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Century for a Dame [Open]

Tiffany Korta

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Happy Hour, Chester's Club, West End, Freedom City

14th February 2020

Lucy wasn’t generally one to feel melancholic, she enjoyed her un-life to the fullest. But this year was going to be rough on her, the 1920 had been her time when everything swung and she was among the bright young thing. It wouldn’t be long before a century that she was originally killed, and whilst she’d missed most of it the weight of the years weighed heavy on her. People shouldn’t relive a decade more than once, and she wonder mournfully if it was be the same if she made it to the next ‘20s.


Sipping her dirty Martini Lucy wasn’t really paying attention to the cub she liked to spend her time, instead of the dingy (though no longer smoky) jazz atmosphere, the club was brightly lit with table for a night for those who didn’t have a date for this special day...

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It was not true, as so many people thought, that Ashley Tran did not wear dresses. Oh it was certainly true that she preferred dressing more practically when she was anywhere close to on-duty; and it was also true that the 'costumes' she wore when she was pretending to be Judy's sister had originally been designed by men who thought that a teenage lesbian had to dress like she was trying out for a part in Grease. But she did actually own several dresses she liked very much, dresses that generally stayed packed away in storage because while they looked great they did not make her look seventeen-going-on-eighteen at all. 


The dress was sparkly and blue, open at the front to show the halter top she was wearing underneath, and went well with the bright red lipstick she was wearing. If her blonde hair was a wig (the better to hide her obviously dyed pink hair), it was the best she'd been able to find; put there by a very sympathetic hairdresser when she'd told the story of how she hardly ever got to go on dates, and how it was a special occasion for Valentine's Day. Of course, as she walked out into the club just ahead of her date, this was a _very_ special occasion - even if, with any luck, no one watching them would figure out just how special it was. 

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Davyd had seen numerous declarations of love at Claremont over the course of the week, and as many today as the previous four put together.  He'd had no one to share such things with, nor -- as far as he knew -- anyone who wished to do likewise with him, but that was fine.  He'd been too preoccupied with school, and practicing with his powers, and a recent trip into space, to really think about that sort of thing.  Sure, he'd had a crush on Lulu almost as soon as he saw her, but that had cooled, and now they were good friends.  Besides, there were other ways he could have fun.


This is good practice for me, he thought as he walked down a street in West End, psyching himself up.  Infiltrate, recon, exit, return to base, all without anyone suspecting.  Yup, a perfect exercise for someone of my talents.  (He may have also been practicing what he'd say to Headmistress Summers if she ever caught ind of what he was doing.)


And so into Chester's Club walked a handsome man, mid-20s, tall (nearly six and a half feet!), with long brown hair, blue-green eyes, broad shoulders & muscular chest, a drab green jackets over a green and white plaid shirt, blue jeans, and black boots.  He strode past the bar, smiling and nodding at whoever looked his way, and took a seat near the pool tables.


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Fa'Rua had taken the 'little black dress' advice for the evening perhaps too much to heart.  The high necked halter bodycon fell to mid thigh and left her back and shoulders fully exposed.  If she'd been traversing the streets of freedom in mid february in person she'd have been at real risk of hypothermia, and twisting an ankle in the slingback black pumps she finished the outfit off with.  However the holographic representation of  the Lor didn't have to worry about the chill air nor the stray uneven paver on the walk to the bar, despite appearing as solid as as anyone else it was all projected light and repulsor fields, quite the lightshow for anyone who saw outside the human spectrum.  She ducked quickly through the door behind Ashley, the holo-presence device had strong enough repulsors simulate touch but not much in the way of lift or pull strength.  It also managed to disguise her ears to a human shape and tint her hair and eyes to a crisp steel blue and platinum blonde.  Though she retained the edgy undercut styling.  The makeup she'd actually worn on her side of the galaxy, it was a special day after all.


Reaching the table she pushed the holo-presence device to it's limits pulling out Ashleys chair for her before taking her own seat smiling across the table and galaxy at her radiant girlfriend,  "You look amazing, this was a good idea, almost as good as, being there."  She whispered and shrugged slightly not wanting to speak up too loudly that she wasn't actually there.  "So did I do ok?"  she asked not even caring that she was fishing for a compliment.  

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"You look amazing," whispered Ashley, looking Fa'Rua over with a smile on her face as the candlelight shone in her eyes. "I'm just looking forward to a date where I don't have a bruised rib," she added with a whisper and a chuckle. 


She'd been disappointed when a ship repair meant that Fa'Rua wasn't going to make it to Earth this February, but the knowledge of just how much work she'd done to be 'there' that evening (the drone through the embassy, the long-distance connection, the communications room she was sitting in in an outfit that probably looked distinctly odd in space) took the agent's breath away as much as the way Fa'Rua looked by night. She took the Lor's hand, and if tingling holographic energy didn't quite feel like flesh and blood, well it sure as hell beat gripping onto her phone late at night and wondering if there was anyone else out there in the universe. "I just can't believe we're here tonight." A few people were looking their way, a femme couple being a little unusual, but as they took their seats near Lucy Ashley didn't care. That's right, you bastards, she thought cheerfully as she looked around the room, look at this goddess. 


"I'll have a dirty martini," she told their waiter, shooting a glance at Fa'Rua. It would take a little more work for her to 'have a drink', but she'd been assured that holographic technology and food synthesizers where she was were up to it. 

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"Vodka rocks."  Fa'Rua indicated to the waitress, keeping it simple for the synthesizers and avoiding the more outlandish terran cocktails she'd not sampled.  The Lor thrilled at the sensation simulated though it was of Ashleys hand on her own, she'd had to pull in more than a few favors and convince her brother to get her diplomatic access to the network.  This was officially law enforcement team building or some such on the diplomatic corps books.  


She ran her thumb along the back of Ashley's hand smiling softly, "Hey I told you I wouldn't miss it."  she replied with a light laugh as she very nearly had after the ships drive went on the fritz.  Luckily she was in sublight range of CoVic or else she might have really missed it.  "I'm just glad you managed a night off."  those were rare enough and if recent updates on her charge were any indication this had not insubstantial chances to be a fraught evening for the teen ward.  "So this your regular or?"  she asked glancing around, it wasn't exactly what she'd expected though she wasn't entirely sure what to expect.  Usually Ashley just went to bars where she was unlikely to be recognized, this was, sophisticated and somehow softer than she'd have thought.  Then again she knew as few did the same was true of the woman herself.



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"I came here last week to make sure it wasn't a dump or a mob hangout or something like that..." Ash made circles on the back of Fa'Rua's hand with her finger, still marveling at the moment. "Everybody's legal." She grinned, resting her chin under her hand as she studied her date. "We'll probably have some drinks, do some dancing, then see what else the evening has in store." It was half-flirting, half-frank acknowledgement that for all that Judy had given her word to spend the evening with Leroy and the rest of their Bible Study group in discussion of the Song of Solomon, who could say what would really happen?


I still can't believe she figured out I had a date! Judy was naive, sheltered still, and made foolish choices but that didn't make her dumb by any stretch of the imagination. But she was loyal and kept her word even when it was a bad idea...


But rather than dwell overmuch on the potential disasters that could waylay the evening, Ashley said, "I grew up in the birthplace of jazz, so follow my lead when they start playing. It's pretty fast-paced, but I know you can keep up with me." 

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Lucy Harker

Lucy sipped her drink as she watched a few trickling in, she was glad that a few would show up tonight.


So anyone we should be worried about?” the owner of that voice was Jada Johnson the current owner of Chester’s, Lucy had know her great, great grandfather and original owner of the place


“Well I’m sure they’re not un-dead if that helps, I can’t detect supers if that’s what you’re asking.” Lucy replied with a laugh


Guess I better player the host then and find out the hard way.” she slipped off her chair and sashayed over to the lone gentleman (Davyd) and smiled


Welcome to Chester’s I’m Jada owner of this humble establishment. Can I get you a drink whilst you wait for your companion?”


With a smile Lucy watched the few that were already in the club, the cute female couple enjoying each other company. It reminded her of some the things her friends got up to when the club originally opened.


Guess things don’t really change after all, at least people can openly be who they are now.” Lucy mused happily to herself, maybe tonight would improve her centenary funk.

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"Oh, uh, yes, good evening barkeep... stress," the (obviously off-guard) young man replied.  His voice was pleasant enough, but he was obviously nervous.  He searched around his pockets for a moment, "yes, I would like to purchase some alcohol, please," then pulled out a (fake) driver's license.  "As you can see from my license that I am 26.  So I would like..."


What was it Uncle Sasha always drinks when out in public?  Oh, yes, it's...


"... a strawberry vodka," he said, with a smug and self-satisfied grin.


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Jada Johnson

Jada is just fine I never gone for anything so formal, never pays to get to big an opinion if yourself in this City.”


When he graceful ordered a drink she cocked her hip and gave him a look, and a friendly smile.


Honey I've been working here since I was far to young with my father, a real family business if you will, and I’ve seen enough people to get a feel about things. Not as impressive as any powers you could imagine but it help keep us out of trouble. To late I know but long story short you’re going to have to provide ID or it’s soft drinks for you.”

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Crimson Tiger


Mali Benjawan walked in from the cold. She was wearing her black leather motorcycle jacket, a tank top and a pair of jeans. She had a studded leather belt and had recently had her hair cut in a stylishly short pixie cut. 


"Good evening." She said with a smile. She walked up to the bar. "Can I get a bloody mary?" She looked over at Davyd and said nothing, but she did raise an eyebrow at his attempt to buy booze. "I don't know how old you are, but there's no way you're older than me. I don't mean to be rude, sorry." 


She took off her jacket and looked at it. "Anywhere I can hang this up?" She asked. 

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Davyd presented his ID confidently to Jada, "of course, yes, here it is, my driver's license."  It was a fake, though a well-made one, given to him by his uncle Sasha a week or so before Halloween ("so you can get into the good parties, yes?")  This was the first time actually using it, though, so while he wasn't certain it would pass -- especially under the eye of someone who'd been doing this for a while -- he was confident that uncle Sasha's work would pull through.


Keep cool, Dayv, you've got this.


At the jacket-clad woman's comment, he laughed; he'd tried for "nonchalant chuckle" but it came out a bit more nervous than he'd wanted.  "Oh, I get that all the time.  At the law firm.  Where I work."

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The holographic Lor sipped at her drink as she watched her girlfriend light up talking about her hometown.  "At the very least I'll enjoy the view if I can't."  she flirted shamelessly.  Her eyes never left Ashleys face as they spoke, "I love that you advance team our dates."  she teased jovially though she genuinely was touched by the care she took to make sure they weren't interrupted by the sort of thing Freedom was famous for.


"What was it like there when you were growing up?"  Fa'Rua asked curiously, "I've seen the documentaries and travel vids but that's all beads and bourbon street you know?"

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"It wasn't perfect," Ashley admitted. "Our apartment was too small for seven people and the tourists mostly spend their money in the French Quarter, not on East. A lot of people don't even know there _is_ a New Orleans outside of tourist country." She smiled, then added, "But the food and music are the best in the world, and you'll never meet a city where more people are willing to work together. There's even room for hipsters now," she admitted with a grin. "Gumbo and jazz, that's New Orleans. Taking the best from all over, putting it together in one spot." She laughed. "Listen to me, I sound like a tour guide..."


There was  a brief pause when their drinks arrived. "To us," said Ashley, raising her glass. When they took a drink, she said, her voice breathy, "I want to show you some day." 

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Mister Strix


Adriana liked jazz.


The memory of his widow's musical tastes hit Gaetano Giordano as soon as he walked by the club, before he could swat it aside. He was bereft of his usual distractions. He'd fed recently, and while the red thirst could never be truly sated, it was as close as it ever came, and it would leave him alone for at least a little while. His involuntary blood donors had been the last unbroken link in the chain of human traffickers based in Freedom City who had reached into his home town for product like wayward children reaching into a cookie jar before dinner. It wasn't the first syndicate of slavers to move product from Bedlam City to here, and like its predecessors, Guy was sure that he hadn't reached the top floor. But as before, whoever had ultimately been pulling the strings did too thorough a job of insulating themselves from discovery, even against someone who could see the world in a drop of blood. He just had to hope he'd done enough damage to discourage and delay future ventures.


He had contacts in Freedom. Several local superheroes had found themselves in Bedlam from time to time, and when they'd crossed paths, the results were always productive, if not cordial. He'd briefly considered reaching out to those contacts, both before and after he'd concluded his business here. But it hadn't proven necessary, and unnecessary social interaction wasn't something he made much time for these days. If Dead Head had been available for this "business trip", then he'd already be home. But since he lacked his ally's ability to teleport between graveyards, he'd had to travel by more conventional means, keeping him away from his home town for longer than he'd have liked even before he'd become a supernatural creature notoriously for being fiercely territorial.


You should just keep walking. Don't dwell, move on...but...but...She's probably in a place just like this right now. With her new husband. No, not "new", they've been together almost as long as you were...just new to you. Because the world doesn't stop spinning just because you closed your eyes. Hell with it. The train doesn't leave until tomorrow, whether you spend the rest of the night in your hotel room or not. The future won't get here any faster, doesn't matter if you're waiting in the present or the past when it does.


The man who walked into Chester's was unnaturally pale. Not merely sickly, he would have been considered an extreme case even by the standards of albinism, if the darkest eyes and the messy mop of black hair adorning his scalp didn't render that condition an impossibility. He was tall and lean, his face all sharp angles with a prominent nose that wouldn't look out of place on a statue of a Roman emperor. He wore a black shirt under his white business suit, and that contrast was the only thing making it clear where his alabaster skin ended and the fabric of the suit began. The parts of the club he passed through became noticeably colder. Windows and glasses and bathroom mirrors fogged up. He tried to avoid the holiday decorations mounted everywhere, but he came too close to one, and the flowers in it wilted and dried up instantly. But few people in the club noticed any of this strangeness consciously enough to comment on it, or to connect it with the man in white. In fact, most of them didn't notice him at all, thanks to the psychic signal he broadcast suggesting they ignore and forget him, a feat that had long ago become second-nature for him. Even if they didn't connect the environmental oddities with him, anyone with a will strong enough to ignore his mental suggestion might still pick up on the strangeness of the man himself. They might notice that his shoes didn't make a sound when he walked to his table, or that he didn't have a shadow, that he barely blinked or that his chest didn't rise and fall rhythmically, that watching him sit was like watching a statue that moved but only when you looked away from it.


The club was an assault on his superhuman senses. The dozens of different types of liquor behind the counter and the perfumes and colognes clinging to each patron's skin all burned his nose as if the bottles were an inch from his face. His ears caught every whisper, every heartbeat. The lights were dim to human eyes, but for him, they may as well have been road flares. When he took an empty seat, he excluded the nearest server from his field of light mesmerism so that she could take his order, "A glass of the Recioto della Valpolicella, please," an order delivered with perfect pronunciation of the Italian, in a voice far too deep and resonant for a man of such a slight build. Her favorite. When the waitress asked to see his identification, his coal-black eyes penetrated hers like twin invisible needles, injecting a tiny false memory into her mind. "You already did." After the red wine arrived, he tipped his glass to his lips and sipped it, but he didn't swallow it. He didn't want to ruin anyone else's evening by vomiting a liter of blood onto the floor. And the wine hit his tongue just in time for him to taste the moment when it turned to vinegar, aging decades in an instant. He discreetly let it slide back out of his mouth and into the glass.


Happy Valentine's Day, Bella.


Edited by Grumblefloof
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The band on the stage began to warm up, as the place started to gain a few more occupants. The club was friendly to all kinds of Jazz and often had open mic night, and many big names had played that little stage. Tonight was for lovers so they played a jazz version of a popular modern love song.


Jada was placated by the pass, and if she thought it was a fake she didn’t mention anything, instead she smiled at the pair.


Of cause first drink is on the house, why don’t you join this young lawyer whilst I fetch the drink.” she gently encouraged Mali to sit in the chair opposite Davyd.


And before she could be discourage she left to fetch the drinking, smiling to her Lucy when her back was turned to the pair.


At the table of Ashley and Fa'Rua the busy waitress, her name-tag said Eunice, offered them each a single red rose.


A small token for you both on this night for lovers. Please let me know if you need anything else?”

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Lucy Harker

You are terrible you know that?” Lucy said when Jada came back to the bar


It is the night for love new and old...” Jada replied as she set up the drink order, she continued to talk about her philosophy of love but Lucy wasn’t listening as scanning the club she had spotted someone.


Her coal black eye gifted her with many abilities one of which was to be able to see those of her own kind. Whilst she had met many decent and good undead in her years she had also dealt with her share of malignant spirits and hungry risen. Worse of all she found were young vampires who after reading one book or other decided that stalking people in allies or in club like this one. The older vampires were just as bad but they tended to gather in salons to play whatever power games kept them amused through the aeons.


Trouble?” Jada asked spotting that faraway look in Lucy’s eyes.


Potentially. I’ll check it out just to be sure.”


Grabbing the strangers drink order she wandered over placed the drink down, before looking at the man over the top of her sunglasses her black orbs twinkling in the low lights of the club.


Do you mind if I join you?” for now she figured she’d keep things civil.

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Mali placed her jacket on the chair and sat down across from Davyd. She imagined he may have never met anyone like her before. She figured he may not be old enough to drink, but it wasn't her job to judge, and she'd make sure he'd be okay. Even if it meant getting him back to, well, wherever he was from. She didn't bring her bike, it was too cold. She'd make sure he was okay.


"Nice to meet you, Mr. Attorney. I'm here to take a break and enjoy my evening. What about you? My name is Mali. It's Thai."

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Mister Strix



"Do you mind if I join you?"


Lucy's voice snapped Guy out of his reverie. Why would the waitress want to join me? He was almost annoyed as he looked up, expecting to mesmerize her into forgetting he existed, when his eyes met a pair as black as his own, set into a face as inhumanly pale and flawless as his own. He was stricken as much by what wasn't there. He didn't hear a pulse sending delicious crimson nectar rushing like whitewater rapids through her veins. He didn't smell any sweat, no tangy mix of chemicals outlining her diet, health, and emotional state as if they'd been written up in a dossier. He neither heard nor smelled the exhalation of the tiny clouds of carbon dioxide that usually lit up his potential prey like a Christmas tree. It was cold at this table, but there was no slight shiver from her like there had been from the waitress who took his order. This one didn't mind the cold. That alone should have clued me in. Distracted. Sloppy. The woman stood almost a full foot shorter than Guy, but he was starting to suspect that the size difference wouldn't matter in the slightest if they came to blows. Some few mortals were strong-willed enough to resist his power, few enough that it was a surprise every time. But Guy grew increasingly suspicious as to whether or not this woman was one of them, or something else altogether.


"No. I can't promise I'll be good company, but I don't mind. Not that it would matter if I did. I saw you chatting with the owner. Not the manager. The fond way she looks at this place, the tender care with which she handles every glass, it suggests a sense of emotional investment beyond punching a time clock. No, she loves this club, like it was her own child. And the easy familiarity you two demonstrated implies family, or long-term friendship close enough that it's a distinction without a difference. You have the run of the place. If your desires did run counter to my own, yours would win out. So...what are those desires?"


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Crap crap this wasn't how it was supposed to go!  I was going to observe for a bit first, then make an approach to others.  Not have them come to me!  And this guy isn't a lawyer, the background I worked up is-  Okay, okay, keep cool.


The handsome man smiled nervously at the woman who now sat across from him, who looked to be the same age as him but was really almost a decade older.  "Nice to meet you, Mali," he offered his hand to her, "my names Stefan.  Stefan Martyn.  It's Russian."


Go with it, or steer things back a bit?  My improv skills still need work, so I won't fall to that just yet.  Let's see...


"I, uh, should come clean and say I'm not an Attorney."  He placed both hands flat on the table, "I do work in a law firm, yes, but," he drummed his fingers, "in their IT department.  So, ah, what do you do?  What are you taking a break from?"

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"Well I have heard that meeting a cute tour guide in exotic locations is a time honored tradition in your neck of the woods."  Fa'Rue teased perhaps unintentionally taking romance novels as more of a cultural touchstone then they were. 


"To Us."  Fa'Rua met the toast and sipped her drink, she smiled at Ashley's admission, "I'd like that too."  she replied and perked as the band started to warm up.  She was unaware of any of the unfolding drama around the rest of the bar her senses somewhat muzzled by the interface and it unable to detect one patron whatsoever.  Though even if she had been able to take notice it was unlikely she'd take note of anyone but the woman who's hand rested in her own.


"But for now we'll have to settle for the sounds not the sights."  the Lor stood and extended a hand, "If you'd do me the honor beautiful."  Taking Ashleys hand she led the Terran to the dance floor hips swaying slightly to the music as she found the beat and turned to her girlfriend with a brow raised, "So you were going to show me how it's done?"

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Don't freak out don't freak out 


Ashley Tran firmly reminded herself that she was a mature woman and not a naive teenager, so there was no need to get giddy when Fa'Rua led her out onto the dance floor. So what if her heart was pounding in her chest in a rhythm that had nothing to do with the music? She adjusted the rose in her hair, the red over one ear. 


As she wrapped her arms around Fa'Rua, looking up in the other woman's eyes, for a moment the rest of the place could have burned down for all she cared. "Well, first you have to listen to the band..." She cocked her head, then nodded. "Find the dance pulse, the underlying rhythm..." She swayed her hips to the beat, "and then the music from the horns..." She moved her shoulders and elbows to the secondary rhythm. "Anybody can dance," she said as the movement of the band picked up and so did hers, "not anybody can dance to jazz!" 

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Fa'Rua was comfortable on a dance floor, a part of her enjoyed the spectacle of it all, and the rest was just happy to spend any time with her terminally busy girlfriend.  But when Ashely met her eyes and started to move her hips her breath caught in her throat if only for a fraction of a second.  She smiled down at the Terran with genuine joy as she explained and demonstrated the motions.


The Lor was something of a natural, light on her feet and attentive as a student and carrying the confidence of one who care about only what one person in the building thought.  She slid her hips from side to side in rhythm to the drum beat falling into the music and moving to the fanfare of the horns and trill of the piano.  "I think you missed your calling with this whole law enforcement thing you're doing."  she teased playfully as they moved together on the dance floor, "You clearly should have taken up dance."

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Samuel Amber was not one for celebrations, and Valentine's Day especially made him mildly bemused. It endeared the people of this world to him, in many ways, because it was so idealistic. Of course, one didn't have to look especially hard at the holiday to see the fingers of all-too-familiar greed and materialism lurking behind the facade. Thus, he would have been as surprised as any of his coworkers to find himself at a club on Valentine's Day... were it not for his particular target.


Tyler Lee himself, as well as his wife Ying Lee, were slumming it (to an extent) in Chester's Club. Thus, Samuel found himself stepping into the club, his costume and mask well-hidden beneath his normal clothing. He seated himself in a relatively shadowy corner, very careful to avoid being too close to his doppelgänger. A chill settled down on his shoulders, and he blinked. Was he somewhere close to an air conditioning unit? Then he heard the voices, and looked up. An albino man was sitting nearby, arguing with a waitress... he thought that was what she was, anyways. I'm getting over focused. I should've noticed him... why didn't I?

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Mali shrugged. "I'm currently starting up my own physical therapy business. It's been a rough time. Not that I can't handle it, but there are permits and all sorts of other stuff to worry about. It's been a hassle." She leaned forward.


"IT, huh? I don't consider myself a fool, but I never had much of a head for stuff like that. Gimme something to do with my hands and I'm a bit better. I went into sports medicine because I'm a fitness nut."


She leaned back in a relaxed posture. "Though I've heard IT has it's own stress." 

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