July 23rd, 1932

The Mover and the Mistress

0800 hours (8:00 AM)

Eve winced again as Lua's sword came down hard against hers, and her body shook as she fought to keep her back. She'd gotten stronger, yes, stronger indeed, even though it'd only been a few days. They train long and hard and without interruption; Lua told her how it would be the first day. Eve had agreed to this willingly, and yet, today something was off. Her body crumpled under Lua's weight, unable to take it any longer, and Eve braced herself for the fall. There was the metallic clang of both of their swords dropping, however, and suddenly the hunter's arms were around her, supporting her to keep her from falling.

"What's the matter with you, eh? You're not fighting like you usually do." Eve looked up into Lua's blue-green eyes, and she stared back with slight concern reflected in them. Eve eased out of Lua's arms, standing up and brushing off the front of her blouse and skirt, her eyes now downcast to look at the dust-covered floor. "Is it your brother?" Eve's hands balled into tight fists at her sides, her nails cutting into the skin on her palms. Dictator had found the two early that morning and brought them home. Luck (rather, Cornelius in Luck's body) had killed again, a teenager whose body she found not too far away from where they were, and Dallas was hurt. Eve nodded at Lua's question, and the hunter gave a heavy sigh. "Alright then, we're done for today if you want. "There's no reason for us to be sparrin' down here if you can't focus." Eve couldn't tell if Lua was angry, or if she just didn't care, but she forgot about it for the moment. She took time to prop her sword up against the wall before she ran off, and Lua smiled a little as she watched Eve run back upstairs.

Just as she went to pick up her own sword to some sparring alone, Dictator came down the stairs, Oliver at her side. "Lua, there's been a killing across the street."

"Cornelius again?" Lua asked, and Dictator shook her head. "No, Luck's body is still too weak...but then, who was it?"

"Alessandra." A look of disbelief crossed Lua's face, and Dictator nodded solemnly.

"We'd better get moving then."

The Hunters, the Flame, the Bluebird, and the Prophet

0912 hours (9:12 AM)

"Jesus Christ," Dictator murmured as she stood outside of the door of the apartment that the killings had occurred in. There had been three people, a group of friends celebrating a birthday or something. The door had been shut, but there was still a copious amount of blood outside of the door that Dictator kept a small distance from. Oliver growled lowly, and Lua did nothing but turn up her nose. Ladd strained curiously at Dictator's side, and Graham practically clung to Ladd's arm, looking at the closed door with a silent longing. Dallas stood off to the side, his journal tucked under his arm as he, too kept his gaze on the door. He'd been the one who'd initially told Dictator about it, having foreseen the deaths a few nights ago, and remembered it this morning when he'd looked in his journal again. The three of them had come along to see the extent of what had happened, although Dictator had warned them to stay back.

"So we gonna go in or what?" Ladd finally asked, and Dictator looked at him through narrowed.

"You go in first. If you can handle it, then the others can look as well. There's blood in the living room and the kitchen, but the bodies are in the first bedroom on the left." Dictator nodded at the door, and Ladd let out a soft, breathy sound that was an almost-laugh.

"There isn't anything I can't handle," he told her with certainty, and then turned the knob on the front door and walked in.

There wasn't really anything peculiar about the living room. There was blood in some places, probably from where the people tried to flee when Alessandra first made her attack. Ladd wasn't surprised, he was a killer by nature after all, and none of this bothered him. The door to the first bedroom on the left was shut, and Ladd didn't hesitate as he opened the door like it was his own.

He was not prepared for the scene that met him.

Even when he'd seen the conductor's compartment aboard the Flying Pussyfoot, with all of the blood and gore, this was absolutely nothing like it. This was the style of a demon. The bodies had been completely destroyed. Clothing lie torn and soaked in blood all around the room. Each organ had been torn from each body and thrown about like toys, and the contents of the intestines were strewn around the room just as carelessly as the blood and everything else. Muscle tissue and other tissues lie around the room, on the walls, on the ceiling, on the beds and the bookshelves. The smell of blood and feces and piss was overwhelming. Their heads had been torn open, brains spilling out onto the floor, and their eyes had been gouged out, their tongues torn from their mouths. This was not for revenge or reason. This was simply for fun. A joy killing by a demon who was tired of waiting.

Ladd found himself choking before he could stop it, and a pair of strong arms pulled him from in front of the room, turning him back to face the hallway and putting their palms around his eyes. Lua. Ladd didn't have time to say anything before he leaned over and emptied his stomach, his body shaking from the pure force of it all. He couldn't remember the last time that he'd gotten sick. It had been many, many years ago, but simply seeing that scene was way too much for him to handle.

"Alright, alright, calm down," Dictator's voice came from his right, and Lua pulled away from Ladd abruptly, the door shutting quietly behind him. "Easy now." Graham was at his side now, too, rubbing his back as he finished vomiting, spitting onto the rug, his breath coming in deep, shaky gasps.

"What happened, Boss?" He asked, his voice much quieter and less energetic than it normally was. Ladd straightened up, putting one hand on the wall to steady himself, to keep from falling over. Ladd shook his head to answer Graham's question, and when he could finally speak, he turned to face Dictator.

"What the hell was that?" The blonde murmured, his voice low and rough. Dictator looked back at the closed door, rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet.

"That is the work of Alessandra, the demon who is preying on Berga Gandor. This is basically her way of saying that she's coming for you." Dictator's jaw was tight, and she brushed past the three people standing in the hallway. "Let's get out of here, then. We've got a lot to do, and not a lot of time to do it." Putting one arm around Graham's shoulders, Ladd followed her shakily out of the apartment and across the street back to the house.

No one but he, Dictator, and Lua would know the horrifying extent of the murders that had taken place there.

1200 hours (12:00 PM)

The Healer, the Wolf, the Shield, the Ruler, the Daughter, the Viper, and the Snow

When Luck could finally move on his own again, he quickly gathered his brothers, Ennis, Isaac, and Miria and brought them down to the basement. Nobody was scheduled to be in there for a while, and it was important that he talked to them. His anger over the past events had been rising, and it finally tipped over with what had happened that morning. Obviously, if the event had traumatized Ladd Russo so badly that he refused to say what he'd seen, there was a reason to be upset.

"We can't just keep sitting here," Luck told them. His voice had taken on a new tone; instead of the cool, steady tone that he normally spoke in, he was now speaking like a general. "It's been two days since Firo was killed and Czeslaw was put into a coma by that demon. We can't act like we're afraid of them or they'll just keep taking advantage of us." Luck paced back and forth in front of the assembled group like an angry tomcat. "So we're going to find them, and we're going to kill them."

"But we don't know where they've moved to," Ennis stated, and Luck grinned.

"Actually, I managed to figure out where they're hiding. I listened in to Dictator while she was talking with Lua yesterday." The others drew closer to him in slight awe. Anyone besides Claire who tried that probably would have been thrashed on the spot, but he'd somehow been able to get what he needed and escape without her even knowing. "They're staying not too far from where the old house was. From what I hear, Helena, Ailbhe and a few other demons are all staying there, including the one who killed those people this morning." Luck saw Berga's eyes flash, and he knew that he remembered what Dictator had told him that morning. Alessandra was his brother's demon, after all. He also saw Keith stiffen a bit, and he knew that Keith wouldn't be happy with the two of them going up against each other. Alessandra was obviously mad, madder than the other demons, and she also possessed unbelievable strength. "So, are you all ready for this?"

"Of course we are," Claire grinned, and Luck smiled as well. It was a dangerous smile, a smile that had only darkness and hatred behind it.

"We'll move out tonight after everyone else is asleep. I know that Dictator won't want us to go at all, so we'll have to wait." He was quiet for a moment, letting everything sink in. "We'll do it for Firo."

"For Firo!" All of the others (save for Keith) called, raising their fists in agreement.

They would not let their friend's death be in vain.