Descent, Child of Shadows

Chapter 29

Lady Diana was faintly cross looking as the attractive blond studied the report. While she was undeniable beautiful, the strange sigil burned into her cheek made the viewer deeply uneasy. While her forces were recovering their control over the criminal underworld, she had actually lost some influence in the political arena.

The police chief whom Diana had controlled had committed suicide after the recent violence. Apparently the slaughter of innocents and police was too much for even him to take. He had left a vague note of apology, then ate his gun, splattering his office with blood and brains.

"Hmm," Diana purred as a slave girl nuzzled at her crotch, a pierced tongue sliding against her sensitive skin.

Helen was the former Chief's daughter, and had been corrupted and trained by the sex magician Selene. She was very good at what she did, and the conditioning she had been through made her very obedient. Helen was also now expendable since they no longer needed leverage with her father, but she was still a useful slave.

As she luxuriated in Helen's skillful mouth, Diana considered what had happened. In the chaos after the riots in the city, the city council had recruited a new chief from out of town, a man intent on cleaning up the town. Worse, he was recruiting more officers from out of town, men and women that her organization didn't have leverage on. Or not yet, anyway.

Selene was already preparing 'honey traps' to hook the single officers in. Those with families were also being targeted, again with a certain degree of delicacy. Rushing their plans and their targets might either be spooked or possibly report to their superiors. Still, taking their time meant the 'clean' police had more time to secure their positions.

"Ah," Diana sighed as the girl licked across a very sensitive spot. Selene was very, very good at training her girls.

Thankfully her business was settling down. While Diana still owed debts to her allies, her 'back yard' so to speak was back in order. The dealers and pimps that had dared try to set up shop without her permission had been dealt with, and along with that she had struck fear in her own people. Anyone who thought of crossing her would think again.

Amusingly, some of the actions of her enemy Descent had helped her too. As much as she hated the demon, she had attacked and destroyed two drug rings that had nothing to do with the Lady's operations. And it made her chuckle knowing that many of her rivals were scared to come to this city because of Descent.

The thought of the demoness was nearly enough to distract the Lady from Helen's tender ministrations. Nearly, but not quite. A wicked swipe of tongue coupled with questing fingers made Diana shudder, then she arched her back as she cried out, then went limp.

Helen drew back, her face damp from her mistress' juices. "Good?" she asked simply.

"Good," Diana agreed as she lay back tiredly. She waved the girl away as she ordered, "Go, I'll call you again later."

Diana got up from her lounger, pulling her robe around her. Calmly she walked over to where a man was bound to a chair, a gag covering his mouth. He had been worked over pretty well before arriving here, covered with cuts and bruises, and the gag had been as much to stop his whimpering as to keep him quiet.

"Well, aren't you a mess," Diana noted calmly, ripping the duct tape that was covering his mouth off and making him groan in pain.

"Argh," he moaned in pain, some of his facial hair having been ripped off with the tape. "When my boss finds out about this..."

Diana laughed softly. "Oh come on," she chided, "that old thing? We both know that you know your employer is dead by now." He groaned softly, but continued to glare up at her. It was kind of impressive, really, that degree of resilience. "So, Felix... I want to know where my drugs are."

Felix stiffened, his dirty brown hair falling into his eyes. "What drugs?" he asked. The slap came out of nowhere, a sudden blow rocking his head back and cutting the inside of his mouth.

"Do NOT fuck with me," Diana said, her false friendly manner gone as she looked at him coldly. "Your employer contracted with me to deliver a certain quantity of drugs, in return for a item I provided him. I gave him the item in good faith, but didn't receive payment."

Felix spat out a bit of blood, coughing weakly. "What..." he started dazedly.

Diana punched him this time, her rings drawing blood. "Where are my drugs?!" she demanded.

Felix's head rocked backwards, streams of blood running down his cheek. "We showed up for the trade," Felix protested weakly, "but your guy didn't show!"

Diana was faintly surprised to realize he thought he was telling the truth. Interesting. "Someone DID meet up with my agent," she said coldly, "gave the correct password and everything. Is it possible your boss let something slip?"

Felix sat there a moment, but his eyes widened just slightly. "The boss's son, Maxwell," he said flatly, "He was close to the boss. He probably knew..."

Diana sighed as she considered what he said. Arnold Whittaker HAD doted on his children, it was true. And it was easily imaginable that he might have told a child too much. Her teams sent out to his estate had reported the children dead too, but... it was worth investigating.

Diana took a calming breath. "All right," she conceded, "I'll find out what happened to this Maxwell." She looked at him, "Do you want to live?"

Felix nodded nervously, "Yes."

"Don't be lying to me," Diana said softly. She smiled coldly, "Or in addition to just killing you, I'll take that child you had with the hooker in San Antonio, and do things to both of you that will have her cursing your name."

Felix's jaw dropped. "How do you know...?"

"Who do you think owns the brothel?" Diana asked as she walked out of the room.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

The problem with crime is that, in general, it runs on a scale that boggles the mind. At any one time there is a murder, a drug deal, a kidnapping and so on, all going on at the same time. One person trying to stop all that would exhaust themselves fairly quickly.

So Descent and Sam had to pick and choose, pretty much. Both patrolled the streets around the Daughters of Artemis and in the surrounding city. They also got help from Athena, who was rather interested in guarding what she regarded as the club's territory.

Out in the broader city, they made choices about what they targeted. The Lady Diana's operations, of course, took a top priority, but they wouldn't ignore a casual crime if they passed it. Other than that, they tried to concentrate on obviously harmful stuff, and leave whatever else to the cops.

Of course, even the best laid plans go awry.

"I can't believe we are doing this," Sam muttered as she watched Descent nimbly climbing a tree. Maybe it was because she could grow claws, but she was making short work of getting up the old oak tree. Her priest's cassock fluttered in the breeze, open to reveal the white shirt underneath and her waiting pistols.

Descent fought back a chuckle as the woman in trousers and a leather jacket climbed. "Come on," she called back, "could you really say no?"

Sam growled under her breath, but she had to admit that was true. A young girl, and as far as Sam's abilities could confirm a pure innocent, had asked the two women to find her damn CAT. And part of Sam's vows as a priest involved answering requests for help. So, simply put, she was stuck.

And Descent, as far as Sam could tell, was helping because it amused her.

"I think I see it," Descent said as she hit the higher levels of the tree. There was a black clump of fur sitting on a branch, and in her expert opinion it was too damn scared to climb down on it's own.

The cat seemed to 'sense' Descent's nearness, and perked up slightly. It was interesting how animals responded to her, now. Dogs, generally, didn't like her yet cats, again generally, seemed to trust her. She wasn't sure what that meant, tho it might explain the whole witches and cats thing.

"Here kitty kitty kitty," Descent called, extending a hand.

The cat, sensing rescue was here, uncurled itself and and happily trotted over to her rescuer. Purring happily it climbed up Descent's arm as directed, and braced itself against her shoulder for the trip down.

"Rawr?" it rumbled into her ear.

"Just hold on," Descent answered, "it might be a bit rougher going down."

Sam watched as Descent climbed down, the cat safely nestled into her shoulder. It was almost eerie how docile the cat was, even as Descent awkwardly went back down the way she came up. Hell, if the cat had been with Sam, she was SURE it'd be going batshit.

"All right," Descent said briskly as she held the cat in one arm, "let's get her back to her owner."

"Mwar," the cat protested.

"Okay, you are HER owner. Whichever," Descent shrugged.

Sam looked at her thoughtfully as they walked back to where they had left the girl waiting. "You can talk with cats?" she asked.

"Well, I get the general gist," Descent shrugged. "Most animals, really. It's not terribly useful most times though."

Sam opened her mouth to press the issue, then closed it. She wasn't sure if Descent was messing with her or not, and she didn't really want to know.

"Maya!" the young girl squealed happily as they returned the cat, who snuggled up happily to her and purred happily. "Thank you!" she beamed at them.

"You're welcome," Sam said as she felt slightly bad for being reluctant to help out earlier.

"See you," Descent waved as the girl hurried off with her pet.

The two women walked away, while keeping an eye out for possible assassins. While the elite killers that the Lady Diana sent after them were gone, that didn't stop young up and comers from taking shots at them. So far they hadn't attacked in ways that targeted innocent bystanders, presumably because the Lady thought that was bad for business, but both were being careful.

"Now, wasn't that nice," Descent teased with a smile.

"Yeah, yeah," Sam grouched.

To be continued...

Notes: Setting up plot threads. And yeah, the idea that Descent can TALK to cats amused me, so tossing it in.