The lights on Freemont Street glared bright twenty-four hours a day, the illuminated arch extended several blocks like a curved monitor pointed down at the tourists below, going from hotel to restaurant to strip club along the adult playground. The Limo slowed to a stop in front of Rip as he sat on his motorcycle. He had been waiting for his partner to arrive since he had located their target.
When Tom stepped out of the back of the limo Rip smirked to himself.
“Isn’t that a little flashier than your usual style.” Rip chuckled.
“Actually,” Tom replied. “I have no problems with luxury, I just feel the need to maximize my investments, and in Las Vegas it costs no more to take a stretch limousine than a normal taxicab. Besides I have been the majority shareholder for this particular company for over a decade now, so this is not costing me anything.”
“Leave it to you, to come to Vegas and worry about the cost of everything.” Rip drawled.
“For someone not trying to conserve money, then why have you been riding around on that old thing for so long?” Tom asked pointing to the ancient motorcycle.
“Best thing the Pirate ever came up with.” Rip replied. “Can’t bring myself to part with her. Come on, the place she’s working is this way.”
Rip pushed his way through the crowd leading Tom down the street, the fact that it was the middle of winter in the rest of the country made the streets crowed even at three in the morning, not that the time of day mattered in Vegas.
Rip stopped in front of what had once been a rundown strip joint in the middle of Freemont Street, but just looking at it made it obvious that the owners had been doing exceptionally well recently. It still had a sleazy seventies style to it, but the entire place looked brand new showing the resent investments made in the building. Looking at each other, neither was surprised that they would find her here, the building exuded a style that both would associate with her.
Inside the club was dark, one of the girls was up on a large stage in the middle, while two others danced in small cages off to the sides of the stage, the songs were primarily seventies rock songs. Obviously this was the opening act as many of the men and women around the stage were not even paying attention to the dancers and just waiting for the headliner. They could tell by looking around the room at the faces which members of the crowd had seen her perform before and which were drawn in by the rumors. The returning customer’s faces held a look of ecstatic anticipation.
Rip slid up to the bar and ordered himself a drink while Tom examined the location. They needed to get time alone with her to talk, but neither was interested in drawing too much attention to them, unfortunately drawing attention is what she did for a living.
Soon the girl on the center stage finished up and headed backstage, the two girls in the cages quickly joined her as it seemed all of the women who worked in the club went to take breaks all at the same time. The regulars started to buzz with excitement. The lights dropped down until the room was almost pitch black, the spotlights were turned up to their full intensity and suddenly everyone realized that a person wearing a cloak with the hood up was standing on stage.
“And now The Kitty Klub presents its exclusive headline performer,” The deep voice of the DJ boomed over the speakers. “Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the center stage…. Syrie”
The cloak dropped to the floor revealing the exquisite form of a female. Compared to her the other dancers had been skin and bone and flab. She was lush ripe curves and sensual musculature. The music had stopped but no one cared, she was in motion, spinning and twirling trailing the veils connected to her limbs.
She moved as if she was weightless, one moment her body exposed and the next hidden. At all times though she called out to her audience with every fiber of her being, calling them to come closer and closer, promising pleasures that none of the people who watched her had ever dreamed about before.
Rip remained at his spot by the bar, watching, not sure if the owners knew what they were doing and the chaos that would ensue if she pushed it too far.
She carried the crowd along with her on a ride to the far reaches of ecstasy; some in the group breaking down crying and others grabbing the nearest person in a passionate embrace. She brought them up and down through a rollercoaster of lust as she twirled across the stage. None had ever seen a sight so exotic in their lives. Money flew through the air and landed at her feet covered the space on the stage around her.
As the dance ended the hum of the crowd persisted and many of the patrons rushed out into the night to find a quiet place to be alone with the person they had brought, or just someone they had met there.
Rip gestured to Tom they saw Syrie slip backstage and the regular employees returned to their duties. They both crossed to the door leading to the back of the club. They were stopped at the door by a guard who was taller and weighted more than the two of them combined.
“Line for the private rooms is back that way gents,” He grumbled pointing across the room.
“We were looking to speak to Syrie for a moment.” Tom explained.
“Sorry, she does not do private dances,” The guard replied. “Any of the other girls would be happy to assist you fellas.”
“We ain’t here for a handjob tubby.” Rip growled.
The guard reached out to take hold of Rip’s collar, but before he could get a grip Rip slipped a motorcycle chain out from under his coat and spun it around the guard’s neck. Grabbing one end of the chain in each hand he yanked down sharply drawing the guard’s face into his waiting knee. The guard slumped to the floor dazed.
Bending down, Rip propped one of the guard’s eyes open with his fingers as he spoke to him.
“You just behave and stay there, and you might be able to walk tomorrow.” Rip calmly explained. “We’re going to have a talk with our friend.”
Rip and Tom them turned and entered the back room.
Since all of the female employees were out front taking advantage of the sexual hysteria that Syrie had raised, it was abandoned in the small dressing area.
“Time to go, little girl.” Rip said.
Syrie didn’t even turn to look at them when she responded. “Why do you need me?” She asked.
“The fight is coming soon,” Rip explained. “We need everybody together for the battle.”
“But…I…I’m not a warrior.” Syrie sobbed. “What good will I do in a fight.”
“Don’t be foolish,” Tom interrupted. “The fire that you can raise will be the strongest weapon against them. There is no way they will be able to stand against us.”
“It’s your duty to the family.” Tom through in. “We have to stand together to fight this menace, or they would wipe us all out.”
“I won’t,” Syrie shouted. “And you two brutes can’t make me.”
“This is not just the two of us, The crown prince has sent us here.” Tom emphasized. “Lord Robin demands that you come join us, and stand by our side when we finally face them.”
Syrie sat shocked, she could not believe what they we asking her to do. Her tears came stronger and stronger.
“Do you understand what it is like!” Syrie screamed. “How horrible it is.”
Tom went to speak, but she continued without even acknowledging him.
“Out there, I feed them the fire and I can feel how it affects them. I guess all of us can to some extent. But for me it is stronger. I can feel the passion that runs through the humans and it gives me a rush, but when I am faced with those things, that I can feel too. When the fire rips away at their flesh and eats them from the inside. I can feel all of the agony that they do, and you ask me to turn that on hundreds of them at once.”
Tom laid his hand on the woman’s shoulder and stroked it in a show of sympathy. She calmed for a moment and then tensed up as Tom pressed his thumb against a nerve in his neck that paralyzed her entire body. Within moments she lost consciousness and slumped in her chair.
“Gather her up we need to be going.” Tom told Rip. “With any luck, Robin and I’s plan will not have to sacrifice her sanity to work.”