9/15/14

Daos IV ~ Ch9: Dilemmas, Choices...Morals

Previously ~ Gotta Deal at Some Point

Antonello Gomez
"He's a young man, Bibiana."

"I know, Antonello."

"With his whole life and career ahead of him."

"I'm well aware of that, thank you."

"Come, come now," Carmen cut in, banging her spoon against her wine glass.  "It's not like Bibiana and I are dried up old prunes, and it's not like they're carrying on some tawdry affair.  Daos likes her - that's all."

"If people outside the department begin to talk, it could reflect poorly upon your judgment, Bibiana," the Mayor warned.  "We may even have to install a new Chief before then."

Carmen's mouth fell open as Bibiana's heart stopped.  The newspaper editor had to gather her wits before she could speak.  "Fire...Bibiana?"

It was as though she had to hear the words aloud, and she wasn't alone.

"Antonello," Bibiana began slowly, trying not to let her voice shake.  "You would terminate me over Daos?"

"Daos runs a clean city," Gomez replied, brutally honest.  Clearly he'd sobered up.  "The town needs him and before you get upset, remember that it was you who brought him and insisted he was valuable.  Well, you were right.  He's a smart, powerful young man with his whole life and career ahead of him, and I can't let you jeopardize that."

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9/7/14

Daos IV ~ Ch8: Gotta Deal at Some Point

Previously ~ Quid Pro Quo

Chief Bibiana Solís
It was another lazy evening at the Gato Negro.  The dark red walls bloomed in the candlelight.  From the kitchens wafted wave after wave of succulent aromas coupled with smoke.  A mournful guitarist strummed and sang of lost love in Spanish, completing the final layer of romance.

It would have been a perfect scene, if not for the company.

Police Chief Bibiana Solís sat with Mayor Antonello Gomez and the Chief Editor of the Medianoche Herald, Carmen Arellano, wondering why the hell she was wasting a perfect evening with Carmen and Gomez when she could be home racking the up views of Daos on YouTube.

It didn't help that Carmen's cleavage was half out, with one hand constantly reaching out to pet Gomez's arm, while he remained blissfully unaware and a little bit tipsy.

Bibiana mentally rubbed her temples and suddenly longed for the days when corpses seemed to rain from the sky.

"Bibiana, how is Daos?" Carmen suddenly asked, meeting her eyes.  "I've noticed that you two don't spend much time with each other now that the death toll's gone down."

Carmen Arellano
Bibiana started to shake her head.  "Why...would we --"

"That's a very lovely necklace you're wearing," Carmen beamed.  "Don't you think so, Antonello?  You know Daos gave her that necklace."

Antonello nodded slightly, pouring yet another glass of white wine which caused Bibiana to wince.  "It's an agimat," he explained.  "In Filipino lore, it protects the wearer from supernatural evil."

"Such a romantic gift," Carmen purred, "don't you think?"

Gomez, still clueless, shrugged his shoulders.  "More like practical.  As our Chief of Police, she is a logical target."

"Oh please, Antonello," Carmen rolled her eyes.  "Don't act like you don't see what's going on.  Daos likes her.  And to hear on the grapevine, everybody knows it."

This seemed to wake Gomez from his slowly deepening stupor. "Daos likes you?"

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9/2/14

Oumar

Dramatis Personae

Oumar follows the adventures of young man with a peculiar gift which only awakens after a tragic event.  His story takes within the same universe as Daos.

Forgive the vague descriptions; I want this one to be a bit of a surprise.


Khalif Boyd as Anh Sinh Oumar. Born to a Vietnamese mother and Malian father, Oumar grew up in Houston, Texas.  At college, he majored in psychology and is a deeply empathetic individual.


Chris Dinh as Patrick Mai.  Patrick is the classic example of not judging a book by its cover.  He finds Oumar after his tragic event and helps him to understand his gift.


Fatoumata Diawara as Aminata "Ami" Oumar. Oumar's rebellious black sheep cousin in whom he confides. She plays in an all-female underground rock band called Abyss Well, and works at a very special bar on the side.

8/24/14

Daos IV ~ Ch7: Quid Pro Quo

Previously ~ Crucial Moments and Crossroads

Dani Reyes
The Next Afternoon

Dani Reyes blinked, confused.  "Tell me again exactly what I'm doing here?"

Hyun-jun Im wearily obliged, leading through his suite of posh, flawlessly decorated offices.  "I've been experiencing a certain...health condition of late which leaves me requiring odd things like rest, sick days, and vacation time.  Suffice to say, I'm not the efficient man I used to be and apparently require the services of an assistant."

Dani was still confused.  "Okay...but what am I doing here?"

"Our dear, sweet mutual friend Detective Ona was under the impression that you require a new position...preferably one with daytime hours and a strict professional dress code."

She blinked again.  "But I already have a job; Dominador knows this.  And I don't see why I need to change.  I mean, Strawberry will be really disappointed if I don't show up for my shift tonight."

"Yes," Hyun-jun mused.  "Miss Strawberry indeed.  You know, Dominador predicted you might have a few objections, so I'm willing to make this a full-time position, starting at a rather generous five-figure salary, replete with vision and dental.  You can even enroll in the 401K plan right away."

Hyun-jun Im
"That sounds great," Dani admitted.  "But I'm not so sure about this.  It's a bit sudden."

Hyun-jun was amused.  "Did I mention you also get an expense account for the sole purpose of purchasing new work clothes and getting regular maintenance at an upscale salon?"  That last part was his idea.  While he was a bit fond of Dani, Hyun-jun did have a certain standard to maintain.

Dani still appeared skeptical.  "How high's the expense account limit?"

"The limit starts at five thousand," he smirked.  "It goes up to ten after one year's service."

The numbers rendered her breathless.  "Wow," she gasped.  "That's um...that's quite a favor.  How come you're being so generous?"

"Because once you accept, Dominador owes me a favor," Hyun-jun beamed.  "I function best when people owe me favors." He shrugged. "It's a thing."

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8/20/14

Daos IV ~ Ch6: Crossroads and Crucial Moments

Previously ~ In the Mirror

Dominador Ona
"You know what?" Daos asked suddenly, rubbing his temples.  "I'm just not feeling it tonight.  I'm gonna walk home."

Dominador moved into intervene.  "Daos --"

The senior detective wasn't trying to hear it.  "Listen, I know what you're going to say next, and I appreciate it, but I'm not in the mood for a strip club.  I'm suddenly craving smokes and a shot of something, anything right now.  And since I'm not trying to turn into the next Hyun-jun train-wreck, I'd really like to just go home and go to sleep, okay?  You can give Dani a ride home."

He turned and left before his roommate could keep talking him into staying. Defeated, Dominador turned his attention back to Hyun-jun and Trish.  He didn't know what those two had talked about, but Hyun-jun was suddenly back to his original gloomy mood.

"Seriously?" Dominador cried.  "What the hell is going on with you people tonight?"

"It's getting late," Hyun-jun evaded.  "Since someone's making me go back to work, I have to be ready for an early meeting with the Mayor."  He flashed a look at Trish.  "If you still want that exclusive, you're gonna want to get some sleep and look your best.  Varinka Nuriyeva is really big on appearances."

It didn't take much to convince Trish.  "Fine, fine, I'm going...can you give me a ride, though?"

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8/17/14

Daos IV ~ Ch5: In the Mirror

Previously ~ Skeleton in the Closet

Dominador Ona
"You're over forty years old?"

"Dominador --"

"You're over forty years old!"

"I can explain if you just let me!"

Dominador Ona looked Daos over, over and over again.  "How is that even possible?" he demanded.  "I mean, after everything we've seen and done, I know there has to be some way it's possible...charm or spell or...something.  What did you do?  Did you strike a deal with someone like Hyun-jun or --"

"My first night out as a rookie detective, I got into it with a perp," Daos shrugged helplessly.  "He ran, I chased.  He wasn't like Hyun-jun; not as a fast, not as strong, and certainly not able to wield Hellfire, otherwise we wouldn't be standing here chatting.  My parents were old at the time; I was their only child and they wanted me to go into medical school or some other bullshit like that.  But I wanted to be a cop, and my first night out...well, you know how that is.  You just can't wait to prove yourself to the higher-ups.

Nicolao Daos
"I wasn't even on duty that night," Daos sighed. "I wasn't even packing heat; I'd stepped out of my apartment to get some cigarettes."

Dominador was appalled.  "You used to smoke???"

Daos closed his eyes briefly, steeling himself against the wave of annoyance.  "My point is, all I should've done was go to the corner store, grab the cigs, and go home, but I didn't. Dude appeared to be harassing a woman.  I stepped in, it got ugly fast, and I ended up chasing him down three blocks and through a portal.

"Needless to say, that particular portal didn't lead to the opposite side of the city."

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8/10/14

Daos IV ~ Ch4: Skeleton in the Closet

Previously ~ Iseul

Hyun-jun Im
Hyun-jun stared ahead at the road, briefly wondering why it was so dark and empty in Soleado Valle.  The road seemed without end, heading nowhere.

He suddenly itched for a drink.  "Why am I thinking about this stuff, Daos?  I can't control it.  What's happening to me?  These people died over a thousand years ago, why do they matter now?"

"You're human," Daos replied carefully.  "Your perception has changed.  Humans are obsessed with the origins of things.  When we're feeling low, we try to draw strength from our identities.  But you don't have a strong human identity.  So it would seem your conscious and subconscious are struggling to create one for you, and in order to do so, they have to go back to beginning.  It's like hitting a reset button."

"Now you sound like that shaman therapist you sent me to."

Daos shrugged.  "You really ought to start seeing him again.   If you'd just let me call him, he could be on the red eye tonight."

Hyun-jun scowled.  "'Cause he was such a big help last time."

"You didn't give him a chance last time."

Nicolao Daos
"Daos...do you think of your parents when you're low?"

"I used to," Daos admitted, nodding.  "There was a time when all I had to do was think of my mother and father all their struggles...and suddenly, whatever I was going through seemed trivial in comparison.  These days, I tend to think in broader terms.  Ancient ancestors and all that."  He turned to gaze out his window, also wondering fleetingly about the seemingly endless night.  The drive to the club seemed to take longer than usual.

"Have you told Dominador about what happened to you and your family?" Hyun-jun suddenly asked.

"No," came the leaden reply.

"Sooner or later you'll have to," Hyun-jun told him.  "He deserves to know the truth about you, Daos."  Pause.  "And so does she."

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