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 It Wasn't A Good Gamble (Alex, Yaksha)

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Subject Post 1PostSubject: It Wasn't A Good Gamble (Alex, Yaksha)   Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:16 pm








Alex

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You know, Alex just wanted to relax when he came to Vegas. Like, honestly, he'd been through enough shit in Hawaii, what with the whole ass-beating thing and whatnot, and the last thing he'd thought to himself after all that was, Gee whiz I sure do wanna get my shit kicked in by some Vegas thugs, just fuck me right up Mr. Mobster Man.

But, as it turned out, drunk Alex wasn't the smartest gambler, and that was just one more reason he didn't exactly dig on getting totally plastered out of his mind. Lost a grip on his reason, that whole "basic common sense" thing that was pretty important to making smart, well-informed decisions, ad in turn that basically meant a lack of what one might call proper freedom.

Unfortunately, these deep philosophical ruminations on the nature of freedom and the self were cut short by a rather impressive punch to the gut, which would have hurt a lot more if it weren't for Maiden Masher making Alex's skin harder than a horny teenager in a strip club. Even so, it knocked the wind out of him, and he could feel his bones starting to heat up under his flesh. Last thing he wanted was to hit the Riot here of all times, so he took a second to calm down a bit and think this whole thing through.

"Alright, buddy, listen. We can just let this whole thing slide, you dig? No sense in making us both go through this song and dance, you know I'm not gonna be able to pay you even if I wanted to. Which I don't, just so we're clear."

Seriously, this whole thing had just been the worst fuckin' idea. Alex wasn't worried that he was gonna die here or anything, but the itching in his fingernails told him that if he didn't figure something out pretty soon, he was gonna get real out of control real fast, and that wasn't something anyone wanted to see, least of all him. Ugh, but he had a guy holding onto each arm, two more ready to beat him if he tried anything smart, and whoever the fuck Mr. Bigshot actually was, anyway. If they were a little cuter this might not have been so bad, but not everything gets to be a fantasy. Ah well, he still needed to figure out how the hell he was gonna get out of this one...



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Subject Post 2PostSubject: Re: It Wasn't A Good Gamble (Alex, Yaksha)   Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:26 pm


Yaksha, The Anthropophagus




Meridian was as bustling as ever, you would hardly believe it had been appropriated by a band of savage mobsters, for the purposes of ruining a life over a single drunken misunderstanding. It was, Yaksha felt, a perfect case of history remaining obdurate against the most potent attempts to change it; even now, Vegas was as seedy as ever. All that had changed was the methods of achieving the same results. He walked through the door, unbuttoning the coat he wore, and folding it slowly over his arm, before hanging it on a hook by the door.

He walked with the sense of quiet, fluid purpose that one saw oh so rarely in the world anymore, pausing every so often to compliment a man, or offer to freshen up a guest's drink for them. He was in no rush, after all; he was an immortal, and at his age he could hardly be expected to be going around gallivanting simply because one child's life was in danger! And so here he was, rubbing elbows, making friends, being a perfect host, as he ever so slowly made his way towards the "employees only" door, guarded by a single large gentlemen, wearing sunglasses indoor.

He approached, hands at his side, a glass resting negligently in his hand; there were a few melting slivers of ice in it, and a faint whiff of grain alcohol coming off of it. He took a sip as he approached, allowing a swagger to enter his step that, for all intents and purposes, gave off the perfect impression of an inebriated man. He approached, raising his hand in an overly jovial wave, and then spoke in a slurred tone.

"Eyyyy! I know you! Met'n...back'n...fuck where was it...high school? Chemistry?"

"I don't know you, guy. Think you should head for the bathroom and let that shit pass through you before you get any more in your system."

"C'mon, don't be a pussy! You were a pussy back then, too. Big guy like you, and you're -still- a pussy! I'm tryin' to have a chat, and you're sittin' there...standin' there...spinnin' there...tryin' to tell me to buzz off!"

There was a pause, the man shifting his weight ever so slightly. He looked almost sheepish for a moment, one hand raising towards his mouth, before he spoke in a lower, almost husky tone.

"Look. I -don't know you-. Sober up. Get outta here."

Yaksha was right up in his face now, one hand raising up to claw the glasses off his face, shouting at full volume, alcohol wafting out on his breath as he jabbed a finger into his chest repeatedly.

"S'just like you ya fuckin' pussy! Can't do anythin' yourself! You're scared of a guy half your size, just stand there talkin' like a piece of shit! Stop makin' excuses and admit it! You're a pussy, you've always been a pussy, and you'll always be a pussy! Squat up, bitch boy!"

Finally, shock and confusion made way to anger, the enormous figure reaching out with one hand, shoving Yaksha forcefully, his lips lifting in a snarl...only to turn into a blank, shocked expression as Yaksha fell flat on his ass, looking down at a pool of rising blood from his leg; the glass, dropped from his hand, had shattered, and slid deep into his leg.

"...Fuck! I did -not- mean to do that! Fuckshitfuckfuck! I'll...fuck, where's a first aid kit?"

He turned away, his gaze taking in the surroundings, heedless to the man who was rising without a single hint of drunkenness to his movements now, looping one hand around and sliding it around the throat in a vicegrip that could crush wood. He drew it tight, whispering in his ear.

"You know how I know you're a pussy? You -chose- to stand out here and make sure the boss had privacy, so you didn't have to watch a guy get the crap kicked out of him. Now you're going to go to sleep, and you're going to dream of puppies, or something equally cute. And by the time you wake up, this'll all be over."

The man scrabbled and squirmed, pounding against Yaksha's thigh, and the glass fragment embedded there, to no avail; blood squirted and spurted out, multiple times, but the force behind his blows was quickly diminishing, and within fifteen seconds he was slumped forward, being ridden carefully to the ground by a tall, slender man who rose, adjusted his tie, and then pushed open the door, shouting out in a voice of jovial goodwill.

"Walton! You old son of a whore! Hear you've been having a little fun with a tourist! Showing him the old Vegas love? I appreciate it, I truly do! And now, it's time for me to show him the pain."

Yaksha's smile was sharklike. Literally. One could see the light glinting off of sharp, impossibly sharp, hideously numerous teeth.

"Leave us, boys. You're not paid enough for this, by far."



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Subject Post 3PostSubject: Re: It Wasn't A Good Gamble (Alex, Yaksha)   Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:31 am








Alex

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A lot of people said that when someone saved your ass, they were like a guardian angel, and you really found their presence comforting right then. That was basically the furthest fucking thing from the truth for Alex right now, though, because Jesus Christ did this dude have fucking shark teeth? Was he about to be fucking eaten?

Still, no sense in just sitting there looking like a dumbass. Alex brushed himself off as his now-former assailants made their way out, making sure to shoot some finger guns to old Mr. Stamps before turning his attention to Jaws over there. “Thanks for the save, guy. Well, save with a question mark, I guess. For all I know your about to use those teeth of yours to bite my dick off or something. Please don't, just for the record.”

With a laugh, Alex stretched out, rubbing a few spots that were actually at least a little sore from the beating, then cracked his neck and back with a satisfied sigh. If he was about to get Round Two: Electric Boogaloo, he figured he might as well be comfortable for it, you know? Still, best not to just assume that was gonna happen. Being a negative nancy was a terrible way to approach a situation. Instead he put on his best smile, which to most people probably looked like a shit-eating grin, and held out his hand for a shake.

“Name's Alex. Can't say I've got any cash to give you or anything, but hey, that's Vegas, yeah? Everything's a gamble.”



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Subject Post 4PostSubject: Re: It Wasn't A Good Gamble (Alex, Yaksha)   Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:30 pm


Yaksha, The Anthropophagus




"Close, but no cigar. Not -everything- is a gamble. Vegas is the city of lights, and it's always been known for two things, little fleshling. Its gambling...and its impersonators. Here is a place where anyone can become anything, for a period of time. Married men become single for a few weeks, so far as the streetwalkers are concerned. People come far and wide to be something else. It goes hand in hand with the gambler's lifestyle, don't you think? You take a chance...and you leave yourself at the door, like you'd take off a coat. What happens in Vegas...stays happened."

He smiled just a bit, hands in his lap as he sat down across from Alex; so impressive was his height that, even seated on the ground, he could meet Alex's eyes head-on, without having to look up. His hands rested on the floor in front of him, his smile growing ever wider, his eyes so wide that they almost looked prepared to pop out of his skull. He made a soft, ruminative sound in the back of his throat.

"You think that they'll spare you, because you have nothing of value to offer them. You're making a gamble even now, and worse yet...you're trying to bluff with no cards in your hand. They will kill you. Your heart will go to a wealthy gentleman who has a degenerative disease. Your kidneys will be shipped to an organization that ensures no one need die from lack of dialysis anymore. Your eyes will be served as a delicacy in a restaurant that has no name, and exists outside of time and space. Your bones will be left to dry, and the skeleton donated to a wealthy university to serve as a case study to the students. Your tongue, lips, teeth, and hair will be given to those who endlessly seek beauty at any cost. Your name and social security number will become attached to criminals dangerous enough to topple the world's governments if given time and cause. And if all of this is insufficient to pay off your debts, they will seek your family. Your friends. Your rivals. Anyone who has ever done business with you. They will have their pound of flesh. I know this because I have already made arrangements with each and every one of the aforementioned, to ensure that your death will even the scales."

His tone was soothing, almost fatherly as he explained this; there was a flat finality to his word, a knowing calmness and a hideous sense of routine. It felt almost like Alex was being told about a normal but unexpected curveball in life; as if he were being told he'd be going through puberty -again-, or having it gently broken to him that his pet had run away in the night, and been struck by a car. There was no malice there, no hatred, not even a scrap of ill will. There was, in fact, a deep and genuine sympathy in his expression that made every word all the worse. He -knew- this was going to happen, and he -knew- that it would come as a nasty shock to Alex. And, in some fucked up way that could almost be called compassionate, he was trying his very best to be soothing.

"Alex is already dead. I was called three hours ago to ensure that. I have in my possession a signed testimony from a trusted doctor. Cause of death: Blunt force trauma, caused by a very severe car accident. One that miraculously left his entire body viable for organ donation. He was an organ donor, to stretch the miracle even further. The tragic accident will serve the interests of dozens. In your death, you will make the world a better place, Alex."

He nodded, ever so slightly, and then exhaled. As he did, one eye closed slowly, ever so slowly, in a wink. There was a glint, faroff and quite possibly imagined, possibly just the product of a desperate mind seeking any possible avenue of escape, as he rose to his feet, and began to undo his tie.

"I'm here to answer any questions you have, and make this process as easy for you as possible. Gambling got you where you are, and I'm sorry as all hell to hear it. Please, try not to dwell on it too much. Alexander Vaugrenard will never leave this room, so. Make your peace."


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Subject Post 5PostSubject: Re: It Wasn't A Good Gamble (Alex, Yaksha)   Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:45 pm








Alex

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Well, that wasn't exactly what Alex had expected in response. Honestly, most of the whole speech didn't mean much to him, really. It was pretty hard to scare Alex, and he basically just lived day to day. He knew the things he did could get him killed, but it was when the guy mentioned his family that Alex felt a growing pit in his stomach. He couldn't give less of a fuck about his own life, but Lydia didn't deserve to deal with that just because he'd been a dickhead.

Dead... At that little revelation, Alex couldn't help but grin, far more than any normal human ever should have at the idea. Most people might be worried about their life from then on, or about how they'd handle such a shift, but for Alex it just meant one more little bit of freedom. He ran a hand through his hair, laughed a little, and gazed up at the ceiling.

“Well, guess that's that. Dead, eh? Always thought it'd be a little more final.” Pulling a cigarette from his jacket, Alex gave it a light, looking over the pitted, scratched silver plating of the antique lighter, a keepsake from his time with Lydia years ago now. “Though, I guess it's pretty final in its own way, yeah?”

Looking over to the guy with the teeth, Alex gave him a once over, before taking a long pull from his smoke. “So. What's the catch? No one just kills a man for free, after all.” Another pull, this one even longer, and he savored the feeling. It was like a little Riot all its own, the heat giving him just the faintest sense of danger. How fun. “I'm a wanderer, my man. I go wherever sounds fun, and I hate to be tied down, you feel me?”

Truth be told, Alex wasn't too concerned about whether or not this guy felt him, mostly since he was about 85% sure that no matter what he did here, Spooky over there could stop him or just fuck him over eight ways from Sunday. At the same time, though, he had a faint sense of being alright. Couldn't say why or anything, but it was just a hunch he had. He'd had plenty of wrong hunches before, though.



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Subject Post 6PostSubject: Re: It Wasn't A Good Gamble (Alex, Yaksha)   Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:48 pm


Yaksha, The Anthropophagus





"Alex. I want you to listen to my very carefully, because I will say it quite carefully. This isn't for free. Your death will be millions' of dollars worth of cogs in a capitalist economy greased. I would think you'd be a little more chipper about the notion. I've already made all the appropriate arrangements. All you have to do, Alex, is cease."

The gentleman sitting across from Alex reached into a pocket and withdrew a cigarette, lighting it up slowly, and inhaling the smoke into the air in a faint ring. The smell was oddly medicinal and heavy, almost certainly not tobacco and likely not even weed. He closed his eyes for a few moments, taking another drag, a second without ever exhaling, and allowing them both to rest inside for nearly ten seconds before he breathed out; this time, one could -almost- believe they saw a faint red tint to the smoke that left the body.

"I'm a strong believer in free will, Alex. Your choices led you here. You chose to get drunk, you chose to let your guard down, and you chose to listen to the words of a notorious liar. No one ever once forced you to do anything. There was no use of violence, no lies being told. At the very worst, a few classic coercive techniques were used on you, and I'd argue that's no less self-inflicted than refusing to wear a hardhat in a construction zone. You consented to being lied to the moment you walked into a Vegas casino. There's no one to blame here. There are victims, and there are antagonists, but this is simply a case of poor choices, and consequences that follow. Don't you agree Alex? That all of this was, in the end, what you wanted? Or thought you did, at least?"

His eyes once more glittered with that delightful triumph, his hands resting on his knees as the cigarette remained firmly clenched between his lips; he held it like an expert, never letting it so much as risk tumbling from his mouth as he examined the man below him, almost seeming to size Alex up. He inhaled once more, eyes widening, fingers drumming on his knees for a moment, and then breathing out...this time in a frightening coruscating sheet of colors, the smoke having an almost rainbow hue. He spoke with that same soothing, professional tone, as he leaned forward.

"Except that respecting choices is not, as a general rule, the bread and butter of Vegas. They always seek to discourage certain behaviors. To incentivize others. A true choice is made without coercion. Without duress. With information. And with as much time as it takes. You're already dead, Alex...so you needn't feel a need to rush. Sit, and talk with me. You might just find your options opening up, once you're able to look at things with a clear head, and an objective viewpoint."


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Subject Post 7PostSubject: Re: It Wasn't A Good Gamble (Alex, Yaksha)   Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:42 am








Alex

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“Listen, man. I get that this is a pretty big op going on here, and more to the point, I get that I got myself here. Might seem like it, but I'm not a total idiot. You did me a big favor, but I'm not in the business of owing favors back.” There was nothing hostile in Alex's voice, nothing to suggest he was particularly angry or even annoyed, in spite of how harsh his words might have seemed to a common listener. He just wasn't really in a position to be trying any big plays.

But, options, he said? Alex leaned forward slightly, a small grin twisting itself onto his face that could hardly be called normal or collected. To the average person, this was the grin of a man who was willing to do far too much for far too little. It wasn't exceptionally wide or manic, it didn't show some row of shark's teeth, and yet something was definitely, unquestionably wrong with it.

As this small, yet thoroughly unsettling smile showed itself, Alex gestured toward Yaksha with his cigarette. “But hey. If you're willing to talk, then I'm down. Like you said, I've got all the time in the world, anyway. Tell you what though, guy.” Alex rested one leg atop the other, and leaned on it with his elbow, getting comfortable. “You haven't even told me your name, and unless you want me to keep coming up with vague nicknames, or call you something stupid like Jaws, I'm gonna need that for a good conversation.”

He was insane. To a normal person, that had to be the only explanation for Alex's attitude. How else would someone act so casually in a situation like this? For all he knew he was about to eat it, but who even cared about that? Dying was just one of those things. It'd happen when it happened, and Alex couldn't really say he cared too much about it one way or the other. It wasn't any sort of insanity that drove Alex, no no. It was just a total lack of self-preservation, like there wasn't a single actual care for his continued existence. Even the most specialized and advanced techniques, even a true omniscience, would find not one iota of fear for his own life in Alex's mind. He was treating this as casually as any other conversation, because he had nothing to lose.



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Subject Post 8PostSubject: Re: It Wasn't A Good Gamble (Alex, Yaksha)   Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:37 am


Yaksha, The Anthropophagus





"No favors. The services I offer come without strings. The future is written, and lady luck has cast her dice. I am merely here as an agent of last chance. I'm here to offer you a chance to double down."

Yaksha tilted his head to the side, drumming fingers against his hip for several long, silent seconds. He finally nodded, just once; less a sign of respect as one of acknowledgement, a motion that lasted all of a moment or two. There was a sudden, deep change in him, down to the very core; he looked exactly the same, but something about the way he held himself, the way he looked at Alex, his suddenly searingly intense focus...all of it spoke of a different man entirely. This wasn't someone who was just offering a second chance...it was someone who truly believed in the product he was selling.

"My name is Yaksha Dokuja. I'd appreciate it if you used it at a minimum. I'm still...in the startup phase, and I need to build my brand a bit more before I go about letting my name get attached to all of the things I've been doing. Do you believe in the power of names, Alex? Countless cultures have. Native Americans were clever enough to give their children two names; one, only ever spoken at birth, death, and significant ceremonies. The other, an everyday title. I'm not so sure I'm that skeptical...but I know words have powers, oh yes. And I know that a name is far more than a title."

The eyes of the man looking back at Yaksha glittered, having come to life in a way they never had before now. He seemed to be looking closely at Alex, so very closely...it was like being sliced into strips and placed on a glass slide, only to be examined under a microscope. Yet it was almost comforting sitting across from this man, who was slowly and meticulously chronicling every single little thing about Alex. He hung his hands between his legs, eye contact never leaving Alex, as he spoke.

"I have in my possession a second signed autopsy report, for one Alexander Vaugrenard. Immolated in a fire so very intense that there was no possibility of positive identification. Teeth all extracted, no doubt by the men who were keeping him captive. Tragically perished, at the same time. Alexander Vaugrenard is never going to leave this room...but you don't have to be Alexander Vaugrenard."

He leaned forward, his lips suddenly curling up into a dry, mirthless grin.

"You could make such a fire, couldn't you Alex? Of course you could. You could burn everyone here to death. And I could sneak you out the back door, to a place where no one will ever find you. While we go about the arduous task of making you a new person entirely. Your sister would be safe. You would owe no one anything anymore. You could even send her a hefty life insurance sum for her brother's tragic ending. Enough to leave her wanting for nothing. And then you could come work for me. On commission. No contracts, no obligations. Money as needed, and plenty to spend that money on."

He clenched both hands into a fist, eyes still boring deeply into Alex's face, as he spoke, in that same whisper-soft, dry tone.

"So, Alex. What will it be? You could kill yourself here and now, and make the world a better place. Walk through that door, tell them you're ready to accept your fate. You'd be gone, and there would be quite a few people who would remember you in fond terms. Or you can kill a few innocent people in the crossfire, and...disappear. Become an unseen scourge. A pulsating tumor, growing and spreading its malignancy to everyone it meets."


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Subject Post 9PostSubject: Re: It Wasn't A Good Gamble (Alex, Yaksha)   Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:04 pm








Alex

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“Chill out.” It was the first thing that came to Alex's mind as he finished off his cigarette, tossing its useless remains aside without much thought. He definitely dug o all this,but this dude was putting him on edge even as a made what was, by all accounts, a pretty killer offer. Maybe it was just how enthusiastic he seemed, even in spite of how relatively composed he was acting. What was a guy to do at a time like this...

Still, he liked the idea. He definitely appreciated a get out of jail free card, and for something so easy? Pft, it was hardly even worth being worried about. “Tell you what, Yaksha. I'll take your offer, at least on getting out of here. Far as I'm concerned, a few schmucks aren't my business, and I'd rather live to see some more shit than let a bunch of randos keep going about their boring-ass lives, you dig?” Alex leaned forward once again, and pulled a new cigarette from his coat as he did. He looked it over, but didn't light it quite yet.

“But here's the deal. I'm not changing my name or my face for anyone or anything, because I like 'em as is, you get me? Maybe last name, I'm not really picky on that one. But I like being me, that's kinda the point of living. 'Sides, I'm not a total idiot. I already don't exactly make many waves, and I don't really intend to show my face anywhere near these parts for a long time anyway, least not just to dick around for funsies. Not sure it was quite my style.”

Alex's grin then widened slightly, and a wild energy seemed to slowly seep into his eyes, almost like a sickness overcoming him. “But hey, long as sis is all good, then we're all good. She can probably handle herself better than I ever could anyway, and besides, anyone tries to fuck with her, I'm sure that'd be a fuckin' disaster.” He didn't say any more on the topic, merely laughed at whatever idea was going through his head at that. She wasn't the issue at hand anyway, now was she? No, she was just someone to be dangled in front of him like a cat toy, keep him focused and stop him from acting up too much. Both of 'em would be better of if he “died” here, and besides, Alex knew himself all too well. If he really felt like suddenly making a visit for the first time in like, at least 6 or 7 years now, he'd just do it anyway.

Bringing his other hand toward the still-unlit cigarette, Alex lit the tip of his finger with a small spark of Maiden Masher's purple flame. He ignited the new smoke and took quite a long drag, then lowered his hand, all the while allowing the faint violet ember to linger on his fingertip. “So, my guy. Ready to blow this popsicle stand? Because all I need's a reason and a word, and I'll light this place up like it's World War fuckin' Five.” His grin just wasn't right anymore. It wasn't mad, or genuinely excited, or anything that could really be placed. It was like it was just...there. A natural part of who he was.



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Subject Post 10PostSubject: Re: It Wasn't A Good Gamble (Alex, Yaksha)   Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:37 pm

"I knew I made the right decision with you. The enthusiasm is truly appreciated, but I can't call the conversation concluded with this, Alex."

The gentleman speaking to Alex straightened up, hands resting on his knees now as he watched the purple flames like he was hypnotized; his mouth opened ever so slightly, eyes widening as he began to lick at his lips just a bit. He rose, moving around in slow circles, but always taking caution to keep his gaze directly on the other presence in the room. He moved in a stiff manner, sometimes stopping entirely, as if building up energy, only to burst into motion exceptionally quickly.

"How long have you had that power of yours? How hot does your fire burn? Does it have any other special properties, besides its ease of creation? Have you killed a man to date? Please answer the questions to the best of your ability, so that we can determine how best to make use of your assets."

His voice was slipping into something more crisp and detached, even as his words came out more and more quickly; it brought to mind a machine speaking while sped up, or a man reciting off of a list at speeds he could barely keep up with. His hands began to move and weave through the air, a purplish-black miasma of energy seeming to flicker off from his own fingers as he moved and gesticulated, each motion drawing off a new odd trick of light, his eyes turning distant, glassy, as he seemed to be talking more to himself than Alex now.

"Certainly lacks the bedside manner one needs in a proper recruitment agent...and there's already a candidate for that position. He could make a good enforcer, but he would need to cover a lot of area in a short span of time...and that's still a forte of my own moreso than anyone else's...it really does lead me to a conundrum...oh, drat, is this how every employer feels? No wonder they don't do it more often...okay, Alex. I think I've just about decided. I'll have a permanent position set aside for you at my place of residence, when you find yourself in need of aid. In exchange, I do hope you'll do your part to make my prospects a success."

He whirled towards Alex, raking both hands down in front of himself; air seemed to fold and twist on itself, creating a disc approximately the size of a horse, that shimmered and hovered mid-air. Yaksha touched a hand to his forelock, and then gestured towards the opening.

"Whenever you're ready, let's blow this place."
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