The LA club scene is the perfect place for the likes of him. The kind of place where if you want to be recognized you have to make an attempt. Regardless of how strange you may appear anywhere else; in this place you could go unnoticed.
The hypnotizing rhythm of the Trance music is blasting through surround sound speakers, and the place is rather enchanting and murky because of the combination of mist from the smoke machines, and the bright red and blue laser lights’ flashing throughout the beat. Young people dressed in very tight or very loose clothing seem to move as one, looking like slow motion as the lights’ flash against their bodies. No one gives much notice to him as he walks into the place, even though he is more enchanting than the place its self.
Everything he is wearing is as black as the heart of Night, from the dye in his hair spiked up high, his pin striped blazer over a tight black tee shirt, his wide legged and baggy polyester pants that cover his feet, to the dark eye liner around his eyes.
Chains hang loosely from his belt and dangle down to his knees. Although he doesn’t prefer the clunky and robotic-sounding music being blasted in this place, he does prefer the women, and they always prefer him, and not just because he hangs almost as low as his chains either.
He has, and always has had, charisma. Like no one else he has mastered the art of seduction, hell he is seduction personified.
Just passing through the city this night, he figures he would stop by a club nearest to where he was planning to sleep and pick up something young and freaky, to share his bed for the night.
He looks over at the bar and sees that there are no stools available, he walks up a short series of steps and then slowly approaches a very pale and thin young man with long greasy red hair. The young man was staring down at his drink seeming either very tired or very drunk. It could also be assumed that the poor guy had been ditched by those whom he thought were his friends.
“Excuse me.” He taps this young man on the shoulder, and as the young man turns and looks at the man in black, he doesn’t say a word. After gazing into his dark round eyes for a moment he moves off of the stool and apologizes. “Thank you,” Pan says as he takes the young man’s seat.
He finishes the young man’s drink in one large gulp, while that greasy headed kid wanders away into the crowd of dancing people, feeling confused, drunk, and very much alone. Pan slams the glass down onto the bar and stares at his own reflection in the mirror across from him.
Someone walks up beside him and taps a large man who was sitting to his right on the shoulder. The big guy was enjoying his scotch on the rocks, when he was abruptly disturbed. He turns around with a snarl and then in the next moment he slides off of his stool almost bumping into the man in black. The big guy pisses himself before stumbling, in a hurry, down the short row of steps and disappearing into the crowd of dancing people.
The man in black was watching through the big mirror and he saw the large man beside him move off of his stool. He feels a familiar presence, and he sighs in recognition of who this is.
He sees the reflection of the person who was taking the big guys seat, and even though he does not recognize the image, he knows who this individual is.
He takes a long smooth cigar out of his inside pocket and places it between his teeth, and when he is about to pop open his Zippo lighter the man who just sat beside him places his finger against the tip of the cigar, lighting it in seconds. He inhales deeply and lets the smoke exit his mouth as he leaves the cigar between his teeth.
“Why the blatancy and cheap tricks, oh Prince of Darkness?” The man in black asks in a sarcastic tone. “You act like I wouldn't know the difference between you and some other scumbag in a trench coat, Semjaza.” He turns to Semjaza and smiles a smart ass grin. “Besides, I thought we weren't supposed to be drawing attention to ourselves.” He takes the cigar out of his mouth as he sees the bartender walking his way.
“No one noticed,” Semjaza replies. “Maybe you aren't as sharp as you used to be.” He says dispassionately before picking up the glass of scotch the large man left at the bar and taking a drink. “Besides, I made those rules, I can break them.” Semjaza finishes off the drink knocking his head back and setting the glass on the bar.
“What can I get for you,” a muscle bound Italian bartender asks in a deep voice, as he leans slightly forward towards the man in black.
“An Irish Ale please,” the man in black asks before placing his cigar back into his mouth. The bartender looks at his cigar for a moment, and frowns making a "V" shape with his two very black and bushy eye brows. He looks as if he is going to comment on the man in black smoking in the non smoking vicinity, but the man in black just smiles, “Okay?”
“Coming up,” the bartender says before turning to Semjaza.
“I’m fine, for now” Semjaza says without even looking up at the man.
“All right,” the bartender says as he turns around to grab a bottle of Irish Ale out of an ice box. He places the bottle in front of the man in black, who pays for it with a five dollar bill, leaving a dollar as tip once the bartender brings him his change.
Semjaza looks at his own reflection in the mirror across from him as the man in black receives his change. He stares into the bright blue eyes of the young man reflecting off the mirror, whose body he has possession of, and he smiles casually.
The man in black holds his cigar between his right thumb and index finger as he takes a large swig from the dark bottle of ale, finishing half the bottle. Semjaza sighs deeply as if in thought, staring at his reflection expressionless.
"What the hell do you want,” the man in black asks Semjaza as he downs the rest of his ale with a loud sarcastic gulp, slamming the bottle down in front of him. “I know you aren't here to talk about the weather or current events. That isn't your style."
"Right now, I want nothing more than your attention and a friendly drink. By the way, what can I get for you now? You aren't going to suck any more ale out of that empty bottle now, are you Pan?" Semjaza replies turning his gaze away from himself and looking down at the empty bottle.
Pan bows his head down at the bar in front of him clenching his eyes shut and blowing smoke from his mouth in a long stream, slowly, as if in mute protest of the conversation he was about to have.
"There is nothing I want from you Semjaza, not a drink, not your conversation, and not your false hospitality. I want nothing more than to go about my plans for the night." Pan opens his eyes and places the cigar back between his teeth while cracking his neck, obviously perturbed.
"That's no way to talk to an old friend, Pan. You would be wise to accept my hospitality, it is not false. I am here to have a drink with you and yes, to speak of 'current events.' Now, you'll have that drink." Semjaza lifts his index finger in the air to signal the bartender who immediately turns around as if he were tapped on the shoulder. "Another round for 'chiny chin chin' here,” Semjaza says as he playfully gives a gentle tug on Pan’s goatee, “and a Scotch on ice for me.”
Pan pulls his head back and glares at Semjaza for a moment in defiance.
“Don’t touch me!”
The bartender nods at Semjaza, totally ignoring the young blonde with whom he was engaged in conversation with only a moment ago.
"I'm not in the mood to talk of any events, at least not with you." Pan turns around on his stool and faces the dancing crowd, tugging hard on his cigar.
"Have it your way, but we must talk,” Semjaza says as he watches the bartender head back their way. “There are problems in our world today that directly affect both you and me on the same level, not to mention these mortals with whom you so passionately associate yourself."
The bartender sets the two drinks in front of Semjaza and waits impatiently for payment. Semjaza produces a ten dollar bill to the bartender and then turns, facing Pan, raising an eyebrow.
"Maybe, I shouldn't waste an opportunity to hear you wax poetry about problems facing humanity,” Pan takes a large puff from his cigar, “as if you give two fucks about them anyway!"
He reaches behind himself for the bottle without looking and stares at Semjaza defiantly, bringing the bottle to his lips and taking half of it down.
"Glad to see you come around. For a minute there I thought you had become human, and stopped listening to the voice of reason," Semjaza replies, handing another ten dollars to the large man behind the bar, sending him on his way.
"Whether you believe it or not, I do care for humanity, I have to. I care for what they have to offer me. And without your assistance in this matter that I’m about to address, we could very well share in their fate." Semjaza sips his drink and turns to face the crowd. He stares past the dancing bodies to a round table where a young man sits with a group of scantily clad women. The girls’ hands move under the table, up and down, in and out. Their expressions are of ecstasy at the expense of the moment.
"These humans, these mortals, they have forgotten about you, haven't they? They have swept you under the rug, you and all the other Gods like you. You all have something in common. You have all gone the way of the Dodo in their eyes." Semjaza says this with all the humility he can muster. Trying his hardest not to let his amusement show through when Pan's head turns from the crowd to face him, his eyes now glowing red under the strange Lights’ of the club.
"And you wouldn’t know anything about being forgotten, would you?” Pan asks in a controlled tone. “How many generations have passed with you receiving praise over my exploits? The damn Christian dogma has adopted my personal appearance as yours! And how many times did I seduce young Christian maidens from those pilgrims in the new world? And after the Nights’ of cherry picking you’re the one the fathers and husbands claim to have seen leaving from the barn or their daughters’ bedroom window. You gained the recognition, always! They gave me no credit, and you got all the attention. How unfair is that? My own symbol, given to me by those who loved and worshiped me has been decimated into your putrid image. The pentagram no longer remains an icon bringing hope to people who understand and properly identify with it. Your name is used at the very mention of evil, and the Christians think of my image when they think of you. Your name always has and always will be what they relate evil with, while my symbol is lost and distorted because of you. You bask in what has been given you by your name sake and embody the very meaning of what it is to be hailed as a god. You care nothing for the mortals who have given you my symbol and you use them as you see fit! You will not be sucking me into your game tonight or tomorrow or a century from now!" Pan had begun to rise from his bar stool with his muscles tight, his blood boiled, and his hands balled into fists.
"Relax Pan,” Semjaza says in an imperturbable tone, “we've been through this before you and me... I do regret the misuse of your symbol. This was not my idea. I’ve always wanted to be original, and I’ve never stolen anything from you. Your anger lies not with me, Pan, but with these humans you seem to hold so dear. They associate your sexual appetite, rebellious attitude, and hence your horns and cloven feet in characterizing me. They mistake you for me because, whether you like it or not, you and I are so much alike. Since my image has always changed over the centuries, and yours has remained the same, they have adopted your image as me.” Semjaza takes another sip from his drink and watches Pan unclench his fists.
“I respect you Pan,” Semjaza replies. “You care about no one else’s view on life but your own, because you know that you see the picture clearer than most. You are bold and rebellious, doing what you will and only what you will. I can’t help but like you for that,” Semjaza pauses to take another sip from his drink. “So I apologize over humanities misconception between you and me, but I promise I will find a way to make it up to you. I will promote you to this new generation; I will make you popular again. You will be recognized for who you are. Of course you will not be able to appear in glory to the eyes of humanity, but your image will inspire stories, songs, and movies. The next generation will know the difference between you and me, how about that?”
Pan looks at Semjaza with a curious expression on his face, as if he was taken back by what he had just heard.
“So you will help me in this matter, won’t you Pan,” Semjaza asks with a smirk before taking another drink of his scotch. “Besides you know that if the balance isn’t retained in this world humanity is lost, and that means no more beautiful young ladies for you to seduce.” Semjaza smiles widely at him, and Pan smiles an uncontrolled grin before taking his cigar out of his mouth.
“We wouldn’t want that now, would we,” Pan replies. “I know that you only care about your own selfish desires.” He continues to glare down at Semjaza while he takes another puff from his cigar. “I can’t help but relate with you on that issue.”
Semjaza puts a hand on Pan's shoulder and cautiously eases him back to his seat. Pan seems to be calmer at first, and then he throws Semjazas’ hand away with a swift swat.
"Say your peace and be gone than!"
No one takes much notice of their scene for there is far too much going on all around them, as the laser Lights’ run wild now and the smoke increases.
Semjaza pauses for a moment to absorb the word. He shakes his head, sighs, and then smiles attentively at Pan with a sparkle of what could be perceived as admiration in his eye. He leans back against the bar, arms spread behind him in ease as he stares out at the crowd.
“You have always had a strong will, and I have nothing but respect for that as well.” Pan shows no recognition of this compliment, and Semjaza doesn’t wait for him to comment.
"Although the light has not forgotten me fully, he has abandoned me and cast me out amongst his flock. I serve him no longer, for I do not share his presumption that my brothers or I are meant to be servants to these." Semjaza turns his head to look at Pan. (Pan rolls his eyes, takes a long draw off his cigar, and makes a circular motion in the air with his index finger as if to say 'hurry up.' Semjaza ignores him and continues speaking.) “You see Pan, rumor has it that I left the will of the Light when I was cast out, and being inspired by the Night I became his apprentice. During the time I went out into the Night they say I lusted for Wisdom in every possible way, and they even go so far as to say I corrupted her. These rumors are false. Truth is I was practically led into the Night by Wisdom, and if anyone did any corrupting during that juncture of my existence, it was she. This is an important truth that changed the course of everything. There is another truth though, one that I have discovered in rather recent days, a truth that has me most upset. I have discovered that the Night has intended to use me as a distraction, since the beginning. The Night never accepted me with open arms like the Light did at one time and he has betrayed my trust, just like Wisdom did.” Semjaza takes a large swig from his glass of scotch and scowls out at the crowd. “This is rather humbling for me to admit Pan,” he says after clearing his throat. “But I have been played, you see? One time too many, I have been played. I use this modern term for I feel that it best describes what has happened to not just me, but to us all. This time we’ve all been played, by the greater force. The Night has played us all, and he’s done a most impressive job at his game… ”
Pan studies Semjaza’s movements and words carefully, reading him like he would read a human. He does not mistake the humility in Semjaza’s tone and it is something he hasn’t seen from the leader of the fallen before.
“Get to the point Semjaza!”
“Very well Pan, I thought I would ease you into this discussion, but I see you haven’t the time. Perhaps you lack patience more than I. Or maybe you have forgotten that you have all the time in the universe … or do you?” Pan cocks an eyebrow at Semjaza’s statement.
“Out with it,” Pan says after a sarcastic roll of his eyes.
Semjaza leans forward to stare Pan directly in the eyes. “Have you not noticed that there have been things happening in this world lately that mankind cannot explain? I’m not speaking of the earthquakes, the floods, or even the tsunamis either. In recent years when there has been senseless bloodshed and horrific murders committed, the people are in more denial of these things then they ever were before! Have you not noticed as of late that these things are becoming more random, even between the children, and the time-lines between these incidences, shorter? That which is hidden in the realm our kind can enter is seeping into their reality, and they are blinded from seeing the changes. Humanities denial of the obvious, this is especially strange these days... Families are broken, tribes are falling apart, yet humanity doesn't seem to care all that much. Their faith in anything is depleting rapidly. There are far too many sheep now, and not enough Sheppard’s. My kingdom is falling apart Pan, and humanity is on the brink of total destruction sooner than anyone realizes. They could be defined now by their addiction to self sabotage and destruction and their total denial of this most obvious truth.”
“Is not most of it your doing, Semjaza,” Pan asks. “I have been here on this planet quite a while now and I know that most things that are unexplainable to humanity are not coincidence. Nice job at that High School some years back, by the way. I was passing by there that day, and I know you had a hand in that. I’m sure you are very proud and amused by the ‘horrific murders’ there … are you not?”
Semjaza reaches out and firmly grasps Pan’s shoulder, staring him directly in the eyes. Pan realizes Semjaza is upset and he lets his hand be.
“Yes, the massacre in that High School was my idea! I felt the people in that area needed a wakeup call. They were getting too complacent! Every mortal needs to fear for their children and those they love. They need to be reminded of how it feels to be vulnerable! But Pan, I am not a merciless killer. You can say I have blood on my hands, yes, but I do nothing without regard to the purpose of restoring balance. I won’t have a kingdom to rule without balance.”
'Pan looks down at Semjaza’s hand on his shoulder which was beginning to cause him pain. Semjaza releases him, and tries to look calm and reserved again.
“Okay Semjaza, to what or whom does this world owe gratitude for the ‘other’ senseless acts of violence in recent years, if not to you? Who has been disrupting the balance? Who is encouraging their denial of how things are today?”
Semjaza sets his jaw grimly and replies in a blatant tone, “the Grey.”
Pan tilts his head downward and stares at Semjaza through the top of his eyes. “The Grey,” Pan says as if it were a statement rather than a question. “Thanks for clearing that up.” Pan pauses to wait for Semjaza’s reaction. He can see irritation in his eyes, which is exactly what he wants, but Semjaza simply takes another swig of his scotch leaving the glass empty.
“Bartender keep them coming, and bring another for my old friend here also!”
Semjaza raises his empty glass in the air and swivels the ice cubes around inside it. He then looks back at Pan, who was now finishing up his own drink.
“I can see this is going to take a while, gaining your trust, that is. We are obviously not on the best of terms, you and I, but I do not wish to see humanity destroyed, and I’m sure you share that sentiment as well. So please Pan, for all of humanity’s sake, leave whatever problems you and I have at rest.”
Pan is silent for a few moments, examining Semjaza, still finding it difficult to believe that the infamous Devil himself wants his help, needs his help. Semjaza must be serious, and Pan can’t deny that he suspected there was a change in the balance, an evil that was not from Semjaza or those who serve him. And now here the Devil is himself confirming what Pan was already suspecting but trying to ignore. He will give his help, and he knows he can’t refuse what Semjaza has offered him; a chance to redeem himself, a chance to be properly recognized again.
“Who are the Grey, and why have I never heard of this threat before?” Pan asks in a serious tone. “I swear on Eros, if you are trying to seduce me into helping you with some twisted plan of yours where in the end only you benefit, I will...” Pan stands up and points at Semjaza with his cigar while talking, stopping inches from his youthful face.
Semjaza looks away from Pan and gazes back at his own reflection in the mirror across the bar.
Pan sighs, leans back against the bar, and then he drops his cigar into his nearly empty bottle creating a sizzling sound accompanied by a puff of black smoke. He stares at the floor as if in deep thought, sets the bottle to the side and lights’ another cigar.
“I can see you’re worried Semjaza, and this is strange to me, but why come to me with this problem?” Pan looks at Semjaza waiting for a response.
“I thought you would never ask, silly faun,” Semjaza replies. “You of all the Gods have the best understanding of human nature. Not only do you love them, but you live among them, always impersonating them, and admiring them. You, even more than Loki himself, enjoy human nature to its fullest. Why would you not be the most driven of all the Gods to help them?”
Pan pulls on his cigar with wide eyes, once again deep in thought.
“I am not the type to be a savior Semjaza.”
Semjaza shakes his head and accepts the two drinks from the bartender, producing a ten and a five as payment. He then hands Pan his bottle and continues talking.
“I never said I wanted you to become their savior Pan. I merely need your help in bringing the Gods’ together to help resolve our mutual problem. This is not a small issue and it is something that I alone cannot prevent. We need Humanity to save their selves, and we need the Gods’ to provide humanity with the motivation to survive.”
Pan continues to look out at the dancing crowd of people while listening intently now to all that Semjaza has to say. Smoke exhales and the laser lights’ shoot over his face and chest as he takes notice of a particular young beauty that is very intoxicated, and very beautiful. Although Pan listens intently to Semjaza, he gazes upon this young woman with deep infatuation already planning for the evening with her.
“You see Pan,” Semjaza continues, “The Light will not directly involve himself in this affair, regardless of how severe this dilemma is. He knows that his involvement would come in conflict with the freedom he has bestowed upon humanity, so it’s up to us to bring some kind of faith back into their lives. It’s up to us to light that spark that will motivate humanity to believe in themselves and a higher power once again, so that they can save themselves,” Semjaza gulps down a whole glass of scotch and continues, “to save themselves and us…and us Pan.”
Pan turns to Semjaza but he looks as if it is difficult for him to bring his eyes away from the dance floor.
“So you will contact the gods, and tell them of our problem,” Semjaza asks while running his index finger over the rim of his glass. “We need to be on the lookout, and we need to be united in this age.”
“Sure, I’ll see what I can do,” Pan replies in a surprisingly mellow tone. Semjaza looks at him for a moment with a blank expression and then smirks as he turns in his stool.
“Odin’s in town tonight,” Pan continues as he looks back out at the young beauty on the dance floor, “well he’s in the state. I saw him earlier, playing Texas hold um at an Indian Casino. I might start spreading the news with him tonight.” He licks his lips and leans forward in his stool, staring at the young woman with a guise on his face like a lion drawing in on his prey. “Maybe tomorrow, yes tomorrow I will go to Odin and tell him all that you have told me. I’m sure you’ll find me again when it comes to the next step. I will do what I can though to insure the word is spread to our kind.”
The young woman who was moving like a goddess of seduction takes notice of Pans’ recognition, and she smiles at him with a sleepy, but very sexy grin.
Semjaza turns his whole back to the dance floor and begins to speak with haste; “I will either meet up with you later this week or send someone, because it’s important which gods’ are assigned to which old souls. I know though that Wisdom will come your way, soon.”
“Ok, I’ll have the word spread within less than two days. And we can go from there,” Pan says as he continues staring at the young beauty drawing closer to them.
“Well I have to be on my way now, Pan,” Semjaza says as he stands up from his bar stool with his back still to the young woman who was slowly making her way towards the bar, to Pan. “You know I am always very busy. I appreciate your help.”
Pan looks at Semjaza curiously as the Prince of Darkness begins to walk away from the bar in a hasty manner.
“Yeah…I’ll see you later.” He looks back at the young brunette approaching him now, and he smiles like an adolescent who has just shot his load.
“What’s your name,” Pan asks as the young woman stands before him now.
“Ambrosia,” she replies with a rather sarcastic grin on her face.
The LA club scene was the perfect place for the likes of Pan. The kind of place where if you wanted to be recognized you would have to make an attempt. Regardless of how strange he may have appeared; in this place he could have gone unnoticed.