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Let the show begin
White agreed to the meeting. A couple hours before midnight, right before the crowd's filled Manifesto's Blocks. The car laboured along the cobbled city streets, and Jaxen tucked his Wallet in his pocket as it pulled up in front of the club. The two famous Blocks were technically underground, and filled old government war bunkers that inspired their names, but at street level, the gothic Russian building was washed in bright uplighting, highlighting every nook and cranny of ominious architecture. Red carpet, dark and plush as a bloodied river, was unfurled from the mouth of club doors otherwise perched at a set of stairs leading into the gilded dungeons beneath the surface. Jaxen fucking loved it.

With a grin waxed on his face, slick as the points of his stylish hair, he emerged from a 2046 Koenigsegg Agera, a swedish sport car boasted an enormous 1,460 horse power engine on a V-8 block that cranked 100 km/hr in under 2.5 seconds. His fingertips lovingly trailed the edge of the driver's window as he revealed himself. There were always always paparazzi outside Manifesto just salivating over the chance to hit a story. This car, next year's model, retailed for $3 million CCD, and with its black kevlar body and custom "ghost light" interior lighting system, and green hood stripes diving up the hood of the car, wrapping around the frame and reaching inward like sickly sharp fangs, it was a story all on its own.

Jaxen soaked up the adoration and awe like he expected nothing less. Flashes pocketed white halos in his vision, but his pose remained the same. He another of the town's playboys, albeit a sickingly handsome one, who made sure everyone in the city knew exactly where he was tonight. Jaxen Marveet. Manifesto. If anything happened to him tonight, millions of witnesses were there to stand up for him.

After making the line of cars behind him wait an annoyingly long amount of time, he rounded the car like he was walking away from a lover. A valet passed him as he did, and Jaxen leaned to say a few words of caution. "Take care of her, or you'll have the director of the DVII Bilmodeller pound your ass for every dollar its worth."
The young man's brows lifted, and Jaxen pat him reassuringly on the shoulder. "That's three million ass poundings, kid. Remember that."
Never say Jaxen never warned the fellow, he also hated to think what would happen to him if that car disappeared under his loan.

One could say Jaxen fit right in surrounded by the chic beauty of Manifesto, but he would find the assessment offensive. He was so much better than these fuckers, and the crowd parted like they knew it also. The black of his hair was all the more sinister above an electric blue cashmere overcoat. The high collar was upturned stiff his neck, the front buttonless, and floated to knee-length. A fine white cashmere jumper shone bright beneath, sheer enough to make out the faint lines of the tattoo when his coat fluttered open on the air. The neck was cowled across his chest, and upon close inspection, was held there by a finely embroidered skull. He worse trousers in the same color and metallic-silver washed shoes with a similar skull design on the tab. The style of overcoat was something he picked up in Mumbai, and was still popular in the capital of DVIII. He had at least five variations of this same, $4,000 coat, and he loved them all.

"Mister Marveet!" He was greeted at the entrance to Block Two. The man who approached was a slender, older man with silver-tipped hair and bright blue eyes that were currently fixed on Jaxen's eyeliner blackened rims. The room beyond was echoing as the bunker in which it was constructed. The ceiling was original to the former fall-out shelter, but additional walls and architecture was overlaid in such a way as to filter and dampen the passage of sound through an otherwise cavernous hall. Alien blue and green lighting bathed his face as he peered in.

"My table?"
He asked and was immediately shown to one of the many niches curved into the periphery. They were just private enough to not worry about eavesdroppers, but not so private as to appear unwelcoming.

Of course, Jaxen did not make it there alone. Ten steps in and he was already laden by a woman on each arm.

They sat with a bottle of vodka and drank and laughed until White made himself known.
Edited by Jaxen Marveet, May 19 2014, 02:35 PM.
"So?" said Loki impatiently.  "This isn't the first time the world has come to an end, and it won't be the last either."
Jaxen +
Loki +
+ Jole +
The arrangements had been easy to make, as has the discussion with Seth and Rune. If they were going to strike, it would likely be some time after this meeting. He still wasn't convinced that Jaxen needed to die; the lad was a waste of space and oxygen, but he had yet to see anything of the fellow that marked him as dangerous to those around him. Annoying to those in his strange little world amongst the clouds, perhaps, but not dangerous.

No amount of money could get an expensive suit dry cleaned in a day, and as little as Hood cared about such things, he knew enough not to wear the same suit to meet a rich playboy-wannabe twice in a row. So Mr Talanov's gift was out of the picture. Which was too bad, as it was the best suit he owned.

Luckily, in his line of work...his day job, at was important to have a few good suits, and one was pulled from the closet and cleared of it's suit-bag. A simple charcoal gray hopsack, an inexpensive design at first glance which quickly gave way the actual quality of the work over the plainness of the material. The suit was perfectly tailored to Hood's frame, hinting at the solid build underneath.

The plain fabric did wonders to hide the ballistic weave underneath of course; it was a working man's suit. A working private security specialist's suit, to be exact, which made it a bit on the warm side for most folks, but he had always been good at ignoring the temperature.

His arrival at Manifesto came much like the last time. A Pervaya driver dropped him off, this time in a stylish staff car rather then a limo. Getting inside was easy enough; the coat-of-arms of Pervaya liniya Security on the side of the car was enough to catch the attention of the manager tasked to checking the guest list, and the name drop that Hood offered to excuse his presence, was enough to see him inside without trouble. Jaxen Marveet was well known in such circles, after all.

A brief visit to the bar saw Hood with a dram of whiskey, Dalmore 2014 single malt, to be exact. Near to $3,000 CCD a bottle, that single dram ran him near $200. One sip and he found himself again questioning the need for such expensive tastes.

A few short minutes later and he found his way into Block Two. The place was a sham; any of the appreciable architecture off the once functional structure was gone, hidden beneath expensive lights and decorations, things that really had no place in the old bomb shelter. But the rich fools enjoyed playing pretend.

Much like the last time he had haunted the place, he drew more then a few looks. Men dismissing him as something out of place, trying to convince themselves that he was too far below them to be of any consequence. And women watched him with various degrees of interest; some where unsettled by the intensity of his gaze, while others found it entirely too interesting. An alpha predator in a sea of sheep in wolf's clothing.

It was easy to spot Jaxen in the crowd, even seated; he drew looks of his own, ones of jealousy or carefully considered opportunity. The lad may have been the black sheep of his family, but the Marveet family was powerful enough that even the forlorn son was a viable link to it's power for some.

He walked over, casually shouldering aside two expensively dressed men who had made the mistake of thinking to show their bravado. Even so early in the evening, the two men were buzzing with liquid courage, and while neither were small, neither achieved much to dissuade Hood's momentum. The ease with which he blew past the pair, without so much as shaking his drink, led the two to realize that maybe they were better off chasing skirts rather then fights.

"Mr Marveet. Ladies."
Hood stood across from Jaxen and his arm candy of the evening, easily heard over the thrum of music. In his line of work, a commanding and clear voice was important, and plenty of experience had taught him how to speak to be heard over loud noise and distraction.

A moment was spent admiring the view the two women offered, but neither were able to hold his attention. They were common fare; lacking in the fiery determination and predatory nature of Spectra Lynn. They simply weren't worth his time. But they were, clearly, enough to keep someone like Jaxen entertained. The man had questionable tastes then; that Oriena woman seemed far more interesting then the two he wasted his time with at the moment.
Jaxen's time was quite nicely filled with the local entertainment. He was up and down several times since arriving to greet this person or that. As many faces recognized him as he did theirs, although for his part, he was genuinely pleased to see most. Jaxen's history of social mingling was a convoluted and embarrassing one, for everyone else that is. He thoroughly enjoyed getting the better of others. All in good fun, of course.

He largely had zero look-out for his guest. The man would likely be on time. He was representing Pervaya after all, and the assistant that arranged this whole ordeal was rather proud of the company's stance on punctuality. Thus, Jaxen was otherwise well-distracted when his date for the night made himself known.

From hovering over the shoulder of one of the eyecandies, Alexia, the one with darkly arabic features and exotically tipped eyelashes, he casually looked up. "You do clean up well, White."
A compliment, but then again the last time Jaxen saw the man was moments before he was clocked by the side of a rifle. Likewise, Jaxen was probably a few shades better looking - and smelling - himself. Even the great Jaxen could be worn down by a few nights in a cannibal dungeon.

The other eyecandy, the one Jaxen did not have his arm around, but was none the less seated closely, was a red-haired girl with a western accent Jaxen couldn't quite place. The implants looked like a Moscow-surgeon's specialty, however. She curled her hand around Jaxen's arm, which of course made him look over as she whispered a request in his ear, one that lit his expression with surprised interest.

Jax gestured at the free space next to the redhead. "Join us, White. This is Alexia,"
his eyes flicked from one beauty to the other, "and this is,"
and he blinked, "tell me your name again, honey? Ah, yes! Ezinne. Girls, this slice of American before you is-"
and that's when Jaxen caught himself.

"Actually, White, what is your first name?"
He smirked.

The show had begun.

Hood's expression didn't change in the slightest at the whispers and glances, nor did his gaze shift to encompass the space indicated for him to sit. He was there for business, not pleasure or familiar conversation (neither of which he was likely to find anywhere in the presence of Jaxen Marveet), and so he chose to sit instead on the couch most readily adjacent to Jaxen and his friends. "Mister White. Or just Sir. Mr. Marveet."
Pervaya was professional; their men when contracted as bodyguards were not members of the family or loyal pets. Friends and family made mistakes, were blinded to possible dangers. And pets were loyal but stupid. Pervaya's people were the best for a reason, and distance was part of that reason. His tone was not rude or derisive; it was educating and calm. "Miss Alexia. Miss Ezinne."
He nodded to either woman in turn, and as he sat the button of his suit was popped free, to make sure it continued to hang properly and not wrinkle.

A true-blooded boy of Moscow would have taken offense by White's dismissal of tradition. Jaxen was one such true-blooded Moscow boy. He had the accent, the shrewd, suspicious gaze, and the name to go along with their reputation. But somehow, as White sat himself next to Ezinne, who in turn deprived of Jaxen's full attention was going to latch onto the westerner like the true succubus she was, Jax was rather prepared for such a reaction. And he had a few words perched at the tip of the tongue for such an occasion.

He poured the man a vodka and pushed the tiny glass in front of him with a suggestive grin. "A word of advice, White - though I'd think a good Moscow company like Pervaya would include this bulletpoint in their orientation -"
he snapped the lid back on the crystalline bottle of liquor, "Business is not to be had without trust."
The corner of his lip quirked playful, "And Russians do not trust a man who will not drink vodka."

He held White's gaze a moment longer before withdrawing. He knew some of where White drew the line, but Jaxen was only being playful. Mostly. "Why don't you tell us all your name? Besides, Ezinne is dying to know,"
she'd now perched her chin on the back of her hand. The make of White's suit was not lost on her trained eyes. She was a model, after all.

Hood carefully set his glass of expensive scotch down next to the glass of vodka, and picked it up instead. He held the cup out in a toast, "Za vashe zdorovie." Here's to your health. He then tapped the glass on the table top before taking a shallow sip, glancing at the empty table, "Traditionally, vodka was served with a meal. Used to be known as bread wine." Another shallow sip, and the glass was set down next to his scotch, and he settled his gaze on Ezinne for a moment, studying her features before catching her eyes with a hint of a smile, "Well, Miss Ezinne, if you wish to know my first name, you will have to approach me when my business with Mr Marveet is complete." His tone clearly hinted that it was an invitation, although in truth that was mostly just to annoy Jaxen, an idle curiosity to see how easily he could pluck the man's candy from his bowl.

Jaxen lifted his glass to return the favor. A slick grin split his face. White's Russian was perfect. "Tvoye zdorovye!"
and tipped half the glass back. It was poor taste to drink to the bottom all at once. Especially when a series of at least four more toasts were to follow.

With White and Ezinne, and Alexia and himself all coiled together, the foursome might have given off the impression that they were actually intending to have some fun! Of course, one look at White's flat face was likely to dash the dreams of any casual onlooker. It was quite nice to see him make the effort though!

Ezinne was receptive to the man's invitation, and Jaxen was so thoroughly amused by the idea of White hitting on an actual woman that he didn't mind losing the catch.

Alexia set her glass aside as she finished the toast to catch White's eye. "Did you say Pervaya? My family uses them. Will you, Jaxen? Is this the man you want to hire to protect you?"

Jax had to shrug; a subtle and nonchalant movement that was surely not threatening to a slice of muscle like White. The arrangement of this meeting suggested as much, but he was not ready to commit to anything yet. "I can forgive White, here for being American. They say he is one of the best."
Jaxen's eyes dipped with the flattery. "But I'm not sure if a man who does not wish to tell me his name is very interested in taking a bullet for me."
The girls were oblivious to the side-step, but Jaxen's scrutiny narrowed slightly. White was sure to catch on to his little game. "Pervaya's grunts would take a bullet for their clients? Yes?"

Hood nodded to Alexia approvingly; her family had good taste, it seemed, then he offered Jaxen an amused grin that didn't quite reach his eyes. "The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other guy die for his."
Pervaya was not paid to take bullets for their charges, although they would without hesitation. They were paid because they could put the bullet into the other guy faster. "Our operators are the best close-protection specialists in the CCD. I've no need to explain that to a potential customer. Our reputation speaks for itself."

Jaxen's brows lifted, impressed by the answer, and he looked from one side to the other in response. Alexia held herself with confidence born from intelligence rather than her rack, although such was worthy as well. Ezinne, with her European accent and vacant expression, was still doting on White.

Regrettably, Jaxen was ready to get down to business. "Ladies, if you could excuse us?"
Alexia slipped from Jaxen's arm, and Ezinne had to ask White to move so she could get up. Both women were quickly scooped up elsewhere.

Jaxen tugged on the downy-soft sleeves of his overcoat, and thusly rearranged how he was sitting to better accommodate conversation mano a mano. "How many bullets can you stop at once, White?"
The cryptic question went unanswered a moment as Jaxen retrieved a paper-thin Wallet from the pocket of his coat. The weight of electronics pulled cashmere so inelegantly, and Jaxen had need of only one document to share tonight.

He pushed it across the table, long fingers gesturing that White study it as he wished. The document was scrolled midway through what was likely hundreds of names. The file registered, gods_known at the top. gods_eliminated was farther down. "It seems I'm on a hit list."
He was smiling. One that did sparkle his eyes. "Still interested? Or do you take it as a challenge?"
He laughed.

Hood picked up the Wallet and held it such that the display wasn't readily evident to anyone lingering in the area. All the while his gaze would continuously sweep the room, although it seemed an entirely casual, disinterested gesture rather then what it actually was. Surveying their surroundings for those a little too interested in Jaxen's presence.

"I thought you would enjoy being thought of as a god."
So the fool had somehow figured out a little of what he had stumbled himself into. How would he take the information that the Atharim, his hunters, had only learned of him because of his own stupidity and arrogance?

He eyed a few of the names on the list alongside Jaxen's, but none immediately caught his attention. That there were so many was vaguely alarming; the Atharim had their work cut out for them if they insisted on killing so many people just because they could do magic.

Was it right to kill them preemptively? He could certainly see the logic in the thought; he'd done as much and more for years, after all. Killing people because of the threat they could pose later. But could the Atharim do it without giving themselves away?

"Unfortunately, I am too busy to take up a full time contract with you, Mr Marveet. But, I know a man that do it. Mr Koloman."
It wasn't entirely a lie; Hood was too busy to take the job, and due to their past interactions it was perhaps unwise for him to do it to begin with. They knew each other, and their rapport was...strained, at best, or so he felt. And, of course, he had no interest in being around when Seth and Rune tried for Jaxen.

Jaxen's laugh barked cynical; god indeed. "That goes without saying."
He thumbed the glass of his vodka, but it had had little effect on his ability to focus. Jaxen always said the only person who could tell he was drunk was his mother, and if she were there at that moment, she'd be no more pleased than to see him sober on Christmas morning.

"Too busy, huh? Or--,"
Jaxen drumed the pads of his fingertips together, splayed open before his mouth. It did little good to hide the sinister smile behind them. "Or would you have a conflict of interest here."
Jaxen fully recalled the first time he saw this man. Protecting a billionaire with long-standing Baccarat ties. The man was old-wealth, ancient-wealth actually. Catholic. And a little too interested in Baccarat galas to go unnoticed by Jaxen when he was conducting the research that led to this little discovery.

White had been the one to warn him away from prying too close in Baccarat affairs. White was the shield for the Baccarat billionaire. White was there in the cannibal's dungeon. And here White was again. Sharing vodka with Jaxen Marveet. It seemed White was everywhere.

Jaxen's logic tripped the wire and the jaws snatched down on his little trapped victim. A voice in the back of his head warned him to be careful. White could turn and bite, but Jax's reflexes were sharp. He was confident he could dance out of harm's way if a problem arose. The Light came easily now, and Jaxen had his own confidence to speak of.

"You know exactly what that is, don't you?"
His gaze turned direct. Intent. Jaxen was capable of being serious, from time to time. Especially when it was his neck on the line. "Question is. Why am I a hunted man? And I think you know the answer."

Hood shrugged indifferently and sipped his vodka. There was no hint of guilt, or panic, not even of annoyance. He didn't really seem to care one way or the other if Jaxen had figured it out. After all, Hood had no interest in killing him, and he was no Atharim. They should have hired him to help their people kill Jaxen after the man had broke into their headquarters, not to track him. At that time, it had been justified. Now, they wanted to kill him not because he knew too much, but because he could do something that could, maybe, be dangerous to people. Their motivations were all wrong, but that was their business. "Wouldn't say conflict of interest. Lack of interest is probably better."

He fixed Jaxen with an indifferent glance, "I can't tell you anything specific. You tipped them off about your...abilities. I've worked with them in the past. They hunt monsters. Those things that had you, rougarou. Mutant cannibals. There's all sorts of things out there. Would gray your hair if you had a glimmer of how bad it can really be in the world."

He expected denial. He expected redirection. He half expected White to stand up and leave. A shrug, scotch, and a straight answer was the last thing Jaxen imagined would come of the confrontation.

It certainly gave him something to think about. Tipping them off? Who was them? and why the hell did it matter? Abilities. Gods. Monsters.

"I'm not sure if I should be offended or not, Mister White. Am I a god? Or a monster?"
Deep thoughts for later, perhaps. But if you're saying there's more of those cannibals in the world, I really will think seriously about hiring your buddy."
He darkened, and when he drank the vodka that time, it was to the bottom of the glass and beyond.

He refilled both of theirs with more. If White was in a talking mood, Jaxen was all ears.

"So, how fucked am I?"

He shrugged again and finished his vodka before setting the glass aside and taking up his scotch. "Don't believe in gods. They do. And they fear them. No idea why."
He sat back in the couch, one arm tossed across it's back and one foot up on his other knee, relaxed and surveying the view. "Can't say how fucked you are or not. They hunt monsters. Monsters are off the grid. Someone like you though. Can't be more in the grid then you are, can you? If it makes you feel any better, I've no interest in pulling the trigger on your type."

Jax blinked and held up a hand. "Wait. I'm all kinds of appreciative that I'm not your type, but you're kidding about this god bullshit, right? What the fuck does that mean, 'they believe in gods' and monsters? You mean like goblins and fairies-bullshit?"
Jax was open-minded. But this was insane.

It did occur to him that White might be screwing with him, but the man's relaxed, seemingly bored posture spoke otherwise. "I assume you'll be telling them I know, now?"

"Yep. Like I said. Go gray if you knew how bad it really is out there.
" Hood glanced at Jaxen a moment then shrugged dismissively, "Not unless they ask. I'm not one of them. Security is my day job. Monster hunting is for after hours fun. They go after you like they do their monsters, Koloman'll have no trouble keeping you in one piece."
Of course, Koloman wasn't likely to be at Jaxen's side in time to be of any use to the lad. Seth and Rune would be on the Marveet boy long before that contract could be finalized.

Even if some anonymous cult's ass was in the right to be all twisted up phobic over his abilities; when the the strength of the universe roared through his body, it scared the shit out of Jaxen too. But how could they possibly know what he felt when he didn't understand it himself? When Tony didn't understand it. Tony. Jaxen blinked. Tony warned him about this.

White didn't particularly admit either way, but the idea of these people knowing that Jaxen was aware of their presence wasn't exactly comforting.

White's suggestion planted the seed in his head, though. Kolomon? Really? Props to Pervaya and all, but if one operator worked with these people, others could as well. How the hell do you trust anyone, anymore? Can't a guy just walk around being the shit and not get iced for it? Almost enough of a bother to be annoying.

"You're being awfully cooperative, White."
Jaxen's gaze narrowed, and for once, he actually took his own look around the room. He was in the middle of one of the safest public venues in the world. Manifesto had their own security team. Everyone was checked at the doors. Not so much as a hologram of a weapon was allowed in. "You're not--?"
His voice trailed.

"I'm not what? Planning to kill you? Could have done that when you were hiding in that crummy hotel room. Like I said, I'm not after you. I hunt their monsters, not humans. You're paying for this meeting, Mr Marveet. Isn't exactly the topic we're supposed to be discussing, but it's still work related. I'll file these hours as a work related expense."

Hood didn't consider Jaxen a god or a monster. Maybe a mutant? He didn't know the specifics about this whole magic bullshit, but there seemed nothing monstrous about Jaxen outside his taste in clothes, nothing inhuman asides his aversion to clothes that cost less then three digits.

Damn. White said that a little too matter-of-factly. Jaxen almost had a chill. If he weren't layered in fucking cashmere, that was.

Neither was he particularly fond of the fact that the idiots - or seeming idiots - tailing him at that hotel had White with them at the time. A little bone-chilling to think about.

He sneered. "Well, good to know. But since we're here, and I'm apparently paying, stay and drink. Alexia and Ezinne are likely gone to the wind, but there's plenty more ass where they came from. Its only fucking money, right? And it looks like I'm staring down the tunnel of my last few days."

He waved a hand high in the air. The two nearest girls exchanged looks and came over, "I'm Jaxen. Stay and keep my friend White company. I'm off to take a piss."
Jaxen made sure the girls settled in with his friend then wound his way through the room toward the bathrooms.

Hood nodded as Jaxen stood and called over his smoke screen; the man was making a break for it, no doubt. This was where most men would break down and offer apologies, ask forgiveness, or toss an 'it's nothing personal' as some sort of excuse. They would grab at whatever they could to shield themselves from the guilt of what had been revealed between Hood and Jaxen.

But Jaxen was, somewhere beneath all the shit, probably a smart man. He'd either blame Hood for all his troubles, or he'd understand that Hood had no ill will towards him. Hell, at least Jaxen was walking out with some semblance of control. Hood probably should have felt guilty that the hunters were waiting for this very turn of events; or well, that this was one of two likely outcomes, but he didn't. The Atharim had a job to do, and their reasons were at least routed in good cause.

When Jaxen vanished, Hood pulled his phone and sent a text to a throw-away phone held by Seth and Rune. His part of this fiasco was over, and now he had plenty to keep himself occupied, as he turned his attention to the two women Jaxen had saddled him with. No point passing up a good opportunity. Again, neither could hold a candle to Spectra's intensity, but he couldn't expect perfection of everyone.

"So?" said Loki impatiently.  "This isn't the first time the world has come to an end, and it won't be the last either."
Jaxen +
Loki +
+ Jole +
Jaxen's exit was interrupted, and overshadowed, by another of Moscow's renowned playboy bachelors. With a gorgeous Chinese woman on his left arm, and a certain pop star on his right, the Privelege of Dominence IV, the beloved Son of Tokyo, the prodigal modern-day ninja-cum-millionaire, Takeo Onoda entered Block Two, and suddenly the grand entryway was a mass of hungry arms and empty well-wishes. The Privelege traveled with an entourage, as usual, who were all three busily brushing aside both Tokeophiles and Onyx fans alike.

One of Onyx's chart-toppers could be heard echoing throughout the cavernous compound, and cheers errupted from most of the dance floors as the patrons of the Two became aware of the starlet's arrival in their midst. Rumors had been circulating for hours, and likely days, before she'd made her presence known.

"You probably shouldn't keep them waiting,"
Takeo said to the girl - he was still amazed she was in fact old enough to drink, she looked so young - and nodded toward the closest throng.

"They can wait,"

Onyx grinned, taking a pause in their procession through security to sign someone's outstretched arm. She casually tossed the pen into the crowd and grabbed the two nearest glasses. Over her shoulder, her manager eyed the flutes with distrust and, he detected, fear. Onyx handed Takeo one of the glasses, and raised the other, "To Day IV."

Takeo smiled with what looked like genuine appreciation. "To 'Black's Back,"
her new album. They clinked and swallowed.

The model on his arm, many would recognize from recent Trump billboards in the Square, was the supremely stoic and, sadly, sober Moon Kao, who also eyed their exchange with trepidation, and an obligatory air of boredom. She had that look in most of her ads as well, as if her own existence was somehow beneath her. But she did look good on the arm of the Privelege.

Kasumi, one of Takeo's ring of protectors, barked some obscenity at a man trying to muscle his way toward Onyx, and after another shove from the creep, gave him a chop to the sternum that sent him staggering into the arms of the nearest bouncer, and promptly out the door.

"Let's find a table then,"

Takeo suggested to his two guests this evening, noticing the clog they were creating. He finally took a moment to take in the room, the people, a few politicians he'd have to see sooner or later, a reporter he'd been avoiding, and one Jaxen Marveet, currently circumnavigating their sphere of bodies. He gave him a smirk - one predator to another, and ushered his flock toward some corner usually reserved for him and the upper Sphere. It promised to be an eventful evening, and he'd barely made it in the door.
Jaxen's flight was not rushed. He had to assume if White was there to kill him, he'd do it somewhere more private than the middle of Block Two. If White were there to set him up to be killed, such was also likely to go down elsewhere.

The exit gaped like the mouth of a golden goose. Even the hallways to and from the bathrooms dripped extravagance. The tunnel was lined with golden tiles that shone like scales of armor. Or a snake bathed in sunlight. Jax cringed at the thought and made to duck out of sight.

But a very specific combination of words tugged him back. Quizzical things like Privilege, Moon and Onyx.

He wandered backward against his own desire for self-preservation, head cocked to one side, and peered through the sudden swelling of bodies. He wasn't tall enough to see above them all, especially with supermodels in six inch heels milling about. Nor was he fool enough like the idiot at the bar who climbed on his own chair to get a good view. He was quickly pulled down and hauled out. Smooth, man. Jax rolled his eyes. Manifesto was likely banning him for life at that very moment.

So the Privilege of DIV was in the room. The Ninja himself. Honestly, who didn't respect a real life ninja? But Jaxen's eyes were inevitably drawn to his choice in flanking dates for the night. Moon's elusive indulgence made Ezinne's tongue-wagging look like a gargoyle in comparison. And Onyx, with her dark features, swaying hips and proud mouth overshadowed even Alexia's exotic features. Of course, neither smoldered the tantric promise of Jaxen's bejeweled favorites. Hints of such favoritism were outlined by the standing collar and length of the jacket he wore tonight, both reminiscent of an ethnic sherwani coat, but he could appreciate luxurious woman when he saw one.

A look of surprise overtook his otherwise calculating features when Takeo recognized him. It seemed Jaxen was unaware of his own fame. Purely by association to his family, he was sure. Scion Marveet was likely to take the lead seat on the Sphere as the next Privilege of the Central Dominance. When Valentin Sulteev finally keels over. That, and, if Jax were to grow his hair to his shoulders again, such as he hadn't done since he was a teenager, he'd be the mirror image of his father at the same age, pompous smirk and all. Such an epiphany was why he cut his hair in the first place. So, it probably shouldn't have surprised him that the Ninja Privilege knew him by sight - or was plugged into facial recognition software.

Like others nearby, Jaxen's curiosity mounted when one of Toke's bodyguards karate chopped a man a new dent in his sternum, simply for coming close without an invitation. Within moments, the gears of a plan turned into place.

The school of famous and powerful fish swam to a corner of the room, but Jaxen followed in a round-about way. He could leverage his surname to gain a spot at the table, or he could pull a primitive Jaxen. Which sounded like far more fun. The noble steal something and return it? A better hacker than himself should be able to break into the Privilege's bodyguards comm pieces, but alas, Jaxen's skills were amateur at best.

Like usual, he was going to depend on his natural born skills. Namely, a silver tongue to worm his way in and out of what he wanted.

After the initial swarming, the patrons of Manifesto regained their composure. Especially after the first few idiots dazzled by fame and fortune were hauled out. Jaxen had a relatively easy path to the Privilege's table.

"I always had a question for the Son of Tokyo,"
Jaxen stated in his approach. He grew up watching the show that enslaved children into bloody games, just like everyone else in the CCD.

His greeting extended to Moon and Onyx in the form of a smile that promised a night of fun. "How did you manage to ambush those who were planning to ambush you? And walk away alive, of course."
He winked at Onyx. "By the way, big fan of Black's Back. Lead music on my parkour playlist."

Edited by Jaxen Marveet, May 22 2014, 07:25 AM.
"So?" said Loki impatiently.  "This isn't the first time the world has come to an end, and it won't be the last either."
Jaxen +
Loki +
+ Jole +
Takeo watched the younger man as he approached, one arm around Moon, the other hand resting in his lap, where it, and the knife he'd slipped off the table, were obscured by the luxurious linen tablecloth and array of glasses, bottles, and the odd candle or napkin. Onyx was perusing a pop-up holomenu and fingering the string of black pearls she wore like children's play jewels, while another of Takeo's inner circle, a solid man of obviously German-Russian decent, leaned against the nearest pillar, smoking. Most who knew Takeo would recognize him - if not his name, Sergei, then at least his face. It never seemed to move, much like that of the model next to Takeo.

Moon looked up when Jaxen stepped forward. She seemed expectant, listless, but seeing the young socialite, she unapologetically leaned her head against Takeo's shoulder and casually closed her eyes.

Takeo smiled coolly up at Jaxen, bemused by Moon, but moreso Jaxen. It was not the first time he'd been asked this question, though perhaps it was the first by one of Jaxen's tax bracket. "The best way to survive an ambush is not to encounter one,"
Takeo said with authority. His eyes shifted to Onyx, who had apparently ordered drinks for the table, and was now staring down the man in front of their table. She turned at Takeo's comment, and smiled when she saw Moon, for all intents and purposes asleep. Takeo looked back up to Jaxen. He leaned in slightly, "You didn't hear it from me,"
and lowered his voice, "but, I heard the show was scripted."

He leaned back again and laughed. Truth be told, he had no idea how he'd survived his own childhood, but he ascribed it to discipline, devotion and a good dose of luck. "Now, would you care to join us, ... ?"
he let Jaxen fill in the introduction, but extended a hand over the table to shake. He was fairly certain he knew it already - it was Axel or Jackel? But he certainly knew Jaxen's family, by proxy. Marveet was not a name one easily forgot, here or anywhere. And Scion Marveet had as good a chance as any at breaking into his very own Sphere. Better, since Takeo had not heard of any ill intents against him by Brandon.

Moon roused, slightly, at the change in Takeo's position, and, after a long look at Jaxen, slowly sat up. "Bonjour,"
she said, somehow without irony, and borrowed Onyx's glass for a drink. A long, slow drink that drained almost half the glass. Takeo hoped it wasn't too strong. Moon was half-aware sober. In fact, he didn't know if he'd ever seen her drink.

Onyx selected another spirit from her digital menu and looked up at Jaxen, waiting patiently, as though she were not a multi-platinum-selling artist and he not just some wealthy Russian wasp's offspring. She actually seemed quite mellow at the moment.

Takeo wondered if Jaxen had this odd effect on all women, or merely his dates for the evening.
Moon, frankly, was an enigma. Her languid glance up and Jaxen introduced himself. "Jaxen Marveet,"
and slipped her hand into his palms for a kiss. Charms worked, he joined the table by way of Onyx. She was by far the more interesting of the two women. And more awake. Was Moon drugged? Privvies could be into weird shit, so maybe. He didn't care.

Really he didn't care about Onyx either. Pop stars tended to appear like spots on a clean car: out of no where and just as annoying. Really, the only truly interesting person at the table - other than Jaxen, course - was the ninja himself.

Time rolled by. Jax was content to put up a good show for the upper echelons of the CCD. Likely the Privilege saw right through him, though Jaxen would bet tomorrow's cup of coffee that the guy'd never guess why.

Meanwhile, he was charming and flirtatious. The ladies of course ate him up, unfortunately not literally, but no point in being too greedy for one night. He kept an eye out for White's departure, and thought about following the man when he did finally break away from feminine arms. Then he thought better of himself, being that he liked his face without White's fist repeatedly pounding it, and he ordered another round of drinks.

A sharp eye might notice that Jaxen actually drank very little. Surprising given his reputation and penchant for purchasing thousand dollar bottles of vodka - for everyone in the room - but alas, tonight, he thumbed his glass, spun it around, filled it up a couple times, and made a good, smooth effort at seemingly top of the party while yet keeping his wits very, very close.

Of course that charming smile could melt anything, and given Onyx's playful mood that night, Jaxen's goal was well within sight. He intended on an invitation to the after party, and being that the women of the table always bossed the men at the table around, if Jaxen wanted something from Takeo, he was going to use Onyx to make sure he got it.

Tonight he wanted to get home without a bullet planted fresh in his brain. What better way to escape Manifesto than to walk out with the world's most famous ninja? Or better yet, a step behind him.
"So?" said Loki impatiently.  "This isn't the first time the world has come to an end, and it won't be the last either."
Jaxen +
Loki +
+ Jole +
Unfortunately, after an hour of laying on his best stuff, Jaxen had yet to secure the all too rare invitation to attend the Privy's after party. The haze of a drugged crescendo took over the club. More people were high than not, and for once Jaxen was not one of them. He wanted sharp wits about him, but sipping vodka with secret society body guards and the Privilege of DIV for two hours left his veins pleasantly warm.

A peek at the Wallet said it as nearing one AM when he finally took his leave. Moon seemed sad to see him go, so Jaxen rewarded her with a kiss on the hand. Onyx made him promise to see her backstage at her next concert, which of course he did. The lie slipped slick through his teeth.

He left by the front door. No sneaking around for Jaxen. Though he did scan the roof-lines around him while the valet brought the car. Plenty of people were waiting to get into the exclusive club, and his eyes narrowed upon a trio of dark girls waiting in line. Jeweled studs decorated their noses, black lines wisped from the corners of their eyes. He bowed his head in acknowledgement. Takeo could keep his divas, Jaxen had altogether more specific tastes.

He smirked and called to the light. It shuddered his bones when it engulfed him, like being thrown into a furnace, he had to wield it or he'd burn alive.

A gust of breeze unnaturally ruffled the foremost girl's skirt, and a sly smile quirked a corner of his mouth.

Edited by Jaxen Marveet, Jun 12 2014, 08:16 PM.
"So?" said Loki impatiently.  "This isn't the first time the world has come to an end, and it won't be the last either."
Jaxen +
Loki +
+ Jole +
Rune twiddled her thumbs where she leaned against a wall. She was at least a good half-block down the street from Manifesto's grand lights, having been skat away by the bouncers at the door when she tried to stand in line. In the end, she was glad for the banishment to the shadows. She could gauge a much better line of sight for the comings and goings than she could otherwise surrounded by girls in much higher heels.

Technically she was in boots, but they weren't heeled. They were shiny, though, and stretched up above her knees where they fit snug around the muscles of her thigh. About that time, a pair of girls in snug dresses and ridiculously spiked high heels sauntered by. The blonde looked over at Rune standing so quiet, startled by her quiet presence. The woman looked Rune up and down, from shiny boots to slashed tights to studded belt, to charcoal and red shirt. Rune winked a colorfully painted eye at the girl and flipped her redhot bangs out of her eyes with one casual swipe of her middle finger.

The blonde gasped but her friend pulled her away. They were clearly not used to being treated by anyone that wasn't worshipping them. She smiled at herself in their absence.

Suddenly she got a beep on her Wallet, which she pulled out of her back pocket. Her hand brushed the holster of her sidearm hidden safely away as she did.

It was Uncle Seth. The team was giving her the alert.

Godling Marveet was sucking fresh air.

Not for much longer. She twirled the Wallet back in her pocket and took off walking.

She rounded the corner and thanks to a techy present from the Atharim team, she disappeared inside a parking garage about the same time as a Valet from Manifesto.

He looked over the top of a sleek black and green car and she flashed him a smile. "This is Mister Marveet's car?"

The valet looked her up and down, but caught himself. "How'd you get in here? You should leave."

One throw-away tranq gunshot later and he was crumpled on the ground. Rune knelt and plucked the dart from his neck to whip it at a nearby drain. She flipped the bird toward the corner of the garage where she assumed security cameras were watching, until a familiar voice filled her ear. "Classy, Rune. You remember how to drive a stick?"

Rune flicked her gaze at a hidden camera, Uncle Seth laughed in her ear. The atharim team had hacked into the security system at the garage to buy her a few minutes of coverage. Uncle Seth had been so jealous she was the one to drive his car to the curb. Then again, he wasn't too interested in being the one to seduce a bratty godling.

Rune blinked at the complicated dashboard, and soon enough, toggled the car into gear. After a brief moment to get the feel of it, she was pulling into traffic and up to the curb. Where she hopped the dash and into the passenger seat.
The purr of the Agera drew his gaze quite readily away from the line of women vying for his attention. They knew who he was, he bet iwth himself, having snapped his picture and done an image search. By then, each and every plaything in sight probably knew more about his family history than he ever cared to know. He couldn't fault them trying for his attention, and not just because of his dashing good looks, because everyone wants another connection to someone with power. Jaxen Marveet, the darling playboy son of the touted next Privilege of DI - Scion Marveet - who could blame them? Really? Besides, it was an angle he'd play if their roles were reversed. There were enough cougars, pumas, and rhinos in the world to share.

But the Agera purred so much more beautifully and dangerous than any cougar. The car hummed, and Jaxen felt his mouth suddenly salivate over it. The slick green lines glowed like sickly ghosts in the fog streaking down the sides. The black was was blacker than the empty void that filled the space between the stars. The engine, benign now, was a powerhouse just waiting to be coaxed into striking action.

Jaxen stifled the boyish grin down to something more appropriate to his age - barely - and approached the door to swap positions with the valet.

But nothing happened.

He frowned and cast a worried look side to side. Kill me you bastards, but spare the car!

He met the eye of the other valet, who seemed to catch on to the problem. But a pair of drunk assholes tossed out to the curb broke their line of sight. The two started in on each other, which made guards descend. Jaxen sneered and hopped out of their way lest the carnage splatter on his perfectly beautiful blue cashmere overcoat. He smoothed the sides and opened the car door.

Driver's seat was empty. Two security guards were breaking up the fight. Reporters were swarming around to capture the moment. Batons came out.

Jaxen slid into the car, ready to throw it into second and get the hell out of there. He pulled the door shut behind him, and all sounds of the exterior world were suddenly muffled to a distant white noise.

But a flash of sculpted thigh caught his eye. His gaze followed the leg on up to a delightfully styled young woman with the flashest hair he believed he'd ever had the pleasure of seeing.

he murmured, toggled the car into gear and put on the gas.

Together, he and his new friend rocketed out of there. "The valets at Manifesto are more attractive than I remember.
" He glanced at her reflection in the windshield. "You clearly know who I am. So let's hear your name."

The car shifted beautifully into higher gear, begging Jaxen to whip around the open road circling the Kremlin walls.
"So?" said Loki impatiently.  "This isn't the first time the world has come to an end, and it won't be the last either."
Jaxen +
Loki +
+ Jole +

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