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Technomancer and troubleshooter by trade. Programmer by choice. Creator of Deviant Paradigm, somewhat by accident.
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Friday, October 28, 2005
Semper Nox Noctis: Memoirs of the Overalpha
The lycanthropes, the wolves in particular, of the city in which the base world of Semper Nox Noctis is set are more or less ruled by the Overalpha, Alec Fletcher. These are short stories told from his perspective of the world he is a part of.
Warning: Some strong language and suggestive subject matter
So I'm sitting in Le Petit Chat, a gentleman's club in the cat's quarter of the city. It's a nice place to drink, and the girls were pretty enough that the club could even pull pure bloods and vamps in. Pretty impressive, but the cats were always a lot better at bringing people together. Considering that they don't have the pack mentality of us wolves, that might be counterintuitive, but I've noticed wolf packs become mobs all too quickly. So I'm watching this cute little lep sliding on a pole so smoothly it's like she's part snake instead of cat. ["lep" is Fletcher's abbreviation of wereleopard -- ed.] She's been watching me back. Maybe she's got a thing for long tongues and pointed muzzles; I know I've always had one for spots. Then I hear a commotion going on farther down the stage. I throw my glance reluctantly away from the lithe beauty. The scent hits me just before my eyes can take the scene. Damn. A couple of wolves are harrassing one of the dancers. Obviously having some trouble with the "no touching" rule. Stupid SOBs. They're new bloods, obviously. New bloods always have problems remembering that they aren't in charge, that their new strength doesn't mean they can do what they want. I sigh. Looks like I'll have to remind them. And fast; before this becomes a fully fledged scene. Orion and I didn't spend the last two years getting lycanthropes accepted by the pures to let this sort of shit go on.
I set my drink down and stand up. There's a firm pressure on my shoulder. I look up to see Jacques. Jacques owns Le Chat. He's the biggest, nastiest tabby I know. [Fletcher refers to weretigers as "tabbys" -- ed.] Jacques and I have become friends over the years, and there's few beings I'd less like to get into a straight fight with.
"Sit down, Fletcher," he says.
"Jacques, these are wolves. The bastards are my responsiblity."
"Not in my club, Fletcher. You're a paying customer. You relax. I'll handle them. Don't you cause a scene, Fletcher. I'd hate to have to throw the Overalpha out." I sit back down. I'm not going to argue with Jacques. He's got a point. So I let him handle it.
"Your call, Jacques. But I'll be right here if you need a hand." Jacques just laughs. If he needs help, the pistol I've got is the only thing that will be involved. There aren't many wolves ballsy enough to carry silver bullets. But I've had to put down too many of my own kind to be without them. You don't get to be Overalpha and weigh a hundred pounds less than most wolves unless you're willing to break some new ground.
Jacques heads over to the troublemakers. I can't hear the conversation over the music, but I think he started out polite. Then Jacques threw one on the table and dislocated his shoulder. I smile. Jacques is practically the bouncer of his own club. He's all it needs. Jacques lets go. The young wolf stands and pops his shoulder back in place, grimacing. They talk a little more. Judging by their expressions, this isn't a friendly conversation. Then the whole lot of them walk out the door. Looks like Jacques talked them into leaving. He follows them out. I finish my beer and throw some more money at the lep on the stage. She's a good dancer, she deserves it. Probably putting herself through college. I'm half done with my next drink by the time Jacques comes back in.
Jacques has gone full on tabby. He's somewhere around eight feet tall now. And blood's soaking his fur up to his elbows. But there's not a scratch on him. I smile again. Jacques is a helluva fighter. A lot better than a young wolf's gonna think. Idiots generally assume cats are weaker than they are. Just goes to show how foolish assumptions are. As Jacques walks by my table, he tells me, "Those boys won't be coming around here anymore. Don't worry about them, Fletcher." Then he heads inside his office. When he reemerges, he's cleaned up and back in his sportscoat, looking almost human. So when he sits at my table, I just have to ask.
"You didn't kill them did you, Jacques?"
"No, Fletcher, they all lived through the lesson. But I'm pretty sure they got some broken limbs out of the deal. They won't forget the rules when they're in somebody else's club. And they'll never be back here again. I'd be surprised to see them in this quarter." I laugh. Jacques can be very persuasive when he wants to be.
"Good. That keeps me from having to do anything terrible to them."
"You shouldn't have to worry, Fletcher," Jacques smiles. "Oh, and before I forget. Layla wants to have a word with you." He flicks his eyes toward the pole, just so I couldn't possibly misunderstand who he was talking about and points back to the door into the back, where the office and the dressing rooms are.
"Thanks for passing that on, Jacques. It would be a pity to keep her waiting." I smile back. This night is looking up.