Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chapter 66: Wynslow Doesn't Have The Answers

Mon, November 30, 2074 10:41 pm: 1 Laurel Drive; Edgewater, Riverblossom Hills


Wyn didn’t suppose they made them like this anymore. The fae closest to him was pale beyond the point of translucency. His gaze darted around the parameter of Wyn’s front porch and when their eyes locked, he exuded a severity that could kill flies in mid air. The last time that Wyn came into contact with a fae like this one, he had been a boy of sixteen or so. It had not been a pleasant meeting. Since then, Wyn simply assumed that they’d all been out bred.

Standing beside the peculiar fae was an older, far more innocuous one. But what concerned Wyn more than either of these was the squadron hidden atop his roof and in the underbrush and crouching ever so silently by the back door. They gave off no scent that a vampire could recognize but they were there, waiting with the patience of spiders.

Plan A was to give them whatever they wanted. Plan B was to give Harriet a chance to run, at any cost. There was no Plan C as Wyn would have nothing left to give.


“Are you Wynslow Dietrich Stahl of 1 Laurel Drive, born Malik Karem Samad?” The pale one had a thunderous voice that felt somehow familiar. Wyn squinted his eyes in an attempt to get a better look at the young man.

“Wyn, who is that?” Wyn darted a furtive glance over his shoulder, in his daughter’s general direction.

“No concern of yours, that’s who. Go back to bed, Harriet.” Wyn didn’t hear her move. Damn fool kid. He turned his attention to the older fae, whose preternatural eyes shone in the dark.

“What can I do you boys for?” he asked. The pale fae lifted his head like a buck displaying his crown of prongs.


“Agents Hyperion Tvaud and Pandarus Wexler of the Royal Department of Investigations. We are researching the whereabouts of several vampiric individuals suspected to have forged an attack on a fae.” Wyn licked his lips thoughtfully. Tvaud. The name didn’t ring a bell.

“Well gents, you can go research some place else because I’m so old, just the thought of doing that turns my stomach.” Hyperion placed a hand on the doorframe. Wyn straightened his posture threateningly. If the fae tried to muscle his way in then there was nothing that Wyn could do. But that didn’t stop him from bluffing. They glared at one another until Agent Wexler clasped Hyperion’s shoulder, diffusing the other man’s ponderously short temper.


“You are not under investigation, Mr. Stahl. We merely have a few questions,” Agent Wexler said. His voice was thickly accented. Something about the way he moved and spoke told Wyn that he was well-born amongst faes. “May we come in?” Wyn nearly balked at the question.

“I have a kid,” he hastened. It was a stupid thing to say but it was his best defense. Agent Wexler nodded, his face a mask of calm.

“We know. And we promise not to keep her up for long.” Wyn gazed between the two men. Harriet was not his daughter biologically or even legally and he supposed that they knew it. The RDI did not just show up on a person’s doorstep without having done their homework. Wyn spent more than a few nights awake in bed with premonitions of an event just like this. They couldn’t take his little girl away. They couldn’t. Wyn closed his eyes and exhaled.

“We require your full cooperation, Mr. Stahl,” Hyperion said, breaking Wyn from his reverie. A lock of his long black hair fell forward and Wyn caught sight of his ear. It was tiny and blunt for a fae, tellingly so. The agent was a partling. While Wyn's curiosity about Hyperion's pedigree didn't quite outweigh his trepidation, he still moved away from the door. Plan A was to tell them whatever they wanted to hear.


“You ain’t really going to let them men in here at this hour?” Harriet sucked her teeth before speaking. Wyn walked over to the table, not pausing in his stride as he moved past her.

“Keep your mouth shut. Don’t make eye contact. And stay behind me.” he hissed. Harriet raised her eyebrows in questioning.


They had been over dozens of emergency scenarios since she had come to live with him. Given their seclusion, his condition and the possibility of an unwelcome visit from her lunatic uncle, the precautions had been necessary.

"They police?" she mouthed. Wyn shook his head. From the look on his face, she could probably tell that this situation was a code orange. From the look on her face, he could see that she put too much faith in his ability to shelter them both from harm.


Hyperion took a seat directly across from Wyn. The guns belted at his side clamored against the wooden chair, announcing their presence to Harriet. Wyn watched her eyes falling nervously from Agent Wexler’s face to his hips. He wanted to reassure her that the guns were a good sign. An RDI agent without a gun was an RDI agent who didn't need a gun. Wexler perched on the edge of Wyn’s bed and Harriet moved as close to the wall behind Wyn as she dared.

“Our primary suspect,” Hyperion began. “Is kindred to you under Cade Muenda. That is why we are here.” He waved a hand over the surface of the table and a large grouping of Polaroid photographs manifested. Many of them were taken from afar on various high traffic sidewalks in Veronaville. Wyn picked one up at random and swallowed hard to keep the shock from registering on his face.


“The name is Jareth Alexei Garrison. Physical age, twenty-one. Height, six feet. Hair color, blond. Natural eye color, copper. Caste, townsman. Birthplace, Pleasantview. Do you recognize the suspect, Mr. Stahl?” Wyn’s mouth had gone dry. He peeled his stare away from the photograph with considerable effort. Yes, he recognized the suspect. And he didn’t know which would be the lesser evil to give in to; Cade Muenda or the RDI.

If any harm came to Cade’s prize poodle because of information that Wyn leaked, Harriet’s life would be forfeit. Perhaps Wyn’s wife and two sons as well. He weighed his words carefully.

“We’ve met, yeah,” he said. “Only once though. And it was twenty some odd years ago.”


“What were the circumstances of your meeting?” Agent Wexler piped in. Wyn picked up another photograph, rubbing his unshaven chin in thought. That was Alexei, alright. Boy always was stupid as hell.

“He came and stayed here for three days on his way to Veronaville. Had two human women with him and another vampire. They found me through Cade. Needed somewhere off the beaten path to stay. Don’t know why. Didn’t ask.”


Wyn tossed the photo back onto the table. Wexler leaned forward on the edge of the bed and opened his palms like a magician revealing which hand the coin was truly in.

"Did you notice anything unusual about Mr. Garrison at the time of your meeting?" Wexler said. Wyn snorted involuntarily. Unusual was a polite way of putting it.

"He was a little bit of a weirdo, yeah. Sorta 'I'm ok, you're ok' if you get my drift. Used to wake up at the crack of dawn and feed the local deer population out of his hand. First day he was here, he taught my three-hundred-year-old wife to Jitterbug. The last day he was here, he spoke only in rhyme. Seemed harmless enough though."


Hyperion moistened his lips.

"What Agent Wexler means to ask is whether you noticed the suspect participating in any magical activity," he said. Wyn shook his head, on the brink of laughter.

"No. If he had magic, I'd have noticed. He was real clumsy, see? Tripping over his shoe laces and dropping shit constantly. I think he'd have saved himself the embarrassment once or twice."

Hyperion breathed hard through his nose. It wasn't difficult to read the frustration in his pea-green eyes. How could a vampire with no magical energy successfully attack a fae? And Alexei Garrison of all people! Boy couldn't fight his way out of a plastic bag. Wyn didn't have the answers. Wyn didn't fucking care. These men were making his daughter uncomfortable and placing him in a rather precarious position with his sire. He wanted them gone as soon as possible. Plan B was to tell them whatever would get them out of his house the fastest.


"Vampire he was with might have been unusual in that way though," Wyn offered. Hyperion gave Wexler a sideways glance and Wyn plowed on. "I didn't see him do nothing magic but his accent was Ashkay and his eyes glowed in low light like a fae."


"What did he look like?" Wexler asked. Wyn scratched his head casually. They were taking the bait. If Wyn could give them just enough information to make them think that Alexei Garrison was in with the Sheut, it would at least stall the investigation. Faes feared the Sheut more than Wyn feared Cade. Rightfully so.

"I don't know. Kinda short. Five nine, five ten. Fair. Very fair. Dark hair shaved almost to the scalp. Silver eyes." The agents stood simultaneously.


Hyperion seemed to look at Wexler for reassurance but Wexler didn't break his stare with Wyn. He stood, pondering the pair's next move.

"Thank you for your time, Mr. Stahl," Wexler said with a cordial bow of his head. Wyn bowed back. The photographs on the kitchen table evaporated into the air, leaving behind a thin and odorless vapor.


Hyperion reached behind him and grabbed the doorknob, still facing forward as though he wasn't entirely sure of whether or not they were really leaving.

"We'll let ourselves out, " he said. Wyn nodded silently. He thought to ask them to warn their friends on the roof about the loose drain pipe but decided it was best not to hedge the conversation. After they had gone, Harriet walked over to the table and picked up the tray of cheese to be put away for the night.

"You talk too damn much, Wyn," she scolded.

"I know what I'm doing," he mumbled, as unsure of himself as he had ever been. Harriet only shrugged her shoulders and glided across the floor, cheese and paring knife in hand.


  1. Ok! So just one quick note on this chapter-- Cade Muenda (also known as Cade Byall) is a very old, very politically powerful vampire. He sired Wynslow and Alexei. He is also the grandfather of Alexei's somewhat estranged daughter. Cade has always had a soft spot for Alec and that was Wyn's big hesitation here.

    Also, I have started work on a short story over at Behind Blue Lake. The intro and the first of five chapters has been posted. Story linked here:

    Anywhere But Here

    Scroll down for the brief intro. ABH is not required reading but will illuminate some issues as the story progresses since it has close ties with the Bella Goth plot and the Orion Specter plot.

  2. Hoooooo boy. So they're wise to Alexei, and now Kvornan as well. Can't really blame Wynslow for telling them, though. Hmmm...

    What's the deal with Wynslow and Harriet? Is she really just a girl he took under his wing and sort of unofficially adopted in order to get her away from her uncle? Or is there a little more to the story than that? Like, is she a vampire? I couldn't really tell from the pictures of her, but I'm having a rather slow day, as per usual.

  3. I think that this is going to be a confusing bit of information for the RDI. The assumption thus far is that Alec is a partling and the government just didn't know it. What Alec actually is, is too ghastly to have entered their imaginations. Now these two agents aren't certain of how to proceed if indeed Alec is somehow friends with Kvornan.

    Off-camera, Hyperion and Pandarus are going spend a few days debating whether or not this information should be communicated to their superiors since anything having anything to do with Kvornan is touchy at best.

    The long and short of Wyn and Harriet is that Wyn rescued her from her crazy uncle eleven years ago. Harriet is very fully human. Since living with Wyn, she had become immersed in vampire society (or at the very least, what Wyn has told her about it). But she is not, nor can she ever be a vampire.

    In my first draft of the dialogue, I had it fully spelled out that Harriet was human. The agents were not expecting to find her there. But then I realized that there was no way they could have not known she was there so I got rid of it. :p Sorry if that was confusing.

  4. Heheh, I like that Wyn fellow, I don't suppose we'll ever see him again? Refreshingly weak and human in spite of being an ancient vampire and all, and his crotchety affection for Harriet is touching.

    DO the agents now realize what's up with Alexei, or is the truth still too horrifying to enter their imaginations? Their discomposure at the end was hilarious.

    For the last line, I think you mean "paring" instead of "pairing".

  5. I think I can safely say that we will never see Wyn again unless it is in the sequel. In fact, I don't suppose that we'll be seeing any of these people ever again unless it is in the sequel.

    Wyn has become very paranoid in his old age. He doesn't live in a one-room shack with no running water or electricity just to remind him of his childhood. The world scares him. Poor man has been in seclusion for so long that he can never rejoin society. He has never even ridden in a car. I think he has a keen sense of his disadvantages and this is what makes him so vulnerable.

    Ohh no. They have no idea what is up with Alexei, keeping in mind that because there has never been anything like Kvornan, there has never been anything like Alexei. They have no basis for comparison. Alexei is more of an outlier than Jack in some ways. What spooked Hyperion and Pandarus in the end was that they sensed that they might have been tip-toeing into territory that was way above their heads. They think they're just out hunting a vampire who can do card tricks and pull rabbits out of hats. Kvornan's involvement was not on the menu. I only wonder how long it will be before they can confirm that Alec was RIGHT THERE AT THE PALACE on the 16th, visiting Kvornan! But their suspicions will most likely be confirmed before then.

    Dah!! Me and my homonyms!

  6. Just about choked when Wyn dropped the bait about Kvornan.

    Nope, nothing mysterious about that guy at all. Except for the monster who was with him....

    Beautifully played!! Bye bye. Have a nice hunt.

    Even if we never see Wyn again, the way you composed this, working it from his point of view, was just fabulous. I love the detail about the guns; better to know they needed them.

    It was so good to see another update from you!

  7. LOL, Beth! You make me wish I had a quotes section on this story. That summed up the chapter nicely.

    And thanks! Wyn came more easily for me than new characters ordinarily do. He definitely needed at least a cameo.

    *facepalm* Sorry! Time really got away from me over the past month. I spent almost all of my simming/writing time on ABH. Then I spent some time doing nothing. Then I completed the outline for this story (seriously- I only just finalized DBL's outline). Then this chapter was picked away at all of last week. Anyhoo, we'll be seeing the next chapter much sooner.

  8. I get caught up in a lot of stuff too, no facepalm necessary. and I just read ABH and I am BLOWN AWAY!!

  9. Yay! I'm glad you liked it! I'm kind of excited about the second chapter of that but I don't want to start writing until I get it photographed. *grumble* At least I have the sets built and sims made.

  10. His last day he spoke ONLY IN RHYME!

    Of course that would be may favorite part of the whole thing.

    I like Wyn, Whose eyes are in his head? Also, will we ever see Cade? What makes him go soft for Alec?

    And lastly, "Sorta 'I'm ok, you're ok' if you get my drift"

    I don't get his drift... ?

    I'm thrilled with this.

  11. Heh, yeah, Alec still does that sort of thing today on occasion. He'll have a day where he'll imagine an unnecessary obstacle for himself and follow through with it. For instance, a day where he can only talk in rhyme. A day where he can't touch any object that begins with the letter C. A day where he can't open or close a door. Etc.

    Those eyes are a mouseyblue enayla edit. I'll have to locate the file for you. It's on El Jay.

    Cade has a sim but I don't know if or when we'll see him. Kind of like the lady who runs the boarding house in Pleasantview.

    I expect that Cade likes Alec for the same reasons that Kvornan does. Because he's so unapologetically Alec-- chipmunk laugh and bedroom eyes and rampant creativity. I also expect that Cade has not seen Alec in a very long time.

    I think "happy-go-lucky" is the term that Wyn was looking for. :D