Nothing is True. Everything is Connected.
Tag: <span>Sylum Teaser</span>

Sylum Advent 2017: December 29th

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Title: Waiting For Me To Catch Up
Characters/Pairings: Jeremiah Parks/Ray Kowalski; Benoit Franciscus; Ray Vecchio; Peter Parker; Original Characters; Members of Tallikut Clan
Rating: PG
Summary: When Jeremiah Parks returned to the city of his birth, his life was in such turmoil that he failed to realize the most important thing in the middle of all the chaos. Now he has to learn to open his life to someone new.


~ Chicago, Illinois, February 2005 ~

Sitting with his chin resting on his fist, Jeremiah Parks watched the snow beginning to accumulate on the branches outside his office window. An email from his Operations Manager containing the year end numbers on his clubs had put him in a contemplative mood. The numbers were remarkable considering he’d bought and remodeled one property, and sold one. If the next six months continued the same way, it might be time to think about the best city for this year’s club. He was sure something would drop him a clue.

Reaching for his coffee cup, the light flashed off the diamonds and sapphires embedded in the wide platinum band on his left hand. A soft smile lightened his mood thinking about all that happened in the past seven years, including a trip to Massachusetts two weeks ago. He’d have to talk with his Mate about where he wanted to take a honeymoon trip, or maybe he should make the trip a surprise.

Speaking of his Mate … Taking a look at his watch, Jeremy transferred his files to his tablet, and put everything else he needed in his case. Stopping by his PA’s desk, he told Rory he’d be working from home after he finished his appointments. First stop was the Clan’s estate where he sat down with Peter to go over the wedding and reception pictures they wanted to order. He also went over some information he’d picked up at the club, and informed the Lead Hunter his next stop was the FBI to meet with the Clan’s Head of Security.

Leaving Peter to his work, Jeremy was headed to the front door when Benoit stepped out of his office. The Clan Leader was also dealing with the aftermath of Victoria Metcalf’s latest foray into their lives. Ray Vecchio had found out about Vampires. Jeremy suspected Vecchio would soon be joining the ranks of the Clan, and wondered at what his reaction would be when he found out he was Benoit’s Mate.

“Jeremiah, how are things going?”

Benoit and Diefenbaker came out the office. Jeremy bent down to greet the half-wolf.

“Good. I just dropped off some information to Peter from my contacts, and ordered wedding pictures. I am on my way to see James and Eliot then headed home. I want to take Ray on a trip sometime in March … Sort of honeymoon/scouting trip for a new haven location.”

“Let Bob or Carolyn know when, and if the jet is available, you are welcome to its use.” Benoit offered.

“I appreciate that. The thought of Ray in an airplane full of people for an extended period of time is a scary thought, and that’s if we’re in first class.”

That drew a laugh from Benoit remembering Ray constantly moving, even when they were engaged in a stakeout. “I have a few hours, I believe I will go see Peter about your information.”

“How’s things going with your Ray?”

Said Ray popped out from behind Benoit. “I’m going to be Turned, or someone’s going to get a smack.” Vecchio growled.

“Congratulations?” Jeremy gave Benoit a questioning look.

A small negative shake of the head indicate the Clan Leader had not told Ray about being Mates.

“Ray will be pleased to have a new Clan brother.”

“Stanley will be … Oh crap, I’m the baby of the Clan.” Grumbling to himself, Ray headed for the kitchen.

“He’s going to realize after he is Turned, especially if you are his Sire.” Benoit ducked his head. “Oh, Benoit.” Jeremy lamented.

“There’s his family and background to consider.”

“He is not the first Italian Catholic to be Turned, or to have a male Mate.”

“I know that.” Benoit hissed. “What if he says, ‘No’?”

“What if he says, ‘Yes’? I missed out on six years my Mate because of willful blindness. Do not give up this gift because of your insecurities. Do not let Victoria win.”

“Once he is settled …”

Shaking his head, Jeremy turned to leave. “You’re definitely going to get that smack.”

“Give my regards to Ray.”

“Might want to use the penthouse … More privacy.” Jeremy chuckled as he waved over his shoulder.

“More privacy for what?” Ray asked as he came from the kitchen with a sandwich and cup of coffee.

Diefenbaker added his thoughts on the matter. “Not you, too.” Benoit huffed in exasperation before turning his attention to his partner.

~~}~~

As he drove away from the diner near the FBI offices, Jeremy thoughts turned back to his Mate, and how he’d almost let something so precious slip through his fingers.

When his Sire, Victoria Metcalf, had kidnapped Detective Stanley Ray Kowalski, and showed up in Jeremy’s living room trying to find Benoit, he’d felt drawn the to the blond man. Suppressing his emotions in order to deal with Victoria’s insanity, and to keep anyone from dying, he didn’t realize what Ray was to him.

After Victoria was once again on the run, Kowalski had come to him for the job as General Manager of his Chicago club because he was tired of living undercover in his own life. Though they had become close friends in a short period of time, Jeremy was still dealing with his own traumas related to Chicago, so he’d returned to his home in New York City.

For the next six years, he’d only seen Ray once or twice a year, though they talked often on the phone. Because Ray was such a great manger, Jeremy only stayed in Chicago long enough to pat him on the back for a job well done because Javier was calling about case that needed his expertise.

Jeremy turned his thoughts back to his driving when traffic finally started to move. The snow was beginning to accumulate on the roads, trying the patience of Chicago rush hour drivers. Finally pulling into the garage next to the GTO, he shook off the show off his coat and boots before heading up the back stairs to the apartment that covered the third floor of the historic firehouse. Halfway up the steps, his sensitive nose picked up the smells of fresh bread, and a mouthwatering blend that meant his Mate had been busy this afternoon. In the time it took him to divest himself of his boots and heavy coat, his beloved had danced over the rugs, and slid across the wooden floor in sock feet to catch Jeremy around the neck for a kiss that thoroughly explored the inside of his mouth.

“I gave our information to Peter, Malone, and Ness. Now, I am going to put on something warm and comfy, until I need to go down to the club.”

“I could keep you warm and comfy.”

Pulling Ray in for another kiss that momentarily distracted the cook. Jeremy left the distracted blond standing in the kitchen as he darted around the corner to the master suite.

“Not buddies!” Was shouted down the hall after him.

~~}~~

Jeremy spent most of his hours at the club moving between the underage side of the club, and the adult side. Each side had an area set aside where the psychologist could talk privately with anyone who sought him out. It also gave him an opportunity to observe the employees for problems, or perhaps someone needed recognition for outstanding work. No one paid a lot of attention to a watcher in the shadows, giving Jeremy an opportunity to watch for predators that might need dealt with. None of Jeremy’s people had tolerance for anyone who preyed on the patrons of Lost Children of the Blood.

Ray was his usual high energy self … Talking to the patrons, dancing to the jukebox, taking over the bar when their bartender got a call from his babysitter. Jeremy smiled when his Mate brought him a perfect Irish coffee, delivered with a kiss.

Seeing Ray’s wedding band flash in the bar lights, Jeremy’s thoughts were drawn to last year when he had fled from New York to Chicago after a particularly nasty undercover job in which he’d become a suspect. At the same time Kowalski called to say Benoit had found his Mate. The Tallikut Clan had converged on Chicago for fear history would repeat itself.

Once again focused on his Sire, Jeremy knew he needed to protect Ray, but had no time to examine why. He’d Fed from Ray on several occasions, but had been so tied up in his own issues, he failed to realize he’d started a Bond with his friend. It wasn’t until New Year’s Eve, when his fears had been quieted, and his mind clear that Jeremy realized what he’d been missing. With Ray in his arms as they danced across the club’s hardwood floor, he knew without a doubt the slender blond was his Mate.

The realization caused him to stop in the middle of the floor, and take the smiling mouth in a chaste kiss. When the kiss ended, Kowalski never missed a beat.

“It ain’t midnight, and I’m not complaining, but …”

Jeremy silenced the runaway words with another kiss. When the kiss ended, he placed his lips against Ray’s ear. “You are my Mate.”

It was Ray’s turn to stop. “If you’re messing with me, I’ll kick you in the head.”

“I am sorry I have been so blind.”

“How’s your eyesight now?”

“Perfect.”

Jeremy had called John Carter the next day, and three days later, Ray was Turned. Once John was satisfied everything was fine, and Ray had Fed from Chosen Ones to quell the Hunger, they kicked the Clan doctor out, and Ray had tackled him onto their king-sized bed.

~~}~~

The inclement weather kept a lot of people home, or caused them to cut their evening short. There was no one to monitor in the playrooms, so he began sending people home around eleven. By one everyone had cleared out except the crew, and they had everything cleaned up, so Jeremy sent them home.

Standing at the door watching the snow covering the tracks in the parking lot, Jeremy felt arms wrap around his waist. Leaning back into the warmth of his Mate, Jeremy only had one question … “Where would you like to go for your honeymoon?”

~ TBC ~

Random Post: One Liners

What you’re going to see are single lines from upcoming Sylum stories.

(Disclaimer: Bob and Bob 2 have the right to change anything and everything)

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“Where’s my witch at?”

“I want to create, like the men in whose image I was myself created.”

“Do you think he’s invested enough in this.”

“I’m not kissing you, while you smell like that.”

“That was my kill!”

“Nada es verdad.”

“Here’s what we’re going to do guys.”

“Hello, brother.”

“They’re actually mermaids.”

“He felt a sharp pain slice through his temple, and when his eyes opened the courthouse stood completely finished, the clock hand was moving towards 10:04pm.”

“We noticed you were missing your bodyguard.”

“I just brought out his full potential.”

“Are you done being twelve?”

“You want me to find out his cunning plans are before or after I blow him?”

“I’m so proud I made that, don’t you dare look at that the wrong way.”

 

Sylum Wiki Teaser

We’ve been working on a pretty big update to the Sylum Wiki Blog …

New Characters!!

New Images!! (on going project – thank you Taibhrigh)

Adding in the 10 Races.

Wait? Ten Races?

Yes, these were laid out in the rework of Roads Untravelled.   We specifically showcased them as an introduction – as many of them will come into play in future storyline.

Some are already on earth, a few have visited, and a few have been visited.

Lets recap! (Check under the cut – this ended up being a long post)

Read more“Sylum Wiki Teaser”

Sneak Peek: Clan War – 10th Anniversary

 

Exciting scene from the next installment of Clan War: 10th Anniversary … coming this Advent!

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The parlor clock chimed five with solemn intent.

“Thomas?  Do let the lady in, and offer her a seat,” he said briskly, admiring her startling if somewhat slightly dated fashion sense.  “She is in no condition to be left standing at the door like a vagrant.”

The smile she bestowed upon him as she stepped into the Manor, was one of immense gratitude.  “I have come all the way from Hill Valley, California, sir,” she explained.  “And I must say, you are very much as has been described to me.  A noble Roman General indeed!”

She refused the chair to which he gestured, and instead reached to take his hand.

“I confess you have the better of me, ma’am.  I was expecting no visitors at this hour.”  His frown was both dark and severe in order to disguise his utter astonishment at her words.

“Forgive me, but I simply could not wait a single hour longer.  I have to talk with you.”  She took a deep breath and pushed her hat a little more squarely on her head, for it had shifted lopsidedly in her agitation.  “I bring you a message from Doctor Emmett Lathrop Brown.”

Full Arc can be found in the Archive

Seven Days of Summer 2017: Day 7

VidMaker: Bj Jones
Summary: Trailer for upcoming re-work and additional Pirate stories
Artist: Taibhrigh

Link To Video

*Must have password to site to view

Teaser from Dead Man’s Chest

Calhoun’s gaze settled on his Mate, a small smile spreading across his face.  In the past few years he looked more Pirate than English Lord.  The dark hair was browner, having been bleached by the sun, and was longer than when he had first had his way with the Englishman, the black velvet tie was no longer used to pull it back but instead tie of the braid that was settling on his shoulder.  The fancy clothes were replaced by durable sea worth wear, a cutlass strapped to his side, with two side arms settled against his lower back.

Over time he had discovered he wasn’t actually an English Lord, but a Roman.

After they had Mated titles really didn’t mean anything to him.

English Lord.

Roman Lord.

There was no difference.

Neither would secure safe passage in the Caribbean.

Until he saw the Roman truly come out, and it was far from the English Lord he played.  Warrick watched in awe and ended up horny as hell as his Mate ripped to shreds a group of soldiers working for the East India Trading Company that had the audacity to arrest Captain Calhoun.

Tony and Timothy had broken him out of the cell, while Nick finished off the soldiers.  The grace and brutality that he used to dispatch the idiots was beautiful.  For a moment he had thought he was looking at another who was known ‘to fight like a devil dressed as a man’.

When Nick pulled his sword from the soldier’s gut watching as he fell next to his comrades, then turned towards Warrick eyes flashing – he had been tempted to drop to his knees.

Anthony slid next to him, smirking slightly.  ‘Captain, I would like to introduce you to the Roman General Nicolaus Valerius Meridius.’

Jack Sparrow Aesthetic by Captain Jack Sparrow

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Will Turner Aesthetic by Captain Jack Sparrow

This is also when we would like to take the time to announce our next ‘Appreciation Day’.

Sept 19th – Pirate Appreciation Day

More info will be forthcoming

 

Sneak Peek: POTC

***

Jack watched in horror as the Interceptor blew. Debris scattered across the ocean, the mast tumbled into the water, as the rest of her sank to the bottom of the ocean. His heart ached at the loss of such a beautiful ship. His soul cried out for the one who completed him. He had heard tales of Vampires going insane at the loss of their Mate, after all how did one explain Kenway.

He knew he wasn’t sane, and though they hadn’t Bonded, the young blacksmith had soothed his chaotic mind. It was at the moment the ship disappeared from sight his mind completely stilled, the only thought was killing Barbossa.

He had taken the Pearl, but worse he had stolen his soul.

As he settled into a sort of determination to seek his revenge, a voice rang out from the side of the ship.

“Barbossa!”

“Will!” Elizabeth exclaimed happily, hands on her chest as she sighed in relief and attraction.

Jack stared at his Mate. ‘Aye, my blacksmith isn’t easy to kill, this is good.’ He grimaced at the lass, she was practically batting her eyelashes at him. ‘Miss Swann is going to a problem. She must learn Will is mine.’

Story now in Archive

Evil Author Day!

 

This is the first time I’ve participated in Evil Author Day.  Mainly because I’m actually evil all year round!  But this year I figured why not …

There are two Sylum Snippets and one from my POI/AU stories.

Snippet from upcoming Sylum storyline

***

There was a part of him that never wanted to leave.

This was as closest to home he was ever going to get.

Nico took a deep breath, taking in everything that was Rome. It brought back the memories of his childhood. He could hear Artorius laughing in the garden, smell his mother’s cooking, feel the material of his father’s toga in his tiny hands. The memories fade, replaced by the laughter of his children, the feel of Julia in his arms as her pregnant belly pushed against his side, smell the olives as they came into bloom.

He shook his head pulling himself out before the sounds turned violent, the smell of blood was in the air, the cold press of iron against his palm, and the memories became death at his feet.

Nicolaus Valerius Meridius had found himself in the most unique situation. He had never anticipated being part of the Stargate Program. He had helped Jed sell it off to Tony Stark, kept up with the information it was producing, and made sure to always know where D’Artagnan was at all times. But he had no intention of getting involved, until Shep showed up at his office door, asking for a favor.

In their explorations they had found the furthest gate in the known galaxy. The only reason they discovered it was due to Stark’s arc reactors giving the Gate the energy it needed to dial out that far. It would seem the gate just needed a power boost to get a good long distant calling plan.

They had found Rome.

Well it wasn’t the Rome on Earth, but close enough. It also backed Daniel’s theory that Ra had returned to Earth a few times, after the rebellion. The society was Rome in all essence, it was as if the Empire had never fallen, and continued flourishing thousands of years.

The moment O’Neill had encountered the diplomats he knew they needed someone who could speak the language, and he didn’t mean Latin. He had left Daniel behind, made him promise not to get into trouble, and then went back to Command and called Shep, and told him to get his Sire.

Nico was sure, Jack hadn’t expected Kenway, but figured the more bodyguards the Clan Leader had the easier his life would be. He should’ve realized that two Meridii was never a good combination for any situation.

He couldn’t believe the sight before him, even Kenway had been subdued. It was one of the rarer moments that Artorius was more in the forefront. The sight of Rome was enough to bring out the oldest brother of Nicolaus, keeping the pirate and royal navy officer at bay.

Nicolaus was introduced to Caesar Augustus, and the two were friends instantly.

No one was really surprised.

The only downside, was the fact the citizens were concerned by the visitors influence. Though Nico was appalled by their tradition of killing Caesar after five years, he knew not to interfere. This was not his Rome, despite how much it looked like it. They had built their society based on Rome, creating their own system of politics, culture, economy, and history. It was not Nico’s place to change any of it. All he had requested is to learn about them.

Kenway had been worried about the hostility they were receiving. As far as he remembered Romans were very open to strangers, but the citizens of Roma were borderline xenophobic.

Roma didn’t go out to the world.

The world came to Roma.

And only lived and acted in the way best for Romans.

Though many senators had embraced the Meridii brothers, though there were a few who made their displeasure known. The Organas on the other hand had embraced Nico and Kenway instantly, then she promptly grabbed each of their asses. Her husband only smiled and told them to get used to it, she smacked his ass on the way out.

Kenway loved her instantly, and agreed to teacher her sea shanties.

Nico apologized profusely.

Her husband apologized in return when she got Kenway into trouble.

They were only to stay another few days, and Nico found himself sorry to go. He knew he needed to get home, he missed Warrick dearly. They had been fighting more lately, and the time away made him realize how stupid he was being, and wanted to get home to his Pirate. And he didn’t care if he was working or not, he would kidnap his ass if need be. He would make sure to come back to Roma, and bring Warrick next time.

He made his way towards the circular Temple in the center of the gardens. The Cenotaph lay in the middle, with a simple wreath of gold laurels on top. It was an empty tomb, a reminder of what Caesar’s rein end will end. He knew he would not be here in a year’s time, to see Augustus killed on the Ides of March. Instincts would have him trying to save the man, he would freely call brother.

A sound caught his attention.

A shuffle of feet, then the wisp of material.

He opened his hearing, picking up the small heartbeat. It would seem he was being followed.

Nico turned around, startling the small child who was trying to sneak up on him. He had to be no more than six, maybe seven. His brown reddish hair was spiky and looked completely out of control. The beige outfit, and darker robes reminded him of something … but before he could contemplate it, the child blinked. His eyes were mesmerizing, almost iridescent, a trait of the Roma’s especially of those whose lines go all the way back to the founding of the city.

“Hello.” Nico squatted down, the leather creaking slightly. Though he was enjoying wearing the traditional clothes for a General in the Army, the leather was a bit new and stiff.

“Who are you?” The child asked, indicating he wasn’t shy at all.

“Nicolaus.” He answered smiling at the kid. “General Nicolaus Meridius.” Just to remind him, that he was outranked.

“I have not seen your symbol before.” He pointed at the rearing horses on this chest plate.

“It is a symbol of my home, which is far from here.” He stood back up, looking down at the young boy. “Who are you?”

“Son of Caesar.” He answered a hint of a challenge in his voice.

“Caesar has no children.” That he knew for sure. It was not allowed. There were to be no heirs to try and claim the throne.

“I’m an exception.” He moved past Nico to stand near the sarcophagus. “I have left Roma to be a Jedi. And that makes my father childless. I am here to visit him, for the last time.”

Nico closed his eyes, feeling the pain the kid was holding back. “What is your name?”

He turned, gave Nicolaus a small smile. “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

Snippet/Tease for past history for Sylum

***

Harold was tucked into the library, with Immutef as company. John smiled at the two as they discussed new advancements in medicine, and ways to help his Mates poor eyesight. He was pretty sure Harold really had an idea what he looked like.

Oh he knew sections. He had gotten up close and personal with all aspects of John’s body. Harold commented frequently on his dark hair and light eyes, and when they were face to face, admired his smile. But the overall package, from head to foot – he was pretty sure all Harold saw was a dark blur, it was one reason he took to wearing a red sash around his middle … little did he know it would become much more than a way for his Mate to ID him in a crowd.

He left Harold in the safety of the main Medjai compound and went out to search for Rick to discuss training with the Medjai warriors. He had wanted to up his fighting skills, and at the same time get a feel of the warriors, how much they had changed over the centuries.

John had not told his Mate about his ability to remember all of his Past Lives. If he did explain it, he would have to explain his Mates connection to Nicolaus. Shepsit Hemet Amun-Ra knew about his unique ‘gift’, but he doubted she would be talking to Harold about it, any time soon.

He rounded the corner, entering one of the many tunnels that led through the mountains that hid the Medjai from the outside world. It had taken a few times to get a feel for the tunnels, but after a while he navigated them like a native.

He stepped out into the early morning sun.   It was taking time to adjust to the heat, especially since he came from the cool shorelines of Wales.

“Rhy’el?”

John turned on his heel, seeking out the voice.

A voice, that at one point he thought he would never hear again.

He smiled brightly at the sight of his brother. The wild blonde hair, large smile, dressed in Medjai clothing, it was as if they had not been parted. He looked exactly the same, as the day John had died protecting those in his care.

“Dan’el!”

Without hesitation, the two embraced holding each other tightly. The joy of finding a part of home, soothed their souls.

Dan’el stepped back looking over John, eyes narrowing slightly. “You are smaller than the last time I saw you.”

“About a foot.” John smirked slightly, gesturing towards himself. “This is my fourth time around since then.”

He paused. “How is that possible? I mean. How do you know who I am?”

“I have all of my memories, all the way to the moment I woke up and saw our father.” He stepped back slightly, letting his brother come to terms with the situation.

“You look just like Rhy’el. I mean, besides a foot smaller you are a spitting image of him.” Dan’el smiled as he reached up and cupped John’s cheek. “You even have his eyes. Do you have his anger issue?”

“Some things never leave the blood.” John shrugged, not wanting to discuss it. “This is not my first time back in Egypt, I had thought to seek you out, but the Horus guards got to me first.”

“We finally defeated them, the Gate was buried, along with the knowledge of how to open it.” Dan’el sighed, he had come to terms centuries ago he would truly never go home. “I made a life here.”

“Vampire?” He asked, noticing the lack of a heartbeat.

“Ardeth is my Sire.   My wounds were great, and the Vampire blood sealed all of it together. It is odd, but I have had no one to talk about it.”

“And of Rem?” John asked curiously. “I know he survived I’ve seen his own fruition.”

Dan’el laughed heartily. “We all left something on this planet, or you would not be standing before me.”

“You were not the only one given a gift, the rest of just did not start a war over it!” He gave him a pointed look. “I am more human …”

“So the Vampire is the stronger element, than your original blood line.” Dan’el asked, gazing at his brother.

“The genetics are still strong, just smaller.” John gave him a wicked chuckle.

“He has a Mate you know.”

They both turned to see the third of their family, standing next to them. His black hair pulled back into a tail, blending in by wearing the traditional Medjai clothing. He leaned against his staff, an item they had rarely seen him without, and a rare item that had come from their home.

“A Mate?” Dan’el smiled. “May the Gods help this planet if anyone was to harm them.”

“No truer a prayer, my brother.” John smiled softly. “He is my center, my calm. The only one to sooth the darker elements.”

“Then he is your Mate.” Dan’el patted his arm. “You must introduce him.”

“I am sure you know him.” Rem added into the mix. “Harold, the Irishman.”

“The one Nicolaus and Arthur brought home, he is very smart and not one to be taken lightly.” Dan’el approved. Harold was a man, their father would have been proud to have Rhy’el Bond with.

“Do not underestimate him.” John stated simply.

“Never underestimate the quiet ones.” Rem chuckled. “I had a feeling today would be a good time to hang around the Medjai. It was time we were once again a family.”

“You know we have to keep this secret.” Dan’el pointed out. “Even talk of something unworldly besides the Vampire can set anyone off. Those who lived through the rebellion with Ra, do not hold ‘outsides’ in high regard.”

“I do not hold a few Vampires in high regard.” John snarled. “The Medjai Advisor is not one to advise wisely. She knows of my gift, but not that I am older than she. I lost my soul and life to the Horus guards protecting a precious soul, nine years before your rebellion, and she denies that soul exists.”

“You changed more than you know, Rhy’el.” Rem reached out and touched his brother’s arm, sensing the anger building. “That night you lost your Mate, and then your life. One was watching, and your sacrifice touched him deeply. It was likely the moment that changed him to the good. He was instrumental in the rebellion nine years later.”

Dan’el gazed between them, with a look of contemplate and slightly confusion. “Rem’el?”

“He is the story of the handmaiden and her child?” He glanced over at the oldest of them. “The one that Ra’s Al Ghul would tell others about, the one who not only sacrificed her life but took out three guards in revenge.”

Dan’el focused on John. “That was you.”

He nodded biting back the emotions, he knew full well he was going to have to come up with some explanation to Harold about his range of emotions. He was horrible at hiding from his Mate, at least Harold was as bad.

“My brother, to have lost you twice…” He pulled John into his arms, holding him tightly. Rhy’el was the youngest of the three, the last one ‘born’. His duty was to protect, and he would have given his life for any of them, but had sacrificed himself to make sure their father had survived.

To know the Horus guards had killed him again, while he protected a precious soul, brought tears to Dan’el.

“You were to lose me two more times, before now.” John held him close for a moment then stepped back. “One as a slayer of dragons, now a Saint. The other a young child who died in a fire, before her father could save her. It’s him I’ve mostly returned to, Nicolaus.”

Rem laughed. “You are doubly blessed or cursed to be born of the Meridii.”

Dan’el shook his head, somehow it was fitting and not shocking. “You are truly now of the Meridii line?”

John nodded. “Soul and Blood.”

The two brothers looked at each other, shaking their heads and smiled. “Then there is someone you need to meet, it will help you understand the significance of all things.”

When John laid eyes on him, he understood the meaning behind their words. The only response was to laugh. At least the father of all was not offended.

And now for the Non-Sylum story, this is a piece from the upcoming installment in Dragons of Interest

***

Harold had made sure to not draw attention to himself as he fled the library.  He loosened his grip on Bear’s leash, easing his own tension.  They walked a few blocks, then turned right and went another two blocks.

When his phone beeped he glanced down to see directions.

‘Right.’

‘Stay.’

‘Left.’

He stood on a street corner, across from a park.  It was actually the one Bear liked the least.  Harold couldn’t help the smile the Machine led him to one of the few places he barely frequented.

His paranoia, it would seem, was rubbing off.

The light turned green and as he was ready to cross, his phone beeped again.

‘Stay.’

‘Stay.’

He gripped Bear’s leash, putting the dog on full alert.

As the light turned red, he noticed there were Federal Agents on the other side.

He had nowhere to go.

He could turn and go back the way he came, but they would catch up with him in mere seconds.  It didn’t matter which way he fled, his disability wouldn’t let him run.

Harold glanced down at Bear, who was growling low in his throat.  The dogs ears were pointed towards the threat, lips curled in a snarl.  “Stand down.”  He commanded in Dutch, Bear ignored him.  “Bear you can’t take them all.”

He barked almost as if daring the Agents to come at them.

“You are so Mr. Reese’s dog.”  He took a few deep breathes, and waited for the light to turn green.

Waited.

And waited.

He frowned when he realized the light wasn’t turning.  He looked to his left to see the line of cars, backing up at the intersection.   When he glanced back across the street the Agents were watching the traffic race through the intersection, there was no way for them to step out.

‘Stay.’

“You can’t keep them away forever.”  He muttered looking up at the camera. “They’ll go after civilians.”

‘Stay.’

Two Agents stepped off the curb, guns drawn, and their hands out bringing the traffic to a stop.

Citizens began backing away as the Feds moved across the street towards them.

Harold refused to move, hand tight on the leash as Bear began barking and growling at earnest.  He stood his ground, not wanting any innocent being killed because of him.

Just as the Agents were halfway across the road, a black van slammed on it’s brakes and came to screeching stop in front of Harold.

The side door opened.

“Get in!”  A woman yelled, as she reached out.  “We’re friends, Harold, get in the damn van.”

Well it couldn’t be worse than the situation he was in now.

He moved towards his rescuers.

She took his arm and helped him into the van, as a blonde grabbed Bear’s leash and yanked the dog in side, before slamming the door shut.

“We’re clear!”  He yelled at the two in front.

Harold startled at the sound of gunshots being fired, before the van took off down the street at a high speed.  At the next light, there was a thump on the roof.  The man in the front passenger seat grabbed his gun, and slid out the window just as the side door opened and Connor Kenway moved inside.

“You’re a hard man to find Harold.”  He gave him a pointed look, as he closed the door.  “I give Aveline credit for keeping up with you.”

“Are you fucking insane!”  The man yelled, as he settled back in his seat.

Connor gave him a smirk, before reaching over and petting Bear.  “Not nearly as bad as you four.”

“I never thought I would be this happy to see you, Mr. Kenway.”  Finch gave him a small smile, before glancing at the rest of the occupants of the van.  “Who are you people?”

“I’m Jane.”  The woman held out her hand, giving him a reassuring smile.  “These losers are my siblings.  Benji, at the computers.  Brandt, is the one yelling, and Ethan is driving.”

“Wait, Ethan Hunt?” he asked curiously.

The man in question turned and looked at him.  “My reputation precedes me?”

“John stated I should avoid you.”  He gave the man a pointed look, wanting to hide the Machine even more than it was.  “He also said, that if I ever needed help, to contact you.”

“It wasn’t you that contacted us?”  Benji asked, confused.  “We got messages stating Dragons needed help.”

Harold looked down at his phone.

‘Auxiliary Admin authorized.’

Yes, yes I am evil, why do you ask?

 

Post Advent Sylum Teaser

 


So I couldn’t go the whole Advent without some Teaser of what’s to come!!

This particular scene is set in the next big Arc, which is still in the beginning stages of development.   I’m not going to explain exactly what’s going on, just let you enjoy the moment.

To fully get the impact of the scene, listen to this before, after or during.

This scene is a gift to Timothy Quinn – my partner in all of this.  Enjoy!


He was going to kill Nico for this.

It was his crazy idea in the first place.

Take a stand for the common man!

By running through the streets of London, dressed like a madman, wearing long black coats, Guy Fawkes mask, black wig, and a Capotain hat, or something similar from the 16th Century.

On the one side Driver Cloaks.  Hey, at least they formed to the body, which prevented the material from snagging on a chimney, fire escapes, or any other protruding items on a rooftop, but did the great Nico think about weapons – NO!

To stay anonymous everyone had to keep their weapons on the inside of their coats.

Problem, if they needed their weapons their coat had to be open, and when the coat was open, it became a cape.  Capes have a tendency to get caught on chimneys, fire escapes, or any other protruding items on a rooftop, which is a potential disaster when one is running across said rooftops being chased by the military.

And he won’t even mention the inability to see out of the damn mask.

But hey at least everyone looks the same, and can be anonymous.

John didn’t point out the 6’4″ guy standing next to the 5’4″ girl.

At least Evy was damn good at blending, despite her stature.  She’d been doing it for centuries alongside Jake, her brother.  He never knew how the two pulled it off, but they could easily be interchangeable while on a Hunt.

At the moment all of this was irrelevant, if he survived this, he was going to kill Nico.

Or let Harold do it.

Better yet, let The Machine empty his bank accounts!

***

It had been a simple patrol.  Check the abandoned areas of the warehouse district to check for citizens that were running from the Police.  It was fairly quiet, which should’ve been his first clue that the night was going to go straight to hell.

With The Machine in his ear, he located a small child who was hiding in a rat infested shithole.  He cursed at the society that allowed for this to happen.  He then bit back the anger at the government who thrived on it.  Not able to take off the mask to assure the young child, he motioned for him to come closer.

The boy reached out and laid his small hand in John’s large gloved ones.  He scooped up the boy, and headed for one of the safe houses.  He would drop the boy off with the underground, and let them get him out of the city.

Exiting the warehouse, he was blinded by headlights, even with the mask he found himself squinting as he held a hand over his eyes.

‘Three vehicles.’

‘Eighteen soldiers.’

‘Armed with military grade weapons.’

The kid pushed against his chest, jumping down before kicking him in the shin than ran towards the cops.   Once he was behind the larger burley one with a thick mustache, he yelled derogatory names that no ten-year-old should know.

He rarely resorted to hurting children, but if he saw the kid again, it was getting dunked into the Thames, after a good backhand to his smart mouth.

He lifted his arms, in the universal gesture for surrender.

‘Three.’

‘Two.’

‘One.

The whole area went dark, including the vehicle headlights.

John turned on his heel and was up the side of the warehouse before the explosion of bullets riddle the front of the building.  He ran full tilt for the edge, jumping onto the roof of next warehouse.

He smiled when he heard them cursing as the vehicles wouldn’t start.

They began to track him on foot.

‘Left.’

He turned, stumbled over the decaying roof, and with a silent curse launched over the large alleyway onto the next structure.

‘Third Warehouse.’ 

‘Skylight.’

He was moving on instincts, listening to the mechanical directions in his ear.  He had learned to trust it, over the past decades of saving Numbers.

The last jump was pushing the distance for any Assassin, but he closed his eyes, said a Hail Mary, and took the leap of faith.  He felt the skylight give, as he crashed through the glass onto the warehouse floor, landing with one knee bent, and hand resting of the dusty floor.

‘Two vehicles.’

‘Twenty-two soldiers.’

‘Armed with military grade weapons.’

Great they had back-up.

‘News media.’

John tapped the earpiece, hopefully it was enough to signal The Machine, that he wanted to know what was being said.  It was the only way he could communicate, the hard fast rule for any of them was not to speak.  It was how they stayed Anonymous.

And that was the key for Nico’s plan to work.

The Government News Network was broadcasting live.

‘The Armed Forces have the terrorist trapped, these hard working men have gone beyond the call of duty to keep us safe, by chasing down this criminal, putting their lives on the line.’

John rolled his eyes, snorting softly.

‘We bring to you live, the capture of this ruthless terrorist who has killed hundreds of our people, destroyed our heritage.  But we will not succumb to fear, we will fight.’

This time he snorted loudly.

Hundreds was pushing it, maybe less than ten, though he would admit there were at least a good dozen or so that would need knee replacement surgery.  And he wasn’t the one who destroyed the Tower of London.

He pulled his two weapons, each loaded with 16 bullet clips.  Thankful Harold had confiscated Croft’s automatic reload and designed a set for him, giving John an additional four clips.  It was decent ammo for a small shootout, but not one for this many enemy soldiers.  He would have to be precise in his shooting.

‘Tracking.’

Over the last decades, he had gotten used to the mechanical voice, the Machine would use when they had needed information instantly and didn’t have time to read a text, or Jarvis to translate.

John had developed a system with it.  The Machine knew how he moved, how he fought, and would set the parameters to fit his style.

‘Lights shut down in …’

‘Three.’

‘Two.’

‘One.’

As the warehouse went dark, he felt a sense of calmness surround him.  He sent assurance down the Bond to Harold, then took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and trusted The Machine to be his eyes and ears.

‘Four man team, entering warehouse.’

‘Spread at 10, 12, 1 and 3 o’clock.’

He raised his weapons, and without hesitation, began firing.

‘Move to your left, 3 spaces.’

‘1 dead, 2 wounded.’

’11 and 10 o’clock.’

He eased to his left, shifting slightly to take out the next targets.  He heard the grunts and clatter of weapons to the ground.

‘3 dead, 1 wounded.’

‘Second – Four man team entering warehouse.’

‘Burst of fire from 9 to 1 o’clock, while moving four spaces to your right.’

John felt the metal shelving on his shoulder, forcing him turn to his left until his back braced against it.  He dropped the clips and grabbed the next set.  He eased down the shelving, using it as a shield, ignoring the bullets as they pinged off the metal.

‘Step out.  Turn around. 9 and 3 o’clock.’

A calm breath, before he stepped out, turned and fired off four shots

‘6 dead. 2 wounded.’

‘Three man team, entering warehouse.’

They were trying to wear him down, while making themselves less of a target.  John was pretty sure, the government was starting to get horrified at the fact their soldiers were dying, or they were using it as a rating ploy, at this moment anything was possible.

He wondered if they were even televising anymore.

He chuckled.

Of course they were, The Machine would make sure of it.

‘Four steps forward.’

‘Burst fire directly in front of you.’

He heard bodies hitting the ground, yells coming from outside.  The unit was starting to crack around the edges.  They didn’t know how to handle the situation. They were losing control fast.

‘Drop.’

John went down, just as a hail of bullets went over his head.

‘Stand.  Shoot.  Run 6 feet to your left.’

He sighed in relief, when his back hit a concrete wall.  He couldn’t tell the layout of the warehouse, but it had a distinct smell of tobacco and alcohol.  It wasn’t a modern building, at least a hundred or more years old, likely filled with crap left behind decades ago.

He dropped the clips from his weapons, and slammed in the last set.

’12 dead. 2 Wounded.  There are two, four man teams waiting.’

John let his hearing adjust to the warehouse, listened carefully to the sounds the soldiers were making, and with a smirk he stepped out from behind the concrete wall, fired four shots.

’14 dead.’

‘Showoff.’

John chuckled, he still had some of his own skills.

‘Three man team coming into the warehouse.’

‘Two man team coming in from the back.’

‘Potential crossfire.’

With him in the middle.

John ducked down as a hail of bullets slammed into the concrete wall.  He ran along it until the the end, pulling his weapons and fired in the direction the barrage was coming from.

‘1 dead.  1 wounded.’

‘Stay down, move ten paces forward.  Fire at 8 and 5 o’clock.’

Seriously!  If he could send a death glare towards a working camera he would.  He was pretty damn flexible, but that was going to be tough shot.  Maybe on a good day, he would hit both targets, but today wasn’t a good day.

With a dark chuckle, he stood and followed the directions exactly, placing his arms at 8 and 5, and fired off the rest of his ammo.  Time felt as if it slowed down, as he felt bullets fly by him.  He slid and ducked behind a set of wooden pillars, they were taller than him, and from the smell and feel they were at one point in time rail ties.  He dumped the empty clips, putting the guns back into the holster.

’17 Dead.’

‘Two steps to your left.  Use barrier to cover approach.  Enemy is 6ft, side exposed.’

He slid down the dagger from the holster inside his forearm.  What he wouldn’t have given to have his hidden blade, but again that was too noticeable.  He slumped down lowering his face to make sure the white of the mask wasn’t seen in the pitch blackness.  He could hear the soldier’s heartbeat it was beating fast and hard.  Using his Assassin instincts he reached out with his left hand to cover his mouth as his right slammed the dagger below the Kevlar, straight into the soldier’s liver.  He pulled him behind the pillars and dumped the body, taking any and all of his weapons.

‘Warning! On your left.’

Without hesitation he threw the dagger at an upwards angle, followed by four bullets from the confiscated pistol.

’19 Dead.’

‘Weapons out of ammo.’

Wait. What?  John pulled the clip of the automatic weapon and felt along the top, the chamber was empty.  He tossed it, and grabbed the secondary handgun, only to find the same.

They wasted their ammo, trying to hit him instead of aiming for him.  Stupid move that left them defenseless, and now he was totally unarmed, and there were at least three more.  He needed back up, and he wasn’t sure if any was coming.

‘Three man team moving in.’

He was a sitting duck where he was located.  They could easily move around each side of the barrier and catch him in a deadly crossfire.

‘Option: Jedi.’

John froze for a split second in shock, but then he really shouldn’t have been surprised, The Machine had put a name to it.  It had watched him for decades, and knew what John was capable of and wait he would do to protect Harold.

Though it was wrong on one aspect.

Not a Jedi.

He stepped away from the pilings, turned around and faced the oncoming threat.  He took a deep breath, centered himself.  He felt the anger rise with in him, at the inability to stop the government from destroying the country.  From the horrors of what he had seen done to the citizens.  From the deaths he couldn’t stop.

And pushed out.

The pile of wood exploded outward, taking out one of the soldiers.  The other two dove away from the falling timber, pulling up their weapons.

‘Incoming.’

He lifted his hands palms out, feeling the pressure against his body as the sheer power of the bullets slammed against the barrier.  He closed his fists and threw his hands down, sending them harmless to the ground.

He lifted his left, hand gripping tightly.  He heard the soldier drop his weapon, gasping for air, without thought he tossed him towards his comrade slamming both of them into the wall.

‘All clear.’

‘Admin needs you.’

John felt the power flow threw him, he knew if anyone was to see him now, his eyes would be glowing yellow, with a hint of silver.  His hands flexed at his side, as he tried to get it back under control.  The Machine helped him navigate out of the building, and as he stepped outside, he was faced with a single reporter and cameraman.  Both looked terrified and in awe at the same time.

“Who are you?”  She yelled out to him.

He held out his hand and with two fingers, their symbol.

V

And with a sadistic smirk, that no one could see, he flung both arms out, clenched his fists then pulled downwards.  The warehouse groaned then collapsed, nothing was left but a pile of rubble.

The reporter startled, jumping backwards.

John ran across the open area, and then shimmied up the opposite warehouse, he took the offered hand and let his fellow vigilantes pull him up.  He didn’t need to see his face, to know it was Nico, who held his hand tightly.  With a quick nod, he pushed past them and headed for their safe house.

He needed to get to Harold.

***

In a galaxy far far away …

Obi-Wan Kenobi argued with the Council, to allow him to travel to Earth.  Master Nico was in danger, and he was needed there, not standing arguing the finer points of Jedi involvement in ‘undeveloped’ worlds.

Yoda had tuned out most of the argument, knowing full well that Kenobi, now a Jedi Master himself, would follow his heart and go to Nico.  And if he didn’t, his chosen lover, Master Qui-Gon Jinn, the more rebellious of the two, would drag Obi-Wan to Earth just to annoy the Council, despite his own personal feelings towards Nico.

The sudden shock wave through the Force hit him straight on.  His small body rocked backwards in his seat, causing Master Windu to focus on the older Jedi.  His ears folded back, as he shifted through his own memories, trying to place the familiarity of what he had just felt.

His eyes snapped open.

That was a presence he hadn’t felt in years gone.

“Finished discussion it is.  Master Kenobi and Jinn take me to Earth they shall.”  He eased off his seat and made for the door.  “Leave now we must.”

The green troll ignored the incredulous stares from the council, the suspicious ones from the two Jedi Masters, and the all-knowing smirk from Windu.

Padawan he had to find.

 

 

 

Sylum Advent 2016: December 6th

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taibhrigh_banner-sylumteasersnippets-final

 

Title: A New Hobby: An Excerpt from Libera Nos a Malo

Author: Gil Grissom

Characters: Brian O’Conner, Dominic Toretto, Ronon Dex, Jason Doyle, Joaquin Lizardi, Daniel Boone, David Crockett

Rating: FRT (language)

Summary: Brian’s picked up a new hobby.

Timeline: June-ish 2009

Artist: Taibhrigh


Dom parked his car in its usual spot in the garage and slid out of the driver’s seat, his mind drifting from the minor suspension issues his car was still having to his Mates, wondering where they’d wandered off to.

He hated to admit it, but Josiah had been right. They’d needed to let everything go for at least a week or two before diving back into the their horrible task. Brian had been stressing himself out to the point where he was snapping at everyone, including Lucas, who he spent the most time with.

When he’d heard Lucas muttering about borrowing the Black Pearl from his father so he could actually keelhaul Brian, he knew it there was a real problem. Brian’s stress and moodiness had also exacerbated his own to the point he was glaring at anyone who crossed his path. And Ronon…

Well, Dom really didn’t want to find out how Ronon reacted to intense stress, considering his background and what he’d lived through. He had no doubts that it would be extremely unpleasant, and everybody might not make it out alive.

Josiah had seen the issues as well, and he’d ordered a mandated vacation from their grim reality and they weren’t allowed in any of their offices. The one time Brian had tried to sneak into the research facility, Lucas had laughed in his face and had Spike and Harkness grab him by the arms and throw him into the ocean. As Dom and Ronon had both warned him not to go there, they’d simply watched and pointed and laughed at their sputtering, indignant Mate.

The first few days of their mandatory vacation was spent feeding, sleeping, having an obscene amount of sex in between the other two activities, and reminding each other that they really did love one another and didn’t actually want to shower each other with bricks to the head.

This was the first day they’d gone their separate ways to pursue hobbies and such, and Dom had taken the opportunity to work on the car he suspected Han had deliberately sabotaged on Josiah’s orders. After four hours, he’d fixed the mechanical problems with the engine, but he had no idea what Han had done to fuck up his suspension. What he did know was that at some point, Han was going to pay for it.

He strolled toward the main house, intending on looking to see what Ronon and Brian were up to, when he slowed to a halt as Ronon came into view. He was in between Daniel and David, surfboard under one arm, board shorts riding low on his hips, his bare torso glistening from the water that still dripped from his hair. He was laughing at whatever David was saying as one arm flailed this way and that with his storytelling. It struck him just how beautiful his Mate was, and how lucky he and Brian were to find this man. The very idea that Ronon might still be in another galaxy, running from monsters that ate someone with their hand, if it weren’t for John Sheppard made his heart hurt. He sent up a prayer of thanks that that wasn’t the case as he not-so-subtly checked out his Mate.

“Have fun?” he asked when the three men neared, glancing over with a frown as a car all but screeched to a halt about thirty feet behind him.

“Spent more time wiping out than surfing, but I’m getting better,” Ronon told him before glancing over Dom’s shoulder. “What’s his deal?”

Dom turned to see Joaquin getting out of his car. He was clearly disheveled and looked well fucked out, which wouldn’t be a concern if they weren’t well aware of who his Mate was, and it was clear as day what happened by the expression on his face. “You okay, Joaquin?” he couldn’t help but ask.

“I’m a horrible human being,” Joaquin muttered as he strode by, heading toward the house that held his quarters.

David blew out a heavy sigh. “I’ll go and talk to him.”

“Because our week was a little boring without a touch of drama,” Daniel said, taking David’s board so David could go and chase down Joaquin.

“It was bound to happen sooner or later,” Dom said, staring in the direction of Joaquin’s house with sympathy. “Santa Anna’s been staying in Salina Cruz more than he usually does, and Joaquin has always acted as our go between, as the least volatile one for each side.”

“Maybe that was a mistake on our part,” Daniel murmured. “Throwing the two of them together.” He frowned. “You think this is why he’s still here? Trying to wear Joaquin down?”

Dom shook his head. “No, I think it’s the Rogue activity that’s been the problem in the last several years that keeps him here. He acts as a spy for them while he passes us the information he gleans from them. His intention is to protect Joaquin. They know he’s not good for Joaquin, and Santa Anna knows that their Mating is impossible if he wants Joaquin to remain with our Clan. Too much has happened and he can’t be trusted with anything but his Mate’s well-being. Going against the Clan in any meaningful way would hurt Joaquin in more ways than one, especially if it meant we had to hunt Santa Anna’s ass down.”

“So basically a moment of weakness,” Daniel murmured. “Well, if anyone can get through to him, it’s David. Out of all of us, his history with Santa Anna is the most volatile. I’m going to shower. My skin’s starting to itch.”

Dom wrapped an arm around Ronon’s waist and walked with him to the storage area where they kept their surfboards, following Daniel at a more leisurely pace. “You know where Brian is?”

“Last I saw him, he was inside talking to Doyle,” Ronon told him. “Don’t know what about, though. Figure if it’s anything interesting he’ll let us know.”

Dom nodded and leaned back against the wall, watching with undisguised interest as Ronon wiped his board down and set it in his proper slot. He smiled when Ronon turned around and looked at him curiously. “You’re really hot in nothing but your board shorts.”

Ronon growled and stalked closer. “I’m even hotter out of them.”

“You’re telling me something I’m well-aware of,” Dom replied, pulling him in for a slow, deep kiss. “Wanna go find Brian and see if he wants to play with us?”

“Sounds good to me.”

Dom and Ronon walked toward the house hand in hand, running into Missouri down one of the hallways. “You seen Brian?”

Missouri grinned broadly and then said, “He’s in the living room with Jason.”

“Thanks!” Dom said, bemused by her reaction. “Let’s go see what it is he’s gotten up to that’s clearly got her amused.”

They wound their way through the house to the main living room and Dom stopped short in the doorway. He could feel his eyebrows trying to crawl their way up to the top of their head as he took in the picture Jason and Brian made.

Jason was sitting on the chaise lounge with Brian sitting between his legs, Brian’s back to Doyle’s chest. Jason had his arms wrapped around Brian as he helped instruct him manipulate the yarn and needles that Brian had in hand. “Are you learning to knit?”

Brian looked up at him and beamed. “Yep! Jason’s teaching me the basics right now.”

Dom nodded slowly. “Okay. Though I don’t remember him teaching his other students this way,” he commented, motioning to their current position.

“Well, Brian is both hot and legal, and I don’t feel like a dirty old man,” Jason said, almost primly, as he corrected Brian’s hands.

Beside him, Ronon cocked his head. “You think you can teach me?”

Jason’s grin could only be described as wicked. “I’ll be more than happy to teach you anything you want, Ronon.”

Dom looked between the three and shook his head. “You know what? You three do whatever weird projects you want to do. Just remember that I don’t even want to know,” he said, amused as Brian stuck his tongue out at him.

“You’re just jealous because you’re all thumbs when it comes to working with yarn,” Jason called out.

“Yeah. Real jealous. I don’t know how I function with this level of envy I have at your ability to twist and loop yarn into usable products,” Dom said dryly as he leaned against the doorway, watching Ronon with amusement as he pulled a chair up next to Brian and Jason to watch.

“Hey, your favorite sweater is one of my creations,” Jason said, pointing a knitting needle his direction. “No dissing the needlecraft going on in this house.”

Dom held his hands up, resigned to the fact that he was going to have to wait to get his Mates into the bedroom for awhile. “Not dissing anything. I’m simply refuting the claim that I am in any way envious of your talent. Now, since you three are busy, I’m going to go hunt Han down and make him fix my car.”

The three waved at him distractedly, and with a snort Dom left the room, rolling his eyes. His Mates and Clan Members we so weird sometimes.

 

Sylum Advent 2016: December 2nd

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taibhrigh_banner-sylumteasersnippets-final

Title: Something Cool: A Libera Nos A Malo Excerpt

Author: Gil Grissom

Characters: Nico Meridius, Lucas Harrison

Rating: FREO/Everyone

Summary: Lucas reveals his latest projects to Nick on his visit to Sylum Manor

Timeline: April 2007

Author’s Note: This is a brief excerpt from Libera Nos A Malo, and takes place during a very long segment. This is subject to change somewhat by the time it gets to the final draft, due to editing needs and the fact that this is from a very rough first draft.

Artist: Taibhrigh


Sighing, Lucas tilted his head back from his position slouching against Nick’s side and stared at him. “Now that the emo, angst-filled meltdown portion of my visit is done, wanna see something cool?”

Nick laughed at him and ruffled his hair. “Always. You always have the most interesting toys when you decide to share them.”

Grinning, Lucas scrambled up with a little bit of help from Nick as he failed to keep his balance. “I am beauty, I am grace,” he quipped as he stumbled toward his laptop bag, which was all the way across the room.

“Yeah, we thought being a Vampire would give you some semblance of preternatural coordination. We were so wrong,” Nick replied dryly as Lucas plopped down in Nick’s desk chair. “Please, make yourself at home.”

“Don’t I always?” Lucas said lightly as he booted up his laptop.

“Remind me why we put up with you?” Nick asked as he got up and walked over to stand behind Lucas.

“It’s the baby face. You’re all suckers for me because I’m adorable,” he said, tilting his head back and grinning up at him. “It’s part one of my nefarious plan for world domination.”

Nick snorted. “You’d be fleeing to a remote mountaintop inside of a week. World domination means you have to deal with people. You’ve never been good with people, since…what was it you said? Ninety-five percent of people in the world were too stupid to live?”

Lucas scrunched his nose. “Yes I did say that and yeah, that’s a problem since I really don’t like most people. I mean, they’re okay as long as I don’t have to deal with them and they stay way over there, away from me. Guess I’ll just have to be content to be ruler of my own personal little corner of the world.”

He pulled up the folder he was looking for and clicked on the schematic program, moving so that Nick could take his place.

“‘Project That Thing We Do’?” Nick asked as he sat down and slid closer to the desk.

“Everyone always asks if Nathan and I are doing that thing we do, since they have no idea what the fuck we’re doing, so we thought it was appropriate,” Lucas told him.

“Cute,” Nick murmured, sitting forward as the screen shifted to the outer view of their final design. Curiosity shifted to fascination as it did. “What is this?”

“That is, or will be at least, the largest deep submergence vehicle in existence,” Lucas told him, ignoring the obvious opening begging for a smartass comment and hopping up on the desk next to the laptop. “Completely designed as a scientific research vessel, to study our oceans, the life within it, and figure out how to fix the fucked up shit we’ve done to it since civilization occurred.”

“It’s very squid-like in appearance.” Nick reached out and ran his fingers over the hull. “What are the specs on this thing? It looks enormous.”

“It is for what it is and where it’s going. Nearly 400 meters long, approximately 100,000 tons, give or take some tonnage. It’s designed to hit a maximum speed of 180 knots and will have a crush depth of over nine kilometers. The skin is my special design, and I’ve already had success in the initial creation. Now I’m just working on making it better. It should be ready for testing in the field in a couple more years. It’s a genetically-engineered bioskin that will be resistant to microbes and bacteria in the ocean, and will have nanites that aid in self-healing. She’ll hold a complement of about 400 scientists and crew.”

“You’re building this on Border’s property,” Nick said as the screen switched to a virtual reality type visual of the inside, starting with the massive bridge. “Josiah and Javier said you were lurking around that area, but hadn’t hinted about anything like this.”

“Because they really didn’t know much. Aside from Josiah and Jose, and my Mates, obviously since they’re helping us, no one has seen these schematics,” Lucas replied, looking down at his shoes as he crossed his ankles and flexed his feet.

“And yes, we’re building on Border’s property. We’ve already scouted out the area and have begun the building of the science and research building. Josiah is taking care of buying off and blackmailing the Mexican government to look the other way, and by the time anyone else gets wind of what we’re doing, Nathan and I will be up to our eyeballs in patents and have everything locked up so tight that if anyone even thinks of stealing my technology, I’ll know about it and make them wish they’d never been born.”

“I have no doubt about that,” Nick murmured. “This is incredible, and has to be damned expensive. How are you paying for this?”

“Aside from sinking a good chunk of my own money and Nathan’s into it? We’re going to be looking for investors. We’ll be extremely picky. We have to be with Galileo and his people all over the damned place,” Lucas said with a sigh.

Then he grinned at Nick slyly. “Thought you might like to help out or know some people I can trust. I’m not naive enough to think that I won’t need some way to protect her once she’s in the water. Thought maybe you could think on that. You seem to know people more weapon-oriented than I do. Well, weaponry that didn’t originate before the turn of the twentieth century. I don’t think swords and cannons are gonna cut it.”

Nick nodded, a calculating gleam lighting his eyes. “I’m definitely in. You two pull this off, and it could be extremely useful. I’ll think about who would be best for weaponry. It’s not something you’ll really need to worry about until you get to the actual building of it. When do you think that’ll happen?”

“We’re estimating that initial construction on the ship itself will start in late 2015 or early 2016.” Lucas’ eyebrows rose. He could practically see the wheels turning in Nick’s brain. “Thinking we’ll need another mode of transportation?”

“I’m thinking a lot of things. Always good to have backup plans even when you don’t know why you’d need them,” Nick said, cycling through more VR shots of the inner workings of the ship. “What are these tube things for?”

“Smaller dolphins and porpoises for research purposes and to help treat damaged ones, without them having the stress of leaving the water. They’ll be able to get into and out of the ship via these tubes,” Lucas told him. “There’s a big pool on the bridge, and an even bigger one in one of the life science laboratories. They can also be used by people to get through the ship by a secondary means in the case of damage or infiltration.”

Nick nodded. “You should go and see Bruce. He’s always looking for new investments, and something like this would be right up his alley. Of course, it’d probably end up being a movie or television series in the future knowing him, but he does know some of the most interesting people, and he has rich, smart friends that can help with research or just to throw money at you.”

Lucas snorted. “And what, pray tell, did Wayne do to you to inflict me upon him?”

“Nothing I’m aware of, but it’s him. There’s always something he’s probably done or will do to deserve it. Let’s just call it a preemptive strike.”

Lucas threw his head back and laughed, tilting to the side and back when he heard a throat clear to see who it was.

“And just what are the two of you up to?” Warrick asked as he leaned in the doorway.

“We’re having a torrid love affair. Can’t you tell by the state of our undress?” Lucas deadpanned.

“And you didn’t invite me?” Warrick replied, stepping all the way in and closing the door behind him.

Nick rolled his eyes at the two of them and motioned Warrick over. “Get your ass over here and look at Lucas and Bridger’s brain child.”

Warrick strode over, stopping briefly to give Lucas a one-armed hug, and sat down in the seat Nick vacated. “What was all the laughing about?”

“Nick’s throwing Bruce in front of my metaphorical bus,” Lucas replied lightly.

“Somewhere in Los Angeles the feeling of sheer terror has crawled up Bruce’s spine and he has no idea why,” Warrick commented. “What the hell am I looking at?”

Lucas and Nick smirked at one another and Lucas proceeded to tell Warrick all about his little project.

 

Sylum Sneak Peek: Watch Dog

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This is the story I’m working on at the moment … I’ve been working on it for a while.  It was supposed to come out during Seven Days *hahahahahaha* Sorry …  It was basically set to be a prequel, intro to the POI storyline into Sylum.

Then these two….

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Kneecapped their original storyline and decided they wanted a bigger, brighter, longer storyline.

So now I’m re-working Watch Dog to fit their new arc.  And just as I started to get a handle on it ….

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This got into the mix ….

REALLY!?

*sighs*

Looks at Harold and John … you two good now?

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And now for the sneak peek:

Read more“Sylum Sneak Peek: Watch Dog”

Sylum Advent 2015: January 1st

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(Original Concept Art from Jurassic Park)

Title: The Hatchling

Author: Timothy Quinn

Sylum Timeline: Yet to Come

***

He threw everyone out.

Literally.

And he really didn’t care how it looked.

He wasn’t being employed for his diplomatic skills, or for having overwhelming social ethics.

Not that he didn’t have a pretty decent reputation already, for being a giant pain the ass, but after the eggs were successfully fertilized, he’d go sit every afternoon, regardless of how the technicians snickered at him, talking to his babies and readying them for the world outside.

Not that he cared much about others laughing at his expense. He wasn’t exactly interested in human behavior.

It wasn’t his area of expertise.

Much to his father’s perpetual irritation.

But he knew what had gone wrong before, and he knew how to correct it.

That was all he gave a damn about as he tossed reluctant and argumentative stragglers out of the Hatchery by the collars of their starched white lab coats.

Henry Wu had already threatened him with Security, and then threatened him with being fired.

Firing him had been Hammond’s big mistake.

“Been there, done that,” he muttered, slamming the door in the doctor’s face, and locking it firmly. He remembered the Geneticist from 20 years before, and figured that little had changed the man but passing time. Without Hammond keeping him on a leash though, he clearly thought he owned the place.

In Owen’s personal opinion, John Hammond had been a ridiculously arrogant little martinet, who rightly deserved everything he got. He just hoped the Dilophosaurus who ate him, didn’t get food poisoning.

Hammond’s self-righteous nightmare had left no room for ever admitting his own mistakes, and it seemed only fitting that the creation he had unleashed had turned and destroyed him in the end.

Which was certainly poetic enough, but the body count hadn’t been limited to just one man.

Or one of his animals.

This time though, it would be different.

Owen knew it, simply because he knew more than he had 20 years ago.

Not that anyone paid attention to him back then.

Well, only long enough to fire his ass for yelling at Hammond in public.

His father had wanted to walk too, in protest, yet stayed on at Owen’s urging to at least try and defend the Dinosaurs from human insanity a while longer.

That his father had later returned home as one of only 6 survivors from the collapse of that first park – barely able to function for a while, and utterly unable to talk about what happened – had left him guilt ridden and even more angry at Hammond’s bullshit. But it had also made him more determined than ever to correct what he reasoned he had at least been partly responsible for.

His quest for answers had eventually led him to 24 months of solid research on Isla Sorna – another one of Hammond’s unmitigated fucking disasters.

Who builds in a hurricane area, then abandons the entire place for won’t of a storm? Without regard for the animals? Or their future?

Still, it had permitted him chance to observe without hindrance, to document and assess, and learn what needed doing.

No one really believed any of the rumors at first, let alone that some fool might try again one day to build a functional dinosaur park for paying guests.

It was probably a good thing then, that he didn’t think much like other people, or he might never have figured out what really came next. He wasn’t as insane as people liked to believe. He was just happier with his animals.

Predators mostly.

Those he understood.

Sitting on his favorite stool, he perched over the artificial nest with absolute concentration, not wanting the negativity of the past too much at the forefront of his mind while he should be more properly focused on the birth taking place before him.

He’d beaten the total crap out of anyone he ever heard since that first park failed, go mouthing off and blaming his father for it. Though he knew his dad well enough to grasp that the man never knew about what he did for him. They were, after all, far too much alike in certain matters, for either of them to readily accept.

Which rather drove poor Dilios a bit daft now and then.

The egg moved.

If he concentrated on it, he could hear the tiny, yet remarkably strong heartbeat of the creature coming from within, and it made him grin even as his own sense of impending, life-changing drama began to unfold. For no matter how much he was tempted to, he couldn’t alter or otherwise unduly influence what was happening. Bad enough there really ought to have been a pair of eggs hatching, until a careless technician knocked into the delicate heated table and upset the well balanced environment to such a degree that one egg toppled and was broken, he himself had no right to interfere despite the role he most fully and completely intended to play in his animals’ lives. He had literally gone batshit all over Wu and his minions when he’d gotten to the lab that fateful afternoon, just a little over a month ago, to find an egg missing. No one had thought to call and tell him about the disaster. They simply said they’d ‘make’ another embryo grouping later. And that was that.

It had taken Misrani to calm him the hell down before he killed someone, and while he’d ranted furiously at the terribly polite and very reasonable Indian Vampire who had bought John Hammond’s dream in an assets auction, Owen wasn’t entirely sure he’d made himself anywhere near clear enough.

The Dinosaurs were not assets.

They were numbered.

Barcoded.

Registered.

Tagged.

And treated like product sure enough.

Which was so many shades of just plain wrong, he had no idea how to begin explaining it better.

Misrani saw investment.

And while he understood that his investment was indeed effectively creating new life, he had yet to be fully exposed to the consequence of it. At least as far as Owen was concerned.

With the first crack, came tiny scratching sounds, and for a moment he fumbled with his phone to snap a picture, realizing that as he had documented his chosen subject on Isla Sorna for future reference, he should do the same of the new park on Isla Nublar.

It was almost set to open; the final touches being put on shops, facilities and hotels. Systems were being tested and retested for animal containment and control, even as he sat there, holding the breath he didn’t need. But he was ready. His paddock was built to his specifications, his operating systems in place, his team getting geared up and learning how to work together for the ultimate good of his animals. He knew what he wanted, and he knew how to achieve it.

Careless technicians not withstanding.

He knew his people looked like low-life, former mercenary type reprobates, not neatly uniformed park attendants, but appearances were not what he cared about.

The Raptors were.

And they were absolutely not going on display like they were circus freaks or pets to be cooed over.

One crack became two.

Then three.

Four.

Then a spider’s web of pressure marks as the Hatchling tested its strength in what would be just the first of many occasions it might doubtless face in its life.

“That’s it,” he murmured encouragingly. “C’mon, you can do it.”

Owen had witnessed the birth of many animals in his time, from Alpacas to Zebras, Wildebeests, Lions, Cheetahs, even Giraffes and Hippos. He’d also worked with Sarah Harding to document observations on the raising of Stegosaurus, T-Rex and Triceratops. He’d gotten close enough to see Pterodactyls hatch, and Spinosaurus Aegypticus feeding.

Yet time after time, he came back to the Raptors, drawn with rapt fascination to the most cunning and powerful of ancient predators, just as he had been to the big cats of Africa as a boy.

He was comfortable with them.

And they changed his life in return.

His eyes widened as pieces of the egg fell off and a tiny claw appeared, scrabbling around in the outside air, tugging at the broken edges and pulling more away.

It made him laugh in delight, despite the grief at knowing there ought to have been two new births that day in Jurassic World. The remaining Hatchling was strong. And getting stronger.

He paid attention to every sound, sight, and smell, noting them all.

He would be doing this again.

He knew it.

Hammond had deliberately imprinted on every Dinosaur born to that first park, even the ones who ate him.

As though somehow they would think of him in terms of God, when their creator was anything but holy.

Owen snorted, just as the Hatchling did, its head popping out into daylight – or rather the lights of the sterile room that held the nesting pads of each genetically manipulated species in the park.

He laughed again as he was blinked at, the miniature Raptor eyeing him with perfect curiosity, a piece of shell on its face like a half-tilted hat.

“Hi!” Own said cheerfully, knowing he sounded stupid but completely at a loss to know what else might seem appropriate.

He got a squeak in reply, that was followed by a lot more frantic scrabbling as the Raptor struggled to tear away the membranes that had encase it and kept it safe.

It took less time than he had seen with such births in the wild.

The new species that had been agreed upon for Jurassic World, were in fact not as genetically pure as those he’d first observed with his father, or those on Isla Sorna. The only way any insurance company would underwrite a second theme part, or investors would enable more research and study, was by ‘calming’ the de-extinct animals down with a great deal more DNA from other – allegedly better understood – creatures. Naturally, Owen had argued like mad that such a thing was pointless, as any and all related discovery would be instantly tainted by whatever genetic traits the foreign DNA would imbue. Naturally, he’d been completely ignored, and told not to create problems where none existed.

To which he had replied ‘yet’, for nothing was guaranteed, no matter how well the scientists claimed they could engineer controllable life.

Ian Malcolm had infamously said, ‘Life finds a way’, but he’d been ignored too.

Consequences being as they may, Owen would have his first new Raptors on Isla Nublar, infused with the DNA of the Black-Throated Monitor Lizard from Tanzania.

And he had no idea how that would affect their development.

As per protocols already established, all the Dinosaurs for the new park were to be female, and the predators would be sterile.

Which also pissed Owen off.

Given that his animals were not to be viewed by the guests, he had actually won the fight with Wu about not using accelerated growth rates to populate the Pack more rapidly. He would have at least something natural in his Raptors, if nothing else.

Free of shell and membrane, the new Raptor sat for a second in its nesting pad, still staring at him, expecting some response on his part, and it gave Owen better chance to inspect her still wet and sticky scales.

She was beautiful – a dark, silvery grey with a sharp, white dorsal line that framed a richly shimmering blue streak that ran from the rear orbit of each eye to the very tip of her tail.

Still she stared at him, blinking with nictitating eyelids, before she finally leapt straight at his neck.

Instinctively he caught her, his hands rising to protect himself, and her tiny razor sharp little needle pointed claws sank into his palm, cutting right through the skin between his thumb and forefinger on both hands.

The two of them stayed like that, poised as though in mid-battle, seeking dominance and looking for purpose.

Owen, realizing what that truly meant, did his utmost not to cry out in pain, and squeezed her more tightly, pushing her steadily but firmly away from his face, despite the blood that was pouring quite freely down his arms.

It was everything.

That single moment.

It defined them both.

Finally, after what felt to the both of them like an age of struggle, it was simply over, and chilled by no longer being in the warm light of the heat lamp over the nest, the baby Raptor sighed, and squirmed its way out of his hands, up his right sleeve, and into the breast pocket of his flannel shirt. Her claws were perfect for climbing the heavy material, and not once did she break his skin that time.

Owen laughed, awed by her speed and agility.

She was a touch larger than he anticipated, and he found himself hoping her colors wouldn’t darken too much as she grew.

She needed to feed though, which meant he had to get her out of that laboratory environment, and into the real world.

“You good in there?” he asked, rubbing a forefinger over her head between her orbital ridges.

She yipped at him, making some very familiar sounding chirps and baby growls.

“Yeah, hungry. I know. You want food now. I get it.”

She blinked at the sound of his voice.

“So let’s go home.”

He stood up, stretching his back right when the door burst open and two big, burly InGen Security guards charged in like proverbial bulls in the proverbial china shop.

Owen’s first instinct was protection of his Raptor.

And secondly for protection of the other eggs that comprised at last a dozen different species for the park.

The Hatchling growled, unafraid and utterly undaunted as her Alpha leapt with Vampire speed to save a clutch of Triceratops eggs from hitting the floor. Like a juggler, he caught each one in midair as it rolled, snagging all three and slipping them with remarkable tenderness back where they belonged.

Thankfully, his blood that had been spilled in achieving dominance over the infant Raptor, turned to dust during the distraction, leaving no one else present, any the wiser.

And then the yelling started, Wu loudly demanding that Owen be thrown not just out of the building, but off the island entirely, accusing him of theft, intimidation and bullying, damaging InGen property and interference with the running of both the labs and the park itself, harassment, criminal intent and trespass. In fact, he sounded so very much like John Hammond in his outrage, that someone should dare come and upset his self-righteous empire building, that Owen seriously wished he could spit venom at him like a Dilophosaurus.

It took Simon Masrani to defuse what rapidly became a weird kind of Mexican Stand Off, for the guards who most certainly felt it their duty to try and act on behalf of their employer and his precious Dinosaurs, were incredibly reluctant to go against the man with the Raptor in his pocket, especially when said Raptor hissed at them all nastily, and bared her teeth most fiercely.

“Velociraptors are lethal at 8 months old, but that doesn’t mean she can’t tear your eyes out, rip your face open and eat your tongue for breakfast.” Owen felt no need whatsoever to beat around the bush.

The guards backed off, valuing their tongues and eyeballs as much as the next man.

Wu only stopped yelling when Masrani came in, the considerable number of people thronging the Hatchery doorway, parting for him the Red Sea before Moses.

The baby Raptor snarled at him, warning him to back off too, whereupon he eyed the little scrap of dangerous life far more respectfully.

“Mister Grady, you know the procedures for all Hatchlings in this park,” the other Vampire began, every inch the forceful, powerful, yet softly spoken businessman of enormous reputation. “The Raptors are not your personal property.”

“It has to be weighed, measured, tested for defects…”

Wu’s protestations were silenced by a wave of Masrani’s left hand.

Owen never moved. “We talked about this. No chips. No trackers. No barcodes. No product listing. This is my project. I don’t care which branch of the US Military funds it. This is on my authority. Mine alone.” He spoke calmly, for the sake of the Raptor’s patience more than anyone else’s. Making eye contact also helped; with Hammond, it had been perceived as a threat, but with Masrani, it was two men being honest with each other.

An elegantly coiffed, immaculately dressed red-headed woman in a white outfit and three inch pumps, strode purposefully into the room like she’d come to fix the entire problem herself. Yet she utterly ignored it all, murmuring in Masrani’s ear that there was a meeting he was late for.

Simon smiled generously, despite lines of stress and worry creasing at his face. “Ah! Of course! Yes, yes! So be it!”

Wu snorted in disgust. “That animal belongs in this lab!” he cried. “It has to be…”

Masrani stalked out with the woman, whom Owen imagined to be his latest Personal Assistant. But the man’s comments had been rather a bit too ambiguous for the park’s Chief Geneticist, who was still angry and upset that his creations were being encroached on by those who knew nothing of his genius.

Trying not to look smug, Owen also walked away, Wu’s voice ringing in his ears, screeching something about blood tests and calories and growth factors and disease potential.

“Get back here, this instant!!” Henry almost stamped his feet in frustration. He was not a man of violence though. He was simply used to be being obeyed.

With his usual aplomb, Owen flipped him off, raising the middle finger of his left hand and taunting the other scientists without so much as a glance back over his shoulder.

To his delight, the baby Raptor copied him, flicking up a clawed toe at those who were staring, and pointing, and muttering darkly.

“I’m naming it Velociraptor 001!” Henry was about ready to start throwing things, wondering how the hell Owen could get away with such blatant disregard. “You hear me, Mister Grady?”

Owen stopped dead in his tracks at the end of the corridor that lead out to the nearly completed Visitor Discovery Center, where an 8 foot bronze of John Hammond and his amber topped cane, was being currently installed.

The baby Raptor chirped at him and blinked most politely.

“She already has a name!” he growled in reply, stroking her head softly. “Don’t you, Blue.”

Sylum Advent 2015: December 31st

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Title: Always Mr. Reese

Author: Bj Jones

Sylum Timeline: As this particular storyline is still working out likely 2015/2016

ADMIN NOTE:  This teaser will not show up in storyline due to the fact Harold and Reese totally changed their canon.   So Enjoy the snippet but understand this is Non-Canon.

***

The gunshots were louder than normal.

“Mr. Reese?”  There were more shots, slamming of doors and then a soft sigh and what sounded like a body sliding down the wall to the ground.  “John.”

“Finch, you there?” His voice sounded pained.

“Always, Mr. Reese.”

“The number is safe, I got her and the kid out the back. They should be on their on their way to Maine, to family.”

“And you?” He asked typing furiously, pulling up feeds from all cameras in the area. None of them gave him a view of inside the warehouse.

“I’m fine.”

“I don’t believe that Mr. Reese.” He learned that lesson before John was Turned, even less afterwards. “Tell me the truth, John.”

“Nothing a good Feeding wouldn’t cure.” A cough ended the sentence, one that sounded wet and sticky. “I’m sorry, Harold.”

“John, help is on the way.” He typed even more furiously, anger settling into his stomach at the perpetrators who dare hurt his Mate. He sat up straighter, eyes wide at the rage that was going through him. ‘Oh so that’s what John feels like when I’m in danger.’

“Yes Harold, intensify it by at least 100 and you’re good.” John chuckled darkly, having felt his Mate’s spike of anger. Harold hadn’t learned how to hide or subdue his emotions over the Bond. It was one of the first skills John had mastered, not wanting his Mate to feel his physical pain.

“I hadn’t meant to say that out loud.”

“You have a habit of muttering into the phone while working.” A moan escaped as he tried to shift. “I’m not sure how many gunmen are left, don’t send Fusco or Carter.   I’ll survive a death shot.”

“I’m not letting them kill you!” Finch snapped.

“I’m already dead.”

“Not the point, Mr. Reese!”

He blinked as the computer began sending out signals, numbers and codes. He watched as all the information of Reese’s attackers popped up on the screens. Names, social security numbers, address, banking account information. And without even a stroke of the keyboard, he watched the money drained out of accounts, bolos went out, warrants being issued –eyes went wide when alarms went off at the local Firehouses near their homes.

He stared at The Machine, remembering what happened with Root.

In a small box on top of the screen was a picture of John marked by a yellow square – Admin.

He closed his eyes, still not comfortable with the implications.

“Harold.” The voice was fading.

“I’m here, John.” At least he knew it would be taken care of, but no matter how hard he or The Machine wanted it, they couldn’t stop the men from finishing off the ex-agent.

“Turn off the sound, don’t listen.”

“I’ll not leave you, Mr. Reese.”

“Finch!” He coughed the sound going through Harold’s soul.

Tears threatened to fall but he blinked through him. His thoughts went back to the time, when the CIA had tried to take John, hearing the shots, ignoring him when he told Harold to leave. Instincts had screamed to save him! Screamed to Turn him! But he hadn’t known how, his limitations to the Vampires society had left his education on all things Vampires sorely lacking. He risked his life, found John, and paid the doctor a lot of money to save him.

Two years later he almost lost him again.

He would have if it hadn’t been for Michael Westen.

Finch owes the man, for everything.

“I’m not leaving you John.”

Fusco and Carter were already on their way, closer and more capable of dealing with the situation at hand. He alerted Dr. Megan Tillmen, who had become their Chosen One, soon after the whole Vampire thing happened.

“Help is on their way.”

And he would stay on the line, and listen to his Mate in theory ‘die’. He knew the wounds had to be bad enough for the Vampire to succumb to them. He didn’t want to imagine the blood pool.

The sound of the door being busted open had him tensing. Gunshots followed, he couldn’t help the soft smile knowing his Mate wasn’t giving up without a fight.

Then he heard something else.

A crash of glass, the sounds of fists and flesh, something he had grown to distinguish over the years, and then a secondary crash.

“Well that was new.” John’s voice sounded sluggish and tired.

“Let’s get you out of here.” A new voice, not Fusco or Carter.

Finch panicked he had no idea who was touching his Mate. “Mr. Reese! John!”

“I got him, he’s safe.” The voice was deep, strong, reminded him of a man who knew violence, but cared. “I’m going to guess a text message will show up with our address. You’ll find your Mate there.”

Finch looked down to his phone, an address in Brooklyn was on the display. “Who are you?”

“A friend.”

***

Bear’s leash was gripped tightly in his hands, making the dog tense and alert. This wasn’t just a walk around the park.

He had researched the address, coming back to a Peter Burke, FBI Agent, White Collar division. The fact he was FBI had put Harold on the edge, but he would find his Mate and if necessary, would destroy the FBI.

He already had the Agent’s file, the wife’s business contracts and loans, their retirement funds, along with bank accounts. He also added the CI that worked with Burke and seemed to be living with them, his release papers and contract with the FBI.

With one swipe he would eliminate them.

Finch knocked on the door, he hid his surprise when Peter Burke didn’t answer it, but instead a dark haired older man, whose hair looked like it hadn’t been combed since the 70’s. What was more disturbing was the lack of a heartbeat.

Normally he wasn’t in tuned to such things, but John had drilled him consistently to pay attention to his surroundings, especially after Root.

The man stared at him for a few moments, then down at the dog. Bear was standing next to his owner, alert and ready to attack or defend.

“I’m taking you’re hear for Mr. Tall, Dark and Wounded.”

“My Mate.”

“Well that would explain the growling.” He opened the door wider to let them in. “And I don’t mean the dog, nice pet. Dutch Malinois?”

“Yes and he can kill on my command.” Harold looked around the brownstone. It looked homey. There were photos of the Burkes, along with the CI, a young man wearing a Fedora trying to look dapper. There was an open door on the far wall, which if Finch’s calculations were correct, would lead to the home next door.

Bear whined pulling towards it.   Finch patted his head, the dog always knew where his Alpha was located.

“I’m Nathan.” He gestured towards the open door.

“Mr. Finch.” He answered easily, making his way across the room.

“I thought I knew most of the Vampires in New York.” Nathan didn’t take offense to the cold look he got from the visitor, he was quite used to it. “It’s part of my job to know where everyone is.”

“And what do you do Nathan?” Harold asked, as he stepped into the second brownstone. The house was quite different than the other. The tones warmer, the floors were made a dark wood, many more bookcases, less photographs, but still felt homey.

“Spy Liaison for Serenity Clan.”

“Mr. Castle’s Clan.” Harold stopped and stared at him.

“Mal’s yes.”

He glanced around. “The Burkes?”

“Part of Tallikut.” He answered as he led him upstairs and down the hallway to the far room. “My Mate, Eliot works with Sylum, one of Nico’s Hunters. And Neal well he’s all over the place.”

“Neal Caffrey.” He said without pause. “I have one of his paintings.”

“An original?” Nathan asked opening the door at the end of the hallway.

“No, a Raphael he forged.” He stepped into the room and paused when he saw an old Golden Retriever lying on the covers looking forlorn at John’s still body. Bear whined, pulling towards the bed. He let the leash go before limping across the room, sitting down taking his Mate’s hand.

“His wounds are healing, he’ll be awake soon.”

He knew that voice.

Harold looked up to see bright blue eyes, and a wicked smile. The long hair was pulled back in a ponytail, kept out of his face by a bandanna.   “Thank You.”

“I got a text stating a Hunter needed help. I figured it was from Nico, he has a weird way of knowing these things.”

Harold focused back on his Mate. “John.”

Eyes fluttered then opened, a hand reaching up a smile on his face. “Harold.

“Ahh that’s adorable.” Nathan smirked at his Mate. “You do the same thing after getting shot.”

Eliot rolled his eyes. “Satchmo has been watching over him.” He petted the old dog, knowing they didn’t have much time with him. He grinned when the guard dog jumped on the bed and made his way to his Alpha and licked him.

“Bear!” Harold ordered him to lie down in Dutch.

Nathan smirked before taking a seat in the chair. “Can the next dog we get, do that?”

John moved slightly, sitting up back against the headboard. “Who are you?”

“Eliot Spence, Nico’s Hitter.”

“He never mentioned you.” John refused to let go of Finch pulling him closer, in case of a threat.

“I can say the same about you.” He frowned studying him for a few moments. “You remind me of someone.”

Reese snorted. “Unless you’re CIA I doubt we’ve met.”

“You have a similar look … ” he looked at Nathan. “Doesn’t he? Does he remind you of …”

“Nick.” Nathan smirked. “He’s a Meridius.” He glanced over at Reese. “Aren’t you?”

“Fuck.” Eliot groaned that would mean there were two in the city. “Well that explains a few things.”

John shifted to get out of the bad. “I thank you, but we need to go.”

“You should Feed, your wounds are still healing. You can stay for dinner.” Eliot pushed him back down, Reese stubborn to a fault, finally gave in when his weakened body betrayed him. He didn’t want them mentioning the four wounds to Finch. Eliot nodded, sensing the Hunter relax back into the bed. He smirked, “let the dogs play.”

They watched as Bear whined softly nipping at Satchmo whose tale was wagging, as he playfully nipped back. “The old dog doesn’t get much action these days.”

“I don’t think…” Harold shook his head not wanting to jeopardize John.

“You have to get used to the Vampire community at some point.” Nathan smirked at him, having a feeling Harold and John had little exposure to the vast wide world of Clans. “You can meet Peter, El and Neal.”

“Who?” John asked frowning.

“FBI, Mrs. FBI, and FBI Conman.” Harold informed him. John wasn’t surprised his Mate knew exactly who they were. Probably was ready to destroy them, if they thought they were a threat.

“Think about it.” Nathan stood up and grabbed Eliot, knowing the Mates needed time.

As they closed the door, John leaned forward and kissed Harold softly. “I’m sorry, I scared you.”

“I…” he paused. “The Machine gave me all their names, and destroyed them. Then gave me their boss. The one who wanted our number dead for figuring out what the Senator was doing. I made it look like he stole from his ‘partners’ then emptied all of his accounts into the Caymans making him look even more guilty, sent everything on his harddrive to every government agency I could, and then sent his sex video to twitter. And I did it with glee.”

“I know, Harold.” John held him close as he confessed. “I’ll burn cities…”

“While I topple governments.”

 

 

 

Sylum Advent 2015: December 30th

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Title: Protector of Rome

Author: Bj Jones

Sylum Timeline: Way way way in the future

Note: Download Sylum Anniversary Vol 2 – hit Assassins Creed Trailer … and read.

***

He moved with ease.

For he had walked these steps a hundred thousand times before.

The crowd parted.

First the media.

Then the people.

Finally the Cardinals.

The mass of red swept itself aside as he continued his journey to the steps of the Basilica.

He stopped a few feet past the Pillars of the Church, his focus on the Pope who stood before him.

Alexander VII.

Rodrigo Borgia.

Returned once more.

He had worked his way through the ranks of the Clergy, all the way to Cardinal. Bribed, threatened, and manipulated the College to win election at Conclave. Within six weeks of his taking office, his corruptions spread through the Church.

Indulgences sold for a price.

Mercy given for a favor.

He claimed that the plague of Vampires on this world was due to the sins of the Church.   Declared divorce once again unforgiveable, homosexuals were to be banned, children of unwed mothers not to be baptized. Forgiveness was not a blessing, but could only be earned.

The hungry grew hungrier.

The outcast became more disgraced.

The sick became sicker.

Alexander VII lived in luxury, wearing fine silks and gold crowns. His favorite Cardinals got cushy jobs, and extravagant homes, while those who opposed him were exiled and destroyed.

“Who do you think you are?” The Pope stared down at the Man in White.

“I was given the task of protecting St. Peters Church from those outside who would bring Her harm.” He paused, head raised as he looked brazenly at the Pope. “Or from those who choose to corrupt Her from within.”

“Giovanni Auditore!”

He smirked wickedly. “I will not have you corrupt the Vatican any further with your greed. You have no place in His Church, Rodrigo. You did not before. You do not now.”

“And you have no power here!” he growled snapping his fingers.

Vatican Police and Swiss Guards moved between their Pope and the well-perceived threat.

With a flare of the dramatic, the Assassin threw his hood back, revealing a familiar face to them. “My name is Ernesto Olivetti, Inspector General of Vatican Security. You know who I am. I command you men to put down your weapons, for this is not a Holy Man who was divinely Chosen, but a man who has sought power and greed for his own earthly desires.”

The Square went quiet.

The first to bow their heads in respect and walk away were his Vatican Police. For the story was legendary within their ranks, that on the day after Pius XVII had been buried, Inspector Olivetti’s office, along with his rooms in the Apostolic Palace, had been Sealed. The only thing he left behind, were his badge and gun, which were now located in the Vatican Archives.

It had been rumored that when the Church most needed Her protector, he would return.

Many had laughed at those who still believed.

But they held onto the hope that one day it would prove true.

That the Inspector would once again take charge of the Vatican, and prepare it for the safe return of Pope Patrick.

The Swiss Guard hesitated, but the steel of determination in the Inspector’s eyes, made them take a united step backward. They knew of the myths and legends just as much as the Vatican Police. Their histories had been intertwined for generations. It had only been until recently, with Alexander VII, that the two forces were once again separated.

The few men who continued to move forward, were easily disarmed and tossed aside.

None were killed. Only their pride was wounded.

“You think I would rely on loyal guards?” Rodrigo snapped his fingers, and out from the main doors behind him spilled mercenaries, armed with military grade weapons, and all wearing body armor. “Kill him!”

From the sea of Cardinals came the ‘Brotherhood’.

Ezio took his place at his father’s right.

Altaïr on Ernesto’s left.

Nikolai slid next to Altaïr, his rifle resting on his shoulder.

Javert stood quietly next to Ezio, sword in hand.

Aveline took point next to the Frenchman, while Shau Jun closed the flank next to the Russian.

Ernesto smiled.

Behind them, two men – one who had carried the name of Pius XVII and the other a Monseigneur – bowed their heads in prayer.

 

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