((Hello! Been an off/on person on AW for a little while... Anyhow, this is Charley/Kitsune's player and I'm merely writing an introduction/story that takes place prior to Charley (mine) Mikhail (Friend1) and Dmitri (Friend2) prior to arriving to Seattle. Enjoy, critiques welcome, second part to follow eventually... Kitsune Character background to follow soon enough))
The air was thick, or at least it felt like the tension was palpable and could swallow a trog with but a second of hesitation. The entire warehouse was quiet; safe for the reverberating sounds of metal straps tapping against their metallic counterparts echoed through the abandoned floor, creating a melody of paranoia. Three men were positioned in the middle of the room, pillars towering over them as the pale light from the moon shone in through the broken panes of glass; casting shadows of deceit and anti-trust. The older man of the three sat on the opposite end of the table from the youngest, his eyes watching the Russian with contempt as he puffed quietly on his Cuban cigar.
“I do not owe Vlad a thing.” said the older man, his Russian words escaping his mouth with ease, even with the hefty cigar in his mouth. There was another minute of silence as the man considered his options, his fingers gingerly tapping the ashes off of his cigar. His eyes rested upon the young man who stood across the wooden surface, expressionless, and yet completely calm. There had been storied about this one, unlike the others Vlad had sent after Gregoire; this one didn’t fail in his tasks and had a reputation of being ex K.G.B., even though his age would defy any kind of validity.
Chadonovik leaned closer to Gregoire, his youthful charisma being blocked out by the moonlight that washed over his visage and most of his person. The light sound of a knife being drawn forced Chadonovik’s eyes to shift to Gregoire’s chromed bodyguard, the spur of his cyber-arm reactively being draw in case of attack. Pausing in his words to assess his situation, Chadonovik leaned back in his seat and smiled.
“Vladimir says you owe, that means you owe. We can do one of two things, Gregoire; we can either walk out of here friends and have vodka on Tuesday, or I can walk out of here and inform your beautiful wife that I will be sleeping with her tonight.” Gregoire’s face shifted from impatience to irritancy as the younger man mentioned the second option.
The tension grew even more pungent as another long pause of silence washed over the scene, the eyes of the two men searching for their opponent’s weakness. Gregoire leaned back in his reclining chair and spread his arms wide, the cigar held in place by his yellow-stained teeth.
“My friend, please. You and I both know that you would not walk out of here alive; I have guards posted all along the catwalks, a personal bodyguard that could cut you to pieces in seconds and I have the home turf. Your ‘training’ or whatever you want to call it is worth shit in my domain. I could easily have your body sealed into one of my walls and no one would know where you are.” Gregoire’s temperament easily began shifting from his normal calm to an agitated rage as he continued. “- and yet, you have the balls to come into my district and demand from me money that Vladimir doesn’t even need? Pah! You are a fool for even coming here. Not a single messenger Vlad has sent me in the past three years has ever returned to him in less than two pieces, what makes you think you will have the pleasure being the first?”
Gregoire by this time, was leaned over the table, his hands grasping the edges tightly as the spit from his speech glistened across the surface. His cheeks had flushed red with anger and vodka. Chadonovik could smell the alcohol off of the old man’s breath and he wrinkled his nose for a moment at the insulting fragrance of cigar smoke and years of tooth decay. Taking a moment of repose to watch the capillaries on the old man’s face to light up more and more, Chadonovik looked to the side and scratched his earlobe as he cleared his throat. “Well Gregoire, I don’t think I’ll have the pleasure…” Chadonovik said in an as-a-matter-of-fact tone as he looked back at the old man and smiled as the bodyguard’s head was fitted with new breathing holes through the temple.
The machineguns were hoisted almost instantly, their meta-human and human counterparts too slow to react to the unseen shooter. Within the blink of an eye, Gregoire’s neck was in Chadonovik’s grasp and his back was to Chadonovik’s front, and an arm tightly encircling Gregoire’s bulbous neck. The machine guns all raised in unison as the scene unfolded, but the collective hesitation had already been expected. Two more rays of light penetrated through the grime-encrusted windows, blood spraying out from the downed security, their gurgling cries more innerving than anything the man in the middle of the room could possibly accomplish alone.
“Put down your guns or they will be put down for you.” said Chadonovik as his grip on Gregoire’s neck tightened, due to the feeble attempts to escape. The security guards hesitated again and Chadonovik glanced at the southern wall, two of the guards still training their weapons on the Russian. Even as the shadow of the colossus became more apparent through the murky glass, Chadonovik didn’t flinch, didn’t even bat an eye as his brother; Mikhail, smashed through the window, his gargantuan frame easily toppling the two men over the railing, their bodies falling like rocks to the concrete below. As the bodies hit the ground, the stupor that had so far held the guards’ attention dropped, and so did their guns.
With the annoyances of the guards being taken care of, Chadonovik nodded to Mikhail and turned his attention to Gregoire, his free hand already having readied the straight blade prior to standing up. “When Vladimir says you owe, Gregoire, you owe. I do not want to hear your excuses, your counter-offers or even your cries of mercy.” said the young adept as he forced Gregoire to his knees while releasing the chokehold from the man’s oesophagus.
As per the status quo, Gregoire began his ramblings about paying double Vladimir’s offer and even going so far as to promise riches upon riches as the imposing Chadonovik circled the downed victim. Mikhail had already dealt with the security guards, forcing them all into a corner of the compound. Chadonovik took another look at the warehouse before reaching into his pocket and withdrawing a cell phone.
“Dmitri.” A moment paused as Chadonovik licked his lips and looked towards the multiple fractures in the windows, all of which allowed the light to stream directly into the damp warehouse. The voice on the other end responded in the affirmative and Chadonovik looked at the guards for a moment as he spoke. “If any of the guards leave before sunset, shoot them. We will meet you at the location as planned, with the package.”
As Chadonovik finished speaking, Gregoire’s eyes went wider; the hint of being introduced first hand to Vladimir was not a pleasurable idea. He turned to Chadonovik, and clasped his hands together as he pleaded, “Do not take me to Vladimir, I will pay anything!” Charlie gave a sigh and placed the phone in his inner breast pocket, his eyes rolling as he returned to the task at hand. Grasping Vladimir by the wrist, Chadonovik cranked it to the side, wrenching the man’s hand into his back, fingers spread wide.
As he applied pressure to Gregoire’s wrist and unfolded his signature straight razor, Chadonovik spoke; “I did not say we were going to bring you to Vladimir. Why must you always assume?” The realization of what Gregoire’s true fate was now resounded with the click of the straight razor’s full extension. With one quick slice, Chadonovik’s straight razor cut through flesh, sinew and bone as the digits became severed from the hand, the fingers falling free to the pavement. The cries of pain were choked up by sobs as Chadonovik kicked Gregoire over, his other foot falling upon Gregoire’s left arm and his blade following suit and severing the man’s other 4 fingers.
The moans of agony drowned out most of the commotion from the guards in the corner as Chadonovik reached over and took Gregoire’s business coat and used it as a rag; cleaning off the still warm blood from his blade. Mikhail’s eyes met Chadonovik’s and his deep voice resonated throughout the empty warehouse.
“That all?” came the larger brother’s words, which were only met with a single shake of Chadonovik’s head. “No, brother. Hoist him up.”
The door to the warehouse slammed shut as Mikhail crouched his way out of the massive garage door. Chadonovik could already tell his brother had questions, but knew he would not directly ask; it wasn’t the way things worked.
“His fingers we took because he stole. Without them, he can not steal again. His legs, we took because he tried to run.” A bit of silence passed as Chadonovik examined the contents of the blood-soaked burlap bag. Mikhail merely nodded and extended a hand to carry off the bloody parcel. As the two separated ways, Chadonovik gave a heavy sigh and retrieved his cell phone once more.
“’Tasha? I have some bad news. Your husband won’t be coming home tonight…” said the Russian in his deep voice as he bent down to enter the limousine. His fingers grasped the handle loosely as he adjusted his position on the leather upholstery, a smile crossing his charismatic face as he listened to the voice on the other end of the telephone. “I’ll be over shortly”.