\ Haven:Mist and Shadow Encounterlogs/Zoes Odd Encounter Sr Iakres 240609

Zoes Odd Encounter Sr Iakres 240609

Zoe Androulakis, despite battling cancer and the fatigue it brings, awakens one morning with a preternatural sense of unease. Her home, a trailer with its aging charm and thin walls, becomes the stage for an unwelcome encounter. A thrall of a rogue vampire, seeking to threaten and coerce Zoe due to her and her husband, Iakres's, past associations with the Templars, invades her space. The thrall, a man whose age is as ambiguous as his intentions are clear, conveys a message of vendetta from the vampire courts, implying that their memories and grudges are as immortal as they are. He demands that either Zoe or Iakres accompany him back to New York as a form of leverage, threatening to destroy Zoe's medication and the sanctuary they have created if they refuse.

Faced with this dire threat, Zoe exhibits remarkable calm and resilience, attempting to defuse the situation with offers of tea and attempts at negotiation. However, the thrall's intentions prove destructive as he begins to ravage their home, destroying property and medicine alike, showcasing the lengths to which their enemies would go to pull them back into a world they've left behind. The presence of supernatural threats juxtaposes starkly with the mundane setting, highlighting the intrusion of the past into Zoe and Iakres' attempt at a peaceful retirement. As Zoe reaches out for help, it becomes evident that their isolation, both physically in their trailer home and socially from their past lives, leaves them vulnerable. The encounter concludes with the thrall's departure and Zoe's determination to protect their home, signaling her refusal to be intimidated or coerced, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
(Zoe's odd encounter(SRIakres):SRIakres)

[Sat Jun 8 2024]

In a comfortable bedroom within a trailer

Dark wood flooring that is scratched and dulled from age, creaks and moans sometimes beneath one's feet. The walls are painted a soft and muted artic blue with bright white wood trimming along the floor and ceiling. However, the fresh coat of paint doesn't hide the fact the the walls themselves are thin, and the western window needs replacement. The sliding glass door leading into a small, private yard sticks when trying to get it open, and it only appears to lock via a metal bar.

It is morning, about 87F(30C) degrees,

(A rogue vampire has targeted your group, seeing them as a threat to their ambitions. The vampire sends their thralls to weaken the group while they prepare for a direct confrontation. The group must face the thralls, uncover the vampire's location, and confront them before they can launch their full assault.)
The morning light doesn't often rouse Zoe from her sleep; not with how badly her body needs all of that reserve energy. It turns out that cancer made a person tire more easily than normal - a shocking revelation to many, surely. This morning, though, Zoe finds herself stirring to consciousness with little to owe it to. There's soft birdsong in the not-so-distant woods, sure; but that's constant, and hardly disruptive to her routine. There's a sharp pain in her gut that dulls to a blunt edge over the course of a few minutes, but that's not unusual, either... And then, there's the prickle of something across her senses. Those hadn't dulled much with the passing of the years. Something unpleasant is coming, and a bleary sweep across the room reveals a distortion in the corner to Zoe's sensitive eyes. It also reveals that she's alone - her husband must have left the house. His equipment's still there, though, in the book bag sitting at the end of the bed. Those distortions ripple in place, oscillating at a slowly increasing rate - it's a path. Someone's in the midst of stepping into her bedroom from very far away. If she weren't sensitive, Zoe might never have known.

She may be old and sickly, but that doesn't mean Zoe's going to greet a visitor in her sleepwear. After getting out of bed slowly and sitting at the end of it to gather herself for whatever is to come, she throws on her usual trousers and a blouse before opening the door to the rest of the trailer, peering through it and seeing if she can sense any activity out there.

"Dear?" she calls out, in case her husband is still around somewhere. Perhaps the visitor has business with him instead of her; any supernatural having business with Iakres enough to path right into the bedroom is unlikely to be anything good, though. Still, the pathing has begun already and there's little she can do about it now - though perhaps she's got just enough time for a protective ritual. It's with that thought in mind does she move over to the potted plant sitting in that windowsill, gathering up a pinch of soil to spread in an esoteric circle.

No response from Iakres; he really is out of the house. The TV's off, the radio's off, the kitchen is cold - nothing. The ritual Zoe wants to cast is going to be cutting it pretty thin in terms of time - there won't be any other preparations she can make if she doesn't cut herself off early. Judging by how quickly the forming path seems to shiver in place, it's probably been forming for a little bit already. It does take a fair bit to rouse the old witch from her sleep, after all.

The magic flows well, even through such heavily medicated blood. The life force in them shines as bright as it ever did, and this place was so much more attuned with nature than New York City had been. Grass, forest... The morning sun, unfiltered by chemical emissions. Small towns had always been preferable for magic like hers. If not for needing blood in the first place, the ritual would be rather pleasant, in fact - though she does need to rush. As the magical wards snap shut around her mind and gird her soul, the quivering, inchoate path relaxes, then yawns wide, and the sounds of distant footsteps begin to sound through. Someone is coming. Zoe has moments.

The mindward provides clarity of mind as the last bit of soil settles into place, and Zoe doesn't bother to wipe it off - time is precious. She just reaches out with soil-stained fingers towards the bag left out at the foot of the bed, and makes a mental note to herself to scold her husband about leaving his belongings out where anyone can just come across guns and whatnot. She retrieves the staff from inside it - the rest gets kicked under the bed, out of sight and out of mind, and then Zoe prepares to greet her guest. Maybe she should have pre-heated the oven...

Those footsteps get nearer and nearer, and a human figure appears within the non-euclidean boundaries of the path, half-running, half dragged towards Zoe by some unknown force. He seems used to it, though, and in less than a minute, the man hops from the pseudo-portal, dancing from foot to foot to kill his momentum. It's a practiced act, but clearly the fellow did not form the path himself. He's either eighteen or forty five - his features are pale and unwrinkled, with with the mannish shape and thin hairline of an older man. He's dressed fairly casually, too - black pants, running shoes, a closed jacket. He eyes Zoe and her battle staff, sizing them up and all the threat they pose. He doesn't look convinced. The ritual circle on the ground does catch his attention, and he makes sure to give it a good berth as he approaches her.

"The word's out," he announces, as if Zoe should know who he is. "We know where you live, now. Run off to Haven, because you think Sanctuary will save you? You think you're protected." He smirks toothily, exposing the paleness of his gums, and his tongue. "We don't forget our grudges, you know. We're immortal. Ever-living. And so are our memories." He eyes the barrel of the rifle poking from the bookbag, then raises an eyebrow at the old woman. "Where's the Templar? Or is he not here to protect his sweet old wife, yet again?"

There's really no threat being posed here - Zoe barely looks like she's got the strength to swing that staff, much less prove to be a formidable threat in any capacity. She's just got it in hand, in case she falls over or something, of course, and the man is greeted with a kindly smile, as though there's nothing out of the ordinary going on here. "Pardon me, I didn't have time to clean up the mess," she tells him gently, noting the wide berth he gives the ritual circle. "I wasn't expecting guests, you see."

If she's supposed to look afraid or threatened, well... she doesn't. Instead, Zoe just nods her head at the man as though he's some sort of child and she's just humoring him, though of course she doesn't say any of that out loud. What she says is: "There are no Templars living here, I'm afraid. Just my husband and I. Maybe I can make you a nice cup of tea before seeing you out?"

"Don't bullshit me," replies the ambiguously-aged man, his mouth twisting down unpleasantly. "I know who you are. You're Zoe And - Andro -" Immediately following the stammer, he recoils sharply, as if in pain, then bites out spitefully, "Zoe Androulakis. Yes. And your husband is Iakres Androulakis. We /know/ who you are. We don't forget." Polite offers of tea seem to be entirely disregarded, and the intruder moves in close. He may or may not be young, but he's certainly younger than Zoe - and physically fit. Strong. He lays a hand on her shoulder, then stoops down to stare flat into her face, his eyes glassy and a little bloodshot. "I heard you were sick. Something terminal. Is that true, Zoe? Have you come to spend your last few months out here, waiting to die?"

It's been forty-one years of this, and she knew what she was getting into when she married her husband. Zoe doesn't flinch, nor does she seem threatened in the least by the man staring her down, though she does take not of those glassy, bloodshot eyes. "There's no bullshitting here, young man," she tells him, a hand reaching up to pat the one on her shoulder, almost condescendingly. "Neither of us are Templars. That is a part of my husband's life we have moved on from, you see." Another smile, flashed up pityingly at the man - perhaps he should learn to move on as well. "And no, not waiting. Preparing. Sowing the seeds for something better to grow, young man. Now, will you have tea or juice?" She attempts to brush off the hand on her shoulder with the staff in her hand, and if that proves to be successful, to make her way out of the bedroom and towards the living room and kitchen.

The hand on Zoe's shoulder is warm; flesh and blood, not the chilly grip of the vampire courts the pair had left in their past. It does slide free from her shoulder, too - then snaps shut into a knotted fist as his arm trembles in the air. His features contort into a rictus that distorts his visage into something not unlike the Joker's - even Zoe would know of Batman - before he slumps with a gasp of relief and straightens back out.

"Here's how it is, Zoe," he snarls. "Either you or your /charming/ husband will accompany me out of town, back to New York. Refuse, and I'm going to escort you outside before I wreck your place. I know you aren't rich. The Order doesn't take money-makers. I will destroy every piece of life-saving medicine you have in here. I know just how much that shit costs. We know how to work around Sanctuary. We know how to break it, if you wander outside of the Order's protection. And we'll be waiting. So come with us, and this'll all be much easier, won't it?" Never mind the fact that she'd almost certainly be used as blackmail... Or if it were Iakres himself to leave, then he'd surely be executed, or worse.

"Well, that's no way to treat a sickly old woman now, is it?" Zoe asks, shaking her head sadly at the ambiguously-aged - what has the world come to, really? "Traveling long distances is against the doctor's orders, I'm afraid, and my husband is away on business. You will have to come by another time for whatever you need, you see. "

"Well, that's no way to treat a sickly old woman now, is it?" Zoe asks, shaking her head sadly at the ambiguously-aged - what has the world come to, really? "Traveling long distances is against the doctor's orders, I'm afraid, and my husband is away on business. You will have to come by another time for whatever you need, you see. Now, I was going to treat you like any other guest, but since you've been so rude, I will be calling the police. That nice young lady from the other day did say I can call for whatever problem I may have." That's a threat right back, sir. How much of the trailer can he destroy before the police pulls up here? The sheriff's department isn't that far off, and Zoe's got her phone in her pocket. (fix, accidentally pressed enter)

There's a soft, hissing sound from between the human's clenched teeth, and he shakes his head. "Fine," he says. "That's what I figured would happen. Fuck both of our days right up." He reaches out and snags the old woman by her peacoat, hauling her forcefully up to her feet, spits at the ground, then slams the back door open with his foot. With her frailty, he can't even toss her outdoors - that could very well kill her. He drags her instead, humiliating and more than a little degrading, then shoves the old woman out into the rubble of her ruined birdbath. He slams the door shut. Immediately, there's a cacophony of sound - a grown man is busy tearing through Zoe's bedroom. Punishment for settling, instead of continuing her tourism. Had the Court figured they'd sent her, and her husband, into exile? Zoe's left to her own devices, literally, but locked out of her house while another man wrecks it. How petty and cruel a thing... but that's a succinct description of the vampire courts in general, of course. Petty and cruel.

grimaces at the cacophony of noise that comes from inside the trailer, shaking her head to herself while she pulls out her phone. First, a text to her husband - which she really should have sent earlier - to warn him not to come home anytime soon. The next, a call to the sheriff's department. Hopefully someone's going to be around to pick it up, because it isn't as though Zoe's got a surplus of medication - that shit's expensive, as the man inside knows all too well. "Kids these days..."

Zoe grimaces at the cacophony of noise that comes from inside the trailer, shaking her head to herself while she pulls out her phone. First, a text to her husband - which she really should have sent earlier - to warn him not to come home anytime soon. The next, a call to the sheriff's department. Hopefully someone's going to be around to pick it up, because it isn't as though Zoe's got a surplus of medication - that shit's expensive, as the man inside knows all too well. "Kids these days..." (fixed)

In fairness to Zoe, guarding herself from the potential hypnotism of an intruder was an extremely prudent thing to do - it's not her fault that New York didn't warn her in advance before it came calling. The man inside was probably some form of thrall. Those winces were roughly in line with the sort of torture a brand could inflict - and they did seem to occur when he made mistakes. The phone rings for a while, sadly - there's never anyone in the damn office when they're needed, is there? Finally, finally, someone picks up. "Haven Sheriff's Department," comes a lazy, drawling voice. Definitely not New England by accident, so probably one of the random, hired-out-of-desperation deputies. "How can we help you?"

Were this a more pressing emergency of a non-materialistic variety, someone would have certainly died by now. The person on the other end can surely hear the ruckus in the background, though Zoe's voice is even when she answers, "Good morning, young man. There's a man in my trailer who has kicked me out and is destroying everything inside. That's 31 Magnolia Way, if you can send someone to help. Maybe the nice young lady -- Jeanine, I think her name was. She was very kind." Perhaps Zoe shouldn't be asked for the detective who claimed to have no idea how to fight properly, but it's out there anyway.

There's a deep, bored sigh as the deputy types something in, then a diffident grunt. "That's Westhaven, ma'am," he replies. "The Moores don't like us coming around there. Have you tried speaking with the Moores? They prefer to solve these sorts of problems on their own." Never mind the fact that there is on-going destruction within poor Zoe's house as the deputy wastes time. Then, following what sounds suspiciously like a snort of laughter away from the receiver of his phone, the voice continues, "Tr- /Deputy/ Jeanine isn't on duty right now. We can't call her in. She's not approved for overtime yet."

Bang, clatter, crash. Tear. God, her house is going to be a bomb site when he finally leaves.

"Now listen here officer, aren't you sworn to protect and serve? If Detective Jeanine isn't available, you can send someone else to help." And Zoe's certainly not taking a no for an answer either. "I'm a poor, sickly woman, and I need my medicine that he's destroying in there. I don't want to leave this place to find the Moores, and I don't have their number. You can call them for me..." A pause, but she's still polite even if he's been proven to be massively unhelpful. "Please."

"Yeah, yeah, I'm on it," the deputy sighs, and the shrug of his shoulders can all but be heard directly through his voice. Keeping Zoe on the phone, he clatters around with something, then speaks indistinctly into some other device for a few minutes. Finally, he picks up the phone again, then grunts out, "The word's been put out, ma'am. Help should be on the way within the next ten to twenty minutes. Maybe throw in an extra hour or two, if they get held up by the Moores. Good luck. Is there anything else I can help you with today?"

Rattle. Rattle. Crash. The door to Zoe's bedroom creaks open, not quite able to latch closed after being kicked open earlier. It's a fucking mess.

"Yes, you can give me the number of that Moore man I met the other day. He was big and hairy." Zoe continues, perhaps unaware that she's described basically every Moore man out there. "He was riding one of those noisy bikes with the big tires." That will surely help. Still, the creaking of the door doesn't go unnoticed by Zoe, considering she hasn't stepped a foot away from where she was deposited after the embarrassing dragging of her shoe-less form outside. She moves over closer and peeks in through the gap - is there something she can salvage?

"Ma'am, I can't give out people's personal numbers," comes the same dreary, bored voice. The room's more a mess than truly ruined, since it's a trailer. He can't just punch through those walls. The wallpaper's fucked, though. Alas. That's fine - the 'artic' branded arctic theming was a bit cheap, wasn't it? "It'd be an invasion of privacy. You could look up the Moore management hotline, though. Mary Moore's the landlord for all of Westhaven, right? You should have access to that. I just can't give it to you. Anything else, ma'am?" At least he doesn't sound irritated - just bored.

Pssshhhhhhhhblblblblblsshhhhhhhh. Ah, dear. That would be the toilet getting busted. That'd probably cause a flood, but the trailer doesn't have very good water pressure, anyway, and it wouldn't be too hard for Zoe to hobble around and shut it off, or disconnect the hose entirely where it connects to the town's water outlet. The septic tank wouldn't discharge just from that, so that's something. The man inside heads from the toilet to the kitchen.

There's nothing Zoe hates hearing more than a pssshhhhhhhhblblblblblsshhhhhhhh. She exhales a deep sigh, willing her blood pressure down to a more manageable level off sheer willpower alone, and then reaches up to pinch at the bridge of her nose. "This is the worst service I have ever gotten from a police helpline," she informs the voice on the phone, and bids them a crisp 'thank you' before hanging up with a huff. If a Moore's nearby, they can hear the ruckus and come over themselves, because Zoe isn't leaving her trailer. No, what she /is/ going to is reach for the scattered soil upon the ground - if he's broken her potted plants, there will be hell to pay - and begins another ritual - after locking the door to the bedroom, if it's still functional. If he wants to ruin her day, two can play at that game.

Oh, that ritual circle is going to take a fair bit of reconstruction, more blood, and fifteen minutes worth of time - and the damn locked door unlatches a moment later. A quizzical eye thrown over it would reveal that the latch on the door works - but the catch screwed into the doorframe has been dented. The door's fucked. This guy wasn't lying; Zoe was going to be subject to a petty harassment campaign aimed at driving them out of town - and into the waiting arms of their enemies, eager to get them outside of Sanctuary.

"I fucking hear you in there, Grandma," calls the exasperated voice of the human thrall from the kitchen. He doesn't sound like mindlessly destroying things is exactly his idea of a good time, either. "I dumped your pills already. Just go get your husband to leave town, and we'll leave you alone. Christ." Then there's an extra loud clatter and a yelp, and the thrall gets back to work, even more pissed off. Whoever's staring through his eyes must have been less than impressed with the unintimidating threats. No Moores, yet. But Zoe /could/ find her landline's number, see where that leads. It'll take another little while for that ritual to go through.

No, no, no. If he's going to stop her, he's gonna have to come in here and drag her out like a very angry kitten by the scruff. Zoe doesn't care about the landline number right now - she cares about making sure the man isn't left in any condition to go around breaking anyone else's house after this. She's finishing that goddamn ritual like a woman scorned, which is exactly what she is right now, actually. "If you break my husband's favorite cup, he will find you," she calls out right back, as though that's not what the guy wants in the first place.

SMASH! That's the sound of glass breaking as something's hurled against the wall. Goodbye, cup. Stomp, stomp, stomp - big boy's coming out of the kitche, through the living room, and there he is, striding into the bedroom. "Havenites are the fucking worst," snarls the henchman. "You're just sitting there and taking it. Neither of us can /really/ handle this, can we? Unless you want to say the magic words with me. You and I could settle this here and now." The gun's not broken, but the armour and weapon did get strewn about, and the magazine's been chucked elsewhere. A thorough crony, at least. He scuffs his sneaker along the boundaries of the ritual circle, and its energies dissipate - blood wasted.

Goodbye cup indeed. Zoe winces just slightly, but she's got her focus upon the ritual, sketching out runes and giving it blood where it's needed and--

Welp, there it goes, sneaker-scuffed and ruined. Zoe's blood pressure is shooting high. At this point, she may just end up having a stroke and not wait to die from cancer. She exhales out the biggest, heaviest of sighs, and turns her eyes upon the man. "You're right, young man. Neither of us can handle this, and the Moores will be on their way after hearing all this noise you have made." Bluffing, of course. She's got little other choice. "And once they have you, you'll be locked up and away, so I suggest you make yourself scarce now."

"Yeah, I'm just about done in here, anyway," the old man sneers, pulling Zoe's blanket from the bedding to dry himself off with. Busted toilets and sinks do get a man all messy and wet. Judging by his expression as he does, the disrespect is the point. "Remember that we can do rituals too, before you start that shit. You've got nothing you can hit us with. You two should've taken our offers, all those years ago. Been young and beautiful forever." He shrugs - then kicks the back door open again for good measure and strides out into the day. He's macho at first, then drops into a slouch - did he step into the nightmare and stop posturing? He knows Zoe's a sensitive, right...?

Alas. It's been a very bad day for the poor trailer and its inhabitants. Still no text back from Iakres, either, which means his phone's not working or he doesn't have it. There's always /something/ to worry about...