5/10/2012

Beaux & Aero - Chapter 4: The Calm Before The Storm




"I would like the Marilyn Monroe Shake please," Aero ordered at the front counter of the Enzyme Shop.  "Vente Size."

"Sure," the clerk responded, typing it into the cash register.  "And for you, sir?"

Beaux looked up with the standard customer-looking-at-menu squint, even though he knew exactly what he wanted.  "I'll get a bagel and a Grande Diet Clone."

The clerk typed the order into the register once again and then looked up at me for my order.  I held up my hand.  "Nothing for me, thanks."

"Are you sure?" Beaux turned to me.  "You can just get a black coffee or something.  I remember you used to always come to school with a cup of that in the morning."

I smirked, shaking my head with nostalgia.  I decided to order a Grande Dark anyway and when the drinks were ready, we took our beverages over by a table in the corner of the shop.  There weren't too many people occupying the place, which was usual for the Enzyme Shop since it was a lot like the popular human coffee shop, Starbucks.  It was pretty much identical; aside from a few loners, the only people that really spent time here were your usual aspiring screenplay and article writers typing away on their fancy laptops working to complete their next great masterpiece.  When we found a table, Beaux noticed a copy of a book that had been left in one of the seats.  He picked it up and examined it.

"Seriously?" he said, handing it to Aero with a scowl.  "Someone left this piece of crap in an Enzyme Shop.  I'm a little nauseated by the irony at the moment."

"Ha!" Aero exclaimed, taking a look at the book's cover.  "Well would you look at that."

"What is it?" I asked curiously as we took our seats by the window looking out on the busy city streets of Allsborough.

Aero turned the cover in my direction and I read it.  "Memories of a Mythlore: The Personal Accounts of an Integrated Middle Class Neighborhood," by Peyton Hughes.  I could now see what the fuss was about.  "Oh, wow.  Who was reading that in an Enzyme Shop?"

"Someone who was on a path of self-hatred, apparently," Beaux answered sourly, not amused.

"Or someone who wanted a good laugh," Aero responded, a huge grin on his face.  I could tell that he was enjoying this much more than Beaux was.  "I've read this book.  It's hilarious."

"Hilariously offensive.  Its hardly the greatest piece of literature in the world."

"Yeah, I would rather we just throw it away and stop talking about it now," I said, feeling uncomfortable about the conversation all together.  "Its a bigoted piece of crap and talking about it will just be allowing it to achieve its desired effect, which is provoking a reaction out of us mythlores.  So let's just move on."

"Oh, come on," Aero chuckled beckoningly.  "Wouldn't it make more sense to find the humor in it?  I mean, I feel like taking it seriously and trying to avoid it makes it more dangerous against us than addressing it.  If we joke about it and take it for the ridiculously stupid crapsterpiece that it is, we'll be taking away all of its so-called 'power,' and it just becomes another absurd little quip in history."

"I think that would be much easier if I found it even remotely funny," Beaux said plainly, as I nodded my head in agreement.

"You honestly don't find any of it funny?  You don't think a girl who still thinks wolfmen go "wolf mode" with a full-moon or that Djinn go to sleep in a magic lamp is remotely humorous?  She even says something about 'werewolves' going to sleep in one of  the chapters.  She doesn't even know that wolfmen don't sleep!"

"Aero, seriously," Beaux replied sternly.  "Joke about the book on your own time.  Right now, we don't want to talk about it.  We came here to hang out so we could catch up with Trent, remember?"

Aero sighed and tossed the book on an empty table behind him.  "Fine.  Its whatever.  So anyway, what's been going on with you, bro?"

We began to conversate, drinking our beverages and relaxing nonchalantly as the time rolled by.  I did most of the talking as they took turns asking me questions about life after school.  I wasn't sure why they seemed so adament about filling the space between now and then.  Nothing I did was particularly special, just your average college studies, occasional girlfriends-slash-sluts, etc.  However, there was an air about the two that I couldn't quite place but it spoke to me more than I could have presently comprehended at that moment.  It made me proceed with a little more caution than I would have, had I not felt it.  This caution prevented me from turning the conversation around on them; asking them about their lives post-high school.  Instead, I hinted toward it with things like "I'm sure it wasn't as exciting as half of what you guys have probably done after graduation."  It was through the casting of those baits that I discovered they were dodging the subject.  They didn't want to talk about what had happened to them after school.  The most I could get out of them was the two admitting that they had decided to end their feud and agreed to a peaceful truce the year after I'd graduated, then proceeded to completely ignore each other's existence up through their graduation and on.  That is until just three years ago, when they'd begun to work together in the Gun-For-Hire Business.  Either they wanted to spare me the details of stuff not worth mentioning or something particularly dark occurred in the last seven years that had a life-changing effect on them, making it a sensitive topic.  Whatever the reason, I decided not to press on about it, which was difficult as it grew increasingly more awkward after repeating "Yeah, everything was pretty much normal" for the fourth time.  Once I got into the storytelling of some of the natural things like relationship turmoils and the like, that was when they started opening up with their own small humorous anecdotes related to the subject and the conversation began to liven up.

"And then there was the girl to end all girls," Aero said, giving a Cheshire smile as he threw his head back and reminiced.

"Oh god," Beaux responded, shutting his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose.  "Here we go."

"Oh boy," I said with a smirk.  "I can only imagine where this is going to go."

"You remember how I keep bringing up certain things that make Beaux flip out and go all hostile on me?" Aero asked me.  I nodded back at him.  "Well it came from this girl.  Her name is Cleopatra Buckler."

"Wait, no way," I said, leaning forward with interest.  "You're not talking about that girl who sings for that metal band, are you?  What's it called....Deathstroke or something like that?"

"That's what they used to be called," Aero answered.  "Until they changed their name last year to 'Methane'.  They change the band's name every two years, its kind of their thing.  Anyway, yes the very same."

"And how did you manage to get a hold of a fine piece of human ass like that?" I asked, turning to Beaux with enthusiasm.

"Probably for the same reason I came in contact with her and the reason why don't like talking about her all together.  Because she's a demon."

I almost literally gasped in surprised.  "Really?!"

"Try to keep your voice down," Aero told me.  "We are pretty much the only ones that know."

"Wow," I said in a near whisper.  "Cleo Buckler, a demon.  I don't think I could have ever guessed it."

"That's not even the shocking part.  There's more.  She's also..." Beaux leaned in towards me and spoke softly.  "The daughter of Fallen Sky Militia's leader, Samael."

I leaned back in my chair, completely taken aback.  "Wow."

"Wow is right," Aero said, shaking his head.  "You can imagine our surprise when we were called in by Ol' Sammy to be her bodyguards for a show she was doing here in Allsborough a few months back.  He had reason to believe some of his enemies might be gunning for her after her connection to him was leaked into the underworld.  It was our first time working for the Militia, but we had been told not to on several occasions by allies and that they were not to be trusted, but Sam was offering big big money for the job, so we decided to take it.  To be honest, we didn't have too much of a problem working with the demons for the entirety of the job.  It was what happened with Cleo that made it hell, at least for Beaux, no pun intended."

Aero looked over at Beaux and so did I, but we could see the hesitation in his face.  "I came on to Cleo.  She came on to me.  We went out a couple of times.  And she seemed like a nice girl.  Boy, was I wrong.  I took her to a hotel"-

"Oh oh, can I tell this part?" Aero said excitedly, as Beaux grimaced sourly.  Aero instantly ignored him, moving on.  "Okay so they watch a movie, then get cozy, start making out and what not.  They take off each other's clothes, get down and dirty....then the unthinkable happens."

"What what?" I asked, looking back and forth between the two anxiously.

"She knocked me out with some wolfsbane," Beaux answered.  "When I woke up, I had all of my limbs tied to the bed, completely naked.  From there, I"-

"She rushed out the bathroom like a cheetah and shoved her entire hand"-

"Aero!" Beaux exclaimed.  "Save the details, please.  We're in public."

"I think I get the idea," I said, trying to hold back a tremendous fit of laughter.  "So you got violated, huh?"

"In ways no creature on Earth can imagine.  I couldn't sit right for weeks."

That did it.  I leaned forward and burst into hysterics right then and there as Beaux gave me a sour look and Aero joined in on the laughter.

"I'm glad you two find my pain and suffering so amusing.  You are truly great friends."

"Come on, you came out of it a stronger man," Aero replied between chuckles.  "Couldn't have been that bad."

"I was essentially raped, you understand that, right?"

"Bullshit.  The only circumstances where you could have been raped is if you were gay, she was unattractive, or you were already in a committed relationship."

"You forgot 'forced to participate in several disgusting fetishes against your will'.  Including coprophilia."

"Gross," I said, holding my mouth with more laughter.  "That's probably the worst sex story I've ever heard.  Or the best, depending on the context."

"Yeah well, it sure scarred me for life," Beaux said with obvious disdain.  "Doesn't help that she tends to show up randomly around me at the worst times either.  She could be watching us right now."

"Don't worry, bro," Aero said, leaning forward and patting Beaux on the shoulder.  "If she comes out of no where and tries to butt-fuck you with a metal rod again, I'll make sure to plant one in her head before she gets too excited."

"Gee thanks....asshole."

Just then, the door to the Enzyme Shop opened and a Native American man of exceptional height and impressive build hulked into the building, taking long defined strides as he made his way over to our table.  Beaux and Aero greeted him with smiles.

"Jaguar," Aero called with a wave.  "Thanks for making it, man.  Is the Messiah out back?"

"Yes sir, Mr. Paratelli," Jaguar said firmly, bowing slightly as he towered over us.  "It is out in the back alley with the Dodge Stratus also parked back there.  I only require the key to the Dodge so that I can make the transfer."

"Ah okay," I said, reaching into my pocket and handing him the keys to my car.

"Make sure he doesn't make too much noise," Beaux said with caution.  "Crack him one across the head if you have to."

"Don't worry, Mr. Beauregarde.  The jabronee will not get the chance to notify authorities or anyone else around here on my watch."  With an ominous look of unadulterated creepiness, Jaguar turned and headed out of the shop.

I turned to the others.  "Now that's a guy you definitely don't want to meet in a prison shower."

"Tell me about it," Beaux smirked.  "So what's next for you, Mr. DeLucia, entrepreneur extraordinaire?"

"Well," I said, sipping the last of my coffee and setting it down on the table.  "As soon as your friend finishes making that uh, 'transfer', I think I'll be heading home.  My insurance company said to call them within the next few hours and I still haven't gotten to call my busboys to tell them we're closed indefinitely for the next few days.  There are still some other things that I've got to handle as well."

"Ah, right," Aero said, nodding.  "Well even though it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, we still owe you for trashing your bar.  Let me make it up to you."

Aero reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet, taking out a bundle of dollars and handing them to me.  They were hundreds.

"N-" Beaux began, but quickly stopped himself, reverting back to a straight face as he rubbed his hand over his dreads casually.

"Something wrong, Beaux?" Aero asked genuinely.

"No, nothing's wrong.  I was just about to sneeze.  False alarm."

Aero shrugged and handed me the handful of bills as I took them graciously.  "Thanks so much for this, man.  I really appreciate the hospitality."

"Its the least we can do.  That's coming from the both of us by the way.  We share our funds since we live in the same apartment."

"Yep," Beaux said, his teeth gritted as if he were holding back a barrage of other words.  "Exactly right."

"Well, we should get going too," Aero said, standing up.  "Crystal Odom comes on in about half an hour.  Gotta get home in time to watch."

"This guy and his Crystal Odom," Beaux teased, pointing at Aero.

"Hey!" Aero pointed back aggressively.  "Its quality programming."

"Okay," I said, standing up with the two.  "Its been fun catching up with you two.  We should do this again sometime."

"Likewise, man," Beaux said, shaking my hand.  "We'll be sure to contact you when we have time to spare."

"Cool, I guess I'll see you guys around then," I said, as I began to make my way to the door.

"Yep," Aero remarked as we walked in the same direction, which led to the awkward Post-Farewell company stroll to our vehicles located behind the Enzyme Shop, then an equally awkward final wave before finally parting ways.

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You'll have to trust my judgment here.  Don't ask how I know how this happened, I just do, okay?  You wanted to know about Beaux and Aero, not me, so be happy.  As I went home to handle the business concerning my bar and similar endeavors, Beaux and Aero sped to their apartment on 47th Street and Woodlawn in their black and red 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback, nicknamed "The Messiah."  I was actually astonished by its beauty at the sight of it.  I learned later that Beaux had acquired the car after a game of Texas Hold 'Em with the leader of the Djinn street gang known as the Lamps, Blair Fist.  Beaux related it to Star Wars, of which he was a big fan of, stating the similarities to how the Millennium Falcon's ship captain, Han Solo, also achieved his prized bird after a victorious card game.  I saw his eyes light up as soon as it had came into view.  There had been an accident in one of their earlier jobs and it had to be fixed up in a shop (for approximately the thirteenth time in a row).  But now it was looking as beautiful as ever and ready to hit the road once again....until it got torn apart by flying bullets and car chases again.

With Beaux driving, the Messiah pulled into the parking area behind their apartment building, Newark Heights, and parked inside of one of the garages when Aero flipped the switch, opening the garage doors.  They drove in, got out, and walked around the car, opening the trunk on the way.  Beaux looked inside quickly while Aero kept watch.  When finished, Beaux closed the trunk and the two headed for the apartment building, closing the garage door.

"Still asleep I'm guessing?" Aero asked as they kept their eyes forward.

"Like a baby," Beaux answered.  "As soon as Crystal Odom goes off and you're thoroughly satisfied enough to pleasure yourself later, we'll go drop him off at the Trujillos."

"You think you're funny, don't you?"

"Very.  I should do stand-up."

"You should do shut up."

"You mad, bro?" Beaux asked with a smirk and a raised eyebrow.

"Fuming."

"You should be.  I'm fuming at you for giving Trent your half of OUR rent money for the week."

"He needed it," Aero protested.

"No, he didn't, he had insurance."

"We still owed him at least some compensation for the inconvenience."

"Sure, but not that much compensation.  Goddamn."

"Relax yourself, Beaux.  Soon as we drop off the human, we'll get the payday we've been waiting for.  We can set some aside for the rent and then go blow the rest on some Googly Moogly."

"Your sexual vocabulary confuses me," Beaux replied.

"You know what I'm talking about."

The two headed into the building and took an elevator up to the third floor, where their room was located.  When they reached the door to room 343, Beaux took out the key and opened the door, walking in to the sound of intense male and female moaning coming from the couch in the living room.

"The fuck?" Beaux exclaimed under his breath just as a figure shot up from the couch, his skinny acne covered face full of horror at the sight of the two.

"Beaux!  Aero!" the young kid greeted with a nervous smile, his bare shoulders gleaming with sweat as he tried to look as casual as possible.  "Wasn't expecting you guys back so soon."

"Yeah, Crystal Odom is coming on," Aero said, looking at the guy on the couch.  "What are you up to, Walter?"

"Oh you know, just....exercising."

"Exercising your penis in a girl's vagina," Beaux said plainly, shaking his head.  "Can you move it to the bedroom please?"

"Actually, I'm uh....kind of finished," Walter chuckled with a touch of relief.

"What?!" a female voice shouted from out of view behind the couch.  Walter turned down at her.  "We've been fucking for two minutes and you're already done.  You loser!"

The woman, whom they could tell just by looking was a nymph due to her light blue skin and flowing brown hair, shot up from the couch completely naked, grabbing her clothes from off the floor and quickly dressing herself as Beaux headed into the kitchen to fix himself a snack and Aero walked past the young couple and into the bathroom.

"Baby wait," Walter called, grabbing his own clothes from off the floor.  "Just give me another chance.  I only need like five more minutes and I can go again, longer this time.  Come on, don't do this."

The chick remained silent as she bolted for the door.  "Don't bother calling me," she said harshly before slamming it behind me.  Walter stood in front of the door, hanging his head in shame.

"Do me a favor and dress yourself please?" Beaux said, pouring himself a bowl of Lycan Pedigree.  "And put the lock on the door while you're by it, will ya?"

"Can I get at least a little bit of sympathy here?" Walter groaned, slightly flustered with emotion, but not so much that he didn't follow Beaux's directions.

Beaux sighed with annoyance.  "What did we tell you about bringing girls into our apartment?"

Walter stopped suddenly and hesitated.  "Don't bring them in the afternoon"-

Beaux cut him off with a flurry of incoherent noises, mocking his voice.  "Its what you get.  We take you in, you crash on our couch, you don't pay rent, you're unemployed, and all you do is smoke weed in Aero's bedroom when we're not home.  Do you know how easy it is to get a job for a human like you?  Instead, you bring a bunch of mythlore bitches here who only agree to go home with you to see what its like to have sex with a human."

"What can I say?" Walter said, shrugging innocently.  "I have a fetish."

Beaux had been reaching for a spoon from the dish rack but dropped it on the counter suddenly.  "PLEASE....do not use the word 'fetish' around me."

"Sorry," Walter replied, holding up his hands in defense.

Soon, Aero emerged from the bathroom, rubbing his hands together in a towel with excitement as he walked to the flat screen television in front of the sofa.  He turned it on and walked to the couch, spreading the towel on its surface for the sake of what had just transpired on it and sat down with the remote tightly in his hand.

"EVERYBODY SHUT UP!" he shouted over the silence.  "Crystal Odom is on."

As the beginning portion of the show's theme song began to play on the television, various clips of an attractive young blonde woman with unique markings visible on her arms and parts of her face were enter mixed.  The opening took up a good portion of the show's run time, lasting almost three minutes, giving Walter and Beaux a window to speak before Aero got belligerent.  Walter walked over to Beaux.

"Are we going to do our drinking game today?" he asked.

"Well I'm eating cereal right now and its pretty early," Beaux answered, chomping down on a spoonful of Pedigree.  "I've still got some driving to do for the day.  We'll have to do it tomorrow."

"Yeah, but tomorrow is supposed to be one of those 'fashion accessory' days.  She's hardly going to get deep.  Today, she's having a former correspondent from the HEAT Network on her show to discuss the racism in its content.  You know she's going to get into the 'real reality' of that."

Beaux sighed and walked back towards the refridgerator.  "Okay.  But we have to play with orange juice.  Same priniciples will apply."

"What are you guys talking about?" Aero asked, turning back to them from the couch.

"On the days when Crystal Odom comes on and she talks about something deep, we like to play a drinking game," Beaux said, pulling out two shot glasses and pouring some orange juice into both.  "We drink every time she says the phrases, "Real reality," "Truth is," "Goes without saying," "In all honesty," and any variation there of.  We also drink every time she crosses her legs or interrupts her guest when they're speaking."

Aero sucked his teeth in annoyance.  "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard."

"Shut up and watch your 'quality programming'."

Aero turned back around with a scowl that just as quickly transformed into a bright smile at the sight of Crystal's glowing face.  She walked out from the back to be greeted by the studio audience, who were clapping tremendously and cheering at her arrival.  She headed up a small set of stairs in a sharp blue dress that went down to her knees and sat down in a beige plush chair.  When she was settled, she looked right into the camera and spoke into Aero's soul.

"Hello everyone and welcome to the show!  Today, we will be talking about an important factor in the life of every mythlore on the planet Earth.  Acceptance.  It goes without saying that every mythlore in today's society has gone through some form of racism, whether it be subtle or blatant, emotional or physical.  The real reality of it is that some of this racism is being broadcast on network television as we speak.  The truth is, this beacon of intolerance is called the Human Entertainment for American Television Network, also known as the HEAT Network.  For over twenty years, this conservative-run television station has used the subtlest of ways to spread their message of hate and bigotry to the human masses in order to continuously alienate the mythlore population and in all honesty, its time we put a stop to it.  We've discussed the HEAT Network once before following the Peyton Hughes controversy and now its becoming an issue once again.  Joining me today to talk about his tenure with the network and what he experienced there is human former correspondent, Gaston Reeves."

The audience gave a round of applause for the man that walked out from the back and made his way to the stage, shaking hands with Crystal before taking his seat in the identical plush chair beside hers.  So far, Beaux and Walter had taken six shots of orange juice (she'd crossed her leg over twice during her beginning speech) and they knew there was only more to come.  As her guest, Gaston continued on with his standard explaination of his time with the HEAT Network, things finally got interesting when he began to discuss the rumors behind the supposed hate group funding the network.

"So do you think the rumors are true?" Crystal asked sternly, crossing her leg over once again, to which Beaux and Walter drunk for ninth time.

"I know they are true," Gaston said sternly.  "I've experienced it first hand."

There was a noticeable gasp from the audience.  Beaux's ears perked from the new developed.  "Oh man"-

"SHUT UP!" Aero called as Crystal went on.

"How do you figure?" she asked, completely engaged.

"I've overheard conversations, seen logos written on documents and scripts, and noticed certain things around the offices that pointed in a strange direction.  I looked into it and I discovered something that the wealthy corporate humans don't want you to know about, because they are the ones behind it all.  They are called the Populous.  I've seen their influence ooze throughout the human media, particularly on the HEAT Network and other known affiliates and I can go ahead and tell you right now, they are nothing to mess with.  They are"-

"Have you spoken to any of your former employees about it at the time that you were working there?"  Beaux and Walter took another shot.

"I did actually.  I was only given what seemed to me to be the roundabout, the standard thing they told everybody, which was that 'the Populous keeps us going financially' and that they 'have plans for what they want us to report on.'  I tried to press on about it"-

"Did you ever find out whether they truly are a hate group or not?"

"I'm not going to lie and say I did, but I'll tell you one thing and you can interpret it how you will.  We had a supervisor who was celebrating his last day working for the HEAT Network and we had an office party for him, but I remember someone asking him where he'd be headed next in his career, and apparently it was supposed to be obvious by the look on his face, that he was going to be working behind the scenes with the Populous from then on.  In the same stride of the conversation, one of the other employees let it slip in a joke that he was going to be living in paradise, burning and torturing the....pardon my language, 'Folks' as he put it.  Then the supervisor, I won't say his name, gave him a dirty look as if to tell him to shut up."

"Wow," Crystal said, her eyes squinted with shock in what she'd just heard, which was followed by the faint whispering of the studio audience.

"Yeah, like I said, I'm only telling you what I experienced first hand and you all can take from it what you will, but you can tell that there seemed to be much more to it than meets"-

"When we come back, we have Sariel Walden, head representative of the Mythlore Society of America to talk about his personal experiences of racism with the network.  Stay tuned!"

As the show went to a commercial break, Beaux and Walter took a last shot of orange juice before tossing the shot glasses into the sink.  "We would be so tipsy right now if that was actual alchohol," Beaux said tossing his empty cereal bowl into the sink with it.  "And the show has only been on for fifteen minutes."

"So, the Populous," Walter said, nodding his head with concern as he worked to understand what he'd just watched.  "The new threat to the world.  As if the Backstreet Boys weren't good enough."

"Load of shit if you ask me," Beaux said, walking into the living room.  "If they didn't want him spilling the beans, they would have made sure he never made it to Modo Studios this afternoon.  Five years in the business has taught me that.  Anyways, I'm going to go take a nap.  Aero, wake me when the show is over so we can go collect our pay."

"Alright," Aero said, paying an excessive amount of attention to the commercials, as if they were what he'd sat down to watch.

"Walter, wake me when the show is over so we can go collect our pay," Beaux said to Walter for insurance.  "And if the landlord knocks, make sure you stay hidden and tell Aero to tell him we'll have the rent tonight."

"Sure thing, boss," Walter said warmly.

"Don't call me that."

"Yes sir."

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An hour passed and once Beaux was awake and Aero was thoroughly satisfied with his helping of Crystal Odom, the two took the Messiah and headed for the Trujillo Estate on the west side of the city.  The entire compound was surrounded by a brick wall that ran around the entirety of the mansion and courtyard that made up the estate.  There were two large black gates, one in the front, one in the back, that provided entrance into the area, which was surrounded by forest.  Before reaching the estate, however, there was a long winding road that led to a guard post where a security guard would verify that they were cleared to enter the place.  When they reached the guard post, there didn't seem to be anyone standing inside waiting for them, so they drove on, thinking they'd arrived in the middle of a shift-switch.  They reached the front gates and could see as they approached them that they were wide open but from the outside, which was strange.  The gates would normally slide inward when they were authorized to enter.  The two didn't want to go in without permission, since the Trujillos had a reputation of murdering allies due to something transpiring due to their own mistakes.  Beaux stopped the car in front of the entrance and stepped out, walking towards the intercom on the side of the brick wall.  He pressed the button and spoke into it.

"Hey, Quentin, its me Beaux.  We've got the package you wanted and its in perfect condition.  Well, mostly perfect.  We're ready to deliver."  Beaux took his hand off of the intercom and waited for a response but after a few minutes there was nothing.  Beaux pressed the button again.  "Quentin, are you there?  Anybody?"  Beaux waited longer this time and got no answer.  He shrugged and headed back for the car, taking it into the estate.

"What happened?" Aero asked curiously.

"I don't know.  I got no answer from the intercom.  Wonder what's going on."

"Do you think they all had to leave in a hurry?  Maybe they had to assemble to go take down some of Niccolo's goons?"

"I don't think so.  Even then, they would still have better security here just in case.  Quentin's got half of his fortune out in the open in here."

"You think you might need to get out the gloves?"

"Maybe."

Beaux pulled the car up to the mansion in the front that was accompanied by a pool house in the back and two other separate buildings on either side of them.  The estate was completely empty and void of activity, which wasn't a good sign as there always seemed to be someone standing guard around the area, but not this time.  He drove the Messiah past one of the many parking spaces in front of the mansion and swerved by the large Victorian water fountain statue in front of it before parking by the front door.  The two exited the car and walked to the back, lifting the trunk to see Freddy Santana squirming about with tape over his mouth, his hands bound behind his back.

"Looks like the fleshbag is awake," Aero said, helping Beaux haul him up out of the trunk onto the concrete, slamming the trunk behind them.  They escorted the human up the stairs of the mansion, making their way up to the double door entrance, which had been left slightly ajar.  Beaux looked back at Aero, who nodded.  He let go of Santana and reached into the inside of his suit jacket, pulling out a pair of black rubber gloves from the inner pocket.  He then reached into his opposite jacket pocket, pulling out a rather large silver blade, flipping it between his fingers until it was upside down in his grasp.  He held it forward vigilantly as Aero reached into the back of his pants and pulled out a black beretta, cocking back the chamber as Beaux nodded and kicked open the front doors with his blade forward.

Beaux's eyes went wide at the sight before him and when Aero and Santana walked into the mansion's entrance behind him, they too were surprised beyond comprehension.  Scattered across the floor, the walls, along the winding staircase, and over the walkway above them, was a copious amount of blood and remnants of dismembered bodies.  They were everywhere.  Someone had massacred these mobsters.

Santana began to cough behind the tape in his mouth and he made a violent sound before a shower of vomit came spilling out of his nose after failing to escape from his taped mouth.  Aero pushed him away from him and looked away in disgust.

"Its the smell," Beaux said plainly.  "His human nose couldn't take it."

"Weak humans," Aero said, as he grabbed hold of the sick man and brought him limping along as they continued to examine the mansion.  "Who could have possibly done this?"

"Nothing I know of," Beaux said softly, walking through and heading to the back where he knew Quentin's office was located.  "This is unprecedented.  Wolfmen wouldn't even be able to do this much damage, especially not to vampires.  To humans maybe.  But even if it were an army of wolfmen, who, for whatever reason, wanted to take out the Trujillos, they would have been able to hold their own with the massive composite arsenal they have on their side.  Something big caused this.  Stay on your toes, in case its still around."

"Big how?" Aero said with a tad bit of worry, holding tightly to Santana as if he were ready to throw him in the direction of whatever caused this at the slightest disturbance.  "Like 'someone with a gattling gun' big or 'someone on so many drugs, they are unstoppable' big?"

"Neither, Aero.  This is 'someone who went back in time and brought a fucking T-Rex here' big.  Someone took out an entire Mafia Family.  I've never seen anyone who was able to do this kind of damage.  Ever."

"Damn," Aero replied, swallowing hard.  "Forgive me if I sound spineless, but these are all vampires.  And I'm a vampire.  I can understand that you might not have the same nervousness because you're a wolfman but this is freaking me out"-

"Oh, trust me, I know," Beaux responded.  "I'm reeling over this too.  Its just harder for me to show it."

As the three of them pressed on, they made their way to the back, where a pair of double doors would lie at the end of the hall.  They walked to it with much caution and Beaux motioned for Aero to force open the doors.  He stepped forward and kicked the doors open, jumping in with his weapon ready with Beaux entering the room behind him.  If they hadn't already been shocked and disturbed by what they'd walked in on when entering the mansion, they definitely felt it now.  They were in Quentin's office and Quentin was in it.....or rather around it.  Each of his limbs were placed in each of the four corners of the room, lying up against them in the same kind of position that one would lie a baseball bat.  The chair to the desk was turned around toward the broken window in the back, but the hispanic vampire's head lay staring at them from the center of the desk, his eyes dark and his expression as straight and natural as if he were living.

"My God," Aero muttered slowly, lowering his weapon in total awe.

Beaux walked behind the desk and turned the chair around to find the completely dismembered torso of Quentin Trujillo, his blood-drenched white shirt, tie, and blazer still apart of it as if his limbs had been torn from his body in the midst of the attack.  Not sawn off, but literally ripped off.  No mythlore was powerful enough to do that.  Beaux leaned forward and saw that the blood behind the shirt was leaking through peculiarly and that the buttons had been ripped off.  He manuevered the shirt and saw that there had been a message left behind, carved into the flesh of his chest with small jagged lettering: "AND THEY SAID, GO TO, LET US BUILD US A CITY AND A TOWER, WHOSE TOP MAY REACH UNTO HEAVEN; AND LET US MAKE US A NAME, LEST WE BE SCATTERED ABROAD UPON THE FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH - G.11-4."

"What is it?" Aero asked, walking up to examine the remains of the body.

"A bible scripture.  From Genesis."

"This is some freaky shit."

"Tell me about it."  Beaux looked up in thought then turned to Aero with worry in his eyes.  "You thinking what I'm thinking?"

"Yeah," Aero said, shaking his head.  "We are totally not getting paid today."

Beaux sighed and gave Aero a pathetic look.  "No dumbass....But his safe is unguarded.  And Elias Murphy's fortune is all ours."

"Aw yeah."  Aero lifted his hand and the two high-fived each other jovially.  Suddenly the familiar wail of MRT sirens echoed in the distance as they began to infiltrate the estate.  "Uh oh."

"Yeah," Beaux muttered.  "Let's move."

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