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Completed Search for a Traitor

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Tiko

Draconic Administrator/Mentor
Administrator
Mentor
Nexus GM
as written by Dashmiel, Faithy, Script and Tiko

Ragenard stood outside of the Med Center and quickly chain smoked half of his cigarette before discarding it. “Everybody ready?” he asked the assembled trio.

Aimee had been loitering by the door and the minute that Ragenard moved past her, she exhaled and stepped out as well, catching the moving by feet comment. Wrinkling her nose up with a slight shrug, she stretched out as much as her body as she could before nodding towards the bossman. “I’m good to go.” Hopefully they found her father alive and not knee-deep in shit or worse.

Snow nodded wordlessly by way of response, pushing off of the wall on which he’d been leaning and moving to join them.

Draaven meanwhile unholstered his shot-gun from his bike and slung it over his shoulder by the strap.

“I’m still getting up to speed on things, so just to be clear,” Draaven said. “Are we packing for Jacques, or for trouble along the way?”

The inter pack violence is what had prompted his departure in the first place, but neither did he hold much love for Jacques. Still, it was a sobering moment to realize that in ten years, that aspect of pack life may still not have settled.

“We’re hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst,” replied Ragenard grimly. “It’s a bad time for Jacques to have vanished on us, and I got word from Baron that things might have gone south thanks to one of our own, so, I’m hoping for the latter but will handle the former if it comes to that.”

He took a few seconds to stretch out his muscles and scent the air a few times, clearing his nose out of smoke. He caught a mixture of scents from virtually everyone who had been at the Med Center, and slowly walked away from the building until they thinned out.

“Hey Aimee, give me a hand, see if you can sniff your dad’s shitty musk with me.”

“No way. No way he would do something like that.” Aimee was hoping and praying she was right because she didn’t want to have her father killed in front of her or kicked out of the pack, though with that kind of treason, she knew it would be death only. Frowning, but keeping the rest of her thoughts together she stepped up beside Ragenard and inhaled deeply, slowly releasing the breath in order to calm her nerves and help her focus. She ran fingers through her hair before faintly picking up on her father’s scent. “There… I think I got it. South of here, I’m pretty certain.” It was clear this wasn’t something she was used to doing, but it still came naturally.

“Good job, that’s definitely him. Got it locked now,” he said, briefly patting the young woman on a shoulder. “And try to relax, I’m sure your old man will have a good if monumentally stupid explanation. Keep cool and don’t freak out if me and him get belligerent, it’s what us old people do.

“Alright guys, let’s go, looks like we’re headed south.”

“I hope you’re right, Ragenard. I’ll try and keep in mind that old farts like to get belligerent with each other.” Aimee grinned a little, wishing that her stomach didn’t hurt as much as it did. It wasn’t easy to relax, not with everything that was happening, but she also didn’t want to mess up anything.
 

Tiko

Draconic Administrator/Mentor
Administrator
Mentor
Nexus GM
as written by Tiko, Dashmiel, Script, and Faithy

Somewhere in Lupaix...

The trail didn’t lead them far - only a few blocks - before it crossed ways with a payphone and seemingly went dry.

When they got to a payphone, Aimee glanced around, cursing softly beneath her breath, struggling to pick up the scent of her father again. Nothing made sense to her and she was beginning to wonder just why her father had disappeared. Keeping those thoughts to herself, she inhaled deeply, exhaling slowly before fighting to concentrate, trying to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. “This doesn’t make sense…” She muttered, sniffing the air.

Ragenard made his way closer to the payphone, and carefully inspected it. There was no doubt about it, Jacques’ scent still lingered around the area, evidently he had made a phone call here before vanishing.

“Makes perfect sense pup, and I wish it didn’t. Your father dipped out on us against orders to stay put. He left his perfectly good working cellphone, came here, and made a phone call. Since I can’t smell him from here, the call must have been to someone to come pick him up,” he said quietly, his tone belying the anger he already felt rising.

“Check around guys, see if you can spot anything. Snow, help me out, we gotta find the last spot his scent was clear and then find something else to tie it with.”

Draaven’s nostrils flared as he too tried to pick up some scent or another that stood out from the rest, but he finally just shook his head.

“I’ve been out of the city too long,” he admitted. “I can’t smell anything over the reek of oil and gasoline.”

“He wouldn’t do that, Ragenard! There has to be another explanation. Didn’t he go running with you all earlier? Maybe he thought he smelled something and searched it out and then tried to call for someone to pick him up … for uhh… whatever reason that he couldn’t…” Aimee trailed off, knowing that was an absolutely stupid idea. No, something was going on, she just didn’t want to believe her father was bad. Her voice was soft, eyes red as she fought to keep from crying, bothered by the notion of her father turning on them… his family.

Snow nodded, walking to the curb near the payphone and crouching to seek out the spot where Jacques was collected. He paused as Aimee spoke, glancing over his shoulder. “Nobody’s jumping to conclusions,” he said calmly. “For all we know, he called a cab. We’re here to figure out what happened, not to speculate before we know.”

After a few more moments, he rose, sniffing the air a few times. “I have something…” he hesitated. “Clean car. Can still smell the soap on it, and…”

He trailed off, straightening. His expression had darkened. “I can smell their freak, Ragenard. Jason was here.”

“Freak?” Draaven asked with a glance to Snow. He was working quickly to fill in his missing gaps of knowledge.

Snow nodded. “Didn’t show up until after you’d left. Rowan’s new second. He’s stronger than he has any right to be, and smells like … I’m not even sure. Something fucked up. Marc isn’t the first one of us he’s killed.”

Meanwhile an ominous low growl vibrated out of Ragenard’s throat as he rushed to bend next to the curb where Snow was standing. He could smell the scent of three people. He recognized Jacques, and overpowering the others was what he now knew to be the scent of their freaky puppy—and may whatever god he prayed to help him if Ragenard caught him—but underneath it all...faintly and almost imperceptibly, was a scent he recognized.

He rose slowly, sniffing around repeatedly, wishing he was wrong. He turned to look at Snow, hazel eyes fully yellow except for a handful of pinpricks of electric blue upon his right eye.

“Motherfucker...mother...fucker. He got in a car with Rowan and Jason. He called Rowan. He’s our traitor,” exclaimed Ragenard, giving Aimee a pensive look. He was torn on whether to send her back to the Med Center or not. Send them all back. He could feel the rage slowly cycling up, his skin itching to turn so he could go on a rampage straight to Audrieu.

At that point, nothing was making sense to Aimee. While she heard their words, her mind absolutely refused to believe them. No way would her father betray them. No way in hell would he do that to the pack. He was probably trying to call for help and they caught him. Right? Biting on her bottom lip, she squared her shoulders back a little, staring hard at Ragenard. “Wait, just wait a minute. We don’t know for certain that’s what happened here. Why would he come to the Den and attempt to kill Sasha and the others if he was working with Rowan? Why wouldn’t he just help them kill the four of us? Wouldn’t that make it easier on the Scions?” Aimee paused, almost squeezing the bridge of her nose before stopping herself.

“What if he was snatched?” Aimee glanced around, desperate to find a struggle, attempting to ignore the truth. No, refusing to believe the truth; that her father would do such a thing.

“Betraying the pack is probably a lot easier for a traitor than killing their own spawn,” he snapped back. It was getting hard to think logically, every point between balls and neck were tingling, and his spine felt like a live wire.
“He always resented never being able to rise to power over me. As long as I was around, he could never be second, and if he couldn’t be second, he’d never be first,” he explained, recalling to mind the altercations of years past, the scars he’d left on Jacques to remind him of his place.

“No pup, your imbecile of a dad finally went over the fence, the only question is whether he did it suicidally or with some moronic plan in mind. I think you should head back to the Med Center now.”

“He didn’t have to kill me. He could have let Sasha finish me. She would have killed me if he hadn’t stepped it.” Her stomach hurt and the angrier Ragenard became, the worse she seemed to feel. What if he was right? What if Jacques did betray them all? Would he do it just because he wasn’t number one or two? That seemed asinine to the teen and pissed her off, especially if that was the truth. Her eyes flashed a little when told to go back to the Med Center, not wanting to be left out of something so important as this.

“Please let me come with you guys. He’s all I have and I need to hear the truth with my own ears. I won’t be in the way, I can’t go back there… not now. Sitting around and waiting it out will drive me crazy,” Aimee pleaded, struggling to keep a clear head with everything rushing through it. It would certainly explain why he was so pissed off that she had been at the Den.

Draaven’s eyes shifted between Aimee and Ragenard as they exchanged words, observing but not engaging. He for the time being seemed to have no stake in the situation. Though he had never been one of the more outspoken of the pack, preferring to keep his thoughts to himself more often than not, he seemed even more detached than days past. His time away from the pack had left him the odd one out, and there was much to learn before he was truly home again.

Snow, too, was largely silent for the duration of Aimee and Ragenard’s back and forth. It was only on Aimee’s insistence on coming along that he looked up from the road and over at her. “There are some things you don’t need to see,” he said, keeping his voice calm and measured, though despite his best efforts an edge of the cold anger brewing beneath the surface still came through. “You don’t want to be here when we get our hands on him.”

“Would you be capable of standing still while I tear out the heart of our family’s betrayer?” snarled Ragenard towards Aimee. “Because that’s a very likely scenario. He’s your father, and you want to believe a scenario that makes it all fit in with your image of him,” he spat in disgust before pressing on. “But if you come along, you’d have to face the likely reality. That your father’s actions led to the deaths of those he claimed were family, and that his reasoning might have been no more than petty greed.”

Ragenard began to pace in a tight line, hands clenching and unclenching as reason sought to depart him, and the beast sought to take over. Jacques. Sure, they’d had their differences, often and loudly. But despite it all, there were times when he could call him family. Times when he risked his life for his.

“If you come with us Aimee, you might be forced to make a choice,” he stated grimly. “The pack, or your sire. Do you think you’d be capable of making the right choice? Because the wrong one would mean you’re not one of us, just like he is.”

For the first time in her life, or at least for the first time in the last few years, Aimee truly listened to Snow and Ragenard’s concerns about the situation. Usually the nineteen-year-old just brushed off the words of anyone as nonsense, but that was generally due to her state of mind. She was clear headed and that was probably helping her listen and think before just spouting off like a pup. Sighing, she ran her fingers through her dark hair, knowing Snow was right. There were things she didn’t need to see, but sometimes those things did need to be seen despite how terrifying they were.

Her gaze shifted over towards Ragenard and she continued to be silent, letting him say everything that needed to be said. There was an unsettling truth to his words and Aimee was struggling with her thoughts, not wanting to be dishonest towards any of them anymore. She had done enough of that in her short life and was tired of being a complete and total fuckup. But, could she? Could she stand by and watch them destroy the man that raised her after her mother had been gunned down? Inhaling deeply before releasing the breath slowly, attempting to ignore both the anger coming from Ragenard and Snow, Aimee flexed her fingers of her good hand, shoulders rolling back.

“Those that died were MY family too. Those that are hurt are my family. Yes, Jacques is my blood father and yes… he raised me mostly… but a lot of the pack helped too. I don’t know what crawled into his mind to make him betray everyone, but he betrayed me too, Ragenard. I understand the choice I ultimately must make and despite the hurt it might bring… the pack will be my choice. I’m not a pup anymore… hard decisions must be made every day and it’s time for me to stop being sheltered and start facing what a shitty reality we live in.” Releasing a shaky breath, Aimee glanced up at the sky, realizing she didn’t even know her father anymore.

“I don’t even know him anymore, Ragenard… the father I knew wouldn’t betray his family. Sure, I am trying to squish him into the image I had of him, but I’m also not naïve. Point is… I want to come.”

Ragenard paused in his pacing to intently stare at Aimee. After about half a minute, he nodded tersely. “Alright Aimee, we’ll see if you’re ready to see our shitty world with grown up eyes,” he said with a sigh. With a supreme effort of willpower, he sunk his anger deep down, saving it for when it actually needed to be used.

“If he’s alive when we find him, I’ll question him first, he can’t lie to me,” he directed towards Snow. “If what he says conforms to our suspicions, you can take charge of cleaning the stain on our family if you want,” he finished, walking past Snow towards Draaven, pausing briefly to rest a quick hand on the Annarian’s shoulder.

“As for you, Drae, you don’t have to be here for this. Sucks that the city is giving you such an abject lesson in shit never changing, but some of it never does,” Ragenard said with a poignant nod.

“If you don’t want in on this shit, you can head back to the Med Center, no question’s asked. I won’t think of you less for not wanting to deal with the kind of shit you tried to put behind, at least not until you’ve decided you’re truly back in.”

“I decided I was back the moment I set foot in this city again,” Draaven replied. “I’ve been gone long enough.”

Snow, in the meantime, just nodded. If Jacques was the one that had betrayed them, the reason the Scions had shown back up in time to kill Nieve, then he would pay for it. Justice in blood. It would be how she would have wanted it, and he was quietly glad that he could be the one to deliver it. It wasn’t closure - that wouldn’t come until the vampire that killed her was broken on the ground in front of him - but it was a step towards it. It would do for now.

Meanwhile, Aimee’s phone buzzed in her pocket. The number was a local number, but not one which she would recognize.

Arching her brow, Aimee glanced down towards her pocket before sliding her fingers in, grabbing out her phone. Glancing at the number, she glanced towards the others before sliding to accept the call despite not knowing the number. “This is Aimee.” She spoke softly, unsure who would be calling her from an unknown number.

“Err… umm… that depends.” Aimee squeezed the bridge of her nose, sighing hard, it clear that she was most definitely talking to someone else on the other end.

Ragenard arched an eyebrow at Aimee before quickly moving closer to her. It was clear from the confusion on her face that it wasn't a call she was expecting.

He hovered near enough for his hearing to pick up the voice on the other end and quietly motioned for her to continue.

Feeling Ragenard moving close towards her, Aimee nodded towards him, waiting for her father to continue. What she heard instead was a series of pained sounds that made her wonder if they were really wrong about him. Frowning a little, she ran her fingers through her hair and exhaled deeply, fighting to keep her heart rate normal. She wasn’t sure what was going on, only that the labored breathing was not a good sign.

“Just listen, okay?” Jacques voice cracked through the phone. The words that came next were rushed and spilled out almost too quickly to follow. “I messed up. Tell them I didn’t say shit.”

The line immediately emitted an ear splitting and unidentifiable crackling pop before going immediately dead.

Aimee nodded at his words before remembering he couldn’t see her head. She did what he asked though and remained silent for once in her life. Her bottom lip soon made its way between her teeth and she gnawed on it while listening as close as possible. Nothing prepared her for what came next and she snapped her gaze towards Ragenard before looking back away again, grasping the phone tightly. He messed up? Didn’t say shit? Hissing at the jarring sound, she squeezed the phone tighter.

“DAD?!” JACQUES?!” Aimee shouted into the phone, trying to get him back. Flipping through the call log, she hit the button, trying to call the number back but it wouldn’t go through.

“Don't bother kid,” Ragenard said woodenly. “He’s either dead or will be in a minute.” With a grown, Ragenard set to consider his options.

From Jacques last words, it seemed like his guess was right on the money, same age old story played out again. He certainly hadn't been the only idiot throughout their history to try to switch sides, but maybe he died on the right one.

It was a gamble, but he'd have to take it, he couldn't be everywhere at once.

Ragenard pulled up his phone and quickly sent a message to Desmond, quickly letting him know what he'd do and to keep a lookout just in case.

“We can't let the police find a dead one of ours in Scion turf so soon after the casino,” he exclaimed. “Last thing we want is taskforces and shit being organized if they think they got a gangwar active.” Ragenard shook his head as he glanced at Aimee, sad that he'd have to be so callous, but that was the life.

“Alright, we gotta go take care of Jacques’ body, which is what we'll probably find. Draaven, go with Aimee back to the Center and grab something we can stuff a stiff in,” he called out before moving to stand next to Snow.

“You and me will follow the trail ahead, if you think you need to shift, give your stuff to Drae, otherwise lead on.”

“No! Damn it, no! He isn’t going to die! We have to go save him. I can’t lose him too!” Aimee was borderline hysterical, knowing that Ragenard was right, but ultimately refusing to believe that her father had been killed by Scion scum. She squeezed her phone tightly before shoving it into her pocket, knowing that it would do no good to repeatedly try to call that number back. It took every ounce of her strength to keep from crying, though she couldn’t stop a few tears from streaming down her cheeks.

At that moment, Aimee knew without a doubt that she would get revenge on the Scions and kill as many as she could for everything they had done to her family… her pack. For now, she had to focus on the orders she had been given, her gaze shifting warily towards Draaven before letting out a shuddering breath. “Fucking Scion scum… I want blood.” Aimee growled out, making it clear that she wanted to be able to get her revenge, healed or not.
 
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Tiko

Draconic Administrator/Mentor
Administrator
Mentor
Nexus GM
as written by Tiko and Faithy

It hadn't taken Draaven and Aimee long to return to the med center, but with the sun up and prying eyes all around they had to maintain discretion. It wouldn't serve to get pulled over with so much heat hanging over the pack right now.

“Go on and give Ragenard a call, find out which direction they headed,” Draaven told Aimee as they pulled out onto a main street.

Aimee was thankful when they made it back to the med center and snagged a car without any issues. She wasn’t sure if they were all about to go into a trap, but figured if shit hit the fan, having an escape car could be handy. Leaning back in the seat, she slid her fingers through her hair, bouncing between being pissed at Jacques for being a turncoat and worried about the Scions killing him. Sighing heavily in an attempt to clear her mind to focus on the task at hand, Aimee nodded towards Draaven and tugged her phone out, scrolling through her contact list in order to call up Ragenard.

“None of this makes sense…” She muttered, listening to the ringing coming from her phone.

“How so?” Draaven asked while Aimee waited for Ragenard to pick up.

“Why would he go to them to give him information, but then not give them anything? Why even turn on the pack? Not only that… why bother come save me if he was already working for the Scions? I just… I wish I knew what was going through his mind.” Aimee sighed heavily, squeezing the bridge of her nose before pulling down the visor, peering at her bandaged face with a slight growl. “I want answers I’ll never get and that irks me immensely.”

"I've been gone a long time," Draaven answered. "I don't know the current state of things, but what I remember of Jacques from before, there was always bad blood there between him and the Guiscards. You and your mother meant the world to him though, and that bound him to pack even if not loyalty. I can't presume to know what drove him now ten years later, but maybe his motives were more singularly directed than betraying the pack, or you. Whatever his reasons or motives though, he was foolish to turn to the Scions."

“Why was there bad blood…? Why didn’t he just take mom and I and go if he didn’t really want to be in the pack? I don’t understand and I know it’s because I’m young and pretty naive, but.. I just don’t get it.” Aimee frowned, shutting the visor back before glancing down at her lap, the injured hand resting in it, while the other still held the phone to her ear. She still didn’t know whether or not to be pissed at her father or concerned and that bothered her. Biting on her bottom lip, she glanced over towards Draaven, head shaking a little. “He shouldn’t have hidden from me… I’m his daughter… he should have talked to me. I know I’ve spent the last few years plastered most of the time, but he still shouldn’t have kept me in the dark.”
 

Tiko

Draconic Administrator/Mentor
Administrator
Mentor
Nexus GM
as written by Tiko, Faithy, Dashmiel, and Script

Draaven pulled the car up alongside the edge of the road before turning the engine off. They had kept a close tail on Snow as he had tracked their quarry through the city. It has been slow going, and Draaven had frequently made use of side streets to avoid looking too suspicious slowly rolling down the street after a wolf.

When he had spotted Snow standing beside the road watching for him, he knew they had found the place. The question only remained as to what they would find.

It was only a short walk from the car to the warehouse, and no sign of the Scions was visibly apparent. They definitely had the right place though. Draaven didn't have to shift to smell the stench of them on the air. There was the distinct scent of blood as well.

Ragenard moved from the spot he’d been standing out of view from the road, and went to greet Draaven and Aimee while signaling for Snow to come join them. He took a moment to take in the nondescript building before them.

It was a drab beige example of the dictionary definition of a warehouse. Cheap painted corrugated metal siding, with steel roll-up doors spaced out every so often. A long slightly sloping ceiling of the same material as the sides. In short, it was a warehouse just like the other thousands in the city.

Ragenard motioned for the others to move up with him, farther away from the road, and approached one of the roll-up doors. He frowned as the stench of blood got stronger, and worse, he could smell it leaving. In multiple directions.

He drew his sword and paused, leveling a significant look on Aimee. “Pup, you sure you want to see what’s in there?” he asked her, signalling with his head to the door before them. “It ain’t likely to be pretty, this is your last chance to remember your father as you thought of him before today.”

Snow joined the others in grim silence, taking a knife from his belt and holding it ready. He couldn’t hear any signs of movement inside, but the blood smelled fresh. He cast a glance over at Aimee, frowning. Whatever was inside, he doubted she was going to like what she saw. It would probably be better for her not to see it, but he wasn’t about to try and deny her the choice.

Having sat in silence the entire way back to where Ragenard and Snow were at, Aimee wasn’t sure what to expect, but was fairly certain the stress was eating a hole in her organs. Thankful when they reached the location, she slid out and moved over towards the others, fingers twitching a little at her side. Normally, she would bite on her bottom lip, but with her face the way it was, that seemed a bit foolish. The scent of the bastards filled her nostrils and was quickly followed by the overwhelming smell of blood. Shaking her head a little, she moved her good hand down to her gun and tugged it out as they stepped towards one of the roll-up doors. Her gaze shifted towards Ragenard and she frowned a little. “I’m sure I want to go in there, Ragenard, no matter what’s waiting on the other side of this door. I have to see it for myself…” Swallowing down the bile that was creeping up, Aimee grasped the gun tightly, trying to ignore the overwhelming aroma.

“Pretty or not… delaying won’t change a thing.”

While the others moved on the warehouse entrance, Draaven took up the rear, keeping his eyes on their surroundings for any sign of approaching threats while Ragenard saw to the door. He tossed a glance over his shoulder to the others and gave Ragenard a nod that he had their backs, so they could press forward.


Ragenard glanced around at Draaven and Snow, noting their readiness before nodding. He suppressed a sigh towards Aimee before replying. “Alright pup, but from here on your life changes. You’ll have to face the reality of the life we lead here, the things your old man forgot,” he said softly.

He hoped she’d be up to the task, there would be no room for babysitting in the coming weeks.

And he couldn’t afford to let the daughter of a traitor go in the middle of war.

Hard choices and grim prospects, that’s what being in charge got you. He hoped what he’d find inside would cheer him up some.

He motioned for the others to back up a step, and pressed his sword to the roll up door. It’s point sunk into the coiled steel like a knife going into butter. With the merest whisper of a rasp, he outlined an oval slightly taller than he was. The Fae sword met with no resistance as it cut the bonds between the metal around it, probably down to some ridiculous scientific level. Fuck if he knew, she had said it would cut anything and it hadn’t failed him yet.

Once done, he sheathed his sword and gave the oval-shaped area of metal a poke. It fell inwards in a perfect piece, like something you’d expect out of glass cutting in one of those shitty spy movies.

The thick scent of blood and viscera grew all the more pungent as the interior of the warehouse was exposed to the outside air. The interior was largely bare save for a few forklifts to one side, and some crates stacked to the other. The floor itself spoke of the bloody deed that had transpired within the walls of the warehouse though. Stains of crimson lay splashed across the cement, varying from small splatters to larger puddles in varying states of dryness. The largest of the puddles was still wet and tacky in appearance, while others were thoroughly dried already. Bits of meat,bone fragments, and tissue were intermingled into the blood splatters including teeth, a few fingers, and other less identifiable bits.


Cautiously, Ragenard motioned for everyone to follow slightly behind him. He was fairly certain that nothing alive awaited them inside, but years of paranoia cautioned otherwise. The recent contracting of vampires by the Scions had him on edge and he kept expecting one to jump at him at any moment, even though he knew that even if their tracking to here had been expected there wouldn’t have been time for Rowan to set any elaborate traps up.

“Touch absolutely nothing, and don’t disturb any of the, er, gory bits,” he ordered as he took in the full scope of the scene.

There was no doubt about it, here’s where Jacques met his end. Solid proof of his treachery laid bare and--Ragenard couldn’t suppress a thin smile at his next thought--solid proof that they’d fucked up whatever Rowan was plotting with Jacques.

There would have been no reason for the mess otherwise, it was much simpler to make someone disappear cleanly. Someone had lost their cool here. Ragenard wondered if he’d been pissed off enough to dirty his pedicured hands himself, or if he let the lackey do all the work.

He paused his train of thought and left it for a moment, before turning towards Aimee. “Here is your father. This is the prize he earned from turning away from us, trying to achieve whatever stupid notions he wanted,” he said seriously, almost woodenly. There was no comfort in his voice now, she’d chosen to come through the door. It was time for reality.

“He hung his hopes outside of family, and reaped what he sowed. Internalize how you want, but be better than him at remembering who you are.”

Ragenard’s words resounded throughout her brain and she knew that there would be no answers gained as to why Jacques did what he did. Swallowing hard yet again, she nodded over towards him as she tried her hardest to prepare herself for what was beyond the doors. From this moment on, nothing would ever be the same again. Could she handle that? Truthfully, the young adult wasn’t sure, but knew her normal coping mechanism wasn’t going to cut it this time.

“I’m ready…” Her voice wasn’t as strong as she had hoped, but Aimee was serious about wanting to see for herself. Stepping back, she glanced up at the sky, wishing that this was just a horrible dream and that her father was actually safe and sound back at the med center and that he hadn’t actually betrayed him. What she wouldn’t give for that to be the truth. By the time she returned her attention to what was actually happening, an oval-shaped hole was cut into one of the doors. Bile once again rose as the smell intensified and slammed hard into her senses. Gagging slightly, she followed into the warehouse, putting her gun back into its holster. Making note of the orders, Aimee immediately regretted her decision. The moment her eyes took in what remained of her father, she dropped to her knees, releasing an unrecognizable sound before throwing up.

“Oh god…” She managed, throwing up again as she continued to look at the mess before her gaze slowly moved to Ragenard at his words. “I know who I am. Traitor or not… he was my father and I loved him. Respect that.” She snarled, glancing back away, hating how this would be what Jacques would be remembered for. “You stupid ass… why did you do this…?” She whispered, biting back more bile, not wanting to throw up again. Tears were streaming down her cheeks and she felt her chest tightening up as she silently mourned the loss of her father.

Whilst Ragenard looked over the scene and Aimee dropped to the floor, Snow moved further into the warehouse, slow and cautious, scanning for any sign of movement behind the stacked crates and pallets. His gaze lingered on the stain that remained of Jacques only for a moment. The traitor that had gotten Nieve killed was dead. As victories went, it was a hollow one. There was no satisfaction in the man meeting his end at the Scions’ hands.

Would it have been better if they’d gotten to him first? If he’d been the one to pull the trigger? Maybe. Maybe it wouldn’t. He would have liked to have met the man’s eyes for one last time, to search them for … something - regret, maybe. To have heard him explain why he did it, not that any explanation would have been enough.

There was no point in speculating any further. This was how it had happened, and he felt nothing for it. Neither satisfaction nor sorrow.

When the warehouse produced no hidden threats, he turned his eyes back to the others. A pang of sympathy for Aimee pierced through the coldness to his stare, but he said nothing. He had no comfort to offer her. He was not sorry that her father was dead, only that she had to be hurt for it. And he doubted that was what she wanted to hear.

Draaven was spared the visuals of the gory scene while he remained with his back to the warehouse entrance to keep watch on the immediate surroundings while Ragenard and the others delved into the interior of the building. The smell, and the sound of Aimee’s retching was enough to give him a pretty clear idea of what lay within though. He, like Ragenard, remembered the early days of pack skirmishes and at times outright war with the Scions. Such sights were something that many of the older pack members had grown numb to long ago.

“Ragenard?” he called out carefully, his tone of voice questioning as if to ask if everything was alright.


Ragenard simply shook his head silently at Aimee’s reaction. He couldn’t exactly blame her, even if he wished she’d react a bit more stoically. He couldn’t decide if that spoke to how fucked up his remaining appreciation for normalcy was, or to how far the pack had dropped in the badass department over the last near decade.

He thoughtfully glanced towards Snow, and reconsidered a bit.
Barely suppressing a sigh, he turned his attention back to Aimee’s mess accompanying the gore. They couldn’t leave such clear DNA evidence around, specially since he hoped to turn this scene into a minor inconvenience to the Scions.


“Yeah, Dray, we’re good...remember Oscar? Kinda the same shit,” replied Ragenard in response to Draaven’s querying tone. “Step aside, vomit will be flying your way in a second,” he added as he raised his hand to place it over his sword’s hilt.

An unnatural current of wind playing around Draaven’s feet would further emphasize the point.

Draaven didn’t bother inquiring further as he stepped aside to leave Ragenard a clear path of trajectory.

Small eddies and twists of dust near the floor played out whimsical patterns as a rush of wind flew in through the opening in the door, and moved to surround Aimee’s mess with unerring accuracy.

The gang was then treated to the bizarre and perhaps more than slightly gross show of swiftly vacating vomit-tornadoes as Ragenard directed the wind to clean Aimee’s mess without disturbing anything else in the scene.

“We’ve seen what we came to see, didn’t get all the answers maybe, but I got the ones I needed. Let’s go,” he called out whilst motioning for the others to follow the vomit out.

Vaguely taking note of the vomit exiting the building in a very bizarre manner, Aimee kept her gaze on what was left of her father, which wasn’t much. There wasn’t a body to hug and that bothered her. She wasn’t a moron, she knew that he betrayed the pack and deserved death, but not in the manner and definitely not by the Scion scum. She wasn’t expecting sympathy from the others and wouldn’t ask for it. No, she would just go through the motions on her own and whether that caused her to spiral down and start drinking again or whether she would be able to get through it without resulting to booze would be a testimony of how strong her spirit was.

“Asshole…” Aimee whispered before sliding to her feet when Ragenard indicated it was time to go. Glancing once more towards what was left of the man that had raised her all her life, she walked out of the warehouse, not glancing back, knowing that would just make it worse on her.

Ragenard paused for a second to consider the hole in the door. He glanced back and forth between his impromptu ingress point, and the grisly remains in the warehouse. It was too obvious that someone not involved in the mess was here, or at least someone who didn’t have legitimate access to the warehouse.

In the unlikely event that police ever caught wind of the scene, it could too easily bring to mind the involvement of two parties; Regardless of whose name the warehouse was under the police was stupid. This was Scion turf, and it didn’t take a genius to know where to ask after people who might want to break into Scion warehouses.

So he decided on the easiest solution: muddle it up by adding some mystery to it, and get the police involved himself.

“Hey Dray,” he called, glancing around at the layout of the warehouse and the supporting structure of the roof.

“Yeah?” Draaven replied.

“Go on ahead, drive towards the train tracks on this side of town and follow them out Cascastel way,” he ordered as he drew his sword and cracked his neck with a grin.

“The way traffic is at this time of day, I should catch up somewhere midway...I got a few things to do here to tie up loose ends…”

“Yeah, sure,” Draaven said. “Want me to pass anything along to the rest of the pack if we make it back before you?”

Ragenard paused to consider for a moment before replying.

“If they ain’t sick, wounded, or require babysitters, fuck off the Med Center. But I ought to make it in time.”

As he finished speaking, the rippling breeze began to fill up the warehouse and the pressure within could be felt to be climbing slowly but inexorably.

“I’ll see ya hopefully in twenty, twenty-five. Now scram, the roof is gonna blow,” he added with a chuckle, thinking over how to best make his voice sound like a concerned old lady over the phone.
 
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