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Author Topic: Family Business  (Read 12811 times)

Offline [archive] Signothorn

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Re: Family Business
« on: October 03, 2005, 05:06:00 PM »
               
 
 As soon as the stretch limo pulled up to the curb one of the guards approached it, and opened the door for it's passengers. A tall, striking brunette in a sinfully expensive gown gracefully accepted the hand offered to her and got out of the car. She looked around, noticing with satisfaction several other vehicles parked in front of the restaurant. Everyone appeared to be here already, which meant they were forced to wait for her and her companion. Ah, nothing like a good entrance.
 
 "Hurry up, Vincent. We don't want keep the Council waiting... much longer." she said to the man following her out of the limousine "Rocher must have a sore leg from tapping his foot while glaring at the clock already." she added, awarding the guard next to her a brilliant smile, which sent all sorts of signals to various parts of his body.
 
 "Vincent" meanwhile got out of the car and surveyed the scene before him. The "René Magritte" was as exclusive a restaurant as they get - marble floors and crystal chandeliers, live music and world class cuisine, the whole nine yards - and tonight it was closed to anyone but the Primogen, their entourages and the security. To most passers-by it would appear this was some sort of an exclusive suit-and-tie event, or a noble family gathering perhaps, both of which weren't that far from the truth when you though about it, Vincent realized. The parking was occupied by a rental stretch, not unlike the one he just got out of, an A-Class Benz with tinted windows, a gray Range Rover and several other uncharacteristic but expensive vehicles, most of which he guessed to be additional security.
 Well, security was a must. Even if the gathering inside consisted of the most powerful Kindred in the city (or perhaps precisely because of that), and even though the recent Sabbat attack has been thwarted, Cawford wasn't a completely safe place. Truth was that despite the acclaimed Camarilla victory in the war for the East Coast in general, and the local success in defending the city, there were still a few Sabbat stragglers around and reportedly even the occasional firefight on the South Side. Officially? Cawford wasn't even under regular attack, according to Camarilla protocol. In reality, true - the Sabbat didn't lead a full scale assault, choosing only a few targets instead and striking at them with a surgeon's precision (and a jackhammer's discretion), effectively crippling the local Kindred network as well as decapitating the Camarilla ruling body. Normally the few Sabbat vampires who slipped into the city would've been taken care of in one night, but this wasn't "normally", and without much doubt the situation wouldn't change soon. Still, the tide has been broken globally, and now damage had to be assessed, losses accounted and influences re-established. So even if the ashes of the late Cawford Prince haven't yet settled, already there was vying for power and territory. This was so Camarilla, Vincent mused.  
 
 "Waiting..." the brunette said pointedly, brushing aside a stray lock of hair, breaking his distraction.
 
 "Sorry." he smiled at her offering his arm, after which they entered the building and were escorted through the hall, past the private lounges and to a separate room on the back of the building. They may have the entire restaurant to themselves and security to boot, but the Council of Primogen wasn't going to be held in plain view nonetheless.
 
 The room was all western tapestry, large mirrors, stylized chairs and tables - some of which were holding various printouts and maps while the rest has been shoved aside, allowing a large round table to dominate the floor. A makeshift model of the city sat in its middle, littered with colored confetti-like markers, and several chairs stood around it, most occupied. All the various paraphernalia strewn about gave the gathering a very military-conference sort of feel. Were the Prince's court in a lesser state of disarray, the Council would certainly have been held there, but as the Brujah had went through a lot of trouble to turn it into an impenetrable fortress it was naturally one of the first targets on the Sabbat's list. Now the battered interiors of Lydia's domain were too much of a reminder how much a single Pack can complicate matters, and so a different locale has been chosen for the meeting.
 
 "Ms. Isabel Caliori and Mr. Vincent Reed." their escort announced, after which he promptly left and closed the double doors behind him. Vincent glanced around the table as Isabel made some halfhearted excuse for their late arrival. She might have made the impression of taking the Council as a whole all but serious, but like every so often, such impressions were deceiving. In fact, not only did she choose the restaurant for the meeting, but it were also her... employees, who were in charge of the majority of preparations and security. She also had Vincent prepare for this night, even if he was only a pro forma participant, he'd spent a few hours looking at photos and reading through dossiers. Isabel would not have her Childe attend such a gathering ignorant of the Kindred he would meet. Let's see...
 
 The first couple on the left were Joachim Neillsen, the infamous Brujah Primogen, along with his right hand – Evelyn. They were a comically mismatched set – the Primogen a burly, sour looking man of advanced age garbed in a loose-fitting suit, his enforcer a lithe woman Embraced in her early teens, dressed in baggy sportswear, which made her seem even smaller than she actually was. Nevertheless, they were both powers to be reckoned with, if in different ways. Next to them sat Regentia Anna Johnston of clan Tremere, accompanied by one of her adepts – Marc... Marc... Viel-something, a bigshot. Vincent couldn't recall the Kindred's full name and he hoped he wasn't forced to use it during the evening. Of course, being a neonate among Primogen meant he wasn't very likely to have a chance to speak at all, which suited him just as well. Moving on, he ran his eyes to the next two Kindred, one of which was standing now, speaking his greetings to him and Isabel.
 
 "Welcome. Isabel. Vincent. We were beginning to worry you've encountered some difficulties on your way here, glad to hear it's not the case." he spoke with that artificial familiarity one normally used with his distant but wealthy cousin who could leave a large inheritance one day. However when Eric Rocher spoke it, you almost believed it – or wanted to do so. Rocher, the Ventrue Primogen and soon-to-be Prince, with his eldest Childe Sorana by his side, the initiator of this meeting. An imposing man, reportedly a natural born speaker and leader even before his Embrace into clan Ventrue, who's sheer presence and personality left very few, whether Kine or Kindred, not feeling dwarfed by. Isabel was one of those few however, and as they traded greetings, Vincent had a moment to cast a brief glance at the remaining Kindred. The next two fashion disasters were Victor Pina - the soon to be appointed Primogen for the Malkavians, staring at the exchange between Isabel and Rocher with a cynically raised eyebrow while his companion, known only as Nook, scribbled something on the table with a fork. So far he got the letters P, Q and H (or a leaping frog perhaps). While Pina was generally well respected and competent, Nook was... disturbing, even for a Malk. Apparently he cut out his tongue out before his Embrace, and had a curious... "habit"... of cutting off other parts of his body afterwards. Tonight his face and what was exposed of his forearms were covered in scars, and considering the curative effect of the vampire blood, those cuts must've been recent. Why Pina would bring him to the Council was... well, probably not all that surprising. Reasonable or not, he was a Malkavian after all, Vincent supposed. Still, the madman make shivers run down his spine.
 Finally, there was the Nosferatu Primogen, Hernandez, known among his own as Hunchback Hernandez for quite obvious reasons, as his posture reminded vaguely of a walking paragraph. Isabel had spoken highly of him though, in that grudging but honest sort of way, which was quite rare for the Primogen, so there had to be something to the misshapen Kindred. The uncharacteristically looking male of Caucasian complexion who sat beside Hernandez would be his protégé, Doe, probably masking his true appearance for their collective benefit. The Primogen either didn't remember to do so or didn't care enough. Reed took his place beside Isabel and the meeting officially had begun, as Pina was unanimously offered the position of Primogen.
 
 Evelyn was bored out of her mind. She glanced at her watch, to note with surprise that only little over two hours has passed since the Torrie chick arrived and they got started. She could've sworn half of the night has went by already. Damn, she was so going to kick Joachim's ass for dragging her along. Well, not really. The Brujah elder intimidated even her, even though she'd known him for half a century. But he'd get an earful, she swore herself that. She had to admit she was curious, and even honored in a way when she'd been picked as "representative for Clan Brujah", but by now, her curiosity sated, she felt like a five year old on the big boys' playground. This weren't the streets, and her voice didn't carry weight here, which didn't sit well with someone used to being in charge of her turf. I mean shit, she though to herself, don't the Prince's people deal with all of this crap? Assign-feeding-grounds. Establish-domains. My ass, Donald Trump. Then again, Cawford didn't yet formally have a Prince, and while Rocher could as well have held the meeting at his court and nobody would have argued much, there had to be protocol, so for now the Council had to deal with such matters. Evelyn paid scant attention to what was being said until a familiar name caught her ear.
 
 "...all he way to Munroe, after all. That is also the next point on our list tonight." Rocher was saying. Munroe, the Giovanni controlled city north of Cawford was a considerable thorn in the Cam's side ever since the Sabbat assault on the East Coast had begun. This did pick up Evelyn's interest, but she tried not to show it.  
 
 "After the Sabbat has declared it's intentions toward the city, in that narrow-minded self-destructive way of theirs, all alliances between the Giovanni and them would appear to be broken." Rocher continued "Now, taking anything coming from the Giovanni at face value is a pretty poor concept, but in the light of the recent events and our contribution to the defense of the city against the Sabbat att..."
 
 Hernandez snorted.
 
 "Contribution... We should've let them bloody take it. Punking it out with the surviving Sabbat would've been simpler than negotiating with the corpse-fuckers, and the city would've been ours by now." he said, looking up from the printout he'd been making a show of reading intently, when obviously if anyone knew those reports front-to-back, it were the Nosferatu "We'd have them kissing our ass for permission to crawl back into their havens. Instead, we bled for them and now have to go ask for acknowledging the favor, while they're none the worse for wear."
 
 An uncomfortable silence fell. No one countered Hernandez's assessment, since everyone was thinking the same thing. The Giovanni wanted to play both sides against the middle during the Sabbat offensive, and as the confrontation got more intense both the Camarilla and the Sabbat found themselves desperately needing the influence and resources that the Giovanni could supply. Before any definitive deals were made though, the local Sabbat apparently decided they were fed up with negotiations and they'd simply take what they needed, without asking for permission. Munroe found itself under attack, and the Camarilla bigwigs decided it was for the best to aid in it's defense, reasoning that this would seal an alliance with the Giovanni (the logic behind this was questioned heavily afterwards). As things stood right now, the Inner Circle was apparently expecting keys to the city handed to them, while the Giovanni figured a "Thank You" card would suffice.
 
 A wet "thud" sound drew everyone's attention to Nook, who snickered after jabbing the fork he was holding into his palm. Victor Pina - that is - Primogen Victor Pina smirked.
 
 "This about sums up our situation in that episode, yes?" he asked, playing with his earring idly.
 
 "Perhaps... though the past cannot be changed." Rocher was the first to recover "And it's not entirely like you're putting it, Raul. Regardless, we have recently made contact with the Giovanni of Munroe and a meeting with their representatives has been arranged, at which precisely this matter can be discussed furth..."
 
 "Vhere?" Neillsen's question interrupted him "Vhere iz this meeting suppozed to take place?" he added in his thick accent that he never bothered to lose, making sure the word "meeting" was said with as much contempt as possible. Neillsen wasn't necessarily as blunt as he liked to let on, but he wasn't one to veil his opinions. Rocher shuffled uncomfortably.
 
 "Willow Grove, Munroe City. Before you protest the idea though..." he replied and raised his hand, cutting off Hernandez's and Johnston's vetoes a millisecond before they were voiced "Ahem. It is not a meeting "on their terms". The Giovanni intended to uphold the status quo for as long as possible, but with the recent turbulent happenings in mind, that status quo is no longer an option."
 
 "Most likely. But have you told them that, Eric?" Caliori interjected "Or is this just the official Camarilla opinion? Because you know where they usually have our opinions."
 
 "As a matter of fact, it was they who proposed the meeting." said Rocher "Having lost some of their allies during the recent events, the Giovanni would... negotiate a treaty. They are, apparently, willing to seal Munroe's gates to the Sabbat altogether."
 
 "As if they could pull it off. And in exchange...?" Hernandez asked
 
 "They haven't specified their terms. Seeing as they're pretty much cut off from their branch in Pittsburgh though, most likely the way they would have it, we grant them free transport routes as well as acces to some of our infrastructure."
 
 "The fuck??" Evelyn said. All this commotion because of that? Then she grew completely still, having realized she had spoken out loud. Eyes were directed at her and she was again acutely aware she was a kid among ancients, when the Torrie chick laughed and broke the silence.
 
 "A refreshing perspective."  
 
 "Care to elaborate?" Rocher asked, turning to the Brujah
 
 "Well... we, I mean the Camarilla, doesn't control the fu... the roads. Why would anyone need permission to go to Pittsburgh? ...Sir." Evelyn answered hesitantly ]b]Did I[/b] just call that limpdick Ventrue "sir". she mocked herself mentally, and strained to calm down "And... like, if even we can't make a city tight enough that the Sabbat assholes don't get in – how they gon' "seal" their city, if they don't have half of our numbers?"
 
 "We do not need to place armed guards along roads in order to control them, Miss Bradley." Rocher said with a bemused smile How'd that anal limpdick know her name anyway? She hadn't used it in years "The Camarilla wouldn't claim a single city by that rationale. Where a single vehicle can move freely, a whole transport caravan won't go unnoticed."
 
 "Likevise, the Giovanni don't have to drive all Sabbat out of their city or allov none to enter. It's all about the... "persona non grata" tag, so they know they're not velcome. There's a difference between valking the street and ducking behind fences." Joachim had picked up where Rocher left Hmph. Persona non whatta. Since when do you talk Ventrue, your majesty. Evelyn eyed her elder sourly while Rocher spoke.
 
 "Of course, Cawford cannot remain without even one of it's Primogen at the moment, but let us not downplay the Giovanni offer. The fact that they need us more than we need them is one of the prequisites for succesfull negotiations after all." he said. In a way he had a point, but as a matter of fact the Camarilla didn't need an alliance with the Giovanni as much as it did only months ago. Still, sealing it would be a badge of honor to anyone "Now, proper... conduct requires that our representatives be no thin-blooded vassals, this is a matter of utmost importance after all. Therefore Jullian will lead the delegation to Munroe, which is to speak with the Giovanni on the Cmarilla's behalf."
 
 "A really subtle way to keep all the credit, putting matters into the hands of your own Childe like that." Caliori chuckled.
 
 "Quite not so. He has conducted business with both the Giovanni and their associates before, so they will have one less reason to be mistrustful." Rocher replied. This information may have been only half true, but that wasn't a concern of the remaining Primogen. One must not appear to be acting in self-interest only though "And of course, assistance in this matter will be necessary."
 
 Sorana noticed knowing glances being exchanged and she wondered who would be first to act upon the opportunity to gain leverage. Both the Torrie chick and Johnston weren't likely to pass it up, but before any of them could react - to everyone's surprise - Pina spoke.
 
 "The emissary needs... soldiers. We will provide." he finished, smiling knowingly to himself. Rocher seemed to give that some thought at first but nodded with satisfaction
 
 "Of course Victor, whoever you feel is best suited." he replied. A smirk crossed Johnston's face for a second. Yes, of course, Pina's madmen will help this indefinitely.
 
 "Quite. Marc will assist you in this, he..." she began, but was interrupted
 
 "No, Anna. We need your people here now. There's still much to be done, and Mr. Vielacados' presence, you'll concede, is much more required in Cawford presently." Rocher said, and turned to Neillsen before she could answer.
 
 "Vrite us out. Ve have other things to do than run messages for you." The Brujah wasn't a fan of politics, and didn't bother pretending otherwise. Or more precisely perhaps – he wasn't a fan of politics if it didn't suit him at the moment. "Things that aren't a vaste of time." Rocher accepted the answer with a brief nod.
 
 Caliori only gestured at Neillsen, meaning "likewise".
 
 "Very well. It would also most likely prove wise to have someone with an... understanding for subtlety in recognition... along." Rocher said, turning to Hernandez. The Nosferatu let out a raspy sigh.
 
 "Are you putting us into this just so it doesn't look like the Venture field trip that it really is? You know my take on this matter already. You knew it before, didn't listen, and look what it brought us. Now our people are supposed to risk their necks for what we don't need or want anyway? Pfeh." he shook his head in disgust. Johnston meant to interject, but Hernandez spoke first "Yes, yes, you'll get your support. You know how I just live for your plans." having said which he turned to the man beside him, and tapped a tapering claw on a piece of paper he was holding. The man nodded briefly and took the paper from Hernandez.
 
 Rocher smirked and continued without paying that exchange any mind "Good. It is settled then. They should handle the matter well enough." If anyone had looked at Johnston at this moment he would have seen her expression grow wide-eyed and give Rocher an incredulous look, though she remained silent as he continued "The delegation will leave for Munroe in two nights time." No one bothered questioning the delay, the Venture never ran. "As for the means of transport..." he looked down on a chart on the table "There is a private line we have some stock in, which will do nicely."
 
 Having finished that matter, the Council moved on to the tedious task of dividing territories of the recently deceased, or otherwise incapacitated Kindred – like Lydia's sheriff who slipped into torpor from his wounds, which dragged on for what seemed like an eternity. Finally however, the matter also was dealt with, and after ascertaining there were no other issues, Rocher stood again.
 
 "I believe this concludes our business for tonight, as I'm sure, no – in fact I know we all have things to attend to." he spoke with satisfaction after glancing at the papers spread on the table in front of him.
 
 After a while the Kindred slowly filed out, some deep in conversation, taking much of the documents with them. Rocher gave his Childe the sign to go as well as he left behind to gather up his papers. Once done with it he turned around to face the table, only to see Johnston still in her chair, leaned back, arms crossed, staring at him expectantly.
 
 "Now what was that all about?" she said accusingly before he spoke himself
 
 "Pardon me?" he cocked his head to the side quizzically
 
 "Oh, quit that, will you. Are you trying to shoulder us out of the Munroe deal?" she laughed "Send in Pina's lunatics as what, comic relief perhaps? You're going to need us there." she didn't so much as mention the Nosferatu's contribution as it was self-explanatory.
 
 "I'm not sure why you treat this so seriously, Anna. We've called this a "delegation" too freely, it's not ev..."
 
 "No, no, no. Call it whatever you like, I've got apprentices back at the Chantry to argue on semantics with. I'm asking what that little display before was supposed to mean."
 
 "The only thing I'm trying to do is protect your people from taking more heat. If this goes sour, do you really want having your own in the epicenter? I'm not shoving you aside, we wouldn't be here tonight if it weren't for..."
 
 "Trying to protect... Stop being so patronizing. And feed those flatteries to the Toreador, they're the ones falling for them. Or to that fucking Viking, Neillsen, he so loves to beat his chest. I'm too old to be blown off like this, and far, far too old to play games with." she stood by now "You may almost be Prince, but there's still that "almost", Eric. You need the vote to be unanimous to mean anything." she walked up to him, so their faces were mere inches away "The world is flat, Copernicus, unless we all agree otherwise." Rocher held her gaze for a long moment. She backed away. They stood in silence for a while. It wasn't hard to see those two had a history.
 
 "I see. If that's how you want to have it." she said straightening her shirt, spun around and walked towards the door. She already had her hand on the door knob when he spoke. "Alright. Fine." that stopped her in place, though she didn't turn around, forcing him to talk to her back.
 
 "Fine." Rocher said again in a more casual tone. He rubbed the bridge of his nose, and added after a pause "But not Vielacados. Can't have you send your second in command, not now. There's too many people pointing fingers at your back already, quite regardless what you think of it, and tensions are too high to play with them. I won't risk it, I'm sorry. Pick someone else, Anna, someone lower on the ladder." he finished wearily. Johnston didn't turn around to face him nonetheless.
 
 "As you say, my Prince." she said with just a hint of sarcasm and left without another word triumphantly. It was not every day that Eric Rocher was changing his mind. Not every day that he was being forced to change his mind. Clan Tremere would not be outcast, put second to the Malkavians of all clans, not if she had anything to say about it.
 
 Rocher sighed slowly, picked up his briefcase and set it on the table. He just stood there for a while, staring at the door thoughtfully. Finally, when he heard the last set of doors close, he allowed himself a small smile. This turned out indefinitely easier than he'd imagined – he really thought he'd be forced to allow Vielacados to tag along, and the presence of Johnston's right hand man would complicate his plans indefinitely.                        

 

                                                  

Offline [archive] Grendel8101

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Re: Family Business
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2005, 02:11:00 AM »
                The guards were coming, he could hear their footsteps.  They liked to stomp, letting their victims know they where they were.  Would they grab him this time?  Wallace?  Thompkins?  No, that was right.  Thompkins had made them angry.  He’d never given in, spitting in their faces and being beaten into unconsciousness.  He would be revived and then would start the cycle over again.  Last time he’d seen Thompkins, the man had been sitting in the corner of his cell, staring at the wall and drooling.  He doubted what was left of Thompkins was still there.  Easier to drag him into the jungle and let him rot.
   
   Bitterman had cracked the first day, the first hour.  Problem was, he didn’t know what they wanted to know.  Lately he’d been making shit up, just to get them off his back for awhile.  The last lie had been a big one.  Once they checked it they would probably kill him.  
   
   The boots stopped outside his cell.  Bitterman started to cry.
 ____________________________________________________________
   
   I’m awake and shaking.  Nightmares.  Vampires aren’t supposed to dream.  But every night I wake up covered in blood from the sweat and the tears.  The smell of it makes me hungry.  
   
   Ã¢â‚¬Å“Boss?â€?  Star was standing in the doorway.  Small, pretty, Vietnamese.  The ghoul looked like my Maggie.  She could have been Maggie’s twin sister.  Of course they’d all looked alike to me, so maybe I’m just putting Star’s face on Maggie’s body.  
   
   Wouldn’t be the craziest thing I’ve ever done.
   
   Ã¢â‚¬Å“Boss?â€? she repeated.  I’d been staring at her.  And smelling her.  And hearing her pulse.  I’d turned on my super-senses without even realizing it.  Shit.  I hadn’t fed last night.
   
   Before Maggie could blink I had my fangs in her throat.  Ã¢â‚¬Å“Me love American.  I love you long time.â€? she’d always say.  Then we’d go up to her apartment…
   
   I let Star go.  Star wasn’t Maggie.  Maggie had been a cheap whore I’d had a thing for.  Maggie hadn’t even spoke English, outside of the typical “me love Americanâ€? shit.
 
   I remembered to lick the wound before tossing her on the bed.  Her pulse was steady, she was breathing.  She’d be alright, I just couldn’t feed from her for awhile.  Old needle marks littered her tattooed arm.  She’d stopped using when I’d told her to stop.  It’d been easy for her, she had another addiction to fall back on.  I’ve been clean two years and I still find myself thinking about that dope house in Redbrock.  And all its helpless little junkies…
 
   I walked into the bathroom and looked into the mirror.  I never look more like a typical member of my bloodline than after a good nightmare session.  My prisoner’s beard and my hair are matted with blood.  I chuckle at myself just to get the point across.
   
   Shower and a shave later and I’m standing in the living room, half dressed, leaning against my big picture window.  College brats poured into Charlie’s like locusts.  Karaoke night.  If I wasn’t damned before, I sure was now.  
 
   I turned from the window and finished dressing.  I had to get out of here for awhile.  I can’t stand being cooped up for too long.  Especially on karaoke night.
 
   I slipped on my leather jacket and grabbed that damned phone-thing my ghouls gave me.  I set the electronic lock behind me and went downstairs.  I could smell tobacco and beer, and I could hear a really horrible rendition of “Walk This Wayâ€?.  Yeah, it was time to go.
 
   I came out of the back room and nodded at my ghoul Mal, the head bartender.  I made my way to the till and grabbed some cash.  Money flows like water on a night like this.  The I.R.S was only going to see about half of it.  I grab Mal’s shoulder before leaving.  Ã¢â‚¬Å“Go check up on Star every now and again, make sure you bring her some food.â€?  he nodded.  Good ghoul.  No stupid questions.
 
   Behind the bar is a garage with my 1970 Mustang.  She’s black and sleek and runs like a dream.  I’ve got two Barracuda’s and another ‘Stang in a garage, but this is my favorite to drive.
 
   An hour later I’m sailing down the empty highway.  The Doors are on the radio and undeath is fairly sweet.  I knew something big was coming up back then, but I wasn’t sure what it had to do with me.  
 
   Probably should’ve kept on driving.                        

 

                                                  

Offline [archive] Sodom40280831

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Re: Family Business
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2005, 11:56:00 AM »
                In a gadda-da-vidda honey
 Don’t you know that I love you
 In a gadda-da-vidda baby
 Don’t you know that I’ll always be true.

 
 Nail was quietly singing to himself as he observed the teenage girl who had lost her way in the Cemetery. Thinking to himself how easy it had been to lure her there, just mask yourself as a handsome playboy in his early twenties and they always come running, it wasn’t even good sport anymore. Oh well, better put the helpless little bimbo out of her misery, Nail thought to himself as he emerged from his hiding place and approached the girl as an unseen presence.
 
 When he was just a few inches away from her he removed his invisibility and tapped her on the shoulder. She turned around with a look of eager anticipation on her face as she expected to see her handsome playboy. That look quickly turned to horror as she found herself staring at the Nosferatu’s horrid face. Nail always treasured those looks, he took a few seconds to appreciate it before he sank his teeth into her neck.
 
 For the past few days Nail had had to live on a strict diet of rats as he had patrolled the sewer, now that that chore had been done Nail could finally have a taste of some first rate kine once again and he planned to enjoy it to the fullest. However after only a few seconds of feeding Nail noticed the girls body had suddenly gotten heavier so he let go of her and let her body fall to the ground, lifeless. Nail stared at the body with a slight look of amazement in his eyes.
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Dead already? I don’t believe this! Don’t these youngsters know anything about taking care of themselves? What kind of a person goes out on the town when their health is this bad?!â€?
 
 Nail was angrily shouting at the corpse for a few minutes before he calmed down, he figured he should probably get rid of it or he was in for a major masquerade violation so he looked around for a place to hide the body. Fortunately for him he was in a cemetery so a place to hide a corpse shouldn’t be so hard to find. So Nail grabbed the girl’s lifeless body by the hair and started dragging her to the large mausoleum in the centre of the cemetery. Once he was inside Nail started checking the tags on the coffins, “Andrew Wilkinson 1920-1996â€?, “Sara Livingston 1916-1993â€?. Ah this was a good one: â€?little Timmy Johnston 1990-1999â€?  Nail opened the Coffin (which was adult-sized) and found himself looking at the half-decayed body of a nine-year-old  boy.
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hey there Timmy ya lil’slugger, you’re looking good this evening. Y’know Timmy, I brought a friend with me and she is so excited to meet you she could just die, OOPS, TOO LATE! Well you don’t mind sharing your coffin with this lovely young lady, do you? Of course you don’t.â€?
 
 Nail was laughing his head off as he unceremoniously dumped the girl’s corpse into the oversized coffin, After he folded her legs into what would have been an uncomfortable position were she still alive the two bodies fit perfectly in the coffin. Before he closed the lid Nail took one last look at the two.
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Kids these daysâ€?
 
 Nail closed the lid, slid the coffin back into the wall and left the mausoleum. Before leaving the cemetery Nail took a small moment to look at the night sky, the good thing about being underground most of the time is that you learn to appreciate what’s above ground so much more than most people do. Nail disguised himself once again using the mask of a thousand faces, left the cemetery and disappeared in the crowd.  
                       

 

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           I'm so serious it's comical!    
                                                  

Offline [archive] Year_of_the_Scarab

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Re: Family Business
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2005, 02:08:00 PM »
                Corner of Peacock Alley and 5th.
 
 Victor Pina read the street names and wondered. What was he doing here? He looked around. Did he just leave that café behind him? He didn't seem to have been drinking coffee... No, wait. That's right. He didn't drink coffee nowadays, or even eat food for that matter. He smiled to himself. Vampire-thing, he'd forgotten again. Maybe he should write it down, least he starts walking the streets during the day or something. Oh, he could do it, of course. The sun wouldn't hurt him, pfeh, it was just a game after all.
 He began walking. Music was coming from his earphones, it wasn't bad but he didn't really listen. Around him, the puppets, his puppets, walked from and into the café, talked and laughed pretending they really had a life of their own. Victor Pina wasn't fooled. He knew the truth, and it made him smile again. It was all just a dream.
 See, Victor has had a car accident, nothing major, but he ended up in a coma. From the brief glimpses into reality he had, he guessed he was in a hospital, hooked up to some life-support machines, doctors checking on him regularly. Others too, though he couldn't place their faces... family? friends? He didn't know, but he hoped he'd remember when he wakes up. He will wake up eventually.
 For now though, his subconsciousness has created this world for him, so that he had somewhere to go with his thoughts during the long hours of his sleep. At first he didn't want to play a part in it, but with time, he came to appreciate the subtleties, and even began adding creations of his own. Like magic, ghosts, werewolves and vampires... yeah, it was silly, he knew, but it gave him something to do, otherwise he feared he might go crazy.
 
 For some time now, Victor's creations began developing a will of their own. They would plot and scheme and even wage wars against each other, even though he'd never allowed them to do so. It was like a soap-opera-gone-bad, but he'd play along. Hell - he even accepted the position they've offered him tonight. Primogen Victor Pina... His own vanity made him chuckle... they've spoken highly of him, praised and flattered him. Being creations of his subconscious, they only spoke his own image of himself. He felt mildly embarrassed.
 That reminded him of another thing - he'd sent Nook to find someone. But who? He had no idea... He knew his creations were sending out puppets of their own to another city, claiming it was for their collective benefit, but in truth all they wanted was to further their own goals, each one having secrets from the other. Victor knew he must guide them, lest they tear each other apart and kill his dream – that he couldn't risk. He feared he might lose his mind if they did.
 
 Still, he couldn't recall which puppet he would use for this. No, not a puppet. A toy soldier rather. Which one, which one... Well, no matter, Nook would remember. Nook always did. He was his alter ego after all. Victor's mind created Nook to vent the anger which would overcome him when his creations behaved other than he'd like. Fearing he might break from the stress, he took all of this anger and made it a separate being. He couldn't recall when exactly, but Nook has been with him ever since.
 
 Victor had spoken with, no, spoken to him tonight after they'd left the oh-so-official meeting (Victor's puppets were so cute when they were acting all big and political...). He'd held Nook by the shoulders, and forced him to focus.
 
 "Go. Find who we need." he had said. Nook was distracted and agitated, as he usually was. "Find him." Victor had repeated. Nook bared his teeth and hissed. "Find. Him." Victor said again, growing angry himself. That got through - Nook eventually nodded and shook free of the hold. He'd understood. People feared Nook, and they were right to do so. Even Victor himself would wonder at times, what did it say about him, if his darker half was so bloodthirsty... But such thoughts led nowhere, Victor knew, so he brushed them aside and looked around for some entertainment.
 
 Nook would find whoever it was he needed.
 
 Elsewhere.
 
 The Nosferatu cleared the way as their Primogen stormed through the corridors. Old Hunchback was in a sour mood pretty much on a regular basis, but lately he's been downright scary. Conversations died down at his passing and wary glances were exchanged. Only after the elder had disappeared in his lair did the atmosphere ease down. Not for all though.
 Snake Eyes scratched his chin for the umpteenth time, standing outside the Warren Chief's door. He had news for the Primogen, but what with bad news and killing the messenger... Perhaps he should've used the intercom? That's what it was for in the first place, right? Then again, you couldn't gauge the Chief's reaction over the intercom. Well, he could not just stand there forever.
 
 "Um... ?" he began eloquently, sticking his head brazenly halfway through the door
 
 "For crying out loud. I was beginning to think you've grown roots there. What is it?" Hernandez asked without looking up from whatever he was studying on the battered monitor on his desk
 
 "Doe and Pauline got back from Chesterfield..." Snake Eyes replied meekly. This time the Primogen did look up, he'd sent out for John Doe a while ago. Nothing came. He began tapping his claws on the desk expectantly. John and Pauline were tracking down a clever little Lasombra, who slipped under the Cam radar and disappeared somewhere in Mornington after his Pack got obliterated a couple of nights ago. Hunchback didn't like leaving loose ends behind, so the Brood was to localize and dispatch this visitor. Last night's info was that he was laying low in a warehouse on Chesterfield, and Doe, Hernandez's right hand, and Pauline went to finish the business. The Lasombra wouldn't pose much threat to Pauline, much less to Doe by himself, so the matter should have been resolved easily enough. Emphasis on "should".
 
 "Aaand...?" The Primogen spoke in a tone reserved for idiots and very, very little children. Snake cleared his throat yet again.
 
 "Pauline's in sick bay and Johnny D's out cold Trish says he's torpored dunno for how long." he spit the sentence out in a single breath and got ready to duck whatever might get hurled at him. The elder didn't throw anything though, or even raise his voice. Instead he flicked his talons, motioning for Snake to continue "Bad recon. We thought that creep would be alone and hurt, but he got a bunch of armed Kine together and got the drop on Johnny. He gutted a few but took a bullet to the head. Pauline got plugged too, but she'd dragged him away in time."
 
 "Ghouls?" Hernandez asked, but cut Snake's reply off, thinking better of it "Doesn't matter. Pauline is to be commended, tell her she did good, and keep me updated on both her and Doe. As for that Lasombra, I want him eviscerated..." he looked at a torn wall calendar "...by Thursday. He'll be expecting more visitors, so the gloves are off. Kragen is to gather the muscle to do it. Go."
 
 Having sent the young vampire away, Hernandez let out a disgusted grunt as he remembered what he needed John D. for in the first place. Munroe, dammit. He was going to send him along with Rocher's Childe. Dammit again. Well, he would have to rearrange, after all the Nosferatu were nothing if not adaptive. He looked at a printout pinned to the well beside his desk, and after a moments consideration picked up a pen and put a black X next to one of the names listed there. John Doe wasn't going to be available for... some time, Hernandez thought to himself grimly. As for Munroe, he needed someone not only able to sneak in and bust a few heads but with "people" skills too. A name on the printout caught his eye. Artemis wasn't one for choosing inept childer... and what he knew of this Kindred himself was fairly promising.
 
 A few minutes later the Primogen was told Artemis' boy wasn't to be found in the Warrens. He did appear to have a ghoul somewhere in Redbrock however.                        

 

                                                  

Offline [archive] Grendel8101

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Re: Family Business
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2005, 04:13:00 PM »
                They were playing AC/DC on the radio.  There isn't much I hate worse than AC/DC, so I started dialing through the stations.  Not much out there.  Maybe I should get an FM radio.
 
   Talk shows and country music.  I'm about to give up and go back to AC/DC when i hear something faint on the channel.  Where do I know that song?
 
   It's barely coming in.  It sounds like good old rock, 60's, 70's.  The Stones?  Maybe, but I'm not sure.  I turn a corner and it starts coming in clearer.  
 
   I follow the road absently, trying to place the song.  It gets clearer as I pass an intersection, then starts fading.  I whip the Mustang into a U-turn and head back to the intersection.  I turn onto it and it starts to come in again.  The song has a distinctive guitar solo.  The singer croons something about heaven.
 
   I kept following the song for what seemed like hours.  It turned me one way, then another.  I ran stoplights and dodged cars.  At one point I drove around the same block 5 times.
 
   I lost the signal for a few seconds and my heart nearly beat.  I had to hear it, had to find out what it was.  The Siren call came in again, clear as bells, and led me into St. Augustin.  I pulled the car over to the side of the road as Robert Plant finished the last lyric, "And I'm buying a stairway to...heaven."
 
   I hadn't heard that one in awhile.  The radio kicked back to static.  I looked out the window and chuckled to myself.  Stairway to Heaven indeed.
 
   Led Zepplin had lead me to a church.                        

 

                                                  

Offline [archive] Year_of_the_Scarab

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Re: Family Business
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2005, 06:08:00 PM »
                Despite the late (or very early) hour, Gallery Square was brimming with activity. Most of the restaurants were serving customers practically all around the clock, and so were most theatres. The Square was a place to satisfy most tastes and pleasantly kill time for virtually everyone. Sorana's thoughts at the moment also revolved around killing, though not in a metaphorical sense.
 
 That fool Bernstein was still talking. She had known he was an idiot after the first thirty seconds she talked to him on the phone, but now, the extent of his idiocy was astonishing. He'd called one of their offices and demanded to be put through to Rocher. Sorana took the call and convinced him he could... discuss the matter with her instead. Ever since she arrived at the café that he had sooo cleverly chosen, probably reasoning that the amassed crowd would warrant his safety, he didn't stop producing that cretinous gibberish. And to think she'd taken him seriously enough to bring bodyguards along. She had given them the signal to leave a few minutes after her arrival, as she realized they wouldn't be necessary. Bernstein didn't even notice them, he really thought he had her where he wanted her, that she was afraid. If stupidity could kill... What a waste of time. But still, it had to be taken care of.
 Henry Bernstein was a P.I. A sleazy, washed-up, dimwitted one, but a P.I. nonetheless. Through some twist of fate he came across "clues" which had eventually led him to uncover a secret he should never have toyed with. There was a secret society, directing the flow of the city from behind the curtains. And it consisted of real-deal vampires! But who were they when compared to Henry, right? So he'd called them out on their game, he would expose them and their whole society to the world. That he would. Unless they paid him, big time. That was his ingenious reasoning, apparently. And while Sorana was certain at this point that he posed as much threat to the Masquerade as the flu did to a Kindred, he did get that information from somewhere or someone, so she had endured his cretinism and gradually pulled that knowledge from him, without him even realizing it. He was far too caught up in his own speech. She's had enough.
 
 "Mr. Bernstein, please do shut up." she said. Though the words were spoken calmly, he couldn't resist the command in her eyes and immediately grew completely still. Ah, this was better. She reached for her purse and took out a bill from her wallet. Laying the tip at the table next to her full soda glass she continued "You think yourself safe because of the people around. Truth is, I could kill you in at least six different ways without so much as batting an eyelash, much less resorting to violence. Your "insurance" warrants nothing, were I to decide you cannot be suffered to live another day. Quite frankly though, you're not worth the trouble." He was angry, but scared also. For the life of him, he couldn't speak a single word.
 
 "This so called evidence, this proof of your wild claim..." she cast a doubtful look at the folder he'd handed her so smugly a couple of minutes ago "...consists of blurred photos, dubious reports and testimonies of prostitutes and drug-addicts. You not only cannot prove the existence of a worldwide conspiracy with this sort of evidence, you couldn't win an appeal against a parking offence." As she spoke, something in her voice made him gradually doubt his information himself. By the time she was finished and bid him goodnight, he just felt stupid. He looked at the folder and chuckled. Those couldn't be real. what the HELL was he thinking... damn, he'd wasted that chick's time and made a dumbass out of himself. He should burn that file... and cut back on the old whiskey bottle.
 
 Ten minutes later, the Kine already forgotten, Sorana was driving to see Eric Rocher, her Sire. There were leaks that had to be taken care of and he would like to know about them. She didn't feel particularly inclined to see him, but he was her Sire and her Primogen, not to mention most likely her Prince soon, so she would go see him, no matter how pissed she was. Damn. It was that Munroe deal. It kept on bugging her. It wasn't big enough of a deal to be angry about, and if he had asked her to go she might've had second thoughts. Thing is, he didn't ask her. Julian would go. Juilian! Given, he did deal in the same business as the Giovanni and knew his way around, she supposed, but he was just a promoted thug in the end, barely worth the blood granted him.
 She was being absurd. She sighed. Well fine, he wasn't worthless. He couldn't be – he was her clanmate after all and the Ventrue didn't Embrace worthless rabble. That's what the Brujah were for. Still, he had nowhere near her experience, and in the end she was her Sire's favored progeny, while he was... convenient. That's what gave it the sour taste. The omission. Perhaps Eric thought she had grown complacent. There was no room for complacency among the Ventrue, and maybe this was a reminder... Well if it was, she didn't need it, and she would prove it. In time.
 
 She clenched her teeth, just once, which was a real outburst for the levelheaded Kindred and got out of the car. By the time she entered Rocher's building, she was the image of politeness everyone knew again.
 
 Elsewhere.
 
 Bitterman was about to turn the car around and drive away when he caught something from the corner of his eye. Eh, shit. It's been a while since he'd seen one of those. He parked the car and got out. Not that it bothered him, but the night air was cooler than he'd imagined. He stuffed his hands into his pockets and walked towards the church slowly. A few lights were burning in the building across the street, but the church itself and it's nearest vicinity were pretty much drenched in darkness save for the streetlights.
 
 He came up to the body and halted. The man was tied to a fence with some cord in a crucifix position, unmoving. To the average observer also – quite pale. But Bitterman had seen that shade of recent pale, and knew a human that's been fed from when he saw one. The fact that the Kine was a priest and the position he was in spoke of a bad sense of humor. So, one of those Sabbat bastards is still kicking, eh? Every now and then accidents happened, tough luck, but hanging the corpse like that was a cle... No, wait, not a corpse after all. Bitterman took a closer look. The priest was still alive, though the loss of blood and the cold December night have slowed his metabolism somewhat. They'd find him in the morning, so he'd survive. So what was this display for, Bitterman wondered as he looked around. Hmm. Another one. Right in front of the church portcullis, possibly a nun. Upon closer inspection also alive, albeit unconscious. Then he'd heard a humming coming from the church itself. He smirked. So you've led me here? He walked towards the large door Alright, alright. It's obvious enough. he thought, matching the words to the melody in his head:
 
 "...Your head is humming and it won't go
 In case you don't know   
 The piper's calling you to join him..."
 
 The interior of the church wasn't as dark as it was outside. Candles burned by the altar, and there were beams of subtle light coming through the stained glass windows. Bitterman slowly made his way to the front between the rows upon rows of wooden banks. As he was about halfway through, the humming became more traceable. There was someone sitting at Christ's feet. Dramatic much? He rocked back and forth in catatonia-like manner, all the while humming to himself. Bitterman was standing directly in front of him now, so despite the poor lighting he could make out his features.
 Dreadlocked and scarred, dressed in mismatched pieces of clothing the man was definitely Kindred. In fact, he was most likely of Bitterman's clan. It seemed that for every competent member, his clan had at least a dozen all-over-the-place lunatics who couldn't get their shit together.
 
 The messy one had stopped the humming meanwhile and looked directly at Bitterman.
 
 Eh, no. No at. Through.
 
 Whatever he was looking at wasn't in the church at the moment, probably not even in the city. Bitterman cleared his throat and waved a hand in front of the other's face halfheartedly, to no effect. Well, this was pointless. He shrugged inwardly and turned to leave. A flicker of sudden movement caught his peripheral vision, and led by pure instinct he ducked. Something thrown, heavy and metal crashed against the portcullis loudly. What the...? He spun around to face the other Kindred, only to see him charging at him with coat flailing. The vampire tackled him at full speed, the momentum carrying them both several feet, and crashing into a confessional. The sound of wood breaking filled the church.                        

 

                                                  

Offline [archive] Grendel8101

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Re: Family Business
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2005, 01:18:00 AM »
                The little VC bastard snuck up on me.  Damn, didn't think anyone could sneak up on me.  He was on top and that isn't where I like my enemies to be.  He starts punching.  One good one hits my cheek and I see colors for a minute.  Shake it off, man.
 
   I grabbed his shirt collar and twist it, choking him.  He keeps going, like he ain't even breathing.  Damn.  I grab his shoulders and lift up hard as I can, pushing his head back.  At the same time I twist my right leg up and hook it under his chin.  He's off.  I'm moving.
 
   I look for my M-16, but it's gone, lost somewhere in the rubble.  My platoon's nowhere.  I grab a jagged piece of wood and dive behind a pew.  Pew?  Where the hell was I?  I shake it off.  Questions later.
 
   I can hear him.  The little Viet Cong fucker is freaking out, throwing things out of his way looking for me.  he's got his back to me, looking through the remains of a confessional.  Doesn't make sense to be looking for me under there, but you don't see me arguing with him.
 
   I slide out from under the pew and start making my way over to him.  Wood floors, I have to shift my weight to each foot slowly.  Even then it creaks, but he doesn't seem to notice.  
 
   Then his back stiffens and he whips around.  No time to think.  I lunge forward and drive the stick up under his ribcage, right into his little commie heart.
 
   The Malk stiffened up and fell over.  Right about then would have been a good time to start looking for something to cut his psycho head off, but I wait.  I'd been lead here, and I don't know why.  I don't like those two phrases in the same sentence.  
 
   I find the cord he tied the kine up with in a pocket and wrap him up good enough to stall a Brujah.  I use a piece of his rags to blindfold him, just in case.  
 
   I notice one of the statues in the church has an outstretched hand and grin.  A little blood and some grunting later and he's hanging upside down from the hand.  
 
   This is a bad idea, I tell myself as I remove the stake.  I start swinging him just for the hell of it.
 
   "What's happening?"  I ask.                        

 

                                                  

Offline [archive] Sodom40280831

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Re: Family Business
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2005, 08:40:00 AM »
                “Oh come on man, you can’t do this to me!â€?
 
 Skull was practically on his knees in the filth of the alley where he and Nail met every week. He was begging for his weekly fix of blood. For a moment Nail looked at his ghoul, almost pitying the poor creature, Skull was the only kine he actually liked a little bit, but the poor bastard had to learn that if a ghoul doesn’t make himself useful he’s dead weight.
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Skull, you know the arrangement. No info, no fixâ€?
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well yeah but there’s nothing going o……..â€?
 
 Nail interrupted with an angry hiss, he grabbed Skull by the hair and pulled his face up close to his own and calmly spoke to him.
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Skully-boy there is always something going on, take it from an expert, there’s always some loving wife cheating on her husband, there’s always some criminal about to pull off a job, there’s always some goodie-two-shoes secretly downloading kiddie-porn off the internet, there’s always something going on. You just have to look past the surface of things, you understood that when I first met you. You aren’t getting lazy on me are you?â€?
 
 Nail let go of Skull who immediately took a few steps back to create a little distance between them, he was wondering to himself why he ever wanted this, he didn’t have such a bad life when he was normal, a mother, a father, a little sister, a nice home uptown. Why did he have to run away? Why did he have to make a pact with this….thing standing in front of him. No! Don’t let me be weak! Don’t let me be innocent! The ghoul thought to himself while trying to hold back the tears that could have burst out of him at any moment.
 
 There was nothing Nail hated more than watching his ghoul feel sorry for himself, he was just about to slap some sense into him when he saw Skull pulling something out of his over-sized black leather jacket, it was a nice juicy packet of blood.
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“I got this from the blood-bank, the security there is total horseshit, I assumed you wouldn’t be so angry if I brought you some dinnerâ€?
 
 Skull nervously handed Nail the pack, Nail took it while looking at Skull with a slight look of satisfaction.
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups. I just had dinner but fortunately for you it wasn’t exactly satisfactory, so I guess I’ll let you off with a warning and a little bit of my blood to get you through the week. But don’t expect me to be so soft again.â€?
 
 Nail picked up a small plastic cup lying on the ground, slit his wrist and let a few drops of blood fall in. After which he put it back on the ground and watched Skull crawl to get at it.
 After he was done drinking Nail’s ghoul left the alley, leaving Nail to enjoy his blood-pack.
 
 A few moments later Nail was just about to get a move on when a familiar voice called out to him.
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“So this is where you’ve been hiding!â€?
 
 A figure emerged from the shadows, it was a Nosferatu wearing a dirty old bathrobe, Nail recognized him immediately.
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hives! What are you so worked up about?â€?
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hernandez has been looking for you, he says it’s important, if I were you I wouldn’t keep him waiting, he’s in an even worse mood than usual, so get your ass over to the warrens before he starts taking his anger out on the rest of us.â€?
 
 Nail tried to ask what Hernandez wanted to see him about but before he even had time to think, Hives took him by the arm and forced him to the nearest sewer-entrance.
 
 While he and Hives were jogging through the Cawford sewer-system, Nail was thinking to himself about what Hernandez wanted to see him about, it couldn’t possibly be about that girl in the cemetery, it wasn’t the first time he had disposed of a body like that, it always worked like a charm. Maybe it was Skull, maybe Skull had committed some major violation to the masquerade and had to be dealt with, that would be a shame, the kid had talent and could be very useful if he didn’t whine so much. Maybe it had something to do with the primogen-gathering tonight. Oh well, there wasn’t anymore time to think about it anyway, they had arrived in the warrens and were standing in front of the primogen’s door. Nail wanted to ask Hives what he knew about all this but apparently he already snuck away while Nail was thinking, Nail didn’t blame him. He looked down to straighten his tie and pulled himself together before going in to see what Hernandez wanted. Nail opened the door:
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“You wanted to see me sir?â€?          
                       

 

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           I'm so serious it's comical!    
                                                  

Offline [archive] Skinweaver

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Re: Family Business
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2005, 05:29:00 PM »
               
 "You a doctor?"
 
 The old man looked up from staring at his worn shoes.
 He was in his late fifties and aside from his world weary eyes he also sported a greying beard. The perfect acessory to his torn clothes.
 The man was one of the many homeless in the city and aside from the clothes on his body and the bottle of scotch in his hand he had no other possessions. Exept for the cancer.
 
 "Yes I am. They sent me here to check up on you guys. I saw you coughing earlier and I don't need a doctor's degree to tell that you're not quite well."
 
 The man looked back at his shoes and coughed again before looking back at the visitor.
 
 "Yeah. I've been like this the last few years. Wilma told me t'was because of the smokes but I know why it's really here. It's those damn government bastards, spreadin' their diseases and biologistical weapons around here to get rid of us!"
 
 Rebecka scoped the room. Numerous people of varying ages were all sitting at tables in the shelter, either sipping on a soup mostly consisting of dishwater or mumbling to themselves. Some were even sleeping.
 Lowborn, all of them.
 
 "It's called biological. I really should take a few samples to see what's bothering you. Let me just get my things out on the table..."
 
 She slipped out a syringe from her bag and the old man's face turned into a mask of fear. He stood up on his frail legs, pointing at the doctor with a shaking finger.
 The bottle he had been holding fell to the floor and shattered.
 A few people turned to look at what was happening but went back to their own things when they noticed who it was.
 Sam was like this, they all knew it. That was also part of the reason why the visitor had chosen him.
 
 "Nononono... you're not injectin' me with anything! I know your types, missy! I'll just go to sleep and wake up strapped to a table in area 51 just like old pete! I know that's where he went!"
 
 These simple people could really be a bother! They were usually more gullible than the more prominent specimens but why this one and why tonight? Rebecka didn't like to control the minds of others. She preferred talking them into whatever she wanted them to do but at times like these it was nothing less than a necessity.
 She stood up and looked the man in the eyes.
 
 "Look at me. It's not dangerous at all. I'm just going to take a sample back to the lab to see what might be wrong with you. I just..."
 
 The man stepped back toward the wall shaking his head violently. The Tremere walked up to him, grabbed his chin and fixed her eyes on his.
 
 "You will sit down and let me take a bloodsample. You trust me and you will cooperate."
 
 A few minutes later she slipped the full vial into her bag right next to the other samples from various levels of the human hierarchy. Buisnessmen, preachers, that clerk at the 7-11 and the 5 doller hooker. All diagnosed with various diseases. She smiled as the old man waved at her as she was leaving just as if nothing had happened.
 Tonight had been a fruitful night.
 Rebecka left the homeless shelter and headed back to the chantry. Lots of testing needed to be done.                        

 

                                                  

Offline [archive] Year_of_the_Scarab

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Re: Family Business
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2005, 08:33:00 AM »
                The Primogen acknowledged Nail with a nod and motioned for him to enter while he was writing something on an ancient-looking map. Having finished writing he folded it several times and got up from his desk. He walked past Nail and left for the corridor without a word. Uh? Nail guessed he was supposed to follow.
 As they were walking through the Warrens, which by the way have suddenly become suspiciously empty, Hernandez spoke:
 
 "Back when you've arrived here, Artemis said you know how to play with others. He doesn't indulge fools, so I'm going to take his word for it." Nail wasn't sure what the Primogen meant. The "others" would be other clans, probably, but...
 
 "The Primogen are sending a "delegation" to Munroe. This is your lucky day, you get to go with them." Hernandez continued as they descended into the lower part of the Warrens, which was off limits to any and all visitors to the Nosferatu domain (there weren't many, but occasionally someone was allowed to enter).
 
 "Rocher's boy Massicus will lead it. He's less of a prick than Rocher's other one, but he is his Sire's Childe, so don't expect too much." the elder continued "The Malkavians are supposed to send someone along, though what becomes of that remains to be seen, and from what I hear the warlocks weaseled their way in too. This delegation is to negotiate a deal with the Giovanni of Munroe on the Camarilla's behalf." Hernandez related briefly and sparsely what had been said during the Council, and they reached a large, steel door, which would look awfully familiar to the Neville & Davenport Bank employees of year 1923, when the bank had been robbed of it's safe by unidentified crooks. The Primogen produced a digital card and a heavy keyring from his pocket and began working his way through the locks.
 
 "You'll be there to support Rocher's kid - talk big, look tough, nod along with what he's saying if it doesn't sound too stupid, that sort of thing. That's your part." The last key turned, something made a "ping!" sound and the Primogen opened the massive door "Officially."
 
 Nail entered the large room after Hernandez and looked around curiously. He hadn't been in there before. Various cabinets, shelves and folders were stacked up along the walls. There were dozens of cardboard boxes wrapped in plastic arranged on the far end, and a whole electronic "wall" of servers stood in the middle of the room. The steady hum of computer-fans mixed with the buzz coming from the overhead lamps filled the dry air. Archives. Wow. It was like a giant phonebook, only with a log of secrets, crimes, frauds and depredations listed under each entry. There was more information on any given person in the city in here than they'd even know themselves. Nail grinned to himself. The other clans may have their money, their weapons, puppets and their schemes, but it was all so easily taken from them. When it was all said and done, it was the Nosferatu who had the real power.
 
 Then the last part of Hernandez's speech got through.
 
 "Uh, officially, sir?" Nail asked. The elder gave him a measured look and handed him a dossier he picked up from one of the cabinets.
 
 "You're new here, so you might not know that we have a bone to pick with the Giovanni perverts." he said as Nail looked through the contents of the dossier. It held some old, yellowed letters, various bank accounts and some black and white photos with matching personal information. Most of the people mentioned were long gone by now, though there were photos of two Kindred among them, Gianni Milliner and Maria Pasanoda, both identified Giovanni. Some thought that every single member of the Italian clan had their last name, but it was no secret among the Sewer Rats that the family had branched out quite a bit.
 There was also one more recent photo, of one Frankie Moore, apparently Kine, born 1906. Ghoul, eh?. Nail looked up to the Primogen questioningly.  
 
 "Back when, before the sister-screwing assholes took over Munroe, we've already had our net set up there – bugs, wires, informants, the whole package. Frankie here was one of our people in the commissioner's office. Smart kid, too. He'd keep tabs on stuff and make sure no one there sticks their nose into stuff that didn't or shouldn't concern them, in exchange for his fix. So far so good, right?"
 
 Nail had a hunch what was coming, and he memorized the ghoul's face and made a mental note on his last reported address – Dover Rd. #22, all the while listening attentively to Hernandez.
 
 "Then the Giovanni show up, and "claim the city" theirs. Whatever, we figured. Camarilla, Anarch, Setite, Giovanni... we have our channels in almost every city, regardless of allegiance. Thing is, all of a sudden they decide they don't want nobody looking over their shoulder when they do that goomba voodoo of theirs, and they go for our people. Now, your individual Giovanni may have a set of beyond-the-grave tricks at his disposal, but isn't worth snot overall, unless he's got backing. A whole conclave of those assholes however... Long story short, we've had to retreat."
 
 Nail nodded. This explained a bit why the Giovanni were a touchy subject among his brethren in Cawford. Not that anyone would have a "whole lotta love" for the necromancer clan in the first place, but when he'd asked about them sometime ago he only got sour looks and monosyllabic replies. It hadn't been the local Nosferatu that had been driven from the city of course, but, in stark contrast to most of the other clans, the Sewer Rats had a very collective sense of honor.
 
 "Well, that happens." Hernandez continued "And wouldn't be so much of a deal in the long run, we had our sources in there still after all. Hadn't it been for Frankie. See, when the ghost-shit started happening, Frankie decided he'd rather suck Giovanni blood and play "cappo", so he handed them our layouts as a Welcome-gift. He'd been involved in a fair share of our deals, so he knew a lot. Not that much, but enough to give the Giovanni a head start."
 
 The Primogen handed him a printout, holding information on Moore's mortal family, friends and habits along with another photo. Hmm. Moore had a wife. How the hell did he keep his "Honey, I'm a 100 year old ghoul!" secret from her? Hernandez put the dossier away, and turned to Nail
 
 "You know how they say we never forget, right? Well Frankie seems to have forgotten that and it's time to give his memory a little "nudge". That little ghoul has wheeled his way too far for the little bug that he is. We'd like to get him alive, he'll know useful things since he's got such an intimate relationship with the Giovanni nowadays, but if you can't get him out breathing, then just shut him up for good. However!" the elder held up a twisted finger before Nails eyes "This is our business, and ours only. The negotiations aren't just a free ticket into Munroe, the delegation represents the Camarilla, and has its own business there. While no one among the Giovanni is going to cry their eyes out over a dead ghoul, if they do get wind of who's done it, there'll be complications. Make sure they don't. Also, Massicus ain't a fool and will finger you to his sire in an instant if something goes wrong and he learns of this. Make sure he doesn't either. And finally, what the Giovanni can't find, they can't bring back from the grave and ask questions, right?"
 
 Hernandez closed the cabinet and regarded Nail coldly "If you don't think you can handle yourself, I'll get someone else to do it. Think about it if you must, but I haven't got all night."
 
 Elsewhere.
 
 Nook stirred. He shook the cobwebs from his mind. The big one had surprised him, this was uncommon. Normally when Nook was fighting someone he anticipated their moves, seen through their game. He would know from where they'd come even before they did. This one however had disappeared from Nook's mind, as if he were somewhere... else, fighting a different fight... This was unexpected. Unexpected but great. Not many things got through to Nook, but violence was definitely one of them. The other was Pina. And... well, honestly, that was pretty much it.
 
 The other had spoken, asked something. Nook pouted. It wasn't even the fact that he cut his tongue out, or that the voices of half the city were filling his head to the point where he couldn't understand anyone talking to him, it was just that Nook didn't speak English, plain and simple. He meant to move, but realized he'd been tied up. The other one was waiting. Nook frowned at the ties that held him, the way a child might frown at a piece of jigsaw puzzle that just. won't. fit. where it should. But then a noise from outside made that frown turn into a toothy grin.
 
 Bitterman got no answer from the Malkavian, save for a couple of grunts. He was beginning to wonder what he was going to do with him now, he couldn't just leave him dangling there... And then he heard movement from outside the church, a lot of movement. So the crazed bastard wasn't alone, that figured. They were close. Bitterman dived behind a pillar and prepared to vanish from sight as soon as they came into his field of view.
 
 But "they" never did.
 
 Damn! The oldest trick in the book and he'd fallen for it. He spun to where he'd left the vampire. Sure enough, he managed to free himself in the meantime. He was standing there, blood dripping from his claws, as he must've cut himself as well as the cord, but if it caused him any discomfort at all, he gave no sign.
 
 The big one was a few feet away, just beyond Nook's reach, and seemed to ready himself for round two should it come. And while Nook thought that was a marvelous idea himself, he had a different reason for being here tonight. He knew by now this vampire would be suitable for Pina's task. Violence would wait. But he'd remember this one.
 
 Slowly, as if trying not to provoke Bitterman unintentionally, the vampire crouched down and ran an open palm across the marble floor, leaving a bloody smear. Then he made another one. And another. He was... drawing something? Bitterman remained alert though, "Fool me once", asshole. The dreadlocked Kindred meanwhile drew a few crude lines resembling... well, resembling crude lines, what can one expect. But there was something to them, Bitterman realized. What were those supposed to be? Snakes? Fingers? Whatever there was, it was hidden between the lines, in a matter of speaking, rather than being actually portrayed. Bitterman had heard of this, he believed. The Malkavian blood recognized markings made by Malkavians that others would not...
 
 (A skeletal figure) ...what, death? (Keeping it's hand on a heart, no, a house. Houses. A city.) ...a ghost town? the death of a city? What did he... wait, the Giovanni... (Death controlling a city.)
 
 "Munroe?" he asked the crouched vampire suspiciously, and even though there was no answer he knew he was right. So, this had something to do with Munroe. Hmph. Whatever. But he looked again.
 
 (Vipers, four of them.) ...what has this to do with anything? (One wearing a hat. No, a crown. But it was dirty, as if picked up from the gutter. Elevated.) ...did he just think that, or did that crazed asshole made him think it? He'd best be ready for when the madman would get bored with this shit and decides to punk it out again... (The second snake, all in blood. Made of blood.) ...this was stupid, it was all drawn in blood, why was this one bloodier than the rest. But still... (The third all twisted and deformed, with venom dripping from its fangs. Out for a kill. A stalker.) ...Bitterman noticed the sharp piece of wood lying nearby and ever so slowly began moving towards it. And how was that bastard able to draw so much with a bit of blood. (The fourth viper caught his eye.) ...This is bullshit. (Familiar looking that one.) ...complete bullshit. (It had his eyes. He was the fourth one.) ...completely retarded bullshit. Why was he even wasting his time with this. Then the crouching Malk drew a fast, angry line across the previous. (The first three vipers crawled from their nests and to Death's city. They moved with a purpose and Death retreated before them. But then something happened, all had their own purposes and turned on eachother. Death saw it's opening and killed them all. The fourth could prevent it, stop them from loosing their purpose, if it went with them.) The dreadlocked vampire looked at him meaningfully.
 
 "Uhuh. Was that all?" Bitterman snorted. He'd wasted time and blood only to "hear" a crazed vampire's daydreams. Helping a clanmate - if possible - was fine and well, but a lot of Malkavians were simply beyond any help. Well, fine. Alright. There was something to that tale. But even if the lunatic had already forgotten that they'd been at eachother's throats just minutes ago, Bitterman didn't.
 
 Then again, he remembered the drill sergeants and their less-than-safe methods of testing their soldiers' abilities. Is that what this was?
 
 The ragged one stood and held a crumbled piece of paper at an arms length. Bitterman took it from him cautiously and read the brief note. A date, an address and a signature.
 
 In two nights, a small local airport and Victor Pina's name, preceded by the word "Primogen".
 
 Ah hell. Well why didn't he say so. This was a direct order.                        

 

                                                  

Offline [archive] Sodom40280831

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Re: Family Business
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2005, 06:50:00 AM »
                Nail took another good look at the printout while considering if he should go. He had encountered the Giovanni before in Chicago, they gave him the creeps and he didn’t really feel the need to ever meet them again and he certainly didn’t feel like going behind enemy lines with a Ventrue, a Tremere and one of the looney tunes.
 
 But on the other hand, this was probably one of those times where you have to step up to the plate and show your worth and what kind of fun is eternal life anyway if you don’t take a chance every now and then. Besides, how hard could it be to get one asshole ghoul out of the city, this guy even has a wife for god sakes, how tough could he possibly be.
 
 Nail observed the primogen, remembering what Artemis told him “Hernandez may not be the cheeriest guy around but there isn’t another of our kind more suitable for the position of primogen in a city like Cawford.â€? Hernandez always knew what he was doing and Nail guessed that if the primogen thought he was right for the job then he was right for the job.
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Very well, I’ll do it. Any other details I should know about?â€?
                       

 

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Offline [archive] dalver

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Re: Family Business
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2005, 04:09:00 PM »
                The elevator doors slid open and Julian stepped out, he was followed by his aide. Two ghouls and a Kindred, all in expensive suits, were standing in front of two massive mahogany doors.
 
 The Kindred made a sign and the ghouls moved aside and opened the doors. "He is expecting you, sir. You should go right in".
 
 "Wait here" Julian said to his aide then stepped through the doors. The hallway leading to Erics office was long and filled with paintings and statues. Some of them made a symmetry of some sorts that revealed Obfuscated creatures. Some sort of Blood Magic at work. Julian didn't know the details, he just knew it was there and that he didn't need to worry about rats hearing in. He calmly walked on the thick carpet looking at the nice tablieaus and admiring the marble statues. The light was dim.
 
 The doors to Erics office opened and Sorana stepped out. Her hair in a perfect bun, the dark dress impeccable, with long elbow-length gloves and a frown who disappeared as soon as she saw Julian.
 
 "Where the hell have you been? You were supposed to be here after the Council!"
 
 "Got held up by business, dear sister, what else?" he saw her clench her teeth. When used at the opportune moment "dear sister" would get under her skin in the nastiest way possible. This was an opportune moment.
 
 She didn't say anything and Julian realised she was somewhere else... listening to... something. He strained and picked up the conversation between his and her respective "aides", outside the hallway. A charade prepared by Julian. He'd known her aide would convey the story to her mistress, he hadn't counted on Sorana overhearing in person. It made it so much sweeter. The aides right outside the massive mahogany doors leading into Eric Rochers Sanctum. Impossible to hear by human ears but quite easy for Kindred and easier still for Sorana who was notorious for her acute hearing. She had developed the skill to such a degree she could listen to 100 different conversations in a building and sift through them all remembering only that of importance.
 
 His aide was speaking: "Julian was annoyed. He had things to prepare people to call, meetings to set up. He didn't have time for this shit! The deal was supposed to go down next week. Not only did the buyer, the filthy peasant, change the dates with seven days, he also changed the place. Something that made Julian think the buyer was either incompetent, a fed or a cheat. If he was incompetent, he would pay in cash for wasting Julians time, if he was a fed he would have to be persuaded it was only a misunderstanding and be sent on his way back safe and sound to his superiors and if he was a cheat then he would die. It was a delicate deal and no one competent enough to deal with all of the possible scenarios, so Julian had to make a personal appearance.
 
 He had a small convoy of cars. A carfull of tough-guys with shotguns drove in front, then Julians Mercedes then a truck full of guns and finally another car with tough-guys. It made its way to the warehouse-district where the meeting was to take place. Julian had a Toreador bitch clad all in leather with him in the car so she could stake out kindred or snipers or whatever. She didn't see anything suspicious so Julian gave the go-ahead sign.
 
 The car before Julian stopped and the men got out, weapons ready. Two of them came over to Julian and the Toreador bitch, for cover. They stepped over to the waiting pistoleros in the jeeps. A dirty guy sporting a thick moustache with AK wielding thugs all over him seemed to be the head honcho, so Julian started speaking to him. The Toreador took someone back to the truck to inspect the crates. The guy looked pleased and signaled his boss. So the guy with the moustache brought forth all these bags with cash. Julian took a look and wasn't pleased, he wanted another 10 million. The Moustache started screaming and gesticulating and we thought, shit we're going to shoot it out with these losers and it was close. Let me tell you, the pistoleros were wound up, they only needed a spark to explode. But Julian stared the Moustache down, said one word and the Moustache started quivering and saying he was sorry and apologised for the inconvenience. Can you believe that shit?! He apologised for the inconvenience! Then he ordered one of his guys to give us another 7 seven mil! Just like that straight up and down, Julian made them pay" then the aides started a courteus laugh.
 
 "Oh please, you bullied some poor kid into giving you their last lunch money, how amusingly... you" Sorana finally said, not hiding she was listening in.
 
 "I guess that's my cue to leave you to your scheming. As you said, I am unduly late for a meeting"
 
 She took a step then reconsidered and said "You should know Julian, he's sending you away".
 
 Not for the first time, Julian wondered what a swordstrike would do to her head. Probably nothing more than scratch the surface of her perfect skin. Sorana was tall and thin, looked underweight. Impulsive Kindred would underestimate her strength. Nevertheless Julian was quite certain, there would come a time when he would find out inevitably. He returned his thoughts to the matter at hand "Ah, the Munroe deal, of course. I've made arrangements".
 
 The half-second it took her to respond made Julian think that her thoughts also revolved around a sword and his head. They were quite alike after all. "You knew" she put it as a statement not a question.
 
 "Of course. Didn't you?" and with that final blow he left Sorana and entered Erics office without knocking.
 
 This "war of honor" of theirs had been waged for half a century. Of course, Julian knew Sorana wouldn't take a hit without retaliation and he knew she would use the time he was away to undermine his position, unless he left her a "gift of troubles" to keep her occupied. He was still working on that.
 
 Eric was on the phone with someone and he gestured Julian to take a seat in one of the big leathered chairs with sculpted lions-heads and claws. Julian shook his head and crossed the huge office to the enormous windows. He stood there for a time looking out over the city, while his sire was on the phone. It was nearly dawn, but the town was still alive. Sometimes, he wondered if he would miss his "sister" and their animosity, after having ripped out her throat with his fangs.
 
 Finally Eric Rocher joined his childe by the windows and as he stood beside him. Julian took a respectful step back and turned his thoughts back to the business that had brought him there. For minutes they stood there in silence, brooding and gazing upon the city.                        

 

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Offline [archive] Year_of_the_Scarab

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Re: Family Business
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2005, 08:22:00 PM »
                He staggered. With a concentrated effort he kept his jaw clenched until he reached the alley behind the café. It was all he could do to run behind a corner before the contents of his stomach, which was no longer able to contain them, came up to his throat. He coughed violently as the dinner and wine were expelled from his system. He reached for the wall for support as he gathered himself, and for the briefest of moments, he envied the thin blooded fools, who in their weakness could keep the ingested food without an effort, however the thought has passed as fast as it came. It was ridiculous after all. Sure, this ordeal was tiring and humiliating every single time, but if that was the price he had to pay for upholding the illusion, then he'd pay it gladly.
 After all, the information the human has provided him was virtually invaluable, and the Kine were so dependant on going through the motions.
 
 Elsewhere.
 
 There it was again. The taint was strong in the blood - no. #12, taken tonight.
 
 Rebecka put a red string on the sample she'd been testing and put it in the container holding other similarly marked vials. Six, together with tonight's one. This was beyond coincidence, she was certain, some fool was spreading disease among the Kine. It was relatively subtle and had only touched several drug addicts and lowlifes until now, so neither the local Camarilla nor the Kine authorities have noticed yet. But they would, and given the current situation in Cawford's Kindred society, the mortals could be the first to pick up the trail, and that could quickly become a problem.
 
 But this was still only her reasoning, her theory – obvious or not, she would need more evidence than what she had to bring the case before the chantry head. She studied her notes – four of the six had been crackheads, and the drug seemed to have the same approximate consistence in all of their systems. So, same crackhouse or the same supplier perhaps. Hmm. All of the infected samples came from Redbrock, three of which from the shelter on Barrington St. Redbrock didn't have a very good reputation by itself, but the Park slums made the rest of the borough look like Beverly Hills in comparison. Though it definitely was a good place to stay hidden, if one desired to, and if the occasional thug or drunkard disappeared hardly anyone would notice.
 
 So, if there indeed was a disease spreading there, it had to be proven with some more solid facts before the chantry would take action. She would need to do some investigating.
 
 Elsewhere.
 
 After having "told" Bitterman what he'd presumably lead him there to hear, the ragged Malkavian walked out of the church casually, not paying him any more attention. The note still in his hand, Bitterman absently ran a foot across the bloody scrawl on the floor. After all, if he could read it, so could others theoretically. He mused at the though for a moment, and made his way to the exit. Looking at the battered remains of the confessional, he couldn't help but think there were much, much simpler ways of delivering messages nowadays.
 
 He walked through the portcullis and was pocketing the note, still thinking about what he'd seen in that drawing, when a flashing blue light caught his attention. A squad car was parked right in front of his machine. When did the damned cops show up? Then he remembered the tied up Kine – either somebody noticed them and called the police, or the sounds of the church being demolished accounted for that. Either way, he'd better move quickly before...
 
 "Freeze!" the voice came from the other side of the gate, behind him "Put your hands up so I can see them, slowly!" the owner of the voice couldn't be older than in his twenties, and he sounded nervous. "Put your hands up, I said! Rob, get over here!"
 
 Bitterman heard someone running.
 
 Elsewhere.
 
 "Very well, I’ll do it. Any other details I should know about?" Nail asked.
 
 "Good. I'll send someone to pick Moore up once you "secure" him. That way no one will have reasons to get suspicious when you disappear." The Primogen said, and handed Nail the folded map he'd been working on earlier. "We've got our own ways of reaching Munroe, so you'll drop him off at the marked point." That made sense. Nail had been wondering how he'd pass the ghoul to his clanmates, especially since the roads became perilous to Kindred these days. The Sabbat war and increased movement of large groups of undead had somehow attracted the attention of lupines, as some unfortunate fools have learned the hard way mere days ago. This was also the main reason why the delegation was using a plane as a means of transport.
 
 "Now," the elder continued "we don't know who Pina is sending, or if he's really sending anyone in fact. I've had his lapdog trailed ever since he got dispatched after the Council. The last report we have places him somewhere around the South Presbyterian in Augustine, about ten minutes ago."
 
 "We're assuming he's to contact someone there?" Nail asked. The Primogen nodded with mild satisfaction. He hated spelling obvious things out for anyone, and he would've been "disappointed" if he had to do so for Artemis' Childe.
 
 "Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to the Malkavians. But if he was indeed sent to fetch someone, it might be a good idea to take a look. You'll have this Kindred watching your hands for a while. And if he proves as labile as Pina's errand boy, well, at least you'll be prepared. It's your call, but if you do manage to find anything out, let Don or someone at the com know. They'll match you a sheet to that name."
 
 Always go prepared, eh? Nail nodded and turned to leave "Oh, one more thing." the Primogen added on an afterthought "It goes without saying - watch your back around those bastards. And the Giovanni, right? Good. Well go already."
 
 Having sent Nail away the Primogen returned to his chamber and clicked the intercom on.
 
 "Connect me with Rocher." he said to the machine. A moment later a message stating "SchreckNet: secure connection." appeared on the monitor standing on his desk. He pushed the "speaker" button on the phone.
 
 "Raul." came Rocher's voice. He knew who was calling, there were very few individuals who had access to his personal line. Hernandez sat behind his desk and leaned back in his chair, putting his elbows on the armrests and interlocking clawed hands under his chin.
 
 "You'll be happy to hear that as of 2 A.M tonight the city is free of Suahwe. Permanently. Though you'd like to know." the Nosferatu said
 
 "Ah, indeed. I trust no one will ever find out what has really happened?"
 
 "Who do you take us for?" Hernandez replied "I doubt any snakes will come slithering in here looking for him, though even if they do, they'll only learn about how he's had an unfortunate run in with the Sabbat during their attack. So tragic."
 
 "Most excellent. Speaking of which, what's the status on the survivor you've been tracking?"
 
 Hernandez sighed.
 
 "That little Lasombra is proving more trouble than he's worth. He may have to be disposed of altogether." Both he and Rocher were intending to track the Sabbat's source of information which allowed them to infiltrate Lydia's domain, and had earlier decided to capture the Lasombra more or less unhurt to interrogate him for the leak. Truth be told, Hernandez didn't actually write Rocher completely of the suspect list, but he kept those suspicions to himself. And if they did manage to get that Sabbat in one piece after all, well, then he'd see when and if Rocher should know about it.
 
 "Hmm. That is unfortunate." the Ventrue had answered meanwhile "But in the end, he's not our only lead, so it's no tragedy. There reportedly were several 911 calls about a shooting in Chesterfield earlier..." he let the sentence unfinished
 
 "That'd be him." Hernandez confirmed
 
 "Yes, I had assumed as much. The police have been taken care of for the time being, it will be chalked up to gang activity." Rocher said "Well, when he's taken care of, one way or another, we'll have one less problem. As for other matters, I've yet to receive word from the Tremere on their representative to fly to Munroe, though as we know Anna..." they had spoken on this before "Any news on the Malkavian?"
 
 "Working on it. We'll send you a word if anything comes up." Hernandez picked up the faint sound of doors opening on Rocher's end and someone walking in. He didn't appreciate having eavesdroppers, whether Rocher was comfortable with them or not, so after trading a few more words he finished the conversation. There were things to attend to, and he wasted enough time tonight as it were.
 
 There was a saying about knowledge, and it most certainly applied to it's keepers - the Nosferatu were a double-edged sword, Eric Rocher mused, as he walked up to the window his younger Childe was standing by. If one insisted on calling them "the eyes of the Camarilla", then surely those eyes intently observed everything within as well. Raul Hernandez' brood were an invaluable tool, but for every secret they supplied, he felt, they concealed two others at least. Even after working with the Primogen for decades he knew he was being watched and measured for weaknesses. So far he had turned each one into an advantage, and he intended for it to remain that way.
 
 But this wasn't the time for such musings. The "I'll rest when I'm dead" saying didn't apply to Ventrue.
 
 "I trust everything went well? You were going to conclude some business tonight, if my memory serves me right." he said to Julian, still looking through the large window. He knew precisely what, when and with whom his Childe was meeting tonight of course, and Julian for his part knew that he knew. They went through the motions nonetheless.
 
 "Barely worth calling it "business", only a minor transaction." Julian chuckled briefly "And yes, it was concluded without any complications."
 
 The elder smirked ever so slightly at his Childe downplaying his success. Most likely it meant Sorana was in hearing distance, and that she'd know exactly what has happened. Ever trading those small barbs - they were like that. Or perhaps, he made them like that. He was aware of their rivalry, he observed and encouraged it night in night out. Not only did it keep both his Childer focused, but also kept their energy directed outward rather than inward, one must be always wary. The latest turning point in this… stand-off? was him entrusting negotiations with the Giovanni to Julian. His elder Childe wasn't particulary fond of that development, he knew, though she held her posture in his presence, she knew better than to question her sire and Primogen. Still, he would talk to her later and explain – she would believe and he would remain impartial. Direct outward rather than inward. And, regardless, in this particular case, his decision was really neutral. Julian was better fit for the job, even if she had more experience in the long run, since he treaded on common ground with the Giovanni in some... business matters.
 
 "I see. Well, I'm glad nothing will preoccupy your thoughts." The Primogen had spoken with his Childe about the Giovanni deal even before he presented the matter to the Council, as they've both had their own interests in connection with Munroe, which, while not directly colliding with those of the Camarilla in general, were no concern of any of the other clans. Thing was, even though the Giovanni were really cut off from the "family" in Pittsburg, they still had a long arm, particularly in the local weapons market. And while Rocher indirectly and Julian directly held the large share of the Cawford black market, the Italians' influence has repeatedly proven a hindrance, therefore this delegation was a brilliant opportunity for the Ventrue. The Primogen continued
 
 "The reason why I wanted to talk to you tonight is that there has been a slight change in plans." Oh? This was uncommon with Rocher "The newly established Primogen Pina has seen fit to take part in the deal, so a Malkavian will take the place of Ms. Caliori's protégé, as - contrary to our predictions - she hasn't volunteered anyone."
 
 "I see." Julian said, the swapping of a Malkavian for a Toreador didn't make much difference from his point of view. It was something else that he was curious about "What of the Tremere?" he asked. Rocher turned to face him
 
 "Mr. Vielacados won't be accompanying you." Well, this was good "Though seeing as someone will go in his stead you'll do well to be mindful of what is being said. There are certain priorities." Indeed  Ã¢â‚¬â€œ if the Giovanni were removed from the Cawford black market operations, Julian's (and by extension Rocher's influence) would increase by that amount. On the other hand, should the Giovanni come through on their promise of banning the Sabbat from their city altogether, the entire Camarilla would have that much less to worry about. The elder had spoken of priorities, but hasn't named them. Julian realized he was to make the choice which goal to pursue, and carry the responsibility for it. In the end, it came down to this – if he managed to make the Giovanni ally themselves with the Camarilla and recede their business from Cawford without the others realizing that two deals were made, he could consider himself successful. Anything less... well, anything less would be weighted and judged. As he was considering this, his cellphone rang, distracting him. The elder gestured for him to take it.
 
 "By all means." He said with a bemused half smile.
 
 Julian cast a brief glance at the display and rejected the call. Rocher raised an eyebrow.
 
 "Nothing important then I presume." In truth it most likely was important, seeing as his assistant who had called him knew he'd be busy at this time, therefore a call now would mean trouble. Julian had no desire to discuss trouble in the presence of his Sire.
 
 "As I was saying then..." the Primogen picked up where he left. They've talked for a few more minutes, though the most vital things have already been said, and when Julian felt the elder give him the cue he excused himself and left Rocher's office.                        

 

                                                  

Offline [archive] Sodom40280831

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Re: Family Business
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2005, 12:07:00 PM »
                Nail was replaying his assignment in his head while walking through the corridor that led to his haven when he was greeted by Hives.
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“So, are you gonna tell me what that was all about?â€?
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“I’d love to. But the thing is: if I told you I’d have to kill you.â€?
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Really fuckin’ funny mister bigshot. Ah screw you, it probably isn’t all that important anyway! At least not compared to some of the other shit that’s been going on tonight.â€?
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Would any of that shit be happening around the South Presbyterian in St. Augustine by any chance?â€?
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“South Presby…. well now that you mention it we did pick up a message on one of the police scanners about a minute ago, some rookie calling for backup in front of the church. Why do you ask? You got business there?â€?
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Sort of.â€?
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Man fuck that! There’s still some time left before dawn and there’s a big fashion-show in Annsbridge, let’s kidnap one of the models and make her scream her lungs out. It’ll be fun!â€?
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Some other time maybe, I’ve still got some business to attend to.â€?
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Your loss man, see ya around!â€?
 
 Nail was thinking to himself as he watched Hives disappear into the shadows. It would be a real coincidence if that police message had anything to do with whoever Pina’s assistant was contacting. On the other hand, when Malkavians go bump in the night something is bound to go wrong. Nail looked around, the warrens were designed so you could get to any place in the city within the shortest possible amount of time. Getting to the cathedral shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Ah what the hell, curiosity may have killed the cat, but it’s what keeps the rats alive. And if this was an opportunity to learn more about whoever Pina was sending to Munroe Nail would be damned if he passed it up.
 
 A few minutes later.
 
 Nail lifted the manhole-cover to see if the coast was clear. Not a soul in sight. He carefully slipped out of the sewers and into the shadows when suddenly he heard a voice.
 
  “Freeze! Put your hands up so I can see them, slowly! Put your hands up I said! Rob get over here!â€?
 
 For a moment Nail thought someone had spotted him but then he realized the voice was coming from around the corner so he closed in to see what all the commotion was. He saw two figures standing in front of the church, one in police-uniform and pointing a gun at the other’s back. The other was six feet tall, muscular and didn’t exactly look intimidated by the blue boy behind him, probably kindred. Nail suddenly saw another cop running towards the scene. “Well, this should get interesting.â€? Nail thought to himself as he observed the situation from his hiding place.  
                       

 

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Offline [archive] Grendel8101

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Re: Family Business
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2005, 01:46:00 PM »
                Dammit, where the hell are you guys when my shop gets knocked over?
 
 I allowed my senses to flare up and listened.  There were two of them.  The one pointing his gun at me was young, he was using the same deodorant the college kids use.  I heard a light sound in the distance, a metallic scraping.  A man-hole cover.  I put it out of my mind.  One of the cops was calling for back-up.  Never a good sign.  I was going to have to do this quick.  
 
 I hate being rushed.
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Turn around!â€? the officer shouted.  I thought he’d never ask.
 
 I slowly turned around and put on my compliant face.  Oh boy, was he nervous.  His heart was beating like a jackhammer.  This kid was brand-spanking new at this.  He looked me in the eyes.
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“<orange>Put it down</orange>.â€?  I said.  He complied, glancing at his arms stupidly.  He looked back up.  Ã¢â‚¬Å“I’m <orange>no threat</orange>, officer.â€?  He relaxed, his body losing some of the fight-or-flight responses.  His heart slowed.  I stepped closer.  This next part was going to be tricky.
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Back away!â€?  said his partner.  Trouble.  Rookie’s were always pared with veterans.  This guy had seen it all, and hadn’t been too impressed.  His eyes were ice and his gun was steady.  You could set a watch to his heart rate.  His belly said that he was a fan of donuts, but it was hard to argue the point when he has a gun pointed at me.
   
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“<orange>Drop it</orange>!â€? I shouted, putting all my attention behind the command.  He did, and looked at the ground, confused, before diving for his gun.  I stepped forward and kneed him in the ribs, grabbed his hair and slammed my fist in his face.  The fight went out of him.  
 
 Then the rookie shot me three times.  It would have been four, but he was a lousy shot.
 
 Ã¢â‚¬Å“<orange>Sleep</orange>!â€? I yelled, and the kid dropped, unconscious.  The sirens were getting closer.  I only had a few minutes.  I looked the veteran, Rob, in the eyes and started working my mojo.  I made sure he forgot me and my car, and the last ten minutes.  They’d think he blacked out.  I limped my way over to the kid and slapped him awake, probably harder than I had to, but I really hate getting shot.
 
 I replaced his memory of me with a basic description of some gang bangers that like to rob my store in Redbrock.  He’d think the banger had attacked his partner, he’d shot at him, then the punk had come after the punk officer, knocked him out and stole his gun.  It was more complicated than I like, but I was running out of time.  I clubbed him in the head and drank some of his blood to heal my wounds.  I took his gun.
 
 The sirens were a few blocks away when I took off.  I glanced in the rearview.  What a fucking mess.  Me and Pina’s errand boy were going to have a  chat sometime.