8.6 So Say We All

by Matt P.

The door they walked through lead in to a large hallway, rather than directly in to a room. It was decorated like an office rather than a club, well lit in contrast to the bar behind them. The sheepish looking guard escorted them down it, passing two doors on their left that were signed as staff bathrooms, and a couple of doors on the right leading to offices. The door to accounting was dditionally barred and locked, in addition to having a key-card reader next to it.

“I almost prefer it when the bad guys have sprawling mansions and dungeons. Offices seem so boring,” Ryan offered with a sigh as they walked toward the door at the end of the hall. It was nicer wood, and also had an additional lock on it.

“Our last big fight was at a High School,” Walter pointed out. “I’m pretty sure an office is moving up.”

“Your last big fight,” Ryan corrected with a grin. The guard ignored their banter, as did the two Queens. “I got to mix it up with a drunk Valkyrie in February, and that was pretty intense.” He rubbed his face. “Kind of hot, too, come to think of it.”

“Uh…” Walter offered, shrugging. “Sweet?” He tried to think of something else to say, but then they were ushered through the door by the guard. They walked in to a dark paneled room set up more like an old school office or library—Walter thought it felt more like something an attorney would sit in for an advertisement than the main office of a club. It was softly lit but obviously by electric lights—no candles, just someone turning down the dimmer switch. There were three people seated around a large desk in the back.

A large man loomed out of the side of the room, coming right at Tania. He reached out and grabbed her by the shoulder. “Who the hell do you—ARGH!” He started out so well, before Tania reached up to grab him. The generally taught method of removing a hand from the shoulder involves reaching over to peel the hand off by pulling from the outside pinky finger, which naturally turns in to twisting the offending arm behind the offending person. Tania didn’t bother with such subtleties, however—she reach over and grabbed the man’s wrist, squeezing so hard that the bones snapped audibly. That was what prompted the man’s scream. In one easy motion she yanked the man’s arm around behind his back so strongly and severely that his shoulder clearly dislocated, and then she planted a foot on his ass and shoved him to sprawl in the center of the room.

“Queen of Faerie, no touchey,” Tania answered, and in a moment she was literally wreathed in fire—bright and flickering softly, and also singeing the carpet. “Next time one of your dogs touches me, Nadezhda, I won’t leave him one arm.”

One of the figures behind the desk was a woman, who stood up enough to lean over and make sure that the whimpering man was in fact still alive. Se sat back down, sighing. “If I apologize for my man, will you stop ruining a very expensive carpet? He acted without my knowledge or permission, and if you want to kill him or take him for recompense that is on him. But I like that carpet.”

Tania considered it, and Morgan leaned back to whisper softly to Walter. “By claiming his actions were his own, she’s throwing him to the wolves but saying it wasn’t her unless we have proof it was.” She paused for a moment. “We’re the wolves, in this scenario.”

“Yeah,” Walter whispered, “I got that. So we can’t use this as an excuse?” He asked softly.

“Not unless you want to look like giant assholes to the rest of the supernatural community,” Nadezhda answered from where she sat. “We can all hear your whispering.” She motioned to the seats in front of the desk. “Have a seat, and we can discuss this civilly; unless you want to finish off my guard first?” Walter started to glare, but then he noticed that Morgan didn’t look upsset—whiich meant that she had known that they would be overheard. He let the sisters take the two seats, and moved to stand behind Morgan.

“So,” the woman identified as Nadezhda leaned forward on her elbows. “I believe my next line is ‘To what do I owe the pleasure of a visit from Mab and Titania?’” She looked to Ryan and Walter then, and added. “And who are these charming gentlemen, unless you’ve brought me a snack? I do love them tall, dark, and obviously ex-Military?”

“This is Sir Ryan Aquino, a knight of Our court,” Morgan answered, with the capital ‘Our’ audible even to Walter. “And Deputy Marshal Walter Richards of the Border Police Department, representing the mortal population of the city. We’re here to discuss how Salvation is apparently turning people in to vampires.”

Nadezhda had been completely still before, and so her stillness in the face of that information didn’t tell Walter anything. After a moment she turned to consider him. “We don’t normally bring mortals in to this, your Majesties. Are you sure that you can guarantee his safety, in case of emergency?” She smiled, with too many teeth.

“You’re concern is touching,” Morgan responded sincerely. “But not really your concern. Given it is the police who are fighting the Salvation, his presence is relevant. Speaking of, let’s turn to the drug trade, shall we? We have been as patient as we are required to be, unless you’re planning on repudiating your treaty with us?”

Nadezhda leaned back in the chair, and spoke casually to the man behind her in flawless if somewhat archaic Russian. “Is everything in place?” The man nodded, and responded affirmatively in Russian. “I’m more than happy to discuss anything your Majesties want…”

“We all speak Russian,” Walter, Morgan, Tania, and Ryan all answered simultaneously in Russian.