1963-08-22 - Fahrenheit 666
Summary: Unwelcome visitors disrupt the Village's peace.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: Freedom - Jimi Hendrix
rogue daimon 

The Awakened Minds bookshop and the Vinyl Groove Record Store share clientele and physical space. The owners of the two stores are a couple (albeit the kind of couple that doesn't believe in, like, the confines of marriage), with a shared door between the shops to encourage cross-pollination of clientele. The bookstore focuses on the very beginnings of New Age and bohemian spirituality, with a healthy mingling of Crowley and proto-paganism, Tarot cards and books on psychic expansion. Also a lot of sci fi and fantasy pulps and paperbacks (and comic books!). The record store is pretty diverse, with something of a focus on political folk music and burgeoning rock and roll and Motown.

Daimon Hellstrom is a regular customer of both.

At the moment, he's browsing the blues records, casually flipping his fingers through the sleeves. He's clad in a peasant-style shirt with blousy sleeves and lace cuffs, the top of his brand showing in the deep V of the top, but perhaps not giving away its full contours. Snug jeans, boots, a rather provocative amount of rings for a man. His hair has started to grow out a bit, as he considers the growing trends and whether or not to join them.

He can sense a strange aura from the new girl who just walked in, but doesn't look at her yet. It wouldn't do to seem overeager.


When the likes of a young Mr. Dylan or a fancy Ms. Joplin, blessed be thy rhymes, choose to frequent this part of New York out of all the places in the country, you know it's a happening spot. Those hip to the chaging currents of society so often billow through the Village's avenues and alleyways, washed up to find their spiritual succor among the gurus advocating the benefits of a holistic lifestyle or a pagan embrace of the earth mother. Or father. Gender lines can be very fluid. Don't forget the invasion from the East as much as ancient classicism of the West that dabbles in gnostic, hermetic, and pure fluff in its traditions.

Nice girls might not be among the Awakened Minds shop, at least not the sort typified by the redhead in her dreamy minidress and broad-brimmed hat that belongs at Ascot or the Derby, fashionably lovely. That's why she moves into the adjacent building with a tease of laughter, fingers curled. The couple knows her; well they should. This corner of the city she thrives in, and she swings around one of the displays of records. "Do you have my sea shanties yet?" Sea shanties. Absolutely. That Scarlett says this with a straight face is remarkably amusing, probably due in part to the camera bag she carries. Possibly something to set the mood.

When the response is a sad no, she waves it off with a laugh and continues about the perusal, slow and thoughtful, of the various folk albums being slipped among more mainstream offerings. Mainstream as such clientele as theirs considers, anyways. Slender fingers dance along the spines, and her peony-adorned braids sway as she moves to whatever might be playing in this moment. A passing glance goes from behind her round glasses to the others here, few as they are. He might not look his way. She does, fingers curled in a greeting. It never pays to be rude.


Daimon glances up as she raises her fingers, as if he'd timed it that way and, well, perhaps he did. The Devil's Son smiles the effortless smile he's perfected, radiating charisma like fluff blown from a fresh-picked dandelion. Who knows where it will find root?

"Sea shanties? You don't strike me as a sailor's wife, waiting for the albatross to carry black news from the waves," he says. His green eyes have an almost serpentine quality - the pupils aren't slits, but nor are they perfectly round, something other about them, the tracery of a pentagram in the veins of his iris.

"Do you like the blues? B.B. King's an acquaintance of mine - I know the man who gifted him his guitar, Lucille. She was ever so lovely," he says.


The drifting seeds will surely be met by the indulgent owners, married in spirit and heart but free in body, and the long-haired guy in the corner daydreaming about things he can do with a base guitar or the lady posing as a musician when her heart lies in pastry-making and casting ceramic beads. Scarlett already shares that careless grace infused by the golden charm of being polite, endlessly so. Her fingertips freeze upon a white sleeve with a handdrawn cover, an original in a blur of red and Dutch blue, embedding the outlines of animals in the negative around a spreading African tree of some kind.

"No? Perhaps I might make a fair whaler's bride, awaiting news upon the rocky shore beneath the endless days of an arctic summer," she casts back to him her rejoinder, throwing that verbal net into the sea of conversation to observe what comes up. A shark, a pretty fork, or perhaps a deadly fish concealed with a sea-serpent's smile. Her eyes, too, are green: an almost surreal shade, just this side of unnatural, not noticeably peculiar except for those with a sensibility for it. Then it's staring into the column of St. Elmo's fire playing on a mast, the unearthly shades of the aurora singing in the high atmosphere.

"I like most music. There's a language beneath the words, a passion thrown through all of it. How not to care for such beauty?" A roll of her shoulders follows, and she smiles, a burnished and lovely thing in the shop. Among so many lovely things, thus. "How did you come to be acquainted, if I dare ask?"


Daimon smiles, "Whaling's a terrible thing, didn't you know? The salted men who hunt the seas, seeking a magnificent beast to slay. And for what? Candles, mostly, as if the dark were too much to bear. Men have always feared the dark, but there is danger in the light as well. It leaves men dazzled and much prone to seduction," he says.

He casually slides past the mysterious woman, never touching her but somehow making the passage almost intimate, a measured dance that shows his control of limb, even as he slips through the narrow aperture with a sneak-thief's ease.

"The Blues is special, to my heart. Born on the soil of America, watered with blood and heartbreak. The crooning sound of a plucked string, the beauty that can be found only in misery's deepest expression," he says. He reaches into his pocket and draws out a cigarette case, casually removing one and extending the offer as he places one between his lips, "Musicians happens to enjoy bad influences. I happen to be a bad influence."


Elizabeth has connected.


Elizabeth has left.


"True, 'tis. Giving rise to human appetites over the sovereignty of the sea's creatures to live their own ways unperturbed by us sounds terribly much the sin. Though do we blame our predecessors for their different shade of morality, when they wished only to light their streets and warm their homes in the dark, long winter?" A question for the ages alights upon her lips, and the Devil's own get may be the one to answer with some degree of scrutiny that no philosopher yet has answered for satisfaction of even their own generation.

She shakes her head, and the foxfire bride swishes towards her waist in a complex arrangement of plaits no less detailed a system than the Saturning rings. Thinner braids weave around the fatter core. "Luck has it I am neither sailor's wife or whaler's bride, but those old songs hold nonetheless some value and wisdom. They illuminate the darkness, be it the psychological condition or the tangible dreamstuff beyond the scope of their torches blazing in the dark."

He is the sneak-thief to her soul-thief, and it's only right and proper he leans over with such ease. "The blues from the Delta speak to the terrible price paid, this is so." Her voice isn't accented purely in the South, rounded off by Savannah or Charleston rather than Dixie or Cajun mores. New York sophistication hides what she is. Layers within layers, them. "The volume of hope built on a backbone of toil and grueling labour, suffering aching for redemption. But always, there is something deep in the lustre of -knowing-, and they do know. Isn't that the enchantment of the music? Rather than listening to some saccharine blend repeating 'yeah, yeah, yeah,' the artistry comes from a shared experience. I may never have picked cotton or feared the lynch mob, but I can step into another's shoes. There are the best. Even for the worst influences, there is some good to be found."


Daimon draws a pack of matches from his pocket, casually striking one with a careless ease, laying it to the tip of his cigarette as he takes a draw. "Judgement comes always, fair maiden, deserved or undeserved, fair or unfair. Blame tends to stick even to the well-intentioned, especially when blood is spilled," he says.

To the last he smiles, casually pushing himself to sit on the edge of the counter. The proprietress doesn't seem bothered by this, used to Daimon Hellstrom and his casual ways. Entitled, yes, and unreservedly a taker, a man who takes up his space in the world without shame.

"Ah, that 'yeah yeah yeah' is only the beginning, I suspect. While I love the pain, by the same token, you judge too harshly those canaries. They sing in the coalmine to let us know their peril - who needs happiness more than the damned, after all? That which brings joy deserves celebration, even if there is, in the end, always a price to be paid."


She doesn't smoke, but the appearance of the matches barely warrants more than a blink. The marigold flame flowering on the edge of a stick lends a curious shift, her pupils reflecting the golden dandelion sparks while they live.

"True, judgment will follow. Not everyone bows to the opinions levelled on them by others, especially those treading their own path. Else we would never progress or dare." The girl waxes poetic and catches herself. "Ah, listen to me. You surely are not here for a girl to evangelize about the joys of independence and freedom of will and thought, nor the messages buried into the blues." Her fingers fan lightly across her fingers, and she anchors herself in the place occupied in this world by the lightest of tethers. A snap, she might ascend, float away to what nameless empyrean realm placed above all the rest. Or sink, mayhap. It's never a certain thing. Not with her burden, her curse.

She greets him with a smile. "Every song has some importance, some value. I don't like all music, though I meant not to imply they were worthless. Forgive me for leading the impression. Whom are you, for whom celebration is so costly, and virtue paid in coin myriad and diverse, sir?"


Daimon smiles, "I'm here for a thousand reasons and that would be far from the least of them," he says. "I am here for experience, for exploration, for the fine company and the atmosphere of the place. The world is starting to shift, the axis tilting in new directions. This place and the village surrounding it show some of the first signs of that shifting. I'm interested in liberation and freedom and progress - I come from a line of rebels," he says.

"Ah, speaking of which, introductions. My dear mother would be scandalized by my failure to provide a proper greeting," he says. He slides from the counter and slips into a bow, one arm laid across his abdomen, "Daimon Hellstrom, at your service. I have a few titles, on occasion, but…" he says, then turns his head as there's a jingle at the door and three men come inside, huddled in heavy, black woolen coats. Unusual for this time of year.


The answers he weaves she plays audience to, not once interrupting until Daimon finishes speaking. Those tacit rules of engagement require such attentiveness, a payment gladly tendered by the redhead. Peonies in her hair flash papery-white blossoms, their cores so deep a red as to be the purple of heart's blood and lovers' worship. Their fragrance lends a subtle brushstroke to the nuances of old paper and fresh vinyl, paint and whatever patchouli incense blend they burn to meet the expectations of certain guests. Enlightened folk such as the proprietors aren't stupid about marketing themselves.

"Scarlett," she replies, first and foremost among the priorities to be addressed. A bow is met with a curtsey, back straight and heel sliding behind her supportive leg. She sinks as her back foot executes a perfect lateral line, her head tipped forward and the brim of the ostentatious, lovely hat shielding her from the hated sun's dreadful rays upon fair skin prone to burning lowering to eclipse her face. "Whether entitled or not, sir, enchanted."

It follows to rotate slightly, an act of casually straightening up and selecting a heavier metal gewgaw that such record shops always seem to have. The sort are universal, sold as collectors' editions or at concerts, the whimsy of a black telephone with no numbers and only weird symbols on it or something as simple as a cast shoe for some album. This one, for whatever reason, happens to be a Buddha holding a lotus with an obscure band name on it in badly-done etching. She gazes at it, amused, then over towards the overly-dressed men, then back to Daimon. "Amazing what you can find in here, isn't it? All these vintage relics and the newest hits."


Daimon possesses perception beyond the mortal, which is why the men interest him more than merely for their wardrobe. He can see that they are not alone, that each of the men is merely a steed, a meatsuit, worn by a demon of unquestionable extraction. The precise scent of their brimstone, the taint of their evil, all of it radiates in precise frequencies that Daimon knows all too well. In part because they're the same as his own.

"Yes, quite amazing. Miss Scarlett, if you would be so kind, perhaps step behind me. I'm afraid that the gentlemen there are here for me and they aren't inclined to be nearly the gentlemen that I am. Isn't that right, Aphozel? Or did you think I wouldn't recognize you beneath a hood and a face?"

The men array themselves, cultists who have sworn life and soul in the service of their masters, willing puppets for the taking as they reach into their cloaks to draw out long, curved knifes, Saracen blades with waved steel. "He misses you, Daimon. Time to come home," Aphozel, the leader, murmurs, his voice echoed and layered with the screams of the depths.


"Few are nowadays," Scarlett murmurs. Daimon might be glad that such independently minded young people nowadays still comply when given sensible instructions, like 'please queue to the right' or 'duck!'

She carries her ill-gotten Buddhist gain and pivots smoothly around the man in a t-shirt who sins against all other t-shirts, for whom a young Calvin Klein is very soon to make sacrifices and penitence in hopes he, too, might achieve the same lofty designs. The blithe look through her lashes regard the men without meeting their eyes, the interposed barrier of her newfound guardian sufficient to allow for another adaptation. Knowledge gathering even in times such as these is valuable; indeed, all the more relevant, putting names and faces to a library worth reading and rendering at a later time. Assuming she survives.

What she has learned remains hers alone. A quartet observed by a fifth, this is becoming disturbingly regular. What might be gained from a study of Toledo or Damascene steel — Barnard education, trips to the Smithsonian and the Met favour her identification, preferably not at gut point — if not the bearers? "Family is always the hardest," she murmurs to none, apropos of nothing.


Daimon mutters under his breath, words that, if overheard, wouldn't sound like words at all, not to a human ear. The syllables seem to scrape against one another, dissonant and foul, shrieking without volume, obscenity without reference. When he's done, a crimson line erupts between Scarlett and Daimon as he looks back over his shoulder at her.

"Do be careful and stay on the other side of the line. It isn't pleasant to cross,' he says.

As he speaks, his eyes flare with unholy power and the brand on his chest bursts into embered flame, the pentagram of his father's marque blazing to life. His outstretched hand manifests a stave of hellfire, the length splitting to form a trident of hellish forge. His smile grows wider, wider than it should be, his canines more pronounced as he turns back to the possessed trio.

"You're not acting on his orders, for he'd know better than to send such puerile weaklings as you to face me. Either you're ambitious beyond your lot - or another demon hath sent you, to be eliminated by me. I wonder, what rival thinks your banishment would make him mightier? Think upon it a moment, I'm sure you'll think of a few, you three. For all the good it shall do."


'Tis a girl of very particular learning to understand the foulest of hellspeech or its ilk. Rough edges scar memory but those papercut fine syllables refuse to percolate into her remembrance perfectly. All the same, Scarlett listens for those lifelines may distinguish her mortality, or lack thereof, under the circumstances.

Whatever has become of the few patrons, they've probably cowered, fled or become part of the scenery. Propriety means she sets the Buddha down, patting the fat belly of the statue almost out of regret for placing it in danger. The ginger takes a step back from the shining vermilion line branded upon the ground and placing her in such particularly harrowing peril while defending her existence. This, too, is new.

Does it help the demons she utters a faint chuckle when he calls them puerile? An educated guess, no. But even the lithe mortal of no particular name or purpose finds some infernal mirth in the prospect of delicious language and barbs. There may be hope for humankind after all. Or not. Comments will stand for another time. Mostly. "The coats are a nice touch." Contempt in a woman's voice is rarely so dulcet, or so soft spoken, because the average intellect might actually read it as a compliment. A backhanded one, to be sure, but one. But to read deeper into the plethora of emotions finds a gem among the dross.


The Possessed make their attacks in a rush, perhaps hoping to overwhelm Daimon with sheer numbers. A fairly ludicrous plan. He lashes out with the trident of his power, unleashing a gout of hellfire that somehow pierced them while leaving the records and magazines about intact - for he burns the soul rather than the material (although he can do that, too, should he choose). Two of them are knocked back while another leaps in, slashing at Daimon and forcing the Devil Prince to dodge.

"Not enough," he says, headbutting the man and making him fall backwards. Black lightning crackles around Daimon's free hand, gathering power to strike at the demonic presences. Which is why he doesn't hear the slow, rumbling growl that comes from behind Scarlett. Where, should she choose to look, she'll see a massive black dog with embers for eyes, drool dripping from its massive jaws as it takes her in. A hellhound, it seems, that they brought for backup.


A ludicrous plan, in turn, can sometimes beget opportunities if Lady Luck feels inclined to bless a momentary suitor. Likely enough she looks the other way to favour some handsome fellow trying to encourage one of the dive bars to let him have a gig, starting a career that will one day collide with a certain Mr. Clapton. Fire then roars and Scarlett jolts back a step, an instinctive reaction in the presence of such mortal dangers. Mortal to mortal eyes, at any rate, though hers are starting to see in spectra barely acknowledged after the Industrial Revolution.

To her credit, the bohemian doesn't cry out in alarm or warn Daimon of what no doubt he can already perceive. Visions of charred flesh in her head mean she doesn't stumble over the line. On the contrary, that nameless intuition honed to an extraordinarily sharp blade forces her to rotate on her heel to face some new threat. She lowers her hat to the pile of new records, as though to spare it. Or she's truly that polite, giving the hellhound less to worry about.

Meeting its gaze, she murmurs directly to the thing, "Go and this could end with you living wherever you come from." A fair kind of warning, really, and sound advice. She steps aside, a clear path left towards Daimon and the door. If it has an iota of intelligence, that might be the wiser path. The bohemian's better nature ensures she puts her hands to her sides, plainly empty.


Daimon is well-distracted at the moment, if not particularly challenged. Perhaps it's a genetic disposition, for he has a habit of playing with his food and his foes. One of the Possessed is stricken with the black lightning, howling in pain as it falls back, as he levitates another and hurls him into the wall with a cracking smash.

"I'd best be careful, I might end up damaging some of the merchandise - and I like shopping here. I think it's time to send you boys back to Hell where you belong," he says.

The Hound, meanwhile, only has eyes for the succulent young woman in front of it. Drool drips from its slavering jaws as it gives a snarl and leaps, flinging its thickly muscled frame at Scarlett with every intention of ripping her throat out and giving at least some small victory to him and his demonic kin.


Then theirs is a shared consideration; she reacts more like a cat, considering and sizing up her prey before considering whether or not to throttle it between her proverbial teeth and rip out its belly with her claws.

Scarlett steps into a rather patient stance, her feet light upon the ground and her hips slightly angled in regards to the hound. Her hands remain to her sides, adjusted in position to make an elegant upward rise when the infernal beast clenches its muscles to jump airborne. As it jumps, she throws her arm out to arrest it crashing into her and sweeps the other one down behind its head, choppping down upon its shoulders with a hideous strength not evinced by her lithe figure. The muscles toned by years of yoga conceal a strength no normal woman would ever have, making the evasive blow much more effective on a four-legged monster from the abyss than it ever should be. She moves with it, rotating as momentum carries the hound forward.

All that matter if the dog lands on all fours, because she pounces atop it and whips her arms around its neck and under its opposite leg, an effective seatbelt locking with her wrists and fingers engaged. They are swung together, and where her elbow braces on the hellhound's shoulder, it cannot hope to swing its head around and bite her without the threat of her rolling it away. She is behind, and fully prepared to control its movement by plowing her knee to the ground. Jerk left, she follows. Go right, she follows, even if it means leaping and rolling to cover herself with the recalcitrant, slavering thing.

"I tried being nice," she hisses.


The Hound thrashes desperately, trying to get free, but having no hope in Scarlett's terrible grip. Its strength is more than that of a normal beast, but no match for her potence, grinding it into the ground. There's no whimpering, no begging for mercy from the thing - it isn't capable of those sorts of emotions.

Daimon twists more words with his tongue, holding up a gem he summoned from the abyss. The ruby flares to life as a black vortex forms around it, tendrils of shadow striking each of the three men and sucking the demonic invasion from them, trapping their spectral masters within it and leaving them disempowered and broken. The men scramble together and flee desperately.

"So suffer all who dare strike at the Son of Satan!" Daimon declares, then turning back to discover the mysterious woman has managed to pin a hellhound to the ground. He flicks his wrist, the crimson line separating him from them vanishing.

"Would you have me dispatch the beast or would you prefer to handle it yourself? I wouldn't presume to interfere with a liberated woman going about her business."


The rather unfortunate thing for the Hound: touching Scarlett through her sleeved dress or her leggings will inevitably end badly for the thing. It might thrash itself all the way to death's doorstep, or fall unconscious burying its face in the bite it made. Her imperfect curse bound into her genetic code holds absolutely no qualms about how it slips through the opened doors of opportunity, only that it does.

She keeps twisting and flowing with the infernal beast, nudging it closer to the red line scored like a wound across the floor. Only one way to learn: she shoves its hind end over and pins it flat to the ground once the beast mostly straddles the line. Her own flirtation with danger is scarcely lost, even as the light blazes through her foxfire braids, giving her a look of the unrepentant Magdalene smiling up at Judas, or worse. Her expression holds a measure of concentration needed to maintain her hold.

"He trespassed against you, not I. Would as you wish, Mr. Hellstrom." A twist in her arms forces her to bear down, her grip tightening in a merciless clinch. "Not an embrace I wish to repeat all day long, though, for this thing smells foul."


Daimon may have met Judas a time or two, suffering and twisting the maw of the depths of Hell. Perhaps it truly was the Great Betrayer or perhaps merely an illusion conjured by Satanic might. His father wished to make a point about the perils of treason. Daimon, of course, might remind him that the landscape of Hell itself made a perfectly good point about the cost/benefit analysis involved in rebellion.

"Foul it is - the resemblance to a dog does no service to that noble species. Hellhounds can be tamed and trained, but only by the right hand. Most of them end up mad. Wouldn't anything, were its native soil the flame-wracked expanse of Hades?" he says.

He stands above it, the pentagram on his chest flaring as another portal opens, this one in the man himself as it sucks the essence of the beast back where it belongs, leaving the man himself catching his breath as the conflict is finally over.

"My apologizes, I did not intend to involve anyone else in my…personal affairs."


Rebellion and the fruits thereof, twisted from a branch, can so easily be poisoned. The wrong slant blights knowledge offered from a fair hand. Scarlett cannot quite analyze anything the instant the portal opens up, though her grip loosens as the irrevocable pull on the hound causes her to recoil out of caution. By that point, she might as well back up against the case holding the records, the decorous minidress not helping in the least with looking especially gracious. She can't very well pull her knees to her chest.

Thus the girl shifts, kneeling instead, for but a moment. Lessons learned of that scarlet line impose upon her memories and now the gaping chasm that pulls the unknown into and through a man to places unknown. Now only to demonstrate the wit to know what to do with it.

"I'm rather disappointed by only one head," she says. It allows for a bit of humour even as she brushes herself off, measuring any damage to her garments. Leggings, dress, boots — ah! Her hat is recovered, jauntily angled upon her head. "You hardly need apologize. It was not as though you advertised 'come attack me here while I shop,' did you?"


Daimon smiles, "If Cerebus had come here, I assure you, I would not have left him for you to manhandle. Nor would this building be standing," he says. He was about to extend a hand to offer assistance in rising when she does so on her own. He flicks his wrist, making the trident disappear from sight.

"I didn't, but I have been leaving myself…open, of late. Hoping to lure such as these out of the shadows. I had felt myself being shadowed recently and knew I would have to face them sooner rather than later," he says.

"You seem very nonplussed for someone who just witnessed a battle between the Son of Satan and Hell's own minions. I take it you are no stranger to the unusual side of this world?"


No three-headed hound and no army of the dead, no irate Persephone and furious Charon come to flood New York under the river of the underworld. All in all, a good day. His trident vanishes as quickly as it appeared before her verdant eyes, and the mercurial course of emotions watercoloured across her expression changes yet again.

All hinges upon the expectation of engagement, the rules of a diplomatic discussion. His question brings the ghostliest of smiles to her full mouth, an arch of her eyebrows by faint degrees. "Was I to fall into hysterics? A palpable swoon while you battled the minions of terrible sartorial choice?" she inquires softly, her voice silk to the harder edges of sound remaining. "It would not have ended very well for me. I had no confirmation you would have split off your attack to defend me, in any event, and dividing your concentration is a good way to make a mistake. Mistakes are costly, just as celebrations, but often more immediately so."

The thinking comes full circle, a gift as much as she can make it. Her heart rate is nothing if not an outright canter, not quite a gallop. Should he stare into her aura, the painted hues war and twist in a wild cacophony speaking to all the pains of trying to read much off her. "You are the son of Satan. I suppose for pride and thanks for this," a finger points to the floor, "I could utter a shriek and sway dramatically? What be your preference?"


Daimon raises an eyebrow as he retrieves his cigarette where he dropped it on the ground, taking a drag as it's still lit in the wake of the battle. It only took a few moments, after all, as shocking as it all may have been.

"Very tactical, very practical. You don't strike me as a practical sort, but, then, we're all full of surprises these days, aren't we?" he smiles. "For future reference, I would split off to defend you, if you needed, but I could sense there was more to you than met the eye, even if I wasn't sure what. Having you take down a hellhound was certainly a good indication of finding out. But I don't smell magic on you necessarily, so…a mutant? A superhuman of some stripe? Yes, so it would seem," he says.

He shakes his head, "No need for hysterics or swooning, although I do have a fondness for both in their proper context. It merely made me curious and, well, curiosity opens all kinds of dangerous doors. But that's never stopped me before."


The scent of the cigarette permeates the air, seducing the orange-infused neroli and bruised peony she contributes to it. Burning in a garden of delights, the unenviable traces of violence. "Life always has conflict, even for dreamers," Scarlett murmurs, a trace of deeper knowing moving beneath words that could adorn a poster or the foreword to any of the books laid upon the shelves next door.

She raises her palms when he measures her ability, hands to the sides. "Certain lessons learned by being an unchaperoned young lady in a city as large as this, particularly living in an area without the security of the Upper West Side." A totally plausible and pragmatic approach, which could well give another dimension to her duality; the dreamer and the bohemian, the pacifist trained for war, or at least conflict. "I am simply me. Many titles, as you said, some of them applicable now or otherwise."

On the contrary, there is a shred of spellcraft about her, a very tangible streak of colour to the usual tightly furled bud that so many humans are. Someone is waking up to the siren's song, stirring to the song sung from Babel's great tower ere the rebellion launched.

"You it would seem are well-positioned to handle such concerns. Better here than in Times Square at least." She lets out a pent up breath, and gestures. "A coffee, perhaps? Or whatever infernal temptation amuses you, as I feel indulgent in curiosity." Curiosity may have killed the cat, but this one happens to be a touch more hardy than some breeds of common ginger.


Daimon smiles, "I'll take you up on that," he says, sliding a few bills from his pocket across the counter to compensate the owners for the business he may have frightened away. Only for the moment. As rumors spread, it will only add to the mystique of the place and attract more customers hoping to see a supernatural war break out.

"Coffee shared, by a pair of unique individuals with their own particular brand of mischief. What could go wrong?" he laughs.

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