The Bell Tolls - Daniel Jack Investigates - The Feast Of Devils[Toggle Names]
Description: When Daniel Jack is captured by the deadly assassin Oswald, he finds himself shunted into a hellish reflection of Earth. Trapped in the cursed world of Makai, Daniel Jack swiftly finds himself a prisoner of the deadly Morrigan Aensland. As the bat-haired witch ensnares our hero in her talons, Daniel Jack quickly learns of the demon's unsavoury appetites. Can Daniel escape from the cursed baroness? Or will he fall victim to... The Feast Of Devils?! (Daniel Jack is in a massive dining area of a castle. Two hunched gargoyles, Lucien and Mudo, are both dressed as sous-chefs, as they force Daniel Jack into a giant, cream filled eclair served on a pewter platter on the table. Morrigan, dressed in a strapless red gown, subtly licks her lips as she gazes at the eclair at the other end of the table, her talons fingertips delicately sunk into the fluffy pastry.) (45 cents)
The Pao Pao Cafe is certainly popular with the locals, especially the students. It draws in many with its quaint atmosphere, good food, prime location.
The clientele it attracts today are definitely not locals.
Oswald would have seen to it that Daniel made his way to the cafe to meet his client because the cardsharp of an assassin is an absolute professional. What seems less professional is that the Lady herself is not here. There's no sign of her belongings or the mistress of darkness herself. Business seems to continuing as usual. As usual. Normal. Boring. No signs of strangeness and certainly no monsters afoot.
A bat charm jingles on a back door marked "Employees Only" in Japanese as well as English. The charm stark black, even unnaturally black against the homey colors of the Pao Pao Cafe. No one seems to notice.
Daniel Jack was polite.
Being summoned by 'Lady Morrigan' was not exactly on his agenda of 'things he wanted to get involved with.' He needed to eat. He needed to exorcise. But Morrigan paid good money for Oswald's time, so Daniel would give up his time. And if he didn't? Well, she would get involved personally. One fight later from the assassin, who would rather -not- put up with a rambling shadow, and Daniel was coming in just short of on a leash. For what? Oswald didn't reveal in detail. It would be one thing that he could be sure of with a dame like Morrigan.
Daniel Jack doesn't ooze in like a shadow, or flash in from the darkness. No, he walks in. He -remembers- how to walk, at least. The detective is clad in a purple zoot suit; funny how the color can change so easily now. A wide-brimmed porkpie sits on his head, as he strides it so smooth and easily. Just another face in the crowd, just another customer. The mustached shade looks around, his yellow eyes focused hard between the people. The sensations of people rush him, as well as the light. Empty tables, cute customers. He could take a seat, enjoy a drink, flirt with the locals.
It's all so simple.
But the shade was a detective, or at least used to be. And tying in was the sensation of auras, of -darkness-. The facade of the cafe was past him, as he locks his eyes across the whole of the room, right upon that charm. Daniel Jack keeps his pacing going, turning around to look over his shoulder, as he spins in a slow, graceful circle. He reaches the edge of the employee's entrance, and leans his back on the wall, just outside of 'blocking' the entrance. He glances side to side, capturing in the feel of the cafe.
Letting the feel of the cafe draw into his very essence, before he makes his next move.
The cafe is normal. Quaint, even. Nothing on the surface should strike Daniel as odd. The detective strikes as few of the locals as odd, but there are many strange people in Southtown. One waitress, a Japanese teenager with cateared headphones looks ready to take his order. When he doesn't sit down, she watches him with rapt interest for a long moment.
"Miss, can I have a refill, please? Matcha, yes. Thank you."
The waitress is on her way back to the kitchen.
But that charm is still there. As Daniel looks it, focused on it as if feeling for something unseen, it seems to become the only thing that is seen. It's a black hole, and in an instant, the world world seems to pull toward that innocous charm hanging on the door handle. Daniel can hear the wind whipping around his ears as everything draws toward it.
The cat-ear-wearing waitress speaks up. "That's the employee area. Are you looking for someone else who works here?"
Well, not -that- subtle.
As Daniel is approached, the detective looks into the woman's eyes. The yellow gaze might be a little off-putting, but the ex-detective's own charmed presence flows out. The older, mustached man looks up at the headphones, a casual air around him. No orders, no drinks. Just waiting for the right person. He had to be delicate, not to frighten the poor girl. He wasn't too concerned about it.
Daniel did have an affinity for cats, after all.
"I am, miss." He says cooly, casting his gaze at the door, at the charm. Daniel considers the best way to subtly make it clear. He could be specific. But not -too- specific. After all, what if she had an alias. There was a lot of titles a woman like Morgan could use; he didn't want to come across too many tells. But deep down, Daniel felt in his heart that he knew just how she would -be- here. "Well, not quite. Rather, -she's- looking for me." He says, with the faintest smirk on his lips, as he tilts his head to the employee's entrance. "Would you tell her that I'm here?"
"Or can I just slip in there without any trouble, you dig?"
The waitress takes in a breath as Daniel turns to speak to her. She withdraws just slightly. Yellow eyes are a thing, right? Some people use colored contacts? She shores up her confidence, swallows, and speaks up. "Oh, um. ..." The girl looks Daniel over. Her cheeks redden a bit. "I'll talk to the manager. I think someone left something before I got on shift?"
She steps away toward the back again, as swiftly as she came.
The door slides open just a smidge.
He only needed a moment.
The girl doesn't give what Daniel was looking for. And yet, the detective could follow this game of pretend. She turns around, and slips through the door. A crack comes, and in a flicker, Daniel is on the other side of the door. It was a blink of the eye, it must be. But the moment it was fleeting; Daniel didn't need much. The shadow's moments were dead quiet, as he moves through, walking into the back, keeping his head down. The presence, the alien presence. She was here.
And Daniel was quite ready to find her.
It's dark inside the employee's only area save for a few dim lights. This part of the restaurant is blander, white-painted corridor. Customers shouldn't be back here, and thus the decor is much more spartan and bland. The lights flicker with the buzz of fluorescents. They buzz, flicker, buzz flicker.
And on the third flicker, they go out as the door closes behind Daniel. Everything is dark, but the presence is here. The air is heavy, and it feels like there's electricity in the atmosphere. When the lights come back on, they are dimmed. Warmer than fluorescent. Is that...torch light?
A cave-like corridor of stone is before Daniel. Ahead is another opening with a sharp dip downward. It only gets darker from there. But it's then that a solitary bat flutters past Daniel from behind, making its way down the stairs ahead.
Magic, deep magic.
Daniel Jack doesn't lose his cool, his rhythm, as he strides down the coordidor. The environment changes? Not unexpected. Even the flicker, he feels the change before he sees it. Keeping his head high, his yellow eyes burn in the shadows. As he begins down the stairs, something -does- cross his mind.
"Now I gotta ask." He says aloud, as the bat flutters down.
"Is this really it's own space? Or is this like, all in my head, and I'm still leaning against the wall in the cafe, as that cute girl wonders if I died?" Daniel Jack pauses a moment, in thought. "Well actually, I probably shouldn't say 'cute' that girl might be half my age now." He drops his voice into a whisper to himself.
"God, I'm getting old."
The bat does not speak. Perhaps it knows not language. Perhaps it's just a rude-ass bat. The truth may never be known. In any case, Daniel does not get an answer. Not yet, at least.
The stairs continue for a long time. Too long for any sensible staircase, especially not one in the back of some shopping mall in Southtown. They wind precariously, each turn seemingly bringing it down deeper into the earth. Did it double back on itself at some point? Is this Hell? Purgatory?
The stairwell opens abruptly into a wide chamber, no, not a chamber. There are wide cobblestone floors and stalactites hanging from the ceiling, but shortly ahead it opens up and ... the sun shines brightly overhead? No, not the sun, but something like it. The whole area seems to have a sort of fog, a heat haze around it.
And slightly ahead, a winding path leads up to a great castle perched precariously on a narrow cliff.
"Mister...Little, isn't it? Daniel Little? Daniel Jack? My apologies sir, but the Mistress is sometimes vague in her explanations."
The voice sounds like a man, but his shape is not. He's a large figure, grey skinned and bald with long pointed ears, a small, bat-like nose, and a large, distended chin below a narrow line of a mouth. What look like bolts frame his chin, etched around the sides. He is wearing a dapper gray suit complete with a high collared shirt and a long black tie. A smaller figure---is it a doll, maybe?---stands next to him. He's a short, stubby figure that's white, and impish with oversized eyes and jagged teeth that look like stitches. It has on a red bowtie. They are both carrying candles.
No, the short one has a three-pronged candelabra. The taller one is holding a fire in both hands.
"We've been expecting you. Are you ready to head to the castle?"
"... Rude-ass bat" Daniel mutters.
As Daniel reaches the end of the stairs, he -does- consider. The over under, based on his sense of time and the like? Probably one of hell's lesser cousins. Daniel was all too aware when he was shunted off into the Egyptian Underworld by Anarakis, that it was another world. This? This was probably otherworldly. The question was, how did he actually get -in- there. Maybe it was all an illusion? Maybe it wasn't. But that?
Daniel stares at it. Daniel takes a long breath in, as he stares at the castle. It takes the voice of the escort service to snap him out of him out of it. "... Huh. Oh!" Daniel's dull expression snaps into a smile, as he tips his hat to the tall figure with the fire. "Uh, sure! You can go with Daniel Jack. Is she vague with everybody? I've been heard the same story from all her employees.... Nice bowtie, by the way, I love the suit."
Daniel looks at the short man, gesturing at his own suit from top to bottom.
Daniel looks up to the castle. "I'm... we can talk along the way, I guess, but wow. I'm just spitballing, and understand I've had broad experiences on this; is this Majigen? I've been to Majigen once before, uh, it had a kind of... unearthly decor. Excellent steakhouses though. This looks a lot more refined though, a lot more classical, classy especially. Is she... a princess or something here? A noble?" Daniel was touching on clues as he sees them."
"I'm not talking your ear off, am I?"
The bat doesn't even seem to care. Truly the worst bat.
"The mistress is very..." there's a long pause, "whimsical, in how she does things. Such is her way, for better or worse, Mr. Jack." The taller man, the one who looks a bit like a gargoyle, doesn't seem to be able to fully smile with his weird mouth. "Thank you for your kind words. Right this way."
The two of them move practically in unison with a synergy that only comes from having done this for a very, very long time. They walk slightly in front of Daniel, lighting the path as that strange sun lingers in the distance. A pool or dark magenta liquid running from what looks like a drainage pipe is passed along the wall. There are bones -- including skulls -- floating in it. The two escorts pay it no mind.
"Oh no, Mr. Jack, this is Makai. Lady Aensland is queen here, the daughter of our beneficient Belial, one of the three great Makai Lords. It is by his grace that we prosper here, and Lady Aensland follows in his stead."
The ghoul pauses again. "...at least, when she is not on one of her jaunts to Earth."
"Shush," the smaller demon says. "It's not our place to speak of the mistress so."
Daniel was... surprisingly comfortable around the creatures.
Maybe it was the suit, or maybe it was because this wasn't his first trek in places like this. "Makai, okay." He repeats, as they pass by what looks like a river of blood. Daniel halts a bit, before hastily following along. "Now are you sure this is not Majigen? Maybe I'm not... versed on this whole underworld thing. Do you even consider it an underworld? It's your world, it's like calling Earth an overworld. But... oh, hey, wait wait. Three lords. Lord Dohma. Majigen." He snaps his fingers. "This is like her -realm-, okay, I understand; Lady Aensland. And there are two other Makai lords. I think- I think I get it. So then, how long have you served-"
Daniel pauses a moment.
"Why isn't it Lord Aensland running this place, and why is it Lady Aensland."
Daniel quickly changes away from that implication. "Uh, sorry for so many questions. I just get so -fascinated- by these places. You talk about Lady Aensland having jaunts into the Earthrealm; imagine what's it's like for me a human. I mean we don't -have- blood rivers with bones in them on earth. Is that blood? Or like, a blood like substance? I mean are those bones alive?" Daniel snaps his fingers. "I'm sorry, I've been so excited, I haven't even asked for your names, scuzzy."
"Do you fine gentlemen have names?"
The two demonic gentlemen look at one another as Daniel continues to speak. In that moment there is an unspoken message communicated. When you work around Makai nobles for as long as they have, you learn to say many things without actually speaking them.
"I am unfamiliar with Majigen," the taller one speaks up. "Though everyone here knows of Lord Dohma," he adds, "he is one of the three great nobles, and he has wished to subvert Lord Belial's rule."
"Lucien," the smaller demon hisses, "you shouldn't speak of such things, he doesn't need to know all that."
"Mudo, he is Lady Aensland's guest. Simple questions are never a problem. To answer your question, I am Lucien, and this is Mudo. We are Lady Aensland's attendants." Lucien glances toward Daniel. "We have dwelt here for ages," he continues, "and while it is not Earth, I am not certain I would call it an 'after life' per se. It is different."
"Oh, no, that is simply a drain from the castle." With all the implications therein. "Scuzzy?" he asks, confused.
"Oh, of course!"
It is just a drain out of the castle. "That's... yes. Well it's a pleasure to meet you both, Mudo and Lucien. And sorry for calling it an afterlife. On earth, we don't have a lot of... perspective on places like Makai."
Of course, he asks about the scuzzy part.
"Scuzzy, uh, well, it's slang. It's short for 'cousin,' and by extension, 'friend.'" Daniel Jack sticks a tongue in his cheek. "It... also confuses humans. It's a Kansas thing." He helpfully tries to explain. "But okay, I think I understand. Lady Aensland, Lord Belial, and Lord Dohma are all enemies of each other in a great big court of-"
And Daniel stops.
'... Oh.' He thinks to himself, as he connects a detail to his situation.
And rubs his neck.
'.... OH.' He thinks even harder.
"Ha, ha, Lucien, Mudo, you sure Lady Aensland hasn't said anything?" Daniel looks down at the river again. "So uh, how often does Lady Aensland invite guests? How- and- Well how long do they stay?" He glances at the pair nervously. "Maybe- maybe there is a misunderstanding, gentlemen. I mean, there are a lot of Daniel's." The detective glances to and fro between the two. He doesn't even need an answer. He might not even need one. Daniel was deep in the middle of Makai. If Morrigan intends for Daniel to join the skull soup?
It's a question of 'when' at this point, not 'if'
Lucien and Mudo look at each other. There are unspoken words exchanged. Nothing is said until Daniel explains himself, after which Mudo, the small impish one, speaks up again.
"Oh, Kansas," he says, "Well you aren't in Kansas anymore." Was that reference intentional? If so, he remains stonefaced about it.
"No no, Lady Aensland does not work against her father Belial," A pause again. "...directly, one supposes she does not work well for her father either with these jaunts."
Mudo goes quiet. Lucien takes over. "Oh, Lady Aensland knows about your affiliations, Mr. Jack. That's what interests her, I think. You were a participant in the Outworld tournament, yes? And thus your current state?"
"But to answer your question, Lady Aensland seldom has guests like you, Mr. Jack. She tends to visit those herself, I suppose.
"I think he's worried he's a dinner guest," Mudo snickers. He has a nasally, conniving sort of voice. Impish, even. "Get it, Lucien, a dinner guest?"
"Oh, I don't think she'd go to that much trouble for -that-, Mudo. There are rules to follow..."
"When does the Lady follow the rules?"
"A point well made, and she does like to play with her food..."
Lucien and Mudo look at one another again.
"I am certain it is simply a friendly visit, Mr. Jack," Lucien chimes. "She seems very fond of you."
Daniel is not inspired by very much confidence.
It seemed that the two were -well- aware of what was going on, more so than before. And while they might be just teasing... well. Daniel felt a mortal terror. Was this going to leave him imprisoned as Morrigan plaything for hundreds of years?
Well, maybe there were worse fates.
"Yes well, I've been visited before, thank you very much." He looks at Mudo, and then Lucien. "Oh laugh it up you two, but even I know how much of a troublemaker she is. The only thing worse than her hating me, is her -enjoying- me. But if she wants a dinner guest." Daniel adjusts his collar.
"Well, a man must do what a man must do."
Daniel picks up his pace, almost leading the way now in bravado. "So where is the princess hanging out in a place like this. Dining Room, I would -assume.- I mean, what does she do for fun around here." A faint pause, as Daniel keeps his pace.
"I mean, I imagine she gets -bored- out here, is that right?"
"Oh don't misunderstand, Mr. Jack," Lucien says, "we don't wish any undue trouble on you. We know as well as anyone how the Lady's whims can prove...difficult."
"Understatement!" Mudo chimes in. Lucien gives him a dirty look.
"You may think us monsters, Mr. Jack, but the Lady's father. Lord Belial Aensland has ruled Makai justly for ages. Our perspective may be a bit different than your own, but Lord Belial has earned much respect among even his detractors." A pause, "Well, exceptin of course Lord Dohma..."
"Seems likely," Mudo says, "The mistress finds the courts of Makai quite 'boring' as she says, hence her many jaunts."
"Far from it."
Daniel explains delicately. "I mean, don't take this the wrong way, gentlemen. It's not because you are different from me; it's just that, well, perspectives or not, Lady Aensland dares dangerous close to a category that we humans hold dear." We humans? Daniel might have clung to his humanity in the end. "Meddling with innocent lives, toying with the, erm, hearts of men. It's not that we would call those creatures monsters, you dig? We have a more broad name for humans who do the same." He pauses a moment.
Daniel scratches the back of his neck. "Does that make more sense? I mean, saying monsters just dehumanizes it- well, not dehumanize as it makes it less human. But less... relatable? I mean, both of you guys seem pretty nice. A little haughty-taughty, yeah, but what's the difference between you and anybody else on the other side, when you get down to the tacks."
"I mean, when you think about, Morr- Lady Aensland's not any different from what we got on earth."
"Rich powerful family, loads of influence, a complete slacker? I mean, she's not quite a Kardashian on paper, but in spirit, absolutely totally. We got princesses in." But Daniel looks over his shoulder nervously. "Now, uh, she doesn't have ears around here? You promise me that you won't tell her I compared her to that? Well, I mean, if you -have- to can you put a nicer spin on it? I mean, I don't know if you guys get cable or television out here. But spoiled princesses are generally looked down upon."
"Especially in America!"
Lucien and Mudo look at one another again. There seems to be a little more tension there than before. At the least, neither of them seem particularly aggressive or offended.
"I believe I understand, Mr. Jack, even if I am unaware of what a 'Kardashian' is." They are getting closer to the castle all the time. "Though I will warn you, Mr. Jack, that Lady Aensland's influence is not solely based on her name..."
"What Lucien means is she's scary," Mudo says, "excepting Lord Dohma and Lord Belial himself, Lady Aensland is the strongest being in Makai, and that's only because--"
"Mudo, quiet," Lucien says, cutting him off. "We're here."
A great drawbridge lowers to welcome the guests. The castle itself has that same surrealist tinge to it as the rest of the landscape. Architecture bends at slightly weird angles. Notably, however, there are few portraits as typical of nobility. The walk toward the dining room is brief, but leads through winding stone corridors before opening into a great, chandeliered chamber with a long rectangular table. At the far end sits Morrigan. Today she's dressed in a long, purple and black evening gown. Presently, she is eating what looks to be an eclair, and she's doing so rather boredly.
"Oh, Daniel!" she says, hopping up. The motion itself is fluid. Floating up seems a little more accurate. "So nice of you tae come! I'd worried that maybe Oswald had given up on finding you." Morrigan tilts her head jauntily. "It's so good to see you again. How have you been?"
A hint, of what was actually behind this facade of humanity.
Daniel Jack can't help but gaze over Morrigan's outfit; it wasn't a strapless red dress, but well, it's not the dress itself, but what's in it. The shade was never subtle about his taste for Makai women. As she mentions his 'captor', he is quick to add to it. "Oh, no, Oswald is -very- good at his job; he did everything exactly as he was told." Daniel swiftly shills on the assassin who was sent to nab him. No sense on making her worry about Oswald; someday the ex-detective would be running into the assassin again, and he wanted to make sure it was on better terms this time, than worse. Of course, she asks what he has been up to. The shade realizes that when they last parted ways... there might needed to be an assassin to claim him. Daniel puts his hands in his pockets, as he leans back. "As for me?"
"It's a long story."
"So after you pulled out of that... dream thing? I ended up running into The Butcher, you know, the guy who infected me with the whole shadow thing. He managed to give the final push to clarity. So I, uh, was trying to figure out where to go." Daniel halts a moment, looking away, considering briefly the level of 'detail' on this part. He shakes his head side to side. No sense on deceiving someone like Morrigan, who could deep dive in his head without so much as a swimsuit. "So I was looking at Lord Dohma. Worked with him before, figured it was safe work. Ended up getting grabbed to do some dirty work for his vampire goons; specifically, targeting a young lady by the name of Ayame Ichijo. Nice girl, a bit grumpy, but we got some history." Daniel pauses.
"Not... that kind of history."
Of course, Morrigan's the one who took a deep look at his id. The ex-detective manages to get his gaze back to Morrigan. "So I'm supposed to capture her, or kill her. We fight, I end up smashing through her bedroom, and she wants me to be her first. Kill, that is, she's never killed Darkstalkers. She doesn't succeed, and a nice guy named Rei comes up, and we kibbitz. Ayame and Rei end up deciding to reform me, and she binds me with a magical artifact that would help resolve my whole 'prey on souls' issue.
And Daniel pulls out the lantern.
The small lantern is on a chain, around his neck. "What this here allows me to draw the spiritual essence of the dead, as long as they are peaceful with me. So I sooth some wild spirits down, and then, I can take them in here. I can consume their energy, and bam. No more like, being a monster." Daniel Jack tucks it back under his jacket. "So now I'm not looking at work with Lord Dohma, no need to get involved. Which, uh, I have recently discovered is something within the scope of -your- business." Daniel gives a toothy grin up at the sucubbus, almost a proud one, as he gazes right into her eyes.
"There is a little politics going down right now, isn't there, 'Lady Aensland?'"
Morrigan smoothes out her dress. As she approache it's with a steady sway. "Oh, good. I certainly paid him well enough." The succubus's fingers go through her hair. "Go on," she says. Morrigan beckons to Lucien, who brings Daniel a chair. Morrigan's moves on its own accord, sliding into place behind her. She doesn't move to sit at the table, instead opting to sit across from Daniel as he tells his story.
Resting her chin on her hand, the Queen of Makai listens with rapt attention. The drawing of the lantern gets a curious head tilt, Morrigan's eyes narrowing to look at it.
"So Jedah sends you to kill this thorn in his side, but she gives you means to get some of your humanity back? Oh, the irony is rich." Morrigan laughs. It's a lofty giggling half-cackle. It's also, notably, very genuine.
"Oh, but see," she says, "You may not be interested in Jedah anymore, but that doesn't mean Jedah isn't interested in -you-, dear Daniel." The witch twirls her finger, winding her green hair around it. "And did you really think your connection there is the only reason you had my attention? Daniel Jack, you sell yourself short! You've only been here for a few minutes and it's already the most excitement I've had all week."
Morrigan seemed to enjoy to hear Daniel talk.
It's a good balance, as Daniel can't help but talk. "To be honest, Lady Aensland, it's something that I'm damn worried about." Daniel says through gritted teeth. "I'm kind of hoping that if I keep my head down, he won't notice me, and I can slip through the annals of time without having a lord on my ass. Besides... well, if I had known that I'd be visiting you in your homeland, I'd have come even faster. I have an affinity with these other sides. You'd think that this would be a hellish alien landscape of pure evil and darkness. But every time I come here, I just see it as a land of both incredible power, and little culture of it's own for it's inhabitants. I mean, blood rivers and non-elucidion has it's own appeal. I'm not knocking this place. But like, everything is very... human, just distorted. I mean I can hear a... scottish... irish.... gaelic it's a Gaelic accent in there, Lady Aensland. Makai, Majigen, it's all shadows of humanity. And funny enough, every monster I've come across that has more than three braincells can't seem to escape those shadows of humanity." A darkness comes over Daniel's expression, the facial features sinking into a shadow.
"That's what I learned from Fio."
"I don't know what's going to happen with Fio Tessitore. You remember, the spider lady? She was a prisoner of Lord Dohma, worse than I was. She was killed in the Mortal Kombat tournament, and her spirit is... gone. Somewhere in the infinite of everything. In my darkness, I was seeking to revive her and force her to work alongside me with Lord Dohma, but.... looking at it with a clear mind, I guess I never really lose the darkness. I want her back, I want her free, but what's more free than death?" Daniel Jack brings a hand to where his heart would be. "I mean, if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have all this darkness... and I would have never escaped Majigen, and I would have only seen all this world as a place of monsters, demons, and evil." But Daniel shakes his head. "But what's interesting about love, drama, redemption, betrayal, and former allies of Lord Dohma turned enemies?" Daniel states aloud, shaking his head.
"What can I do to entertain you, Lady Aensland?"
"Hmmmm," Morrigan continues to twirl her hair around her finger. There's something slightly off about it and how it never seems to get tangled and almost moves on its own. "Jedah is certainly a plotter. He has his goals and is willing tae wait a very long time tae see them through." The succubus says this with an eye roll and a sigh.
"Well, I'm glad that you appreciate the chance for some tourism. Perhaps you and I are not that different, in that regard."
"Oh, I can barely remember," Morrigan smiles at the comment on her twinge. "That was long ago." She smiles wider, "Yes."
But things take a darker turn. Morrigan doesn't retreat from the darkness. Instead, she listens with even more rapt attention. "Ah," she says, "so it's another woman. To tell you the truth, Daniel Jack, I'm not surprised after our last visit. You do have a taste for the ladies."
Morrigan gets a wild look in her eyes. "Oh, what -isn't- interesting about those things," Morrigan says with a dark chuckle. "I'm a creature of vice, Daniel, but those stories are part of what draw me to Earth so often. Many lifetimes and yet humans still manage to surprise me. Like you! Well, despite your current condition. It's a recent change, so you haven't had time to lose that spark."
But that last question really gets Morrigan's attention. In an instance she's out of her chair, one hand on Daniel's shoulder and the other tracing up his chest with a finger. "That's a dangerous question, you know," Morrigan says.
Daniel was feeling a little hot.
Even before when the sucubbus is slinking so close to him; the very notion of 'it's another woman' was a cut very deep into the shade; the mention of his taste for ladies was another blade. But it wasn't another spirit, it was his humanity. Shadows of humanity, that would someday fade away? It was dangerous thinking; even Fio Tessitore felt so far away, so distant. And Morrigan, she was so close, and so real, and so eager to play with her little toy of a detective. What's a few years, or decades, of being a princess's little pet project? And yet, that fire kept burning. He had to bring her back; her loss was wrong. And if there was someone powerful enough...
"Well, you have to invite a little danger while in Makai."
Daniel brings his hand up to Morrigan, his face returning; in the presence of the stronger spirit, it was a dangerous game of predator/prey relationships. It would be so easy to be sucked up, consumed. And yet, Daniel didn't see a monster here, with the bat wings and green hair, the yellow eyes almost go soft. "You used to be human too, weren't you?" Daniel asks toyingly. Deep thoughts, touching on the boundary of the supernatural. After all, Daniel -was- a recent conversion. "A hundred years ago? A thousand? Past that playgirl exterior, there's a very old soul stirring in that bosom."
One that Daniel seemed to not keep his eyes away from.
"A creature of vice, what human isn't? Fio Tessitore was consumed by her hunger of learning, to discover, even before she transformed. Even before my transformation, I had my vices. I suppose, so did you. But we are not defined by our vices, are we? We only choose to let ourselves be." Daniel Jack turns himself around on Morrigan, keeping his hand on her. "I found my transformation to be one of intense hunger, after all; I'm defined by my hunger. And past the curiousity and the endless battle of boredom... there is a simple matter of your hunger." Daniel Jack smirks, a twinkle in the darkness. "What is it that you are hungry for, Lady Aensland? Stimulation? Passion? Souls? You know, that's what The Butcher told me that I am only good for. A fattened piglet, ready for the slaughter."
"But what are you, Lady Aensland?"
"Longer than the first, not as long as the second, I'd say," Morrigan says with wry smile. "But past that you'll have tae guess." Morrigan stays quiet about the other woman. Perhaps she senses that she stuck in the knife; perhaps she cares. Perhaps she does not care. "This bosom?" Morrigan asks, cupping her hands underneath her chest and giving it a slight lift. The succubus seems to be nothing if not playful, but such thoughts quickly shift with the mood. The question of Fio Tessitore.
"Desires are what drive mortals tae great and terrible things, but Darkstalkers as well." The witch's smile turns hungry. "Oh, I have a refined palate, Daniel Jack," Morrigan coos, "and my tastes are wild and varied." She squeezes Daniel's shoulder, then floats away for a moment, sitting back and crossing her legs.
"But you mentioned this Butcher before, yes? He sounds like a brute."
Daniel has to keep his self around Morrigan.
THe teasing, playful nature of the witch, tied to the pure allure, harshly draws on Daniel. The shade had an all too human side, especially towards certain flavors of women. Adding in the fact that Morrigan is a metaphorical buffet, the minor risk of being destroyed seemed like a non-concern. Nevertheless, as she presses on him, he holds fast, trying so hard to keep his cool. The pressure on the Butcher was much more serious; as well as the philosophical musing of 'man and monster.'
"He's kind of an asshole, yes.
"At the same time, though, he is... me." Daniel Jack says, softly. "Well, he is -like- me. He infected my soul, and was the catalyst of my transformation. Fio Tessitore suppressed it, and then, pushed it over to save my life."
"He's mingled with some kind of old man now, though? Like he was eaten or something. I can't tell if that limits his power, or makes it stronger. He's still the same soul eating abomination that rises up so often. Well, abomination- abomination might be the wrong language to use. He used to be human too, at one point. Past the fangs and hunger, he's just... old."
Daniel Jack gets a forlorn expression.
"Even Lord Dohma had to have been human at some point, but it's all so... easy now to see how easy it is to lose your humanity. How natural. I have no family left, Mor- Lady Aensland. My fellow co-workers at Interpol are all out for my blood, for things I have done as a monster. And yet, in time, they will fade away, and I will still be me, won't I? There was a vampire I ran into, Eliza, when I was in my more feral state. I dunno if you know her, I just kind of assume that a-listers all know each other. But... It's striking now, looking back on how she acted, how I acted, how you act..." He gestures at Morrigan, a sadness across his face. "Is it really that easy to lose the spark of humanity over time?"
"Is it really so easy to be so far from humanity in our hearts?"
"Hm," Morrigan says, "that sounds almost sentimental for someone who caused you so much trouble." The succubus flips her hair. "Though I can certainly see your fondness for this Fio." She almost sounds a little jealous. Almost.
"It can be a lonely life for some," she says, "but others just adapt to it. Zabel certainly has, but he was something of a special case." Morrigan tilts her head. "I don't know Eliza. Hrm. Have you met Demi-D...Demitri, yet?" The succubus paces, each step carrying a click-clack of her heels.
"You may have to answer that question for yourself," she says suddenly and, in truth, cryptically. Across the chamber, Lucien and Mudo look at one another.
"I wouldn't know."
Daniel -winces- at the mention of Zabel.
"Oh, jeeze, uh, you know that guy? I had to fight him. He owed backtaxes." A pause. "And murdered a bunch of people? Took off my hand, I tossed him in an acid bath." AS the names are checked off, Daniel shakes his head. "If you haven't met Eliza, you really should; you and her would get along." He can pick up the sense of jealousy; he had to ease on that instinctively. Make Morrigan feel too jilted, and it would be in more hot water. Plus, Daniel was... sensing that there was something possible here. Morrigan did, after all, revive him from the what was a spiritual death. Could she do the same for Fio? As she gives a cryptic answer to the nature of humanity and monstrousity... Daniel feels a pang.
And a strange question passes his mind.
"Now you aren't actually lonely, are you?" Daniel inquires, almost... seductively? Oh no, Daniel, oh no. But the detective slips forward, cutting in the path of the pacing. Stopping Morrigan's stance cold, the shade looks into Morrigan eyes, a smile on his lips, and a calmness now over his presence. "You practically seem like a social butterfly. This is a castle, this is Makai. Where are the parties, the celebrations! I know you slip out to join in the fun on earth, but really, are the locals so dry here? Even Lord Dohma, with fang and self-righteous lordliness at least had steakhouses in Majigen. Run by vampires! I mean, no offense, Morrigan, this castle is awfully... unbecoming." He looks around, before finally settling on the duo. He mouths silently.
Daniel suddenly extends out his arm, in a crook. "Enough of this, Lady Aensland. I'm a guest, you dig? And you're the lady of this land. So I demand a tour. Not of this stuffy castle, of -your- real home. Your people, your culture!" Rather than the succubus controlling the offense, the castle, the very flow, it was Daniel ceasing on a moment of introspection and weakness, and putting the offense on Morrigan. He sweeps his hand. "Take me on the tour of Makai! The sights, the sounds, the monuments to the Aensland name! Really, if you are worried about being -bored- in your own house, scuzzy, then that's all on you." The offer remains, as Daniel is the bubbliest shadow ever.
"Makai can't be that dull of a place, especially for me!"
"Oh yes," Morrigan says, "Backtaxes? I suppose there aren't many international laws about black magic, though. Ah yes, and the murders." Twirling her hair around her finger again. "Hm, I'm sure that I can track her down with some effort."
"Oh, I'm always looking for new friends," the witch says as Daniel moves in her path. She flutters her eyelashes at him. "Oh, please," Morrigan says, "after so many parties with the same guests it does get a little boring." She taps her bottom lip with her fingernail. "But I suppose it's all new tae you, isn't it?" A devious smile creeps across her face.
"You make a valid point. Maybe your wild-eyed wonder here will add a fresh coat of paint tae the old haunts."
"See, that's the spirit!"
Daniel Jack gives a small bow. "After a hundred years, a thousand years, it will still be new to me. I'm sure Lucien and Mudo can come along too; there isn't too much work for them, is there?" Daniel looks to them, a cheeky wink. Of course, they can all say no; but Daniel was building his allies. "And then we can talk about the world, you, and I."
The shade shakes his arm, inviting once again for her to cling on. "Where should we go first, Lady Aensland?"
"Is there a personal favorite of yours?"
Lucien and Mudo look at each other, then look at Morrigan. Morrigan shrugs. "If they want," she says, "it doesn't matter tae me."
Gold energy flares around Morrigan's feet, and bats swarm around her in a flurry. In a few moments she's shrouded, but as they clear she's in her more typical bat tights and boots, her headwings and back wings firmly in place as well.
She steps over, threading her arm through Daniel's and wrapping her wing around the outside of his shoulder.
"Oh, I can think of a few places. I'm not one for iternaries, however. Let's hit the road, shall we?"
Nestling in with Morrigan's grips on him, the detective gives a grin. And there Daniel flashes a thumbs up with his free hand.
Daniel Jack hastily corrects himself and tips his hat, and flashes an 'O K' sign with his fingers..
"Lets do it, scuzzy."
Log created on 18:10:57 07/31/2018 by Daniel, and last modified on 19:35:56 08/12/2018.