Abandoned Black Badge Division Black Site
The office was small and cramped, and as they floated in slowly, Kevin straightened their shoulders as the defined black leather of the back of their boss’ chair came into view. She saw the back of a head Kevin hoped not to see more of that day, pipe smoke smelling more of incense than tobacco floating up from the front of the chair.
Standing perfectly still with their feet splayed out casually, Kevin resisted the urge to wipe the sweat from her head which was beginning to bead down their face.
The voice which spoke was warm and deep, reminding Kevin of earthly tones, hiding a terrible power beneath it. They did not respond, simply biting their lip and waiting with a bated breath, for a third of their party was missing.
There was a shuffling behind her, and soon the reek of whiskey wafted around her before a disheveled figure staggered into the room, immediately backing up against the wall and snarling silently at the back of the leather chair.
Kevin wrinkled her nose and hoped the reek wouldn’t get to her nice flowered shirt.
The revenant looked around wildly, nostrils flared and eyes wide as they reddened aggressively.
“Garrett, nice of you to join us,” the figure said, the smoke shifting slightly as they both heard a contented drag.
There was silence as they both waited.
“Kevin has informed me Bulshar is…no more,” they said evenly, “but so is the young one.”
“Everyone is gone, you promised me salvation,” the revenant snarled, “why did I not go away with them?!”
“You were not cursed by Bulshar,” the he-she-it-thing responded evenly, “You made a deal with a witch, not a demon. What has happened with the Earp’s and their comrades?”
“I don’t know—the heir is still around and so is the ginger and the fags—”
“Patience, Kevin. Continue, Garrett.”
The revenant spared a glare at Kevin before continuing.
“The younger one is gone—so is the gunslinging vampire.”
There was a pause.
“Presumably…in the Garden? If Kevin was correct in his findings, that is the only place they could have gone. What of the girl’s father—what has happened to Julian?”
“Dead.” Kevin and Garrett chorused together, only to glare at each other.
“A dead angel…” the voice trailed off thoughtfully, “A guardian of Eden, vanquished. Seems perilous for a place like Djerba.”
Kevin’s boss chuckled at their own humor, but the sarcastic reference to lotus-eaters made a tingle run down her spine. Sarcasm was always a bad omen.
“BBD is lucky Purgatory is naturally sealed off,” their boss continued now in a more businesslike tone, “What happened there…could have been a threat to international security.”
“My liege, I can explain—” Kevin began hurriedly.
“A terrible waste could have spread throughout the land and I would have more than BBD knocking on my door,” the voice continued in a terribly biting whisper, interrupting Kevin completely, “Bulshar may be a red herring to me, but think of what would have happened had he succeeded—vampires would try to overthrow Rome, werecats would form prides once more, and warlocks would make mortals do their bidding. I have the whole fate of the Western Hemisphere in my hands, and with one –snap—it could all be in shambles because of one mistake.” Their boss snapped their fingers to extenuate the sound, and the resulting ringing silence echoed in their ears.
“You disobeyed me, Kevin.”
Kevin swallowed dryly, their throat growing thick as fear clenched their stomach.
“You know the penalty for that?”
“Yes, my liege.”
“What is it?”
Kevin forced her eyes shut, trying to stop the tears from trailing down her cheeks.
“Mortality,” she managed.
“…or?” the voice prompted.
“Whatever you deem appropriate.”
“That is correct,” the voice purred. Silence fell once more.
“Garrett, you have failed me.”
“How so?” Garrett challenged. Kevin’s eyes widened as she stared back at the revenant who openly backtalked their boss.
“You failed to report the rising of Bulshar to me sooner. You failed to keep the Ghost River Triangle intact. You failed to keep Waverly Earp from crossing the boundary, putting both her and her father in danger. You killed her father and placed the girl in a prison. You have failed.”
“You made false promises, you told me you would make me human again—”
The sound of the leather chair spinning alerted Kevin with enough time to drop to their hands and knees, prostrating and closing their eyes tightly as they heard a noiseless howl escape the revenant.
“I AM the Morning and the Evening Star—”
The voice was terrible, shaking the very ground beneath them as Kevin began to tremble violently.
“—the EARTH and the WIND—”
The air grew hot and the revenant began to shriek.
“—FIRE and ICE—”
The shrieking intensified, and tears blurred Kevin’s vision as heat exploded to their side, hellfire sprouting up around the revenant.
“No, NO—PLEASE I’LL DO BETTER—”
“YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER THAN TO BREAK A DEAL WITH THE GUARDIAN OF THE GATES,” the voice thundered in response, before the screaming peaked and the roar of fire increased and damn, it just got so hot…
Kevin shuddered violently as the tears ebbed and she feared the worst.
The sound of the chair spinning back caused their ears to prick up as they hurriedly wiped their face but remained prostrate.
She staggered up, adjusting her blazer and trembling violently.
“Betray my orders again, and I will not be so lenient.”
Kevin could not contain the shaky exhale of relief that came in response.
“Of course, my liege—”
Silence spread once more, this time enabling Kevin to calm their breathing.
“Despite your disobedience, you made an important discovery—once more, you have shown me you will make a fine shifter.”
“Thank you, my liege,” Kevin earnestly said.
She heard a deep drag be taken and saw the exhale of billowing smoke, a gloved hand airily holding a long pipe off to the side of the chair.
“I need a new sleeper in the Triangle,” the he-she-it-thing began, “Reconstruction will take years to repair the boundaries and I need to keep all forces away from it in the meantime. I need an immortal beast other than a revenant—they are cursed by their own stupidity. I need something independent of will, only bowing to the spirit of Mother Earth herself.
“I also need someone who will not leave Purgatory. Someone who will stay and protect the area without question.”
“The sister, my liege?” Kevin offered cautiously. This earned them a chuckle.
“She has enough on her hands as it is. How about the lover?”
It took Kevin a moment to piece together what the thing was referring to.
“Yes—if you would like to review her dossier…”
Kevin looked down at the clean desk to find a vanilla file which possessed a bright red wax seal on its center. The file had not been there previously, but Kevin was used to the sudden appearance of items. They plucked the smooth files up, pulled the string that broke the wax seal, and cracked the file open. They skimmed the pages swiftly, finding there to be more information than they expected for someone of Nicole’s age.
“Does she seem a good candidate?” the voice asked.
“Strong, loyal, determined…she appears to be exactly what you are looking for,” Kevin responded slowly.
“Good,” the voice breathed, smoke billowing out once more, “And what creature would best suit her?”
Kevin took a moment to think, pursing her lips as her brow furrowed.
“A Child of the Moon, my liege.”
A low chuckle resembling a ‘rut-rut’ noise filled the room.
“You will make an ever-promising shifter, Kevin. A Child of the Moon it is. You must call upon the Navajo Chief—they owe me a favor. Where is Nicole now?”
“I believe BBD took her, Robin, and Jeremy to a Psychiatric Institution,” Kevin said in a low tone, wary of their boss’ reaction, “Wynonna and the Sheriff Nedley are still running amok in town.”
“How unfortunate,” the voice said with dripping malice, “BBD should have more respect for their subjects. How long have they been there?”
Kevin heard a deep drag and watched as their boss ground the strange black cigarette out into an ashtray.
“Let us hope they are not broken when we get there.”