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Chapter One:
Die Versammlung Sturm

In a small German city, nine men and women prepare to meet. Sorcerors, alchemists, excorcists, warriors, and doctors, they gather as the forces of darkness loom around them. The Daemons of Hell, they shades of sinners, and the monsters of Earth act as emmisaries for the Dark One himself. And on the side of good are Sinners, Saints, and those somewhere in between. These motley heroes must gather quickly, or they shall be torn apart.

Characters: All
Length: As long as it needs to be.



The phone-call to Karl had been made. He had met with David. The excorcists had been called. His sister was waiting. They would all be here soon. Except...

[B]"Johannes..."[/B] Wolfgang breathed.

Johannes Mann, the younger of Faustus' two assistants, had been missing. And this was a fact that deeply troubled the young doctor, especially now that the signs were beginning. The sudden pain in his eyes could only herald Mephistopheles' return...there was no other explanation.

Wolfgang let out a low sigh. There was no time for worrying about what may be. only about what is. The storm was brewing around all the world, and it would no doubt make a head in Germany. Also doubtlessly was the fact that Mephistopheles would make a personal appearence for the young doctor - probably to collect, once and for all.

[B]"Holly, [I]kommst[/I],"[/B] Wolfgang called softly. He followed it with a low whistle.

The hellhound rushed in almost instantly...a bright red pump in its large, slavering mouth. Alyssa would [I]not[/I] be pleased. Faustus took the shoe from Holle and threw it into the wastebasket for...decontamination at a later date. With all luck, Alyssa would never notice.

Wolfgang was never particularly lucky.

[B]"[I]Wo im [/I]fuck[I] ist mein schuh![/I]"[/B] Alyssa screamed.

Wolfgang and Holly exchanged glances the both said, quite well, "we are soundly screwed, old chum."

[B]"I think it's best if we leave quickly, Holly,"[/B] Wolfgang murmured. He could already hear his sister's angry stomping drawing nearer.

Holle offered a low, agreeing [I]chuff[/I].

Wolfgang nodded curtly and began chanting that old fail-safe when dealing with evil spirits.

[B]"In't my medium ye go
o denizen of Hell
and may your spirit remain
until I bid you free."[/B]

A crackle of energy and a brief whiff of sulfer and ozone were all that remained of Holle. That, and the lupine engraving that appeared on the long ash shaft of Wolfgang's cane.

It was at just that moment that Alyssa slammed open Wolfgang's door and loomed in like an angry tiger. In fact, the resemblance was a little [I]too[/I] uncanny for Wolfgang's tastes, but he didn't bat an eyelash. Once you stare down a demon, little else can make you quake.

[B]"Where is it, Wolfgang,"[/B] Alyssa said so softly that Faustus almost had to lean in to hear her.

[B]"Were is what, mein sister?"[/B] Wolfgang said, feigning innocence with incredible accuracy.

[B]"That [I]verdammt[/I] dog you keep around, Wolfgang. Were is it?" [/B] Alyssa was still speaking in soft, venemous tones. It was, honestly, more frightening than shouting.

[B]"Alyssa, I fear we do not have times to discuss such things,"[/B] Wolfgang replied, equally calm.

[B]"And why not, brother?"

"Well, the Apocalypse springs to mind..."[/B]

Alyssa shot him a hot glare, but turned swiftly on her heel. Wolfgang rose and followed slowly after her, leaning on his cane a little more than necessary.

[B]"We are due at the restaurant at 5:30, sister. You best be ready by then."

"Maybe if I could find my shoes!"[/B]

The last sound out of Alyssa was her double-doors slamming shut loudly. Wolfgang held up one finger and opened his mouth, paused, and let his hand drop limply to his side, shutting his mouth.

[B]"No reasoning with that woman..." [/B] he sighed.

His cane barked.



[CENTER]*****[/CENTER]

[COLOR=SlateGray][SIZE=1][B]OOC: [/B]I apologize if I led you on to believe that this RP would be straight horror, violence, and drama. I've always had a comedic streak, so expect some moments of comedy, if only to lighten the otherwise dense, bleak mood. And if you didn't like the comedy, well, you can expect oodles of gore and angst in the near future.

The Storm Gathers (so says the chapter title) and thus do the warriors. Bring your characters to Berlin and let them draw close. The chapter ends when we are all together, and all Hell breaks loose. So, if you don't want to fight, keep running. The Apocalypse will come to you, anyway.

Oh, and I hope my little bits of German from time to time don't throw you off too much. If necessary, I'll put up a glossary or something.

[CENTER]-ULX-[/CENTER][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[color=#550000][font=tahoma]"So, zis es Werlin?" Vedette mimicked the German accent as she stepped out of a black Rolls Royce. The streets were crowded, people pushing and shoving involuntarily. The chilled air filled her lungs, unfortunately, with the filth of the streets. She wrinkled her nose in disgust and shut the door to the car. Her crushed velvet gloves slid gracefully over the glossy body as it drove away.

"Now, this restaurant is where we are meeting," Vedette purred, glancing over the pure white card embossed with silver lettering, "5:30, hm? Splendid. This gives me plenty of time to scope the scenery."

Vedette pushed the card into the breast pocket of her over coat, pulling a mini-cigar out. As if the pollution of the ozone didn't do enough damage to the lungs, Vedette pressed her grey-blue, lipstick-covered lips to the ivory carrier and lit the cigar. The random wind gusts, to her agrivation, blew her lighter out.

"Maybe that's saying something," she mumbled, shoving the cigar and lighter into her pockets.

She hugged her coat around her neck as she started down the bustling streets. Newspapers and other assorted pieces of trash slapped at her ankles. One piece of trash in particular caught her attention. It was soiled badly, but a picture of stark white snow splattered with blood was all that Vedette could make out. Few words like "devil" and "end is near", oh and don't forget, "Satanics will be prosecuted once caught!" were visible. The blood had been ceremoniously strewn out into the shapes of pentagrams and unledgible words, along with the famous "666".

"Fabulous. Looks like I arrived just in time," Vedette brushed loose strands of her pale hair behind her ears.[/color][/font]
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[color=Navy][color=Black][b]OOC: [/b]I hope you don't mind, I decided to change my weapon from gloves, instead she carries 2 [url="http://img209.exs.cx/img209/9176/jerichoall9ot.jpg"]guns[/url] [top left corner] that use pure silver bullets.[/color]

Sakura puffed, she had just been for a nice long run, she wore ankle weights and instead of her usual black boots, she was wearing trainers, as she always did when running, because running long distances in those boots killed, she had been forced to do so on several occasions when hunting demons.

Her blonde hair was blown behind her and she saw her large mansion like house. Sakura walked up the steps and pulled off the brown glove she wore. Sakura pushed a button that no one would have known was there unless they'd been shown, and a plate and screen came up from one of the door panels. She pushed her fingers into the gel like substance which read her prints, the screen read 'FINGERPRINTS MATCH. ACCESS GRANTED'. There was a click and Sakura pushed open the door with her hand, walking in after, entering the marble floored house.

[b]"Something came for you in the mail, ma'am." [/b]a maid said, holding out an envelope to her. Sakura accepted it with a quiet word of thanks, the maid curtseyed and scurried away. Sakura put her gloves back on and used a letter opened on the hall table, cutting away the top. She carefully pulled out the thin card that was in there and read it quickly.

[b]"Hmm....A meeting at a restaurant, 5:30 sharp." [/b]Sakura mumbled, it was in Berlin, so she was lucky, there wasn't much travel involved on her part since she lived in Berlin.

Sakura walked through the halls of the house, travelling up a spiral staircase, also made of marble. At the landing, she walked further until she reached some intricate double doors made of polished oak with gold and silver trimmings. Sakura pushed open the doors to her suite carefully, she lightly tossed the letter and envelope onto her already cluttered desk. She removed her gloves and then her shoes and weights, tucking the shoes and weights into their proper closets and leaving the gloves on the table.

Her suite had almost everything someone would find in a single house, though made smaller, there was a bathroom, study type place, lounge, bedroom. The things missing were the library and kitchen, both of which were downstairs, her favourite place was the library, the shelves there were packed full of old books and the shelves reached from the ground to the ceiling.

Sakura put on her black boots and pulled her pant legs over to cover them. She looked at the time and noticed she'd have to leave soon to get there promptly.

She picked up her gloves, putting them on, picked up her holsters, she connected them to her belt and made sure her guns sat properly, and picked up the card. She looked at it again quickly and put it into her pocket. Sakura made sure she had her cell phone and left the suite and went back downstairs, she pushed a red button and a short time later a maid arrived. The red button was connected to the area where maids and servants worked and stayed, there was a button in every room in case Sakura needed to call someone, since the house was so big.

Sakura explained that she needed to get to her destination and the maid nodded, saying she'd contact her driver. Sakura nodded and soon a car drove round to the front, he was going to get out but Sakura waved it off, pulling on the door handle and entering. Sakura told him where to go and he nodded, driving off.

Sakura patted her guns, she hoped she wouldn't need them tonight, but just incase. When they arrived, Sakura told him that she'd call when she needed to be picked up, her driver nodded and drove off after she got out. Sakura pushed her hair over her shoulders and walked toward the door to the restaurant.
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[SIZE=1]Beth looked out of the window of her taxi, the driver talking to her in English, though his accent with thick and heavy. Beth wanted so badly for him to be quiet, she couldn't stand the German accent even if the people were quite wonderful. She had always loved the softer accents, people who weren't loud...German's seemed to be quite the opposite.

Still, she would have to get used to it, in a week's time she would be looking for a house to rent because so far she had no idea how long she would be here for. Luckily she knew a few men who were equally, if not more, interested in demons and this Faustus fellow so she had been sponsored by them on the condition that she sent them monthly updates on her progress.

Basically this was a free holiday with all the latest computing and research equipment at her fingertips if she felt necessary...but still, Beth wanted to be anywhere but Germany at the moment, she just didn't know why.

The driver tapped her shoulder and Beth turned, giving that neutral smile as she did so. [B]"And how much will that be?"[/B]

[B]"Twelve Euros, please Miss."[/B] Again, the heavy, but kind accent grated over Beth's eardrums and her smile faltered slightly as she handed the money over, nodding to the driver and getting out before he could say anymore. She looked up at the sky, the clouds swirling dangerously around the sun and shuddered, something was certainly not right.

Entering the five-star hotel she had been put up in, Beth walked to the desk and said her name, greeted immediately by a broad smile and a laugh.

[B]"Miss Nesbitt, your colleagues informed me that you would be meeting with our Dr Faustus, correct?" [/B] Thankfully this man's accent wasn't as strong as the last, but he was much more...excitable, it seemed. Beth took a step back in shock, the man's booming voice and brilliantly white smile had startled her but she managed to regain her composure.

[B]"Ah, yes...that's correct."[/B] she said, her voice seeming to be more quiet than usual.

[B]"I wonder why they sent such a timid woman to a place like this, oh well, it is no matter. We will arrange a meeting with Dr Faustus, this is okay?"[/B]

Beth simply nodded and smiled nervously. [B]"My keys, please, I've had a long day."[/B]

[B]OOC I hope it isn't too soon for Beth to meet with Faustus, if not, she just wants to question him about the case when he was a child and about demons etc. She doesn't have to stay with him for long.[/B][/SIZE]
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[size=1][color=#C82356]?[i]Verdammen jene hund[/i]. I swear my brother fends for that dog more than he fends for himself. Pity, it really is. Though, it has come to the point where I cannot even punish that mutt any longer.?

With a sigh, Alyssa went on with searching for a new outfit to wear for the evening. She chose to wear her black pinstripe business suit with black heels and her black baseball gloves that were altered to create it into cat-like claws with retracting nails about six inches long, only to set it apart that she wasn?t all business. She then finished it off with a bit of eyeliner that lined the edge of her eyelid and the bottom of them as well, then finally covering them with her black sunglasses.

A knock came from the double doors of Alyssa?s room. She opened it and there was Wolfgang, leaning on his cane. She knew it was nearly time for them to leave their humble abode, yet she felt incomplete and as soon as she stepped out of her doors, realized what she had forgotten. She ran back in and grabbed the Schwarz Heimgang, as well as the pair of Desert Eagle Mark XIX handguns that she carries with her in public.

?Ready, dear sister??

With one look in her eye, Wolfgang knew not to question her further. Alyssa was more than ready for the occasion. She had questions in mind that no man would dare to ask or even to answer. Far be it, these were questions that were in the back of everyone?s minds, but only Alyssa was bold enough to ask and want answers for there cannot be secrets or lies within their group for Mephistopheles could use it to their disadvantage and cause a rift.

?Let the games begin, dear brother.?[/size][/color]
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[size=1]Deirdre stood from her stool, tipped the rest of her drink back down her throat, and then set the glass on the glossy counter with flourish. ?It?s been lovely, gents, but I?ve got places to be, people to meet.?

She?d been in the pub for maybe an hour. Her mind wandered in and out and she?d thought a few times that they probably didn?t call them pubs in Germany. She also made a point to buy a German dictionary somewhere. While she knew a few words and phrases in the language, she was by no means fluent. The sisters had assured her it wouldn?t be a problem, but Deirdre was thinking more about the convenience it would have in pubs like this one. There apparently weren?t enough ways to say no for some men. But then again, as she eyed the thin blonde who was currently sitting directly next to her and apparently intent on getting even closer, she remembered that sleezebags, like smiles and prostitutes, were a universal kind of thing.

The bartender, a friendly, handsome man, mid thirties, who was much more likeable than the current toad next to her, gave her a quick wink and picked up her glass. ?The pleasure is mine, dear,? he said. His English was guttural and almost erotic. ?You drop in again soon with that Irish luck of yours.?

Deirdre favored him with a smile, and thought that she just might. The blonde, feeling considerably brave, slid his hand up the inside of her thigh then. She met that gesture with a quirk of her eyebrows. ?[i]Achtung[/i], love. Don?t start something you can?t finish.?

She had yet to move his hand and he took that as a good sign. ?Well then stay a little longer so I have the chance.?

Deirdre thought briefly about cutting his hand off but let that idea go. He may have been truly despicable, but he wasn?t exactly the kind of evil her blades were meant for. She plucked his hand away and dropped it again with the same quick flick of her wrist that a blade required, however, and that did satisfy her to some small, albeit weird, extent. ?No, I don?t think so.? She turned her attention away from him back to the sexy bartender and slid him the due amount, and a little extra. ?[i]Danke schön[/i]. I?ll be around.?

The air outside the pub was crisp but she had enough beer in her to keep her warm for now. Still, she tugged her jacket sleeves down over her fingers and made her way to the designated restaurant. Deirdre had checked the maps and information about the town she?d brought with her before she?d commenced flirting with the bartender, and had also studied the profiles that the sisters had provided. Seemed to be that a number of interesting characters would be making their mark in Germany. Though she knew most of their names, she highly doubted that she would be recognized. She really wasn?t that kind of exorcist.

Part of that made her wonder what the hell she was even doing in Germany in the first place. Sure, she had her nightmares, and she was as skilled with her blades as a surgeon was with his. But she?d been getting queer feelings as of late and Deirdre was beginning to wonder if she was ready for the magnitude that all of this implied. Well, she would have to be, whether or not she really was.

At least she was comfortable. The sisters had hinted that she might want to leave the jeans out of this first meeting. So she?d gone with her trusty, faded pin stripes instead, and a small t-shirt and jacket. She knew if the sisters could see her in the t-shirt and sneakers they?d crucify her. Deirdre smiled at the thought.

The restaurant did look a little done up, but she wasn?t worried. If this was going to be the meeting she thought it was, she figured they?d have some kind of private set up. But even if the whole of the town?s upper crust did see her beat up, old sneakers, Deirdre was sure that the world would keep on spinning. Besides, everybody could use a little more Irish charm.[/size]
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[COLOR=DimGray][SIZE=1]Karl sunk into his chair. [I]Mephistopheles...It can't be...[/I] He shook off the thought. [i] No matter...Wolfgang will know what to do...[/i] He raised himself up, walking from his chambers deep in thought. Kristan stood outside of the door to the basement, worry in her eyes. Karl hugged her and assured her that she was fine. Kristan smiled, but slapped her forehead angrily.

[B]"In my worry, I completely forgot to make dinner, I'm so sorry!"[/B] Karl laughed, bemused.

[B]"It's quite alright. I was thinking of going out for dinner. Wolfgang has told me some disturbing information, and so I was thinking of meeting at the resteraunt that he's going to."[/B] Kristan nodded, rubbing his arm.

[B]"Okay. I understand. Seeing as it'll probably be all buisness you discuss, and depressing buisness at that, I'll stay home and make myself dinner."[/B] Karl gave her a worried look.

[B]"Are you sure that is fine with you? Because I'm sure Wolfgang won't mind it at all if you come along, I mean---"[/B] She put her fingers to his mouth. She kissed him passionately and then stared him in the eyes.

[B]"Go. I'll be fine. No demon will be able to get at me, if that's what you're worried about. You've got your sorcerous objects all over the house, and I've been practicing with them."[/B] Karl smiled and kissed her again. He walked to the door and grabbed his trench coat, throwing it around himself and grabbed his thin shades and turned back to Kristan.

[B]"I've got my cell phone if you need to call me. I hope not to be long."[/B] He exited, walking towards his car. He pulled out his keys and unlocked it, getting in and driving off. He tried hard to focus on the street in front of him, but he was to preoccupied with other thoughts. The light in front of him turned red, and he sat in his car thinking.

[i] Mephistopheles? Mephistopheles? Hah, hah, hah. I've never dealt with him myself...And Wolfgang even seems a tad frightened of him...How will we fair against this creature?[/i] He was pulled out of thought by incessant honking behind him. He had accidentaly sat through three lights, and was holding up traffic. He looked back at the angry faces.

[B]"Verzeihung!"[/B]

He drove quickly, greatly embarresed. He drove onwards for ten minutes longer and arrived at the resteraunt. He parked out front, and sat in his car. His glove and rings were on, his handguns were at his sides, and the Buch von Dämon Zauberei was in his pocket. Should anything happen...he was ready. he saw the Faustus' car pull up, and Allysa and Wolfgang stepped out.

Karl got out from his car and locked it behind him. He walked over to the Faustus' and smiled. He bowed politely to Allysa and grasped Wolfgang's hand, shaking it.

[B]"Guten Abend. A pleasure to see you both tonight."[/B][/SIZE][/COLOR]

[B][SIZE=1]OOC: Sorry it took me a while, I couldn't get on untill now. Hope it's alright.[/SIZE][/B]
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Wolfgang slipped his sleek black cellphone back into his pocket as soon as he saw Karl pull up. He was nervous, and impatient, and had he taken a second or two longer, he would've called Karl up in an instant. And not just because of the looming Apocalypse. Well, the looming Apocalypse had a hand in it, of course...

Faustus had seen [I]something[/I].

While walking with Alyssa, there had been something in the crowd. He hadn't seen it, per se. Had barely noticed it, even. But it had been there. A flicker of silver out of the corner of his eye. When he turned, there it was, if for only a moment.

Pale and guant, with flat, unnatural eyes. Worn and tired and pained. Wreathed in silver. Nearly invisible amidst the crowd, but there all the same.

A Shade.

It was the first sign...that Hell was, indeed, breaking loose. It was a tortured sinner, loosed from Hell and waiting to make its mark on humanity. From its looks, it was a low Shade, not a heavy sinner. Probably not even a sinner...just a Trimmer. One who never chose good or evil during life, destined to sit on the shores of the River Styx for eternity.

[I]But...[/I]

[B]"Guten Abend. A pleasure to see you both tonight."[/B]

Wolfgang was snapped out of his ruminations by his friend's arrival. He smiled softly and shook Karl's hand heartily.

[B]"Guten Abend, Karl. I'm glad to see you safe and healthy."[/B]

[B]"So, Wolfgang, who are we meeting here?"[/B] Karl inquired, looking around at the sparce street.

[B]"A few members of similar prof- "[/B]

The high whining beep of his cellphone caught him midsentance. It played out the opening cords of [I]Mr. Mephistopheles[/I], from [I]Cats[/I]. Wolfgang felt his face tighten slightly, and the color slowly fade away. For good reason, since it hadn't been his ring tone this morning. As if as an afterthought, he pulled it from his pocket and clicked the "talk button".

[B]"Guten Abend. Dr. Faustus speaking,"[/B] he said, tone curt yet ethereal. [B]"Who is calling?"[/B]

[B]"Guten Abend, sir. It's Kass. Dr. Nesbitt is here."[/B] the man replied, equally curt but far less ethereal. [B]"Shall I send her to meet you?"[/B]

Wolfgang paused. If she did, indeed, talk with Faustus and his "colleagues," she probably wouldn't be able to comprehend their discussion, and rumors may circulate of the good doctors failing health - mental, of course. However, if he didn't meet with her soon, she might be in peril.

[B]"Nein. But tell her that I shall meet with her later tonight. 20:30 at the latest."[/B]

[B]"Yes, sir."[/B]

The line fell dead. Faustus felt a little...unsettled even thinking the term, but why? Why, because any number of his friends may end up that way soon. He checked his watch. It was 17:11.

[B]"Let's get inside. It's almost time,"[/B] he informed his two allies.

[B]"Ah, so it is, brother,"[/B] Alyssa gasped, checking her own watch. [B]"I'll get our table."[/B]

[I]But...[/I]

The nagging worry had returned to Faustus' mind. What was it, he tried to remember, that had [I]really[/I] happened to the Trimmers. In Dante, they were just sent to lie on the shores, away from God's love...

[I]But that's not all,[/I] his mind informed him with what sounded like sadistic glee.

[I]Isn't it?

Not quite...can't you remember?

Obviously not.

Maybe some food and drink will stimulate your consciousness, then. Or, perhaps, you'll just find out when it's too late...[/I]

Wolfgang growled under his breath and shook the doubts from his mind. He had to remain calm, strong, and optimistic. Doubts could get him killed, a rush action could get many killed, weakness...well, without his strength, there's an Apocalypse ready to take center stage.

[B]"Let's get that table,"[/B] he agreed, walking in after Alyssa. And, to make things perfectly clear, he added, [B]"And some wine."[/B]

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[size=1][color=#C82356]Upon meeting Karl at the restaurant, Alyssa urged her brother in to getting their table before the others had arrived. She wasn't anxious or nervous, as was her brother, yet she merely didn't find the act of standing around appealing to her. She enjoyed sitting and sipping on something that would ease her, such as a glass of margarita. They entered and a waiter had lead them to their table, where they would meet the others.

"Beruhigen sich, mein bruder. You seem a bit too. .. anxious at this moment. I'll order us some wine and a glass of margarita for myself." Alyssa snapped her fingers for a waiter, who appeared immediately. "Bottle of wine and a glass of margarita for myself. Danke."

At the table, Karl and Wolfgang conversed of the information and else that they had to talk about. It made her feel as if she was at a convention. Alyssa sighed and waited for the waiter to return with her drinks and when she had seen him, he quickly placed the margarita in front of her and the bottle of wine on the table with several glasses. He asked if they needed anything else and she waved to him to leave. It was her style to do so. When one was not needed, she'd disregard them in a manner that said, "away you go for now," if they were needed, she'd either snap her fingers or call for them, whichever brought to them her attention.

"You seem a bit uneasy, Ms. Faustus, is everything alright?"

"Quite alright, Karl. And please, call me Alyssa. That Ms. stuff is for stuffy old women who have no husbands. And, it's merely nothing. I drink often at this hour, don't I, Wolfgang?"

Wolfgang merely nodded and went on to other matters, such as what he had seen, what he knew, and what might happen. It was then that Alyssa had a strong feeling that someone else was watching them, something unhuman and undead. It hadn't made her feel off beat or more cautious than she was, just merely alert and ready for anything that should happen.

The whining of Holly had been heard from Wolfgang's cane and Wolfgang realized that his canine companion was on his cane. He then proceeded to letting him out and have him sit next to Alyssa, whining a bit more, wanting food and walk. She groaned and ignored him, but scratched him behind the ears, failing to be angry at him. It was then that Alyssa felt restless from waiting for the others and she had finished nearly 6 glasses and changed it to shots of vodka.

"Geehrte bruder, if you don't mind me asking, where are the others? I'm tired of waiting for them."

"Do not worry, they'll arrive sooner or later, hopefully sooner."[/size][/color]
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[color=#550000][font=tahoma]"Damn it all to hell, where is this street?" Vedette cursed at the innocent, white card. As if it had any resentment, she quickly apologized to the card and slipped it back into the safety and warmth of her pocket.

Even though Berlin was a bit nippy, the atmosphere seemed to have a crisper chill. Not a chill that would draw your breath's condensation, but a chill that shot through your body in one pass, and sink into your gut. Her gut, yes, her gut was speaking to her. Frankly, a tad louder than she would have liked because a passerby jumped to the side.

"Guh," Vedette smiled weakly and assured the man she was fine, "I better find this place soon."

"Excuse me, are vou looking fer somesing?" a soft, child-like voice crept over her shoulder.

Vedette spun around to stand face-to-face with a child, maybe seven years of age. The little girl stood alone in a bright red dress and matching patent leather shoes. Her golden, tightly curled hair bounced in the gentle breeze. Her pale face was offset with rosey cheeks and tiny, pink lips. She stared up at Vedette with curiousity and a sort of empty expression. Vedette knelt to look the girl in her bright green eyes, and took her porcelain hands.

"Why, yes, I am. And what is a precious thing like you doing in this cold street without parents or overcoat?" Vedette tilted her head, the girl's hands even felt empty.

"Vou are looking fer him, aren't vou?" she whispered. Vedette blinked, the girl's expression was unwavering.

"For who?"

"Fer Wolfgang," she looked past Vedette, pointing over her shoulder. Vedette turned around to see the sign of the restaurant hanging just two blocks down.

"How did you--" she turned around to question, but the little girl vanished. Vedette quickly stood up and ran into the street, hoping the girl in red didn't jump in front of traffic. To her relief, and dismay that she couldn't find the girl, Vedette saw no trace. The street moved in black's, white's, and grey's; no bright red's.

She decided to shrug it off and turned back to the sidewalk. Savoring scents from the line of other restaurants filled her nostrils, and forced her stomach to become restless. The distance was not as far as she thought, but it seemed to take forever. Perhaps it was because of her unruly organ. Whatever the reason, Vedette reached the doors to the designated rendevous and pushed them open. Her cool face was met with a blast of heated, delicious gust of air.

She glanced over the crowded room to spot the person she was looking for. His back was turned, but she knew exactly who he was. The waves she felt were being radiated from this man, and that dog. But, despite his strong aura, there was one that was full of fire; the female, which Vedette assumed to be his sister. With a curt smile, she strode smoothly through tables to reach his.

"Dr. Faustus, I pressume?" she held out a hand.

"You pressume correctly," Wolfgang stood and took Vedette's hand, "And you are?"

"Vedette Fitzgerald, and it's an honor, Heir Doctor," Vedette shook his hand firmly and bowed her head gently.[/color][/font]

[size=1]OOC: I hope I spelled that right XD [size]
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[color=Navy][b][color=Black]OOC: [/color][/b][color=Black]I added the battle just because I felt like it. Hope its ok. The kind of demon I described is like a Heartless from Kingdom Hearts.[/color]

Sakura stopped before she reached the door, there was a sound in the alleyway beside the restaurant. She rested her gloved hands on her guns and walked into the alley to investigate.

There was a scream and Sakura ran, her boots clicking against the pavement. She raced around the corner and saw a woman against the dead end of the alley with a black shadow in front. She immediately knew it was a demon and she pulled the guns from their holsters, twirling them stylishly in her hands and crossed her hands, holding them on their sides toward the demon.

[b]"Let her go." [/b]Sakura said, her eyes were cold.

The demon hissed and turned to face her, its eyes glowed an unsettling golden colour and it opened its mouth to show sharp fangs. On the end of its hands and feet were sharp claws that could do a lot of damage.

[b]"Run!" [/b]she cried to the woman as the demon charged forward toward her.

The woman took the chance and fled, yelling a thankyou to her. Sakura quickly took off the safety and squeezed the triggers. The demon roared in pain as it was pumped full of pure silver. It fell to the ground, unable to even hit her. Sakura flicked the safety back on and twirled her guns, returning them safely to her holsters.

Sakura exited the alleyway, the woman she had saved was standing beside a cab driver. She ran over and thanked her, Sakura brushed it off and the lady got into the cab. Sakura watched as the car drove away, she walked back to the restaurant door and opened it, stepping into the warmth of the building.

Someone approached her about a booking, Sakura showed them the card that she had recieved in the mail, the person nodded and pointed to a table, where several people were already seated. They then looked at her guns and opened their mouth to say something.

[b]"They're for protection." [/b]Sakura explained.

The person just nodded and walked away, leaving Sakura to walk over to the table. She introduced herself as Sakura Adolpha. The good doctor immediately recognised that it meant she was a mixed Japanese/German.

[b]"Sakura means 'cherry blossom' in Japanese, and Adolpha is 'noble she-wolf'. My mother was Japanese and my father was German, though I'm not sure how he inherited the name of Adolpha." [/b]Sakura explained to them.

They introduced themselves to her, the firey female that sat beside Dr. Faustus was his sister, Alyssa Faustus, there was also a man named Karl, between them was a dog introduced as Holly, Wolfgang's hell hound, and there was another female, Vedette, whom she sat beside.

[b]"Sakura, I notice you don't have a German accent."

"Yes, though I've lived in Germany for practically my entire life, for some reason I just never developed one, but I sound different when I speak German." [/b]

Everyone nodded and Wolfgang and Karl continued to talk while she, Vedette and Alyssa struck up a conversation.

[color=Black][b]OOC: [/b]I don't really know German but I'm gonna find a translator thingy and will hopefully remember to start using some.[/color]
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[SIZE=1][B]OOC You know I can't stand the German language so I'll stick with English, thank you very much. If Beth is speaking in German I'll just put it in Italics.[/B]

Beth laid on the large king size in her hotel room, the lights all switched off so only the soft light of the setting sun filtered through the vertical blinds. The brunette lay on her back, her heart pounding hard against her chest out of nerves. The receptionist had informed her that they would be calling Dr. Faustus to arrange an appointment, hopefully he would be available this evening.

So far they hadn't called back and it was six o'clock now, she was getting more nervous with each passing minute. Then the shrill ring of the telephone broke the silence and the young woman fumbled with the receiver before pressing it to her ear, a shaky [B]"Yes?" [/B] escaping her lips.

The receptionist spoke with a soft German accent, her English quite precise though some time?s inaccurate. [B]"We have contact Dr Faustus ent he shall meet wiv you at eight-thirty in you're hotel room. This is good?"[/B]

Beth sighed deeply and closed her eyes, nodding to herself, as she brushed some stray strands of brown hair form her face. [B]"That's perfectly fine. Thank you very much."[/B]

[B]"It is my pleasure, miss."[/B] the phone clicked and Beth placed the phone back down, lying back down on the bed with a huff.

She swung her legs around and lay flat on her back in the dimming light of the room, stretching her arms out in front of her. Her chocolate gaze flickered over her neatly clipped fingers and down over the back of her hand. She turned them to study her palms, white and smooth from so much time spent in plastic gloves.

These hands had cut open and invaded so many bodies, the lifeless and open bodies of the dead. She had more respect for those people than the living, even if their essence had long since left their vessels. Something about them just awed her, she laughed to herself, remembering how most people treated her when she told them her profession.

[CENTER]***
[B] "Ah, so you're a doctor?"[/B]

[B]"Y-Yes, I am..."[/B] a younger Beth stuttered softly, her hands shaking slightly in her pockets. She had passed her final exams over a year ago but still acted like a student even though she had recently gained her position as head of medical and forensic pathology in London's large mortuary. She was talking to a man only a year older than her, someone who her friend had introduced her to as 'potential boyfriend material'.

The man smiled warmly and slipped his arm around Beth's narrow shoulders. She flinched and went rigid, but he didn't notice or care. [B]"So, what kind of doctor? Medical, psychology...?"[/B]

[B]"I'm a pathologist."[/B]

He seemed to go a bit pale then cracked a nervous smile. [B]"Pathologist...?"[/B]

'Hah, pretending to be ignorant...' [B]"Yes, I study dead people, to put it bluntly."[/B]

The arm fell from her shoulders. [B]"I...see. Oh, man, I never noticed the time. Could you pick up the bill? I have a meeting."[/B] he stood up, hurried away and left without another goodbye. Beth saw that as the last straw and gave up on men totally.
***[/CENTER]

Beth sighed and sat up from her musings, turning on the light next to her so she could look for some old notes of hers. She found them after digging through her suitcase; the elastic band-bound parcel of papers and small notebooks had become grubby and dog-eared over the years. Still, it would take so long to put them all into a computer and Beth didn't have the luxury of spare time.

She dumped the notes and papers on her bed and spread them out, crossing her legs and sitting with a pencil in her mouth. She imagined what doctor Faustus would look like after reading through these old newspaper reports. She knew his age, quite obviously, but just couldn't banish the image of a little old Professor with a greying beard and wrinkled suit from her mind. She laughed softly and shook the images away, attempting to compile a time-line of sorts in her spare-time before the meeting with Faustus.

[B]OOC Eh, just trying to put some more depth to Beth?s character O_o;[/B][/SIZE]
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[size=1][color=#C82356]Different varieties of people had entered and sat with Wolfgang and his group. From the conversation they stroke up, Alyssa had found and saw that these two women were something interesting, not that she was interested in that way, but just that they were fascinating. Yet, the men were just as equally fascinating to Alyssa?s eye. She held a hidden smirk beneath her drinking exterior, knowing that if she had shown it, her brother would think it a sign of battle of something.

[i]Something tells me that beneath their hard exterior is just a normal person who fights for either the same or nearly equal cause as we fight for.[/i] The conversation grew interesting by the minute. Their tone and facial expressions, as well as their body language had told Alyssa that they were releasing more and more of themselves each time, as if they were unraveling their exoskeleton to reveal to pure, unadulterated persona.

[i]Hmm, it seems that I?ve run out. Pity, I was just beginning to enjoy myself. Oh well, time for another.[/i]

It seemed that Alyssa was far too consumed by the women that she had forgotten that she had finished nearly a small bottle of vodka. She sighed and snapped her fingers when she put the bottle down. The people around her table looked at her, wondering why she had snapped her fingers and to answer their questions, a waiter had appeared from nowhere and came to Alyssa.

?Is there anything you would like, Lady Faustus??

?A glass of water would suffice enough, dear. Thank you.? Nodding, the waiter disappeared and everyone, except Karl and Wolfgang had paid any attention to Alyssa. She had noticed this and once again answered their curious faces. ?Calling out for someone in the middle of a tranquil, public area is quite unmannerly. I?d rather have a different form of asking for a person, which is snapping. If they are needed, I snap my fingers and instantly, they appear. When they?re not needed, I wave them away. Does that answer your question??

The conversations went on for a while, until Holly became restless and rested his head in Alyssa?s lap. She scratched him behind the ear and at once knew that he was hungry. She noticed that the others were, but they didn?t want to say anything in fear of doing something wrong in front of her brother. She chuckled and called to her brother.

?Wolfgang, I believe our guests would like something to eat. It is, after all, the hour of dining, is it not??

?I agree.? A waiter appeared with Alyssa?s water and before he left, Wolfgang stopped him. ?We?d like to order.?[/size][/color]
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[color=#550000][font=tahoma]Vedette eyed this Alyssa carefully. The girl was very attractive, and Vedette couldn't help but think that Alyssa knew just that. The young girl seemed too smart for her own good. Vedette tried to shake it off, but as soon as this young [i]lady[/i] explained herself, that "oh, maybe I'm just imagining" feeling wore off. Alyssa knew what she wanted, and got whatever it is that struck her fancy. Vedette watched the petite girl kill a bottle of vodka, but instead of looking at a drunken child, Vedette found herself repulsed at the German's pretentious attitude.

[i]Hm, perhaps it's because she's rich and famous?[/i] Vedette sipped at her glass of wine. Being judgemental was a dirty habit of Vedette's; a habit that blesses and curses her. A habit picked up during her studies of evil spirits, exorcisim, and deciphering the living from the dead, or the normal living from the possessed.

"So, Ms. Fitzgerald--" Wolfgang started, quickly cut off by Vedette's harsh head shaking.

"Vedette, please call me Vedette," she smiled over the rim of her glass. A ring of light danced over her uncanny face.

"Very well, Vedette, you are an exorcist? But how? Your file states you are of no religion," the doctor glanced aimlessly over the menu.

"That's exactly what the possessed ask me," she chuckled and set her glass down, taking up the menu as well, "You don't need to belong to a religion to perform the cermony"

"I'm still addled," Wolfgang pointed to a meal, and the waiter scribbled on his note pad, "You have to have some sort of higher power to properly rid souls of possession. Whether it be of the holy power of God, or the dark arts of Lucifer."

"That, m'dear Doctor, is for another time and place. And I promise, I will explain in good time. But first, I must go with my gut instinct--and my gut is telling me to eat."

The table chuckled lightly as the waiters circled the table like busy bees on a fresh-springed flower. The uneased tension that had been present when she first arrived had slowly begun to melt, and small bits of laughter started to leak out of stressed souls. [/color][/font]
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[color=Navy]Sakura had asked for a glass of water soon after she was seated at the table. She was thirsty after shooting down the demon. A waiter passed her the glass and Sakura thanked him. She looked through her pockets and emerged with a foil pack of pills, she broke one of the seals and removed the tablet, dropping it into the water to dissolve. Sakura put the packet away and swirled the glass to hurry the dissolving process. Several of them watched her, wondering if she did drugs perhaps.

[b]"I have been feeling sick lately, and I hate taking tablets, so instead I dissolve them in water and drink it. They're prescribed by a doctor." [/b]Sakura told them, showing them the sticker that told them that it was indeed from a chemist due to a prescription.

The others all accepted it and went back to whatever conversation they had. Sakura drank the liquid, making a face slightly at the taste of the tablet. Sakura saw everyobne had their own conversation, while she didn't, so she just took out her right gun and checked it.

Earlier, during the hunt she had found that the trigger wasn't working as it usually did, she had had to add more pressure than usual to fire the bullet, which worried her since she always kept her gun in good condition. Sakura quietly took it apart, placing each section onto the table. She then looked at the main mechanism and played with the trigger. There was a very quiet click whenever she tried to pull the trigger. Sakura frowned and picked up a toothpick from the holder on the table and stuck it in the area, there was a rattle and she put more pressure on it. Sakura shook the bare part of the gun and heard a rattle, she shook it harder over the table and a small piece of metal fell out. Sakura picked it up and examined it, she didn't know where it came from but it was there. She checked the gun, there was no metal broken off. Sakura was suspicious but brushed it off.

She reassembled the gun quickly and held it in a firing position, aiming. There were screams from other customers in the restaurant, thinking she was going to shoot. Sakura showed them that she hadn't added the cartridge and they relaxed slightly. Sakura put it in and twirled it stylishly, tucking it back into its holster.

Sakura leaned back in her chair and waited until something happened. Her stomach rumbled but she kept quiet, not wanting to say anything.
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[size=1]She was late. The host in the restaurant eyed her with no small amount of disdain as he checked his list of approved guests. Not only was she late, Deirdre thought in amusement, she was sure she was violating some kind of dress code with the sneakers. She remembered another such meeting back in Dublin, one she?d gone to with the sisters. They?d met a similar response there, and in the midst of being walked to the private quarters, the mother superior glanced at her and murmured dryly, ?Trouble sticks closer to you than your shadow, child.?

Deirdre waited patiently in the lobby, and smiled at the host, who was now refusing to look at her. One of the women working offered to take her bag and jacket. Deirdre gave up her bag only ? she was sure the t-shirt she wore would be the end of this man before her. That, and she was still a little cold. ?This way, Miss Kearney,? he muttered, and gestured for her to advance down a particular corridor. His English was very elegant, very British.

They turned a corner and then Deirdre found herself being ushered into a room filled with familiar men and women, in the process of ordering, it looked like. She smiled inwardly at her impeccable sense of timing and then gave the room a little wave. ?Sorry I?m late, ladies and gents,? she said, her Irish accent lilting and pleasant. The host gestured towards her and introduced her lightly, in an almost relieved fashion, as though he were glad to be rid of her. ?Miss Deirdre Kearney.?

There was a round of polite hellos and nods in her direction, and then the waiter on duty helped her into her seat. There were various drinks on the table, and when the waiter inquired, she simply pointed at someone?s glass of wine and said, ?I?ll have one of those, love.?

Not a minute later there was a glass in front of her and menu at her elbow. She gave the man a brilliant smile before skimming through the foreign words, looking for the few she knew. Words like steak, fish, and ?to be eaten with red wine.? She had her priorities straight.

?I hope you did not have any trouble finding the restaurant, Miss Kearney,? the man who could only be Faustus inquired politely. Her first impression of him was one of grace and a certain weariness, the latter of the two being one she could relate to all too well at times. Deirdre glanced up at him, and her smile turned a little wry. ?Oh, not at all. I just took my time getting here, that?s all.?

She could just see the sisters cringing. Deirdre could tell right away that this was going to be a continual private joke with her while she was away. She decided she would have to write them when she made it to her hotel room and shock them with her most recent devious behaviors. That should amuse them for a time.

Light conversation had started up around her again and she found herself sinking back into her chair, shoulders relaxed and toes finally warming up. It wasn?t exactly her favored abbey but it would do for now. [/size]
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Wolfgang looked around the table, carefully evaluating the three new faces. The women were each different, and each seemed...very interesting. The exorcist, Vedette, was a strange one; Sakura, she was mysterious, pure and simple; and the Irish woman...she seemed very odd indeed.

[I]So, the time has come...[/I]

With casual elegance, Wolfgang drew their attention to him by discreetly removing his glasses. He faced a wall...well, his colleague Karl, and a wall. No one could see his eyes but the six in front of him. First Alyssa looked over, then the exorcist, then the Irish girl, then the warrior. They stared at the crackling fire contained within his irises.

[B]"As you all surely now,"[/B] he said, with a low, cool whisper. [B]"There are things in this world beyond was science recognizes. Things of darkness, of evil, and of magic. Things like ghosts,"[/B] his eyes flitted to Vedette. [B]"Demons,"[/B] then he looked to Sakura. [B]"And maybe more,"[/B] last, he looked to Deirdre. [B]"They are all very real, and all very much a threat.

"A darkness is upon us, greater than any faced in history. As you might suspect, I have gained some of my greatness through less than moral means. The truth is...I obtained them from the Devil,"[/B] he said, pausing thoughtfully. [B]"Well, a Devil,"[/B] he said at last. [B]"Mephistopheles is his name. He is the same demon that catered to my ancestor, Johannes Faustus. But my soul is not at stake here...my eyes are."[/B]

[B]"Eyes? Demons don't take eyes,"[/B] Deirdre scoffed.

[B]"You'd be surprisde what demons would take,"[/B] Faustus said sternly. "[B]True, they prefer souls. But something much greater is in the works, m'lady. My eyes are now part of a ritual, an anctient ritual which I discovered quite by accident. The Ritual of Schwarzgott. A vital ingredient of it are the Eyes of a Sorcerer, which is exactly what I have become. And it is not my intent to boast when I say that I am one of the greatest sorcerers of our day...I am merely telling you how powerful the ritual will be.

"Mephistopheles is out to collect the other ingredients, and he's tearing open the gates of Hell to do so. If he succeedes...the Devil will be loose, and it will be Armageddon."[/B]

The table was silent, the air tense. Food lay forgotten on the table, and the only action was Deirdre taking a slow drink of wine. Wolfgang couldn't blame her.

[B]"So...so you're saying that we...we are on the verge of..."[/B] Vedette began.

[B]"The Apocalypse, yes,"[/B] Wolfgang finished, nodding wearily.

[B]"And what do you want us to do?"[/B] Vedette asked, after a long pause.

Wolfgang sighed. He didn't want to drag these people into this...but he had to.

[B]"I want you to help me stop Mephistopheles. And, if necessary, all the Lords of Hell."[/B]

[B]"The Lords of Hell?"[/B] Deirdre said sharply.

A hush fell over the rest of the restaurant, and some looked over with typical aristocratic bemusement.

[B]"Ah...pardon me..."[/B] Deirdre said softly.

[B]"Yes, the Lords of Hell. The powerful demons the rule over the sinners. I have reason to suspect that one is, at this very moment, on our material plane."[/B]

[B]"And what leads you to this suspicion?"[/B] the exorcist asked sternly.

Wolfgang gave her a cold, hard stare. [B] "I have seen a...Shade. A spirit of a Sinner. On this plane of existence."[/B]

Stunned silence fell over Wolfgang's party.
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[color=#550000][font=tahoma]Vedette slowly sat back into the plush cushion of her seat. She stared curiously into the German doctor's eyes. It was a silly question from her to ask of him; she knew what he was talking about when it came to seeing a "shade" within the human world. As he described what he saw, Vedette couldn't help it but to think of the little girl she had seen on the streets.

"Excuse me, Doctor," cunningly spoken, Vedette propped her elbows on the table, "but could these spirits be in the form of a human? As in, the look human, they speak like humans do, and they even have a solid body? Or, are they possessions?"

"Well, you would know the possessed better than I do," Wolfgang toyed with his glasses for a moment.

"The Doctor is right. However, in recent events, it's becoming difficult to seperate possessions from souless spirits," Vedette poked at her food for the first time since Wolfgang began his speech.

"I don't quite understand," Sakura looked over.

"I think I do," Deirdre set her glass of wine down and looked down at the row of forks beside her plate.

"Start on the outside, and work your way in, dear," Karl chuckled.

"Thanks. Anyway, I think what Vedette meant is that, maybe due to the nearing of Apocalypse, the powers of Hells are having an effect on the spirits within our plane of existance. That, with this power, the evil spirits that posses the living are becoming stronger and harder to determine if they are just souless spirits," Deirdre waved her fork in Vedette's direction, "That is what I think. Is that close?"

"Very close, Deirdre," the exorcist's eyes sparkled in amusement, "If you look at a normal possessed, the human's soul is still there. That is how you can tell a true possession; if the human's soul is still within them, but they can't use it because it is being controlled. So, within the past, let's say year, I've been in contact with what looked like a normal possession. But, as I began to visit and investigate, I found that the person's soul was deteriorating; or sometimes, not even present."

"That's astonishing, Vedette," Alyssa tapped her delicate finger on the rim of her plate, "So, how do you save the human from the evil?"

"Performing the ceremony on the first, I like to call them "souless possession", was fatal. I had no idea how to rid the human host from this parasite, and in turn, return the human's soul. I remember his name," Vedette shook her head, "What I'm saying, is that we have to do something fast. If this phenomina gets any worse, I don't know if anything can help us. I saw a little girl on the way here, and for the life of me, I couldn't tell if she was possessed, or a ghost. This isn't a good sign for us, Faustus."

"I see," Wolfgang cooly slid his glasses up the bridge of his nose, "After hearing that, I'm disturbed to looking forward to what our mission will be. Spirits taking on the human form will only make our job a bit more difficult. Look around the table, at the person sitting next to you. Observe the cast you all are. Deirdre, you hunt and destroy evils for a living; Sakura, you also destroy demons, but I sense it's for some other, personal reason; and Vedette, you can see evils from humans, and you rid the human of its parasite. Everyone has a purpose here; everyone has a job to do, and we all will work as a team. We need each other's abilities in this time of dismay and ever-shadowing darkness."

Vedette took a slow bite of her, now, cold dish. She thought she had better get used to it; dinners were going to be short from here on in. With the way spirits were "evolving" today, it seemed they would have their work cut out for them.[/color][/font]
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[size=1][color=#C82356]The food was lukewarm, yet acceptable to Alyssa?s taste. She wasn?t one to fuss over such unless she was famished and in need to have something desirable to eat. She looked around the table, watched the body language, the facial expressions, and the way the people at the table ate. She also listened to their conversations, listened to their tone and their accent. It was almost as if she was searching for something within each person, either a flaw or even a merit. It was all intriguing how they had found their way to this sort of work or even how they managed to get themselves into it.

The conversations grew and the tension melted, which meant that the group was warming up to each other. Yet, the observations still went on and Alyssa sat there quietly, elegantly lifting her fork to her mouth, gracefully cutting her fillet mignon, and even sipping her wine with such etiquette. Such people would think her to be a woman born of aristocracy or even royalty. It would appear that even most of the people around had thought that. Eyes had always watched Alyssa and her brother, yet they questioned and judged Alyssa but accepted her brother into society. She, in turn, was accepted in the eyes, but one false move could bring a reputation diving back into shame, yet what did it mean for Alyssa? Nothing. Reputations, society hierarchies, and acceptance had meant nothing to her; the only thing that did matter was her brother and what they worked for.

?Alyssa??

Awakening from her thoughts, Alyssa looked to Vedette, the one who had called her name. ?Yes??

?I was merely wondering, do you believe in the same things that your brother has a belief for??

At this moment, Alyssa was taken aback. She had never been asked a question such as this, yet she didn?t show it and merely smiled and answered the question.

?My brother and I fight for what we believe is right, which is saving humanity from the evil that is to come. We cannot save everyone from the evil that is here, yet we can fight to regain innocence in the souls and destroy the Lords of Hell. In essence, Vedette, I do believe what Wolfgang believes and not for one moment would I believe him wrong.? An eyebrow raised and Alyssa could see that Vedette wasn?t fully convinced. ?You see, I was the first to see my brother?s fate. If not for him, I would not have believed that Mephistopheles had existed nor would I have come this far in my practices. My brother, Wolfgang, is a man who has suffered and will do anything to bring pain to those who had given it to him. I bear the pain that my brother suffers as well and since I bear that pain, I, too, will curse it upon those who gave it to him. Does that answer your question??

?Somewhat. There is another question, though. You talked about your practices, what practices do you perform??

?I dabble a bit in the black magic. I am not as strong as Wolfgang, but I can perform complex spells and simple rituals when needed. And in this black magic, I am learning to harness the powers of the elements, or at least trying to. Another practice that I perform is kunoichijutsu, the art of the deadly flower. It is performed by women assassins or ninjas.?

?I see.? Vedette replied. Her reply wasn?t dry but a bit too regular. This had brought attention to Alyssa, which made her wonder what Vedette did.

?You are a exorcist, no??[/size][/color]
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[SIZE=1][B]OOC Hope me moving on time wise isn't too much, I really need to meet up with you guys. ^_^;[/B]

Beth's clutch pencil was firmly between her lips as her gaze flickered over some old books she had managed to stuff in her suitcase. These books were in Latin, a language she had learnt during her studies of becoming a pathologist. The books detailed ancient dark rituals and she had found one that made her heart leap.

She read that sentence once again and grabbed her notebook, scribbling 'eyes' over one of the lines in her long and spidery handwriting. Again, she looked at the sentence, making sure that she had read it correctly; indeed she had, now the worry was building up.

'Faustus...what did you do?'

She picked up the newspaper cutting, read how the young Wolfgang's eyes had been damaged and dropped the piece of paper in shock. Her hands were trembling and all the spit had dried from her mouth, Beth was terrified but wasn't quite sure how big this was going to be just yet.

She scrambled to the window and noted the time from the clock on the wall. Twenty minutes past eight, he would be here soon. She leant her cheek against the cold glass and breathed deeply, her heart rate returning back to it's normal slow beat.

She knew now that she had made the right decision in coming here to talk to Faustus, even if it would be something she regretted in the long run. She sat just below the window with her knees hugged close to her chest, the phone next to her as she waited for the reception to warn her of the doctor's arrival.

A few minutes later the phone rang and Beth jumped, picking it up and answering with a quiet [B]"Hello..."[/B][/SIZE]
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Wolfgang looked around with dry amusement as his new companions bonded together. It was good that they could all, if only for the moment, stand eachother. Arguments could prove drastic mistakes, and dissent would be deadly in the coming trials.

[B]"My, won't this be an interesting venture,"[/B] Karl said, smiling benignly. [B]"I don't know if Mephistopheles knew what he was getting into, Wolfgang."[/B]

Wolfgang returned the smile, forcing it upon his face. He was not as confidant as his ally seemed...and seemed was the operative word. Karl was scared; Wolfgang could feel it. Fear was prevalent in the faces of all. It was a contagious disease that wasn't curable. It went into recession, yes, maybe for years. But it always returned. And it could be fatal.

[B]"I think we've finished our business for today, my friends,"[/B] Wolfgang said with that false confidance. [B]"Let us adjourn for now, and meet again tomorrow morning at my office. There, we can begin work on our attack."[/B]

His party seemed to consent, and slowly they gathered up their things. It would be a long night for all, and night in which they would have to come to terms with much.

Chapter End


Chapter Two:
Auseinandersetzen

The pieces have gathered on the board...for one side, at least. The men and women of virtue have risen to the cause, and they have learned the terrible truth. All but one...the foreign doctor of foreign spirit shall face a greater challenge than any. For she must come to terms with darkness as it looms over the world. The heroes depart, the King meets Queen, and the other pieces still sit in the box. But for how long?

Characters: Again, all. Specifically, Wolfgang and Beth.
Length: As long as it needs to be.



Wolfgang stepped slowly out of the restaurant, his companions filtering out behind him. They chatting with false cheer about the simple topics that one did when one was horribly uncomfortable and needed something to talk about. Wolfgang stayed to the side, checking his watch. The time drew near for him to meet Dr. Nesbitt.

[B]"Alyssa, go home without me,"[/B] he murmured. [B]"I have business to attend to. I'll call in no more than an hour."[/B]

Wolfgang didn't have to add an "or". He didn't have to add anything. Alyssa understood perfectly that Faustus was a punctual man, and if he was late, trouble followed.

[B]"I'll wait for your call, brother,"[/B] Alyssa said softly.

[B]"I will have Holly with me, so no trouble should befall me,"[/B] Wolfgang said, smiling to assuage her worry.

Alyssa nodded, smiling weakly. At last, the various visitors went their separate ways, and Wolfgang walked down the street, illuminated by the harsh light of the tall lamps. Holly followed him precisely, her claws clicking on the concrete. In the hard, pale light her eyes flickered and flashed as usual, but at least it didn't seem like hellfire.

Halfway to the hotel, Wolfgang was startled by a dark presence. It was then that he noticed how empty the streets were, and how black the sky was. There were no steely clouds, no blinking stars. Blackness. It was a harrowing site, proof that dark things were afoot. And the shadowy presence, that dark energy make him shake.

[I]Remember...it's just the spirit of a Trimmer. It has no power, for it has no suffering.

But what about...

What about what?

Can't you remember? The Punishment of the Trimmers?

What are you...[/I]

It was a memory Faustus did not want to deal with. The rememberance brought new, cold fear. Even if it was just a Trimmer Shade, there was more to it than simple spiritual essence.

[I]The Wasps...

Bingo.[/I]

Wolfgang's ears pricked up immediately. The slightest hum could herald great danger if the wasps were breaking into the Living Realm alongside their tormented. Luckily, there was no sound but the slow wheeze of Holly's panting, the pounding of Wolfgang's heart, and the whisper of cloth. The cloth of a Shade, no doubt.

[B]"Holly, kommst. We must make haste."[/B]

Holly barked quiety, padding along behind her master. Wolfgang took long strides, but it was no trial for the Hellhound to keep up with him. The darkness loomed around, unbroken save for the puddles of light cast by the high street lamps. The silver light that Shades radiate was nowhere to be seen, nor the sick red flames of Hell.

At last, Wolfgang stepped in front of the hotel at which Nebitt was staying. He peered around - it was safe for the time being. With quick thought, he dialed up the hotel, being forewarded quickly to her room. With but one ring passed, she picked up.

[B]"Hello?"[/B] was the quiet reply.

[B]"Hello, Dr. Nesbitt? It is Dr. Faustus. May I come in?"[/B]
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[SIZE=1]Beth was surprised when Faustus had called, answering him in a quiet and shaky voice. She must have sounded pathetic, she thought, after she placed the phone back on the receiver. She stood up and brushed off her skirt, shuffling around and switching on all the lights and brushing her hair very quickly, checking her reflection in the mirror. There was no point in looking a mess for this, only they?re first, meeting.

A few minutes later she heard a knock on her door and walked over, shocked at first when she opened it. It was not the doctor and his aura of confidence that surprised her; it was the dog at his side. Beth took a step back before looking back to Faustus who was laughing softly, [B]"Do not worry, Holly will not bite." [/B] Beth merely nodded and opened the door wider, tucking her hair behind an ear with a shaky hand.

[B]"Sorry if I caused an inconvenience..."[/B]

[B]"Not at all! You're a doctor and, like me, you seek answers. Come, shall we drink before we talk?"[/B]

Beth crossed to the mini bar under her television and popped it open, displaying the contents to Faustus. He plucked out a small bottle of Brandy and tipped it into a glass, nodding towards the rest of the alcohol. Beth shook her head and sat back on an armchair while Faustus pulled up a high-backed wooden chair from a small table in the corner of the room.

He looked over the rim of his glasses at the piles of books and papers on Beth?s bed, slightly alarmed when he noticed the book on demonology. [B]"Ah, that is what I suspected."[/B] The brunette didn't even need to see what he was looking at to know what he meant and she leant forward, her elbows on her knees as her chin rested on tented fingers.

[B]"I really hope you don't mind my questions, Doctor Faustus-"

"Call me Wolfgang."[/B] the doctor interrupted and Beth nodded before continuing.

[B]"I was looking at some old newspaper reports and came across this,"[/B] she held up the one detailing his parent?s deaths, then gestured to the book, "I may not look like much, but I made the connection."

Faustus laughed softly and leant forward, his arms crossed over his thighs, [B]"If you know that much, what is there to ask?"[/B] he had a small grin on his face and again Beth was struck by the feeling that something was not right with the situation, though she tried to ignore it on the whole.

[B]"I want to know..."[/B] she blushed slightly, [B]"Did it work?"[/B]

[B]"Yes."[/B] Faustus' grin seemed to grow wider and Beth shuddered, something in her mind telling her to get out. Get out now and leave Germany on the next flight. But Faustus held her gaze and drew her in, his eyes sparkling and swirling darkly behind his glasses. Beth swallowed hard and drew in a deep breath.

[B]"Are they coming?"

"Ze Demons, all of hell, evil itself?"[/B]

Beth nodded.

[B]"Yes. They are, and I think I'll need your help when they do."

OOC And that?s me, hope that was okay ^_^[/B][/SIZE]
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[color=indigo][font=tahoma]Vedette waved off the rest of the group and hugged her over coat tightly. Not that it was terribly chilly, which it was, but the feel of Berlin did not suit the Austrian. For some reason, Germany felt more sinister than any place Vedette had visited. Then again, Germany had many skeletons in his closet. Vedette shrugged and walked towards the same, black Rolls-Royce that had brought her.

[b]"Vwhere to?"[/b] a slender, young man in a navy blue uniform smiled over his shoulder. His smile faded as he took the time to look over Vedette. His eyes, confused and embarassed, gave it away. Vedette chuckled at the poor man's utter confusion; he couldn't figure out if he should address her as "Miss" or "Mister".

[b]"How late are the libraries open?"[/b] Vedette rest her face in the palm of her hand and braced her arm against the door.

[b]"I know of one that is open until midnight. Should I take you there?"

"If you would be so kind, I would greatly appreciate it,"[/b] the cheeky Austrian gave her driver a wink.

He nodded, trying to ignore Vedette's wink, and pulled out into the empty street. For minutes, there was silence. It was unbearable, especially since Vedette was picking up on creepy vibes since she got into Berlin. And the fact that it was very dark didn't help her settle into this city. She slowly leaned forward and curled her fingers over the front seat. Her slinky movement provoked the driver's body to stiffen and his eyes to sharply avert to the rear view mirror.

[b]"Would you be a darling and turn on the radio? The deathly silence is too thick,"[/b] Vedette cooly asked, tracing the rope of his shoulder pad.

[b]"M-most certainly,"[/b] the driver fumbled with his words and his hand on the radio dial.

Vedette smirked and sat back, letting the wave of classical music flow over her. The ride had become more comfortable, and she was able to collect her thoughts. She wanted to do more research, particularly on the Faustus lineage and this Mephistopheles.

[b]"Vwe are here,"[/b] the driver hesitated to address once more and pulled up to an ominous building.

[b]"This is a library?"

"Ja."

"Huh, it looks more like a cathedral than a library,"[/b] Vedette groaned, pushing the door open. She stood on the sidewalk, staring up at the magnificent architecture.

[b]"Should I vwait?"

"I will be in here a long time."

"I vwill vwait zen."[/b]

Vedette gave him a curt grin and thanked him. She turned to face the daunting building. The dim, yellow lights of the street lamps cast a glow on the stained glass windows. Not a single person walked the streets. Vedette couldn't blame them; a thick mist began to roll into the sidewalks and a slow breeze brought the scent of a dead city. She strode to the granite steps and climbed several before stopping in front of a heavy, wooden door. On this door was a series of iron hinges and bolts. The handle must have weighed twenty-five pounds on its own. Vedette gripped the handle and pulled, but was unable to pull with one hand. Grumbling in embarassment, even though no one was there to see, Vedette took both hands to the handle and pulled. The door groaned and slowly opened.

Vedette stepped in cautiously, cursing the door before it shut tightly behind her. The interior was no more comforting than the exterior. Tall, looming bookshelves, dull, green lighting, and not a human in sight. Vedette had to wonder if that driver wasn't trying to set her up for trouble. The heals of her stilettoed boots echoed forever it seemed.

[b]"Hello? Is there anyone here?"[/b] Vedette unbuttoned her over coat, draping it over an empty chair.

[b]"Ja, I am here,"[/b] an old man with long, string-like hair appeared out of no where and lurked in the shadows of the front counter.

[b]"I'm just going to study,"[/b] Vedette assured, walking down the seemingly endless columns of books.

[b]"Ze occult section iz furzer down un' to your left,"[/b] the librarian's voice caught up with Vedette.

She paused out of surprise.[i]How did he know..[/i] she pondered, but continued walking.

[b]"Danke."[/b][/color][/font]
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[size=1][color=#C82356]There wasn?t much that Alyssa could do, but wait for her brother?s phone call. She knew him to be the most punctual man she had known. Yet, she was pleased to have left the confinements of her home and venture out into society. Dinner wasn?t what she expected but it was something different. The people she had met were intriguing and just appealing. She had never had the chance to meet people such as them; except for the time she was in Egypt.

A time of relaxation was in order after such long hours. She walked up the staircase and walked to her room. With merely a slight push of the air, the double doors opened and she was able to walk in with ease. Slowly, Alyssa began to return all that she wore to its rightful place. Feeling a bit filthy, Alyssa decided it was time for her daily shower.

Wrapping a towel around her, Alyssa walked to her bathroom and turned the faucet on, testing the water as it warmed. She then closed the door behind her and let the towel fall, before proceeding to walk into the bath tub and close the shower curtains. The water was just right, not too warm, yet not too cold. It released tension in Alyssa?s body and the water running through her hair felt relaxing and cool. Alyssa grabbed her shampoo bottle and lathered her hair, then proceeded to lather her body with her wash cloth.

All around the bathroom was an aroma of jasmine and lavender. The mist in the bathroom smelt of an aromatic fragrance of jasmine and lavender as well. It soothed Alyssa and lessened the stress and tension that she held.

?What a wonderful feeling. It?s amazing how a shower does wonders to a woman. Now, let us see if I cannot conjure up any magic tonight.?

A smirk silently made its way onto Alyssa?s face as she dried herself off and slipped into comfortable clothing suitable for company and sleep. She slipped back into her room and sat in the middle of her bed, holding a blank rice paper.

?Hi, mizu, chi, fuu.?

Upon the rice paper appeared symbols of fire, water, earth, and wind on each corner of the paper to represent the four guardians and four gates. She was pleased to know that her magic hadn?t gone awry nor did it destroy anyone. Her magic tends to get out of hand when too much though, stress, or when she has a clouded mind.

?I wonder when my brother will be home. There are greater risks than just Mephistopheles and the lords of Hell.? She checked the clock beside her bed and saw that it hadn?t been an hour. ?But then again, Wolfgang is a punctual man. I mustn?t worry; it?s not as if he was going to fight Mephistopheles alone.?[/size][/color]
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[color=Navy]After the dinner was over, Sakura called her driver to pick her up, it didn't take long, arriving in less than 5 minutes. He got out of the fancy car and opened the door for her. Sakura bid whoever was left a farewell and slid into the seat, having the door closed after her. The driver returned to his side and they drove back to her mansion type place.

He dropped her off at the front of the house before driving the car to the back and entering through the servants' quarters. Sakura pulled off her thick brown gloves and bushed the hidden button, revealing the palm plate. She sighed as she went through the usual routine of pressing her fingers into the gel like substance. She waited until the screen above granted her access, she pushed the door open, closing it gently behind her before sliding her glove back on.

Sakura looked around, it was quiet. She walked briskly toward the library, her boots making clicking noises against the marble flooring. She wound her way through the halls and arrived at large double doors. She searched through her pocket and pulled out a ring with one large key on it. The mansion was old, thus still operated with old keys, Sakura was the only one that had possession of the skeleton key. Only the head servant had a ring of keys, there were some places they weren't allowed to access beacuse Sakura didn't want them to see.

She slid the key into the keyhole and twisted it to the right. There was an audible click and she pushed open the doors. Sakura entered and locked the doors behind her, she didn't want to be disturbed. She walked among the shelves, she was looking for a specific book. Sakura saw it high up in the shelf where she couldn't reach. Now she always told people that she didn't have magic, well that was a bit of a lie. She had a little bit of magic, magic to create fire, and to move objects.

Sakura concentrated on the book and held up her hand, the book flew from the shelf and landed in her hand. She nodded and walked over to the large table in the centre of the room. She sat and started to flick through it quickly, the book was about the Lords of Hell, she knew a deal about them, but there was always more information. She needed to know as much as possible before the meeting with the group in the morning.

Sakura stayed up late that night, she read until the early hours of the morning before deciding to have a quick sleep before going to the meeting. She left the library, locking it behind her and returned to her room. Sakura left the door unlocked so the servants could wake her and fell asleep soon after taking off her gloves, guns and holsters, and her boots.
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