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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 4:55 pm Reply with quote
User avatarVentruePosts: 1542Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2003 5:05 pm
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 5:32 pm Reply with quote
User avatarGet your clan name here - PM JuliusPosts: 26Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 9:38 pm
The fat man struck another match, filling the warm evening air with its sulphiric odor. He cupped his trembling hands around the budding flame and with some degree of difficulty managed to light the tip of his cigarette. He shook the match out, pulled hard off his smoke and took another incredulous look at the blazing structure in front of him.

Barely visible behind the shifting wall of flames was one of Mississippi Trading Company's original warehouses, built by the old man himself. The massive building had acted as a staging area for the many of the company's larger shipment. Diego had spent many days here, overseeing the delivery and shipment of bulk cargo from all over the world. Through the smoldering window frames, the fat man could barely make out the gangplank upon which he had spent so many days standing, overseeing the transport of the warehouses many legitimate pieces of cargo as well as some of it's more illicit freight.

And as Diego stood, cigarette in hand, leaning against the hood of his black Cadillac SUV, it was the contraband inside he was found himself most preoccupied with. Mississippi Trading Co. had been running small handguns into Cascadia for some years now, serving as a liason between some of Central America's most notorious gunrunners and the East Coast's most active criminal organizations. He had no idea how the fire had started, but the cold hard reality was that even as the warehouse reduced itself to a skeletal carmelized husk, several hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of handguns were burning away with it. And Diego would be held responsible, if not by the old man then most certainly by Tyler.

The inferno roared fiercly, but even so close to the blaze, Diego could feel the night's chill. He watched as the twisting tendrils of flame licked at the walls of the warehouse, spiraling up the framework to the rooftop and then leaping upward into the nightscape like Icarus, where it performed it's final dance before disappearing into the black sky. The fat man, his once thick black hair now thin and barely covering his exposed scalp, wanted nothing more than to join those liberated flames.

In the distance, faintly audible beyond the fire's roar, sirens wailed. His phone chimed urgently in the front pocket of his slacks, but Diego ignored it. The scream of tires gripping asphalt sounded a short distance away and he turned to address the visitor, already knowing who it was. The Jaguar XKR shimmered in the light of the flames, and sat some distance from Diego, growling ominously in the glow. It's driver was undiscernable in the glare from the blaze, but the fat man was well aware of who it was and what it meant for him.

The engine cut off and Tyler emerged from the car's innards dressed decidedly low key. Gone were the intentional ironies of bygone fashion trends and the flagrant mismatching of patterns, all normally worn to broadcast his confidence, and held together in a tenuous balance by his uncanny good looks and natural charisma. This evenings Tyler was dressed from head to toe in black. From the impossibly polished shoes to the immaculately cut suit, worn without tie of course. A young Ventrue's rebellion.

If Diego thought the mirrored sunglasses worn in the dead of night were a bit gaudy, he made no effort to espouse such an opinion. The flames reflections filled Tyler's sunglasses giving him the appearance of some infernal denizen sent on an unholy mission. He made no move to approach Diego, but merely stood watching the building burn and seemingly waiting on the subordinate to come to him. The sirens were growing louder now, and the fat man knew Tyler's patience wouldn't be sustained for long.

He took a final, remorseful pull from his cigarette and pinched the butt between his thumb and middle finger before flicking it into the blaze. The fire reflected brilliantly off the finely polished black exterior of his Cadillac and an onlooker may have remarked that the fat man standing before it appeared as though he were burning in the very pits of Hell. As Diego finally pushed his substantial weight off the car and approached Tyler, he felt very much that exact same sentiment.



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Haha! Can you believe this relic? He challenges me to a duel and pulls out a sword!! Oh FUCK, that's hysterical. Jules, put one in this fuckin' mummy's brainpan.
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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 7:29 pm Reply with quote
User avatarGet your clan name here - PM JuliusPosts: 26Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 9:38 pm
[i:a3ced62c0e]"...and I can assure the citizens of Cascadia that every effort is being put forth to eliminate gang violence in the city and bring it's perpetrators to justice. Even now, law enforcement officials are working hand in hand with eye witnesses and pursuing several key people of interest in connection with the recent outbursts of gang activities. Mayor Engelhardt and I have been and will continue to work closely with community leaders to apprehend the participants in these latest incidents and return Cascadia's violent crime numbers to the historic lows of that past year. Those that would threaten the peace and tranquility of the Cascadian streets should be put on alert that we will tolerate no further acts of violence and the era of such wanton criminality is over. I'll now take your questions..."[/i:a3ced62c0e]

Luminous green letters spelling 'MUTE' appeared over Police Chief Morrison's pallid face and he performed the remainder of the press conference in a silent pantomime. In the warm confines of his private study, Gabriel placed the remote back onto his desk and turned from the soft glow of the television to look gravely at Tyler. Though his Sire's undead body was unchanging and was supposedly an ashen reflection of the night of his unbirth, there was no doubt that the Elder Ventrue bore the strains of exhaustion. His normally sleek, Scandanavian features appeared drawn and heavy in the dim light the study provided. His vibrant blonde hair, normally cut short nightly, hung loose at his shoulders.

Tyler on the other hand, appeared much as he had at the scene of the arson, sans sunglasses. He leaned casually against one of the study's bookshelves, hands thrust deep into his pockets. But his air of tranquility could not mask what his Sire understood clearly enough. Tyler was feverish with elation at the recent nights of violence and upheaval. Several years of keeping his Childe intimately involved in his nightly affairs had revealed to Gabriel several disturbing traits in the young Neonate.

So far as Gabriel could tell, Tyler was every bit as cunning and capable as any member of the Clan of Kings. Perhaps more so than was usual! The Elder could not recall a charge levied on Tyler that was not met and indeed, excelled at. Corporate takeovers, negotiations, nightly management, prospecting potential, extortion, everything from the grand picture to the minutae...Tyler had displayed a streak of vicious tenacity displayed in few other Clanmates.

But so far Gabriel's august peers were concerned, his Childe lacked the foremost requirement of a Ventrue: ambition. Perhaps blinded by his desire for success or perhaps even by clear arrogance, Gabriel was finally beginning to recognize Tyler for what he was. A creature preoccupied with a singular instance in time: now. Tyler lived night to night and relished in turbulance and chaos. The pillars of control and discipline that had installed the Ventrue at the throne of the Camarilla mattered little to the young Kindred. And so it was with reluctance that Gabriel was coming to realize that Tyler was less equipped to be his protege, and better suited to be his wrecking ball.

At least he was displaying the proper decorum this night as he stood peering with faux concern over the Police Chief's news conference.

[i:a3ced62c0e]"It looks like the blame is being shifted in the right direction."[/i:a3ced62c0e] he said when the silence was no longer bearable.

[i:a3ced62c0e]"That,"[/i:a3ced62c0e] Gabriel's voice was rigid and unforgiving as he pointed a finger at the silent television, [i:a3ced62c0e]"is the result of years of work. And each time we have to make calls to our people in the Department, we have to make calls to our people in the press. And you know something? I don't have many people in the press...which means I have to go begging for favors down in Elysium.[/i:a3ced62c0e]"

[i:a3ced62c0e]"Why? It's not like runaway Gangrel are just our problem."[/i:a3ced62c0e]

[i:a3ced62c0e]"No. But mortals finding out that half our warehouses are holding illegal arsenal is our problem."[/i:a3ced62c0e] Gabriel switched off the flatscreen and returned his focus to his computer screen, [i:a3ced62c0e]"And it's a problem that plenty of the vampires in this city wouldn't mind getting out. So while the Council only has to concern itself with the violence not being tracked back to licks, we have to ensure half these fires aren't looked in to. It's getting unmanageable....and expensive.[/i:a3ced62c0e]"

Tyler looked at the floor for a moment and then took a step towards Gabriel's desk.

[i:a3ced62c0e]"That's why I'm saying we put them down."[/i:a3ced62c0e] he hit his palm with his fist for emphasis, [i:a3ced62c0e]"It's going to be a lot cheaper to wipe these Gangrel out then it's going to be to lose all this cargo and spend the resources covering it up."[/i:a3ced62c0e]

The Elder looked up from the computer screen, his face twisted with disbelief.

[i:a3ced62c0e]"The Camarilla is already flooding the streets with goons."[/i:a3ced62c0e] he motioned towards the bay window behind him and the cityscape beyond, [i:a3ced62c0e]"Why would I risk my own personnel and money?"[/i:a3ced62c0e]

[i:a3ced62c0e]"I'm not saying send a small army in."[/i:a3ced62c0e] Tyler gripped the desk with both hands, leaning over it towards his Sire, [i:a3ced62c0e]"Just let Jade and I handle it."[/i:a3ced62c0e]

[i:a3ced62c0e]"Jade?"[/i:a3ced62c0e] Gabriel echoed. The Elder's first Childe had initially shown great promise and studied closely under his wing, but ultimately her fierce sense of independence had driven her from him. He had received sporadic reports of her activities here and there, but had not saught to contact her, viewing her primarily as little more than failed potential. [i:a3ced62c0e]"What does Jade have to do with this?"[/i:a3ced62c0e]

[i:a3ced62c0e]"Whether she's in the family business or not, she's well aware that the Clan's best interest coincide with her own."[/i:a3ced62c0e] Tyler said, [i:a3ced62c0e]"Besides, there's no other Ventrue in the city equipped to stop a runaway mutt...present company excluded of course."[/i:a3ced62c0e]

[i:a3ced62c0e]"Alright Tyler,"[/i:a3ced62c0e] Gabriel waved him away and returned to his computer screen, [i:a3ced62c0e]"keep yourself occupied however you see fit. What did you find at the pier?"[/i:a3ced62c0e]

[i:a3ced62c0e]"Warehouse 13 burnt to the ground. I contacted the Gills down at Arson and made sure it was written up as an electrical fire."[/i:a3ced62c0e]

Gabriel sat back in his chair, finger arched and peered over the 'steeple' at his Childe.

[i:a3ced62c0e]"There were clawmarks all over the goddamned place."[/i:a3ced62c0e] Tyler said at last. [i:a3ced62c0e]"Definitely Gangrel."[/i:a3ced62c0e]

[i:a3ced62c0e]"And Diego?"[/i:a3ced62c0e]

[i:a3ced62c0e]"Just scared the shit out of him. Told him to install more surveillance cameras and have security work double shifts. Fat man nearly shat himself."[/i:a3ced62c0e] Tyler chortled.

[i:a3ced62c0e]"Alright. Go find out what you can with Jade."[/i:a3ced62c0e] the old man had already returned to his work and seemed only vaguely aware of Tyler's presence, [i:a3ced62c0e]"You kids play nice."[/i:a3ced62c0e]



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Haha! Can you believe this relic? He challenges me to a duel and pulls out a sword!! Oh FUCK, that's hysterical. Jules, put one in this fuckin' mummy's brainpan.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:42 pm Reply with quote
User avatarGangrelPosts: 64Location: Everywhere "they" didn't look.Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 9:41 pm
Cooper swayed with an arrogance that betrayed his lack of experience. His pack leader had left him instructions that had been so exact as to be frankly anal. The youngster stepped from one foot to the other watching the apartment building across the street looking more like a child’s toy than a steely eyed vedette. His focus, if you could call it that did nothing to prevent his alpha from swatting him upside the head from behind, sending him stumbling into the beam of the streetlight with an audible curse.

‘Fuck, man! What was that for?’ He stammered, mouth shutting as a battered old bat swung, stopping short of knocking his fangs out.

‘Zip it, cochise. I paid you to keep watch, not practice your fucking weeble impersonation! What’s the deal?’

Cooper’s eyes went wide then he stuttered, ‘Th-th-they’re inside! Ya want me to get the others together?’ His alpha didn’t need to answer, Cooper scurried off in search of the rest of his pack.

Inside the apartment a group of Gangrel had massed, most carrying guns of various descriptions, those that didn’t didn’t need them. At the head of the gather sat Gallagher. His emaciated, spidery frame belied the fact that, should he decide to, there were few that could stop him tearing an arm off a rival. And fewer still that would question him if he should. He mouthed wordlessly to the others, gesturing with one hand holding a brick of cocaine. The meaning was obvious to the figures watching through the window, Gallagher was about to deliver a shipment that would net him the lion’s share of the drug running operations in this end of the city.

Satisfied that enough time had passed, the alpha nodded to his pack, ushering them to move in.

Gallagher’s face immediately darkened and became drawn, adding to his spidery visage as he recognised the uninvited guests.

‘What the fuck are you doing here, Finn?”



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:29 pm Reply with quote
User avatarVentruePosts: 1542Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2003 5:05 pm
The apartment door swung open to seemingly infinite blackness and the heavy odor of cigarette smoke. He stepped inside, instinctively threw his keys on the foyer table and let the door fall shut behind him. Vaguely discernable in the shadows were the familiar shapes of the furniture in the living room. The long, leather couch shone like polished steel, eagerly catching what little light could penetrate the slatted venetian blinds that covered the windows.

A single ginger pinpoint accompanied by that familiar crackle of tobacco chased the darkness from Jade's face, her features soft and velvet. She peered through the darkness at Tyler, who took a seat next to her.

[i:e30fd0399e]"Are they still there?"[/i:e30fd0399e] he asked, his own eyes scanning the rain-soaked streets that lay outside the window. He swiped the half-empty pack of smokes up from the coffee table at his knees and plucked a cigarette out. Jade offered him her Zippo.

[i:e30fd0399e]"Near the corner. Red van."[/i:e30fd0399e] she said.

Tyler's eyes swept over the row of cars parked opposite his apartment building and finally settled upon the red van in question. Older style work van. At least 20 years old and suspiciously devoid of dings or scratched paint. Typical stakeout car.

[i:e30fd0399e]"You think they're cops?"[/i:e30fd0399e] he asked as he lit his cigarette, cupping his hand over the flame to disguise the light.

[i:e30fd0399e]"Cops would be the safest option."[/i:e30fd0399e] Jade sounded...stimulated. Her smooth, milk-white calves lay exposed in the dim light. The easy lines of her legs racing from her ankles to just above her knees, and the delights that hid beneath the silken confines of her Thai nightgown. From beneath heavy lids, her emerald eyes met his. [i:e30fd0399e]"Did you talk to him?"[/i:e30fd0399e]


Last edited by Gabriel on Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:16 pm Reply with quote
User avatarGangrelPosts: 64Location: Everywhere "they" didn't look.Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 9:41 pm
‘You know why I’m here, Gallagher. You got something I want. Something I’m gonna take with or without your consent.’

‘Only thing you’ll be taking, boy, is your worthless carcass outta here! Now fuck off!’

Finn growled at Gallagher’s increasingly arachnoid smile. ‘Told ya, Gallagher. With or without....’, the signal more mental than physical prompted Finn’s coterie to act. A moment passed and the gather were surrounded, Finn snatched the baseball bat from Cooper’s fingers, swinging it almost invisibly at Gallagher’s face. The elder Gangrel winced as the wooden makeshift club shattered against his face, sending wooden rivulets into the air. Gallagher’s face darkened as though bruising, but his skin remained intact.

‘That all you got boy? Stop wasting my time, I ain’t gonna fight you, be more sport chasing a retard. Now I’ll say it again, fuck off before I tell yer pop what kinda shit you’re tryin’ to pull!’, there was a pause as Finn’s eyes widened. ‘Yeah you heard me son, I know who your sire is. Fact is, its knowing him that’s the only thing stopping me from eating your fucking heart!’

Finn spat ‘Don’t let that fucking stop you, you fucking freakish cunt!’ He slashed at Gallagher, claws outstretched. The Elder swatted his attack away before rabbit punching him across the room. Finn rolled to his feet and grabbed a shotgun from one of his pack. The incendiary round flashed into life as it left the barrel, peppering Gallagher with sparks before pushing him to the floor. His clothes smouldering, much like his anger, Gallagher tore his jacket clear. Revealing four, twisted vestigial arms that erupted at irregular points across his abdomen. The elder Gangrel growled, the limbs weeping a sticky ichor as he made his move. Finnfired the shotgun until it lay spent on the floor, Gallagher’s now horrendous form sending him tumbling over a table into a heap, the table legs snapping with the impact. As Gallagher weaved around the debris, Finn grabbed the sharper of the broken table legs and brought it up into Gallagher’s chest, both arms driving it home.

‘Gotcha ya dirty, freakish bastard!’, Finn bellowed before his audience. ‘Cooper, get me the gas can....’



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:07 pm Reply with quote
User avatarGangrelPosts: 64Location: Everywhere "they" didn't look.Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 9:41 pm
Gallagher spat gasoline in a venomous lungful at the fierce eyed Gangrel, forcing Finn to wipe clots of the foul fuel from his face. He growled before reaching into Cooper's coat pocket for a zippo.

'Ok you got me, boy! I'm listenin'.' The spidery Elder grunted in disgust.

'Yeah thought that'd get your attention, dick. Aren't you gonna ask me what it is that I want? No? Fine, fuck it.' The zippo jolted alive in his white, grime stained fingers before spiralling to the floor like the drunken tail of a comet. As its path crossed the vapour trail from the gasoline it sent a silent shiver of excitement through the air as the fuel ignited.

Finn's pack left the outraged and horrified Gather with exactly what he'd come for. Reputation and whispers. He smiled to himself, remembering Gallagher's face as the fire was extinguished almost as soon as it erupted. Quick enough to spare the arachnoid Gangrel. Not quick enough to spare his reputation or save face nor stop him from losing members to the silver eyed youth.

Gallagher's soot covered face bellowed as Finn left, his pack swollen with new recruits.



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:49 pm Reply with quote
User avatarVentruePosts: 1542Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2003 5:05 pm
Tyler snubbed his cigarette out into the crystal ashtray and rose from the couch. Walking into the adjacent kitchen, he almost had to laugh at how easily he had been ensnared by the undead vixen. She had re-emerged into his life like a weed and quickly entangled herself into his every affair. Yes. Definitely a weed. Like a beautiful, scented, desireable weed.

He popped the cap off the half empty bottle of Bushmills and snatched a clean tumbler from the cupboard. The mouth of the bottle chimed happily against the tumbler's lip and he watched as the liquour spilled into the cup. He lifted the glass to eye level and held it out towards the kitchen window, eclipsing his view of the streetlamp outside and illuminating the liquid in the process. He watched the swirling, twisting oils dance in the tumbler and then took a sip, letting the spirits burn on his tongue.

[i:ccee2dba7a]"Well, what did he say?"[/i:ccee2dba7a] Jade's cherubic face regarded him quizzically from the couch.

That kimono was killing him. It had played much the same role on the night she had re-entered his unlife. That exilerating cocktail of desire and urgency that had ultimately sent the two Kindred careening through the doorway of this very apartment, tearing and pulling at one another like wild dogs. Tyler could recall with fond accuracy how he had laid out on her bed afterwards, utterly spent and pulsating when Jade had reappeared at the bathroom door, the kimono in question draped sublimely over her vuluptuous body. The mere sight of it had stirred his exhausted body back to life and he fell upon her once more. His standard demeanor of disaffection with women, his ability to use them and forget them, his habit of being in utter control more or less, was instantly forgotten. With it came a certain awareness, and even as he took her in his arms he felt himself unravelling, like a dandelion losing its fibrous petals to the wind.

[i:ccee2dba7a]"Tyler?"[/i:ccee2dba7a] she said, stooping to meet his transfixed gaze, [i:ccee2dba7a]"What did he say?"[/i:ccee2dba7a]

Tyler's face went flush as he related their Sire's indifference to their meddling in Gangrel affairs, an indifference that amounted to tacit permission.

The cigarette once more rested on the gentle pink hue of her lips as he turned to face the window. Something in the shadows of her face unsettled Tyler, but he ignored it.

[i:ccee2dba7a]"So where do we start?"[/i:ccee2dba7a] she asked, but Tyler see by the intensity that shimmered in her eyes that she was antcipating his answer. More than that, she was hungry for it.

[i:ccee2dba7a]"We start where the action is. In the streets."[/i:ccee2dba7a]



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:05 pm Reply with quote
User avatarVentruePosts: 1542Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2003 5:05 pm
A queer look lingered on Jade's face for a moment and then exploded into raucous bouts of laughter that rolled over Tyler like a red carpet. Her supple frame rippled pleasantly as she howled, a shaking finger pointed towards Tyler.

[i:b56010cbfb]"What?"[/i:b56010cbfb] he asked.

[i:b56010cbfb]"Y..you....you really want to be a private detective don't you?"[/i:b56010cbfb] she asked in between guffaws. Her brows knit together and she clenched her chin in an expression of mock grit, [i:b56010cbfb]"Lets take to the streets. They can be mean, them streets. But they're the only streets I know. Tyler P.I. Pussy Inspector!"[/i:b56010cbfb]

Tyler slammed the final belt of whiskey and stalked past the couch, snatching up his coat as he went.

[i:b56010cbfb]"Shut up and get dressed."[/i:b56010cbfb] he grumbled, trying to seem angrier than he was.

[i:b56010cbfb]"Oh, oh! Can I be the femme fatale?"[/i:b56010cbfb] she was already rushing towards her bedroom, [i:b56010cbfb]"I think I have an old suit and wide brimmed hat. We'll just need to pick me up a cigarette holder!"[/i:b56010cbfb]

Her laughter echoed through the apartment as she changed and emerged dressed more contemporary than her threat. A simple black tank top clung invitingly to her torso, her ponytail spilling over one milky shoulder. Intentionally faded jeans matched wtih running shoes completed the look surprisingly discreet look. Within moments they were stepping out the door, her face streaked with tears.

[i:b56010cbfb]"If you're done..."[/i:b56010cbfb] he threw an accusatory look over his shoulder, [i:b56010cbfb]"I think I know someone who may have some insight."[/i:b56010cbfb]

[i:b56010cbfb]"Nyeah! Leads!"[/i:b56010cbfb] she said in her best Edward G. Robinson, [i:b56010cbfb]"Listen here you mugs, we want the scoop and we want it all. Otherwise Mr. Tommy Gun here is gonna give that $2 dollar suit of yours a few extra ventilation holes! Nyeah!"[/i:b56010cbfb]



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:09 am Reply with quote
User avatarMalkavianPosts: 44Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 7:03 am
Twisting and turning unable to sleep, do the voices ever stop? My thoughts speaks louder the more I resist and they’re driving me insane, sometimes I wonder if they will ever go? Deep Inside I know I represent a danger to myself, being a prisoner of my own shattered world.

It’s almost like being lost without ever going away and yet I can’t seem to find my way home. Another night settles in as quickly as it goes, my memories fade in shadows and ink on a page. I thought I knew Lane well, but truth is I knew shit, I have seen the world through her eyes and it made me sick. Questioned all of her answers, they were lies. But now that I have time to think about it, was she really wrong?

I know I am losing the battle I waged on myself, so I locked myself up and tossed the key. The attic felt like the right place at the time, all I wanted was a better state of mind, something more than this, something more than me. It took a while for me to realize that all these voices, sick games and violent mood swings are not a disease nor a curse, it is as I am part of a madness that only begs to be set free, my sibling understood it as will I.

The world became cold, children’s crying as they’re parents were murdered in the middle of this war, how many of us held the hand of our best friend and watched them drift away in death? Some might say we’ve done the wrong thing by enabling the city gangrel to venture this far before any retaliation.

Personally, I believe the problem is obvious, the solution is another story, each side has their reasons but who is really right ?

[i:cd53b41b0b]Lost without ever going away, I need answers.[/i:cd53b41b0b]



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:35 pm Reply with quote
User avatarVentruePosts: 1542Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2003 5:05 pm
Tyler eased the car into an alleyway adjacent to an empty tenement building and a heavily barricaded convenience store. The tenement building, it's empty windows staring out over the ghetto like vacant eye sockets, was tall enough to envelope the alleyway in shadows and make the luxury vehicle nearly invisible from the street. Tyler and Jade stepped into the street and took stock of their surroundings.

The Docks District of Cascadia was a series of neighborhoods beset by a cancerous blight that no politician or administrative official could tackle. It was 20 city blocks of decay and depravity that sat like a festering wound on the face of an otherwise revitalized metropolis. From Port Street, where Cascadia's organized crime dealt illicit goods and narcotics, to Fleet Road, where a raucious party of men could rent a woman's body as easily as they would a movie, the Docks District was little more than a collection of criminals and the civilians that were either to addicted or too impovrished to get away.

Tyler took a cautionary glance over his shoulder at his car and was relieved to find he could barely make it out in the darkness. He could see little more than the dull outline of a dumpster that stood silent like an ancient sentinal and the incandescent stare of a rat as it halted it's scavenged to peer suspiciously at the interlopers.

[i:d80903063e]"Well, here we are. In the streets."[/i:d80903063e] Jade said, warranted a hard stare from Tyler that warned her his good humor had run out. She added quickly, [i:d80903063e]"Who are we here to see?"[/i:d80903063e]

Tyler was already striding down the sidewalk and Jade hurried to keep pace.

[i:d80903063e]"An old friend of Gabriel's. A sewer rat from the old nights. This is his part of town."[/i:d80903063e]

Jade stared at the crumbling architecture that lined the street. Flop houses and drug dens literally deteorating before it's cities eyes. Denizens of the neighborhood stood on the corners, hooded sweatshirts pulled far over their faces, hands deep in the pockets of their jeans. Prostitutes and pimps fluttered in and out of the lamplight like moths, approaching cars and plying their trade. Ugly as it was, she couldn't imagine this neighborhood didn't scream potential for any enterprising young Kindred.

[i:d80903063e]"The new hierarchy let him keep his hunting grounds?"[/i:d80903063e] she asked.

[i:d80903063e]"Even the Camarilla can't invade a city and depose a Prince without the help of the local Nosferatu."[/i:d80903063e] they passed a couple screaming in the street, the woman slapping furiously at the man, who returned her attacks with a disinterested stare, [i:d80903063e]"I'm sure he earned his way."[/i:d80903063e]

They turned the corner at the end of the block and headed south, towards the mouth of the Cascadian Bay. The street dipped here into a steep hill that raced downward into the bay. Jade could make out the rooftops of all the buildings that lined the street. A procession of darkened structures marching towards the water's edge. Clotheslines, makeshift antennas, and a dizzying collection of wiring blanketed the buildings like some massive, multicolored spiderweb. Several blocks further down, a patrol cars lights splashed the barren nightscape with swaths of color.

[i:d80903063e]"So where are we supposed to meet him?"[/i:d80903063e] Jade asked, her hand subconciously resting on her messenger bag and the pistol within.

Tyler pointed at the rooftop of the apartment house on the opposite side of the street. Through the ever-present haze she could barely make out the shabby outline of a rat, watching them intently.

[i:d80903063e]"Generally the sewer rats find you. We're just making our presence known."[/i:d80903063e]

Further down the street, brake lights flared as a car pulled up to the sidewalk. Bathed in the nearby streetlamps acrid glow, the Oldsmobile looked ancient and sinister. It's dull yellow coat was patched with rust, and it sat sputtering a low, feral grumble. A hooker stepped into the streetlamps halo of light. Her movements alone betrayed her age every bit as much as the growing paunch that fell out of her dingy, purple tube top. Her hair hung in greasy ringlets around her face, a cigarette protruding from her fish-like lips.

She approached the drivers side with an air of practice and leaned in. For a moment, the pair could hear the muffled sound of negotiations taking place and then all at once, the woman backed up, the cigarette tumbling from her lips and spilling down the front of her pudgy torso. As Tyler watched in astonishment, an arm rocketed out of the car window like a branch and took hold of the strippers lower lip. Her eyes buldged wildly from their sockets for moment. The hand swiftly yanked down on her lower lip and the skin gave way, tearing in a strip from her mouth to her collar bone. A sickening shredding sound filled the street as the skin peeled away like wallpaper, revealing the shimmer of muscle and bone beneath the woman's face. Dark, arching torrents of blood erupted from the wound and now the pain must have awoken her from her stupor. She stumbled backward, her hands gripping the area where her throat had just been. Her torso was already slick and black with blood when she found her voice. Long, bellowing howls filled the street as she watched her life spill out in thick, membranous splats on the asphalt. Finally, her legs gave, and she collapsed like a marrianette whose strings have been cut.

The acrid sensation of blood magic permeated the air as Tyler and Jade both bolted at inhuman speeds towards the car. Tyler reached the drivers side door and grabbed the occupant by the collar of his workshirt. Simultaneously, Jade launched herself into the air, bypassing the rear section of the Oldsmobile entirely and landed squarely on the roof of the vehicle, pistol gripped between both hands. The barrel of the gun rested squarely on the aluminum roof above the drivers head. Tyler jerked the man's face towards the open window into the light. He was a middle aged black man, his face hard but unassuming. Flecks of gray dotted the man's hair. He appeared normal enough, but Christ did he [b:d80903063e]smell[/b:d80903063e]! The car's interior reeked of a mixture of feces and the wet smell of decayed vegetation. The came rolling over Tyler in angry, powerful waves and he had to stop breathing to avoid getting light headed.

[i:d80903063e]"Is there a problem officer?"[/i:d80903063e] the man asked, his eyes wide and curious.

[i:d80903063e]"You sick fuck. I'm going to do to you, what you did you her..."[/i:d80903063e] he growled, the Beast begging...no [b:d80903063e]pleading[/b:d80903063e] to be released.

[i:d80903063e]"Did to who?"[/i:d80903063e] the man responded, his voice shaky with fear now.

[i:d80903063e]"TO HER!"[/i:d80903063e] Tyler roared, turning and pointing towards...

But the body of the hooker was not there. He found himself pointing at an empty stretch of darkened road. No corpse, no blood. Only the silent repose of the night.

He turned back to the man and gasped. His hand flew from the man's collar and he stumbled backwards. The face peering out at him from the window was no longer human. It vaguely resembled something that may have been human...once. It appeared as though someone had callously smeared sculptor's clay over a deformed skull. The thing's skin was sallow and leathery, and draped at odd angles over it's face. In places, exposed bone protruded, a horrid pallid yellow. One glimmering obsidian eye regarded him caustically, the place where the other eye should have been was a massive, tumerous collection of overlapping tissue. The creature's great maw opened, revealing a startling collection of rotted teeth, placed in no detectable order. It spoke, it's voice hoarse but clear despite it's dental misgivings.

[i:d80903063e]"You Blue Bloods always were the White Knights..."[/i:d80903063e]

Tyler approached the window once more but chose once more, [b:d80903063e]not[/b:d80903063e] to breathe. He motioned to Jade to come down, her she knelt perched, her finger carressing the trigger of her pistol.

[i:d80903063e]"Come on Jade, it's just Drain being an asshole. As usual."[/i:d80903063e]



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