RHUINED WARRIORS OPEN ROLES
Contact @Xhex_BDBRW, @DocJane_BDBRW or @Vishous_BDBRW or sign up www.RhuinedWarriors.spruz.com for more information.
Jose De La Cruz
Other smaller roles are also open. Well thought out Original Characters are also welcome.
*Pulling my Ducati around to the same alley from my last trip to Ye Olde Ball Gag and Chains, I park facing out again, and head to the shop. I haven’t gotten a call from #Halvdor yet, but the jacket and chaps for @NoOne_BDBRW should be ready. I still need to take her out to the mall before I take her out riding though. Those chaps won’t work with her bulky robes. Fuck, she’s probably never even worn pants, but they’re a hell of a lot more modest than any skirts or dresses I’ve seen lately. Then, again, working @ZeroSum_BDBRW, I don’t tend to see a lot of modesty in an average night. The window display has me checking my depth perception before I can stop myself. Fucking Valentine’s Day. An overload of red and pink in every shop window. I don’t know why I though this one would be different, but some part of me thought they wouldn’t buy into that here. And in a way, they didn’t…. All through the display are little clockwork cupids, looking more creepy than cute with their fluttering wings and sharp metal smiles. A good half dozen have been arranged around a mannequin, tearing and biting the lace top to reveal the leather corset underneath. Two others are flying away with a heart. Not a stylized heart, but an anatomically correct stuffed leather heart. Chuckling at the macabre display, I feel vaguely reassured about choosing to work @IronMask_BDBRW tonight. No way in hell I was hanging around @ZeroSum_BDBRW for another cuddly pink nightmare of happy couples. Can’t deny that #Rehv was right and the gimmick brought in the cash, but that maudlin shit was sweet enough to send anyone into a diabetic coma. #Trez knows his crowd doesn’t buy into the Hallmark holidays, so I’ll be working in an Anti-Valentine environment. Lots of broken arrows and damaged wings for the decor, and drinks that include Cupid’s Broken Arrow, Love on the Rocks and my personal favorite, Adios Motherfucker. Pushing open the heavy door, I can hear the faint whirring and clicking of tiny clockwork cupid wings. The little buggers have been strung up everywhere in the store, and every single one looks like it’s up to no good.* Damn right. Little fuckers are nothing but trouble. *A lazy voice with a heavy accent that might really be English calls out from the back counter. “You have no idea. I haven’t had a moments rest making sure they stay wound. Thank God this is only for one day.” Not #Halvdor, but one of the other artisan owners. Smirking as I pass a table with more of the leather hearts being bitten and attacked by clockwork cupids, I spot long blonde hair towards the back of the shop.* I meant cupid in general, but I can see how winding them would be a pain in the ass. Why not use batteries? *The man spins around to face me, an expression of mock horror on his face. “Oh, heavens no! These cupids are each hand crafted, each one a tiny work of art. To replace the hand wound mechanism with a chip and a battery would reduce them to a mass-produced trinket to be tossed away in a month.” Tugging his leather waistcoat down, he gestures to the seven pocket watches he is wearing. “Quality lasts.” He arches an eyebrow as he looks me over. At six three he’s not that much taller than I am. He’s lean and pale, not quite lesser pale, from his skin to his long blonde hair to his watery blue eyes, he blends into himself. Explains the overdone mannerisms and makes me pretty sure that English accent is an act. Stepping forward, he extends his hand, clearly still trying to take my measure. “Alonzo. And you are?” Resisting the urge to roll my eyes, I reach for his hand, only to have the fucker try and pull the courtly hand kiss routine.* Not that kind of female. *Sliding my hand quickly back out of reach before he gets any other bright ideas, I cross my arms in front of my chest.* Name’s Alex. I placed an order for a leather jacket and some chaps. Came by to see if I could pick them up. *Disappointment flickers across Alonzo’s face, followed quickly by confusion. “You’ll have to forgive me, but I feel my colleague may have been mistaken in taking your measurements. If you’ll follow me, we can get you out of those things and take some accurate…” Cutting the guy off before I decide to cut something off him.* Not necessary. They’re not for me. They’re a gift. *Narrowing my eyes at the flicker of lust and hint of a leer coming off of the guy. “Oh, of course! I’m certain your lady friend will be quite surprised. If they don’t fit quite right, you can always bring her in to have them altered, and maybe something for yourself, as well?” This is one of the many time when being a symphath sucks. Fucker is projecting his little fantasy loud enough for the average vampire to pick up on it though. Thankfully his imagination isn’t creating a third party that looks anything like @NoOne_BDBRW. There are some things a female should never share with her mahmen. *Easy there. My cousin wants to go out on my Ducati, and I am not going to risk her getting road rash because my leathers wouldn’t fit her.*Aaaaannnnnd there goes that lust spiking back up. Not sure if it’s for the Ducati or the implication that I’m straight. Doesn’t this guy have an off switch? Burrowing past the surface thoughts, which currently involve me shackling him to my bike and whipping him, I look for the fastest way to shut Alonzo down so I can get the fuck out of here. Does the little prick have any idea what that would do to my paint job? “Of course. I misspoke. Right this way, and I’ll get you taken care of.” Apparently getting me taken care of is code for jacking me into a corset and handing me a pair of whips. Rolling my eyes at his efforts to flex what muscles he has while walking back to the cash register, I decide to call before I come back. Make sure I deal with #Halvdor, not Alonzo. As he pulls out the jacket and chaps, Alonzo’s grid switches over to pride. It’s still got a healthy backing of lust, but it’s mostly pride in workmanship. Nodding as he points out various places where the leather has been reinforced, and slight modifications made for comfort and durability, I can’t deny the man does good work. Even if he is a horny sleaze. Scanning the shop for something to pretend to be interested in, I skip over a selection of the leather hearts to study a table full of the little cupids. The one in the middle has a tiny cat-o-nine tails in each hand to go with its tiny bow and quiver and extra sharp teeth. Finally, Alonzo has my purchase wrapped and boxed. “Allow me to fetch you a bag for that, and we can settle the necessary financial details.” I count out the cash in hopes of getting out of here quickly. “So. Anything you need for a gentleman friend? It is Valentine’s Day after all.” Subtle.* Nope. I’m good. * “Any special plans for the evening?” This fucker is persistent.*Working. *As his eyes light up, I know I’ve made a mistake. “Of course. Now I know where I’ve seen you before. You work @ZeroSum_BDBRW as security.” Great. My very own groupie. No need to correct him about where I’ll be tonight though.* That’s right. Head of security actually. *Pursing his lips in thought, or possibly a pout, he finishes ringing me through and slides my box into the bag which thankfully does not have the shop name on it. “They’re doing a couples night again aren’t they? I must say, I never expected such a maudlin show of sentimentality from the Reverend, but we all have bills to pay.” Smiling tightly as I take the bag, ignoring my own thoughts on this holiday being repeated to me, I head for the front, not pausing to look at anything on my way. Mostly because I’m gauging the damage the heavier objects could do to Alonzo that would stop him from ogling my ass as I leave. Cursing my timing, I decide to swing by my crashpad to drop off the package. I could go to @ZeroSum_BDBRW and leave it in my office, but I don’t feel like facing that nightmare of pink. And since I don’t have an office @IronMask_BDBRW, I’d have to leave it in #Trez’s office, or use one of the lockers in with the working girls. Driving through the city with the bag in front of me, I keep focussed ahead, knowing the flashes of red and pink for the Valentine’s displays they are. Pulling into my usual parking spot, I head for my door under the stairs. Quick drop off, then in to work. Nothing quite like a holiday to bring the idiots out in force. Even the Hallmark holidays. Ducking inside the bedroom quickly, I toss the bag onto the mattress. And the fucking thing starts ticking. Great. Alonzo the would-be Lothario and whipping boy slipped something extra in with the leathers. Tipping the bag over, my package falls out, along with one of the clockwork cupids. The one with the extra sharp teeth and two whips – and a phone number sticking out of the cock sucking quiver. The wings flutter one more time as it finishes winding down and the ticking stops. Plucking out the scrap of paper, I see that the quiver disguises a clip. The phone number is getting ditched in the first trash can I find. Clipping the evil little cupid to my muscle shirt, I know #Trez will give me grief when sees it. But the little fucker suits my mood tonight.*
Did somebody seriously call me an insecure girl? Fucker.
I love that Xhex is a complete badass. Then I read Lover Reborn, and realize she’s an insecure girl when it comes to real emotions, and that makes me love her more.
Ye Olde Ball Gag and Chains
*Pulling my Ducati up near the address the kid from @IronMask_BDBRW gave me, I park in a nearby alley, facing away from the dead end.
The area is run down industrial with some signs of trying to revitalize. Perfect vibe for the steampunk set. At least until it gets to the point of being trendy rundown. Sure enough, one of the redone shops has a window display filled with goggles and corsets. Cluttered antique shop next door looks like you’d have to dig through boxes for an hour to find what you want. And next in line we have…
Ye Olde Ball Gag and Chains?
Rolling my eyes at the very bad play on words, I check the address again, hoping the kid was wrong.
No such luck.
The front of the place is a cross between an old blacksmith shop and a medieval dungeon upholstered in red and purple velvet. Too fucking precious. The window is filled with a set of books, and a sign announcing that all the toys you’ve read about can be found inside.
Just like every other sex toy shop anywhere in the city, including the one where I picked up the defective cilices currently doing fuck all to keep me from blowing the tops off repressed emotions just to watch the humans burn.
Years of working in clubs have taught me that people will pay good money for cheap thrills, and there’s always someone ready to cash in. Back in the days when people were taught they should feel guilty about their cheap thrills it was easier to find cilices. Stop by a big church, tell them you were a horrible person who needed to repent, and they’d hook you up with some self-inflicted penance.
If they only had any fucking clue exactly what kind of an abomination I really was. Fucking hypocrites for the most part, but they knew quality work.
Hopefully the piece the kid was wearing like an armband wasn’t a one-off, but an indicator of solid workmanship.
Shouldering open the stiff door a wave of scent hits me, sandalwood and all that other mood-inducing shit layered over the smell of an active forge. Putting my weight into the door again to get it closed a voice drifts out from the back of the shop. “I shall assist you momentarily. If you seek items from the window display, they are arrayed to the left of the door.” It’s an affected drawl, all about the lazy seduction. It doesn’t match up with the grid at all. Clearly this is an act for the usual clientele.
Heading straight for the back of the shop, the source of the forge smell, I hope to derail whatever spiel is typically fed to the bored housewives. “Not what I came in for. I’m looking for something specific.”
The human who comes around the corner isn’t dressed to match the shop. There are a few considerations of course. His hair has been dyed a dark purple, nearly black. A heavy leather apron covers his bare torso, but it’s a well-used, functional piece for working at a forge, not something made to look pretty. The size of his arms backs that up, this man is a blacksmith. And the goggles he’s sporting might look steampunk, but the lenses are for welding.
Looking me over, the act slips away like it was never there. “Of course you’re not here for the mass market stuff. Custom work? My leather guy is away for the week, but I’ve got his folio right here. If you can dream it up, he can make it.” His voice is deep and direct now, and he’s clearly more comfortable this way.
“I’m actually looking to get a pair of cilices made, and while I’ve used leather and stone, I prefer steel.” Flipping open the folio on the counter, I have to admire the leather work. I should get some chaps and a jacket for my mahmen if I want to take her out riding.
“Cilices?” The guy’s eyebrows lift slightly. “Not much call for those. I did up a few sets and it took forever for them to sell. Too scary for the dabbler housefraus.” Looking around the shop, he points to various pieces. “I do all the metalwork that I sell here, but most of that comes down to wrought iron candlesticks. If you don’t mind me asking, why would you come in here looking for cilices?”
Bristling briefly, I take a few moments to flip more pages. There was no judgement in his statement, but I’ve gotten used to an argument wherever those metal bands are concerned. “A friend of mine works @IronMask_BDBRW. Saw a kid there wearing one as an armband, with the barbs out.” Catching the guy’s eye roll, I understand completely. “That was my reaction too. Fidiot had no clue what he was wearing. But it was good work. Even spacing, and more importantly the locking mechanism looked secure. He sent me here.”
Looking up at the guy, I still see no judgement and nothing inappropriate either. His mind is on the job, already working through measurements and pricing. “I’d like to get two sets made, fairly wide but a tight weave.”
The guy nods as I hold my hands apart to show how wide a band I have in mind. “So you’re looking for a decent amount of coverage, lots of barbs. Something that will spread evenly though, so it doesn’t leave an obvious line say, under a pair of leather pants?”
Nodding, I point to a jacket and set of chaps in the book. “I’d like to get these too, I can wait for them to be made if they’re not available in the size I need.” Rattling off my best guess as to what size my mahmen will need, he makes a quick note on a pad in front of him.
Fucking sticky notes.
“Come round back here, I’d like to get some measurements. I’m guessing you want them adjustable, but I still need a base to work from. Name’s Halvdor, by the way.”
Shaking his hand firmly, I nod. “I’m Alex, and yes, I like to be able to tighten them up once in a while.” Gesturing for me to sit, Halvdor grabs a measuring tape.
“I’ll just take initial measurements over your leathers. Once they’re done you’ll need to try them on properly and we can adjust them from there as needed.” He makes quick work with the tape, talking about the surgical stainless steel he’ll use, asking questions about my preferred mechanism.
Clearing his throat awkwardly, he looks me directly in the eyes. “No offense, but you don’t seem especially devout. And you know a lot about cilices, so this clearly isn’t about playing at being a badass.” Bracing myself, I wait for the human to try to send me out to some kumbaya counselling group. “What happened to your last set? Not my business, I know, so feel free to tell me to fuck off. Pure curiosity on my part.”
Turning sharply to face the front of the store, I’m prepared to tell Halvdor to fuck off until I hear his low grumbled sigh. “It’s a guy. And it’s not the first time you’ve fought about the cilices. Not that I was trying to get grabby, but it was hard not to notice you’re wearing a set when I was taking your numbers. You keep asking about the lock, so I’m guessing you got a cheap replacement, but now you’re looking long-term.” Turning back slowly, I take my time to really get a full sense of Halvdor.
None of the usual bullshit about fake sympathy to get to the end goal of naked.
This is all about respecting rights and boundaries.
“You’re right. It’s a guy. I have no fucking clue what he did with my cilices. Hid them, pitched them, mailed them to Hawaii to be dropped in a volcano for all I know. He’s all about me not hurting myself. Big male protecting unhinged little female from herself.”
Clapping my jaw shut, I wonder if I should scrub Halvdor’s brain. When the hell did I start being all about the overshare?
Except then Halvdor shakes his head slowly. “Not cool. A person has a right to make their own choices. I get that whoever he is, he doesn’t want to see you hurt, and that’s understandable. And you seem to get that’s his whole problem with you wearing cilices too. Like I said, I don’t see you as devout, but you clearly have a damned good reason, or you wouldn’t be here.”
Halvdor isn’t looking at me anymore, but staring towards the back, and his forge, just visible through a slightly open door. “What about you Halvdor? Why are you here?” And why am I asking?
Looking back at me again, he shrugs. “I love working with metal. I can still get the permit to have a forge in this part of the city. I do work all over. All that garbage in the front shop pays the bills so I can do what I enjoy.” He pulls out a business card that is little more than his details surrounded by wrought iron. “My partners in the shop feel the same way. We all know the sex toys dungeon thing is how we make ends meet. But none of us are going to give up doing what we love for some office job.” He gestures to the large binders again, filled with leather, metal and other custom work. “You explain your reasons for those chains to your man, and make it clear. He should accept it as part of who you are. Just my opinion.”
Sliding his card into my pocket, I shake his hand again. “You’re alright, Halvdor. I look forward to seeing how my cilices turn out.” Rattling off my number, Halvdor promises to call when my metal is ready. He has a number of commission pieces on the go, but he doesn’t expect it should take long for the first pair to be done.
If I drop by next week I should be able to get the chaps and jacket for my mahmen.
Leaving the shop it occurs to me that the heavy door is wrought iron, probably Halvdor’s work. Same for the sign. Closer inspection of the window display shows wrought iron candelabras and metal studded leather corsets.
My whole view of the shop has changed with a little bit of explanation.
Could an explanation be all I need to change John Matthew’s view of my cilices?
Hopping on my Ducati, I peel out of the alley with far too many thoughts running through my head.*
On a Scale of CIA to Gitmo…
Fucking useless! *Snarling, I slam shut another folder of papers that leads exactly nowhere. I know the precise location of the facility where the humans held me. I know the exact date that I torched the fucker. I know beyond all doubt that there was one male human body inside when that hellhole went up in flames. But can I find one single useful piece of information about that human?
None of the articles mention anything about a body, but I didn’t expect to find the psychopath that easily. What I did expect was to find out who owned the land. If I had a company name, I could look for employee obituaries shortly after. But all the news called it an abandoned storage facility.
An abandoned barn would have made more sense, since it was out in the middle of nowhere, but the structure must have been too obviously not a barn for that lie.
I have a list of over twenty companies and banks that allegedly owned the land. Kind of hard for a non-existent company to own shit.
This is really starting to smell like one of Chuck’s government cover-up conspiracy theories. Leaning back in my chair, I consider bringing Chuck in to help me dig, but toss the notion quickly.
Too many questions.
While Chuck knows how to keep his mouth shut, he’s also a little too paranoid to let some things drop.
Glaring at the Dilbert calendar the tech guys gave me, I feel like the Pointy-Haired Boss, fumbling around pretending I have a clue. Except I know when to admit something is beyond me.
This is one of the times I miss the old days, when I could bribe a bunch of urchins with a handful of copper and not only would they find who I was looking for, they’d come back to me with all his haunts and a decent schedule.
There are probably dozens of hacker kids around who could do what I need, but the good ones are more paranoid than Chuck. Even if I could find one I’d probably have to kill him, or her, to keep them from talking, or digging deeper into my business.
And that’s only if they don’t trip over some virtual traps and get caught before I get my answers.
Only one person I know who can do what I need.
@Vishous_BDBRW is not going to keep his fucking nose out of this though. No way that male will just do a quick search and hand over the info I want with no further questions.
I do not want the third degree over this, but I’ve done everything I can think of by myself.
Kicking the folders off my desk as I prop my feet up I can’t help wondering if this is going to turn into another round of Stay Out Of This And Let The Males Be Males. Not to mention that @Vishous_BDBRW and I seem to treat conversation and confrontation like they’re the same damn thing.
All because of that one night with Butch. Ancient history now, but the friction remains.
I’ve already got my back up over this after the shit that went down with Wrath. Letting my head drop back, I think it through carefully, trying to see if I’ve missed any options.
Finally pushing away from my desk, I pick up the scattered folders. I’ll have to make a run out to the mansion with all this. I’m sure @Vishous_BDBRW won’t make this easy for me, but as long as I can show him everything I’ve done already, maybe he’ll accept that this is important to me without dragging out the whole story first.
Not. Fucking. Likely.
As far as interrogations go, it will probably be somewhere between a basic old school CIA waterboarding and Gitmo.
Just what I need to cheer me up.*