The GatheringFandom (is so, include details) or Non Fandom?:
Non Fandom (ie. Original bro!)Chapter Number:
M (due to language & adult content... not entirely sure where this thing is going)Summary:
In 1692 a group of witches sacrificed their powers to prevent death. Almost 3.5 centuries later, these powers have befallen new generations. Those that would be heroes are lost. It is up to those who are left behind to save themselves & the world they're in.Author's Notes:
This is WIP of my own doing which has like a zillion characters being introduced (and I'm still going) so you might need to hang on a bit for me to get into the meat of that summary *Crosses fingers she'll still be going with that*Chapter Three
The ridged roll-a-door was still wound to the roof, high above the back entry, giving the two Phoenix witches no trouble to enter the site. Mercy leapt up onto the raised concrete first, as agile as a cat, squaring her palm against the floor as she looked around the darkness.
“Looks like someone forgot to close the door after them,” Danny said, hauling himself up onto the platform with the chain that dangled to one side of the opening. Mercy pressed a finger to her lips.
While Danny chose to head off to the right, Mercy chose to slink off to the left in a still lowered position. Capturing a target required falling back on your senses – always be alert, be aware, be avoidable, be unseen – all golden rules of the Phoenix covenant. Mercy had her own way of playing the game and often succeeded at it. Though those with high power within the ranks were quite wary of her and were themselves quite immune to her methods, they had not thrown her out yet. The moment she failed, Danny suspected they would. He was also rather unconventional in how he approached things, taking greater risks than he should, but fortunately for him the union between he and Mercy had prevented the worst from happening to him. He would not admit that she had saved his ass on numerous occasions, but instead would say she aided his escape. Which was exactly what the Phoenix wanted to hear. Next to ‘the target has been incapacitated’.
Finding he had emerged within the stacked crates of alcohol, Danny proceeded cautiously down the narrow strip, his head turning back and forth as he reviewed what was ahead of him and what lay behind. He heard a momentary sound of clanging on the other side of the room, indicative of movement by the metal shelves. It was highly irregular for Mercy to be so careless, which could only mean that there was someone else in the room. Pressing himself closer to the rise of boxes around him, Danny slipped around the corner. He had a good view of the rest of the room now, but still could not make out another figure. He narrowed his eyes, trying to adjust them to the darkness within the room. He listened intently but everything was silent. He, Mercy and whoever had made the noise were obviously remaining as still as possible, each listening for signs of the other. He thought he heard signs of footwear scuffing over the ground but although it was in her direction, it wasn’t Mercy. He could make her lithe form out as she crept around the metal shelving, her long dark hair swinging wildly around her shoulders as she turned and lowered her position.
It appeared Marcus Revelle was very good at hiding for neither of them seemed able to ascertain exactly where in the room he was. Every time they moved in one direction, some slight noise sounded in another. With no choice but to either draw him out or find some middle ground covering all angles, Danny strode into the centre of the floor. He was met with darkness. He almost had the impulse to whistle, as if he were calling a dog back to its master. No noise required, however, as a crack sounded towards the door leading from the dock into the club, much akin to the sound of someone stepping on polyester strapping. Danny waved Mercy in that direction, unsure if she could actually see his action in the black void that was Valhalla’s loading dock at night.
Behind him came a different noise, much louder, sounds of something being pushed aside. Unless Marcus Ravelle possessed the power to move from one side of the room to the other in less than a second, which Danny highly doubted after Mercy’s briefing of his file, then they were dealing with another creature. Danny didn’t so much see him as sense where he was. Close now. Closer still. Lifting his arm the darkness was punctured by an orange light that flashed from within his hand, either side of the closed fist widening slightly as he readjusted his grip around the object that was suddenly growing from within it. The long and narrow piece of piping now fully formed in his hand, Danny whipped his arm around as he turned, hearing the blow of metal on bone as he made contact with the head of the person behind him. The body fell to the floor.
“Pigeon’s down, where’s the coop?” he called out to Mercy.
“Forsythe Street,” she said, striding towards him. “Construction lot’s shut down for the night.”
Grabbing one of the soiled paint sheets that had been left discarded in a pile on the floor, Danny threw it over the body and, letting the pipe drop onto the floor with a small clink, hoisted the figure over his shoulder.
“What’s this?” Mercy asked, picking up the stray weapon. Her eyes raised to his, just making his face out in the dark. “You didn’t crack his head open, did you?”
“You told me to whack him.”
“With a pipe?” Mercy asked incredulously.
“It was just a tap,” he said with a shrug, the weight on his shoulder preventing much movement.
He didn’t have to see her roll her eyes, he could hear the attitude in her voice. “We better get out of here before they start looking to stock up.”
As the two assassins made their way to the exit with their captured target and dropped down from the landing, another figure emerged by the back doorway leading into the club. Opening the door just enough to allow a slit of light through, he strained his eyes to see if he could identify the figures, his gaze shifting to the floor once they were out of sight to gauge whether there had been anything left behind. Turning his head he looked into the office, moving towards the next doorway of the room and glancing into the club. The meeting, it seemed, would not be happening tonight.* * *
“I hope there was no blood spilt over there,” David said, leaning in towards his father. His voice was barely audible over the music. The lights positioned directly over the bar counter cast light across one side of his face, the other still in darkness, giving him a look that was both as innocent and devilish as his comment.
“No. There was no blood on the tools,” Michael responded, settling into his seat. “Besides, if it was bad I would have sensed it.” His son returned the statement with a look of incredulity. “I would! At least… back in the old days…”
“Back in the old days,” David scoffed, drawing back. He seemed to be finding much amusement in those five words. “How far back are we going, dad?”
“Don’t get smart with me, son. I can still ground you.”
“Even though I’m an adult now.”
“Even though you are twenty-five, you are still living under my roof. And still under my care.”
“I can take care of myself,” David said flatly. “And I seem to remember I can take care of you as well.”
“And what about your brother?”
“What about him?”
“Every time you go off the range, don’t you know that affects him too?”
“He’s two and a half years younger than me. Also classified as an adult,” David pointed out. “I hardly believe you came all this way to discuss my family responsibilities.” Michael scratched the underside of his chin as David moved away to obtain a glass, holding the schooner up for his father. “Did you want a beer? Scotch?”
“No. Not while I’m on the job.”
“On the job?” David’s expression revealed interest, mixed with a little surprise. It was getting late after all. Especially for a building contractor.
“Gregor Mendel is looking to redesign. He wants to tear the place down and start over. Four floors, strobe lighting. Modern furniture. Some of those fancy glass interiors. The bar will have to change.”
“Why?” David asked, his brows folding in uncomprehendingly. “There’s nothing wrong with the place.”
“Except it’s not his place. It hasn’t changed since he bought it. There’s nothing here that says ‘him’. It’s all Charlotte.”
David chewed softly on his lip. Though Michael knew how strongly David felt about Valhalla, he couldn’t make out the reaction in his son’s eyes. It wasn’t a far leap for him to guess he was heartbroken, just as much as he. Michael had yet another layer of guilt to add onto that, knowing that if had just been able to afford to hold onto the place they wouldn’t be witnessing this revamp. The powers that be seemed to be lapping up the cruel jest of placing him in the very position to destroy what his wife had so diligently created. Michael suspected that was because he had turned his back on them and become one of the fallen, breaking all the rules so he could be with the woman he loved.
While David moved away to serve another customer who had become overly demanding, Michael picked up his toolkit and headed for the staircase by the front door. It had originally been made entirely of wood, but once the termites had gotten to the foundations and ruined the stairs before being extinguished by pest control, Charlotte had overlain the wood with metal planks and declared it made the place look more rustic. She had always strived to make the place look unique and comfortable. Thankfully the patrons had shared a similar, positive outlook and agreed.
A man not in his natural environment descended the staircase. He had the same brown eyes as Charlotte, the same pouty lips, the same arch of the eyebrows. His hair was perhaps a little darker, short and receding. A five o’clock shadow on his face and weary eyes revealed he’d been on the job for a good thirty-six hours. Stopping on the last stair, he pushed his jacket behind him as he placed his hands into his pockets and looked at Michael.
“Strange hours you’re keeping,” he said.
“No stranger than you,” Michael returned.
“That’s a good one,” Stephen said, pointing a finger at him. “Lucky you know me out of my day job… or that wouldn’t have been funny.”
“On the beat a little too long?” Michael queried. Stephen nodded, observing his surroundings as all good police detectives had a tendency to do. It was like an instinctive impulse built into their brains during training. “I hope you haven’t been chasing my son around all day.”
“Which one?” Stephen followed, the surprise on Michael’s face well worth the jest. They both knew which one he was indicating. “Don’t worry. Christian’s not done anything wrong that I’ve found out about… yet. Though he did mention something about wanting to take that Porsche for a spin out on Brookman St.”
“And?” Michael prompted.
“I’m not here to collect him,” Stephen said, shaking his head. “We haven’t had any issues with David in four months.”
“Glad to hear it.” Michael glanced over to his eldest son who was edging his way out from the side of the bar. “I think he’s starting to get onto the right path now. This is the first job he’s been able to hold down since Charlotte went.”
“We all need something to be distracted by,” Stephen empathized. He’d thrown himself into his own work when his fiancé died, almost running on a vengeance mission when shortly after his youngest sister had been killed. Three years later those dark thoughts immersed him into severe depression when Charlotte died also and he began to believe that he was the curse ending all their lives. It had taken nearly six years of therapy and a good four years of overtime on the force to pull him out of that one.
“I don’t think that’s what it is. I think being here brings him closer to her. She worked so hard on this place. It’s like the club is an extension of her.”
“Valhalla – one inch closer to heaven,” Stephen said, coining Charlotte’s old catch-phrase. Michael smiled in recognition of it.
A bunch of patrons yelling, squealing, and the odd one chanting encouragingly drew their attention to the far wall where the door that lead to the office was located. Beside it both Stephen and Michael saw a bunch of golden locks moving very fast towards the wall. Wordlessly they both ran towards the action, pushing their way through onlookers.
“This time don’t lie to me,” David growled, pushing the man in his grasp up against the wall, his fist still firmly entwined in the older man’s button-up business shirt. “Why are you tearing this place down? My mother spent her whole life building this place up from the dump it was.”
“It’s still a dump,” Gregor replied.
David raised his left arm, his fist balled as he prepared to throw a volatile punch that would shatter the glass in Gregor’s frames into his eyes. Stephen caught his wrist partway through the motion, expertly twisting it back to restrict his movement. Michael firmly gripped his son’s right shoulder, ready to prevent any movement on the other side.
“David, calm down,” Stephen warned.
David’s nostrils flared, his eyes still heatedly locked on Gregor before him. Michael squeezed David’s shoulder, his fingers digging in beneath the bone in an attempt to redirect his attention. Shaking both his uncle and his father off, David stepped back, taking in the entire scene around him. Gregor repositioned his feet so that they were now flat on the floor, straightening his shirt as he looked daringly towards David.
“I don’t think I need to remind you that this is not your mother’s place anymore. The decisions are ours. You don’t get a say in this.”
His expression darkening again, David raced forward, only to be caught by his uncle who was becoming a formidable blockade between the pair. Stephen held fast. David was only slightly taller than him, but much stronger. Having had to diffuse David many times before, Stephen could only be glad that he’d held back from abusing his many array of magical powers in public thus far.
“Gregor, please,” Michael tried to reason with the man. “He’s upset. He’s only just found out about this. Don’t try to aggravate him further.”
“Aggravate him? He assaulted me!” Gregor declared. He looked to Stephen. “Perhaps you should arrest him. Reckless behaviour in public, assault…”
“I don’t think I’m going to do that,” Stephen said, shaking his head softly. Feeling the tension ease in David’s body he chanced letting him go, and waved a hand palm down to address all those around them. “Everybody just needs to take a big breath and calm down.”
“If you’re not going to arrest him, then I don’t want him in my club. You’re fired!”
“Don’t worry, I quit!” David said, yanking the teatowel from the loop of his jeans and disposing it on the ground as he walked away.
“He takes after you, you know,” Stephen said, tilting his head towards Michael.
“I turned my back on the high council. I didn’t try to ‘throw down’ with them,” Michael responded.
Brushing back past his father as he returned from the bar, David slammed the heel of his hand against the office door and pushed it open.
“Have you finished your estimate?” Gregor asked Michael. “Because I’m not paying you to babysit your son.”
“I’ll watch him,” Stephen offered.
Michael forced a smile as he looked from his brother-in-law to his current client. “I’ll get right back to it.”