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There wasn't a lot to be said about Cheshire. It was a little out of the way of everything else and here, life took on a slower place than most. Many of her children felt trapped here, but they eventually returned and were welcomed back in open arms.

[But instead of a wire fence, there is a stone wall about six feet high]

The bed and breakfast was on the edge of town, a solitary figure on three acres of rich, fertile soil and life, and the woman who had called this place her home for her entire life was content with it. Happy, no. It had been quite sometime since she had honestly thought of herself as happy. But content, yes. Because this is where she belonged, where they all belonged ...

Meanwhile, a fifteen minute walk from the bed and breakfast, the town was a bit more busy than usual. It was Tuesday morning and they were going to have their annual town fair right in the center of Cheshire! Food, fun, games! Even a few carnival rides they had managed to rent from the city!
Renee walked down the stairs inside the grand bed and breakfast, catching two at a time. Her outfit wasn't something most people would not assume a woman in her profession to wear, a tight black tank top and a pair of dark blue jeans and a pair of heeled boots. She looked like she was getting ready to go out clubbing, not for reading fortunes at the town fair. The only sign of her affinity was the pendant that hung around her neck. A silver pentacle with a moonstone set squarely in the middle of it. Slung over Renee's shoulder was a light gray messenger bag, inside rested her crystal ball, her tarot deck and various other occult/divining items.

As Renee walked across the main foyer she heard what sounded like ragged breathing in her ear and a chill went up her spine. No matter how many times a ghost approached her Renee could never get used to the sensation. She looked at her watch and shook her head. These ghosts were taking up her time and she would have to help them later but now she needed to get to the fair to set up shop. Ghosts stuck around forever, paying customers not so much. With one last glance around the old house, the presences almost packed in like sardines seemed to all turn to her and point. They knew she could hear their agony and see their sorrow but she turned her back on them, for now and headed to the door. "I will help as many of you as I can tonight!" She said over her shoulder, her crystal ball chiming in her bag as she walked.
Emily tossed and turned in her twin-sized bed as sunlight streamed in through the window. They could've at least bought some curtains for the windows, ugh, Emily thought as she slowly awoke, moving her blond hair out of her unmade face with her hand. She began to the daily ritual by going into the small bathroom and taking an extensive shower. Fifteen minutes later, she stumbled out and continued over to the sink after grabbing a bright yellow towel. Wrapping the towel around herself, she looked in the mirror.

I would let my hair air dry and not use my straightener, but I know there's gonna be the big town fair today, so maybe I should straighten it? Emily wondered to herself as she returned her attention to the mirror once again, only to feel a strange chill go up her spine and see a ghost that was just standing there, eerily smiling. After the initial uncomforting sensation, she rolled her eyes before turning around. She greeted the ghost only for it to go away. I swear, there are even creeper ghosts, Emily remarked as she then made the decision to begin blowdrying her hair. After about 15 minutes or so, she had managed to dry and straighten her hair, so she took another 15 to put on her makeup, and then she finally moved out of the bathroom. Hmmmm, the yellow sundress or the yellow cardigan and white t-shirt? Emily asked herself, choosing the yellow sundress.

And now finally, she ran down the aging wooden stairs, slipping on a pair of cream-colored flats before grabbing her large, gold metallic purse and running out the door, barely remembering to lock it. Breakfast, schmeakfast, Emily thought to herself as she began walking down the street towards where the fair was going to be held.
Evander stood, slightly stiff in the joints, from the solitary wooden chair he had been seated in all night pouring over books. It was one of Evander's personal favorite things to do, read these human works. They were fascinating in a way that he had never seen in a demon. They were like intense stars, with their minuscule lifespans they debated and questioned their existence, trying to make sense of what would happen to them in death. Like stars, they flared brilliantly and struggled to make their mark permanently before they died out in an explosion of color almost vivid enough to make a demon cry.

Evander respected their philosophers, their prophets, all of the humans who struggled with the thought of dying. The apathetic ones, those were the ones whose souls he most easily obtained. He could prey on their minds and they were no challenge to him, he only had to convince them that they were going to a better place and he could rob it as easily from them as if he were simply removing a shroud and then their physical manifestations would ease, as though falling into a deep sleep...

Yawning, a supremely human habit he had picked up over the years, Evander exited the small study in the back of his shop and entered the main room with his multitude of books for sale, tomes he knew by heart and had loved or novels he thought were rubbish but knew to sell well. Lighting a lamp by his counter, the room was bathed also in the sunlight flowing in through the large windows. His final step was turning the sign on his door to proudly proclaim 'Open!'.
Emily continued walking down the street until she got bored. It's not gonna start for a little while, right? Emily wondered as she neared Evander's book store. She glanced over at the building with large windows as the man turned the sign on the door to show that it was open. I'unno, he seems different than the other people around here, Emily thought, completely unaware that she was differentiating him from the other people she's seen because he's a demon. Somethin' not right there, Emily got a bit nervous. Oh come on, it's just a book store, what's there to be scared about? Emily tried to calm herself down. Heck, there might even be a job spot or a cool book or somethin', Emily reassured herself as she forced herself into the book store.

"Good morning, sir," Emily felt obliged to greet him because Emily and him were the only people in the store at the time.

Light came pouring in from the large windows that she had noted earlier. She noticed that there were some popular books that her friends had been talking about before she was forced to live here, but she moved along. I'unno, I would've been more into books if we didn't have to read those lame ones at the academy, Emily thought back for a bit as she looked at the books. I wonder if there's anything about the town in here, Emily wondered. She turned around to speak to Evander again.

"Excuse me, do you have any books about the town's history?" Emily asked Evander, noting that he still had a "different" air about him.
The Old Cheshire Graveyard...

In the Old Graveyard, the air was still chill. A thick fog hanging around under the dark leafy trees where the sunlight had yet to spread. Overgrowth taking over graves and tombstones from years of neglect. No one ever came here anymore. There were no recently deceased. Those that were buried here had been dead for quite some time.

But not everyone here was dead.

A loooow soft moan interrupted the eerie silence. Sydney rolled over and sat up, rubbing her head with a sleep weary motion. It was fairly dry last night and for a girl without any cash, sleeping outside was the usual. A graveyard was not a normal person's first choice, but Sydney didn't balk at the dead. She was looking for it.
Evander smiled at the girl who came into his shop, although it ended up looking more like a grimace. He nodded at her question, though a sad look crossed his porcelain features. It was odd anyone would want history of this town - he had dozens of books on it because he had tried to discover what had drawn him here. There were all sorts written by doddering old fools, young adventurous men, all types on the unusual feel of the town and the changes in their life that had occurred in the town. Men running away from home had seen visions of a life to come, all sorts of unusual happenings but no one could ever really understand why.

Trying to be helpful, he first directed her to a book based around the founder of the town. Evander wished he had come here sooner, to see the town being founded and know the true story. Somehow he had a nagging feeling that something about this town and its oddity was buried in its founding.
Renee was taking her sweet time walking to the fairground, in fact she had stopped at numerous stores along the way, telling people of her stand at the fair today. Nobody seemed interested in her, well at least no one seemed interested in her for her abilities. She sighed, brushing a stray lock of hair out of her eyes when she felt a very rare sensation coming from the bookstore as she passed it. It couldn't be? Could it? She shook the feeling before turning away and heading back down the street but something seemed to call her back. It wasn't part of my nightmares so I don't know why I feel this urge to enter...there is something or someone of importance in there... Renee was never one to ignore her instincts so she quickly walked back and stepped inside.

A lot of the books were fairly new and common books but Renee knew that the mysticism books had to be around there somewhere. Her gaze drifted around as she walked the shelves. Finally coming across a girl dressed in yellow and the owner, Evander. "Glorious morning to the both of you!" She said warmly. Yes, one of them is the source of my draw here...either the girl or the man. Both seem equally off so I guess I'll just have to separate them. A broad, yet mostly phony grin came to her face, "Excuse me Mister Evander, do you have any books on the astrology charts for this year? Or possibly a moon phase chart? But if you're helping this beautiful young lady let me just head off in a random direction in search of my prize." Renee said a bit wistfully as she turned and walked back down the shelves, proud of her ploy.
The crisp dawn air sank straight to her bones as the fog below enveloped the entire graveyard. Soon the warm rays of light would disperse the dewy blanket, and the buck's temporary concealment would come to an end. Shayne sat still and poised with her wooden arrow, ignoring the prickling branch below her as one of it's many sprouts dug into her side. Any minute now... It will be visible enough to take the shot. A pair of red squirrels played just a few limbs above, shaking dew onto the human and anything below. The unmoving woman's dedication did not waver; with the cold water dripping down her goose-pimpled skin, her senses were more alert than ever. Out from behind the decaying mausoleum straight ahead came a beautiful chestnut colored drop tine buck standing proudly and elegantly as though all of nature were his kingdom. YES! She cheered in her mind. Slowly she drew back the string, her muscles singing with tense joy. With a loud TWANG that seemed to echo across the entire gray, bleak land, the thin string snapped, but in spite of all the terror he felt, the buck stood his ground.

"Why did you do that?" Shayne whispered a hiss to some unseen demon who wasn't there. "Can't you guys see I'm working here?"

The deer lifted his head into the air, unsure if he'd heard a predator or more innocent sounds of nature. He licked his lips with a large, pink tongue, wrinkled his nose, and moaned a deep, loud snort. He's going to run. No! Shayne's mind raced with ways to be victorious in this encounter. Her bow was broken. She couldn't feasibly throw an arrow that would pierce the hide of this big boy. She had no gun. The long overwhelming silence of the Old Graveyard urged her into action before he sprinted. She took the chilled air into her lungs in one long breath, listening to the lack of traffic or the buzz of talk. In the moment of truth just before the most pivotal seconds between life and death for the deer, she thanked his spirit. And she leaped.

The deer was bolting away through the forest long before she hit the stone slab he'd been standing on. Sounding much like a sack of dropped flour, she landed in a heap with a muted thud.

"unnnngggg...." she moaned, "I shouldn't have done that."
The rather pale Evander attempted to be helpful and directed Emily to a book about the founder of the town. I didn't exactly wanna learn about some schmuck, but this'll do, Emily thought as she nodded and uttered a simple 'thanks'.

"Glorious morning to the both of you!" Renee chimed in as Emily was about to open the book; she promptly closed the book and whipped her head in the dark-haired lady's direction. "Good . . . okay then," Emily was about to respond but muttered the last part as she was cut off by Renee.

Emily watched as a fake smile appeared on the fair-skinned woman's features. Oh please, I've seen that smile on girls my age hundreds of times before; what ploy are you pullin', girl? Emily kept her somewhat aggressive comment to herself as she returned to the book that Evander had pointed out to her. Emily looked up from the book another time as Renee said something about astrology charts and lunar phase charts. Uhhhh, okay, that's just, like, weird, okay? Emily thought. Emily turned back to her book and pretended to read as she listened to the wistful lady go off in an attempt to snatch one of them off. Jeez, if she wanted to ask him out, she could've just like, told me to back off; I'm not even into pale dudes, anyway, Emily rolled her eyes before facing Evander again.

"Thank you for pointing this book out to me. I guess you should go off with her now," Emily said quietly before standing in place, actually attempting to read the book.

A few pages in, she found a particularly interesting bit. So far, this book has been a bit blah, but this is kind of off, Emily thought as her brown eyes looked incredulously at the pictures. Ruins of a sacraficial altar, the heck? Emily looked with interest as she read further. So, if this book is telling the truth, the Native Americans that lived here like, sacrificed people so that their God, or one of their Gods wouldn't come and wreak havoc upon them; that's just creepy, Emily thought. Y'know, there's definately somethin' off about this place, Emily nervously thought. Is there anything normal about this place or its founders? Emily asked as she read on, learning about how occultists argue the God described to be a real-life Demon while others accused the Native Americans who founded the town to be members of a small cult. Okay, I'm not reading anymore, this is just, strange, Emily averted her eyes from the old book as she closed it, looking at the others.
[bg=#000000]"We can't talk for long."
"Why not?"
"Because they may be listening."
"They have access to--"
"Understand that they're everywhere, and that it's safer to assume they could be onto us more than I think they are."
"...Very well. What's our next move?"
"My sources show that they're planning something. Something big. What they cannot tell me is where, only the name of one of them who knows."
"Then where can I find it?"
"In Saint Paul, Minnesota. Apparently it frequents a club named Station 4. Locate it, and find out where they plan on carrying this whole thing out."
"And how exactly will I know what this thing looks like?"
"I imagine you'll have no problem in recognising it, Mr Tigrillo."
"...Why's that?"
"Because I'm sending you after the demon that killed your wife."


It sits at a table with a small group of men and women, chatting, laughing, drinking. Spending time with a few close friends, anyone walking past might think.

Truly, it almost looks human.

It makes a joke. The woman to it's left laughs, and holds it's arm tighter. It smiles, not seeing me watching it from across the room.

Truly, it almost looks human. One would be hard-pressed to spot the difference.

But I know better.

I know what the thing I'm staring at is.

Finally, it makes the move I've been waiting all night for. With a big grin and a sly comment on the left, it rises to it's feet and moves for the toilets. In such a packed room, I don't even need to worry about looking suspicious as I move after him. The advantage of crowds. I'm behind him almost as he pushes open the door to the men's room.

And I've scoped this place frequently, rehearsed this next action in my head so many times I can barely count.

I am a well-oiled machine, the perfect mechanism. What I do, I am one of the best at.

Something this little fuck is about to find out.

It passes through the door, and already my hand has snapped up to grab the back of it's head. Before it can react, I force it's head forwards, driving it into the wall directly in front of the door with a sickening crunch. That's a nose gone, at least, but the jaw remains intact. Exactly how I want it. With a sharp kick to the back of it's right knee, it's thrown forwards, held up only by the vice-like grip of my hand upon it's head.

But the worst is yet to come for this bastard.

Before any of the startled patrons can shout for the bouncers, I've dragged it up and thrown it to my right, sending it sailing through the air and out the bathroom window. It scrapes to a halt on the asphalt of the alleyway outside as I clamber out after it, and deliver a sharp kick to the stomach as it attempts to start scrambling away.

"It has been a month since we last met, my friend," I say in a cold, deadpan voice as I loom over it, "Two months, twenty-three days and fiveteen hours, to be precise. I know this because I am rather upset with how things played out last time."

And all of a sudden, The Knife is in my jacket pocket, I reach in and pull it out. This time, it's a simply made butterfly knife, similar to many I've handled before. I snap the blade out and reach down, pulling the thing off the ground so it's level with me. "You took someone from me, someone who's very dear to me." My eyes are like slits now, I can barely keep my voice level and my fury contained, "And unless you tell me where you took her, and what you and your friends are planning, I will--"
"Words mean nothing, Mister Tigrillo," the thing wheezes out with a smirk, and spits blood in my face.

I see red.

For the next two minutes, I am no longer in control of my body. I vent my fury upon this creature, this filth, lying before me, and when I'm done it can talk but do very little else. "Cheshire..." it spits, somehow still managing to smirk at me despite the pain it's currently in, "...tell your friend he is looking for Cheshire." Then, inexplicably, it somehow manages to start laughing. "Don't even realise, do you? You're just a fucking pawn in all this.

"And you're never going to see little Alison again, Carlos."

For a second or two, I just stare.

Then with an enraged bellow, I drive the knife repeatedly into it's smug little face, rip that fucking smirk to shreds.

When I'm finished, there's not much left of him.

I stuff my bloodstained clothes into the bag I have sitting ready in the alley and pull on my new threads just as I start to hear sirens. No-one from the club has come out to confront me; the $200 I slipped the bouncers has gone a long way. The Knife is gone again as my breathing returns to normal. Sighing, I pull out the cell phone with the ten pre-paid minutes loaded onto it, and dial the number.
"Cheshire was what I got out of it."
"I thought as much."
"Meaning I know where they plan on carrying their little scheme out. You have a new destination; the town of Cheshire, Arkansas. Contact me once you're there. And you did good today, Carlos. We're one step closer to stopping them.

We're one step closer to saving Alison."

We meet Mister Tigrillo and his benefactor, eight days before the events of the game, as he tracks down one of the demons who broke into his home and took his daughter to learn about Cheshire. After getting the information he needs, he brutally murders the demon, and is told to make his way to the town by his benefactor.
They stood on the back step, looking out to the wide back yard of Cheshire's bed and breakfast. Acres of wild forest and wood, where trees were left untouched and nature was allowed to bloom as she would, lay just feet from the seats littering the well-manicured lawn. An old woman who was five feet four inches, in her seventies, wearing a long skirt and blue shoes, holding a tall black cane, smiled wistfully. If one had to hazard a guess, they might think she was looking back to fond memories and simpler times. She had snow white hair pulled into a bun and wore spectacles on the tip of her nose. She smiled wistfully, dark blue eyes distant.

The little girl standing beside her was also dressed in a long skirt that brushed the ground, making it impossible to see her feet. She was fair, long blonde hair, and a headband to keep her bangs out of her face, with violet eyes that were easily mistaken for black or blue, depending on the light. She only came up to the woman's waist, making her petite and small for her ten years of age. She leaned against the older woman, holding her grandmother's skirt in both hands.

"Grandma, may I play in town today?" she asked.

"Why, of course, you may, love." Without turning, the woman lifted one hand and placed it on the girl's head. "Just remember to come back in time for supper."

"Yes, Grandma." She nodded once and then she disappeared back into the bed and breakfast to get her ball.

Only when the door had closed behind the young girl, did the old woman turn, her eyes sad, and that smile fading. She certainly hoped she would come back in time for supper. God knows what had happened the last time she was late ...
Evander tilted his head, his attempt at a smile faltering as another girl entered his shop. More business today than he had received in months, he would have to analyze the date and the events in the town, had he forgotten about some lavish human holiday involving vacation time? No, he was fairly certain he had not and recalled he was supposed to be helping these customers, but the one girl fled... or something, with the book he had given her. The vibes from the first woman, they seemed a little bitter and he unconsciously moved to step closer to her, lure her into the... but there was a another woman and really, it had been years since the netherworld had cared if he delivered souls.

Evander turned to the second woman, making a valiant effort to reinstall what he was hoping to be a warm smile. He was well aware he failed miserably and was almost proud. "Things of that nature, we do have moon phase charts... I can direct you to the book of charts for the entire decade. Astrology, we have several general tomes and one specific that I order each year but it's in the back room".

He eyed her curiously, she seemed to have an unusual feel for a human. Almost as though she were interfering with his energy channel, that specific frequency he used in obtaining souls... the demon of himself, was she interweaving herself into the edges? Stupid human. Gifted, and he doubted she even knew how much so.... he retracted his web of awareness slightly, knowing he could not completely stop her from very humanly 'poking' him, but he could dampen it to be far less noticeable. The things I put up with, honestly... Krichevskoy would have simply killed her by now, he thought with an internal sigh.
Renee smiled as the man chased after her, into the astrology section, pulling out a few books and looking them over. As he spoke to her about his selection she reached out psychically to him to feel him out in a sense. It was a frightening experience. Renee could instantly tell that he wasn't a human, at least not completely but what he was still remained a mystery to her.

Her gaze turned back to the shelves and she grabbed a moon chart for the year and a tome of astrology charts for the next decade. "No thank you, I'll just buy these, here's my credit card and the books, I must speak to this young lady here..." Renee smiled thrusting the book and chart into Evander's arms with her credit card placed neatly on top. She quickly stepped past him and stood next to the girl.

"You, you are like see things, hear them, things that normal people cannot see nor hear...isn't that right my child? Oh but it might frighten you but I think that if you allow me to train you I can help you immensely...if you would come to my tent at the fair today, or even better come to my room at the bed and breakfast, yes I sense you know the one...Blessed Be my child..."

With that Renee turned back to Evander, "Ring me up please." She smiled.
Emily looked at Renee as she walked over to her. Okay, so you didn't ask Mr. Pale out over there, what are you doin' over here? Emily wondered as Renee stood next to her. What ensued was a rather direct talk about Emily's powers. The hell does she know? Emily asked, staring at the woman as she went on. She was actually slightly scared of Renee, but slightly interested. I'm kind of scared of using my powers, but she said she could help me a lot, soooo . . . , Emily thought as she took in the information about coming to her tent at the fair or her room at her bed and breakfast. The last statement was a bit creepy, so Emily slightly backed away, but nodded in response.

"Okay, lady," Emily simply responded before Renee turned back to Evander. Guess it's about time I high-tail it out of this place; enough weird stuff's already happened in here, she thought as she put away the disturbing book that she had read earlier and rushed off, rudely forgetting to say goodbye. OMG, that place gave me the creeps! Emily nervously thought as she began walking down the street.
Evander shook his head, sighing. He may have lived here since the beginning of humans, but he was certain he would never fully understand them. All this girly nonsense, too, it was starting to wear thin so when one of them left he almost breathed relief. One to go. Humans, he thought, had begun to give up on bettering their minds and were letting intelligence decay. The bookstore was the perfect cover. Most business he had gotten in years...

Evander slowly figured out how to work the fancy credit card reader he had purchased for the fun of taking apart human technology. After a few minutes of button punching, the card was read. Evander pushed his glasses up his nose, as they had been steadily sliding down the bridge of his slender facial structure.
"Card.... declined". He flicked his gaze back up to her, lazily studying the little... were they called psychics? She was probably a gifted child, had made her parents worry about her mental health, the whole measure. She wasn't exactly subtle.
Renee smiled widely as the girl agreed to meeting her later. She's got a stronger psychic vibe then I've felt in a long time! She'd be an excellent candidate to take under my wing, granted she doesn't seem to like me much, she gave me the same freaked out look they all give me...oh well...

As Evander fiddled with the credit machine Renee perused the rest of the occultist books that were for sale. After a moment she stepped back to his counter just in time for him to tell her that the card was declined. Renee sighed, it wasn't the first time that something like this had happened to her. With a sigh she began digging into her purse for her wallet.

"How much do I owe you for them?" Renee asked looking up with a faint smile, wallet in hand. Something about Evander was slowly making her feel more and more uncomfortable. Outwardly he didn't look creepy but it was her instincts that were telling her otherwise and Renee was never one to ignore her instincts.
The Old Graveyard

There was another low moan. This time it wasn't Sydney.

Confused and curious, Sydney was up on her feet. A moment ago she saw something sprinting across the graveyard, but was so sleep weary she hardly noticed what it was. But now with the groaning of pain, Sydney found herself following the sound and coming across someone sitting (or lying!) haphazardly on a flat gravestone.

There was a quirk of her eyebrow.

"Good morning, there." she mumbled, just barely audible even in the silence of the morning. Between the two, Sydney looked more like she had belonged there. Bone thin, pale and covered in dirt. She might have even crawled up from the grave. The other girl, Sydney noted, couldn't be a zombie. She was just too lively. It was probably for the best. Her stomach was growling and she hadn't had anything decent to eat to fuel a zombie battle.

Sydney glanced around as if trying to figure out why the girl was lurking around. "Are you.. uh... visiting?"
Bornes ignored the girl's wobbling head at the end of his pistol as she began to cry.
"Please," she begged.

Bornes, also known as Q, didn't like getting up close and personal with his kills. He rather hated it, actually. But desperate times called for desperate measures. He was looking for ways to get his money in without too much harm coming to himself.
Right now, he'd been paid to get some information out of some girl.

The 24 year old's head was caked in his own sweat, but it was moreso from aggravation than anything. The girl wasn't giving the information he needed. Bornes was pretty sure she just legitimately did not know, but the man didn't want to tell his current employer that. He was hoping that, out of threatening to kill her, she'd make up something and then the blame wouldn't fall on him.

Currently, his .45 rested on her temple. He'd just got done demanding she give him something, and she had already given up the "I don't know"s and went straight to the begging for her life part. It was frustrating. He couldn't just let her go, but part of him - albeit, a very tiny part of him - felt remorse and didn't want to kill her, either. It wasn't her fault she didn't know. It was his employer's fault for telling him to get the wrong person.

Bornes cocked the gun - something he didn't have to do in order to fire, but it ramped up the drama for people who didn't know anything about guns. He assumed this girl didn't. Her sobs began a new tone. Bornes had assumed correctly.

"Listen," he growled, coming in closer to the girl, his weary face almost touching her weeping one. She thought this was the end.
"If you don't tell me something," his voice rasped from being under this bright light so long- he hadn't picked the location of this torment, either. And he was also being watched. "...Then I will have to kill you."

He imagined this interrogation room with the one bright light and the rest filled with darkness was more of an irritant to him than his victim. He had dark sunglasses on and behind them, his eyes had been closed for a majority of the time. He had a raging a headache from the light and he desperately needed a cigarette as he could feel his body weakening as more time went on. He'd been at this girl for an hour, and damnit, he was a sniper, not an interrogator.

"So TELL me," he said, pulling his head away from hers and pushing the gun's muzzle into her temple, "SOMETHING." It was her hint. That if she just got it and made up some story, everyone in this play would be happy.

"I don't know!" She cried. "I don't know anything! I told you!" Snot was running from her nose and spit caked her mouth as she drooled.

The poor girl.

The 24 year old stepped backward out of the light in his black boots, aimed the gun at her head and finally fired. The girl was out of her misery, sitting limp in the metal chair she was tied to.

Some old man, looking quite comfy coming out of his air conditioned space, came out with two other, younger and much more well built men than Bornes's body, which had seen better days. He'd been losing a lot of weight recently.

"That's a shame," the boss stated. "I was hoping you'd do better than that, Q. I'd heard so much about you. And your..." his hand went up to his face, his wrist flinging about, "...appearance," he mocked, putting his hand back down. "Well. I just expected more."

Bornes hmphed. The other man was probably referring to the scar that ran diagonally across his nose and the tattoos that were at either side of his chin. All together it could be rather intimidating, especially to a young girl. "I told you I haven't done this before. I'm a sniper."

"Yes, I know. But you nonetheless did the job, didn't you? Boys," he called the last word, and the other men came forward. "Take him away and tell the mayor who just brutally murdered his daughter."

Bornes, still in the safety of the darkness, widened his eyes. "What? I did what you said!"

"You didn't do it well enough."

Bornes's heart raced, his head still aching. Rather than run, he did the first thing that came to mind and shot all three men. All of them fell to the ground, victims of nearly perfect headshots.
Suddenly, Q felt terrified. He didn't know why. But his heart beat out of his chest and he felt like he had to run. So he turned around, put his glock in his shoulder holster and did just that.

But he didn't get too far, as in the next room he passed out mid-stride.

A mysterious disembodied voice.

Bornes pushed himself off a cold, wooden floor. He was on a stage. There were no lights. His sunglasses were gone, and he wore his favorite outfit- red torso button up dress shirt with long black sleeves and black slacks. A long black tail extended to his knees, waving idly. It was feathered and skinny, but reminiscent of a dog's tail.

Once the man stood, he hurriedly tucked the tail in his pants, afraid people would see. The tail was a part of him-- he'd been born with it -- but he was ashamed of it and hated for people to see. The voice chuckled at his embarrassment.

When Bornes was done, he looked straight ahead of him. He could see extremely well in low light, but even now he could only make out a vague shadow in front of him. He assumed the voice belonged to this shadow. Q went pull a gun from his shoulder holster- but the holster wasn't there. He reached for the knife at his belt-- it wasn't there either. He ended up just growling and assuming an aikido stance, but the form was off, indicative that Bornes had not done hand to hand combat and quite a while.

The voice chuckled again. "You are entertaining, child."

"Who are you! What did you do to me?" Bornes growled.

"I did nothing. Simply listen, if you care to live."

the grey-haired 24 year old glared at the shadow.

"There is something I need you to do for me. And trust me, it is only you who may do it."

Bornes spat on the stage. "Forget it. I'm through with taking orders."

"In return," the voice continued, "I can cure you. I know about your health. I know about your body. I will absolve this problem from you and you may live normally, should you do as I ask."

Bornes quirked a brow and readjusted his stance, redistributing his weight to lean on one leg. He was taking a decent interest, now. The shadow had his attention.
"What do you want?" he asked.

"I want you to go to a town in Arkansas. There is a festival going on in Cheshire. Go there and wait for further instructions."

Bornes tilted his head to one side. "How will I get in contact with you?"

"Don't worry about that."

The man hmphed. "How can I trust you?"

"You can't. But who have you worked for that you have ever trusted?"

Bornes crossed his arms over his chest with a snort. The voice had a point.

"When will I be done with this? What if I... Can't, because of my problem?"
Bornes was now a bit worried. His fainting had become worse as time dragged on, and what if he really couldn't finish this assignment before it was over?

"There are people in the town who will probably help you with the problem, but only I can cure it. However, for the rest of your questions, you are on your own. Do you agree to this deal?"

Bornes tilted his head to the other side, confused. "What?"

"Do you agree to the deal. You do as I say and I will cure you."

Bornes shifted his weight, a bit suspicious, but after an initial moment of hesitation he said, "Yeah, I agree."

"You are now by dog, Quatre Bornes."

The shadow dissipated and an intense pain shot through Bornes's head. He called out, his left hand coming to his head as he doubled over.
His grey hair clung to his face, and he had a fever, his eyes burning. The whole thing had a been a dream. He rolled himself over, still in the room adjacent to the interrogation room from earlier. After getting himself up, he looked over, and there were the three dead bodies on the floor and the one in the chair.
How long had he been out?
He put a hand to his chest, feeling his heart.
It was beating... Normally enough. He began to breathe through his mouth and turned and left the building, thanking Fate it was cloudy when he went outside.

He pulled a cigarette pack out from his pants and lit a cig, stopping outside to take a long drag of it before continuing. He didn't normally like to walk while smoking, but today was an exception. He began his way to the bar. Halfway there he noticed a library and changed his direction.

He walked in, cigarette still in his mouth. People stared and gaped at him. He didn't care, and went straight to the resource section. Maps, atlases... Ah, there. US Road maps.

He grabbed one and threw it out over the table. Right then was about the time a woman came over, probably to tell him there wasn't any smoking allowed. She was taking her sweet time. She was probably afraid of Bornes. Right about now he did sort of look like he was ready to kill someone. Technically, he always was. But that was besides the point.
he thought to himself, running his finger down the key and looking for the town. Ah, there it was. He followed the key's instructions and followed to the appropriate box. He put his finger on the small town on the map.

"Uh, sir..." The woman began, her voice shaking.

Bornes took out one of his guns and placed it on the map. After a moment, he turned it a bit so the trigger was right atop Chesire. The woman and several others in the library gasped. Q paid no heed as he was as focused as he had ever been.

He looked around the map for where he was. He grunted. He didn't know where was. That was stupid.
"Hey, what state are we in," he hoarsed.

He looked up, his cigarette almost gone as he expected an answer. "What state?"
He noticed the people around him were frozen in fear. He noticed his gun. Oh.

Well, it was too late to take that back, now.

"Tell me what state we're in!" he ordered to the librarian.
May as well take charge of the situation before someone called the police.

"M..Missouri..." Said the woman.

Oh, thank fate. He was right on an adjacent state.

"We're near the border, right? Of Arkansas?"

The woman nodded her head in answer to Q's question.
The man looked back down and traced his finger along a path to the city he was pretty sure he was in. He made a decent measurement between his fingers and compared it to the scale at the bottom o the map.
Damn. 200 miles. Both a blessing and a curse.

He took the gun from the map and holstered it, swiftly walking out the door. He managed to get past the building right when the police came up.
Fate was on his side today, it seemed.

He went to his hotel room, collected his things, and called a cab.
He normally walked these things, but he was in a rush to get out of town, now. With the little stunt he pulled at the library, it wouldn't be long before they went after him.

Several hours, cigarettes, and thousands of dollars later, he stepped out of the cab late Tuesday morning at the Cheshire Bed and Breakfast. He had paid the cab in cash inside an envelope.
That guy from before had given him half of his price ahead of time. Worthy investment, Bornes supposed.

Once the cab pulled out, the twenty four year old with grey hair took his violin case and seabag- a large green canvas duffel bag- in either hand and kicked open the door, nonchalantly letting himself in the large house.

He really didn't want to be here. Truth be told, he didn't like this place at all, but it was the first building that happened to house people that also had the name "Cheshire" in it, so he assumed this was where he was supposed to be.

He uncharismatically dumped all his crap on the floor and kicked it out of the way of the door so it would close behind him and went to the desk, hoping to find someone.
He smelled of slight body odor covered up by a huge amount of smoke and cigarettes. At some point in his long cab ride he'd also acquired a black leather jacket, so he could cover his shoulder holsters should there be any leery eyes.

He pushed his sunglasses up on his face. It was rather bright in here, and he didn't like it. But it appeared that this guy wouldn't like anything, given that he appeared to have just been through the worst night ever and was currently sweating out the last of his fever.
Evander shrugged his shoulder simply. He had forgotten how much he charged for his books. This one wasn't one of his favorites, and too easily obtainable to be valuable. A nice hefty book though, overall. "Hmm..." Evander picked up the tome, studying the inside cover. "I'll tell you what, thirteen dollars for this book because you're such a nice girl". Evander set the book back in her hands, his eyebrow arched. He was well aware he was making her uncomfortable.

Evander would like nothing more right now than to slink back to the graveyard and study his books more. Such fascinating things, he could spend eternity reading every wonderful book. There were some he could not bring himself to read, but especially the human classics, those were delightful. About two hundred years ago, when Evander's "ancestor" had died (he had to make some sort of show of being human) there had been a sepulcher that he had funded here in the town. Now, clearly empty of a coffin, Evander used it as his quiet place.

Decidedly, he made plans to go there after the girl had left.