Most people know me through my work on Vampire: The Masquerade or White Wolf/Onyx Path RPG books in general. Not many know that I also do a lot of work in fiction and on other RPGs, covering a range of topics. This “A Taste Of” series features samples of my work from areas most people might not know about, along with places you can buy the book to read more!
Since I started doing this series, another Classic World of Darkness fiction project was released, so I’m circling back around to that. I was asked by the wonderful and talented Jess Hartley to contribute a story to an anthology about the Fera, the non-wolf werecreatures. I instantly asked if I could use the Nuwisha, and she let me use the Corax to book. I decided to write the “other side” of my other Apocalypse story, “The Magadon Job.” And thus was created “A Nuwisha Walked Into A Bar.”
If you like this first part, you can read the rest in Songs of the Sun and Moon. You can get it from DriveThruFiction right now!
Zurie saw the Nuwisha walk into the bar, and she immediately ordered another drink. A smile lit the coyote’s lean face under his inevitable stubble, and he oozed over to take the bar stool next to her.
“Hey, Zeebee!” he said cheerfully.
“Fuck off, Chance.” The Corax took a long drink, not looking his direction.
“You’re looking good,” he said, ignoring the brush-off.
She snorted. She glanced at the mirror behind the bar and saw hair that hadn’t been washed hair in days, and red streaks grown out with long black roots. Her eyes were sunken, making her pale skin look sickly. Mirrors don’t lie. That’s why she tried to stop looking in them.
“I’m pretty sure I told you to fuck off, Chance,” she said, staring at the rack of bottles behind the bar instead of looking at him.
“I know, I was there. But I know you didn’t really mean it, so I forgave you and stayed. What are you drinking?”
She slammed her hand on the bar. The murmur of the barflies around her immediately died away as she turned to point a finger in the Nuwisha’s face. Her voice was hard and low. “I did mean it. I meant it then, and I mean it now. I’m done with your games and I’m done with you.”
The smile dropped off of Chance’s face, and he looked suddenly hurt. “Come on, Zeebee. Trixter, Inc. isn’t the same without you…”
“Running around stealing things from Wyrm creatures isn’t something you can validate by calling it ‘Trixter, Inc.’. It’s pointless, and I’m sick of people getting….” She stopped and immediately swung the seat around so he couldn’t see her face. “Just go away, Chance.”
Chance looked around the bar, but no one seemed interested in their discussion after Zurie’s initial outburst. “Listen, do you still have the, uh….”
She turned to slap her cellphone on the bar. “I may be drunk, but I’m not an idiot. I still have my Inane Conversation fetish, so no one else can understand me telling you to get the fuck out of my life.”
He nodded. “That’s good, that’s good. Because I wanted to say that I was… sorry. About what happened. Martin was a huge help, and….”
“He was my fiancé, Chance.”
He stopped to fiddle with a beer bottle that Zurie didn’t remember him paying for. “Ex-fiancé. He told me you had broken it off….”
She turned to look at him again, pain flashing in her eyes. “He was my fiancé, Chance. He was more than just someone to slap with a rite to continue the great and glorious line of Corax. And it was your plan that got him….” She stared at her reflection in the mirror behind the bar for a moment, before taking another drink from her glass. “Just go. Find yourself another hacker.”
Chance slid a photo next to Zurie’s glass. It was a headshot of a good-looking man around middle age. He had dark hair going a little gray at the temples, and wore sensible glasses. Chance thumped his finger onto the picture, becoming suddenly serious. “That’s Dr. William Krejci, a biologist. He works directly for Dr. Seraphina Sanderson, the regional head of Magadon GenDiv.”
Zurie picked up her phone and poked at the screen a few times before smacking it. “Is the firmware acting up again? It seems like you’re having problems understanding ‘fuck off, Chance’.”
He smiled and took another drink of his beer. “I bet you a drink that after one sentence, you’ll want to do one more job with me.”
She smirked, but there was no humor in it. “Fine. If you lose, you have to get the hell out of my life forever and never come back.”
“Fine. What’s the sentence?”
Chance pointed at the picture again. “That’s the man who ordered the firebombing of Martin’s apartment, and he’s here in town.” He reached over and took a sip from her drink before spitting it out. “Rum and Coke? Can’t you drink something more expensive?”