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Thread: [Quest] Il Capo

  1. #21
    Evil of Humanity Half-Blood Master's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faux, July 20th 2019
    We gave HBM, of all people, access to a morals loosening field
    Quote Originally Posted by Faux, December 25th 2019
    Senta deserves the right to a life where she gets to choose if she's actually a Nazi
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  2. #22
    死徒 Dead Apostle Bugs's Avatar
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    Night
    Trust--Lime
    Suspicion--Lime



    Broís gonna be pissed.

    But then again, Broís always pissed. Itís one of his charm points.

    If he understands, then he understands. If he doesnít, then I guess Iím getting my ass kicked again. Worrying about stuff like that is too much of a hassle; he and I know both know it. Weíre busy people, so Iíll take my lumps like the good brat I am and move on.

    Anyway, it isnít like I can even do anything without my smokes. No, Iím not talking about a nicotine dependence, though I do sneak a little tobacco in there to spice them up.

    This is how the magic happens.

    First things first: I lock up. The front door has three locks of all different sizes, and each one takes a different key. Not that Iím particularly worried about a mortuary in the middle of nowhere, Nevada, being robbed or anything. This is just how I do things.

    I adjust my tie so it hangs properly. Itís one of the simplest charms I know, and the easiest to work with. The fact it makes me look fucking cute is just an additional bonus. The tie is red, and comes to a straight end rather than flaring out and tapering off again like a normal tie. Thatís because it has a higher purpose than merely functioning as a piece of fashionable neckwear.

    This is the Cross of Saint Rocco.

    This particular saint had a red cross-shaped birthmark on his chest, which Iím emulating with my tie. As a saint against infectious diseases, wearing the tie is basically like another layer of hand sanitizer over my entire body whenever I work. Of course, if I donít keep the cross shape of the tie intact, the endeavor is pretty much pointless.

    Nonna used to tell me about Saint Rocco all the time when I was smaller, you could tell just by how she told the story that he was definitely one of her favorites. It never made much sense to me, the guyís life is pretty short and shitty, and thereís no happy ending. But lately, Iíve found myself thinking of Rocco a lot more than before.

    Maybe itís her passion rubbing off on me, or maybe Iím just opportunistically taking advantage of the blessing powers of some poor bastard since it has immediate applications to my job.

    Maybe itís both. Is this how fate works? I donít know, donít ask me about that kind of shit. Broís the expert.

    One final check, and Iím good to go.

    With the stiffs sleeping comfortably in bed, I head out.

    Snowfieldís vibrant nightlife is still there to greet me as I round the corner on Normal Avenue. I have no fucking clue what kind of jackass thought it was funny to name the street that, but the morgue and its neighbors are stuck with it.

    Donít get me started on just how many jokes I hear a day about that kind of thing from the guys, itís enough to make you want to puke.

    Practiced ease bordering on internal muscle memory guides me back home. Well, I can say that all I like, but itís really more like people tend to move out of my way on instinct. It could just be ego talking, but so what? Not many women reach six feet tall, much less surpass it.

    My parents and whatever Powers Almighty that actually exist are responsible for crafting this fleshy shell. I just live here, man.

    A small gaggle of high school students pass by me as I dig around in my cigarette pack, rounding another corner. Theyíre also very clearly drunk, but thatís not my problem. They laugh uproariously at some meaningless joke, somehow completely in tune with one another--ah, damn it, Iím starting to miss taking Fireball shots after school. Hurry up and get out of my way, you little shits, itís not appropriate for an adult like me to be feeling nostalgia in front of impressionable punks.

    One of them very nearly collides with me. Iím both relieved and pissed off that I managed to avoid having a teenager spill into my person.

    See, there are eyes everywhere. Reputation on the street is the number one name of the game, and itís difficult to find a balance when youíre somebody like me. See, itíd be all too easy to shove this kid to the ground and send him home crying for mommy. But, think of it like youíre one of my bosses watching me, and my hesitation will make a bit more sense:

    ďLook at this animal, she beats up stupid little kids? Weíre better than that, stop getting angry over bullshit.Ē

    OrÖ

    ďWhat, youíre going to let that cocksucker get away with disrespecting you? Youíll make us look weak if you keep shit like that up, donít go getting soft.Ē

    See what I mean? Itís exhausting, but at the same time thatís half the fun. It just doesnít help my case that Iím playing with a deck stacked against me, if you know what I mean. So if words gets out that ďthe tall bitchĒ is out on the street acting outside of the familyís fragmented sense of decorum, I get an extra earful from Bro.

    Thankfully, the entire situation is delivered out of my hands at the convenient appearance of a cop. Hallelujah and happy days, my angel has appeared to deliver me from this awkward situation. Iíll ask Bro to send you a piece of the vig next Christmas, lady.

    I quickly sidled by the officer rounding up the high school hooligans, head aimed low. During the day, a cop making moves against any of us in public would be incomprehensible.

    At night, itís a different story.

    Sheís huge.

    I canít help but notice it, even with my hurried pace. Listen, Iím the tallest girl out of anyone I know--Scladio or otherwise. But this cop has to have at least an inch on me, maybe even two or three. Muscles bulge under that overcoat sheís wearing; looks like sheís attempting to corral the kids against a wall with her arms held out. Yeah, good luck with that one, looks to me like herding cats would be a far more fucking productive direction for your efforts, lady. Hey, if the cop thing doesnít work out, try the WNBA. Iíll take whatever team you join for a grand and three points.

    It doesnít hit me until Iím practically at my own doorstep that I realize there was something especially strange about that encounter just now. Itís not like I couldnít put my finger on it at the time, itís more like I saw everything and my brain decided to process it as a normal series of events to save itself the trouble. Stupid Ida.

    So now Iím standing outside my door with my key in my hand, trying to reconcile the ďabnormalĒ from the ďnormalĒ of the perfectly meaningless event I was just witness to. But nope, itís not happening. Itís just too fucking goofy. It makes me want to laugh, really. But I just have to wonder...

    What kind of cop carries a sword?

    --

    I have the same lock system at home as I do at the morgue, even down to the same keys. No, thereís no higher magus-based reasoning for that; Iím actually just that lazy.

    I slip inside, snaking my way around piles of laundry and my useless roommate. He doesnít pay rent and he doesnít have any association to the Family--not to mention his food costs an arm and a leg--but heís fluffy so thatís all that matters. Simone gives me a look from the floor, his tail thumping rhythmically. Sorry bud, but I donít have the time to play.

    I open the door to the second bedroom, ducking my head as to not get any hanging ivy stuck in my hair. This room is the source of my existence as a magus. Every single available inch of flooring and wall space is occupied by either a potted plant, or a small statuette. The overwhelming wave of verdant scent assaults my nose as I go to close the door behind me. But assault isnít really the right word, is it?

    Simone dashes in between my legs to get at the small catnip plant I grow for him in the corner while I take stock.

    This is a garden of saints. Every saint has a handful of holy symbols associated with them, which can be prayed to in order to invoke that particular saintís blessing. Sure, everybody knows that. Youíre with me so far. There are also generic sacraments, but the best solution for a practitioner of Benedicaria to take full advantage of the entire deck of saints--is herbal. Every saint has some plant of herb associated with them, sometimes having more than one or sharing between themselves. In turn, these same plants have mystical symbolism that extends beyond any association with a particular saint. A blending of old with the new, to create a hodgepodge system that somehow gets the job done. That is Benedicaria. Bro says the eggheads in Britain would call it a Modern Magecraft Theory, but like I give a shit.

    The reigning sovereign here is Saint Rosalia, exemplified by her statue in the exact center of the room. Itís slightly bigger than the others, and she too has her eyes cast dreamily up towards Heaven. Associated with manipulation of the weather--Rosaliaís claim to fame being when she protected a sleeping Michael from a storm--sheís the perfect climate control system for my crappy excuse for a greenhouse.

    Not bad for an extra 90 bucks a month in rent.

    Proudly, I take stock of my little garden.

    Ö

    Fuck.

    The larder is looking bare, so to speak. None of my essentials have grown back yet. Worse still, my garlic plant is turning black, the white flowers withering and falling off in front of my face. Which has me just a bit bewildered. Rosaliaís presence basically guarantees that the growth, harvest, and decay of my plants occurs at the appropriate times--many of the major plantsí growth cycles is purposefully linked to religious holidays as a sort of saint-based calendar system, which is how Iíve set things up in here. Garlic being the only one of its relevant quadrant to be rotting like this is most definitely abnormal.

    Somebodyís sending a message.

    Rotting on a Friday...I know that eating garlic on the Shabbat is supposed to be something Jews do, but that foundational rhetoric doesnít apply to a Catholic like me. If this isnít a legit curse, itís not much more than an inconvenience for me.

    But I know someone whoíd love to curse me like this if given the chance, donít I.

    Maybe itís time to pay him a visit. Strapped, of course.

    1) Deal with this mysterious miscreant (will possibly raise Suspicion)
    2) Enough fucking around, go see Bro.
    3) Look into that lady cop from before, there has to be a deeper reason why she stands out so much in your mind.
    4) Write-in

  3. #23
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    2) Enough fucking around, go see Bro.


    He's gonna be pissed, might as well see to him as soon as possible.
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

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  4. #24
    吸血鬼 Vampire Ayr's Avatar
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  5. #25
    Evil of Humanity Half-Blood Master's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faux, July 20th 2019
    We gave HBM, of all people, access to a morals loosening field
    Quote Originally Posted by Faux, December 25th 2019
    Senta deserves the right to a life where she gets to choose if she's actually a Nazi
    True Rider
    A wise and beautiful woman who exudes an aura of grace. She is a sly, cunning, manipulative person who always gets what she wants, whether through trickery or ruthlessness. Her own fighting abilities are low, but she should not be trifled with. What does she ride? Men, of course!

  6. #26
    死徒 Dead Apostle zikari8's Avatar
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  7. #27
    リビングデッド Living Dead
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  8. #28
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  9. #29
    死徒 Dead Apostle Bugs's Avatar
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    Night
    Trust--Lime
    Suspicion--Lime

    “I’m waitin’.”


    “Come on, Bro, I already been through this with you. You’re just bein’ funny with me-”

    ...

    Shit.

    Okay, I could have phrased that better, I admit it. If I could have sucked the words back into my gullet, I would have. But to my own credit here, I also never admitted to being the wisest ass in the herd, if you catch my drift. I’d call it the misfortune of speaking the lingua franca of the life, but it’s more like I tumbled my ass into a verbal pitfall set up just for me.

    Even conversational blunders are a kind of curse, you see.

    I bite my tongue, but it’s too late.

    “What, you think I’m here to amuse you? Funny how, I mean funny like I’m a-”

    Yeah.

    Like a clown.

    The esteemed fucking gentleman seated in front me dressed like he just came from a children’s birthday party is Joe Wosiliyagle La Blanc. It’s long and borderline unpronounceable in the middle, so I just call him Bro. Which is all for the better, he tells me. His “real” name is supposedly twice as long. It’s been almost a decade since I first met this joker, and I’m no closer to learning what it is.
    Joe Wosiliyagle La Blance
    He’s mad. I guess it’s deserved, but it’s his fault for not expecting this sort of shit from me by now. Is that bratty of me? Sure, but most of this anger is all an act. Besides,there’d been just enough left in the garden to roll up a few new smokes, so I can’t even call the detour a complete waste of time. Frankincense and myrrh, the good stuff.

    “Look. Yeah, I’m sorry, okay? You wanted to see me, you’re seein’ me right now. No problem.”

    We’re in a nightclub across town. Bro’s nightclub, to be specific. It took me another half hour to haul ass over here, what with the buses stopping after 6. I know what you’re thinking, but nobody pays any mind that the owner of the Snowed In dresses like...this.

    Located on the west end, Snowed In looks like any upper crust nightclub you might find in a city of a certain size. Quiet, reserved, and full of the ambient lighting only an expensive modern interior designer knows how to make work. The booze is great too; but we drink for free, so in the end all booze is great booze. There are really only a few major differences between this joint and a nightclub down in Vegas, or even across the street for that matter. I don’t care what you think the sign out front says, we don’t take reservations. The hours are flexible, so try all you want to get in, it’s not gonna happen. The second, and arguably most important distinction, is that the Snowed In is Bro’s workshop.
    I guess I should step back for a second.

    In a mob of magi, I’m basically trash. Gramps started the family as a way to connect with his wife, who was a magus.

    Though completely devoid of any circuits, Gramps cultivated the family from his roots back in Sicily, offering haven and materials to any magi who signed up. He didn’t care about anybody’s past; magecraft was just his lifelong dream. If you were on the run, had some dark past or experiment you wanted to work on, it didn’t matter. If you came to Gramps for help, he gave it to you no questions asked. That’s the kind of thing I’ll always respect about him.

    However, going by that criteria, I’m an outlier. I don’t have a reason like that for being a part of the family. Bro, on the other hand, does.

    So much so that he was practically meant to hook up with Gramps and the family.

    See, despite what the facepaint and dyed hair might make you think, Bro’s a bonafide Indian. Er, Native American. As far as I know--and I only what the man himself has told me--he’s 100% Lakota, straight from the big reservation down in South Dakota. Only reason he’s not there right now is because he was driven out, on account of being a heyoka.

    I don’t know all the details, but Bro’s told me enough. A heyoka is what you might call a “sacred clown” to the Lakota religion. Now, that seems about as stupid as it sounds, but it’s no joke. A heyoka’s purpose is to act completely opposite to common Lakota society, as a way of defining social limits for everyone else--and what’s more antithetical than joining a gang? It’s basically a total curse, and one you don’t have any say in because it’s a position you’re born for.

    One of the easiest ways to reject the common sense of society is to dress like a total tool, though I think he not-so-secretly likes vandalizing all those nice suits. The tradeoff for this and everything else weird he does is empowerment of his Mystic Eyes.

    I forgot to mention, but out of everyone left in the family, there aren’t many stronger than Bro.

    The source of this ridiculous strength is his eyes, of course. Remember how I said heyoka are born for the job? That’s because they’re inheriting the fate of the heyoka that came before them; in a word, Pure Eyes. Okay, so these eyes sound pretty fucking integral to the job. What, you may ask, is it that they’re supposed to see? And why did I call them Mystic Eyes before, if they’re clearly Pure Eyes?

    I’m getting there, don’t worry.

    See, both the catalyst and ultimate purpose for the heyoka’s eyes are the same thing.

    Witnessing the Thunderbirds.

    Not just witnessing these big bird fuckers, but actualizing their abilities as well. Which would make Bro’s eyes a mutant combination of Pure Eyes and Mystic Eyes, I guess. Gramps told me this wasn’t the first time he’s heard about eyes like Bro’s. Hell, Gramps is the one who told me anything about Mystic Eyes at all. While he was still around, at least. After Bro zapped me for the first time all those years ago, Gramps had pulled me aside and told me. Everything.

    I hadn’t appreciated it at the time, of course. Being a shitty little brat teenager does that to a person. I honestly probably thought he was just some creepy old man at the time, and realizing that just makes me want to kick past-me’s ignorant ass. Because looking back now, he was just some old guy desperate to talk about something he loved. Like a little kid who’d recently found a new hobby, he wanted to infuse it in everything he did and make sure everyone knew it. The man was a fucking angel.

    Anyway, Bro’s eyes--ah fuck, he’s giving me that look. The look that says he just got finished saying something important, and that I better start nodding vigorously like a good little goon before he realizes I was totally spacing out the whole damn time. No, it’s too late, I should say my goodbyes now...except the only one I’d say goodbye to is the one sending me to my premature grave. Oops.

    “Are we listening now, Ida?”

    Ugh. He pronounced it EYE-duh. I hate that shit. The worst part is he absolutely knows it’s pronounced EE-duh.

    “Yeah, sure. But why don’t you go over it one more time, so the fellas in the back rows can hear you. I just want everybody to be copacetic here, Bro.”

    He rolls his bright green eyes as he steps behind the bar to whip something up for himself. The rest of us may drink free, but Bro drinks the freest. I’m also pretty sure I’m finally forgiven for being late.

    I got something for you to do. You’re gonna do it, too, no questions asked. So don’t even think of breakin’ my balls here, now, or we’re gonna have an actual problem. But! I ain’t about to send my cute little junior out blind, so listen up. Again.” He pauses to rummage around for a clean glass behind the counter before continuing.

    “It’s coming up on the anniversary of that fuckin’ disaster they called the Holy Grail War. Things ain’t been the same since, and that’s not even commenting on the obvious. Galvarosso’s number was just about up regardless, but nobody’s suggesting the War didn’t have anything to do with it.” Man, now he’s just lecturing me.

    But still, Bro has a point.

    Rumors were swirling when Gramps died. Apparently all those political bigwigs that died around the same time were tied to Gramps in some way, but nobody I know can say for sure. Even our guy in the fight, Bazdilot Cordelion, didn’t make it to the end. But nobody’s sorry about that, that crazy fucker was a real Iceman. Was Gramps taken out to get at Cordelion? They had about as close a relationship as Gramps and Bro did, but I think putting a mad dog like Bazdilot off his game emotionally is functionally impossible.

    I don’t wanna start getting choked up about Gramps right now. Get to the fucking point, Bro.

    “The point is, Galvarosso had planned for the eventuality of us losing. Before the War had even started, he’d squirreled some Mystic Codes away that only a select few of us knew about. Real primo shit. Something to get us back on our feet, right?”

    I nod while he pours his drink. Gramps hadn’t been doing so hot the days up to the start of the War. All this stuff about death and failure. I don’t blame some of the other brass for getting a little upset that he was sabotaging everyone’s morale before the game had even begun. I’m almost glad Gramps had personally told me and the other brats to fuck off for a month while all this shit went down.

    “Our only problem was finding a good time to get these things back. The pigs and Feds have had our balls in a fuckin’ vice for 11 months, but not anymore. They think we operate more like the Neapolitans than the Sicilians, and they’re right. So they ain’t gonna be expecting any big moves, and as far as we know the location is still ours alone. Just go pick the shit up, and don’t get caught. Simple.”

    Wait, what? What’s with this, becoming my problem at the last possible second? Bro’s trying his goddamn hardest to make this little errand sound like picking up a piece from some guy in a brown paper bag, but with magi involved nothing is that damn simple.

    I don’t have a choice, of course. I slump against the bar; there goes my poor Friday night completely down the drain. Maybe I’ll drag somebody with me so it’s not totally boring.

    “Can you do me up, at least? You know I’m good for it.”

    Bro’s clown features deepen as he scowls, before sliding an empty cocktail glass in front of my face. Thumping my cheek against the bar, I look up expectantly at my alcohol-providing savior to fill it for me. I’ll have…

    Choice!
    1) Golden Dream--An orange-flavored cream martini. Made with Cointreau and Galliano.
    2) Black Velvet--A glass half-filled with Guinness, with champagne poured over the head to fill the glass.
    3) Cosmopolitan--Made with vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed or sweetened lime juice. A classic that’s been around forever.
    4) Rusty Nail--Scotch whiskey with even more Drambuie Scotch liqueur. Drink with liberal amounts of ice.
    5) Old Fashioned--A sugar cube soaked in bitters, a shot of bourbon, and an orange peel. Everyone knows this one.

  10. #30
    死徒 Dead Apostle Bugs's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention that obviously our choice in cocktail will entail more to the story than merely a choice of beverage.

  11. #31
    リビングデッド Living Dead
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    4. Rusty Nail.

  12. #32
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors
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  13. #33
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    2) Black Velvet
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

    [Collection of my Servant Sheets]
    Now Revamped!

  14. #34
    死者 The Dead Wizard_of_0z's Avatar
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    2) Black Velvet

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  16. #36
    死徒 Dead Apostle zikari8's Avatar
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    5) Old Fashioned


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