Ready or Not

Dan

Consort of Mu Beijiang★
Benefactor
In downtown Seattle, sits the heart of the Seattle Police Department Headquarters. This Police Department is just like any other stationed throughout the country, but this one holds a special branch of security specified for one purpose: to resolve crimes and conflict that involve the supernatural. Under the covert of the SPD HQ, the Supernatural Investigative Bureau (SIB) resides deep underground and its HQ spread out underneath the city itself. The supernatural have always co-existed alongside humanity, they just do so under cover and operate in plain sight. What the Humans won't know, won't kill them or so, the government thinks so. Of course, there's been the few suspicious average joe's, who bothered to look deeper under the veiled blanket of security, but they're usually written off as crazy or mental by the locals. However, in recent times the crimes and conflict of the supernatural have been ramped up, mostly on the rumors of the government placing them all under control, but it's just been that; rumors. As secretive as SIB is, there's always internal conflict within this particular branch and that internal conflict involves an elusive criminal dubbed as "X."

"X" is generally used as a modern-day hazing to new investigators joining the team. The file has been passed throughout the years, throughout the investigators, and remaining unresolved, being deemed a cold case. It's a single file that sits at the back of the Chief's filing cabinet until a new face shows up and then is tossed back into the can again. Recently, "X" has been doing a lot of crimes, one's that usually has SIB Investigators scratching their heads, scrounging up whatever evidence was left behind and put away into the evidence room. The Chief of SIB, a supernatural being, himself, has decided to assign this case to their recently joined Senior Lead Investigator. Presently, the thin vanilla folder sits on the Investigator's desk, awaiting it's new owner and to see it sit through another unresolved investigation.

 
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rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
Benjamin Credit was an ideal candidate for the SIB. At seventeen he had graduated highschool and immediately joined the military. He did three two-year tours overseas before being honourably discharged for wounds received in battle. After his recovery he applied and was accepted to the FBI, and breezed through training at Quanitco. After three years of solving high-profile cases at the Federal level, he had been approached about this job. He was deadly with any number of weapons, calm and level-headed in any firefight, and absolutely dedicated to his job. No wife, no family, no connections really that anyone knew of. He was huge, too. Almost six and a half feet tall, deep-chested and built like a tank. He had short black hair and dark brown eyes that gave no sympathy and asked for none. His one defining feature, and one that made it nearly impossible to ever do undercover work, was the fact that he was covered from his neck to his toes in tattoos.

These were not pictures of some callgirl or even the insignias of his military platoons, but tribal-like patterns that weaved their way across his skin in stacatto. He always dressed professionally in a suit and tie so it was difficult to know exactly the extent of the tattoos, but the rumors really were true. His face, the palms of his hands, the underside of his feet, and any sensitive areas south of his waistband were the only locations left untouched. With such markings, he was just weird enough to be let into a branch like the Supernatural Investigative Bureau.

Benjamin was still getting to know the office politics and the investigators under him. He was used to being in positions of leadership and was comfortable with them, but it was never easy feeling out a new group. Especially when your group dealt with the paranormal.
To be honest, he hadn't really been that surprised when they'd sat him down in Langley at Headquarters and explained the situation to him. They said taking the job was his choice, but he knew that was just a formality. After a revelation like the fact that you had vampires and werewolves and ghosts running around, he'd have to join or they'd find a way to silence him. But of course, they wouldn't have come to him with the proposition unless they knew he'd take it.

Benjamin poured himself a fresh cup of coffee from the breakroom and then headed to his office, where he sat down and booted up his computer. After placing his mug on its coaster on the desk, he picked up the thin folder and briefly looked through its contents. "X, huh?" he murmured to himself, taking another sip of the dark roast and leaning back in his chair. He'd heard a lot about this case so far in his short week at the bureau- it was pretty much infamous here.
 

Dan

Consort of Mu Beijiang★
Benefactor
Celesse lived on Mercer Island, just a little island off from the city of Seattle. As far as she knew, she wasn’t the only supernatural being residing within the vicinity, but she learned that she was the only one of her kind living this far away from the others. She wasn’t a lone wolf, but she didn’t like the idea of getting attached to anyone, despite the benefits it would and could bring. With her way of life, she couldn’t afford to have strings attached as she wasn’t the most innocent being to live among the humans. Throughout the years of living in Seattle, she operated mainly in the city; doing jobs that required of her expertise to obtain “goods and merchandise” that the black market would pay high for.

Without the knowledge of technology and how to master it, she wouldn’t have known that she was a highly wanted criminal by the Supernatural Investigative Bureau. Admittedly, she did things that confused them, usually leaving only scraps of paper of scrap that generally didn’t have enough to capture the elusive criminal. But recently there’s been internal tensions happening between gangs of supernatural beings. If SIB hadn’t caught the scent of what was happening, they would soon with the amount of anger and hatred’s that been boiling for years – it was about it blow the top off soon, if peace talks weren’t held soon. You see, even if the supernatural were co-existing “peacefully” among the humans – who now dominate every surface of the earth – they aren’t peacefully existing among one another.

Factions of species were broken up into hubs throughout the city of Seattle. It wasn’t only like that here, but it was like that all throughout the country. Celesse was fortunate enough to not get swept up in the tensions. Because as the only shapeshifter in the area, she was an asset to them all. And with the humans hiking prices of the rent recently, she needed them as much as they needed her. A job was given to her by one of the factions, one that worked closely with the humans and they needed her to obtain critical information that only existed with one living person: Benjamin Credit. Without that information, peace wouldn’t be promised to anyone, not even the humans.
 
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rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
Benjamin considered what he was expected to do with the file. It had a large "Cold Case" stamp across the front of it, and the first document went back many years ago. Well... "Document" was a strong name for the minute pieces of scrap that comprised the thin manila folder. It looked more like a scrapbooking project that had been started by a fourth grader and soon given up and forgotten because of a distraction.

Likely, the folder was a test. If he were gung-ho about it and tried to dig up some new leads, he'd become the laughingstock of the department and lose credibility with his team. After being passed through so many hands, he was fairly certain no one actually expected him to do anything with it.

"X".

"Hmm." Benjamin took another sip of his coffee. Regardless, he was certain the issue would pop up again. Crimes resembling those that could be linked to an X-like character had been rising with more frequently lately. More like, there were a lot of unexplained issues that everyone just attributed to X because they didn't have any other answers. He'd have to be on the lookout. No one even seemed to have a profile, physical or mental, of who this person was. Supposed eye-witness testimonies always varied greatly. Amongst the Bureau, X almost seemed like a myth.

Benjamin stood and walked to the Captain's office, knocking on the door before pushing it open. "Thanks for the file, boss. I've made copies for my own records. I'll keep an eye out," he said, stopping by the break room on his way back to his desk for a top-off before settling in at the computer to read his emails.
 

Dan

Consort of Mu Beijiang★
Benefactor
Across from Mercer Island in Seattle…


The male runs, his very life hanging onto every step he took. The loud slaps of his sneakers against the pavement weren’t helping his situation, but he didn’t care – not when a murderer was chasing after him. He would toss a glance back, his breath erratic, heart thumping a million miles an hour. The male ran straight into a brick wall…no something that felt like a brick wall, he landed hard into a puddle he just leapt over. The weather today was unforgiving and just as a cliché when a crime was practically taking place in the back alleys of Seattle. The person he ran into was the ruthless leader of the Vampire faction, he was the oldest among all the species harboring safety within the city and he’s seen it all.

He gripped the male at the back of the collar and effortlessly lifted him up in the air, the rain pouring down on them, “W-wait!” The male would cry out, struggling in his grasp.

His top lip curling back, baring his teeth at the frightened yet pathetic excuse of a man, “I have no patience for a dog.” He says in a snarl.

“You’re gonna regret this, man!” The guy yelled back, about ready to transform.

“Lucien should’ve thought of the laws when he made a puppy.” The Vampire sighed; he was getting annoyed by the minute.

“He’s better than you bloodsuckers, that’s for—” Tired of it already, the Vampire severs the male’s head from his body and discards it like trash. With a flick of his wrist, his goons already came by and swept the head into a box, labeled to Lucien Lupus. “Dogs should know their places.” He says nonchalantly, cracking his neck in frustration, “The peasants of this town should know who their Master is. Send it to the dogs.” And with that, he disappears into the night.

The body is properly disposed of in an incinerator while the head is already on its way towards Lucien’s dog house. With the only witness being another supernatural, who took the time to document everything happening in the back alleyway. The being stuck their camera back into their bag, under the cover of rain they ran towards back to safety. Back at SIB, a call is already ringing on the Captain’s desk, he’s taking the call just as the new addition team member came in, dropped off the file, and rattled off what he needed to. The Captain dismissed him, the door closing as he listened on the other end.

“I’d like to report a hostile crime taking place at…” The Anonymous caller goes off after 15 seconds goes by and hangs up before the Captain can even reply. After writing the details down onto a sticky note, he decides that this might be “X” by the description that was given. The Captain gets up from his desk, out the door, and makes his way to Credit’s desk, placing the note down in front of him, “Look, kid, you’re on the X file and someone just reported a crime the fits the bill on your criminal. I’d head out and investigate before it’s washed away by the rains.” The Captains says and heads back to his office to get more work done.

It’s a hastily scrawled address on the yellow sticky note, it perfectly describes just a murder taking place. What Benjamin didn’t know was that this wasn’t “X” at all. It fit the bill, sure, but there was barely any evidence left behind – except for blood that belonged to a beheaded wolf. And that evidence was washing away with the rains.


Back at Mercer Island…


Celesse picks up the phone, pressing the device into her ear as the same anonymous caller hits her up, “Look closer at the picture, it’s always been with you. You’re next.” They say.

“Yeah? Nice prank call.” She hits end. Just as another call pops up onto her phone, her eyes widen at the name, “…Alaric.”
 
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rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
Benjamin had just sat back down at his desk when the Captain approached. He swiveled in his chair to look at the man, eyebrows raised as he was handed the sticky note. "Really, an event already?" he asked as he glanced over the brief details on the note. Seriously...? How was this supposed to be actually connected to the "X" case? It literally could have been anyone or anything. These guys remembered that they were dealing with supernatural beings, right...? Which reminded him, he really needed to brush up on that encyclopedia of creatures. Who the hell knew there could be so many?

"Alright, then, I'm on my way," he stood and pulled on his overcoat, grabbing his umbrella from the holster at the door and heading to the secret elevator that would bring him into the hidden parking garage where the members of the SIB parked. Benjamin had a gut feeling he was chasing a ghost, but not the ghost he was looking for. Busywork. But it sure beat answering e-mails.

Between the various jobs he'd had and his incredibly frugal lifestyle, Benjamin had a lot of money. But he wasn't frivolous with it. In reality, he wasn't quite sure what to do with all of it. Secretly he supported families of some of his buddies who had died in action, including his brother's family, but otherwise he didn't see any benefit in stockpiling toys or cars. He got into his trusty Toyota Camry in the parking garage and pulled out into the typically rainy Seattle mid-morning, wondering what he'd find in the alleyway listed on the sticky note.

The answer: not much. Benjamin sighed and turned up his collar against the rain, shouldering his open umbrella as he stood at the entrance to the alleyway. No obvious signs of a struggle, but a definite sign of the described murder. Most of the blood on the ground had been washed away, but there was a heavy spatter of it against a wall that was sheltered by the rain by an overhang. It was high, almost eye-level for Benjamin, which meant the deceased was either similar in height or had been elevated when he was murdered. The pattern was large and strong, indicative of arterial spray. Poor sap. At least he likely died quickly. But no body...

Benjamin took his notepad out and jotted down his findings, snapping a picture of the blood spray with his phone. He could make guesses of what happened, but that wasn't his job description. Besides which, when dealing with supernatural beings it wasn't as easy to put two-and-two together. The few things he could confirm were yes, there was a murder (though without a body it would be difficult, if not impossible to find a victim), yes it was likely done by supernatural beings, but no... there was not enough evidence to suggest it was "X". Which meant his findings would probably go into the "X" file, regardless. Benjamin gave a heavy sigh. He hated bureaucracy.
 

Dan

Consort of Mu Beijiang★
Benefactor
She must’ve spaced out, the ringing came back ten times fold in sound, her pupils growing large again as she answered the call – albeit with hesitation. Celesse cleared her throat, not out of anxiousness, but of what she might be needed for this time. Alaric was basically the overlord on the Council of the Supernatural (CTS), and he only called her when he needed something that he couldn’t obtain by “legal” means. And as the only shapeshifter in the whole state of Washington, she could get things done…for a price that is. The other end of the line was quiet for a few moments, she swore there was no one there and was about to end the call when the caller finally spoke,

Mors Vincit Omnia.” The voice has a thick, indistinguishable accent, likely from France or Romania.

“…Mors Vincit Omnia.” Celesse retorts the phrase, it’s a way of greeting one another through formal and respected understanding. CTS was not one to take lightly, especially over the phone, but lucky for them – this line is secured.

“Lucien Lupus. Incident #0528. Unlawful practice of creating newborns. Unfortunately, I do not have the correct information to incriminate the…criminal.” Alaric spoke, he was an unforgiving Council Member. “Without the means to draw unwanted attention from the Americans, I cannot further this matter without your help.”

“Just state what I need to do, and you can consider it done.” Celesse says, already opening a notepad and grabbing her pen.

“This will be no easy task like before, Sicarius.” Alaric informs her, she would need to breach laws, and protocols in place in order to get what he needed from the Supernatural Investigative Bureau. Because unlike her past jobs, this one require more patience, it needed to be handled with delicate hands and she had those delicate hands.

“There’s an unnamed individual recently unveiled through measures of interrogation.” Alaric continues, “A few years ago, before Lucien became unhinged, any incident happened. There’s not much to go on, but the other individual to come in contact with the ‘criminal’ was another male named ‘Benjamin Credit.’ He was recently recruited into SIB, he’s generally another problem we’ll have to deal with sometime down the road. As of now, I’ll need you to seduce this individual, do it by any means, but get close enough to him to obtain the information and report back to me when you do.”

“Benjamin Credit.” She says, unfamiliar with the man, but she would handle this case with more intricate hands, “I’ll do that and more. But, does it have a deadline?” She inquired.

“I’ve stalled CTS for as long as I can, but the others are getting…agitated. With internal conflict to be dealt with, the deadline with this case will need to be wrapped up quietly and quickly. I’ll keep you updated on the situation here. Otherwise, get it done quickly.” Alaric retorts, more voices can be heard coming in on the other end.

“Mors Vincit Omnia.” She says, quietly ending the phone call.

On her monitor, displays the profile of Benjamin Credit’s personal information. He turned out to be the perfect candidate for SIB. Unfortunately, this would make it that much more difficult for her to secure the information she needed. If Alaric said what was true, this individual must’ve not been picked by coincidence into SIB. There was a bigger picture to paint here and Celesse knew it. She couldn’t help, but wonder if this would lead down a bigger rabbit hole.


* Sicarius is another alias for Celesse. More for her privacy and to handle cases for Alaric under the table.
* Mors Vincit Omnia means Death Conquers All or Death Always Wins.
 
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rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
Benjamin was faced with a conundrum. Stuck with this nearly impossible case, he needed to produce results where everyone else had failed. And all this with only having been on the force for less than a week. What was today? He glanced at his phone. Friday. Yeah... less than a week. The problem was, he was new to this whole scene and didn't even know where to start.

He had taken a sample of the blood from the scene, scraped it off the wall into an evidence bag. There probably wouldn't be enough there for a positive ID, but they might at least be able to find some markers that would let them know what kind of creature they were dealing with. Then, after looking for any other possible evidence - fibers, hairs, anything - and coming up empty, he found himself wandering the streets. He didn't want to go back to SIB yet, he hated being stuck indoors. He didn't mind the rain either, it beat the dusty 110 degree Iraqi heat, anyway.

The SIB portrayed their involvement in supernatural cases like they had everything under control, but Benjamin had his doubts. When you were dealing with beings that were inherently stronger and sometimes smarter than the average human, it was hardly likely that their power was actually as contained as the SIB suggested. Benjamin knew next to nothing about the inner workings of the various factions or how they related to each other - he needed to spend the weekend studying - but he was confident that with a little more digging, he'd be able to produce some results on this case. After all, this "X" was not operating in a vacuum. Their crimes ran the gamete, and they didn't seem to be too particularly tied to one faction or another. Though, again, it was difficult to know which crimes listed were actual "X" crimes, and which were only attributed to this vaporous character due to the fact that there was no other evidence to link it to anyone else.

Benjamin stopped at a crosswalk, took in a deep breath and held it, closing his eyes. The sound of the traffic. The patter of the rain on his umbrella. The footsteps of those coming up behind him and stopping. And then starting again as the lights turned and the crosswalk sign illuminated for them. He opened his eyes and turned back around, walking down the long streets to his parked car. He'd head back to the office and do some research, find a pub that was either owned by or frequented by supernaturals and start there when he got off work this evening. He enjoyed having a couple drinks on Friday evenings, though he preferred the quieter bars where he could be left to himself than the louder ones with raucous music and flirtatious bartenders. Well, at least there was something to look forward to.
 

Dan

Consort of Mu Beijiang★
Benefactor
The van drove, inconspicuously, with the flow of traffic from Downtown Seattle towards the Industrial District. The two men in the front seats worked for Alaric, they wore civilian work clothing as to not draw attention from unwanted prying eyes. The van they drove belonged to an industrial office, where they were going. To anyone on the outside, it would just appear as if two workers were heading to work the graveyard shift, but it was really much deeper than that. They spoke in a language long dead to the humans who used to use it before, speaking in fast sentences and tongues that no mortal would be able to know what they were actually speaking. In general, they were speaking their opinions on the on-coming faction war that seemed to only be brewing in the moment. Alaric was seeking for an answer to end the tensions, despite his unorthodox methods that sent the wrong message to his peers and subordinates. Many were thinking that the Vampire Overlord was only seeking more power and personal growth of his faction, but this was not the case at all.

The drive should’ve only been a nine-minute delivery at most, but it turned out to be longer as the traffic was heavy. Everyone and their grandmother were trying to get home in this usual weather conditions. They decided to take the back ways, opting to get the delivery quick as the stench of dog was starting to get to them. Once within the Industrial District, they took the bridge that connected to Harbor Island, only breaking off from the traffic to end their delivery at a short way. Their scent would be noticed immediately, they stopped at the barred off gate and handed the well wrapped box to the security guard at the front. “It is urgent that Mr. Lupus get’s this immediately. It’s the package he’s been waiting for.” The passenger vampire spoke, his accent rather distinctive of a French one. With the flash of red eyes, the guard almost choked on his drink, he nodded furiously. He set his drink aside and took the box, it felt heavy in his grasp, but the guard knew what the message actually meant.

With the Vampires watching the mortal struggle towards the warehouse, he was intercepted by two other guards that appeared from the shadows. The Driver gave the other one a look and they drove away from the area. The box resided in another werewolf’s arms; it was practically like lifting a feather with the amount of strength he actually packed. He continued towards the Main Office, where their Leader resided, kicking back in a chair, looking at the monitors that clung to the walls.

“Come in!” He yelled, with the door opening to the wolf holding the package.

Lucien sat upright, motioning for him to place it down on his barren metal desk. With a thump, Lucien gestured for his minion to open it. When they did, the smell of the rotting newborn’s head attacked their heightened smell. “What the fuck?!” He kicked the box over, the head rolling out. It was the man he just turned two days ago, mostly to add to his growing army that now crawled within the warehouse he claimed as his. On cue, the head caught fire and it turned into ashes, blowing all around the office.

“Sir, there’s a note.” The other goon spoke, grabbing the letter with a wax seal on it.

He handed it over to Lucien, who recognized the seal as Alaric’s – Vampire Faction – and inside lied a threat, “We know what you did.” There was no signature, but he didn’t need one to know it was directly from Alaric.


At Mercer Island…


Celesse emerged from the confines of her apartment out into the gloomy weather that greeted her. Living here had its perks, but this weather was not one of them. She climbed into the taxi that waited for her, she was heading into Seattle, where her victim was waiting for her. The warmth of the car was welcomed, the driver turned on the per mileage meter and started driving away from Mercer Island. Celesse, on the other hand, was working her fingers onto her PDA, texting with her contact that gave her the information on Credit, anyhow. If there was one thing that was common with supernaturals and the mortals, it was that money always made the world go ‘round.
 
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rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
The work day couldn't have ended soon enough. After he'd returned from his investigation, Benjamin had typed up his report and turned it in to the Captain. His suggestion in the comments at the bottom of the report were not to file it under "X", but he doubted they would be heeded. They had no one specific profile for "X", which made things frustrating for him. How could they hunt something they didn't know? A lot of his co-workers thought X was a ghost. Despite the prolific work of the SIB, it was still unknown whether ghosts were real supernatural beings or not. Well, Benjamin corrected himself, there were certainly proven cases of ghosts haunting locations where they had died. But a ghost free to live its own life and make its own choices? It was immensely difficult to prove such a thing.

Around him he could hear his coworkers wishing each other a good weekend and with relief he shut his computer down, rinsed his mug out in the kitchen sink, and took up his coat. Before Benjamin left the office he glanced one last time at his desk, making sure everything was neat and orderly for returning on Monday. Under his arm were a stack of files and resources put out by the SIB that he would utilize and research over the weekend. He needed to understand more of the history and impact of the different factions littered around the city.

Before heading home Benjamin stopped at a pub he'd found in his research at work, known to be run by vampires but located in an area that was frequented by creatures of various giftings. It was ironically named "Vlad's", a big middle finger from the vampire owner to the humans in the city who bumbled around without a clue that they were constantly in close proximity to any number of supernatural beings. Of course Benjamin left his homework in the car, not really caring to advertise his profession, or even necessarily his knowledge of the supernatural, to those inside.

Pushing the door to the bar open, he made his way inside and let the rain in his hair from his walk from the parking lot drip down unburdened. He hung his coat on the rack inside the door and then took a seat at the bar, ordering whatever local stout they had on tap and turning his gaze to the game on TV. It was pre-show talk for the Mariners vs. Brewers game that would start in an hour and some. Commentators spouting statistics left and right, discussions of injured players and the current dugout lineups. Perfect background noise as Benjamin contemplated his first week at the SIB.
 
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Dan

Consort of Mu Beijiang★
Benefactor
For a Friday evening, it was not uncommon for traffic to swell in size with the amount of workers going home, or heading to visit family outside of state for the weekend. This made it the perfect time for crimes to take place under the radar of SIB and the humans’ noses. Celesse was already within the city limits of Seattle, the taxi driver pulled off to the side once they made it toward downtown Seattle. Stepping out into the thick of rain, she already had an umbrella shielding her away from the mess that poured down all around her, she paid for the fare with interest as she stepped away from the vehicle. Before she join the other umbrellas on the sidewalk, she had to look where she would be staying the night. She figured that going in between Mercer Island and Seattle would be a waste of money when she still had to pay for rent by the end of next week.

Even as ancient as she was, she was quite glad the humans were quite efficient with technology, and building apps like Air B-and-B to host strangers for a night or more – depending on the price of the place. She opted for a penthouse after funds were funneled into her account from an offshore owned by the CTS or more in Alaric’s name. That bloodsucker was likely richer than anyone on the earth, he was quiet about it though. After finding the place to her liking, she double-checked for hidden cameras, and to see if it was bugged. The electronics were all shut off for more privacy and then she was back out into the thick of civilians out on the town for a release of stress. In this country, it seems like none of the Americans slept – or in her own opinion, she thought so.

Her eyes skimmed her phone again, she sat on a lone bench that had shelter in place for the passengers that would eventually take the public transportation. On the phone, she found many hot spots that were near packed with civilians, most of it were RSVP’d for occasions taking place by office parties or more. She switched to the app that was developed by an anonymous supernatural, it catered to her kind that wanted to be among her kind. However, it should be noted that most of these clubs also hosted humans, because the mortals also brought in the most profit—especially on weekends like these. She found an interesting bar that piqued her interest, “Vlad’s.” She said to no one in particular. The shapeshifter’s appearance changed to befit that of an alluring woman, but also still in conservative clothing. It was coincidence that Vlad’s was also where her target was at, presently.

At Vlad’s, she entered the bar, placing the umbrella in the rack that already had umbrellas shelved away in. Her long coat soaked with the rain that she resented, she placed it on the rack along with other coats that had already claimed a spot on its limbs. Among the patrons lurking in the pub, she caught a whiff of several human scents lingering among the many supernaturals that coalesced there together. The ambiance in this bar was lax, more of her vibe as she strode in and took a seat at the bar, where she took note of a hulking man sitting on the other end from where she sat. The Bartender greeted her in an inviting nature, naming off discounts specifically for her. She opted for a whiskey on rocks, more to get her mind out of the gutter about Alaric contacting her and the pressure that laid on her delicate shoulders.
 

rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
Between the military and the FBI, Benjamin was highly trained in keeping awareness of his surroundings. He had picked a seat with only one table on his right (and the bathrooms beyond that), and the rest of the pub sprawled out to his left with the door on the far end. This way he could keep rough tabs on everyone in the room, including their comings and goings. This would have been difficult with his back facing the seating area of the building, except that the liquor was all housed in glass shelves behind the bar with LED strips to make it enticing and shine. It served well as a mirror to what was happening behind him.

He had ditched his suit jacket and had his tie loosened and sleeves rolled up to his elbows. Benjamin was almost to the end of his first beer when a young, beautiful woman stepped inside from the rain. She seemed too classy for the type of women he had seen in here so far and she was alone, too. Most of the guys in the bar so far seemed to be regulars, but the bartender didn't know her order. Out of the corner of his eye he saw her checking on him, and was sure she had done the same to others in the room. She was probably as new here as he was.

Benjamin was pretty much a loner. He wasn't big on romance, either. Not even prostitutes or one night stands. And ever since he'd gotten out of the military he'd avoided getting drunk in public, too. But he also knew he had a certain look that many women enjoyed. Young, well-muscled, quiet, and his tattoos gave him that level of intrigue that often piqued their interest. He clearly wasn't going to be able to get anywhere in conversation with the locals, but a newcomer like himself...? Maybe he could harvest some information there.

"Whisky, huh?" he asked, nodding at the woman as he tapped two fingers on the counter for a top-off on his beer. "That's a pretty strong drink for this early in the evening. Are you avoiding something?" Benjamin said with a joking smirk.
 

Dan

Consort of Mu Beijiang★
Benefactor
Her golden hues shifted from the glass, she looked across to the male with tattoos on display from the rolled back sleeves. Celesse’s gaze flickered to the male’s face, in her mind she was satisfied that her target had just landed in her hands without difficulty. But it would still prove to be difficult to even get close to the investigator, she raised the glass in honor of the man’s words, slamming the drink back in her throat, letting the burning sensation coddle her throat. She places the glass back down onto the oak counter, “It’s never to early for whiskey, darling. Perhaps I’m avoiding you, stranger.” She joked back; her words carried in an French accent across the bar.

The Bartender had already placed a new glass in front of her, whisking the empty glass away from her. The woman wore a black turtleneck that was tucked underneath dress pants, her blazer was discarded to the empty seat besides her. She opted for heeled boots in weather like outside, she could never tire from warm fashion that always worked in this city. At Vlad’s, besides her and the humans, she noted several other supernaturals she’d yet to encounter in her line of work—many usually opted to stay away from her kind, as shapeshifters were quite unpredictable.
 

rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
What the f... were her eyes gold? Benjamin felt the hair on the back of his neck raise, but his expression remained neutral. They weren't the flat golden colour of contacts, either. She had to be one of them. "Touché," he chuckled, raising his glass to her and downing the rest of the contents before sliding it to the side. God, he hated small talk. "Are you from around here? Your accent... French?" he guessed. He'd read that a lot of the vampires came from Europe... were they supposed to have gold eyes? He really needed to do some homework. He was woefully unprepared for this assignment. It wasn't like they sent you to a class or anything.

He was somewhat regretting letting his guard down so much. Of course, before he'd known about supernatural beings he would have felt completely at ease in this bar, having registered none of its inhabitants as direct threats. But now, he knew, his gun was in the inside pocket of his suit jacket on the countertop. It would take far too long to reach it if he came under attack. The Bureau had provided him with specialty hollow-tipped bullets, each loaded with different materials effective against some of the more common supernatural creatures. Silver, wood, incendiaries.

But why was he suddenly so worried?

Perhaps, he decided, it was the unknown. He had no idea what kind of creature this was, or just how much stronger she might be than he. And before he knew about all the various creatures roaming throughout the city, he was blissfully ignorant about the danger that was lurking around every corner. But he'd never been attacked before, and he should consider that as long as he was off the job and flying under the radar, there would be no reason for him to be attacked now.

Cool your jets, Credit, he told himself. You're overreacting. Just have the damn conversation then go home and sleep a little.
 

Dan

Consort of Mu Beijiang★
Benefactor
Celesse blinked away, her eyes changing to an amber color; a deeper color of hazel. Her manicured hand resting around the glass, she stared into the golden contents of her reflection as she was asked more questions. The thing about being a shapeshifter was you could be anyone or anything you wanted, you could make up stories on the spot and mess around with anyone who came your way. She looked up, towards the male again as she drew in a sip of the alcohol, “Something like that.” She retorts. Her gaze shifted to the mounted flat screens clinging to the brick walls. It was early in the evening sure, but it was always too early for supernaturals.

Vampires remained nocturnal masters of the night, whereas werewolves were the best of both worlds. Certain supernaturals needed to be in different environments in order for them to thrive, so the thought of seeing a siren or even a mermaid walk through the streets of rainy Seattle was not uncommon – the weather made it perfectly capable for that type to thrive here. Though, those types usually opted to thrive in Oregon or more rainier parts of the country. Celesse pointed a black manicured nail towards the game on the telly, “Good game?” She asked, out-of-the-blue. The Bartender was usually the one watching the games, he was a large fan of baseball in general, though Celesse didn’t follow the game herself, she didn’t mind men wearing spandex in any weather—you’d be surprised at how many woman loved to see…

She looked over to her right, hearing the buzz of her phone in the confines of her blazer. Fishing the mobile out, she received a text from a friend, ‘Anything to get away from him…for now.’ She thought as she looked at the screen, her friend was one of supernatural means, but her friend typed like a adolescent human. She still couldn’t understand what a ‘meme’ was and why it was always referenced a lot in her texts with said friend.
 

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Wake me if you're out there.
Confusion penetrated Benjamin's mind. Now her eyes had... changed colour? He knew what he saw. But it must have been a trick of the light. Or the distance between them? No... he knew what he saw.

Regardless, it was obvious she was as uninterested in the small talk as he was. He wondered what had brought her here, to a pub she was unfamiliar with on a night where she didn't feel like talking. Or, maybe she was being honest and she just didn't want to talk to him. "Hey man, can I get a burger to go?" he asked the bartender as he appeared again.
"Fries with that?" the man asked in return, and Benjamin nodded.

The agent had taken Celesse's curt reply to his question as an ending to the conversation, so he was surprised when she spoke again and he looked up at the screen. "It's been alright," he shrugged. "Still only the second inning so it's hard to tell how it's going to go."
"Brewers have some star pitchers this year," the barkeep chimed in. "They've got a lefty closer, too. He's gonna be hard to beat."

Benjamin enjoyed watching sports on occasion, it was better than all the fake drama crap they put on TV, but he had moved around so much he didn't really have a "team" he called his own. In his youth he'd collected trading cards and could have spouted off the stats of any player in any season. But growing up changed a lot of that, and he was grateful to have moved on from such simple times. His childhood was a painful memory.
 

Dan

Consort of Mu Beijiang★
Benefactor
Placing her phone down on the counter, locked, and turned over. Celesse didn’t particularly invest into small talk, but talking with her target so soon was not what she anticipated on this night. Credit was just unveiled nearly two hours ago, perhaps longer, and it was like the Gods were doing her a favor, giving her a break for once—or maybe not. She pretended to care about what he was talking about, ‘Innings, schminnings…all garbled talk to me.’ She swirled her drink before taking another sip, Celesse was nursing it as best she could. For one, having two drinks wouldn’t do much to her, she would still be sober even after the fifth drink. Years of tolerance could do that to you, but ethanol made by mortals didn’t do much to her kind, she found that out back in the old days. And two, despite her irritation of running into Benjamin so soon, she would have to, at least, obtain his number, even if it were a false one—she could offer her own.

“Baseball’s not my type of sport, I’m more of a basketball fan, myself.” Celesse admitted, she often attended games when she wasn’t working. The closest team she could call hers were the Portland Trail Blazers, despite being in a different state, she felt like a longtime fan of that team. Before switching to Portland, she was a fan of the Supersonics before their disbandment in the early 2000s, to her disappointment since her state was rarely acknowledged in the world of sports. But, to her unknowing knowledge, they would be making a return to the stage among the other professional basketball teams. She took another sip as the barkeep came out with the styrofoam tray containing the food he ordered.

“Listen...” Celesse perked up from her seat, beginning to weave her own web of lies as she pulled out a napkin and a pen, writing her name and number on it, sliding it over to the male, “I’m actually new to the city of Seattle, and recently moved as of tonight.” She made her accent more prominent with each word leaving her plump lips, “I could use a friend…er…to tour…around. Perhaps you know this…settlement better than I. If you’re up to the task…” She spoke, extending an invitation of friendship.
 

rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
"Basketball, huh?" Benjamin mused as he took another deep quaff of his drink. "Could be worse, at least it's not golf," he joked, standing up as his food arrived. It had been his original plan to stay here through the evening, eat and have a couple more drinks but it turned out that in his subconscious desperation to have a quiet evening he had chosen a dud of a bar. Next time he needed to pick something a little more lively, a little less 'local'.

"Oh," he said in genuine surprise as Celesse slid the napkin his way, pausing as he picked up his suit jacket. "Sorry Miss... Celesse?" He hoped he was pronouncing that right, the French did weird things with their inflections. "I don't think I'd be much help to you. I just moved here myself," he admitted, straightening his tie and donning his jacket. This was strange, right...? I mean she had been so reserved previously, and now to suddenly offer him her number...? He didn't plan on picking up her note. He felt uncomfortable with such familiarity so quickly.

"Now I understand what you're avoiding, though," he said with a faint smirk and a nod to her empty glass. "Having to unpack your life and re-arrange it in a new place will push anyone to the bottle," Benjamin picked up his packaged food. "As far as getting to know the city, you might try some of these other folks, I think they're from around here," he suggested, downing the last of his beer.
 

Dan

Consort of Mu Beijiang★
Benefactor
Celesse tilted her head at him, she drummed her fingers along the oak surface, “Is that so?” She inquired with a faint sigh, watching the male straighten his tie and placing the jacket around him. Perhaps she could avoid him for the time being, she read the tension in his shoulders, and the confusion that he tried so hard to hide away behind words. She smiled at his retort, “You just might be right.” She lied through her teeth. ‘Hmm…perhaps I’ll reel him in under more planned circumstances.’ She thought as she stopped drumming her fingers—and didn’t stop insisting.

“Well, I’ll take you up on your advice.” Her pointer finger, slender, long, and manicured claw pushed it towards him again, “Maybe we can become friends. I promise I don’t bite.” An inside joke as the Bartender was a vampire himself, the barkeep’s shoulders tense while he cleaned a cup. “You can save it for later or you can toss it on the way out, either is fine by me.” She shrugged her shoulders as she face forward again, and another glass of whiskey made it her way. The Bartender gave her a sly smirk as he took the emptied glass away.


Back at SIB Headquarters…


One of the lone office workers were still in the back files, working a long night though the weekend was just upon them. The Captain gave exclusive permission for the Investigator to go through files that involved a case about a murdered family, it was theorized that it was an attack by a zombie by the amount of flesh and guts that were strewn about. The family were all torn open like a present on Christmas morning, the zombie had fled the scene before SIB Investigators had the chance to secure the undead.

Though this was really just an affront for what the Investigator was actually doing, old paper files of Celesse were being thumbed through. The shapeshifter paid top dollar to have the files destroyed. SIB hadn’t bet on one of the most trusting Senior Lead Investigators being that mole as the files were being lit on fire. The smoke detector was pulled out of its socket, turning the alarms off as well if something were to go off. When the final paper was burnt to a crisp, he shot a text off to the shapeshifter.

Which dinged just as she finished her conversation with her target, she fished her phone up again. Finding the lone text saying, “It’s finished.” She didn’t need to open the text message to know what it was referring to. She placed it down and took another swig of her alcohol, it went down smoother this time, and burned even less. The Investigator cleaned up everything, leaving it as it were before, fixing the alarms and smoke detector before finally logging out of the building all together to head home.


At the Industrial District…


Lucien didn’t mince his words as he stood above the platform that overlooked the entire warehouse. All of his kin stood below him, many in formed lines with the few that slung off to the sides, and leaned against the metal pillars that held the building up.

“Tonight, is the night a package has come to me.” He started, “One of our own,” He waiting as his eyes met with the others, “Was slain down like a dog in the back alley. Alaric, that damned bloodsucker, has slain him as shown here.” Despite being in a warehouse, they had the accommodations of having a projector screen, and concrete evidence showing on said screen.

Alaric is shown on video, cursing the fellow kin out as he severed his head from his body. It shows two more lackeys taking the body and disappearing with it as the head is placed in a box with his name labeled on it. “And this…leech, delivered our brother’s head to us, this evening!” His anger was getting hard to control as he bared his teeth, many of the others shared the same sentiment.

“Unfortunately, the evidence has been destroyed upon opening said package. All that remains of our brother are the ashes, which have blown away to the winds out the window of my office.” He admitted, though the werewolf was newly turned, they all felt the death hard—even to those who hadn’t chance to meet him.

“Our brother joined our cause because his entire family was taken out by those very bloodsuckers who took his.” His brows furrowed, he bared his canines, “Let’s make an example of what happens when you mess with the Lupus Clan!” He yells out. Many of his kin are whooping, yelling in agreement.

“We take Alaric’s second-in-command, Lucius, and we show them what we’re capable of.” The projector shows a bloodied out ‘X’ in front of Lucius’ face, almost in a comical way. As the yelling only grows louder in agreement and in anger. They were ready to make the move of bringing the CTS down to it’s very knees.
 

rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
Benjamin was really, really not interested in gaining a social life. He had been able to successfully avoid one ever since leaving the military and burying himself in his work, and he found that lifestyle suited him quite well. He had no desire to strike up a friendship with some random broad he met in a bar.

But.

He did need information. And currently, this foreign lady was the only one open enough to talk to him. She was one of them, too, a supernatural. He was sure of that aspect, though what type exactly he wasn't certain. Benjamin was leaning toward 'vampire', considering the circumstances.

It didn't take him long to come to his conclusion. He hadn't survived active warzones and interactions with the FBI's Most Wanted by being a slow processor. Against his personal desires and for the sake of his work, he picked up the napkin as Celesse pushed it toward him once again. Benjamin took out his phone (it was an older model iPhone - he hated how enormous cellphones were getting to be these days), programmed in her number, and sent her a text with his first name. "Friends it is, then," he replied, the corner of his mouth lifting in a smirk. "Just give me a shout when you're settled in and ready to explore the city," Benjamin said, watching as she was passed her third shot. Yeah... no way in hell she was normal.
 
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