(( Apologies if I've overstepped here, Big Game. This is precisely the kind of thing one of my villains would visit due to his story. If I should redact something or change it, please let me know. ))
You don't work deep cover and not learn a few things here and there. One thing Biz Ness learned early on, find a good drinking hole. Somewhere that was off the beaten track, most people are too busy trying not to be seen than to pay attention to your face, and the liquor is good but cheap. He'd found the perfect place one day tracking a target. What a day that was.
No one and nothing ever prepares you for when the storybook characters come to life. Or the movie monsters are actually real. Biz had been tracking a target for a couple days now. The guy always seemed to lose him in one particular part of Cap. Not today though. The target had kicked a metal can, which Biz homed in on. He saw the man turn into a building that had a rotting sign above it shaped like an ale mug. He walked up, listened at the door for a moment, and reached for the handle. The door opened up and a huge hulking zombie walked out. Right out of his nightmares. He went to draw his weapon, but his instincts kicked in over his skills and he remained calm. The thing looked him over, then moved on on it's own. Calming himself, he reached again for the door and opened it. He walked into what would be best described as a scene from a fantasy novel. Fairies, werewolves, various and sundry monster types and even human-like patrons sat at what would be described as tables made of wooden vines with a black flower for a center piece. Not wanting to draw too much attention, he quickly moved to the bar. Now, that was a piece of work. Looked like a massive grey log with faces screaming or howling carved into it. The bartender approached him as he sat. He'd seen the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. And this elfin woman could've been directly from the movies. Her eyes were white though. No pupils. Her skin was pale and her hair a long, flowing golden color that spilled down her back to her waist.
"You can relax, stranger. No trouble will come to you here provided you do not start any. What can I get you?" Even her voice was angelic. But there was an ancient, melancholy sound to it. As if she'd seen more years than everyone inside the place added together had. "Just a water for now, if you don't mind. Thank you." She smiled wanly and nodded. She returned a few moments later with a crystal goblet filled with a clear liquid. "May I ask what the name of this fine establishment is?" Her lips made a lopsided smile. "You are in the 'Bar of the Damned', stranger. Wandered in, hmmm?" Biz nodded. "Something along those lines. And everyone here...." "Will leave you be if you do the same for them. You and they are safe inside these walls. Anything else will not be tolerated. Do I make myself clear?" The sudden steel in her voice told Biz all he needed to know. "Yes, ma'am. I'll just enjoy my water and take in the atmosphere." She smiled again, then started to walk away. "Miss, if I need you for anything else, how will I get your attention. I mean, what's your name?" "They call me 'Aurelie'." He had a feeling that wasn't her true name, but didn't press further. "Very well, Aurelie. Thank you for the information." She nodded to him and went to serve a small man that looked much like a leprechaun. Biz sipped his water and amazement made his eyes grow quite wide. It was some of the sweetest, most delicious water he'd ever tasted in his life. There was a hint of mint, along with something else he couldn't quite place.
After an hour or so, and about six waters later, his target, which he'd spotted shortly after his conversation with Aurelie, had decided to leave. He waved her over. "How much do I owe you?" "For first time patrons it is free. Remember two things though, Biz Ness." He'd given her his code name after she'd returned with his third water. "One, we do not tell anyone about this place. You either find it or you do not." He nodded. "And two?" "Two is that the next time you come here leave your business outside. I have watched you watching that one. He is your target. Do not make the mistake of following someone in here again. That sort of business stays outside my walls." Before he could pull his hand up, the log sprouted vines that wrapped themselves around his arm. They began to dig into his flesh. They burned something wicked. The physical change that came over Aurelie shocked him as well. Her skin changed to a very bark-like look similar to the log itself, and her hair and eyes blackened, her hair looking much like leaves. "Do I make myself clear, sir?" Biz swallowed hard and nodded. The vines dislodged themselves, releasing his arm. Her physical change reverted just as quickly. "Please come back and see us again, Biz Ness. We would love to keep having your patronage here." Her smile did nothing to erase what had just happened to him. He got up and moved toward the doorway. His target was already ahead of him by several minutes. He glanced back at Aurelie, but she was engaged with another patron at the time. That didn't assuage his feeling that she was still watching him. He opened the door and left.