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Ciudad de Pestilence
“Sir, do you have a moment?”

Yulian’s appointed chief ‘ambassadorial escort’ halted him with a firm grip on his shoulder. Two of the twenty escorts in Custody civilian-grade Reinforced Combat Suits confronted him while the others fanned out in a loose formation. They eyed the armed group awaiting them at the end of the deserted hallway with hostility.

Damien stifled his irritation and kept his posture relaxed. He almost regretted allowing Yulian to convince him to bring the man with him. Not yet out of Benito Juárez International and Chief Spatzinov had thrice attempted to usurp his authority under the pretence of ‘anomalous behavioural activity’. “Of course, Chief. What advice do you have for me?”

Spatzinov frowned at his choice of words. Damien met his glare with indifference prompting the spiteful man to answer. “What is this, Oakland? Yulian sent me here to negotiate a contract with businessmen, not armed savages.”

“Yulian sent you to escort me, Spatzinov,”
he said in a firm tone. “You will obey my order unless Yulian sends word to the contrary. Let us proceed.”

Spatzinov’s grip did not lessen. “Those men are armed to the teeth with assault rifles and explosives! I expected a welcoming party, not a military squadron.”

Damien removed the man’s hand from his shoulder and held it in a tight grasp. “We are no longer in the Custody. This is Mexico, and the cartels hold the government by the throat. You should be honoured that Gamez Estande has offered us such protection. It is rare to find a man outside of the cartels with the power or nerve to do such a thing. A man that is exactly what Yulian is looking for.”

Left with no other choice, Spatzinov followed when Damien made for the greeting party at a sedate pace. In his deftly designed suit of deep maroon and Monastral blue he cut a striking figure in contrast to the drab timbres of professional guards. His approach was met with suspicious eyes and nervous fingers drifting towards triggers. Damien spread his arms wide and gave the sour looking Mexicans a smile. “Hola, my friends, I trust Gamez is well?”

“Hola, Mr. Oakland,”

the foremost among them returned in a feminine voice. It was hard to tell with her shaved head and perpetual scowl that Rosita Estande was a woman but life had given her a hard road to follow as heir to Estande’s company and estate. “All is well, although it seems your pets grow weary of their chains.”
She pointed her rifle towards his escort with in a casual motion.

Damien held up a hand to prevent any mishaps. He could feel Spatzinov’s glare boring into the back of his skull. “These men represent Yulian’s interests, Rosita. They have left family and home to honour this agreement with your father. You will treat them with respect.”

Rosita met his eyes and her soldiers shuffled irritably but she did nothing but grunt and gesture them forward. “Let’s go then, Mr. Oakland. We shall see what my father has to say. Tides turn easily in Mexico City, do not count on goodwill to sustain you.”

Mexico City; a city hardened by an unseen civil war. Damien could sense the rotting pestilence that scourged the land. Of instinct, he gripped the Light with impatience, only to let it simmer on the edge of euphoria. There was no other choice but to endure. For now.

The Estande estate dominated the slums below. The mere presence of clear water and green grass set it beyond any heights its distant neighbours could ever hope to achieve. The lonely bastion of paradise was overrun with armed men and women looking down upon the infested city with distrust and disdain.

“What happened here?”
Damien asked in a whisper. The sight of the sprawling metropolis in decay was unsettling. His memories of the city were vague at best but this was beyond what he had imagined from Gamez’s descriptions.

The man himself sat adjacent to Damien. In a wafer thin hand he held a glass of red wine. His dark skin was as hard and creased as leather adding at least a decade to his 53 years of life. Gamez Estande did not look down at the city. Brown eyes full of pain were reserved for Damien only. “I ask myself the same question every day,”
he said with a forlorn sigh. “Corruption, crime, poverty, disaster. It seems God has seen fit to punish my dear Mexico for its sins.”

“Why ask for my help then? I am a murderer and fugitive.”

Gamez chuckled softly and sipped at his wine. “As most of us here are, Damien. I know all about your past, who you are, where you came from.” A slight pause. “What you did that day.”

Damien raised an eyebrow. “That day? It has been almost a decade. I am surprised you found anything noteworthy.”

“So was I. I did not think I would see something so similar. You know, I had a son. You remind me of him.”

“Ah, I see. My condolences, Gamez. Yet, you still haven’t answered my question.”
Damien had since learned of the epidemic that had swept the world and the gifts it had granted to those who overcame it. A curious mystery but one he had no desire to unravel, particularly not when Mexico City in all of its glory spanned as far as he could see.

Gamez sighed, looking tired. “Because I am a weak man, Damien. I cannot bear the thought of Rosita living like this for her entire life. She was such a sweet child with a smile as beautiful as the morning sun. I would do anything to see her smile again.”

Damien understood the desire. He had felt it for eight years. This man’s pain had lasted far longer. “Why not seek the Ascendancy? He has power beyond what I can offer.”

“The Custody is content to watch and wait. They care nothing for our people, but you understand. You have felt the pain of injustice. You have achieved the impossible. It is a risk, but I am a desperate man.”

Damien’s nod was decisive. The most crucial piece had fallen into place and there was no turning back. “Very well, it shall be done.”

The proceeding week was filled with a tense lull like a gathering storm. The streets of Mexico City were silent and those who ventured onto the open roads did so quickly and quietly.

Damien had informed Yulian of the successful trade agreement with the Estande family. The man was ecstatic – as well he should be. The Russian mogul would reap billions of dollars in profit from this, and much more if Damien succeeded in his own work.

Presently, Gamez was meeting with the governing body of Mexico, while Damien waited outside in the halls with Rosita and a select guard that included Spatzinov and half a dozen of his best men. Through the thick steel doors, Damien could hear only a fraction of the conversation with his heightened sense of hearing but the tone was as Gamez had expected. The Mexican government ruled in name only. The president dared not make a move out of fear.

“This is pointless,”
Rosita declared in a flat tone, her perpetual scowl deeper than usual.

Damien smiled, imagining a bright young girl running through the Estande estate laughing.You should have more faith in your father, he is not an idiot.”

Rosita snorted. “That is debatable.”

Damien did not reply as voices grew louder and footsteps approached the steel doors. Moments later, Gamez, his face worn and exhausted poked his head into the hall. “They wish for something more,”
he said in a dejected voice, looking at Damien with pleading eyes.

Damien stood with his back straight and steady. “Then they shall have it.”
He smiled at Gamez before making his way into the chamber and whispered under his breath. “They will see reason, friend.”

When he entered, he closed the doors with a firm hand which resounded throughout the room. He did not want Gamez to witness this. Now, it was his turn to move. It had been a long time coming, but he would not let the opportunity pass him by. The United States loomed over its southern borders as a black shadow of false salvation and if no-one acted, Mexico would be consumed by the greed of the north.

His smile was pleasant as he strode into the office. It was a simple room with the bare essentials which befitted the state the government was in. Disgust rose like bile in the back of his throat as he eyed the five ministers sat facing him behind a long table propped up by three stairs. It was a poor attempt at domination ruined further by the meek stance the five displayed. The President himself – a stork of a man in a well cut suit – managed a semblance of dignity but nothing could hide his fear.

“So you are the meddler Gamez has fooled?”
the President broke the silence with scorn filled words.

“If you wish to see it that way,”
Damien replied in an indifferent tone. “Myself, I prefer to think that Gamez Estande’s hand has been forced through no fault of his own.”

The President’s hands slammed down on the table sending echoes through the room. His ministers looked shocked. “I am sick of this nonsense! Gamez has said his piece; I will not stand for a foreigner insulting Mexico’s pride!”
The man’s face was flushed red and a bead of sweat trickled down his forehead.

Damien’s face grew dark. The man had made a poor decision which he would soon come to regret. Filled with the Light, he wrapped a flow of Wind around the table and flung it towards the wall. Shouts and the clattering of metal erupted in the chamber; calls for security fell on deaf ears. Rosita and Spatzinov had their orders.

Damien traced a slow path towards the President allowing the events that had unfolded and the ferocity of his gaze to penetrate the man’s heart. When he stood face to face, the President sunk down into his chair. “You are an insult to Mexico and her people,”
Damien began in a low voice which gained passion as he spoke. “You have abandoned your people to the will of the cartels. Mexico City is a ruin, and you have the nerve to demand respect?”

“Do you think we want it this way?”
one of his ministers spluttered indignant. “We can do nothing!”

“You can and you will. You hide behind red tape and out-dated law. Once, perhaps, you had the luxury, but the world has changed. The United States cannot help you now, corruption and greed has blinded their eyes, and the Custody cares nothing for your petty squabbling. Do not think for a moment they will save you when the cartels break down your doors and slaughter your families.”

“We cannot fight them! They are too powerful!”
another minister cried.

“Which is why I am here, to aid you.”

“One man will not make a difference,”
the President said with a furious glare. “You are a murderer and escaped convict, no matter what little tricks you have, that is all you will be.”

Mexico must free itself; I am only here to help. I bring aid, why refuse it?”

The President laughed. “The people are broken, Mexico will never be free.”

Images of his trial and the smug faces of the Senators filtered through his mind. San Quentin, beatings, killings, rape. All went unnoticed and ignored. This time was different though. This time he had power and he would rip apart any who stood against him.

Damien stared at the man a moment before wrapping chords of Wind around his throat and lifting him into the air. “Hear me, coward. You. Will. Fight.”

The fires had been burning in Mexico City for three days and its citizens greeted the sight with joy. Damien stood at the head of a growing crowd of restless souls. Spatzinov stood to his right and Rosita his left with an armed escort of nearly two hundred. The Zócalo was abuzz with mutterings of anger and fear as they watched the main branch of the Nacional Monte de Piedad burn in the north-west corner of the plaza.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?”
Spatzinov said surveying the masses with a critical eye. Yulian had given Gamez his twenty guards as a proof of his commitment to their arrangement and now they served Damien in truth but habits died hard and he doubted Spatzinov would stop complaining any time soon. Nonetheless, he obeyed when necessary; the rest would come in time.

“It is a bit too late for Oakland to back out now, no?”
Rosita added with a wry grin which broadened at the Custody man’s glare.

Damien endured their colorful conversations with a faint smile while he assessed the blazing building. The damage was mostly superficial according to their intelligence but Damien did not trust to chance and wanted to view it for himself before they proceeded.

Finally satisfied, he turned to the people full of the Light. The Zócalo was filled with the deep bass of a pounded drum, formed from a curious combination of the Light Damien had discovered in his time at San Quentin. Sound and light had been among the first of his experimentations; simple combinations which had then led him to delve into more complex and deadly patterns of the Light.

It took only one resounding beat to hush the crowd into confused silence. All attention turned to him, dressed in a luxurious coat of blue and black cut to draw the eye. He looked out into the red sky of dusk and found a desperate people begging for release. Forming another pattern similar to the last, Damien spoke and his amplified voice echoed throughout the Zócalo.

“Good citizens of Mexico City, I beg but a moment of your time. I am not a native to this land, but I love your home like a brother. Once, the people of Mexico saved my life. Today, I return to repay its people in kind.”

Damien’s tone turned a shade darker with a mournful cast. “For there is a tumour in the heart of Mexico and each of you that have joined me here has already taken the first courageous step. A step for justice and freedom. A step to cut away the cancer that is strangling the lifeblood of this nation.”

Angry and confused murmurs began to break out amongst the crowd. Some shouted their scepticism others their doubt and fear at the words of a foreigner. Damien spoke over them, his tone demanding their silence and attention. “I know the fear of hopelessness, I share your pain. Sentenced to die for an accident! To sate the pride of corrupt officials! Yet I stand before you now in defiance of injustice.”

“The great nations of the world have forgotten their humanity. They will not save you. The United States has fallen to vain ambition and abandons its own people for the sake of regaining lost power. Justice has died within the heart of the Eagle, they would only use you as a pawn to sacrifice in their petty squabbles with the Custody!”

“Nikolai Brandon cares nothing for Mexico or its plight. The Custody has brought stability to many nations, it is true. Yet I see no army to protect the Mexican people. I see no aid forthcoming. No, Mexico must save itself, just as I have done. I will bear the same burdens as you, willingly, but I cannot save you alone.”

“Watch out, Oakland,”
Rosita whispered from behind, but Damien held out a hand. He had spotted the commotion that rippled through the crowd. A man pushed his way through to the front wielding a pistol.

“You do not belong here, foreigner! Don’t listen to this man’s lies! He will lead you all to your deaths!”

The fool should have shot him while he had the chance. Damien struck the pistol with a pattern that melted the metal in the cartel assassin’s hands. He then lifted him in the air with invisible ropes for all to see. “Behold the cancer that has grown here! They would seek to silence me in their fear and greed, but I will not allow the Mexican people to be silenced.”

Damien spun the man who now wept with bulging eyes towards the burning building. With another pattern, this time much stronger, he drew the flames from the scorched structure. With a grunt and a clenched fist, Damien drew the fire upwards in a spiral that spun in the air leaving the building burnt but not destroyed. Black flecks crossed his vision and he steadied himself with a hand grasping Rosita’s shoulder.

“Tell your masters and their cronies what you have witnessed here, assassin,”
Damien addressed the floating man and the crowd which marvelled at the spinning fire above their heads. In truth, the fire was small, but it loomed larger than life as it defied reason. “Tell them Mexico will no longer be a slave to greed.”

He wished to say more, but his strength was failing. Releasing the assassin who ran as if the devil nipped at his heels, Damien sagged. The fire above winked out and after a time of stunned silence the Zócalo erupted with cheers.
Edited by Damien, Jun 21 2014, 03:27 PM.
Since Damien’s announcement the cartels had escalated their offensive against his forces. Those numbers had risen exponentially, although his newly risen army comprised of patriotic citizens with almost no combat experience. Nonetheless, they were not useless. Most had experience with some kind of firearm, ironically used in most cases to protect family from the turbulent and unpredictable whims of the street gangs.

Damien had supplemented their inexperience by organizing them into squads led by Gamez and his supporters’ professional guards. They were called ‘guards’ but in truth they were hardened warriors with the structural discipline of mercenary soldiers just short of the Custody regulars.

This night, just as he had done so for the past four nights, Damien walked the streets of Mexico City with an escort of fifty. Yulian’s compliment of twenty was confined to the Estande manor as representatives on Damien’s orders. He wished to distance the Custody’s involvement as much as possible. It had to be the people who acquired victory. The people with Damien at their head.

Against her father’s wishes Rosita led the raiding party as she did every time Damien joined them. The night was pleasant if one could ignore the occasional sound of gunfire or explosion. The sounds were distant but the fact brought them no comfort. Tonight, they braved the heart of cartel territory.

The way fifty fully armed men and women moved were unnaturally silent. Damien had created a bubble of what he could only describe as sound negation. The area was limited but enough for his purpose tonight.

“Everyone is ready. We await your word.”

Rosita still spoke in a hushed voice despite it being unnecessary and Damien smiled. She would have made a perfect soldier in another world. As soon as Damien had shown his mettle the woman had dedicated herself to the cause and had become one of his most fervent allies.

Clad in a coat of deep red and gold, Damien held himself with confidence to combat the fear he saw in the eyes of his revolutionaries. “Begin the operation, and remember,”
he caught Rosita by the arm as she turned to direct the raiding squad. “I want Guitterez unharmed.”

Damien waited in silent contemplation with five guards remaining by his side, nervously fiddling with their rifles. Everything had been proceeding smoothly. The Custody showed no interest in intervention and the standing government had successfully diverted the United States’ attention, not that Congress showed any interest in anything but their obsession with the Custody.

His attention was drawn to the precise short bursts of gunfire close by. “And now it is our turn.”

Damien’s advance was for all intents casual while his guard flanked him with growing nerves. Gunfire continued to pierce the night’s quiet but only for moments at a time with no lasting conflict. On the outside, Damien looked like a wealthy man taking a midnight stroll but the Light burned bright within him and at a moment’s notice he could reduce a block of the nearby hovels to cinders if he wished.

They met no resistance in their brief travel, no shots penetrating the dark and his approach was unnoticed. Upon arrival at Guitterez’s stronghold, he greeted the four heavily armed men who stood alert with a grave smile. Four automatic rifles were aimed at his heart. Damien stopped short and waved his own guard to lower their weapons. “Evening, gentlemen,”
was his greeting, although it was far from pleasant. “Put down your weapons and you will be spared. Nobody will be coming to your aid, me and mine have taken care of that.”

One handsome man in his prime shook the other three out of their stunned stupor. “Ignore the bastard. Kill them all.”

Unfortunately, it was already too late. Damien traced eight patterns of coiling Wind, four to disarm the enemy and another four to immobilize them. The handsome man’s confidence drained from his stiff body. “Kill them,”
was Damien’s command as he took the ID card from one of the paralysed men’s pocket.

Four lone shots rang through the night and Damien proceeded into one of the four most powerful cartel leaders, Perrado Guitterez’s sanctuary.
Blood was ripe in the dank air of the cartel hideout. With his enhanced senses Damien could tell that there were either an abundance of corpses or his revolutionaries had taken liberties in destroying the dead or dying.

His frown encompassed the darkness as wholly disapproving. With the Light he created a pattern mimicking that of a light bulb. When he had first created it, it had been used as a source of light to read after lights-out. This globe did not stand still above his head. It zipped through the hallway entrance into the open chamber in case any of Guitterez’s cronies were yet among the living.

Nothing lived or even moved. Three of his guard quickly ran ahead of him while two ghosted his footsteps that echoed in the night. Damien surveyed the night’s work. A dozen bodies littered the hall and chamber. Blood ran thick along the walls and floor, so much so in some cases the bodies were nigh on unrecognizable.

The air was tense with nerves around Damien as he approached the ball of light in the centre of the room. For a moment he stood, staring with an unblinking gaze at the death that had been dealt here.

“Sir... Lady Estande is waiting...”
a small came from one of his nervous guard’s.

Damien turned to face the closed door on his right. Two revolutionaries stood waiting and light exuded from the room beyond. They shifted on their feet and did not meet his eye when he reached them. “What happened here tonight will never be repeated.”

Even his own five who had taken no part in the slaughter wilted at the hard words. “I understand your anger, more than you could know. However, we are not savages. We are better than them. If this happens again, you will face my punishment.”

The two men nodded quickly and opened the door as Damien signalled.

Inside Guitterez’s blemished face was battered and bruised. Rosita sat straight backed on the lavish bed while Guitterez was forced to his knees, his hands behind his head with four rifles jammed against his body. The distain and revulsion in the eyes of the revolutionaries was tangible and Damien feared one of them would kill his prisoner at any moment.

“You are dismissed,”
he addressed them in a calm voice. They hesitated only for a moment before complying. Rosita did not move as the door was closed behind them leaving the three of them alone. Guitterez seemed to be weeping.

Damien commanded.

Soft teardrops were the only response he received from the cartel leader.

“Come now, Guitterez,”

he continued with soft steel. “You know how this works. How many times have you stood in my place?”


Damien’s gaze hardened. “Stand,”
he commanded a second time. The Light flowed through him in torrents as he jerked the feeble man to his feet with Wind. Guitterez slumped and Damien had to hold him. Rosita seemed amused. “You know what I am here. You only have yourself to blame, wretched man. Do you have nothing to say? Has the voice which commanded the deaths of thousands lost its courage?”

Guitterez whimpered as blood dripped down his chin slumped against his chest.

Damien took a step forward and Rosita made to move but restrained herself. Damien cupped the man’s bloody chin in one hand, forcing Guitterez to meet his intent gaze. “Nothing?”

Guitterez locked eyes with Damien for only a second. His eyes squeezed shut, tears mingled with blood. “Then die a coward and a monster,”
he declared.

Damien let the man’s head fall from his hand to the ground after it was sliced with razor sharp Wind.
Guitterez’ name was all over the Mexican news. Dead. The man was dead, and she couldn’t have felt any better about the prospect. He was scum, not the worst of the lot, but scum none the less. As far as she was concerned, Perez was the worst. He was the reason why she had made her way to the Estande estate.

Camila had been part of the crowd when the American had spoken at the Zocalo. At first she’d dismissed him as some young fool, talking for the joy of hearing his voice sway the Mexican crowd; the possibility that he was merely toying with the hopes of the populous crossed her mind, as well as the chance that the man was perhaps a mere puppet of Gamez Estande himself. She hadn’t quite figured out why the man needed the American back then, but there was nothing like results to sway her opinion to a more positive light.

She’d hated the cartels for many years. Not only did her precious Mexico suffered through the cancer that was their existence for far too long, but they had cost Camila her family and her innocence. Now she had nothing but the city, and her hatred.

It hadn’t been difficult to keep tabs on Perez and his gang. Her experiences under his thumb, then later as she tried to make something of herself, had created a sufficiently effective network by which she syphoned information. Not all of the things the idiots told “La Muñeca” had a tendency to lead to anything worthwhile, but a few inquiries here and there always helped bring interesting information to light.

For instance, Perez’ intent on reaching out to the other cartels before leaving the capital was very interesting bit of information to come across. Camila doubted the cartel leaders would approve of the way their goonies kept their secrets, but it served her well. Not all of them were privy to details, but all of them had eyes, and mouths that could recount movements given the incentive of a pretty face and plenty of liquor.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t precisely the sort of situation she was currently dealing with. The guards at the gate refused to let her in the Estande complex. One of them tried to appease her, even flirt a little while apologizing, but the answer still remained no.

Mira, go and tell your boss’ American friend that I need to see him. You don’t want to let me, fine.”
She threw her arms up in the air in obvious annoyance, ten rested a hand on her hip while standing close to the man and pointing a finger at his face. Allá tú, but he would not be happy if I walked away from here with the information I have.”

The men eyed each other, knowing they couldn’t let her in the complex, but eventually one of them sighed and stepped aside in order to call and inform his higher up of what was going on at the door.
Edited by Camila, Jun 30 2014, 08:11 PM.
Guitterez’s death ignited the passions of the people much as he had expected. Word was the cartels reeled at the shocking abruptness of their fellow’s demise. They were now bolstering their defences. Damien was not content. Three others still waited for him, and he would not let them rest until they were in their graves.

“Hey, Mr. Saviour, why the long face?”
Rosita quipped, sat next to her father in a casual dress. Each day Gamez invited Damien to join him for a meal overlooking the city and he demanded his daughter to wear something acceptable. Her scowl remained, but she did have a lighter cast around her father.

Damien looked up from the screen of his pad. Today he wore a rich jacket of blood red. Gamez had spared no expense with Damien’s attire but as always his spending was calculated for their crusade rather than vain pleasure. He sat like a king watching over his kingdom. “Three cartel ambushes,” he replied. “Two hundred dead.”

Rosita pursed her lips. “You expect the patrols to act like seasoned soldiers? This is a bloody business, everyone knew that. Only this time we won’t back down.”

Damien curbed his anger. “They went looking for trouble and paid for it. I will not tolerate wasted lives.”

Rosita laughed. “You will stop our people for fighting for their country? They were fools and fools die quickly in Mexico City, it is the way of things.”

“A way that I will change,”
was Damien’s sharp reply. Gamez looked up from his food with a sympathetic look but Rosita just grunted and waved towards one of Yulian’s men who approached them.

the hardened Russian said in a thick accent. “We have a problem. There is a woman, she wants to see you. Says she has information she wants to give to you. Looks unruly to me, but I thought –“

“You thought well,”
Damien interjected when he saw the fluster in the man’s face. “Yulian trusted you for this, and so you have my trust. I will be careful.”
The Russian’s face lightened and his pale face even split into a rough version of a smile. Rosita gave another grunt at that, standing when Damien moved.

“If you will excuse me,”
he said to Gamez who shooed him with a soft smile.

Damien approached flanked by Rosita and the Custody man. At the gates of the estate stood a cocky Mexican woman with hard eyes. The men seemed uncomfortable. Likely they were embarrassed they had not been able to send her away. Damien gave them encouraging nods, not insincere. They had done the right thing. Damien would see to any potential ally. If it was an enemy? It would be better he faced them now.

As such, he grabbed hold of the Light and traced a pattern of protective Wind like a shell around himself, Rosita and the Custody man. He greeted the woman with a courteous smile. “I am told you have information for me. I am Damien Oakland, I will hear any who wishes to speak.”

Within hours of being released from jail, Dane had returned to his hotel, bathed himself, and checked out. The lawyer, whom Dane still could not remember his name nor cared enough to ask, accompanied him to the airport and saw to it that he was personally placed on a plane out of the CCD.

The only available flight that Dane would allow was a twenty-one hour trip from Moscow to Mexico City by way of London. The lawyer remained at his side like a police escort up until the very moment Dane boarded the connecting flight.

The flight itself was atrocious, even for first class. He attempted to sleep while listening to his own personal music station, but the horrid woman seated against the window next to him kept attempting to talk. She wore a suit skirt and silky blouse, and despite the appearance of a quiet businesswoman, she seemed to suffer under the impression that Dane wanted to hear about every new story to pop up on her Clog. Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Dane could take no more of it and swat her on the side of the head with a fist of Air. Her face slammed into the wall of the plane with a pleasing thud, and Dane covered her with the blanket she had been using. When the flight attendant came by to check, he assured the woman was sleeping soundly and nobody thought the difference. The woman was quiet the rest of the flight. Although she made sure to describe the pounding headache she experienced upon waking. Dane shoved his way as quick as he could off the plane.

He was going to take yet a third flight to a nice beach destination somewhere on the Pacific: he was tired of cold weather and people that wouldn't leave him alone. When a news story suddenly overtook the terminal screens. Chaos in Mexico City erupted again. Two-hundred dead. The face of the long-haired American male held responsible scrolled by. Long-faced, like a giraffe, and ill-kept hair, Dane sneered at every facet of the man, especially his gaudy attire.

Such was when Dane realized two things. One, he was dressed for a Moscow winter and was likely to be quite uncomfortably warm. Two, Mexico City had yet to see real chaos.

He checked his pocket and smiled to himself. His sketchpad and pencil were safe and sound.

Whistling, he hailed a taxicab.

Camila didn’t have to wait too long before the American, flanked by an interesting entourage, made his way to the gate. As they approached, she looked from one of them to the next, assessing what she saw until Oakland spoke. She knew who he was, but she had to admit he seemed a bit taller up close than he had from a distance.

She recognized the woman with him as well. Estande's daughter looked rough around the edges; her shaved head and stern looks clashing with the casual femininity of the dress. For her part, Camila was dressed simply in form fitting jeans, an off white shirt and a light brown jacket, her hair left loose to fall over her shoulders. Her boots gave her a bit of height, but were sensible enough should she ever find herself in need to run.

A corner of her mouth rose as she looked at all present and smirked. “I’m Camila Muñoz, and I do, Mr. Oakland, but it’s not wise to do so out here. Perhaps somewhere more private will be more appropriate?”

One of the guards frowned and looked at her as if she had blatantly threatened Damien, but all he got in response was a cold look. “Tell your hounds not to be scared, I mean you no harm, and in any case I’m quite sure you can take care of yourself. I understand it was you that took care of Guitterez. I know something about a few friends of his you’d like to know.”

Edited by Camila, Jul 4 2014, 06:44 PM.

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