<Henry> The door to the rough and tumble looking biker bar opened just enough for a slender and bespectacled face to poke in the opening and peer owlishly at the interior. Oh yes, Henry was certain he was bloody well insane. Swallowing his courage, the slight and rather soft looking man slipped the rest of the way inside. His hair was a mousy brown in colour and looked like it was perpetually mussed up from hands being run through it

and his glasses seemed to constantly need adjusting as they slipped down his nose. The nervous man began moving towards the bar with curious glances here and there. He felt terribly out of place in his neatly pressed grey dress slacks, polished shoes, and maroon sweater vest. The dress shirt beneath the sweater vest did have the sleeves rolled up to the elbows, but that didn’t seem to give the aging man any street cred to his

appearance. Slung over a shoulder he had a worn leather satchel that looked to be mostly empty except for a light load. After fidgeting in the centre of the room for an awkward moment, the poor man moved towards a seat and just as awkwardly sat down… which he seemed to accomplish by nearly falling over the chair and table. Luckily he didn’t hit the floor and managed to get himself properly seated, with his back to the wall so he could

face the room with wide eyes.

Zane walks over toward Henry, eyeing him a moment before sitting down, his face full of boyish charm. “Waiting for someone?”

<Henry> Was just thinking about trying to get someone’s attention so that he could order a cup of tea and some biscuits, but he was too busy wondering why on earth he had decided it was a good idea to come here early. Oh course he spotted the person walking over to him, but it took him a moment to realize he was the intended destination, “Ah… yes. Well, no. Not yet?” He nervously seemed to cover all his basis as he adjusted his

glasses and peered at the man now sitting across from him before elaborating, “I am meeting someone later. I decided to make sure I knew where to find place before then. I… think this is the right place.”

Zane cocks his head and smiles. “Oh really. Who you waiting for? Maybe I know them? You… Seem out of place here is all.”

<Henry> Did his best to ‘act’ casual and give the impression that he thought he fit in, which failed horribly, but at least this chap seemed friendly enough and hadn’t pulled a knife on him or tossed him over a table and out a window, “Perhaps you do. He seemed to imply he came here with some bit of frequency. Dr. Narlanthe?” The name was posed as a question itself.

Zane blinks and runs that through his gears a moment before finally laughing and nodding. “Aaahhhh, I see. I know Cass. Obviously in less formal terms. He is a regular around here.”, he relaxes in the seat across from Henry, that information seeming to put him more at ease. “You want a drink while you wait?”

<Henry> Hadn’t caught that the man might have been less than relaxed, that boyish smile had put the middle aged man at ease from the get go. Henry did smile at the recognition though, “Cass? Well, I’ve only met him a handful of times, but he seems to be a rather nice chap.” Henry wasn’t sure he was up to calling the good doctor Cass, but at least he had picked up a nickname to identify him by later and the offer of a beverage had Henry

practically beaming, “I would love a spot of Earl Grey tea with a spot of milk… and some biscuits if they have them.” Henry had been near to starving today with hunger and his lunch just had not gone far enough, “So you are an acquaintance of the Doctor’s?”

Zane grins a bit at that and gets up, talking to the viking looking guy behind the bar before coming back. “Erik will see about getting your drink. Where are you from? I have known the Doc for a while now. I can say I feel he is a good guy. How did you meet him?”

Zane facepalms and then offers his hand. “I’m Zane Calbeni. But Zane is fine.”

<Henry> was relieved, this place might just be respectable under all the viking biker men. At least the tea would likely be warm if not palatable and he could hold the cup. Henry extends a hand in return. His grip is firm, for a bookworm, as he takes Zane’s hand, “Dr. Henry Haines, at your service, Zane. It is a pleasure. You may call me Henry… and no, I am not a medical doctor like…. Cass.” No, he wasn’t using that nickname again.

It just felt -wrong-. “How we met. Ah… well… ” Henry paused because how exactly does one explain any of that the last two days had entailed, “I suppose you could say we met through his work.” Which was somewhat true, in the vaguest sense of the word.

Zane smirks and leans back in his seat again after shaking Henry’s hand firmly. “I see. What kind of doctor are you then? Perhaps… You work at the museum, or library? I spend a lot of time on campus. Occasionally I even lecture.”, he smirks again slightly.

<Henry> pauses to open his satchel and tugs out a small business card holder and extracts one to offer to Zane, “Well, I am a Linguistic Anthropologist by trade, though my current position is as a researcher with the Now Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum.” Which might seem a bit of a stretch for the rather proper looking Welshman, “I venture up to the University on occasion and I know a couple professors in the Religious studies and

Anthropology departments.” The card simply had Jacob’s name and number as well as the museum’s address and name. “May I ask what your area of study is?”

Zane smiles and nods as he accepts the card. “Transition of Cultures. Essentially, modern anthropology. Observing how cultures adapt or preserve tradition over time.”

<Henry> perks up at that, scooching forward in his seat with his enthusiasm, “Truly? That sounds delightfully fascinating. Do you have any cultures in particular that you enjoy focusing on. Do your studies ever look at the evolution of languages over time? If you’ve published any papers I will simply have to look them up. Currently my own research is focusing on Vodun, Hoodoo, and the like as it relates to the culture here in New

Orleans.”

Zane nods. “I did write a paper on modern Tribes. Bikers for example, Soccer Moms… All types of modern tribal cultures. Each with its own rules and behaviours and language to some extent.”

<Henry> makes a small noise of understanding and looks around, “I think I should have preferred to read that article before I came out tonight.” Which was obviously a reference to his feeling a bit out of place in the Trill, “I don’t think I’d ever brave Soccer Moms though. They are truly terrifying creatures and I think they smell fear.”

Zane laughs openly, nodding in agreement. “It was terrifying research full of snide glares and backbiting.”, he says as Erik delivers a hot cup of earl grey and some orange slices beside it. “All we had around here besides peanuts.”

<Henry> joins in the laughter, it wasn’t often he had people who got his sense of humor or even often that he socialized, “I ran a fowl of one at the local market once and I had to check to make sure I still had all my digits afterwards.” He smiles and claps his hands in delight as the tea arrives and gives Erik an honestly grateful look when he reaches out to draw it to himself. “Oh this smells delightlful, truly manna from heaven.”

The orange slices weren’t cookies, but they were food, “They are perfect, thank you. I am absolutely famished. I would eat the teacup itself if I wasn’t certain to break my teeth on it.”

Nephthys heads into the Trill, a big thick book in hand. She sits down and looks the room over cautiously. For those who havn’t seen her before, she’s a woman of north-african descent wearing a very well kept black suit with a pencil skirt. Wearing a pair of ankh dangling earrings and an eye-of-horus necklace.

<Henry> was a slender and bespectacled man with a slightly owlish look about him. The slight and rather soft looking man had mussed up hair that was a mousy brown in colour and his glasses seemed to constantly need adjusting as they slipped down his nose. He was a bit out of place in his neatly pressed grey dress slacks, polished shoes, and maroon sweater vest. The dress shirt beneath the sweater vest did have the sleeves rolled up to

the elbows, but that didn’t seem to give the aging man any street cred to his appearance. Slung over a shoulder he had a worn leather satchel that looked to be mostly empty except for a light load. He was currently seated across from another man hand had a hand curled around a cup of earl grey tea as he decimated a selection of orange slices as if he hadn’t eaten anything in a week. He might even end up going for the orange peels from

the way he was eyeing them.

<Nephthys> views that level of hunger as odd, so she flags down a bartender “I’d like to buy that man over there a plate of wings please.” She says handing over the cash to do so. Either he was unusual or homeless. Either way, it’s worth it.”

Zane watches Henry for a moment or two before sliding a glance at Nephthys. After observing her a moment he looks back to Henry. “We just don’t keep food around. The boys make a mess.”

<Henry> chuckles nervously as he realizes how voraciously the oranges had been devoured and then cleared his throat, “It’s fine, truly. I apologize, I’ve just been utterly famished today. I actually had a modest dinner before I headed out for the evening.” Which made him frown at the orange peels as if they had someone betrayed him. It was a shame that there was no kitchen though, “Perhaps napkins might help with the mess?” surely the

biker vikings didn’t throw food?

Zane laughs a bit at that. “Uhm, not really. I could order a pizza or something. You could just move to the back booth with it. That is where the Doc and I usually talk shop.”

<Nephthys> upon finding out that information from an NPC bartender frowns slightly and gets up. She returns about 10 minutes later with chinese food and has a seat near Henry and Zane “Greetings.” She says bringing out the outside food she brought in.

Zane raises an eyebrow before motioning toward the horseshoe shaped booth in the back corner. “If you are gonna do that, we should move this little shindig back there.”

<Nephthys> “Fine by me.” She says “Would you like General Tzo’s or Mongolian beef?” She asks smirking at Zane.

<Henry> waves the suggestion off with a smile. He didn’t actually -need- to eat. He’d had a healthy meal, but oh dear God someone was torturing him as they sat down with Chinese food and Henry stopped with his mouth open to say something to Zane and his eyes just slowly slid to the chinese food in an almost comedic way. Oh, his mother would tan his hide for manners like this. His mouth was already watering, “Perhaps another meal would

not be out of place.” He offers sheepishly to Zane. If he had to watch someone else eat he might just pass out from perceived lack of nourishment. He nods to Zain and collects his tea cup, “Probably a wise idea then, would you care to join us Miss?”

<Nephthys> Smirks at them “Of course.” She says. Definately on the unusual end of things. Nephthys looks over the two of them carefully.

<Henry> moves to the new table, sliding into the horseshoe booth and tucking his satchel good and close at his side. He does pause for a moment as the woman seems to scrutinize him and blinks at her, “Ah… is something the matter? And… Mongonlian beef, if it isn’t too much trouble.”

Zane laughs a bit and sits down at his usual booth after letting them pick first. “No thank you. I had dinner before I arrived. But you guys go ahead.”

<Nephthys> hands the beef over “I like to look over new friends first. There’s a lot you can tell about people if you know where to look.” She says taking out the general tzo’s.

<Henry> Normally a stickler for manners, Henry would have shared the food that was graciously given to him, but today? No, today he wanted all of it for himself. He carefully opens the box and collects a pair of chopsticks, “It is very kind of your to share Miss…” He left the name blank for her to fill in as she desired, “I am not sure we have been properly introduced.” He spared a hand to extend in greeting to Nephthys, “Henry, at

your service and this fine gentleman is, Zane.” After introductions were seen to he couldn’t stem his curiousity, “I am curious though, what sort of things are you able to tell about me by a look?”

<Nephthys> “My name is Nephthys.” she says shaking his hand “Your bag is lightly packed. You’re drinking tea. Your glasses require a professional adjustment you likely can’t afford. You however have a meticulous attention to your appearance.” Nephthys takes a bite of her own food. “This, along with your extreme hunger, implies that you either have willingly chosen a near-ascetic life of simplicity… or you recently lo

Zane watches and listens to the interactions between the two, but also scans the room from time to time as if keeping an eye on things.

<Henry> places a hand on his glasses and blinks a few times before looking down at his satchel and then takes a look at the offered food. Was this how he appeared?! Very slowly a look of absolute mortification overtook his features and he gave Nephthys a look of abject apology. “I… you think…” He gestures to the meal and then himself, “That I? And you…” Nope, no complete sentences for Henry today. At least not until he finally

paused to sort his words, “I… am simply hungry, but I am not in need of charity. Not that I am not grateful, but… I am employed. I just haven’t been able to quench my hunger today. I think it was all the fright from the previous days catching up to me. I assure you… I am not starving.” Even if he felt like it.

<Nephthys> “Mmm. Then it’s probably the first option.” She says shrugging “A simple life by choice. Which I don’t judge harshly at all.”

<Henry> chuckles softly, “Well, actually… I never really considered that my glasses could use adjustment, though they might have been made a touch worse when I was dropped on the pavement last night. I should likely pop into the optometrist when I have a chance. I simply tend to be quite busy with work, Miss Nephthys. I usually forget what time it is and only remember to peer at the clocks well after most offices are closed.”

<Nephthys> laughs slightly in return. “Well that we have in common. as well. I’m usually a night owl and find it frustrating that nobody else is open when I’m out and about.”

Zane grins. “Same here. I am usually only around for late classes and after hours. But campus is so nice at night, quiet.”

<Henry> seemed to relax as some common ground was found and it was accepted that he wasn’t in need of hand outs to survive, “Oh, might I ask what sort of work that you do, Miss Nephthys?”

<Nephthys>> “I’m a literary translator.” A lie, but a skill she can demonstrate if nessicary.

<Henry> perks his head up with a bit of excitement. He was meeting so many interesting people tonight. First Zane and now Nepthys, “Truly? What languages are you proficient in and do you deal manly with modern literature or are you skilled with the languages of antiquity as well?”

<Nephthys> “Primarily I deal with Arabic. But if you have any others I can take a look. Recently I just got through Confucius’ five classics.” she says taking another bite.

Zane smirks a bit and props his boots up on a nearby chair. “Well… I dont exactly look like a professor.”

<Henry> Smiles brightly, “Ah, that explains the accent I can hear.” He brushes the offer off cordially with humour in his eyes, “I don’t have anything at the moment, but linguistics is a passion of mine. I am a linguistic anthropologist by trade and my specialties include a number of languages from antiquity, though I am mostly working with the local creole dialects at the moment. It is rare that I meet another individual that is so

inclined.” Henry tilts his head to give Zane and measuring look, “No… you rather look a little rough and tumble, but the surface is rarely very telling about an individual, in my experience.”

<Nephthys> “OOh, what subject?” she asks looking him over “I’ve got a keen interest in Archeology myself.”

Zane chuckles a little. “Transition of Cultures. Mostly modern tribal habits.”

<Henry> directs a nod at Zane, “He is a truly brave man. He risked many appendages and trauma via purse thwapping to study the ferocious Soccer Mom.” Somehow, Henry manages to say that with a straight face and a grievously serious and sober expression.

Zane laughs easily, his boyish features taking over his expression easily. “It was harrowing. But it was required research.”

<Nephthys> laughs a bit. Still it was good to find people willing to talk about her more mundane interests. “So your studies also delve into more modern sociology?”

<Henry> Was quiet as he listened to Nephthys ask her question, it was an interesting query and he was interested in the answer. Plus, listening meant that he could politely shovel more food into his mouth.

Zane nods a bit at that. “Somewhat. Also anthropology. I study both adaptation and preservation of culture.”

<Nephthys> “Mmm interesting.” She says considering how to phrase a question. “Have you considered looking into how native cultures can attempt to survive even while being oppressed by a majority abrahameic religion?”

Zane grins, very catlike. “One of my specialties is the preservation of old traditions during modernization.”

<Henry> was truly fascinated and listened keenly as his food was quickly vanishing from in front of him. Perhaps he could pilfer some of Nephthys’ meal. Perhaps if he waited until she was truly occupied. No, no. That would be rude. While Henry didn’t have much experience with Native culture, he did see parallels with the vodun religion in America, “Are you in New Orleans to study how Voodoun has influenced the current culture and guage

how it has been preserved and adapted?”

Zane looks over at Henry and cocks his head. “A bit. Not really the reason but there are some wonderful opportunities here.”

<Henry> nods in simple understanding, “Well, finding a few good opportunities is always a boon. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I moved here from Wales. It was an exciting adventure though.”

Zane nods and ribs Henry lightly. “I am from Italy originally. That is quite a trip.”

Henry cuckles as he’s ribbed. He wasn’t used to that sort of casual manner, “An Italian biker and a professor? Should I be worried that you are in league with the mafia? Or shall I count myself safe on the merit of my ‘book’ cred?” Henry certainly lacked street cred.

Zane smiles, amused. “I would have thought the last name gave it away. Though I have lost most of my accent, unless I am looking for a date. Then it comes in handy to lay it on.”, he says with a wink.

<Henry> “I have learned that family names rarely mean much in America. The great mixing pot, as it were.” He rolls his eyes and laughs, “If your accent is what wins the date, you may be after the wrong ladies… or I suppose the right ones if that it your style.”

Zane shrugs. “Ladies, dudes, whatever floats said boat. Personally either works for me. And it works for both. Guys totally go for a sexy accent just as much as the ladies do.”

<Henry> “Ah….” Well he supposed that was true. Did Henry go for people with accents? Sexy accents? He was fairly sure a Welsh accent wasn’t in the sexy category. He blinks a few times, “Huh. Yes… I suppose that is an accurate statement. I can’t say I have much experience with it, but I’ve seen it often enough.”

Zane grins a bit and leans closer, speaking more softly but with a much heavier accent. (Presence) He radiates an aura of comfort and and harmless nature. “Don’t you think this is just a little bit sexy?”, he asks, once again with the boyish charm.

<Henry> oh dear lord. Maybe it was the tone, maybe it was the recent near death experience, maybe it was that Henry just plain didn’t get hit on, even moderately – but oh lord that was sexy and arousing. For a moment the man seemed to forget that he needed ovygen and how to blink. No, this was just an example – Henry reminded himself, but his mouth opened to produce a strangled noise of agreement before he cleared his throat to try

producing words again, “Ah… point… taken. That is very… alluring.” Because Henry was not using the word sexy. Nope.

Zane grins a bit and sits back again to give him some space. “Mmmhmm.”, he was confident in his ability, and this only bolstered him. But he wouldn’t press things, afterall, he didn’t want to upset the Doc. “So you working on translating things with Cass? I know he has a thing for languages.”

<Henry> Space and oxygen were both good things and Henry utilized the reprieve to straighten himself a bit as a cover for that flustered feeling. Once he was set back to rights he looked back at Zane with a curious expression, “No, I work for the museum. He hasn’t asked me to translate anything, though I imagine it would be a treat to do so. I do enjoy a good puzzle.” He shook his head slowly, “I only met Cassian two nights ago after

an… incident involving an alligator and the back seat of my automobile.” Henry winced at that, “The situation sort of escalated from there.”

Zane laughs again, though is caught a bit off guard at first. “It… Escalated from an alligator in the back seat. I can’t imagine a whole lot worse than that off the bat. At least that is survivable.”

<Henry> chuckles nervously and a good deal of colour has drained from his face, “Unfortunately it was not survivable for the young child I found in there with the alligator… and it did get much worse.” He let’s out a shuddering breath and wrapped his hands around the still warm teacup as a means to focus himself, “The entire situation… was not survivable. I am only alive thanks to the good doctor.”

::Maryska walks into the Trill wearing a black T-shirt void of art or writing, a black leather bomber jacket over top, blue jeans and a pair of biker boots, still wearing mountaineering shades with the leather side caps she looks around for familiar faces.

Zane cocks his head as he looks at Henry more seriously, actual concern replacing his previously joking disposition. “So, has he talked to you. Explained things? Lets go with I am a night professsor for a reason.” He looks over at Mary and watches the unfamiliar face a moment before turning back to Henry.

<Henry> was fairly certain that there would be a good deal more concern if Zane new all the gory details of the events. “Kindred, then?” Henry lifts a hand to give a so-so gesture, “We spoke briefly when I came too. I am a servant, relatively safe, and we both enjoy Tolkien.” Henry was relatively non-pulsed by those things, perhaps still in a bit of shock, “Honestly, as long as no one in here is a vampiric shadow monster, demon, or

hungry alligator – I shall be content.”

::Maryska looks at Zane and Henry a moment, trying to get a feel for anything, see if she can see beyond the usual, she settles down near them as she orders herself a beer.

<Zane Calbeni> nods to Henry and his smile resturns a bit. “Ahhh, so he has explained a little. Though I rather dislike the term servant I suppose it works for his little group.”, he says before glancing back off toward Mary again as she sists fairly close. His senses heighten so he can keep tabs on the newcomer easier as she seems curious.

<Henry> shrugs just a little, “Well, I did tell him that I am disinclined to do windows and a wretched house keeper, but it is what it is, I suppose. The alternative would have been quite unpleasant.”

::Maryska sighs as she sees the other guy staring at her and rests her cheek on her hand as she takes a sip of her beer. “So, on a scale of one to ten, what do you two think? Three? Four?” She just looks at them, her eyes still hidden by the sunglasses as she talks to the two men.

<Henry> lets his gaze slide to Maryska for a moment and then blinks and gapes, “I… pardon? A scale of what?”

<Zane Calbeni> chuckles. “Sorry. Why don’t you come sit over here if you are going to be checking us out?”

::Maryska puts her beer on the table and keeps looking at them.:: “scale of one to ten, am I ugly? A one, or beautiful, a ten, only asking because y’all are staring pretty hard.” She gets up with a smile and settles at their table taking her beer with her.

<Zane Calbeni> grins, both boyish and catlike all at once. “Well, I certainly don’t mind the tough look. Not gonna lie it is kinda a turn-on.”, then he winks at Henry. “Shall I use the accent?”

<Henry> gapes more and holds his hands up in defence as he shakes his head almost violently, “No, no. You have the wrong idea. I was curious… well not that type of curious… not that you aren’t…” Henry snapped his mouth shut to forestall digging his hole any deeper and gestured almost violently at Zane, “Men! I like men!” Then he looks at Zane for assistance and face palms, “Yes, for the love of God use the voice. Or kill me….”

::Maryska laughed uproariously.:: “Oh wow that was some amazing panicked energy right there.” She shakes her head and chuckles down a bit. “Oh its okay, its okay, just having fun.” She sighs happily as she wipes a mock tear.

<Zane Calbeni> chuckles as well and shakes his head a bit. “You’re adorable, Henry.”, he looks back over to Mary and extends a hand. “I’m Zane. I own this place.”

<Henry> was not sure adorable was a good thing in this case. He groans and peers up from his hand before offering one himself with a slightly less mortified look, “And I am Henry, at your service, ma’am.” Then after a brief pause, “I don’t get out much, which may be obvious.”

::Maryska firmly shook both of their hands, a difference in temperature she could probably pick up, if she cared, and if there weren’t a host of medical conditions that could cause such a thing.:: “so, youre the owner, nice to meet you, and good to meet you too Henry, so I take it you’re boyfriends?”

<Zane Calbeni> laughs a little bit, shaking his head. “Not that I wouldn’t, but no. We have a friend in common and that’s how we got to talking.”

<Henry> would have laughed except he was the butt of the joke and just starting to slide lower in his seat. This. This is why he stayed in an office with books all the time. He just had wide eyes as he looked between Maryska and Zane and finally cleared his throat. He was half flattered by Zane, but he was sure that was just a polite comment, “I am sure Zane has… much better prospects. He does have a particular gift with his voice.”

He gives his best good humored smile, “I wandered in here earlier since I wanted to make sure I knew where to meet our mutual friend and Zane was kind enough to save me with a cup of tea that was desperately needed.”

::Maryska nods:: “Thats cool, it was just how you pointed to him when you said you liked men, I honestly couldn’t care less either way.” She sips her beer a bit more. “Sorry if I made y’all uncomfortable.” She tilts the beer towards Henry in a slight salute. “So, what do you two do around here? Aside from you owning a beer.”

Beer = bar))

<Zane Calbeni> smiles a little more, still completely charming. “Oh no, I was teasing him just a little. I am cool with either, but we did just meet and I am not easy.”, he grins again.

<Zane Calbeni> shrugs and chuckles again. “Well I spend a lot of time on campus as well. What about you?”

<Henry> gave Maryska a small smile, “I was more gesturing since he was a man. I didn’t mean to imply anything. I haven’t dated since college, but the teasing was… nice.” He admitted that much, at least. “I am a researcher at a local occult museum, a linguistic anthropologist. Usually I document artifacts and arrange displays in the galleries.”

::Maryska nods as she listens to the two men, crossing one leg over the other, letting the ankle rest on her knee as she rested the tips of her fingers in the front left picket of her jeans.:: “Me? Not much really, looking around the world a bit, heard there was a rancher here, figured I’d see about picking up work while I’m in the city.” Taking a glance at Henry as she talks to him now. “So you’re a book worm specializing

in historical stuff, sounds like an investment of time… How many languages you speak?”

<Zane Calbeni> takes another sweeping look over the room as if just making sure everything is still fine before ooking back to his own business at the table in the back.

<Henry> chuckles softly and nods, “A bit of time, but I rather lacked a social life, so I had a good deal of time for study.” He taps his fingers thoughtfully, “Speak, or know? A few languages are only known by their writing and the pronunciation and verbal dialect is merely a guess. All told, I am fluent in 21 languages, though more than a few are no longer in use in this day and age and one is… ah… fictional.”

::Maryska lofts a brow at the mention of fictional:: “Is it Klingon?” ::She sounded genuinely interested at the concept.:: “Fuck if I knew 21 languages, Id just use them for swearing at the Hay bailer.”

<Zane Calbeni> raises a hand. “Elvish?”

<Henry> chuckles and shakes his head at Maryska, “No, not Klingon, though I have been known to curse in some rather colourful vernacular when the need arises.” His smiles widens at Zane and he nods, “Quenya is my elvish of choice.”

<Zane Calbeni> laughs and nods. “Well, you mentioned you shared a love of Tolken with the good Doctor. So i kinda figured.”

::Maryska nods a little.:: “Interesting, English is my second language and currently the only other language I know.”

<Henry> nods rather enthusiastically, “Indeed, he speaks the language as well. I admit it was the highlight in a rather dreary collection of days.” He hums softly and taps his chin with a cheekish grin. “Well, if you wish to learn a third, I am willing to at least teach you some vulgar curses.”

<Zane Calbeni> chuckles a bit himself, nodding. “I know my home language of Italian, English, Spanish, and French.”

::Maryska nods at the offer.:: “I would like to know some French, or whatever they speak around here.” ::she scratches the back of her neck a bit and orders another beer while sitting with the two men.

~*Ramirez*~ roams into the Trill with a cigarillo in hand. He’d head to the bar and order a beer and then look around at what was going on. He’d give Zane a wave. “Oh, hey, Zane. Glad to see you around again.”

<Henry> “Creole is what is spoken around New Orleans, a hybridized language that is quite intriguing. I would be able to teach you the dialect.” His eyes light on Zane, “Oh now Spanish would be a treat to know. I never had much of a chance. I’m fluent in: Creole, French, Greek, Latin, Punic, Ancient Egyptian, Sanskrit, Ancient Sumarian, Enochian, Tolkien Elvish, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Japanese, Avestan, Old

English, Tamil, and Faroese. I’d be more than happy to teach any of them.”

<Zane Calbeni> laughs heartily. “All that but you never bothered to learn Spanish?”, he smirks and then looks back toward Ramirez. “Speaking of… what’s up, man? Come have a seat. And a beer or two.”

~*Ramirez*~ nods and heads over and slides into a seat. “Hey there.” He’d look over at Henry, studying him a moment. “Who’s the nerdy guy that would never be in here if there wasn’t some good reason? Did his little dog get stolen by a biker?”

::Maryska furrows her brow a little.:: “I think Creole will be a good start.” ::She grins as she seems to keep it simple, a single project at a time it seems. “The others can wait.”

<Henry> “Wrong region for my main areas of study, but I should like to rectify that.” Henry offered a warm smile to Ramirez that turned into a gaping expression, “I… don’t have a dog.” He was getting very good at gaping, “I… there is a perfectly good reason why I am here. It was an alligator, demons, carnivorous shadows, and ghosts! – Thank you very much.”

<Zane Calbeni> shakes his head at Henry a little bit, before looking at Ramirez. “He is a friend of Cassian’s. Like… Uhm… Oh, like Amy was to Simon.”

::Maryska has the beer at her lips and she is only just staring at henry, not drinking just staring at his proclamation of what brought him here.:: “come again?”

~*Ramirez*~ lofts a brow curiously at Henry’s response and then nods to Zane’s answer. “Oh, okay.” He’d glance back at Henry and take a drag off his cig. “So..how you liking our world so far, with demons and carnivorous shadows and wraiths?”

<Henry> frowned at the comparison, “I think that I shall hope that I am akin to the Simon chap.” And that the two were not a couple, but he left that unsaid. Not that Cassian wasn’t attractive, but he really didn’t want to give people the wrong idea. He lifts his tea cup to take a sip and looks at Maryska, “I don’t own a dog?” Sip accomplished he settled his cup back down and looks at Ramirez and then turns his wrist to look at his

watch, “Well… in a few minutes I will have managed to survive 48 hours since being thrown into it. I suppose I feel accomplished and … what is that popular phrase…” He thinks for a moment, “Ah yes. Scarred shitless and… as a point of note. do not throw rocks at carnivorus shadows. They don’t fancy it.”

~*Ramirez*~ “I suppose they don’t. I wouldn’t know. I’d think they were impervious to that sort a thing.” He’d glance over at Maryska, who he had seen before but not really chatted much with. “Hey there. How are you doing?”

<Zane Calbeni> glances over, but his expression is lightly concerned. “I don’t like the sound of that, but I’ll talk to Cass next time I see him. Hopefully it isn’t what first comes to mind.”

~*Ramirez*~ “You know about shadows that eat people?” He’d look at Zane curiously.

::Maryska shakes her head.:: “No the Carnivorous shadows and the other stuff, what is all that about?” ::she seemed to be taking a very vested interest in the mention of these things. She would take a moment and look at Ramirez. “By teh way, good to see you again, sorry I didn’t say anything but…I mean he just said all of that.” she gestures to Henry.

~*Ramirez*~ nods to Maryska. “I can understand. Ethan would say hi to you, I’m sure, if he wasn’t like busy tonight and last night.”

<Zane Calbeni> frowns a little, nodding. “There are some vampires that can do that. And they aren’t the friendly sort.”

<Zane Calbeni> does chuckle though. “And they are Spanish, in fact. Lasombra.”

<Henry> “There… is a bit more to it than simply being about shadows, A man who can not be captured on video. Children kidnapped a killed. A man I would peg as a Vodun priest….” And he’d been caught in the middle of it. “It is a very long and short story.”

~*Ramirez*~ laughs. “Spanish vampires that have shadows that eat people. They sound interesting. Lasombra.. first I’ve ever heard of them so guessing they are like Spain spanish vampires. Ya know, Brujah is also spanish…though to us it means ‘witch’.”

<Zane Calbeni> turns and frowns at Henry. “Well, that sounds even more like one now. They don’t cast reflection… or show up on camera.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Now, voodoun stuff..I know. I practice it and Santeria.”

::Maryska leans forward a bit.:: “If this is a danger, I would like to know, please tell us your story.” ::she gets her beer and starts to sip it while looking at the bookish man, seeing what his story tells her.::

<Henry> Blinks slowly, “Are you bloody well telling me that a Spanish Vampire has been threatening me?” And he let out a string of what could only be extensive curses in various languages. He lets out a long sigh, “I am a researcher at the voodoo museum here in town. You should… possibly look at some things, but I have a feeling I should ask Cassian first, but this Lasombra was interested in some artifacts.” Henry bit his lip and

looked down at his empty tea cup, “Well… I am supposed to be careful who I give details too. I am not sure it would be wise to share more than I have.”

~*Ramirez*~ “That’d teach you for knowing all those other languages than Spanish. Spanish is an awesome language.”

~*Ramirez*~ sipped the beer in front of him. “So like..that’s great. I’d love to see your stuff at a museum. I don’t even think I’ve ever been to a museum before except when I was little and there was some tour in 3rd grade. A lot of stuff people do have though, I figured it’d be mainly fake voodoo.. not the stuff I learned.”

::Maryska looks at the people around the table.:: “I am not sure who I’m supposed to be in contact with in regards, but this sounds like a serious threat, please, tell me you’re willing to do something about this, and that I can join?” she seems rather intent on joining, there might be a good chance she’d probably go hunting it on her own if given half a chance.

<Henry> scoffed, “Very well then Mr. Ramirez. You shall teach me Spanish” He wagged a finger, “And some artifacts are indeed fake, but I assure you, I have verifiable items as well and I think they could stand the scrutiny of someone who knows what they are doing. At least, they as real enough that they affected me and I have no skill or power with the religion.” He shakes his head to Maryska, “Well, it claimed the life of a three year

old child and nearly claimed mine and that of another young girl, so I would say it is serious. However, as I discovered, tossing rocks at it did nothing. I don’t know who you could talk to.”

~*Ramirez*~ “I’ll teach you Spanish if you teach me a language that also connects to voodoo in exchange. As for it claiming lives.. seems to me that is black magick and well I’d need to see something to trace stuff. If Zane is right and these shadows and mysterious weird guy that showed up are about this Lasombra, maybe that person is after something in

particular.”

<Zane Calbeni> listens and then nods solemnly. “Yeah. I will certainly talk to Cass about all this mess. As for you…”, he glances to maryska. “I don’t mind more hands on deck if you can hold your own.”

::Maryska nods.:: “I’m more than competent in a fight.” she looks at Zane with a nod, still wearing the sunglasses, she hasn’t taken them off yet, and still sipping her beer.

~*Ramirez*~ “Good”, he’d say to Maryska. “I am sure it could be useful.”

<Ashe> nods to Ramirez, “Creole would be the best.” Then he looks between the three of his table guests and lifts a hand tentatively, “Uh… if it is all the same… could I bow out of any fighting? I… really haven’t a clue how to defend myself and I already face possible death this week. Anything else you need, I am willing, but please not fighting.”

<Zane Calbeni> smirks a little and winks at Henry again. “A lover, not a fighter. I can respect that.”

<Ashe> takes a moment to give Ramirez a long look before wincing and looking at Zane, “Ah… not much of a lover I am afraid, unless you count this one time in grad school… but I am fairly sure there was something in those drinks.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Fine with me.” He’d look back at Henry.

::Maryska looks at the group and just nods.:: “I wonder if this shadow fights in the shadows.”

<Zane Calbeni> frowns and nods. “It can… if it really is that. They can suffocate you with those shadows too.”

<Henry> shook his head, “The shadows were alive. They weren’t -in- other shadows. They were quite literally living shadows that were stalking Cassian as he went to rescue I child in a lion cage. When I distracted them, it was the shadows that came after me, blocking out the light and slicing me as it they were made of razor blades.” Henry shudders at the memory, “If Cassian hadn’t rescued me from the shadows after saving the child, I

would be quite dead right now.” It had been harrowing, but Henry didn’t regret what he did. A child’s life was precious.

~*Ramirez*~ “So…how do you go about fighting those shadows? Like what is their consistency? Can you just use like prime against them or forces?.. Forces..like light?”

::Maryska shrugs a little.:: “camera flashes?” she sips her beer again and looks at everyone around. “This thing has weaknesses, we will find it.”

<Zane Calbeni> smirks. “Fire in general is good for pretty much anything.”

<Henry> Shrugs, “A camera flash would be relatively useless. It consumed the light I tried to take refuge under until there was only darkness dragging me off. I don’t remember things very clearly after that since I was on deaths door, but I recall a brilliant blinding light and then the Doctor was there. I reckon he would know the specific sort of light needed for that particular beast.”

::Maryska nods:: “Very well, I will find its weakness when we find it, and should I need to, I will light myself on fire.”

<Zane Calbeni> looks over at Maryska and scoots away a bit. “Well, that is… probably not needed. Lets add that to the last resort pile, okay?”

<Henry> just stares at Maryska. He doesn’t say anything, but his facial expression is pretty clear. He thinks she has just joined the bat shit crazy club. Henry moves a little closer to Zane, “I’m going in your group. The not self-immolating group, ok?”

~*Ramirez*~ “So…why would you light yourself on fire? I hope that’s some sort of ritual that doesn’t hurt.”

::Maryska smirks.:: “It was a joke, who lights themselves on fire to fight someone?” ::she shoes her head chuckling and sipping her beer. “I didn’t think I came off as insane.”

::shakes her head::

<Zane Calbeni> laughs lightly. “Well, sometimes you never know…”, he nods to Henry.

~*Ramirez*~ “I dunno. I bet though it could work to use force that way… Though I think I’ll just send that at someone else instead.”

::Maryska stands up and pays for her beers as a wait staff passes by.:: “I will return and hopefully we can discuss this more, Ramirez has my number.” She nods to everyone. “I need to head home, have a good night.”

<Henry> Nods politely to Maryska, “Have a good night Maryska, it was a pleasure to meet you.” He turned his eyes back to Zane and Ramirez, “So, both of you know the doctor? Does he always get into these sorts of situations?”

~*Ramirez*~ “Take care, Maryska.” he’d wave and then finish off his bottle of beer.

<Zane Calbeni> nearly snorts. “It does seem par for the course all around.”, he says as he waves to Maryska.

<Henry> removes his glasses and rubs a hand over his face, “I think… I need to get a better life insurance policy.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Yeah, we know him, though with you calling him ‘The Doctor’ and Erin calling him ‘Doc’ all the time, I’m starting to think he’s like from Doctor Who or something. He’s cool though and has helped out around here. My group has gotten to know him well enough, and Cora and Zane too. They’ve been cool with us.”

<Henry> Chuckles, “Well his card did list him as a doctor when he met with me the first time. I suppose it is a force of habit.” The Welshman shrugs empties his tea cup before giving a small sigh, “It doesn’t feel proper to call the man who save my life anything other than something formal. I mean, I don’t actually know him well at all. Simply that I want to repay him, dearly.”

<Zane Calbeni> nods his head a bit. “Like I said, Cass is a good guy. I’d hate to see him pissed, personally.”

~*Ramirez*~ nods in agreement. “There are certain people around here that you just don’t want to piss off to actually see when they are legit angry. Zane is one.. but so isn’t Cassian.”

<Henry> Now that got Henry’s attention and he leaned towards Zane with an almost panicked look, “Is he going to be ‘pissed’ with me? I haven’t even done anything yet! I even brought the thrice damned book!”

<Zane Calbeni> looks over at Henry and shakes his head. “You are fine. But you do need to be careful who you spout off the screepy shadowy death stuff to.”

~*Ramirez*~ nods. “Yeah not everyone is going to understand you, which can be one problem…but another problem is when some people do understand you and they aren’t the right people.”

<Henry> rubs at his eyes again and sighs, “Right. You are both right. I shall need to keep my mouth shut.” Which was a damned good reminder that he didn’t even know these two, “Oh bloody Hell.” And he’d been spouting off to them like they were good friends just because they said they knew Cassian. Either one of them could be related to the person who tried to kill him…. or both of them, “I… need to go.” Which came out sounding a

good deal more panicked than he planned as he grabbed his satchel to scramble from the booth.

<Zane Calbeni> cocks his head a bit. “You going to be alright? I could text Cass for you.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Are you like afraid of us now? If you came here, I’m sure Cassian told you this place was okay. We were just warning you because occasionally other people care and we all have some enemies around here. You’ll learn soon enough who you can befriend and trust and who you should stay away from.”

<<Vaclava>> dresses up in a black ao dai with little gold question marks embroidered into it and drives down to the trill

<Henry> was fine. Perfectly fine. Not sure if he was going to remain that way, but for now he was mostly fine… partially fine? “No, no. No need to bother him. I am sure he is busy.” He held up a finger to Ramirez and grave an emphatic, “Yes, quite. Both of you. I… have told you both far too much and I haven’t the foggiest who you really are. Which could get me killed and I am really trying to reach my stretch goal of living for 72

hours.” Though telling them that was probably a mistake.

<Zane Calbeni> does send a text to Cassian. ::Hey, got your boi Henry here. Nice guy, you got a thing for librarians, huh? ::

<<Vaclava>> goes inside, scanning the bar for familiar faces.

■► Cassian ◄■ pulled into the parking lot and took out his phone and texts back to Zane <txt> Librarians are extra smart. That’s attractive.

■► Cassian ◄■ then gets out of the vehicle and would head in to the Trill. ~

<CoraAnn> follows Cassian into the Trill, kinda looking around a bit before smiling a little as she spies Vaclava.

<Henry> was currently trying to scrambled out of a back booth with a rather panicked expression on his face. He paused though, in a rather awkward position, half leaning out of the booth as he spots Cassian and his panic fades to a rather sheepish look, “Ah… Or… perhaps… I am…. being a touch foolish…”

<Zane Calbeni> checks his phone and then laughs before waving to those that had entered in a friendly manner, to include kissing Vaclava on the cheek. “My friends, how good to see you.”

<<Vaclava>> smiles broadly and kisses zane back “Good efvening, Zane! How are you?”

<<Vaclava>> “Ah! Cassian and CoraAnn!” greets them with cheek kisses and hugs as well. “It vwould seem I picked a good time to emerge vfrom my composition…”

~*Ramirez*~ “Yeah, you being a touch foolish.” RAmirez snerks.

■► Cassian ◄■ “Hello Zane, Ramirez, Vaclava, Henry… Erik.” He’d wave over to Erik. “Hope your night is going well.”

<Henry> slowly settles himself back into the booth and straightens his glasses as a brilliant cover for his nervousness and rather embarrassing behavior. Ok, perhaps being brilliant was an overstatement, “My appologies Mr. Ramirez.” He offers quietly and then nods to Cassian before looking nerviously at all the new people, “Well… enough, Dr. Narlanthi. I am glad to see you well.”

<<Vaclava>> “Ah and hello there, Ramirez! vwho is your vfriend?” gestures to henry

<CoraAnn> doesn’t let go of vaclava when she gets close, hugging her tightly. She sighs and whispers. “We should talk soon.”, before letting her go.

<<Vaclava>> looks back at coraann in slight surprise then hugs back tightly “ofv course, my dear. say the vword.” gives her another kiss for good measure.

■► Cassian ◄■ “You can call me Cassian, please. How are you tonight and did you bring me what I asked for?”

<CoraAnn> half-smiles. “It’s a long story but it’s just… I just need to be woith somebody right now.”

<Zane Calbeni> looks about the group and then settles back into his booth before looking at Cassian. “Please tell me that what he says you all ran into isn’t what it sound like? Not that not knowing would be better.”

<<Vaclava>> looks at her for a moment curiously but doesn’t want to draw to much attention so she lets her go and just moves to stand with her arm around Cora’s waist, murmurs “I vwon’t leafve your side.”

<Henry> Nods, it was a bit unusual, but if that was what the good doctor wanted, who was he to argue, “I had a bit of a rough spell a moment ago, but I am quite alright now. No one has self-immolated and I may have told Zane and Ramirez a bit of what happened over the last couple of days, in general terms.” He had left out some very important details. Henry places a hand on his satchel and nods at Cassian, “Yes, I remembered to bring it

with me.”

■► Cassian ◄■ smirks to Zane and shrugs. “Oh it’s totally some Lasombra. At least 3 of them.”

■► Cassian ◄■ then looks at Henry. “Excellent. Going over that book might help us discern exactly what our lovely shadow wielders want.”

<CoraAnn> sighs and lays her head on Vaclava’s shoulder, resting there as the listens to the others.

<Zane Calbeni> sighs and frowns. “That’s kinda what i thought it sounded like. Oh well, knowing is half the battle, right?”

<Henry> Moves to open the satchel, but hesitates a moment, “Ah… we will be returning the book, yes?” Not that it really mattered. Cassian felt the book would help so Cassian was getting the book, “So… a book on Voodun will tell us what Spanish Vampires want?” Nothing good seemed to be coming out of Spain. Henry pulled an old and worn book from his satchel and very carefully set it on the table.

■► Cassian ◄■ “Yes, of course. The other half is laser guns and yelling ‘Yo Joe’ at the enemy while kicking their arses, I am pretty sure. We could potentially use your help versus our shadowy friends if you are up to a battle sometime in the near future.”

<<Vaclava>> stares at cassian

<<Vaclava>> “You are so strange sometimes, Cassian.”

■► Cassian ◄■ goes over and picks up the book, and leafs through the pages carefully as if he’s done this a million thousand times and just knows how to take care of old delicate stuff but also get things done timely. “As I suspected…there is something at least in here that they want. I can feel it. We just need to decipher the right spot to pull out the

right missive. Of course I will give you back your book. I just need it for the night really or maybe two at most.”

■► Cassian ◄■ eyes Vaclava and smiles warmly. “All the best people are, my dear.”

<Henry> Peers over Cassian’s shoulder, “Ah… what about the page that I saw the message on? Or the man in the swamp? He did say that he had information we needed.”

<Zane Calbeni> nods his head. “I certainly have no love for them. I’ll help any way I can.”

<CoraAnn> remains oddly quiet, though she does slide her arm around Vaclava’s waist and nuzzle against her neck lightly. “Can you just come back to my apartment tonight?”

<<Vaclava>> smiles back uncertainly at cassian then chuckles “Yes, you quite right, ofv course.”

<<Vaclava>> shivers slightly at coraann’s caresses and rubs her hip gently. “As ifv I could say no to you, darling.”

■► Cassian ◄■ “The man in the swamp is a quandary. I’m really not sure who that is, but perhaps the book might lend some insight to that as well. It seems to be detailing an old voodoo group that were brought from the Caribbean here to serve as slaves and then spread their beliefs and traditions among other slaves. It’s like a little group hidden away sending

each other messages and warnings and how they would try to ship those slaves away that were in the most danger from something darker.”

<Henry> Nods, “Yes, it is photographically detailing their lives. This is the book that cried when the children were in danger as well and it also seemed to summon the old woman. I think.” He was sure it was connected.

■► Cassian ◄■ “Good, perhaps you can see if you can find this man you saw in the vision before I take the book tonight. Mayhaps he is within on one of these pictures.” He’d set the book back on the table in front of Henry.

<Zane Calbeni> “Great, a haunted book. Yeah… on that note I am going to put the boys on alert for certain shadowy fiends. I guess its the one time we can rule Belle’s out as being an issue in the equation.”

<Zane Calbeni> nods his goodbyes to those present and heads off to spread the word around a bit.

■► Cassian ◄■ “In this particular issue, perhaps, though we don’t exactly know what these people are seeking and why. Have a good night, Zane.”

<<Vaclava>> listens curiously. she seemed more confused by what cassian said about lasers than about a book that cried.

<CoraAnn> stays close to Vaclava for the remainder of the evening, though quiet and affectionate. When they do leave, she’d have Vaclava go back to her place to crash, a little two-bedroom apartment downtown.

<Henry> didn’t have a recollection of seeing the old man in the pages, but he also hadn’t been looking for men. He’d been trying to find the source of the crying. “Please be careful, Zane.” Though he was sure the man could handle himself. He settles himself into the chair, “I can see if I see anyone similar in appearance. He was rather unique looking individual.” With that he will set to work.

<<Vaclava>> will definitely go back to coraann’s apartment and snuggle.

~*Ramirez*~ peered at the book with some curiosity. He’d then slide out of the booth and crack his knuckles. “I’m gonna head out.” He wasn’t sure what happened to Cora but whatever it was, she seemed down today, though looking healthier than last night. “Good night Vaclava, Cora, Henry, Cassian.” He waves and heads off.

<<Vaclava>> “Good night, Ramirez.”

<Henry> flipped through the pages, this time with a critical eye, until he stopped at one page and places his finger on the bass of the page, “Cassian? I believe this is him. He… looks exactly as I saw him. Though, his eyes seem rather alive for a drawing and the caption reads, “Of the gator people. Terrance. He will take the children north…” He trailed off almost speaking more to himself, “He saved the young girl in the darkness

with me as well. Took her. I think… we can find this place.”

■► Cassian ◄■ looks at the book and picks it up to study it. “Very good, Henry. Meet me back here again and I will have your book for tomorrow. I need to go now and work on some wards since a door was broken. Have a good night.” He’d close the book and then gesture to the satchel that Henry had used to bring it. “Do you need that or can I use it for

the book?”

<Henry> “No please, by all means.” Henry gestures to the satchel with a smile, “I shan’t have use of it again until tomorrow in any case. I hope you’ll let me know what you manage to find and… uh… good luck with the door?” He’d ask about the broken door later. That seemed a touch odd, “I should head home for the evening. I think I’ve had enough excitement for the evening.”

■► Cassian ◄■ “Very well. I am out too. I can give you a ride home if you wish.” He’d place the book in the satchel and then put the satchel strap over his shoulder.

<<Vaclava>> sayhs goodnight and heads off for the evening with coraann

<Henry> gives Cassian a grateful smile, “That would be positively delightful, I took a cab here since my own car is… likely gone for some time.” He’d head out with Cassian for the night.

■► Cassian ◄■ nods and would head out with Henry and give the poor guy a ride home.