Asteroid Belt

Mountainside Planetarium 
Outfit no glasses

It was the night of the new moon and Carmen was very well-fed, unlike the last.

It did little to help her interest and focus though, dully watching humans purchase tokens as memories from their time at the planeterium. It was quite strange to see the place bustling with employees and the like when a mere few weeks ago it’d been empty.

Lifeless to lively.

She most certainly couldn’t relate.

Carmen ventured closer to the gift shop, tugging a keychain towards her hand and looking it over. She felt a temptation beneath the surface of her palm, a familiar energy that was building. Her dear power which undesirably adored being whimsical during the new moon.

Carmen gave something between a grunt and a sigh at the sensation, sliding her hands back into her pockets with a roll of her eyes.

Osvald was also well-fed. With a hunting partner like Greta, and with the safety of this clutch, and the relative peace of the Heights despite its flamboyance and youthfulness, it was difficult to complain.

He entered with intent to retreat to the lounge below, keep himself out of trouble on the new moon, but a stray glance and...

Osvald changed trajectory and neared, his cane tapping the floor and likely well alerting her to his approach.

"Good evening, Carmen," he greeted with a smile, wondering what precisely she was doing. Despite a few months now in Greta's company, he had to admit that being anything other than alone on the new moon was still a rather foreign thing to partake in.

The metaphysical connection and the scent alerted her well enough, with the tapping of Osvald's cane almost singling him out before he was even there by her side.

Carmen readjusted her hands within her pockets, making a gentle fist with each before she angled herself towards Cris' customer. Weather manipulator. She did wish he was a little shorter. Carmen didn't particularly enjoy feeling like an infant, though her apparent age made her one here.

And so, a slight dip of her head aimed at respect towards the older man. He deserved it if only for being stuck in time so unluckily. There was a return of a smile too, however faint and unnatural. "Osvald," Carmen said by way of greeting. "Alone tonight?"

Her smile was crooked, but did not lack charm, however miniscule. Osvald hummed to her question, glancing to the gift shop idly before looking back.

"For the moment, I am not." A gentle jest. "Though I imagine it is better to be not alone in less tempting quarters."

And that was a gentle suggestion that they go downstairs, away from excitement and heartbeats that could lure trouble in the house of the undead. But he would not move to go unless she did as well.

"How is your evening going?"

Humour was a redeeming quality when you were frozen in a slightly... decayed, body. The smile grew some, and Carmen extended a hand in the direction of the hallway to the elevator. Only the gesture was delivered with a hand which buzzed with a brief flit of static at the fingers, eyes fleetingly silver.

"That is the only complaint I have now," Carmen told him under her breath, displeased as she closed her hand again.

Difficult to miss the spark, or it's sound. His eyes greyed, an immediate threat of tension, but it was gone just as fast as the electricity was, her lack of surprise for irritation instead making it clear that this was not abnormal.

"Ah," he frowned briefly. Truthfully, powers did tend to lash out closer to this time of the month. It would do no good to put on a light show, but electricity could easily be blamed on...

...Well, weather.

"Have you ever explored the upper floors of the building?" he asked with nonchalance, resuming their trek to the elevator.

confirmed with Drew that these areas would be for employees only but accessible by elevator :D


Grey eyes.

She watched them with curiousity during the moment they lingered. Cris immediately came to mind of course. What had she told or not told Osvald?

But she was quickly caught by surprise from the question which followed, eyebrows raising a touch. Somebody had neglected to give the full tour.

”Only the lower floors. What’s up?” Carmen asked, keeping her stride even with Osvald’s.

"Not a clue," he smiled, perhaps a little mischievously. "I suppose we might find out."

They were walking to the elevator, and he hummed some fragments of an old folk tune as he eyed the floor selection, before cutting himself short to speak.

"I think it best to start at the top," he mused, and tapped one of the uppermost buttons marked clearly as "Staff Only."

The lift hummed to life, and his hands settled over his cane. "How did you come to settle in Mountainside, if I may ask?"

There was a quiet wit to Osvald and she could see why a youngster like Cris might enjoy his company, beyond the money.

”I was curious to see these Werewolves for myself. See how our own kind were doing. Quite a fright when I realised how outnumbered by them we are.”

The elevator dinged, doors sliding open, and Carmen would allow Osvald in first before taking up one side. ”And you? I’m afraid I don’t know how you ran into Beauregard either, but I’ve been wondering.”

He chuckled to her explanation and shook his head.

"If you'll believe it, I managed to settle here many years back. I always assumed those who smelled of animals simply to be humans of exceptionally poor hygiene."

Incredible that they had never crossed paths before their respective species' outings. One poor experience with a shifter was enough to color them all as rabid, mangy beasts.

"Beauregard I met after I was set upon by a group of them. It was when the only safe place for vampires appeared to be in Cordova, before we were expelled from that clutch and he set his sights here. And you?"

But the elevator doors would open to reveal a security guard immediately readying to tell them that the public was not permitted here, and Osvald would motion to Carmen with a playful smile to... explain, if she so wished.

Ladies first, of course.

Why anyone would join a Clutch which actively made their life more difficult with its enemies was beyond her. Perhaps in Osvald's case it'd meant easy meals.

She'd allow him to press the level in the elevator before answering his question. ”Chance meeting at a market in Red Rock. He had this... self-inflicted injury,” Carmen briefly explained with a gesture to her arm.

When the doors slid open again, what she could’ve expected greeted them.

"Friends of Beauregard.” Perhaps names would suffice. Perhaps Beauregard had told his employee who to give clearance to.

But perhaps not, also.

”Let us linger around, yes?" Carmen asked, narrowing her gaze a touch. The words were delivered with an air of firmness but privately she had quite low hopes. And so she waited a few moments until much to her delight, the guard gave a single nod and some murmur of words, moving aside and continuing on his way.

She looked back towards Osvald to see if that playful smile was there now. What a fluke, truly.

"Set upon by a group of them?" Carmen questioned what exactly the earlier phrasing meant.

Beauregard, a self-inflicted injury? How curious. He would have to ask about that after this matter was handled.

Osvald sensed none of her inner reservations. She handled the guard with outer finesse, and he offered her a grandfatherly sort of wink when she looked back to him, though the playfulness in his face faded for a small sigh at the revival of the shifter topic. The story was long, and he still bore anger over being singled out simply for existing and defending himself.

"Some riot or another in Crestview on the night of the new moon. I was feeding on someone who had already been... assaulted, when I am suddenly attacked by two hyenas. I fall into bloodlust as we tussle. Then some... woman arrives, calls them off me like obedient attack dogs, only to shove me down with a strength I would not have expected. But that wasn't enough for her. She then decided to grab my face, forcing me to stay still, for her to then rip my fangs from my mouth. After all this, she grants me words to explain her sadism . 'No vampires in Crestview,' as if I was some sort of messenger boy, as if she had not just taken away my ability to hunt. I had no clutch at the time to warn, I had no idea of this being some rule. She could not have picked a worse candidate for her torture, and she wasn't even effective in her 'warning.' Were it not for a kindly vampire finding me soon after, and lucky to not be found by that brute bitch, I would have simply remained there and died at sunrise."

He ended the topic with a severe frown, eyes looking about to the floor they were on.

With plainer walls and floors and more stark lighting, the space up here was less glamorous than below, being built for housing museum supplies and not requiring to be particularly pleasing to the eye for the employees. There was something in particular he looked for as he walked along with her — a door, something to lead to the upper terraces of the building's architecture. Surely those had to be upkept by the groundspeople.

And before long, he did find such a thing, and opened it with a quiet creak to bring them outside to fresh air, and solitude.

The wink was a funny thing.

Carmen exited the elevator as Osvald spoke, glancing around. This floor more or less seemed to be for storage. Nothing of particular interest to her, but she kept pace with him, half her focus on resisting the literal energy under her palms and fingertips.

At the mention of having his fangs forcibly torn, Carmen looked to Osvald with a deep frown. She could name at least a few instances in human history where absolute force was exercised based on prejudice.

It was thoroughly disappointing to hear about it in the supernatural community, but something to be expected. If she’d fed in Larkspur, the coyotes likely would have done the same for whatever reason.

”... What would you like to see happen if you saw one in the Heights, then?” Carmen asked as Osvald pulled open a door. The air outside was relatively warm as Carmen moved onto the terrace, the lights of the city twinkling in the distance.

Inhaling the air unnecessarily but all the same, Osvald looked to her at her question.

"On the new moon, my thoughts trend towards wishing to see them eviscerated, strangled with their own intestines."

A colorful thought. Perhaps she might be shocked he harbored such desire for vengeance.

"But I will settle for a true verbal warning at the first offense. What I was denied for no reason. For repeated offenses..."

She could fill in the rest.

Besides the new moon perhaps that was kinder than where Carmen’s mind would’ve ventured. She couldn’t say - she truly couldn’t admit to anyone ever ripping her fangs out in the middle of a feeding.

”Do you know what’s made most Werewolves lose their minds like this? Why Bone Hollow started provoking them and vice versa?”

Carmen glanced to Osvald as she made it to the edge of the terrace.

”I once spoke to a wolf who was more or less against us, and when I asked him that question it was like all his reasoning, all his individuality, ended there.”

"I cannot say I do. Perhaps their disease is a strain of supernatural rabies, and they are all attackers by blood. I applaud you for attempting to hold a conversation with such a creature."

Osvald glanced to the sky. When Cris summoned lightning, it had startled him into bloodlust. But what if he knew it was coming?

" I brought you up here because I wondered if you might like to start a thunderstorm with me."

He smiled, but Osvald was hardly joking. The clouds above them were already starting to thicken.

How wolves and Vampires- and did anybody at all even know why one species was set on destroying another? The answer was the same with each person she asked.

And then a slight smile at the praise, but it lingered only until Osvald spoke again. Carefully, Carmen removed her hands from her pockets, placing them against the terrace’s balustrade.

”If I fall unconscious you’ll have to promise not to laugh.”

She gestured across Lavender Heights with a hand.

"Perish the thought," he smiled, face all a wrinkle. "Though I imagine it'll be something of a race. Whoever loses must carry the victor below to our keycard-guarded quarters, where our illustrious Dominus looks on in resignation to the irresponsibility of his underlings."

Very, very teasingly said. Osvald owed much to Beauregard.

For his part, he focused on building the clouds, and on guiding the temperature to fall so that they might condense thicker.

She laughed, unexpectedly mirthful in present company. ”Hardly a fair race when your power is to control all weather,” Carmen looked to Osvald pointedly, teasing rather than complaining.

Here was proof to humans that even Vampires had hobbies. Granted... peculiar and highly destructive ones.

Carmen took a deep inhale, more to steady herself than anything, and turned her hands over so her palms faced the city in a claw-like shape. Her gaze focused on some power lines in the distance, eyes shifting to a silver.

The energy in her palms was all but asking to be released, and she’d be lying if that didn’t concern her some. But this wasn’t quite the same as her teachings so far to Cris.

From afar, and with two hands which were audibly producing static, Carmen began concentrating the electricity across the power lines to a single one. Her hands moved almost as if she was pushing air together.

Apologies to the citizens in the surrounding area. Their televisions would undeniably cut out.

Her laugh was enjoyable, and inspired his own chuckling. "In my defense, you are likely stronger than I am."

She operated her magic with a cinematic sort of flair. It was an aesthetic show, unlike his own far more subtle and clean cut one. Osvald let his eyes do the directing, glancing here and there, focusing on pockets of air and space to manipulate temperature and guide the changes in weather he sought.

A breeze flowed, carrying with it the promising and clean scent of rain. He did not intend to soak them; a fine drizzling mist would do here, and further over the city, a steadily heavier rainfall.

If he managed to keep it up. For now, it was the barest, smallest spray that clung to their dead skin.

It began spitting overheard. She had no interest in looking like a wet dog but even less interest in making a complaint and losing her focus.

The static on both her hands crackled louder, but she managed to keep the energy at bay for now. Electricity visibly leapt to the power line she’d centred it on, and Carmen began working it upwards and to the clouds as it swirled.

Slowly and steadily.

He deepened the temperature fall further out, letting the clouds hang heavier until water began to fall as streaks in the distant sky.

Already, his head began to prickle with a sense of tension. A vampire didn't need to breathe, which made the side effect of his magic all the more frustrating.

But for now, he worked unharmed.

Her hands were becoming increasingly numb from the growing static. It was enough that Carmen strained in expression visibly, sending the electricity she’d managed to gather up and into the clouds.

A sight. Certainly not a natural one.

Carmen vaguely worked it towards the darkest part of the clouds which Osvald had summoned. In a downwards motion of one hand, a single bolt of lightning would strike, piercing a tree below.

She grinned, faintly dizzy as she awaited, well, thunder perhaps.

Thunder would follow, spawned from the bolt she cracked into the air and down onto a tree. A dangerous target. He smiled.

Osvald worked quickly to increase the downpour, though not without difficulty. His dead lungs worked to unsteady his focus, needlessly carrying on with a few ragged inhales as if they yearned for air.


Overhead, electricity in the clouds continued to fill the air with rumbles, and down on the ground in the distance, the surprise of people who had not prepared for rain pattering about for shelter of whatever kind.

He let go his hold and allowed the weather to carry onward on its own, closing his eyes and bowing his head and stepping back to clutch his cane and work down the tension. Within, the threat of bloodlust for his body's instability, but he remained visibly an old man.

Thunder followed. It warranted a laugh perhaps not fit considering the fright of humans below.

Osvald pulled back, Carmen didn’t.

Intent on striking down another bolt of lightning, she went to bring the same hand down again. Before she could complete the movement, and with the rain still falling overhead, electricity from one palm struck the other suddenly.

It was unwanted, unexpected, and most significantly, painful. Carmen staggered backwards with what was almost a yowl of pain, lightheaded and clutching her hands to her chest. She felt her nails begin to elongate, managing a brief look of distress towards Osvald.

It was intensely foolish to even have done this, perhaps. But magic was dangerous when bottled in, and it was good that he'd brought them out up here to avoid onlookers and the threat of their very literal inner demons.

Her yelp spurred his bloodlust into play, but Osvald would fight it with gritted teeth. Even letting himself slip for a moment would be enough to unleash hell, and he doubted Beauregard would be forgiving twice in a year.

Nor should he be.

Osvald looked to her hand, and to her. "Find your peace, Carmen," he asked, meeting her eyes. Reaching for her physically could be seen as a threat, and so he would withhold touch or even a raised hand for now. But his words were laced with the desire to control, and he sought through his voice to reach into her mind and shield her from her own threatening shift.


There was a very rare desperation behind her gaze as she met Osvald’s. She wasn’t certain if she’d expected to be helped or fled from before his own likely bloodlust took over - either way, the expectation hadn’t been compulsion.

Carmen’s hands buzzed with the pain as her back hit the other side of the balustrade. The effect of Osvald’s words was heavy. As her fingers worked on elongating, Carmen’s head dropped to hang low.

Ragged breaths replaced no breaths, jaw tense as she felt the desire for it to stretch on either side.

She stood, essentially lifeless for a minute, until she felt that same discomfort in her jaw begin to slacken.

As her disgusting, claw-like fingers began retracting.

It was only a minute, but felt as though an eternity of tension, even for a being that lived forever. Osvald heard her breathing, focused on her stillness. There was no denying that his suggestion had been successful; still, there was a chance he might have had to perform it again if she stagnated, and that too, fighting his own threatening demon if hers persisted.

For now, it appeared luck would be on their side. He watched her hands intensely as they began to retract to a human sort of form, and his hands gripped to the dragon's head of his cane as he remained absolutely still and silent with her, not wishing to provoke her now while she remained fragile.

The rain carried on, lightening naturally as the temperature in the distance began to climb above dew point.

A shaky hand gripped behind her, seeking for something to hold onto. Carmen was safely human, but left incredibly lightheaded for it.

She managed to look to Osvald eventually, increasingly soaked from the rain. It was impossible to not feel indebted.

"At least tell me I've won," Carmen joked with a wan smile, visibly exhausted. She straightened slowly, clutching one hand to her abdomen.

There was such an immense relief in her words. An almost boyish grin crept to his face, and he reached his hand out for her to take, palm up.

"Outstandingly," he complimented, as if they really had only been playing a game and had not nearly ended the night in undead bloodshed. But perhaps it was natural for them to crave a brush with danger, so long as they came out of it unscathed.

"I do think we could stand to use a drink, if you wouldn't mind finding that security guard."

He would lead her back inside, if she moved to walk with him.

She took his hand for support, almost selfish in the movement. Laughing felt like energy she didn't have, so Carmen would only exhale through her smile as he went along with the tease.

"Agreed," she said, walking slowly with him to the door.

"... Thank you, Osvald. Next time we schedule one of these I'll have to be better prepared. That shouldn't have happened on my part." Spoken gratefully, but ultimately without looking him in the eye.

Ah, well, he hadn't meant for the mood to falter. If anything, Osvald was inclined to chuckle it off.

"What good is a second life if not to have a little more fun than the first round?"

There was no admonishment in him for her lack of control. After all, only a month ago, he'd slaughtered a member of a hotel's maintenance crew beyond repair.

Osvald was not one to throw stones.

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