“This place got drinks with blood infused man? I’ll buy the first round, can’t be letting you two club sober.” Kayn steps out of his car, looking over towards the building likely denoted by a large and fancy sign.

Anastasia listens to all that Cade shares with her about Trill and nods, thinking all he says sounds reasonable. As Kayn drives them to the place she can’t help but notice from the signs at the side of the road that they’re heading towards New Orleans proper. “Hmm… this might not be the best plan…” she offers up before they enter the city limits. “I’m not exactly welcome in this town,” she says in a matter

of fact tone then she looks at Cade and Kayn, “Unless you think that the Camarilla will honor my status as a liaison during this matter of the First Demon…”

(on the way still then, save that first for later)

Kayn glances in the rear view mirror. “You’re the chantry’s guest either way, meaning ain’t no one touching you.. Far as I’m concerned the vampires of New Orleans aren’t any better.. Think they’ll be willing to start a fight with the mages and shifters just to get at you?” He asks seriously, not rhetorically

φCadeφ claps. “Camarilla! That’s the word for the Tremere guys and their side of the vampire stuff right? Ok.” He thinks a moment. “If I understand things right, Zane, the guy that runs the Trill, is a higher up with them, and he made the neutrality rule so you should be fine.”

Anastasia nods at Kayn, smirking but finding his forthright fierceness something to admire. “I just didn’t want to drop you into shit without warning. As Shakespeare wrote, “I am an honest villain,”” she says with a cocky, playful smile. She nods, fine with things, not that she was afraid to enter the place, she just wanted to do the whole ‘full disclosure’ thing.

“Ain’t no such thing as an honest villain.” Kayn shrugs. “If anything does go bad.. lets have it go bad in a back alley, where I can shift with less fear of cameras.”

“Or just leave, run, what have it. Less trouble.”

φCadeφ nods at that last part. “Yeah I vote for leave. If I put some juice behind it I can possibly make us all invisible long enough to get away. But anyways, we’ll be fine! Let’s have fun.” He smiles and digs around in his bag, pulling out and quickly popping a few pills.

Anastasia grins from ear to ear as she favors Kayn and Cade with a warm, conspiratorial kind of smile. “You two are my kind of crazy,” she says with a dark kind of mirth in her voice. She nods once, agreeing to the plan, and arches a dark eyebrow at Cade as he pops a few pills. “Got enough Candy to share?” She asks as they drive through the streets of New Orleans with her taking in the sights with a tourists kind of

joy in her eyes.

φCadeφ looks over at her with confusion. “Vampires get headaches? I didn’t know that. I can give you some but I dunno how well it’ll work.”

Kayn glances Anastasias way, ducking back down under the hood and reaching into the glove box. Pulling a little red pipe and lighter in one hand, he retrieves a odd little container. “Went to Colorado over thanksgiving.. You even get anything off a bowl hm?”

Anastasia shakes her head no to both of them. “It’s the one thing I really miss, the ability to get fucked up by anything, really. Sucks being forced to stay ‘clean and sober’ most of the time,” she laments and pouts prettily.

“All natural stuff man.” He waves it teasingly, leaning back against his car and packing a little in. “You two go in, I’ll catch up.”

φCadeφ nods and gets out of the car, slipping on his backpack and waiting at the entrance for Anastasia.

Anastasia nods and winks at Kayn saying, “I wouldn’t want you to waste the good stuff on me. Enjoy,” she adds, waving byebye to Kayn then heading over to Cade’s side, slipping in close and weaving an arm around his waist in a coy and possessive way then nods at the door so he’ll open it so they can enter together.

*Katarina* saunters in shortly after they arrive, grinning at the two of them as they get seated, raising her hands. “Please hold your applause, I’ve arrived.” She’s currently wearing https://www.polyvore.com/kat_puerto_rico/set?id=203889654 with a leather jacket over it, as well as a ring adorning her right ring finger.

(dammit, ignore.)

φCadeφ blushes and pushes open the door, waving to Erik as they come in. “The usual please.” He grabs his Blue Moon then gestures towards a booth near the back. “That’s where I usually sit. There’s an upstairs too but I think we have to ask Zane to go up there and I don’t see him.”

Anastasia nods as she walks into the place at Cade’s side, clearly in his company. She flashes Erik a smile that doesn’t reach her eyes and asks, “how Bloody can you make my Mary?” Then she turns her attention back to Cade and says, “that booth looks fine, no reason to head above the throng… unless you want to be somewhere more private?” She purrs, turning towards him and trailing a fingertip down his chest in

a light, coy caress.

*Katarina* saunters in shortly after they arrive, grinning at the two of them as they get seated, raising her hands. “Please hold your applause, I’ve arrived.” She’s currently wearing https://www.polyvore.com/kat_puerto_rico/set?id=203889654 with a leather jacket over it, as well as a ring adorning her right ring finger.

Eventually Kayn makes his way in, sauntering up to the bar and ordering himself something good, something new orleans. With a glass of bourbon firmly in hand turns to survey the room, sipping at his delightfully burning drink while leaning back on the bar,

Time to get cross faded

*Katarina* upnods Kayn. “Well, helloooooo Dolly.”

*Katarina* may be grinning impishly.

“Dolly?” He casts a curious look her way, brow quirking some on recognition. “Weren’tchu the gal I saw scrambling outta that house?”

φCadeφ is completely flummoxed for a moment, a giant lopsided grin plastered on his face. “The booth works. It’d be rude to leave Kayn.” He looks over at Katarina. “Oh hey, she was there last night!”

Anastasia laughs and crinkles her nose up playfully. “You’re in charge while we’re here,” she purrs in a low, husky tone. She takes her drink and heads over to the booth, waving Kayn over and Katarina, who she too remembered from last night. “Yes she was, good to see she’s still amongst us.”

*Katarina* “I’m too pretty to die and too hard to kill.”

φCadeφ nods and gestures for her to sit at the booth. “Yeah. Guess it really was just Cassian and Kitt that didn’t make it out. Yet.”

“Ain’t we all.” Kayn grins some over at Cade and Anastasia. “Didn’t we come out here to stop worrying bout demons?” A glance to Anastasia and a wink. “Oops, I said it.”

*Katarina* goes over to take a seat at the table, kicking her feet up and studying Anastasia. “So, you new in New Orleans?”

Anastasia sits in the booth on Cade’s side, looking from Cade to Kayn as they speak of the verbottim. She giggles and nods at Kayn as he makes a joke of things then nods at Katarina, “keep it up and I bet you I can find someone to spank you…” she says warningly to Katarina. Then she nods and says, “yes, first time here, in fact. I’m Anastasia, I don’t remember if introductions were ever made last night.”

*Katarina* “Katarina Antonescu, or just Kat.”

φCadeφ sighs and takes a drink of his beer. “My bad.” He waves a bit to Katarina. “Cade Anima.”

Kayn comes to sit and give the cuddlers some space. “Kayn Bokkr, just call me ‘hey you.'”

*Katarina* blinks. “Damn. And I thought Cass’ name was weird.”

Anastasia giggles and raises her glass saying, “to the joys this night brings.” She smiles wryly at Kat’s thing about names then offers, “why be normal?”

*Katarina* orders a beer, but doesn’t drink it, choosing to lean back and give Erik a jaunty two-fingered wave.

φCadeφ laughs and raises his beer and clinks it on Anastasia’s glass. He takes a swig and glances around the bar. “This was a good idea.”

“Can I call you KitKat?” The red eyed Kayn asks of Katarina, sipping from his bourbom

*Katarina* “KitKat, huh? Why?”

Anastasia giggles and holds a hand up saying, “no, ‘KittyKat’” she offers in a husky, lusty tone. Her eyes go to the others expectantly to see if they catch the reference she’s making.

φCadeφ giggles “cause he wants you to break him off a piece.”

Kayn makes a half hearted claw motion as Anastasia says kittykat. “Call me.. kittykat.”

*Katarina* rolls her eyes.

*Katarina* “Just Kat, thanks. I’m not Selina.”

Anastasia nods and smiles saying, “sorry, couldn’t resist. So, Kat, aside from a dazzling fashion sense, what makes you tick?”

“Probably blood.” Kayn mutters, kicking back and relaxing wit his bourbon

φCadeφ sips his beer again and frowns. “Hush Hecatrix it’s fine.” He swipes at the air and shakes his head. “Love her but she gets really paranoid sometimes.”

*Katarina* “Shrinking me, eh? Well….that’s a secret.”

*Katarina* “I don’t give them out on the first date.”

Kayn eyes the head swiping. “I wonder what I could do with a pattern spider or something similar and that thing.. A net spider.. Gotta tell me how it works sometime man.” He hrrrmmss and is lost in thought for a long moment, muttering. “I wish I knew how to create fetishes.”

Anastasia looks from Kayn, who she gives a shushing look and one that let’s him know she feels he’s being rude to Cade, who she looks at with an inquisitive curiousity. “Is there some other woman in your head?” She purrs, sounding pouty and wounded as she walks her fingertips up his neck then brushes the back of her fingers along his jaw lightly. She giggles at Kat’s statements, then said, “Fetishes are easy,

you just need the right partner.”

φCadeφ looks to Kayn and then Anastasia. “Huh? Oh you mean Hecatrix? She’s my familiar. I would be happy to tell you how she works if I fully understood it myself. She kinda happened by accident.” He giggles and swipes the air again. “She was sticking her tongue out at me sorry. Anyways…” He looks over at Anastasia. “She’s not actually in my head. These glasses are augmented reality visors that o

verlay a GUI on my vision that the gloves let me interact with. She interfaces with the hard drive that runs it to communicate with me. Usually wirelessly but sometimes she moves into it if I’m headed where there is no signal.”

“Spirits can make such difficult partners sadly., especially when they’re weaver.” Kayn smirks at Anastasia, then to Cade. “..We’ll talk later on it my man.”

*Katarina* laughs, looking at Kayn with an impish expression. “What kinda fetishes are you into, then? Spanking? Wax play? Something else?”

φCadeφ snickers. “He’s a furry of course.”

*Katarina* makes an ew face.

“Klaives… I’ve never seen one but I’ve always wanted to try it.” Kayn purposely plays into the wordplay. “Isn’t fun until the wounds don’t heal.. and there ain’t nothing cute bout when I get fuzzy man.”

Anastasia giggles and winks at Katarina, finding her a woman after her own heart. Then teasingly, she slips a little closer to Cade and asks coyly, “so when you’re not playing with your hardware… what do you like?”

*Katarina* stifles a grin behind her bottle.

φCadeφ snorts and coughs as beer nearly shoots out of his nose. “Uh…you know. Studying, playing video games, watching movies, talking to my technopagan buddies, writing some code. I come here sometimes too. That’s about it really.” He blushes and shifts uncomfortably but doesn’t move away from her.

φCadeφ “What about you?”

Anastasia looked at Cade appraisingly, deciding his naïveté was genuine and adorable, so she slipped in a little closer, kind of leaning into him as she sipped her drink, then answered his question saying, “mostly, I work to improve myself, my understanding of the world and the powers in it. I’m sort of forced to take the ‘long view’ on things,” she admits, giving everyone at the table a knowing look, since what

she is is an open ‘secret’. “Then again, I enjoy indulging my whims and…” she turns to Cade and her cool breath plays over his tender throat, “… appetites.”

*Katarina* raises an eyebrow at Anastasia. “And what appetites would those be?”

φCadeφ shudders in both pleasure and a small rush of fear. “Cade is friend. Not food.” He giggles and takes another sip of his beer, trying to settle his nerves.

Anastasia smiles a Cheshire Cat grin at Katarina and coos, “those that make nights worth living for eternity.” She laughs at Cade’s assertion then winks at him and purrs, “true… but Cade does look scrumptiously cyberpunky.” Then she puts her drink down on the table and sighs, saying, “I need to fix my face… be back in a little bit. Where’s the lady’s room?” She asks.

*Katarina* gestures at the back.

*Katarina* “Also….fix your face? Did you mean makeup?”

~*Ramirez*~ meanders into the Trill in order to get some beer between jobs. Drug and gun running for the Latin Kings was tough work. He would be happy when he didn’t have to do this stuff anymore and could run his own shop and just relax. Life was life though. He would order an IPA and head to a seat to drink it. He lit up a cig and leaned back in the seat, taking

a sip from the beer now and then.

Looking up over his bourbon Kayn quirks his brows at Ramirez while sipping from it. His eyes.. are just a little red, sunk into a booth by Cade and Anastasia who are all up on eachother.. and Katarina, who is standing presumably.

*Katarina* is sitting, with her boots propped up against the table.

Kayn is currently working on a fine crossfade


~*Ramirez*~ “Sup, Kayn..Katarina.. and the two love birds.”

(I was wrong, yes)

*Katarina* looks at Ramirez. “Yo.”

Kayn throws up a peace sign to Ramirez, grinning toothily

φCadeφ smiles at Ramirez. “We had to take a break because I was frying peoples brains apparently.”

~*Ramirez*~ “How were you frying their brains in particular?” He waves to Kayn

*Katarina* “His sheer intelligence.”

φCadeφ gets that spacey look he has whenever there is something on his view feed then begins tapping on the table like it is a keyboard. He nods then looks back to Ramirez. “Well we were going over last night’s events and Anastasia brought up something that Zo told her about how his power was incorporated into the demon somehow. She asked if we could do a ritual to remove

it. So I started thinking and going on about some of the stuff that might be involved in that and whatnot. Plus just a bunch of metaphysical discussion in general. So now we are here taking a break.”

φCadeφ blushes a bit at Katarina’s words and looks down at the table. “I’m not THAT smart…”

*Katarina* “Aw, lookit him. He’s blushing.”

“Ramirez, perhaps later we could research the demon together. We know so little of it.. But for now.” Kayn shakes his head, waving him over to the table, winking. “Party till you’re dead.”

~*Ramirez*~ “The demon took his power when we were fighting Cornel at this prison island where Typhoid Mary was held.”

*Katarina* snickers. “And even after you’re dead.” She winks at Kayn.

φCadeφ shakes his head at Kayn. “How about, ‘party until mildly inebriated because you have very important and urgent business to attend to.'” He chuckles and takes another sip of his beer.

~*Ramirez*~ “We mght be able to do something of a ritual to try to get him some new power. Not sure we can really take it from the demon itself. Fighting that thing is going to be well, over our heads, but if we can find each of its links to this plane, and sever them.. I think that’s what we have to do. That means one thing we still have to do is find this

creature.. get rid of that ghost ship, and not sure what else we can do. The demon seems to have some opening under the water too.”

Kayn thumbs his nose at Cade, shrugging as talk goes back to the demon and discussion.

φCadeφ nods his head, getting caught up in the discussion despite himself. “Yeah I was afraid of that. I thought maybe with all of us at the Chantry working together with Zo as a focus, we could maybe extract at least part of it. Weaken the demon a bit and, if it isn’t beyond purifying, get Zo a piece of his power back. But it was a long shot. Severing its connection to

the world would help but…leaving it in the Shadowlands, or wherever, probably isn’t the best thing either. It could still pose a danger to Wraiths or Astral travelers or spirits or anything else in the same plane. Now if we could seal it away somehow…maybe in a pocket dimension or behind some serious banishing magic? That would be cool.”

~*Ramirez*~ “I’m not sure but I think the only way we could get his power back from it is if that power were captured somewhere and we could free it. I almost think we’d be better off trying to work with his pattern with the Tremere and see if we cannot make some ritual to restore his power by a different method. I think it’s a thing to discuss with Zo though

and others who help make rituals regularly. This demon in and of itself, it doesn’t seem to be here but it gets through other beings it uses. We need to break them.”

φCadeφ nods. “Makes sense. Right now we really need to focus on getting Kitt and Cassian back though. Who knows how long they can last in there.”

*Katarina* “Fuck, right. What happened?”

~*Ramirez*~ “I don’t know that the thing is right in the shadowlands either. It just has ways to connect to it too. Beyond the shadowlands that is known, there are deeper areas. Could be heavens and hells. The demon is trying to draw power probably to free itself. The more we kill of its assistants, and cripple their efforts to draw power for it, I think the better

we are. As for Cassian and Kitt.. they are, for all we know, still vampires and we presume they are okay. This makes them different from other stuff in the shadowlands. If we can isolate on that difference and try to find them, we can hope that works. I want to talk to Zo though and Aneas, as they might know more about how to do that. in the least, we could maybe try to give them a line..

a thread to try to follow it to go somewhere that Aneas could grab them.’

φCadeφ frowns and drums his fingers on the table. “Is there a way we could feed Aeneas power? Can angels utilize raw Quintessence in the same way we do? If so we might be able to give it enough of a jump to be able to snatch them out the way it did with us. Some dimensional magicks and that thread you just mentioned would definitely help too I think.”

~*Ramirez*~ “The problem is the two ended up in a deeper part so it isn’t safe for Aneas to go in there. The demon already stole Zo’s power so we don’t want to give it Aneas’s too. We need to lure Cassian and Kitt out of where they are..give them some line to follow so they can be found. They are resourceful so they might figure it out themselves, but without us

knowing how that realm specifically works, it would be hard to just send Aneas in. It is the demon’s place in all technicality. He said they went too far in to the bad area.”

“I don’t know what the hell is going on.” Kayn huffs, sipping from his bourbon

φCadeφ “Hmm…so we need to send some sort of spiritual beacon. Something that will reach Cassian and Kitt and which will lead them to a closer layer of the Shadowlands, got it. Could we…I dunno…slap together some sort of artificial spirit that could seek them out? Like…oh what’s the word…a…psychopomp? Is that it?” He grins sheepishly at Kayn. “Sorry I know we

said no shop talk but…I can’t help it.”

“Artificial spirit? I can do a real spirit… I just don’t get any of this magic stuff man.”

“Shadowlands I get.. demonic power I don’t.”

~*Ramirez*~ “A spirit of the umbra is not the same as a wraith of the shadowlands or a psychopump like that. I don’t know honestly. I think we need to talk to Zo and Aneas. They have more knowledge and we were working with Cassian on helping Zo, but he’s gone.. so it makes sense to try to talk to the two angels. This is their field after all, moreso than ours,

at least until we understand it more.”

“Zo isn’t speaking much of the demon.. I am hoping Aeneas would allow me to accompany him in his duties to learn what he knows.”

“Question is how to find him again.”

φCadeφ sighs, shaking his head. “I see. I don’t really know all that terribly much about the other layers of reality. I’m nowhere near powerful enough to actually go to them so it didn’t seem pressing to learn. I was hoping one of my harebrained ideas would turn out to be worth a shot but really I’ve been grasping at straws.”

~*Ramirez*~ “We find Aneas by asking Zo.”

“I tried.” Kayn shrugs

~*Ramirez*~ “I have been studying like mad to get the shadowlands and demons and all that, but I know I have more to learn. Zo is much older but maybe he’s also piecing things together. This demon is a fallen original, by what I know. That pretty much means we’re dealing with some very old shit here and it’s up to us to prevent it from keeping its claws here in

this reality.”

φCadeφ nods. “It would be really helpful if we could find out this things name. From what little I have read, knowing the name of a demon gives you a big advantage over it. We know it seems to have an affinity for death and the after life, what with all the Shadowlands and Ghost Ships and Wraith monster things. That gives us some clues at least.”

~*Ramirez*~ “I would think Zo knows it since he said it is one of the Fallen -but- if he’s not sharing it, maybe there’s a reason for that too.”

*Katarina* “The Fallen?”

~*Ramirez*~ “Yeah, the fallen first ones are like the ones that left the Heavens.. the fallen angels, so the legends go.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Not all the ‘demons’ are like that.”

φCadeφ frowns and shakes his head. “Seems like something we will have to ask Zo then. Knowledge is power and we have basically no knowledge of this thing. We really need to change that.”

“It was said there are many different types of demons.. Knowing more on exactly what it is would help as well.”

“We know what it /can/ do.. So match it.”

~*Ramirez*~ “I’m sure he’s also trying to think of something so yeah, we need to approach him on it.”

~*Ramirez*~ “And he might not give us the name of it for good reasons. Yeah, it can give us power over the demon, but this thing is ancient as fuck and it knows the game. We’re all newbs.”

~*Ramirez*~ “I’d rather not get stabbed out of ignorance.”

φCadeφ “I hesitate to ask this but…do we have any books on demonology at the Chantry? I looked but didn’t see any. Given the subject though I thought maybe there might be some locked away somewhere.”

*Katarina* “Well, that’s peachy. We’re fighting incredibly old demons.”

φCadeφ holds up a finger. “Demon. Just one. So ya know…less bad?”


*Katarina* “What, like Doom?”

φCadeφ shakes his head with wide eyes. “No thanks. Absolutely not thanks. No Cyberdemon, no Spider Mastermind. Nope.”

“Cyberdemon?” Kayn lights up

*Katarina* “Or Dragon Age.”

“..We could make it happen.”

*Katarina* “NO.”

φCadeφ looks over at Kayn. “Dude, have you ever played Doom? No. Just…all the no.”

Kayn jusstt grins at Cade. “But if it was /our/ Cyberdemon.”

He’s obviously joking

~*Ramirez*~ “So far..the acts of the Sabbat, Cam and us.. we’ve taken down those who work for and have made deals with the demon. I think it’s getting mad at us, but in the end, we have to keep getting rid of its connections to this plane.”

~*Ramirez*~ “As for books, probably not. Real demonology is hard to learn about.”

Kayn wags his finger at Ramirez. “Sorting the bull from fact is hard.. Especially since we don’t know how to tell what’s true. He’s right.”

φCadeφ thumps the table lightly. “I was afraid of that. Hecatrix and I can see what is out their on the Dark Web but…finding legit magic there is rare. Demonology would be less so. There has to be something though. Besides the obvious and terrible option.”

~*Ramirez*~ gets up after polishing off his beer. “I’ll see you guys around. Going to go get back to work. I’d be careful what you look for. You never know that you’d be inviting more crap to the table. Good luck with your research, hombre.”

φCadeφ raises his beer to Ramirez and takes another sip. “No worries man I’ll be careful.”

~*Ramirez*~ thumbs up and then waves. “Later all.” He’d head out of the bar and go back to doing those illegal things that make more money than his legal job.

*Katarina* “So, either of you gonna say something?”

Kayn had been staring across the room, entirely lost in thought. The theurge blinks, looking to Cade with reddened eyes. “Whatchu say?”

φCadeφ seems to snap out of a trance. “Eh? Oh sorry. Lost in thought.” He shakes his head at Kayn. “Not me, your girlfriend.”

*Katarina* “Whose girlfriend now?”

φCadeφ giggles “Kayn’s of course, why else would he call you KitKat? Obviously he wants a piece.”

*Katarina* “Honey, he can’t handle this fine ass.”

*Katarina* totally z-snapped

“My girlfriend?” He blinks again, looking to Katarina. “I got standards Cade.”

φCadeφ snorts and finishes off his beer. “Aww come on. Erin is…well…I don’t know if they are married but her and Cassian are a thing.”

“You do whatchu want.. You ain’t my type anyhow KitKat.” Kayn shrugs at Katarina, getting up to grab more bourbon before returning.

Anastasia walks back to the table, having worked diligently on her makeup, turning her pale skin pure white, and adding Smokey elements to her eyes. She’s also made adjustments to her outfit, having ditched the leather pants revealing the net skirt she wore under it and the skimpy black panties she had on. “Miss me?” She asks of her companions, looking around and waving to Ramirez as he leaves.

φCadeφ blushes a deep crimson at her new outfit and scooches over to make room for her. “You lucked out actually. Ramirez was here for demon talk.”

“I’ve just been lost without watching Cade stammer.” Kayn smirks at Arlekina, getting up so she can scooch back in



<Maryska> walks into the trill wearing basically the same thing she was wearing last night, black jeans, black shirt, riding boots, leather jacket, mountaineering shades as per usual, and waves down a wait staffer for her usual beer.

*Katarina* is lounging in a booth with the others, whistling at Anastasia. “Hot damn. If we were still human, I’d take you on a date in a heartbeat.”

AHAAAAAA she has no heartbeat though…so she can’t take her on a date.

Kayn raises his drink to Maryska as she walks in, peering across the room as Anastasia presumably sneaks into the booth, a glimmer of recognition from the other day. He’s dressed simply, in black jeans and a gray hoodie

Anastasia smiles at Cade, admiring the shade of red his face turns into upon witnessing the outfit she now wears. There’s a playful and mischievous sparkle in her eyes that betrays the fact that she finds his reaction gratifying. “So I have you all to thank for taking one for Team Party til you Drop,” she says to Cade and the rest, then bends low from the waist as Cade shifts to make room for her, giving him more then

an eyeful of her ample bosom constrained and displayed so becomingly by her corset, as she purses her black lips and pressing a light kiss on his cheek. She winks at Kat saying, “aww, here I thought I was dressed to stop hearts…” Positioned as she is, everyone not in the booth probably gets a nice view of the goth chicks shapely derrière

φCadeφ chuckles nervously as Anastasia kisses him on the cheek. “You are very…outgoing.”

*Katarina* laughs, looking at Anastasia.

<Maryska> nods to Kayn, she gets her beer and settles into a seat, her memory not quite lasts a day at the moment, she just assumes that she’s run into half these people before, and right now they’re having a party or something, she pulls out a pad of paper and a pen and begins to write in it.

Kayn gives Maryska a curious look, before redirecting his attention to those closer by. “Was party till you’re dead but, we already reached that point.”

Anastasia pouts as she asks Cade, “is that a complaint?” Her lyrical, enchanting voice has undertones of disappointment to it as she poses her question. She winks at Kayn and adds, “some of us are just over achievers…”

<Maryska> looks up from her paper and examines the few at the other table. “Hey…which one of you were at the all nighter last night?”

φCadeφ shakes his head. “No…just an observation.” He chuckles again and points at his empty beer. “I need to get another one.” He glances over at Maryska. “All of us.”

<Maryska> nods and stands up, grabbing her beer and her paper, moving over to their table, she seemed like she was in the middle of some kind of business, she dragged a seat from a nearby table, not really caring if other people were there or not. Settling in at the table she set her paper down. “Alright…so you all experienced the storm, can you tell me what you felt while

you were in complete darkness?” she etched some letters on the top of the paper as if practicing with the pen before putting it to a line.

Anastasia nods, smiling happily as things are settled between herself and Cade then slips into his lap, the way a cat does when claiming the best seat in the house. “I’m sure we can get someone to bring you one over…” she says, making it clear she wasn’t going to let him up. She nods in agreement of his words to Maryska. “But we’re drinking to forget and enjoy the night,” she offers playfully.

*Katarina* “Some of us are. Others are enjoying the delightful company.” She winks at Ana.

φCadeφ shifts a bit under Anastasia and then sighs, realizing he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. “Why do women like making me blush? So rude.” He looks over at Maryska helplessly. “I don’t remember much between when it went dark and when I realized I was in the little vault thing.”

Kayn waves Maryska over, eyes a little red. “I would greatly enjoy the presence of someone who’s got warm blood in their veins.. As weird that is to say.” Giving her a warm smile. “Call me Kayn.. and I was more thinking about crossing over before we were dumped in the vault.”

“See what could be done to sooth the spirits.”

Anastasia smiles and blows Katarina a kiss, giggling as Cade laments his status as blush-boi. “It’s part of your irresistible charm, Cadee-kins, never change,” she purrs at him then brushes the tip of her nose against his neck lightly. “Mmm, Kayn has this fetish for hot blooded chicks with a wicked right cross,” she shares with Maryska in a conspiratorial tone.

<Maryska> looks at Kayn as she settles in with the group, glancing at Anastasia. “Sounds about right.” she responds to Anastasia as she concntrates on Kayn. “unable to pass over, no gauntlet because none existed, we should really see if we can contact an elder about this.”

“No gauntlet existed once we were dropped in the vaults as it was the deep umbra.. If you /did/ cross over there you’d be in some serious stuff.”

“Shadowlands.. deep deep in them.”

φCadeφ shivers, goosebumps raising across his body as Anastasia brushes his neck. “I wouldn’t worry about that. Of all the things that can change, that probably won’t.” He nods at Maryska. “Yeah the demon has some serious mojo going on over there.” He looks over to the bar and waves at Erik, pointing at his beer, then his lap, and shrugging sheepishly.

*Katarina* “So, Goth Barbie, any reason why you’re tormenting Mr. Intelligent over here? Besides the fact that he looks adorable when he blushes.”

φCadeφ glares at Katarina. “Why. Why would you encourage her? I am just barely managing as it is!”

*Katarina* “It’s fun?”

*Katarina* grins impishly.

Anastasia waves a couple of $20s over the table, to let Erik know she’s ordering a round for the table. Then she smiles down at Cade nodding, “that’s good to hear… but there can be fun ways to make yourself less blush-ful.” She giggles as Katarina poses her question, swaying a bit on Cade’s lap as he complains about his self control. She winks at Kat, finding her a kindred spirit and coos, “Not my fault no one

else has figured out how comfy he is…”

<Maryska> nods slowly to Kayn* “So what is in the shadowlands? I’ve never heard of them.”

“I don’t know much yet.. Kind of like a realm of the dead, the lost.. It can be very barren, dangerous and bleak as we saw.”

φCadeφ tries to focus on Maryska and Kayn. “Yeah, apparently when a person dies they sometimes don’t move on. AKA Wraiths or ghost. The Shadowlands is where they…well live isn’t really the right word I guess.”

<Maryska> looks between the two. “I don’t want to be caught off guard again, so I would like to establish some form of anchor or help if we have to deal with that again, something that can help pull us out.”

*Katarina* goes over to sit on Cade’s opposite side, if no one was there.

Anastasia pouts when Cade gets all business like, and she shifts in his lap so Katarina has an easier time of joining them. Then she winks at her before leaning in to nip and kiss his ear before whispering, “remember, no shop talk…” she says as one of her hands slips under the table of the booth.

φCadeφ coughs and blushes deep, giggling a bit. “Hey! A: Not my fault she started it and B: that tickles!”

*Katarina* grins at Cade.

Kayn rolls his eyes, looking back to Maryska. “That may prove difficult for a large group.. First we gotta figure out /how/ he did it in order to counteract it.. Second, why dont we save this for the chantry hrm?”

*Katarina* leans over to tease Cade, whispering into his ear. “You’re enjoying this, don’t lie.”

φCadeφ squirms. “No no no, not you too. This is not fair. Not fair at all…” He shakes his head, closing his eyes as his face continues getting more and more red.

*Katarina* smirks impishly, licking a trail up his neck. “Too easy….”

<Maryska> looks between everyone and then at Kayn rolling her eyes behind those dark sunglasses. “sure.” *she slips her pad and pen away as she watches two people moving on Cade like he was a meal. “You look like meat being sized up to be eaten.” she says it flatly.

φCadeφ grabs the edge of the table, and opens his eyes to look at Maryska. “A little help?”

*Katarina* “Ha. If I ate him, Lynn would have my head. Not to mention Cass and the others.”

Anastasia laughs, “and yet, you’re the one who promised…” she chides Cade when he tries to shift the blame to Maryska. She can’t help but grin as Kat takes a lil taste of Cade’s sweet flesh. “Say you’re sorry or…” she says menacingly in a dangerously sexy way. Maryska’s words make Anastasia shake with laughter and grind on Cade as he begs for a rescue.

*Katarina* gives a little shudder when she says Lynn’s name, looking scared for the briefest of moments.

He rolled his eyes at the pair on Cade, crossing his arms, bourbon still in hand. Cade never asked him for help! Kayn is just being a little stubborn as he looks back to him.

φCadeφ looks between Kayn and Maryska, seeming a little panicked? “Ok, guys, some help? I’m sorry I talked shop!” He squirms some, trying to escape.

<Maryska> looks at Cade, then at the two girls. “A person is saying No to your advances, maybe you should respect their sexual space and back up.”

Setting his bourbon down Kayn puts on a bit of a scowl now, grabbing Anastasia by the arm. “Alright, this needs to stop. Kapeesh? Get off him.”

*Katarina* backs up, raising her hands and turns, lounging against the booth and kicking her feet up against the side of the table.

Anastasia stays put, even when Kayn puts his hands on her. She shoots Cade a pleading look. “Did you say no? Did I miss it?” She asks sounding genuinely concerned and interested in his answer.

φCadeφ holds up his hands to Kayn and Anastasia, his eyes pleading with them not to escalate the situation any further. “Wait wait no need for anyone to get mad or anything! They’re just playing and stuff it’s not that I wasn’t having fun I just…I just…I…ugh.” He sighs and a look of deep embarassment crosses his face. “I can’t have sex.”

*Katarina* arches a brow. “Why not?”

“You don’t have to explain why man.” Kayn shoots a look across at Katarina

*Katarina* “What? I’m curious. Sue me.”

Anastasia immediately dials down some of the sex kittenishness she’s displaying but neither slips off him nor escalates things with Kayn. “Cade, thanks, yes, I’m playing and,” she looks at Maryska, “she is right, if you ever say ‘no’ I will respect that…” she looks back at Cade, “but I figured it was all fun…”

φCadeφ looks at Kayn. “It’s ok man. It’s not that big of a deal…it’s just…kinda embarassing. You can let go of her it’s ok.” He sighs and rubs his head, looking to Anastasia. “It was it was fun I just got a little panicked there at the end I’m sorry.”

Kayn keeps his hand locked on Anastasia’s bicep. For now he isn’t forcefully pulling or anything, just looking to Cade intently… When he speaks he just nods and lets go, though watches the three of them still.

<Maryska> nods, not even having moved from her spot, she picks up her beer and takes a sip, looking at the one that slipped off entirely, then back to Cade. “why are you all so dead set on not speaking about what happened last night?”

Anastasia lowers her head so she’s looking into Cade’s eyes and he’s looking into hers. “I’ve got forever, so nothing will ever be a ‘rush’ or go anywhere you don’t want it to… just let me know if I’m approaching any real boundary, ok?” She asks earnestly, letting him know by word and look that play is one thing, her genuine feelings and his are another.

Kayn is a little on edge despite his, now dying high, given his friend’s panic. Looking back to Mary he shakes his head. “This /should../.. should be a place to relax.”

φCadeφ swipes at the air, dismissing several messages on his view screen. “It’s okay Hecatrix just a misunderstanding.” He looks at both Katarina and Anastasia. “Sorry, I’m not used to getting any sort of uh…contact…like that. I was homeschooled and there are…other factors.” He turns to Maryska, seeming very happy for a reprieve from the current topic. “Just taking

a break to gather our senses and stuff. It’s all a bit overwhelming, ya know?” He looks back at Anastasia and smiles sadly, nodding. “Thanks but…time isn’t really the issue here.”

φCadeφ sighs again and shakes his head. “I guess I can tell you guys, it would take a bit of a load off to talk about it, but you have to swear not to tell anyone else. Not only is it kind of embarassing but…it’s something that could really come back to bite me if the wrong person got the information.”

Anastasia nods and smiles, settling in a comfortably on Cade but not in as … intimate a way as earlier. “Ok, buzzkill moment done, yes?” She asks, looking around the table and smiling at Kayn to show him she doesn’t fault him for his protective actions on his friends behalf. She clams up when it’s clear from Cade’s sigh that he’s about to share something deeply personal

“Cade.” Kayn says clearly, loudly, to get his attention. “If the information could hurt you this is not the place, trust me. Don’t say it, you don’t have to.”

He looks dead into Cade’s eyes

φCadeφ looks up at Kayn and frowns then nods. “You’re right man. We can talk about it at the Chantry.”

φCadeφ gives everyone a smile to reassure them he is okay and stands. “I’ve had to pee for like twenty minutes now I’ll be right back. Everything is cool I promise, just a misunderstanding. I’ll explain it all when we get back.”

Anastasia slips off Cade so he can take care of his needs and nods, “It’s all ok, Cade,” she says smiling and then slips back into the booth after he leaves it. She looks around the table then asks Kat, “I’m thinking sitting and talking may have run its course… is there anyplace worthwhile to go dancing around here?

<Maryska> nods slowly. “I’ll respect your wishes to refrain from speaking about last night.” she again sips her beer and leans back in her chair.

Anastasia smiles at Maryska, “It’s understandable to want to make sense of everything FAST. Unfortunately, every new piece of information I’ve gleaned only expands the scope of the danger and conflict we’re in… and I just felt the need to pretend, for a moment, that it all just wasn’t and that we were all people engaged in some meaningful cause together, that’s on hold.”

Kayn sinks into the seat by Mary, picking up his bourbon again and sipping it. “We can talk of it later yeah?”

He glances towards Anastasia. “Don’tchu push him to share whatever he’s got goin around in his head, he shouldn’t even be tellin me nothing if it’s something so personal.”

Anastasia chuckled at Kayn and blew him a kiss. “I didn’t and won’t, Kayn,” she says in a matter of fact tone. “He’s stronger then you give him credit for, but you play the big brother very well,” she says in a playful but respectful tone.

Kayn just gives her a wary look, not commenting on what he’s seen of Cade to her.

φCadeφ returns from the rest room looking quite relieved. “Okay guys? What is the plan?” He notes the look Kayn is giving Anastasia and rolls his eyes. “Come on man, I know you aren’t a big fan of…well anything that isn’t a shifter but it

(cont.) is fine. If she really wanted to hurt me should could have…I dunno…used vampire hypno eyes to just make me do whatever she wanted or something.”

“If she really wanted to hurt you, and had a thousand years to do it she wouldn’t do it in a night.”

φCadeφ laughs and gives him a friendly slug on the shoulder. “I’m not immortal you dingus. I’ll be dead in like…seventy years max.”

Anastasia chuckles and holds up her hand in a gesture of surrender saying, “with all that we know of the true danger we’re in, why would I ever hurt any of you? That’s just begging for an nasty, demon-forged end, no?”

<Maryska> looks between them, nodding slowly. “my name is Maryska, I don’t believe I’ve met some of you formally.”

Kayn just shakes his head some, letting out a breath. “Kayn, call me Kayn.”

*Katarina* “Katarina Antonescu. Or Kat. NOT KitKat or KittyKat.”

Anastasia dips her head to Maryska, “A pleasure, Maryska… the name comes from where? It’s beautifully exotic,” she says lightly. “Oh, I’m Anastasia,” she adds completing introductions.

<Maryska> nods. “I’m from Texas, but my family is from the Ukraine, it is why I have this accent, the family always spoke Ukrainian around the house, so English is technically a second language for me, but I grew up with it, so.”

Kayn.. just sits back, in his grumpy mood and sipping at his whiskey. What in tarrnattion


φCadeφ smiles as everyone seems to be calming down and sits next to Anastasia, playfully elbowing her in the ribs and then also playfully kicking Kayn in the shin.

Anastasia purrs at Kat and then meow’s and mimes cleaning herself with a paw as cat’s do. “Always good to have a pretty kitty in our midsts,” she teases then looks at Maryska with a curious look on her face. “Wow, that’s an interesting familial journey. We’re you born here or there?” She asks gently inquisitive.

Anastasia giggles and leans into Cade as he elbows her, then mouths ‘ow’ and acts wounded, even as Cade sends his foot flying towards Kayn under the table.

*Katarina* just snickers.

<Maryska> “I was born in Texas, my family moved here a few years before I was born.” she smiles. “So, I’m a native Texan.” she sipped her beer as she looked at Anastasia.

Kayn looks at Cade, cracking his neck and then letting out another breath. “.. I need to find Elena again sometime.” He says to no one in particular, second glass empty by now.

φCadeφ frowns at Kayn. “I’m sure someone at the Chantry will know how to get ahold of her.”

<Maryska> looks between the people in the group, listening to them speak.

Anastasia looks around and asks, “is there a jukebox or something…” Then she looks meaningfully at Cade and asks, “can you make music play if I tell you some songs I like?” As she poses the question she eyes the space where he tends to interact with his familia and such.

*Katarina* “Well…I do have a guitar. If you want music.”

φCadeφ laughs and shakes his head. “No I don’t have any speakers hooked up right now other than my headphones. There is a sound system here though. I’ll go ask Erik if I can hook up my laptop.” He points to Katarina. “Or that. That could work too.”

*Katarina* “Gimme a few minutes to go pick it up, and I’ll put on a show.”

Anastasia’s eyes go wide as Katarina volunteers that information. “Really… you any good with it,” she asks in a playfully cheeky tone. Then Cade talks about hooking up his laptop to things and she smiles at him. Katarina’s talk of putting on a show intrigues her and she says, “oh, please do.”

*Katarina* grins and heads off to get her guitar. She comes back wearing https://www.polyvore.com/katarina_huntsville/set?id=203805898 minus the red hair. And with that same guitar.

*Katarina* “So, what should I start with? Any requests?”

φCadeφ shrugs. “What kind of stuff do you know?”

*Katarina* “Classic rock, punk, some metal and indie stuff.”

<Maryska> stands up slowly. “Sorry abotu this, but it is getting early for me, I need to get some sleep, I will speak with you all later.” she stands up slowly and finishes off her beer, then nods to everyone and slips out.

φCadeφ drums the table with his fingers and waves to Maryska with his other hand. “We’ll go over last night next time we meet. Promise.” He turns his attention back to Katarina. “How about ‘The Unforgiven’ by Metallica?”

*Katarina* “That, I can do.”

*Katarina* plays a few strings, frowns, then tries again.

*Katarina* begins playing after sitting on a stool or chair, doing a much better job this time. She plays the full song.

*Katarina* will play other songs while the player goes to bed.

Kayn doesn’t say a whole ton, fine to sit back and relax, listening to the music

Anastasia listens to all Katarina plays, completely absorbed in the music and nuances of her performance. A rapturous look suffuses her face, softening its hardness and edges. It takes a bit for her to come back to herself when Katarina wraps up her set and when she does she sits back in the booth and just murmurs, “wow”

“Not bad” Kayn murmurs, appreciative of the genre and knowing it off the top of her head

φCadeφ bobs his head to the beat as Katarina plays, giggling slightly as Hecatrix fills his view feed with a moving image made of binary code of two people dancing along.

Anastasia announces to the booth, “next time we go dancing.” Looking from Kayn to Cade imploringly. Then she stretches and asks hopefully, “unless you’re game for that tonight?”

Kayn slips out his phone, checking the time. “Where we going dancing?” He looks up

φCadeφ chuckles and shrugs. “It’s up to the two of you. I’m in no rush to get back. With everything Ramirez said I’m not sure how much help my research will really be, so I’m alirght with putting it off for the night and coming back to it with fresh eyes tomorrow.”

“Could be useless anyways, with how much fiction on the subject is out there.” Kayn stands back up, slipping out his keys

Anastasia shrugs and admits, “I’m new in town, so I put myself in your hands. I’d prefer a place on the edgier side of things,” she adds and waves a hand over her outfit to give you both a sense of what she means.

φCadeφ nods in agreement. “Indeed, Kayn. I’m actually fairly new myself so…I have no idea where a good place to go is.” He chuckles and looks around. “Google?”

Kayn grins.. evvvillly! “Well, actually..” He trails off, clearly in the same boat as the other three. “Nothing like walking around town with the undead, a reality bender and a wolf.. Makes the start of a good joke.”

φCadeφ laughs and nods in agreement, clearly happy that Kayn seems to be cheering up. “Let’s do it!”

Must be the added booze

Anastasia laughs and dips her head to Kayn acknowledging the richness of his jest. “Alright… let’s hit the road then…” she says, slipping out of the booth and waving the two of them on.

Kayn leads on out onto the dark streets, seeming more at home out here than he is in the chantry.. Like a breath of fresh air

φCadeφ follows Kayn out and spins around with his arms open. “We are the night!” He giggles and takes a deep breath. “So…pick a direction and go?”

“Yeah man, tons to do in a city just by walking around.. Always something goin on in Nola.”

Anastasia wraps an arm around Cade and looks around, on impulse choosing to head west, figuring the journey starts with the first step.

Kayn follows, one hand in the pocket of his hoodie, the other swinging free as he keeps his eyes out for the attractions of the city

φCadeφ follows along, slipping an arm around Anastasia in return. “Never really been exploring like this before.”

Anastasia smile and says, “won’t be the last time, I’m sure.” She notes the looks the mismatched trio are getting from those they pass and she smiles/flowers at many of them. Suddenly she says, “Kayn, take the next left, I hear music coming from that direction.”

φCadeφ points in the direction Anastasia indicates. “Onward!”

Kayn turns down the next street, tries to pick out the sounds of music filtering through the city noise

Anastasia guides them to a spot off the beaten track, an underground club that most would dismiss as a defunct warehouse. She sees the line of people waiting to get in and guides the boys past it. Her eyes meet the bouncers and she shoots them a ‘you know I should be in there’ look which they acknowledge by stepping aside to let her and her companions in.

φCadeφ looks around as they step into the club, music pulsing and pounding through him. “How the heck did you know this place was here?”

“Just gotta know how to spot them, they’re there if you look.” Kayn smirks some, heading in with her and Cade, having half a mind to disappear into the crowd if not for Cade being there to save from his new mistress

Anastasia smirks and purrs, “its a creature of the night superpower.” Without meaning to, she starts undulating to the driving beat, moving with grace and power to the pulse of the party.

Kayn just lets the thrum and hum of the underlying beat wash him over, dancing to the synthesized rythyms

φCadeφ watches Anastasia dance, unsure what exactly to do with himself. The beat and her dancing are infectious though and he ends up swaying slightly as he watches the crowd around him. The entire place fascinates him to no end, and a grin is plastered on his face.

Anastasia weaves between Kayn and Cade, keeping more space between herself and the no touches Garou then she does with Cade. She sways with him, offering him a hand as she slips closer to him.

φCadeφ shrugs and and takes Anastasia’s hand and, after a few awkward moments, finds the beat and sways along with her. He smiles and scans the crowd for a moment. He then points at Kayn and jerks his head towards a girl that has been watching Kayn since the came in. The music is too loud for normal speech, so Cade mouths the words ‘dance with her I think she likes you’

to him.

Anastasia smiles as Cade takes her hand and picks up the rhythm. She spins so her back is to his front and moves in close, brushing against him in gently sensual ways while making a beautiful spectacle of herself.

Kayn.. just shrugs at Cade, glancing towards the gal in question. He makes a cut across his neck motion ‘no’, eventually sinking into the crowd of those at the club. Leaving the other pair to their own thing

φCadeφ waves his hands in the air, disguising his gestures as dance moves as he answers a text message with his augmented reality interface. He laughs at the reply he recieves and then replies again, surprised at how well the motions fit with the music. Cade makes a face at Kayn as he fades into the crowd but continues dancing with Anastasia.

Anastasia looks happy to see Cade let loose and enjoy himself, taking his wild movements and laughter as signs of joy. She turns to face him, swaying as she played her body down his, giggling as she catches the face he makes at Kayn. She rises up him and weaves her hands behind his neck and leans her head against him as they dance to song after song. Eventually she breaks away, still smiling mouthing, ‘be back soon,’

before weaving into the crowd for a bit and getting lost in the throng. When she returns she’s slightly flushed and more vivacious, if a touch more enigmatic and dangerous ‘feeling’.

φCadeφ smiles wide at Anastasia when she returns and dances with her for several more songs. He is a bit curious about the new energy she seems to have, but just chalks it up to the ambience. Eventually though he feels exhaustion set in and he points at his wrist and then towards the door. It takes a few minutes but he eventually finds Kayn and walks with them back to

the car, laughing the whole way. He sits in back with Anastasia, falling asleep with his head on her shoulder before they are even halfway back. At the Chantry he finds a spare room each for Kayn and Anastasia, making sure that the windows in hers are properly blocked before going to his own room and promptly passing out.