Conspiring with the Damned

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Cotillion, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Shawn crouched down, his fingers touching the small drop of blood. It was still wet, meaning his prey was still close enough for him to find. He listened to the sounds around him. There was nothing out of the ordinary, some birds chirping, the occasional passing car. Nothing to suggest that a demon was lurking somewhere in the shadows. He peered around the rooftop, his keen blue eyes searching for another drop of blood, something to suggest where the demon had gone. Save for that drop of blood, the rooftop showed no signs of where his prey had gone. He cursed under his breath. This job was just getting harder by the minute.

    It had all started three days ago when a man wearing a black cloak had entered his shop. There was nothing too special about him, save for the gruff voice, and the fact that he had known Shawn's pawn shop was just a front for his demon-hunting business. Not many people had known that demons were real, and even less people knew that Shawn hunted them. The job was simple: find the Ishtarl demon, cut its head off and then burn the body. Unfortunately for Shawn, the demon was a little more crafty than he had expected and had slipped away, killing a couple of civilians in its escape, which put Shawn in a tough spot when the cops arrived. He had managed to talk his way out of it, but the demon knew that he was after it and had found itself a new disguise. He tracked it down again this morning, only to barely graze it with his crossbow before it got away. He had been scouring rooftops for traces of the demon ever since.

    He made his way towards the edge of the roof, peering down in to the alley below. There were a couple of pieces of clothing hanging out to dry, maybe some of the people that lived there had seen where the demon had gone? It wasn't much to go on, but it was all he had.
  2. Ren, by looking at her you wouldn't think she was a sweet girl, but she is. She doesn't want people to see it though, she sees it as a weakness, especially with her job. She's got tattoos on her arms and back, she deprives herself of sleep so she can get dark circles under her dark brown eyes. Her job is one that requires an intimidating look.

    She's a hunter.
    Not a bounty hunter or a game hunter. A demon hunter.
    Though, demons didn't quite pay attention to appearance, Ren still felt the need to look rough. Especially in front of rival demon hunters.

    Right now, sleep deprivation was taking its toll on her. Ren downed her third energy drink and tossed the can aside. She'd seen a demon running along and had decided that she'd track it and kill it. She ran across the street and jumped to grab hold of a buildings fire escape. When she hauled herself onto the roof, she saw a man there, standing on the other side of the roof. "Great," she muttered, and pulled herself the rest of the way up. She could tell, this guy was a demon hunter too. Sighing, she walked over to the man and stood right behind him. Maybe she could find out what direction the demon went.

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  3. Shawn had been so focused on trying to locate the demon that he had neglected to pay attention to his surroundings. As he stood up, he turned around, and out of nowhere there was a girl standing there. It startled him and he took a step back, losing his balance slightly. He flapped his arms around, struggling to maintain his balance, trying not to fall off the edge of the roof. What on earth was she doing up here?

    "Didn't anybody teach you never to sneak up on people?" Shawn said, disgruntled, slightly annoyed at himself for not having noticed her sneaking up on him. He couldn't fathom what might have happened to him had that been the demon he was hunting instead of a girl. He looked at the girl; she looked tired, worn out. Maybe she knew where the demon had gone?

    'Say, you didn't happen to see a demon jumping off of the roof in to the alley did you?" he asked. It didn't seem likely, but it was worth a shot, seeing as he had nothing else to go on.
  4. Ren smiled, almost laughed when she saw the man's startled expression. She was getting better at being stealthy, she was proud. "I must've missed that lesson," she said to the man. Her smile disappeared when he asked about the demon.

    "I was actually about to ask you the same thing," she told him. "I just so happen to be interested in hunting that demon. But it seems we've lost it." Ren sighed and looked over the edge of the building. "My guess is that it went that way," she said, pointing to the end of the alley, which came to a dead end at a brick wall.
  5. The girl's response was a bit surprising; most people thought he was joking when he asked about demons. He took a good, hard look at her, his assessment of her quickly changing. She probably wasn't a professional, but she looks like she knows what she's doing, he thought. Shawn pulled a half-smoked cigar out of his jacket and stuck it in the corner of his mouth. He usually didn't like smoking until after he had finished a case, but chewing on the end of a cigar helped him focus. "So, you happen to be interested in hunting that demon? Why? You getting paid for it or something?"

    Not waiting for her response, he turned and dropped down to the fire escape, checking for signs that the demon had in fact gone that way. There was nothing that suggested it, but he might as well look. Maybe he would start knocking on some of the windows, asking people if they had seen anyone coming through the alley. That was a surefire way to get the cops called on him, but at least it would humour him to freak some of the locals out by showing up at their windows.
  6. "I'm not getting--Hey!" she exclaimed when the man dropped to the fire escape. "Awfully rude of you to ask a question, then walk away!" she said as she followed him down. "I'm not getting paid, I've just taken it upon myself to hunt any demon I come across," she told him, not sure if he was even listening to her.

    She walked down the alley to the brick wall, looking for any clue of where the demon had gone from there. Ren jumped and tried to get a hold of the top of the wall. She frowned and sighed in frustration when she couldn't reach it. She looked for another way to get over the wall, putting her hands on her hips.
  7. "I'm listening," he said. So, she hunted demons for sport, definitely not a professional then. This was going to be interesting. "How long have you been hunting demons? I'm surprised you're still alive. That demon that you chased after was an Ishtarl demon. They're particularly nasty creatures, have this bad habit of not wanting to die even after you chop their heads off. You really should try to be more careful."

    Shawn made his way across the fire escape, watching as the girl went to the end of the alley and tried to climb up the wall. He chuckled. Just ahead of him, in front of one of the windows, was another drop of blood. So the demon had come this way. Shawn knocked on the window, startling the woman inside. She threw the window open, ready to pitch a tirade, but he put a finger to her lips, silencing her. "Sorry to bother you ma'am, but did you happen to see a guy come through here, about seven feet tall, looked like Kobe Bryant?" The woman pointed to the wall. Great, he thought, the girl had gotten lucky. He sighed, closing the window to the apartment behind him. Carefully lowering himself down in to the alley, he thought about what to say to the girl. He decided he wasn't going to tell her that she had been right all along.

    "Need a hand?" he asked, reaching the wall. "Come on, I'll boost you over."
  8. She thought for a moment. "Two years...? Maybe more, I haven't kept track. Anyway, I never really pay attention to what type of demon I hunt. I just kill them." Ren stopped trying to get over the wall and turned to see the man knocking on someone's window. As he started coming toward her she said, "Didn't anyone teach you not to go knocking on people's windows like a creeper?"

    She looked back up at the wall, then back at the man. "I think I can get up by myself," she told him confidently.
  9. "Two years? You should consider yourself lucky that you've lasted that long hunting demons, especially if you don't pay attention to what sort of demon you're hunting," Shawn said. Back at his pawn shop, in his basement was a library full of hundreds of books on demons, their origins, and ways to kill them. They had come in handy when dealing with different types of demons, particularly ones he had never heard of before. He chuckled at the creeper comment, "Must have missed that lesson." He smiled inwardly, glad that he was able to throw that line back at her.

    She had refused his offer for help, even after struggling to get over the wall. He folded his arms in front of his chest, a look of amusement crossing his face. "Well, if you think you can do it yourself, don't let me stop you," he said, stepping back. This way he could watch her fail, and then be forced to step in and help.
  10. "I do consider myself lucky," she told him, ignoring the fact that he used her line. That was a fact, she did consider herself lucky. She was a reckless kid, but she was good at what she did. She was good at a lot of stuff...except jumping over walls.

    "Grrr," she muttered, continuing her attempts. She didn't want the man to think she was a weakling. A demon hunter that can't jump measly walls, how pathetic, she thought.

    She attempted one last time to jump and grab the top, this time she got it but it slid from her grip. The only thing Ren had succeeded in this time was in scraping her hand. She wiped her hand on her pants and turned to the man. Instead of saying anything, she only glared at him, pouting.
  11. Shawn smirked at her; she had failed, as he had expected. He had to give it to her, she had spunk, and hadn't been willing to accept defeat, that was something he had admired in others. He stepped closer to her, cupping his hands, ready to hoist her up. "Come on, I'll lift you up. Let me know if you see anything on the other side."

    Working with another person had never crossed his mind, and it wasn't an idea that Shawn was particularly fond of, but he was willing to make an exception. Especially if it was with an attractive girl. Heck, they might be able to learn a thing or two from each other hunting the Ishtarl demon. Teaming up with her would mean he needed to do less work, and he wouldn't need to share his fee with her. It was a win-win situation for him.
  12. She faught back the urge to smack him, him and his smirk. But she had to accept help in this case.

    "Fine," she said, placing one foot into his cupped hands. Using the boost from the man she got onto the wall and turned to look on the other side. There was an empty lot on that side. On the other side of the lot there was a small street then some houses. Ren examined everything, then dropped down on the other side. There were some drops of blood in the lot, at least there were where she was standing.

    "Drops of blood, uh, dude!" she called to the man. Ren had just now realized that they'd never introduced themselves. "Uh, by the way, what's your name?" she asked.
  13. As he lifted her up, he got a good look at her; she was quite attractive. This was definitely going to be an enjoyable partnership while it lasted. Maybe she could glean information from some people just by flirting, which would be useful, since he didn't have much money to go around bribing everyone that got a little bit tight lipped. The life of a professional demon-hunter, while fun, wasn't really a lucrative business. Work was some times sparse, and often didn't pay well.

    Shawn stood around, waiting to see if the girl had found anything on the other side. It didn't take long for her to yell over the wall, telling him that there were drops of blood in the lot. Hopefully there was a trail leading away from there, he thought, otherwise they hadn't made much progress in locating the demon. Shawn looked at the wall; it was pretty high, too high for him to just jump and grab. He took a couple of steps back, ran at the wall and vaulted himself up. He lifted himself up, and perched there, looking around. Spots of blood dotted the ground near the girl.

    "I'm Shawn, pleasure to meet you. And you are?" Shawn asked. He might as well try and start being friendly, especially if he was going to be working with her. His erratic behaviour could be a little off-putting, which is what he relied on; people made mistakes when they were paying more attention to his antics. He sat on top of the wall, not wanting to jump down just yet. "Does the blood lead anywhere?"
  14. "I'm Ren," she told him as he sat on the wall.

    She looked back to the blood-drops and crouched. "Hm..." The blood drops seemed to be scattered around, as if whatever had spilled them had spun in a circle for a moment. She looked around some more and found that the drops started leading toward the houses.

    "It must've gone that way," she said, motioning to the houses, "I'm sure." She turned to him now. "So, the person you asked, did they say the demon came this way, or what?" she asked with a small smirk.
  15. Shawn nodded at the girl as she told him her name. That didn't seem like a common name; at least he had never met another Ren before. He made a mental note to get out of his demon-lair more often and actually go out and meet people. Ren pointed towards some buildings, indicating that that was probably where the blood trail led.

    "Well, she didn't so much gesture. She was probably put off by my charm and stunning good looks. You know how it is," he retorted, jumping down from the wall. He took a quick peek at where the blood trail led; it wasn't clear which house the demon was hiding in, so they would probably have to look at all of them. "Let's start with the nearest one. I would suggest splitting up, but that's not a good idea around the Ishtarl. It might be waiting for us, and if it gets the drop on one of us, we're done for." He started walking towards the nearest house. It was painted red, with white trim on the window and door frames, and there was a car parked on the driveway. That meant someone might be at home, and they were definitely in danger if the demon was around. He quickened his pace, hoping the girl could keep up.

    Deep inside one of the houses, the Ishtarl demon rummaged through a bathroom. It needed to bandage itself up; jumping over the wall had caused its wound to open up more, and it had lost more blood than expected. That wasn't a problem for the demon, but it meant that that idiot demon hunter could follow the trail of blood that it left. He had gotten off a lucky shot when he had wounded the demon, and the demon intended for that to never happen again. It was pissed off, and it would lay a trap for the hunter just as soon as it patched itself up.
  16. "'She was put off by my charm and good looks'" Ren said, mimicking him. She stuck her tongue out playfully, "I'm sure that's what happened. Why don't you just admit that I was right?"

    She followed him casually. "Oh don't worry, you'll be safe with me!" She told him, smiling. Of course, it was better to go together rather than alone. Any demon was dangerous if it caught you alone. And who knew how dangerous these 'Ishtarl' things were. Maybe Ren should start studying the different types of demons.
  17. "Look, you got lucky. It was just a guess that the demon went this way, since there was nothing to suggest it. Plus, the lady did point this way," Shawn said. Ren had been right, but he was too stubborn to admit it. Plus, she had gotten lucky that the demon had gone this way. For all they knew, he had walked out the other side of the alley, got in a car and had driven off.

    They neared the house. There were a couple of newspapers on the lawn; nobody had picked them up, meaning the tenants weren't home, despite what the car might suggest. Shawn casually walked up to the front door, and gave it a huge kick. The lock buckled, the door splintered around the knob, but didn't break. Another kick and the door came flying open. "Hello? Anyone in here? There seems to be a problem with your door." Shawn yelled in to the house, carefully stepping in, his hand reached in to his coat and pulled out a gun. The gun wouldn't kill the demon, but it would slow it down enough so that he would have enough time to cut its head off. After a couple of paces in to the house, Shawn stopped, listening for signs of life. He motioned for Ren to stay outside, hoping he had caused enough noise for the demon to try and make a run for it; if it stayed put, they were going to have to go through each of these houses, wasting valuable time.

    The demon heard a crashing noise coming from the neighbour's house. It glanced out the window, seeing the bounty hunter walking in, a girl standing behind him. Intriguing, it thought, there were two of them. It decided to stay put, hoping to spring a trap on the unsuspecting hunters.
  18. "Boy I sure do get lucky a lot, I must be a lucky charm in that case!" Ren told him. "Stubborn old..." Ren began mumbling quietly.

    Nice house, she thought as they got closer. She smiled. The place could've looked like shit and it would still be a nice house to her. Compared to her ratty old apartment, any house was nice. She had zoned out while looking around the neighborhood, smiling whenever she saw gnomes and other fun yard directions. Ren had been so out of it that when she heard a loud 'thud!', she jumped. She turned to Shawn who had kicked in a door.

    "Way to give me a heart attack," she told him. She got quiet when he motioned for her to stay outside. She backed away from the house a little, putting a hand on the holster on her side and making sure she had a good view. Wouldn't want to miss a demon resisting death, she told herself.
  19. Several long seconds had passed since he had entered the house. His ears listened for even the slightest movement, a creaking floorboard, anything to suggest that someone was in the house. He could hear the ticking of a grandfather clock in the living room, it's rhythmic clicking growing louder and louder with each passing second. There was nobody in the house - they would have to make a quick search of the house regardless, just to confirm that the demon wasn't hiding in the basement.

    Shawn motioned for Ren to come inside. "Hey, listen. Sorry if I've been a bit rude. It's just...a profession like this doesn't lend itself to close personal relationships. I'd rather not have to lose another friend again, not if I can help it. But, if we're going to be hunting this demon, it's best if we work together. It doesn't do me any good if I'm annoying you with some of my antics." It had been a long time since he had thought of Gus. One of the first cases that Shawn had worked, he had allowed Gus to tag along, thinking that it would be nice to have a friend along. The demon had caught them off guard, and had snapped Gus' neck like a twig before Shawn could even react. "Doesn't mean I'm going to change though," he joked. He would make an effort to be a little less grating on the nerves, at least for her sake.

    "I don't think the demon is in this house, but we still need to check. I'll look upstairs, you get the rest of this floor and the basement."
  20. Ren didnlt really know what to say. So, like a fool, she simply said, "Alright." While she walked into the house she thought to herself, way to go matser of sensitivity! She felt her cheeks getting hot so she turned slightly so he wouldn't see her face. She'd never had a partner, or even a close friend for that matter, she couldn't imagine what it could be like to lose someone. She smiled slightly, nodded, and headed to where she assumed the basement was. Opening a door, she looked down at some dark looking steps, the kind you'd see in a horror movie. Ren walked down slowly and carefully. She slowly took out her gun and stepped down the last step.It was a pretty normal basement. Decorations sitting in labeled boxes, a hardly used weight set, nothing out of the ordinary. Sighing with relief, Ren put her gun away and took one last look around the basement.