"I'm impressed!" Rose exclaimed her lips spreading until they parted and a toothy smile appeared on her face. She meant this in all honesty. "Erin darling," readjusting herself so that the brain and stick, still wrapped in her shirt under, could be held under her arm like a food ball player, she hopped off the table easily and leaned to give Erin a tight one armed hug. "I'm so proud of you! You really can be a bitch if you try!" This, of course, was one of the greatest compliments that could be received from the cloth pealing vixen.
She held the hug a bit longer then necessary just to be a pest. While she was close though she imitated he shorter woman and whispered silently into her ear "I doubt if they didn't notice already darling, but Ill play nice just for you." Actually she would play nice because she was kind of tired from everything that had happened. "If you ever need a job, I'm sure with that bitch-a-tude of yours, you could find some specialty client's at the Spearmint Rhino." Her smile stayed on her face the whole time honestly full of amusement and slightly wicked intentions.
Leaning in closer still, way past uncomfortably close at this point since she was still hugging the poor chick, her lips actually brushing against the other woman's ear, she added "And one more thing sweetie," the word dripped with sugar and spice and everything nice, "Each time you touch me Ill touch you right back." and with a slight pwoooof she blew the rest of her lungs air content at Erin's ear and finally released her from the hug with another oddly placed wink and a smirk glued to her lips, amusment clearly dancing in her eyes.
GeGe the whole time was to busy spine whipping and watching the black man to have any interference in this exchange.
Aleksander Belshikov was arrested the next day for attempted arson of the Museum of the Industrial Revolution. Over the subsequent weeks, background checks into Belshikov's background and immigration status uncovered that he was in fact a one Aleksander Melikhin, a former Odessan policeman and a ranking member of the Orekhovskaya Gang, a notorious Russian Mafiya organization.
Following the visit of two young women during prison visiting hours, one with green hair, one rather short and self-effacing, Aleksander confessed to a series of murders-for-hire, including that of Colin Meade. Though he refused to give details as to who or why, and there was a distinct lack of physical evidence, Aleksander Melikhin was sentenced on February 19th, 2004 to twenty years in prison. To those aware of it, it was a singularly quiet trial for such a sensational crime, but then Civitas wanted loose ends wrapped up discreetly.
Oleg Chernenko likewise disappeared into a prison, locked away in a Guardian of the Veil oubliette somewhere beneath London. He has not been heard of since.
The Prince with the Sun-Flecked Eyes was rather markedly put out with the Venatores' failure to secure Wormwood, and for a few months the winter of 2004/05 agents of the Prince were seen in London and the surrounding Hedge, pale men and women with white hair and black talons. Over the course of the following spring, sightings dropped off, though if one strays from the more familiar trods in the Hedge, one can still find some of the Pale Men, still hunting.
In any case, the Venatores survived the falling out, and were seen most recently in January of 2005, when Isengrim caused a localized power outage in Ealing by means of summoning a heavy blizzard. The Venatores' quarry, a darkling by the name of Flit who had been involved in some shady deals at the Picadilly Circus goblin market, did not escape.
The Day of the Devourer was released in theaters on June 9th, 2004, in a limited collection of theaters across Britain. Despite production difficulties, favorable press helped it achieve a wider showing by the beginning of July, and The Day of the Devourer continued to be shown in theaters over the course of the summer and following fall, though it never quite recouped its rather extravagant production costs. The director, Gary Fletcher, was not terribly broken up over this however, as his primary creditors were not available to demand their money back. The Day of the Devourer won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2005, and was particularly praised for its special effects.
Hippolyte Schafer's anchors, or at least those of them which you had your hands on, eventually found their way to Rakesh's apartment while Rose and her Krewe figured out what to do with them, and while Erin worked to create the machine she was pledged to do. Following May 2004, Rakesh moved into the Russell House, and the Schafer paraphernelia followed him.
The Russell House was a large, rambling Edwardian Townhouse in the London borough of Brent. Not long afterwards, Rakesh converted the first floor of his new house into Morgan's Antiques, selling various old antiques and books. Mostly, he sold them via his new website, www.MorganAntiques.com, where his crippling lack of social skills didn't hinder his sales so much. Nevertheless, he usually managed to sell at least one or two pieces in person each week, despite his salesmanship and irregular store hours. In order to defray the costs of keeping the place up, he also made several of the upstairs rooms available to you.
Over the course of the weeks and months immediately following the capture of Wormwood, Seventeen was in contact with most of you. Civitas and the Guardians of the Veil were not ungrateful, he said, and Seventeen's great-grandfather disliked being in debt to anyone. As such, the Guardians of the Veil made available a monthly stipend of €1200 to each of you, to be granted in perpetuity.
All told, life continued on its steady paces until March of 2005, when events once more took a strange turn.