The Crow's Nest
It was a cold autumn night in the city. Small droplets lightly tapped against a black faded coat, headlights lighting up the rain like glitter against the slick material. The agent heaved a heavy sigh, pulling the brim of his coat closer to his face. "Figures..", he groaned, reaching to wipe the excess water off of his black hair, the green streaks barely visible in the low light of the street lamps. The man walked with subtle determination, eager to get where he needed to go and fast.
He walked for at least a good hour before finally arriving at his destination, the book store's sign swinging slightly against the wind. "The Crow's Nest.", the Agent repeated, staring up at the name. The sign's white lettering had faded to a yellow tint along with a black crow taking flight. Taking a deep breath to steady his nerves, he strode inside, the door bell's chime echoing off the walls. Book shelf after book shelf lined the walls. The shear size of the collection seemed impossible for such a seemingly small place. "This better be it.", he growled, irritation at even being here etched in his tone.
The cashier eyed the man out from under the brim of his hat, shifting his position slightly as he leaned against the counter. "Anything you're lookin' for in particular?", he asked, his aged eyes waiting for a reply. Clearing his throat, the man walked up to the counter, "I'm looking for 'The Crow'." The older man's eyes soured, his scrutinizing gaze only worsening. He didn't speak. Only motioned to the shelf at the very back of the shop, then disappearing amongst the shelves and stacks.
"Tch! Weirdo.", growled the man in black, making his way through the vast stacks of books that had yet to be organized. His blue eyes grazed along the genres, everything from old English literature to the latest fiction novels lined the shelves. He lazily searched until one book caught his eye, the spine clad in red, a black crow decorated its cover. The same crow as the one on the sign. Bingo! He quickly snatched the book of the shelf and skimmed through it's pages. "Wha-? They're all blank?!" To his surprise, the pages were indeed blank, the first page merely stating, "Welcome."
A loud click made the man quickly look up, the entire shelf drawing back to reveal a hidden passage way. He stared down the dark stone hallway before sighing, setting the red book back in its place, and walking calmly through. The shelf closing behind him with a loud "Thunk!". The hall smelled of damp stone and moss, a slight dripping echoing down into the dark. The darkness seemed to go on forever until it finally opened up, "Holy sh-!" His words trailed off as he stared around at the massive room before him. The ancient stone walls towered about his head, detailed carvings of animals running along the support pillars. Animal statues sat amongst the many racks and shelves as well, guardians of the obviously old and somewhat ancient halls. A jade tiger seemed to draw his eye the most, its beautifully carved eyes shinning with the dim light of the place. The next animal down the line was a golden wolf, it's noble head held high against the stone.
"Welcome, Agent." The light voice jarred the man from his thoughts as he turned, meeting the gaze of a woman. Her dark chocolate hair fell delicately around her broad shoulders, bright golden eyes staring him down. She sat calmly in a heightened stone chair, tall dim torches at either side. Adorning the top of her 'throne' was the last and final beast of the Hall, an obsidian crow, bright ruby eyes glinting in the flickering light. "I am Fina Crow. But I'm sure you already knew that." The woman's voice was serious but playful, her fire colored eyes grazing over him. They were sincere, but dangerous. "To what do I owe this 'pleasurable' visit from Syndicate Agent, Seth Harris?", she crooned, running her fingers over her antique mahogany desk. She met his cold glare with utter surety, striding around him like a big cat would flow around trapped prey. He was in her house now. And he knew she had the advantage.
"Well, I guess I don't have to introduce myself then." Seth growled, watching the girl like a hawk. He showed no fear as she sized him up, standing up straight with pride as she continued to eye him. "I-grr...I need your help." He almost had to force out the words as he spoke, his fingers curling into fists at his sides. "Oh? Is that so?", Fina purred, curiosity laced in her voice. "An Agent asking for a Boss' help?" She somewhat mockingly spoke in his direction, turning to her desk. The woman made him nervous. On Edge. He just couldn't grasp exactly how his partner could be 'friends' with her. "And what exactly do you need my help with?" the Mob Boss asked, hovering over what looked like ancient scrolls from the 1400s. The rumors of the woman's 'interest' in old texts and scrolls becoming quite clear to the Agent.
"Reeves was captured." That was all Seth needed to say. The Boss' form tensed with a sudden rush of anger, her lips curling into an angry snarl. "What?", she grumbled deeply, her flaming eyes demanding an explanation. Seth shifted a bit, "We were headed to find you when some thugs jumped us." His own anger began to boil as he explained. "Aiden told me to come find you.", Seth growled, unconvinced that this girl could help in any way. His ice blue eyes burned into the back of her head, wanting an answer. "Well? Are you going to help or not?" His question was more of an order that anything else. Not a smart thing to do, but he couldn't have cared less.
It was a tense silence. The air trembled with the anger the two were emitting. Suddenly, Fina reached to the side and wrenched a naginata out of a stone soldier's grip, plunging it in the stained wood of her desk. The girl turned to meet Seth's harsh gaze with her own, anger and excitement turning her eyes to flame. "What are we waiting for then?", she yowled, striding past him. "Let's go get him back."