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Thread: Chasing Shadows[M]{Damonique&EerieWillows}

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    Default Chasing Shadows[M]{Damonique&EerieWillows}

    Rated M for strong language, drug and alcohol use, violence, sexual themes and situations, blood, gore, and psychological horror.

    The rental car meandered down the one-lane gravel road, throwing up the occasional cloud of dirt and stone where it hit the ruts and bumps left by a decade or more of ill repair. If the county had ever spent the money to maintain it, they'd long since stopped That might have had something to do with the....eccentric, at best, reputation of the people living in the house at the end of it. Carrow knew next to nothing about the people he was supposed to be meeting, but the looks he'd gotten from the locals when he'd asked for directions, after the GPS had cut out unexpectedly, suggested a less-than-encouraging reputation.

    Despite the rough, jolting ride, Kasimir seemed dead asleep in the passenger seat, slumped over with his face buried in his digicam duffel-bag, the shapeless lump of his bright crimson turban his only visible feature. Carrow wasn't surprised. As a marine, the Sikh had probably slept in rougher conditions before, and they'd been on the road for nearly a week straight since he'd picked him up in Chicago. First all the way down to Berkley to pick up their third passenger, and then now meandering north and east to their final destination. Whoever these people were, they clearly valued their privacy...this road wasn't on any of the maps, and led to the absolute middle of nowhere.

    His other passenger was awake, though, curled up in a technicolor nest of baggage, blankets, and, of course, the half-stuffed animals that suppoedly counted as 'essentials' when she was packing up her dorm room. Sometimes, Carrow couldn't tell he wasn't babysitting a twelve year old rather than a college sophomore, at least until she opened her mouth. And, speaking of which...

    "Are we there yet? It's been houuuurrrrssss, I gotta pee, and there is absolutely NO reception out here. Do you even know where we're going? Every road we've turned on looks the same, corn and cows as far the eye can see. We head any deeper into redneckistan and I'm scared we'll start hearing banjos....." She rattled off in an interminable series of complaints, most of them repeats. She'd been in high spirits when they'd first picked her up. Still a chatterbox, but at least a cheerful one...that had lasted until about the morning of day two when she'd asked all the questions her traveling companions were willing to answer about their experiences and started getting antsy for the excitement that didn't seem to be coming. Both of the others had tried to convince her that she should be careful what she wished for, having both had brushes with death by less-than-natural causes, but the blonde was undissuaded.

    Almost on cue, they saw it, cornrows opening up to reveal the farmhouse. Hopefully, inside, they'd find answers...all the agency had given them to go on was the address and a warning to tread lightly when it came to their new associates. Whoever these people were, even their mysterious benefactors with the almost unlimited resources seemed to keep them at arms-length, which suggested they weren't entirely to be trusted. But Marcus Carrow didn't really have much of a choice, he'd already signed over what little he knew was left of his life on the dotted line for a chance to protect people, and if that meant working with strangers, he just hoped they knew what they were doing.

    The second the car rattled to a stop, Singh snapped straight up as if he'd never been asleep, his amber eyes open and alert. Having that man at his back gave The Agent a little more confidence in this endeavor, and their superiors, only for all that to go out the window when the next person they'd have him bring in was, rather than a competent professional with skill and experience, a bratty know-it-all straight out of high school. Who were these people, that they were willing to throw a kid, and for all her protests, that was all he thought of Brooklyn as, headfirst into this line of work.
    Last edited by Damonique; 01-17-2020 at 08:09 AM.


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    Damonique and Natora, Joshua and Jessica, over a million words strong and the story goes on and on and on.....

  2. #2
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    The heavy, musty scent of old paper and smoke hung low in the air, marrying with spice and the rich smell of fresh coffee. It was a comfort for the home’s occupants, one of the few constants in their lives. The vicious tapping of keys and regulated ping echoed from the dark confines of the front room. An even, steady tone. They were moving faster than he’d anticipated. Someone knew how to handle rough roads. Concerning... or relieving? It was hard to tell in the moment. Smoke poured passed thin lips as he scratched under his chin, muttering under his breath. A sudden interruption would usually end up with him jumping out of his seat, but the smell of hot brew and the sight of a familiar nail polish relaxed him before he could react harshly.

    “Made a fresh batch. Figured you’d be out or cold by now.” Mused a sultry, teasing voice from behind the chair.

    “Mmn.” The grunt was barely audible, a cough following before he took the offering and downed a bit. Fresh, hot and dark. God, It was good. The only good part of this evening. Fingers rapped in irritated concentration as he looked over the screen of his laptop. Hmm, they’d made the turn off. Well, they’d be able to spot them visually soon enough.

    “You seem tense... Where they at?” Mused the tiny little thing peeking over the back of his chair, violet rings seeming to glow in the dim light of the screen on his lap.
    “Just ahead... ETA ‘bout 10... maybe 12 if I drag my ass opening the gate.” Mused the man, his voice deep, raspy and heavy. Every word seemed exhausting as he tapped at the screen, pointing out the small dot moving along the map.
    “Well ain’t that a fun lil’ thing. How you doin’ that.”
    “The keepers called... Gave me their rental number. Just pulled their GPS feed hours ago. They’re just off the main road. Heading up the east bound. Resourceful if they’ve gotten this far. Either someone can read a good ol’ fashioned map, or they were askin’ about.”
    “Nicely done Genius. Now... What we dealing with? You ain’t usually this antsy with guests.”
    “Didn’t get much. Some names that could very well be fake and a few number strands that lead to empty records. Nothing Concrete ‘cept they’re a bunch of ‘reinforcements’. Sent out here to help with the workload.”
    “And to take over half the pay. Chintzy fucks. Why didn’t you turn them away, you’ve done it before.”

    “Couldn’t. Told me they’ve got traces on them so we can’t simply send them away under duress. Besides... their files being so empty means they’re new. Perhaps they’re looking for us to teach them the ropes.” The scruffy mess of a man pulled heavily on his cigarette, putting it out in the ashtray beside him once he was done and letting out a great plume. “Not that you can teach this type of shit worth a damn.”

    “Sure you can teach it, I taught you didn’t I?” Crooned the young woman, crossing her arms before her and smirking down at the lanky mess in the chair.
    “You call that teachin’?” Implication was thick in his voice, icy eyes narrowed back at the stout woman hanging off the back of his chair. “Don’t kid yourself. That was throwing a newborn into 20 feet of 20 below zero and hoping they could backstroke like a fuckin’ pro.”

    The idle banter flowed back and forth for a bit, that was, until the first perimeter alarm popped up on his screen, the bushcam set up along the road picking up a few pictures of the car speeding through. Well, it was now or never. The woman shrugged and made her way towards the stairs, murmuring something under her breath to the black, shadowy cat that followed behind her. Clearly, she wasn’t going to be caught in her loose shorts and tank. There was company on the way after all.

    Popping his joints into place and straitening his baggy, tattered shirt down, the lanky old man finally got himself out of his chair. It’d be best to disable the mines... before... ya know... they ended up driving over them. Making sure to grab his 12 gauge as he made his way towards the bookshelf, Leddy found that particular object with ease. Lifting the false book’s cover to reveal a rather beat up touch screen. Old from years of use. Hm. Perhaps it’d be time to replace it soon. Re-purpose it for something new. Humming to himself, he entered the 26 digit code like he was reading it off a cue card. Memorized and easy enough to type out before the fail safe went and blew the circuit.

    “Gates... Mines... Lights. Mmnn.. there.” He mused, Yawning and sighing as he closed the book back up and set it in place. “Don’t like this one bit... But lord knows I can’t keep shit like this away forever. Damn. Just when I was starting to get into a routine. Shit like this would be considered a promotion in any other field. With this, it was just a mess waiting to happen. Another roadblock to keeping people out of his business.”

    “Relax, little Leddy.” Purred an all too familiar voice, soft hands trailing up and over his shoulder before he could get too far. Not welcome. They were shrugged off rather quickly, much to her amusement. “ I’ve got your back if this goes sideways. Not that you need my help, big man.”

    “Bite me. I can defend my home just fuckin’ fine without your meddlin’. Just... don’t cause shit right off the bat.” Hissed the ginger, grabbing his tattered ol’ bomber off the coat rack and his maglite off the beat up shelf near the entrance. The door carefully cracked open, allowing the woman past as his nose crinkled at the mere thought of the chaos this could all bring to his peaceful little home. “ Lord forbid we rack up a fuckin’ rental in our collateral. Specially on my property.”

    “So worried. You still don’t trust me, eh?”
    “Not a bit. Keep out of their headlights. Got it?”

    ~~~~

    Nearly becoming part of the landscape itself, the ramshackle little home looked like it was about to come crumbling to the ground. Patchy land, the smell of rust and oil could be picked up down at least a half mile. Scrap pieces littered the old fields, disrupting the grass in it’s growing. Yet, despite that, the lights leading up the driveway suddenly seemed to flicker to light. Was it really in the shape it seemed to be? Something was off, something rather slight, yet obvious enough that the marine would pick up on it. It became more and more obvious as they passed the barbwire fences and steel posts. This was very much lived in. The porch hid them well, the stick figure easily hiding against one of the posts as the violet eyes of the witch seemed to glow from the shadows.

    “Do it. Now.”
    “You got it, sugar.”

    The faintest of chuckles rang out in the little rental as their ‘guests finally put the emergency break down. She could feel him do it. Before they managed to even get out, the doors swung open, the engine sputtering and dying, killing their only source of light. The hiss of steam that escaped the hood. Was this what happened to the other wrecks out in the fields? The group wasn’t given much time to think.

    Peering out from his post, The home’s master did a headcount. Well.. they matched the description, but doubles had been sent in the past, and things had crept past his defenses in stranger ways. Only one way to be sure.

    The beam of his lite blinded the group, aimed right at them to keep them just where they were. If they scattered, the witch would do what she did with all threats. If they listened, there was a slight chanced they’d get into the house without too much trouble. Heavy boots rattled against creaking floorboards, Just when he swore the turbaned man moved, he fired his weapon just in front of them. It was a clear signal. Stay fucking still.

    “Names. And the code they gave you.” A stern voice sounded out, a distinct droll to it. “No funny shit.” The distinct sound of the shotgun cocking cut through the rural quiet. Intimidation was really all he needed to do to set them strait. Let them know just how things were going to be. He didn’t trust them, and pulling a weapon wasn’t out of the question.

    Well, that wasn’t what she thought he’d do, Not even getting off his porch. Really, he was getting too paranoid for his own good. Slowly, another set of feet started to move, slowly coming down the porch steps. Scoffing at her partner, the sly little thin slid down the railing with a sultry little giggle.

    “So great with guests...” Mused the woman with a sweet voice, her figure blocking part of the light. It would have been imposing, had she not been so short. Her arms crossed over her chest as she leaned against the post of the bottom step, watching the group get their handle on the situation. “ I suggest you spit out what he wants... Lord forbid you end up on the other end of his shot. Fastest draw this side of the 49th parallel. Don’t test it. ”

  3. #3
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    Kasimir was blinking the sleep out of his eyes, reaching for the door handle, when it opened of its own accord before his hand. Fancy car, he was thinking, and then he smelled the acrid Tang of smoke and oil that set all his instincts on edge.

    He wasn't the only one, the barest glance to his left showed Carrow reaching into his jacket for his piece, and the Marine suddenly wished he'd thought to ask for a gun of his own BEFORE they'd headed off to meet their mysterious new 'friends'. Cursing under his breath, he ducked low behind the dash and grasped the one weapon he had, the wickedly curved Kirpan dagger always in it's elegant sheath at his side.

    Regrettably, one of his companions lacked even the most basic survival instincts to realize how utterly wrong this new turn of events was, as Brooksie in the back seat gathered up her jacket and laptop case and hopped gingerly out of the car without a care in the world. And then...

    *Bang* The gunshot cut through the the night like a, well, gunshot. The blonde screamed, loud and shrill, and Kasimir flew into action on pure adrenaline, diving out of the car and throwing himself on top of the terrified girl, hoping to protect her from the barrage of gunfire that never came.

    Carrow, meanwhile, kept a cooler head abandoning any thought of getting a bead on the man making demands and stepping out of the car with his hands above his head, his SIG held harmlessly by the barrel, being careful not to make any sudden moves. He knew better than to fuck with a paranoid nutcase on his own turf.

    "Singh, shut her up before she gets us all killed!" He shouted to the side, and the continued screaming cut off to become a muffled cry under the Marines heavy palm. Then he turned to the pair standing on the porch, hard to make out in the dim light, half-blinded as they were by the harsh maglite beam.

    "I'm Marcus Carrow, the Watchers sent us. But they neglected to mention a code..." The older man rattled off as quickly as possible, hoping to avoid escalating the situation.

    "...now put down the gun, we're all on the same side here, alright? It's been a long goddamn week." The Agent added in a calmer tone when the immediate danger seemed to be past.

    Kasimir let Carrow do the talking, finally releasing Brooklyn when she seemed to have settled down from screaming her lungs out to just panicked breathing, standing up and offering her a hand up and an almost-sincere apology before turning to get a look at the strangers they'd come to meet.
    Last edited by Damonique; 01-17-2020 at 12:19 AM.

  4. #4
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    The man observed the group with a firm stance, the light refusing to move, even as the old man revealed what heat he was packing by holding it up harmlessly. He was smart enough. Perhaps he was more experienced than he’d let on. He’d gotten the same greeting on other joint missions in other states after all. He wasn’t too pleased with his answer however, the barrel of the gun seen past the light as he rattled off about lacking a code. That wasn’t good. No, he didn’t like that one bit.

    “Carrow, eh? That’s an interesting name.” Crooned the figure at the bottom of the stairs, her amusement more than clear in the tone of her voice. Clearly, the two before them were not cut from the same cloth. “And Singh. Who’s the last? You there little miss-”

    “Names aren’t gonna mean much if you three don’t have some confirmation of identity.” Replied the man on the porch, His tone far less welcoming. “This business has... risks. I’m sure you’re more than aware of ‘em. Now you’d best remember what they told you. They wouldn’t sent you without it. “

    “Oh come off it cowboy. It’s not like they’re armed to the teeth like you are.” She turned then, facing the man and tapping her heavy boot, the buckles jingling and jangling with each flick of her toe.” There’s some heat in the vehicle and the one over there has an iron dagger. But that’s about all I can sense.”

    “Woman, I swear to g-” The sound of a sultry, sleazy guitar broke the tense air, cutting the man’s complaints off and keeping him from spitting more words on the matter. An irate grumble passed his lips as he fumbled about from his high ground, still somehow managing to keep the light on them as he answered the call. Did he have three arms or some shit? Lord knew at this point. He was quiet, waiting until someone on the other

    “It’s me. Yeah... Mn.. Yep.... What? What the hell do you mean your calling as their confirmation!” The sudden snap from cool and collected to boiling rage was instant. It seemed frustration brought out the hick in him, the even tone suddenly frilled with annunciation and character. “DIPSHITS. You were TOLD to give them the damn co- Listen here you fuckin’ lackadaisical, entry level- You callin’ barely confirms the fuckin’ rental car! Last time you fucker pulled this shit I had Skinwalkers blowing out my window when I hit them with buck and salt! Are Ya’ll aware of the fuckin’ costs and black market mark up on- No I’m telling you to figure shit out. I’m not lowerin’ my fuckin weapon till you figure out something to fucking con-” The sound of elevator like hold music was audible to all involved, The woman snickered to herself and tried to keep her composure. It was not easy.

    Suddenly, an all too familiar-to-him tone started to come from the laptop bag strewn on the ground. It was faint, but all things considered it was definitely their messing with. Was the damn machine even on? Leddy stared at the group for a moment longer before muttering to himself. This was not ideal. Lord knew just how much it would actually take to lower his guard, especially with the last incident involving visitors. But there was no way to fight it without being unreasonable and he knew it. Apprehension sat deep in the man’s core as a heavy, rumbling sigh rolled from his throat.

    “...Fine. That’ll fuckin’ do. But if any wacko horse shit goes down, you’re footin’ the bill this fuckin’ time.” The threat in his voice slowly replaced with exasperation. Hanging the phone up, he tossed it down to his partner and turned off the mag. Only now lit from behind, the scraggly man rubbed the back of his neck and held up his weapon, to show it before emptying the shot out onto the deck. “Dumb mother f... Alright... Let the car go, before it’s totalled beyond what I can fix up.”

    With that, the heaviness in the air and the iron smell disappeared. The car suddenly sprung to life, alarm blaring as the headlights flickered back on and revealed their ‘hosts’. It was only two people. A shapely little thing with a mess of black hair and low cut top was the closest to them, leaned against the post at the bottom of the stairs. Her crossed legs and wide smirk showed a level of comfort in this tension that no normal person would have. She was still trying to keep from laughing at the whole mess.

    The man on the porch was a different story, no such amusement in him. Deeply furrowed brows and a lips turned into scowl that pulled them taught. Broad shoulders and baggy clothes hid most of his figure, but if his legs were any sign of what was underneath, he was little more than skin and bones. Messy waves and curls of red interfered with his vision, the back pulled up into a ponytail and off of his long neck. Lanky didn’t even touch on it. He sighed, rubbing the back of his neck and slinging the weapon over his shoulders.

    “My apologies, Carrow. Can’t be too careful with situations like this. I pray they made that clear when they sent you this way.” He rasped, icy eyes moving from person. “If yall’d be so kind as to grab your gear and get inside quickly, The woods here are full of shit you don’t wan’t to run into at this time of night. She can give you a hand if you need it. More muscle than I’d care to say.” And with that, the lanky mess of a man slipped inside, leaving the group to gather themselves after the whirlwind that had just subsided.

    “Well, C’mon. Turn the car off and grab your stuff.” Purred the young miss as she moved towards the trio, more than content to put the whole mess behind them. “You’ll get use to that. He’s nearly got me a few times when I show up without callin’.” While it was an attempt to put them at ease, it wasn’t effective in the least. Well, they’d figure it out. Ah well, She’d help pack their things inside, it was the least she could do.

    The heavy door swung out on well oiled hinges, the smell of fresh coffee and warmth enveloped them and brought with it the slightest relief. The home was in far greater shape than the dilapidated exterior let on. To the right was a sitting area. Well dusted shelves and stacks of books filled the room, various tools and trinkets organized into what could have been one hell of a museum collection mixed with a library and a half. A fire was already lit in the hearth, bathing the room with a warm glow. The only sign of mess was a warn out chair and end table that overlooked the front of the property. Coffee mugs and an overfilled ashtray, this was obviously where time was mostly spent. To the left sat a small dining room with a desk. Yet another contained bit of chaos. A locked door in the corner of the room seemed to be the only real oddity. An archway towards the back side of the dining area lead to what one could assume was the kitchen and a flight of stairs stood just behind the wall.

    Standing near the far bookshelf, the man busied himself with settling a book carefully back into place, looking over his shoulder with a smoke hanging out of the corner of his lips. Well, that hadn’t taken long. He’d barely gotten things back together. Shoulders slumped back as he looked over the living and dining area. No sign of windows shaking, Perhaps they really were in the clear.

    “ I believe introductions are in order.” He started, walking towards the group with his hands settled in his pockets. “You’ve already made use of Eerie here. She’s got a mouth, but she doesn't bite. Much.”

    “Brat.” She snapped back, feigning offense and sticking her tongue out ever so slightly. It was quickly dropped though, her giggles returning as she looked over the group, now in the light of the house. Well if they weren’t the most rag-tag group of misfits she’d ever seen. This... would be interesting. She could tell already that this was no ordinary group. Just what had the keepers got on these three to have them here? Well, perhaps they’d spill the beans later. The girl looked like the easiest one to work info out of. A notion to test after everything settled.

    Offering a thin, calloused hand out towards the oldest amongst them, The redhead began to speak again, his eyes moving between the three of them. He was assessing them just as much as the woman was. “Just call me B-”

    “Leddy, C’mon now. You’re always so formal with these things.” Interjected the young lass, smirking ear to ear as she uttered his nickname so casually. The glare he shot her way would have most frozen stiff, but she was unaffected, crossing her arms and pouting. “They’ve been confirmed, They’re the new kids around. No need to -”

    “Benoit.” He corrected, Motioning the woman to head towards the kitchen with a sigh. “You Three’ve come a long ways. Made decent time too, all things considered. Impressive. Thought you’d be at least a few hours more, considering the lack of GPS and the state the roads are in.”
    Last edited by EerieWillows; 01-15-2020 at 02:06 AM.

  5. #5
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    Brooklyn had read things, seen things that would make most people's skin crawl and gone looking for more...but always from the comfortable distance provided by her computer screen. There, in that moment, she was more terrified than she'd ever been in her life. Every second before that shot went off had been like a low stakes game she had been playing, but that illusion had been shattered with the sulfurous smell of gunsmoke and the screech of pellets whistling through the air. Next she knew she was screaming, then she was falling. No, not falling...being pushed, thrown roughly to the ground, wind knocked from her lungs by a sudden weight and curling into the fetal position.

    A startled heart beat faster, and as the iron grip closed over her mouth she began to hyperventilate and panic, rainbow-manicured nails clawing helplessly at the thing on top of her. Eventually, though, her brain caught up with her body and she realized what it was, who it was. Olive skin, a line of scarlet where his turban met a severe brow, the scent of some foreign oil mingling with the sour of adrenaline sweat. Kasimir, the secretive soldier she doubted had spoken more than a dozen words since they'd first met. But that hadn't stopped him from putting himself between her an the bullets she had been sure were coming. It was like being rescued by a superhero, ushered to safety from a moment of total helplessness. The restraining hand left her lips, allowing the girl to breathe, and the Sikh offered a hand to help her up and said something she didn't catch, because she was too busy blushing and memorizing his eyes.

    And then split second ended with the eye contact, and reality caught up. Carrow was arguing with someone that cursed like a sailor, but a woman's voice cut through, sounding kinder than the rough stranger and addressing her directly. But before she could answer, a faint electronic noise she'd never heard before emanated from her laptop bag. Her Laptop! Not even taking the helping hand offered, she quickly scooped the sticker-covered canvas bag up out of the mud, holding it as gingerly as a mother would a child, undoing the clasps and sliding out her ever so precious sky-blue Surface Pro. It appeared undamaged, and was, surprisingly to her, already connected to the internet despite their remote location. Her email opened of it's own accord, displaying a new message titled *URGENT*CREDENTIALS*CONFIDENTIAL*. Subtle, weren't they? Still kneeling in the dirt, the bispectacled blonde opened, read, and memorized the contents to the email in a matter of seconds, and then deleted it as instructed.

    "Eleven-B-Eighteen, Twenty-Three-A, Twelve-Z-Nine-Two. Apparently, I should have read that earlier." She rattled off, almost lyrically, and then started chuckling nervously, as if there was a joke that she was the only one in on. Only then did she loop the bag over her shoulder and stand shakily, turning back to Kasimir. Not that he was paying attention to her, instead intenesly studying their two contacts, who were as different as night and day, one male, and tall, almost as tall as Kasimir himself, wit unkempt ginger hair and wild green eyes. The other, a woman who drew the eye like a magnet, short, dark-haired and voluptuous. If someone had told a dozen people to draw the word 'sex', they would have all come up with pictures of her. No wonder the marine couldn't keep his eyes off her. The girl suddenly shrank down into herself and looked down at her feet.

    "Oh no, Terry!" She squealed all of a sudden, cutting any remaining tension by diving down to snatch up a bright-green stuffed Triceratops from where it had fallen out of the door and frantically brush the dirt and dust from his plush coat before realizing what exactly she was doing and looking around to find all eyes on her, only blushing more deeply and clinging the cheerful critter to her chest as if it could protect her. Carrow hand his head in his palms, rubbing his temples to stave off a migraine. Kasimir was just shaking his head, wearing an unreadable expression. Sufficiently mortified, she quickly moved to gather up her 'gear', mostly clothes and electronics, as instructed, and follow along with the exodus from the car into the farmhouse.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Agent Carrow didn't put away his handgun until the clearly.....on-edge wouldn't even begin to describe him, red-headed fellow, had emptied his last shotgun shell onto the porch with a clatter. Beside him, Kasimir was wearing an intense, fight-or-flight glare that the Agent knew well, and he raised an open palm in a universal call-sign for 'stand down' before the soldier did anything rash. Most people didn't like being shot at, or even around, and the Agent knew from the juvie records, much less the combat records, that this one couldn't be trusted not to take steps to make sure it didn't happen twice. Thankfully, after a terse standoff, the soldier visibly relaxed, hauling the single duffel bag that was his only piece of luggage from the floorboards and waiting for Carrow to take the lead before following the strangers inside.

    Inside the farmhouse, the atmosphere was far more relaxed. A fire was crackling in the hearth that reminded the old man of his childhool home, and the pleasant aroma of fresh-brewed coffee was flowing through the air. Brooksie wasted no time making herself at home in an unoccupied armchair, while Kasimir stood like a statue in the corner, where he could watch all of the doors. Neither seemed eager to open a dialogue, so as their de-facto 'leader', Carrow decided to open things out, reaching to take the one that called himself Benoit's offered hand.

    "As I said, Marcus Carrow. Benoit? Landry Benoit, right? I've run across the name on files here or there. Apparently, you keep busy." He started, shaking the thin and, it seemed, almost trembling hand gingerly, and then turning to the woman who so far had mostly addressed her commentary to her partner, rather than the rest of them, even having allowed him to introduce her. "I'm afraid to say I've never heard of you before, Miss Eerie." He added, unable to resist adding a slight inflection to the name that sounded very much like an alias to his ears, but offering his hand nevertheless.

    ---------------------------

    Kasimir was still on edge when he entered the farmhouse, mentally kicking himself for how low he had let his guard slip. You never forgot how it felt to be ambushed, caught entirely off-guard, and they all had been. While he didn't give off a 'soldier' vibe(not nearly enough discipline), or even the cool competence of a professional like the agent, whoever this scraggly guy was, he'd seen shit. The Sikh could definitely feel something of a kinship there, but it didn't mean he trusted him, not yet. It was his turn next to make introductions, and when he took 'Leddy's outstretched hand, Kasimir drew up to his full height and bulk and squeezed, giving the man a steely glare.

    "Barq, Kasimir S. Sergeant, Discharged, USMC. Guns aren't for getting your point across, friend, you could have hurt someone. And you scared Brooklyn half to death, she didn't deserve that." The soldier stated in a matter-of-fact tone, not angry, just dead serious, and didn't release the other man's hand until he recieved at least the barest nod of recognitionion. He was already beginning to regret jumping at the Agents offer. He'd been expecting people like them, but apparently, their team was actually going to be himself, Carrow, an admittedly clever girl, this gung-ho cowboy, and...her. Finally his attention turned fully to the sultry woman, whom he absolutely dwarfed in stature. Unbelievably, she was even shorter than Brooklyn...but everything about her screamed woman instead of girl. Woman, and danger. The combination left him tongue-tied, and his perfunctory introduction was almost lost in the air between them as he offered her his hand to shake in turn after Carrow.
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  6. #6
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    Well, While he’d expected this one to have a bit of research under his belt, to be recognized was a shock. A slight chuckle passed his lips before he took a drag off of his cigarette, moving it to his hands and exhaling back over his shoulder as he released the Agent’s hand. “ Busy doesn’t come close. You’ll get a feel for that shortly.”

    His attention moved from the older gent to the next person in ‘line’. Cracking his back to get himself into a proper position, he took the soldier’s hand, giving him much the same treatment in return. Though, there wasn’t much bulk there. His complaint was valid, in some respects. Concerning in others. Peeking behind him and towards the young miss in the seat, he raised his brow. What in the hell was that kid doing? Her presence was... off. Something far too innocent about her. Shaking it off, the cigarette was placed back between his lips as he relaxed back into his slouch and released the soldier’s hand with a slight nod.

    “With all due respect, you’re going to have to get use to that sort of thing when you arrive in a safehouse like this one. Standard really.” Assured the ginger, icy eyes meeting the gent’s amber gaze. “With our people, you’re considered polite if you shoot at someone’s feet before aiming at their face. Warning shots are a rare luxury. Too many risks involved in letting people through those gates, and too many times it’s turned sour so fast you don’t have time to blink. You’ve seen things, your file says at least. You should know how fast this sort of shit moves.”

    “The girl though, If she can’t handle a simple shot...” No. It wasn’t his place. He simply nodded to the soldier again, moving to circle back to Carrow once again. There were questions he had, and the agent was sure to have some of his own.

    ---

    Oh, What a smart tongue on this one. The woman couldn’t hide her amusement as the old man used her name like that. Oh, lord knew it rubbed her the right way. Her smirk never faded, strange eyes locked on his as she took the hand that was offered in a strong grip. For a woman her size, there was power there. And aggression.. Subtlety was not her strong suit, nor would she give off false hope of a gentile demeanour. She chuckled as she gave it a firm shake, releasing her hold on him and resting her hands on her hips.

    “If you’ve read Leddy’s reports, surely you have.” Mused the little woman, almost teasingly as she cocked a hip out and looked down at her hand, as if fussing over her nails. “Of course, not as a person though. Witch, Weapon. Call me what you’d like. It’s a pleasure, Marcus. Look forward to seeing what this mess may bring.” The mischievous glimmer in her eye was not one that would be of any comfort to the man, her hips swaying as she moved onto the next matter of business.

    The soldier. The one she’d taken a look at earlier. Hm, he was taller than the ginger even. Not by much, but his turban added to the imposing difference in stature. And those eyes, the way he’d stood up firmly, yet something had spooked him. Good. It was a natural reaction. Her brows raised as she looked over his hand for a moment, then back up to meet his gaze. Ever so slightly her tongue trailed over her lip, that soft, silken hand of hers wrapping around his with surprising strength. She could have a bit of fun while Leddy was occupied with Carrow once again.

    “Well Well now, Soldier boy. Aren’t you a tall treat for the eyes. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.” Purred the little witch, still keeping his hand in a firm grip. “We’ll have to take some time to chat later... I’m sure you’ve got all sorts of interesting stories. If you’re lucky, I’ll share a few of my own.”

    Only when she was sure his confusion was at it’s peak did she pull away, openly looking him up and down before turning her attention to the last of their ‘guests’. Leddy was occupied with business, so that meant it was her job to deal with the youngster, not that she didn’t have ulterior motives. Curiosity mostly. Just what was an innocent little bean like her doing with a bunch of rugged men? Made no sense. There had to be something interesting about her to end up in this situation, and the suspense was killing her.

    The witch cleared her throat as she leaned against the armchair a bit, smirking down at the girl and cupping her cheek with one hand.

    “Well ain’t you the cutest little thing.” She crooned, that toothy grin back once again as she lean over a bit. “ Tell me sweetheart, Just what’s a little lady like you doing rolling with two ex soldiers? What sort of trouble got ya into this sort of business. w-” Something cut her off, the sound pulling her attention away from the young miss far sooner than she would have liked.


    ---

    The girl being affected so greatly had him concerned. There were a few things he wanted to discuss with the other hunter. Things that the others need not concern themselves with, so while Eerie was entertaining the other two’s attention, Leddy took the time to move back to the other agent. There was one pressing matter, brought forward by his partner’s attention moving from the Marine to the girl. That little girl...

    “.... If she’s so startled by a simple shotgun... what the hell is she going to do? “ He questioned, very much in the right to do so. “How is she on your team... you are a team... aren’t you? Your file was nondescript, much to my shock. How many hunts have you been on together. Individually - ” That familiar guitar cord pulled him away from what he was saying, the man cursing under his breath. Why the fuck were so many people trying to get use out of him this evening? Pinching the bridge of his nose.

    “Excuse me for a moment. ” He took the phone then, not answering it until he was in the next room over.

    The curious loss of red in the room had her interest piqued. What was going on? For him to feel like he had to leave instead. Sighing deeply, she cleared her throat and motioned for the girl to get up and out of the chair to return to the group.

    “I’m sure it’s been a long drive. Yall head on upstairs and get settled. “ She gestured towards the stairs near the kitchen. Taking her seat on the dining table, she smirked in their direction. “There’s three rooms to your left. Been cleaned up and got some storage space for your things. Take your time in coming back down. There’s much to talk about, and time to do so. Go on now. I’m sure this won’t take all night.”

  7. #7
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    Brooklyn was just beginning to get her racing heart in check while the 'adults' got to talking, paying close attention to what was being said, and even more to what wasn't. Besides the obvious, that Kasimir and Landry didn't trust each other worth a damn, her attention kept settled on the woman who called herself 'Eerie'....and it seemed a fitting moniker. She seemed nice enough, but there was something about her that scared the blonde somehow more than getting shot at had.

    Aaannnddd, she wasted no time cozying up to Kasimir, oozing confidence and sensuality out of every pore as she made her invitation. Brooklyn couldn't help but think 'witch' was an apt moniker for her to wear, only replace the 'w' with a 'b' for the sake of real accuracy. It wasn't fair, but it was how the blonde felt in that moment. To his credit, the Marine was having none of it, seeming almost...shy when confronted with the smaller woman, all earlier bravado seeming to evaporate. The blonde couldn't hide her smile.

    It didn't last long though, as the raven-haired woman's predator eyes settled on her next. Her words were so sweet...and so very condescending. Brooklyn sighed and stood up, thankful at at least she got to look down on someone for once, even if she didn't exactly feel tall at this precise moment, and extended her hand, wracking her brain for some scathing reply that would earn her back some face.

    She never even got the chance, though, as the tone of a phone ringing interrupted the little gathering, and Landry stepped out of the room in a hurry, Eerie hot in his heels, stopping to tell them all to get comfortable before following him out and leaving their original little trio on their own once again. Brooklyn looked around and settled her attention on the pot of coffee still steaming on a hot plate, finding a cup that didn't seem too dirty nearby and pouring herself a large glass without invitation and draining half of it in one sip. Gods-she-didn't-believe-in(yet) did she need it.

    -------------------------------

    Kasimir shook the woman's hand with the same confidence he had the man's, at least until she opened her mouth, saying All the right things to send his head spinning with possibilities. A few months ago, he would have been on top of that in more ways then one, set his silver tongue and rakish good looks to work, a little innuendo here, a flex of caramel muscle there, and a fun night for all involved. Not now though...the righteous path was supposed to be riddled with temptation, and if they were going to be working together, better to keep a healthy distance.

    So instead, he gave no answer, withdrew his head and looked down at his feet, idly turning his kara bracelet around his wrist and reciting a few verses of prayer under his breath until the woman's attention finally moved on from him. When he was alone again with the agent and the girl, he finally found his voice.

    "Well, that created more questions than it answered. I was under the impression they knew more than we did..." The Marine trailed off absently, wishing he had a better idea of what he was getting into. Thankfully, his time in the military had gotten him thoroughly used to being moved from place to place for no good reason besides 'orders from up top', so he wasn't too perturbed. Not yet, anyway.

    -------------------------------------------------

    Carrow, meanwhile, had already been pushed as far as he could stand. The vague directions had been one thing, and he didn't even hold getting shot at too much against Landry. After all, they were on his land. But being treated like a non-entity when his people were supposed to be looking to him for guidance was the last straw.

    "Whatever games being played here, I'm putting a stop to it. Don't unpack your things, if I don't like what I hear in there, we're leaving." The old spooky stated gruffly, stopping to regain his composure and carefully-cultivated air off authority, and then stormed out in the direction Eerie and Landry had gone, catching them in the other room.

    The lanky ginger was on the phone, of course, caught in a heated argument involving lots of expletives with whoever was on the other end. Carrow put a stop to that though, stamping up and rudely tearing the device from the younger mans grasp and tossing it carelessly to the side.

    "Benoit, you and I gonna have a little chat now. Man-to-Man. Because I thought I'd gotten used the the Watchers bullshit by now, but this is on a whole other level." He stated in a tone that brooked no interruption, conceding the small olive branch that his outrage was more towards their mutual superiors than the man himself.


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  8. #8
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    The sound of the door slamming behind him was the first thing the man on the other end heard, the mutterings of the ginger barely audible as he found the peace and quiet he so needed in his back office. A stark contrast from the rest of the house, it was a disaster. The walls covered with more of an arsenal than most could have dreamed up, and then some. Papers were stacked all over and the tvs mounted on the walls showed various maps and long streams of incoming data(all for records sake) It was a base in less that 160 square feet, and there was only one person usually inside.

    “What the fuck is this whole mess you’ve dumped on me.” Snapped Leddy, his tone less than polite as the man on the other end tried to start, only to be cut off. “Why can’t you mother fuckers organize a damn thing worth shit? You know very fucking well what happens when people get past that fence line. Never mind that, WHY the fuck have you sent people with absolutely no experience o-!”

    “Benoit, you know very well that we were tracking them the same way you were, We just happened to have a slight delay .” The man on the other end of the line explained, being quite nonchalant about the whole mess.” Listen,I know you’re a stickler for these sorts of things, but we did try and make things as smooth as we could. We caught things just in time, so no harm done. Now-”

    “Don’t you fuckin’ ‘NOW’ Me! Merde! This is some fucking-bullass joke! The kid fuckin screamed like a little girl! Thank god that marine kept her mouth shut. I damn near shot out of instinct. You said your bitch ass was sending me HUNTERS. You’ve sent me fuckin’ babies! What the fuck were you gonna do if i DID shoot them because of your cockamamie ass! What good what it have done t-”
    “We simply would have sent you more recruits.”

    The blase nature of that statement shut the man up, but not in the right way. His free hand clenched into a white knuckled fist as he glared down at his phone, the screen threatening to snap in his grasp. The complete disregard of it all had his blood absolutely boiling. They were loosing people left and right to whatever was going on, and now, this? The gears began to turn in his head before it hit him. They weren’t sent here to be useful outright. They were sent to be taken care of.

    Taking his silence for agreement, the man on the other line continued. “You seem to understand the implication of them being there. It’s their last option. You’re a generous guy. Donate your time. Keep them alive. Tr-”

    ALIVE? You Blue Blood, Yuppie MotherFucker! What are Fuck do you mean just send more!? Kiss my ass! Just send in the fresh fuck meat with a sign that says eat me why don’t you! “ The man bellowed, his foot flying out to kick whatever was nearby to punctuate his assault on the other man’s ears.” What the fuck is this supposed to fix! You think I got time to deal with this shit along with eveything else I have to do to keep this fucking show on the road? How the fuck is this suppose to be of any use to my operations!? People are fucking dying out there, Good hunters. You bastards ain’t doing shit! Fuckin Beck Moi! If you wanted to get rid of them do it yourself, but don’t you fuckin’ use us as your executioners!” The expletives and insults continued as he ripped the man on the other end a new one. His teeth ground and hissing as he continued to spew his vitriol. These were people, People now trapped in a business they had no business being in. The kid bothered him, It irked him beyond what his senses could handle. A warning would have sufficed, but forcible recruitment. Insidious. Disgusting.

    Eerie closed the door behind her as she slid inside, watching her partner and sighing. Well, this wasn’t going well. Obviously they’d have to figure out just what was going on. This... hadn’t been what she’d expected either, but red was taking it particularly poorly. Not that she could blame him. He had more than enough on his plate, and now this? Perhaps she’d have to take the reigns. Settling herself down upon his chair while he paced the room, the witch watched carefully. Her attention pulled only when the door opened again and Carrow came storming in. Uh oh, this was not going to be a pretty sight. She tried to motion to the man to stop, but he didn’t seem to care.

    Leddy was just about to bring up the piss poor timing of this all when there was a sudden change in the weight of his hand, icy eyes wide as he stared down at his empty palm, and then the old man. Rage threatened to boil over as the old man came in with his attitude. Not only did he have no business comin in like that, He’d interrupted something, something he didn’t need to be fucking involved with, and without making sure they COULD have a man to man chat. Every ounce of frustration left the man on the other end of the call and was focused now on the old man.

    Thankfully, there was at least one rational mind in the home, a surprising one at that. Eerie used her shadows, covering the phone and quickly hanging it up. Lord knew what’d happen if the man on the other line had any feeling that these newbies would be fighting against them. Even with the old man’s experience, it was nothing on what they’d worked, and he seemed to have no idea what he was really dealing with.

    “Used to it? You haven’t seen fuck all yet! The bullshit these people dump on ya once they’ve got ya in their fuckin net...” He snarled, done with the way this old man was trying to assert himself. Standing up to his full height, he glared down at the ex agent. “You wanna mano e mano? Fine, I’ll fuckin level with you. I was promised hunters! Instead, I’ve got a group who’s total hunts I can count on my fingers and fucking toes. To fight against the things, in the dark, that will eat alive you and floss their fuckin’ teeth with your entrails while you’re still breathing!“

    “Oi, Cool your Jets, Red.” Called out the woman with a low hiss in her throat, something seeming to stop the man right in his tracks before he turned and glared at her. “The man’s just as frustrated as you are. And for the same god damn reasons. Level with him. Properly.”

    Inhaling deeply through his nose, the redhead took a moment and ran his hands back through his wavy mess of red and curls, trying to calm himself down. With one final growl of frustration, his foot made contact with the bottom of his desk. Finally deflated, the man muttered to himself and pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to bring down his sky high blood pressure before turning and facing the man. She was right, this wasn’t these three that were the problem. Hell, in better circumstances, he would have begrudgingly took them on without this much drama. Now however... was not the time. The man’s tired eyes betrayed him, his slouch returning as he finally collected himself.

    “You’ve barely gotten past your trials, Carrow, never mind the other two. I’ll be honest. You’ve got a better chance surviving A bullet between the eyes than this business. It will kill us all, It's just a matter of when. No guarantee it'll be the things we hunt either.” A startling difference from moments ago, Benoit seemed level headed, calm even. Pulling his pack of smokes from his back pocket, he flicked one out of it’s case and held it between his lips. Now where was his fucking lighter. “ You’ve probably been shown what happens if you go against orders. What happens if you try to escape. Or at least been told the consequences of trying to go against them. I don’t like to get involved with rookies, and for good reason, but it seems they’re not giving either of us a choice in this matter. This ain't on you, but they've got you and yours hip deep in this, and now, we’re stuck in the mess too. ”

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    The Agent let the younger man's righteous indignation wash over him, all signs of anger having evaporated the second he started hearing what he wanted. Regardless of what Benoit thought of him, Carrow was a professional...spent years of his life dealing with the most dangerous people on gods green earth, had tea with terrorists and sat down for dinner with dictators, sometimes in the same day, playing both sides of each and every conflict Uncle Sam dragged him into and leaving his own personal feelings out of the equation. And usually, the key to dealing with such forceful characters was to get their attention and let them tell you what it was they wanted to hear. Leddy was no different.

    Carrow waited for a pause in the tirade, when the other man snatched up a cigarette and started looking around for a lighter on his mess of a desk. Calmly, the older man reached into his breast pocket and produced an exquisitely-worked gold Zippo lighter emblazoned with the seal of the U.S. CIA, his retirement gift from the agency. Carrow didn't smoke, but for the occasional cigar, but the object had a personal significance. Being caught with such a thing on active duty would have been a death sentence, receiving it was proof that the recipient was officially deactivated. Proof that he wasn't needed or wanted there anymore, despite over twenty years of exemplary service. He lit Leddy's cigarette for him with a flourish, and finally opened his mouth.

    "Trust me, I'm not exactly thrilled about this either, but like you said, none of us have much of a choice in the matter. Upstairs says jump, we ask how high, or else they toss us off a building. I'm used to it, and personally, I'd be fine with punching my ticket already, don't have a whole lot left to live for..." The Agent trailed off in a calm deadpan, just stating facts without a hint of bitterness, before raising a hand and pointing his thumb back towards the door, behind which the others were waiting for the results of this little meeting.

    "Those two, though? They deserve a chance, and this is the only offer on the table. Singh, I found him sitting in a jail cell, looking at twenty-five-to-life for murdering a murderer. Premeditated, no remorse. Turn him loose and he'll do it again. Better for everyone if that devildog stays on a tight leash. Word is you have some experience at that." He punctuated that statement by turning to finally look at Eerie, the first real recognition he'd shown her since they walked in.

    Carrow had lied earlier when he'd claimed not to know about her....he'd read plenty, and most of it scared the living hell out of him. He'd played dumb so the others wouldn't freak out, learning it all at once. Better they start off with a clean slate. At the very least, she'd be able to keep Kasimir in line. From her little show earlier, even eager for the task.

    "As for Miss Paige, 'Brooksie'...yeah, she's a babe in the woods, and I don't like dragging her into this one bit. But she's also the sorta wunderkind that comes along once in a generation. IQ off the charts, good with computers, bad with people, and too curious for her own good, snooping around where she shouldn't. And we both know what our employers would have to do about that, so we've gotta make her useful." He continued, surprisingly calm despite discussing the life or death predicament of a nineteen-year-old girl. He'd seen younger die for less. He'd had younger killed for less. It was just a thing that happened sometimes.

    "So that's the score, all cards on the table. Those two are my responsibility now, weather I like it or not, and I mean to do my damnedest to keep them breathing. All I need is for you to help...I've seen a few things, got a few kills under my belt. But nothing like you two have seen and done. One of these days I'm gonna be a bit too slow on the draw, if 'ya catch my drift, and I'd like to make sure they're in good hands before that happens." The ex-agent finished with an exasperated sigh, and waited patiently for an answer from either of the two strangers who he supposed he'd be having to trust with their lives. If Landry and Eerie truly didn't want them here, he'd make the most of Singh and Brooklyn on his own and plead with the Watchers to give him time, but he just didn't think it would be enough.
    Last edited by Damonique; 01-16-2020 at 10:26 PM.


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  10. #10
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    Well, this was turning out to be one hell of an exhausting evening. The details on the lighter didn't escape him. Well, he was outdated, but would be reliable enough. Two men of totally different sorts of service under his roof. This would be interesting. With the raging wildfire finally burnt out, the man was able to finally fully listen. Tired beyond reason, he simply watched as Carrow rebutted him, explaining their reasons and just what the full scope of things were. He had to figure out just how this was going to work, at least in a vague sense of the word.

    He'd more than expected the younger gent to be full of piss and vinegar, while he didn't have much in the file, he'd seen the jail time. It was somewhat of a comfort that it was somewhat justified. Hell, he'd seen and done similar things before. Just had better resources and a way to get out of it. Marching orders and steady jobs would be their best option for keeping him in check. That and the little witch that was eyeing up the two of them with that grin of hers. Giggling away like they weren't fully aware of just what she was. Shes set her sights on him. So there was that. The thought itself earned a grimace from Benoit. Great, now he had two dogs to try and reign in. His work was gonna be cut out for him.

    The kid bothered him in more ways than one. The sheer amount of time and resources that would have to be used... Even then she'd flounder, but there wasn't much he could do about it. Perhaps some training around the safehouse. Find a few of the things wandering through near by and deal with them. He'd have to take some time out to do it himself. Damn, he wasn't going to let the wildcat woman sink her teeth into her. Not till she could stand on her own two feet. Set some ground rules and basics. Hell. It'd been some time since he'd had a good stretch. A possibility, something he'd discuss in private with the old man.


    Taking another hard hit off the nail in his mouth, he stretched and leaned back against his desk. The plume that enveloped him as he exhaled quickly waved away as he coughed to clear his throat. Looking about the room, his gaze fell upon the screens bolted to the wall. There really was no other option.

    " i usually dont take any training with people till they've got at least 50 hunts under their belt..." Started Leddy, thin fingers scratching under his chin as he spoke. " But I guess with circumstances being what they are, we'll see what we can do. You'll get plenty experience. I cant guarantee shit, but we'll do what we cam to keep all three of you alive."

    "Atta boy" Purred a smarmy voice from the corner.

    "Zip it you."


    "Go settle you and yours in, Carrow. It may not seem it. But this is the safehouse you'll be using. Home base of sorts." The cigarette moved to his hand as he gestured around the room. "I'll be dealing out your jobs as they filter down. Its best you sit your pups down and let me do the talking. I've got information they're going to need. You've got half an hour while I get together a few things. Then, well all talk. "

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