Tanith had found a special place in her heart for the Earth, it had after all severed her well as a home away from home. It of course did not have the sights and sensations of other dimensions and realms, but the people were interesting. It was also convenient for her work, as plenty lost souls and stray demons tend end up here. Tanith had even gone so far as to set up an alter ego, complete with a profession and dwelling. The human beings in her life hadn't ever suspected her of being anything other than Tammy, the friendly neighbourhood tattoo artist. It made sense and it was a good cover for the ever transitioning symbols that plague her skin left arm not matter how she altered her form. The marks didn't bother her of course, they weren't common among her people, but they weren't considered something to be ashamed of. Unlike how some humans saw fit to ridicule others of it's kind for having a uniqueness, Tanith's people cele( )ated their differences. There was another part of Tanith's appearance she could not alter, which did cause concern. A dark emerald ( )uising had begun to slowly spread up her right arm, which she could only mask as case of eczema in human form. None of the relatively near by shaman or healers could diagnosis it as either sickness or curse, only that it maybe an allergic reaction. Tanith had scoffed when each expert in their field gave the same response. Tanith was a daemon from an alternate realm, even in different plane of existences, her people did not tend to suffer from hay-fever.
It was during the heat wave when Tanith had gotten the summons to go see the boss, Theleo. Theleo was also a daemon, most inter dimensional bounty hunters were on some spectrum. However Theleo was old school daemon, she hadn't like the latest generations taken to wearing clothes. Instead she had an ability to fashion her body hair into incredible dense armour. Tanith was a little jealous she didn't have the same contention to her body as Theleo, as hair wasn't the only thing the boss had mastered. To get to Theleo's office, Tanith required a warp specialist. Lucky for her there was usually one stationed at The Cat and Mouse Bar, an alternative little joint that was run by an ex Warden. Who often went by the name Little Joe despite his looming stature, but it was a great sauce of amusement for Joe.
As Tanith entered the bar she saw how scarce Joe's clientele was, closer examination showed that not one of them was human. Seeing an opportunity to get more comfortable, Tanith shed her human disguise. As her skin turned from peachy to the shade of neon teal, her tattoos burnt away revealing her ever advancing birth marks. Her shining wild pink horns reappeared from the ether and nestled in her green hair. She blinked those pink light houses she called eyes back to life and suddenly she was her natural self.
“Ah Tanith, thought it was you.” Joe called out from behind the bar.
“And I thought you said last time I saw you business was booming.” Tanith smiled as she walked over to the bar.
“Most people don't start drinking till the evening Tan, but anyway what shall I gettcha?”
“Is there a warp guy in the house?”
“At the back, in the booth. She's from the Ethereal plane, so you know...she's not exactly all here.” Joe shrugged, clearly a little tense around Ethereal beings. Which was sadly all too common as they didn't really come with a filter, which was difficult when they're conciousness could manifest in multiple places at once. Which to an Ethereal being isn't such a problem, but for singular beings such as Joe and Tanith it was hard to wrap their heads around what came out of their mouths.
The wrap specialist, who was sat alone. Their shifting form appearing as a haze, not unlike when the spirits of Earth loose their way. Tanith sat down opposite the creature and smiled.
“Hi there, are you taking requests right now?”
“Slip through walls? Last chances...hope?” She was twitchier than Tanith had anticipated.
“Does that mean yes?”
“Always.” The creature said settling back into the current place and time, which was good enough Tanith thought to herself.
“Great cause I need a portal to Dreavax, Theleo Bounty Office.”
“Wings and spikes...paper souls...opened.” And like that the creature created the ( )ight and beautiful waterfall of a portal. Tanith had heard once that portals were not unlike a mirror of the casters spirit and despite the language barrier she decided she liked this Ethereal. If she could produce such an amazing spectacle as this, then she probably had a pretty cool spirit.
“Thanks, how much do I owe you?” Tanith said as she reached into the mini pocket dimension where she kept important things like currencies and weapons. Yet the Ethereal just looked up at Tanith and with a look of painful concentration said.
“No...charge...favour...later?” The pleading look on the creature face made Tanith feel suddenly uncomfortable, but not enough so to turn down a free ride.
“Sure thing, the names Tanith, whenever you wanna cash in that favour just tell Joe. Okay?” Tanith stood up and the creature nodded with enthusiasm. “Cool, well be seeing ya', oh and bye Joe.” Tanith called as she began to walk through the neon waterfall, that would transport her to the only other realm she truly missed. Home.
Dreavax, home to the colourful daemon race and Tanith's favourite kind of food. As Tanith recovered from her bout of portal sickness, she noted that the Ethereal had managed to get the portal's exit right outside Theleo's office. There were so many old and new sensations returning to her that the Earth could not allow. The purple atmosphere, the slickness of textures and the sights so unreal compared to the scenery of Earth that Tanith had grown accustomed to. Yet it didn't take her long to readjust and feel at home again. Not too much had changed since her last summoning, the teaching houses still stood like palaces and the markets were still selling nick-knacks from other dimensions, mostly smuggled in Tanith guessed. Yet laws weren't really a daemon thing. For the longest time there were none, it was simply understood that if you made trouble there would be consequences, but nothing was ever written in stone. The restrictions on certain other dimensional items was merely a show of good faith to all the other cross dimensional races and realms. Yet there were no official enforcements in place to reprimand contraband smugglers once they'd gotten their goods through. Tanith decided she'd stop by the market after her meeting with Theleo.
Theleo didn't really have an office like the humans back on Earth. Yet Tanith felt that calling it a lair made Theleo sound too much like one of those villains in Saturday morning cartoons. Which Tanith usually found herself watching when not on mission or working in the tatto parlor. The “room” was a pocket dimension in of its self, a desert hemmed in by rocky outcrops and all lit up by three multi coloured suns. Theleo was lounging on a particularly smooth looking rock, which bared marks that she'd been raking her claws over it recently.
A quiet shake of a rattle snake tail announced that Theleo was aware of Tanith's presence.
“You know I don't appericate your Earth colloquialisms.” Theleo shifted her form into a more humanoid chimera, if only so to pronounce the human tongue better.
“Well too bad cause I'm not going to change languages for a quick briefing again. Last time I got confused and accidentally terrified some poor tourist asking for directions. Do you know what our language sounds like to them? It's like a dinosaur on a roller coaster, but all sped up and slowed down at the same time.”
“I don't think I understood half or any of what you said and so I'm going to ignore you and give you your bounty.”
“Anything interesting?” Tanith asked.
“Yes, it's important to The Power That Be that this one is apprehended.”
“...I can handle that.” Tanith said after an admittiedly suspsicous pause.
Powers That Be eh? Tanith was aware that Thleo must have been in contact with them somehow. Yet this was the first time a bounty had been requested by the Powers themselves, whoever or whatever they were.
“I'm glad to hear you sounding so confident, you'll be going after a daemon wanted for assinating an Angealous ambassador.” Thleo who clearly never cared for politics managed to make the assination of an ambassador sound so casual.
“That sounds high profile, howcome we aren't already at war?” Tanith joked, but she could tell Theleo was no longer in the mood for banter.
“We aren't at war yet, because the powers assured the Angealous Throne that we'd bring them the murderer and that they would have their justice.” Thleo sighed, stress showing in her tried eyes.
“Don't worry then I'll bring back the bounty no problem.” Tanith was pleased to see this did bring a slight smile to Thleo.
“Well alright then, here's the tomes on your target, you should probably start by talking to the new Ambassador.”
“There's a new one already?”
“Yes, her name is Elisa...I believe you're already familiar with her.” At the mention of the name Tanith's face dropped and before she could question or protest this revelation Thleo continued. “You can go now, Elisa will be at the Power's Vault. Keep me updated as you go.” When she finished talking Tanith could feel the invisible waves of Thleo's power pushing her out of the pocket daimention. Yet before Tanith was fully removed from Thleo's domain she could see Thleo streach then slouch back down into her rock, shifting her shape back into her prefered, beastial quadrupedal form. When Tanith was outside of the bubble diemantion she gave a little salute before turning back into the streets of Dreavax.
Tanith decided that before she'd go heading over to the Power's Vault that she should take a moment to unpackage everything she'd just learnt. A Daemon assinated an Angealous ambassador, but why? Angealous and Daemons have always had a history of patchy truces and shaky peace, but it'd been an extremely long time since war had broken out. Then there's the Powers that be conacting Thleo directly, odd considoring most of Tanith's previous jobs were usually low level beings who tried to duck out of deals with creatures powerful enough to have their own crude realms. Lastly was Elisa, who Tanith wasn't paticular looking forward to dealing with. Elisa might as well have been the less interesting if not the more disiplined verison of Tanith herself. Surfice to say the two did not get along. Having taken the time to run through mess of information Tanith found herself no less confused or annoyed.
Thleo was right, Tanith realised as she started heading towards the Powers' Vault. She had been on Earth a long time now and she'd really gotten into the habit of thinking like a human. It didn't really bother her too much, only to the extent that she it made coming home harder. To be on Earth for so long Tanith had to adjust her sight, having to learn to distinguish what humans could and could not see. There was also learning to hide her tougher than average skin. If she accidentally burnt or slipped with a knife while cooking, she'd have to shape shift a corisponding wound and remember to leave scars. It was the little things that could get you caught out, Tanith knew that much.