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Thread: Vampire (IC)

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    The Vampire IC Thread

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    Vampric society within Chicago is best understood in the context of Tremere vs Giovanni - a cold war transported from Italy to the New World almost completely in tact. Other bloodlines move within the city, of course; the Brujah for instance have a presence near the Waterfront, a number of Ventrue have homes in the higher end districts, and it's all but impossible to keep Malkavians out of anywhere - but the Tremere and Giovanni are the largest, and the most visible (at least, by Vampiric standards).

    It's a delicate balance of power. The Tremere, for their part, seem to represent the Camarilla within the city. They have their support, but must also follow their rules. The Giovanni, on the other hand, can play somewhat fast and loose with the Camarilla and the Masquerade. A number of high-ranking Mafioso are aware that the Giovanni are pulling their strings (and those of Law Enforcement) for example, and the clan often freely embraces from them. But as long as the Giovanni continue to honor their centuries-old pact not to engage in Jyhad, the Camarilla (and, by extention, the Tremere) honor their promise not to exterminate them - barring, of course, any serious breach of Masquerade, but the Giovanni always seem to stop just short of that. It's in this fashion that Chicago finds itself the dueling grounds of two of the most magically gifted Clans.

    It's no surprise then, given this state of affairs, that the Prince the Camarilla choose to recognize is from the Tremere clan. Her name is Lady Vanessa Wellington and she rules much as any other Vampire might - through secret alliances, back ally dealings and the occasional show of brute force. Within her own clan she carries the rank of Pontifex, meaning that she answers only to the Elders (and, of course, to any Camarilla strong enough to force her to answer).

    Julia has been led to believe that Lady Wellington is her Great-Grand-Sire, or perhaps Great-Great-Grand-Sire. The details are muddled and her own sire, having been ordered to Embrace her rather than selecting it for himself, has made his displeasure with the act known by actively neglecting her education. No member of the clan has moved to "correct" his deviance - it seems having plucked Julia from the Giovanni's grasp, they are content to let her dangle.

    It's good, then, that Julia had Doug. The elder (though not by much) vampire felt responsible for her, in an odd sort of way. After all, it was he who brought the Giovanni's plan to the Tremere's attention, and while the latter may have not been entirely sure why the Giovanni wanted Julia, they seized the opportunity to strike a blow against them.

    So Doug taught Julia what little he knew about Vampric society. It seems to have been sufficient, for the younger vampire is still alive (or whatever semblance of life she can muster) and has even managed to pry some of the secrets of the Magical Arts from her elders' cold, dead hands.

    Perhaps having known how it feels to be introduced into the Masquerade without guidance, and perhaps investing in a future power base from which to wrest power from her own Grand-Sire, Julia has taken careful note whenever new kindred are embraced and has stepped in where their sires fail, offering knowledge and comfort in exchange for small favors.

    Tonight is a Friday in late Autumn. The cold of the Windy City no longer bothers you, and the longer nights are welcome. It's nearing midnight, where are Julia and Doug?
    Last edited by Chain; 2013-09-23 at 07:18 PM.
    You don't win the Game of Death by dying first. The name is misleading.



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    Julia stands at her office, looking out at the city's skyline. All that she saw belonged to her Great-Grand-Sire, but hopefully that would soon change. Plans were already in motion, the beginning of which was her helping the disenfranchised. Though, she couldn't help but admit that they had become more than just pawns to her. Regardless of what some might think, she wasn't that cold-hearted.

    And at least she was better than those damned Giovanni. She hated that Lady Wellington allowed those depraved necrophiliacs to darken Chicago's streets. And the way they so flagrantly flaunted the line sickened her. When she came to power, she would honor the pact, and not exterminate them. But she would drive them out of her city.

    She turns and goes to her desk, checking to see if she has any appointments for the night. If so, she has her secretary show the first one in.

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    Ms Saunders? a timid voice says over your speaker phone. It's Kathy, one of the secretaries employed by the office building you rent space from. She's nice enough, you're given to understand that she has a daughter who just started preschool. A rather distressed young man is here. Normally I wouldn't bother you but he's asking for you by name. She lowers her voice and whispers into the phone do you want me to call the cops?
    You don't win the Game of Death by dying first. The name is misleading.



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    She sits down behind her desk, and checks that her pistol is in the top drawer, as always. "No, that's quite all right, Kathy. Send him in."

    She looks to the door and waits for him to enter.

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    ... Yes m'am. Kathy replies. Her tone says "I think this is a bad idea" but she buzzes in your guest in any case.

    You recognize him immediately. He's a Brujah named Mikey. A thug who picked a fight with his Sire in a bar and got embraced to "preserve his spunk" of all things. Mikey's got dark skin, a shaved head and a nose stud. He's wearing a cut-off denim jacket (really? people still wear denim jackets?) that show off numerous tattoos. It's no wonder that Kathy was nervous, he's a far cry from most of your clientele who visit wearing tailored suits. You don' think Mikey's ever seen a tailored suit, except of course the ones you wear.

    Oh hell, Julia, I'm in trouble. And I know you said not to visit you in your office but I'm in really, really big trouble.
    Last edited by Chain; 2013-09-23 at 09:19 PM.
    You don't win the Game of Death by dying first. The name is misleading.



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    She took a deep breath, despite not needing to. Sometimes the habits of life die hard, and she found it therapeutic. "What kind of trouble? What happened?"

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    Mikey pulls up short What? Like, here? There isn't somewhere, ya know, a little more... Masquerade-y to talk?
    You don't win the Game of Death by dying first. The name is misleading.



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    Doug is at home, in his darkroom, developing a few photos from his last investigation. He carefully lowers the film into the chemicals, and hanging up the finished photos to dry. once that's done, he steps out of the darkroom, into his small apartment that he shares with Amanda, his ghoul.

    He looks around until he finds her, and musters up a smile. She was one of the few people in his life that made him feel like it was worth living. "The shots from the Henderson case are drying right now. Could you deliver them to Mrs. Henderson tomorrow? I'm sure she won't be happy with what I found."

    He takes a seat and looks up at her. "Anything else going on tonight?"
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    "Oh, it's that kind of trouble. I should have known. Don't worry about it, we'll see if Doug will let us borrow his place so that we can talk."

    She picks the phone up off her desk and dials Doug's cell number. "Doug, it's Julia. Would you mind if I dropped by for a bit? There's some business that needs taken care of."

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    Doug

    Actually, I, um, didn't schedule anything else for the rest of the night Amanda takes the opportunity to slip into your lap. She smiles coyly and rests her head on your shoulder The Henderson case was such a long one. I figured your next one can wait until tomorrow night. And in the mean time we could...

    It's at that second that your cell phone rings. It's the distinctive ring you've set to go off when Julia calls. Amanda sighs, frowns and moves off your lap so that you can fish it out of your pocket.
    You don't win the Game of Death by dying first. The name is misleading.



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    Doug looks away from Amanda as his phone rings. "Just a moment, love."

    He answers it quickly. "Hello? Oh, sure, come on over. I'll see you when you get here."

    He hangs up and looks back to his ghoul. "Julia's coming over, and sounds like she's bringing someone who needs help. I'm sorry about the short notice."
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    Julia

    Doug? That detective guy? Good idea! Yes! Lets rally the troops!


    The drive over is a short, but awkward one. A quick ring to Kathy is all it takes to have your chauffeur pull the car around, but Mikey is clearly unclear on the idea of having a chauffeur. He keeps trying to tell the poor man where to go, as if he were a common taxi driver.

    Less than half an hour later, you find yourself on Doug's doorstep.

    Doug
    Amanda 'harumphs' in a non-committal fashion. I understand. Go save the world, or the under world, or whatever. I'm going to bed, since I don't sleep all day. She kisses you lightly on the cheek and retires to your bedroom.

    You hear Julia's car pull up outside less than half an hour later.
    You don't win the Game of Death by dying first. The name is misleading.



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    Julia simply gives a half smile, and tells Mikey to relax. Once they arrive at Doug's apartment, she thanks her Malkavian friend for allowing them to come basically unannounced, and has a seat.

    "Now, Mikey, we're somewhere isolated and safe. Feel free to talk here. We're all Kindred, after all." She smiles, but not too sweetly. She wants to be known as someone who helps the downtrodden, but she doesn't want to lay it on too thick either, and have them think of her as two-faced.
    Last edited by josienoms; 2013-09-25 at 02:55 PM.

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    Yeah, alright. The dark-skinned youth vaults himself easily onto Doug's couch, bouncing slightly when he lands.

    He leans in, and holds his hands out in front of him while he talks. Me and the boys - we hunt together sometimes, right? A month back it was me, Tyler and Anthony down in the ritzier part of town. Now, I didn't want to go, but Tyler? Tyler's still gotta lotta resentment in him, from the rich nobs who treated him like garbage in life, and I think he got off on teachin 'em that their blood ain't no better'n anyone else's.

    So Tyler gets Anthony to agree, and there ain't no way I'm backin out if they're going, so we end up by Lakeshore you know - the real glam places with the McMansions on the hundred aces of land - and we see summtin. This Giovanni bitch and a couple a mooks are dragging bodies outta a truck. And she turns, and she looks at us. And I know she saw us, 'cause she stares for a few seconds. Now Anthony turns and runs first, and then then Tyler follows, well, I ain't a coward, but I ain't stupid either. Them Venetian sommabitches are real protective of their magic. Their necro-whatcha-call-it, and I don't wanna be anyone's eye of toad, ya know?

    And yeah, I wouldn't think nothin of it. The rest of the night went off without a hitch. 'scept Anthony and Tyler have both gone and vanished since then, and not a damned soul in the Brujahs are taking me serious.
    You don't win the Game of Death by dying first. The name is misleading.



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    "And so you came to us for help. Makes sense, really. Finding people is kind of a specialty of mine." His well practiced false smile falls upon his face. Not out of unkindness, but of pessimism. If they had crossed the Giovanni, they were likely already dead. But there was no need to dash the young Brujah's hope just yet.
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    "What is it they say about how nothing can stop the mail?"
    "Isn't it: In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall... No, wait. That's the Green Lantern Oath."
    Check out my new Deviantart!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kell_tamer
    Horus, I love you so so much you magnificent Egyptian pony god man!

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    Nah, bro - pretty sure those guys are dead. Re-dead. Un-undead. Whatever.

    Mikey's bluntness overrides any kindness David might have intended. I came to Julia 'cause I figure she can keep me from ending up the same way.
    You don't win the Game of Death by dying first. The name is misleading.



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    "Oh. Well we can help with that too." He shrugs casually, then looks to Julia. "Any ideas? Besides the obvious, 'Don't go near Giovanni territory again' thing."
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    "What is it they say about how nothing can stop the mail?"
    "Isn't it: In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall... No, wait. That's the Green Lantern Oath."
    Check out my new Deviantart!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kell_tamer
    Horus, I love you so so much you magnificent Egyptian pony god man!

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    Julia thinks for a moment. "Well, there's always the option of being hired on as security for my company. It would keep you well out of reach of the Giovanni. Or, there are more crude methods, such as finding out which particular Giovanni is after you, and eliminating them."

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    Mikey's face falls

    Wha? You're not gunna do, like, the magic thing?

    'Cause I don't think she's killin us herself. I think she cursed us!
    You don't win the Game of Death by dying first. The name is misleading.



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    "Hm... Curses are a bit difficult to manage, but I'll see what I can do."

    She closes her eyes and places a hand on Mikey's shoulder. She focuses upon his energy, trying to sense any kind of lingering curse that could have been laid upon him.

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    Julia doesn't sense anything at all.

    Either the curse is subtle and powerful far beyond her own years and abilities or Mikey is wrong and he's not cursed. Julia thinks she knows which is more likely.
    You don't win the Game of Death by dying first. The name is misleading.



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    "Seems to me you're worried over nothing. I can't detect any kind of curse upon you. It's more likely that the Giovanni, or their pawns, simply hunted down your friends."

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    Doug looks to Mikey and says, "I could still look into it for you. Find out which Giovanni saw you, and what her plans for you and your friends were. Good old fashioned detective work can get results when magic fails, after all." One of the few things about himself he was proud of was his detective skills, and so the grin he flashes this time isn't faked.
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    "What is it they say about how nothing can stop the mail?"
    "Isn't it: In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall... No, wait. That's the Green Lantern Oath."
    Check out my new Deviantart!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kell_tamer
    Horus, I love you so so much you magnificent Egyptian pony god man!

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    ... Oh. Mikey looks a little crestfallen. Then yeah. I guess figuring out whose hunting me down is the next best thing...

    It was, uh, the Giovanni Lady who lives up on Lakeshore. I think it's just her and a buncha mooks in that big friggin' house she's got.
    You don't win the Game of Death by dying first. The name is misleading.



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    Julia's eyes widen slightly with recognition. "Oh yes, I remember her. I never caught her name, but I know that she's skirted the line several times. I'll make sure you don't share your friends' fate, Mikey." She smiles at him, genuinely this time.

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    Can you do it tonight? Mikey asks, hopefully.

    Erm, do you want me to come with? He asks as an after-thought, considerably less hopefully.
    You don't win the Game of Death by dying first. The name is misleading.



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    Doug nods. "Yeah, I'll look into it and we'll try to take care of it tonight. I'd say you can sit it out, but it's up to you. Any ideas, Julia?"
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    "What is it they say about how nothing can stop the mail?"
    "Isn't it: In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall... No, wait. That's the Green Lantern Oath."
    Check out my new Deviantart!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kell_tamer
    Horus, I love you so so much you magnificent Egyptian pony god man!

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    "We'll just head over there, and see what she's up to. Hopefully we can catch her doing something, and put an end to this."

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    There is no two ways about it; Lakeshore is a nice neighborhood, most of it overlooking Lake Michigan.

    A quick drive in Doug's car (Mikey declined to come with you, given the option, though in much less polite terms) gets you to the front of the gigantic house you know the Giovanni use as their base of operations.

    The house is set well back from the road with well-tended cypress trees. It's surrounded by a wrought-iron fence with thick bars about nine feet high that allow a view of the mansion (and the mansion a view of the road).

    There is a gate, curved at the top with spikes jutting upwards, at the front of the fence. Just inside sits a man on a chair with a gun.
    You don't win the Game of Death by dying first. The name is misleading.



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    Julia goes up to the guardhouse and smiles at the guard. She makes eye contact with him, and through the power of her will, laces her words with compulsion.

    "You will let my friend and I pass, and you will tell no one that we came through."

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