It all started 15 years ago.
It was one of the Hanged Man and Lady Ignis' many confrontations. Ignis had found another descendants of one of the men who was responsible for her being burned to death, and she was ready to destroy the entire city to get the young woman. During the battle against the Hanged Man, she had cursed the whole town in order to distract her old enemy. A darkness spread from the middle of Twilight City, a darkness that not only made day into night, but also darkened the souls of every man, woman and child, making them commit acts of cruelty and evil.
In the end, the Hanged Man won, and Lady Ignis was once again sealed away in the Book Of Redemption. But the curse could not be fully broken. The Hanged Man managed to partly cancel the curse, so that it wouldn't affect the mortal people's mind and soul. But the town was still covered in darkness. Day was no more in Twilight City.
At first, the good people of the city panicked, which was understandable. Those who could, moved. Those who could not afford to move out of town, or simply refused to leave due to sentimental reasons, hid in their homes, fearing the unnatural lack of light. But as time passed... they grew used to it. They went on, living their lives, they had to. Life goes on, and does not give a damn whatever you are scared or not.
Eventually, Twilight City became a place of great interest for tourism. As it became known that the curse only affected daylight and nothing else, the town's reputation changed from "cursed" to "exotic". People started to move back to Twilight, gigantic neon-signs lighted up the eternal night, and slowly, it became one of the riches cities in America.
Twilight had 7 good years...
But eventually, it also became one with a high amount of criminal activity. Some said that it was the old curse, that it was still active, but not as effective as before. That it slowly and unnoticed spread like a an invisible sickness, poisoning the minds of the people of Twilight, creating mistrust, greed, despair and hate. Others said it was a bunch of baloney, and that crime could be found anywhere as long as there was money enough to steal or earn through illegal means. But no matter what the reason was, Twilight became a less than safe place to live. Organized crime started to take control over, politicians became marionettes for wealthy men and women to control, and the police became a bunch of tugs for hire. Many things paid in Twilight, but being honest weren't one of them.
One who knew that for sure was... Well, let us call her Sarah. For now, anyway.
Sarah worked at the Burrow. A place belied by many to be nothing but a myth. But the Burrow was quite real.
The Burrow was used as a speakeasy established by an unknown gangster in 1920. It was build underground, and could only be found in the middle of a huge labyrinth made out of tunnels. So even if someone found the secret entrance behind the grave of Conner Queen (whoever that is) you would most likely lose your way in the darker than black tunnels, go around in circles for days and eventually starve to death, unless one of the guards found you and showed you mercy by ending your life.
One would think the place was unused now, since sale of alcohol was legal, but the Burrow had regained life, now as an underground casino. A man who claimed to be the great-great grandson of the founder of the Burrow, who referred to himself as Mr Rabbit, had reopened the place, inviting a group of specially selected citizens of Twilight City to come and play in the legendary Burrow.
Besides the trills of illegal high stakes gambling in a legendary speakeasy from the 20's, the Burrow was also provided first-class drugs and prostitution of any kind. Nobody judged you. Once you had been led through the dark tunnels by security, you would enter the most dazzling underground casino known to man. If it wasn't for the many game tables, the almost naked men and women with animal-based costumes who functioned as waiters, and the crowd of guests, all wearing animal masks of some sort, you would have thought you had entered a cathedral. A VERY sinful one, but still.
Sarah had worked in the Burrow since it had been reopened. As usual, she was wearing a bunny girl costume, including a domino mask. All the waiters were wearing domino masks, while the guests and game dealers had masks that covered most of their face, if not their entire head. She, along with the other waiters, was handing free champagne to the guests to celebrate the Burrows three year anniversary. Business went well, as usual. There had been a minor problem with Mr Millar(wearing a green giraffe mask), who made a scene, claiming that the roulette had been rigged. But Sarah broke his arm, reminded him that he had already received two warnings, and asked him to leave, reminding him that they knew where he lived. After Mr Millar had been escorted out, the rest of the night went well.
That is.. until IT happened.
As Sarah checked the time, realizing that her shift was about to end, one of the guest bumbled into her. He dropped to the floor, and then started to puke. Sarah first thought it was someone from the drug-room, until she heard the unappetizing sound of dozen of people puking as if it was a concert. She looked around, noticing that all the guests were sick and was making a mess. One would probably first be disturbed, then try to help the customers, or maybe leave the room, due to the floor being filled with puke, making the usually grandiose place too disturbing for words. But not Sarah. The first thing she did was looking for someone missing. One of the workers. Realizing that the guy who functioned as tonight's Blackjack dealer was missing, she made haste to the vault.
Her suspicion was confirmed, as she passed three unconscious guards on her way to the hidden room behind Mona Lisa(the real one). In the secret office, where all the money were stored in a vault, she found the Blackjack dealer, filling a briefcase with case.
"Oh my!" The guy with the pink cat-mask giggled as he closed the briefcase. "Caught me with my hand in the biscuit tin, eh?"
Illustration by HeroUp2112