Dale and Bruiser’s Rigged


Devin was definitely procrastinating, the windows still hadn't been blocked up, boxes hadn't been unpacked, and she was still dead sleeping in the closet. These were all things that needed to be done, but every night when she woke, there was a certain dread that came with doing it. Unpacking seemed like a total drag, she still hadn't found a company to block up the windows, but she hadn't been looking either and lastly, while dead sleeping seemed uncomfortable on the body, it wasn't like she could feel it anyways. She was nothing more than a corpse during the day, totally blank until the second it was safe to come out.

So clearly, it wasn't that important that she get everything done immediately, right? Of course not, because she had all of eternity on her hands now, and small things like that could wait.

Right now, Devin just wanted to live in the moment and do things that were fun because the last six months or so had been super rough. She had some control now, some power, and so that meant it was time to play. What would she display this new found control and power on? Well, the fucking stack tower of course!

You could win a shit ton of tickets off of those, and most humans didn't have the lightening fast relaxes needed to win the 'big prize' but Devin human anymore, and she did have those reflexes. Grin wide on her face, Devin would watch as the stack grew higher and higher, finally coming to the last line, the big winner line that would have her in ticket heaven. Ding, ding, went the bar as if flew from left to right.

It would seem intimidating to most, but not Devin, her hand swiping out in glorious victory as it came to the middle. The prize was all hers except....

"It fucking skipped!" She gasped, hand slamming against the machine in protest.

outfit except this choker

Skirting again. To the west this time, cutting through Camp Baron. It'd been a night or two, long enough to consider feeding but not long enough to need it. And much too soon to go traipsing back through Ridgefield. There was a plenty thick line between reckless daring and just plain open stupidity, and Kaida very much enjoyed the thought that she kept to the former. At least a week would pass before she'd enter the city center again, probably a month barring some pressing business. It really was good that she mostly met clients digitally.

At any rate, while she may have taken to heart the caution of not further antagonizing Ridgefield's crimson-haired sovereign, she wasn't just going to sit around the house for another night. Boredom set in way too easily and she hoped to find some generally-not-violence-inducing fun. No promises, but it was the loose goal anyway. Dale and Bruiser's was good for that sort of thing. Less ubiquitous alcoholism than she'd find at the bars. Really didn't need to go down that mental road again so soon.

Meandering through the expansive arcade and willfully avoiding the playground/trampoline/hyperactivity side of things—colloquially to her writer, "Jimmytown USA"—Kaida came up short at the unmistakable sense of another of her kind. It was a fainter sort of signature, and she quickly pinpointed its source as a slim-dressed figure thoroughly engrossed in some game. Hanging back to observe and assess, she decided this vampire was likely her junior. Very possible that hair and the abundant ink, which she could only assume continued where the dark clothes obscured, were recent acquisitions on a much older body, in combination with the feel of their power, though, she was willing to assume a relative youngster. Fifty maybe. Less. There was really no way to be sure.

She almost wished she'd dressed differently this night, because the outfit sported wasn't far off from much of her own wardrobe. What fun that would have been. Oh well. The thought had her slipping a finger under the choker for a moment. Her little memento.

"System's rigged," she commiserated with a click of her tongue and shake of her head. Slightly louder than she'd normally speak to ensure she'd be heard from the short distance away where she leaned on another arcade cabinet.
Devin had been so absorbed in her game that she hadn't registered the fact that there was someone like her around, her senses only catching on the moment that a voice sounded up behind her. It seemed strong, magically stronger at least, and Devin's head would fall back on her shoulders with a curious arch of her brow. Imagine her surprise when the face that met her was that of a fairly young woman, seemingly younger than herself.

Of course, when it came to vampires, one could never tell on just how old the other was. This one could be like eight hundred years old or something, which was both cool and scary to think about!

Righting herself, Devin would turn to face the vampire, the grin returning to her face. "They act like those shit prizes of theirs are actually worth something." A roll of her eyes as she closed some of the distance between herself and the stranger.

"Devin." A hand offered, already feeling a bit more friendly to someone that was similar to herself.
There was a twitching pull of her lips at the further berating of the establishment. It was all quite the scam. Control. Really the same as any casino but legal for minors because the payouts were worthless. Extravagant reasoning.

Kaida hadn't entirely considered how she'd behave with this creature when curiosity had pulled her in. But she considered the hand, the hair, the inkwork now she could see it more closely. Nothing that immediately repulsed her. And frankly, young lady, you could do with some allies. She'd met, what, three other supernaturals in the last week or so and made enemies of each. Real supernaturals, she meant, not flavored humans. Andrew, sweet boy, didn't count.

Well, none of them were her fault really. The dog was unfriendly and refused her first two generous offers that he leave her be, going so far as to threaten her with flame. No, he'd gotten less than his mouth called for. And then whatever the fuck—she got mad just thinking about it—had invaded her thoughts in Reignhart and driven her into an embarrassing bloodlust. Surely she couldn't be blamed for that.

And then being interrupted in her business that would have been entirely subtle and untraceable if she'd been able to continue. By that fucking cat Domina. Well, actually, she wasn't too torn up about that one. The redhead had worn pretty classy boss bitch energy. Enough to cow local shifters, maybe. No, that one was an unfortunate misunderstanding. Maybe she'd be able to sort it after some time had passed. Her fingers went to the choker again.

Her left fingers. The right slid into Devin's grip and returned it, quick and light. "Kaida."

Yes, something less than open hostilities was the goal. So there was no need to go lording her clear superiority over the other vampire. She smiled herself, if somewhat less broadly. "You must be new in town if these things haven't bored you yet." A gesture to the offending machine.
Kaida wasn't a name you heard often in the states, especially back where she grew up, but Devin found that she liked it. She enjoyed things that were different, things that she hadn't really seen in her ghetto ass town full of drugs and fighting. It was one of the main reasons that she had been enjoying Ridgefield thus far, and why she couldn't really see herself leaving anytime soon either.

It was comfortable here.

"Yeah," a glance back towards the machine before coming back to Kaida. "Still haven't even unpacked yet." A chuckle as her hands came to cross comfortably in front of herself.

"You been here long then?"
"Not by our standards." She shook her head, loose hair lightly brushing over her eyes before settling. "Almost a year. I've been laying low for most of it, getting a sense of the place."

Tilting her head, lips pulled back in a thin smile that wasn't exactly unfriendly, but maybe dipped lightly into condescending territory. She'd told herself she wouldn't do that, but it was haaard. "Care to hear what morsels I've learned?"

It was an odd location for such a conversation, just standing in the arcade. But it wasn't like either of them was going to get a sore back, and Kaida had a full night's worth of mojo and no particular need to feed. She could afford to blow a suggestion or two wiping away careless conversation from an eavesdropper if it came to it. And also didn't always make the best choices.
Devin wasn't really sure she could actually relate to whatever standards Kaida was putting between them and the humans, but she had a fairly good idea of what it could be. This one was probably not as young as she looked, not by a long shot if a year still equated to a short amount of time for her. Devin also couldn't imagine 'staying low' for that amount of time either, because she was one to get bored so easily and that sort of lifestyle just didn't fit her personality.

Good on Kaida though, cause it seemed like she had some interesting deets, if that smile was anything to go by.

"Well, how could I say no to that." She hummed, a brow raising in interest. "Lay it on me."
Well... "There are two clutches I'm aware of. One just south in downtown, and the other in Alder Heights to the... more south." Southeast, but she didn't actually look at a topdown map of the area kind of ever, so it was a distinction lost on her. Anyway, that seemed like the most important thing for Devin to know. But certainly not the most interesting.

"The one downtown? I think the domina has some shifters that heel for her." Was this well researched and established? Nope! But she thought it was impressive and didn't really see the harm in spreading it around. "And about that, there's good sport hunting in Rice Bluff, but I ran into a rabid dog there the other night, so be careful if you wander that way."
Clutches were not an unknown entity to Devin, despite never being apart of one herself, she had been given a basic run down of them by Luis before she'd left. He'd claimed that she'd need to be careful if caught in another's territory, try and keep her head low. Apparently, the leaders had a great deal of magical power and it wouldn't be very hard for them to over take her if they thought she might cause trouble for them.

Devin usually wasn't afraid to test the limits, but when it came to the supernatural shit, she tended to keep her guard up, at least until she knew what was going on. This whole thing was still rather knew to her after all, and she didn't want her second life dropping away too quickly.

She was having fun!

It was nice to know where to watch her toes though, Devin taking note of the cities given with a soft nod of her head, maintaining a confident air about herself. A confidence that quickly turned into open excitement at the mention of shifters.

"No shit, are you serious?" She gawked, mouth falling open some. "I'd been told those guys could be a bit testy with our kind." This domina downtown was starting to quickly sound like an ultimate badass.
Not a test exactly, but Kaida had been far from certain this girl would know what clutches even were. Honestly she still was, a little surprised at the portion that had been fixated upon. But no, no that would make sense, wouldn't it? If she was young, she mightn't have ever encountered one.

"Yeah, they're pricks." No uncertain terms. No qualifiers. "They smell bad, taste worse, and love to wave lighters around like they're at a fucking Lynyrd Skynyrd concert." Ugh, there was just no part of that which appealed. And yes, maybe she was projecting her latest encounter onto what few past ones existed and certainly onto all future. But fuck it, who had that asshole's lighter now? She did.
Sounded like the type of thing that she would have to avoid if she didn't want to be a pile of ash, which really fucking sucked because she really wanted to meet a shifter at some point. She might still try it if she could get a bit better at this new power she'd developed. She doubted that anything would want to fuck with her too much when they learned that she could literally turn the ground around them into a minefield at will.

"Surprised this domina would want to keep those sorts around." A pause as a mischievous grin tugged at her lips. "Bet they'd turn on her for just a piece of ribeye." They were animals after all, and everyone knew that animals preferred food over any owner.
Admitting to not knowing things was not on any list of Kaida's hobbies, but she was presenting things that would be too easy to verify or disprove to feel like flagrant lies were the way to go. At least with someone she somewhat wanted to not detest her.

Lifting her hands to either side of her head in a light shrug while pulling a Jim-looks-to-camera face, she soon conceded, "Who can say? I didn't stick around to interview anyone on their job contentment." It had really all happened in maybe six, seven seconds. Cat showed up, delivered an order, got disobeyed, delivered another order, stopped being a cat, and sicced her dog. It had been a lot. Kind of thrilling, but she'd been in too dark a headspace to appreciate it.


Fingers toyed with the choker again.

"Protip, don't go killing anybody on her turf. She gets mad about it."
Well, that was an interesting choice of words wasn't it? Devin took a moment to really take this smaller woman in, debating if there was any value in her words. She certainly didn't look the type to kill others, but that was mainly because of her small stature and young features. It made it easy to underestimate her, but with the power she was giving off, Devin wouldn't make the mistake of thinking her weaker.

She was well aware that most vampires would be stronger than her given her fairly new status as vampire. There was no point in equating age when it came to vampires, for even this woman could be much older than even her grandfather.

"You saying this from personal experience?"
Oh how her smile thinned, growing broad across her jaw. Was that of interest? How new was this girl if the notion of wreaking death was not simply a given? Perhaps her first feeding was less... zealous than had been Kaida's. But it was a sort of revenge tale, to be fair. Die then kill.

Hands clasping sweetly behind her back, she twisted and shrugged to go with her smile. "We all have bad nights."

And it had been bad, as much as she refused to let it bother her. Refused. She recalled a time when it didn't seem like every other feeding ended in some sort of irritating disaster. Hopefully she could get back to that sort of pattern.
She wasn't given an outright 'yes' but Devin could pretty easily discern what a 'bad night' might entail for a vampire. There really wasn't room in Devin to judge, she'd been the cause of death in her time alive, and she would probably be the same in her time now. It was just a thing that happened, and regardless if it was a bad night or not, as long as it wasn't putting her or those she had a bond with, she really had no reason to care.

"Listen, I ain't judging." She chuckled, raising her hands up in mock surrender. "I was just curious. You do you, girl."

It wasn't effecting her any, and it wasn't like it would come around to bite her in the ass either. If this girl wanted trouble with the locals, that was her prerogative, Devin just preferred friends over enemies.
It did probably sound like a big messy bloodlust incident. Which happened. Fucking Reignhart. The truth of the experience was a good deal more complicated and, well, personal. A little bit of wallowing and long festering resentment. Rage even, of a strangely not-bloodlust nature. But all of that wasn't a thing she'd care to get into. Except to consider with a serious turn to her expression, "It was the best decision for all parties."

Kaida didn't regret the murder. Nor precisely the interruption since it meant she'd met the domina. But the possible consequences, those were regrettable. Those were always so regrettable. If only there were some way to stave off bad consequences.
The only way that statement would make sense in Devin's head was that the human or psychic had been left in pretty bad shape after the feeding, that a slow death awaited them if not for Kaida taking it into her own hands. It all seemed pretty gallant to her, which was even more reason for her to remain unconcerned with the whole thing. Why it had led to this Domina being upset, Devin couldn't really be sure.

"I see." She hummed nodding, "then there isn't much to worry about right?" A shrug of her shoulders as her hands dropped back down to her sides.

"One dead human isn't that big a deal." Unless of course there had been multiple, then she could kinda see were the Domina was coming from, much harder to cover up multiple deaths.
"No, nah," she agreed. Worried she was not. The Domina didn't seem to want her head, just to get her out of the city. Had she been hunted at all on her way north? Couldn't say, too indulgent of her own fucked up thoughts. She'd picked up no telltale dog scent, so that was something.

Okay, there was room here for a little more honesty without revealing any real vulnerability. "There. Is..." she began slowly. "An outside chance it wasn't that part that pissed her off. She gave me a command—which, spoiler alert, I'm not big on—and it's possible that I followed it with a creative interpretation she didn't appreciate."

Again the shrug. "She'll get over it. Like you said, one dead human." She would have toppled off those shoes to her death eventually anyway.
Oh? So it hadn't been the killing, but the way that it had been done that made the Domina of downtown angry. Devin kind of wished that she had been able to see that, eager to see what look she possessed when Kaida did not obey. Curious what the demand even had been to warrant the death of this, now known, single human.

"Ha, so that's the case." The grin broadened, "I don't think I would be so keen on following orders from a leader that wasn't mine either."

Verging on the air of nosey, Devin could hardly stop herself from questioning the situation. "So what exactly did she tell you to do anyways?"
Not to judge a book by its cover, but this information did not surprise her. Maybe not so much the outfit, but the hair and ink and overall presence of the younger dead girl did have Kaida thinking she wasn't exactly one for bowing to authority. Although the specific phrasing did make her wonder what leaders she'd been under, the context of it all.

She could ask. But that would take focus away from herself and for the moment she was enjoying it just fine thanks.

It hadn't been funny at the time. Hadn't really even been meant as a joke. Just reflexive sass at the attempt to interrupt what she'd deemed important. Now though? Removed from the moment and the anger and the feelings of inadequacy it had all roused? Now it was funny. And Kaida giggled, shaking her head then holding up both hands to make air quotes.

"'Let her go.'"

Again the shrug. Again the smile.

"So I did."
It was probably wrong to be making fun of this human's death in this way, but the way that all of this had gone down did have a pretty comedic feel to it, also it wasn't like the human would ever know of their light teasing. They were way past that point, and even if there did happen to be a God out there and the human was staring down at them, Devin really wasn't scared for whatever retribution they had to give.

If the human hadn't wanted to end up dead, perhaps they should have been a bit more careful with who they'd played with.

"All a matter of perspective then," Devin snorted, a wave of her hand as she brushed away the invisible anger of the Domina. "If anything she needs to learn to be a bit more specific with she wants." Doubtful that Kaida had actually misinterpreted anything, but if there was a chance to shift the blame on the other party, why not do it? "Anyone's mistake." A shrug of her own to follow along.
Vindication wasn't really a thing she'd been looking for. Not a thing she typically sought. Kaida did as she liked with as much consideration as each situation warranted, and generally refused to waste much time second-guessing or otherwise agonizing over how she could have done better. She did like to think she learned from mistakes—it had been a long while since she'd bloodlusted midair—but didn't view this particular incident as a mistake.

Still, all that aside, it was quite nice to find herself agreed with. A reasonably like minded vampire, young enough to not presently be much of a pressing threat and congenial enough to enjoy conversation, was a pleasant discovery. Nothing to be trusted, this went without saying, but a contact with enough potential to be intriguing. A friend to be guided and shaped, maybe.

"What about you?" Now she could turn the spotlight about, satisfied for the moment with the attention she'd received. "Any exciting happenings since you arrived?"
She really wished that she could supply an interesting story for Kaida, but unfortunately Devin's life had been relatively mundane since the move. The highlight of her week being the fact that the local arcade apparently rigged their games so that people couldn't get the grand prizes. How fucking lame was that shit!?

"Afraid not, but give me a couple weeks and I might get something for you." She promised with a wink, "unless you find unpacked boxes thrilling?"
This was a problem. Not for Kaida. Not to her perceptions, anyway, though it wasn't exactly going to help with that avoiding consequences plan. She didn't mean to cause trouble. Mostly. The dog and the mind rapist hadn't been her doing, and one dead human hadn't been the plan. Especially not paired with annoying a shifter-dominating Domina. She did mean to sort of lay low after, but now? Hoping to form something of a bond here, some sort of alliance. Or at least acquire a crony. It required being memorable. Being fun.

And Kaida could use some fun.

"A couple weeks?" she echoed, smiling wide and thin again. "Why not tonight?" Clasping her hands behind her back and swiveling side to side once more, she asked leadingly, "Are you hungry?"
What a very good question.

A question that had Devin's smile widening, eyes crinkling with the effort as a hand came to her mouth, a finger tapping against her lips as she mocked a debate. "Well," she hummed thoughtfully. "I suppose I don't have anywhere else to be, and I definitely could eat."

She was honestly just curious as to what this woman had in mind, the mischievous light in her eyes enough to tell Devin that it wasn't anything good. The sort of no good fun that Devin found the most enjoyment in, and the type that she had been sorely missing since her change.

"What did you have in mind?"
Dark eyes slipped away from the other vampire, roaming the crowd. Her hand followed in their wake, waving invitingly. "That depends on your preferences. Man, woman, old, young, share, or find a combo meal."

There was no brilliant plan here, no great stratagem. It was just a good time, letting loose. A single target would be less likely to survive, although she herself hardly needed a full meal out of the night so it wasn't impossible. Multiple would bring its own set of complications. But she was happy to adapt, facilitate, kill. Whatever it took to make an impression and leave her new friend wanting more.
Grace was here fucking around and nothing more. She did not have the cash to spend on games. But, she was pretty good at snagging spare tickets out of machines? And maybe if she did that enough times, eventually, she'd have enough to buy a glow in the dark spider ring or some shit.

Also, sometimes, if you jammed the shitty refund button, coins would pop out. So in this exact moment, she was bent over a machine, pounding two fingers in there like she was trying to get it off. And hey, it was her lucky day, because one single bullshit token tumbled out onto the floor.

She bent down to swipe it, wiggling it in her hands. Lucky coin number one.

Now just needed about a thousand more.
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