First Night in the City

Getting moved in took hardly any time, she packed mostly essentials for maintaining appearances. Her licenses allowed her to pack a few things away that the average person could never fly with, and she made sure that these stayed under lock and key. Except for the vodka of course, that she brought out and set to chill with the provided drinks from the hotel.

Her outfits had survived as well, and she spent maybe an hour organizing them so they wouldn’t wrinkle, taking a moment to iron out and hand wash any that looked to be developing creases and burrs from the flight. Her hat, a broad western style five gallon, she took out of the case and inspected closely in the mirror. Eighty years and still in perfect condition, an accomplishment almost as good as the blades she had brought with her, which dated almost two hundred years now. She was certain Mazikeen would be excited to see them, even if they weren’t borne out of the Pit. High quality blades were her kind of thing, or maybe it was her kink? It’d been too long for her to say.

Hours ticked by at a dreadfully slow pace, boredom leading her to investigate the grounds of her new temporary home. Sixteen possible exits she could use just beyond the first hallway leading to her room, four more thanks to a discovered weakness in the wall adjacent, and then of course the window but without her wings it’d be a straight drop to the street below. Still, the concrete would suffer worse than she would, as long as she took off any heels she might be wearing.

The location did have an internal gym, plus a pool, which upon further questioning of the attendant at the front desk determined she’d be able to access them at night. Convenient for any beings that never sleep such as herself, though she imagined her brother for the next few days would likely be the center of her night life, at least for the next few days.

With the hotel thoroughly explored, she spent the last two hours of sunlight inspecting and cleaning the contents of her safe. Five colt dragoons, all classic hand loaded forty four revolvers with Ilium writing and paisley etched in silver on the black frames, a colt nineteen-eleven, this one silver with a clearly weathered picture slid under the hand guard of her from almost the same year in the arms of four other soldiers that had been fighting the Reds in then Imperial Russia, and lastly her shashkas, hand forged in the Caucuses by a friend long since departed from this world.

She’d bring the swords, just for Mazikeen. Plus, they really completed the outfit.

When her alarm went off, she had already called up an Uber and was on the road, taking in Los Angeles' lights and night life, the very exposed party goers and club dancers, and the snakes that mingled with the concrete and rebar jungle. It wasn’t hard to imagine why her brother had so much fun here, but she hoped they wouldn’t be staying long.

They pulled up to her brother’s establishment after some drive, the owner of the vehicle rambling on about the history of nightclubs they passed by, spilling words she hardly paid attention to. When asked about her swords, the blades hidden flush to the hilt in their scabbards, she expressed that they were walking canes she had custom made as a gift, and left it at that. After all, while America as a nation seemed to value their freedom to bear weapons, cities like this one rarely tolerated such open presentation of that freedom. Seems people were afraid of violence.

She stepped out, readjusting her sword belt as she walked past the long entry line. Two men had taken up position blocking entry to those they wouldn’t allow entry, arms folded cross their broad chests and stern looks in their eyes. Simple intimidation stance, aided by being both big and tall on both of their accounts. They did not take kindly to her bypassing the line either.

“Back of the line, Bladerunner,” one ordered crudely, “Have to wait like everyone else.”

She withdrew her passport from her pocket and showed it to him, “I’m here to meet my brother, if you could contact him and see that’s okay.”

He took the passport and passed a laugh while attempting to read it over. Her guess was he didn’t read Russian. “Really,” he commented, showing the passport to his partner, “and who might this brother of yours be?”

“Lucifer,” she answered plainly. Her American was finally starting to come back in. “I believe he owns this establishment?”

She sighed when she saw the confusion on their faces. “Tell him, or Mazikeen if she's available, that Apollyon is here.”

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