((42 - Aaaggh! A Skeleton!! A Skeleton!!!))
May 30th, 802 AT
The door to the small apartment Spider had been given was shut firmly against the outside world. The name of the previous occupant had been hastily scratched out, leaving it as guest quarters. The dim lighting of the middle of the night left the corridor feeling mildly claustrophobic, but that didn't bother Seth. The night was when he did his best work. He looked at the door for a moment, then gave it a few knocks.
There was a thump on the other side, then footsteps. From behind the door, Spider muttered, "Whosit?"
There was a pause, then Spider opened the door a crack. Her tired, red eyes steadied on him sharply. "What?" Her voice sounded more tired than malicious.
"Not sleeping?" Seth asked casually. He was leaning on the wall of the room next to Spider's door, directing his voice vaguely in her direction.
"Not enough." Her voice softened somewhat, and she opened the door completely. She looked at him for a moment. "You going to come in?"
He shrugged, then entered. The room was standard and fairly plain. The bed looked unused. He kept his hands in his pockets as he walked in, looking around. "Ah, d'you mind?" He nodded, indicating the lit cig' in his mouth.
"What the hell is it?" She asked, eyeing the cigarette warily.
"Eh? This? It's a cig'. Never seen one?"
Spider shook her head.
"Huh. Well then." Seth grinned. "Try it." He took it out of his mouth and offered it to her, held between two fingers. "It's nice for relaxation. Seems you could use some."
She stepped forward, staring at Seth suspiciously, and plucked it out of his hand, examining it. "Do I... eat it?" A confused look crossed her face.
"Nonono. Observe." He took it back, put it in his mouth, and inhaled. He took it out, and blew a puff of smoke to the side. "Like so." He offered it again.
Spider snatched it, her eyes narrowing. She placed it in between her cracked lips, and took a deep breath. The smoke churned through her lungs. For a moment she swayed in her stance, then settled back on her feet. She breathed out a stream of smoke with a whoo. "Damn." A smile perked on her face, and she handed him back the cig'.
Seth grinned. "Glad you like it. Here, take my pack, I've got plenty." He reached into his demon leather trenchcoat and pulled out a small carton, half-empty.
"Thanks," she said, accepting the pack and stuffing it in a pocket.
"So. Business." Seth brushed some of his hair out of his face and found a pleasant wall to lean against. "You planning to cut out of here too? Evac with the rest of them?"
"It's not like I have any reason to stay." She glanced around the room. "Or anywhere better to go. But I'd rather go away from those fucking demons."
"But what if..." Seth mused. "There was a better option? Would you take it, leaving those demon-hunters or whatever they are behind? Truly, running from demons is no fun. No fun at all."
"Demons in any situation aren't much fun." She crossed her arms, mirroring him by leaning against the opposite wall. "What do you mean, other option?"
"Making the demons fun." Seth grinned wickedly.
Spider's lips twitched in a half-smirk. "You've got my attention now."
"Excellent." Seth pulled another object out of his coat. Not a carton, though. A small, sharp-edged crystal. "This thing here is the key... Science is a pretty nifty thing, y'know? Lots of... Fascinating studies around crystals. Most turn up nothing." He held the crystal in front of his face, watching the reflections play through it. "Some others... do."
"What's different about this one?"
"I won't go into the details now, but... let's just say... This could be the key to controlling them."
She frowned. "If you know something that could help us fight them, put an end to their slimy existence, then don't keep it to yourself."
"It's not something that works en masse. Nor something that just anyone can do--or would. But you..." Seth looked her up and down. "...You seem like you could be the type. And we're looking for one more."
"Who's we?" She lifted her chin up at him, staring down her nose. But there was something sparking in those eyes.
"The Talons. My gang."
"And you... can make the demons do things?" She took a step forward, now looking at the crystal.
"If all works out as planned... yes."
"OK. Enough messing around." Her eyes flashed back up to his. "What do you plan to use them for?"
"Direct mind control. Over demons. Well, one demon, per one of us. One of these in them," he said, flipping the crystal into the air and catching it. "...And one in each of us."
"We could make them kill other demons." She was starting to smile. "These new buggers can swallow up anything, I've seen it--" She looked to the side, her smile swiftly vanishing. "I mean...well, yeah. They're nasty."
Seth began to flinch for a moment, but caught himself. That was in the past. Time to look for the future. "So whaddya say? You got the balls to give this a shot?" His smile was genuine.
Spider sighed, her lips pulling to one side in a pout. She turned away from him, and sat down on the bed. "You know... a few months ago, everyone I've ever known was killed. Wiped away." She stared at the ground, and suddenly looked like the teen that she was. "I try to tell myself it wasn't really my fault. Everyone. Gone. Except for those guys." She gestured vaguely in some direction. She glanced up at Seth, managing a half-hearted smile. "You'd think that I'd like them more than I do. Jaz was the only one I really liked. Kasby... I don't know what the fuck to do with him." She laughed heartlessly.
Seth nodded solemnly. It was still hard to talk about Jaz. He shook himself off. "Is that a yes?"
"I don't know." She mumbled. "I don't know if I fit with them, really." She suddenly gave him a thoughtful look. She stood up, and stared up at the ceiling. "I'm going to show you something. You'll find out sooner or later... and then you can decide if you really want me in your gang."
Seth cocked his head to the side. "Eh?"
Her eyes suddenly burned with red light. She spread out her arms. Slowly, her messy hair stood on end... she felt the whole room shift around her. She fell upwards, and landed on all fours on the ceiling. Her clothes and hair fell down towards the ceiling as well. She looked up at the floor below, cocking her head with a grin. "I got blasted with demon juice."
Seth's jaw dropped. "W-well then." His eyes were wide. "Hence the 'spider'..."
"That's actually pretty fuckin' awesome." He grinned.
She crawled along the walls, and then finally stepped back to 'normal' gravity. She flashed him a smile. "Yeah. I'm not sure who I'm going to stay with yet. I'll think about it." She grinned.
"Excellent. Well, I'll be off then... I'll come visit again sometime, before shit hits the fan any harder than it has 'round here."
Seth pocketed the crystal, and pulled out a fresh cig'. He flipped open a beaten steel zippo lighter, lit it, and turned. He began to walk out of the room, and as he got to the door, he turned back one last time. "You're pretty cute, y'know. Hope you make the right choice."
Spider looked absolutely and outrageously shocked. "Huh?"
Seth laughed to himself and exited, deep red trenchcoat flapping behind him.