Time : It is currently 21:00 Pacific Time on Sun Dec 4 2005. Timeshifted.
Moon Phase : Currently the moon is in the waxing Crescent Moon phase (26% full).
Weather : Currently in Saint Claire, it is a cloudy day. The temperature is 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius). The wind is currently coming in from the southwest at 8 mph. The barometric pressure reading is 30.53 and steady, and the relative humidity is 91 percent. The dewpoint is 36 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius.)
Place : Anji's Apartment
A shortish, plump woman seemingly in her early twenties, Anji Kyriacou gives the impression of somehow containing more energy within her body than its size and shape would normally hold with comfort. Perhaps it's the mass of tightly curled dark hair that runs in spring-like coils down to her shoulders that suggests tension. It's held out of her light olive-coloured, round face by a headband. Her brown eyes are bright and her cheeks frame a mouth that's just that little too close to her nose for her to be thought of as beautiful, especially when taken into conjunction with her rather stout form. She might qualify as pretty, though, at least in the eyes of some. She's generally smartly dressed in blouse, jacket and either neat female trousers or a skirt, depending on whim and weather. If encountered in working hours, she may well be wearing a namebadge on her lapel with her name and the St. Claire University logo.
Standing a little over five foot tall and slimly built, KL makes a not particularly imposing first impression. In her late teens, she has an air of irritation, and of nervy energy, combined with hostility and restrained aggression.
Her mousy-brown hair is pulled back into a plait that hangs down to the small of her back, and is fastened at the bottom and the top by dark brown leather bands. She would be quite attractive - she has a very cute, upturned nose, and expressive hazelnut eyes - were it not for the anger in her gaze and the sullen set of her mouth. She stares at people - particularly people she doesnt know - with a cold fury, as if waiting for an opportunity to attack them.
KL has pale skin, and on her right shoulder-blade is a two-inch-square tattoo of a winged horse. There isn't much in the way of excess flesh on her, her cheekbones are clearly visible and her bare arms have a tight musculature that speaks of regular and plentiful exercise.
She's rarely still for very long, and while she still remembers to slouch around from time to time, she's less inclined to do it these days, and her natural grace, balance and co-ordination is clearly evident in her movements.
She's currently wearing a pair of blue jeans that are slightly too large for her - it appears only a black leather belt is preventing them from descending southwards at pace. On her top half is a maroon t-shirt which has a picture of a small rabbit with its hands over its ears and the legend "Not Listening" beneath. Over that is a black leather jacket, unfastened and hanging loosely around her torso. On her feet are an old and battered pair of combat boots, that have seen many better days.
Anji seems tense this Sunday night, fidgety, unable to settle. She moves from bean-bag to chair to her feet, and keeps checking her watch as though wondering what can be making KL take so long in getting from the Fury house, where she managed to reach her on the telephone earlier, to her midtown apartment.
There comes a loud knock on the door, accompanied by the sound of panting, and the thump of the same someone leaning up against a wall. A hoarse "Anji?" is gasped through it, indicating the the arrival at least knows the name of the occupant.
The door is jerked open and Anji stands behind it. "KL," she hisses - no mean feat given the lack of sibilants in the initials. "Come in quick." She almost pulls the ahroun inside.
"What's up?" the Ahroun pants, once safely inside and with the door closed. "No busses. Sunday night. Ran from house." She's slowly recovering her breath, though she does bend over, supporting herself with her hands on her knees. "You OK?"
Anji shuts the door behind KL forcefully. "KL," she says nervously, "I think I ate lunch with the Wyrm."
"You what?" KL straightens up and stares at Anji, eyes wide in shock. "Who? I presume you don't mean _the wyrm_ but a minion of it?" She looks very pale indeed, and her hands curl into fists.
"Yes," Anji burbles. "We got sent home from the library Friday morning because there was a scare about another attack, only it was a false alarm, but I ended up going to Denny's downtown to grab lunch and it was full and I had to sit with this... /guy/... who was totally freaky, he kept asking questions..."
"Questions? What sort of questions?" KL looks intently at the kin, expression now having relaxed to a less-shocked, but still serious and concerned, mode. "Did you get his name, or address or anything?"
Anji shakes her head nervously. "I tried to ask him without asking him, if you know what I mean. But he wouldn't be drawn. He said he'd got no parents and no last name he was only a kid, really, but he absolutely chilled me. I mentioned I worked at SCCU, just to make conversation, and he kept talking about the attacks, and did I know the dead guy and had the police interviewed me, and" She swallows. "And he grinned at me so horribly, and said I ought to lose weight and carry a weapon."
"Bastard." The Ahroun says, bitterly. "Typical asshole. No name at all?" KL asks. "Damn. I don't suppose you managed to steal any of his clothing or anything?" She screws her brow up in thought, and her nose twitches as she considers what she's been told.
Anji shakes her head. "No way I could have gotten any of his clothes. He was dressed real freaky too. Big leather jacket with studs and boots, though he was only a little guy." She thinks. "Studded wristbands, the big wide sort with five rows... and black leather gloves with open finger ends. And here's the real freaky thing. He kept saying he knew me, that I did him a favor months ago..."
"I take it you hadn't?" KL says. "Outfit sounds freaky alright. This was in the day, you said? So not a leech. I think they're afraid of light. But could be a formori or something like that. Got any paper?"
Anji grabs a pad of paper from her desk, still talking ninety to the dozen. "So after he said that," she goes on, "I was trying to work out where I could possibly have met him before. But then I figured it. It was in Wal-Mart not all that long after I came to town. I had a trolley with a wheel that kept wobbling and this kid grabbed a WD40 spray from the shelf and fixed it me. Then he got talking about his girlfriend and how he wanted to get her something nice but had no money... I'm sure it was the same boy. Only back then he didn't dress or act so creepy. I'm sure he must have been corrupted or fomorized or whatever. He said this nasty guy had gotten into a fight with him and poked his eye out and that's why he was wearing a patch. I couldn't tell if it was real or just some disguise."
"OK. Sounds like trouble." KL says, taking the paper. "Pencil?" she asks. "I've heard the police do this, and I can draw a bit, so we'll try and draw a picture of him? Can you give me the best description you can, and I'll try and draw it, then you can tell me whether it looks right."
"He had red hair," Anji begins. "Not like natural ginger, I mean /red/. A dye job. The color of a Coke can nearly. Long, down to his shoulders. It was his..." She thinks a moment. "Right eye that had the patch, and there was kind of a scar down his cheek too, but it could have been a fake job. No moustache, no beard, didn't really look old enough to shave." She peeks at the paper to see how KL shapes up as an artist, or an Identikit operator.
The first effort is a bit shakey - sort of like a pubescent Long John Silver. In particular, it's difficult to capture red hair when all you have is a 2B pencil. And KL isn't particularly special at drawing, though she at least has a faint idea about proportions and anatomy. "How's that?" KL says, holding it up when she's finished. The expression on her face suggests that she knows it's not particularly good.
Anji eyes the sketch. "His face was a bit rounder," she hazards, "and less of a pointy chin. When I met him the first time he was quite a cute kid, in a puppy way. The nose is a bit thinner too, I think... Whoa, wait, he /did/ tell me his name," she remembers. "Fuck! What was it? It wasn't an everyday one."
KL pulls the first piece of paper off, and uses it as a guide for the second effort. She flicks a glance at Anji, pausing with her pencil poised above the paper. "Can you remember what it began with?" she asks, before returning to her sketch. This one is a little better - practice makes perfect, and if it's a little chibi in its lines, well... Anji did say "face a bit rounder".
Anji tries to guide KL as she sketches. "Cheeks not /quite/ so chubby, he wasn't fat, just round faced. A bit less of an Adam's apple. Oh, Goddess," she sighs. "He only said it once and that was before I was paying much attention to what he was saying, I was still trying to not stare at his eye and his hands... He had something /written/ on his hands. Well, on the gloves. He said," she remembers, "that he'd had friends die, and he implied it was violently. And he said he wanted to live fast and die young. I made a stupid crack about him being the next Kurt Cobain and he absolutely looked daggers at me. I near wet my pants right there. He was /so/ ghastly when he looked at me like that. The guy must have a Wyrm spirit in him. No human should be able to look like that." She shivers. "That's a lot more like him, I guess... the scar was a bit more prominent on the right cheek... and his eye wasn't so dark. I think it was blue."
The Fury Ahroun gives a little hiss of irritation that suggests that three is about the limit of her drawing patience, but starts a fresh drawing, her pencil working feverishly. "How's that?" she says, eventually, holding up the drawing.
Anji again makes a few hints and suggestions. "I think we're getting there," she says. "Couple of little creases between his eyes... yeah, like that... and his nose was more.... yeah, that's it... His name," she muses, her own brow furrowing into creases between her own eyes as she cudgels her memory. "It was kind of British. Like, a name you'd expect some posh Brit to have, I mean. He sounded pretty local from his voice though. Charles?" She shakes her head. "Clive? Dennis? Jeremy?... no, no... it was... some character from a Brit TV show I think..."
KL looks sorrowfully at the drawing. "Don't recognise him, obviously. As I kill creatures of the wyrm on sight." She waves it about a bit. "Could do with a couple of copies. I'll paste them up at the Farmhouse and the Safehouse, warn everyone to keep an eye out for him. If you see him again...keep your distance, obviously. I'll be around a lot over the next few days, so screaming loudly might work as well."
"I haven't been out of the house all weekend," Anji says mournfully. "Scared he might be watching. I suppose," she says with a definite air of putting a brave face on, "he's at least pretty visible, not like he could easily be mistaken for anyone. Or hide in shadows, with hair like that."
"True." KL bites her bottom lip thoughtfully. "Do you want...me or Leslie or anyone...to stay for the next few days? I was already intending to spend time hanging around the university."
Anji goes a little pink as though with guilt. "I've already got Jess taking me to and from campus in her truck," she says. "Uhm. I don't know. Haven't you got, like, things to do?" She blinks nervously at KL.
"Yes." KL says. "Combatting the wyrm, wherever it dwells and wherever it breeds." She folds her arms across her chest. "And as it has apparently decided that you are one of it's number one targets, that means 'being somewhere near you'. I don't want to spoil your life, though, so if you don't want me here, I can be elsewhere. It's not too far to the Brownstone, and I can stay there. Give you the phone number."
Anji looks at KL indecisively. "I'd not mind you being here," she finally manages to conclude. "At least while it's still crescent moon. If you're absolutely sure."
KL nods. "I'll go to the 'stone when Luna gets fatter." She shrugs. "It would be embarrassing to rip you to shreds when I was supposed to be protecting you. First thing, though, is to get these drawings put up?"
"I can run a bunch off at work," Anji suggests. "How many do you think we should need? And perhaps I should do some written text under it too. Like I said, that hair color is beyond obvious, but short of a full color sketch and copies there's no way of showing it."
"Yeah - something like 'Be cautious of this boy - has been asking too many questions of relations'." KL agrees. "Then a description, in case my art isn't up to much. I still think he looks piratical. And we only need three more, really, farmhouse, safehouse, one for you to carry, one for me to carry."
"Easy enough," Anji agrees. She seems to be calming down considerably now she has the promise of an ahroun bodyguard. "I'll get them done in the morning when I go in." Crossing to the kitchen she opens a drawer and fishes in it. "Here's a spare set of keys too," she says, offering them to KL.
"Wow. Now I can steal all your stuff." KL says, with a grin, taking them and shoving them into a jeans pocket. "Thanks. Easier than knocking a lot. I take it you wouldn't be allowed huge dog-like creatures in work."
Anji even manages a smile. "I don't suppose so either. I'm sorry if I sounded crazy on the phone earlier but I'd been trying to reach someone all weekend and I was climbing the walls. Now, let's relax and make dinner? If you like eggplants, I can throw together mousska."
"Sure. I eat just about anything." KL says, and then suddenly looks grim. "At times, in the past, I think I have." The moment passes quickly. "If the worst came to the worst, I could always hide in your dumpster."
"The least I can do when you're looking after me is feed you properly," Anji declares, pulling a fat purple eggplant from the vegetable rack in the kitchen. "Now you just sit down and relax some, and I'll make dinner, okay?" She's sounding more like the easy, warm Anji of old by the minute.