Key: MC, Hypno
Description: Xander goes to start his first day of work at the Spirals Nightclub, only to find that a lot more surprises await him than he originally realized.
Veo exited the elevator with a smile, a secret source had told her that Xander had finally found a place to live and it was her intention to surprise him. As she made her way toward his apartment she was surprised to see the door suddenly open as a young redhead walked out. “Oh…” she said, the surprise evident in her voice “Good morning, miss!”
It was then that she noticed just how disheveled the young woman’s hair and clothes were, to say nothing of the blank expression on her face. It was topped off very nicely by a lovely pair of glassy, dilated eyes. “I had a wonderful evening…” Kathy said in a blank, flat tone. “I slept at home…I had a wonderful evening…I slept at home…” the woman kept repeating softly as she walked past the angel without even acknowledging her presence.
Veo, noticing that the young woman was clearly still in a trance, moved out of her way and let her pass. “Oh, I’m sure you did!” she said with a proud smile, giggling and knocking on Xander’s apartment door.
Xander opened the door with a confused expression on his face, clearly not expecting anyone to be knocking so early. “Helloooo Veo!” he said with a warm smile. “Come in!” he gestured as he moved out of the way for his angelic friend.
“Hey Honeybun!” she smiled, pulling her wings in behind her so she could make her way through the doorway. Once she was inside she extended them slightly again and let them relax behind her. “I see you had a…relaxing evening last night.” She teased, wiggling her eyebrows playfully.
“Huh?” Xander asked, confused, before the lightbulb finally went off in his head. “Oh, Kathy! Yeah, the girl has stamina that’s for sure. Not really my type, but after dragging me through the city all damn day yesterday, I needed a little pick me up, ya know?”
Veo laughed teasingly at him. “Uh huh, well it’s good to see you back in action.” she said warmly as she patted her old friend on the back. “So, new place!” she said with an excited smile.
“Yep, let me give you the tour!” he smiled as he began to show her around. It was still completely empty, but there was more than enough room for one person. In addition to the large master bedroom and living room, there was also a modest kitchen, two bathrooms, two smaller bedrooms, and a rather large storage closet.
After a brief tour they both ended up back in the living room. “I love it, congratulations!” Veo said, giving her old friend a warm smile. “Now get out.” she ended flatly.
“Wait…what?” Xander asked, confused.
“Get out.” Veo said, smiling as she spun him around by the shoulders and easily pushed him towards the front door.
Xander reflexively tried to hold his ground, but despite being several times stronger than even the most powerful human, he had no success in even slowing down Veo’s attempt to push him out of his new apartment. “I don’t wanna leave!” he whined “This is my…how are you doing this?” he groaned, confused about how she always managed to move him so easily.
Veo just smiled as she opened the door and shoved the incubus into the hallway without so much as a grunt, easily overpowering him. “You’re a lightweight, that's how.” she teased. “You can come back around five, I should be done by then.” she finished matter of factly. “Until then…stay out!” she said in a playful yet forceful tone as she closed the door behind him, locking him out of his own apartment.
“Five?! Wait, where am I supposed to go?” he asked as he looked down the hallway, still trying to figure out exactly what had just happened.
“To work!” Veo shouted from behind the closed door, the muffled sound implied she had already moved further into the apartment to start...whatever it was that she was planning.
“Work?” Xander asked as realization washed over him. “Holy shit, work! I have a job!”
“Yes…you do!” Came an even more distant reply from inside the apartment. “Have fun, I hope it goes well! I’ll be done by the time you get back.” Somehow, the angel’s voice seemed to have faded even further into the distance. In fact, Xander wasn’t even sure how she could possibly sound so far away. The apartment was big, but it wasn’t THAT big…was it?
Xander sighed and shrugged, “Alright, I’ll see you later…” he said and waited for a reply that never came. “Veo?” he asked, turning the doorknob to no effect. “Alright then.” he shrugged, turning towards the elevator. “I hate it when she does that.”
A short time later, Xander walked through the front door of the Spirals Nightclub. He was still amazed at just how similar to the original this new location was, even the layout and table locations were identical. The only thing that had changed were the thinner, more advanced TV screens that would display various forms of hypnotic imagery. Everything else was a perfect match.
As he walked into the main room he noticed several of the staff, including Celene and Tammy, talking near the dance floor. He descended the stairs with a spring in his step, only to notice that as he did both Celene and Tammy tensed and exchanged nervous glances.
“Xander…” Celene said with a clear look of caution on her face “what are you doing here?”
Xander smiled. “Apparently I work here. I was offered the manager position, so we’ll be working together again!” The excitement in his voice betrayed the calm, cool persona he was trying to exude. He was genuinely very excited to be back.
"You're what!?” came a rather annoyed and surprised voice from behind Xander. But there was more to the voice than just its tone, there was a familiarity to it. He recognized it.
Xander spun around to face the voice that was emerging from the crowd of other workers that had been surrounding her. “What…the fuck...are you doing here?” he demanded.
“I’m the manager.” Nadia said with a smug, almost aggressive smile. “What the fuck are you doing here?” she retorted, her voice oozing contempt.
“You’re the manager?!” The shock in Xander’s voice was impossible to cover up. “Shouldn’t you be in a prison somewhere, rotting away like you left me to rot!” he scowled.
Nadia simply smiled. “As I recall…” she started, calmly leaning against the wall that separated the dance floor from the dining area. “I was found hypnotized in a rather large group of girls, being held captive and hypnotized against our will…and YOU were found guilty of kidnapping all of us! Why aren’t YOU in prison!” Nadia snapped, a hint of genuine anger and embarrassment was evident as she admitted to having been hypnotically incapacitated.
Xander fumed, “I spent TEN years wearing a depressor to dampen my powers and sap me of the will, the very energy, to be a threat to anyone.” He took a moment to compose himself before he finally lost control of his emotions. “Do you have any idea what those things do to a person. Any idea at all?” he asked as his emotions shifted from pure rage to overwhelming depression and sadness. During his time with the depressor, a device placed on him to keep him in line by causing an artificial form of depression, he had lost just about everyone and everything he cared about in his life. It was only recently that he had managed to overcome that, and the emotions were still quite raw.
Nadia, of course, couldn’t have cared less and simply smirked at his emotional outburst. “And yet here you are…darkening my doorstep again. Maybe we should alert the authorities so they can slap another one of those depressors on you and get you out of my hair!” she snapped.
The sound of Xander’s temper snapping echoed through the room like a twig cracking in the dead of night. “Oh shit.” Celene said with a sigh.
Xander’s eyes lit up with anger. Their usual blue hypnotic glow was replaced with a deep, dark red as his wings grew out of his back in an instant, making him look five times bigger than he already was. As he glared at Nadia, hypnotic orbs started to form in each of his hands. “That’s it!” he shouted angrily.
“Bring it, asshole!” Nadia shouted as she stepped back into a fighting stance, ready to take on the incubus in hand to hand combat without fear.
“Hey!” Celene shouted as she tried to step between the two combatants before they killed one another. Although she was pretty sure Xander would win, hands down, she didn’t trust Nadia to not have a trick or two up her sleeve just in case she ever bumped into Xander again. “That’s enough!”
Despite her role as head of security, Celene’s presence didn’t seem to slow down the incubus or the hypnotist. And if Xander couldn’t go through Celene, then he would just go over her. With a quick flap of his wings, he easily rose above the young woman, arcing over her as he aimed downward at Nadia with a look of rage in his eyes.
Nadia was expecting Xander’s attack, but wasn’t expecting him to go airborne since he wasn’t exactly known for his grace in flight. But as she looked up at the incubus descending down towards her, she pulled out a pair of batons that she kept tucked under her jacket. Batons that she had had dipped in holy water years ago for just such an occasion.
Celene could only watch Xander as he moved quickly over her head. She knew that she wasn’t going to be able to stop the fight, so instead she would just have to make sure that they both survived it. But just as the two started to clash, she caught a blur of movement out of the corner of her eye.
There was the loud sound of an impact as Xander hit the ground, but the blur that Celene had seen was actually a third party entering the fight. As Xander landed the third person had pulled Nadia back a few feet, keeping her out from under the incubus as he landed and protecting him from the blessed weapons that she possessed. The figure now stood between the two. A calm, almost blank, expression on her face as she said quietly. “Stop.”
The rage in Xander’s eyes turned to confusion. “Midnight?” he asked as he began to relax. “What the hell are you doing?”
Midnight stood between the two with one hand aimed at each of them so they would keep their distance She stood several inches taller than Xander, especially in her heels, and was decked out in her skintight purple jumpsuit that left no curve to the imagination, with convenient slits to show off her legs and breasts.
“Midnight?” Nadia asked in surprise. “What kind of name is that?”
Xander’s wings folded behind him and slowly shrank back down under the skin of his back. He took a few steps closer to Midnight and waved a hand in front of her glassy eyes. “She’s hypnotized.” he remarked, somewhat obviously.
“I can see that!” Nadia snapped, “But why…and by who?”
Celene repositioned herself in case Xander and Nadia decided to resume their fight. “Friend of yours?” she asked Xander.
Xander nodded. “Yeah…she showed up at my hotel room a few days ago and offered me a job here, and was hypnotized then, too. When she snapped out of it she didn’t know how she got there, or remember anything she said.”
Celene looked at Midnight curiously. “A few days ago…that would have been about the time we were told that Spirals had been bought out.” She glanced at Nadia, “I take it she didn’t come see you then?”
Nadia finally relaxed her posture but kept her weapons out. “No…” she said, glancing at Celene. “I was recruited by…someone else.”
Before they could question Nadia about her vague statement, Midnight began speaking again. “Welcome, employees of the Spirals nightclub, both old and new.” she began in a relaxed, monotone voice. It was clear that she had been hypnotized to repeat this verbatim. “Tonight is our grand reopening. I’d like to introduce you to your new managers, Xander and Nadia. Their jobs are to make sure that everyone has a good time…by any means necessary. The rest of you know your jobs and how to do them to the best of your abilities. I trust you all and have faith that this endeavour will be…fruitful, if not memorable.” Midnight said without a hint of expression on her face.
By now Tammy had joined the rest of the group as they all listened to Midnight recite her hypnotized speech. “What…the hell…is going on?” she asked.
“I’m...not sure, to be honest.” Celene responded, somehow more confused than she had been moments ago.
Before they could ask any questions, Midnight began to give them more instructions. “In your lockers, you will all find instructions on your responsibilities tonight and going forward.” she continued in the same flat, expressionless manner as she turned to Xander and Nadia. “All except you two. The only instructions you need are to ensure that everyone enjoys themselves. Now, let's all get ready.” As Midnight finished the sentence, her eyes rolled up into her head and she let out a soft sigh. By all appearances, it seemed as though she was going to faint.
Xander and Nadia moved in unison to steady her at the same time and keep her upright. Her eyes slowly opened and blinked a few times as she looked around. “Hey…wait, where am I?” she asked as her gaze settled on Xander. “Xander? Wait…did it happen again? What did I say! What did I say?!” she asked excitedly, realizing that, once again, she had been hypnotized to be a messenger. And, just as before, that she had no memory of what she had said or who had done it to her.
Xander gave her a brief rundown of what happened as Midnight looked at him with a rather annoyed expression on her face. “That’s it? I was hoping for something more interesting.” she said, disappointed as she glanced down at her phone. “Shit, I’m late! I have to open the shop. Later, Xan!” she shouted as she ran up the stairs and disappeared.
Xander, Celene, Nadia, and Tammy all watched her bound up the stairs and stared at one another. “That didn’t phase her in the slightest, did it?” Tammy asked.
“Not even a little.” Xander replied with a sigh as he turned to the rest of the staff. “Alright, you heard her. Go get your instructions from your lockers and we’ll see you all tonight!” he said, trying to take charge.
Nadia, of course, couldn’t let that happen. “And remember, it’s our opening night. I expect everyone to put on their best show. I’m counting on you.” she said, stepping in front of Xander even though she wasn’t big enough to completely block him from view. “Everyone dismissed!” she finished, turning to Xander.
Xander growled at Nadia as Celene put a hand on his shoulder. “Let it go. You two are going to have to work together, you know that right?”
Nadia smiled. “Yeah Xan.” she started in a mocking tone “Guess you're going to have to work with me.”
Xander gave her a devious, almost aggressive, smile “Not if you work with me first!” he barked angrily.
“Not your best comeback, bud.” Tammy whispered as she walked by and patted him on the back gently.
Nadia shrugged and smiled, making her way over to the rear exit. “We’ll see. By the way, don’t be late…I’d hate to have to write you up on your first night.” she taunted as she walked away.
Xander let out another growl and, before Celene or Tammy could say anything, he spun on his heels and stormed off up the stairs and to the front entrance.
"Well, that went well.” Celene groaned as she and Tammy made their way to the locker room. “Think they’ll behave tonight?”
"Of course not!” Tammy laughed as they entered the women’s locker room. “They never did. Why would they start now?” she finished, opening her locker.
“Yeah, I guess you're right. I still can’t believe that those two are here after all this time. This is going to be absolute chaos!” she said, sighing as she opened her locker. Just then, she realized that Tammy was being uncharacteristically quiet. She looked to her left to see Tammy, standing at attention in front of her locker, her face covered in a swirling, colored light.
“What the hell?” Celene asked herself as she quickly looked around the room, only to notice that all of the other girls were in a similar position. Each one was standing at attention and staring into some kind of device that was putting out a hypnotic swirl of colors that reflected on their faces. Before she could examine it any further, a light caught the corner of her eye. A light that was coming from her locker. She quickly turned just in time to see a small disc shaped device displaying a multicolored spiral before her eyes.
As the light shone across her face she let out a soft sigh. The struggle in her eyes faded as her pupils began to dilate while her shoulders relaxed. Her jaw opened like she was going to try and say something, but after several moments of moving her mouth to try and speak, her jaw simply hung open limply.
As the young women all stared into the spirals before them, a voice began to play over the speakers in the locker room. “Just relax into the spiral…it’s all that matters to you now. Just the spiral…and your work…here at the nightclub… isn’t that right?”
The girls replied in unison, all in the same distant, relaxed voices. “Yes…”
To be continued…