December 22, 2009

My new job


Waking up without people hanging around my room was apparently only a one night occurrence. I now understand why kindred usually have solitary havens. It's not safety.. its to avoid the annoying roommates.

As I felt the sun set, I opened my eyes. Waking up isn't gradual as it was when I was alive. One second I'm asleep(if you can call it that), the next I'm awake and staring at the ceiling. Except tonight. Tonight I was awake and staring at several someones faces about 2 inches away from mine. I didn't even have time to process who they were before my instincts took over and I had both knives in hand, trusting them both into two of the three throats above me.

When my hand passed straight through and the faces just grinned at me, my thinking brain clicked back on and I realized they all looked like the same person. A person who really enjoyed fucking with me. I scowled. "Goddammit Theo. You can't just deliver the gear can you? Fuck."
The three illusions of Theo Korben dissolved. I hurriedly changed clothes, then I grabbed the sheaths off the nightstand and tucked the knives into them, then around my waist. Grabbing my gun and strapping it to my upper thigh. I usually waited until we went out to put on the weapons, but waking up to that made me feel a little edgy. I took a moment to concentrate and cause the weapons to fade from sight.

His voice came from outside the door. "You're a little jumpy, you know that?"

I scowled again and opened the door to see the shit-eating grin on his. I shouldered past him and strode angrily towards the lab. Theo enjoyed toying with me. The part that really set me off was that there wasn't a lot I could do about it. He was a mage proficient in Space and Mind magic, from what I had seen him do. At least, I'd seem him walk through portals and I'd heard him inside my head. So I made assumptions.

When I walked into the lab, Ori was sweeping the floor. I looked at Gio and quirked a brow and he smirked at me. "I have a lab slave." Gio said. Ori looked up and shrugged. Nobody was sitting at one work table with Nadi, who was reading. I just shook my head and proceeded to the case that was sitting on one of the other work tables. There was a locking mechanism on it that looked pretty sophisticated.

"You'll need that chip they put in your cell phone to open it, I think." Gio said.
"No, she won't." Theo said, and suddenly stabbed me in the back of the shoulder with a syringe. I felt the compressed air release and the microchip shoot into the deep tissue of my upper back. Fuck me did it HURT. I grabbed my shoulder and grimaced, clenching my teeth against the pain. I'd been too engrossed in the case and let my guard down. Not that it mattered. Theo could probably teleport the chip INTO my back.

"Welcome to Project Valkyrie, Agent." Theo said with a grin I really wanted to wipe right off his face with absurd amounts of violence.

I rubbed my shoulder and held out my hand. Gio gave me a questioning look that resolved itself when Theo smacked an envelope into my open palm. Orders. I was getting fucking Orders. I had been hoping that letting them track our movements would be enough, but apparently not. I was being made into an active agent. As though enough supernaturals didn't hate me already. I tore open the envelope and glanced over the orders. I did not like what I saw. The orders were mainly for Theo, but came with instructions for me as well.

You are given orders to re-infiltrate Chicago. Your objectives are as follows:

1. Re-establish contact with Agent O'Shea. She is to assist you with all mission objectives.
2. Gain information on the following subjects, with maximum discretion.
a. Hemophage, Designate "Solomon Birch" (RED LIST)
b. Hemophage, Designate "Rowen"
c. Lycathrope, Designate "Citysmith"
d. Lycathrope, Designate "Mac O'Brien" (RED LIST)
e. Lycanthrope, Designate "Bella Santore" (RED LIST)

Under no circumstances are you to reveal yourself to Red Listed Subjects. Attempts to subdue or interrogate said subjects must only be undertaken with backup present. Lethal Force is authorized and encouraged in the event of confrontation.

Good Luck Agent Korben.


I just stared at it for a good five minutes. They wanted me to feed them information. I can't say I minded ratting out Birch, he was an ass who'd kill me given the slightest provocation.. but Mac? and Bella? and fucking Rowan? I needed to figure out a way to give them just enough information to keep them happy without getting my ass killed, or letting any harm come to my allies. I didn't want to throw away my connection within Valkyrie, but I'd do it in a hot second if I had to in order to avoid narking on people who helped me. I didn't care how deep that chip was in my shoulder. I'd dig the fucker out with a pair of pliers.

I held up the orders and waved them at Theo. I focused briefly and jumped into his head. The others were watching us with a higher amount of curiosity than I was comfortable with.
And your okay with this? I growled
He shrugged and responded in my head. Our conversation was private, but our body language was not. Sure.. except the obvious one. I'm not going to fuck with Gio's sister.
What about Mac? He hid us in his bomb shelter up until Ophios. I said, annoyed.
Oh, right.. that's who that is. I thought the name looked familiar. You can handle that. I barely knew the guy.
I scowled at him. I crossed my arms across my chest, crumpling the paper in my fist. I don't like it.

Theo just shrugged again and spoke out loud, apparently ending our conversation. "Smoke break. Anyone comin?"
Ori joined him, though I don't think he actually smoked. I folded up the offending orders and put them in my pocket. I flipped open the suitcase to see four pairs of goggles inside. I tossed one to Nobody, one to Gio, and kept the other two for Becca and myself. It wasn't at all surprising that they knew how many to send me. My movements were quick and angry. Gio waited until he heard the door shut before speaking.

"Okay, so whats on the orders?"
I leaned back against the table and shook my head. "They want me to run surveillance on a few people. One of which is Mac. He is apparently on their kill list.
Nobody spoke while examining his goggles. "Wonder what he did to get on there.."
"No idea. I doubt it was the ordeal with his IRA buddies, but you never know." I answered.
Gio was staring at me like he knew I wasn't saying something.

"Who else was on the list?" Gio asked.

"Birch, who I don't mind spying on.. that one might be interesting.. but then there's Rowan, Citysmith, whoever that is.. and Mac. Theo said he wouldn't.." I stopped short. I'd been about to tell him what Theo had said about Bella.
Gio regarded me with more than a little suspicion. "Wouldn't what? Who else is on the list?"
"Wouldn't spy on Mac." I finished lamely. "No one else is on the list."
Gio looked like he didn't believe me. I made a mental note to burn the orders as soon as I got the chance. I ignored his searching expression and toyed around with the goggles for a few minutes, then I decided to change the subject.

"So what did Sansome say?"
Gio watched me for a few more beats before accepting the change in conversation. It probably also had something to do with Theo and Ori coming back into the room.
"Couple days till the hunt. Said they could take us over to the other side and give us the means to hurt the spirits."
I nodded slowly, considering that situation. "Sounds good."
"We aren't killing it.. we're just cutting it down. That's why it got this powerful in the first place. No one was keeping it in check."
"Fair enough. I'll take Sansome's word for it. I don't know shit about spirits." I said.

Gio nodded to that. "We're supposed to meet him in the basement of a hotel night after next. He said to meet just after sunset, just after you wake up."
I furrowed my brow in thought. From the way Gio said it, Sansome had mentioned me specifically... and didn't go into a rage. Well.. it was progress I supposed. I wasn't about to argue with it.

Nadi spoke without looking up from her book. "Dr. Bright is going to be at the shop tonight. Don't we need to meet him soon?"
Gio snorted and starting working on whatever was on his work bench again."You guys can go, I'm staying here." He looked over at Ori. "You should probably stay here too. Better he know as little about us as possible."

I nodded agreement and looked at Theo. "You can come if you want. He probably already knows about you."
Theo shrugged. "Sure. Why not. Could be fun."

I rolled my eyes and headed for the door.

We exited the sewers a few blocks over and walked the rest of the way. Nobody, Theo, Nadi, and I stood in front of the shop and waited. There was a man sitting on the bench, only smoking a single cigarette this time.. but none of us went over to him. After a few minutes he gave a small wave, the streetlamp glinting off the red gem in his hand. We had filled Theo in on the way over about who Bright was. Bright stood as we walked over.

"Shall we?" He said.
I jerked my head to the door and walked up to it, pulling the key (a normal key, Gio and I both agreed that bringing the weird key was a bad idea) and handing it to Bright. He unlocked the door, and we went inside.
Nadi looked at his cigarette and quirked a brow, "Only one today?"
He took a drag and nodded. "Yup. Not really in the mood for cigarettes tonight, I'm too hiiigh." And with that he entered the shop.

He started to poke around, but after a few minutes a crew showed up to help and he mostly stood with us, giving orders here and there. They had guys with all sorts of sensing devices, from Geiger counters, to one guy walking around with an honest to god divining rod. The look on that technicians face as he walked around with a pronged stick said that he found it just as ridiculous as we did.

After they were settled into their work, Bright turned to Nadi. "You still interested in meeting the Twisted Ones?"
She nodded. He gave an unnerving smile. "Good." He pulled a badge out of his coat pocket and handed it to her along with a card. "Email this address, they'll send you instructions for how to get the clearance. This badge will let you inside."
She knit her brow together in mild confusion. "I thought you were bringing them here?"
He snorted. "Fuck no. Those reality benders don't get to come out and play. You're lucky we're even letting you in see them."
She looked down at the badge for a moment before speaking again. "And if I go in, you guarantee me I'll be able to come back out again."
He smirked at her. "If you behave, sure. There is always some risk involved. But if I wanted to take you in, I would have already."
"I take it I can't bring anyone with me?" She asked.
"Badge is just for you." Bright confirmed.

I didn't like the idea much, but Nadi was a big girl, and I couldn't blame her for being curious. I would've done the same thing. So I didn't say a word.

Theo pulled out an ornate knife, one I'd seen him use before and held it up to show Bright. "You guys have any of these lying around?"
Bright let out a bark of sarcastic laughter. "A Keris? I fucking wish. The Shield and Spear get dibs on those usually." He eyed it, then Theo. "Though, I could go through the appropriate channels with Project Valkyrie and get it requisitioned from you."
Theo gave a skeptical snort.
I caught his eye and shook my head, muttering, "Believe it, he's better funded than you."
Theo responded with a look of slight surprise, but Bright just shrugged.
"However, I suspect that if I do that, you'd rabbit."
Theo laughed. "Oh yeah."

We stayed for awhile longer, we didn't have many more significant questions for Bright. It wasn't pleasant watching them rifle through the shop and carry things away. We left, after about an hour. We couldn't tell if anything they were taking was worth a damn anyway. We left them to it.

On our way out, Theo sidestepped to stand next to Nadi. She was well aware of his propensity for fucking with people. She kept walking, but I noticed her shoulders tense slightly. When he 'stumbled' into her, she was ready for it, bracing herself. I noticed both their aura's flared for a split second, and this time Theo really DID stumble, holding the front of his head. "SHIT.. ow."
I smirked at him and noted the twitch at the corner of Nadi's mouth as she stared at Theo for a brief moment.

My phone and Theo's phone rang at the same time.
"Is this Harper?"
"Yes, Father Nico, it is."
"I have made some progress on the chest that you might be interested in. Can you come by tonight?"
"Sure, we'll be there in 20 minutes."
"Great. I will see you then."

And he hung up. About that same time Theo said, "SHIT." hung up his phone, looked at all of us, still rubbing his temples, and said, "I have to go. Harper, those orders are now yours. Have fun!" He grinned at me one last obnoxious time, and disappeared. Seconds later I received a text from Captain O'Donnell confirming the transfer of orders. I scowled and deleted it, then dialed Gio. "Father Nicolas has something for us. Do you guys want to meet us at the Church?"
"Sure. We'll be there in 15."

We retrieved one of the cars and headed out.

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