CAST OF PLAYERS:
Ezrandi Shadowheart……Andali…………………………………Eshu Changeling
Mia Schubert……………….Marlboro…………………………….Satyr Changeling
Jera Morrison……………….Alseyne Aulaudin…………………Sidhe Changeling
Carol Hart…………………..Janneth Jones………………………Troll Changeling
Kendall Nye…………………Joseph McAdoo……………………Ronin Garou
Rob Bennett………………..Arian Plicare………………………..Ananasi
Suz Dollar…………………..Samantha Reese…………………..Human Guardian
Debora Silkotch…………..Casey Gavin…………………………Human Psionic
Aron Head……………….Story/Setting/Everything Else…….Game Master
Arian shook his head. “There are devices that allow such things, but I do not have one. I could be waiting outside with a phone, however.”
“Do you happen to have one already?” Alseyne asked patiently. “As I said, we have no more available, unless Pip has been holding out on me,” she threw a small smile at the satyr.
Arian stated simply, “Yes.”
“There might be a better way,” Casey offered, leaving her booth to come join the discussion. “I’m a telepath. I could wait outside with Arian, and if trouble breaks out in Sanctuary any of you could just give a loud mental shout and we’d come running. If things go south too quickly there might not be time to use a phone, so this way’s safer and quicker. The only thing is, I’ve never tried to read any non-humans before; we’d have to check beforehand to make sure I can ‘hear’ at least one or two of you.”
Arian looked at Casey closely for a long moment. She endured his black scrutiny, trying not to flush again. Finally, he nodded. “If you wish.” His tone was cold, and it suggested an ‘at your own risk’ meaning.
“Good. I think if this Murphy guy hangs out there it’s better to err on the side of caution.” Casey turned to Alsyene. “If that’s alright?”
“Yes, we can test to see if you can hear any of us,” Alseyne agreed. “But how exactly does your power work? Do we need to project our thoughts or would you just be reading someone and know what is going through their head so you’ll know to come in?”
**This is me.** Casey sent the words directly to Alsyne’s mind. She was careful not to intrude any deeper than the surface of her awareness, but even so she could feel Alseyne’s bone-deep weariness. The fae needed sleep, badly. **Say something to me, like this, and we’ll see if I can hear it.**
Alseyne frowned and concentrated as she sent back, **CAN YOU HEAR THIS?** as strongly as she could.
“Angh!” Casey stumbled back a step, reflexively closing the connection. “Yeah….” She rubbed her temple with a wry smile. “No problem hearing that.”
“Sorry,” Alseyne responded. “Don’t know my own strength I guess.”
“It’s okay. You can just think at regular volume though, at this range.” In reply to Alseyne’s earlier question she added, “I shouldn’t need to be in anyone’s head when you go inside. I’ll just stay focused in that direction, so I won’t miss it if someone ‘calls’.” She glanced around at the others. “Did you want to check and make sure I can read everyone?”
“We might as well,” Alseyne responded.
” Sure, how’s that work again? ” McAdoo spoke up.
Casey looked over at the garou. **Just talk to me in your head, like this.** Again she took care not to intrude beneath the surface. **You don’t need to shout,** she added cautiously. **Just direct your thoughts straight to me.**
** Like This?? ** as he thought, unable to keep the snap out of the response.
**Just like that.** She smiled, fascinated by the feral wolf sound of his mental voice. “Okay, who-all’s going in with you?”
“Hmm…” Alseyne considered. “Claws, definitely, if he’ll accompany me. Yggthor will be going with Andali, JJ and Marlboro.” She looked at Pip and Wynne, “What about you two? Are you up for a visit to Sanctuary tonight or do you think we should head back to the freehold for now and try Sanctuary tomorrow evening instead since it is so late?”
Casey nodded at the mention of Claws, then glanced reluctantly toward Pip and Wynne. The satyr reminded her a little too much of Usi for comfort, and Wynne…was a murky shadow. She waited to hear their replies before attempting to touch their minds.
“Anywhere you go, I go,” Pip answered. “I think we should pursue these matters at once. Now. Besides, I’m looking forward to seeing you in leathers.”
“Dream on, dear. When I put on leathers they will be custom-tailored for me personally. I’d be scared of what I could catch from putting on something that’s been in that place for more than 24 hours,” Alseyne’s voice was steady enough but there was definitely a streak of red high on each cheekbone. After a second or two of considering, she continued, “You know, since we have a bit of time to kill to give Arian time to try to recover his weapons, I suggest we do a bit of makeover on those of us who will or may be entering. As it is, we’ll all stand out like a spotlight on a dark night.”
“Well… if we have two hours,” the satyr considered, “I imagine that we could round up appropriate attire for you. We should look the part, after all. Wouldn’t want to be too conspicuous.”
“For all of us, you mean,” she responded. “I’m not going to make a fashion mockery all by myself. Oh, and I am NOT going to wear a slave collar.”
Pip bowed “We all must play our parts, milady.”
“Mmmhmm…and my part is not that of a slave. I am a noble of the Sidhe. I don’t DO slave collars,” Alseyne stated adamantly.
He nodded respectfully, a twinkle in his eye. “Perhaps a ball gag, then?”
“For yourself you mean?” she asked. “That would make perfect sense.”
Casey blinked. “Just for the people going in undercover though, right?” She wasn’t sure which image was more alarming: herself in S&M garb…or Arian in S&M garb.
“I wouldn’t want you to feel left out, Casey.” Pip grinned. “I’m sure we can get a few choice pieces for you.”
“I don’t…ah…are you sure that’s necessary?” She had a definite deer-in-headlights look about her. “I mean…I’m going to be hiding outside, right? Won’t I kind of…stick out dressed like that?”
“Not at all,” Pip waved that off. “You need to blend into the neighborhood after all. I’m thinking a snap shirt and lace pants…leather of course.”
“Finger gloves too,” Alseyne said, falling into his gag. “For all of us I think. I think everyone who might have to go in should be dressed in something tight and black so they can blend in some. Maybe a leather jacket or something over a black bustier,” Alseyne responded with a wink at Casey.
That actually made a certain amount of sense. Everything Casey was wearing now was relatively light-colored. Black was a much stealthier color for concealment at night. She wasn’t entirely sure about the bustier part, but maybe she could find something workable at whatever shop they go to. “Okay,” she said hesitantly. She laughed a little at the image of herself in leather clothing and finger gloves, but she’s starting to get into the spirit of the thing. “I’m not wearing spike heels, though. I’m pretty sure I’d break an ankle.”
Wynne nodded, “I’m in.”
Right. Back to business: the telepathy tests. “Okay,” Casey nodded hesitantly. “Um…” She started with Pip, after reinforcing all her mental shields. **Um, this is Casey. Just say ‘here’ or something and we’ll see if I can hear you.**
Pip’s mind was warm and welcoming. Touching it was very much like touching a warm pool of water on a cool day. Just brushing his thoughts made her toes tingle. Yes, very much like Usi this one… except moreso. The slow heat that rose to her skin had nothing in common with the uncomfortable blushes Arian provoked. Part of her wanted to break the connection without waiting for Pip’s reply. Another part was mesmerized by the utter sexuality of his mind, and intensely tempted to deepen the link and explore the feelings he was arousing in her.
With an effort, she resisted both impulses and just waited for him to say something.
:: Present. ::
His wink put the last scarlet finish on Casey’s blush. She skittishly broke the connection, then turned her attention to the Sluagh.
Wynne was another matter altogether.
Her mind was dark… and cold. Unwelcoming. There were secrets here and Casey was not invited. A dark and sinister thing lurked in the darkness. It wasn’t safe!
**It’s me,** Casey sent briefly. **Just say something back along this line…”
From the darkness, the intelligence stirred, regarding her.
:: Hello. ::
Casey wanted to jump right out of her skin. In a matter of seconds she went from hot to cold as the color drained from her face. A shudder crawled through her, and she closed the connection with almost impolite haste. Shivering, she turned back to Alsyne and nodded mutely.
Alseyne looked at Arian. “You want to recover your weapons before we go into Sanctuary, right? But you aren’t due to meet Ovid until 3am. Which basically means we’re going to lose the rest of the night…” She frowned thoughtfully.
“If you hunt the vampires, the sunlight is your ally. You might want to consider that when planning any assault,” Arian commented in his sterile manner.
“We’re not going into a vampire lair. We’re going into a bar run by one of the Kithain. Bars, by definition, are busiest between 10pm and 2am when they can’t serve drinks any longer.”
“But this vampire is known to frequent it. If you wish to visit in his absence, a morning visit would be best,” he commented.
“So do a lot of other people. We’re not necessarily trying to avoid this fellow — just be cautious if he is there. Our primary purpose is to try and see the owner of the club.”
“Ummm…” Pip said, “Sanctuary’s more than a bar, hun. And I don’t mean that it’s a meeting place for dark sorts like this Murphy character.”
“Murphy,” Trevor snarled. The word was a curse in his mouth. To hear him speak the name is to wonder if there was ever a more wretched, despised individual than the man called Murphy.
“Certainly,” Pip continued, “there is a lounge where folks socialize. But this is an S&M club… people enter the dungeon at all hours to meet and… entertain one another. Sanctuary never closes. And while they’re busier on the weekends than they are on a weekday — there are always plenty of people there looking to hook up.”
“I know it’s more than a bar. But it’s still going to be at its busiest between 10pm and 2am because that is the top drinking time. I thought we might be a bit less conspicuous then. But we’ll need to wait for Arian anyway so 2am going in should be all right.” She glanced around at the dark windows. “Speaking of which….what time is it anyway? It was late afternoon when we left our hotel room about 20 minutes ago but it’s pitch black outside.”
“Midnight,” Falco answered.
Alseyne looked at Myrle. “Did you move us in time as well as location?”
“Not everyone,” Myrle answered. “Just you and your friends. Be glad that I did.”
“I could venture into the king’s haven as soon as I leave here,” Arian interjected. “There is as much risk of waiting as there is of being guided,” he shrugged. “Neither option is safer then the other.”
“Hmm…you might want to go ahead and do that then if you think you can get in and out alright. Or do you want to wait until daylight? As you say, sunlight is your ally when going against vampires.”
Arian shrugged again. “If I get inside and it looks dangerous, I will wait or leave. We seem to have lost some time, therefore I will not have as great a luxury of patience.”
“All right. Why don’t you go ahead and do that now? We’ll meet you…hmm..” She considered for a moment. “There’s a place called the Cake and Ale on 6th street. We’ll wait for you there until 2am. If you haven’t arrived by then, we’ll head on to Sanctuary without you. We’ll find a safe place for Casey to wait before we go in there.”
Arian nodded. “As you say.”
Pip slipped his cell phone from the holster at his belt and tossed it to Arian. “Take mine,” the satyr said. “I’ll have time to get the rest of us kitted out before we hit Sanctuary.”
Arian caught it smoothly, looked at it for a second before sliding it into his pocket. “Excellent.”