Laurie tucked the heavy pistol into the leather belt around the waistband of her jeans.  She had been careful to cover her tracks, but the Ancients had eyes everywhere, even on their own people.  Only a few short hours ago she had been stripped of her patch and cut loose from her chapter. She was no longer welcome in the Barrens and most importantly, she no longer enjoyed the strength in numbers that had helped protect her for half of her life. Not many left the gang on good terms and she was loathe to draw their unwanted attention. Besides that the people she was planning on meeting with had become increasingly paranoid and reclusive in recent months.

Streetlamps and light shining through the windows from the apartment block reflected off the rain soaked streets.  Evening showers were the norm this time of year and the cold damp of winter was beginning to sink in.  She pulled her hoodie up over her head against the chill and, setting out toward downtown, reveled in the solitude of the long walk before the noise of the bars and clubs began to disturb the evening quiet.  The chill damp night turned to warmth and noise as she entered Cracked Foundation.  Heavy music played far too loud by the live band drowned out the din.

Laurie was tall and lightly built, waif thin even by the standards of her people.  She wore her flaxen hair long, shaved on the sides and streaked in unnatural blues and pinks, little glass beads and bits of bone tied into her braids.  Wearing a long trench coat adorned with patches and buttons declaring allegiance to an alphabet soup of bands like Millennium Prometheus and Nightsass, careless trappings of punk rock chic

Entering the bar, all was as Laurie had learned about through her contact on Shadowlands - the bustling punks, the music too loud to allow for listening devices, the lean and well-muscled bouncer at the door; she only hoped that the doorman wouldn’t treat her like a chiphead when she shouted at him over the thumping drums and screeching guitars:  “Hear my cry in my hungering search for you, taste my breath in the wind, see the sky as it mirrors my colors, hints and whispers begin.”  She had been practicing her Sperethiel and could pull off a few phrases that were barely accented by the gutter cityspeak patois she had been speaking since she was a child.

With a smirk the doorman replied: “I am living to nourish you, cherish you, I am pulsing the blood in your veins, feel the magic and power, surrender to life.”  Clapping her on the shoulder his arm taut with panther-like muscle, the doorman pulled her in close whispering in her ear: “They are in the back waiting for you sister. Imo herme, od imo raeint sa