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Cline Building: 02/04/2018



The Freedom League housing was a boon for those heroes who had not quite found their footing in a world that didn't always revolve around punching, blasting, or disintegrating the more mundane problems like rent.  The small one bedroom apartments were tidy, furnished, and sufficient enough for Corporis after her sudden reversal of a very deathly condition.  While she hadn't been either alive, or living there very long, it was starting to feel like home with some personal items beginning to give the space a personal touch.  There was a semblance of food in the small kitchenette, some papers which appeared to begin the process to being recognized as a real person, and even some books scattered about.


It was late on Sunday when Jennifer returned back from the small sports bar around the corner.  Her need for human contact sometimes felt like it went beyond the social and the faint longings of the sweet nectar withing them was tempting.  However, she had left that behind her and even if she wanted to be around people it was no longer to look at them as a convenient snack.


So it was later than normal when she finally made it back to her apartment, the pleasant afterglow of a good evening still wrapped around her like a cloak.

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It was a 'social experiment', as the kids like to call them these days. She would go to a sports bar and watch the game. Superbowl Sunday was such easy prey in New Orleans. She remembered last year, and the year before, and... well she did it for fifty-two at most. This Sunday, she would not think of sinking her teeth into the flesh of blitzed out of their mind revelers. No, she would actually enjoy the game. Mingle with the people. Have fun in a different sort of way.


And it was a good night. She got a few drinks for free for the company of some rapid sports fans. They cheered victories and scorned defeats.Sure, it wasn't the Jets or the Giants, but most of the bar interested in the game wanted to see Tom Brady lose. And they were rewarded. While she wasn't completely drunk, she didn't feel right walking home stumbling. She poured herself into a cab. She had a lively one-and-a-half-sided conversation with the cab driver. She would talk and he would either not answer or throw a few words in to keep her going. She paid the driver and went back to her apartment.


She looked around the empty place. It was beautiful. Lonely, but beautiful.

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The warm water of the shower felt really good and while she was still immune from the worst effects from drinking, she could still feel some of the long forgotten joy of being buzzed.  The initial issues she had at the bar were rapidly fading and it was a heavy sigh that escaped her lips as she dried off and crawled over and on to her bed.  It wasn't the most comfortable thing in the world, but at the moment, it felt as good as the finest cotton nest as she fell into it.  The shuffle into her pajama pants might have been comical as she didn't quite have the energy to get up and do it properly, so there was some wiggling and bucking to get the soft pants on so she could let the sweet embrace of sleep claim her.


She had just closed her eyes when the worst realization hit her, the alarm was still set.


Fumbling her arm out of the comfortable confines she finally grasped her phone and batted at it.  Of course, the device did it's best to escape her sightless grasp which forced her to turn and actually look for it.  Finding the phone was easy at that point, but that was not what blasted the last of the pleasant buzz from her mind.


It was the note, written in a very elegant longhand on a plain white card folded in half lengthwise to stand as an obvious calling card to her.


"2783 Oak Street, Bedlam, WI - 10:05 am

There are repercussions for missing this appointment."


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If only it were just a dream. Last night. The past century. She had dreams, but they were blood soaked gore fests. Nightmares of ripping through bodies, then feasting on and bathing with the insides. She'd only started having them after she returned to life. She assumed it was a side effect of losing or gaining something from the man who 'fixed' her. If they were an intimidation factor, it failed. She reveled in these thoughts. The latter, she assumed, was the time of being a vampire normalizing this. Not that she would do it in her waking hours... Would she?


Into the waking world she was thrust at the sound of her phone blaring a crude message about the time to stop. But the note she pulled instead confused her. Dark magic indeed. "Bedlam," she asked with a confused waking groan, "lovely, breakfast time. There had better be breakfast." She knew how bad it was there. It had a reputation. She fell back into her dreams again.


Come morning, things were OK. Vampirism killed little things like hangovers. However, it did not kill bad decisions. It probably made them worse. She sat up and looked for the note. It was crumpled beneath her. She looked at the time. An hour. She could have ignored it, but 'repercussions'. Oh boy. She tidied up; a shower, this time not a mess. Just in case no breakfast, she grabbed a couple of toaster waffles. She slipped into that familiar Corporis garb of black. Looking at her phone she found the address. Finally, she would have to be there expeditiously. Baring the back of her arm, she sliced deep. The blood fell on the floor. She'd clean it when she got back. Hopefully there was someone there at that address.

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Jennifer stepped out near the carcass of a dog which had been hit by a car earlier in the day.  The alley she found herself in was grimy and dirty and reeked of refuse which hadn't been collected in far too long.  The towering brick buildings on either side of her had a utilitarian construction as if the builders hadn't really cared what the end product looked like.  The pavement was cracked and potholes decorated its tarmacked length.  Five dumpsters lined the alley and besides the wrought iron fire escapes, there was little else of interest here.


There were no street signs and this was definitely a new city for her, while the alley was easy enough to navigate, it took more than a few minutes to get her bearings and walk down the run down street through one of Bedlam's commercial districts.  As she approached the address, it appeared to coincide with a Deli called Bickle's Pickles.  Like much of Bedlam, this eating establishment seemed to have survived through the years on a shoestring budget.  The windows had a film covering them from years of being washed and then covered with the salt from the roads in Wisconsin's harsh winters. 


Inside, ceiling had a plaster art deco drop ceiling along with a large counter and dozens of formica tables and battered chairs.  Still, the smell of Pastrami and Bratwurst permeated the room and the people looked reasonably content with their fare.

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