Directions

Madigan’s heart raced. There was no avoiding, no place to go. She moved to one side of the corridor, turning her back to the wall and standing still as Madame Aleski approached from the other direction. The Madame was moving quickly through the passage, her long, sure strides unwavering. Mr. Takaneo strode nearly soundless in her wake, nodding his acknowledgement of her statements, the only sound that of his wooden sandals on the metal grates of the floor.

“Governor Landon will be seated with the Klawsons,” the Madame said, barely turning her head, “and the Farrington delegation will…” her voice trailed off and she looked directly at Madigan, who felt that her lungs might burst suddenly from having held her breath for too long. “Cadet Williams,” she said, nodding slightly as she swept past. Her train of thought uninterrupted, she continued speaking to Mr. Takaneo, her personal drone hovering over her right shoulder, keeping pace and whirring softly.

“Madame,” Madigan managed, staying still a moment longer before she rushed down the hallway, anxious to breathe again, looking back for a last glimpse.

In the next bay, Madi leaned against the cold metal wall, closing her eyes and mentally painting everything onto a canvas in her brain. She had never seen Madame Aleski at close range before, and the thought that she had just had an encounter with the woman was enough to make her knees nearly buckle. The Madame was head of the entire Galactic Intelligence Community, responsible for the activities of tens of thousands of personnel, the security of countless diplomats and private citizens.

There were rumors she had an eidetic memory, able to recall everything she saw, heard, or read. Other rumors said that her memory was artificially enhanced, stored, backed up and cataloged by some system of software. Her pale skin was the result of never leaving the underground network of tunnels and transport, they said. Her white hair was the result of the close calls she had avoided, and that in her youth her hair black as a raven’s wing. They also said that she was over 90 years old, but as Madi had looked at her face, she couldn’t recall seeing a crow’s foot or even a wrinkle. The Madame’s legendary Caribbean blue eyes had been clear, bright and alert. Even her voice, authoritative and direct without being stern, was softer than imagined, as though she need not raise it to garner attention or get results. Her uniform was singular among the GIC; she wore a wool jacket (where had they even found a sheep?) with a tall belt around her waist, her unwrinkled skirt and heels Madi couldn’t imagine could be run in. Perhaps she had no reason to ever run. The gold brooch which marked her rank, with its black and white stones — “through the darkness and into light” like the agency motto — had been pinned to her lapel.

Mr. Takaneo was just as much an enigma. No one knew where he had come from. His pointed elven ears should have placed him among the Starburst city’s dwellers, but no one had been able to link him to that city. The rumors about him were just as outlandish. First, that he was the Madame’s consort, which, having seen him just now, made Madi think the Madame had impeccable taste in men. No one had ever heard him speak. He wore his own uniform of a bygone era, one bare, pale shoulder visible always. Madi remembered seeing the scar that arced across his left shoulder blade, said to be the claw mark of a Wildern he had fought and killed with a single blade.

Whatever their story was, the Madame and Mr. Takaneo were legends, and as Madi finally pushed herself off the wall, she realized that the Madame had called her by name. She wondered if it were possible she knew the names of all 812 cadets in the academy. Her thoughts reeling, Madi headed back to her room, sure that her best friend Thompson was going to love hearing this story.

Featured shoes: Reign Sybill Heels by KenadeeCole

Madame Aleski’s details:

  • Head: Catwa Annie by Catwa Clip
  • Eyes: Mayfly Luminous in Tropical Sea by Arkesh Baral
  • Skin: Bold & Beauty Scarlet in Porcelain by Jourdan McMillan
  • Body: Maitreya Lara by Onyx LeShelle
  • Hair: Elikatira Karee in Essentials by Elikatira Tiramisu
  • Jacket: Erratic Mischa – Wrap Coat in Black by Erratic Rain
  • Skirt: Celoe Nikka Skirt in Pitch by ShaySibrian (no longer available)
  • Brooch: Alchemi Immortalis :Ami amet deli pencet” French Brooch (no longer available)
  • Hands and Feet: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands in Casual; High Feet by Siddean Munro
  • Manicure: Hello Dave in Nude Mattes by Maia Gasparini
  • Drone: Neurolab Bee pet by Ono Zinner

Mr. Takaneo’s details:

  • Head: The Mesh Project Head – Classic by TheShops
  • Eyes: Mayfly Luminous in Pale Onyx by Arkesh Baral
  • Body: The Mesh Project Deluxe Body by TheShops
  • Skin: Clef de Peau Adam in Tone 0 by Marcopol Oh
  • Katahada: Tomoto Katahada Ohgiku in Black by Tomo Wachter (limited edition)
  • Shoes: CerberusXing Himo Geta 2 in Red by Kamayari
  • Hair: Tableau Vivant Knot by M4r1lyn Magic
  • Ears: Mandala Steking Ears by Kikunosuke Eel
  • Necklace: Mandala Gyatei Necklace by Kikunosuke Eel

Madigan Williams’ details:

  • Eyes: Mayfly Luminous in London Fog by Arkesh Baral
  • Skin: YS&YS Mia 01 in Nude by Monicuzza Babenco
  • Body: Maitreya Lara by Onyx LeShelle
  • Hair: Elua Gemma in Blonde by Miu Edman
  • Dress: ISON Wednesday Dress in Gray by Harry Hyx
  • Boots: Carazon Boot in Black by Harry Hyx

Scene Details:

  • Set: Xen CY Hallway by Xenius Revere

The Devil, You Know

Thompson Fargate trudged through the long hallway of stone, as prompted forward by the beast-like creature who followed close enough that he could feel the breathing on the back of his neck. The creature — hulking and slime green-skinned, with a jutting lower jaw fitted with tusks and a missing eye which seemed to have been scratched out by long claws — had been aboard the boat that sailed across what he guessed from his little living knowledge was the River Styx. A hooded figure guided the craft through murky gray water. He could have sworn he heard voices in it, but he shut out those thoughts quickly to keep himself from asking or looking more closely.

Red light was visible at the end of this surprisingly long tunnel, and his worn boots — nice of them to let him keep them in the afterlife, he thought ruefully — echoed back at him dully. The stone walls yawned open into a cavern where red light shone through stalactites from an unknown source and illuminated…

He gasped quietly, but the sound echoed throughout the entire space. The dark chaise lounge in the center of the room was occupied by what may very well have been the most exquisite woman he had ever seen. Pale flesh was covered with intricate tattoos along her arms, and her body was long and slender, wearing almost nothing except heavy jewels at neck, bicep and thigh, and a rather small bra and panties. Her red hair seemed like it was made of fire beneath a crown of black jewels and spiraling red horns. She had wings made of bone that seemed to be dripping with bloody gore, but the fact that she had wings at all was scary, creepy, and strangely exciting. Her mouth was crimson, and the thought of blood there on her lips made him shiver. The cavern, he realized then, was ice cold, and yet she seemed perfectly comfortable.

The creature behind him pushed him forward and he walked, never taking his eyes off her, until he was close enough to see that even her eyes glowed a sunset orange-red. She was mesmerizing.

He was shoved hard to his knees. The stone immediately froze his flesh right through his jeans, and he grunted.

She considered him, then looked at his escort behind. One brow arched questioningly. “Something of note, Jasper?” she said, her voice soft, low and menacing. Thompson shivered again.

“This one bears the mark, milady,” said the creature behind him, in the most perfect, normal, upper-class British English he had ever heard. Thompson turned around and looked up at him incredulously, but the creature’s attention was totally focused on her. He turned back around.

“MY mark?” she asked, completely surprised.

“Yes, milady.”

“Well fuck me,” she said, her eyes opening wider and looking carefully at Thompson as though he had suddenly become a hundred times more interesting… as a snack.

“I’d love to,” he breathed, unable to keep the words from coming out of his mouth rather than staying in the relative safety of his brain.

“I don’t doubt that,” she said, still eyeing him like a piece of meat. Her mouth opened slightly and she licked what he could have sworn was a long white fang. It was sexy and scary all over again.

“Who ARE you?” he asked, finally managing to say words he meant to say.

She laughed, stared at him. She leaned forward, and it seemed like she was trying to make him recognize her, like he should know who she was. Finally, when he had managed nothing but admiring her and staring stupidly, she spoke.

“Well… I’m the Devil, you know?”

Featured shoes: Reign Inferno Heels in Black by KenadeeCole

Other details:

  • Head: LeLutka Karin by Jadenart
  • Eyes: Mayfly Luminous in Blood Fire by Arkesh Baral
  • Skin: Glam Affair Megan in Polar by Aida Ewing
  • Body: Maitreya Lara by Onyx LeShelle
  • Lipstick: Deetalez High Gloss Lips for LeLutka by Steffi Villota
  • Tattoo: Speakeasy Memdi Tattoo by JamesEdwardQ
  • Hair: LeLutka Bey from Set 03 by Thora Charron
  • Lingerie: Erratic Scarlett in Black by Erratic Rain
  • Jewelry: Aisling Faranth by Druunah Esharham (gacha items; wearing rare necklace and headpiece, bracers and thigh in black)
  • Hands and Feet: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands in Elegant 1; High Feet by Siddean Munro
  • Manicure: Hello Dave in Rich Reds by Maia Gasparini
  • Claws: CerberusXing Hayop for Slink Elegant 1 by Kamayari
  • Wings: Jian Ravaged Wings by Kalia Firelyte

Scene details:

  • Roawenwood The Duchess – [Domina Series Recline] by Roawenwood (pillows hidden)
  • ISON – books and skulls by Harry Hyx (gacha item)
  • Cheeky Pea – Winter Warmer Chaise in Biblio by Isla Gealach (pillows hidden, blanket tinted)
  • Caves and rocks by Fanatik Architecture by Kendra Zaurak
  • Pose 1 custom by me. Pose 2 from the Gos & oOo Studio Pouffe collection available at either store.