Mike sits at table In front room Fingers working bullets in the old six shooter Pistol in his hand polished up the antique shows a great of use and care. Cylinders of speed loaders lay in front off him as he sips his coffee tumbling the ratchet back listening to it lock click into place spinning the chamber slowly into locking spots . Hand holding the carved bone hand grips etched in black wild vines into a pentacle at the butt of the

grip . He seems extremely familiar with this tool in his hand as he takes anther drink of coffee. A cigarette slowly smoldering out in the ashtray he looks down at his hands.

<Durmah> wanders out of the kitchen with a coffee pot and will top off his coffee with the last bit of coffee left in the pot. The sounds of a new pot getting started drift in from the kitchen, so she must have put a second pot on. She’ll eye the table, then set the now empty pot on a safe surface before going to flop into a chair with amused, boneless grace. “Everyone here seems to smoke,

though I suppose you at least have the ability to heal off any damage you cause yourself. How are you tonight, Mike?”

Mike smiles to her Putting the cigarette out and standing up washing the ashtray out and tossing the cigarette waste in the trash. “Sorry if that Offended you , It took me a while to catch on those were dangerous. “He sits back down polding the leather cloth over the pistol. “I am very well and thank you..How are you Ms. Durmah.

<Durmah> waves a hand, “You do realize Santos chain smokes cigars, right? No, you’re not offending me. I apologize if you thought that’s what I meant. I’m doing well, I suppose. Thank you again for finding us so quickly the other night. Bit annoying to get shot at, though I suppose I did throw some C4 at them.”

Mike Looks at her and nods “that was a cluster fuck..Sorry about my delay..”He glances at the gun and then Her. “No Miss, I Just don’t care to offend no one when It can be avoided..those things add up little offences pretty fast. ” He shakes his head”Your very welcome,armed security is rather hard to come by. Half of the C-4 was Clay..the weapons were a win. “He shakes his head rising up to get anther coffee and stops “You like a coffee

or something Ms. Durmah?”

<Durmah> looks amused and points to the cup she just refilled. But she shakes her head, “No, I’m good. And it’s good that something came from it. And I’m glad we got those off the street… he was apparently selling to the Setites and anyone else who could give him money. And your smoking won’t offend me.” She makes a little motion for him to go ahead if he wants to. “Anyway. No, I was

fine. I was tempted to get out and do some knifing, but they seemed to be missing as much as I was, so I decided there wasn’t much point in getting out to fight.

Mike nods to her”sometimes the best thing to do Ms. durmah is to just look at the person and recycle them..One behind the back of the head or snap their neck.”He stirs his coffee carefully measuring the sugar and stepping back to his chair.”I was just thinking the other Day how most people have no idea how expensive coffee, tobacco and Sugar were.”He chuckles taking a sip of the coffee. “I mean a bail of cotton was almost 10 dollars, a

side of good beef was almost 2.50″He laughs slightly and Stops slowly. “Not much of a point fightin stupid Miss, men like me are for.

<Durmah> laughs softly, “You know, most modern folk would hear you say that and point out that 2.50 for a side of beef is nothing since a hamburger easily costs a whole 5.” She chuckles, “But I take your meaning. And I -know- but we were sort of hoping to get some information from them.” A flick of her fingers, as if casting away a cigarette butt, “Doesn’t really matter. But what brought

that up? Just the thought that some are worth more just to recycle and send on than to deal with?”

Mike takes a drink of coffee”People are not really a valued thing in a over populated self indulgent World..Fewer assholes like that the better the world is. Yes Mame , Some are Just here repeat offenders Mame . I see what we do is part of the comic karma of laundering bullshit. pardon my choice of words Ms. durmah. “He sips again on the coffee and shakes his head. “No the value of somethings is totally perspective was what drew my mind

on the subject Ms, Durmah. I mean I can tell anything you got out that moron or anyone from the setite camp is bullshit..they load their heads full of so much garbage I mean they worship a dark god, they dont exactly share truths. Just kill them if i was you. End em if you will Ms.Durmah.

<Durmah> wiggles the fingers of one hand slightly, “No need to ‘Miss’ all the time, though I do understand that tendancy. And they’re not my choice, though I understand they’re on the menu for the palla grande. Best use for them, really. I do believe that if they aren’t on the menu that Altaryn will simply kill them. He was pretty incensed that they’d shot at us, given that we hadn’t fired

first or fought anyone.” A small lift of her shoulders, “I’m mostly staying out of the Setite things, as that’s Altaryn’s thing. I just wasn’t keen on him going to check them out alone.”

Mike looks to her and nods a little “I processed the ones the police Picked up. again a waste of total time faith and fire Ms Durmah. the only thing that removes those things.you never can get them all but they do flee and count their losses. “Mike Starts to clean up his mess. “I am sorry but breaking the formality of what is considered Proper Ms. Durmah is totally against my ethics. Boundaries keep minds where they belong, and keep

established courtesy that is extended in Familiar ways more cherishable would you not agree?

<Durmah> glances behind her with a small frown, then reaches up to rub the back of her neck thoughtfully. When he starts to clean up, she’ll draw her attention back to him and give him a wry smile. “Well, Im the person who used to curtsy until I was told to rise, so I can appreciate that, I suppose. Just not used to the deference myself.”

Mike smiles to Durmah , I have much station as most of them if not more, the point I suppose Miss, we are just well raised in a capacity we dont just throw names out their like ropes around a cattles neck or life lines to save a conversation, example if I call you By your first christian name you know I am trying to establish a line of trust and communication I normally wouldn’t. Words can be stronger then a arm around the shoulder.

<Durmah> laughs softly, “That’s true enough, though it’s my given name rather than my Christian one as neither my parents nor my first masters were keen on … Christianity. Nor did I ever find faith in that manner. So it’s merely my given name. And most proper politeness would be my family name… but do you call me by the name I’ve gone by these past ten, fifteen years which means nothing.

Lehner. Or my actual family name, which would probably only confuse most people. Though I’d certainly be cross if you’d used my given without my permission.”

Mike nods to her” Not been at this long Ms.Lehner.. ? “He slips a rolled cigarette to to his lips. “Mike or Stevens works Ms Lehner.

<Durmah> arches her brows at him, “Me? When you saw me dancing with Patrick I wasn’t yet Embraced. I’m night-shift only for less than a month.” She makes a face, wrinkling her nose and sticking out her tongue just a little. “And I was recently embraced that night at Golgotha. Lehner’s the name the camarilla gave me when I declined to give them any name other than my given. When they put

together paperwork to bring me to the United States, they slapped the Austrian equivalent of Smith on me.” She sounds amused. “Since I very much did not want to be dead, I did not argue.”

Mike leaves the unlit cigarette in his mouth”I do not Know what your talking about,I had never seen you dancing with a gentleman in question.”HE makes a disgusted face “I can not stand those sick bastards. They steal your will to live with their bullshit. I had family in austria and eastern europe. I can’t say I would have been strong enough to stay with the camarilla ,I would have checked out by my own hand.

<Durmah> smiles broadly, but will shrug. The point remained that she’d been embraced a very short time. “They weren’t worse than my first masters, really. Once they were sure I wasn’t going to break their precious masquerade, mostly they left me alone. I occupied myself by going to college and pretending to be a normal 20 something. I was just waiting for an appropriate opportunity to

disappear. If Altaryn had been even a fraction of annoying, I would have blown him up and bought myself new papers and identification.”

Mike refused to comment about altaryn but a amused smirk. “The 20 something hunh ? I had a phase of playing the game myself in 1955 I did once before in 1845 But that was more of youthful experiments in trying self discovery. I think I might have made my dear Zantosa mother weep tears I was such a bastard then..But I surrendered that sort game, 1763 Was a tough year but it was here Floundering for our hand holds in a new country ,Cammy

jerks on our heels, sect elders still flipping around and trying to grasp the concept a new birthed Freehold away from europe.

<Durmah> scoffs at him, “I wasn’t going to tell them I was in my late 70’s or early 80’s. That would have been a very good way to get ended, and I wasn’t ready to give up just yet.” She snorts very softly, “And … forgive me, but I somehow doubt ‘weeping tears’ would have been on any Zantosa mother’s mind. I think most of the ones I know would be more prone to throttling, though of course

I’ve not met your mother I don’t believe so I could be quite wrong.” She hums though, “I don’t remember a time before the divide, and what I know is limited by the few of each party that I have known.”

Mike nods to her”My mother was a puritan woman , god was her salvation and the New world our redemption from sins of our relic masters devoted to heathen deities. We have always been the rightous fire of christ.

<Durmah> hums in her throat, “Alright, then maybe she did cry.” She pauses a bit, and then sort of cautiously, “Please don’t try to get me interested in church things. I dont’ -mind- Christians, but I’m not one. Though I’ll probably at least read the texts sometime soon.” She sighs a bit. “I mostly managed to avoid it in college by taking -other- mythos literature courses.”

Mike winks to her”Its all bullshit, No how Ms. Lehner Total bullshit..god doesn’t give two fucks about anyone, christ didn’t weep and all the little fae celtic pagan neo fundamental facebook social justice warriors well they burn in hellfire clutching to false hoods. I dont get into peoples moral compasses I get we all need them but I have never seen Any of that shit save anyone. Ever..Like ten by ten times I mean i get god is real and

christ and the ar of heaven and earth its true but I mean I am not cock strong enough to jump up and grab a cross and torch and save the fucking holy land from heathens.Its been to my experience faith falls, ask christ he question his own as the son of god..so My ass I keep myself well and devoted to knowing what I know best..”He thumps his heart with the pistol.

<Durmah> chuckles, “Well, I’m fine reading the various texts as long as people don’t expect me to suddenly convert and swear to my second dying day to follow some random texts. I’m not sure where that puts -demons- mind you, but that’s the point in getting stronger in our chosen paths, isn’t it? Hopefully I don’t have to deal with -” She pauses closes her eyes and tenses. After a moment

or two she let out the rest of the air in her lungs in a slow, soft sigh, and will pull out her phone to make a notation. Sourly.

Mike looks at her”I am gonna tell you No one expects any of you to Include a few memorable faces to stare down demonic forces..I mean seriously that be ridiculous. Might as well scream fodder and charge.” He sits up and takes the cigarette out his mouth. “I think you really could all learn a bit from each other here and there, but its not my role I stay the hell out Cainite affairs least brought into them My talents don’t extend into

diplomacy Ms. Lehner. “He puts the cigarette back in his mouth. “I do my duty to the Mistress and all that..But iam not retarded enough to buy into the whole we can all be friends and hug each other till the end of time..I am also smart enough to share that with a few people as I can..But I am just saying people who turn cainite have a blessing the more they mope about it over think it.. the less I tend to agree with them..or try the

tough guy crap..I dont need to brag how many tough guys look stupid being dragged out into the day by order of a bishop right? I mean that happens more then most of them know but us servants we know

<Durmah> shudders. Because, yeah, she knows, and it makes her twitchy to find her own place not -here- where she’d be easily drug out for that sort of thing. A hand waves dismissively, “I’m not going to be one of the ones who try to act tough about anything. I’ve been more than happy more than once to give a fellow wide-eyed confusion and wait for them to fix whatever it is. Benefits of

pretending to be human, I suppose. One learns to play of mortal men’s machismo.”

Mike smiles to her”Why your smart and I like your company Ms.durmah”

<Durmah> chuckles. And then she’ll look over the supplies he has on the table. “So I’m guessing that’s a preferred gun of yours?”

Mike Gives her a wink “No Ms,Lehner But she has never let me Down ever. I have tools for every job, I bought this outside of San antonio For 1. 75 and let me tell you she was worth every penny. Many wonderful stories I could tell you about this gun and me.

<Durmah> is -amused- that he’s switched to her ‘last’ name now that he knows it. She doesn’t try to correct him, because that wasn’t working out well for her so far. “That was a rather lot of money back in the day, though I suppose it depends on how far back you are going with that. Texas, hm? Somehow I didn’t place you as a cowboy type. But then, that’s probably got to do with the more

military demeanor you’ve got going on.”

Mike smiles to herand nods “Actually I was a outlaw then,Bank robber, Indian fighter ..Hell I owned a brothel at one point..But yes ,Back in the younger formative years.. I was a Cowboy so too speak,Only time I fought in the Military was ohh lord vietnam..But that was more of a vacation and vision quest. I had a midlife crisis of sorts and well that place gave me room to work out my emotional growth so to say Ms.Lehner , I No i have to

admit,You got me pegged spot on .

<Durmah> arches her brows slowly at him calling Vietnam a ‘vacation’ and a ’emotional growth’ quest. But well. For a revenant getting… moody? She supposed a place like the fighting there might be just about the right speed. Really not even a place where one needed to hide their nature, given the type of fighting that happened. “… I have just mentally placed you in the category of ‘do

not poke with a stick’ and ‘quietly dry humor’.”

Mike Looks at himself and Chuckles “Well I don’t like your friend ,I am fairly a direct man Ms.Lehner, Straight across the table . “He sits up and nods to her”I mean I can see it I am not exactly a youthful revenant, I have a good job and I like My new Mistress, I am educated in protecting Clients and Masters. I have no shame in that..I also find it extremely easy for me to make others assume that I am on honorable accord so they leave

me the hell alone “He laughs lightly.

<Durmah> blinks a few times, trying to decide which ‘friend’ he’s referring to – Patrick or Altaryn. She decides not to ask because it doesn’t much matter, and will instead shrug, “I could get along just fine with them, because once you know for sure what their idea of Honor is, it’s pretty easy to follow along so as not to ruffle their feathers. No few have thought that I was concerned

with such ideas, too, when really it’s just less hassle to do things in a way that won’t get certain people angry with me.”

Mike lifts a Pierced eyebrow “well that’s kind of the thing, I prefer that as well. I got a Job to do nothing personal you know how it is .”He raises his shoulders In a sort of what can you do about Motion. “I mean orders are Orders,I do what I am trained to do, serve the Mistress, please her..Break her if she needs it..Hold her like a cold statue if she needs that..slay her foes..Get her dry cleaning I mean whatever She needs I

do..simple. Honor..christ Don’t get me started on that Loyalist Bullshit..excuse me Ms.Lehner again I Didn’t mean to use such foul words Like loyaltist.

<Durmah> breaks out in a rich laugh at his ‘swear’ word. And she also decides not to ask -which- mistress he’s referring to. Because she’s pretty sure it neither matters nor does she really want to know. “Alright well. That’s fine and all, but if you end up ever having to come after me, I’ll probably at least act like I’m taking it personally. Given how much more proficient than I am with

fighting you are, I’m a lot more likely to survive something if I do everything I can think of to resist.”

Mike looks to her and nods “I some how think I am not retarded enough to Just assume you cant handle yourself, after all you collected data and observed more while the dramatics were playing out with your associate in the tunnels that night. You noticed the elder listening to them talk so candid back and forth her servent observing and taking notes watching listening and following the Dramatic dance whole time you watched..looked and

listened..Iam not a moron I know if you look for a dagger in your back you often find death from the front..Your a smart person Ms.Lehner

<Durmah> pauses for a moment then. And blinks a few times. “I was sitting with Phillip that night. Do you just not like any of the guys around me?” She sounds -amused- more than anything, probably teasing because she did remember that Altaryn was there too, but it was something to poke at him with. “Yesss… well. I’m used to being the servant doing the observing. But I’m glad Sascha has

someone watching her during the day now. When I heard about the old firestation going up, I was distressed.” She frowns and taps a finger against the cushion.

Mike nods to her “I do stay with her all the time ,Nope she is never ever alone..I wont let that happen Ms.Lehner Ever..I am very good at What I do.which is protect Your kind now,I still Have hope to be embraced before I reach much more into my midlife But ehh we will see.I happen to enjoy working for Mistress Sascha..”He dips his head”also if you have a issue with the police here in Baton Rouge call me at once and we will get you

sorted..and No Phillip is a distant cousin Ms.Lehner.

<Durmah> grins to him, because she’d been teasing, but well. “I think technically we’re all distant cousins of one another, really, but I take your meaning. I’ve not run afowl of them, yet, and hopefully I won’t but I suppose it will eventually happen. Hopefully in something that isn’t spectacularly difficult or dangerous. Let me know, by the way, if there’s a specific food you want made.

Or something you’d like me to send along with the stuff I’m making for Sascha to keep at her place.”

Mike looks to her and leans forward whispering “The other is vegan..I am okay with anything really..Just creepy as all can be.”He leans back and smiles to her with a kind break in his face “Ahh Ms.Lehner If you do let me know I ‘ll get you out the mess as soon as it happens or you find yourself needing help with the underworld up there as well or the fire department.. I am kind of in the haul of things up there and I tend to use that

sparing but I will use that influence to help those within the our ranks..Wellthose know to ask at least .

<Durmah> makes a hand toss motion at the mention of the other one being full on vegan, because that would be important information to know. But she nods, and will -correct- the food from now on. And she’ll label anything that isn’t vegan. A kick of a smile then. “Well, you’re here for her, and I wouldn’t want to have to rely on your gracious assitance very often. I do try to avoid getting

in gunfights on the side of the road, really.”

Mike nods to her”Oh I know its rather abrasive..I tend to think out side the realm of what the hell to expect. I am also currently Trying to Find a better Way to deal with some internal things going about within My own Mess..I am pretty sure I am about to catch a beating in a few days but I hardly think he can harm me so I’ll pretend he hurts me..But we will see its a oversight in my own fault I did deserve this one..and I accept that.

But I am not gonna let him know I am far more shall we say tougher then most assume.”He smiles to her”Its mostly show,But its fine Like I said I have it coming if it does happen.

<Durmah> arches her brows at him, “Who-” She cuts off and flinches, leaning forwards to rest her forehead in the palm of one hand, and elbow to her knee, breathing uneven. IT’s not like she needs to breathe, but it’s habit to do so. A couple of moments will pass and she’ll shudder and then straighten up again, blinking owlishly.

Mike shakes his head”I dont like to throw out names Ms. Lehner Its rude and well If it was unjustified I just pull my status and my power over Flesh and bone and defend myself..But i did cause offence. “He looks at her and then away seeming to be preoccupied with his coffee and then lites the cigarette and leans into the chair pretending nothing is wrong.

<Durmah> nods slowly to his answer, sort of processing it belatedly. “Makes sense. You’re quite the smart fellow yourself. As I mentioned before, I appreciate when I find people who are smart and well trained. And it’s nice to know that my uncle isn’t in charge of all the smart revenants, I suppose. It would be overall very bad for revenants as a whole if he had all the good ones, I think.”

Mike smiles to her”Thank you Ms.Lenhar , Oh I know of your uncle and avoided that recruitment speech barely . I cultivated my skills to aid my clients from Celebs to Sabbat hierarchy. I enjoy my work and all the wonderful moments it has sometimes I humble myself at given opportunities. I am a catharist But not such as my cousin Phillip..Now that is task of worthy note..I am more of a Worm then most think and Have my moments,Perversion of

Conformity but I happen to have a more refined taste set and tend to keep all those matters very private and away..I do not like them following me back tothose whom I serve.

<Durmah> “We all have different takes in our different paths. I’d think that it’s the chipping away at conformity that would drive a catharist, anyway. Especially since that first step is the most difficult, but once it’s been made… well. the next is easier.”

Mike laughs a little and nods”well Let me tell Ms.Lehner Ive been at this some time and even in my own family i have a very high rank and fame..but phillip has been put into the hat for the pride of our family after his recent self discovery of how to part flesh, sin and compassion within his own soul and part it 7 ways between sin and justified 7 wonderful aspects of confronting them with a positive outlook in understanding .

<Durmah> lifts her head up to look at him, “Well you mentioning it like that has me wondering. Do you happen to know anything about this test he might be coming up against? I know there’s not anything I can do to help him, but I’m -curious- what it’s about.”

Mike tilts his head”Your not a catharist..I like to say you understand and it s likely you would..But hell the test Madam changes for everyone..you cant hide who you are from Mistress rose..You cant..I wouldn’t even dare try..But submit with out a fight with out showing your understanding and she will pull your heart out and devour it..God I love that woman ..”He grins and lowers his eyes because that part was semi truthful he did care

and want her..but love..ughhh that might be far reaching

<Durmah> quirks a brow. “I… don’t think I’d -want- to be in her tender hands. Though Sascha’s clearly doing just fine. She was polite enough to me, but I wasn’t her focus of course. Still, it’s very clear to me that she’s a formidable person. It doesn’t make sense to me that the test would -be- about submission anyway. You can’t be among the leaders of any of the paths and be willing to

hand everything you are over to someone else. Perhaps that’s simplistic of me.”

Mike lifts a eye”Phillip is good , Rose is the heart of the sabbat..Sounds corny I know..but believe me Not everything in line with a Catharist draw and lash back are within What you see..example in case, exclude anyone you know..Pretend they dont matter for a moment..they just are not there..How damn liberating did that Just feel Right?””

<Durmah> considers him for a moment. “Except that the people I’ve chosen to care about, are an aspect of that. Sometimes liberation, freedom, is about deciding who you’re willing to be tied to.” A small, wry smile, “Or that’s my opinion, anyway.”

Mike grins to her “see you cant see cutting ties..”He grins and stands up “I think I need to head out Ms. Lehner.. but here is the opposite side of that question now you remove the ties can you rebind them to yourself and reconnect, making them Braid into something stronger then what they were before..thats the real test of cathari.. Liberation and bonding often take on different expressions, callous sexual and restraint fetishes to

express whats trapped in flesh..See the design Ms.Lehner..caution you might lean a bit into far on the subject, thank you for the time Miss, But if I may take my leave?

<Durmah> lifts one hand in a palm out polite dismissal, “Of course. I won’t keep you. Have a good… day, I suppose.” She checks the clock with some humor and will rise from the seat as well. And with a smile and a wave she’ll wander upstairs.