Touraine, France. Deep beneath the northernmost pilan supporting a massive chateau built astride the Riber Cher....
February 8, 2019, independent of any story lines that have heretofor been writtem.....
Deep beneath the Chateau de Chenonceau and eye opened. The eye surveyed a stone chamber lit by one perpetual flame. A mouldering Norwegian Forest cat lay at the foot of a large four poster bed with equally mouldering bed linens. A second eye joined the first in opening.... it locked on three small portraits, one was a diminuitive woman of Egyptian descent, inhumanly beautiful; another was a red headed woman, clearly of Scottish descent...this one appeared more introspective, also with a swashbuckler’s grin; a third of a Renaissance man... clearly English. He wore the Red Rose of Lancaster. He too had a piratical gleam to his eyes.
She turned to the crumbling noise of a ghoul cat waking up from a long slumber. She coughed. Her aged eyes saw dust, bits of dead spiders, amd other yuck come out. She wondered..... “Anyone out there?”
He set the quarterly financial report aside for the sixth time in so many minutes and turned towards the office window. There was little to see.
His back ached and his temples throbbed savagely. He was, of course, completely aware of the impossibility of such physical ailments given his state. But real or imagined, they nagged at him all the same. Menial drudgery was the likely culprit in his estimation. Banished by the regional Stratetgoi to some obscure backwater burg, charged to spend nights innumerable managing the mundane affairs of some peripheral Ventrue holding.
And for what? What charges had been levied against him? What were his crimes? A mere decade of audaciousness?
In his stilled heart he was acutely aware that his choices had often lacked the deft, tactful prudency that his bloodline so often touted, but then again how many of them had strode in his shoes? Did they have a demonic Dark Prince with a torture fetish to report to nightly? Had they traveled the globe trying to wrench Noddist macguffins from the claws of Red List alumni? A shard of pain returned to his temples, where it pulsed merrily in self-pleased craptitude.
A perfunctory knock at the office door before it opened.
"Hey boss, bean counters are here and ready to go over financials."
He didn't respond, but rather hooked a finger round one of the cheap vinyl blinds that shielded his window, running a critical eye down the length the street below.
"Does anyone in this town own a trenchcoat?" he wondered aloud. No answer from his subordinate at the door who was clearly accustomed to this routine. "Or a katana? I haven't even seen a single ponytail or motorcycle in this place. No one dual wields anything. There's no explosions. No gunfights. No melodrama at all! And I've been here how long?"
"Ten years boss." the reply was immediate and rehearsed.
"Ten fuckin' years." he repeated, punctuating the sentiment with a long, unneeded sigh. He turned with an almost visible air of resignation and fished the financial documents from his desk. "Lets go meet the accountants."
_________________ Money can't buy you friends, but it can buy you a better class of enemies.
Eveshka cruised along the A4 coming in to Hoofddorp, a smallish but developing market town south of Amsterdam, in some stupidly and unnecessarily fast vehicle of obscene value. Eve couldnt be bothered to even stop off in Paris. She considered it, but couldn’t bring herself to go back. Measha was gone. Tiffany was gone. Julius was gone. Khemintiri was gone. Fuckin everyone was gone. Maybe they never were. Wouldn’t that just be amusing. Eve remembered that she had a childe living in Amsterdam. Jan. Van Buskirk. She recalled when she turned him. Spring 1664. He was a purchasing agent for the VOC. The Ventrue were courting him for admission into their ranks. Last Eve heard, he was a high falluting corporate attorney at some faceless international conglomerate in Amsterdam. Eveshka simply thought he was too perfectly formed to be a Ventrue. The Ventrue evidently thought he was too talented to not hire for their own interests. Shrewd business dealigs were an art after all.... or so the raven haired siren rationalized.
She had sent an email to him a week prior, before she left Chenonceau. He responded. He gave her an address to meet him, 5 Zeedijk, Amsterdam. He said she’d find it amusing. Eve pulled into a massive car park along the Amstel. It had been years since she’s even bothered to “shine it on”. She was a Toreador Methuselah; she’d faced down unspeakable horrors in her day without batting an eye. Yet here she was looking at her reflection in the mirror nervous as hell. She was older than fuck. Unarmed. And frankly, she was fucking annoyed that she was roused from her torpor.
“Neuk het,” she muttered, swinging her legs outaide the car. With a groan she stood up and surveyed the scene. Not much to see. Eve was dressed rather inconspicuously, with her hair in a pony tail. She alighted and walked past Centraal Station, past the sillt canal boat cruises, and stopped cold when she found her way blocked by a few street urchins. Pick pockets. This was simply ridiculous. They were clearly Romani. Nobody paid any attention, it was dark, well lit, well populated. They DID take notice when four young men sprinted headlong into a canal, having had the suggestion put into their heads by... well, by Eve truth be told.
Eve made a left and headed towarss Sint Nikolaas Basilica. She stopped and looked at the street sign. Zeedijk. There were still quite a few people on thw street, it was just after midnight. She stopped in front of #5 Zeedijjk. She laughed. “Hert Elfde Gebod” the Eleventh Commandmant. And then it dawned on her. Three hundred years ago, the place was known by a different name.... and it was where she had first met Jan. She laughed and walked in.
It was a typical “bruin cafe” called that from centuries of nicotine stains. The beautiful carved woodwork still lines the place. And there he was. “Jan!” She cried as she saw him stand up. All talking in the place stopped. She unintentionally awed every mortal in the place. Come to think of it, she awed the nonmortals as well..... all but one.
“Oh. My God.” She said in English. Next to Jan sat Gabriel.......
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