Under the Bright Lights

The war between Vampires and Lycans has ended, but an even deadlier threat has risen: Humanity. The world of immortals is a secret no longer, and terrified humans seek to exterminate the source of their fear. Vampires, Lycans, and other immortal species now hide themselves, struggle to survive, and fight back. Their future and their very existence are at stake.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

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Isaac Fishblatt

There was little Isaac could say in response. A terrible, weighty thing had happened. The Pack had been changed irrevocably. What they had lost could never be regained.

That didn't make it Riff's fault, of course. There had been no other solution... well, other than walking away and allowing innocent people to be murdered in their homes, which Isaac was not prepared to do. Their Pack was unused to conflict, but conflict seemed increasingly determined to find them; this crisis of lifestyle had been inevitable. If it hadn't been tonight, it would have been something else.

But even so, there were no real words of comfort for such a time. Isaac simply looped an arm around Riff's shoulder in a mute gesture of solidarity.

The howl - a fitting gesture of mourning - brought the rest of the Pack to the grove. They came slowly, in ones and twos, looking confused and forlorn. Isaac noticed a number of faces missing. Those they had lost, of course, and others who had chosen to leave.

Isaac addressed the Pack. "Tonight we kept our neighbors safe. You should all take pride in that. Those we lost gave their lives in a noble cause - their deaths were not in vain, and will not be forgotten. I'm going to go collect their remains, along with anyone who wishes to assist me. Then it's time to go home."

It was a very deliberate choice on Isaac's part to go himself to retrieve their dead. He could have sent someone else - but he did not want to give them impression that he was not willing to face what had happened, and take responsibility.

When they returned to the beach, bearing the weight of two dead Lycans, Isaac saw that two of the boats they had come in were missing, undoubtedly taken by those who had departed in anger. Isaac wasn't surprised, from a logistical standpoint - they all had to get off the island somehow, after all - but somehow the sight still stung.

He said nothing, though, and reorganized the others into their boats for the silent, melancholy trip home.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

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Riff

He couldn't help but feel responsible for the deaths of the two and the subsequent splitting of the Pack. Sure, it had been a group decision to make friends with the new islanders. A group decision to protect them as part of the community. A group decision.

And now a group repercussion. A group mourning. A permanent mourning.

They were partway across the water when his phone binged. Right, the island was outside of cell service. Maria. He couldn't pull his phone out fast enough - and was rewarded with a bit of good news. A lot of good news, really. He'd been right - the mage had been bluffing. Maria and Sofie were fine and there was finally a new arrival.

He tapped Isaac on the shoulder and passed him the phone. Certainly not everyone would appreciate a celebratory announcement right at this moment, but he thought perhaps a bit of good news would do Isaac some good too.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

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Isaac Fishblatt

Isaac sat in silence in the boat, shoulders hunched, lost in thought.

When Riff showed him the text, though, a genuine smile played at his lips. At least by providing this family with sanctuary, he had made an unequivocal right choice.

"Wonderful!" he said quietly - and sincerely. "I'm so happy for them. I'm glad the Pack has a joy on such a sad night. I'll tell the others once they've had a chance to grieve their losses. And of course once Lina has had a chance to rest up, I'll want to go offer congratulations in person. Riff, thank you - for everything."

When they got home, the remaining Pack members quietly parted ways with few words. Isaac sensed they would be back, though. Those who had stayed were committed for the long haul.

He was relieved when it was finally time to crawl into bed next to Gilda. She listened with sadness - they had been her Packmates too, even though she was no Lycan - and sympathy.

Then she whispered, "I'm proud of you. You're a good leader. They are right to look up to you."

It couldn't completely erase his doubts - tonight, nothing could - but knowing Gilda still had faith in him eased his journey into much-needed sleep.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

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Riff

As much as he'd wanted to go straight to Asif and Lina's motel room and thus, straight to Maria. But no, he wasn't going to go to her like this - the stink of battle on him - the blood. What if Sofie woke up? Sure, he couldn't protect her from this life forever, but a little longer. Just a little longer for her relative innocence.

He hopped in the shower, blanket and all, soaking it and trodding over it in the tub until the water ran clear. Dragging himself out, he wrung it out and hung it from the shower rod. He rubbed his head and face all over with a towel before wrapping around himself - a replacement sarong, he supposed - but likely not acceptable wear. He dug out a pair of sweats and a t-shirt and left for the neighbour's.

Rapping lightly on the door, he whispered Maria's name. As much as he didn't want to talk about the night, he really hoped she was awake.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

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Maria Yeats

The door opened within seconds of Riff's knock - making it seem like someone had been waiting for his arrival. This was confirmed when Maria appeared in the open doorway, kissed him, and took his hand to lead him inside.

Taara and Sofie were asleep in Taara's room, but Maria had been waiting up for Riff to get home. She was wearing an oversized hoodie over her nightclothes, and a mug of tea and mystery novel suggested how she had been occupying herself while she waited.

It was pretty obvious to Maria that Riff was unhappy. Had the mission gone wrong?

"Are you okay?" Maria asked worriedly. "I'll make you a cup of tea if you want to stay up and talk for awhile."
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