Easy Come, Easy Go

August 21, 1894 Dallas, Texas

Harlon Dark shifts slightly in his chair as his first client of the day enters. Dark. It was not his given name, but it is the name he uses. He uses it, very simply, because "Johnson" doesn't really have the same feel "Dark" does. His partners, with the characteristic charm and silver tongues that had made the pair so valuable to his creation, have jostled this idiotic man into paying for a ludicrously expensive private consultation regarding some petty magic the thing wants done. His eyes trail up and down the man before him. He feels sick before he reaches the man's face. Another one of them; another waste of power and wealth—but business must continue, or profits will stagnate. Harlon Dark is not one to lose profits. Never has been. He could speak at any time, but he waits for the ant before him to crack the silence. He has no intention of making any of the creatures that find their way to him feel invited. He does not need to listen to what the man says, but rather, what he feels. The voice is a great tool of insight. The voice is a projection of the soul, or, in Dark's case, the (rumored) lack thereof. He speaks with every part of his body, with every item around his office, and with every movement, no matter how subtle. Sometimes he likes making those movements, just to unsettle them. Sometimes they became to comfortable in his presence, and excessive comfort is one of Dark's least favorite things. Decadence was never his interest, but those at the top of the world hardly tire of finding new methods of creating more. The man finally speaks up nervously.

"Yew mind if I borrey a ceegar?" Harlon leans forward slightly, and procures from a drawer a long, black cigar. He hands it to the man, who takes it, and of course he has to ask for a light "Because he just plumb forgot the things, maybe in his limousine?", so Harlon raises his other hand to the cheap bastard, and he flicks the nail of his thumb against the inside of his forefinger. The thumb lights up like a match, and he gives the man a light, then procures another cigar, lights it the same way, and takes a drag, holding it for just a moment, before exhaling, as sort of veil settling about him. The man asks a question. He knows what he is going to ask, and how to answer, all before he ever moves his lips. They are all the same, after all. Perhaps he was becoming too comfortable with his business, but he had been ignoring such thoughts for a long time. Besides, these consultations were only in the tip of the enormous iceberg of Harlon, Richard, and Thomas's business. Once the man signs the geas that will ensure both the continued patronage and emphatic praise of the fool in front of him, he can set about to the one aspect of his dealings that still gave him true challenge and enjoyment, their demonic contracts. He once was the owner of a respectable oil business in Texas, but Rockefeller had bought him out for a considerable sum. He'd used that money to purchase a stake in this new enterprise after those two incorrigibly silver-tongued Londoners, Marshall and Carter, had approached him with their discoveries in the paranormal and a business proposition. Now, nearly two decades later, the three of them were wealthy beyond belief and had each begun to become something other, something more than human in their own separate ways. Dark, he was, well, you'll soon see he was becoming. Marshall and Carter, they had studied texts and developed a special kind of mental manipulation unique to them. Apart, they could quite literally sell beachfront property in Arizona. Together, they could sell cakes of cow shit by insisting to a customer that it was actually German Limburger. As Dark left his office, he reminisced about those hard-charging early days, when they were discovering the true power that lay in the anomalous, as his made his way down a hall to his actual office. It was a dim space, lit only by candles that hung from the ceileng and never went out. Harlon locked the door behind himself by waving his hand sharply. He went to the many shelves lining the walls, and began removing glass vials and jars.