Friday, August 19, 2011

Filk Song #3 - I have a Theory

So as some of you may know, I enjoy writing filk tunes to have acted out in my Game sessions. I'm working on my 3rd musical came currently, I figured I'd give those who follow the blog a sneak peak at one of the songs I've finished.

This one didn't require much work sadly, but once I finish recording it it'll sound awesome! I'll post the link to the finished product when the recording is finished.

Song: I Have a Theory!

Noel: I’ve got a theory that it’s a demon! A dancing demon? No something isn’t right there.

Asha: I’ve got a theory some kid is Waking, and we’re all stuck inside his wacky passion nightmare.

Solomon: I’ve got a theory we should work this out.

Sam, Gauss & Bruja: It’s getting creepy what’s this cheery singing all about?

Solomon: It could be women, some evil bitches! Which is ridiculous 'cause women they were persecuted. Ladies good and love
the earth and women power and I'll be over here.

Cloud: I got'a theory, could be unicorns!

Gambit: I’ve got a theory-

Cloud: Unicorns aren’t just cute like everyone supposes. They got them spiral horns and stompy diamond hooves, and what’s with
all the virgins!? What do they need such pure women for anyway!? Uni, uni, its just unicorns!! Or maybe midgets…

Asha: I’ve got a theory we should work this fast

Asha & Noel: Because it clearly could get serious before it’s passed.

Gypsy: I’ve got a theory, it doesn’t matter. What can’t we face if we’re together? What’s in this place that we can’t
weather. Apocalypse? We’ve all been there. The same old trips, why should we care?

Gypsy, Noel, Dea, Witness, Moonshadow & Eucharist: What can't we do if we get in it. We'll work it through within a minute. We have
to try, we\'ll pay the price. It's do or die.

Gypsy: Hey, once I died.

Gypsy, Noel, Dea, Witness, Moonshadow & Eucharist: What can't we face if we're together.

Noel: What can’t we face?

Gypsy, Noel, Dea, Witness, Moonshadow & Eucharist: What's in this place that we can't weather?

Noel: If we’re together

Gypsy, Noel, Dea, Witness, Moonshadow & Eucharist: There’s nothing we can’t face

Cloud: Except for spirits.

New Orders

Black boots clicked with a solid tick tick tick as they quickly made their way down the hall. No one bothered to look up, no one stopped for casual conversation or a friendly exchange here. This building was not used for such a purpose, this building was home to the Minister's and their dark deeds. Hidden in the heart of Orlando itself, this simple office held some of the most vile men in employ of the Exarchs and was the nervous system for the whole city structure.

Though it was all beautiful, the building and decoration that of a kings chamber in medieval Europe, Mahrime did not pause to look and admire as he might have in the past. Thoughts, dark and confusing to his normally simple mind-scape, swirled around and warred within his own skull. His emotions waged war in his heart, doubts fighting the methodical and cold "lessons" he had been taught upon his Awakening. His eyes snapped forward as he reached the door,tracing the sigal for entry and pushing with silent doors wide open.

Sitting behind a desk and surrounded in a haze of cigar smoke, a shadowy figure wrote on a piece of paper. The only sound in the room was the scratching of his pen, and when finished he folded the letter and handed it to an aid. "Make sure this gets to the proper channels." The voice of the Minister was warped, his visage hidden as was his right to protect his identity and station within the Ministry. Though his eyes were unseen, Mahrime could still feel them boring into his skull. He quickly drops to both knees, looking down in fear.

"You summoned me, Minister?" Mahrime's voice reveals the smallest quiver of fear, was this the day his traitorous thoughts were discovered at last?

"You are pulled off regular rotation, you have been assigned a special assignment," The voice is cold and robotic, as a file folder is tossed down at Mahrime's feet. "As you are aware, the terrorist factions of Banishers have been banding together these past few years, they are preparing their first opening strike as a united front. This assault cannot be allowed to succeed, it must utterly fail and thus forever destroy the moral of the terrorists." He figure sits back, fingers curling together.

Mahrime opens the file folder, his eyes wide as he starts to glance across the pages. "Sir, these blueprints..."

"Yes, the terrorists think us unaware of their cell here in Orlando. They think we are falling for their ploy on the West Coast. They are wrong. False information has been leaked to several key Graverobbers, our spy within the UA ranks who has aided us in constructing this whole affair has informed us they only boast a mere 100 fighting capable Banishers, with an extra 25 considered too fresh for fighting." The shadowy man picks up a cigar and takes a long drag before allowing the smoke to billow from his mouth.

"'re fielding more than four times their rank. This isn't a fair fight, this is a slaughter..." Mahrime's voice quivers a bit as he steals a glance up to the Minister.

"Is there a problem with defeating terrorists who want to destroy the governments of the world and force humanity back into a dark age, an age ruled not by those who have power but by those who are most popular?" The man speaks slowly, but his voice sounds like that of a knife being sharpened on a whetstone.

"No Minister..." , Mahrime mutters a soft reply.

"Excellent. You have a key target for assassination, if she's removed the resistance will crumble around her. You have 8 hours until the assault is scheduled to begin, I suggest you get to work." The Minister waves and the doors open once more.

Mahrime doesn't take a moment to hesitate, he walks out of the room as quickly and calmly as he can. He steals a glance down at the file folder and almost stops from a heart attack as he looks at his target. In 8 hours or less, he was expected to kill the heart of the local MD: the young Magi named Eucharist.

"What am I going to do..." he whispers, staring up at a sky covered in a thin film of haze and pollution.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fall in line!

"On your feet soldier! Wars aren't won by cry-babies, their won by real Magi who aren't afraid to scrape their knee's a bit!" Dea barks out, watching as the fresh recruit once again failed his spellcasting and took another fireball to the face.

The kid blubbers and cries a bit in pain, but one of the medic's patches him up fast enough. The smell of burnt hair lingers around him as he does his best to look manly and intimidating through puffy red eyes. "Yes Ma'am!" He squeaks out quickly.

Dea sighs and shakes her head, moving on with the drills and instruction. Too many new recruits, too many fresh Magi with no training and no experience were about to be thrust headfirst into a gauntlet of hell on earth. She mentally started to group the recruits as they had begun drills a few days ago, some showed promise while others like Mark could barely handle what little gift they had been given. "Too many bodies..." She mutters as she goes back to her office to review the plans.

Things were going at the correct pace. Everything was according to plan, they had assembled a force of 75 trains fighting Magi and another 55 fresh recruits in the last few months. This was the single largest operation in Banisher history against the Seers, and everything was going according to plan. Mostly.

Two strange new Magi, more powerful than they had a right to be, suddenly appear as if coming from another world. The Voodoo Man abruptly leaves New Orleans, and already there are talks of his neutral domain being fought over by both sides of the conflict. One of her Graverobber connections suddenly goes dark, Luke loses 4 of her best men and another Graverobber suddenly insists she'll be present for the operation. Add in all the hippie that Eucharist kept bringing around, sucking on lolly-pops and hugging people all the time, and things had a strange way of going right.

Reviewing the battle plans and the map of Hope Circle, Dea feels her own surge of hope flowing through her. This was it, this was the moment she was born for. In just 18 hours, the first open battle will take place.

Everything was going according to plan. What could go wrong?

Monday, August 15, 2011

According to Plan

"Hello! I'm April Dawns from HR, its a pleasure to meet you." the woman gave her largest smile, her most welcoming extension of her hand and the coldest look from her piercing eyes she could manage at the helpless corporate drone beneath her.

"Umm...hello..." The young man, his name tag reading T. Barker sloppily applied to his breast pocket.

"Right, its a pleasure to meet you too! I just have a few routine inspections to make here in regards to your workspace niche, and I'm sure it will help your grading score if you could run to Starbucks and grab me a coffee?" She smiles again and moves forward, clipboard in hand and pen at the ready.

The young mans face goes pale and he swallows. "O-of course! I'll go get that right away Ma'am." He bolts like a scared animal, desperate to secure his job at all costs.

The woman tuts, tucking away the fake name tag into her blouse pocket. Sleepers were so easy to con these days, it was sad how cowed and dominated they were by the Seers. Sitting at the computer, her fingers fly into the login for the sub-net that connects all computers, logging in her name and password. Her desktop pops up, as well as the files she requested predominately in her display.

Welcome back, Witness. Her computer always seemed to reflect the same cold demeanor she herself felt when dealing with official Graverobber business. She ignored the fake happy message and began to peruse through all her messages and intel drops.

She breathes a sigh of relief. It was 24 hours till the operation, and so far the Seers hadn't noticed. A surge of hope fills her, then sorrow as she saw the Seers had fallen for their trap. One cell of UA members remained behind in Los Angeles, they would sacrifice their lives to assist in the retaking of Hope Circle. Issuing a small murmured prayer for their souls, Witness continues to scan through the files on Orlando proper.

When she sees that name, her blood runs cold and she stares unmoving as if in shock.

Witness had never planned on being at the Battle of Hope Circle, but now she didn't have a choice. It was 24 hours too long for the operation to begin, and in just 24 short hours she would come face to face with the murderer and instigator of the genocide of her people: the Seer known as The Butcher.

These next 24 hours couldn't come soon enough.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Disturbance in the Numbers

A sea of numbers awashed the seven monitors that made up the nerve center, each running a different command code to compliment and support the other six. A blur of fingers over two different keyboards was the only real movement in the room, the optical screen headset adorning the head of the occupant. The room was pitch black save the semi-circle of screens shining light into the center of the room. It was cold, sterile otherwise a reflection of the occupant.

A small knock on the door and a young woman walks in. She's carrying a small tray of sandwiches and a glass of soda, setting it down next to the blurr of hands across the keys. " haven't eaten in 14 hours. Don't you think its time for a break?" The voice breaks the occupants stride and she pauses, as if checking something. She unlatches the clasps from the bracer on her neck and pulls the headset off, freeing her flowing air and blinking with eyes that give off a small green light. The woman who set the sandwiches inside gave a shudder, the ICM's always gave her a queer feeling in her gut.

"14 hours eh? I thought it had only been 10." She makes a small chuckles and takes a bite of the sandwich, not wasting any time in devouring the food not taking the time to be proper or lady-like in her eating habits.

"Miss Gauss...what are you doing in there?" She peers at the seven monitors and does her best to avoid Gauss's ICM-modified eyes.

"Well on one screen I'm playing Angry birds, on the other six I'm currently trying to hack the sub-net. The Seers are up to something...something big. I haven't seen any info on our strike at Hope Circle yet, with only 42 hours till the operation I think it's fairly safe to say they have no idea whats coming." Gauss looks a little proud at that statement, her hands stroking the keys like she might a lover. "I was able to get the info on this prisoner, but I haven't found anything she's been ranting about. No mention of anything called a Free Council, Pentacle or half the names she's mentioned. If she wasn't listed as extreme priority, KOS is she cannot be recaptured, I would think her just some madwoman. But the Seers treat her as some serious threat...and by digging up info on her I've discovered the blackout on info in the sub-net."

"So...these Seers are planning something big, and have been keeping it hidden. But you found it..?" The young woman is obviously just a little slow, then pulls out a blow pop and begins to suckle on it.

"Yeah...wasn't easy. I feel pretty good about cracking it in time though. The battle is supposed to begin in 42 hours from now, the war changer as Luke was babbling on about it. I just can't help this nagging feeling..." Gauss steals a glance at her monitors, a scowl forming on her face. "I'm just concerned at whatever the Seers are has to do with our battle. If they know anything in advance...we're done. I just pray this sub-net blackout doesn't pertain to anything..."

Before the younger woman can protest, Gauss quickly dons her headset and submerges herself in the digital battlefield.

Gentle Touches and Rays of Bubble Gum

Mark ran down the ally, crying as he nursed his sore arm. He had been beaten up again, the cops turning a bind eye as the bullies from school pummeled him for what little eprsonal belongings his had. Wiping away tears and using them to clean his dirty face, he kneels down behind a trash can to hide from the sirens as they zoom past looking for people who would not be missed for "experimentation's". Mark gasps as he hears footsteps coming down the walk-way, growing silent as he tries to wiggle into the shadow and hide from what he imagines is a most fearsome foe.

"Hey there sweetie, you doin' ok?" A soft feminine voice comes from over the trashcan and Mark peers up from his arms. A beautiful woman peers back down, holding a hand out to help him up. She was soft in all the right places, smooth of skin and most importantly she was clean and dressed in warm colors. Feeling relaxed just at the woman's presence, Mark gives a small smile and takes her hand reaching up to stand up.

"My name is Eucharist, whats your name sweetheart?" She asks calmly.

"I'm Mark...I was hiding..." Mark mumbles looking down and kicking his feet.

"It's OK Mark, I understand." Eucharist steps around the trashcan and bends down to hug him tight. The huge felt warm and secure and Mar clings back tightly. She slowly, and reluctantly, releases the hug and pulls out a blow-up as well as a wad of 20's. "Here, its Cherry...Her favorite."

Mark happily takes the candy, but looks confused at the cash. "Whats all that for...?"

"For you sweetie. Things are gonna get messy here...I want you to go someplace nice. Get outta town." She still smiles, but a serious tone creeps into her voice.

Mark swallows and takes the cash, pops the candy into his mouth, and quickly scampers away.

Eucharist sighs, giving him a small wave he doesn't see to be able and return it. It had been hard these last years, carrying on St. Macafee's work in a world that didn't want to hear it. Sit-ins, silent protests and other flash mob demonstrations had worked sure...but not nearly enough and not nearly as well as they'd all like it to have. When Luke first approached her about the Operation in Orlando she had been wary, violence was not her way of being and she was nervous about someone as new as Luke being the front man for such an important work. But she realized the truth, and it made her cry.

The Banishers were not winning, this was a slow and brutal war of attrition. The Seers had all the pieces, and all the power, while the Banishers had what meager scraps they could steal from the Seers. More Banishers died every year than Seers, and more ignorant and scared Banishers were defecting to the Seers just to be allowed the basic right to LIVE! Sure, if they remained fragmented they could all last a few more decades...but the candle would slowly flicker till it was extinguished. Better to go out against the Dark burning as bright as possible, Luke had suggested, than to die a slow and silent smothering death. It was Eucharist who had suggested Hope Circle. It was the place that St. Macafee had entered and left the world, and the Battle for Hope had a nice ring to it.

"They may have bigger numbers and bigger guns...but he got heart and we got love on our side. What could go wrong?" Eucharist smiles, having cheered herself back up. She pops a blow pop back in her mouth and goes to meet with her fellow MD members, they had a lot to plan and only 37 hours left.

Filk song #2 - Why can't the Changelings?!

Last glut of posts, I swear :p.

This is an old Filk song I wrote over a year ago, done to the tune of "Why Can't the English" from My Fair Lady.

Look at her, a prisoner of the gutter,
Condemned by every syllable she ever uttered.
By right she should be taken out and hung,
For the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue.

Toi Breaker:
Zxcuse me?

Mercutio: (imitating her)
Zxcuse me!
Heaven's! What a sound!
This is what the Changeling population,
Calls an elementary education.

Oh, Herald, I think you picked a poor example..

Did I?
Hear them down in Freehold square,
Flaunting bare thighs everywhere.
Running and acting anyway they like.
You, do you listen to the Crown?

Wadaya take me for, shortround!?

No one taught him manners or respect!
Hear a Darkling boy, or worse,
Watch a Wizened man traverse,
Around a woman dressing room openin' doors.
Chickens cackling in a barn Just like this one!


I ask you, sir, what sort of word is that?
It's "Zxcuse" and "Garn" that keep him in his place.
Not his wretched clothes and dirty face.

Why can't the Freehold teach their Changelings how to speak?
This archaic, pledging diction by now should be antique.
If you spoke as she does, sir,
Instead of the way you do,
Why, you might be running motels, too!

An Changelings's way of living absolutely classifies him,
The moment he talks he makes some other
Changeling sort despise him.

One common rule of law I'm afraid we'll never get.
Oh, why can't the Freehold
learn to
Set a good example to people whose
behavior is painful to your ears?
Tampa and Gainesville's behavior will leave you close to tears.
There even are places where politeness completely disappears!
In America, they haven't practiced it for years!

Why can't the Freehold teach their Changelings how to act?
Hobs obey the market laws;
Most Lost obey their pacts.
In Arcadia every Loyalist knows his rules from "One" to "Ten"
The Gentry never care what they do, actually,
as long as they all worship them properly.

Most Fairest learn etiquette with the speed of summer lightning.
And Ogres learn it handicapped,
which is absolutely frightening.

But use proper English you're regarded as a freak.
Why can't the Freehold,
Why can't the Changelings all learn to speak?

IC: Death is a Strange Thing

Death was a lot more painful then she thought it would be.

The bullets, each one she felt rip through her body. Each spell triggered inside to do maximum damage to her internal organs, she felt every searing sensation in her nervous system. Her brain was the last thing to shut down, she could still see and hear and feel every last sensation of her physical death and fuck did it hurt.

At least, she thinks before her brain begins its shutdown process, I bought them time. That's what they would have wanted, right? Now they'll all live happily ever after...

Her vision becomes a haze of colors as her optical nerves fire their last stimulus. The pain fades, everything fades as her heart stops its beat and her lungs case the endless tide. Her brain is the last thing to go, but even it has a surprise for her.

Not yet. That singular phrase rattles around her mind and she struggles to piece it together as her brainstem finally shuts down.

But, death has a funny way of being painful. Such as the awkward crick in her spine and shooting pain in her right arm, or the dirty air filling her lungs. Can't I die in peace, she thought. She shifts in her grave while waving a weak arm in the direction of the annoying buzzing in her ears, surely the afterlife was supposed to be more pleasant than this?

"I said, not yet. Get up ya bag o' bones." A husky voice grunts as she feels a sharp feeling in her side, much akin to being kicked.

Elle Davenhurst opens her eyes in irritation, then blinks in confusion. She can't open her eyes, or hear anything or even breathe. She supposed to be dead...right? Her vision slowly sharpens and the vague grey blobs around her take a definitive shape. Drawing in a lungful of the dirty air once more, Elle slowly sits up and looks around at the dirty ally she finds herself in. "Sam...what the hell are you doing here? And why am I not dead?"

"I don't know suga', but I'm glad to see you alive." There's an obvious warmth as Sam holds out a hand to help Elle up then embraces her into a hug. There's a small cough behind them and a young man with scars covering most of his visible body does his best to look grizzled and experienced.

"Excuse me ma'am, but my name is First Spear Luke and I am the commander at arms here in this UA authorized mission. I'm under strict orders to detain and protect any stray Banishers we might find on our return trip to Orlando." He speaks plainly, but proudly.

Elle blinks, looking confused. Banisher, UA, First Spear? She stole a glance to Sam who shrugged. "I have no idea, he's under orders not to speak to me on the topic till we arrive for the 'offensive'."

"What offensive?" Elle shoots a glance at Luke warily.

"This is our first open assault on one of the Seers strongholds ma'am. UA members from around the globe are answering the call. The Battle for Hope Circle begins in 47 hours." Luke puffs out his chest, obvious full of pride and affection for the plan.

Elle steals a glance at Sam and raises an eyebrow. What had they gotten into now?

IC: A Wrong Turn...

Luke scowled, watching the train race through the foothills through his night vision goggles. As Alpha of his squad Luke was considered the most experienced and dangerous man on his team, but with the UA's high turnover rate all that equaled out to was Luke being a mage for 11 months longer than the rest of his grunts. This was his first heavy duty mission, and already he felt like he had stepped into a mess far bigger than he expected. Some days, it was rough being a member of Underground Atlantis.

"Sir, Gauss sends word that the high-security prisoner is being transported on the 5th car down. Magnetic locks, titanium and armor-resistant shells, looks to be spell-warded as well." The young boy Adams made a face and a small sign of the cross. "It says they have a Minister on board to personally guard this prisoner, are you sure we can handle this?"

Luke spits, that looked like a grizzled war thing to do in his mind and he wanted to give a good first impression to his grunts. "We're the first, last and best line of defense this planets got. We've been killin' these bastards for years, and no high-ranking Minister is gonna change the fact we're gonna get out job done." He takes a breath, hoping the men can't see his shaking hands.

They 5 others beneath him seem pleased enough with the display, they all emulate his actions and spit in the direction of the oncoming train. Not wasting a moment, they all silently break camp at the same breakneck that it was established. Equipping their rifles and activating their invisibility cloaks, they disappear from sight as they hop up on their cycles. Revving the engines they dart from atop the cliff-face, chasing alongside the tracks until the train catches up.

The training of the men, while fresh and new, is well displayed as each man jumps from the bike and all six land atop the speeding vehicle with minimal fuss. Drawing handguns and blades, they waste no time to kick in an emergency shoot and take the fight to the enemy. The fighting is short but intense, two of the six UA soldiers fall to the spells of the enemy but their deaths are avenged by their comrades in quick order.

Luke pauses, catching his breath and wiping the blood from his face. The train car was secured, but the cost was still high. "Adams, status report?"

"Defenses untriggered, they don't know we're here." Adam was pale, his first deaths still fresh on his soul. His eyes looks liked he was on the verge of tears. "Sir...who is this prisoner? Who's worth this cost?"

Luke scowls a bit, but seeing the pain he calms himself. "Dunno, some Mage. The higher-ups think this persons important, so we do as well." He reaches out and pats the young mans shoulder, hoping to calm and give him a sign of respect.

Adams gives a small smile and turns to his computer. He takes a breath and starts to type quickly, becoming focused and intense. "Alright, the locks should be hacked, unlocking in 10...9...8..."

As Adams counts down, the others prepare quickly. Blades brought up, ready to take on the Minister behind that door and free the prisoner behind it. As the door countdown reaches its climax and slides open, their greeted by the face of their terror himself.

The Minister pauses a moment, before collapsing from the huge bullet wound in his chest and back. Standing behind him is a woman coolly sheathing the two handguns beneath her trench coat, pulling down her fedora in greeting and a small smile touches her face.

"My heroes." Her voice is husky, thick like a long term smoker but still warm and inviting. She reaches into a pocket of her Noir-style outfit and draws a lighter and cigarette, taking a long drag of the lit stick and letting the smoke out with a lazy haze from her nostrils. She looks deadly and friendly all at the same time, and the remaining four UA members step back.

"Any of you know the way back to Canada? I think I made a wrong turn in a Convocation."

Friday, August 5, 2011

IC: On Absence and Seperation

Lachlan scowled as he stepped off his private jet in the secluded airstrip. His trip from the Amazon had been most uneventful, mostly his own nerves getting the better of him as he thought of all his family. Their images from nearly a century ago still haunted his waking hours, not an hour has passed by since that first scattering that he did not think of them. The air was gritty with the pollution of the Kine, the land was lit by harsh bulbs which blocked the natural beauty of the stars...this was no Ireland by any stretch of the imagination.

His combat boots squelched in the mud as he stepped into the limo, adjusting the trench coat around his person to hide the various blades and guns on his person. A Knight of the Invictus, let alone a loyal Knight of the Scarabae, never entered a new scenario unprepared for anything that may arise. Taking deep breaths, not for air but for the sake of keeping calm, Lachlan forced himself to think on what was to come. Already Pelinora had fallen so low, lost so much of her civility...what had fared with the others?

Would the Twins still have that same sad smile when they looked at the world? Had the past century effected them so, warped their bond and driven a wedge between the both of them?

What had happened to the Amun? Lachlan's face turns into a scowl as he thinks of what may have befallen the once proud Nosferatu when separated from those that they worship. They both created such works of beauty for the Twins, giving up much of themselves into every bit of the have they lasted while separated from their muse?

How had the separation been to the newest member of the family, the youngest known as Rhealette? Had the time apart from the family made her leery, made her separate? Would she fit in, would she even want to come back when Khemet so unjustly broke apart the one thing that was truly good in any of their lives?

What fate befell those star-crossed lovers, the stoic Corvin and Lachlan's dear sister Sairy? Had the century in isolation strengthen their bond, or had it weakened and crumbled without support? Had Corvin treated her right, had Sairy come to terms with her own power over Corvin? Lachlan places a hand on his thigh and squeezes it as he remembers Sairy as they used to walk for hours under the moonlight, just talking and sharing between the two. Would his bond to his Daeva sister ever be the same again?

Would his Elder Rainier receive him, welcome him, respect him? Would he be punished for allowing Khemet to split the family, would he be punished for Elebeta's death?

Lachlan closes his eyes and places a hand over his heart at the mere thought of his beloved, the only one he failed to save. Duty and honor made him abandon her, made him leave her to death. He had fought with her even then, tears of blood pouring down his face as his Duty and Honor fought with his Soul and Love. In the end it was she who convinced him to go, he would have surely betrayed Khemet and risked death for her life.

How her sweet words elated his soul, her gentle touch calmed him and excited him so. How she knew the animal inside his soul, that part of Lachlan that he kept hidden even from his dear Sairy. A part of him died with her that night, as he let her to the flames. She gave herself so the Family might live...but Lachlan was never sure if he would ever allow himself to live again.

As the car pulled off the side roads into the major interstate connecting Orlando, Lachlan could not help but have his breath caught in his throat. It had been long, too long, since he had been in a proper city. He could already feel his blood stirring, the Beast within pacing as it paws eagerly at the gates within his soul. It wanted to hunt, to claim his territory. It wanted to make this home so desperately...but a part of his heart remained cold. His eyes scanned the side of the road as his driver sped past the gleaming steel, searching for any sign of his Family.

It would not feel like home until they were all gathered. Not a moment before. And then he would guard them, protect his home from whatever danger might rise its dreadful head. Lachlan gives a silent prayer that the hole in his heart may one day be filled, and that he may hide his one weakness from the rest.

"Welcome home House Scarabae..."