, what would he think of the others Laurent had in his pocket?  Or those still to be gathered?  Or the one hanging around his neck beneath his clothing?  Not that he would show the other demon--that one wasn't for sale.

"What should I know about it?"  He asked firmly, expression shifting toward a more serious one.

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Re: The Professionals
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2019, 06:10:20 AM »
The snake demon's face showed a tinge of disappointment, but it was gone as quick as it showed. The acid tablet was placed back in his pocket for another time, and even though he wouldn't get to give the best version of his demo, Apep moved forward with his explanation.

"In small doses, and I'm talking really small, the effect is similar to acid and has little to no comedown other than maybe a mild headache. Also while psychologically addicting people don't build up tolerance so no OD's, and no morons knocking on your door at 3:00AM looking for candy. The element of control is the experience you provide. You want them tired, feeling weak, feeling like the escape you're offering is the only solution to their shitty lives. That's what will keep them coming back. You can wean someone off heroin or booze, but you can't wean someone off a shit life. It pays to be more mentally addicting then physically addicting. I hear you peddle in flesh, give it your whores before and after a shift. They'll be more loyal, even the ones who didn't volunteer."

Apep thought of Laurent as a pimp, and so his instructions were as if he was preparing him to use Venom for the things a pimp would use it for. As he explained, he took a fresh syringe out a sterile pack, and flicked the tip of the large needle. The snake demon undid the cork on the vial and slowly drew up a tiny amount of the venom into the syringe. It was no more than a single milliliter.

"Never more than this if you want them nice and high," he said, a newfound seriousness on his face as he explained. "Then directly into a willing vein, and within seconds..."

He flashed his hands in front of his face quickly and then opened his palms like a rainbow coming down. "High as shit, and then you can do whatever you want."

"Questions about it's use as a drug before we move on to it's use a poison?"
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: The Professionals
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2019, 06:28:37 AM »
His face was that of an avid listener as Apep gave his spiel, nodding thoughtfully when appropriate.  At the mention of his peddling Laurent gave a sly smile.  It pleased him to have a reputation among these circles, so long as that was where it stayed. 

Loyalty wasn't something he was interested in procuring through these means.  Exerting control the Old Fashioned way was more his style.  They were better with a little fight, breaking them in was a task he relished in, and they were oh-so-sweet afterward.  Plump and delicious with fear.  Perhaps this was better as a reward--but that wasn't precisely why he sought it.

At the term "willing" he raised a questioning eyebrow but was distracted by the movement of Apep's hands and following question.  Poison.  That would be a special tool.

"Is there a species limitation I should be aware of?  Besides the Scaeri, of course."

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Re: The Professionals
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 05:08:15 AM »
"Anything that has immunity to supernatural poisons," he answered quickly.

"Stone demons, some dryads depending on the tree, really anything with immunity to supernatural toxins," he answered, sounding prepared for it. That was a common enough query, and Apep had stock answers for such things. Once that condition was met Apep went on to discuss how it could be used as a poison.

"Now, first thing you need to know is it's non fatal. Now, most people don't see the use for a non lethal poison, but a man of your talents knows that sometimes the fear of death is much worse than actual death. Administer this during an interrogation or to gain loyalty and they'll be begging you for the antidote. There is none by the way. The antidote is time, but most people don't know that."

He went to a small rat farm near the reptile tank and pulled out a white rat, that was trying desperately to claw away. These were Sutekh's meals when he was very good, but for now they would be used to make a point. Apep took the filled syringe and injected the poor beast.

"The dose I showed you is for humanoids," he explained. It would be much more potent on a rat. Within a few seconds the rat's left side seemed to go numb, and it's eyes were filled with terror. Apep let it try and scramble about, but the paralysis and blindness left the poor beast screaming in agony. The rat began to shiver all over and then vomited on the floor. It ended up in a ball, scared and unable to move.

"Sutekh," Apep called out. "Dinner. He likes his prey afraid and alive."

The snake slithered to where the rat waited and began to unhinge it's jaw. "Like what you see," Apep asked.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Cancer(Nox)~ Dragon(Jake)~ Comrade(Benny)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Legend (Tyler)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Thief(Apep)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~