for reasons I will never understand my little (and quite flawed) PDF got more than 20000 downloads even after VTMB became a proverbial old hat. Henceforth, as this site has place for it, I share my shortest short-story on the topic with you, cost free. This remains my Copyright, even as no rogue is ever stopped by such.
IC-Fiction: Journey to the ground
She got me down. That's for sure. Zen in the art of sinking downwards? I knew it from the first blather in that golden temple copy. Yet it was a so-called win-win situation. Sebastian was untrustworthy and with all the power, chained to his nemesis. Jack's little prank, let's humbly thank.
I was afraid for a while. The mortal remains of my soul. Kindred don't need to breath. We train it for the Masquerade. Still danger was present. That Turkish piece of stone meant shit. Sorry to remind you, Vlad Tepeshs (aka Dracula's) wife already made the mistake of believing what Turks say. Blah, racist. It's not racism, just frustration. Talking to my food seems neurotic to me.
That Asian harlot tentacle thing sure was powerful. Again I hear that I have a stench? The real stench was where I wielded a flame-thrower. Plenty, yet pseudo-glory of the past won't help me out here.
The beach brawl was a highlight. I always had a knack for ephedrine, pseudo or amphetamines. Just needs a trick now. Mix it with your own blood and ingest or drink from a user. I admit, it somehow spoils that nasal mysticism of us degenerates. Feed it to rats and drink that, delicious!
The one thing worse than being ugly would be being powerless, embrace-wise. Soon more of my unappreciated gutter-wisdom.
Two ways of breaking free. One is making new friends, inspiring them (animalism). The other would even work without potence. Blood buff your body and nimbly wrestle yourself free. Otherwise, the Brujah way, brute force might get results, too.
It were some beautiful hours on that way down. Dark waters, nocturnal glamor of water, plants and the fishy weird. Or the tasty fishy weird. Not as good as rats though.
I only knew two options. Either I gotta go back to Santa Monica, haggle and borrow with Gary and that Malkavian baroness or I board the first ship that comes along and go wherever it takes me.
Seems I am the dumb type. I made it back after just one day in the ocean sands. Of course futile, the sun didn't get down there at all. Better safe than sorry.
I had my plans. Truth is, watching a sunrise, stake or pyre were no longer dreaded. How comes that a nemesis of the past may be an option for the future? It's not my job to think.
IC-Fiction: Home or some such - Zen in the art of being ugly
I decided for what my clan knows best. Weighing options (or making them). The situation was not completely lost. The Nosferatu were nearly unscathed and as the Tremere, mostly busy with ignoring compulsive Camarilla (the pasta faction, for it sounds like Italian noodles anyway) loyalty and duty.
Some may be pissed and seeing Gary would better be later. An email to announce my presence to my clan, send from an unguarded laptop. A phone call to verify it. I am there, find me if you dare?
I hid where I was out of competition. In the water under the bay buildings. Given our physical prowess it only takes some hours to craft a solid and reliable little haven. Oh, as I missed pizza in life so I did miss rats. Damn fishes. Even mortals are not always tastier than rats. To us “chosen”.
It's that adaptation genetic undeadery. We got skilled in prospering where other vampires had their own options.
Santa Monica calmed seriously after the rush of Ventrue pseudo-ambition had been blasted away. Underdogs amongst themselves we were. Brujah and Malkvians with us, mostly. Occasional ex-Camarilla feral (Gangrel) and the damn respected Tremere still guided by Max Strauss.
I was sick of fighting. Nights with nothing but a snack and shrouded in obfuscate staring and peeking. Getting tough, not too futile when one is already damned. Fortitude is quite helpful.
It became my first torpor. Yes, indeed. My blood potency got increased in those ordeals and I learned what it took to survive (as plenty of others did). Yet in those few nights I had been stabbed, clawed, scorched and shot a lot.
An additional burden was that there was no time for anything personal. Meditation per se won't make it. For me it was a mix of drugs, indulgence and internet-surfing. Schreck-Net had banned me for a while.
The Camarilla versus the Anarchs continued. Nines was a leader, yet the Camarilla was not completely mistaken on the risk of Sabbat and whatever else haunts our nights. Therese eager in the pasta faction, yet Jeanette, quite open to some anarch concepts, the rumour is.
I didn't like to get involved any more. Keeping the basics of the Masquerade, helping out with some info or advise when Strauss and the anarchs needed it. Cultivating ghouls, sooner or later it may happen. Not just for me.
I decided to inspire my ghouls to take over that vacated house on the beach. If I ever find the whim to dig a cellar there it would already have guards that way.
Learning Auspex (to avoid camouflaged surprises). The risk of madness as a side-effect shouldn't blind one to the potential of it with Malkavians. Toreador wouldn't consider me and while Tremere really articulated explanations a lot better, that streak of suspicion bothers me.
Not stealing thaumathurgy. The mere fact that you could learn some info about it or the chantry made it hard to frequently train with them. I may be the fool, yet as far as I can know it, the secret to honest deals with Tremere is (besides completely excluding blood-magics) one has to keep them superficial. Don't get close enough to accidentally stumble into there wicked cauldron or some such as idea?
Given that we all are monsters, damned and cold-blooded killers we really had some successes. Some dose of pleasure, style (or lack of for I am Nosferatu) and civilisation gave us moments of alternative. Blood wasn't too scarce anyway.
Of what could I be sure? Cain? Not probable that the dark father would have interest in the States. Further how many powers to fool the mind do we all know (or practice as well)? Who cares...
LaCroix was history and his ash was still in the wind when others of his blood felt a hunger to “guide” that part of the world. The typical hubris of politics.
With all the big words about apocalyptic doom lurking and mystical mumbo jumbo in truth it were simple intrigues with some violence. I crafted my moments of peace. For a while it felt as if all which ever blocked me and others from enjoying Santa Monica would have been that bunch of “duty & destiny” dabblers.
With the numbers of fools freaking out due some meaningless sarcophagus reaching close to zero again, that was handled. The Asians didn't gain their grounds. The threat was answered as could be expected. When Nosferatu were willing to strike from the shadows we once more were not abandoned.
The Malkavians taught our Asian superior-second breathers that they ain't immune against madness. Dementation with hot noodles again, KueiJin? Psychosis with rice, Ann & Condoleeza? The Tremere unleashed some minor evidence about why they are called sorcerers and self-made vampires. The Brujah & Gangrel displayed street-fighting in combined forces. The Toreador even painted some artful mockery!
I attempted to be the outcast which I wanted to be. After all, the great menace has been just another crisis. Perhaps after my death I may smile at god for playing pranks on the damned?
Let us call this the End...