A Big Mess – A Name

Naomi was sitting in the room alone. I grabbed Walker by the arm and turned him towards me, “What’s going on? Why is no one talking to her?”

“She won’t talk to anyone but you. She keeps throwing fire at us. Anytime anyone gets near the door.”

“Why didn’t anyone call me?” I asked.

Dae’lin smiled as she stopped in front of me, “I knew you’d be back. The boy okay?”

“He’s fine. He’s happy to come stay with me.” I sighed, “I was going to stop by her place and get some of his things, maybe he’d feel more comfortable.”

Dae’lin nodded, “There is still plenty of time for that. Go in there and get the information you want so Gary can do the rest.”

Walker added, “He agreed I can take her out. It’s a crap feeling. I thought it’d be better.”

I shrugged. “You do what you gotta do.”

I walked over to the glass walled room and I stopped just outside the door. Naomi looked at me with those strange blinking orange eyes. There was no fear in her eyes. There was only sadness. She knew her fate. The only thing she had left was her son and the knowledge she would protect him in her death. I hated doing it, but I needed to play like I wouldn’t care for him. It’s a good thing I could play pretend real well.

I opened the door, and she watched me walk in and take the seat opposite her. “You need to talk to them. They won’t believe me. You talk or the papers go up in smoke.”

“You’d let a boy die?” There was fear in her eyes now.

I shrugged. “He’s not my kin.” I lied. I wouldn’t let any child die if I could prevent it. With a dry smirk on my face I covered my feelings.

She frowned. “You wouldn’t. He’s just a boy. You’d let me live and him die?”

I shrugged again. “I do what I need to do to protect humanity. You and your friends possess knowledge of this threat. He’s a casualty of your failure to comply. I can’t help your actions. I can’t keep a dragon from his people.”

She snarled at me, “Yet you keep me from my people.”

“You forfeited your right to the dragon name when you showed the humans what you were. You broke the only rule the Venatori enforce over any race as you may over any Venatori. You showed the world we exist.” I frowned, “You know the law as well as I do.”

She sat back and sighed. “You will protect my son if I speak to you of The Dragon’s plans. Even though I only know what he asked of me.”

“I will personally protect your son from the Venatori and the Dragon Council if you speak to anyone about The Dragon.”

“I will only speak to you. The others will kill me for anything I speak.” She sat taller and prouder, she wouldn’t let them kill her without a fight.

“Okay, then. Tell me what you were doing for The Dragon.” I wished for Dorian’s photographic memory. But there were cameras in the room recording everything. Someone would catch what I missed. This was not my job, but I’d do it none-the-less.

“I was robbing banks. But not in the traditional sense. Computer’s these days are vulnerable. We planted the virus in the front machines, took the cash in the drawer and then his hackers would do the rest. Destabilization he said.”

“And you don’t know why he wants to destabilize the economy?” I asked. It was a big deal to the humans, and to anyone who lived in today’s world. Money was everything even in the supernatural world – you didn’t barter with others like you anymore, you had to pay for it like everyone else.

But Naomi shrugged. “He’s always afraid of the human uprising against us. All the knights in shining armor coming back to kill us and take our hoards.”

I smirked at the concept. “He thinks his slayers were human?”

Again she shrugged. “The world is built upon money and power. He doesn’t want the humans to have it. So he’ll take it from everyone.”

“Anything else?” I asked.

“I know he was planning on doing bigger things. But I wasn’t privy to it.”

“Do you know where he is? Or where his hideout is?”

“No. We never met. I got my assignment from a third party.”

“Tell me who that third party is?”

“I can’t. And I won’t. He’s not broken the law.” She glared at me with defiance in her eyes. I could see the fire behind them, waiting for me to deny her son’s safety.

“Tell me. I won’t kill him.” I looked up at the cameras and I gave it a smile. I wove a pattern around us. The light returned what they expected to see, nothing in the room. The dome of air kept in the sound of our voices. “I will be the only one to know his name.” My voice bounced off the walls of air and distorted as they reached my ears. It was always fun watching people understand the trick for the first time.

She looked around the room and I knew she saw nothing different, but she knew something had changed. I smiled. “Tell me.”

She shook her head. I added. “I will not kill this person. On the life of my future children, I will not kill them.”

Naomi looked at me for several long minutes. The only sound we could hear was that of our own breath and the beating of our hearts. She nodded. “Valentino Rodrígez. He’s a big time…”

I interrupted. “He’s a small time thug in lower Manhattan who is a lap dog of Dominic Olmos. He’s the go between for the wolves. Not a violent man, but he’s always for hire. Why’s he going between Dominic and The Dragon?” I smiled at her I didn’t expect her to know the answer to the question. The wolves didn’t work outside the CCB. The Creed of Celestial Beings was branching out it seemed.

“Thank you.” I said as I dropped the dome above us and sound returned to normal. Gary and Walker were pounding on the door I’d barred with air when I first walked in the room. Gary’s face was purple with rage and Walker’s pulse was throbbing in his neck.

I opened the door, and I turned back to Naomi. “Thank you. I will protect your son no matter what happens from this moment forward. Don’t kill my people or things might be out of my control.”

She nodded, and I started for the elevator down the hall. “Where you going?” Gary shouted after me.

“I have a small dragon to take care of. She won’t have anything more to say will be helpful.” I stopped and turned to Walker. “I’ll be back in a few hours and we’ll go over our next move.”

Gary frowned, “This isn’t your case, Nox!”

I smiled at him. “It is now. Dae’lin made it my case when she brought me on. He can’t do this without me. You’ll start a fucking war. You know damn well the dragons are walking on the toes of the vamps and the wolves – something’s gonna break. They might be all cozy up at V&M but that is only because Marshall’s sister is Chevalier to Desmond. The finances are stable because of Romeo and Juliet but the CCB won’t play nice with The Dragon if he’s taking down their way of life. The Dragon’s hooking into Dominic’s crew, whether it’s with his knowledge or not we’ll find out. But my gut says Dominic’s not in the know.”

Dae’lin’s eyes went wide, “You can’t walk into Dominic’s territory on Venatori business.”

I smiled. “I know that. Thankfully, our little dragon lives in Hell’s Kitchen. Where I can walk freely. I’ll send Dominic word I need to talk, I’ll take Walker with me. Dominic is usually forth coming when I ask first.”

“I’ll be back.” I turned, and I walked back towards the elevator there were a few things I needed to take care of.

The Last Phoenix (in order)