A gibbous moon rose high over a hazy moor, its baleful light glaring over the eerie expanse of damp bracken through a thin blanket of cloud, casting shadows of deepest black to contrast with the spectral glow. The air was silent yet carried a weak breeze which tousled the blonde hair of the lone figure, and the skies seemed nervous or tense, as though they knew what was to come soon. It was as if the Earth itself was holding its breath.

Chill air clung around the figure like a cloak, but it did not shiver, merely glancing dispassionately around as though unimpressed by the display. A bat flapped overhead on its nightly hunt, searching for insects. The figure left it alone because bats are pretty cool. Clutching a lit cigarette between two long bony fingers, it took a deep drag before exhaling, the smoke adding to the fog of the night. The end smouldered pungently, nearing its end, so it was discarded by the figure who flung the butt as hard as it could, trusting the latent moisture to extinguish the piteous flame. In the absence of a cigarette to occupy its thoughts, the blonde-haired person began to dwell on the plan.

Everything was going according to it, of course. She'd given the broken heart enough of a nudge to reclaim his blind goddess, leaving them to occupy the East even as it began to accumulate power in the West. Surpassing itself, it had even managed to obtain the final reagent for the crucial sacrificial rite. Now all that was left was to sow a little discord amongst those who thought themselves its fellows – and was there anything that it was better at? It allowed itself a moment of satisfaction, eyes glinting a smug red in the pale ambience.

A drop of dew fell from a silver cufflink upon the figure's impeccable pinstripe jacket. This was what reminded it to ask itself a simple question: What am I doing here?

The simplest things in life are often the best, and so the mysterious blonde was forced to concede that the question was a very good one. It certainly cut a sharp figure given the setting, but then there was nobody else to see it. Shrugging, it turned uncertainly back to where it had come from. Must have looked cool at the time, it thought, bringing out another cigarette and lighting it for the short walk back.

Akira Satou smirked around her cigarette. Well played, me.

The bat soon flew back lopsidedly in the same direction once it had eaten its fill. By pure coincidence they were not only headed in the same direction, but also towards the same place.

Taking long, powerful strides up a small hill, the imaginatively-titled Satou House loomed imposingly in front of her, looking wan and pallid with the moon's radiance. She and the sacrifice had begged to crash at her parents' while they sorted out some accommodation of their own, but soon it wouldn't be necessary to kowtow and bend to her parents' wishes. Soon, the world would bow to hers.

Oh great, now she was monologuing. She'd certainly have to break that particular habit if she wanted to get anywhere. Bad form, Akira, bad form. As the witching hour was drawing to a close, even faithful old Jameson had turned in for the night. However, no door dared remain locked when Akira Satou stood in front of it. As it creaked obediently open, she stepped through smartly, closing and re-locking it as she went.

Striding past the dead fire, she spared a glance for the ornate mantelpiece and the pair of duelling pistols neatly placed on top of them. Akira theorised they were placed there by her father in the hopes of one day duelling his brother-in-law if Jigoro ever visited Scotland, and she hoped they wouldn't become important later on. She moved through the dining room and kitchen, taking the cold dank steps down to the wine cellar. Both Akira's mother and father had grown a strong affection for wine as middle age claimed them, and Akira certainly appreciated a bottle or two, as did Lilly even if she was too young for alcohol. Perhaps it was hereditary.

Down in the cellar, every surface was hard so each footstep produced a nice pinging echo. At the flick of a switch, incongruously modern lighting immediately illuminated the underground area. The floor was of stone flags and cement, with one exception – a single spot in the corner, hidden in the shadow of one of the wine cabinets, maybe an inch wide, was black and deathly cold. When her parents had noticed it, they'd had it reflagged but the spot had returned within two weeks. Only Akira knew its significance, and she often checked to see whether it was still there, even when she always knew it would be. So much of her plan depended upon it.

Eventually, of course, they'd given up and told Akira to get something unimportant and cover the unsightly mark. She'd chosen a plain, unassuming porcelain teaset and nobody had been any the wiser.

Smiling pleasantly, Akira lifted it up by the tray, ignoring the eldritch whispers. Still there? Yep. Good.

In four days time, a half moon would rise in the night. Then, and only then, could the sacrifice begin. Content, Akira carefully placed the teaset back down and tromped off to bed. Now the waiting bit could begin. She loved those.

The bat flew back and roosted with its battish companions in the roof void.