Although Lucifer had remarkable control over his abilities, for public appearances he often chose to forego them except in emergencies. It could be disconcerting to the average mortal to see a man disappear completely into a shadowy corner of the room.
He exited his apartment and walked out onto the sidewalk in new clothes; grey trousers, a tight violet sweater, nice Italian shoes. It was forgivingly cloudy today, otherwise he’d need a parasol or some other protection from midmorning sun. Being out in the day still wasn’t pleasant for the shadowmancer.
The crime scene in the alley was long cleaned up, and he passed it on his way down the road. It seemed like the blood had been power-washed away after evidence was collected, but he could still smell something ferric in the air. At least now there wasn’t such a mess. He suspected that had something to do with this business call, though he wasn’t sure quite how; he silently wished he’d taken a closer look at the crime scene before the police came, not knowing something made his skin crawl. Or maybe that was just the daylight.
Lucifer crossed the threshold into the Iron Butterfly and glanced about the place, taking in his surroundings but acting mildly unimpressed. Redhaven was his
town, certainly, but he let others think they controlled little parts of it from time to time. In his eyes, this was no exception, and he was exceptionally happy to play along while he waited to reclaim what was his. Across the room he saw a door marked LOUNGE
, and thought that a good place to find his caller.
He pushed the door open, and sure enough he saw two Yakuza whispering at a booth. He smiled mischievously, wishing he'd been a moment earlier so he could have listened in on their secret exchange. Lucifer pressed on, casually sitting across from Hayato and leaning his cheek to his palm, staring at the intense man with a wry grin. "Sudeni nonde?"(Drinking already?)
he asked, a bit too coy. He brushed errant strands of blond hair out of his face and he sat up a bit straighter. "My Japanese is very bad, I'm only kidding you. Your associate asked for my presence, mister..."
“(We’re a long way from your lake, Aava.)”
Evren attempted to explain. When they passed the stream the sound of water grew only more apparent, though it was much more subtle than the babbling brook behind them. The forest thinned some as they walked, with many more young thin trees than old wide-trunked ones, and the ground became rocky and uneven with scattered patches of grass and soft moss. “(My home is just ahead; I think I have something there that will clarify things.)”
They trudged up one last low hill before the landscape truly revealed itself; among the young trees was a one-room cabin with no windows, made of sturdy old logs. Approaching the structure one could see that the hill sloped down to the small sandy bay of a lake, with wild vegetation growing around the water. Through the trees one could see that this inlet was part of a large pond that wrapped around a distant Appalachian ridge like a crescent moon, surrounded by forest at all sides.
Evren retreated into his home, which smelled profoundly of vinegar and lemon, and began searching through a large disorganized scrapbook of things. He held it open on a faded Mercator projection with several old pen markings across Europe and Canada, and gestured for Aava to look. “(Here, this is a map of the world. Your lake is in Finland, right here,)”
he pointed to southern Finland, which had been circled at a previous date, “(But we aren’t in Finland now. We’re in the Americas, in Massachusetts. Right here.)”
he traced a line across the Atlantic ocean that landed squarely in New England. He offered an understanding look, knowing this must be troubling to hear for the first time.
Haddie rolled his eyes. “Hadrian Abner. That’s my name, and yes, I’m a necromancer.”
He pushed his mallen streaked hair out of his face and shrugged his bag off one arm. Keeping an icy gaze on Duckie, he withdrew a soft charcoal pen from a pocket on his bag. “If you don’t have a master, you could be invaluable for someone like me. How about we make a little deal? I’m sure there’s something you want from the living world.”
With the charcoal pen he drew strange symbols on his arms; 🜔 ♂
on his right beneath the tattoos on his wrist and the astrological symbol for Gemini on his left. He seemed fascinated, if a little intimidated by the being before him, but was above all wanting control over whatever power he had.
“I ran into him around dawn at the edge of town. He was after another vampire, I had to fire a warning shot and call the cops. I don’t know what he’s up to but I don’t like it.”
Beck remarked, relaxing her stance to lean against a brick wall. It seemed like the long day was already catching up to her; just past midnight she was chasing new bloods, and things had only gotten more intense since dawn. She was pale and worn, just a bit sweaty from all the hustle and bustle, yet still entirely fiery. “I’m getting out of town for a few days. Sick of this place; too much blood, you know what I mean? I’m visiting my folks in Boston.”