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|As Rebecca finished speaking a cold air filled the room. A man stepped into the room from behind her frail body. He was a large skinny man, it seemed like he was on the verge of falling to pieces. "I'm sorry for interupting you Miss Rebecca," He placed a long bony hand on Rebecca's shoulder as he passed by her. "Apollo, I have a message for you." He scanned the room with his cold emotionless eyes and adjusted his glasses. "Privately."|
|Rebecca walked in and looked at Apollo. To put it plainly, she was beautiful. Rebecca had a beautifully cut face. Her eyes were the perfect almond shape and green. Her long black hair carried a rose that never wilted above her left ear. She was the height of a super model. In fact, she was a model. She still wasn't famous though, or as famous as she thought. She looked at everyone. They're all more different than me.... As if I'm going to be useful for this mission. She thought. Rebecca nodded. "My name is Rebecca..." She said. "I work with photographers...and painters... I know the area pretty well... I don't know if you will be needing my assistance though." When Rebecca spoke it seemed as if the world would stop moving every now and then.
Rebecca looked down at the ground and held her arm. Her jacket she was wearing made a small shifting noise. She wore a pair of red pants with a white button up blouse. Rebecca new she wasn't going to get the respect she wanted from some of the other races here. Especially the wraith. They all would think her to be a normal human being. After all, everyone assumed that her race was made up by the humans. Michael Angelo would so disagree with her on that one. She was the inspiration for most of his works of art. Her skin was more pale than before. Rebecca was more scared of being killed by the wraith than she was working with this group of people after all.
|Apollo smiled warmly. He was more than happy to bury that whisper from the collective memory. "Dahlia, my dear. So glad you could join us. Everyone, this is Dahlia. A trusted friend and associate. She is of the Fae."
He turned to the group at large. "But I digress. This robbery is a gamble, so we need all the odds on our side. The less time we have for Legion to see us coming, the better. So, unless something unforseeably catastrophic happens, we commence tomorrow. You need to be on the top of your game. Do what you need to do to get there."
|"Not a chance in hell will we be caught on camera." A smooth voice cooed throughout the room.
"However, changing your form wouldn't be a bad idea. We don't need the publicity of an eye-witness, perhaps, catching glimpse of a 'ghost.'"
From behind the opening door stepped a woman of an petite stature of 5'3, long black hair flowing behind her, softly whisping back and forth as she closed the door and entered the room.
"Bravo Apollo." she mused, with a soft clap of her pale hands, her red lips surrounding the dazzling smile that made her green eyes sparkle.
"You have quite the crowd." Her voice came out gentle and kind, yet with all the confidence in the world. "And powerful too, I might add." She announced, eyeing the crowded parlor.
"Forgive my tardiness, lady and gentlemen." She says with a smile, and a wink in Cindy's direction. "Keeping my cover must take precidence, especially on the eve of our small excursion."
|The Nautican standing in the group nodded his head lightly.
"Apollo, is there a chance we will be caught on camera? If so, I'd like to change my human form to something younger, no need for the many years I've spent undercover to go to waste. While I rather like my normal human shape, there are a series of older people and historians who will think me a ghost should they see me in some robbery footage. Looking the spitting image of when the mighty ship sank."
Edward constantly shifted lives, moving from one human form to the other, working undercover and sometimes even building lives with the people he comes in contact with. No one suspects their best friend to stab them in the back. Edward was good at this job.
|At the words 'no killing', an almost inaudible whisper sounded throughout the room, seeming to come from Apollo. It was almost a sound of..amusement.|
|Apollo responded quickly, obviously mulling over this question and rehearsing his answer.
"We're going to need some magic, but not enough to attract instant attention. We'll work on disabling the security grid before revealing too much magic. Also, no killing unless absolutely necessary. If we play safe, quiet, and fast, we should be out of there before the Legion is tipped off."
|Kane spoke, his voice as the dark that constantly surrounded him. It sounded as if mustering the human act of speech caused him much effort and even more disgust.
"What of the lives of the mortals inside? And our supernatural nature? Is Legion to know this was a crime committed by those above human stature?"
|The last oath had been made. The Beast's eyes opened wide, stretching out far in all directions.
"So it shall be. Break this vow, and you belong to me."
Apollo bowed, and raised his hands again. The darkness dissipated quickly, bringing the group back to its original meeting place. Apollo sighed as his true form faded slowly back into his human skin. He turned away and wiped the sweat off of his brow, glaring at his shadow. He quickly composed himself and turned back to the group.
"Now that we've got that nasty business out of the way, I believe we can commence our planning. Friends, I've wasted enough of your time. We will be robbing Central Bank, the largest human bank in the city that stores cold, hard cash, and quite a bit of it."
He smiled and placed his hands on the table.
"Kane will run recon with support from my assistant. The main group will be comprised of myself, Edward, Eralath, and Dahlia, whenever the hell she gets here. Cindy and Bruce, you'll be with us most of the way, but we'll need you two to combine strengths and construct us a tunnel escape route. That's the general gist of it. Any suggestions?"
Apollo was deliberately rushing his explanation. He liked to be in control when others were not. It was a talent of his.
|Lord Vulkas Mormonus
|Stepping into grave danger, no idea what was coming, Eralath was torn. It was not his way, but to fight against Legion, that was worth fighting for.
He lifted up his arm, and pulled away the flesh mask that covered his face. He pulled off his trenchcoat and stood up straight.
Where he was once just over six feet tall, Eralath now stood over eight. His fat face was no this, covered in an exoskeleton. He removed his gloves, revealing powerful claws. He was a warrior of the Xiuhcoatl, a soldier feared by any race, and he was ready.
"I give my oath to follow you in this." His eyes locked with Apollo's, "But I have already made many oaths with my own race, oaths yet stronger than this. I will follow you in every action that does not harm the Xiuhcoatl to the end of this mission."
He had made his choice. It was time.
|The Accidental Protege
|Cindy's eyes glanced to and from each person in the room, before finally meeting with the Beast itself. The tension was palpable. She stared into its eyes with conviction, as her focus surged through her like a rushing flood tide, and a wave of flame washed over her body, eyes glowing like galvanic stones.
"I will take this oath," she responded hesitantly, As she did, Bruce sighed as he relaxed himself before clenching his teeth and his fists. With an audible crack, his form became that of chiseled granite, the human body of his becoming a solid, gray, rough sculpture of pure rock.
"I'm in, too. Her oath is mine as well." Such determination and straightforwardness rarely escaped Bruce's mouth, but this was one of his rare moments when the gravely voice poured out words of loyalty. Her lead was his; he never acted without Cindy's mutual approval. This was his fight now, as well.
|Edward nodded, acknowledging the company surrounding him, as well as the power and importance of the oath he was about to undertake. He smiled lightly, and rose to his feet. With very little strain, as if he had done this many times before, his human form appeared to melt off of his body. Revealing a slightly larger figure than usual, standing at about six feet tall. A light blue hue to his body shone underneath of the frosted glass-like appearance of his skin. Where his eyes were located, were darker blue circles, and around those, flowing shades of blue, moving quite slowly. His defined form appeared beautiful, and were his flesh the color of Marble, one might take him to be a faceless sculpture from Greek times.
"I take the oath before you all, I shall see this mission through to it's bitter end."
Edward spoke in a very regal manner. Though his words were well calculated, as was his every action.
|Apollo's wave of light washed around Kane, standing ever stoic. In the darkness of the Abyss, the being that had seemed to be the darkest thing possible was practically glowing. As Apollo set forth their oath, his only response was to lock eyes with the Beast and nod.|
|Apollo's hands slowly rose once more. His whole body began to shake as his body produced a magical aura. The white hot ritual lines that had appeared on his body before now glowed bright hot. His human skin morphed into his true form, a black-skinned demon with great horns and flowing white hair. His jaw widened and his teeth grew into fearsome fangs. He roared in pain as his hands bent and twisted into claws. As his transformation completed, the room grew darker and darker, as though it was fading from the world. Soon, there was nothing but darkness as far as anyone could see.
"We are now in the Abyss. We will make this pact by the Beast."
From the nothing behind them came two massive eyes of pulsing red. Apollo, now fully in his demon form, turned to it.
"Great Beast, we come to you to form an oath."
A great tremor erupted about the Abyss as the Beast opened its gargantuan mouth somewhere.
Apollo stepped forward.
"Until our quest has come to an end, be it fair or foul, we will be as kin, else you claim your just prize. Sun-Spot attests."
The Beast nodded. Apollo turned his attention to the group.
"Take your true form and attest. If you refuse now, no harm will come to you, but your memory of this oath and of the mission will be gone."
|The Accidental Protege
|Bruce remained calm as he gulped at the thought of Apollo's true power. The seriousness in the host's eyes was magnanimous. Cindy reached into her pocket and pulled out a cigarette. With a snap of her fingers, it ignited as she held it between her lips.
I know I might regret this. Why the hell am I doing this? Why are we here?
Even though these thoughts flooded Cindy's mind, she still stepped forward. She still chose to fight.
"I'm with you. Let us in on your plan, boss-man." With this declaration, Bruce moved next to her.
"If she's in, I'm in, too. Whaddaya want us to do?"
|"I'm afraid I can't afford that luxury, friend. I need your commitment now. Up front. You can back down now and leave, or you can agree and listen in."
Apollo stepped closer to the group, his eyes filled with deadly seriousness.
"The spell I cast did not conjure a protection for us. You leave without agreeing, and your memory of this encounter will be wiped clean. You agree, and I hold you to it however I must. I am a demon of the old ways, and honor broken will be dealt with harshly."
|Lord Vulkas Mormonus
|Eralath's eyes narrowed ever so slightly as he walked towards the table. He was silent as he pulled out a chair and awkwardly sat in it, as if he were not used to chairs. "The word of a Xiuhcoatl is unbreakable." He said. "Once given, it is not broken. Thus, I pledge to you that as long as your plan does not hurt the Xiuhcoatl, I will not betray your designs to Legion."
His eyes swept over the room until once more focusing on Apollo. "But that is not to say that I will support you. Give me your plan, then I shall make my oath."
|Apollo's smile widened. "Cindy, Bruce, Eralath, make yourselves comfortable! Glad to see you could all make it. Look's like we're missing Dahlia, but she's always been flimsy with schedules, and we can start without her."
Apollo stood up and walked over to the windows. He raised his arms slowly, as though he was parting a sea, and his hands began to simmer with a cool glow. Behind the newcomers, the door slowly shut, and a wave of light coursed through the entire loft. Without facing the group, he spoke once more.
"There. Assorted outcasts and fugitives, I welcome you to my humble abode. We all know why I have called you here. You are all in one way or another like me. You look out your windows and doors and see this world, filled to the brim with mortals who live and die as meaningfully as fruit flies. But as they live in unwarranted comfort, we struggle and sweat to play by their rules, because of the all too powerful gaze of the Legion, and it sickens me.
As some of you know, I have made a small fortune conning the humans. I have done so quietly, making efforts not to attract Legion attention. It has been painfully difficult, and I'm tired of it. So, in a moment of furious genius, it came to me: One last job. One that can last me as long as I live, which, knowing demons, can be a very, very long time."
Apollo turned around and faced everyone, a look of seriousness on his face.
"A job of this magnititude can't be done alone. Kane here is an old accomplice, and I knew I could count on him, and of course, I sought the employ of others."
As he said, his shadow seemed to grow and flicker on the wall behind him before fading slowly back to normal.
"But it wasn't enough. I can't do this without a small army by my side. That is why I have you called you here tonight. If you agree, you will be undergoing a massive risk, but for a much more massive gain. Any of you who have worked with me before can attest that I do not shortchange accomplices. So before we get into the specifics, I need to know you are all committed. Can I trust you all?"
|Lord Vulkas Mormonus
|A hand reached out to stop the two figures from closing the door. Eralath, he was.
He stepped beside the two awkwardly, walking as though he were unused to his feet. He was large, his face was fat. It concealed the true monster within. He wore a dark trenchcoat, with black leather gloves covering his large hands.
He stood hunched, a walking stick in his hand to support his weight. "I am Eralath," he said. His voice was almost too high for a man, and a strange, almost hissing sound erupted as he talked.
"You called for me, Apollo?"
|The Accidental Protege
|The doorknob twisted as two figures peeked into the establishment, making sure they were in the right spot. Upon seeing such seedy figures, they decided they were correct.
The redheaded young lady, about 24 years old, yawned as she entered, motioning for her large, middle-aged companion to join her.
"This is right place, Bruce," she started, before seeing the host. She gulped nervously, brushing her hair aside.
"Uh... I'm Cindy, and this is Bruce," she introduced, Bruce nodding, keeping quiet for the time being. Cindy told him to "keep your loud mouth shut", and he never liked her when she was upset.
"You probably haven't heard of us, but... we still want in on this thing you're planning. Though... I've never done something this dangerous before," Cindy admitted. She hoped for her host's approval. If that was out of the question, the money she and Bruce needed so desperately would have to be made some other way. A thought ran through her mind just then, 'What the hell am I doing?'
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