Author Topic: DCH - Conspiracies Part 2  (Read 363 times)


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DCH - Conspiracies Part 2
« on: June 09, 2008, 09:04:14 PM »
Four thirty, Tori's diner.  This time, Alain's not alone in the booth, the same booth they used last time.  His necktie's been removed and tossed carelessly over the table, he's packed in against the wall but spread out comfortably, smoking a cigar, and Tori's sitting on the table.  One of her heavy combat booted feet dangles off the edge, and the other is propped against the back of the seat right next to him.  The purpose of this is two-fold - first, she's pointing out a scar to him, her tanned finger tracing a long curve of scar tissue... and second, she's effectively blocked him in.  Whatever they're talking about, there's a little flirtation in Alain's grin, and he's ignoring his cup of coffee.

Belial takes a new route today, preferring not to stick to patterns, they can get you killed.  Coming up along the outside the diner, she doesn?t pause today nor seem to peer inside the window.  Belial glides to the door and slips inside, letting that green gaze dance over the interior only to come to a rest on Tori.  She can?t see Alain?s face, only the side of his head but she can smell him thick in the room.  A teasing smile plays over full red lips as she joins the pair.  

Dressed causally in black fitted jeans and a black leather jacket that bears no insignia upon it, Bel could easily pass as a local were it not for her ethereal beauty.  She smiles and nods to Tori, those green eyes falling on Alain as a brow arches with impish delight.  ?Hope I am not disturbing??  Her tone suggesting she knows otherwise.  ?I could come back? later??  She teases.

It?s his expression that gave Alain away.

Alain and Tori both turn to look at Belial... and the latter seems to grin just as impishly, lips curling at the corners, revealing a pale little scar that reaches the edge of her lips.  "He's all yours," the woman replies in a naturally husky voice that comes from overuse, even abuse of a stern tone.  "Enjoy him," she adds teasingly as she leaves the booth, and Alain just takes a slow sip of his coffee, not saying a goddamn thing, though you can be sure he's grinning on the inside.

Belial smiles to Tori, nodding.  ?To be sure? he is a prize.?  The lady is granted a playful wink as Bel slides into her side of the booth.  ?I would love to try some of your pie, cherry if you have any, and some coffee too please??

Bel turns that green gaze on Alain, canting her head to the left grinning.  ?I like her.? She comments as she shifts to get comfortable.  ?If you are willing, shall we get down to business??

She doesn?t have a lot of time this eve and hence she can?t be as laid back as last time.

Belial places a small metal box, roughly the size of a pack of cigarettes but much slimmer, on the table, pushing it over towards Alain.  A nod at that box, ?Inside there you will find the tools you will need.  But I would recommend you practice a bit??  Another box, much larger appears suddenly in her hand.  She places it next to the smaller one.  ?You?ll find a booklet detailing application in there too.  I suggest you read it then play with the stuff in the big box only.  There are three layers in the small box; they are coded to each of the partners.  That way we cover both angles; if the lock requires more than one hand, thumb, what have you?  You?ll have access to all three.?

Belial pulls yet another box out of thin air, this one is a little bit larger than a ring box.  She places it next to the slender one.  ?In there you will find eyes, Detective.  Grown in our labs the retinas will match exactly to Mister Dewey and Mister Howe.  Unfortunately, we?ve never been able to get an image sharp enough in detail of Mister Cheatham.  If you need his eye scan, you?ll need to get a sharp picture of the man?s eyes for us to replicate.?

Belial doesn?t explain where she?s getting this stuff, or how she knew he?d be able to use them.  In fact, it might all seem a little eerie how much she knows.  

?Don?t play with the eyes, Detective; they will get mushy, I?m afraid, if handled too much.?  

He grins at Belial's explanation, and examines a few of the items, but declines to examine the eyes just yet.  Tori comes back with cherry pie for both of them, raises an eyebrow slightly at some of what she overhears, but dutifully makes no remarks and asks no questions - she smirks, shakes her head a touch, and moves off to other duties, leaving them to their business.

"Christ, you make this whole thing easy...  I almost prefer doing it the hard way."  He winks at her, and takes a sip of his coffee, not touching the pie yet.

"I can get you a picture of Cheatham's eyes easily... but hopefully I won't need them.  I imagine the lock requires only one or two of the lawyers, since they have been using it at least some lately..." he muses, thinking now about their movements, their habits, around the offices...

Belial sweetens her coffee and adds a dollop of cream, shaking her head with a bit of a grin.  Something obviously is weighing down on her thoughts today and she seems slightly distracted by whatever it is.  However she remains focused on their business at hand, as always Bel is a professional.  She prides herself on getting the job done right.  

?Easy?  If you only knew the things I went through to gain the information I have about the demonic trio??  Bel smirks, a delicate brow arching ironically.  ?One of the things I figured out pretty early on is that Howe is the one who tends to hold the most incriminating evidence.  Whatever it is they are plotting?  Howe?s neck deep behind it and if you can access his private chambers you might find a gold mine of information.  Well??  Belial chuckles then enjoys a sip of Tori?s tasty coffee.  ?At least from what I experienced??

Setting the coffee aside Bel picks up her fork, slicing a thin bite off the pie but not yet sampling it.  The fork hangs inches from the plate as Bel continues.  ?Cheatham? now that one is an enigma.  I could barely find anything on him.  An image of his eyes, his face; either would be a boon.  He?s either the shyest of the partners or the most paranoid; the guy is fairly a hermit!? Bel sounds frustrated.  A glance at her fork and the bite of pie is savored.  ?Mmm, delicious!?  

"I haven't seen him once... but as soon as you're 'dead,' the chances of him showing his face should become extremely high."  He takes a large bite of the pie.  "Good stuff, isn't it."

He sets his fork down on the edge of the plate.  "I'm going to concentrate on the smaller room first.  Honestly, I don't think I'll attempt to access Mister Howe's private chambers unless I go in knowing I'm already on a suicide mission.  I imagine there will be unimaginable pitfalls beyond even an unlocked door."

A few bites into her pie, Bel set the fork to the plate, lifting her napkin to wipe full, red lips.  ?You haven?t seen him at all?  Not even once?  Interesting?? coffee reclaimed she lounges back, one shapely jean-clad leg propping up beside her.  ?I wonder?  It does beg to question what casualties were taken during the explosion of their office building.  Oh? And have you noticed?  There?s a new sign outside the building and it reads ?Morgan Enterprises?.  I can?t imagine any of the demonic lawyers appreciate that!?  Belial on the other hand finds it utterly amusing.  She isn?t in the least surprised that someone stepped in and seized control of their assets when DCH appeared to be down.  

?Hmm, look in to that, Alain? something very fishy going on there? and knowing may be an important clue.  Keep in mind our primary objective is to find a way to take them down.  We need them out of the way before the end of Fall.?  Belial doesn?t elaborate on why however.  Arms curve around her leg, hugging it towards her.  ?We have other issues arising, Alain? these are very explosive times and I need to ask a boon of you??  Belial isn?t comfortable bringing Alain into her little covert operation, her insane war against Veighn, but to remain anonymous and accomplish anything she needs his help.  ?This isn?t? ah?  Official Alain.  If we get caught we both face stern consequence from the Family.?  She hopes she?s making herself clear.  She cants her head contemplating him with that intense green gaze, perhaps a tad bit unsettling.  ?I won?t ask you for your help if you don?t want me to??

"Most of the things I do are off the record," he replies, "and I would be killed and my name ruined if they were brought before the wrong people.  I'm used to it."  He takes another bite of the pie, and gestures with his fork as he chews.  "Explain... and we'll see if you can make me a deal."

Belial smirks at Alain.  ?I want to hire assassins? to annoy Lord Veighn Yhaull.  The Bloods hold Alliance with the fiend, but he?s kidnapped Alysia and he?s??  That green gaze dips from Alain?s blue eyes, drifting down towards her lap.  With the tucking of her chin to chest she shakes her head.  ?No, no, nevermind.? murmured low and mostly to herself.  Quickly she changes topic.  ?I want to unearth more of his powers, test his extremes.  The assassin?s will need to be high-powered mages? I doubt they?ll come cheap, but I have done well over my time in the physical, I can front the money.  But I must remain the silent partner in this?  If we are caught out; Veighn will see this as an act of aggression, not of mine, but that of the Family?s.  I cannot allow that to happen.?

"I know a guy who owes me a favor," he replies, before he's even done mulling over Veighn.  He knows the creature - never really considered him a man - and knows he is both powerful and perverse.  "...But I want information in exchange."  He sets his fork down and places his hand on the table.

"I may be sacrificing my life to bring down a great evil, and that's fine by me... but it will also serve the ends of the Family.  The Bloods.  The fact that you've made alliance with Veighn is enough to make any man hesitate.  Don't take this the wrong way, but I didn't get very far in this business by trusting people... I need to know the Family doesn't intend to pick up where DCH left off.  I need some example, some form of evidence, that I am not merely helping RhyDin out of the frying pan and into the fire."

It's blunt enough to almost be taken for a joke, but he appears quite serious.

Bel?s arms drop and the leg vanishes under the booth as she leans forward.  Elbows rest to the table and her hands fold casually as she meets his serious gaze with her own.  ?You really think we would be that stupid??  Bel shakes her head slowly, ?That?s not the game here Alain.  The Alliance with Veighn was the *greater good*, never doubt that.  Do you perchance know what kind of creature he is??  A curious canting of her head sends ebon curls dancing.  A few stray strands tumble over her eyes, casting her features in an odd play of light and dark.  ?*We* don?t know what he is; do you understand the magnitude of such a confession, Detective?  If we do not know our enemy then warring with him is unwise.  Best to bind him to a contract that ties his hands; if only to keep the Family safe from his perverse aggression.  Do you not agree??

Belial?s hands unclasp and she takes up her coffee, sitting back.  ?Careful not to judge us in too strong a light, Alain?  The Bloods may not be saints but nor are we sinners.  We strive for peace, not war.  But when war comes a knocking, and trust me it always does, we will not flinch but prevail.  It is the way of things? judge as you will, but do it fairly.?

"I don't have much with which to judge the Family," he replies, and sips his coffee, unflinching at her words and her body language.  "I'm not a saint myself.  A fellow detective has long accused me of always walking in the light, but the truth of the matter is, I've always favored the grey areas.  I like peace, stability, and prosperity because it is good for my family, good for my friends, good for the city, and good for business.  I can understand that you've made a deal with Veighn... but I still don't have the slightest indication of what you stand for outside of bringing down DCH.  That suits my purposes just fine, but in case I survive this, I'd like to have some idea of what comes next."
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Part II
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2008, 06:19:19 PM »
Belial laughs and it is as much a touch as it is sound; soft like velvet and smooth like warm honey.  ?You want our resume?, Detective?  Or a short list of community services?  I am not sure what reassurance I can offer you, save this??  Belial grants him a mysterious smile, those green eyes dance with impish delight.  ?I will allow you free access once we?ve accomplished this DCH thing?  If you find something abhorrent, then we can address it, right then and there, on the spot.  In fact? I think I can sweeten our deal, Alain?  Give you membership, complete unrestricted access?  Will that suffice?  Or have you another suggestion??

Belial is more than happy to infer that this is to appease him, but in reality his acceptance had already been granted weeks ago?  No need for Alain to know that however, since it works in her favor to use it as leverage now.  

"Power is tempting right now... and to be a part of the Bloods, even merely allied to one of your Houses, would be a windfall... but I need you to swear something to me - something good and pure."  He opens his hand slowly.  "Swear to me - swear to whatever powers you observe higher than yourself - that you will protect my sister Shannon D'Mourir when I am not capable.  That you will allow none to harm or exploit her.  She is the key to nothing, she has no power beyond her own cunning... but the people who will grow to hate me will doubtless try to use her against me, or hurt or kill her out of revenge."

?Protection for your sister??  Belial chuckles warmly, nodding her head.  ?Of course, Alain? that?s what our primary goal is in the Bloods, to protect those we love.  Yes, we?ll place her under House protection.  However, if she makes an aggressive move against some of our *seeming* allies?  I fear they may use her just as foully as your enemies would.  Don?t you??  She gestures with her free hand as she sips from her coffee, inviting him to contemplate what she?s saying. ?I seek only honesty between us, hence?? an elegant half-shrug, ?I mention this.  We place her under our banner; she becomes no less of a target than she was as your sister alone.  You need to understand this?  But we would have offered you this nevertheless.  So yes, your sister will be protected.  This I swear to you on my very essence.?  

"Then I'll pay heed to my guardian angel and return to trusting you," he answers, "and ask that you forgive my little... departure."  He doesn't explain the part about the guardian angel - the shadowy figure with black wings Sid had sighted in her 'dream-quest' into the young detective's mind...

He takes another bite of his pie and raises his eyebrows.  "...You know, your little remark about 'community services' gives me an idea."

?Does it??  Belial too overlooks the ?guardian angel? comment, although she is very well aware of what Sid ?saw?.  ?What do you have in mind, eh??  She sips from her coffee, waiting to hear what he has to say.  

"Regardless of an organization's structure, mission, intent, performance, any of those things... if it does the right things for the community, the community will stand up for it.  Charity.  Sending volunteers to take care of neglected civil services in the West End.  Fundraisers."  He smiles.  "Jewell Ravenlock had the right idea with her charity ball... and it's no one's fault but her own for failing to capitalize on it, really cash in on it."

Belial smiles and nods in agreement.  ?Yes? I was thinking of beginning the Citizens? Council, a way to allow us to gather funds and the manpower needed to protect the city? and not have it appear to be in the control of the few and elite.  And yes, the charity event was a smashing idea.  I had hopes of seeing more of them, yet? alas, charity is spoken of often, yet rarely offered in our township.  So, have you any specific ideas, any specific things we should be focusing on??  Bel asks curiously.  ?You mention the WestEnd?  Luc has his men patrolling the Northwest side of Rhy?Din, the area where Onyx House and the DeAuster?s control property.  I am sure we can extend our ?services? to the WestEnd?  But what about that guild you mentioned to me?  The Black Wolves?  Shouldn?t we find a way to ?decommission? them??  

"That is a separate project I am deeply involved in," Alain replies.  "I already have an army ready to fight that war when the time comes."  He takes another bite of the pie.  "I'm sure the Bloods do their part towards maintaining stability... and I hate to be cold, but in this particular strategy, whether or not you're truly doing your part in each action is irrelevant.  What matters the most is appearances - Blood guards joining the Watch on calls, Blood informants tipping them off.  Bloods renovating old buildings for one purpose or another, selling them off so the whole community can be invested and not just one elite group.  And when it comes to blows, or it comes to an election when the Bloods back one candidate... the West End will back the Bloods."

Belial cants her head as she listens to Alain.  She isn?t sure about the politics? The Bloods have been very quiet on that front with good reason; whispers of scandal, of corruption and the Family have always abounded.  Therefore steps have been taken to pull them out of that limelight intentionally.  Corwyn likes to stay in the background, preferring to play puppet master rather than take the lead as front man.  Yet, the points Alain makes are sound; helping the community wouldn?t hurt and could paint a more hospitable portrait of the Family.  A slow nod accompanied the thoughtful expression.  

?Alright? I?m game.  I shall setup an internal committee, find out from the populace what is needed most and oversee the doing??  Bel chuckles softly as she shakes her head.  ?As for your army?  If you need funding, you have but only to request it, Alain?  But we won?t do this just for appearances, no.  Let?s make real change, yes??

Belial doesn?t like doing anything half-assed, not matter what it may ?look-like? to anyone.  

"I have the funding already arranged, but it could not hurt to draw up an alternative plan so the Family can arrange the finances.  As far as real change goes..."  He itches his chin.

"If the West End is capable of being changed by the concerted actions of any group of people, then all the better.  If the West End has a will of its own stronger than ours, at least people will see that we tried."

Belial chuckles softly; she?s heard this before from Sid?s mouth.  The poor cursed WestEnd, but unfortunately even that has its uses?  Staying hidden and off her brethren?s radar has been a virtual blessing.  Her life has never been so peaceful, at least not since her ?awakening?.  

?I say we attempt real change? and see where it gets us, eh??  Belial drops Alain a playful wink, setting her cup aside.  A muted sigh falls and she leans forward.  ?I really should get back to the House?  Things are touchy right now and much needs to be done to keep the uneasy peace.  I can arrange to setup a fund for you; where would you like it?  Local bank, Stars End bank, I can do it either way.  So? shall we set up a new meeting date, or wait??

He chuckles softly at her wink, and says to her, "Star's End bank.  Star's End has been off the radar for all our heavy hitters.  If you want to hold meetings without me, I say go ahead - but if not, wait until things blow over."

?Stars End it is then?  Under your name, I presume?  Or have you some? Hmm?  Alias you?d rather I use??  Belial slides to the edge of the booth, preparing to leave.  She wishes things were different and that she could spend leisure time with Alain, but alas? until the DCH issue is completed, it would be unwise.  ?I meant should we schedule another meeting between us, Detective?  But until we are done with DCH, I will have no choice but to head things up? without you.?  There is a hint of teasing to her tone, a playful quality.  ?Shall we schedule our next meeting now? or find a way to later??  

"The account is under the name Jackal," he smiles, moving to stand while she stands - because it's polite, and also he likes the body language better that way.  He winks at the teasing remark, and replies, "We'll arrange it at another time.  I'm sure I can figure out a creative way to get in touch."  Now that he's close enough, she may suddenly catch the scent of... cinnamon, of all things.  Perhaps the perfume of another woman?

Belial finds herself wanting to reach out and touch Alain.  The scent of another woman, the familiar smell of cinnamon, (an aspect of her own personal scent), registers, but she doesn?t ask.  It isn?t any of her business.  Belial and Welv had only recently reconciled a few months past and she?s doing her best to behave after a few major sidetracks.  Besides, Alain is business? best to leave things as they are, no matter how tempting it might be to consider otherwise.

Instead of stepping in closer towards him as she was inclined, she stepped back, putting distance between them.  A small, seemingly fragile hand lifts as if warding off her attraction to him.  In contradiction to the gesture, she smiles warmly.  

?Yes, you are rather brilliant at that, Detective?  Keep me updated, yes?  And here??  Bel holds out the hand she?d waved him back with, it had been empty only a second ago, he is absolutely sure.  The small pin is dropped into his hand.  ?If you need to, use it.  It?s a Members pin.  Tap it three times in rapid succession, and it will teleport you to Onyx House.  Keep it hidden, Alain? keep it safe and don?t hesitate to use it should you have desperate need.?

Bel turns to make her way towards the exit, pausing to look back at him over her shoulder.  ?Careful Alain?  I can sense it coming, can?t you?  Something is going to happen? and it?s going to be big??

"I've always recognized the calm before the storm," he answers her, inspecting the pin and then looking at her as she walks away.  "All you can do is prepare yourself... then enjoy the silence while it lasts."

[size=10]((Authors' Note:  This happens before DCH - Trash.  Thanks!))[/size]
Head of Blood House Onyx