Description: Seeking revenge on Lyraelle, Echo hunts the succubus down to a love hotel in downtown Southtown which she has taken over an entire floor of with her minions. The sorceress's quest for blackmail material takes a strange turn.
A large, circular bed covered in pink and white sheets, lit from above and below by soft purple LED light rings. Translucent curtains hung around the bed and a nearby jacuzzi tub that shares the room. Soundproofing, privacy. There is no mistaking the location: a tenth floor room in a love hotel in downtown Southtown - currently shared by two horny occupants casting a two-headed shadow on the wall amidst the sound of bestial grunts.
"Think thou not that acceptance of this succor absolves thy transgressions, harlot," the voice of a burly minotaur, normally booming but as much groan as thunder under the circumstances.
"Just... shut up unless you need me to slow down or something," the succubus in front of the minotaur says, adjusting her grip and tugging harder. "And I told you, call me Mistress like the others!!"
The minotaur lets out a pained bray at a twist of the succubus Queen's purple gloves. "AUGH! Cursed bat-wench - !!"
A moment later, the minotaurs makes a noise that pleased man-bulls make.
The pink-haired head of Her Infernal Majesty Queen Lyraelle Darkheart pops up, breathing in then huffing out a contented sigh.
"Finally, fresh air~" the demonette says as she climbs onto the bed to sit on it. She holds her hand up, dangling an object to show the bull-man.
It looks like a metal Suzuki logo.
"See? This is what you get for trampling cars willy-nilly. Hood ornaments become hoof ornaments."
Power, it seems, has been restored at least to the tenth floor of this particular hotel, otherwise forsaken in the wake of the darkstalker swarm that overran Southtown during the previous weeks. The room itself has been 'customized' with the addition of a portable-sized fridge, a microwave, and a desk from elsewhere in the building commandeered as a workstation, along with an arsenal of modern content-producing gadgets like cameras and phones being recharged. Empty instant noodle cups overflow the garbage, while fresh ones are stacked in a tower off in one corner.
Outside the door, a short and stout red imp sits on guard duty in a chair, playing a game on his iPhone, while another bearded, yellow one keeps lookout on the roof. The spindly green imp is currently napping in a mermaid-themed room on the same floor.
A pair of red stiletto heels clicked against the sidewalk outside the hotel, the shadow on the wall slowly transforming from what looked like a long-haired woman, to... well...
"Whew, this broad doesn't even /try/ to make it hard to find material," Echo peered up at the love hotel's signage, seeing the rates by the hour, not by day. The establishment did not make an attempt to be subtle, either. Much like the bat lady's quarry for the evening. Reaching up to brush her long black hair back, her wings unfurling as she began to beat them hard enough to lift her off from street level--which to people outside and inside the building might have sounded like a flag being buffeted in the wind--perfectly innocuous sounds in civilization. However right now she used them to reach all the way up to the 10th floor, where she was able to cling to the side of the wall. Not just via here hands, or those heels--but her wing claws. They were able to find purchase in the stony exterior of the building.
Someone watching the window would likely then be greeted to a pair of slit-pupiled, orangey-yellow luminescent eyes, bearing a horrified expression as they voyuer'd into the room with the grunting and groaning going on. Christ, what kind of weird shit was going on in here--
She nearly started when she heard 'Cursed bat-wench', not just because of the volume it was produced with, moaning and groaning along with it--but also due to her ears. Yeah, Echo was front row and center for something truly special here.
"What the fuuuuck..." Echo cursed to herself, under her breath. Shit, she didn't even need to do or anything here, did she? However, steeling her resolve, she sucked in a deep breath and eyed another of the windows--noticing the red imp through another window. A plan was forming... How to sneak in here.
A short time later, the red-skinned imp and his beardo cohort were about to get a bit of a surprise... that being what looked like a very long and slender white-furred leg in a very saucy stiletto heel teasing itself around the corner, the rest of it's owner just out of sight. Clearly two can play at this seductress game!
More of that leg emerged, teasing wisps of the long black dress, slit at the upper thigh that followed.
The red minion looks up from his phone at the sound of the voice from down the hall, letting the rest of the battle on the device play out. His brow furrows at the sight of the leg.
"Mistress? Is that you? I thought you were in your room," the squat imp says as he slides off of his chair and starts to toddle over in the direction of the extended leg. He reaches down to press a button for the headset radio he's wearing.
"Hey, Dodge, have you seen Her Majesty leave her room? I thought she was... y'know, with Zee."
Up on the roof, the yellow imp looks around, frowns, then heads into the stairwell, heading down to the tenth level. For all his haste, though, it'll likely take some time for his short legs to get down there.
Meanwhile, there seems to be some heated escalation going on behind the bedroom door. A repeated thudding and creaking, followed by the muffled but distinguishable sound of a woman's voice screaming:
"I said, call me /Mistress/~"
Now, Echo didn't sound quite a bit like Lyra, nor was she attempting to impersonate her voice--however when the rest of the bat lady slid around the corner, she slid her left leg up and back against the wall at the corner, putting on a little show to get the red-skinned and beareded imp's attention. It was pretty obviousy it was /not/ their mistress, though whether they could take their eyes off her was another matter.
"You guys look like you could use a break..." Echo grinned, her white teeth and fangs showing through MAC Russian red lipstick, nails colored-likewise curling inward toward her as she beckoned to them in a coquettish 'come-hither' motion.
The bat woman could hear the commotion from inside the room from down the hall, and it helped her in grinning that widely--this lady made it too easy to get humiliating dirt on her, all Echo would need to do is slip her phone or a go-pro into that suite and just leave it running--it would be an appropriate sort of blackmail to use against the succubus who had bested her before.
Echo realized she couldn't get one up on Lyraelle by brute force, to be fair--and she wasn't really here looking for a fight here, but there was some more... subtle ways to deal with one's opponents. She just had to distract these guards.
Problem was... could she?
The red-skinned imp - actually, when he gets a bit closer, he's more of a pinkish coloured, but his tail and horns are red - anyway, he comes to a stop not too far from Echo. He reaches up to adjust his headset, pushing the microphone toward his mouth as he keeps his eyes on the provocative darkstalker.
"Uhh, hey, Dodge. I found who it was. It ain't Her Majesty. ...She's, uh, actin' kinda sexy."
"...Yeah, I figure she can tell I'm on guard duty. ...Yeah, I guess. You're probably right, Dodge. What do you think I should...?"
The squat imp seems to be looking Echo up and down, assessing her.
"...No, I don't think I can take her. ...Yeah, okay."
The imp draws in a deep breath, puffing up his cheeks, raises his arms at his sides -
Then flops backward on the floor like he's doing his best doormat impression.
"Please don't hurt me, ma'am," the minion requests in a dull almost-monotone.
Meanwhile, there's a crashing sound from the bedroom, accompanied by a bellowing bray.
Echo actually was thinking this could have been an... amusing distraction, not just for the guards, at least initially, when the guy just sort of... gives up, and rolls on his back like a submissive dog, Echo blinks a little, looking down at them.
"Wait, seriously? C'mon guys, show a little SPINE," she stalks over to the one on his back and tries to pick him up by his collar with both hands, standing him up and leaning him against the wall. "There's no way someone can even stay in the mood to try a tactic like that if you just /give up/," she shakes the man a little, sounding like she's actually trying to give him a pep-talk.
"Listen, I'll be back, we'll get drinks or something--I just gotta talk to your boss," Echo lets go of the pinkish Imp and whips out her phone, attempting to slowly and stealthily creak the door open and hits the video record function of the camera app, beginning to record a bit of the moaning, the crashing, and the bull sounds from the suite itself as she tried to half creep through the door and record audio/visual from half inside it and half out.
And that's about when her phone begins to beep because she gets a text message. Some rich asshole from Hollywood was trying to ask her about a seance this weekend.
This leads to Echo, comically freaking the hell out and trying to silence the ringtone while fumbling with it--stumbling into the room.
"Oh christ--shut up shut up--" she is muttering in hushed tones under her breath--hell, could they even hear that underneath the bull crooning from the inside of the suite??
"Hey, I'm union, lady," the pinkish imp defends without any real sense of defiance as he's picked up and pushed against the wall. "Me, Dodge and Green? We ain't bodyguards. Zee would be on guard duty, but, well... he's, y'know..."
It's difficult to discern whether the descent into ambiguity is a sign that whatever the red minion is trying to say is too lewd for any sort of detail or whether he doesn't actually have any precise knowledge of what's going on.
"Hey, you, uh, might not wanna -"
The half-hearted warning is all the resistance that Echo encounters in her attempt to infiltrate the bedroom. When she does get inside...
There are several spiderweb plaster cracks in the walls near the bed, as if something's been slammed into them. Meanwhile, quite prominently, a huge minotaur is flat on his back, a destroyed coffee table underneath him. And straddling the minotaur, enthusiastically pinning him to the floor with her hands as she leans over him, is the familiar pink-haired hell-babe known as Lyraelle.
While initial observation (and phone footage) may suggest that the horned darkstalkers are in the midst of activities too salacious for description, a closer look would yield that, while scantily-clad, Lyraelle is no less clothed than usual, and the bull similarly so in a suitably-sized loincloth. The minotaur's hands seem to be trying to push the she-devil off rather than show appreciation for her form.
The succubus' sharp elf-like ears prick instantly at the sound of the ringtone, and she pauses what she's doing to look over her shoulder in Echo's direction.
"Jeez, Red, I told you - hey, wait a minute -"
The demonette's distraction leads to the minotaur grabbing hold of her and flippig her over, pinning her with his body and wrapping an arm around her neck. She grabs the arm with both hands and grunts as she tries to squirm free.
"Ugh, chill, Zee! We'll finish after I find out what the bat-girl wants! Now, menace her!"
The minotaur lets out a low rumble as its attention shifts from Lyraelle to Echo and back. Finally, it releases the demoness and rises up toward its full, looming height - stooping to avoid its horns scraping the ceiling as it steps past the Demon Queen toward the uninvited guest. Its hooves sound on the carpet with a dull thud, thud... and then another series of faster thuds as it continues past Echo toward the door.
Lyraelle stares at the departing minotaur for a long moment before sighing and turning her green eyes back to Echo.
"I swear to god, minions are the /worst/... Wait a minute."
Lyraelle's head tilts to one side as she gets a closer look at the other darksalker.
"Don't I know you from somewhere?" she wonders aloud.
"Good grief..." Echo mutters, finally silencing the phone and getting back to recording, just in time to realize that Lyraelle has realized she's not alone. Still, holy crap--this kind of stuff would be /insane/ blackmail or worth a ton to the papers, if... you know, there was such a publication that dealt with darkstalkers. Huh. Idea there somewhere... she's sure.
"I'm sure he does... along with whoever put your outfit together--I mean hello there, sugah!" Echo muttered, then basic self-preservation kicked in, and she was quick to put on her more hollywood, business minded face and attitude.
"Sorry to just... drop in, I'm Echo--I was told you might have the need for a professional sorceress and necromancer," she doesn't make any remark or outward visual sign that Echo /had/ run into Lyraelle before, but neither does she lie about her identity, either--even producing a card for Lyra from somewhere on her belt. Likely from the pouch right next to the 3-eyed squirrel skull fetish. At least the third eye excluded it from possibly being Tippy-toe.
"Your boys out in the hall are just darling, by the way, very helpful," she nodded, giving her best showman grin.
The pink-haired hellion picks herself up off of the ground, her wings opening in a small flutter that sends bits of broken plaster scattering to the four corners as she stretches them out, along with her arms - fingers lacing in front of her, flexing and cracking, before she rolls her neck and shakes additional drywall dust out of her hair.
"Don't tell me - did Red roll over like a possum and spout some union malarky the second you showed up?" The demoness' eyes roll long-sufferingly. "To be honest, I think of him more as an alarm than a guard. Like, if someone was trying to come in I'd hear him screaming for mercy. I probably gave him too much credit, there."
She starts to sweep the remains of the broken coffee table into a pile with her feet and sighs.
"RED! Come clean this mess up!"
A small pink hand wraps around the doorframe before two demonic eyes pop around the side of it. "It's not... /that/ kinda mess, is it? I'm outta wet-wipes," the minion's voice comes from the corridor, laden with apprehension.
"Ugh, no! It's this table. Grab a broom and dustpan," Lyraelle replies with a dismissive wave before turning back to Echo.
"So, you said that you're..."
The she-demon's eyes light up abruptly with recognition. "Oh! You're the portal girl! I mean, the summoner, or... I mean, you do the magic that makes the peoples fall down, right?"
Lyraelle tilts her head slightly to one side.
"How did you know where to find me?"
The tone of the question is more one of curiousity than offence.
"I heard a rumor that someone had set up in a love hotel and turned it into their streaming fortress," Echo nodded a little, making the phone with the incriminating evidence disappear into the pouch on said belt, via a little subtle sleight of hand.
"Something like that, yes--it was an undead horror," Echo explains conversationally, with a wry smile on her features. "I don't suppose you'd be needing anyone with my special skills," she raised a brow, side-stepping the pike of debris that had been the coffee table. Likely pinky would be in to clean it up. The bat lady in the stiletto heels didn't seem to want any of the debris or... other things on her expensive Italian patent-leather shoes, e ither.
"Is this a good time? I can come back if you're having a... personal moment here," she motioned to Lyra's state of undress and the now departed minotaur.
Lyraelle takes a moment to tug at her outfit, making sure that it's on firmly - fortunately, there seem to be no particularly severe malfunctions at the moment. She dances past the pile of table parts, stepping lightly up to Echo and dusting herself off.
"I suppose that's the nature of encroaching celebrity. And, well, I guess somebody must have doxxed the room I was streaming from. I wouldn't have guessed that any of my fans would recognize it," the succubus says as she steps aside to allow Red to push past with a broom in hand and start about his new janitorial assignment.
"It's almost as good a time as any, with the exception of Zander trashing the room again. I was hoping to avoid having to use the Disney room, but we're running out of options. Minotaurs are so rambunctious~"
Lyraelle sighs and sweeps her bangs away from her face with one hand. "Sometimes you have establish dominance. I mean, I assume that's how it works. He's all 'strength is authority' or whatever, so every now and then I pounce on him and wrestle him to the ground when he's getting testy."
Lyraelle looks around the room, then back at Echo, raising a finger to tap at her lips. "Did you want to talk here, or should we go find a fresher room to use? I'm deffo interested. I mean, in your magical expertise. What magical schools do you know? I mean, I assume that there are schools or something."
"Well as you can see I am a darkstalker honey, so finding you in this great big tall building was like nothing at all," Echo gestured around them. She had almost a southern twang to her voice when she wanted to, though considering her normal speaking voice it was likely she did this for effect, as part of her showman persona. How better to sell something to humans when you could make them think you were just like them, after all.
"Ahah... yes, though I'd reason there are folks who'd enjoy that--anyway..." she made a dismissive gesture with her hand. walking and talking with Lyraelle, apparently not minding if they moved to a different room.
"Ah, domains, we call them, back home--my full list of qualifications is... Hexes, conjuration, scrying, necromancy and general sorcery--I'd wanted to be more of an illusionist when I was younger, but my family insisted I study something a little more... hands on," she turned her head to Lyra and gave a little 'you know' sort of nodding look.
"Not that I dislike it, don't get me wrong, it's perfectly respectable, folks are just not as friendly toward it as they were once before--all those people worrying about you enslaving their immortal soul, yadda yadda--ooh, is there drinks?" she raised a brow.
Abandoning Red Minion to his duties, Lyraelle leads Echo back out into the hall, where they're greeted by the gruff yellow ram-horned imp with the beard, brandishing a baseball bat threateningly at knee-level. Lyraelle stops up, giving the imp a purse-lipped flat look. After an awkward moment, the Demon Queen clears her throat, and the imp silently tosses the weapon aside, folds one arm behind himself and raises the other across his chest in a brief bow. He looks expectantly back up at Lyraelle through a pair of black shades.
"Dodge~ Find Zander and tell him to help you bring up a drink selection for us from the bar," the hellish mistress instructs, flashing a tight 'We'll deal with this later' smile at the yellow minion before escorting Echo further down the hall.
"I thought domains were for clerics," the succubus muses as the two walk, her expression briefly bemused. "Oh, wait. I forget, not everything works like Dungeons and Dragons. It sounds like you might be able to help me out, though, definitely - I could definitely do with at least two to three of those off the top of my head. In fact, I've just been wondering how I might be able to track a certain somebody or two down, and if scrying is something you do..."
Lyraelle stops in front of one of the doors, fishes in the top of her leotard, and pulls out a card, swiping it through the lock.
Frowning, she gives it another good swipe, more carefully this time.
When the door buzzes red again, she reaches back into her bust with a sigh, fishes out another card, and swipes it.
"Oh, for the love of -"
"Sorry about that," Lyraelle says when she finally locates the right card and pushes the door open. "I don't know why hotels never label these."
The room inside the door is... surprisingly brightly coloured, with what seems to be some kind of candy-related theme - rainbow-coloured plastic extrusions shaped like sweets cover the walls. There's a grid of plastic pick-n'-mix containers along one wall, though the contents upon closer inspection appear to serve functions other than satisfying a sweet tooth.
It is a love hotel, after all.
Lyraelle takes a medium-sized rainbow lollipop off of a stand full of them and walks over to sit on one edge of the peppermint-styled bed.
"Well, it's better than the Disney room... maybe," she remarks as she looks around before licking her lollipop. Curiously, she reaches over to toe open a nearby closet, revealing a small pink dress and a red hair bow ribbon on a mannequin. She crinkles her nose and pushes it shut again, before focusing her green eyes on Echo.
"So, what kind of contract are you looking for and what kind of payment are you expecting? Consulting? Contract-based? Or something more... long-term?"
She stuffs the lollipop into her mouth and sucks on it after asking the question.
Actually, it was a lot like that--though Echo didn't seem to find it necessary to try to correct Lyraelle on how magic from Makai worked--at least not the type she studied. Really, what Echo knew was more of an eclectic hodgepodge, but she had studied the arts of the dead primarily as a focus. Once inside the suddenly very brightly colored but apparently quite untouched by minotaur sweet, Echo's eyes scanned the room, looking as if she stuck out quite a bit--which well, she did. Starkly white-furred bat woman in a black dress and red heels, like a saucier Lily Munster suddenly visiting Valentine's day land.
"Oof, no kind of style there, am I right? As for payment... hmm," she thinks about it. "I tend to maintain a working relationship with my clients, something more long-generally, depending on their needs and my availability," she watched Lyra select a lollypop and took a seat, her wings rustling behind her as she got comfortable.
"It would highly depend on what you need, and how often," Echo crossed her legs sitting on a stool near the edge of the bed, the lights of the room gleaming off her red stilettos.
"Scrying you want, hmm? I admit I did wonder what you'd want with a death sorcerer--I suppose it can be arranged, for a price, of course~"
One of Lyraelle's eyebrows rises slightly as she listens to Echo's words, the stick of the lollipop in her mouth slowly rolling between her lips. She finally pops it out of her mouth when her turn to speak arises, holding it between two fingers like a more childish cigarette.
"Well, I could definitely see the benefits of a working relationship with a caster class, since I'm more of a warlock type. Before I get into any specifics, though -"
There's a thudding sound from outside the door that cuts Lyraelle short, her ears and eyebrows flattening in annoyance. The sounds repeats over and over, louder and louder - clearly approaching, until finally there's a pounding against the door. Lyraelle rolls her eyes, then puts on a tight smile.
"- Sorry about this; I just need to get that."
The succubus stands up and strides over to the door, then flings it wide. As may be expected, the doorframe is full of a mountainous minotaur - in fact, the bull-man's head is hidden behind the wall above the frame. Next to him, the silent yellow imp from before is fishing in his pockets for the door key. Stopping as the way is made open, he salutes, then steps aside.
"I..." the minotaur's voice booms from behind the doorframe as he drops a crate of spirits at the foot of the door, "...am NOT thy MANSERVANT!"
"Of course not," Lyraelle replies easily as she picks the crate up by the handle and easily swings it into the room. "You're my manbullservant~"
With that she slams the door shut, leaving silence from the corridor for approximately five seconds before hoofsteps can be heard thundering back down the corridor.
"Sorry about that~" Lyraelle says, beaming as she turns back to Echo and comes back over with the crate of booze. She sets it down and plops back down on the bed.
"Sooo, as I was saying... before I tell you what I need and you give me an estimate, I need to get a non-disclosure agreement from you. Not a paper contract, mind; if I have to enforce it, I wouldn't be doing so through legal channels. I'm sure a necromancer must be good at keeping things on the down-low, right...?"
While the words and the cant of Lyraelle's head as she looks at Echo's face are casual enough, there's a suble directness behind the hell-girl's green eyes, a hint of danger behind the demonette's smile.
"And that, is why I hire human servants, if I ever need something done--like exterminators, clean up crews, home improvement--which reminds me, need to go see a contractor after I get out of here," Echo is capable of hobknobbing just like Lyra is, apparently--though she does lean back a bit as Lyra brings in the heavy-looking crate. Yeah, she hadn't forgotten how strong Lyraelle was.
"Of course, of course, utmost secrecy to all my clients," Echo waved that part off, being quite casual about it.
"Human courts /do/ deal with things like fraud, however not all darkstalkers can take advantage of such--you realize my clients are usually human, law-abiding ones at that--so that is indeed a thing I've had to take notice of before, courts can be as vicious here as in the demon world," she waggled a finger.
"So I agree to honor your terms and secrecy, if you're looking for a verbal contract, what is it you need me to do darling...?"
Lyraelle gets a thoughtful look at that, her fore and middle fingertips drumming against her lower lip a few times as she gets a pensive near-smile going.
"There's someone in particular that I'm very interested in finding. What do you need from me to be able to help do that? And how precise can you be about it?"
The demoness pulls out a tiny smartphone from the same hammerspace she seems to keep all of her small belongings in, open up a browser and quickly locates a bookmarked address - an image from a now notorious broadcast; the assassination of mayor Kazuko Kori... the picture of her self-proclaimed killer.
"This is who I want to find... and I'm pretty sure that so do about a million cops. If you can give me the edge over them, I'll make it worth your while."
There's no burning desire for justice or vengeance in Lyraelle's eyes or in her tone of voice - just a strange warmth and a serpentine smile.
"Hmm, so you wanted a necromancer to help you find a murderer, what I might be able to determine from my own ritual will perhaps be vague, but if I can get ahold of the mayor's corpse I could ask his ghost directly, potentially," Echo thinks about it. "Divination, the humans call it--it can be a polarizing topic for some, the defilement and rape of an unwilling corpse ecetera--however it can be a very necessary thing at times, especially if the departed has information you want, though he might not have any idea exactly who killed him... I suppose is where I come in, if not," Echo got up from the stool she'd been sitting on and moved over to the booze crate, peering into it. She thought about it a moment, then shrugged--naahhh, she didn't want to get fucked up this early on a Wednesday.
"In any case, the magical device I use for the former scrying process I do not keep with me, I'll call you or your people when I have it and you can come down to my shop in Chinatown, the address is on the card I gave you--I don't think I have to also ask you to keep the fact that my occult shop is actually a real den of mysticism and dark magic, yes?" she smiled, looking as if she's heading for the door.
Lyraelle smiles faintly as she holds her lollipop up, gaze lingering distantly on it as it twirls between her thumb and forefinger. She gives it another quick lick.
"Actually, that time it tasted more like cherry."
Her eyes turn to Echo, coming back into focus as her smile brightens.
"And that's excellent~ I'm sure that we can arrange a way to get close. I'll find out if she's still in the morgue or whether they're going to have a viewing, or what have you. We'll coordinate~"
The succubus rests back on the palm of her empty hand against the bedtop and swings her legs as Echo makes for the door. She raises the lolli in salute.
"I'll come by your shop! And, obviously, I can keep your secret, too. I mean, pawning off the supernatural as not is a full-time job of mine~ Keep in touch!"
It seems the Demon Queen is content to leave Echo to her exit, going so far as to lay her head back on a candy-shaped pillow. However, there's a spindly green imp standing in the hall when Echo comes out, looking bleary-eyed up at her - and then suddenly blinking.
"M-mIsTrEsS! There's a TRESPASSER in the HALL!"
The green demon throws up his hands, turns tail and charges back to the door of the room he's just emerged from, latches onto the handle and jostles it ineffectually, then carries on running further down the hall. He looks around in a panic as he reaches a dead end with a window, then, with terror-induced determination, turns toward the window, closes his eyes, and springs up into it with all his might -
- then, having failed to make any impact on the glass, collapses senseless to the floor.
"...Ignore him," comes the Demon Queen's voice from the Candy Crush room.
Log created on 05:52:05 07/01/2020 by Echo, and last modified on 18:39:33 07/01/2020.