Episode 101: The Crow and The Butterfly.   Posted by CTA.Group: 0
CTA
 GM, 181 posts
 Chicago Transit Authority
 Hope you enjoy the ride
Fri 24 May 2013
at 14:13
Episode 101: The Crow and The Butterfly
"Just like a crow chasing the butterfly
Dandelions lost in the summer sky...

I never thought you'd slip away."


The Crow and The Butterfly ~ Shinedown



The sun was setting on another sticky Chicago day. It was mid-summer so, the heat and humidity had been oppressive. Not that Chicagoans would ever let a little thing like extreme weather slow them down. It could be the hottest day of the year and people would still mow their lawns, ride their bikes, or play ball in the park.

It was Saturday so the shops along Milwaukee Ave., in Wicker Park, had seen a steady stream of visitors. Wicker Park was a quirky Chicago neighborhood with a bohemian vibe that had long been popular with artists and fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants young people. Some chain stores had started to move in but, they didn't force out the small, independent shops. The big flashy stores coexisting with the "mom and pop" shops, plus the large number of galleries, made Wicker Park one of Chicago's more unique and eclectic neighborhoods.


After a day spent shopping and perusing art galleries, a cold dessert was a welcome relief. The iCream shop had been busy all day, with lines out the door. Many believed it was worth the wait. The owners were alchemists and instead of bins of ready-made ice cream, the walls were lined with tubes and bottles. They used liquid nitrogen to flash freeze the ingredients and make each individual serving on the spot. This allowed their patrons to create their own, custom flavors. A little boy could barely contain his excitement as he was handed a cup of blueberry and banana flavored ice cream, colored green. "Just like the Hulk," he exclaimed.

Businesses that practiced real magic had been popping up around the city for a few years. They were regulated, which usually just meant they were registered. Everyone agreed there should be strict guidelines but, until they could decide what those guidelines should be, practitioners of magic were mostly self-regulated. The iCream shop, by anyone's standards, used minimal magic in their creations. They didn't peddle anything like love potions disguised as frozen treats. They just wanted to give everyone the best ice cream they'd ever had.
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6hPQ-1kyX4)
Tom, Cat
 player, 6 posts
 I Killed Curiosity
 So Sue Me
Wed 29 May 2013
at 05:32
Re: Episode 101: The Crow and The Butterfly
Tom heard the door unlock and raised his head from the laptop. Touchpads weren't exactly designed for cat paws, but he could surf the web well enough while Krystal was out job-hunting, and he often wasted more hours than he should have on the Internet.

{Hello, my precious gem of Ireland.} He projected. {How did the day go?}

Krystal left the door open, an indication she was intending to leave again, and pulled both her blouse and professional jacket off in one motions. "Well, I don't think the director liked me but this guy asked me out so at least the ego remains intact." she dropped the previously worn tops among other articles littering the couch then found, and sniffed, a black faded T-shirt that claimed Your Boyfriend says 'Hi.' then pulled it on.

"You up for some Froyo? I feel like emotionally eating."

A moment later, the cat was no longer near the laptop, and a tall guy in black T-shirt and jeans was standing next to Krystal: "Krystal, dear, I'm always up for some Froyo." He offered her his arm in that charmingly old-fashioned way of his. "Shall we?"

"Gleeee." Krystal, grinning ear to ear, walked up to slip her hand into the crook of Tom's elbow. "I want them to make me something with kiwi, blackberries and dark chocolate."

"I think I'll go for vanilla, strawberry and mint, assuming they still have fresh mint."

Growing up as an only child had left Krystal with an odd understanding of 'sharing'. Once she figured out what the word meant, she still assumed she could get compensation for doing it, and thus she unconsciously assumed bribes were a prerequisite.

Tom was about to add that she was welcome to try some, knowing that Krystal would return the favor, when she said: "Hmm... That sounds good. Mind if I try it?"

As Tom knew, the question implied she would offer a taste of her own in return.

Buying chocolate ice-cream - chocolate anything, really - was not a good idea for a cat, but a small taste from his companion's selection wouldn't hurt, so he simply replied: "Of course, dear, you're welcome to try.".
Krystal O'Conner
 player, 83 posts
 the odd one
Wed 29 May 2013
at 13:45
Re: Episode 101: The Crow and The Butterfly
Per tradition, Krystal perched against the glass glass until the liquid nitrogen was injected into the churning ingredients. This was her cue to smile and say, "Without ice cream, life and fame are meaningless." This process boarded on ritual, and now that she couldn't see anything but a cloud of cold she waited with childlike anticipation by running her fingers across the $20 bill she intended to pay with.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:40, Tue 04 June 2013.

Tom
 player, 9 posts
 I'm a good man...
 Well, I'm all right
Tue 4 Jun 2013
at 16:26
Re: Episode 101: The Crow and The Butterfly
"...which is why you picked the apartment right above the ice-cream shop. Not that I am complaining, mind." And he really wasn't: in his human form, Tom liked ice-cream almost as much as Krystal did - and the girl had an almost supernatural appreciation for the stuff.

Tom's income was not as reliable as Krystal's (which was saying something): most of his money came through one-off "good deeds" (usually with a little magical help), and the occasional donation to his "self-help" blog, where he basically gave hopelessly dated advice that, somehow, always seemed to work out for the person in question (magical help might have played a role in that as well...)

Then again, as a cat, he didn't really require much in the way of money; the two-bedroom apartment, for instance, was more than he would have needed - but it was the price to avoid complicated explanations when they had guests.

They paid for their ice-cream, thanked the cashier (with which they were both on a first-name basis, by that point), and sat down at a table. Tom tried a bit of Krystal's, and she tried a bit of his.

"I am not complaining at all." He added, satisfied.

"So, do we have any plans for the evening?" He asked, taking a spoonful of his ice-cream.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:30, Tue 04 June 2013.

Krystal O'Conner
 player, 84 posts
 the odd one
Tue 4 Jun 2013
at 22:50
Re: Episode 101: The Crow and The Butterfly
Krystal thought about Tom's question for a moment and shrugged, "I haven't had any strange dreams telling me to be somewhere so I considered going out and getting my dance on. I just don't feel like getting hit on by guys tonight. But if you'd rather just go back up and rent a movie online then curl up on the couch with a brush, I'd be okay with that too." Krystal was referring to Tom's ability to be in human form. It wasn't something he could without effort or for long periods of time. He truly was just a cat who could take a temporary form. A nice temporary form, but she'd learned early on he was still a cat.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:52, Tue 04 June 2013.

Tom
 player, 10 posts
 I'm a good man...
 Well, I'm all right
Wed 5 Jun 2013
at 08:48
Re: Episode 101: The Crow and The Butterfly
"You tempt me with a night of dancing, then pretend I could just pass it up. Ah, women." Tom could dance in either form, really, but the dance floor was dangerous for a small feline.

Once again, he considered convincing Krystal to let him teach her acrobatic rock - his technique was a bit lacking, admittedly, but he made up for it with his uncanny agility, and Krystal would have made a really good dancing partner... Assuming he managed to remember to ask her at a good time.

Taking another spoonful of ice-cream - in human form, he really had a bit of a sweet tooth - he continued: "Creature of the night here, remember? As long as we can go for a 'smoke break' in private every hour or so, I'm dancing the night away."

Maintaining human form was not hard, but the longer he did so the longer he had to remain in cat form afterwards. Since Krystal was a smoker, they had decided that they would both take 'smoke breaks', where he would go back to cat form for a few minutes and recharge his batteries.

She could easily smoke for both of them, anyway.
Krystal O'Conner
 player, 85 posts
 the odd one
Wed 5 Jun 2013
at 11:43
Re: Episode 101: The Crow and The Butterfly
Krystal barely contained her excitement, "Please. If I can go an hour without a cigarette?" She paused for a moment then shrugged, "Nah. Nothing witty or impossible enough is coming to mind. It just aint gonna happen." she flashed a smile then went back to her ice cream alchemy. Wordlessly she offered Tom another sample, ready to take her own in return if he accepted.
Tom
 player, 11 posts
 I'm a good man...
 Well, I'm all right
Wed 5 Jun 2013
at 16:38
Re: Episode 101: The Crow and The Butterfly
And so, with another exchange of ice cream tastings, the agreement was sealed.
CTA
 GM, 188 posts
 Chicago Transit Authority
 Hope you enjoy the ride
Sat 8 Jun 2013
at 00:37
Re: Episode 101: The Crow and The Butterfly
"The fears of you dying
That's what is takes sometimes to feel alive
Does it seem like heaven's on it's way?
Don't look down from here, the devil could wait in death"


Timed Blues ~ Dead Sara
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in4F6TFZiqk)


Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, the Dewes mansion was more than a century old. The exterior of the lavish gray-stone was decorated with carved stonework. The entrance was flanked by two large sculptures -- one each of a semi-nude man and woman that acted as columns supporting a balcony over the doorway.

The mansion's interior had recently been renovated, turning it into a restaurant and nightclub called Tabú.
CTA
 GM, 189 posts
 Chicago Transit Authority
 Hope you enjoy the ride
Sat 8 Jun 2013
at 00:48
Re: Episode 101: The Crow and The Butterfly




The main floor of Tabú functioned as a tapas lounge and bar. Old world glamour blended with modern style and sophistication in the siren red interior. The walls were adorned with original Studio Manasse prints of 1930s burlesque stars. They had a fantastic selection of wines, cavas, beers, and other signature cocktails to accompany the flavorful, Latin-inspired food. Their special recipe Sangria was made fresh daily, and could be ordered with a side of real blood to mix with it.

It was a health code requirement that blood be served in sealed bottles, instead of letting bartenders blend it into drinks. Officials said it was to protect people from getting served the wrong drink, and accidentally ingesting raw blood. The paranormal community believed it was to make it clear who the blood drinkers were at restaurants and bars.

The world had grown more tolerant. It was against the law to refuse service to anyone based on their race, and that was expanded to include paranormal races, such as vampires. However, tolerance was far from acceptance. There were still people who would ask to be seated somewhere else, if they saw bottled blood delivered to a nearby table. Owners couldn't legally have a policy of, "we don't serve their kind here," but the government wasn't going to tell any business what they had to sell. It wasn't "refusal of service" if they simply didn't stock and sell bottled animal blood.

The upper floors of Tabú had rooms that could be reserved for private parties. There were even a couple of overnight guest rooms, but those were only available by special arrangement with the owner.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:20, Sat 08 June 2013.

CTA
 GM, 190 posts
 Chicago Transit Authority
 Hope you enjoy the ride
Sat 8 Jun 2013
at 13:16
Re: Episode 101: The Crow and The Butterfly

Dancing and live entertainment could be found downstairs, in Tabú's basement. The dance floor was dim, with a small stage that was lit from below.

Tucked into the corners, near the stage, were plush seating areas with Victorian-style couches.


High-backed booths lined the wall on the other side of the dance floor. Shimmering gold lights and classic nude artwork made the space warm and inviting.

CTA
 GM, 191 posts
 Chicago Transit Authority
 Hope you enjoy the ride
Sat 8 Jun 2013
at 13:20
Re: Episode 101: The Crow and The Butterfly
The bar was against the back wall, next to an impressive DJ booth. The music was usually live on weekends, but they used DJs on weekdays. The VIP lounge was an offshoot of the bar area. A plasma screen TV made it easy for VIPs to watch the stage show while staying out of sight. A special invitation was required for admittance to the exclusive room.

Tabú was owned by a vampire and known to be paranormal friendly. This made it popular with the goth crowd, but it wasn't strictly a goth club. Tabú attracted all kinds of people. It was Saturday night, so the dance floor was filled with young, undulating bodies.

On stage was a band called Dead Sara, comprised of two men and two women. Their unique mix of blues, grunge, heavy metal and goth was not your typical radio-friendly fare. Their sound was far more interesting than that -- haunting, challenging, and intense. The pair of men that formed the band's rhythm section were good, but the band's strength clearly rested on the shoulders of the women. Both were dressed in skin-tight jeans and ripped t-shirts. The long-haired brunette, on lead guitar, powered through monstrous, primal riffs. The lead vocals were handled by the shorter-haired, dirty blonde whose voice dripped with passion as she went from a howling, guttural wail to a gentle, near-whisper.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLFzbPOe-T0)

"His skin was soft as leather
I'm the weatherman
There's no on else worth the dedication
I'm the weatherman
Cause hey kid
You got the heart without the ache
Pretentious thieves
Have you believe it's theirs to take
Addicted to the love of ourselves
I'm the weatherman
And tell no one else
I'm the weatherman

So go for the kill
Cause no one else cares"

Tom
 player, 12 posts
 I'm a good man...
 Well, I'm all right
Mon 17 Jun 2013
at 16:42
Re: Episode 101: The Crow and The Butterfly
As always, the supernatural scent in the club enveloped Tom as he walked in: this was a place where Tom didn't have to worry overmuch about revealing himself as not-quite-human, so he could show off on the dance floor about as much as he wanted.

He could clearly make out the smell of vampires - which was fine by Tom, as long as they were well-fed: their superhuman agility made for excellent dance partners - but there were several more subtle smells.

He turned to his partner in crime and asked: "So, wanna drink something, or do we go straight to the dance floor?"
Krystal O'Conner
 player, 86 posts
 the odd one
Tue 18 Jun 2013
at 01:44
Re: Episode 101: The Crow and The Butterfly
Krystal followed, her arms in the air and her shoulders rocking to the song. If anyone were able to hear they'd know she was also singing along at a normal level for singing. Not the loud screaming in tune most people did in clubs and bars.

After leaning over to listen to Tom she gave him a hooded smile and pointed to the dance floor. While also getting her dance on to work up to the drinks she also hoped guys would see her with someone early on.