The Ministry formally advises that all contact with muggles and their world be kept to a minimum. Muggles are an admittedly useless creature, far inferior to our abilities and knowledge. The Ministry advises those who have made it clear they are blood traitors are not to be reckoned with or kept informed of the goings on within our world as they have made their choice.
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By Eben Rook
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#18926
3 July, 2:03 am

Look at them all. Idiots. Every single last one of them. Vapid cows that were content to moo along in their pastures, herded by the deep state government thinkers that would feast in society’s slaughtered corpse. Cows? No. Sheep. And there were sheepdogs that protected against the wolves. It was the same everywhere. There were those who thought and those that get consumed.

Why was he thinking that? He shook his head and panted slightly, trying to clear his mind. Ben sat at the back of the bus, huddled into the corner of his seat as he observed those around him. How long had he been riding this bus? Long enough that his rocking was drawing the driver’s occasional glances. He needed to go. Needed to move. This wasn’t safe. He was in the run from...what? Who? He couldn’t remember and his stomach hurt.

He’d been hit with a doozy of a curse. His skin still tingled and he felt ill. Crawling. Skin was crawling and he was hot and cold and going to puke. Oh, God this was hell-

He stumbled off the bus at the next stop, unaware of his surroundings in the drizzling fog of the evening. He had to make it home. Where was home? Pictures of a green three story house surrounded with maple trees in summer sunlight filled his head. That was...that wasn’t here. This wasn’t Brooklyn. This was England. Cold, damp, dangerous England. He’d come hunting vampires. Where was home? Brooklyn. No, that was over there. He was over here...ugh.

How had he gotten into an alley?

Eben steadied himself against a dumpster as his stomach finally let go of its contents. He retched a second time out of disgust at the slugs writhing in the resulting mess. So that was the curse he’d been hit with, eh? Or at least one of them. There had been two shots, he remembered. The green and the pink...

Once the curse had really taken ahold, it was hard to hold back. His stomach turned an additional three times as he lost himself in the spinning confusion of the disorienting curse. Confundus. That’s what it was. And who had hit him with it? He couldn’t remember their faces or where he was. Had he found the vampire nest? Maybe. And they had wizar-

“Urk!-aw fuck!”

A particularly slimy bastard of a slug squirmed off, olive green with a distinct pattern of spots and stripes down its back. Eben sat, avoiding his mess, and tried to breathe through the recovery stages of the confusion curse so he could get back to his apartment and look up the counter curse for the slug vomiting curse.


And dammit all, it was a full moon, wasn’t it? That explained the rambling about sheep and wolves earlier, Eben rationalized. He had his wand and spring blades, but not his sense of balance or any kind of semblance of stability. If anything thought him prey tonight, he’d have to make his stand here.
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By Niklaus Schmidt
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#19046
(Posted with permission by Jen)

Why was it the newbies always had to transform in the damn city? And why was it they had to be the hardest to fucking catch? Why couldn't some experienced wolf make it their lifelong goal to shepherd newbs off to the nearest field to frolick in? Oh, right, territorial bastards. Pack mentality, perhaps, but they didn't seem to follow much when they transformed. If they did, well, hell, that would make his life easier and harder and...well, exciting.

Klaus dodged right as the wolfling slashed at him with his ugly paw and his eyes went wide as the hideous creature began to prepare to lunge. In a hurry, he tossed the loaded crossbow off to the opening of the alley. Please don't shoot. Please don't shoot. But there wasn't much time to worry as he focused on flipping away, landing crouched and flailing forward toward his weapon of choice.

Dumb move. The wolf was on him now. Eyes wide, heart pounding in his ears, he reached for the sheathed silver blade on his hip and stabbed. At what, he didn't give a damn. Anything to make the wolf recoil. Anything to give him a chance to escape. And there it was. The sound of pain as the wolf backed off.

Chest heaving, Klaus stood and grabbed his weapon only to grab at his side with a groan. "Fuck."

He didn't have time to worry about what it was from. He couldn't fight like this. He looked at his bloody hand. Was that his? The wolf's?

"Aaaaargh!" He steeled himself against the pain as he pushed himself to run. Horrible idea. Dogs chase, after all. Wolves did, too. But he had to run. As he neared another alley, he turned, hoping the wolf wouldn't be so close he couldn't aim. But aim he did and through the heart went a silver tipped arrow. Klaus sagged against the wall, dropping the crossbow. He had to get the wolf out of the city before some sober person stumbled across the thing, but he had to rest a moment. He had to assess the damage.

But what the hell was that sound?
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By Eben Rook
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#19047
There were bad nights, and then there were full moon nights. There was a reason that anyone who worked in health services or security hated the full moon. It brought out the lunatics. For wizards, it brought out werewolves. Maybe the muggles had the worse end of it, Eben reflected. They had a whole horde of issues rather than one big, hairy problem.

Sitting still was helping Eben’s head clear, but his stomach was still a knot of hell. It wouldn’t matter, though, because he heard-and smelled-the raucous fight between man and beast as it boiled down the street and into his safe haven. Eben was able to ball up and avoid the wolf’s attention while he pulled out his wand and stood to cast. He needn’t have bothered. With a KERTHUNK of finality, the other hunter managed to slay the wolf. Eben could still finish it up for him, though, because the dark haired man seemed winded and shocked.

”Evanesco!”

The lanky pile of fur disappeared, leaving a smear of blood. Eben gagged again when something moved in his stomach.

“...fucking-urk! Fuck!”

He cursed none too eloquently. Retribution would come to the wizard who hit him. Oh, yes, it would, Eben thought as he spat out a banana yellow slug. Fucking disgusting. And there was the other hunter...he’d need to watch out for this guy, too. It was nothing personal, but Eben aimed his wand cautiously at the man with the crossbow. And still, his stomach was a knot, so he kept his free hand on the dumpster to steady himself from weaving.

“You alright?”
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By Niklaus Schmidt
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#19048
Klaus wiped at his nose, barely covering the look of disgust at the slimy creature that came out of the other man's mouth. If it weren't for the wand drawn at him, Klaus might have turned his focus away. But as it was, there were more pressing matters than the dead wolf. No snarling, no growling, no heavy footfalls. Yeah, wolf was toast.

The adrenaline still coursing through his veins made it feel as though the world was rushing around him. He could still hear the march of his heart in his ears, closed his eyes as a bead of sweat rolled toward them and absently wiped, barely registering the slug-spitting magic man's question as he forced his eyes open.

"Hmm? Oh, yeah, peachy." It was mumbled and probably a bit incoherent but Klaus couldn't care as he flashed a sloppy side grin at him and chuckled as he looked down at his side. "Y'know, I just thought I'd try the slashed clothing look out...what, 20 years late?" Another chuckle. Fuck. It was from the wolf. "Not a bite. I'm ok." Quiet, to himself.

Wand guy. Magic guy. His eyes narrowed at him. “Oy. Put that thing away, would you? Don't fancy you're just that happy I saved your arse."
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By Eben Rook
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#19049
Woozy. Oh shit.

Eben sat heavily and gagged again. Slime, slime, and five small squiggles of slugs. Fuck this curse to the ever-loving land of liberty! He swiped at his mouth to wipe away the slime, flicking it off. At the werewolf hunter’s words, Eben looked down at his wand. Right. Needed to put it away. There could be muggles out who might see that. With overly focused attention, Eben twisted, then pushed the wand to get it to slide back into its spring loaded sheathe and out of sight. The Confundus charm...or was it a Stupefy, maybe?...was getting better, and yet not better. Maybe it was the constant vomiting. Better to not pay attention to his stomach and make it think it had permission to lurch again.

The man’s words about saving his life filtered through and Eben looked up at him, black eyes glittering in the low light. He had, hadn’t he? If it weren’t for this hunter, he’d be dead, wand and blade be damned. He wasn’t too proud to admit that.

“You’re right...you did save my ass. What’s yer name?”

Critically, he assessed the man’s gear: Torn clothing, a crossbow with silver bolts, sturdy boots broken in for running, and a hell of a steel spine. Where was his armor? His shotgun? His wand? Maybe they just hunted werewolves differently in New York City. Eben made a mental note to thank this wizard by kitting him out good and proper.
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By Niklaus Schmidt
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#19050
”I did," Klaus confirmed. "And I didn't." He smirked, debating for a moment whether to grace the wizard with his real name. Ah, what the hell? "Klaus. Yours?"

Klaus looked down at the wound on his side and hissed. He needed to get back to Baby and his first aid kit. No way to explain gashes from a bloody werewolf to a hospital. But the wolf...

Wolf...

Klaus stood and turned in a double take. It was gone. Maybe that was what that word with "van" in it had meant? But that thought was pushed away as he fell back against the wall. The adrenaline from the pursuit and fight was wearing off. This was going to be a bitch to deal with.
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By Eben Rook
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#19051
“Ben,” he replied.

Maybe if he closed his eyes and did a breathing meditation, that would help. In through the nose and hold it. Out through the mouth slowly and gently. Okay. It helped the head clear. That was good. What did he need to do next? Get back to the apartment, get the slug vomiting curse off of him, take a shower, brush his teeth fifteen times, and review his hunting notes to try and remember what had happened tonight. Eben’s memories were crystal clear right up to the moment he left his apartment the previous evening. Where he went and what he did after was a haze of questions until he came to on the bus. Maybe it wasn’t the Confundus charm, then... had his memory been wiped? If so, why?

He must have found a nest. Eben added tracking his phone to the to-do list to see where he had been last night. He’s also have to break out the assault kit rather than his current recon outfit. The black leather jacket (Minotaur hide for slash resistance) and black cargo pants made him look punk, but had the storage room for everything he needed to get in and out quickly. Tonight failed because he couldn’t get out quickly enough. The failure there was that he was not prepared for wizards. Next time, he would be. Next time, nobody would make him yak up slugs.

Klaus was checking himself out and looked like he was also coming down off of his adrenaline high. Time to start paying the man back...

“That claw wound,” he gestured weakly at Klaus, “I can heal it. Help me get back to my place and- urk!- I’ll get it fixed better than it was last night.”

He’d need help for sure. What neighborhood was he in? London was a tangled rat’s nest of streets and districts. He’d need either help getting back or a place to recover so he could reliably apparate.
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By Niklaus Schmidt
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#19052
Klaus winced as he shifted his weight, trying to find some position that was comfortable. He kept his eyes closed, not entirely convinced it was safe to do so but too tired to care. He needed to get home. He needed to leave. He needed to.... He groaned in response to Ben's voice, opening his eyes to look at the other man. A look of disgust at the slug, but he couldn't find it in him to care more than that. If he did, he'd be tossing his cookies, and that was not something he aimed to do. "Sure,"/b] he said with a heavy sigh. Shit. Where was Baby in relation to this? He looked around, his blue eyes steeling in resolve as he realized he was probably a good three city blocks from here. "Let's go. Now."

Perhaps a bit gruff but he needed to get moving or else this wasn't going to work.

((Might add more narration but oldest is up. Speech is good. Safe to say he's headed toward Baby.))
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By Eben Rook
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#19053
Eben heaved himself up and hugged the wall. Urgency was great, and he could tell the other wizard had it in spades from adrenaline, but where were they going? Why not just apparate them? Ben has a snapshot of his apartment building for just such a purpose, unless...

”Can’t apparate, huh? S’fine, but ho-urk!-how far are we goin’? I don’t gotta lotta miles in me with this curse.”

Hopefully he’d be able to contain himself long enough until he could hit the bathroom. It would be torture, keeping the sliming, writhing mass in, but he’d have to. Somehow.

Still leaning on the brickwork, Eben followed Klaus. For sure, to any outsider, he probably looked stoned or drunk. Hell, he felt that way. Dizzy, sick, confused, lost...what was it the Brit said earlier? Just peachy. Yep. That was Ben, too. What a pair they made.

Ahead, Eben spotted a beauty: a Chevy Impala, ‘67, black. Pampered, too, by the way it glittered under the streetlights. Klaus was headed towards it and Eben paused.

”That? With me in my way that I am? Lemme step around the corner and make sure I don’t desecrate her.”

He pointed to a trash bin on the corner and moved to yak up more slugs. Disgusting, but a necessary evil. He wasn’t going to besmirch the car with a slug. Once finished, he made an apology and gave Klaus the address.

”I have no clue where the hell we are, my phone is at one percent, and I live in Kensington...” he rattled off his address, hoping they were close.

(Up to you how close or far they are)
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By Niklaus Schmidt
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#19057
Klaus ignored the comment about apparating from his acquaintance. No, he couldn't. Didn't matter. He probably couldn't drive much better, but he could turn on car, make it go, surely. Just no sudden stops, no sudden swerving. It was late enough that shouldn't be a problem, right? Right. Klaus walked rigidly but quickly. Had to. Couldn't think of the pain. Couldn't think of blood on Baby or...slugs. He realized with a grimace as Ben puked up some slugs into a trash bin. At least he had the decency?

Still, Klaus was barely paying attention to his body as he got in and buckled up, barely paid attention to the lovely purr of Baby's engine. He was surprised he was able to realize Ben was rattling off an address. He reached into his pocket, immediately regretting the motion but not stopping, and tossed his phone at Ben. "Put it in," he said gruffly as he pulled away from the curb. He could take them to the expressway that would get them in the right direction to get to Kensington, but beyond that. He needed something he knew would give him roughly enough time to get over if needed, and that something was a phone and GPS. If he was lucky. Because he hardly knew how reliable this bloke would be.

((Can get them there if you'd like.))
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By Eben Rook
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#19058
Klaus was in more pain than he was willing to share. Eben could see it in the way he moved and walked, the tightness around his eyes, and the stiffness in his shoulders. Ben resolved to do something about it once they were driving. He wiped his mouth on his jacket sleeve and clenched his teeth against another uprising. He slipped into the car and buckled in without being hidden, then leaned against the door and watched his benefactor.

The man was dark haired, blue eyed, and stereotypically British pale. He really needed a better werewolf hunting kit. When Klaus started driving and passed him the phone, Ben dutifully put the address into the GPS.

“In one point six kilometers, turn left onto Sydney place.”The dutiful voice reported.

It would be another eight minutes of driving before he could get to his potions nook. He couldn’t help himself or the roiling, festering cauldron of pain and disgust in his stomach. But...he could help Klaus.

“I’m gonna draw my wand and cast a healing spell, okay? Just keep driving and the wound will be healed. Urk-fuck...stupid curse...I’ll fix your gear at my place once this-urk...fucking spell is ended...” he stopped speaking and drew his wand. He spoke two more words in a sing song, repeating it until the wound had knitted together:

“Vulnera Sanentur.”

He winced as his stomach cramped again, then huddled against the door. As soon as the GPS directed them into his building’s parking structure, he directed Klaus to the parking spot next to his orange McLaren MP4-12C. Subtle, the car was not, but it was as fun as it was pretty.

“Sixth floor,” he announced as he led the way to the building’s elevator. He jammed the button for his floor several times in frustration. The lift, as the Brits called it, came on it’s own time. It was time that Ben didn’t have as his stomach cramped again.

It seemed like forever, but by the time they got to the proper floor, Ben was practically running to get to the bathroom and vomit again. He retched three more times before the current round of retching ended. He was shaky when he stood, but he regained his strength as he brushed his teeth.

“Okay,” he told himself in the mirror. “Get your phone charged and look up the counter spell, get Klaus kitted out, and figure out what happened tonight.” He instructed himself softly. He stared himself down in the mirror for a few more seconds, then pushed back from the sink and went to follow his directions.

He fished his phone out of his jacket pocket and plugged it in in the kitchen outlet. The red battery saver icon flashed on while he went to the cabinet where he kept his potions. He pulled out a small green glass bottle.

“Here. Essence of Dittany.” He offered it to Klaus, then frowned at the blank look he got in return.

“Just put it on the scar from the claw. Like a lotion. Just a dab,” he instructed. Something wasn’t right. Essence of Dittany was a standard first aid potion. His stomach gave another small lurch. He needed to find his own cure before he puzzled out Klaus’ odd knowledge gaps.

Eben turned away from the stranger in his home, unconcerned for safety. His bookshelf created its own reading nook. An earthenware cup held enchanted bookmarks that would find and mark keywords for him. He swiftly chose three possible books, then began searching one manually while the other two flipped through their pages on their own with the aid of the search-marks. Soon, he had two possible cures.

“The fuck is treacle? I don’t know how to make that...but this, I can get behind...beer mixed with rosemary, Fernandez, and tentacula sap...I thiiiink....yes I have it.” He said mostly to himself as he searched the potions supplies he kept in a trunk by the window.

“So, Klaus...how long have you been hunting?” He asked conversationally as he began mixing the ingredients. He stifled a few more slug eruptions as he worked.
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By Niklaus Schmidt
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#19059
Oh, what a wonderful thing it would be to have a wizard on his team. If he worked with someone. If he had to work with someone. The relief was clouded with a frown at that thought, though he had managed a grunt and smile of thanks quickly cast before that moment. The thought had brought him back to MI6; the cluster fuck that had become despite early moments that had been, quite frankly, entertaining; that quirky bloke Orion; and...Matt. Matt, his best mate, the flurry of emotions over what went down with Kat, the betrayal of MI6, Jones. But Matt. Despite it all, he missed Matt Cox. He'd known him too long, and the fact he'd been driven off the continent thanks to that damned organization--!

His knuckles were white, Klaus realized, as he pulled into what he assumed was an alright parking space as his GPS said he had arrived at his destination. Or whatever the hell it said. Frankly, he didn't care as he grabbed at his side, noting the blood was still there but no longer new, no longer oozing. The wound was a little tender, his side a little tender, but it was closed. Like magic. He smirked to himself, apparently lost in his own little world for the moment til his companion got out of the car. He seemed to want him to come with him. What for? Oh, right. His gear. Something about his gear. Hey, magically repaired gear sounded a helluva lot better than having to buy new gear. Expensive crap.

He followed, no longer quite as hampered by his wounds, yet still feeling it. Stupid muscles.

At...Ben's command as they entered his apartment, Klaus felt at his jacket and trouser pockets for his charger. Crap. At his flat. He glanced at his phone, which was in his hand. Battery was good enough, he reckoned. Unless something crazy happened. He powered it down for now, stuck it in his back trouser pocket, then took off his useless jacket and set it over the best thing he saw that wouldn't be too bad off from a little blood.

Klaus gave Ben a spacey look then quirked a brow as he tried to hand him something. Some essence. He looked at the bottle, hoping for some clue. Stupid wizards. He much preferred muggle bottles. All the details needed to figure out what something was for without looking bloody stupid. Thankfully, Ben told him what to do. Klaus gave a stupid smile and nodded, then lifted his torn shirt and dabbed the stuff on. It stung a bit, but he ignored it and kept at it.

It was s strange, Klaus thought, being in a stranger's home. It wasn't the first time, but it certainly was with a male and for...well, whatever they were doing. Ben was rambling on about something, but Klaus barely paid attention til he heard his name, choosing instead to sit in a nearby seat where he could see Ben yet relax. He was feeling the fall in adrenaline.

"What?" he asked, then shook his head. "Oh. Too long. A decade, maybe?" Time wasn't a thing Klaus liked to fixate on. It went far too quickly, and he was nearing 40 far too fast for his liking.
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By Eben Rook
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#19060
”Damn, son! With that gear?! It’s a wonder you’ve made it this long!” Ben laughed with the tail twist. The frankincense, Rosemary, and tentacula sap were mixed properly according to the potion. All that was left was the good stuff, so Ben went to the fridge and got out two pilsners, pushing one bottle to Klaus before opening his own and mixing in the magical ingredients. The beer foamed and sputtered briefly before settling back to its amber hue. Ben took a cautious sip; it was definitely herbal with a tangy back bite to it. That had to be the sap, he thought. Each drink made his stomach settle, and it wasn’t too long before he felt himself again.

”I’ve been hunting on and off about that long, mostly on contract. How about you? Contract worker? Independent pest control? Lone Ranger vigilante?” The last was said with such a wry twist of humor that it was clearly a joke, as if Ben didn’t believe that any sane or rational hunter would throw themselves into the fight for ten years without some sort of recompense. Then again, he thought as he looked at the town jacket, the man wasn’t raking in the gold. Either the werewolf bounties were low, he had some vice he was blowing the money on...or he wasn’t profiting off of this. Wouldn’t that be interesting?

Ben’s mind went on to other problems. Leather gear held spells easily, especially Minotaur or dragon hide. It would depend, though if he wanted more flexibility or more durability. Hm. And then there was the problem of the crossbow. So outdated. Then again, the bolts were reusable until they broke, and the silver tips could be salvaged. Was there an aversion to using guns? They worked just as well. Maybe it was a Brit thing. Or maybe this other hunter had an aversion to No-Maj tech. A shame, because a silver loaded buckshot did great on packs, not to mention against other nasties. Hell, shotguns in general were just good all purpose tools. Breeching rounds, salt rounds, slugs, pellets...all good. Maybe he’d learn more if he just asked.

”So, why a crossbow?” Ben slugged back-haha-the last of his beer and moved to the chair where Klaus’s jacket hung, inspecting it.
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By Niklaus Schmidt
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#19061
Klaus gave a tight-lipped smirk at Ben's remark and glanced at his jacket. It had seen better days. Hell, this shirt had, too. So had most of the things in his life, himself included. But what of it? Maybe he didn't care. Except the bit of annoyance that had at first tried to take over told him otherwise. But he didn't want to, and he hadn't, to be frank, for quite some time. Maybe for a while with Matt and Kat in his life, MI6 giving some semblance of normalcy to his existence. But now? What did he have anymore? But he woke every morning. His heart kept beating, his lungs kept breathing, he kept moving, and he kept eating. He wasn't the "easy way out" type of bloke, but a wolf? Well, that was all he had going for him now. The only thing that made him feel alive anymore. He wasn't even sure what the point of life was beyond simply existing.

Thankfully, Ben brought over a beer and asked a question before he could venture too far down that nasty train of thought. Klaus rose a brow at the options presented and the fact "vigilante" was said in a clearly joking tone of voice. Wasn't too long ago he could have said "contract worker," though that hadn't typically involved hunting. Independent pest control? Vigilante? Klaus chose simply to shrug and snort as though to laugh at Ben's little joke. Easier than venturing down the question trail that could follow a real reaction or response. And then, it was quiet. Klaus took a long swig of the pilsner. Perhaps a good variety, but not hard enough for Klaus' liking at the moment. Another swig. Had to pace himself, though. Didn't need his acquaintance to find something else to jab at.

But...oh goody! He had. "Looks cool," Klaus retorted, raising his bottle as though to say, "Cheers," before taking another drink. Did he really have to go into the why of any of it? What did it bloody matter anyway? Wasn't like they'd see each other beyond this anyway. Never saw anyone he met outside of secondary or MI6 at any juncture. People didn't like making real connections, which was probably better anyway. Couldn't lose what you didn't have.
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By Eben Rook
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#19062
Ben’s eyes narrowed thoughtfully at the reasoning. If coolness was the only factor, then Klaus was due for an upgrade there, too. He was getting a little too generous with giving away gear, but if the man had been successfully hunting this long and...apparently without magic...? Then perhaps they could work out a contractor deal. The MACUSA contract on rogue werewolves didn’t specify they had to be American wolves, just that an American had to claim the bounty. If Klaus bagged one a month at fifty grand a pop, paid for the twenty dollar a shell silver ammo, and was willing to pay the ten percent filing fee, he’d still be making a year’s salary every month. And Ben would have a Hunter on the ground in England to expand business...lucrative for everyone involved. That was, if Klaus was interested.

”Are you interested in making money? I’m talking forty grand plus a month kind of money after expenses. My company kits you out, you send us proof of kills, and the money printer keeps chucking out tax-free cash.”

He dropped his gaze off of Klaus and back to his gear. Ben drew his wand once more and muttered the repair spell over the shredded coat.

”Perks are pretty good. All gear is considered a lease, so we maintain it. You buy your ammo from us and pay the filing fee for the beast-bounty. Again we handle that. Just ship us a DNA sample and get your paycheck. If we need you for special jobs, all expenses are paid for the trip. Interested?”

His black eyes flicked up again with a ghost of a grin starting to play over the man’s face.
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