Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  Colesign on Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:13 am

Sanya

Sanya's hands are tied. Best to take this defeat with grace and do better next time.

That having been said, Sanya reaches out to his side and pulls the fire alarm.

Then he takes off, rushing over to said cafeteria to make sure everyone's gotten out.

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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  industrious on Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:09 pm

Sanya

The students flood out, their clothes soaking wet. But six minutes and thirty-six seconds later, there was no explosion. And the students looked irate instead of relieved at that fact.

Obviously it had been a trick. And as Sanya looks across the quad, he realizes its purpose. Nicodemus had gotten onto the shuttle to Chicago; the next one wouldn't arrive for nearly another hour.

The last Knight of the Cross had lost him.
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  Colesign on Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:38 pm

Sanya

Sanya curses again. Nicodemus is on his way to Chicago, and has an hour's start on him to perform all sorts of nasty shenanigans. And Sanya can't...

Sanya pulls out his cell phone. He dials Harry's place.

Nada.

His office.

Zip.

As an afterthought, he tries dialing McAnallys...

[Is that a bit metagamey? There's no canonical detail suggesting that Sanya's been to McAnally's before. If you feel it's metagamey, I'll change it to...]

Sanya then tries dialing Michael's house. At the very least he can warn one of his closest friends.

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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  industrious on Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:21 am

Michael

"Hello?"

Oh no. Oh possibly-existent God no. This had to be the worst turn of the screw yet.

"Start talking, or I'll hang up."

Charity's on the other line.
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  Colesign on Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:00 am

Sanya

[I'm pretty sure that Sanya's got no beef with Charity like Harry Dresden had. Heck, Charity managed to get over her Dresden-Resentment during Proven Guilty. So to the best of my knowledge, Charity gets along well with Sanya.]

"Devoshka Carpenter." Sanya says seriously. "Nicodemus is heading to Chicago on the Northwestern El, and has an hour's head start on me. Your family should be protected from evil {via Archangels}, but be careful. Also, can you get in touch with Dresden? He's not answering his office or home."

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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  industrious on Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:24 am

[No particular beef. But when she thinks someone's putting her husband in danger...]

Charity

"...I see."

There is a brief pause.

"I'll do what I can, but nd if he isn't at his office or home, I don't know where he'd be. Hold on a second. Molly!"

Whispering on the other end.

"...he took you WHERE?"

Charity's voice is very cold as she gets back on the line.

"Apparently, he frequents this bar called "MacAnally's.' And he took Molly there once. If you'll excuse me, I have to call Michael. He's at Alicia's Little League game."
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  Cracklord on Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:55 am

They were nearly a mile bellow the surface, in the subterranean cathedral his thralls had mined out of the foundations of the earth itself. Down here, they were far beyond the sight of mortals, immune to the passages of years, trends, and other such inconveniences. Around the vast cathedral with it's cieling of stalagmites as a warren of cells and chambers that made up the war-rooms and vaults.
Long ago, Vladislav had built a sprawling, underground kingdom, including a black library that far exceeded anything in the world above thanks to the council. He had treasures dating back to before the dawn of man when the gods had walked the earth and strange snake people had built temples to things that the council had banned all mention of for fear of attracting their attention. Artefacts of power, masks, some renditions of familiar animal faces and other, stranger things, charms, icons, rods, starves, wands, and a vast arsenal of weapons to rival that of Monoc securities, although it was languishing without update and getting increasingly behind the march of progress.
There was even a caged pit for gladiatorial death matches, all in the name of amusement. The cage fights were brutal and bloody, with his kin, children and followers thirsting for blood as they looked on.
Death was good for morale.
In the galleries, a thousand flickering torches illuminated the upturned faces of them all. They were tainted sickly green by the luminescence given by the lichen that illuminated the walls. Some wore expressions of idolization. Others wore hatred. All, in some form or another, exhibited fear.
They were far bellow the mortal world, beneath the city of Bucharest, the Curtea Veche, where he had ruled before the betrayals of his allies and his son.
"Here, my family," He called, the acoustics of the domed vault amplifying his words. "Is the end of an era. Europe is dead, like the Ottomans before them it is a sick man in the crumbling ruins of faded dreams of glory." He pauses, letting them digest his words. "The time has come to move. The New World awaits, blazing a dream of power and glory. We would be fools to resist it's lure. A ship awaits. We leave with the morning tide."

Nicodemus
Billy Kincaid sees you before you see him. Moving like greased lightning, yet somehow retaining an air of nonchalance, he darts through the departures line, no more then a blur, and steps behind the ticket office where he can watch you without being seen. He doesn't go for his gun, he already tried that and it didn't work then either. You're both in the same shadow world that the signatories pretend doesn't exist, and you'd recognize each other, and take the measure.
Once you pass, he files your appearance away for further interest, then gets back to his train. He has a job to do, and only hours to do it before he is needed back here to serve his brutal old master. Whatever Dresden or his contemporaries might think, he's not totally without conscience besides love of money. He has a grateful respect and fear for his lord, for instance, who sheltered him and kept him alive for a century, a debt he was quite aware he'd never pay back, regardless of how much work he put his way. And while things like mercy, charity and the like were beyond him, a debt he could understand, whatever it cost him to repay it.

Marcone
You find yourself chatted aimlessly, drawn into a conversation about the state of the city, and how that effects you both, of all things. He's clearly unashamed by who he is and what he does, and makes no pretenses or attempts to hide it. Instead, he comes of as rather affable and polite.
This is a ruse. He wants to take the measure of you, to determine what to make of you. He s a ken judge of character, and wants to determine your stake in this. If you are Nicodemus' stooge, he ensures he will know before the man arrives.
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  Colesign on Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:30 pm

Sanya

"Thank you, Charity. Stay safe."

Sanya hangs up and uses the web browser function on his phone to look up the McAnally's Pub phone number. Then he calls.

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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  draxx on Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:33 pm

Fix
For his part, Fix is a little awed. He has not yet developed the buffer that most members of the world he lives in develop. Marcone's tactics are working perfectly, he's already accidently revealed that the Summer Queen passed him orders that he hasn't remembered yet, compared his situation to the better sort of sleeper agent action movie, and otherwise put the crime lord on the front foot.
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  Cracklord on Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:52 am

Marcone
Satisfied by Fix's lack of duplicity, or at least, lack of duplicity that he can identify, Marcone sits back and continues, doing his best to present himself as genuinely enjoying the conversation. However, his mind is already elsewhere, dwelling on the issues he has identified in his organizations today and the manner in which he will be forced to deal with them, before they cease to be an annoyance and develop into a problem, and the coming meeting with Nicodemus, inventing strategies and counter-strategies.
At last he glances up, and realizes the time has arrived. He adjusts his tie and straightens his jacket, but doesn't signal Hendricks yet. Afterall, gentlemen were fashionably late. It gave the appearance of power, and of purpose. ANd so he did not doubt Nicodemus would be most content to arrive ten minutes late for their meeting.
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  industrious on Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:09 pm

Nicodemus Archleone

The moment the sun touches the tip of the Earth, there is a knock on the door. Hendricks opens it to reveal Nicodemus.

The Denarian has changed his attire from when the two last met. Currently, the man is wearing what can only be termed a "gangster suit." Blue pinstripes, tilted fedora, gloved hands, the works. It was an original piece from the 1920s, though in perfect condition. The noose around his neck has been hidden under his shirt, though one can see it's rim peeking out from over the collar.

The sole difference from a traditional gangster suit is the coat. Rather than cloth, the coat was made of writhing, boiling shadow. Occasionally, it would move, seeming to boil away and be replaced within a second, whispering words in a language long dead all the while. Furthermore, so long as Nicodemus wore that coat, he cast no shadow, even in the light of Marcone's office. In his right hand, the man absently plays with a coin; it flips across his knuckles, spins it in one hand; it is constantly on the move.

The Denarian hangs his coat on the hanger, and raises an eyebrow at their reaction to his attire.

"Is there something wrong with this attire? Alphonse assured me that this was the proper wear when discussing matters of business with leaders of organized crime."

Nicodemus speaks slowly, and quietly, and there is a faint English accent to his words. It is very easy to hear him, though; one finds that you unconsciously force yourself into listening. His is the sort of voice that can quiet a room by speaking in a low, pleasant tone.
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  Cracklord on Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:30 pm

'Gentleman' Marcone
"Not at all." He replies, pouring them both a glass of cognac, and gesturing to the seat across from him. "Dated, perhaps, but all the best things are. Drink?" Without waiting for a reply, he pushes the second glass along the table.
The world of organized crime is controlled by courtesies and modes of practice at least as stringent as those of the world of organized crime, for much the same reason; avoiding giving insult, causing offense, or making the other party suspicious, and in turn avoiding a wr on the streets.
Marcone looked more like a genial next-door neighbor or football coach; a man coming to the end of his mature prime but still in excellent condition despite it. He had handsome but unremarkable features, laugh lines and a boaters tan, and eyes the color of used dollar bills. He's dressed in Armani, beautifully tailored, and looks like the image he tries to maintain, that of a respectable and honest businessman.
"If this is about that job offer, I would be happy to make any provisions you desire."
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  draxx on Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:33 pm

Fix
The summer knight looks over and winces. He'd been searched when he arrived, of course, but Marcone's inspection missed a knife, and he has a sudden urge to stroke the place it's hidden to confirm it's still there. Looking at Nicodemus, he suddenly feels he needs reassurance.
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  industrious on Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:54 pm

Nicodemus

"Mortal fashion changes far too rapidly for my taste," Nicodemus muses, accepting the glass. "I remember when I could wear the same outfit for years, decades, even, on end, and not cause comment. A simpler time."

Nicodemus stops fiddling with the coin, and places it on the desk.

"As to the job proposal...there are two distinct endeavors. One for my own benefit, and one to our mutual advantage."

He smells the cognac, drinking in the aroma, but doesn't take a sip. Not yet, at least; it's far too early.

"1830. A very good year. I was in...China, at the time, actually."

They talk of inconsequential things for a few minutes, each drawing the other's measure. A turn of phrase here, an offhand remark there, and eventually, business begins.

"The first proposal is well within your ability. I wish for one Detective Karin Murphy to retain her job regardless of any...irregularities in the course of her duty. And for your patronage to be made...if not secret, then not particularly open."

She'd discover that he was looking out for her on her own. She'd look back and wonder when she would have been fired if not for the interference of a Mob boss. She'd be furious, and she'd be distrusted by the honest cops; too proud and noble to descend into the low. It would destroy that which she most cherished, and do so without any physical harm.

"I would, of course, be willing to pay for this favor."
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  Cracklord on Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:12 pm

Marcone
Marcone is very much the genial host, laughing good-naturedly at the denarians wit, and offering his own opinions at the appropriate times. He even makes an effort to draw Fix into the conversation a few times, and listens politely.
Then Nicodemus makes his offer. He pauses. Never agree to anything until you have considered it, and how it benefits the man making the proposition. At last he nods. "Lieutenant Murphy is an honest officer, and, if I may say, an unusually effective one. However, the police are just as useful honest as corrupt, if one can keep them pointed away from himself. It's important to keep the wheels cleaned, and those who interrupt the flow of business dealt with cleanly and efficiently."
He taps his fingers on the table. "I think that is more then manageable. Why, I will even encourage a third party to give Special Investigations a generous donation to buy new equipment, and see to it that she resumes her rank as lieutenant. If you want, I could even arrange a medal. But I wouldn't ask for fiscal consideration on such a small favor. Instead, consider it my way of offering consideration." Money isn't useful to him, he's got enough. Where as a small service rendered in the future, that could help him far more.
"And the second point of interest?"
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  draxx on Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:21 pm

Fix
Fix had never heard of the swords of the cross. His interaction with Murphy consisted of once being questioned for the murder of a changeling (he'd done it, but he hadn't left any evidence for her or Dresden to find, and besides, she'd been a serial rapist who coerced people with her powers, so it was nothing more then his duty to exert control over her). So he was feeling a little out of context, and uncertain how to approach this matter.
As far as he knew, there was nothing the slightest bit wrong with what they were doing, so kept out of the loop.
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  industrious on Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:33 pm

Nicodemus

Now Nicodemus is smiling, the expression faint upon his lips. With a flick of his wrist, he sends the coin on the table spinning in place, the worn silver edge clattering upon the wooden surface.

"A rather more difficult, and, I should add, more profitable endeavor."

The coin is off-balance; it quickly falls and clatters onto the desk, the tarnished sigil facing up.

"At the end of our last encounter, my darling wife decided to abscond with twenty five of my most prized possessions. Due to a rather fortuitous circumstance, I have discovered her little hideaway. I intend to put together a group of various individuals, and serve her divorce papers."

There is no divorce under the Accords. The only provision for ending marriage was death.

"In return, I would be willing to give you...shall we say three coins?"
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  Cracklord on Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:03 pm

Marcone
Tessa had the dubious pleasure of torturing him, during their only meeting, when they had used him as a guinea pig to put Dresden on the wrong foot, arrange a meeting with the Archive and attempt to convert her to demonic possesion. She had hurt him at her husbands behest, certainly, but just the same she was the one holding the knife. And whip. And hammer. And other, more specialized things with names he would have to look up, he'd never really seen the point of torture.
He was half tempted to offer to do it for free. It was the sort of job he could respect, and the coins were a two-edged sword that cut both ways, and a dangerous one at that. As much as he would like the power to enforce his rule over the underworld without the need for third party agencies (one should never make deals with those clearly more powerful then them) and relying on the stregnth of others, he recognized that the reason Nicodemus was so happy to offer them was that he believed, given time, their bearers would wind up working for him again, or dead and the coins in his hands once more.
Marcone knew that he was probably right. He had seen Usriel. He had seen Magog. He knew that most people found themselves firmly under the heel of the demon, no more then slaves in their own heads. And while he had a certain confidence in his own abilities, he was certain they all had too when they made the deal.
"That is a most tempting offer." He says at legnth. "One which I graciously accept." He picks up a napkin, and looks at the coin. Usriel, he notes. Something that looks very much like the crescent blade of an axe. He carefully puts the coin back down. Then he taps his fingers on the table.
"As to the first issue of importance, well I find myself equally in need of a favor. Regarding seargent Murphy, you wish me to paralyse her where she is, for the simple reason that she can do no harm to you there. However, if she was to take the sword Dresden has been asked to keep..." He was there both times the knights had confronted Nicodemus. He knew plenty about them. "Well then, life would become difficult for you again. So in effect, I am pre-emptively dealing with your enemy."
"Which is in my benefit to do, I might add. But I find myself with a similar problem of my own. Something is coming into my terrirory. The portents are clear, and Miss Gard has informed me in a surge in the spiritual energies of this town. Something has moved in, although neither of us know the first thing about it. You have hinted that you do, and I will be unable to assist you if I am here fighting whatever it is for control of the cities underworld. So I would like you to tell me all you can of the being that has come. What is it, and how do I kill it."

Vlad
The ship had pulled in at the dock, and strange, silent men had unloaded it, then vanished with it's contents in their shipping containers. Customs had arrived to find an empty rust bucket with no navigation capablities that by all rights should have sunken a long, long time ago. They could find no evidence of it's owner or crew, or even what it was carrying. All they could find was a serial number identifying this as a german battleship in World War One thought to have sunken off the coast of Italy.
By the time they actually inspected it, all the evidence was long gone. It's arrival was an oddity reported in the papers for a few day, but as no additional evidence turned up the whole question was abruptly shelved, and dropped by the papers. In a week, it would be forgotten completely.


Last edited by Cracklord on Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  industrious on Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:16 pm

Nicodemus

"Ah, yes. He's coming."

Nicodemus finally takes a snip of the cognac, nodding appreciatively at the fortified brandy.

"Vlad Drakul...the first. Most mortals today know of Count Dracula, thanks to the White Court and Mr. Stoker, but they do not know of his far more fearsome father. He is...an immensely powerful, highly intelligent...what is that word...lunatic. He is a rampaging animal with little thought or compunction for any higher purpose. As for killing him...men with more power than you, and I do say this with no small amount of admiration for your skill and ingenuity, have tried, to their detriment. But he is easily manipulated if one is schooling in the language of flattery, and as powerful as he is, he must still abide by the Accords. The Queen of Winter is still several orders of magnitude more powerful than he."

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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  Cracklord on Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:29 pm

Marcone
"Ah." He takes another glass of the drink as well. "Well then, mister Nicodemus, I am most grateful that, as long as it suits our mutual purposes, you are on my side. Because I have enough trouble with a single practicing wizard." It's a complement, and a good one.
As for Drakul, it is both far worse and far better then he expected. Men like that were familiar to him, and while they were easy to manipulate, they were hard to control. He takes the napkin and, clicking a pen, writes a nine digit number. "Here you can contact me directly when you are ready to begin your search. It appears I will be fortifying my position here for the next few days, and taking care of the policewoman, so by all means be as thorough as you like. Could I have the documents please?"
The papers needed a majority to be recognized, and at the very least he, Fix and two others both needed to sign them in order for them to be recognized by the signatories’ official channels. If they didn't, the other parties were free to offer her shelter and support as they chose, which would make their job much harder. Almost all of them would jump at the chance to have the majority of the denarians in their possesion, or at the very least, in their debt.
"I am sure I could convince Miss Gard to do likewise, but I would suspect the winter court would refuse on principle if the summer sign. May I recomend the Raiths?"
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  industrious on Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:46 pm

Nicodemus

"But of course."

Nicodemus signs the papers in Aramaic; his native tongue, before handing them over.

"I will be staying at the Conrad for the foreseeable future, arranging a few other allies. One benefit to immortality, Mr. Marcone, is the number of people who owe you favors. The longer you can play the game, the more you can benefit. Unlike many gambling institutions. The White Court is acceptable, and if need be, Mr. Dresden can sign them."

The height of irony, that would be.

"Feel free to keep the coin, though I wouldn't recommend Ursiel for you; he's far too much of a brute. Lasciel, perhaps. Or possibly Imariel, Tessa's Fallen."

Jared Kincaid

His phone's ringing. And the caller ID is a three-letter word.

"Mister Kincaid, I'd like to propose an extremely short-term contract, with no risk to either the client or your person. You will be paid your usual rate for fulfilling this contract."

The language is extremely formal. Which means, of course, that she's hiding behind it. She may be the living repository of all written knowledge, but she's still a thirteen year old girl.
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  Cracklord on Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:56 pm

Marcone
"Thank you for your advice, Nicodemus, but sometimes being direct is rather refreshing." He replies, signing beneath the line, then innitialing the bottom. He double checks, then, not seeing anything he doesn't expect, passes it over to Fix. "I look forward to fulfilling our arrangement. I'll have Hendricks drop you there." He gets up, and politely inclines his head, then leaves the room through a back door into his office. Hendricks meets your eyes, and passes you your coat.

Kincaid
He has a certain paternal instinct where The Archive is concerned. He loved her mother, after all. Or whatever it was. It certainly sounded like love anyway, when you said it aloud, and that was good enough for him.
"I'll have to hear you first." He replies honestly. "But I'm happy to listen, if that's what you mean. Not doing anything but driving at the moment anyway."
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  industrious on Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:02 am

Ivy

"It's late in England, and I can't go to sleep. Tell me a story. Please?"

Nicodemus

"A pleasant evening, Mister Marcone."

He walks with Hendricks, and is silent. He had walked to Marcone's office; being driven back to the hotel would be wonderful.
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  Cracklord on Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:18 am

Marcone
He thinks a moment. Nicodemus had offered to tell him how to deal with Vlad, and though he hadn't said anything overt, in fact apparently trying to direct the gangster away from that line of inquiry, he had mentioned the winter queen for a reason, Marcone was sure of it. So whatever he had to do in order to deal with Vlad, it was something involving Mab. He swore the room dropped a few degrees cooler at the merest thought of her name. Like inviting a lion into your house to deal with an infestation of mice. But desperate times meant extreme measures.
He did not make deals with the fey, he left them alone and they extended him the same courtesy. However, he was sure it was possible to make contact if it came to it. He just had to give her something she wanted, to stay out of her debt, something nobody else could give her.
Then he paused. Fix had mentioned that there was not a winter knight at the moment, and that he was unopposed. Why was that?
He pressed a button on his phone. Sigrun would be here in a few minutes, and like all the gods of the cold land, her people had contacts with the fey, specifically the giants, or jotuns as they called them, the dwarves and the trolls, all creatures of winter for the most part. Perhaps she could find out why that was, and furthermore what she was waiting for. Or at the very least, point him in the right direction.

Nicodemus
Hendricks is a competent, if unimaginative driver. He follows signs precisely, remains five kilometers under the speed limit, and always defers to other people indicating or changing lanes. Which, given the car is an Aston Martin, seems a little out of place attitude to be having. Despite this, he makes excellent time, and drops you off beneath a street light.
He then drives off without another word, leaving you alone in a tiny pool of light.

Kincaid
He pauses. Here was a familiar ritual. "No problem. Give me a minute." He had to invent a new story every time. He was not Lewis Carrol, but he had an adequate imagination, and if he tried to cheat, she knew, given that every story ever written was precisely filed in her head. Once, when she had been five and a half, he had tried to read her the Hobbit, and found her murmuring the words along with him. Which was, needless to say, creepy.
At last, after a few moments consideration, he thrashes something into a vague outline that would serve as a plot, and begins. “It was a dark and stormy night, and a truck was driving along a flooded road through the desert, a secret package on board that nobody could know about.” He says, his usually emotionless voice giving it all the right inflections.
His was a life of clear contrasts, his two usual employers could not be more different.
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

Post  draxx on Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:57 am

Fix
He pauses, considering for a moment. He's a representitive of his court, he can make any decision he wants and Titania will usually back him. So it's all up to him. He ponders the implications a moment. Then he signs it. It's not any of the Summer Court's buisness what Nicodemus does, but it would mean they both owed him a small favor under the unwritten laws of courtesy, which he could certainly use.

That out of the way, he goes back to the door that Hendricks so recently departed through, retrieving his gun and sword and he does. Then he calls Dresden's office on a mobile phone, and leaves a message. "This is Fix. We need to talk. Bad news." He doesn't say more. He feels it would be wasted. But Dresden is a friendly acquintance, and has helped him out a few times before, and the least he can do is offer him warning.

That said, he steps into the ways, and vanishes.
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Re: Dresden Files: Caught in the Undertow

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