Letting the cat out of the bag. (private - Alec)

Simon walked quickly up the metal railing that led to the front entrance of the slaughterhouse that encompassed the Abbatoir. His sense of urgency was noticed by the bouncers that stood out front, both moving waiting patrons out of the way and opening the door for their clan leader. Simon didn't even have to pause as he walked through the door and towards the stairs leading down to the pit and his office.

Pushing through the crowd, the loud music successfully put him even more on edge as he ran his hand over the panel next to his office door and barely waited for it to unlock before entering. Immediately he tore off his grey jacket and pushed up the sleeves of his matching grey turtleneck. He had to move quickly now that Ellis was walking around in plain view. Why wouldn't she, she had nothing to hide from now.

Running his hands over his mouth, he walked to his desk and turned on his computer. He needed to speak with his new Merc leader, Alec. It was time to let the clan know about Ellis and god willing he wouldn't have a riot on his hands.

Alec Devereaux 16 years ago
It had been an excellent session with his scout crew. Their blending was improving in leaps and bounds. While Alec had been in the police department altering the case file on Shay's death and replacing the medical reports, he'd had the kids playing practical jokes on Nachton's Finest after cutting their local surveillance. Nothing dramatic - tacks on seats, stringing paper clips together, moving files desk to desk, salting the coffee. But he was pretty sure Mendoza would become a top shelf mischief maker. Heyn would as well, but more as an excuse to be close to his hottie teammate. Nothing wrong with that if they stayed sharp. The giggling for the ride back to the Domicile was a bit much, but they'd earned it.

On the way home, Alec's pager had gone off. He was dressed for business in his gray skintights, not in the leathers that he liked for the Abbey, but he didn't want to make the change.

"One of you will have to take over the rest of the return trip. I'll need to stop at the Abattoir."

They were pretty good - they exchanged a significant glance, then continued their conversation from the front seat. He could feel their excitement and hear it in the different peaks their voices took. They wanted to know, but they knew he wouldn't tell them and it would be impolite.

One day they might be great - they wouldn't betray their thoughts to him, and they would follow and simply find out.

That was the eventual goal, anyway.

Exiting the van, he made his way into and through the Domicile. His overt outfitting earned him some questioning looks, some dirty looks, but no one intervened. Someone dressed in the charcoal gray bodysuit with a full facemask and just harnessing gear probably wasn't here for pleasure. Reaching the upgraded security checkpoint, Alec smiled and pulled back his hood. It was nice to see the upgrades in place, even if he wouldn't get to test them today.

Waved and scanned through, he entered Simon's office.

"Sorry about the delay. Heyn, Mendoza and I were on our way back from our run on the morgue and the police department. Shay's officially dead now. What's up?"
Simon Huntington 16 years ago
Simon had been sitting at his desk trying to control his breathing. He did not need to have Alec know how worried he was, but as soon as he opened his mouth, he'd probably understand why. Alec had been there within a half hour of his call and Simon could still not loosen up the tension in his neck and shoulders. His face had completely healed from his fight with Ellis but the blood splatters would be an indication of him having an interesting encounter with someone.

Alec walked directly in apparently fresh from training. Simon stood but stayed behind his desk. He wasn't going to sugarcoat it, there would be no point now. He resisted the urge to run his hand over his mouth and in his most controlled voice explained the situation to Alec.

'It's Ellis. You were right. She's alive and out in the city.' Simon nervously tapped his index finger on the top of his desk. 'We need to pull the clan together for a meeting to explain the situation.'
Alec Devereaux 16 years ago
Alec had been through this conversation hundreds of times in his head. In none of them did he actually SAY "I told you so". Following suit, he avoided the phrase here. In this case, being right seemed to be worst case scenario. Glancing over Simon, he certainly wasn't damaged, though there was some evidence of conflict. Unsure of how to proceed, he shifted his weight from one foot to the other.

"I have...perhaps one new team that could shadow her without suspicion and one that might survive an encounter."

The implication was pretty clear - if the fight was on the streets, they would suffer. On defense, they would be in excellent shape. Ellis had led an assault on the Domicile clone that Hillman had puzzled together, but the real McCoy had a lot more surprises and much more capable defenders.

"When did you want the meeting to be set up? Did you need time to consider strategies? You know the older personnel better than I do, but I can get a full workup of everyone I've trained if I work straight for several hours, less with Miss Yolgrave's help as she is better with their background information."

Ellis certainly was not the first adversary that Alec wanted to test his kids against, but fate didn't seem to be favoring him in this department.
Simon Huntington 16 years ago
Simon held his breath at Alec's request to pull together an assault team. He turned and leaned back over his desk, sending a message now to another needed participant in this short discussion of current events. Turning back to Alec, Simon wavered for a moment before answering. Above all he had to maintain a semblance of control...even if he had none.

'You need to be made aware of certain facts, Alec. There are much bigger issues right now. Bigger than Ellis.' The statement had to have sounded ridiculous to Alec, but as he waited for the other Tacharan to come to his office, Simon pressed on about Alec's knowledge of the mall incident.

Simon paused, trying to figure out how to word the situation. He did not want to spring this on his raid leader with the rest of the clan. He needed those close to him to be made aware of all circumstances surrounding the reappearance of the once dead clan leader.

'There was an incident I didn't get a chance to...no, that I purposely did not report, Alec. You are aware of the recent wolf attacks in the city, particularly at the mall?'
Alec Devereaux 16 years ago
Alec was simply stunned. Ellis WASN'T the most serious threat to the clan? Their once deposed leader who had set them up to be drained for drug profits wasn't the current concern? What the hell could trump that?

"Uh. Yeah?"

And the big threat was...dogs? Hong Kong Phooey and Scrappy Doo were going to topple Tacharan? Had Simon totally lost his fucking mind?

Or...were they a group of Anantya militants finally taking Tacharan seriously? Shifting vampires that were dead set on eliminating the further splintering of their crumbling empire? He'd heard of vampires that could take other forms. Far fetched after so long, but sometimes the Relics were slow to mobilize and didn't take others seriously. Otherwise the Evenhet peaceniks couldn't have just walked away and had time to consolidate their position and technologies.

"Would you like me to set up surveillance on known and suspected Anantya holdings?"

Alec could see how the Anantya coming for them would trump Ellis, but the thought wasn't a comforting one.
Nova 16 years ago
Nova hiked up her loose fitting cargos, then stopped walking and took the time to tie them in place. Okay, maybe this was stalling rather than care – she’d be lying if she claimed she wasn’t a little nervous to be summoned up to her dad’s office in the abby. Not that she thought she was in trouble so much as there was a lot going through her head. There was quite a bit of explaining to do on all sides.

Plus she had someone trying to kill her, and hadn’t exactly fared brilliantly on their last little encounter. It seemed like a stupid thing to worry about in the scheme of things, but she was kind of sweating whether or not Simon was going to say anything about her general…suckage…when it came to beating up assassins. She still felt she should have had him and it took a chip out of her tough grrl façade, knowing that she’d had to run.

Well, with any luck, he hadn’t noticed. What with there being Ellis and a big fucking pack of wolves after him.

She was let up into the office without any disproportionate amount of fuss, though she thought there was a little more going on with security than there had been before. Eh, not surprising, considering. She was waved on into the office but knocked anyway, still a little scared of going in and getting yelled at even though she knew it was kind of irrational.
Simon Huntington 16 years ago
Simon waved Nova and immediately saw that she looked distressed. It hurt him a little that Nova would ever worry about a summons from her father being a bad thing and he immediately went to her and put his hand on her shoulder in what he hoped a reassuring manner.

'Nova, thank you for coming.'

She looked well after their ordeal with Ellis' boy toy. Again his hackles rose but he tempered them down with an endearing look at his young child. She held her own and that's more than he could have ever asked. Simon imagined that her man Tai, she had called him, was still learning his abilities strong though they were from being born of an ancient but Ellis would not have picked anyone that didn't have some sort of previous hunting ability. He could not imagine where this Tai was from which prompted his next statement to Alec.

'The man and woman that the news mentioned during the run in with the wolves in the mall...that was myself and Ellis, but our problems stem from what was chasing us. Nova is here to let you know about Ellis new protégé. She'll be able to tell you whatever she might have gleaned from her short encounter with him as well as Alfarinn of Evenhet who was there to help just by coincidence.'

Simon walked to stand just in front of Alec and spoke in a very low, very cautious tone. 'There are worse things than Ellis in Nachton. Things I have never seen before but apparently Ellis and I crossed paths with in the past.' He looked at Nova as well, knowing this was the first she had heard of this story.

Simon took a deep breath and just said it, as plain as day.

'With the return of Marthinus back to the country,' again knowing both had no knowledge of this Simon continued on ignoring their reactions and just spilling it all, 'Marthinus brought back something with him...something...in him. As ridiculous as this sounds...as ridiculous as vampires existing sounds...those were werewolves in every sense of the word.'

Simon wondered if either one would notice his choice of words concerning Marthinus, but he didn't expand on it until both realized just what they were dealing with.
Alec Devereaux 16 years ago
Alec blinked. In his world, there had never been any fairytale creatures. Vampires were the norm, humans their food, business as usual. He'd never even considered that monsters could be real. He understood, in theory, that every non-amnesiac who became a vampire had to cope with this, but to him it was the first. The only time he'd been told that his kind wasn't the top of the food chain - that they had to share or fight or negotiate another species.

"Well, that sucks."

Unsure how to proceed, he just blurted his questions all at once.

"So, silver the way to get them, or do we know? What does Evenhet have to do with this? And what were y'all doing with Ellis at the mall, anyway? And...is Marthinus...um...ok?"

He felt kind of stupid asking that many questions in rapid order, but hopefully Nova and Simon could shed some light on some or all.
Nova 16 years ago
Nova gave Alec a little grin, feeling even more apprehensive now. She’d heard he was leading the mercs these days and half thought that maybe she was getting handed over to him for training. Training she’d weaseled out of before on the pretense of time sensitive experiments…yeah, she was so busted.

When Simon warmly thanked her for coming, though, her shoulders dropped in relief. What had happened to her easy self confidence? All this shit happening at once must just be getting her down. This was Simon and Alec, for fuck’s sake – Simon was her dad and Alec…well he had seen her shirtless and covered in oil, didn’t get much more friendly than that.

It looked like she had come into things mid conversation, though as Simon went on to explain things to Alec, Nova gathered that she hadn’t missed much. Then again, at the rate Simon was going who knew what else he might have mentioned in her absence? She gave Alec a little ‘hi, I was attacked by a crazy fuck’ wave when Simon mentioned her reason for being there, but her expression switched to ‘oh my god I was rescued by Arin ‘The Hot’ Bjorn’ when Alfarinn was brought into the picture. Then Simon looked her way and she promptly snapped her hands behind her back. It sounded like she was about to hear something new.

She’d put up the flippant front of one accustomed to narrow escapes from danger up until Marthinus was mentioned. Her one weakness. Well, Marthinus and Jack Daniels. And stubble. Okay, well…the one person who could make her a complete and total basket case without a moment’s notice.

Alec was busy firing off questions but Nova stayed unusually quiet, trying to piece what Simon was saying together. What did he mean, Marthinus had brought something –in- him? Her mind could process the existence of werewolves later – for the moment she simply absorbed that and set it aside, too stunned to really contemplate the implications of that and too concerned with Marthinus to really care anyway.

Following up on Alec’s final question, she added:

“What’s happened to him?”
Simon Huntington 16 years ago
Simon felt the deep concerned terror of being at a loss for words as he stood there, looking at both Nova and Alec. Alec's rapid fire questions was disconcerting but it was Nova's lone quietly asked question that broke him. With a deep and sad sigh, Simon did the best he could to explain.

Rubbing his hand along the back of his neck, he tried desperately to find a place to begin. 'I don't know if this is something maybe the Elders knew or if anyone knows what they are, but they appear to be werewolves. The pack running after us, we watched one in particular change from animal to man. There is no other way to explain it - they're werewolves and they have Marthinus.'

Before Nova could protest, and he knew she would, Simon added,
'And it was his choice, Nova. Other than that, you know as much as I do.'
Alec Devereaux 16 years ago
He wasn't quite sure what to do with THAT bit of information. That Marthinus went willingly after spending all of his life building Duibne and the mortal face of Tacharan seemed highly unlikely. Completely ludicrous if you also included threats on Simon. There was a tie between the two, a parallel theme.

"So they know about us, we have limited information on them. They seem to specifically be out for you and Ellis. Could they have engineered the situation to take control of Marthinus? If they know enough about you two, they certainly can get access to that sort of information. What kind of a setup are we likely to be walking into here?"

He felt somewhat callous for railroading the conversation and not allowing the family to assess the social aspects of the situation, but his paranoia won out.
Nova 16 years ago
After Simon’s all too brief explanation, Nova slowly sat down on the edge of the desk, feeling winded (or punched, or dragged through the mud - something bad in any case), and let Alec’s next questions wash over her. Hearing her biological father was dead hadn’t hit her this hard. Even when she found out he wasn’t dead after all, that he was laying low while her brothers tried framed her for the murder they’d committed, it hadn’t felt like this. That was just another mother fucking asshole trying to fuck her over (okay, so maybe she was a little bitter) – he just happened to be related to her in this case.

This, though…felt like abandonment. Or worse…betrayal. His choice? No, she couldn’t accept that Marthinus would choose to leave his family and join with these so called ‘werewolves’.

“This is –bullshit-. We gotta get him away from those were-fucking-wolves…whatever they are…”

Even seeing the wolves with her own eyes, she wasn’t totally prepared to accept them. A whole other species sitting under their noses that not even Simon had known about until recently? It strained credibility. Who was to say they weren’t just vampires with a common ability? Maybe a new clan was on the rise. Maybe they called themselves werewolves to distinguish themselves.

It didn’t matter, though. They had Marthinus. Marthinus was Tacharan. And if there was one thing being in this clan had taught her, it was that no one –fucked- with Tacharan.

None of those thoughts helped to answer Alec’s questions, though. Tacharan was in a mess of trouble from all sides.

“So we’ve got Ellis and her crazy little killer boy on the one hand, kidnapping werewolves on the other…geez, we’re getting bit on both cheeks. What do they all want from us?”
Carol 16 years ago
Carol was running full speed up the wing of the Domicile that led to the Abby. Her sandals were click clacking loudly against the steel walls as she ran having just been in her office checking for a report that Simon had asked for. They were trying to gather as much information about the two men they had met in Marthinus room and Stafford Enterprises.

Iov Hammerthynn was the Public Relations (oh brother) and XO of the company, handling all international negotiations, including Stafford's potential buy in of Duibine. Russian descent with a dual citizenship of Russia and South Africa. Dr. Aidan Xephier was not only a medical doctor but a DVM as well. Both highly educated men who happened to be Werewolves. Who knew?

As Carol downloaded the information into her pda and stood to leave, her computer signaled the presence of a human walking up the main dirt road leading to the Abby. The road camera zoomed in on the person, a male, walking slowly with his hands high up but his head tilted down. Carol slowly sat down in her chair when she recognized the profile. Then the male figure looked up and directly into the camera. Of course he knew where it would be.

Carol almost broke a heel running up the stairs to Simon's office and pushing in on the door as she gasped for breath.

'Outside.' Gasp, breathe. 'On the main...road.' Deep breath, swallow. 'It's Marthinus!'
Marthinus T. Steyn 16 years ago
Marthinus had driven himself to the outskirts of the slaughterhouse district and parked about a quarter of a mile from Tacharan's territory. Nothing grew out there, just the flies. The road was partially covered in snow but it had started to warm up enough to get dust on his shoes.

He walked with his hands in the pockets of his grey slacks with the sleeves of his button up white shirt rolled up to just below his elbows. Marthinus had decided to leave his jacket and tie behind, opting for the top two shirt buttons undone letting it billow softly with the cool breeze. The weather didn't seem to bother him much anymore, usually the cold of the east was beyond brisk compared to South Africa but that seemed so long ago now. He relished the cold air but still shivered slightly from it.

Slowly he trudged down the road till it rounded the corner to familiar scenery, but it wasn't as if he'd notice with his head still down, watching his shoes kick up dirt. Still, he peered up for a moment and figured they should be noticing him about now.

Marthinus pulled his hands out of his pockets and raised them above his head.
Simon Huntington 16 years ago
Simon was overloaded with questions that he thought he was prepared to answer, but with each one fired at him, he could not find an adequate answer. Ultimately he had no idea what was going on. With Marthinus, with the werewolf situation or with Ellis. They were looking to him for answers that he just didn't have, but he couldn't say that. He could never let them think he didn't have control over the situation when it was pretty clear to him that he did not.

Carol burst in just then, almost thankfully interrupting their barrage of questions.

'He's what? He's outside here?'

Why would Marthinus be coming back to the Domicile? Just walking back on his own free will? Could he trust him now, regardless of flesh and blood? Simon backed up against his desk and turned toward his computer. He signaled the outside guards and gave the order.

'Subject incoming, secure him at the entry point...'

'What are you doing?'

Simon looked back over his shoulder. It was Carol.
Carol 16 years ago
'I said, what are you doing? That's Marthinus.' Carol could not believe what Simon was doing. 'Ordering the guards? Securing the subject?'

She watched Simon take his hand off his desk and stand straight to look at Carol. She watched the shock roll off his face and be replaced with something she had never seen pointed in her direction.

'Simon what are you doing?' Carol asked him quietly in his head. 'That's flesh and blood out there.'

He moved towards her in a stiff and angry clip and if she didn't know better, the back of a hand seemed sure to follow with his next words.
Simon Huntington 16 years ago
The anger rose up in him so quickly that he could barely contain it. He looked at Alec and Nova, both quietly watching their interaction and then stepped quickly to face Carol, looming over her. Simon felt his body grow rigid with indignation and when he spoke, he did it slowly and quietly so there would be no misunderstanding.

'The security of this clan is my first and foremost duty. Despite who he is we don't know 'what' he is and more importantly what his intentions are. The guards will secure the area and ensure that he is, in fact, alone. This is my job, Carol, so let me do it and regardless of your position - you will never question my authority again.'

He was easily a foot taller than her and outweighed her by about one hundred pounds and he let her feel that dominance as he hovered over her. Simon waited knowing that she was probably fighting every instinct in her to rebel back and the hurt was noticeable on her face that he ignored her sent thoughts. He had wondered if their relationship would ever come between him and the clan and he hoped, especially right now, that he wouldn't have to experience it.

Simon looked at her now, her blue eyes cold and hateful but she seemed to relent as she took a step back and looked away from him, staring at the wall.

Things were changing, had now changed as he asserted his position. He had too many obstacles, not to mention Ellis returning, he did not need his one and only companion questioning his every move. There was a clear and defined line in the sand that she was never to cross and he hoped she'd understand, but if she didn't, it would not be her place to say it publicly.
Alec Devereaux 16 years ago
Alec was shocked and horrified at Carol's response, but his emotional state was visible only by a slight widening of the eyes in her direction. If that had happened in front of anyone else, the damage could have been catastrophic at this point. Threats both outside and inside the clan, unknown situations surrounding them all and the human had the gall to question the behaviors of the Tacharan leader on a matter of simple protocol? The list of people that would not have been dead where they stood for such a breach was short - the list of humans far, far shorter.

Alec relaxed greatly when Simon reminded her of these things in no uncertain terms, and he rocked back on his heels. Simon did have his house in order, and things would be fine. There were still many, many questions, but one of them was about to be answered. That was something, anyway.
Nova 16 years ago
The entire world, Nova decided, was turning upside down and giving itself a good shake on her head. She wanted off the roller coaster – both the highs and the lows were becoming equally exhausting. All the same, she knew she was getting completely carried away again when Carol rushed in exclaiming that Marthinus was here, approaching the domicile.

That Simon’s first reaction was disciplined rather than sentimental in nature shouldn’t have been surprising – it was no secret that her creator could be a bit of a hardass – but she couldn’t help flinching a little nonetheless. ‘Subject’? What the fuck? Taking all this crap out on Carol didn’t really seem like the thing to do either but then what did she know? Even with the awkward silence that always followed a verbal bitchslap in place this family was –still- less dysfunctional than her human one. Maybe this was just how it was. Sometimes they leave you, sometimes they fight with each other.

But sometimes they come back, too.

Not knowing what to say and wishing she and Alec (who for some reason she couldn’t look at) could just disappear, she looped her thumb in her belt loop and pushed off the desk. It galled her to have to ask permission to go see Marthinus but now didn’t seem like the best time to butt her head against authority. Simon needed to be in control right now and she guessed she could appreciate that even if he was being kind of an asshole to Carol because of it.

He’d make it up to her later, she was sure.

Ew ew ew! –Why- had she just thought that?

“Maybe I could go talk to him? Er…once the ‘area is secure’ and stuff?”

/ooc It's a battle of the sexes! lol
Simon Huntington 16 years ago
Nova's voice broke the silence in the room, but he continued to stare down at Carol who was having nothing to do with looking back at him. Simon turned his head slowly, waiting till the last moment to take his glaring eyes off of Carol.

The room was thick with tension and the awkwardness of him having to verbally check his woman wasn't helping. Simon considered Nova's request and decided that her going out to meet him would probably more help the situation than hurt it.

In a monotone voice Simon flicked his eyes towards the door.