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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E-mail text:

Dear Riff,

I hope this correspondence finds you well. It has been a long time. I apologize that I am getting in touch with you prematurely. I know that the instruction that was given was to wait. I hope you will not be angry with me for deciding otherwise.

We heard through the grapevine that you and Maria have found each other and made your way to a better place. I am glad for you. Things here in Europe are still difficult.

I am writing to ask you a favor. As you probably recall, our oldest niece, Shazia, has long dreamed of attending medical school. With the situation here, however, there is simply no way that she can obtain more education in the near future. For that reason, I am wondering if there is any possibility that Shazia might stay with you and Maria for a time so that she could begin school. We would do our best to provide everything that she needs.

I know I am asking a lot, and I am not sure what the situation is with your new companions. You may not be in a position that this request is possible, and I understand completely. I would just ask that - if you are willing to consider this - you tell them that Shazia is an excellent young woman who would be an asset to the group.

Thank you, and be safe.

Sincerely,
Asif
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Quaxo9
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

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Riff

The rest of the camping weekend had gone more as he'd expected - that is, no one made threats against them and nothing terrible happened. There were s'mores and sing-alongs and more than one collapsed tent. It was everything he'd hoped for. Riff hoped that this wouldn't be the last time they'd go camping - and that the bridges built with the Fae community would continue to be built in the meantime.

For now, it was Monday, and most of the Pack was back at work. Most. It was back to the search for him. He had walked Maria and Sofie to the library and took the opportunity to check his many email accounts on one of the public computers. They were all legitimate enough, but he cycled through them in his work with the Underground to hide his correspondence in plain sight. He was still surprised to see a message come in from a name he recognized - his whole body leapt forward as though he were about to jump into the screen. Asif. He nearly cried.

He read the email. Three times over. One thing was for certain, the rumour mill in Europe could be remarkably accurate. How Asif had heard of his and Maria's reunion and their family's subsequent escape across the pond was a question that would have to wait for another day. Right now - he needed to ask one, or two, of Isaac.

Taking the necessary precautions, he signed out of his mail and cleared the browser history before jumping up to approach Isaac's office. He knocked twice on the door before ducking inside, closing the door behind him. It occurred to him then that perhaps he shouldn't be expecting so much of his new Pack...but that didn't keep him from maintaining his course.

"Isaac, one of my close friends from Budapest just contacted me asking if we could take in his niece - but Isaac, my friend Asif and his family...for him to reach out, things must be dire. If I arrange their passage, would you be willing to consider an additional Lycan family here in Holywell? They are good people...the best people, really. I know they'd get on well with everyone here."
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

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Isaac Fishblatt

"Come in!" Isaac called when he heard Riff knock on the door - of course, he knew it was Riff standing outside by scent.

As Riff spoke, Isaac looked almost spacey, and his gaze drifted to the window... but he was clearly listening. Carefully.

"Yes, of course," Isaac replied. "We have an emergency fund set aside for this sort of thing. How many tickets do they need, and what names should be on them?"
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

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Riff

He hadn't expected that generosity. Despite what he already knew about Isaac, he was still surprised. He stood there slack-jawed for a moment, then visibly shook himself.

"Ah, there's a few Asif Zaidi and his wife Lina - they have a daughter, Taara, and they take care of their nieces, Shazia, Samira and Charu - they're also Zaidis. I will have to double-check to see if anyone else from the community ended up with them. If that's okay. I mean...this is just so much, Isaac. And really, there are funds in the Underground I can tap to help get them here. A discreet pilot can be provided for sure - we have a short list. But it is still a risk and that does tend to take some cash. Thank-you. Thank-you so much."

The enormity of it was starting to bear down on him, and he felt his chest tighten with emotion. He'd really missed his friend. And now, here they might be seeing each other again. Certainly a bit sooner than expected, but not fast enough. Even immortals felt the weight of time.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

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Isaac Fishblatt

Isaac wrote down the names - then tucked the paper carefully into his shirt pocket. He trusted his library staff. He trusted that the people of Fog Island, in general, would rather just quietly live and let live when it came to potential immortals among then. Even so, it didn't pay to take pointless risks. You didn't simply leave a list of immortal names lying around.

"Of course. However you think is best to get them here," Isaac replied. "Your friends, and any others with them. Just let me know what you need. We'll help you make it happen."
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

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Riff

He had bounced on the balls of his feet a few times while thanking Isaac again before racing back to the computers to return an email to Asif. Even as he sat, his feet danced all over the floor in a completely different rhythm from the pattering keys. It seemed to take an eternity for the browser to load and connect to his email account.

Dear Asif

I am so happy your wrote! Don't worry about the five year thing - in my line of work I was hoping I'd run into more of us sooner rather than later. Finding Maria and Sofie was a surprise, but yeah, I guess I wasn't very good at waiting either. If Boris is mad, we'll just have to make it up to him with danish or something.

So, glad you wrote when you did. The group we're with - you're pretty well informed, by the way - are super awesome. Like, home awesome. The guy in charge over here is totally on board with bringing your whole family over. Seriously everybody. Oh, and if there's anyone else with you too, he said they could come. If you can let me know who else there might be, I'll add them to the list and then I'll have someone come pick you up.

Stay safe until we see each other, okay? I can hardly wait to show you around!

Your bud,
Riff
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

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Dear Riff,

I am pleasantly surprised by this news, to say the least. It seemed too much to ask, and I hope you will not have difficulty with your new friends over it. You are, as always, very kind. I knew that wouldn't have changed.

I have known about the group you are with for some time, but we have been cautious. You have seen as well as I have that not all of our kind are good, and I did not want to send my family into danger. Knowing you and Maria - and little Sofie - were there gave me confidence.

Truly, this is far more than we could have hoped for. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Thank you.

There is perhaps one complication. You may remember Marek? Father Marek, the priest from our former home? He has been with us all along, when he risked his life to warn us of the danger even while badly injured himself. I cannot, in good conscience, leave him behind. I know you said your group was welcoming, but Marek is...

It would be better not to say in an e-mail. Surely you recall. I hope you will make sure this leader is aware of that, so we do not have a misunderstanding.

Again, friend, thank you.

Asif




The unspoken was, of course... would this wonderful new group of Lycans truly be able to accept a Vampire?
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Quaxo9
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

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Riff

He was overjoyed to get a response back from Asif so soon, but the extra news at the end did give him pause. Riff had never asked Isaac how he and the rest of the Pack felt about vampires. Certainly they had been welcoming of Fae, but the long-standing feud between vampires and lycans wasn't something to be taken lightly. This was something he was going to have to inquire about directly. Riff liked Father Marek and didn't want to see him left behind any more than Asif did. He was starting to feel like he was making a lot of asks for being a new member...

Riff once again approached Isaac's office door with a little rap on the door frame just as before. Sweeping in when he was welcomed, he shut the door behind him and sat down in one of the chairs, fidgeting.

"So, I heard from Asif, they are very happy to be allowed to come - but there's one thing I need to ask you about. Someone from our community is staying with them - risked his life to get them out of the situation we were all in - and uh, well this guy's a vampire. A priest! And...a vampire. For me, that's no biggie, our community was made up of lycans, vampires, hybrids and more Fae species than are written down in those books, but I didn't know how you - and the rest of the Pack - feel about vampires in particular. I hope...that it would be okay if he came along?"
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

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Isaac Fishblatt

Isaac exhaled lightly, steepling his fingers in thought.

"Please understand that I hold no personal animosity toward Vampires," he said. "I think the rest of the Pack would say the same. You are aware of the history here, though, I am sure. That for centuries, their kind have tried to slaughter ours. I am responsible for my people's safety. I cannot bring someone into their midst who would do them harm."

He rubbed his chin. "However. That history does not mean this individual is to blame. You say he is with Lycans now? And that they trust him? Very well. If you will vouch for this man, he is welcome here too."
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Quaxo9
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

Post by Quaxo9 »

Riff

Riff couldn't help but chuckle as he awkwardly rubbed the back of his neck.

"Heh, oh yeah. Kinda lived in blood feud central...uh, no pun intended. So yeah, I get it. But this guy - Father Marek - he's, well he kinda new. He was never a part of a Coven and has no intention to live at anything but peace with everyone else. Werewolf or otherwise."

He popped up out of the chair again, but felt like he should say something else. It was just...there were too many good things happening. It wasn't that Riff doubted the veracity of the Pack's generosity or good vibes in general, but more that it had been a very long time since so many stars fell into alignment.

"Listen Isaac, thank-you. I don't know how exactly you all ended up here - so many good people in one place - but I am so...thanks. That Maria, Sofie and me can start a life together again means more than I can figure out how to say - and that you're offering the same to our friends...man, I need to write a song or something about you! I mean, I don't got much else. And I don't know how long it's gonna take to make it up to you...but I'm gonna try. I'm gonna try."
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