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 VtM: Eternal Presence

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Maxus Corvin
Methuselah
Methuselah


Posts : 478
Join date : 2010-10-03
Age : 25
Location : Normandy SR-2

PostSubject: VtM: Eternal Presence   Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:07 am


[W.I.P Character Sheets: View @ Google Drive]

Chapter I – Question, Of what will Be

In truth, there is no meaning to this. However, that does not mean there can be no meaning. If you so wish, you must make your own meaning, and chose for yourself, if you are to survive. Chose not to, and you quickly travel a path that ends in death.

As always the city was alive. More than he was used to, but he embraced it in many ways. The advances were a welcome sight, which had forced even some old-fashioned Ventrue to adhere to the changing times, though they had issues with it. His own limited understanding was not due to inability, but due to the fact that he had yet to truly grasp what many humans had. He had a want to learn, and thus, he would.

“I do have to question why we are here, although I also have to state that I understand the answer might not even be known to you, yet.” Akhet asked, her stare unchanging.

With a smile, Jackal stood up on the roof-top railing. “I know to be here, but why, I do not. I think that we should be able to find out soon enough. What I really wish to know, is who is going to be involved this time. Though we will be far more involved this time, with good reason.”

Akhet sighed. “Yes, Kyria turned out fine, and made quite a name for herself in LA, though I hear she was pissed about what happened five years ago. Maybe she had some relatives here, I do not know. Still, she has yet to return to the city, though why she would, I would have to ask her.”

Turning to the sight of the park, Jackal smiled. It was mostly deserted, and it would take an attentive soul to spot them in the perch they had taken. The reason he wanted to come bothered him though. The vision was too defined to ignore, and thus he felt for the one he saw. A decaying corpse in the night, found in the morning, a victim of an aspect of the human condition. His only thought, was to prevent this, if at all possible. His heart simply did not beat, but that did not change his feelings. He would allow a chance at life, if not a change. He simply needed to know more, to both make a choice, and give one.

“Stop running you little bitch!”

The sound was like a knife in his head. A prelude to harm, danger, and death. His eyes focused, as he watched a group of people chase a single person into the park, directly into his view. He could see the person, but the appearance truly didn't matter to him. What did, was the situation. The four that surrounded the boy looked of a sort that he truthfully did not understand, and as of yet, had no reason to. Still, it was evident that if nothing was done, it would be exactly as he saw it.

As he watched the advancement, he briefly stared at Akhet with one of his eyes. She nodded, quickly disappearing. A set of words in his mind echoed what she had asked him moments ago.

Do I kill them, or do you want them to forget?” She had asked, her demeanor cold as always, but she still proposed an alternative way of dealing with the situation.

He had told her to make them forget. As much as killing them would perhaps send a better message, it would be messy, in many ways. This was, if nothing else, easier to deal with. The alternative was dealing with a few dead bodies, and while they might have deserved their fate, as they were the sort to use fear as a means to delude themselves, thinking that they had power over the weak. Nothing new, and certainly something that would never truly die. Unfortunate, but in any instance that he could, he would have these fools see the truth – they share the night with things far worse. Pity it has to be that they do not walk away consciously knowing this.

Just before Akhet appeared out of thin-air. Jackal heard the loud boom. The sound of a gunshot, which wasn't new to him, but it still sent a chill up his spine. The boy collapsed to the ground, and Jackal snarled. Akhet responded quickly to this, starting into the eyes of the men, her voice having the feeling of a blade through the skull.

Leave – and forget this night, along with the one you viewed as prey.” She watched them walk away, as Jackal approached her. He sighed as he knelt, and touched the boy's forehead. Still there, but fading. “What will you do?” Akhet asked him, her eyes saying she knew what he would say.

“As I told you, I will give him a choice. Either at life, or at a new one. The second requires only Luna's council, along with his choice. If he chooses the first, I will merely save his life, and not take it. If he wants a new one, then I will give him the option.”

Sliding his sleeve back, Jackal cut into his wrist. Placing the bleeding wound over the boy's mouth, he watched as the drops fell onto the boy's lips, which almost forced the boy to lick them, drinking in Jackal's blood. “That's it. Your salvation, for the moment, lies in my essence. Consume it, and live.”

Opening his eyes a bit, the boy looked at the two above him, his vision still blurry. “Who....who are...”

With a smile, Jackal placed his hand on the boy's head. “Calm yourself. For now, rest. Understand that things will be explained soon, and without lies.”

As the boy seemed to pass out again, Jackal looked at Akhet. “Give Luna a call. See if she has some time to meet with me at the hotel.” He watched as she drew her phone from her jacket, then turning as she walked toward a side street, where the limo was parked. The call was short and sweet, and it was a prelude to the outcome he knew was coming.

Only an hour later, Jackal sat behind his desk, while Akhet lounged on the nearby sofa, while the boy slept, his head laying in her lap. She didn't seem to mind this, since she was casually rubbing his forehead, and tussling his hair.

“Do you really think Luna is going to allow this? I know he isn't like you at all, and we have looked into his background a bit, but...” She looked at Jackal, who seemed to be focusing his attention on the laptop, although she knew it wasn't the case.

Without turning his head, he nodded. “I could certainly understand if she found reason to deny what I wish, I certainly would not contest her. However, I will make a case in my favor, as most are liable to do. It is to my credit, though, that I still hold the position as Primogen, and I am good friends with her.”

With a smirk, Akhet smiled. “That is one thing most berate you two for. Although, it obviously isn't just you. Even Andromeda and Hikari have a similar rapport, but they tend to keep things more professional than you. Not that I mind, honey.”

Shaking his head, he hit a key, then leaned back. “No, it's fine. I understand, more than you know. Any detractors can say what they wish, babbling until exhaustion, but I do not use the friendship solely for my own means. In truth, I intend only to request possibility, not embrace control of his life. I will make this clear to Luna as well, but if she agrees, I intend to ask him first. If he says no, then I will not force him, as I already made clear.”

Although Jackal's attention returned to the game on his laptop, his thoughts did not follow suit. He was curious as to why he wished for this, though it could also be said that those of his age were likely to have embraced a few more than he, but no one really considered it a contest. In truth, his choice to sire Akhet was almost solely for the fact that he almost desperately needed someone who could understand it all, without the need for spending so much time dealing with ghouls, who had the potential to betray him, even if it is him that provided them with their income. That aside, it was also circumstance, as even with his first sight, he thought differently of her. Not like the rest of the men that watched her dance, as his thoughts were of interest, a want to understand her, to know her, more than just as one of his employees.

Shaking his head, he focused on the fact that it would be for a reason, even if it wasn't all that clear to him. The same went for a company that produced the game he kept playing. If he had known of the issue, he would've gladly done something about it. The oddity of it, was how close it seemed to come. He thought on occasion that perhaps that was the reason the company shut down, but it was possible that there were other reasons. Either way, the game kept his interest, perhaps because he understood.

In only a few moments, Luna entered the room, flanked by her usual two servants, both of them wearing the same black leather dresses, along with being armed to the teeth – though only a pair of pistols were visible, two being strapped to each thigh. Luna herself wore a full leather outfit, though hers was a bit more masculine, the combination of the top, pants, belt and boots looking like all one piece, due to the material. Over this, she wore  a ankle-length jacket, which had a slight blue hue to it, along with a high collar, and a small pin stuck into the lapel, in the shape of a silver scepter.

“Welcome, Luna. I do hope that my request of an audience has not proven an inconvenience to you.” Jackal stood as he spoke, bowing slightly once he walked around his desk.

Shaking her head, Luna smiled. “No, although I did have to blow off a pest, I think I can deal with that later. Given that it was you, I felt that matter was trivial in comparison.” She Looked towards Akhet, then at the boy asleep in her lap, then back at Jackal. “What exactly would be your...reason for requesting my council?”

Jackal couldn't help but sigh as he blushed, which only caused Luna to raise an eyebrow. “I cannot readily explain why, but I understand something is coming. What, I do not yet know, but I do believe that it is something that requires our attention...and that this one is not defenseless. I have saved him from death yet, but what comes I cannot deny, would kill him if left as he is.”

The look on Luna's face said she was puzzled, but it was still focused. “Then you wish to embrace him? Is it just to ensure his safety, or is it merely a close relation to the matter which has not yet revealed itself?”

Jackal didn't flinch. “It is the latter. I cannot say I understand fully, as of yet, but I can tell you that things will be far worse, for both him, and us. I...” He trailed of, his hands grasping his head.

~

The sight was familiar, although it was only those of his clan that saw it on a regular basis. A world where you are constantly assaulted with information, even if most of it cannot be understood, or even listened to. At times, it was visions, echos of either possible events, or events that have some certainty – but he knew that both could be no more than lies, if not merely half-truths.

You do not understand yet, do you? The world you exist in is...wrong. Why? Because of what you are. An existence that was not meant to be so, and even you are guilty of the propagation, as are all the rest, and if they are not, they will be.

He heard the voice, but where it was coming from, seemed impossible to discern. It was loud and piercing, along with sounding like words being said though gravel. Keeping alert, he turned, only to stare at a face, which he could almost not believe.

The world as you know it will fall apart at the seams, until there is nothing left. It starts with what you are, then it stops. Once you are gone, then what was meant to be, can be once again.

He couldn't help but snarl. “You don't make any sense, voice. I want to heed these words, but if I am to do so, I cannot, if I do not understand them. I have the want, now tell me.”

The face of his sister laughed. “Even he fights it, even he who is responsible above all others, will not understand. How could you hope to, poisoned child?

He sighed. “You think I cannot understand? You think I have not yet understood the reason why the first murderer will not repent? He will not, is for the same reason many will not. Same as with the fallen angel, if they were to do such a thing, it would mean accepting that they were wrong – which they only are, from the perspective of one who does NOT wish to understand them. One who will not, only wishes for them to submit, to become lesser than they are. But why would I accept this form of death? Why would I persist? Why don't you tell me, voice?”

The face didn't change, but it didn't really move either. “By the end, you will change, or you will be lost to the abyss. You are damned twice over, and you will not escape your judgment. The end will begin soon, as the signs begin to show.”  

With this, it disappeared, and he cursed. Once again, it was a riddle, and far to chose to the bullshit his kind had been fed from the proverbial cradle, along with the blood. However, it didn't seem like the same thing. No, it seemed to be something else. Perhaps not an end for all, but to something that would be worth losing. Or perhaps, as much of it had been, the words were no more than nonsense.

Do you really believe that?

He looked up, only to see his mother's face. With a smile, he nodded. “What else would it be? I do wonder, but the answer is one I cannot come up with on my own. The idea that things end in such a way, isn't as realistic as it might seem. Things have never done so, though things can change. No, I think if it is going to end, it will not be one with fan-fare and warning.”

Perhaps not. While I'm sure you don't discount it entirely, I think your real goal would be to avoid it, if at all possible.

He nodded, smiling. “Of course, as I always do, mum. You know me, all too well.”

~

“Something wrong?” Luna's expression didn't change, but she still sounded a bit worried.

Shaking his head as he lowered his hands, he smiled. “Not at all. I assure you, I have every intent to teach him what he needs to know, should he wish that I embrace him. I only wish to have any...issues, out of the way beforehand, so there would be none in the future.”

With a sigh, Luna smiled. “Then, yes. You may, if he so wishes. But I would ask only that you show him to me at your convenience.” She nodded, then turned to her two guards, walking between them as they left, closing the door behind them.

Akhet looked straight at Jackal. “What did you see?”

He shook his head. “For now, I don't think it matters. If anything happens which proves this wrong, I will inform you, with no details left out.”


Last edited by Maxus Corvin on Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:35 am; edited 6 times in total
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Maxus Corvin
Methuselah
Methuselah


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Join date : 2010-10-03
Age : 25
Location : Normandy SR-2

PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:13 pm

Chapter II – Baptized In Blood

“Why...do I feel so...where....”

The thoughts ran across his head, along side the flashes of memory, most of them too blurry or too difficult to recall clearly. Sitting up, he looked around. The room was immaculate, looking very much like an expensive hotel, though he had never stayed at one himself. The bed had silken sheets, hued a very dark violet. The floor was a highly polished black, which reflected everything in it's surface, and the walls were the same color, with silver trimmings.

Looking at himself, he noticed his clothing. While nothing too outrageous, it was quite striking. Though in truth it was just a black, button-up shirt and a pair of what seemed to be designer jeans, it was obvious it wasn't from the average cheap clothing store. He didn't really feel any different, aside from a slight chill.

Throwing the heavy blanket off, he crawled over to the side of the bed, and sighed. Although he really didn't feel unsafe, he did worry about the fact the knew nothing of where he was, save for a few sparse details. It could really be a hotel, but in truth, it could almost be anywhere. As to why he was here, well, the idea of being kidnapped crossed his mind, since it wasn't a new thing, but why someone would, well, far be it from him to know that.

He turned his head toward the door as it opened, feeling his entire body tense up as he watched someone walk in. It was a woman, wearing a black leather dress, littered with silver jewelery. Her necklace, her belt, wristbands, and her earrings, all of it silver. He also noticed her skin, which was dark, yet pale. In her hands, she held a large tray, which steam was pouring from, rising into the air.

With a smile, she walked over to the nearby table. “I take it you would rather indulge yourself into a sit down meal then? Perfectly okay.” Setting the tray down, she waved him over.

Standing, he took the few steps from the bed to the table, looking over the contents as she took a seat. He did so as well, though he still felt a bit uneasy.

“Aren't you...going to...” He asked, only trying to be polite.

She shook her head. “No, I'm quite content at the moment. Oh, my name is Akhet. My...master will be here to speak with you soon, while you eat.” Taking a seat at one of the chairs, he felt her stare, even as he started with his food.

“Um, who exactly is your...” He started to ask, but the door opened once again, making his question somewhat irrelevant.

“Ah, I see you are awake. Perfect.”

The sight was enough that he dropped his fork. Rather than something he expected, although his expectations were slim to none, it was still a surprise. What entered the room was not some adult with an unusual look, but rather a teenager with one, who was younger than himself.

Walking over to the table, the boy stopped, his faced constantly decorated with a smile. “So this is not difficult, my name is Jackal. I would imagine that you know my lovely...mistress here, so that leaves you, young one.”

The question wasn't hard to answer, but the hesitation wasn't something taken with offense. “I'm...” It was a struggle to say it, given that his name has only caused him trouble. Compounding this, was the fact that he had yet to hear a name like his own, and perhaps giving it would only cause him embarrassment. “...Nero.”

Jackal's smile seemed to only get worse. “I see. Then I would certainly hope that we do not get the chance to watch this city burn, even if we do not feel remorse for it's loss.” Taking a seat, he set down a large bottle, which was filled with what looked like a thick, red liquid, and a pair of whiskey glasses. Sliding one to Akhet, he filled them both, then set his eyes back on Nero.

“Although I do not wish to frighten you, I have a certain, understanding that you both do, and do not. Which is, that due to recent events, your family is all bit extinct, and I apologize for my direct manor, but you do not have many options. So, what I intend to offer, is a choice.”

Setting his fork down, Nero sighed. “Yeah, like what?”

“I offer you the chance to either return your family to the status it once held, or if you so wish, I can give you a fate that will prove to be far more long lasting. However, I do not ask you to make this choice lightly, although you may chose to do so. The first choice, means only that I will put things in order, and you will not have many worries in the future, save for a few which you will grow to deal with. The second, means that you learn about something, which means there is no going back. Choosing this, means that I give you a new life, and your old one becomes no more than a memory.” Picking up the glass, he sipped from it, before smiling once again. “I can certainly understand if you wish to take some time, but will also if you answer right now.”

Nero sighed, then looked at Jackal. “I get it. But I don't want to go back to what I left. I didn't leave that damned place for nothing. You think I want to just run back to some grandiose house, knowing that I would always have a legacy being me which everyone will judge me for? That I wish to endure their chiding statements, even if they are made to be hidden? Not a chance. Whatever you have to offer me, I want.”

“I see. Then, I guess there is no need for the charade – although I suspect that you already have some idea.” Jackal sat back in his chair, still holding his glass. Placing his lips on the rim, he purposely made his fangs clear for Nero to see.

Although he felt like blushing, he didn't. The fact that he now seemed a little scared was apparent, to none more so than him. Maybe it was obvious from the start that he wasn't dealing with an ordinary school boy here, but still. Looking at the woman across from him, even she had something off about her, although it was obviously the same thing. He had noticed before that her skin, while certainly dark, was still pale. Now, the only thing he kept staring at, was her entire form. But in truth, that wasn't what he was really concerned about.

“Then...if I have understood this correctly...you mean to...” The fact was obvious, but he had to confirm it. The last thing he wanted was to go back to his old life, since the memories were enough to bury within his own mind. The idea of returning to it was almost foolish. Thinking of them, wasn't as bad, but it still left him with the lingering smell of smoke.

That night was short, but enough happened that it changed almost everything. The home he had known since childhood, and many of the important people in his life, all taken that night. The expectation was that he would be at a loss, one of the unfortunate children who 'break' at the sights, at the gravity of the situation. But he did not. At least, not in the way he expected. Why? He felt no need to care. Crying would not bring them back, and all it would do is just cause someone to consider him an embarrassment, even if they did nothing to quiet him. They would just watch, and even those who understood, still had this look about them, like he was violently cursing them for dying, if only because he did not bawl his eyes out like a child. His only consideration was the fact that he, in many was, was past all that, no matter what happened.

With a nod, Jackal smiled, sitting up. “Yes, which would be the reason for my asking. However, now I do feel a bit odd, since I was thinking that you might wish for time to consider, but now my offer of a hot meal marks it as potentially your last. Though if you have no qualms about that, then I will shed mine.” His face contorted as if he meant to blush, but his skin did not show it.

Placing his fork down, he sighed. “If I am to die, I would rather spare myself the grave – and I would rather not wait to walk to this death, if it is what my choice leads to.”

“How ironic you say that, since that is exactly what it is. But unlike true death, it is not the end.” Turning to Akhet, he stood, still holding his half-full glass. “Get him something a little more appropriate, and then bring him up to my office. I have a few things to...take care of.”

Leaving the room, Jackal returned to his office, setting to the glass on his desk as he sat down. While he couldn't exactly say he felt bad, it was only that the situation had left this rather, unusual taste in his mouth. Which, while not unlike the feeling of coughing up ashes, there as a slight difference. Perhaps it wasn't really an issue, but then, it could become cause for concern.

Draining the glass, he realized he'd left the bloody bottle with Akhet. With a sigh, he set the glass down, then reached for one of the lower drawers on his desk. As he opened it, icy smoke wafted out. Reaching his hand in, he grabbed one of the bags inside, his face turning into one of absolute delight.

“To think that this is one of my low points. I suspect that there is a reason that I do not cause a massacre at my parties, and it is because of this. The satisfaction that I will never truly have - or at least, the satisfaction that you always crave, and what we get, only pacifies you for a time. However, as I do not intend on dealing with a messy situation, have at it.” Biting into the side of the bag, he eagerly drained it. As always, the feeling of blood flowing down his throat was just like those things he was told never to do. Pity it wouldn't work like that anymore, and there was no point.

Throwing the bag into a bin, he stood, walking over to the wardrobe. Removing his simple shirt, he placed it on a hangar, while grabbing a second. On this was his usual shirt, which he quickly removed, donning it as he replaced the barren hangar. Turning around, he noticed Akhet and Nero enter the room.

What Nero wore wasn't too unusual, but it still stood out. The outfit was similar to his own usual choices, though the fit was obviously different. The only real difference was that Nero's shirt had sleeves, which his own didn't.

“Although there isn't much to this, I do have to say that it won't exactly be a pleasant experience – at least to the end were I stop biting you. The crawling sensation will feel unlike anything, but it does stop.” He slowly walked towards Nero. “So, I suspect that you have no wish to wait? You are completely content with this?”

With a nod, Nero sighed. “Yes. Why would I want to back out now?”

His mouth stretching into a fanged smile, Jackal couldn't help but chuckle a bit. “Then I must ask that you forgive me, for at least this.”

With a snarl emitting from his mouth, Jackal pounced on him. Both of them hit the floor as Jackal bit into his neck. Though he knew mentioning the feeling once again was almost pointless, it was still there, and hard to ignore. However, with this, he felt a pulse behind it. A life that could expire if he was not careful. But he would not let that happen.

When the beat was almost a crawl, he released his fangs, licking his lips as he sat up. Looking at Nero's face, it wasn't a surprise. “It only gets worse from here, since now, is where you die.” Placing his wrist before his mouth, he bit into it, the blood slowly tricking out.

“Drink from me, and you live forever.” Placing his wrist close to Nero's mouth, he snarled as he felt the him first lick the excess, then he went for the bleeding wounds, drawing out into his mouth and swallowing it.

Curling his head back, Jackal snarled. “Remember this. Remember that feeling that rushes through you. It will be your muse, forever.” Pulling his wrist away. He sighed, watching the convulsions start. Although he himself didn't feel what happened, he knew what did. His own feelings at that moment were dulled, with the combination of his 'medicine', and his relative calmness, although he knew nothing of the bountiful woman, since he really didn't feel that she was going to truly hurt him. Arguable, perhaps, but at this point, the lamentation was pointless.

For Nero, it was a different story. Although he had listened, and understood what was said, he couldn't have known how it would feel. Like being given an injection, when the person is scared to death of it – and in all of two seconds it is done, the pain being nearly non-existent. This, however, was not merely a vaccination. He had to admit, the pain was dulled, but he still felt it. Like black, emotionless coils wrapping themselves around his body, grasping for his soul. He could not fight to keep it, since he could barely move, and his only recourse was to let it happen.

The next feeling was, completely unexpected. The only way he could describe it would be a hunger, a lust for something. Which would not be truly satisfied, only pacified for a time. This aside, it wasn't out to reason. It seemed to have only a singular wish – survival, at any cost.

“I would assume that this process, cannot fail, and thus you are still...well, alive really doesn't apply anymore, but still.”Jackal cut into his thoughts, as he realized at he could move. Standing, his face looked puzzled.

Siting up, Nero felt...cold. Staring at himself, his skin was pale, and he noticed this, lightness, that seemed to be ever present. At the back of his throat, a burning sensation persisted, which seemed to exist not only there, but in every vein in his body.

“I feel...hungry.” While his words felt somewhat childish, he still said them. It was like understanding you wanted something, but had little to no idea as to what.

With a smile, Jackal raised his hand, then touched two fingers together. With a loud snap, the doors opened, and two women entered, both of them wearing a rather provocative outfit, though neither of them seemed to mind the few stares. Nero's eyes were locked on to them, his thoughts a mixed bag.

“The obvious point to make, is that you are something which more than Hollywood has tried to tell you, does not exist. That being said, you crave blood – which these two lovely women are more than happy to provide. This is mostly due to how...intensive, the feeling is for them, but then, the same does go for us, as well.”

While he didn't laugh, he could barely hide his smile. “I have to drink...blood?”

Jackal sighed. “I really have to point this out – if you think to try and back out after hearing that, I would call you insane, but saying such is redundant. However, the point isn't that you have to. It's that you need to drink blood, else you will begin to want it, and then it creates several problems, the first few being yours. Though if you have no issue, then...” He made a small wave at the two women. “...then drink up. Just...don't kill them. They are precious things, and not just because of their blood.”

As much as he felt the need to question further, it quickly became pointless. They both swarmed him, vying for his attention, despite the fact that he was focused on them already. As boring as they seemed, there was this...smell. Not one which was disgusting, but inviting. Then, he saw it.

The pulse of their veins, the flow of blood throughout their bodies. Then, the screaming voice. It had only one thing to say: DRINK. This overwhelming want was making him feel like doing nothing else. As much as he still had control, he wished only to imbibe what he knew he craved.

One of them presented her neck to him, to which he happily obliged. Licking the soft flesh, he placed his mouth on her skin, slowly pressing his fangs against it. Even with a little trickle, he wanted more. Puncturing the skin, he felt the draw of blood from her veins, and the subsequent consummation, which was akin to every single orgasm he had ever felt, though this was on a scale that was previously unimaginable.

He then heard the woman's moans. It seems Jackal was right, in that it felt almost the same for both of them. The feeling of a wetness on his leg wasn't a surprise, though his real concern was filling his mouth with her blood. Which seemed to slow down quite a bit. Releasing his fangs, he noticed her expression was content, although he had to almost lay her down on the table they had pushed him into.

Turing to the other, she seemed even more eager to please, and be pleased. Sinking to the floor, he couldn't help but caress her body, as if he longed for the touch of warm skin. Savoring her smell, he touched his hand to her face, has he learned into her neck. Piercing her flesh with his fangs, he licked the dribbling wounds, then drew it from her veins, causing a torrent of sweet tasting blood to fill his mouth.

“Is it perhaps fair to say that you've...been in Theater? If so, then I would say in the least that you could use a bit more practice. Although it does go without saying that they feel quite content with your performance.”Jackal mused out loud, his words having the air that his tongue was licking his cheek.

Removing his fangs, he planted a quick kiss on the woman's forehead, as he stood, laying the woman next to the other on the table. “Maybe a bit in high school, but I wasn't too fond of it.”

With a nod, Jackal placed his behind atop his desk. “I see. Well, there is a bit I have to inform you, given your recent...change.”

Nero sighed. “Shit. You aren't going to say I have to follow a dictionary fill of rules, are you?”

Shaking his head, he smiled. “No, there are only a few, some you might never need to worry about. In fact, the single one you must know, is that humans cannot learn of our existence, with one exception. Ghouls, or humans who have entered into our service. While human, they are bound to our blood, and thus they already know. But any other humans? If they know, you must silence them. However, you do not always need to kill them. Most humans can be easily swayed to believing otherwise.”

“I get it. Anything else?”

Holding his chin, Jackal looked puzzled. “Nothing you would need to know at the moment, save for one thing – you will hear voices. Some of them a intelligible mess, and others that you can hear quite clearly. At times, this will help you, other times, it will be nothing more than an annoyance. I would advise caution, since many things you may hear, might be things that some might wish to kill for knowing, since they believe that no one knows their secrets.”

Nero felt like his jaw it the floor. “Voices? What the hell do you mean?”

Jackal smiled, though this seemed to be his usual grin. “Like some animals, we Kindred can be...different. Some might have a proclivity for a specific kind of blood, have an understanding of the beast within, or perhaps they are incurably insane, such as we. What this means, I cannot tell you, as it is different for all of us.”

Seemingly taking this in stride, Nero nodded. “Okay, um...wait, what did you mean by 'beast within'?”

With a reserved look, Jack sighed. “I must state this delicately, since I found myself feeling unusual after I explained this once before.” He stood, walking up to Nero. Touching his hand to his chest, Jackal closed his eyes. “You must have felt it. The screaming voice, which will ask for two things, forever. It demands survival, and wants blood. If survival is in doubt, it will force you to fight for it. And if your want is blood, and you do deny yourself, at some point, you will be MADE to obtain it.”

Nero sighed. “So I have to contend with being effectively possessed, forever?”

Shaking his head, Jackal opened his eyes. “No. There are ways to use this...presence, to your advantage. This does not mean you can control it, but if you keep yourself satisfied then the problems, if any, should be minimal.”

“Fine.” Looking around a bit, Nero's eyes settled on Jackal's, a burning question becoming quite obvious. “Um...can you tell me...why you are...”

Smiling as usual, Jackal walked towards the window, looking out at the city. “My mother chose me. Plucked from a den of insanity, like fruit from a field of thousands. You wouldn't be the first to question my appearance as such, but understand this. Although I may seem to be a child, I am not – just as you are not. So many focus on appearances, when the true concern should be a person's thoughts. Pity most only care for the surface.”


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PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:43 am

Chapter III – Revelation

“You have to be joking. Call me a fool all you like, but this...doesn't seem right. Your telling me that even as a Vampire, I have to answer to this...Prince?” Nero seemed beside himself.

Jackal sighed. “It isn't exactly as I've explained, although perhaps that is my own folly. I would ask only that you judge it for yourself. You know already that I hold status within this society, which you would have something of a share in, given the relation. However, understand that we are not paying this visit for judgment. Simply a social call, not a sentence.”

Once the limo stopped, Nero couldn’t help but gasp as he stepped out of the car. “Seriously? The Empire State building? I thought this was just offices?”

Jackal laughed as he climbed out himself. “You aren't the first to think that, and somehow I feel like I've done and said something like this before. But yes, this is the haven of the Prince.”

Entering the lobby, the one behind the desk looked up, a smile on her face – alongside the three scars, which appeared as if the skin was carved away, and either had yet to heal, or it could not. Aside from this, her skin had a ever so light hint of blue, although it was faint. “Ah, so these are the ones that Luna talked so much about. I've heard quite a lot about you Jackal. But don't mistake me, I know only that you are a friend to Luna, and thus you can count me as one, just the same.”

Jackal's smile stretched from ear to ear. “Thank you, Rachelle. Shame about Lucas, but I suppose you never needed to shed tears for him.”

Rachelle nodded. “Of course. Knew him for only a few hours, if that, before he gets a haircut not five inches away from me. Then the piece of euro-trash starts intimating I'm next. To bad it never got that far. His execution was interesting though. Pity I couldn't get it on video.”

“Certainly. I'm sure he arrived in the bosom of hell laughing like a hyena. More to the point, as you already know, we are here to see Luna.”

Standing, Rachelle didn't drop the smirk on her face. “Of course. I would mention that she has been expecting you, but you know that already. She is dealing with one of her childer at the moment, but it is not a pressing matter.”

Once in the elevator, Rachelle hit the button. Leaning against the wall, she sighed. “I seriously hope that whatever this 'problem' you mention is, it won't be like what I had to deal with.”

Jackal shook his head. “No, this will not be a plot by a Prince for power. Nor will it be about eaters of lives, as I would not abide their words in this city, and their presence would be unthinkable.”

Rachelle smirked. “It is scary how much you know. Although I'm sure you've heard that line before.”

Jackal nodded, although Nero seemed rather puzzled. “What did you have to deal with?”

Sighing again, she smiled. “Try this one on – I was embraced without permission, and slated for at least over an hour to be killed. My sire was, but I was spared. Then, I get forced to deal with the local Princes 'errands'. Near then end, I found out he made a deal that not only killed a Primogen, the deal involved the Kuei-Jin, of which I will spare you the details. Due to that, I helped oust him, but I really wasn't going to stay in LA after that. Didn't exactly expect what I found here, but I still welcomed it.”

“What exactly did you find?”

She didn't lose her smile as the doors opened. “You'll see”

Stepping of the elevator, she walked towards the set of double doors, followed by the three. Opening them, she entered the room. “Ready for your visitors, sister?”

Turning around in her chair, Luna set her elbows on the desk, crossing her fingers. “Of course. Although calling me that is a incorrect term, as some will soon learn. Not too far from the truth, however.”

Rachelle sighed as she approached the desk. “I understand that. But I would rather not consider you one of my grandmothers, and I don't think anything else fits.”

With a nod, Luna set her eyes on Nero. Waving him forward, Jackal and Akhet took a seat. “Spare the introduction, I already know the rather inconspicuous name you've decided to call yourself.” With a smile, she continued. “Although I am sure you have heard something like this already, I do enjoy music, but I would prefer such a sweet sound without the crackling inferno of a city behind it. But enough of the references, I would imagine that you wish to understand more than what you already have. Being what you are, you believe you can manage well enough, and if not, you wouldn't need me to question. On other matters, however, I would be the person you want.”

“I wouldn't say I don't understand. In many ways, I do. But then, as it always seems to be, a single point is the problem, a single thought which seems to weaken the ideology completely.” Nero sighed.

Sitting up, Luna pulled a thin cigar from a nearby box. Instead of grabbing a lighter, she merely held it between two fingers. “Then, whatever this may be, ask, and I will clear it up for you.”

“Maybe I'm just not thinking of it like you, but what is the point of the...organization, I guess. If it is better to keep humans thing we don't exist, then why don't most Vampires simply go along with it, if it is better for all of us?”

With a smirk, Luna grabbed a lighter from one of the drawers. Lighting the cigar, she blew smoke from her mouth, the smirk looking frozen on her face. “A rather naive, view of things, but not a invalid point. While it might be preferable for Vampires to understand something so common, the problem is that they can, but they will not. Why? The product of at one point, being human. You see, as a human, no matter what social status one might have, no matter what they may be, there are rules. Rules that can be broken, but the punishments cannot be wholly avoided. As such, when these humans become Vampires, no matter the reason, they think only of escaping this order. While not all Vampires are like this, those that adhere to this stereotype, believe that their embrace was the severance of chains from the human condition. True in some respects, however, no society thrives if there are no rules.”

“I don't have a problem with the rules really. But then, you do make sense.”

“If I didn't, then I would not be a Prince for very long. Pity the title caries with it the persistence of fools, which I am not. Nor is it a stab at you.” Setting her cigar in the chrome tray, she sighed.

“Luna? What exactly did you propose for that deal with-” Entering the room from a door near the large windows, a Kindred dressed similarly to Luna seemed to pay no attention to anyone else, at least until he set eyes on Nero.

“I find myself rather curious as to why the tension in here is suddenly so thick. Is there something wrong, Nero? Or is it with you, Vincent?” Luna asked, her curiosity all too apparent. She casually placed her hand on a page sized black file folder, on which Nero could see three printed letters, those being “WTC”. Her hand covered the rest.

“I wouldn't say it is tension, Luna. After all, I find myself surprised that I get to lay eyes on my brother again, five years after the family thinks I died.” Vincent sighed. “What does one say? I seem to lack the speech at the moment.”

“This is what happened to you? I...no, I won't say I cried, it would be a lie. We both know how different we were.” Nero sighed.

“Of course. You were the favorite – the prodigal son. I was certainly appreciated, but never interested in the praise. I could do the same things, get the same results, but I wanted something else. It is a pity that I had to go to such lengths to achieve that.” He briefly shot a look at Luna, then smiled.

“While it wasn't something I was intending on, it certainly was something I've come to appreciate, far more than doting parents. I'll spare you the details, but my companies profits have increased with his management, as limited as it has been. Although recently I've given him much more control over them, which I believe is well deserved.” Luna's smile was exuberant.

Vincent sighed. “Yes, but I don't consider myself a modern day Rockefeller, but in business, the point is to make money. I don't intend on screwing people over for it, but at times, that is the only way it works. Although as it is with all of us, money is only half of my concerns. I think Jackal put this best, as Luna has mentioned before. Something about, 'Eyes that focus on Red and Green', as it seems.”

“So I suppose Jackal has mentioned this before, but I didn't really get it – save for the general idea that Vampires can be...different. What exactly does this mean?” Nero pulled a chair.

Pouring herself a glass, Luna sighed. “Pity this is an explanation which elders like myself must keep repeating. However, in your case, it is deserved.” She drained about half the glass, emitting a soft snarl out of her mouth. “The difference lies within various concepts, all of them tied to a problem we each have, and will have from the moment we are embraced.”

“Such as?”

“I could mention your own condition, but you will find out soon enough, or you have an idea already. A better comparison is my own. While it isn't a surface problem, and not one that most Ventrue will admit even is a problem, it is. Unlike most Vampires we, subscribe ourselves to a particular sort of blood. It could be a wide range, meaning perhaps we can feed from high-class people, or it could be as limiting as say...feeding from the blood of children. But that is a rare one, and certainly not one that is looked upon very well. If we try to consume any other type of blood, leads us to violently vomit the blood back up, almost as if it were human food.” She drained the rest, and set the glass down.

“And what exactly is your, preference, if you don't mind my asking?”

“It isn't...commonly known, but I don't think it will be a problem if it becomes a bit more. My preference, isn't very limiting. It is for young women, usually around collage or high-school age. Although on occasion, a male will suffice, but usually they are rather effeminate. The taste is similar enough that I have no issue, and certainly not with their appearance. Were you still human, you might satisfy my tastes.” Luna smiled.

“However, I would imagine that you have...something to tell me, Jackal?” Luna filled her glass, although she left it were it sat.

Standing, Jackal walked over to Luna's desk, while Nero took a seat. “Indeed. Although I still lack some critical information, I do have something of interest.” He reached into his pocket, pulling out a small plastic rectangle, the ends rounded. “I would imagine that this is comprehensible to you?”

Luna sighed. “More than you know. I'm not old enough where I have such ideas. These days, computers are almost a necessity, and if you fail to understand them, there are lengths you simply cannot go. Never-mind the arguments I've had with other Ventrue about this, although they aren't the type to be persuaded, since their ideas of learning stopped two-hundred years ago, give or take.” She pulled a laptop from her desk, taking the usb drive Jackal handed it to her.

“Some of this, I will admit, is speculation, and whatever could be learned from the world's web, but if nothing else, I understand that the figure who stands above the rest, believes the very thing which time proves a lie.”

Hearing this, Luna snarled. “At this point, I would like nothing more than to have the sun barbeque anyone who mentions, even vaguely, Gehenna. This 'figurehead' included – which if they try anything in my city, they will do far more than burn.” Turning back to the information, Luna seemed puzzled.

“The Convent of Hell. The group is largely mysterious, and their dealings are virtually unknown to human society. It seems that they have existed for some time, although they have only recently arrived in the states – perhaps thinking that that date which arrives next year is when the darkness arrives, or perhaps the gates of hell open. I doubt it. “ Jackal smiled.

“Excuse me? What date do you mean?”

“July Sixth of next year. The date which they believe is truly when their dark savior arrives.” Jackal laughed.

Luna sighed. “Why is it, that every so often, someone says that a certain date is when some world-changing event is going to occur, and then the date comes, and NOTHING happens? If it does in the days or months preceding it, it is never more than coincidental. Several times since my embrace have I heard this, and every single one, before it and after, has been false. So why should I believe this one to be any different? Next thing, it will be that bloody Mayan date, which even that one I doubt seven years off. “

“My thinking is as it has always been – for the world to end, it would not need warning. If it would be humans or Kindred sounds the death knell, even then, there need be no warning, and certainly not one set on a certain date.” Jackal sighed. “However, if nothing else, if this group believes in it, the point might not be that they are waiting for it. Perhaps, they wish to bring it about.”

Luna slammed her fist on the desk. “In MY city? They must be fooling themselves. Hell, they could chose several other cities, and I'm sure they would fail there as well. But here, it isn't just some random Prince that opposes them. It is ME.”

Jackal laughed. “Yes. A saying is that 'One Man should not be given all the power'. A pity that this one cannot apply to you, since you are no more human, than you are a man.”

Luna smiled. “Well, perhaps not in the strictest sense, although at times, what is more important is what any given person considers themselves, especially when their form blurs the gender lines. But you are right, I am certainly not a man, and not human either.“

“Yes, you are one who exemplifies the Dream of Ishtar, but you have no need for offspring, beyond the childer you have made, and may make in the future. However, as I always have, it is nothing I will judge you for, since you know my own secrets are far worse than yours, although I mean no offense.” He sighed. “The most interesting fact, is on the leader of this group. Sorry, I mean leaders.”

“Mind explaining that one?”

“Over the past few hundred years, the group has seen several leaders, some of them being deposed for one reason or another, while others have simply disappeared. Many more have been given final death. Most of these leaders have been Vampires, from various clans, although never the clans of the Camarilla, save for the first, who was a Ventrue who had abandoned his belief in god as a human, and his beliefs turned dark upon his embrace, his goals tainted by a Baali, or so it goes.” Akhet explained, as she walked up to Jackal, standing next to him.

“Do you know anything about the current leader?” Luna asked, closing the laptop.

“Little to nothing. It seems their current leader is more of a mystery than most, since the only fact that is known to even some of the group members, is that it is a she, and that she was embraced in the sixties.” Akhet sighed.

“I see. Although nothing obvious has been done yet, I would imagine that soon, something will. I cannot say I am worried, although as it always seems to be, nothing is certain as it might seem. Some things I know will not happen, but then, at some point, everyone in this room might just be dead, even if I doubt it. However, what I am most curious about, would be if their supposed goal is nothing more than a mask to something else. Riding on the coattails of a supposed 'end of the world', they could be planning something. What I do not know, but no matter what it is, I intend to stop them.” Luna sighed.

“As if I haven't heard enough about that sort of crap, I have to hear it again once more.” Rachelle sighed. “The doors have been opened, the seals broken, and the final steps into the abyss: the terrible mysteries of the Ninth Circle!. Sounds even worse than the inferno, although that is the common ideal of hell these days.”

“What? Read Dante's Inferno recently, or was that some clever reference? Luna seemed puzzled.

Rachelle shook her head. “Not at all, although I did read the book. I had to deal with a few...'plaugebearer' Kindred back in L.A. One of them said something similar, although I don't know how that even relates to this.”

“Have anything Jackal?” Luna asked.

The smile on Jackal's face was the usual, but stretched. His eyes widened as he spoke. “We shall take these final steps together, and we shall see the truth that lies beyond the veil.


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PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:01 am

Chapter IV – is Death

An hour ago, she found herself inside the Kabalt, looking for an interesting evening. Although a few caught her interest, it seemed that the first person to talk to her was someone that insisted she follow them. Perhaps a foolish idea to do so, but given that she was expecting something to happen, beyond a conversation, she wasn't that much of a fool.

Led to the middle of the deserted Central park, she turned to face the person, who was obviously Kindred, like her. Obscured by a hooded white robe, there was nothing but darkness beneath it.“And you are? I'm confused as to why you asked me here, and your appearance does not inspire trust. I have little reason to do so anyway, given that I know very little about you.”

As annoyed as she was, Faith wasn't worried. It was unlikely that this would turn sour, but if it did, she wasn't about to get killed here. She'd done far too much to have that happen.

“It is a simple proposition. You have a certain, reputation, which isn't as outstanding as some others, you might be one who I can use. You see, I have a goal in mind, and I require those like myself to follow me. Kindred who wish to see our true mother, the true reason for our existence.”

Faith sighed. “'Our true Mother'? I don't get it.”

“It is of no consequence that you do not. Your mind has been, tainted, by the idea which is so common, that the murderer is who we all owe our existence to. That, is wrong.”

With a laugh, Faith shook her head. “I honestly do not care if it is Caine, or anyone else that is responsible. You could say that God is at fault, and I wouldn't care.” She sighed. “Understand that I am not Sabbat, nor Camarilla. I don't deny nor admit, since I don't care.”

The Vampire sighed. “Once I again I consult someone who does not understand. The hot-blooded one, and the animal mentioned something similar. But they both would not understand, like you. Unfortunate, but I do not keep things around that waste my time.” Reaching a hand out of the cloak, it was decidedly feminine, but obscured by shadows. Behind it's back, it twirled a pure white stake.

“Like I care if you killed some other kindred. It is not going to happen to me. Just try it if you want. I'm curious if you'll even get close to my tits, never-mind my heart.” Faith lowered her hand to her hip, resting it on the holstered gun.

“Are you so sure, Tzimisce? Although you might have years on me, what you lack is experience. As you will not comply with me, I become the harbinger of your death. I am, Azrael” A pair of red eyes lit up from beneath the hood, along with a fanged smile.

“Then perhaps it is a pen you really desire, since you seem so keen to sign your own death certificate.”

Azrael turned around. “Don't you look pretty? If I must venture a guess, I would say Toreador. Which leaves me thinking that your motivations lie more in Paris fashions and art shows, than being adept at fighting.”

Faith sighed. “Then you think wrong. You don't stay alive too long if you cannot fight, and Andromeda is older than even me.”

“Then I would imagine that repeating my offer to this one would be pointless – she is no more than the other two, a slave to order. Another one which wastes my time.” Azrael sighed. “I find myself curious. Both of you might understand how new I am, when you do not know what abilities I have. Is that not what they call foolish?”

“Perhaps, but as you might not imagine, I am no stranger to combat. Call me the doll all you wish, that isn't what I am.” Pulling a gun from her thigh, Andromeda smiled. “Lets see where this goes, shall we?”

Nearby, a pair of pale blue eyes watched the fight that broke out. It seemed rather interesting that, even in an era that had begun to publicly decry the idea of the ring of gunfire being commonplace, here was a gunfight in the muddle of a famous public park, and the last thing she or anyone else heard, was so much as sirens. With a sigh, she continued to watch, her hand rubbing the pistol on her thigh..

“You aren't going to let this get out of hand, are you? We both know what is close to happening here, Kyria.”

Turning her head slightly, she glanced upon a girl with a spiked hairstyle, which was much like that of a Japanese rock band, although her clothing was slightly more suggestive of her nature. Her skin had an ever so slight cast of blue, and her eyes were piercing and cold.

“Of course not, Miss Poe. But Jackal is rarely wrong about things, and as sour as it might be, I don't think it is possible. Believe me, I'd rather not watch this happen, but prevention isn't our goal. Hell, Luna is already aware of this, and her distaste at being told this leader would show themselves, was nearly something that had her smashing her desk. Still, I would rather catch this wayward one now. Save the trouble, you know. But I doubt it works that way.” Kyria sighed.

“I don't know what the connection is here, but is that it? You just intend on letting it happen, since there is no recourse?”

Shaking her head, Kyria did not face Heather. “No. Like I said, I would rather not have to go to Luna and tell her anything, but even between Faith and Andromeda, this one seems formidable.”

Hearing the snarls, they both focused their attention back on the fight. The sides were even, but even so, the unknown Kindred wasn't taking so much as a scratch, were as Faith was bleeding from a few cuts, while Andromeda had several on her face.

“What a pity, to slice up a face like that. Pity I care for it like I do a cow.” The kindred smiled.

“All of this, is because we do not wish to follow your goal, whatever that may be? How childish. You should know that isn't the way you gain followers.

The Kindred snarled. “I do not need followers. They are a waste of time. Those that surround me, those that made me what I am, they do not follow. They OBEY. Divinity does not require friendship, it requires OBEDIENCE.”

“Who exactly are you to demand that? Barely a century old, and you act as if you carry the balls of Caine himself.” Faith couldn't help but snort.

One again, another snarl from the Kindred. “I? I am Azrael, the Harbinger of the end. Of all things, of Kindred, of humans, of life itself. But, in truth, I am not going to feed you what you want to devour. Instead, I will make a statement of action.”

Disappearing into darkness, Azrael laughed. Both Faith and Andromeda snarled. “You play like a coward, using tricks like the Nosferatu and the Lasombra to gain the upper hand. Perhaps you are one of them, which either I have a certain, distaste for.”

Azrael's voice rang around the park, like a blade against silk. “Shadows of the Abyss, controlled by these hands. If this answers the burning question, then the words are yours. If not, then understand I have little cause to give you more. However, I feel eager to move to the main event.”

Appearing next to Faith, Azrael grabbed her neck. “Is this close enough? Oh, let me move this oak, closer. “ Stabbing it into her chest, the Tzimisce went limp. “A body licked by flame, and burned by your death. A visage tainted by your clan's corruption. Perhaps in the future, you will understand.” Dropping the limp body to the ground, she turned, facing Andromeda.

“If you seek to kill me, you bring down wrath upon your head, in every city you enter. Any who hears of my death, will wish for yours.”

Azrael snarled. “You...the bitch of the Morgan family. History cares little for you, save for the note of where your grave lies, even if it is empty.”

“Say one more thing about my-”

Grabbing Andromeda by the neck, Azrael snarled. “Shut. Your. Mouth. I care little for how much you still appreciate the family that never gave you recognition, even if you could play the game just as well as your brother. But you must understand, if there is anything I hate in this world, it is the change.”

Slamming Andromeda to the ground, she stabbed a stake into her heart. “Are you aware, that every human starts as female? Perhaps for you it is a moot point, but still true. What bothers me, is the need for that change. As the letters go, it is exactly as that. But I was more fortunate. A set of three, versus the two that most possess – which gives them their problems. I have the understanding that most will innately lack. The understanding would be lost on you, since you would fight against the idea, no matter how true it is.”

Standing, she looked up at the sky. “They thought their words mattered to me. That they would break me. That I would become lesser than they, because I heard what they had to say. But they were wrong. I understood from the beginning, that I was more than they. That I was better, not because I believed it, but because I had the form they did not, and the understanding, they would not.”

With a sigh, she looked down at the motionless Toreador. “A rose, frozen by the stillness of death. But what I seek to give you, is something that means you need never die. But I have no need for your body. Your blood, and your soul, is another matter.”

Kneeling next to Andromeda's body, she smiled. “Your physical existence no longer has purpose. But I will give your power a new home, within my own, perfect body.”

Crawling over it, Azrael grasped the side of Andromeda's neck, licking the opposite side, savoring the taste of the dead flesh. “A bath of warm strawberries, the scent of cream on your skin, and the taste of it. But what I crave, lies deeper.” Baring her fangs, she bit into the pale flesh, snarling as blood filled her mouth.

Her mind raced, as she gorged herself on the Toreador's blood. Within minutes, she felt full, but she still wanted more. As little as she was getting, there was a taste behind the blood. Of power, of the so-called “Sin” that the murderer believed it to be. Pity he would never understand.

Black lines formed on Andromeda's body, appearing like cracks in porcelain. Upon reaching her neck, a faint scream was heard, before being silenced by death. Removing her fangs, she watched as Andromeda's body did not burst into embers. Instead, it stared falling apart, the pieces of it looking drained and dead. Within seconds, it was no more than dust.

“The end for the pretty one, was the death of art, the death of an un-living thing. Fitting, as it seems, for one who keeps an adoration for something so pointless.”

With a snarl that echoed across the park, she looked into the sky as she pulled off her hood. The pale face was framed by pure black hair, with a pair of red eyes looking toward the stars. “Another consummation for you, my goddess. I will spread your darkness across this world, and I will make them understand. I will make them know you, or send them to you, if they will not know you as they are.”
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PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:30 am

Chapter V – Official Call

Arching his head back, he felt the stream of water rush though his hair. Taking time to experience a bit of a euphoric state, he could not help focusing on the streams of thoughts going through his mind, comparing them to those running through his hair. The various concerns, all of them things that, while somewhat pointless, they were the things he constantly involved himself with. All of them seemed to just fall away at times, either because they had become trivial, or because something else was far more important to deal with. Sometimes, it was his own emotions which forced this, merely because he could see no other way in which he would be satisfied. Somewhat selfish, perhaps, but one cannot think of others all the time. It drives one insane, even if they already are.

Some of them, although perhaps the reason he could live as he did, still were things he could not fully enjoy himself. He was able to take the slightest bit of interest in it all, savoring the atmosphere of the club he had built, and the hotel, where he hosted parties on a monthly basis, the attendance never dropping. The club was similar, being a den for both the more elegant, and more unsavory parts of society. However, any problems were dealt with swiftly. Even when the humans chose to demonize the vice that had been his club's main offer since the doors opened, he would not be swayed. He was not a keeper to humans, and although he could take pity on them, and perhaps he would never wish to have situations turn sour, he knew that it could not be prevented in every instance. Those who would gorge themselves, and use their state to hurt others, was not his problem – they chose their fate, he did not. This aside, as is obvious, it was a successful business, which many admired. In some ways, he was a rival to any Ventrue or Toreador who involved themselves in similar business, but he wasn't looking for competition.

At times, there would be someone who made an offer on either the club, or the hotel. Most were human businessmen, who thought it would be a good investment. He might agree with them in that regard, but he had little doubt that any changes they would make, would be their downfall. Turning them away was always simple, but for the others, the Kindred who wanted a stake in his fortune, it was always a ordeal. Some would whine about their age, or they would try for intimidation, thinking that a suitable way to conduct business. Not as he saw it.

But the more pressing issue, always seemed to be the one which liked the front and center spot, along with fighting to stay there. In truth, he could not claim to be frightened of whatever end the Convent proposed, but he was curious as to what it would be. Even more, there was the question of the group's leader, who was still a mystery. One to be solved, but perhaps at a cost. While he wasn't willing to pay, he knew someone would have to.

Stepping out of the shower, he stared at this reflection in the mirror. The same face as always, at least since that night. Perhaps not on an equal level as the average Nosferatu, but he still had an admiration for his appearance that bordered on the obsession of the Toreador. Still, he wasn't worried about dust. Shaking his head, he picked up his robe, donning it as he left the bathroom.

“I wonder what befalls me this night. Something, to be sure.” He mused to himself as he pulled clothes from the wardrobe. Laying them on the bed, he threw the robe off, once again admiring himself in the floor length mirror, opposite his bed. “I wonder how many would care? Pity I don't. Why should I be ashamed of myself? But those who care, wouldn't be able to hear any sensible words over their shouting.”

Turning to the bed, he dressed in a lingering silence, which was due more to his own lack of thought. Still, as he slid on his shirt, he sat on the bed, looking towards the door. Although he was never one to constantly believe he was being watched, the feeling existed at this moment in time. The paranoia that usually went along with it, was absent. The idea that someone was in the building without his knowledge was absurd, especially someone who had managed to get near his bedroom.

As the door opened, he barely moved as he watched Akhet's form enter the room. “Jackal? Oh, I forgot you mentioned bathing.” She smirked. “Anyway, there is someone here to see you.”

“Ah, not someone looking for help, but information. Not random, but someone of importance, no?” He stood, closing the distance between them.

She nodded. “Yes, a Justicar, actually. I did not ask for details beyond that, as I would imagine that he intends on giving them to you.”

After grabbing a jacket, he walked down the hall to his office, where he found a rather unusual man sitting, although the man was no more than the average Ventrue. Smiling as he sat himself in his chair, he crossed his fingers. “To what do I owe the pleasure, Julian?”

Julian sighed. “Just as I expected, and just what they said. Although I would imagine that there is more to you than that – given that the pleasantries of exchanging names, at least on my part, is unneeded at this point. Anyway...” He moved his chair closer. “...it's not exactly about you, but Luna seemed to think that that you would benefit from this information more than she would, although I still explained it to her.”

“Then, explain as you will. I might not be all ears, but two suffice.” Pouring himself a glass, he offered one to Julian.

Taking the glass, Julian sighed. “I've been looking into this 'Convent of Hell' since the fifties. I had no idea what the point was at first, and by now, I get it. However, what they want, seems to be something that many believe is coming, although like you say, time proves it a lie.”

Jackal nodded. “Indeed. Although I find only annoyance in speaking of them, I feel I must indulge. I have no want for deposition.”

“Perhaps, but I don't have any wish to cause you any trouble. Some might doubt you, but like Luna, I understand the same. If we can build trust, then it is more likely to work out for the both of us. Anyway...”

“Yes, ties that bind such a relationship are those which are unbreakable. As we are, if we spend eternity making only enemies, then our existence will be quite short. But if we make friends, even if we are not looking for companionship, then we have a chance to exist for quite some time.

With a nod, Julian ignored the derailment. “What I've found out isn't pleasant, not even to us. Although, as you already know, it is nothing concerning the masquerade, but I still found it disgusting. But the more important point, is this – about Thirty-nine years ago, the group found itself in need of a new leader. The last was killed for defection, which went no further than the utterance of the statement. I would imagine that the man had a death wish, although there is the fact that he was embraced while this land was no more than a colony. Still, he was never too keen on the group's ideals, and that seems somewhat a trend in most of the known ones, however, this new one, has embraced the ideals of the group, and fully believes in it. What 'it' is, I haven't found anything to say.”

“A figure of shadows, of absolute darkness, which begins at the fall of the light. But she follows blindly, following something she has only believed to ask something of her.”

Julian blinked. “Her? Interesting. Anyway, you are right about that. While I do not know her name, it is known that she was born in England, her family moving to New York for unknown reasons. However, once here, her family disappears, and she all but does as well. Which means, that she seems to have been embraced during their sojourn here, and her parents were never seen again. As for who would've done it, I can't say. Any descriptions of her suggest a few possibilities, although I'm thinking Lasombra, it might not be that obvious. I doubt she has any friends within the Sabbat, as this coven has never claimed to be a part of either it, or the Camarilla, although it would be unlikely that any Prince, Primogen, or any other in our fold would want to welcome them – given that Luna seems to want their skulls on a silver platter, if not just their ashes to send to a retort.“

“She is a torrent of rage, with only the promise of retribution to quell it. But this does go beyond the Coven, even beyond the leader of it.” Jackal set his glass down. “I can only hope that with the close of this tale, we do not lead a precession of sadness, having to spiritually lay to rest the one we answer to. This is not a state of gold, but it's end can be the same as the events that occurred there.”

Julian sighed. “I hate the association with that fool. Pure coincidence, but I have nothing to do with him, save for the fact that I was in town when that occurred. Not by choice, since the area is like a repellant to me – it is far too bright a place, even at night. Still, I was not involved with that, since my own work did not allow me to consider giving my assistance.”

Jackal turned his head as Akhet entered the room. She gave Julian a sight bow, and approached the side of Jackal's desk. The moment she stopped, his grin changed into a snarl. “Confirm what we both understand.”

She sighed. “As per your wish, there were witnesses to the event. However, while there was speculation, it is not as we expected.”

Turning towards Akhet, Julian blinked. “What has happened?”

“Primogen, Andromeda Morgan has been killed. As per the two witnesses, she was diablerized.” Her tone was unusually cold.

“Are these witnesses credible?”

Akhet smiled. “Of course they are. Both of them you are likely aware of, at least to some extent. Kyria, the one involved with the events in '85, and Heather Poe, recently embraced by Luna's relative last year. Luna has accepted what they have said, although the idea of calling for a Blood hunt is not entirely feasible, given that there is no known location that this Kindred has named a haven.”

Julian sighed. “Perfect. Either this Kindred has played us for fools, or they are very lucky. But I wouldn't imagine that you plan on just giving up on this, do you?”

Jackal shook his head. “One can steel themselves against tragedy all they like. But even with this preparation, mental or physical, it pales in comparison to the moment which the event occurs. But I do not intend on letting this one go. My care lies not in the specifics, but merely the result of what was done. The same that you likely feel.”

“Then I guess you leave those cares for someone far more suited to them. I see.” Setting his glass down on the desk, Julian stood. “This will cause a bit of a problem, since even when Khristian was sent to Vienna, it wasn't like he was killed. Even back in 1885, it wasn't a major issue either, although there was some extensive want for the person who did it, dead. But I wasn't really around for that one, since only heard about it when I returned to the city from Europe. Even so, I don't care about that – you dealt with the problem, and have been an asset to us, even if there are those who still believe you should be killed. I am not so foolish.”

The door opened once again, but this time, the person did not enter the same way. Falling to the floor, she snarled, almost like she was about to frenzy. “Please...”

Jackal stood, casually grabbing a full bag of blood from his desk. Closing the distance, he knelt next to the woman, placing his hand on her back. “Calm yourself, Faith. Understand I need little in the way of such platitudes, so merely explain what you know, as you can.”

Taking the bag from him, Faith eagerly drank from it. Sitting up, she sighed. “That woman, she met me in the club. Asked if I would accompany her, and when I did, her offer was to join their little group. I declined, and she was going to kill me, if Andromeda didn't step in. Took me a while to get that damn stake out of my chest. I'm lucky I didn't have to slaughter my way here.”

“Did not the doll, and the Violet Raven help you?” Jackal asked.

Faith shook her head. “I'm sure they would've - but getting the information was likely the more pressing matter. I won't hold it against them, as they, like myself were there for a reason. Pity I had to watch that. It seems even worse than the diablere I've heard of.”

“What exactly was it like?” Julian asked as he knelt next to her.

“It seemed more than what you would expect. Not just consuming a soul, but more like sacrificing it”.

Jackal snarled. “An offering to a deity she does not serve, but she gives all the same. For this, the Camarilla's punishment of final death, would be nothing more than giving her what she wants.”

“You aren't saying that we...shouldn't kill her, are you?” Julian frowned.

Shaking his head, Jackal stood, slowly walking toward the widows, his jacket flowing behind him. Touching the glass, he laughed. “She deserves to see. Just what I have. What lies in the darkness, what lies in the depths of insanity. Where only the insane, may walk unharmed. She may go as far as to harm me, but in the end, she will be damaged, enough that she believes, if nothing else – one, simple thing.”

Akhet smiled, where Julian once again seemed puzzled. “Which would be?”

Turning around, Jackal his back leaned against the glass, his smile avoiding the fact that if they broke, it would be a long fall to a quick death. “She is wrong. She knows not who she serves, and the one she adores, cares nothing for her.”
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Maxus Corvin
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PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:14 am

Chapter VI – Ritual

Standing before the large windows, Jackal sighed. The thinking was absurd, but it was still there. Others would take it as a dire situation, but it wasn't something he would let come true. In fact, he would take steps to not only make sure that not only would it not occur, the events would be as he wanted them, and not how fate chose. A bold thought, but he was never one to accept the flow – he would even go as far as to disrupt it. Fate's cruelty does not know bounds, if only because it does not feel for or with the lives it toys with.

One of the steps he had taken was to have many who worked with him, and few were the sort that took pity on him, as it wasn't something he was willing to swallow. It was an unneeded emotion, especially since it was one he did not have – some had it for him. Most did realize quickly that he was content with what he was, and his worries were not so simple.

Turning around, he walked towards his desk, planting himself on it's surface, and staring around the room. He found it interesting that he would sink to this sort of thinking, but there are worse ways to think. He had done much, not entirely on his own, and when this happens, thinking of those who gave their assistance, however slight, is to be expected.

Some were not the usual, in that they knew exactly who they were working with, and perhaps, knew that he wasn't human. They were few, since he understood more than most. While it was obvious that there were humans who would take the knowledge with perhaps several grains of salt, there were those who would instantly wish for the gift, if not only to be placed in line for it. But they were of minor concern, since the real concern, as it always is, are those who already know, and takes any excuse to somehow prove that Vampires are what should be destroyed. Motivated by their faith, or their fear, either were dangerous, since neither were easy to quell, and the usual recourse was nothing but death, as trying to convince them otherwise, while not impossible, usually lacked in worth. If only because nothing short of slitting their throat would silence their loud voices.

“Sir? Celdon as arrived, as per his appointment. Would you like to speak to him now?”

He looked up, staring at Josephine as she waited for his answer. It was only recently that she had begun working for him, and while not embraced by him, she had no problems taking orders from him, at little as they were. “Yes, I wish to deal with this matter right away.”

It took only moments for Celdon to enter his office. Looking as he usually did, save for the grin on his face, which seemed to suggest curiosity than excitement, perhaps a little of both. He was young, no more than a few days over twenty-five, and was already a successful businessman – although those who worked for him had little idea as to who their boss was. Jackal started his work with him in the seventies, and after a number of questions, Jackal revealed much to him, making him a ghoul in the process. Since then, many of his clients have been local Kindred, even Luna.

“Welcome, Celdon. I do hope you will excuse the lateness of the hour.” Jackal took a bottle of expensive wine, pouring a glass for his guest.

Sitting, he smiled. “My few human clients would not do this, but you are, a special case. Although I can't say I live in fear of you, I do understand that, if you are displeased, it might mean...well, not an early grave, but sooner than I would like. I have no wish to take that chance.”

“Any complaints I would have, I would sooner resolve them, than chose bloodshed. Still, this sort of conversation is not why I asked you here.” Jackal sighed.

“What do you mean? More of that Vampire politicking bullshit?”

Nodding, Jackal continued. “Indeed, but this might be more, severe, than before. Although I would sorely doubt anyone would come after you, I would rather that such a thing is impossible.”

Celdon sighed. “So you want to cut off our dealings?”

Jackal shook his head.”Just put any future agreements on hold, while any outstanding ones, complete them as needed. I do not intend on a major change, but there are avenues of possibility that I cannot account for at the moment. At least, many that I cannot be sure of.”

Celdon sighed, once again. “As you wish. But I do hope that this does mean that our little...understanding, is not going to be forgotten.”

Jackal smiled. “I forget very little, especially something like this. Understand that I will not extend my fangs to this, but there is always a way. It is obvious to both of us that you have a use beyond myself, and at some point, there may be one of interest.”

“That, I appreciate. Although I will admit, I have some degree of apprehension regarding this, since my sane mind wants to view this as a betrayal of my humanity. I suppose it would be different, if it was a situation where I could not choose – and where I was not bartering with a Vampire for immortality, But that is not the kind of situation I find myself in. Like Vampires, I suppose I am one who fights for survival, even if that survival includes death, even if it not so final.”

With a small smirk, Jackal nodded. “Indeed. The consideration that it is a betrayal, will leave a sour taste in your mouth, which will not turn to ash in your stomach, but linger in your throat. But the more important matter, aside the previous, is the information I wished you to procure for me. Were you able?”

Swallowing what felt like a lead weight, Celdon pulled a case from his jacket, which contained a compact disc. “You have no idea what it was like to get this. Although not difficult, as I have a certain, ability, to get things people want, this was of major interest to many parties, which nearly ended horribly. But as you see, I was quite successful.”

Taking it from him, Jackal set it gingerly on his desk. “Yes, this is one piece of the puzzle, while the rest only requires time. But for this, you are to be rewarded. The usual, plus some well earned, interest. Alongside this...” Jackal smiled as he took a whiskey glass from his desk, pulling it closer. “...a show of my appreciation, in a crimson red, liquid form. As before, but this time, it is well earned.”

Pulling his sleeve back, he slowly dragged a nail across the flesh of his wrist, squeezing it as he turned it over. Blood almost poured from the wound, which elicited very little emotion from Jackal. Upon filling a third of it, he turned his wrist back over, watching as the wound began to heal.

“Now, drink up. Even as a tool of subservience, understand that it is not for that reason, that I giveth thee. It is a gift, one I have given before.” Pushing the glass toward Celdon, Jackal watched as he looked at it briefly, before nearly pouring it down his throat. Setting the glass down, he breathed heavily, before taking a long look at Jackal.

“Yes, I know. A feeling of want, longing, amongst other things. Although I would like to have this encounter end in a much more fitting manner, I have things to attend to – as I imagine you do. So, if you please, go about your business.”

Watching as Celdon stood, walking towards the door. Remaining motionless until Celdon entered the elevator, Jackal placed his hand on the disc. “This, the method that will deny the foe their world. To expect what lies on this piece of technology, is foolish. Not magic of an ancient, and arcane nature, but an explanation, which has been lost, even to the Book of Nod.”

“Do you really think this is wise?” The familiar voice echoed in this head, as her solid, yet ghostly form appeared before his eyes. The sight, as always, was pleasing.

“Perhaps, and perhaps not. Such knowledge carries with it danger – such that I am willing to face. There are things in this world, that even Kindred cannot fight. Pity the pour souls that view Caine as the one who truly cursed them to walk the night, and believe killing him is wise. No, I am not so foolish. My goal lies in something, not entirely different. But I would differ to the judgment of a being that I can speak with and see, not one who speaks from the shadows with seductive words of promise.”

A smirked appeared on Helena's face. “You know it already, don't you? The information you received tonight, is not as before, but rather a way for you to hear, and possibly, see.”

Standing, Jackal walked over to the table. With a smile, he raised his fist. Extending his fingers, the table flew neatly against the wall, along with the chairs. Looking down, he knelt over the symbol on the floor. Although a random choice before, he now understood that it was not so.

Running his hand over the etchings, he stopped in the exact middle, where the markings were hand-shaped, almost a perfect match for his own. Placing his hand here, he couldn't help but feel tense, as he did not truly know what was going to happen. Even if he had it placed here, much of what was wanted for it, he had either forgotten, or never knew at all.

In seconds, he found himself both snarling, and wincing as what felt like a stake was driven through his palm, which was visible in the instant that it burst through the back of his hand. A metallic spike, which was nearly coated in his blood. Curiosity flowed through him, wondering if what this thing wanted was blood. Figuring this out now, meant that it would already get what it wanted.

His head whipped back as he felt his veins scream. The blood they had always known, that was always there, was being driven out, almost like it intended to drain it all. He couldn't help but feel anger when he saw those black veins form on his hand, which was a sight that he thought he would never drive himself to see again.

Realizing that the symbol was filling with his blood, his curiosity did not stop. But in the next few seconds, he realized that he felt another scream – this one having only one reason behind it, and it would not be denied. A mixture of fear and worry flooded his mind, although the single fact that the door could not be broken, even by his own power, was comforting. But it was not the reprieve he would've preferred.

Feeling the spike retract, he stood, his movements little more than a wobble. Falling backwards, he felt his behind hit the floor. As he sat up, he noticed the symbol changing – moving, to look more like a pool of blood. In seconds, his mind raced, the thought of consuming it to sate his hunger becoming his only concern. But then the pool blackened, becoming what looked like a pool filled with liquid shadows.

Called by a Child of the Night – one that is literally such. But do not take this as surprise, since I have been expecting this.” The voice was obviously feminine, with a feeling behind it that was not unlike silk on the skin. Alongside this, it was also chilling to the bone. Hearing this voice as a human, would be enough to have them fall to their knees.

The shadows in the pool rose, forming no shape, save for rising to a point, as a flame. One feature was discernible – a pair of solid white, glowing eyes.

I find myself wondering what it is that you want, and at the same time, I understand exactly that. You have confused me, Childe of Malkav. A notable feat, but then, I also know that you have a simple desire. One that does not require me, and yet, it does. Curious.” The voice spoke again.

Jackal felt little desire to move, but he forced himself, moving into a kneeling position. “I know of the problem you face. You are worshiped by one of my kind, a Kindred, that does not offer things to you – but to another. What I ask, is not that you deal with this Kindred. I ask you to make me understand. Tell me what I must know, and the problem will be corrected.”

You are bold, as you care not to read of the story, you wish to hear it from the lips of the one who created it.

He nodded. “Many have retold such stories over the centuries, since they were first penned, or simply told. Bold as it may be, I wish for the truth, which has, and will never be tainted by lies.”

The sound of laughter coming from the shadows was a mixture of comforting, and horrifying at the same time. When the voice spoke again, it sounded pleased

You will be given what you ask for. Told the entire story, enlightened on the subject. But I ask only one thing in return. You will teach a lesson to the one who believes they are everything, that they are the only thing important in life, in death, and more importantly, in the night.
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PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:01 am

Chapter VII – Misty Contemplation

Looking out over the waters of the Hudson, he realized that even if his view was the same, things had still changed. Some would pour over these thoughts with a comb with teeth labeled as fine, but he didn't. The major change was one he had chosen for himself to change, and in truth, he wanted nothing more than to accept it. Like Jackal and a few others had said, the idea wasn't to completely discard human nature, but some emotions would not benefit him. Regret, for example – which was hard to have, as his embrace was no mistake.

“You seem to be taking this very well, unlike the multitude of others I've seen in the past few years. Even offered a choice, the chance to chose their own fate – but when they make it for themselves, and avoid death, suddenly, the death they chose is somehow less preferable to the one they avoided. Pathetic.” Vincent sighed. “I chose this, and perhaps in a few hundred years I may regret it, but now, I do not. I doubt I will then, as well.”

With a sigh, Nero turned around, leaning on the railing. “I guess. To be quite honest, I would agree that it is foolish. But this is a choice I've made, and as it seems we are alike in that aspect, among others, I don't think it deserves any more of our concern.”

Vincent smirked. “Of course. Such a discussion pales in comparison to others. I've grown to accept this, and to be perfectly honest, I adore it.” He closed his eyes, his thoughts focusing on something they both knew very well. His voice took on the sharpness of a blade, and the softness of silk.“The scent of blood in the air, smelled through skin so fair. The feeling of this warm body up against mine, as our emotions change. I feel nothing but want, one that does not wish to yield. She feels a sweet mixture of fear, apprehension, and a want not unlike my own. I lick the skin of her neck, as my fangs scrape her flesh. As my want grows alongside her fear, I sink my fangs into her skin, breaking though the layers, until my mouth feels a trickle of blood flow into it, and then I crave more. My emotions lapse into vulgarity, as my mind and body feel what it believed lost, useless.

Nero smiled. “What exactly was that?”

With a sigh, Vincent smiled. “Sorry, I've been hanging around with a Toreador for the past few days. I'm not going to say it is really intimate, since that experience is not the same anymore, but I also cannot say I'm not interested, and I don't doubt she would say the same thing. Although I did wake up next to her a few hours ago, and I don't think saying that causes any doubts.”

With a nod, Nero sighed. “Yeah, I get it. But really, what I'd like to know is...”

Sighing once again, Vincent leaned back on his bench. “Yeah, I knew that was coming. By now, it's obvious to you that I know most, if not all of the details involved with your embrace, so that just leaves me to explain, since you obviously want to know. Forgive me if I vent a bit, although I'm sure you would be more inclined to understand, than some others.”

“What would you expect? That I would want to know, then act childish? Years to late for that.”

With a nod, Vincent continued. “The obvious point to make is that, I wasn't out looking for, well, this.” He rubbed his face. “The reason I left wasn't the jealous response that most, as it seems, thought it was. I really didn't care that you had the appreciation, the prestige, and of course, the reason to earn those things, even if all of it was being handed to you, on a silver platter no less. I just wanted something different, something I knew I wanted, not something I was pushed into, or, certainly not set on a path that I did not want to take. Still, the outcome was quite, unexpected.”

“So how exactly did it happen? Maybe it's a bit forward, but how and why did Luna decide to embrace you?”

Sighing again, this time Vincent stood, walking over to the railing. “I still had access to my share of the fortune, and while I did not waste it, I used it where I needed it. I found a job about two weeks after I left, and that, along with the place I rented, I felt fine with that. Nothing happened right away, as I worked at that office for at least a year.” He smiled. “Even though I didn't exactly want it, I found playing the game was just as easy as you said, even if it can hardly be considered such a thing. Of course, half a year later, where do I find myself? Not sitting in the maze, but I was in an office, one I had all to myself.”

“So let me guess – Luna bought the company you worked for?”

Vincent shook his head. “She didn't have to. She already owned it. Three weeks after my promotion, near the end of the day, I had a my boss come in, telling me that I needed to stay late, and the reason wasn't one he could tell me – but he did say that I didn't have much of a choice.”

~

“What do you mean, I have to stay late? Is there a reason?” Vincent sighed.

“I just received a call from...” The man swallowed, like he was scared of mentioning who it was. ”...well, the one who owns this company. She requested to meet with you, given your, rather quick ascension in this company.”

“Did she give any reason as to why this cannot wait until Monday?” Vincent sighed, leaning back in his chair.

“No, but just as I, I doubt you would want to piss her off. It is her that signs your checks, and thus she is the reason you have this job. If you want to lose it, it is nothing to me.”

“Fine, I'll stay. Should I meet her somewhere in the building, or...?”

Vincent's boss shook his head. “No, she is going to meet you here in about an hour.” With that, the man turned, and left the office.

Sighing once again, he straightened his tie, along with checking his hair in a pocket mirror. He did find it odd that he hadn't heard a damn thing about the company owner, but even so, he wasn't too invested in learning who owned it. At least, up until now. In fact, he had known most in the company to not give a damn who ran it, save for always bickering about those in the boardroom, which given his recent raise, it started to include him. For the most part he ignored it, but he still found it rather entertaining to listen on occasion. But none of it was about anyone higher, even if it was well known that the owner had the sort of power in the company that, with a single word, never-mind any kind of paperwork, could see any of the board members out on the streets, even if the person in question had never seen or spoke with the owner. Given his own record, he was keen to avoid this.

Between checking himself for any other oddities, and finding none, there was nothing else to be done, save for wait. Staring out the large window behind his desk, the fact that it was already dark became quite apparent, although missing it was next to impossible. Then again, it was the time of year where that is never really a surprise.

Hearing his door open, he turned around, only to catch a glimpse of two women outside his door, both of them armed to the teeth, and another woman enter his office, who he could only consider drop-dead gorgeous. Her skin was like a lite cup of espresso, her eyes were like two pale blue sapphires, and her black hair had a silky sheen. Alongside this, her clothing was almost all leather, save for her button up shirt, which was obviously silk. Save for the fact that it was leather, the only thing that really looked out of place was her long jacket, and the fact that instead of high-heels or the like, she instead wore a pair of black boots that just about reached her knees. Most of this did suggest that she was dangerous, but the sight of the pistol on her thigh said the last word – you don't fuck with this woman.

“My expectations of you are very high, but from what I've seen, the thinking that you would do anything but exceed them, would be foolish. But as to why I am here, it is for more than a visit to what is to be this company's new Corporate Officer.” She pulled one of the chairs around, softly taking a seat. Leaning back into the chair, she slowly crossed her legs “You may addresses me as Luna Moreau, as you will – and if you won't...best change your mind about that. But soon enough, you will gain privilege to call me other things, even if they are mere titles in line with your station, they will not be as hollow as they may seem.”

Vincent couldn’t help but swallow, causing an audible gulp. He seemed to forget a bit about proper English as well. “And....this means?”

She smiled, and he couldn't help but stare at her teeth – but something forced him to not say anything. It wasn't that they didn't look right, as they were perfectly straight. Alongside that, in a few seconds, he found himself not caring so much, even forgetting. “In due time, you will understand what that means. For now, things proceed as usual – save for the fact that this company will be directed by you, and if it remains successful, then there is one more...raise, I can give you. If not, well, perhaps that should be a bridge I burn if needed.”

Her comment did very little to clam him, although he was trying his best to not show his fear. His worry, was that she was fully aware of how scared he was, and she wasn't concerned about it – perhaps even to the point that she wanted it to be that way. Even though he had little to no basis for it, save for just the possibility of losing the job, which would not be the great loss for him, that it would be for others. Still, he felt that if he got close enough to her, that sort of loss would be nothing in comparison.

~

“Within three months, I did exactly what she wanted, and more. What? You expected me to say I failed?” Vincent saw the hint of disbelief on Nero's face. “Did I not just tell you that if I did screw it up, I wouldn't have been embraced? Maybe I wasn't clear enough on that, but still.”

Nero sighed. “That I don't get. I know about the permission issue, but what if Luna chooses to embrace? Who in the hell does she ask, if at all?”

Vincent shrugged. “No idea. I have seen many Kindred of this city come to her with such a request, and while I cannot say that her accepting is a rare thing, it's the many she has refused, that stand out much more. I know she has no problem with Jackal, but the idea of her allowing a child of his apparent age or less to be embraced? Not likely.”

“What exactly was it...like for you?” Nero's face flushed red.

“Didn't think Jackal saw any use in using or teaching those sorts of things. But I suspect that he knows of them, as it is far more useful to him to appear, for the most part, as the child he seems.” Vincent looked slightly shocked, but shrugged. “Well, I can't say I was in pain. Luna did ask me first, which some would see as a risk, she could've made me forget she ever asked me. Anyway, she didn't really pounce on me, as it played out more like...well, a whore who is both eager to please, and a bit starved of work, so to speak. Maybe I was a little apprehensive, but then she bit me. Didn’t give a damn at that point. Even more when I woke up, staring at this woman asleep on my chest. I couldn't resist. Not the feelings, the blood, nor her body, which does not lack in interest. But...well, you know the rest.”

With a nod, Nero sighed, stretching a bit. “You don't plan on sitting here talking all night, do you?”

Standing, Vincent nodded. “Of course not. You know Jackal owns a nightclub, right? Well, why don't we indulge ourselves? Can't say much about the food, but the blood is always plentiful. Even more, it is the atmosphere, which seems to invite our kind in.”

Nero snorted. “You're suggesting we go clubbing? I see you haven't changed at all then.”

Vincent nearly keeled over laughing. “Neither have you, you bloody prude. At this point, you'll need to stop thinking like that, and enjoy yourself. It's not too hard, since all you have to do, is stop giving a damn how how apparently 'wrong' it is, or seems to be, and just give in to your feelings. Although there is the fact that Jackal let slip about the two women he had you feed on the first time. Damn near bled them dry, didn't you? I couldn't blame you, although I don't have any preference in killing like that.”

Blushing once again, Nero sighed. “Let's just go – I'd rather just get to the club, since this is becoming a bit boring.”

With a shrug, Vincent sighed. “Fine. But you need to be careful about doing that, since soon enough, you'll need to feed again. Anyway, we certainly aren't going to walk there. I'm a bloody Ventrue, and I have a limo waiting.”

~

Nearby, a figure in darkness laughed. “I have often wondered about this 'Jackal'. A boy, embraced by a Vampire, and now he is a prominent figure in Kindred Society, at least here in this city. What foolishness. I care very little for the body he occupies. I care that he may be in my way. Perhaps it may be true, and if it is, I...no, I do not care. That was a foolish idea, one which was dearly paid for. But that does not mean it cannot still feast on blood drawn from my ass.”

“Azrael? Why do you think it is even him, and why does he matter?” This voice came from one standing close by, also shrouded in darkness.

“It is simple. This 'Nero', was embraced by Jackal, the same one I deiced on a few years ago. As I saw it, I would find out too quickly that he would not be receptive, and this he would face his very human death. But now, my concern is Jackal. Malkavians are dangerous, if only for the fact that some of them, hear perfectly the voices that speak to them, and at times, are all too willing to use the information, even if gains them nothing. In his case, he may already have a vendetta against me.”

Azrael turned, pulling her hood down. “But my bargain with you will not go unfulfilled. I care not for the rules of the Camarilla. My fangs are mine to use, as is my blood. However, you have not yet earned it. Soon enough, you will. For now, do you know what I wish to?”

The woman beside Azrael knelt, hiding her shame. “Yes. The building wasn't hard to find, especially with such an obvious name. He mostly resides there, and believes that almost no one can enter it, and avoid his notice. He is wrong, as you will no doubt prove.”

A smile stretched across Azrael's face. “This city will burn in darkness, beginning with the pyre of Jackal's ashes.”


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PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:33 am

Chapter VIII – Voices Silenced

Standing next to the windows, Jackal looked out at the city, his face marked with a frown. Unlike before, the wait would not be endless. The first time he faces down the foe, it would not be near the close of the curtain, but perhaps it would be at the close of this act. How it would go, was on the minds of any who were involved, even if they would not fight against this threat themselves. He did and would not call this cowardice, if only because of the obvious fact that, they were doing as expected – whatever it takes to survive.

Kneeling, Jackal placed his hand on Schakali's head, much to the dog's delight. His response was to lick Jackal's face, and lovingly nudge his had against his master's. Returning this affection, it seems the idea of tragedy occurring so soon, was almost unthinkable. If a voice was silently whispering it into his ear, or if it was his own worry, he did not know. In either case, he felt as if he had the cold steel of a blade against his flesh, all too ready to slice.

Then Jackal's frown returned, hearing a faint scream, which seemed to visibly anger him. Through this, he felt a lingering cold, like the feeling of a loss, before being verbally told about it. Standing, both he and Schakali looked toward the door, both of them baring teeth. Through that door she would walk, and the thought of it happening, was repulsive.

“Why do you even think this 'Azrael' has the balls to go after you? What the hell does she want you for?” Nero sighed as he spoke, his tone nothing, if not naive.

Forcing a smile, Jackal laughed. “I am a trick wall before train tracks. I am the fallen tree before a lone road, hidden by fog. The fact that I exist, is enough for her to believe I am in her way. That aside, she does have what you believe she may not. She will be as a snake crawling up a tower, and in the end, we may be left with...no, that may be jinxing it.”

Nero sighed, his movements feverish. “So then you have reason to believe we should be...scared?”

Jackal stood, lightly patting the dog's head once again. “You? Ahket? No. But me? In a sense. I have no desire to die again, which is one that many kindred share. Face death once, and survive – after this, you will have a rather curious want to avoid it happening again.”

With a sigh, he focused his eyes on the doors. “Today will be a day, that sees the death of many, and all will be missed. Can these be avoided? No, for it has already started.” His mouth stretched wide, emitting a deep snarl.

Downstairs, Josephine snarled as she stood from her desk. In comparison to Jackal's office, her room was no more than a study, but it was enough. Her reasons for working with and for him, were simple, mostly related to the fact that she had almost no other option. Even before her embrace, she was a misfit, a lonely girl who hated the idea that her entire life would be nothing more than a puzzle, each piece fitting in as she aged. Deviation was impossible, save for the only known option – death.

The option she chose, was exactly that. But it would not be the end she believed. Awakened to the night, awakened to darkness, she found a life where, if nothing else, most of her choices, were exactly that – hers.

“What in the hell?” Looking towards her door, she waited, her hand reaching for the pistol on her thigh. Slowly siding it from the holster, she pointed it towards the door, waiting.

Watching it open, she didn't move as she watched the woman walk in. Instantly, she both recognized who it was, and had the lingering wish to vomit. Faith's description of the one who killed Andromeda – Azrael.

“How many fucking rooms does this shrimp have in this bloody facade? I do find it a surprise that most rooms I've seen are empty, save for the lobby, which might need someone to get a broom for the ashes of that doormat. But perhaps you can be more useful. Where is he?”

Josephine snarled again. “Why should I tell you that? You think I mean to let you kill anyone else?”

Azrael looked puzzled. “Let...Me? That does suggest you can stop me, and that I would need to get past you. But I think you will find, that is a certainty.”

Placing her hand on the gun, she smiled. “This, is no more than a mortal toy, and such reliance on it, is almost pitiable. But then, what else can you do, blue blood?” Softly, placing her other hand on Josephine's tense hands, she slowly pulled the gun from her. “There. Now.”

Reaching further up her arm, Azrael smiled. Her fingers extending into claws, she dug them into Josephine's flesh, snarling as she pulled. Struggling to stop her, Azrael threw the gun to the floor, then grabbed the Ventrue's neck. “Take solace in the fact that I am not going to kill you. But I will hurt you. If only to show you pain, before I destroy the one you serve out of pity.”

Pulling harder, Azrael smiled as she severed Josephine's arm from her body, letting it fall to the floor. In seconds, it burst into embers, alongside the woman's painful snarls. “Yes, feel that. Understand what it is to be Kindred, and abscond from your pretentious ways. Be dragged down from your throne, and see yourself for the monster you are.”

Letting her go, Azrael turned. “Now, I would ask you once more, to tell me where Jackal's office is, but I see that you are too busy pleasing his extremities to do so. As such, I will find it on my own. I leave you to your rage. Oh, and I'll be locking the door. If you do escape, understand that I care for no one, so it will be your own regret, and not mine.”

Walking the halls of the hotel, Azrael found the decor, not disgusting, but certainly not her taste. If she felt moved to do so, she would burn the building down, but not before throwing the pale, young god into the fire of the dawn's light. She did wonder why she sought his death, but then, the reason was more obvious than most would expect. It wasn't about the pawn he had stolen from her, it wasn't about him being anything he is – no, it's about the fact that he understood too much. How much, and what, she would never find out, nor would she ever care what he had told others, but that didn't change her motivation. Nothing would.

Turning a corner, she saw them. A pair of black doors, each with silver trimmings, and both their handles, split in half between the two doors, were shaped like a eye, which had a piercing stare. Placing her hands on these, she pulled the doors open, her lips parting into a fanged smile, with hints of snarls behind the grin.

“Do you think I would be waiting for you in some sarcophagus? Waiting, for you to throw my slumbering body into the dawn? Certainly not.” Jackal's sharp tone pierced her ears, but she didn't change the look on her face.

“Perhaps not. But that doesn't change what happens here. We both know it, and we both are prepared for it. Only you are willing to fight it, and you know that this is a foolish endeavor.” She rubbed her hand on the hilt of a knife on her thigh.

He sighed. “Maybe it does. But even though I may read fate like a book, there are times were I can only tear out a page, and shred it. For fate is a cruel mistress, and in these cases, I feel only the need to abuse and kill her, rather than...enjoy her company.”

Azrael laughed. “Such words from a childish mouth. I would make mention of the classic phrase, but I would imagine you did just that. After all, the knowledge that you are guilty of the same thing I am, is not well known, but some are willing to talk. The animal pleaded with me, but he still had the spine to refuse me, even as he spilled his guts about everything he knew. The other, his blood was too hot for my request, but he still talked. He still fought too, which was a mistake. I would mention the last, but this is a tale we know already.”

Jackal snarled, baring his fangs. His eyes seemed to bulge. “Is that what you think? You are guilty of greed, among others, while I am guilty of them all, but for different reasons. You seek power, the means to change the world as you wish. I never sought power, but I gained it still. You've done this more than once, while one is the only number I can count too, for my sins. You CANNOT say the same thing, as it would be another sin, a lie.”

“You think these petty mortal concepts can apply to us? They cannot. You know well of what we are, but what you do not know, is simple. I seek to end what no one else can. I care not for the Camarilla, nor the Sabbat. Trying to destroy either is a fools errand, so I chose another option. I will destroy all who will not bow to me, and the goddess I serve.”

Nero sighed. “Is that it? We are supposed to believe as you do, or die? How human of you to think.”

She turned towards Nero, still smiling. “It's obvious you wouldn't understand. Perhaps it is what you say, but I have no hateful words. Only a request, and if I am denied, I offer then the means for a quick death. I do not seek to hate. Those who refuse me are not hated. I take them as an example for the rest, who, without it, would refuse me as well.”

“So you want blind obedience, and wish only for want is asked? Sorry, but I am a Malkavian. I cannot do that. Madness always clashes with order, and who wins? Madness, for it is unpredictable.” Nero snarled. “Try me. See if you can do anything.”

Slowly, she started walking towards him. As she did, she pulled the zipper down on her leather bodice, exposing a small bit of her breasts. “These are charms which I am not above using. But what you must understand, is that I know you cannot be swayed. As such, as you put, I have one recourse. I kill you.”

Placing her hand softly on his face, she smiled. “In another time, you would have been mine. Your human life would have ended, and you would have been reborn by my blood. However, that is not to be. But we can enjoy a few more moments together, before you die for the final time.”

With a smile, Nero bared his fangs. “In my next life, maybe. But you won't be in that one. “ He pulled the gun from his thigh, placing the barrel on her forehead. “Ta, bitch.”

Pulling the trigger, he couldn't help but feel tension run through him as he felt the bullet discharge from the barrel, and bury itself in her forehead. This knocked her to the floor, her body laying on the reflective surface like she had fallen from a window. Her eyes closed as she fell, and her body was limp. Standing over her, he smiled. “How simple. I really didn't think that would work. Well, time to clean this-”

In seconds, her eyes opened, and she almost lept to her feet. Grabbing him by the neck, she smiled. “Nice try. Now, lets see what your blood tastes like – along with your soul.”

In one motion, she flicked her wrist, eliciting the sound of bone cracking from Nero's neck. Pulling him in close, she bit into his flesh, drinking in his blood with impunity. It had a flavor unlike any other, and carried with it much more than just satisfaction. Flashes of memory, things she couldn't yet comprehend, but didn't care about. It was the feeling. Like drinking the blood of an angel, and imbibing the power of a demon. In something of a frenzy, she wanted more.

The sound of a demonic snarl echoed around the room, and the sound of a gunshot brought Azrael to the ground once again. Nero dropped to the floor alongside her, falling limp. She struggled to her knees, as her eyes set upon Jackal, holding a smoking gun. His face was an angry grin, his fangs bared. He looked at her with hell in his eyes, and his stare would not leave her. In this moment, she felt fear.

“How dare you treat my friends with such shame. If it is me that you have a problem with, then stand, and let us settle it.” He fired the gun once again as she stood, the round going through her stomach. “I have no sympathy for you. In this, I am not the defenseless child. I do not scream. I fight, and I do so, because you are the foe. No matter what happens, in the end – you will fail.”

Slowly walking towards him, she laughed. “Perhaps, but it will be after I complete my work. If anyone is going to take a fall, it will be you. Dust will be all that is left, and out of my way.”

He raised his arms. “Then by all means. Prove that you have the spine to WOUND ME. Fuck it, prove that you have the balls to KILL ME. But do not expect me to bow to your wishes, no matter if they are for me to follow you, or for me to die.”

Her walk faltering, she snarled. Reaching for him, she sighed. Closing her eyes, she focused. It was an easy process, with all the blood in her system. In seconds, she felt better. Enough that this would be a simple matter. Feeling the wounds in her head and stomach heal, she opened her eyes. “Now. This is where it ends for you.”

Grabbing him by the neck, she touched her other hand to this face. “I'll admit. Were I able, I would take you as mine. But then, you aren't that foolish. The woman who did wasn't, but she had her own flaws. As do you. You care to much. About your friends, about your childe, and most of all, about yourself. I can feel your fear, even as you are brave, even as you have the balls to stand up to me, behind all of that, is fear. The fear that what you have built is going to be cast down. That after your death, I will deal with both your childer, and your little empire falls, and your memory becomes no more than that. You become a story, nothing more. That is what you fear. Obscurity. That what you have done, the people you have saved through death, that all the good things you have done, will become meaningless, in seconds. Well, do not let me stand in the way.” Pressing him against the glass, she hear it start to shatter, the small sounds an echo of his end. The dawn's light shone outside, but her fear of it was absent.

Smiling at him, she kissed him, pressing her lips against his, keeping his hand on his cheek. She savored the taste of his dead flesh through this, which felt smooth. His dark lips, didn't respond as hers, but that was to be expected. “Any last words?”

With a snarl, he bit her hand, forcing it away. “DO IT BITCH!


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PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:22 am

Chapter IX – Not the Hero

Struggling to move, he felt like he'd been through one hell of an ordeal – until he realized it was still going on. He'd heard the two shots, the first which knocked him and Azrael to the floor, and the second, which occurred only seconds after the first. His vision blacked out then, bleeding into a red rage. His mind was nothing but screams, and his body echoed this. Every bit of his body was screaming, the beast in a rage for the idea that death was soon to come. It was keen to avoid it, and in truth, he almost felt the same way. But he chose to fight it for the moment, and this was painful.

Raising his head from the ground, he saw Azrael holding Jackal against the one of the windows. Realizing it all to soon, he tried to move further, but could not. Keeping his stare locked on the pair, he silently gasped as he saw the cracks appear in the glass, and Azrael wasn't going to stop. He heard her say “Any last words?” She posed the question to Jackal with her hand on his face, and Nero watched as he bit into the flesh of her hand, and she moved it away, her hand tensing up like she was going to slap him.

His words were quick. He simply yelled “DO IT BITCH”, and she snarled. Pushing harder, she shattered the glass window, and yelled “Into the light of the dawn I commend thee, and to thy death do you go.”

She smiled as she pushed, and as he fell, Nero could do nothing but watch as the light seared his skin, the flame starting as soon as the light touched his flesh. Once again, he would like to do nothing more than move, but it was still impossible. In seconds, Jackal was gone, at least from view. It wasn't any guess as to what had happened, but he was gone. Nero had no idea if Jackal could survive that, but at this point, nothing would tell him, either.

A furious snarl came from the room, this one feral. Shakali leapt at Azrael, his teeth biting into the flesh of her arm. His eyes were livid, and his mouth filled with both Azrael's blood, and teeth. She snarled at him “Ah yes, his pet. Too bad you will not burn as well, but then, you will not survive the fall.” Tearing him from her arm, she held the dog out the window, softly throwing it. In a quick motion, she kicked it in the air, sending it flying. “Yes, I just did that. Why not?”

Turning, Azrael cast her gaze on Akhet. “So, that just leaves you I must break. It is a pity, you know. You have lived under his lies for so long, and you ate everything he fed you. But now you are free from that. You can chose your own path – but I know you won't. Too built up on everything he built, living under his shadow – isn't that the same way you lived before? Always living in the shadow of another, while they put you down? Of course, you might just be used to that, and as such, that is what you crave. To always be at the middle, or bottom, but never the top. Never the one in control. Then stay there, and languish, I don't care. Still, you do not understand. But I can teach you. I have long since wondered about what one of you tastes like, and with the blood you inherited from Jackal, the same as Nero, I'm sure it will be the same feeling.”

Moving towards her, Akhet snarled. “You know, you have sealed your fate. I can see it on you now, the black taint in your aura, one far worse than I've ever seen. But in truth, that is a crime I am above. What I am not, is what you have done today. That is what will condemn you to death, alongside the rest. “

Azrael smiled. “Were you not tempted to save him? Did you not move to protect your beloved Sire? You did not. Which does say that you either feared what I would do to you, or you prove my point. Still, I can forgive you for that, but I doubt Jackal would say the same. They probably have him chained up already, for his sins. But if you think I would lower myself to be punished by your rules, you are wrong. I am above that, as you will soon find out.”

Turning her head, Azrael looked around. The room seemed to be colder than it was, and something was different. Looking towards the door, she snarled. In seconds, she felt another pain in her stomach. Looking down, it wasn't a bullet, but rather a sword of some kind, made from ice.

“What in the hell?” Azrael snarled.

“Freeze were you stand, you sick bitch.” The voice that said this was unusually cold, the words seemingly stinging the air. The laughter that came after did the same.

Azrael snarled. “Who are you?”

Entering the door frame, the voice was given a face. Deathly pale, a pair of piercing blue eyes stared from under a curtain of wispy silver hair, which seemed to flow backwards, with each stand appearing as a sharpened icicle, yet it had a fluid motion to it. The clothing this person wore contrasted this, since she was draped in black leather, with the only contrast being the white fur collar on her long jacket, and the various chromed trimmings on her jacket and pants. The symbol on her shirt, was a frozen sword.

In her hand was a long, icy blade, which rested on her shoulders. “I? Well, let's just say I am one cold bitch – and you've pissed me off. Doll with a big sword, if you will. But if you're looking for a name, you are a bit late. Still, I am Kyria.”

With a sigh, Azrael smiled. “And you expect to kill me? JUST you? Well, you are certainly welcomed to try, if nothing else.”

With a smile, Kyria sighed. “Well, not just me, but in truth, I don't like this approach. It will certainly work, and have it's intended effect, but it isn't what I prefer. After all, I would go for a stand up fight, rather than what is in store for you. Believe me, for what you've done...you deserve nothing but. Those you've killed, have not been granted an honorable death, or the chance to die in such a way.”

With a puzzled look on her face, Azrael suddenly smiled, chuckling softly. “Another with the same. You've done it just as I have. Why haven't they-”

Kyria snarled. “The same reason why Jackal was spared, although in my case, it wasn't my idea. Still, in comparison, it is a stretch to bring us together. It was revenge, and beyond that, I will not explain more.”

In seconds, Kyria noticed the window. Briefly looking around the room, she snarled. “YOU BITCH!”

With a sigh, Azrael couldn't help but seem annoyed. “You keep saying that. But none of you back it up.”

“Then why don't I do something, mostly to shut you up?”

Luna walked out from behind Kyria, holding a pistol on her hand, pointing the barrel at Azrael's forehead. “Although it isn't me, that you have to directly contend with. However, you should know that, save for some kind of fucking miracle, you are NOT getting out of here as anything but a pile of ashes.”

Feeling the touch of cold steel on her neck, Azrael sighed. “Are you going to give your introduction too?”

Hikari snarled, the slight feel of sunlight on her back enough to anger, the snide comments were enough to arouse nothing but more. “Of course you wouldn't know. Understand that I am a Primogen, and for what you have done, I have every reason to dust you right here.”

Azrael sighed. “Always thinking you have the upper hand, don't you, Ventrue. You, who still face mistrust, even from those who should know exactly what you are, believing you to consume lives, instead of blood. Even as your blood is as blue as every other, you are still not exactly what most expect of you. However, I cannot deny that killing me is possible, as it is for all of us. But what you have to understand, is that I do not plan on final death today – and with all the mere threats I am getting, I don't think we will ever get to that.”

Pressing the blade harder, Hikari snarled. “And just why is that?”

“Because of me, Vampire – the 'fucking' miracle.”

Hikari gasped as a stake was driven through her back, piercing her chest completely, directly in line with her heart. Going limp, Azrael turned around as the Primogen fell to the ground, a look of shock on her face. Only able to move slightly, the anger was present, but nothing could be done about it.

Looking at the new arrival, Luna snarled. “I see. A pawn of Leopold, are we? You have your own sins, and you know it. The last thing I intend to do is see you causing havoc in my city. Deny that if you must, but the officials of this city are in my pocket. “

Azrael sighed. “Do not let her get to you, Aria. It is quite pointless.”

Aria frowned, her stare locked on Luna. “You own nothing, corpse. I plan to deal with all of you. I don't care that Azrael dealt with that child, he was still a Vampire. He is better off dead, as will the rest you, once this is all over.”

“Is that what you think? What hope does a hunter like you have? You know nothing of the holy power, and you still expect to deal with us? The most you have is surprise, and without that, you are nothing but easy prey.” Kyria laughed as she spoke. “And if you expect me to view someone like yourself with any degree if respect, you cannot demand that. Even if you did earn it, you do not deserve it.”

“I do wonder why you consort with a hunter, Azrael. Surely you understand that she plans to kill you as well? I would think someone like you would expect betrayal, especially from someone like her.” Luna seemed rather puzzled, but didn't move her pistol.

Azrael nodded. “Perhaps most of what she said is true, but you must understand, I have made a deal with her, and because of that, she has promised to not kill me. Soon enough, I will embrace her, and then she will be able to deal with all of you, as easily as I do.”

Luna sighed. “Then that will be no more than another reason to kill you. Do you not understand at all,, how this works? Although I suspect that, even if you do, you simply do not care. Regrettable, although you do not, it will still be what kills you in the end.”

“That is what you think, isn't it, dead moon? You believe in the order of your organization, willing to defend it to the death – even running out of your tower to deal with situations yourself, as evidenced by your presence here. But in truth, like many others, it is no more than a group which lies to it's members, denying the very truth which is so very clear to those who have lived long enough. Even if you do not think this way, you still serve and organization that does. But you...” Azrael suddenly smiled. “...this I did not expect. Regrettable, as both you and I are alike in some respects, but none more-so than our...secret. You might not keep it hidden, but many around you do not know. Those who do, have accepted it, but those who do not, are kept far enough away from you that they cannot find out. I can see why you would not understand me. You have come to terms with yourself, in many ways, where I have not.”

Aria frowned. “How long do you plan on prolonging this, Azrael? You've done what you wanted here, now lets leave this damned haven.”

Luna snarled. “Maybe you do get away today. But understand that you've drawn the anger of almost every Kindred in this city. Your name and face will be on the minds of every damned soul in this city, and all of them will be willing to gather together and kill you. The knowledge that you are responsible for killing FOUR Primogen, will be enough to get some of the Anarchs after your pale ass, especially since I have good relations with them.”

Azrael smiled. “As you say. We will see.” She raised her hands, as black wisps emanated from her wrists. Flowing down her palms, the shadows encompassed her hands, and she quickly knelt, smacking her hands onto the floor. Around her, a mass of shadows swirled, until she and Aria were out of sight.

In seconds, the shadows dissipated, leaving nothing behind. Luna sighed. “Now it seems obvious, although there is still one variance to account for. It seems Jackal was correct. She may be a Lasombra, but we cannot be sure as of yet.”

Kyria looked down. “Oh, this isn't good.”

With a snarl, Nero tried to move, but any movements he made were extremely weak, or far to slow. He knew that everything was still there, and nothing had really changed, save for his mind looking like a computer screen, scrolling a single word across thousands of times. Beyond this, he could not do much, and his control was beginning to falter. He knew what would happen, and in truth, he had no desire to hurt anyone, and the idea of Luna witnessing such a thing, he would not conceive of it.

Kneeling, Kyria pulled Nero into her lap. “You still there? If so, here.” She presented the underside of her wrist to him.

His thinking was quick, as was his motion of biting down on her wrist. As her blood flowed into his mouth, he noticed it had a oddly pleasing coldness to it. Still, it was satisfying, enough that, he could think much easier, and felt a bit more like he usually did.

Standing, Kyria offered him her hand. Taking this, he gave his thanks. She merely smiled. “Don't worry about it. There is a value in that, and in this instance, I'd imagine you understand what that value is. If not, you will learn it soon enough.”

Walking over to the desk, Luna sighed. To think that such a thing would happen, years ago she would have considered anyone who said it, a fool. However, as much as it changes, it did not change what needed to be done. As always, the one who breaks the rules, are punished. Touching a small statuette on the desk, she pulled it aside. In seconds, it slid back into it's place, and the low sound of motion entered her ears, and looking at the windows, a number of metal shades covered the exterior of the windows, and a set of black curtains slid from the sides, covering the remaining glass.

“So, is it really true, Nero?” Luna leaned on Jackal's desk, facing Nero.

He didn't snarl, nor did he really have any emotion at all. “Akhet probably feels worse about it than I do, but it isn't a lie. He's...” Saying it seemed wrong.

Luna snarled. “I can't say anything that changes it, and the feeling will never really change. But you have to understand, no one has to play the hero here. She will be dealt with, and even if that does not change the feeling for you, it will help.” She knew trying to hide her own emotion was impossible. Stoic as she was, she knew that no one misunderstood what she felt. This aside, it was also obvious to her that both Akhet and Nero felt the same way, to the effect that Akhet was sunk to the floor, with a blank look on her face, and while Nero didn't seem to be affected by it, it was still obvious that he was.

Nero snarled. “I'm not the fucking hero. If it means that I get to drain that bitch, or just kill her, I would be glad to play the villain.”


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PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:18 pm

Chapter X – Shattered Circle

Julian sighed. At times, he hated his appointed position, even if the perks were ones he had come to appreciate. But like any job, some aspects were, not to his taste. He had the authority to remove Luna from her position, but had no wish to do so. However, the message from the Council hinted that it may be something he would have to do, if things became any worse than they were. In many ways, this was one of the first occasions in which he couldn't help but think to disobey, if the order would come. He knew Luna very well, and in every previous incursion, she dealt with whatever problem there was, and gained much respect for it. But in this instance, he knew it wasn't a new occurrence. It was likely that, in some Camarilla controlled city, a few Primogen had been killed, be it by Sabbat raids, one of the independent clans trying to take control of a city, or others. But the Council treated this like a grievous offense, and their first thoughts were to eliminate the only thing that wasn't the problem at all. Typical elders, he had to think, since their rules were such that even he could not so rigidly abide.

Entering Luna's office, he could already tell that she was pissed, and not like most Ventrue. Although he did not know the reason, she was quicker to show emotion than any other Ventrue, but she always did so in a way that she did not appear weak, which is the main detraction most had against doing so. But behind this, he could tell that she had other emotions, ones which she didn't wish to show.

“I hope you are not that broken up over this. I know how it feels, but at some point, you stop caring.” Julian suddenly cringed, realizing that his words were ill-chosen.

She turned around, two bloody lines running down her face, but her eyes were focused. “I don't care if you are a Justicar, SHUT UP. They can call me weak if they wish. They can wish for my removal. But I will deal with this problem as the rest, and rebuild from the ashes, if it must be so.”

“What do you expect me to say? They have already sent their warnings, as I am sure you are aware. They believe, as you may suspect, that with the deaths of four Primogen, that you are ill-suited to perform the tasks assigned to you. Never-mind that to both you and myself, this speaks to the inability of these Primogen to defend themselves, although we both know that they were quite capable of doing so. But against this sort of enemy? Certainly not.”

Wiping her face with a silken cloth, she discarded it into a bin, then sighed. “Do you know anything about the human that was with her? That 'Aria'?”

Taking a seat, Julian nodded. “Yes, and her history is just as degenerate as that of any Vampire, sans-blood drinking. She was involved with several incidents twenty years ago, most of them involving Vampires, but that information wasn't made public. In a number of 'murder' cases, she seems to be involved, with only a singular problem. All of them were shot in a singular place, and every single one was always covered in ashes. Being as involved as she was, those two facts were never a main concern of CSI. But if there is any fact that stands out, it is simply that she was born in 1940, and as you well, know, she doesn't look it.”

Luna laughed. “I take it that she is a ghoul, then?”

Julian shrugged. “I can't say for sure, but it is likely to be the case, if you say Azrael plans to embrace her. They likely made their deal shortly after their meeting, which is likely to be soon after Azrael was embraced herself, although I wonder why someone like her would take such a prerequisite, especially if she had to wait this long for the other side of the deal.”

Smiling, Luna laughed again. “Likely? The Temptation. It certainly isn't unheard of, even for humans who believe in such things. But in this case, I do wonder if she truly plans on being...tainted, in such a way, especially since she seems to be quite the zealot, with her beliefs.”

“I don't know.” Julian blinked. “Now that you mention it, I do remember an incident with a Society member in London a few years ago. He obtained some strange cargo from an excavation in Prague, and some time after this was shipped to London, the guy turns up dead. The strange part? In his office, we found a number of cold storage tanks, filled with Vampire Blood. Seems he had been praying on Vampires for quite some time, and the cargo was to be his greatest treasure. Too bad it seems to have killed him.”

“Does that have anything to do with that...Tzimisce Methuselah?” Luna sighed.

Julian nodded. “In a way, yes. I'd imagine that you are quite aware of those events, even if some of the finer details you do not.”

Luna sighed. “More importantly, I have heard of a few...unusual occurrences in the past few days.”

“Such as? They couldn't be too outstanding.”

She shrugged. “No, but they are still notable. Between some damage to the sidewalks near Jackal's hotel, which is certainly trivial, and some other oddities which can be easily explained, we did find at least one murder victim, and even if it may be clear to us that it was a Vampire, it cannot be said who. Likely nothing more than a fledgling who made a mistake, and fled.”

“You aren't going to pay much attention to that, are you?” He sighed.

“As much as needed, but then, it isn't my main concern. No matter what that relates to, it still pales in comparison. The council can say whatever the fuck they wish, I do not intend on letting this bitch walk all over me.”

Looking like meant to blush, Julian laughed. “Well, that is one of the reasons that some of them believe you ill-suited to the job, the results of your appointment aside. They think you are too emotional, and in this instance, you want to get yourself personally involved, if you are not already. But if nothing else, you know that I understand.”

Her eyes narrowed. “What do you expect? There are things I do not pretend to be, even if everyone can easily believe it. The signs are all there, but everyone looks at them like they are blind. Still, if you are so curious...”

Upon hearing this, Julian kept his look, only this time he seemed to have gone white-eyed. “ O...kay. Now I can certainly understand. Funny you don't hear about that more often.”

She smirked. “It should be obvious why one does not, given the potential for an undesirable reaction. Still, you don't think knowing that changes anything, do you?”

He shook his head. “Of course not. I can't say I suspected, but it does make sense. That aside, I never planned on backing out of this. I've been involved for the last hundred years, and I don't plan on getting out now.”

Luna blinked. Shaking her head, she smiled. “Ivanna, why the hiding?”

Turning around, Julian couldn't help but stare at the slight blur that wasn't obvious, but given where Luna was staring, and there was the fact that he understood how to see such things. With a rather long sigh from the Nosferatu, she revealed herself, the glassy blur fading into Ivanna's image, which wasn't too displeasing to the eyes.

“I wished to make my feelings known you to, Luna. You did not ask, but I will relate them still.”

Luna shook her head. “No, no, I will certainly listen. I do have Hikari's understanding already, and hearing yours is within my interests.”

Ivanna frowned. “It may be that he feels differently, and he certainly would, given his hatred of Jackal. His views are the same as the Council's, in that he feels you are no longer capable of performing your duties. My thoughts, are quite different.”

With a sigh, Luna set her arms on the desk, placing her forehead in her hands. “Of course he would think as such, the fool. Why? Because after Khristian's bullshit, both the Council of Seven and the Inner Circle of the Camarilla would want someone who would think as such here. Little do they know, or care, it is not about MY inability to perform, but it is what we face, that is the problem, as Julian put it. But what they care about, is the fact that his situation has yet to be solved, along side the fact that half of the city's Primogen have been killed. It would be my luck that they decide on overriding my decision on replacements, and place those loyal to THEM and not me in the positions.”

With a smile, Ivanna laughed. “They believe what they will. Should it change anything you do? Certainly not. You certainly have my confidence, as always.”

Entering the room, Vincent looked a little worried. He walked over to Luna's desk. “I hate to bother you, but...they wish to speak with you.”

Julian didn't seem to be surprised about this, and Ivanna seemed to be the same, but Luna's eyes bulged. “Surely you must be joking.” Luna sighed. “If they must, I suppose. But how do they intend...?”

Vincent sighed. “You have no idea how they feel about...eh, well, I would suppose you do. Still, they pulled a few strings to set up this...meeting, if it can be called such. I might understand this better, and they would certainly have people to manage things on their end, as I understand it, much of it is lost on them.”

Luna shrugged. “Then however it is they intend on speaking with me, show me their dawn.”

With a nod, Vincent walked over to Luna's desk, turning around her laptop. It seemed that Ivanna's viewpoint allowed her to see exactly what he was doing, and she could understand every bit of it. Julian didn't seem too interested, although he still showed signs of comprehension. In a minute or two, Vincent turned the laptop back around, the screen showing what seemed to be a video of a blackened room, with only a single light source. However, the light was behind a number of figures, which seemed to be seated at a table of some sort.

“It may seem like a recorded video, but it is live. Which, if I may explain, means that at this exact moment, the Circle can speak with you directly from Venice.”

Luna didn't show much surprise. “So this is where technology can go.” With a shrug, she turned to focus on the council. “So, if I might begin this, I understand that you have seen my methods for dealing with this situation to be...unsatisfactory?”

The first voice to speak was obviously male, but it was obviously masked, and she could tell very little of who it was. “We are assured that you understand the situation, but as it seems, you have done very little to correct it. After the deaths of four Primogen, and with very little reaction on your part, it does seem that the situation is out of your hands, which we previously believed capable.

Luna sighed. “They still are, as you will find. Have I decided to suddenly disavow the Masquerade? Certainly not. Have I chosen to ignore every single law the Camarilla has upheld since it's founding? No. What I have done, is keep myself aware of every possible detail that is involved with solving this debacle. If you believe that I have chosen to simply ignore the facts, you are mistaken. I have every intention to deal with the kindred in question.”

The second voice, this time it was a female who spoke. Again, the voice was masked. “Perhaps you will. But even so, what comes into question is your affiliation with the previous Malkavian Primogen, Jackal, among others. It may be that his final death has come to effect your judgment since, and thus, do you show weakness.

Luna's eyes narrowed. “I do not deny that I may have had a deep friendship with him. But I will deny to my own final death, that his own, is clouding my judgment. What is it that I judge, in this instance? Simple. The Kindred involved with the deaths of the four Primogen, will be executed upon capture. There is no other course I would take.”

The next to speak was another voice, once again female, which Luna thought she could recognize. “Then you will certainly do so. However, we have deemed it necessary to replace one of your Primogen ourselves. True as it may be that the replacement for the last suits the position, it has already been done, and agreed to. The Council of Seven has approved this, and as such, the current Primogen for the Tremere clan will be supplanted by one of our choosing, once again approved by the Seven Council. Their arrival shall be shortly.

The screen went black before Luna could say a damn word. “As you fucking wish.” She sighed.

Vincent looked puzzled. “Has that ever happened before?”

Luna nodded a bit halfheartedly. “I don't recall any notable instances, but I would imagine that it has. However, it is likely that such a thing is rare, since such a replacement, as is obvious, needs more approval than just that of the Inner Circle. This may even be a unique instance, I cannot say for sure.”

The door behind Ivanna opened, nearly flying off their hinges. Moving out of it's way, she seemed to have a rather surprised expression on her face. Julian seemed to share this, albeit lessened. Vincent and Luna's faces both had a look of shock.

“Hello, Prince Luna Moreau.”
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PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Tue May 14, 2013 11:21 pm

Chapter XI – Bloody Magic

“My expectations of you were certainly correct, even if I have heard many things about you, most of them pleasing. The many detractors aside, you are certainly an example – it is a pity that the Circle has trouble understanding this. But that is to be expected.”

The kindred smiled, his mouth baring fangs. He wore a hooded jacket, which made it difficult to see his face. Made from a deep red leather, it had silver trim, and a number of tooled designs in the leather, most of them occultic or demonic symbols. Beneath the jacket, he wore a black dress shirt, made from silk, and a blood-red tie. His pants were black leather, and his boots were knee-height.

Pulling his hood down, he kept his smile. His hair was a silvery white, and only a little messy, though it could still be taken for well-kept. His face was unblemished, the only actual mark on it, being a set of what looked like tattoos, which seemed to be part of something larger on his chest, though they only reached his neck. His stare was somewhat frightening, even if the only occupants of the room were Vampires, since his eyes were red, and seemed to glow.

Luna stood, as the Kindred approached her. “As I understand it, you are to take the position of Primogen for the Tremere?”

Nodding, the kindred extended his hand. “In a sense, yes. It may be rather unorthodox, but I am considered a Lord within the clan, and as such, the appointment is more for show, than anything. The current seat holder will still manage most of the job's aspects, save for the ones I am in direct need to manage myself. This aside, I know I can deal with both the clan's needs, and what I must do as Primogen. It may be temporary, or perhaps until such time as I need to be relieved, I do not know.”

Taking his hand, Luna smiled. “Well, I can hardly dispute this, so I will accept. Although, do you think the same as the Circle, and perhaps even the Council of Seven, or is it that you hold another view entirely?”

The kindred shook his head. “What I have maintained, is something of a vigil over your actions since you were inducted as Prince. My findings have only pointed me to the conclusion that you can perform as needed, and perhaps better than most Princes, although I have not watched over many. If nothing else, you do as needed, and for the most part, that is all that is asked.”

Luna smiled, pulling her hand away as the kindred did the same. “So, you know much about me. Care telling me something about yourself?”

“I am sorry for my lack of manners. I am Lucius. If not any of the other Council members, Meerlinda does take pride in speaking for my deeds, though that has little to do with her being my Sire. She does have other Childer, after all, most of them being far more famous, or infamous, than myself.”

She couldn't help but laugh. “So that's why I recognized her voice. Who knows why she is in Venice at the moment, but hell, I'd imagine that she is going to be back here soon, although I would consider it unlikely that she would have any reason to get involved here. Still, I could be mistaken.”

“I could not say myself. But perhaps, we should discuss more, important matters?”

Luna nodded. “Certainly. Have you been informed already?”

Lucius smiled. “Yes. Although I actually have some information for you, which may be what you have heard already, but it may be worse than any are willing to think.”

Taking a usb stick from his jacket, Lucius handed it to Luna. “On this, you will find some rather interesting details about this, 'Convent Of Hell', including some grotesque depictions of the group's founders. Some Kindred, some Kine, but all joined it because of a lie. Although I am unaware of exactly what this lie is, I do know that the first founders of the group, were all Vampires concerned with death, and no, they were not Cappadocian or Giovanni. From varying clans, as you already know, they found a value in embracing other Vampires, and indoctrinating them into believing as they do. As for humans, most of them joined with a singular idea in mind – escaping death. Some by the embrace, and others through a method which the group was after, but this is close to where my information ends.”

Julian sighed. “So much of what I've heard is true, although, how would the group survive very long once the Camarilla came into existence?”

Lucius smiled. “That is when it began to falter, since the group has it's origins as far back as Medieval times, if not earlier. By the time the Camarilla comes into play, most of it's members are Vampires, most of the humans either having been embraced, or killed in the process of leaving – if not being made ghouls and used as blood dolls for the Kindred members. Many of the Vampires had begun to lose their, 'faith', in the group's aims. Mostly since they themselves might have avoided death, but since it could still touch them, they found themselves facing it, if they tried to leave the group. Not being the sort to believe in Golconda, they left, and faced final death because of it.”

Luna placed her hand on her forehead. “What I do not understand, is what exactly it is, that they want? If the group now consists of only this, Azrael, then why are they even a factor?”

“Many of the group's Kindred members, eventually resorted to diablere, and in time, the remaining founders, all Kindred, believed this dangerous, both due to the instability of the process, alongside the Camarilla making such an act forbidden, and killed these members while in torpor. However, just after the second World War, the group seems to vanish completely, in the tide of kine moving from Europe to the States. Out of this, came the single leader you all know.” Lucius sighed.

“Tell me, what is it about her that makes her stand out?” Ivanna spoke up.

Lucius turned to her. “I am aware of the fact that after her embrace, she diablerized her sire. This seemed to be the first one. Then, as you are obviously aware, she recently found and killed three of your Primogen with the same method. I do wonder if that is actually four, as that would make this situation...even more difficult.”

Luna shook her head. “No, both of Jackal's childer have said nothing of the sort. He was pushed out into the sun. It is true that she nearly diablerized Nero, but she was unsuccessful.” Her voice as very clinical and cold as she said this.

Taking something out of this pocket, Lucius sighed. “I see. However, what is more pressing, is this.” He set it on Luna's desk. It seemed to be page from a book, the writing all in Latin. One side of the page was torn, like it was ripped out of the book it once occupied. “I cannot say what book this is from, but the top phrase, is rather alarming.”

Looking at it, Luna seemed puzzled. “I can understand that, but...” She cursed. “...would you mind?”

He smiled. “Certainly. It says, 'I will devour the moon, the one so like myself, and then I will be complete. With this act, I shall earn the favor of my goddess, and I will become akin to her, and shed the shackles of humanity, morality, and the hold on my body and mind that the beast has over me. No longer shall I be the pawns of these emotions, I will be free, as I have always wanted.'. Rather sensational, if you ask me, but I do understand it's meaning.”

Luna snarled. “If she believes that I would even come close to letting myself be consumed, she is a bloody fool. I'll burn her, and have her ashes placed in a chamber pot. Then I'll piss blood on this effigy, before I finally burn the ashes.”

Julian seemed a little shocked, but it was subdued, and he shrugged. Ivanna did nothing but find Luna's words amusing. Lucius, however, seemed a bit shocked.

“I'm sure the description of this...sentence, would pale in comparison to the sight of it. However, what bothers me is this deity she refers to. While I may not hold to it that Caine is a myth, it may just be that the gods from the ancient tales are completely fictitious. However, I could be completely wrong, and like many legends, they are as real as we are.”

Luna stood. She walked over to the window behind her desk. “I will defy gods or devils – if they get in the way of my rule. If they do not, then I will abide them. I would imagine you to be the same, Mage.”

His mouth stretching into an...interesting smile, Lucius nodded. “Save for going against the Council of Seven, if what I must do does violate the rules of existence, but not that of my clan, I will do it – and I would do it again afterward, if there is a need.”

Luna turned around, a smile on her face. “Then we are in perfect accordance. “

The smile still on his face, Lucius nodded once more. “Then, if you do not mind...my Prince, I shall take my leave. There are matters which I must attend to.”

Watching him leave, Julian shrugged. “Do you really think it wise to trust him? From what I've heard about him, I'm unsure if I should.”

Luna nodded. “It may be that he has a mark on him, like the rest. But with him, his aims are simple. At least, if he does have others, they are not our concern, and they will not be made such.”

~

Turning to leave, he smiled as he left the room. It was obvious to him that things were hidden everywhere. The city wasn't new to him, but it certainly was true that his previous visits were pure business. This one need not be so. The secrets were such that he wanted to know. If it was at all possible, he would learn everything, devouring every little slice of intrigue there was. He would consume it like all the blood that it has taken to sustain him, since his own embrace.

Returning to the Chantry, he went to his room, sitting himself at his desk. He smiled, picking up a red, crystalline stone. Licking it, he felt a wave of pleasure as some of the stone gave way, painting blood on his tongue. Picking up a nearby glass, he held the stone over it, speaking a single word. With this, the stone fell from his grip, as liquid in the glass. Tipping this to his lips, he couldn't help but smile, thinking of the pretty little thing this blood came from. A pity, to be sure, but there would always be more. It was hard to feel regret, that useless emotion drowned out by waves of pleasure, which was hard to ignore.

“I wonder what the truth is here. Much is going on, that even Luna seems to be unaware of, but that may be a mistaken assumption on my part. If nothing else, I can say that-” He stopped himself, hearing a low chime.

Standing, he walked over to a floor-length mirror, staring into the glass. At first, it showed only his reflection. Within seconds, it changed, showing none other than his Sire. She seemed to be on a plane, given the appearance of her surroundings, as least what he could see.

With a slight bow, he smiled. “Hello, my Sire.”

She smiled. “There is little need for the pleasantries. You have met with Luna, correct?”

He nodded. “Indeed. I do not know if my assistance is needed in this case, save for the information that I have already imparted, but that aside, I will do as I must. The opinions of the others aside, you and I know where my loyalties lay.”

She nodded. “Of course.” She sipped from what looked like a silver goblet. “I will back in the states by tomorrow. I will not intervene, and thus I will trust that you will adequately, if not much more, fulfill your duties.” Once the last word was spoken, the mirror went back to reflecting his image.

With a sigh, he sat back down. With a slight laugh, he couldn't help but remember why he was embraced. It wasn't because he was in the wrong place, although perhaps, some would certainly say he was. He had a certain, affinity for magic, a fact which seemed to plague his existence, until he was able to hide it. From her, however, it was impossible. From their first meeting, she knew. It was only days after ward that she made him the offer. But it wasn't a question. It was no more than a statement, as it was seconds later than he found himself laying on the sofa, her bountiful form sprawled on top of him, her fangs sheathed in his neck.

When she let him go, she stood over him, smiling. It was an offer he simply could not refuse, if only because death was a whore he simply would not spend time with. She did no more than take a glass from a nearby table, and slice a cut in her wrist. Pouring her blood into the glass, she then poured it down his throat. It was with a certain, eagerness, that he swallowed. Others would not wish to submit, but he did. He had always been looking for more, for something different. He just never expected it to bite him in the neck.

With a sigh, he picked his glass up again. Staring at the blood, he watched as it swirled in the glass, without his hand making a move. Smiling, he tipped this to his lips, pouring the last of it down his throat. With a slight snarl, he laughed.

He learned soon after his embrace, a simple fact which made him, different, from most Tremere. The only blood he drank, was Meerlinda's, and no other. Many had expressed their worry, that he would perhaps betray them. It was  because of this, some wished to force the ritual on him. However, he had proved time and time again, that his loyalty was to the clan first, and the Camarilla second. Still, that did not quiet the nerves of some, but that was a concern he had discarded long ago.

Picking up a picture, he smiled. Rather than being a photograph, it seemed to be an old portrait, it's origins being a mystery to him. Written on it in a flowing yet chaotic manner, was the name 'Helena'. It had seemed that she survived long enough, but not in such a way that he had expected. Many of his clan had shown her contempt that he felt was undeserved. Even after her final death, the clan continues to speak of her, and even more so of the childe she made, and died for.

“What I wonder is, if she can escape death, as it seems she has, can he? As it seems, the answer is no.” Setting his glass down, he sighed. “Even more, is it that your death, young Malkavian, heralds the end, that we have all feared? If time tells all, then perhaps, it should be silenced, just this once.”


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PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:33 pm

Chapter XII - Circle Reformation

“You think this means anything? Well, it does, but only one thing.” Akhet looked around, raising her arms. “This...is mine. But in truth, it changes very little. Like Jackal, and now Luna, I will hunt this bitch down, as she made it personal. She will not break me, as she thinks.”

Entering the office with a smirk on her face, Luna nodded. “Then I feel there is something to be done about that. Maybe it is pandering, in a way, but who else will take this step up? As with Jackal, no one else stood up to be counted. What I wish to ask of you, Akhet, is very simple. Will you?”

Nero couldn't help but look shocked. “Is it really that simple?”

Taking a seat in Jackal's chair, Akhet nodded. “So be it. If there is another more suited, then until that person stands up to make their ability known, I shall do exactly as you ask, Luna Moreau.”

Luna smiled. “Then this is only the start. I have Hikari's cooperation, as always, and Lucius seems more pliable than most Tremere.” She stared at him briefly, eliciting a nod from him. “There is still the matter of the Brujah, and perhaps the Gangrel, though I'm not sure if there will be anyone else to fill that. The clan's relationship with the Camarilla has been tenuous at best, if not completely isolated from it.”

Tapping his fingers on the armrest, Nero seemed puzzled. “So that just leaves...the Toreador?”

A smiled etched itself across Luna's face. “Yes. Although I don't know exactly who can fill that position. I would rather not state names, as I have no wish for force anyone into it.”

Kyria snarled. “Tell me, Luna. Do you have dozens of kindred clamoring to heighten their status in the Camarilla, by being named Primogen for the Toreador clan? Do you have people stepping up for the Brujah? But I can't speak for them, however...”

Keeping her smile, Luna laughed. “So then, you wish to take it for yourself? I doubt that selfish goals are involved, but that matters very little.”

The look of shock on Kyria's face lacked only a blush. “You must be joking. I...well...”

“It may only be a temporary arrangement, but even so, it would still mean that you would speak for the clan in this city, and if they so wish another to take their place, well, I'm sure it is something we would both put into consideration. However, for the moment, if you will accept...?”

Nero sighed. “Doesn't it take more than that?”

Luna smiled. “It might. But thus far, I have had very little response from the Toreador, and the little I have, has suggested very little, obviously, as to who they wish to name as a whole, Primogen for the clan. It may be that there is a favorite for it, but in truth, it may be the case that, there is a fear amongst them.” She laughed. “But perhaps it may be better to place those loyal to me as Primogen, if at all possible. It may be that I have enemies, but who among them deigns to attack me, or my interests? Not many. If they wish, let them, even if the only thing they will fire at me, would be, their words of discontent.”

Kyria sighed. “Fine then. Place your enemies elsewhere, as I would have no intentions of going against you. If only because, well, I have, or will have, no reason.”

With a smile, Luna nodded. “It is settled, then. Only one short, and perhaps that one need not be filled. If the remnants of the clan within the Camarilla wish to name a Primogen, then I will listen. If not, then I have no need to.”

“If there is anything about this situation that bothers me, it is these stalling measures. Not yours, of course, but those of this, 'Azrael'. It seems she is drawn to the idea of keeping this conflict active, for whatever purpose there is behind her actions.” Lucius sighed. “While I cannot say that I entirely believe the council is right in saying that deposition is the best option, I will say, that perhaps, something drastic has to be done. Such as, provocation. Make her attack us, and place her in a weakened state.”

Nero felt like his jaw hit the floor, and almost as if the world had turned upside down. “Wait. Wait. Let me make sense of what you just said.” He rubbed his eyes. “You want to PROVOKE a Vampire, who pretty much amounts to a Methuselah, correct? Well, if one can be considered such after committing diablere three times, if not four. But...that makes sense to you?”

Lucius smiled. “You are aware, fledgling, that even the Antediluvians have been similarly murdered, most likely by kindred who were much less powerful than they are. I'd imagine that Jackal must have mentioned something to that effect, if not in detail about our history. While I have doubts as to us being able to catch her sleeping, it still may be possible to deal with her. If she can be faced down, since it seems her ability over shadow has kept her hidden for quite some time. Not once has she been spotted by any member of the Camarilla since Jackal's death.”

“Which is something I find annoying. A little over half a year since then, and nothing.” Luna laughed, almost like she lost it. “Maybe she is waiting for something?”

“If so, then the question would be, what?” Kyria sighed, leaning against a wall.

Standing, Nero walked over to Luna's desk. With a laugh, he grabbed a pen, marking a date on her desk calendar with a red 'X'. “Perhaps this? Nevermind the bloody movie, the talk about this date is ridiculous.”

Looking down, Luna smiled, laughing. “An extra zero in there, but for all intents and purposes, the numbers are there.”

Lucius didn't get up to look, but he still seemed to understand. “If so, then we must be alert. If that missive means anything, it means that she will likely attack you, Luna. If it would be Empire, or any other of your interests, I cannot say for sure. But that she will, is obvious.”

Luna's look didn't change. “As I've said before, let her try. If she enters my building, she will find pain, and inevitably, death. The shadows that he has clung to for so long, will not protect her from me.”

~

Taking a seat on the bed, Nero sighed. He kept wondering why he felt as he did about Jackal. It was an odd feeling, since even if he did learn much from him before his death, the question was why. Why did he feel such anger towards Azrael? Why did his blood boil, every single time he thought of that morning? Why did he constantly think about it, hoping to find some inconsistency?

Pulling off his shirt, he threw it on the nearby chair. Removing his necklace and rings, he set them on the bedside table. As he did, he picked up the mp3 player from it, along with the ear buds. Scrolling through a list of songs, he picked one, clicking the play button.

Inserting the buds in his ears, the music blared so loud it might as well have been from concert speakers. Laying down on the bed, he sighed.

The last few months had been, for lack of a better word, hell. Not exactly because Jackal wasn't around, although that was a problem in itself. No, it was hell because it seemed that any issue that Akhet needed to deal with, she didn't implicitly need his help. Not that she considered him useless, but in most cases, she didn't need anyone to help her. Be it with the hotel, the club, or anything else, she handled it flawlessly.

In truth, his life hadn't really changed much, at least concerning the fact that before, his only daily activities were consumed by music, movies and video games. That was still the same, even if something happened to spice things up. He could be killing Vampires in a game one night, and the next, he would be in tough fights with actual Vampires. He'd taken to a game that Jackal had been fond of, even if it seemed a bit buggy.

Sitting up, he grabbed the laptop from the side table, placing it on the silken sheets. Opening the lid, he loaded up one of the games. Though it was one he'd played before, it still kept his interest. His only problem was one he'd heard that Jackal didn't like either, that there were certain things he just could not do. Not exactly getting to third base, but even first wouldn't be bad.

Playing for quite some time, he stopped only because the game crashed. With a cross look, he shut the laptop's lid, replacing it on the side table. “Almost every bloody time.”

Laying back down, he almost ripped the buds out of his ears, laying the mp3 player on the opposite pillow. His thoughts trying to center on sleep, he sighed.

“You really aren't that attentive, are you?”

Sitting up, Nero looked around. He was damn sure that he just heard a voice, and not one that was inside his head. Nothing was out of the ordinary.

“Fine, I'll just grope you, just because I want to feel you up. You look good enough to...lick, at least.”

Feeling himself pushed back by seemingly nothing, he felt a weight on his chest, along with something holding his arms down. Fear wasn't exactly what he felt, but a rather a mixture of that, and anger.

“What the hell are you?”

Feeling his face being licked, he cringed. “Seriously?”

The weight lifted a little, but he still felt it on his waist. He felt what seemed to be a hand almost lovingly rub the front of his pants, with a few fingers going a little lower. With a laughing sound, a glassy blur appeared, which seemed to suggest a figure that was straddling him. “I see that his creation is tasty. Though that is only the surface. I would love to taste your blood, but taking without asking, is what I do not do.”

“Okay, but who are you?” Nero asked, only now really feeling the fear.

“Oh, sorry.”

As the blur disappeared, the sight it left behind was alarming. Although certainly Kindred, the appearance of this one was vastly different from anything that he'd seem thus far. The shape suggested male, but it was hard to consider that the thing on top of him was once human. It's skin was dark, it's surface looking wet, and being very dark purple, yet still close to a chocolate color. A pair of red, glowing eyes looked out from a curtain of silver hair, which looked wet, even if it wasn't.

“You want a name, don't you? It will certainly make things easier. I am Shouji. Alongside that, to answer what is invariably one of your, other questions, no, I do not plan on hurting you.”

Nero watched as Shouji slid off the bed, and onto the floor. He sat up. “Then what is it that you want?”

Turning around, Shouji smiled. “There is a game that has been played, for quite some time. The one you know as, Azrael, has been trying to destroy those who have crossed her. For the moment, she believes that most of these individuals are dead – save for one. The remainder, is who you need to see.”

Standing, Nero sighed. “You said that Azrael only thinks there is only one left. Are there any others?”

“Indeed, but you will find out soon enough how much of a fool that woman really is.”

Walking over to one of the windows, he slid his hand down the frame, until there was an audible click. This seemed to open one of the windows, which parted like a pair of french doors. “You'll find the information you need on your desk over there.” With a smile, Shouji jumped out the window, disappearing as the window seemed to shut behind him.

Laying back down, Nero sighed. “Hopefully that wasn't just bullshit.”

Grabbing his head, he nearly screamed as he heard a feminine voice. It was both familiar and unfamiliar to him, something which he didn't know if he'd personally heard before or not.

You believe that we are producers of lies? If so, then you brand yourself a fool. Face the fires of hell, and you shall learn the truth.
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Maxus Corvin
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PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:41 am

Chapter XIII – Towering Inferno


Stopping the car, Nero couldn't help but sigh as he thought of what it took to get here. Akhet wasn't exactly suspicious when he asked her if he could take a trip somewhere, making it clear it was still in the city, though obviously she went along with it. She'd even provided him with a driver's license, just in case he'd need one. He didn't want to ask how she'd obtained it, nor why or when. He thought that perhaps it was Jackal's doing, but he really couldn't be sure.

Taking the keys out, he couldn't help but laugh as he remembered entering that garage, and staring at all the expensive cars. Certainly some were owned by the hotel guests, but in a small lot that was behind a large metal door, were a number of them that Akhet said were owned by her and Jackal. Some of them quite recent, not more than a year old, while a few were at least fifty or more years old, even if they looked brand new. The one he'd chosen was a recent model, which was one he'd drooled over when seeing it in commercials, and in any other instance when he saw it. The fact that he sat in it now, and that it could technically be considered his, it was damn close to a miracle. Something of a pity, considering what it took to get it, but he couldn't really complain.

Stepping out of the car, he hit the button on the remote to lock the doors, then turned around to face the building. It was certainly a sight. It seemed to be designed like that of a gothic tower, but it had elements of art deco that he recognized from Jackal's building, and from the Kabalt. There is one difference, which is that every single pane of glass, was not clear glass, but red. He guessed it was either for the purposes of style, or it was a measure to block out sunlight. He assumed that it was a Vampire he was going to meet, but he really didn't know.

The front doors were large, looking like the arched castle doors he'd seen in movies. Sitting at the top of at least ten steps, they were made from black wood, which seemed to be highly polished. The handles had a shine that made him think they were made from pure silver, which might just be a mistake in this city.

Entering into what seemed to be the lobby, he looked around. The room was, dark. It seemed to be devoted to every sort of dark art there was, at least concerning the paintings, sculptures, and another other piece of décor he could see. Much of it was similar to the hotel, but this had a certain bent that the hotel didn't. Which, even if Jackal seemed to appreciate art that displayed the beauty of the human body, here it was rampant. Almost every piece had it in some form, and it wasn't just women, either.

“Ah, I see you have arrived. I was informed of this, but unfortunately not your name. If you would be so kind as to tell me?”

The man who had spoken seemed to appear from nowhere, but it was obvious that he wasn't a Vampire. A ghoul, perhaps, but no more. His body was somewhat lithe and thin, his face giving away his rather pale complexion. The suit he wore seemed to be common business attire, but only in style. His shirt was a deep red, and while his tie, jacket and pants were all pinstriped. The jacket wasn't buttoned, and he wore a pair of black leather gloves, which had metal studs on the knuckles. Rather than wearing shoes, he wore a pair of boots that wouldn't be out of place in a Manson video, although they weren't platforms.

“Nero. Mind telling me just what I'm doing here?”

The man nodded. “Ah, then I will pay you in kind with my own name. You can refer to me as Andre, for the moment. But the reason you are here, is because you came. You are expected, but nothing forced you to come. As such, my Master awaits you, Nero.”

The elevator ride was tense. Although he couldn't make claim to fear, he could make such a claim to being nervous. In previous instances, he had someone else with him that took the edge off. In this, there was no one. He didn't expect being attacked in any way, but in truth, it was the unfamiliar surroundings that made him feel vulnerable. A weakness, to be sure, but perhaps not one that was going to be exploited in this case.

Once off the elevator, Andre led him to a set of doors, which in turn led to a large office, which had many bookcases decorating the walls, a set of steps that led to a raised portion of the room, where there was a desk, with what looked to be a throne behind it. The window behind that made Nero's eyes bulge, since it was made from the same red glass as the rest, but the panes were aligned in the shape of a reversed pentagram, but it was different from those he'd seen before.

Andre touched his shoulder. “My master will be with you shortly.”

“What, no 'Behave yourself'?”

Shaking his head, Andre laughed. “If there were a need for you to do so, I wouldn't need to tell you. I will say to tread lightly, as my Master is no fledgling. But otherwise, you can act however you wish, though I'm sure you can imagine what might happen if you offend my master. Although, he may agree with you. I cannot say for sure. But I will leave you now.” He promptly left the room, leaving Nero to look around with curiosity.

The floor was almost the same as the floors at the hotel, black, reflective tiles, all of them looking like one piece until you looked closely. Most of the furniture was made from ebony, and every fixture made from silver. The paintings and sculptures here shared the same traits as those in the lobby, albeit perhaps even further. A few seemed to do away with modesty, and show sex in nearly every form.

Turning his head, he noticed an open door, which steam was pouring from. The door was open enough that he could fully see inside, and for the most part, it was the usual bathroom. But once again, it was dark, every fixture being made from black marble, and all the trimmings silver. At this point, it seemed that whoever owned this place, had a rather gaudy taste, since certain elements seemed to repeat themselves in every room, to a rather sickening degree.

Then he noticed it. A pale, wet body in the shower, completely oblivious, as it seemed, to the pair of eyes watching. Obviously male, the person seemed no more than nineteen, perhaps a little older. His hair was white, and his body was tastefully marked with tattoos. Other than that, he wore nothing.

“You might believe you feel wrong for staring, but it is one of the many misconceptions that you have been fooled with. I am not ashamed, and what I wonder is, in looking, what about it, is wrong? God makes the body this way, and then...tells his children to be ASHAMED OF IT? I will not be. However, since you have been embraced, what about your own body, makes you ashamed of it?”

Nero backed up, a bit startled to find out that the Vampire knew he was there. Turning around, the Vampire smiled. He didn't grab anything to cover himself. “I don't exactly claim a faith in Lucifer, as some might, but then, if he would be accepting of all I am, were I embraced or not, and God would condemn me for it, then who do you think I would choose? This aside, I am Marius. You are here to speak with me. A moment, if you please.”

Turning around, Nero walked over and up the steps to the desk, sitting in one of the chairs before it. Within minutes, he heard the bathroom door close, and the sound of bare footsteps on the floor. Marius walked up the steps, wearing nothing but a black velvet robe, which was hanging loose at his shoulders. He smiled as he took a seat in the throne.

“You will find that Kindred can possess hobbies, that are much worse than flaunting their bodies. To be simple, you could strip to your god given body, and I would enjoy the sights, since you've been staring at me this entire time. Does it mean you have an attraction? Does it mean that you enjoy the company of one such as myself? It does not matter. What matters, is that you make that choice, no one else. But whatever choice you make, understand that forcing it on everyone else, is the one thing I would truly call a sin. Why? Because it makes a mockery of the way they choose to live, almost like their way has no meaning, and yours has it all. As such, if you wish to remain clothed, I won't be offended. So, rather than converse about this, let us move on to other matters.”

With a ever so slight gasp, he couldn't help but stare at Marius' pair of almost solid, black eyes, which were lit only by the shine of the room's lights. Marius smiled. “Surely you have previously seen something similar, It means no danger to you, young emperor.”

With a sigh, Nero nodded. “Fine then. But I really do not know why I am here. Someone, Shouji, I think, told me to come here.”

“Indeed, and you followed the trail, right into the inferno. Brave of you, Malkavian. But the reason you are here, is because there is something that the people in his city believe, mostly Kindred, that is not true.” Marius smiled.

“And that would be?”

“Tell me. Do you really believe, that any Malkavian, of whom Malkav might as well be fucking in their personal mental paradise, is going to die so easily? If I am correct, there have been Malkavians who, if they so much as speak, Ventrue, and any others who put stock into such things, have risked final death to listen. Why? Just in case that Malk is telling the truth.”

Nero seemed a bit puzzled. “So you mean to tell me...”

“While I can't say for sure, it is certainly possible that every single eventuality of that night, was all seen by Jackal, and thus, he could choose to escape it, make the situation different. Or, let it proceed, with the difference that it does not end in his death. Do you truly think it matters what you, or Akhet witnessed with your own eyes?”

“Then where is he?”

Marius shrugged. “Again, I can't say if that is true or not. I just wouldn't put much stock in anyone who says so easily that Jackal is dead. The Camarilla might believe it, the whole city might believe it, purely because they are told. But I won't believe it, unless I see his ashes myself, or perhaps if I wait another hundred years, and I see or hear nothing from or about him. Then I might, but for now, I won't.”

With a sigh, Nero rubbed his eyes. “So what do you know about Azrael?”

Marius snarled, then laughed. “Everything.”
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PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:27 am

Chapter XIV – The Truth is a Bitch

Marius opened the laptop on his desk, smiling as he make a few clicks with the mouse. “The truth of her history goes further back than even she would know. Why? Because the bastard that embraced her, was embraced sometime before the fall of the Cappadocian clan, an event which he took great inspiration from. Which isn't even to mention the fact that he also had an interest in death that most would consider, unhealthy. Even for a Vampire.”

Nero blinked. “Um, Cappadocian?”

With a smile, Marius nodded. “I see. I see the name has not even been mentioned in passing to you. So I will explain. You might know them, as Giovanni – although there are differences between the two clans.”

“Wait, so they changed?”

Marius shook his head. “No, they were almost completely eliminated, while the Giovanni took their place, and their power. Augustus Giovanni was first embraced into the Cappadocian clan, and sometime after, he diablerized Cappadocius, the clan's founder. Those he embraced might've done the same to the rest of the existing Cappadocians, if not simply killing them..”

“So where does Azrael's sire come into it?”

“While it was going on, a Lasombra with a fascination with death takes their example, and finds a tomb, which held two Cappadocian Kindred. He only managed to diablerize one of them, while the other escaped. I know neither of their names, but I do know of a Brujah who might've known one of them, presumably the one who escaped. If she survived at all, I cannot say. Christof surely doesn't know, but he's too wrapped up in his nun.” His face seemed to melt into a very pleased grin. “Oh, sorry. Big mistake, long story.”

“Did this Lasombra become part of that cult?” Nero sat back in his chair.

Marius nodded. “Indeed. One of the founders, in fact. Oh, and there is one detail which has escaped every one in this city who has tried to give information about the cult, always running circles around what to me, was obvious.” He turned the laptop around. The image showed a sickly green skull, with a pair of black horns, and fanged teeth, the shape of a 'T' was cut into the skull, looking more like an elaborate crack then punched out. “The logo for the cult, which goes by the name of 'Children of Thanatos'. This is more of a modern version, as I found it on a art site a few weeks ago, the piece having been posted to the site last year.”

“Thanatos...Thanatos...isn't that the Greek god of death?”

Laughing, Marius nodded. “Indeed. Although God, Goddess, it really doesn't matter. What does, is that the group wished to not only seek this deity, but to ask to grant them freedom from the one thing that, even an Immortal Vampire must fear – Death.”

“Really? Sounds like a bunch of...fools to me.”

“Yes, but the problem gets worse.” He turned the laptop around again, saying nothing as he seemed to be searching for something else. “Ah, here it is. This is it.” turning it around once again, he sighed. “A sculpture of Thanatos, and of the one referred to as the mother, Nyx. Both of them restored, to a point.”

Both of the sculptures were similar, but both had defining characteristics. The one that was Thanatos had pale skin, a pair of black wings, a body that was thin and lithe, but didn't really suggest much about gender. The image of the Nyx sculpture was obviously female, similarly pale, having a curvy body, a pair of black wings and wore only what looked like some cloth that did little to nothing to cover her up. Both the statues had one similarity. The genital region was smashed up, for some reason.

“Why is the...”

“Because of idiots who cannot keep their bullshit to themselves, do you now stare at art, that has been ruined. How thick can an intelligent mind get? To preserve the modesty of something that will never ask, never needed it. To make this fact even worse, it is an argument that CONTINUES TODAY. Mind you, I don't hate humans. I hate foolish ones like this, who cannot leave things alone, which they have nothing to do with. They like the idea that their likes and dislikes are known, especially when it comes to nudity, among other things.” He snarled, and then sighed. “One of the many reasons I would never visit the Vatican. Oh, because I'm a Vampire? Never-mind that, but I would hate walking around seeing statues that have been desecrated in such a way. Oh, if the artists knew.”

“O...kay. Could've just said it simpler, but I get it. What exactly is the problem?”

Marius sighed. “Nyx is the deity of the night. Given the direct relation between the night and death, it isn't a surprise that some might confuse them. The cult devoted to Thanatos did not confuse them, but Azrael seems to. It may be her hatred of men, or perhaps something more than that, which is interesting, given that it is Nyx, which is always presented as a female, and Thanatos seems to vary in gender.”

“She hates men?”

Seemingly lost in thought for a moment, Marius shrugged. “I don't know for sure. I think it goes deeper, since there is a difference between her, and the average female. Everything about her appearance suggests that she is no more than the XX chromosome human that she appears to be, save for the fact that she is Kindred, but there is more to it. One more, in fact.”

Nero blinked. “So she has, three?”

“Well, that is the scientific way to say it, or so it seems, but a better way is that, she is of both genders – a blending of the two. Normally, this mix does always has some shortcoming, some of them being a matter of opinion, if not simply functionality. Hers just may be that, in both possible ways, she could not produce children, being unable to produce or carry, rather than her appearance, which doesn't suffer at all. Hence why her hatred lies in both genders, since some of the information I can find, suggests that her early life wasn't pleasant.” He turned the laptop around, closing the lid. “It's obvious why, and the fact that her parents sought doctors to, 'correct the problem', didn't help.”

Nero scratched his head. He suddenly blinked, smirking. “Then I guess that means...Luna.”

Marius broke into a smile, and laughed himself. “Indeed. Not a widely known fact, but certainly interesting. Possibly one of the reasons that she has kept her office for so long. Though there are many more reasons which she has already made obvious.”

Still laughing a little, Nero sighed. “What about Aria?”

“Oh, you mean Azrael's sister?”

He sat up, nearly slipping out of his chair. “What?”

Marius kept his smile. “Yes, a fact which she hasn't made obvious, up until this point, where I have. I can't say precisely why Aria ended up with the Society, but she didn't like them. Not because she had any love for the supernatural, but because she believed they weren't doing enough. She came to the states before Azrael and her parents left England, never expecting them to come. When they did, only her sister sought her out. If only to keep the bond alive, and make another one. I'd imagine it was hard for her to accept, and from what I've heard, the reason why Aria hasn't been embraced in the years since, but she hasn't chosen to age, either.”

“I guess it can be a hard choice to make.”

Marius laughed. “Apparently. Especially since you damn near drained those two women right after your own embrace.” He shook his head. “Nothing I'm judging you for. Sounds like a situation I WISH I was in after my own.”

“Um...about this Nyx...how exactly does she fit into this?”

“Well, there are many ways to put it. Mostly, I believe that if she is, it isn't the actual deity that some might think – although I'd imagine very few people know that she, in any form, is involved. But the form that is, would likely also be what few have understood. Tell me, do you know of the sin that started it all?”

Nero snorted. “I don't care what the Camarilla thinks, it does make sense. Cain kills Abel, becomes the first Vampire. I can't really believe the bullshit that all of that is either a myth, or that all the clan founders, and Caine, are all dead.”

“I see. But what I refer to, is our power. Do you know why Caine understands the powers of the blood?”

With a sigh, Nero shook his head. “No...” That's when he heard the whisper. A sound like a voice in his ear, even if no one was near him. The voice itself, felt like a pair of hands draping themselves over his shoulders, along with the feeling of a kiss on his cheek. He raised his head, his eyes focused. “...Lilith.”

With a smile, Marius nodded. “I see you can listen, as he does - that is, if you actually heard something. But yes, Lilith. Like Caine, she was exiled from the garden, because she would not bow to Adam, as Eve later would. However, the fact that god did not simply end her existence, did more for Caine than anyone else. Save for the angels, but it all affects us. Still, the point, is that she may be a factor in this. The only thing I cannot say, would be what she is. A demon, like the tales of women who seduce men, only to end up killing them? Or is she actually a Vampire, the first true childe of Caine? Who knows.”

Nero seemed to stay silent, not saying very much. In truth, even if much of what Jackal and others had told him, it all seemed fictional, even if it seemed that every day, more myths become reality. Some certainly stayed fictional, but others, felt real enough that if they posed danger, he could realize the possibility of fearing it, even though there was no reason to. The things he already knew, didn't exactly scare him to any degree, even in placing a gun to Azrael's head, he never felt fear in those moments.

With a sigh, he laughed, if only to lighten his mood. “Is there any reason she wouldn't...accept Adam, I guess?”

“In truth, it could be said that, it's because she didn't owe any part of her existence to him, again, unlike Eve. But more than that, imagine being asked to serve such a man, when you have free will. Either it speaks to the misogyny of man in the writing of the story, if not of god's arrogance in having things play out in such a way, but to PUNISH her for using the free will given to her. How this makes sense to humans, I cannot understand – even worse, many accept this as fine, and they accept that such an idealism is perfectly okay, even when changes before their eyes.” He cleared his throat. “Sorry. Like Caine, she didn't get away without something about her changing.”

“How so?”

“She can choose to love anyone she wishes. But she will never receive it in return. The main reason why Caine left her for dead, although I doubt she actually is. Still, I'm fairly sure most of Caine's story you are aware of.”

Nero nodded. “Most of it. Although, Jackal did mention something about the possibility that Caine could still be forgiven for killing Abel. I can guess at what the answer might be, but what do you think the reason is?”

Marius smiled, then laughed. His laughter echoed throughout the room, until he placed his hand on his head, first running his digits through his hair, then down his face. “The reason, although some might think otherwise, believing Caine to be sunk so low in decadence that he is a evil that rivals Lucifer himself, another which might be able to seek God's forgiveness, if they would ask for such a thing. But for Caine, I believe that it is for two reasons, that he will not accept it. The first, is simple. What would he get for asking now? Would he simply become mortal again? Would he be forced to enter Heaven, finally being allowed in after so long? He may not entirely fear this unknown, but the reason he would not take the chance, is more related to the second reason.”

“Which is?”

With a small chuckle, Marius continued. “It would mean, that Caine...was WRONG. Not only that, it would mean that he would once again have to bow to a deity that once, did not truly care about him. After he killed Abel, God focused his attention almost solely on Caine, even if most of this attention was to the endeavor of exiling him from Eden, then...well, this I'm sure you are aware of.”

“So what exactly does Thanatos have to do with...ah, I don't know. This 'Mark Of The Beast' date thing?”

Marius smiled, before pulling a puzzled grin. “As far as myths, legends and such go, nothing. The number you refer to is mostly a construct of...what is the word...ah, monotheistic religions, mostly Christian, although I seem to forget if Islam and Judaism have such ideas as well. As for Thanatos, well, that is a Greek myth, although not exactly tied to religion today. Unfortunately, any polytheistic religions in existence, at this point, have been sadly reduced to things that may be studied, but not many take them in a serious light, even if there are those who do, even if it is only a scholarly interest in these belief systems.”

Nero snorted. “Considering that-” He pointed at the window above Marius' throne. “-I'd think you won't care so much about religion.”

“As a child, and even after my embrace, that would be a correct statement. But now, I may not be an expert on the subject, but I take in the things I have interest in. Most of it, unfortunately, falls into the hypocrisy of religion, even if it cannot be said that I hate these ideals.” He looked up for a moment, supposedly looking at the window as well. “That is something that serves two functions. It tends to get a message across to any backstabbing fools who might believe that I will easily bend to whatever demands or bullshit they wish to feed me, and it gives a clear statement to those who understand what it means. Also, it looks very nice, doesn't it?”

“Certainly makes this room look like a...tainted cathedral, in a sense. But what exactly does it mean?” Nero couldn't make much sense of it, save for what was already obvious.

“I'm sure you have given pause to stare into broken mirrors, even as you only laugh at the reflection. I have taken time to turn things around, to not be entirely what people expect. Some have thought me a demon, a monster from the pits of hell. But like them, I am only kindred, even if demons may sometimes lay claim on my thoughts. But control of them, and my body? Certainly not.”

~

After Nero had left, Marius smiled as he filled a glass. It was a bottle from the Kabalt, just over eighty years old. The wine seemed to have been mixed with blood, and from the smell, it was his favorite kind. The bottle itself had came in an elaborate case, which was delivered to his office two hours before Nero's arrival, and just before he decided to take a shower.

Swiveling the contents of the glass, the smell of it was nothing short of divine. Tipping it to his lips, he felt his body and mind race as it flowed into his mouth, and down his throat. With what he could only describe as an arousing snarl, he nearly poured the rest down his throat.

Sitting down, he slouched a bit in the chair, his body and mind still digesting the taste. Even with this, his thoughts could not remain centered. He knew the situation would not end when Azrael thinks, but much later. Her idiocy could wake the dead, without her disciplines – if she indeed possessed such abilities.

“I would say you are up late, but that is to be expected.”

Turning his head, Marius smiled as he took in the sight of a muscular, yet lithe woman, with skin the color of chocolate, and her eyes a soft brown. She draped her arms over Marius' chest, rubbing the side of his face into hers. With a smile, he touched her face. “If there is anything I believe worth losing sleep to be with, it would be you.”

Going slightly red for a moment, she laughed. “That sounded...cheesy.”

He stood, placing his arms around her. “By that, one can mean various things, but the sentiment is there.”

“So who was that kindred that visited you?”

“One of Jackal's Childer. I didn't send for him, or really wish to speak with him, but I was presented with an opportunity to make many kindred in this city understand the things that have eluded them. It may not be quick, but soon enough, people will understand.”

She smiled, laying her head on his shoulder. “I hope you don't get wrapped up in this.”

Marius smiled. “I already am – I have been since that bitch decided to try and fuck me over after her embrace. But we will see if I have to involve myself further, in three days. Then, the truth will bleed from a wound made by the one she has chosen to hate the most. But let's forget that for the moment? Shall we? There are more important and...satisfying things we can focus on.”
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Maxus Corvin
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PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:15 pm

Chapter XV – Feel Like a Monster

“Do you really think this is a good idea? That place might as well be swarming with Vampires. As much as I want her dead, I don't want to get killed myself.”

Azrael smiled as they approached the doors. “Then let them come. I'll make ashes out of them all. Or corpses, if they aren't old enough. If you don't want to be here, then leave, Aria. Otherwise, you have a spine, and the ability to kill Vampires. Use them. I gave you my blood for more than one reason.”

Looking up at the building, she sighed. Her first sight of the thing was before she really knew what was going on, but even then, she could tell that something was wrong with it. Most of the details she cared nothing for, but then, she was surprised to find that the building was bought and paid for by a Vampire, even if the kine would quickly say otherwise. Humans are easy to fool, no matter how much power they have. Few humans would truly be able to comprehend how much Vampires have done for them, which is a fact that many within the ranks of the Camarilla, as well as any other group of Kindred, would, to the death, have you understand otherwise. In her view, they are either lying, or they themselves are both unaware, and have been told such a lie themselves – and they believe it, even if the proof was everywhere to see. Especially with Ventrue having stockpiled millions, which is a feat that few humans could ever boast about, although the blue bloods never would.

She understood differently. The trouble with trusting a human, is just how unreliable they can be. The few she had taken as servants in the past, usually objected to her actions, even as they were still compelled to partake in consuming her blood. But in the end, she found this to be useless, mostly because they almost always chose to try and betray her in some fashion. Unfortunate for them, but within her was little regret, if any. She could see no reason to feel any kind of emotion for a wasted and worthless pile of flesh, blood and bone that chooses to be so disloyal, when she made the choice to give them so much. All of them, she had promised immortality, and they wasted their chance at obtaining it.

And for what? For their pithy morals? In the company of monsters, the belief that such things will either save you from damnation, is a fool's idea. Why? They could accept that the promise of immortality was damnation incarnate, but in the end, they found fear with this outcome. Mewling quims.

“After this, there is very little left before I get what I want. Once I kill every kindred in this building, I will then hunt down the rest of the Primogen. Once that is done, the Camarilla falls in this city. But before that, you will finally have your embrace, sister. For too long, the moral coil has been ensnared around your soul. Within hours, that will change. The Elysium of the Prince shall be the halls that see your rebirth, and I, the mother that will embrace you in darkness.”

Nervous as she was, nothing could ever match that night. A lonely girl whose only companion was likely to kill her, and truthfully, was about to. The only reason he did not? She was willing to give up everything she had.

~

“I don't care what you are. I don't care what you've done. Just...please. Can you...spare my life?”

The man looked at her with curious eyes. His blood stained lips smiled. “Leaving you alive would be a risk to me. However, there is another option. But I don't think you are willing enough to take it.”

She said nothing, but her stare seemed, too focused. Rather than cowering in fear, she was staring at him as if they were on equal footing, two souls doing nothing more than making a deal. He knew it was true that her death would not matter. The idea of him choosing to embrace her was just as risky as leaving her alive. However, he did not view the option as the compassionate one. She would still die, and then have to feed upon the remaining passengers, as he would.

“Then let me ask – would you be ready to die? To then rise as a Vampire, and feed upon the blood of humans, including that of your family? If they are not already dead, of course.”

“I don't...care.” She hung her head, placing her hands over her crotch. “Maybe you don't care, but my family didn't like...me. I'm too different for them. I have...well, I'm not what they wanted me to be.”

Kneeling, he smiled. “You can stop. I don't care why you wish for this kind of death, or any, if perhaps in the past you've wished for it, but I'll take what you said, as a 'yes'.”

~

“Hmm...now this is certainly interesting. To what do I come upon once I leave the haven of the Prince? A pair of the most wanted souls in the city.” The man smiled, pulling his hood down. “I see. You are certainly here for a reason. But you do understand that this is foolish, do you not?”

Azrael sighed. “Let me guess. Your that Tremere Lord, aren't you? The one playing Primogen for the moment?”

He nodded. “Indeed. You haven't asked for a name, but my standards preclude me from not giving it to you. Such a thing cannot do harm to me, since, if you know of my standings, yet not know my name, then that is a sure sign.” He slightly bowed. “I am Lucius.”

“You must have some reason for holding us up, and choosing to speak with us. Why?” Aria shouted, her hand rubbing the pistol on her leg.

With a smile, Lucius laughed. “If you presume that I mean to betray Luna, you are incorrect. Instead, think of this as more of a...welcome, of sorts. I shall be the one to usher you to your death. Indeed, Luna wants your ashes to burn, but she isn't looking for some other kindred to present them to her. No, she wants the satisfaction of pissing on them where they fall. So if you please.” He waved his hand, his gesture pointing to the doors.

The brief elevator ride was rather tense. While Lucius was nothing but aloof and content, it was obvious to him that Azrael and Aria were both nervous. They seemed to talk big, but by this point, he could tell that they weren't as much of a threat as had been perceived. Still, he knew there could be something more behind the things that Azrael believed, but they could be nothing more than lies. In some respects, he would rather not find out.

Upon entering Luna's office, she sat behind her desk, her fingers entwined in front of her mouth. The fact that she was smiling was still obvious, and she was softly laughing. Her focus was only on Azrael as the Lasombra approached her desk, and she barely blinked.

“From what I gather, it is me that you want. The fact that I am Camarilla means nothing to you. What does, is the fact that I, in at least one way, am like you. I personally would consider that a moot point, but you do not. But I wonder where this leads. You may believe that the amaranth may make you complete, but are you so sure?”

Azrael sighed. “I suppose I thought you couldn't find out the details. That you would have no idea what I planned to do. But yes, you are right.”

“Then if I am, I guess the reason for diablerizing three of my Primogen, and then killing another, was just because they were either in your way, since they wouldn't accept your ideals, or perhaps it quickly became personal, and you thought it a good idea to kill them. For this, of course, you will die. But not quickly, nor painlessly. I could easily deal with you right here, and right now, but there are several truths that you would never find out, if I did so.”

“Which would be?”

Luna leaned back in her chair. “Oh, come now. Like I have any reason to tell you. First, you are going to talk. Not because you have to, but because you...WILL.”

Noticing Luna's eyes flash briefly, Azrael sighed. “Fine, just what is it that you want to know?”

“What is the truth behind your cause? As you see it, what is it you want to accomplish?”

Azrael didn't blink, nor did she hesitate. “I want to be complete. The bullshit fed to me by my Sire, I don't care about. That damn Thanatos Cult doesn't matter to me. It isn't death I seek for myself, but the end of my shame.”

Luna seemed puzzled. “So you seek to be...a woman, then? You feel you must lose the connection you have to the male form?” She smiled. “This would fit, perhaps, for you. But this isn't what I seek for myself. In truth, I have faced the same things you have, perhaps far worse, since I live in a society of Male Vampires, and while I am not one to spout this kind of idealism with the slightest push towards it, I can say that I laugh in their faces, given that I am Prince. Still, another question. No matter what is it that you want, why do you think the amaranth will make you what you want?”

She acted as if she mentally sunk to the floor, but physically she only closed her eyes. “I heard a voice one night. A token of what I took for love, from another scorned woman. I don't know who she is, but she spoke of a way that I could be made...perfect. I wasn't told what I would lose, but I was told that I would have to kill for what I wanted. Once I did so, not only would I be complete, but I would have...” Trailing of, she sighed.

Luna kept her smile. “...someone to love, right? I would contest, wrong. While I am not certain, the entire story is foolish. No matter what you heard, blindly following such advice is akin to the actions of a child. Which, I suspect that in some ways, you still are.”

Aria sighed. “That is going to far you bitch!”

Luna echoed the human's sentiment, rolling her eyes. “Tell me, why do you hold yourself so high? You believe that your breathing means anything? You are in a den of monsters, with no weapons to speak of, save for your insults.” She nodded towards Lucius.

With a quick motion, Lucius grabbed Aria. “Let's go have a little...chat, you and me. Don't worry, you will be safe with me. At least, for now. I'll treat you to something as we talk.”

With Aria out of the way, Luna turned back to Azrael. “So, at this point, I see very few options. However, I do not think that this will be the end of this tale. If only because there is a truth that only I, in this room, am privy to.”

Azrael looked up, starting right at Luna. “Which...is?”

Luna burst into laughter. “I'm not going to tell you. But you are going to SEE it still.”

Indeed, the room seemed to freeze, the moment Luna stopped talking. Turning around frantically, she tried to figure out what was going on. Trying the doors, they seemed locked, and no one in the room reacted to her at all – nor could she interact with them.

“WHAT IS THIS!” She snarled.

As she looked around, she noticed something strange about the doors. They seemed to be leaking shadows, which wasn't her doing. These oily black and purple masses started to cover the walls, as she heard voices inside her head, all of them like knives in her mind.

You worthless child. Why must you act so much like a boy?

She's just a freak, why should we care about her?

I don't know what can be done. There is no easy fix for this.

You touched me. For that, I cannot forgive you. For that, you will suffer.


The pain stopped, as she realized the last one wasn't her memory. How, she couldn't say, but it was someone speaking directly to her. Even if she couldn't see them, she knew they were there. Her movement still frantic, she felt herself growing increasingly angered, as there seemed to be no way out of this.

That's when she saw it. Eyes swirling all over the room, staring at her. Between them, walked spiders with ruby red eyes, and some kind of dog-like creature, all of them staring at her. Sinking to the floor, she felt the fear spread itself across her body, making her unwilling to move. Once again, she felt like a child, without any recourse to her mother's insults, or that of those uncaring teachers or kids at school.

Tell me. Did you really think it would be that easy? To get what you wanted, took the deaths of those who would not go amiss – perhaps even those, that killing is a foolish endeavor. You have not clipped your wings, black angel, you have eaten them.

Then, she saw it. The doors having disappeared, leaving only blackness behind. A pair of red eyes in the darkness, stared at her with what seemed to be utter malice. As they seemed to move closer, her fear only heightened. As much as she wanted to consider the possibles, who this was, what would happen to her, it was nearly impossible.

I am the voice in the darkness, the voice that spreads the madness of truth. Tell me, angel, WHO AM I? I, who have seen your persona, your fate, all about you.

Even if she could think, speaking was impossible. Every part of her body ached, her mind even more than her body. All of her focus was devoted to staring at this pair of eyes, and nothing else. The fact that this could very well be her end crossed her mind, but then, that thought didn't inspire fear, as it perhaps should. Instead, it seemed like a concept that didn't concern her.

The eyes brightened, as they neared the doors. The two lit spheres disappeared for a brief second, then reappeared, mismatched. The sound of laughter echoed throughout the shadows.

“Hello, Azrael. I feel rather thirsty – and perhaps I can still get what I seek, from your posterior, as you said.“
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Maxus Corvin
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PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Thu May 22, 2014 3:20 am

Chapter XVI – The Voices SHOUT

“Surprised? You should be.” Jackal smiled.

Azrael snarled. “How the hell did you survive?”

Jackal snorted. Crossing his arms, he laughed. “Consider my meeting with a certain, well known lone wolf, to my credit, alongside a gift from a friend.” He held up his hand, showing off a golden ring, which had the shape of a sun attached.

She sighed. “Then it was a massive trick. I suppose that dog of yours survived as well?”

His grin changed to a brief scowl. “Yes, which is something else you will be punished for.”

“Your ideals are completely false. She cares very little about such matters, and if she does, I doubt she actually cares about you. The echo of truth she chose to whisper to you, is nothing more than her way. You may seek the offer of love all you want. You may kill in her name, show her your worth. But in return, you will not be compensated how you wish. It is for that very reason, that she is, who she is.”

Azrael snarled. “You cannot possibly expect me to believe that it was all a lie.”

“Is it? You expect me to explain more? To bring light to this darkness, make all the unknowns, not so.” He smiled. “Then I will have to apologize. The truth of our dark father's once begotten love, is a truth that, perhaps, even I am barred from. That does change little, however. It's likely that, any words spoken were, lies.”

With a sigh, she smiled. “Then were does that leave us, right here and now?”

Jackal snarled, his eyes flashing. “An impasse. It is to my displeasure that, what I wish for at this moment is not one of the cards I have drawn...” He pulled three cards from his jacket, showing of the backs – all of them were tarot cards. “...do not contain the action I wish for, for you. In time, I suppose.”

In what seemed to be sigh of relief, it quickly disappeared, as she realized that she could not move, at least not more than her eyes and head. Looking around, she watched as Nero grabbed her head from behind, and slammed her to the floor. “How can you...what are you doing, whelp?”

He smiled. “You think Jackal would put these illusions...ON ME? I'll admit, I thought the sun took him before too, but this time, I understand what he wants me to see. Which is everything.”

“What are you going to do?”

Nero snarled, smiling. “Payback. Blood for blood.” He straddled her body, licking her face. Pulling a pair of stakes from his jacket, he snarled as he drove them into her hands, nailing her to the floor. “Almost wish I could do the real thing. Ah well.”

“Surely your sire would not approve...” She barely even winced as she spoke.

“Wrong. I do not see contest. Now...” Placing his head next to her neck, a loud snarl escaped his lips, as he bit into her flesh. The taste was nearly like a black oil, like drinking shadows. But somehow, it was sweet, like biting into a pastry that held thick, dark chocolate inside, flavored with raspberry.  Even the flesh itself had a scent to it, one that seemed to burn itself into his mind within seconds.

Briefly removing his fangs, he licked her lips. “For such a bitch, you taste good. I wonder – can you say the same about me?”

“You mean blood that tastes of fire, but retains sweetness as it drips down the throat? Yes. Otherwise, I can consider you just as much of asshole at the moment.”

“Ooo, that stung. But it doesn't matter...” He licked the wound he made, then stood. “...since I really do not care.”

Flexing his muscles, he snarled. As he moved, every single joint in his body made an audible crack. Smiling, he started laughing. “Tell me, are you ready to leave?”

“Whatever do you mean?”

Keeping his smile, he disappeared in a mass of purple and black shadows for a brief moment, and reappeared on her chest, staring at her face. “Oh, don't start questioning things yet.”

Disappearing again, this time she realized that she moved with him. Her back against the windows, the stakes still stuck through her palms, now stuck into the glass, she snarled. “How the fuck can you do that?”

Nero shrugged. “How can...I? Perhaps you have to ask my Sire. I'm sure he knows...” Stepping away, he took a seat on a sofa.

Walking around Luna's desk, Jackal snapped his fingers. With this, Luna turned her chair around, her stare locked on Azrael, but her words addressed Jackal. “Surprising how that works. Still, this is one of the times I am glad you are on my side. Lucky you told me how you were going to do this.”

Both Nero and Azrael said the same thing, Nero nearly jumping out of his seat to get closer to Luna. “YOU KNEW?”

Luna sighed. “Not right away. That night, my thinking was the same as everyone. But then I get a phone call, and what do I find out. It can be said that discretion worked in our favor, as obviously, look at the position that you are in right now, Azrael.  Far worse than the one you put Jackal in. Why? Because you have at least four Vampires against you at the moment.”

Looking around, Azrael laughed. “I think you have miscounted.”

HAS SHE? I do not think so, abyssal.

The voice echoed around the room, but it's tone was far to deep to be coming from Jackal. Even with that, the sound of it still ran down Azrael's spine like a steadily dripping hose – the water freezing cold. She tried to find the source, but it seemed pointless. All she saw were the number of Vampires she herself counted, as Luna did not count her. No, she seemed to be referring to someone else. Someone who all but one was aware of, at least, in some way.

The need of a mirror to reflect your face. Paintings can do justice to portray your beauty, but beyond the physical...you are disgusting. Always have I dealt with those like you. Kindred and Kine, who seek power, fame, perhaps even infamy, but they want recognition for what they are willing to do, but they care little for the consequences. Sound familiar?” The voice seemed to waver in and out of an accent, one that she could not place.

It was then that she realized that she could not move. The shadowy binds that held her wrists and ankles, she could not break, but more than that, the rest of her body would not respond, in any way. Her eyes and head would move, but she suspected that was no more than a courtesy, which allowed her to find more fear in what she would see...and perhaps much more, in what she would not.

I have watched the rise and fall of nations. I have seen those with power lose it entirely, because of something so simple as a knife – the blade bathed in the nectar of flowers. Most of this I have let pass me by. However, when I took a more, active role, it was the same actions of other Kindred. Reactions. A pity, to be sure, but otherwise, the risk is great.” The voice laughed. “But what you wish to hear at this moment, and more importantly see, is another story.

She felt her neck being grabbed, by what seemed like knives. While she could take the pain, it was the fear of what had taken a hold of her, that she could not ignore. Now, Luna being right, did not matter.

“Who are you?”

I am...Lazarus. Once I was many things, but now, few care.” The voice laughed, as a frightening image appeared before her eyes.

What stood before her, was a human-like figure, but most aspects of it were, wrong. It's skin was mostly white, the patterns on it looking like mechanical tubing, yet also like biological implements, such as blood vessels. The fact that it seemed to be male wasn't something she could question, given what her eyes could see – but even as it took the usual shape, it still looked alien. The fingers were longer than usual, and every single one of them were like sharp talons – it's feet seemed to share this detail. It's face seemed human, only it lacked one – atop it's neck was a skull, which had a pair of red eyes set into the sockets, the sclera behind being completely black. It's bare teeth were all fanged, and she could vaguely see a long, black tongue with it's mouth, that seemed to almost rattle like a snake.

Removing it's hand, it laughed, the dreads adorning the back of his head shifting with it. “I see fear in your eyes, LASOMBRA. Even SHE did not appear to you like this, did she? Of course not. A scorned beauty, perhaps. But she, no matter what, is nothing more than that. However, I wonder what it is that you want. Many have believed things, but what I believe is this – you do not even know the answer to that. Pardon the old-fashioned attitude, but...in this way, you are a typical woman. Not a bad thing, but something you would do well to figure out.

“Right now, all I'd like to know...is what the FUCK are you!”

Lazarus laughed. “Ah, not so obvious, is it? Fine then.

Reaching a hand to it's skull, it seemed to grab something, before the room erupted in white smoke. Once it cleared, what was left behind, seemed almost the same, but this one had a face. At least one that could be seen, once he moved the stylized skull mask from it. The face was soft, but like the rest, unquestionably male.

Moving the mask to the side of his head, she noticed the dreads disappeared, leaving smooth, silky hair in it's place. It seemed mis-matched, one side combed toward the back of his head, and the other was left to hang to his chin, the hair parting in the middle of his head. The mask seemed to stick there as he crossed his arms.

“So, I wonder, where do we go from here?  The truth is that I do not have any personal grudge against you, but at least two, if not three others in this room, do possess such a thing. One of them, I am sure, would like to take a bit of revenge, if I understand things correctly.” Lazarus smiled. “Ah, but I forget. You ask what I am...and that, in a respect, is a fiend. But I have taken it upon myself, to reach something that few ever have. Perhaps the Voivodes would object, but then, I can hide myself rather well, save for this...” He tapped the skull mask that almost seemed attached to his hair. “...which is a curiosity today, but not a sign of the Vampire I am.”

Nero couldn't help but interject. “You know...I think the look works for you.”

Lazarus nodded in Nero's direction, then turned back to Azrael. “Otherwise, I have chosen to act as Luna's sheriff for some time. I may believe the Camarilla to be flawed, but that is to be, expected. But my words are becoming prattle, and it may be that you...need to leave.”

Turning around, Lazarus nodded to Jackal, who approached Azrael. His eyes were focused on her, and his lips parted into a smile. “I know what you expect. What you crave at this moment. You are brought low by someone who you believed to be already dealt with. One who has understood, and yet, loathes not your past...but what it has made you.” He sighed. “Tel me...what do you want?”

She wanted to speak. To say exactly that, to answer the question, finally. But somehow, that seemed painful. Almost as if speaking the words would all to easily admit weakness. “I...want...”

Closing his eyes, his head sunk, and he sighed again. “Tonight, I show mercy. My rage put aside, but it shall not be left behind.”

“You cannot be serious.” Her eyes opened wide.

Nodding, his smile returned. “All I give is time. You decide how much, shadow.” He reached up, touching her face. “But there is something, that you deserve. In the future, you may be shown forgiveness, or perhaps not.” Pulling away, he moved his hand down to her throat. “In this moment, in the night, you suffer.” His eyes seemed to glow, become larger, and his fang-bared mouth emitted a deep snarl.

“YOU CRAZY LITTLE FUCK.”

Jackal smiled. “Ah, so you understand. YOU DO NOT!”

“Fall for a fall, only the witness to your first, shall be the moon. How lucky.”

He pushed harder on her neck, which did not strain her voice, but make several thousand sounds, all of which where so miniscule that no human could hear them, but all in the room could – the glass straining against the pressure, soon to give way.

Jackal said nothing as the glass finally broke, and Azrael began falling backwards. She tried to catch herself, but nothing was there. He seemed to fall with her, but he managed to grab the newly made ledge, which impaled his hand through a piece of glass.

She could not help but laugh as she fell. “You with vision, and you still find yourself in a precarious position. One hand bleeding, the other holding me. What will you do?”

His smile was kept. “You are too sure of yourself.” His eyes flashed.

“What? FUCK.” In an instant, she let go of his wrist, and started falling to the ground. “Dammit. Not wax, nor real wings, and I still lose them...”

Her fall was quick, but Jackal didn't keep watching. The outcome was known to him, and her survival was not something he was concerned with. Looking up, he smiled as he watched a hand grab his wrist.

“Not this time – I'm sure you won't want to make her cry again.” Nero pulled Jackal back into the room.

Luna's face was a fading mixture of shock, but she soon rolled her eyes. “You really need to stop that.”

Jackal nodded. “Indeed. These are theatrics I do not like. Momentary, they work. Repletion spoils it, and thus is not something I was intending on. A rash choice, but successful.”

She nodded. “Well, then I would imagine that we both have some business to attend to. She still needs to be dealt with, since I imagine she still wants something – which she is not going to get.”

He raised his hand. “That will solve itself, in time. But I have an idea, which you may find interesting.”

Luna sighed. “I thought you were joking. But I suppose...”

He smiled, looking at Nero as he started walking toward the door. “We have plans to make, invites to send, a party to go to, and most of all...I have something to SHOUT.”
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Maxus Corvin
Methuselah
Methuselah


Posts : 478
Join date : 2010-10-03
Age : 25
Location : Normandy SR-2

PostSubject: Re: VtM: Eternal Presence   Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:50 am

Chapter XVII – Invitation From Madness, A Way With words

Opening her eyes, Aria felt well-rested, but still, something seemed wrong. After that kindred grabbed her, she must have passed out, and between then and now, she could remember nothing. Her thoughts instantly filling with fear for the outcome which she truly did not want, she quickly realized that the fear was unfounded. Her body was still quite warm, and the only thing she craved was something to eat, not blood.

Trying to move, she realized both that she was sluggish, but she could not move very much. Her wrists and ankles were bound by metal bands, which were connected to metallic rope that had some give to it, but not very much. The most she could do was sit up.

Only now did she notice her body. Her skin was oiled up, every inch shining like skin-colored latex, and the only thing she wore was a black bra and shorts, the material being just as shiny as her skin. As much as this annoyed her, it was the least of her concerns. She even felt like she'd taken a long shower, but it was who did it to her, what was a bigger worry.

Looking around, she noticed one if the Kindred standing behind a desk, holding a deep red silken cloth,  along with a crystalline glass, which he seemed to be polishing. She wondered why, since she knew what had been in it, and what would be – given the decanter on his desk that held blood. She recognized him as Lucius, the same one that dragged her off in the “Prince's” office.

“You obviously question my methods, but there is little point. We do what we must, simply because it is what we want, even if it denies the truth – though I would never deny what is true, if possible. Is it not the case that you hide your body, when it is a sight to behold?”

Trying to avoid blushing, she sighed as she realized it was impossible. “That is private. You must be sick, why did you...”

He smiled as he set the glass down. “I will perfectly admit to my curiosity, and I would imagine that saying such, is enough to have your next words to me, would call me a 'pervert'. However, is it perversion to admire the human body? Perhaps it may be so, since in this instance it is not my own, but I am sure we all do this, in our own time.” He poured blood into the glass, holding it in his hand as he spoke. “But my reason in this instance is, not for such a reason, even if some of my thoughts and actions are. It was to respect a guest, and perhaps your current...attire is not to the standard I myself would set, I would politely ask for it to suffice, for now. If you feel ashamed, please, do not. If things go as I believe they will, something far more...respectable, will be what you are adorned with.”

She sighed, falling back onto the 'bed'. “So why did you bring me here...wherever that is...?”

Lucius smiled. “For no more than what I said. I want you to understand. But I plan on being civil. You have not been harmed in any way, nor have you been...defiled, as you would put it. Simply bathed, and been given time to rest. Nothing more. The...restraints are both for your protection, and to avoid any idiots around here, getting the wrong idea.”

“Then I guess you do not understand what privacy means, and how bad this feels?”

He sighed. “I do, actually. But soon, what I may or may not have seen, will not matter, if only because you will understand.” He smiled. “You call it, perversion. I call it, admiration. I have understood things before humans were even close to gaining the same understanding, and have found them lacking on some points, but with someone like yourself, I cannot help but feel like a well-known space captain, having a look of discontent.”

Aria shrugged. “Fine. Hopefully you aren't going to have me spending the entirety of the conversation bound up like this.”

With a smile, he snapped his fingers. She heard a metallic 'click', and the rings opened, freeing her wrists, and ankles. Rubbing her wrists, she stared at the door, making it quite obvious she had thoughts about running.

With a smile, he laughed. “You can try to run, if you wish, but that door is not going to open for you. Nor any of the windows.” Taking a seat, he kept his smile. “While I do not approve of the methods I am using, and in most circumstances I would not – but in this case, I am forced to Given how obstinate you are. You do not think that, some level of cooperation on your part, will make this easier?”

She seemed shocked. “Cooperation? When you've kidnapped me, and you want me to cooperate with you?”

Again, he sighed. With a snarl, he rolled his eyes. “I wonder what it is. I have intentions, surely. But none of them entail actions that you will not be informed of beforehand. However, at the moment, all I intend to do, is talk. Nothing more.”

With a sigh, she seemed to relax herself. “Fine.”

Standing, he picked up his glass, pointing at the table that was close to the “bed” that she'd been previously laying on. The table seemed to be set for dinner, lacking only a pair of plates. What was there, seemed to be silver flatware, crystalline glasses, along with a few other things. Taking a seat, she watched him cross the room, sitting across from her.

“While I cannot say I know your taste in food, I do hope what I have had prepared for you is appetizing. Although, it may just be that you will eat regardless, as I can tell you have not eaten in some time. This may or may not be causing you some level of stress and discomfort, but I am sure that quite soon you will be sated.” He set his glass down.

“You can't tell me you are going to be dining with me? I thought kindred couldn't...”

He nodded. “For most, no. But you believe that the pleasures of the mortal world are completely lost to Vampires? Well, not all of them. Surely, many Vampires care nothing for it, but some still retain a taste for things, even if it is...not the same. Myself, I have a few tricks that allows it to be similar.”

“How so?”

Lucius smiled. “Well, to put it simply, I do not exactly need to vomit ash, or blood soaked food. Which, I do hope that both satisfies your curiosity, and does not make you less inclined to dine with me, as...”

He stopped, as a Vampire entered the room, with a sly smile on his face. Wearing clothes that seemed befitting of a waiter, the only differences being obvious. Everything about his appearance seemed clean-cut, save for a set of bangs at the front, which curved inward.

“I must say, I find this arrangement curious, sir, but then, I suppose you are one for hospitality.” His accent seemed to suggest that he was from France.

Lucius nodded. “Many Vampires quickly forget that this world contains pleasures, which go far beyond sanguine spirits. Considering the situation, it seemed appropriate to show my guest here, an aspect of our kind, that she was likely unaware of – even if many kindred do not care” He smiled at Aria. “Now, if you please, Alistair.”

Alistair nodded. “Certainly.”

Turning around, he reached out his hand. With a smile, he did nothing but wait. Aria found this odd, but then she witnessed a dining cart enter the room by itself, stopping only when Alistair placed a hand on it, only an inch or two from his waist. He then picked up a highly polished silver plate, the cover being a highly polished dome. Placing this one on Aria's side, between her utensils, he removed the cover.

“While I cannot implicitly speak for your tastes, hopefully this will be to your liking.”

Turning her attention to the plate, the main dish was a steak, prepared in a fashion which she had only seen from afar, mostly on television. Everything else on the plate was similar, all of it looking worthy of a photograph – but with the life that would be expected of such a meal. Picking up her fork, she noticed the plate set before Lucius was a similar meal, the only real difference being what was poured into his wine glass – blood. As much as she wanted to either say or think something, the feeling of hunger made her care far less than usual.

While Lucius seemed to eat slowly, savoring his meal, she tore into it with a ravenous hunger that did not at all surprise him, though she still had the foresight to pace herself. He had actually seen far worse at various establishments around the city, although most of them he had little interest in, save for a choice few.

Taking a look at her empty wine glass, she almost felt like the question she was making incredibly obvious, was far too much to ask. Still, Alistair slowly walked over. “What would you like? I would recommend a red wine, as it would complement your meal.”

She barely had time to nod, before he seemed to grab a dark red bottle from the cart, and her next sight was of him holding the open bottle just inside the rim of her tipped glass. “This is a vintage from 1925, which comes from a vineyard in Germany – one sadly destroyed by the war.”

Lucius snorted. “I do not wonder why...but I have never questioned my Sire as to our clans activities during that conflict. If only because I myself would never subscribe to such bullshit, even if I were to be pressed by Tremere himself – however unlikely that would be.”

She almost choked on a piece of her her steak. “What? You were...involved with that?”

He laughed almost uncontrollably. “Not me, not my work. Nor would it have been, since I prefer results that do not require suffering. Still, if my clan was involved, I can only say I was not. Surely most of those I know were not, save for that impetuous Khristian, and I have reason to believe that my Sire was un-involved as well. Regardless, it would not surprise me if the elders knew all about the conflict, and had what they considered good reason to involve themselves, if not at least being aware of what went on.”

She shrugged. “I would not call it a surprise.”

He nodded, placing his hands together. “There is the suggestion that Kindred only react to human action. This is, not wrong. But it is likely not completely correct, either. Several events in history can be traced to Kindred wanting or doing something, only it requires knowledge of Kindred, and of at least the clans that were involved, to really see it. The Crusades, for example. Most likely, the work of the Ventrue – along with the opposition being ghouls of other clans.”

“So you are completely okay with that?”

He could not help but laugh. “What exactly do you want me to say? My own personal feelings on it, I think, I have made quite clear. But if not – should a Kindred wish to prance around these nights with such a uniform and possessing the ideals to match, well, why should I...give a shit...? The ideals are, perhaps not dead, but even with such a climate for them some will simply not care. If they cross me or my allies, that is a different issue entirely – although the judgment the receive would be based on their actions, not whatever bloody insignia adorns their clothing.”

“But you do realize...”

Lucius shrugged. “I do. However, I also understand the things that some would rather stay oblivious to. Such as the true origin of the swastika, along with the other symbology used by the Nazis. Much of it certainly was corrupted by them, as most may be perfectly able to learn of the origins, but the damage is done. Orientation? Does not matter. Placement? Does not matter. The time period, especially before 1920? Does NOT matter. However, my point, I think, still stands.”

She nodded, and sighed at the same time. “Fine. At least you have the sense that some others lack.”

“You will find that the perception of Kindred by the few humans who know they exist, or even other Kindred, is usually bias. If only because this sort of propaganda move is popular. Why not slander the 'enemy', even if that enemy may be a humane individual, that even becoming a Vampire has not changed? It could be someone who is damn near a saint – but it does not matter. It becomes diluted into 'Blood-sucking monster' or some other such thing, like 'Nazi', and the rest, like an angry mob with torches, follows. Even if it is only symbolic, and the only action taken is verbal. Words can still travel quite far, even when not spoken at all, only read. Especially today.” His lips parted into a small smile.

Picking up her glass, she drained it. “Whatever. I guess I would rather know more about...”

He looked somewhat shocked, but nodded. “Indeed. I know you are wondering exactly what my intentions are.” He smiled. “They are...simple. However, from your perspective, they are not.”

“You cannot be serious.”

Laughing, he continued. “Were you not close to your own sister embracing you? Her vitae fades from your veins as we speak – too much longer, and unfortunately, there would be little point in me continuing a conversation. Not that I have this exact sentiment, but you have very few options.”

“So you are forcing me.”

Shaking his head, he stood. “Not exactly. The embrace can wait, for a time. However...a measure to ensure you do not face a mortal death, which will be quite horrific, given your actual age, is a different matter.”

Aria suddenly felt worried. “Horrific? What do you mean?”

“I see she has not told you.” He leaned on his chair. “Bereft of the blood that sustains you past your body's ability to sustain itself, you would age. Quickly. To the point where very little would be left of you. A shame, if it were to happen. If you are lucky, you would be a old woman. If not, well, best not describe it much beyond that.”

She hung her head. “Fuck.” Fighting her tears, she wiped her face. “Fine. Give me your...dammit that feels wrong to say.”

He nodded. Walking over to her, he raised her from her chair. Slowly unbuttoning his shirt, he placed his nail on the side of his own neck. Digging into his flesh, it gave way, spilling blood. “Take it, Ariel.”

Looking at him with jaded eyes, she wondered how he knew. “How...?”

“You hide behind a similar name, but it was not difficult to figure out. I am sure your sister does the same.”

She sighed, wondering what else he knew. Closing her eyes for a moment, she felt like biting her tongue, but that seemed pointless. Staring at his wound, she stuck her tongue out, licking up some of it. The taste was, bearable, but the feeling in her mind was that of injury, as would be the usual case for blood in one's mouth. Still, as she placed her lips to the wound itself, and started sucking it, the taste seemed to change. Not much, but enough that she felt content with it.

“I know what you are thinking. Every emotion your mind wants you to feel, is only saying how wrong it is, how it should not be done. While some, I am sure, would tell you of some 'Blood is Sacred' ideal, which may be true, it is not a lie I would tell you, be it true or not.”

Backing away, she licked the blood off her lips. “So you don't intend to lie to me?”

He shook his head. “Why would I? Telling a lie does mean that you can have someone do as you wish. But tell someone the truth, and that is an even greater motivation. Hence why I know of your frustration with your sister. Surely, while most of what I have is an estimation, I would think that she did not tell you everything. Such as, if she embraced you...take a look in that mirror over there.”

Ariel turned her head, staring into her reflection in the mirror Lucius mentioned. “What about it?”

“Have you seen your sister's reflection, at any point since she found you? I would imagine not.”

“Wait, she told me that was something unique to her....”

Lucius shook his head. “It is certainly possible that a Vampire could have...certain traits that make them more in-line with the classical Vampire story, but in her case...it is a cause of her blood, her clan. It may not be something that many in the clan care about, but then, most of them are focused on their appearance, to the point that they obsesses with portraits of themselves, in lieu of mirrors.”

Ariel narrowed her eyes. “And if you embraced me, then...what?”

He smiled. “Very little, actually. You know the various differences in clans, or at least that these differences exist. But with mine, there is not so much that is unusual. Save for the Blood Magic, and of course, being bound to the Elders of our clan, but like myself, you shall be lucky – if you cooperate, and I shall not make it difficult for you to do so.”

They both sat back down, and she sighed. “Just tell me it isn't going to be like that idiot boy.”

“No, you won't suffer from...that kind of insanity, although I do not entirely know if Malkavians actually suffer from it, or revel in it. However, given that I do not intend on hauling you before the Tremere Elders in Vienna, the sort of insanity you would face, is not going to happen.” He shrugged. “I am sure that many will see this as a problem – not only am I able to act outside the will of my clan's elders, now I will have another childer who will as well.”

She narrowed her eyes. “You have...other...um, vampires you've sired?”

He nodded. “Not many, mind you. Obviously in four-hundred years one tends to find situations where embracing a childe is a benefit, and I have since my own embrace, twice. Neither of them for selfish reasons, and even if they could be, the two individuals benefited both me and the clan since then.”

Finishing the last of the wine in her glass, she placed it back on the table. “Are either of them, here?”

“You want to know if they will think of you as competition? Not at all. They know their place, and while I do not hold many here on a leash, I can still tug when needed. But yes, one of them is. The other is currently in Vienna, acting as an assistant to my Sire.”

Lucius looked toward the door, expecting something to happen at any minute. What did, was a rather young man entered the room, his attire consisting of a white leather skirt and a short vest. His skin seemed to be entirely wet, almost like he had just removed himself from a pool. While his hair shared this trait, it seemed to be kept like a number of black spikes that hung off his head.

“I find it interesting that you would come to me so soon after waking up. Something is wrong?”

The man nodded, his words seeming slurred as he spoke. “Sssomething for you...sissre.”

“Bring it here, Malo.”

Malo walked closer, and this allowed Ariel a closer look at his skin. It seemed to look almost petrified, like it somehow dried out for a long time. It looked like it was filling out before her eyes, the cause unknown. As she looked him over, that his when she noticed the large bag on his back that was beneath his vest, which were connected to several tubes that ran into several metal discs that seemed to be embedded into his skin. Every single one of the tubes was clear, but the inside was completely red, and she could just barely see that it was draining into his back, and on several spots on his arms. She had the thought that there would be more to it, but nothing else seemed obvious.

Placing a black envelope in Lucius' hands, He stepped back a bit, either out of some kind of fear, or out of what seemed to be an inability to emote properly at this point.

“Yes it takes time, you see. He has been...well, asleep for three years, and that does take a toll on even our bodies. Some find it far easier to awaken from this state, while others can take quite some time. It is not so bad for me, but for Malo here....it takes a few hours.” He opened the envelope, and for a few minutes he nodded, then his face stretched into a fanged smile. It seemed as if he could barely contain his laughter.

“What is it?”

Lucius let it out. Standing, he seemed to be unable to stop. “Your sister, failed, as I suspected. You do not kill a Methuselah so easily.”

She could be nothing but puzzled. “Methuselah? Um...wait you mean.....”

“Jackal survived. I am sure that it is not exactly the surprise it was supposed to be, but for some it may yet be.” He dropped the envelope on the table, and all she could see was a broken mirror. “We have a party to go to. Naturally, he knows about you.”

“What like some kind of...orgy, or something?”

Lucius stared blankly at her, but still broke out into laughter again. “That is always a part of any kind of party involving Vampires, although not in the usual sense – only the old-fashioned view of feeding being analogous to sex. But I would wager a more, civilized sort of gathering, even if it may get somewhat out of hand.”

“When is it?” She stood, staring at the invitation, looking for a date, only finding it once she heard Lucius say it.

“One month from now – Halloween. But before then, your wings will not be clipped, but bloodied.”
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