8.5 Lucky Man

by Matt P.

They ended up waiting for a little under an hour, with Walter checking his phone with increasing frustration as the night wore on. He was getting text messages from Andre and Leah about some of the situations developing in the city, and none of them were particularly good.

“Every tactical unit in the city is deployed right now,” Walter informed the table with a grunt. “Pretty sure that’s not good.” He reached over to take a sip of his bourbon, and glanced at Morgan. “You guys didn’t order an apocalypse without telling me, right?”

Morgan shook her head. Tania looked like she was about to say something, but Morgan jumped in first. “I know you’re worried, but this is important too. If the Vampires really are related to Salvation, this could do more to help stop it in a night than anything you could do out there,” she offered reassuringly, reaching out to squeeze his hand before letting it go.

“The Major was never good sitting here when there were teams in the field,” Ryan offered in amusement, “Which is why it was such a shame they let him take the field-grade lobotomy, because it meant doing it a lot more. How bad is it?” He asked, his concern coming through despite his flippant commentary; he had spent a lot of time with a number of those officers, after all.

Walter looked down at his phone, flipping back through the text messages. “In addition to what we heard earlier apparently there is a gang shootout, a hostage situation, and there somebody threw a pipe-bomb at a gas station. Border has a good number of tactical teams, but apparently we’re hitting the limit. We’re rolling out any officer who can shoot a rifle,” he rattled off. He put the phone back in his pocket, and reached out to take anoother sip of bourbon. “At least I don’t have any texts from Antigone and Siobhan, so they have a chance at a normal night tonight.”

Tania frowned a little bit as she considered. “Ok, so that does sound like a lot of things happening tonight. Abnormally large?” She asked, and Walter nodded. She frowned a little bit, and shook her head. “I don’t know, but if I wanted to do something, wouldn’t you want to do it while everyone was distracted? Only question is…who is doing it?” Walter blinked a little bit at her, and she smirked. “Yes, let’s forget that we were general in battles and wars for centuries before you were born.”

Walter acknowledged the point with a little bow, and then looked back across the room to the door. “How bad is it going to be, diplomatically, if I just go kick in the door and start shouting at people in my best cop voice?” He asked curiously.

“Well,” Morgan responded after a moment of thought. “First, that is going to get you ridiculously killed—as in not just killed but killed in a ridiculous manner. There will probably be body parts in the ceiling. But beyond that…” She looked to her sister. “We grant the other supernatural entities in the city an embassy. The Border is technically neutral, because it is the Border, but it is owned and administered by Faerie; in order for us to act against one of the officially recognized groups they have to be working against the stability of the city, or against Faerie. Oberon was an internal problem, so we could do whatever the hell we want, but if we’re going to attack the Vampires it needs to be legitimate. So if you do go do that then you’ll pretty much be acting on your own,” she finished.

Walter weighed it for a moment, but it was only a moment; he was good, but nobody was that good. And nearly all of his potential backup was out in the field. “Is there any way that you can be super offended they’re making you wait so long and go drum up some management without going right to ‘Walter’s intestines bedeck the light fixtures’?” He asked finally.

Morgan and Tania shared another look, but this was less one between unfathomably old and powerful people than it was the exact same look Siobhan and Antigone would share before doing something unexpectedly fun. “Yeah,” Tania said, reaching out and shooting the rest of her scotch in one fluid motion, before doing the same to Morgan’s. “We can do that.”

“Hey!” Morgan protested. “I was going to drink that,” she complained as Tania slid out of the booth. Morgan followed her, as did Walter and Ryan.

“Too slow, we’ll get some more later,” Tania declared. “Come on, darling, let’s be divas.” She held out her hand, and Morgan reached out to squeeze it, before they both began to wal across the crowded club.

People respond to body language, even without realizing it; whole classes were given on the use of body language in interrogation. But Morgan and Tania were putting on their own class on movement as they stalked across the room toward the door. People shifted out of their way even if they didn’t really see them coming—the people they were near shifting was enough to cause them to do so as well. And the people who did see them coming had no desire to be in their way when they saw the looks on the two sisters faces. They had a completely unencumbered walk across the club as waitstaff, patrons, and even one security guard got out of their way. That still left a guard standing in front of the door to the manager’s office, however—apparently one had seen them coming and knew what his job was, unlike his colleague.

“Move, or I’ll put you through the wall,” Tania said simply as she pushed right up in to the man’s space. She was shorter than him, so she had to look up at him, but it didn’t seem to be a disadvantage—the man stepped back a half step up against the wall, and his eyes went wide.

“I…” he began.

“Can’t let us in or you’ll be killed,” Morgan offered with a nod. “Understandable. But!” She offered, and the way her face moved was only a distant cousin to a smile—it had way too many teeth. “If you don’t let us through we will rearrange your bones into a more pleasing structure. So why don’t you bump this up the chain and go ask your bosses if they’re ready to be done wasting our goddamn time, because all of this brick is so flammable when my sister is bored?” She offered this last, terribly disturbing part, with an almost saccharine sweetness that was undergirded by sheer menace. The bodyguard nodded, turned and badged his way through the door, and disappeared.

“Can you really burn brick when you’re bored?” Walter asked Tania in a whisper.

“Bored, angry, horny. There’s a whole range of emotions associated with me burning things to the ground,” Tania offered cheerily, as the door opened in front of them. “Excellent!” She offered, as she and Morgan entered.

Walter stared at Ryan for a moment, and then clapped him on the shoulder. “You’re a lucky man.”