Loyalty is a Winning Situation

Bass Clef Club

Bass Clef is a fair sized Jazz club with the lighting dimmed so that the booths and tables along the back and side walls of the cafe area are slightly shadowed and more private. Eight booths line the bricked walls, four on each side of the club. To get up into the booths there is a single step so that they are not on the same level as the rest of the floor. The walls are decorated with posters from past and upcoming events and entertainers. Several cafe-style tables have been set up in the center of the club with two to four chairs surrounding each. Closer to the bar there are taller tables, being close to forty-four inches in height so that someone could stand next to it and rest their elbows upon them as they leaned in against them.
Across from the large wooden door that is the entrance, there is a very short stage comprised of black marble. In the center of the stage is a grand piano, and enough room for the remainder of the jazz-band to set up. The stage is normally lit up with a spotlight, making it the most illuminated area in the entire club.
Settled on the right wall is the bar. The lights around the bar don't seem to be as dim as those in the rest of the club, but the lighting is still very low in order to keep the atmosphere of the rest of the establishment. Behind the bar the wall is done up in aqua-colored tile before the shelving for the various types of beverages; including soda. A door behind the bar presumably leads to the kitchen and storage areas.

It's a chilly night, the dark wings of winter cloud rolling across the light-polluted sky. Sensible folk are long abed, only the people of the night stalking the streets for their own fell reasons.

The people of the night and jazz fans, anyway. Old Stu Jackson is in town, a vampire of some fame, a pioneer of the blues, then rhythm and blues, through jazz and out the other side. Finally he is able to perform his magic live. A quiet table, off to one side and with a perfect view is occupied by a single man, despite the four chairs at his table. He lounges, cat-like in the cafe chair, a bottle of synthetic blood in front of him, and a tailored suit gracing his frame, shirt unbuttoned at the top. The Sheriff of Dallas is watching. It's not like he's paying for anything.

Michael enters the bar with a slight grin, he's at his ease, relaxed and composed he orders himself a synthetic blood, a slight, but respectful nod offered to Will as he does so.

A nod is sent back Michael's way, pleasant in its way. A waiter is collared by a single word from Will, then rapidly sent scurrying Michael's way. "Excuse me sir? The gentleman at the table there," gesturing, "says you are welcome to join him." Will, meanwhile, has gone back to watching Old Stu Jackson, who, frankly, doesn't look very old at all.

Michael nods to the waiter with a slight smile. "Thank you." With that he heads over bowing slightly once more to Will. "Good evening, it sees you well I hope?" He smiles slightly towards the stage. "Funny in all the years I can't be sure I ever crossed Mister Jackson before."

"Hello," Will greets, pleasantly. "Have a seat." Lounging as he is, his attention draws across to Michael. "Things are, well, that will come soon. From what I understand, Stuart Jackson has only been one of us for a century, and has kept very much to himself, which is admirable." There's an edge to his voice; the faintest hint of the caged predator that suggests someone, somewhere has been acting less than admirably.

Nodding Michael takes the offered seat, he takes a look at the stage for a moment. "I was a fan of the blues, but I perferred rhythm and blues in hindsight." He smiles a little. "I always found many musicians find the blues hard to leave behind." He nods slightly. "It is fairly prudent to keep oneself to oneself. I find." He places down his bottle although he's not taken any taste of it yet. "An unfortunate part of your job, I always thought must be the need to be so in the public eye."

Taking a draught of his own bottle, Will allows a predatory smile for a passing person who happens to catch his eye. "Rhythm and blues always felt as though it had more soul," he comments, "more of the performer pouring themselves in." Leaning back into the chair, into a position it is hard to believe is comfortable, he continues. "Publicity is a double-edged blade. One side, I am untroubled by younglings seeking to play games of power. They are simply not competent enough to play with me. The other, I am at risk of a desperate fool attempting to evade justice. There are troubles, there are dangers, but it is so much _fun_." His smile broadens for the end, the hapless human who caught his eye deciding elsewhere would be a wiley place to be.

Laughing Michael nods. "Yes, I can see that it would be." He studies Will for a moment. "But then I'll confess that it never appealed to me, I've seen Sheriffs troubled by youths who /thought/ they were more competent than they are." He finally takes a sip of his blood. "But then I've also always perferred to travel, I generally don't stay in one city for more than a few decades." He smiles. "The Cities seems to often have troubles since the Great Revealation, this always happens when two vocal groups begin to push against each other of course."

"I find the occasional atrocity keeps the younglings in line," Will replies, without heat. He does appear, however, to be a little amused, by something. "Cities are aggregations of too many people, modern life allows humans no time to contemplate themselves and their lives and those around them. People, different people of different cultures and different opinions are congregated, matches in a box. It cannot help but cause strife, murder and chaos."

Nodding Michael smiles to Will. "True, although I seem to recall that we always seemed to find our way to strife, murder and chaos without cities when I was younger." He nods slightly. "Still it's true cities make it harder, I find that it's the tension that causes the most trouble in cities. Crimes will always happen, criminals will always exist, but until such a time as the tension in a place grows too high they're just the odd weed in an ordered garden."

"With I, the gardener," Will quips, easily. "Though it is still true, I fondly recall a more brutal time, the quiet strength of a people prevalent in their spirit. Now, each dog eats another, and the tension, be it racial, species or even national, is merely a by-product of the psychological segregation paired with physical proximity." He pauses, for a quick drink. "At least, it seems that way today."

Nodding Michael shrugs. "Have you ever considered the differences in our natures… I suspect that humans are driven by the constant fear of their own mortality, everything they fail to understand or control is a potential threat, while we are driven by long existences… or at least the desire for long existences, they shape us."

"Older humans are driven thus, of course," Will says, "but the young, where the tensions are driven to violence, they are immortal." He allows a humoured smile. "Or they believe themselves to be. I do agree that there are fundamental differences in psychology; after all, we are immortal, but I am not certain you have them entirely."

Shrugging Michael smiles. "Perhaps, but either way things threaten to come to a head, if there's one thing I am certain of it's that humans will fear what's new or different. And to them that's us." He laughs a little. "The mayors speech was good to hear, but it may lead to a response from those who disagree strongly enough."

"The mayor," Will responds, nodding thoughtfully to himself. "The mayor's sudden expression of common sense and possible political suicide interests me. I am sorely tempted to see who attempts to work against him in the next few weeks."

Nodding slightly Michael takes a sip of his drink, his own expression netrual on the matter as he speaks. "The reasons for his speech is itself an interesting and complex political move, I find myself wondering… does he believe that what he says will help bring peace and stability, or does he plan to work up the possible trouble makers, and to what end?" He shrugs a little. "So many reasons and so little information."

"He cannot be foolish enough to truly believe he will bring happiness and light with a message of tolerance," Will says, quietly. "Somebody, somewhere, is bringing something to a head, and I do not yet know who. If you find anything on that, you would be so good as to tell me?"

Michael bows very slightly. "Of course. Although I'd suggest we consider those on both sides who may want a war… and those on our side who may want to…. draw out the aggressive element of the fellowship." He sighs. "Played right we could strike a hard blow against them, of course played poorly and we'll suffer such a blow."

"Never forget," Will says, at least half to himself, "the third player. There is always a third player." Drawing forth a smile, his attention suddenly shifts away from the winding up of Jackson's set to Michael. Looking at the other vampire, he is almost formal in his words. "In the months to come I sense, I feel something large is coming our way. The support of loyal and stalwart vampires is appreciated, and will not be forgotten in the future."

Nodding Michael seems to consider that. "In this particular situation, I fear we'll be more at risk of forgetting the sixth or seventh. There are no shortage of people who'd like to see things…. esculate." He nods to Will. "And I'll be honest when I tell you I have no intention of being anything but loyal. I've made myself a lot of influential friends over the years by simply being loyal."

"You have opportunity to make one more," Will replies, bringing out the flash of a quick grin. No slouch to national vampire politics, this one. "If you stay at this table, Stuart will be making an appearance to meet me. Unfortunately, I have other business to attend to."

Michael smiles slighty. "As do I unfortunately." He smiles slightly. "I'll see what I can learn and let you know what I find out thought of course." He rises from his seat with a wide grin. "I'm sure we'll have much to talk about over our next couple of meetings Mister Grant."

Will offers up a nod and a quick flash of a smile, standing himself. "I should at least visit with Stuart, then, if I cannot palm the famous jazz musician off onto you. Good hunting, Michael. Hopefully we will have something to work on soon." With that, the lithe figure of Will turns to walk away, quiet, measured steps.

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