It’s a normal evening in DFW. Downtown Dallas is nice and quiet under a clear October sky. The air is a little crisp, surprising given the oven-like heat that gripped the city for months. Last time that kind of heat happened was in the 1800’s. We won’t even go there. Suffice it to say, while the mortals were sweating it out, the Never-Never was doing the same. A bargain had been made…somewhere…and Summer grabbed a whole heap of power.
The heat is still on however in an exlcusive suite at the W Hotel. Anita sits beside a fancy oak gaming table staring at yet another solid pair. It’s good, not too good, but the river doesn’t concern her – it’s been diverted.
She’d give Lucian a nice big smile if she could. She doesn’t want to tip off the mark, but the way he’s eyeing Darryl Morrison he may not even notice. Lucian’s working out quite nicely. She never even saw the cards switch hands and isn’t quite sure how he’d pulled it off. Her dad would call it parlor tricks, but if it gets her money, it gets her money. Darryl Morrison on the other hand. Well. She’ll just have to see. He’s got his uses but damn if he isn’t a creepy son of a bitch.
There’s a knock at the door. Anita knows she’s got Bastion at the door. She hears bits and pieces of conversation at the door. Bastion’s deep growling voice asking “Doctor who?” She apprehensively listens for the sound of breaking bones and is relieved when he comes back into the room.
“Someone here for you Professor,” Bastion says as he returns his wallet to his pocket. Anita can’t help but smile there. Nice work by the big brute, maybe she can get away with not tipping him tonight.
Professor Where rises from the table looking confused and heads for the door. Anita’s not sure what to make of this one. They needed a straight man for the game and he was about as straight as a Nevada highway when she first saw him. But since then, she’s picked up a bit on something of an obsessive drive behind the quiet exterior.
She returns to the game with a sidelong glance at Skire. He’s pulling out some subtle mortal magic, that much she can tell for sure. Bastion has already closed the door, but she knows Mustang is in the room next door ready to cover the hall if need be. Well, she thinks he is. She never really knows where Mustang is. That bugs her.
A bit later and the mark is getting ready to fold. He’s won some, lost more, and it’s getting late at just the right time. However, the odd Professor Where returns just as they are trying to seal the deal. He’s demanding to speak to Lucien mid-hand. Her eyes flare toward her dealer and she takes the chance to reach out to the mark’s mind, calming and soothing him just as she can see his anxiety start to rise.
Trainwreck averted, the mark cashes out and now Professor Where has the room’s undivided attention. He’s got some sort of personal emergency. A colleague missing, some kind of obsidian knife, Aztecs, Mayans. She doesn’t have time for this crap but Bastion brings up the most important question: “How’d the Professor’s visitor know about the hush hush high rollers game?”
Darryl Morrison tonelessly offers that Professor Where’s colleague is probably dead. He’s pretty sure he can find him if he is. A deal is made, a bit too quickly. Anita makes note of that about the Professor. She’s got some relatives that love to make deals, bargains, call it what you will.
They walk Professor Where down to the parking garage…maybe they escort him, hard to say. They’re halfway to their level in the parking garage when Professor Where gasps. It’s his buddy that came to the door. Well, what’s left of him, lyign in a bloody pool between two parked cars.
Lucian is gone. Like the wind, probably faster. Yeah, he’s got some brains. Skire is rifling the bloody messes’ pockets and she looks alarmingly at the security camera. Bastion is giving her the same look of concern and Darryl, well, he doesn’t look shocked in the least. He looks blandly at the gore and just says “Yep, he’s dead too. Better tell hotel security.” and he departs for the hotel.
She tells the group to back away from the mess. She’s looking after that creepy guy, Darryl with a bit of concern. She’ll need to help smooth this out. Damage control, deniability, it’s all part of the game. Mustang’s gone again though and that can’t be good.
She’s most way back to the front lobby when she reflexively ducks as a gun fires in the intersection behind her. There’s a loud “pop” and the grinding of metal, all of which comes to a sudden terrifying stop in a cacophany of rending metal.
Running back to the valet curb she glances around the corner. An enormous grizzly stands mid street wearing a full-size Hummer for a belt. The sleek black vehicle’s hood is formed fluidly around his massive outstretched paws. Just inside the parking garage doorway stands Skire, his six-shooter still smoking, the Hummer’s front tire bare to the rim, chewing at asphalt in a futile attempt to bypass the immovable force it has made contact with.
She sees Mustang’s form lying near the curb behind the Hummer, surrounded in blue energy that is sparking dully and then fading into a silver ether. And just when things couldn’t get worse, through the half lowered windows of the Hummer she sees something squirm…front and rear. There’s a tangle of fur and claws inside and she knows things are just about to get interesting…