Night Life In New York

August 01, 2016:

There are rumors that those allergic to the sun are on the rise … Pepper finds herself in a rather odd Jazz/Goth club and Tai comes looking for … information. (Emits by Zatanna)

Midtown Manhattan - New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Things are stirring across the tri-cities. Things with fangs and an allergy to the sun. Certainly Vampires aren't unheard of in this day and age but, until recently, they mostly keep to the shadows and a low profile. Something has changed though and their presence is being felt more keenly.

Reports of exsanguinated bodies being found would be the first indication, although those who follow such things will know the police are putting that down to some entrepreneur making money from selling blood or the like. After all, it's not wholesale slaughter - just the odd body here and there. Perhaps the authorities are in denial too, they might live in a world where the fantastical is possible but … believing it first up? Probably not.

There's a club in Midtown Manhattan that is popular 'haunt' for those with sensitive skin. A place to meet and network and generally be social. All so very civilised … really. It's not exclusively these type of folks that frequent it though. Tonight, is a fairly normal night. Tables are filling slowly. A nice jazz band plays in the corner and there's a soft buzz of conversation around the room.

A certain Dhampir may have heard of this place and think that it's worthwhile checking out.

This is not at all something that Pepper does frequently, but some days just demand jazz. And not just any jazz, LIVE jazz. Because it's not just about the music, it's the entire atmosphere that's required. And thus, Pepper's here, dressed in a more casual version of her work attire — the pencil skirt and a blouse, but no jacket and no killer heels — sitting at a table and enjoying the music along with a long island iced tea. THat she plans to drink less than half of. Because she's knows exactly what's in it.

The Amaranth hadn't expected New York or it's neighboring cities to be vampire free and while she's still adjusting to life in America and the differences from overseas, this kind of visible activity is unusal. She's been tracking and slaying vampires her entire life. It's what she was raised to do. Her kind are very very rare, she's never met another but they excel at hunting true vampires. No matter where she goes, she'll end up at it one way or another. They hunt her as she does them.
This club sounds like a possibly so tonight the heiress is dressed richly as her socialite persona demands. A deep, blood red silk dress that clings to her curves and hangs just above her knees. Strapless and backless it seems to defy gravity but she also wears a matching sheer shawl. She'd come before the place opened and tucked her sword somewhere unseen, just in case. The dark haired woman is currently leaning against the bar and sipping a clear drink from a small glass. Diamonds and amber colored gems adorn her ears and neck. The amber matches her golden eyes. She does wear killer heels, also the same shade of red. All a deliberate choice.

To Peppers trained eye many of the inhabitants of the club could do with a good meal and a steady course of Vitamin D - administered externally. The man sitting at the table next to her, keep shooting her looks. Of course, he recognises her - who wouldn't? The CEO of Stark Industries.

He's dressed impecibly - a nice button up shirt, the top few buttons left artfully undone, tailored pants and lovely hair style. He should be turning a few heads. "Can I buy you drink when that one is done?" he asks in a mellifluous tone.

For Tai, the club is a smorgasboard. To her trained eye about half of the patrons would be afraid of the light, the other half … 'mundanes'. The one speaking to the redheaded CEO might be of interest, if she can tell, he's … old. Which is bad.

Pepper offers the man a polite but neutral smile. The kind of smile she'd use in business meetings. "Thank you, but no." She's not here to get picked, after all. She's here to enjoy the music. Though, as she casually glances about, the clientele seems far more … goth than she would have expected for a jazz venue.

Tajanna has been learning who's who around the Tri-Cities. She also recognizes Pepper Potts. "Oh shit." The dhampir murmurs into her glass. She's not really drinking but rather blending in. It's the emotions in the room that she's sipping, in a place like this, it's intoxicating. There's a lovely and perfect target and not just for feeding. If they can turn her, and vampires are rarely stupid.. it'd give someone a lot of power and influence. The man also draws her eyes. At times they seem to gleam in the lower light by the bar. Warm smoky quartz lit with amber.
The dhampir looks human, like a young model or the heiress she is and likely draws some attention of her own. The only strange thing one might notice about her is she doesn't meet anyone's eyes but that could just be shyness. Her expression remains mild as she considers the situation. The lesser vamps in the room don't worry her. She can handle that asleep. The old one though, and the risk to the mundanes if she has to go for her sword does give Tai pause. She's not afraid, it's not in her personality to fear a thing but she is concerned. Human lives matter to her.

Tai's progress through the club doesn't go unnoticed, heads turning to mark her progress, conversation lulling as she passes.

"Are you sure?" The 'gentleman' asks Pepper, his voice low and to many, enticing. Pepper might find it hard to resist and she might also feel some form of compulsion to look at the man.

As Tai draws near, his eyes flick towards her "Another lovely lady. May I buy you a drink as well?" Seems he's assumed to the two are together.

Sadly, Pepper has had people try to pour on the charm before, though they are typically FAR less convincing than this man. She's just about to look at him when he mentions another lady's presence, and she looks up at Tai instead.

Her smile hello to the woman in red could easily be construed as one friend greeting another, and Pepper isn't about to disabuse the man of that notion. Safety in numbers, though it's been literally decades since she last felt the need to have a pub buddy along for safety's sake.

Tajanna sighs. This is a problem. She had really not expected to strike gold at this place. Finding the bastards is rarely this easy. Her vampire hunting persona is a secret and she's really here as a socialite. Her sword is hidden nearby but it was just in case. She wont risk going for it unless she has to. An heiress cutting down people in a club would be bad, even if the bodies turned to ash and she doesn't photograph well.
Smiling, Tajanna takes her drink and sits next to Pepper. The dhampir is ever glad that lesser vamps and even the older ones often don't recognize her so long as she feigns humanness like this. If she meets his eyes, she's screwed. "Why not? The night is young, after all." She nods at Pepper, returning the greeting as if she knows the woman.
The single advantage she has a very thin wooden stake tapped to the inside of her thight. Damned uncomfortable if she moves the wrong way, a total risk if it pokes her and draws blood. That will also give her away. She's practiced at this though.

The mans smile widens as Tai accepts and both women feel the compulsion to look at him and meet his eyes. "That's the ticket. See your friend doesn't mind." He says to Pepper.

"My name is Giovani, may I have the pleasure of your names?" He's slick. This is practiced. Even his voice is a weapon - Tai will recognise that.

The music swells a little and from an alcove near the back there's a scuffle. Looking over, Giovani sighs deeply. "One moment, ladies … I will be back." he says as he pushes his chair back, stands and bows slightly, before turning on a heel and heading in that direction.

If they watch, Pepper and Tai will see him grab a young woman who looks weak and hustle out towards a back entrance.

If they follow …

Pepper forces herself to not frown at the compulsion to look at the man, because something feels off about it and she can't really determine what. She's about to give her stock excuse for not drinking — she's the designated driver — but the man abruptly steps away. And now she's got her brows furrowed. "What was that all about?" she asks idly as the man rather forcibly ushers a woman out of the club.

Tai's mind is shielded. She's had two centuries to learn how to block and filter emotions she doesn't want to feel or 'hear'. She's as adept at keeping others out of her mind as she is at overwhelming theirs. It's a rare ability for a human but some do have a natural talent for shielding. She's aware that some magical creatures do as well and that while her scent would be different to a vamp than a human, dhampir are rare and so it's often taken as something else. She is not one of the undead in any sense.
This guy is sounding more dangerous by the second. "Oh thank you, God." Tajanna murmurs fervently as the vampire heads outside. "It'll be much easier out there." Realizing how that must sound to Pepper, especially after watching him drag a young lady outside, Taj blushes. "Sorry. I do not mean that how it sounds Ms. Potts but that was a vampire. An old one too. I need to move quickly if I am to save the girl. I'd suggest you make a hasty exit from this place." Tajanna rises heads towards the alley, grabbing a long thin object from a tall leafy plant nearby. She's not moving with blurring speed just fast, Pepper might realized its a sheathed sword. She knows better than to try to enforce the suggest with her empathy. A woman like Pepper Potts will is not weakminded or willed. Tai knows that even without having just seen her resist.

Giovani ushers the girl out a back entrance, followed by a cowed and sheepish looking young woman. Yes, another vampire but Tai can likely sense, very, very young. Not newly turned but … close to it with all the control issues that go along with that.

The exit leads to an alley. Dumpsters line the walls of the buildings and the vicinity is empty of people. Not even hobo's or vagrants are present. "What on earth were you thinking, Violette…" Giovani snarls as the cute brunette exits behind him. "Look her. You've drugged her with your compulsion, in front of the clubs clientele. We must be careful."

"I … I … " the brunette stammer failing to answer the question.

The cool, suave playboy from just minutes ago is being stripped away - Giovani's eyes glow preternaturally, his features become drawn and there's a hint of fangs as he talks.

Pepper spends all of five seconds after Tajanna chases after the man trying to decide if it would be stupid or not to follow them. She decides it would be stupid. Leaving a single (large) bill mostly hidden under her glass, she shoulders her bag and leaves out the front door of the building, trying to hail a taxi to get home.

Suddenly this soothing little jazz club seems to be anything but.

Tajanna pauses at the door to listen and rolls her eyes. Oh yeah, he was real careful and smooth trying catch Ms Potts back there. She draws her sword intending to rush out and slice the younger vamp's head from her shoulders before she can turn around. Tai is that fast and that strong. A young vamp isn't a threat and she won't hesitate, slow or feel sorry for putting her down. Vampires are not human, they're undead and soulless. Monsters they prey and feed on humanity, existing only for that and their own selfish whims and desires.
Once the girl is out of the way Tai can focus on the elder and seperating him from the human. It's gonna be an actual fight then, and not nearly so easy. She loves it when that happens. It's a challenge with a real possibility of danger and injury for herself. He might hurt her badly, might escape even but isn't likely to manage killing her. She's immortal as well, and with none of his weaknesses. This is what she lives for, what she was born for and as she bursts out of the door a wild, gleeful battlecry sounds from her lips. Pepper just might hear its echo as she exits.

The vampiress is young, but not so young that she doesn't sense danger. She doesn't turn but tucks and rolls instead. Tai's sword whistling past where her neck just was. Rolling to her knees, she turns slowly to see the Dhampir close on the Elder and swing the girl away … the girl who has just enough presence of mind to hide between dumpsters and let Tai fight.

"Nooooo…" the young brunette howls and launches herself at Tai, fingernails that resemble talons trying to rake her face.

The Elder, who is taken by surprise for just the moment, stumbles backwards looking shocked before a feral grin splits his face. "Oh. Delicious. I'm going to enjoy you and then the girl… But after. Come now, Cecilia show what you've learned." Yeah, he's sacrificing the young vampire for himself.

Tajanna is unsurprised by either thing. Vampires are usually pretty predictable. She kicks a leg up to grab one of her heels before landing on the bare foot and doing the same with the other. Snagging one from the air, the heel itself a hard wooden stake, (they never last long but come in handy) and thrusts it at the girl's chest when she closes in to go for her face.
The dhampir's cheeks are flushed with color and excitement and her lips form a wild grin. "You can't handle me you old bastard. I'm used to someone with much more… mmm, everything." Tai taunts as she thrusts her sword towards his neck. Of course it's been dipped in holy oil. She does so wish her partner were here. He'd love this.

Poor Cecilia. As she closes, Tai's wooden stiletto finds its mark and buries itself deep within the young womans chest cavity. There's a groan of pain that grows to shriek and the woman disintegrates, leaving behind a gooey mass of … yeah, best not to think about it.

As Tai swings her swords she'll find it met by … smoke and the Elder appearing right behind her, a clawed hand closing over her shoulder. "As I said, my dear… delicious. Now let me taste…" his fetid breath brushes her ear as it lowers to her throat.

Tajanna laughs as she hikes her dress hem up and grabs the wooden stake with her free hand. The sword in the other stabs downward at the vamp's foot. She doesn't need to attempt to force her way free, it doesn't cross her mind. Instead she does the opposite as she palms the wood sliver. She goes limp and falls backward heavily, putting strength into it while throwing the back of her head into the vampire's nose. A twist of her arm, a flick of the wrist and hopefully she'll manage to stake him. If not, she's gonna be a be a little bitten but well, that happens. She'll have to fight harder and then drink again tonight later.

Blood blossoms from the Elders nose as Tai headbutts and cruel fangs graze her neck, drawing blood. The Elder groans and as Tai falls back … she finds herself on her ass. The Elder gone to smoke and not reappearing.

From behind the dumpster there's a whimper of distress.

"Oh Benji will be pissed. I just bought this dress." Tai sighs. Her buttler doesn't look on her profession or nightly escapades even remotely the same as she does herself. The socialite sheathes her sword and gets to her feet. She doesn't bother with the heels and heads toward the dumpster.
"Heyla sweetie. It's okay. I'm not one of them." Tai is carefull to keep her fangs hidden. If she can catch the girl's eyes and entrance her, the dhampir can calm the poor girl's fear and convince her take a few sips of Tai's own blood. This is not a thing she usually does but it will help the girl's healing and blood replenishing and just the once won't cause any harm. Then she can send the poor kid on, hopefully back to their Mama. Vampires are not the sexy things the movies and books make them out to be and these kids all end up learning it too late most of the time.

There are many TV shows, movies and books that can blamed for the romanticising of Vampires. Or perhaps their hunters.

Tai is able to catch the young womans eyes and entrance her. What she does from there … well that's up to her.

Of the one thing that Tai knows for certain - the Elder likely knows what she is and Pepper has been marked in some way.

Tai sighs softly. She gives the girl enough of her blood to not be in danger and recover a bit faster and eases away the memories of vampires. She also instills a healthy fear of them. Maybe the kid will have a chance now. As for Pepper, the dhampir is going to need to think on that and perhaps visit the woman. The Elder doesn't worry her. They do realize what she is from time to time. It's her burden to bear. Her two weaknesses are that she's ever hunted by true vamps and she holds a high regard for human that they can't even imagine. "Alright kid, head home. Be careful" Tai scales the wall to the roof and disappears into the night.

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