Description: Velvet Blue and Sol Badguy follow the trail of the assassin to a run down area of Metro City. Velvet shows his power and strength but also must confront one of his worst fears.
Two days pass before Sol contacts Velvet. His message is just an address and a time, nothing more. Very simple and to the point.
The address is a run down, mostly deserted area of the City, on a rather nondescript plain street. The buildings need work and love, obviously neglected for years. Each one is just as worn and in ill repair as the next.
Sol is here, dressed in his black shirt and pants, though instead of the cap he wears a pair of opaque black glasses to conceal the cat like eyes beneath, even though it's the dead of night. His arms are crossed and he's leaning against the wall of an alley, just out of sight.
This is where the drake led him. This is where the trace stopped. Third building down, in an altogether unimpressive ranch style house. A single man stands outside the door, leaning against the porch's hand rail. But Sol already knows the number of heat signatures inside suggest it's far larger inside than it appears.
Velvet strides up, not making a show of disguising or trying to conceal himself this time--he's just walking right up to Sol as he stand sthere, hands in his coat pocket, the long white boots showing beneath the coat's hem as he walks.
"Nice place... can't say I can condone all the foot travel though, but I haven't ridden a bike since I got this," he gestured behind him to the tail hidden beneath his coat. He sighed, blinking as he rounds the corner to where Sol is leaning in the alley, all covert and tough guy like.
"Somehow I figured you for better digs than this, maybe penthouse, with some champagne, nice full bathroom," he said with a completely bland expression.
"So, who we talking to tonight? want me to go first and ask if someone hired any entertainment?"
Sol furrows his brow at Velvet's assumption. He lifts up the dark glasses, golden amber eyes staring down his apparent companion. "Not my place. This is where the drake followed the trail."
He leans to one side, looking out of the alley down the street, then back to Velvet. He drops the glasses back down over his eyes.
"Across the street, three houses down. There's a vagrant outside but it's just a front.. He's likely some kind of guard, or bouncer. Too much shit inside for them to let some nobody stand around outside. You should go talk to him, see if he'll let us inside."
"Well then, I'll see what I can do..." Velvet cracked his knuckles a bit, turning and walking out of the alleyway and to the building where the vagrant was standing. Of course, what he wasn't telling Sol, or the vagrant for that matter--was that as he walked he'd wreathed himself in supernatural glamour. The white thigh-high boots the performer wore took on an even brighter shine, mortals unable to take their eyes off them--the performer's lips becoming even redder, fangs and teeth all the more white and hair longer, darker and even more lustrous.
"Hi there, honey, you wouldn't be able to help me, would you...?" Velvet let the jacket slip down his shoulders, hanging off his elbows playfully as the man standing there would see whatever he wanted to see--a long darkhaired beauty--a strange and exotic creature that confused his sexuality? It really all depended on him. The black spandex Vlevet wore beneath the jacket facilitated either, really. Ambiguous. Androgynous.
The man is apparently looking at his phone when Velvet strolls up and doesn't immediately look up.
"Who the he--" He starts, but abruptly stops, stutters for a moment, then looks the new stranger up and down, carefully. Then he sees Sol, dressed in his tight black shirt and jeans and glasses, and the cogs in his head start to turn. Likely given a nudge by Velvet's glamour to boot.
"One of uh, one of the VIPs?" He asks, half looking to Sol, half unable to look completely away.
Sol arches a brow behind his glasses. Hesitates for a moment before grunting out a, "Yea."
The man nods, then starts to wring his hands together. "Good, good. This one'll do well. But normally we keep them bound before bringin em in. But uh," He smiles in a rather perverted fashion, "We'll let it slide this time."
The man steps aside, letting Velvet and Sol pass.
Sol puts his hands in his pockets and walks first this time, since he's assumed to be in a dominant position in the man's eyes, and enters.
The inside is just as worn and dirty as the outside. A broken chair, a terribly dirty table sits in one corner. The light is half lit and broken, casting shadows about. Only a single red door at the end is new and clean.
"Oh yes," Velvet nods his head, grinning. "Very special," he says in a voice just above a whisper. Velvet wasn't above using Darkstalker powers to captivate or charm his way past a human or two, as long as he wasn't going to get anyone hurt by doing so, that is. Not reacting to anything the man says, Velvet walks alongside Sol, pulling his jacket ever so slightly up as he slips an arm around one of Sol's (arguably much larger) arms.
"'Bound'? Ooh, you devil you, what did you bring me to~" Velvet whispers conspiratorily to the much larger, more muscular man. Pulling his jacket all the way up and fastening it in case he had to move fast sometime soon, Velvet pulls away from the larger man, looking around.
"Are these, uh, human traffickers? Organ harvesters? British celebrities? Something worse?"
Sol looks carefully around the room, sighing audibly. "Something alright." And doesn't immediately continue.
He looks for residue. For traces. For anything out of the ordinary, but it seems like just a normal foyer. One room to the left, dirty but clear. One to the right, full of garbage but clear. Only the red door stands out.
"Something more than just a random killer." He walks over to the red door, clearly intent on seeing things through. Hesitation isn't something he's known for. Patience, yes. But there's a difference. Patience is about control. Confidence in one's abilities. Hesitation is a lack thereof.
"Last chance to call it a night." He doesn't turn around, just waves a hand in emphasis, then opens the red door.
Beyond is a hallway, about twenty feet long, then it opens up into a larger room. One too large to fit in the house, judging by the size of the outside. As he walks down the hallway, runes suddenly light up, one by one, and he immediately stops. A few moments, then they fade.
"Scanning." He says, kneeling down beside the spot where one of them was. There's nothing visible now, not even to Velvet's enhanced eyes, but the corridor reeks of magic. "Likely for weapons. No problem there. I'm not carrying tonight." He eyes Velvet over the rim of his glasses. "Make sure to leave whatever you're carrying by the door if you're following. Just hope you have some decent unarmed skills."
He turns and continues down the hall.
"Way too messed up seeming for me to chicken out now," Velvet shook his head a little, the half-Darkstalker peering into the dark as the runes along the hallway light up. "Lot of power in here, but for what..." Velvet's voice sullenly echos into the gloom, looking up at Sol.
"I have to disarm? Oh alright," he slips his short sword out of his boot snad leaves it before continuing past that point. "So this was not a normal sort of bounty from the start, I guess we were tipped off that magic was involved at the start, but..." he gestures around.
"This is something else..." he mutters while following, the sound of the performer's heeled boots echoing down the dark space.
"Unpredictability breaks boredom." Sol says as he reaches the end of the hallway.
The room opens into a very large chamber, the size of a small auditorium, except it drops down into the earth rather than opening upwards. Stairs lead into the room, letting people who enter get a bird's eye view.
The room is empty. There are rows of chairs but no one's sitting in them. A small stage at one end and curtain, where whatever screwed up show may likely occur. There's no show, or auction, or whatever it is that goes on here at the moment. Which is likely for the best.
Sol steps down the stairs, looking the room over. "This place reeks." He says, furrowing his brow again. "It's seen some shit." He passes by the rows of chairs, looking at a few, letting his hand graze a couple of them as he passes. "Seen some pain." He stops in front of the stage, looking it over. The curtain hangs there, covering whatever is beyond, but at this proximity you can hear some distant voices.
"Gonna see some more."
"Oh no, this doesn't look good," Velvet raises a hand to his face, briefly covering it. "Underground stage, curtains and everything, pretty safe to say we're in for some shit," he made a little moan that might have been a whimper, at the idea of what went on here--or maybe just the overpowering reek of magic in the air.
Velvet slowed their gait, now more or less letting Sol go first, and following behind him. As brave as he could be, this was fairly creepy stuff--and it also was giving him very unfriendly reminders of his own time after being kidnapped into the demon world.
Had there been curtains, there, too? He couldn't remember such, he did remmeber the auction block area, though--and a stage, of sorts. But was that before or after he'd been taken to the White Queen's castle...? Sometimes he remembered it one way, sometimes another.
Whatever was behind the curtain, at least it wouldn't be half as scary as what he'd seen before... Or so he hoped.
Sol doesn't respond. He hops up onto the stage, about four feet raised, then pulls the curtain slightly. Just enough to look through.
It's dark enough that he raises the glasses, amber eyes peering into the space beyond. Then slowly, he pulls the curtain aside, walking it across the stage.
Some people believe that rooms can have auras. That they absorb a measure of emotion or pain that's experienced in it and carry it with them. Especially if something happens repeatedly, over and over. Sometimes you won't feel it right away. Sometimes there's a trigger. A means of pulling back the curtain to reveal what's under the surface.
Normally, the curtain is drawn and fates are sealed here. Potentials are cut short, lives are irreversibly changed. But before they're drawn, this room is full of prayer. Girls praying for help. Praying to be saved. The auctions are only held once a month, but once a month this place is full of silent prayers and silent tears.
Then the curtain is pulled and one by one, they're lost. Bought and sold and never seen again.
Sol pulls back and the curtain and can't unclench his fists. His jaws. Every muscle is tensed. He doesn't know what goes on here, but he and Velvet can piece together enough, and it's more than enough.
Behind the curtain is a chamber full of chains. Manacles. They hang, empty, in the room. There's no one left to save tonight. There's only one more door at the end. The voices, just beyond.
There is no kindly old man speaking into a man behind the curtain. In fact there is nothing quite like that at all. Oz and it's ruby slippers were stories that had been corrupted and tainted by the horrifying reality of other worlds and magical creatures--and such stories no longer amused him.
The overpowering emotional residue and funk of the place hits him first, the performer stepping back and cringing--hand already going for the long knife at his boot which he had to remember was no longer there--/why/ had he put it down??
"Thought I'd be tough enough to see something like this again," the white boot Velvet put forth has just enough tremble in it to show he's not entirely sure, but pulls himself up on the stage anyway, heading through the sea of manacles and chains. Just being near them made him uncomfortable, as if they might come alive and attack him somehow. Sol might notice the darkstalker was rubbing his arms, even through his jacket, as if he felt physically cold. He had this heartbroken, haunted expression in his eyes as he glanced over to one side of the room--then focused on what was in front of him.
"It's not about being tough enough to see it. It's about being tough enough to stop it. To put it to rest." Sol says, massaging one of his hands. But he doesn't move forward. He waits a moment.
"It was a girl. Did you know? The one who was killed outside the club. Do you know what I think?" He asks, very calmly. He looks aside at one of the manacles, then up at Velvet. "I think someone escaped. They followed, they found her, and they killed her outside the Club. A public place, to help hide it. Only reason I see to kill a girl, rather than bring her back."
He walks over towards the door, hands curling into fists, knuckles cracking, and looks back to Velvet. "Now I'm not a fan of working for free, but I can appreciate a good vendetta. Even if the contract is from the other side." He pauses. "Can you do that trick again? The one you did outside?""
A single kick and the door flies open.
A large room, this one full of people. Well dressed, most of them. Several are significantly larger, in key positions like guards. They all look up in unison, most rising from their seats.
"What the hell is going on?!" The guards instantly snapping to attention.
Velvet is quiet as Sol explains this to him, Velvet hadn't paid enough attention to it before. This had been Sol's thing, he'd tried not to intrude--but also had not wanted to dwell on it. Less dwelling on death and murder, the better--it wasn't as if people died or got killed all the time, but this... It was somehow a lot worse. Death and depravity on an industrial scale.
"I... I'll try," Velvet looked up at Sol before running his hand over his face again--gently enough so his nails didn't pierce the skin, but with enough pressure to impart some idea of how taxing this might have been. Emotionally or psychologically was one thing--but using magic like that was another sort of cost.
"Oh boys..." Velvet strode into the chamber, likely right into the sights of the guards that were now alerted--the glamour pulsed around the... figure waltzing right in as if they owned the place, plucking their jacket off and tossing it to the floor, slowly. The charm effect shed any kind of mortal disguise Velvet might have had to a normal human looking at him. Right now he didn't need it--the yellow cat-like eyes, the red lips, the fangs--all made heartrates and pulses quicken, at least to those susceptible to it.
"I heard this was the place for auditioning...?" Velvet asked, their voice rising higher and more amused, grinning--a consumate performer even after what tey'd just been through, the sway to those boots enough to captivate, enough to enthrall.
It's a well known fact that Sol is a bastard. He uses people when it suits him. Even when it doesn't. He'll use you for bait, or for bringing a target to ground, or send you into a room full of bloodthirsty killers just to flush out the one that matters.
Because only a bastard would drag someone through this ordeal and then send them into that room without hestitation. Because Sol doesn't hestitate. He's just patient.
The people fluster. The guards blink, awaiting orders but not acting on their own. They wouldn't dare damage a VIP unless ordered. The people in suits stammer. Some see dollar signs walking into the room, others are just lost in Velvet's arrival. Except one.
The only one that really matters. The magic user. He stands up, disgusted, snapping his fingers. A flash of light emits, immediately breaking the stun.
Which is when Sol enters, before they fully recover, glasses down over his eyes again There's a lit cigarette in his mouth that wasn't there before, and he seems unnaturally calm.
"Sorry, boys. Gonna have to shut this place down." He slowly starts to walk amongst them, passing by Velvet. "You're all in violation of the law for murder." The magic user holds a hand out to the others, grinning sadistically. As if amused.
Sol continues. "We do NOT murder people with magic. Unless--" He continues, heading towards the largest guard in the room. "Unless you have a license. In which case, please take them out for identification. If--" He stops directly in front of the giant, standing over seven feet tall. "If you don't know what one looks like, let me show you mine."
He holds a hand up, then slowly reaches behind to pull out his wallet.
Instead, he pulls out his empty hand and holds his middle finger. Right in the largest guard's face, to stunned silence.
The guard lunges for his hand. The magic user shouts something. Sol spits the cigarette at the guard, and all hell breaks loose.
It's a well known fact that Sol is a bastard.
While Velvet's captivating presence had kept the guards in their place, for the moment--they are free now. Still, it's enough time for Velvet to curl his black-nailed hand into a fist and bring it up and forward into one of their jaws as hard as he could--the man's lips cutting open on his teeth and blood flying--Velvet shouts a little during it, too--even, involuntarily, partly. He'd been disguising too much emotion and holding it in, those pearly white ivory teeth now bared like an animal. He fights because he has to, also because he wants to--he can be brutal if he needs to, even if he finds hurting people usually disgusting.
"Least I'm here with this guy," Velvet speaks aloud, tumbling into a roll and kicking out another guard's legs in the process, tail flicking behind him. "Scariest motherfucker in Metro and he's your problem now! There's no escape~" Velvet can handle a little sadism too, as he jumps back and blocks the way for any of the 'buyers' that try to flee.
Sol could have taken the magic user out first but he isn't concerned about a third rate mage. He just needs to bring him back. The larger guards can pose a problem if too many start pounding on you however.
The guard lunges at him but Sol sidesteps, then drives his fist directly into the man's stomach. There's a split second like thunder, then the back of the man's shirt erupts, fabric exploding into the air from the force.
If Velvet was watching, he'd have seen a red glyph flash the moment Sol struck him. Unarmed, but not without weapons.
Another guard tackles him from behind but he widens his stance, throwing him over his shoulder and slamming him to the floor. Most of the suits attempt to run, realizing that Sol and Velvet aren't just nobodies, panicking. The magic user starts to whip up something, but a quick burst of fire in front of his face rips the air from his lungs, silencing him.
Sol slams his fist into a guard's fist. The red glyph flashes and the man's hand bones shatter to fragments under his skin. He howls, dropping. One tackles him from behind but screams as his clothes catch fire.
One by one, Sol and Velvet dispatch them. All with a malicious grin on his face.
When at last only the magic user is left, Sol charges towards him. The man opens his mouth and raises his hands to attempt a spell but Sol is too fast. His hand clamps over the man's mouth. Low level magic users are easily countered when you know their limitations.
"No." Sol says, voice full of sinister and darkness. "Never again."
A sound like an explosion tears through the man's skull, eyes flashing with fire, as Sol incinerates his tongue. The man collapses, unconscious from the blast but still alive.
Sol grabs him, tossing him over his shoulder.
He turns to Velvet, eying him carefully. "You ok?"
He seems well enough. "Anything you need to do here?" He doesn't know much about Velvet or his methods, but it seems common courtesy to check. Some people have odd rituals.
Velvet wound up getting knocked down in the brawl--and a lock of hair torn out. It hurt, sure--but the assailant was rewarded with a booted kick to the face afterward. Never draw the aggro of a drag queen's boots, it's not worth it at all, as the man had soon found out. The gash in the side of his cheek would heal, eventually--if any of these schmucks wound up being able to walk away after Sol was done.
"I'm impressed, you didn't even kill them, I was trying hard not to myself, nrgh--" Velvet pulled himself up, a little shakily--looking over to find his jacket which he pulls up, not putting it on yet.
"Not really, but I'll be okay--we're going to wreck this place and put all these people away, right? I want them in jail, and their lives ruined, like they did to them," Velvet gestured with a cock of his head towards the chain and manacle area behind them.
"Is that cool beans with you?" he asked, tilting his head, finally drawing the coat up and on.
Sol furrows his brow, putting a cigarette back in his mouth.
He had his own plans, for the place and for the people. And it's not in Sol's nature to compromise or give a shit what other people want. He always does things his way, and Velvet will just have to accept whatever Sol decides to do.
He could burn the place to the ground with their unconscious bodies all going up in the flames, and nothing would stop him. In the end, Sol calls the shots. These scum don't deserve to live. Burning to death, burning alive, is a small punishment for what they did to those girls.
Velvet will just have to accept Sol's decision.
He walks past Velvet, magic user on one shoulder, leaving. He stops at the doorway, turning back to him. He takes off the glasses, tosses them aside.
"You wanted a share in the reward right? This one's mine. The rest of em are your share."
He turns and walks off. He can always come back and burn it to the ground another day.
Log created on 21:57:03 07/17/2019 by Velvet Blue, and last modified on 00:52:18 07/18/2019.