Hartford: Thirty-third Session: Amir

[Scene 1]

We woke up and there was Rebeka – the woman Albert almost killed. I have to admit, she is extremely unpleasant, but we need a ghoul and if she’s willing to help, I am willing to ignore her dreadful personality. Hope she doesn’t push any boundaries. Albert and Mark introduced themselves and Albert started apologizing for the accident, saying he was sorry, yet apparently she didn’t care about his apology at all. She made it sound like we enjoy killing people. Oh, it’s going to be a blast watching how many atrocities she will be willing to commit for blood in the future. And then we’ll get to be sarcastic…

She asked what kind of clinic we lived in and I told her it was a Dental clinic. Apparently, she didn’t like something in my tone, since she decided to get on my nerves… So much for pushing boundaries… Mark offered to show her the hotel and Albert tagged along, but I decided to stay in the clinic. I had plans, anyway. I hadn’t called my mom in a very very long time, and after all I’d been through, I needed to hear a familiar voice…

[Scene 2]

I always thought that vampire sleep was a death-like state and only immediate danger could wake us up, but that night I was lucky to find out that was not always the case. I was woken up by a noise… a noise of… doors breaking? Intruders. I woke up Mark. We slowly headed up the stairs and we saw three armed men. One of them shot Mark and I managed to scare another one away, but the remaining man managed to shoot me. Mark’s attacker descended down the stairs, which was when Mark grappled him. I scared the other guy and helped Mark deal with the first shooter. Mark managed to get the gun out of his hands and bite him. When we finally subdued the remaining intruder, Mark bandaged his wounded neck and we locked him in one of the cells. And guess what? He was just a teen. Great.

We stayed up till the evening, in case any reinforcements came, but it was quiet. Then Albert and Rhea woke up and we showed them the kid. To our surprise, Albert recognized him instantly and confessed to having killed his abusive father. Did the boy come here to take vengeance? The only way to find that out was to wake him and ask some questions. Mark tried intimidating him, but all the kid did was call us monsters. And then he mentioned Haruo’s name. And I froze. He said, no, he screamed that I murdered Haruo. How can he say that..? How dare you, I thought. You have no idea what he meant to me, you have no fucking idea, you stupid brat. Anger started building up in me, but it was toned down by a wave of pain… and guilt. I don’t know what caused that car accident, but if I’d gone with Haruo the first time he contacted me, he wouldn’t have died… So why didn’t I go? Because I’m a coward… And there I was, judged by a teen for crimes I did not commit. But was I really innocent? Sure, I didn’t kill anyone myself, but I have stood by to let people get killed before… Someone once said that if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. Doesn’t that extend to murder?

Mark went to make a phone call, but when he returned, he said the call was fruitless. He contacted Albert’s sire, and he, in turn, wanted more information. And that was when Albert dominated the kid. We learned that there weren’t many of them – only three people excluding our captive. He also told us about their location. Mark made another call. Sharkejus said they would be dealt with. We all knew what it meant for the kid… One of us had to kill him. Oh, the irony. A moment ago I was trying to prove the kid I wasn’t a killer and now… Sure, I managed to weasel myself out of responsibility, like I always do. This time, it seems, I’d outdone even myself, as I tried to push Mark to do it. I told him he looked like the type who kills anyway, although, as it turned out, he hadn’t killed anyone either… While we were arguing, Albert did the deed… Even though it was arguably the most painful for him to do, since he’d already killed the kid’s father, but he still did it, because somebody had to… Because I couldn’t clean up my own mess, and it was my mess. The kid was one of Haruo’s wannabe hunter friends; he obviously came here after me.

Later Sharkejus informed Mark that two of the three hunters were taken care of, however one of them was missing. He said my sire was after him. I wonder how Kristofer would react if he knew why the hunters came to us in the first place. He still might ask me some questions in the future.

[After the timeskip]

Rebeka came early in the evening and just outright stated that she’d taken some money from Rhea’s bag, which we found on our doorstep yesterday (the money she got for the equipment we stole from that tech center a while ago). Well, at least she told us she did, although it would’ve been nice if she’d consulted us first. Mark tried to reason with her, asked her to talk to us in advance about things like that, but she didn’t seem to care. Wonderful. Hope Rhea doesn’t teach her any of her pickpocketing tricks.

Later Mark, Albert and I went to the hotel. Mark and Albert had some letters and one of Mark’s was definitely unusual. He read the letter and asked us if we knew where one could find any werewolves. Alright, I guess I knew a place, so I gave him an approximate address in Manchester. However, it wasn’t the most unusual bit of the day, as to our mutual surprise we saw four new faces coming to the hotel lobby. Mark didn’t waste any time (of course!) and he quickly came up to them and introduced himself. One of the newcomers felt a little different – his beast seemed stronger. Now that’s what I call bad news. What if he likes our lands and decides to keep them? Not looking forward to that.

It appeared greeting the newcomers wasn’t the only thing on Mark’s mind, since he used the opportunity to try to get some favors from them in exchange for information. To my great surprise, some of them agreed. Albert didn’t like Mark’s tactic, so he left. I have to agree that maintaining a good self image is important enough not to engage in such bargains. What I found more interesting was that some of the new vampires already knew someone in the kiddie pool. They looked much more mature and prepared for this than I was when I arrived.

Our next stop was Tina’s place, and – spoiler alert! – she was expecting Albert to be with us. Sorry, Tina. He was put off by Mark’s street performance. Mark told Tina about the new vampires and then they talked about the slaughterhouse plan. It seemed there was still a lot of work to be done, yet it was already past the drawing board stage. They talked about a ghoul for the place. Was that why Mark got that permit? And he gave it up for Rebeka… Hope it doesn’t complicate things too much.

Later that night, while Mark and I were in the clinic, Albert came through the door with dominatedDonald. Didn’t that guy suffer enough domination? Khm… Domination… I know there’s a BDSM joke just waiting to be told here, but I can’t think of anything witty right now. Apparently, Donald attacked Albert with a shotgun. Mark and Albert argued about the best course of action, where Mark wanted to talk to Donald and convince him to become our ally. Wait, what? In which universe..? I definitely should’ve said something, but the only thing that came to my mind was to release him home. Albert wanted to make Donald forget having been dominated by him, yet one thing was bothering him – how did Donald find out about it in the first place? Donald said it was Mark who told everyone about it. Well, I wasn’t really surprised… Albert wasn’t too happy about it, obviously. In any case, they went out with Donald, said something about a park, but returned shortly and put him in one of the cells. Mark’s plan it is. Although waking up in a dirty cell (there are things one cannot wash off even with a bucket of Mister Proper) might make Donald even less… eager to be our buddy. Can’t say I blame him…

The next evening we all rounded up by the cell. Mark offered Donald alliance and he said he’d think about it. Mark decided to let him go and I wanted to blindfold him, but Donald said it wasn’t necessary. He looked really sad and he didn’t struggle, so I guess it really wasn’t. I know the man stole Albert’s letter, but I still felt bad for him. He didn’t deserve any of what he was put through.

When I returned from my usual feeding, I found Mark in the clinic. He asked me if I’d made up my mind about joining the Dragons. I was a little nervous, but I confirmed my desire to join, which made Mark quite happy. Well, if they accept me, it could either be the best thing that happened to me in my un-life… or the worst. And yes, I have considered flogging and incineration. But I guess if Mark can handle it, so can I, right? Who am I kidding, he’s assertive, quick-thinking and resourceful. And I’m a glorified librarian at best. At least I have the best hair in town. Amelia doesn’t live in the kiddie pool, so she doesn’t count.

If anything goes well, I will probably have found my purpose in this miserable existence. If I get accepted, Gerardas will be the first one I’ll tell the news. Obviously, I can’t tell that to mom. And if I could, what would I tell her? “Ummi, I joined a sect. You must be really proud.”

The night was almost over, but I wanted to take a walk before the dawn. I miss hiking in the mountains, so this will have to do. As I walked, I heard a scream. I got closer, but not too close to get noticed. I saw Zacharajus beating up a man. It was like Oliver all over again. This time I was cautious. I had the element of surprise and my talent for fear. Although Zacharajus and I were from the same clan, scaring him wasn’t too difficult. Once the threat was eliminated, I approached the man and offered assistance. He was hurt, so I brought him to the clinic. Mark didn’t think it was a good idea and I understand his concern, it’s just… After all those months of hurting people it was nice to finally do something good, something… right. Mark looked at the man’s bruises and patched him up pretty quickly. He’s really good at it, he should be our doctor. Once the man was fine, I walked him home. First time in a while I felt… human. You know, ummi, maybe my un-life isn’t that pathetic after all…

Hartford: Thirty-third Session: Albert

“Killing” Rebeka. Hunger. All I could think about was red, glistening blood. Rhea and I found a house, got in and I started draining blood without even thinking of stopping. Rhea managed to stop me, but… It was a tad too late. Rebeka (as I’ll soon find out), was lying on the floor, gasping for air, with no blood in her veins to carry it..

Well, I fucked up… Again.. But I saw a spark in Rhea’s eyes. She told me to give back Rebeka some blood. Of course! A few moments later Rebeka was already conscious and asking what’s going on. I felt relief, but not quite the full relief. It was… Sort of good to know that I didn’t kill a person, but I was still the reason why she got ghouled, which, actually, might be a fate worse than death.. Furthermore, we had no permit for a ghoul, so this had to be a secret! Why do I always end up in shitty situations like this.. I wish I could control my hunger better…

I led Rebeka to our clinic, trying to calm her down, but I couldn’t quite gather the strength to tell her the truth..

A few nights later, we found out that Markas did have a ghoul permit. Well, at least it’s now legal.

The fate of Samson. Upon waking up one morning I found the clinic in a war-like state. Blood on the walls, bullet casings, holes and the worried faces of Markas and Amir. Is this a surprise party? Surely I should’ve woken up if something really bad was happening, right? Markas and Amir told the story – they were attacked by three gunmen, they’ve managed to scare two away and capture the last one. They described the captive and I instantly remember a teenage kid. And the dire circumstances surrounding his poor little life. An aggressive father, constant domestic violence.. I wanted to save him, but I guess I was to late.. He knew I lived here, he wanted revenge.

Once the other two started interrogating him we learned much more – he knew who we were. He called us monsters. A creepy thought coming from a mouth of a teenage kid who was just shooting at us.. Well.. Them. He also knew about the death of Amir’s friend.. And blamed Amir for that! That can’t be right, Amir couldn’t do such a thing… He’s one of the least aggressive people I know.. I guess my command to dominate that random passer-by didn’t really convince them of Amir’s innocence. Shit… I must’ve fucked something up.

We needed information. How many of them were there. Were these hunters? Are we fucked? I really didn’t want to leave the clinic, but if something like this could happen again it would probably be for the best…

I gazed into the eyes of Samson and forced him to speak truthfully. He told us that there were 4 of them in total. 3 more needed to be caught. That’s not a lot. Markas called my sire and asked for help. Bertramas took this seriously and promised to clean this up. Hope this won’t end up in a fireplace for us…

There was still one thing that was left to do. We had to get rid of the kid. A task, simple enough, seemed to be quite the problem – nobody wanted to do* it*. As the discussion grew into an argument I quickly went into the room and closed the door. It had to be me. I started this mess, I must end it. I wanted to save the kid, but the violence seemed to have already caused Samson’s mind to snap beyond repair. The rage in his eyes.. It reminded me of his father… Maybe the only way to preserve Samson’s innocence, or what’s left of it, is to just end his life. Here and now, before the rage grows any deeper and corrupts any humanity he’s got left… Humanity.. And I’m the vampire that’s about to drain him.. What do I know about humanity?…

None shall fall. This is going to be a good night. I knew that once I opened my eyes. I felt full. Full to do anything I want and not to worry about feeding my beast. Then I saw Amir and Markas. They looked like they could rip me to shreds even if that would give them a drop of blood. I knew that this was dangerous and more innocent people could die to the insatiable beast. So I spoke up – this was not going to happen tonight. We’ve killed enough as it is, Samson, his friends, I almost killed Rebeka… No, we didn’t want any more killing. I didn’t say anything all that great, but it looked like it was enough to calm Amir and Markas down a bit. They looked more confident in their power to subdue their beasts, so I lead the way. And not a single person fell to a beast that night. I wish more nights were like this..

Sorry, Rebeka.. Rhea told me that I’d have to explain myself sooner or later. So when I saw Rebeka, I introduced myself and explained what I’ve done. Well “explained” is a bit too generous. I told her that I’m responsible for almost killing her and then she interrupted me with a brief “fuck you”. She didn’t want to hear any more of my story. Though she didn’t seem to be all that interested in anyone’s story, she was standing on her own feet. Independent. Somehow, I feel that it’s going to work out. She might be just the right person to get our heads out of the clouds.. I hope..

Newcomers. Most of our coterie made way to the hotel. I wanted to check if I’ve gotten any mail. And yes, I got one letter. “You’ve got talent.” This might be my chance. Now how not to fuck this up… Suddenly, four, never-seen kindred appeared in the scene. Some of them looked foreign. Markas, the Ambassador (snicker) came up and introduced himself, the kindred did the same. I guess most of my attention was caught by this redhead girl.. Rosie I think.. But she seemed to have her own plans and stormed off before the others. Later I heard Markas convincing the newcomers to give him a favor in exchange for information on the city… Favors favors favors… Here’s some information – dollars are actually fake money from some kid’s party at McDonalds! Favors – now this is the real currency.. Seriously Markas, why would you act like this? Why not just be nice, maybe they’ll be nice for you too..? I mean we didn’t have to pay for this info.. I left so I wouldn’t have to hear more of that.. I had bigger things on my mind anyway.

She likes me. I decided to hunt in an unusual way. Instead of bending peoples minds to do what I want, I decided to use my beast to charm them into being nice to me.. That’s a bit more natural, right? So I met this girl and after a bit of tinkering and toying I managed to score a kiss and drink a bit of blood.. It was pretty cool, though I can’t shake off the feeling that this is not 100% genuine. Oh well.. Off to the not-so-great bit. I told her about the poster shop.. And how she could get anything she wanted. I convinced her to go, and everything seemed to be going nicely (though inside I was killing myself for not finding a better way to get Sam’s soul back). Then the kid ripped the signed contract. It was not Sam’s. He told me that fucked up minds are not good. Shit… So this isn’t as genuine as I thought… But I guess I still made a “friend”.. Maybe if I had more of “friends” like her I could actually feed in a safer fashion, without the risk of ever dipping into the starvation “zone”…

Oh look, a shotg… While walking home I hear something. A quick glance behind me revealed a ragingDonaldas running at me with a shotgun. And he did not have a happy face on him. I knew that this was seconds from disaster, so I tried dominating. Then a shot hit me. It didn’t hurt all that bad, looks like one of my powers kicked off just on time. I kept staring at the face of rage. It seemed that my dominate was starting to work.. Now I just need to give a com.. Boom. Another shot. This time it fucking hurt. This guy was not joking, so I yelled “STOP!” to which Donaldas finally stopped. Did he know about my domination trick I pulled off earlier? Oh jeez.. Right, I can’t keep a guy with a shotgun out in the street. I took him to the clinic where I could think. I then saw the others also hanging out there… I guess I won’t be giving him any_ fun_ commands then… I asked them what should we do. Markas the Ambassador (no, seriously) suggested that it would be the best to try and be friends with Donaldas, offer an alliance (he didn’t really have where to go). But seriously, the guy that tried to shoot me with a shotgun can totally be our friend. What the fuck?? But, not wanting to disappoint Markas, I agreed. In the morning Donaldas told us that he’ll think about our offer and left. I hope he doesn’t come back with two shotguns.

Later, I did some shopping. I can’t go out with these holes in my suit. So I bought a new one. Then I sent my letter to the architecture company, saying that I want to meet where my inspiration came from, just to better illustrate what I’m trying to make. Lastly, I really wanted to see Tina, so I gave in and went to her place for some relaxation. I could’ve died yesterday… I may die the day after.. But today, I rest.

Hartford: Thirty-third Session: Markas

During time skip
Rebeka encounter:

After waking up we went upstairs and to our surprise we found Rebeka. She wanted to look around the clinic, but before that she and Amir had a little quarrel. Rebeka doesn’t get sarcasm and Amir is full of it. After showing her around and hearing her complains I took her to The Administrator. I though she would like to him, both of them are ghouls and he is really old, I guess, but she had no interest. So I introduced one to another neither were really exited. Also The Administrator asked my permission, I had to run home and get it. Apparently it wasn’t signed properly and it needed to be signed by blood, her blood. After all the bureaucracy was done we went back to the clinic.

Hunters encounter:

With a hit to my head I woke up, screaming “What the hell??”. Amir explained that he heard sounds upstairs. Soon after we saw 3 men in arms. I grabbed one while Amir scared the others. After a short struggle we subdued one of them. He was bleeding, but I managed to stabilize him for now. The rest of the day we stayed awake just in case they’d return. In the evening when Albert and Rhea woke up, we explained what happened during the day. I remembered that I saw that teenager just the other day outside the clinic. Apparently he was Samson, a hunter whose father was killed by Albert. I rushed upstairs calling my mentor. But he was very angry that hunters got to us and we had no information on them. What was I thinking calling him without any information… Staying awake during the day must have taken it’s toll… I went downstairs and asked Albert to use his powers on the boy. We found out that there were three more hunters and that they know about us… How?? How did they know?? It seems Amir and Albert knew about the hunters… They appeared while I was in torpor. They could have told me!! Why didn’t they tell that hunters are on our tails?? Did they think they’ll just move on?? Not only that, they killed one of the hunters or he died while he was with them… That doesn’t matter… They knew and said nothing… Maybe I am keeping secrets, but only to help them… Keeping this a secret didn’t help… It almost got us killed… I called my mentor again and told him about hunters hideout. Later that evening I got a call. Two out of three were killed and one on the run. Now only that teen was left. Rhea said she will dispose of the body, but one of us has to kill that boy. Maybe I am a monster, maybe I would break someones leg, just to get the information, but I wouldn’t kill. Amir insisted I’d kill Samson. I looked at Albert and told him that it was his mess, so he should clean it up. At first he argued but finally he agreed to do it. I seen many dead bodies, but I never seen a man killed in front of me. I hope that my coterie members will tell about such things before I get killed…

After time skip:

Waking up hungry isn’t the best feeling in the world… Mortals won’t understand it, but while I am hungry I get closer to my beast and I really dislike it. My self, Amir and Albert, we headed out to find a snack. We found four people and I decided to go first. My beast called and called to me again, but I managed to keep him inside, but it took some willpower… It was really lucky that I wasn’t taken over by the beast, it was really really close. If I did, both of them couldn’t stop me I would have killed those poor people… Later Amir went hunting, but he kept his beast under control or he wasn’t that close to him. It was almost morning so we went back. To out surprise we found a bag near the door, when we opened it, it was full of money. Funny story… Rhea and Amir robbed that technology center… If sheriff will find out about this, they will burn… This information should never leave our coterie, NEVER!!

In the morning we found Rebeka lurking around. She told that she took some of the money. I was confused. Even though it’s not my money she should have asked first… Rhea has to keep her pet under shorter leash or I will… And she won’t like that… We sent Rebeka with a task to get some supplies for the clinic, maybe she won’t fail or steal the money!! Soon after we headed to the hotel. I had several letters, one from primogen and one from the Judex. I didn’t expect that Maiklas would demand the mane of a werewolf for a signature… Where will I find a werewolf?? Or better yet, why would I kill a werewolf?? They have so much knowledge that I just must have. If I even had a chance to talk to one, their blood on my hands would surely get me killed… Edmund’s letter on the other hand was more promising. We were expected to be contacted soon. I joked about finding werewolfs to Amir and he gave me an address. Either it was the best irony in the whole world or Amir really knows where to find them. I suppose writing a letter there without breaching masquerade could be useful in my research or Amir will have a good laugh…

Soon I sensed four vampires that I have never seen before. One of them was very powerful. I suppose some of them came from India with the Elders. I waited outside for them. Rose came out first. She declined my information for a favor, but I found out that she was a Lancea et Sanctum lunatic… Also I warned her of Circle members, but she wanted to mess with them. Her choice I guess. Sometime later the rest came out. As with Rosie I offered my knowledge for a favor and they agreed, well most of them I guess… I didn’t want to push with the big guy there… Jenny, Tam and the big guy, whose name I didn’t catch, headed separate ways. Jenny was a sister of Emersonas which was a surprise. It seems that Daniel will get a new member for his coterie. At some point Albert left us and went on his own. I remembered that I had to talk to Tina about that slaughter house deal, so we went there. She was very disappointed that Albert wasn’t with us, what is happening between them?? That isn’t relevant now. Tina didn’t tell me anything that I didn’t know so far, but she still can be useful. Now I needed to talk to Kendalas about the permit. I so we left.

At the clinic I found Donald under Albert’s control. He explained that Donald attacked him with a shotgun, that was still in his hand… A shotgun in his hand… Seriously… Why didn’t you take it?? The whole attack was my fault… I talked to much about Albert’s power usage… But that power what got us in this mess in the first place and he wanted to use it more… I really disliked that idea, Donald was humiliated enough… I wanted to make him our ally, but he was not to be trusted. Also his mind was so messed up that he couldn’t regain his free will till the morning…

The next morning Donald was looking very pathetic in a corner, alone… I make him a deal. We could join forces, he was an outcast after all, with no friends. I though that my offer was a good one, but he just said “I’ll think about it” and we left him free to go.

Not wanting to feel that hungry again I went to feed in my usual place and read a book that I got from voodousants. After the bar close I needed to talk to Kendalas.

I thought that the best place to find him is in his own lands and I wasn’t mistaken. I saw their whole ground, ventrue with his gangrels, not a very good combination, not good at all… I wanted to talk to Kendalas in private, but he was with Jenny, still I approached him. Soon we were alone. I gave him the information that Tina gathered. Now all we need is a permission for a ghoul, I would have given mine, but Rhea needed it more at the moment. I told him, that I will think a way to meet director of the slaughter house.

At the clinic I asked Amir if he wanted to join Dragons and he said “yes”. Finally, he chose the right path!! I rushed to the hotel. I wrote to the leader of Dragons about Amir and that he wants to join us. Maybe I will be also allowed to rise in ranks, that way all kiddy pool Dragons will answer to my orders and won’t order Amir around.

Later that evening to my greatest surprise Amir brought a beaten man. Where did he find him and why would he involve himself with mortals problems??!! We don’t need more attention!! Not right now!! At least that man wasn’t hurt too much, if he’d been, I don’t know what should have been done.

Hartford: Thirty Second Session: Writeup
The Signature is received


Bonus scenes played online after the session:

Party meets up, after the events
Rhea comes to talk with Rebeka

New NPCs: Rebeka

Hartford: Thirty Second Session: Rhea & Rebeka talk
Bonus Online Scene

Rhea came to the house. She was allowed in by Rebeka who led her to the kitchen.
Rhea: Good evening, – she said sitting down at the table. – How are we feeling tonight?
Rebeka: Feeling pretty great.
Rhea: Anything interesting happened during the day?
Rebeka: Nothing that should worry you.
Rhea: Oh, do tell…
Rebeka: About my boring day? There’s no need to do that. I think what you got to tell me is a lot more fascinating and relevant to our situation.
Rhea: Is that so?.. Then tell me, what would you like to talk about?
Rebeka: Well, what do you want me to do? What things you expect of me? What can you teach me? Seems like things which are important.
Rhea: So let’s start with what you wish to learn? Yesterday I told you about some things you may do and learn, have you given it any thought?
Rebeka: Hmm.. not much really.. what was it?
Rhea: What was it… Right… Short memory span, right? Nevermind, let me ask you this, do you want to decide what to learn, or do you want me to choose what I teach you?
Rebeka: Of course I’d like a choice. I’d just like to hear one more time what my options are.
Rhea: When talking about the disciplines you may learn, I can teach you to disappear in crowds, or later vanish right in front of anybody, if stealth is not your style, we can work on speed…
Rebeka: Speed seems fine to me.
Rhea: If that is your choice, that is what you can learn. Now tell me more about you. You asked what will I have you do, and to make such a decision, I need a little more, than “history student with parental problems involving ghosts”…
Rebeka: And what would you like to know? There’s nothing much in there, as I said before.
Rhea: Really? No hobbies? No fun after school activities? No skills beyond a good knowledge of history what so ever? I find that impossible to believe,- laughs Rhea,- but if you say so… Then at least tell me what part of history may I inquire to you about…
Rebeka: History, history? I don’t have a favorite period of it.
As she said that the front door of the house opened. Rhea’s eyes darted across the room locating nearest exits. Her gaze then turned to the door.
Rebeka: What the…
The kitchen’s door opened. A man stepped into the kitchen.
Rebeka: Oh, Darius, did you say you will be back late?
Darius: Umm.. yeah.. change of plans. Who’s our guest?
Rhea: My name is Rhea, and you must be Rebeka’s brother?
Darius: Yeah, that would be me. Rebeka, you didn’t tell me anything about Rhea.
Rebeka: Yeah.. We just met. She offered me a job.
Darius: Oh really? What kind of a job?
Rebeka: Umm..
Rhea: Well, I offered your sister a position as my PA. Although the more I speak to her, the more shut in she becomes… Maybe you could shed a little light on the enigma the is your sister? – said Rhea as sweet as she could.
Darius: Umm… Well.. she studied history.. Umm.. There’s nothing much to tell. She’s an honest, kind girl. She’ll be a great assistant.
Rhea: Oh come on now, I can’t believe that a girl like her spent her entire life buried away in some moldy old history book…
Darius: Well of course not. It’s just that… Well, I think she’ll manage to assist you with everything you might need. She’s resourceful.
Rhea: Ah, now we’re getting somewhere. Oh, before I forget, I hear, that you both had some experience with ghosts… I am a firm believer in the occult… I just wanted to know, how much were you able to find out about them?
Rebeka: You should have asked so immediately. Well, I did some research, we managed to exorcise the one in our father…
Darius: Don’t talk about that…
Rhea: Something wrong?
Darius: Wrong? Put yourself in our situation!
Rebeka: Darius, calm down. It’s just.. well, those are not the happiest things to talk about.
Rhea: I’m sorry… I just… I’m sorry, it was rude of me to ask.
Rebeka: We’ll live..
After that, Rhea tried to keep a polite conversation up, until Darius leaves. She tried to learn as much as possible about the two of them. Rhea learned that Rebeka has no job and that Darius works in a gas station nearby. Soon enough, Darius went to bed, due to his early shift tomorrow.
Rhea: You little liar,- smiled Rhea, when she was sure Darius won’t hear, – and you said you only knew history…
Rebeka: Um.. no I never said that I only know history.. and I thought it’s obvious that I know something about ghosts. I already mentioned them.
Rhea: Well then, is it only ghosts you know a few things about, or is it the occult in general? And by the way, since this just become a job interview…
Rebeka: Mostly ghosts..
Rhea: ok… A random thought, since you’ll be telling your brother that you work for me, how do you expect to explain that I’ll be paying you in blood?
Rebeka: Why would I explain it to him?
Rhea: A new job, but no income? Possibly… No probably long hours? Not suspicious at all?
Rebeka: Well then, I guess we’ll have to come with something. Proper hours and some income will do the trick.
Rhea: And pray tell me how will one such as me provide you with proper hours?
Rebeka: Long and late are two different things.
Rhea: Work with me here, Rebeka,- sighed Rhea.- I’m putting youth, health, power beyond the human norms… And now as I see it I’ll have to add money and proper hours to the table… And you offer a degree in history with a minor in ghosts?
Rebeka: Well. He’s my brother. Let me worry about him. And what did you expect? Noone is capable of working 24/7. Better tell me what needs to be done, because this “tell me what you know” thing is just bullshit.
Rhea: To tell you the truth, I don’t know how exactly will I be using you at the moment… Our group needed someone with medical experience, for that clinic, but since you’re out on that… Maybe you could be a receptionist there, but as of now, I just don’t know, so I need to know what you are capable of… I for instance was… am a thief… So if you plan on being my actual PA, good luck there…
Rebeka: Well, I’m no good at entering places unseen. However, I can handle myself.. somewhat, if the things go sideways.
Rhea: Handle yourself? Are we talking fists, knives, guns?..
Rebeka: Fists.. why would I use a guns? Those things kill people.
Rhea: Why indeed… Let’s go spar, show me what you’ve got…
Rebeka: Sure.. will be a good opportunity for you to teach me that speed thing.
Rhea: You will get your speed soon enough, don’t waste precious blood on a friendly spar. Or do you intend to drain me dry tonight?
Rebeka: Uh.. alright. I guess we should go find some other place.
Rhea: Lead the way.
Rebeka led Rhea to a nearby wood. It was empty.
Rebeka: So, are you ready? Wait.. what’s that? She looked deeper into the forest.
Rhea looked at where she was pointing. As soon as she looked Rebeka punched Rhea in the face.
Rhea: Fighting dirty I see… That’s the second time you slugged me, time to give some back I believe, – said Rhea, and started fighting. The fight went pretty equally, except for a second time where Rebeka tricked Rhea into looking down.
After some time, Rhea stopped Rebeka.
Rhea: Well, I’d say you are quite good at that. Now I know I can call you for backup if needed. – Said Rhea healing the results of Rebeka’s punches. By the way, you can clear those right up, by concentrating on the bruises.
The bruises on Rebeka’s body disappeared.
Rebeka: Wow.. that’s sure handy… but I also feel less of you inside me.
Rhea: Will you need a refill? – smiled Rhea. – Don’t worry, you’ll get some, I just thought you should know how you may now take care of yourself, when you are done taking care of yourself.
Rebeka: Good to know.
Rhea: So in this history thing you study, do you learn stuff like languages and such? Or just dates and events?
Rebeka: Umm.. mostly history.
Rhea: Any local history you found fascinating?
Rebeka: Well our city founder’s chapels are quite interesting. He ordered quite a few of them to be built around the town, some of them were built where nobody nearby lived. Quite interesting, don’t you think?
Rhea: And what do you know of these chapels?
Rebeka: Well, for most of them, there’s no plans archived or anything. And there’s some documents saying that some of them might have included secret hideouts.
Rhea: Are these chapels all still in use? Do you know in what saints name they were built?
Rebeka: Most of them must still be in use. Well, various saint’s actually.
Rhea: By the way, are you practitioner of any faith?
Rebeka: No. why?
Rhea: Just wondering…
Rebeka: So what about you then?
Rhea: I follow the church…
Rebeka: Alright. So want to tell me about your friends?
Rhea: What do you want to know?
Rebeka: There’s nothing I need to know? Alright.
Rhea: There is always things you’d need or want to know, I just asked if there was something in particular that you wanted to know…
Rebeka: Just everything you might tell me?
Rhea: Would you like a drink first? – said Rhea showing Rebeka her wrist.
Rebeka: We’re not in any danger here. But yeah, being filled up is probably logical. That way whatever happens – I’ll be ready.
Rhea: I didn’t ask if it was logical, I asked what you wanted,
smiled Rhea, and then bit her wrist, so she could sate Rebeka’s thirst.
After drinking for a bit Rebeka released Rhea’s wrist.
Rebeka: Thank you.
Rhea: You’re welcome. Hope you liked it. Now about my friends… There’s Amir, he’s the black guy, with a lack of emotion. He’s a good person, and I hear he was quite the scientist, while still alive… Then there is Mark, him I don’t know much about, but he seems to care about the team, and to tell you the truth, if not for his permit, I don’t know how I’d have made this,- she says gesturing at Rebeka and herself, – legal. And last, there is Albert… The guy who almost killed you…
Rebeka: What do you mean ‘legal’?
Rhea: Well, our society has strict laws. Add to that the fact that I’m not yet even a full member… Lets just say, I’ll fill you in on the full list of laws, when I get to know them better…
Rebeka: So you die and become a monster and you still can’t escape old assholes telling you what to do? Ha… What a life.
Rhea: Life, and death, in some cases… So, anything else you wish to know? I guess you’ll be able to meet them properly soon… By the way, just for reference, do you know of any doctors, dentists best, we could employ in our clinic?
Rebeka: Not really, but I can ask around.
Rhea: Good to know, just don’t forget, you must keep our secrets secret, on this your and my lives depend. On that note, is there anything else you’d like to know?
Rebeka: I think I’ve heard enough for tonight.
Rhea: OK, so I guess we’ll speak later.

Hartford: Thirty Second Session: The Meetup of PCs
Bonus Online Scene

Rhea, Albert, Amir and Markas meet at the clinic for the first time after their separation at the bridge.
Rhea notices their unhappy looks, and the fact that Amir looks like he slept in a ditch, so she diverts her attention from Rebeka and Albert, and asks worriedly:
Rhea: What the hell happened?
Amir looks at Rhea.
Amir: I failed… I picked the wrong boat, – he says, his voice weak. Then he looks at Mark. – Mark, did you… did you get the signature?
Rebeka started to gain more sense.
Rebeka: Umm.. what’s going on?…
Rhea: Albert, can you please entertain our guest… Now since Helena can call my ass over to the hotel any minute, could you please give me the short version of what happened after we took Daniel away?
Amir: I… um… I think I dozed off, and when I came to, the four boats were there, just like we suspected. But we didn’t know which one was supposed to be the third. I mean, it could’ve been a trick, for all we knew, so Mark and I got into different boats. We were put into barrels and after a while, I was thrown into the river. I swam back.
Rhea: Mark, you don’t look like you spent the day drifting, please tell me that we got the signature.
Markas: Yes, I got it… I tried to reassign it to Amir, but he didn’t let me… Also, who is she?? Don’t tell me another friend of yours got tricked.
Amir: I’m glad the signature did not go to waste… And yes, good evening? – he finally noticed Rebeka.
Rhea: That is Rebeka, and she had the pleasure of dining with Albert this evening… Sadly he overate, and I had to step in to help… So basically she is my illegal ghoul…
Amir: That can’t be good…
Rebeka: Ghoul?… illegal.. What? What is going on?
Markas: Why?? ahhh… I was saving this for later – Markas walks out and takes the permit for a ghoul. Who’s is she?? – Markas turns to Rebeka. – Wait, I will explain everything in a moment, Rebeka.
Amir: Where’d you get it?
Markas: The sheriff of course. You can get one too, if you ask him, but it will cost you a favor for him.
Rhea: Wow, thanks man. I didn’t know what I would have done… By the way, tell us a bit about yourself Rebeka, – said Rhea with a persuasive smile.
Rebeka: What the hell is going on? – said Rebeka, a bit irritated.
Rebeka: Will you explain this for me? I… I want to go home.
Markas leans towards Rhea and whispers into ear.
Markas: You should feed her some blood, she is yours after all. And we should explain this to her somehow.
Rhea takes a flask from her pocket, and pretending to take a sip pours some vitae into it. Then offers it to Rebeka saying:
Rhea: Relax, take a sip, we’ll explain what we can to you.
Rebeka took a sip “So, what’s going on?”
Markas: Did you like it??
Rebeka: Um what? I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what that has to do with anything… Will you explain or may I go home? – she said, worried.
Markas looked at Rhea again. And Rhea tried to look as caring as she could when she said:
Rhea: Could you tell me how you feel now? You had some trouble out there…
Rebeka: I feel good enough. So will you explain or should I start heading home? said Rebeka, clearly annoyed
Rhea: Ok, listen, I’ll try to answer your questions, but the baseline is, that your life was in danger, and I did all I could to save you. I’ll escort you home, if you don’t mind. And I’d like to see you tomorrow night if possible.
Rebeka: Umm… yeah, it’s late. We should meet tomorrow. How about 6 PM? At my place. I’ll make some dinner for you.
Amir: How about 8:30?
Rebeka: I’m only inviting her, – said Rebeka, nodding towards Rhea.
Markas: What my friend ment, is that Rhea will be free around 8.30. You see, we are trying to reopen this clinic and there is a lot of work to do.
Rebeka: I think she can speak for herself.
Rhea: Sadly, my friends are right, how’s eightish sound? I’d be there as fast as I can.
Rebeka: Sounds alright.
Rhea escorts Rebeca to the door, and tells everyone they’ll talk when she returns. Then they walk out.
Rhea: I’m sorry for all the commotion… Really hope you are feeling better.
Rebeka: Yeah, I feel great.
Rhea: So, Rebeka, tell me a little about yourself.
Rebeka: Um what? I thought you’re going to tell me about this whole situation. So what happened?
Rhea: Well, you see, I’m not allowed to go into details here, but you had some severe health issues, and well, I couldn’t just leave you there… So my friend and I used this medicine, very secret, not accessible to most, to help you… That is why you got all those health questions out there and all that.
Rebeka: Secret what? Who are you?
suspiciously asked Rebeka
Rhea facepalms.
Rhea: Why is this so difficult? – rhetorically asked Rhea. – I’m sorry, I’m fairly new at this. I’m Rhea, and all that happened was me trying to save your life. The thing is, I don’t really know how to explain it all to you, but none of the guys there would have been better I guess… So today I’m just really happy you’re ok, and a light conversation would be way better on me, tomorrow I’ll try to get all the answers for you, some of which I still need to get myself… Damn this is stressful…
Rebeka: So at first you go with “oh this is so secret serious medicine” and now you’re “I don’t understand this”. Bullshit. Who are you? For whom do you work?
Rhea: OK, screw this secrecy, I’ve dug this deep… I’ll tell you everything, but somewhere more private if that is ok? I mean I could literally burn for all this…
Rebeka: Sure. My brother will be sleeping now anyways, so we can go there.
Rhea: Lead the way then,- said Rhea worriedly.
Rebeka went back to the house, by which Albert and Rhea found her the first time. She unlocked the door and lead Rhea to the kitchen.
Rebeka: So?
Rhea: OK, first things first… Well I’m not exactly… What you would call… Human… – Rhea forced out the words, ready to jump at Rebeka if needed. Rhea noticed that Rebeka also prepared to fight.
Rebeka: Oh really? So what are you? A leprechaun?
Rhea: Really? A leprechaun? That was your first guess? Do I look green? Talk with an Irish accent? – Rhea tried to make a joke of it. – No need to tense up, by the way, I’m not here for a fight. I told you I will explain things, and that is what I’ll do. What I am is, well, what you would call a vampire.
Rebeka: Prove it.
Rhea: How would you want me to prove that? What would you find proof enough? And by the way, you take this very well, so is it safe to assume you think I’m crazy… Or do you think there may be some validity to my claim? If so, why?
Rebeka: I don’t know. You’re the vampire. You should know how to prove it.
Rhea: Well, I can try this one thing… You still haven’t answered, though… – said Rhea mentally preparing to Obfuscate in front of Rebeka.
Rebeka: One thing?
Rhea: Hey, in our case, secrecy is survival, so not everything we do is obvious and clear for all to see.
Rebeka: Sure it is. I think this is the moment where you show me your proof. And then we’ll see.
Rhea uses Obfuscate, to disappear from Rebeka’s view. Silently she stands up, waiting for any reaction from Rebeka.
Rebeka: Woaah… what the hell? said Rebeka backing off.
Rhea silently sneaks up behind her, and reappears.
Rhea: Shhh… I didn’t mean to scare you.
Rebeka immediately turned and reflexively punched Rhea in the face.
Rebeka: Oh.. didn’t mean to do that. You just startled me.
Rhea: I’d say you are still taking this very well, all things considered… – said Rhea holding her nose.
Rebeka: How should I take this? Run to a corner and cry?
Rhea: Don’t know how to answer that… Do you want me to continue? Or should I leave?
Rebeka: Yeah, continue.
Rhea: Well, now about you… To save you, I gave you some of my powers… I think… To tell you the truth, this is the first time I’ve done something like this… The way it was explained to me, you now should be capable of healing your wounds, you shouldn’t age, and you should be stronger in general, or something…
Rebeka: Oh really? And why did you do that?
Rhea: To save your life…
Rebeka: Well didn’t know my life needed saving… was completely fine, as far as I know.
Rhea: By the time I got to you, you weren’t… Listen, I’m telling this to you, because I thought I would save a life, mane a friend, an ally maybe… I understand this knowledge I’m relaying is a lot to take in… So… I’d like to ask you, not to talk about this with anyone, and think everything through. I’ll meet you tomorrow, when the sun has set, if you would still have me, that is, and we’ll talk more.
Rebeka: And why can’t we talk just now? Getting sleepy? – she said half jokingly – So.. what exactly happened that I needed saving?
Rhea: I’m no doctor, but when I see someone gasping for air with their heart barely beating… I guess they need saving,- remarked Rhea. – Now tell me, do you usually skip the parts of a conversation that you don’t like, or just with me?
Rebeka: I just like to speak in turn. We’ll get to where we need to. As for gasping for air… I thought you said you will tell the truth to me.
Rhea: And pray tell me, where did I lie?
Rebeka: So you want to tell me, that I walked down the street, and then suddenly out of nowhere started to gasp for air so hard that.. oh wait.. so hard.. that a vampire was walking by and decided that he needs to save me? Really?
Rhea: Do you think I am the only vampire around? I just assumed someone had you for a snack and left you for dead…
Rebeka: So you happen to almost kill me, then get a change of heart and decide to save me? After which you decide to come clean?
Rhea: Oh, my dear… I, sad to say, have yet to taste the sweat sweat blood, that flows through your veins…- said Rhea looking at her as if she was a nice piece of cake.- But hey, feel free to look a gift vampire in the fangs, or how that saying went…
Rebeka flinched back a little. Rhea could barely see that.
Rebeka: So, who did then?
Rhea: Plenty of candidates… But is it really that important? No better questions to ask?
Rebeka: Someone almost killed me. What better questions to ask? So you mean to tell me, that someone killed me, and went away and you managed to walk by just at the correct moment without seeing who it was?
Rhea: Oh, I know who it was, just fail to see the importance of this… You are alive after all…
Rebeka: Someone killed you. You happened to survive by a random happenstance. Which, by the way, knows who killed you. Would it not be important to you?
Rhea: Oh, but something of the sort did happen to me… Or did you think little vampires were just born around every corner?.. Only difference is that I knew who killed me, and I’m still thankful to her, – giggled Rhea. – But don’t worry, I’ll tell him to talk to you about it, if it matters to you this much… Just as a special favour to you.
Rebeka: You can simply tell me who he is. And then I’ll decide myself if I want to talk with him.
Rhea: And what does a name of the man give you?
Rebeka: As much as talking with him. I want to know who he is. I’ll figure out later if I want to talk with him.
Rhea: OK, so what will you give me in return for this information? You know, vampires are a secretive bunch… Giving away names and faces can get you in a heap of trouble.
Rebeka: What do you want?
Rhea: Well, I don’t know what you are offering… So why not start by telling me a bit about yourself, huh?
Rebeka: Ha.. About myself. I study history. I live with my brother. Seen a couple of ghosts. Pretty much all there is to it.
Rhea: Ghosts you say…
Rebeka: Yeah.. Possessed my dad. Killed my mother. Almost went to an asylum when trying to prove it, and then dad confessed. Just to save me. He’s now in jail, over what some fucked up ghost did. So yeah, you don’t have to worry about me starting talking… who would believe me anyways, when many suspect me of being insane as it is?
Rhea: Interesting… We might look into that… My condolences by the way…
Rebeka: Won’t help much, will it? So… what do you want from me? You didn’t tell me about vampires, just so that you could be sorry for what happened to me.
Rhea: Well, like it or not, you are my ghoul now, as I said, that comes with a lot of privileges, however there is a catch… You kind of become dependant on me… You need my blood, to fuel your new found abilities…
Rebeka: Abilities like what?
Rhea: There are many abilities you can learn… I think the easiest for you will be the ability to improve your speed, but I could also teach you to hide, or be extremely alert… Things like that… Oh, not to mention the ability to heal wounds and never get old… – said Rhea while counting on her fingers.
Rebeka: And to do that I need your blood?
Rhea: That’s the deal… And if you don’t get my blood for a long time, it all goes away… Or so I heard.
Rebeka: So… What do you want in return for your blood?
Rhea: A little help here and there… Nothing too major. That is why I wanted to know about you, the more I know, the better we can understand each other’s needs and strengths.
Rebeka: Alright, we can try this thing. It’s a deal. Now for a good deal making, I’ll need a name.
Rhea: His name is mr. Heckles… Until tomorrow, I guess.
Rebeka: Mr. Heckles? That’s his full name? What am I supposed to ask everyone’s surname now?
Rhea: I told you, I can ask him to speak with you…
Rebeka: And I told you, that I want to decide for myself if I want to talk to him about it, once I see him. No name – no deal.
Rhea: But you have the name…
Rebeka: Not the full one. And you just showed me that you can still arrange him to talk with me, which means that Mr. Heckles won’t help me find him easily. I thought we’re in for a fair deal, but you’re trying to do me over? It’s just a token of a good deal.
Rhea: No need to get grouchy… If you need his first name, you just need ask… Now let me think… If I recall correctly, the name was Albert Heckles. But I strongly discourage you from having a go at him… The man can seriously mess with your head, and we don’t want that now do we?
Rebeka: What do you mean, mess with my head?
Rhea: Lets just say that when people like mr. Heckles tell you to jump, in most cases even asking how high is already out of the question.
Rebeka: So, it’s like possession?
Rhea: Don’t get any ideas, Rebeka…
Rebeka: Not getting any ideas, yet. Just trying to learn. After all, if I am to help you, I’d better know as much as possible, no?
Rhea: Inquisitive, aren’t we? – smiles Rhea. – Good, I bet you’ll be loads of help.
Rebeka: So what else should I know? Since somehow I think you won’t be needing dinner tomorrow.
Rhea: Oh, I will be needing dinner, just not in the sense you are used to, – giggles Rhea, – but of course, if you want, I can come after my meal…
Rebeka: Uh… yeah… sure. I should probably get some sleep.
Rhea: Don’t forget to keep all this to yourself, most of the things we talked about today if leaked out would get us both killed. And with that, good night. I can let myself out.
Scene end.
Rhea returns to the clinic. (if the party wants to speak of something.)
Markas: Well, what did you talk about?? Will she stay quiet??
Albert: Yeah… How did it go..? Should we tell her about who we really are..?
Rhea: Well, I sort of came clean to her…
Albert: Oh… And how did she take it in..? Should ghouls even know this stuff? Sorry, I’m feeling a bit light-headed today…
Markas: So she won’t go out yelling “Vampires, vampires” and get us killed??
Rhea: She shouldn’t… but feel free to lock the doors just in case…
Markas: Did she tell anything about herself? I mean, can she work in the clinic??
Rhea: She’s a history student with a checkered past… You tell me if she’d help here…
Markas: What do you mean checkered past??
Rhea: Family issues, father in jail for mother’s murder, or something like that.
Markas: So basically, she is a traumatized teenager who studies history… Well, I don’t see how we can use her, unless she learns medicine. But that would take a lot of time. I suppose
we need another permit…
Rhea: No one is useless… I just need to find a place, where she fits… And if you see no use for her, I’ll just keep her all to myself.
Albert: To her defense, Sam didn’t know shit about medicine either… But I think Rebeka could be beneficial to all of us, just please don’t use her as some kind of toy. Looks at Rhea That means that there shouldn’t be no “Keeping her”. She’s still human… Sort of… Well, more human than us.
Rhea: Oh, Albert, by the way, I’d like you to talk to her about you almost killing her… After all, she deserves to know…
Albert: Yes, of course she does… But I didn’t do it on purpose and I used my own blood to save her… Well… Some of her blood more likely… But still, I didn’t leave her just lying there… WE didn’t leave her. I hope she isn’t mad or sad about this…
Rhea: Anyways, I told her your name… Do get around to telling her all about it, and don’t say I told you to… This should show her you are a good guy, and not worth holding a grudge on…
Albert: So she is mad… I’ll try to look as nice as I can be I guess… When can I see her?
Rhea: I guess you can catch up with her some time tomorrow…
Albert: Okay, I guess I’ll do that.
Scene end.

Hartford: Thirty-second Session: Rhea

Woke up worried this evening. Yesterday’s fiasco with Mark and the letters needed resolution… I guess I’ll find out why he’s so keen on handing away this scarce chance of getting at least a partial ticket out of this place. As I left my little crypt, I Obfuscated myself. No need for any unwanted attention… Walking towards the clinic, I felt her eyes on me… Helena. What the hell did she want? Well the little pup of the heretics came to deliver a message. Apparently the Spot crew suspected me for their missing letters. She told me to immediately go see them. I wanted to tell her to go get some self respect before speaking with me next time (Seriously, a hound in a kiddiepoolers pocket so deep she is used as a messenger…), but all I said was that I didn’t have the time. Of course she told me to make time, or she’d make my life miserable, but when I reminded her, that Tauras and Katerina weren’t the only people she owed for the writ she had stolen, she backed off a bit. I was given a deadline for tonight…

After that ‘lovely’ chat, I went on towards the clinic for the next big hugfest, where I’d have to duke it out with Mark. As my todays luck would have it, there they were all three walking towards the cemetery, now we’d have to talk outside… I walked up behind them, and as they noticed nothing, had to make the hard decision whether to pick their pockets or just startle them for a lesson in awareness… I decided to go easy on them so I just asked them where we all were going. They jumped… At least that brightened my night a bit. When asked how long I had been there, I told them I was there all along… And then Mark cut to the chase – he accused, I proudly confessed, and we fought about the worth of a signature vs the feeding spot. Even though he made some valid points, giving up those letters didn’t feel right, so I fought tooth and nail to get my point across. I even told them that the signature wouldn’t go to me, but rather to Amir, who, along with Albert, just stood there dumbfounded…

After we noticed, that we were going in circles, our argument ended. Mark stormed off to Tina’s, and as soon as her name came up, Albert jumped with apparent joy, to accompany him. As they walked away, I looked at Amir, and told him his fighting skills needed work. I offered to train him. I’m no master, but the basics I can show, so we went to the clinic for a few friendly bouts.

We sparred for a while, and to my surprise,Amir wasn’t as hopeless as I originally thought. Just as things were starting to get good, Mark busted in screaming ‘STOP’ so frightfully, that it even gave me the chills. We asked him what the problem was, and he, holding up a green letter, said Daniel had all the letters he needed. I gently placed my hand on the letter, and as he let go, said ‘Now, so do we…’. After that he just walked out, not even a ‘what’s our plan’. Well, thank him and screw him… I looked atAmir, and said ‘let’s run’. There was no time to hide around, so I led Amir straight to my current crypt (he seems trustworthy enough, worst case scenario, I’ll move). Right after we picked up the letters, we set our course for the bridge. Along the way, I looked at the green message, and it said something about the sun’s first rays. We stopped. There is still time. But a new problem appeared – we’d have to find a place for daysleep near the bridge. Amir suggested we use a car, and I agreed.

WhenAmir worked on the car, I offered to check out the bridge and it’s surroundings. When I got there, it hit me – the hotel was just a stone’s throw away from the bridge… After a few facepalms, I walked under the bridge, but initial sweeps yielded no results. I had no idea about the ‘third’ or the ‘monster’… Puzzled, I went out to eat, and once full, returned to the hotel to acquire a room. Locked rooms are not easy to get here, so I bribed theadministrator with a moderate amount of my blood.

The room was nothing special, however the doors locked well, and it had a bolt, so I was satisfied. I went to a payphone and called the clinic. Amir picked up with a shaky voice. I smiled, guess he didn’t expect a call. I told him about the room, and that we should meet in the hotel half an hour early. Also that he should get the others and feed. As I hung up I thought I should feed again, after all I had given some of my blood to the administrator, and I needed to be at my best.

When I returned, there was still time, so I decided to call Oktavia. I told her about our progress, or lack of it more likely, in the demon will thingy case. Needless to say she was not impressed. To smooth things over I asked about the book I sent (also apologizing for the covers), and she said, quite proudly (or at least I hoped so), that the book was important indeed, and that it was moved to the black library. She also said that she would send word of this to father Samuelis. I hope this will make him like me more, cause I think he’s still hurt that I picked Oktavia over him.

The gang had arrived, and to my surprise, Mark tagged along. Maybe he’s not so bad… Maybe. We went to the bridge. It was empty… We all searched, and this time we managed to find what seemed like a docking place for four boats. Pick the third boat… Seemed plausible, so we waited.

Suddenly, we heard Daniel. I saw Amir and Mark change into strangers, so I jumped towards Albert and Obfuscated him and myself. Just in time too, cause Daniel came ‘round the corner, the entire group was there. Daniel started shooing us, threatening with violence, and then Albert said ‘freeze’, and they all stopped… Way to work your magic Albert… I wanted to applaud him, however he looked scared. Something about sun clearing their heads, he said, and we had to move them away from here. Albert was reluctant to go alone, so I offered to keep him company. As we moved towards Daniels place, Albert spewed some nonsense about debts and some shit. I thought he’d just wipe them clean, so I asked… Apparently, wiping all their minds would have taken a great toll on his stomach… I offered to hunt something, but there was no time, the only option left, was sharing my blood, and to my surprise he accepted. After draining me half dry, Albert managed to correct some memories forDaniels gang, and we sprinted towards the crypts.

I woke up feeling famished…Albert looked exactly how I felt. I needed to feed, so did he. I remembered a guy in my turf, who had exceptionally filling blood, but I didn’t intend to share him. Then I remembered Helena’s threat… I bet the bitch will start calling any minute now… I looked atAlbert and asked if he was ok to feed on his own, but his lips needn’t tell me the answer – of course he wasn’t… Helping him hunt was a challenge. Socializing just isn’t my thing… However he was able to find himself a girl, and start feeding. It looked so nice and tasty… I skipped out, and got to pulling him away a little too late. We rolled around in the dirt, till he got to his senses. As we stood up it was apparent that the girl was dying. There was no time to lose, so against my better judgement I ghouled her. Then I asked Albert to feed her, and get her to the clinic, and that I’d be there as fast as I could. I hopedAmir got his signature, otherwise this all shit was for nothing…

Afterwards, I went to the guy with the thick, filling blood. I was hungry and pissed off, but hopeful. I managed somehow not to drain him dry… Walking to the clinic, I wondered, if the signature was gained, would it be publicly announced, or will poor saps continue to try and get it. Anyway, maybe we could give the letters up after (with luck) gaining the signature. Those two had better not have screwed this up…

Hartford: Thirty-second Session: Amir

It was the second evening in a row when the first thing I saw after waking up was Mark. He doesn’t waste any time, does he? He wanted to find Rhea and confront her about the letters. I decided to play along, since I didn’t want him to find out that I knew she had them. Well, not knew, per se, but strongly suspected. Albert joined us and we went to our old crypt, since it was the only location I could think of where she might’ve been. In a way, that’s very clever of her, although it does indicate a certain lack of trust in us. But again, should she trust us? Should anyone trust anyone? These doubts are getting more annoying than my lust for Felix.

Just when we started wondering where Rhea might be, suddenly, out of the blue, we heard a voice say “I was always here”. We turned around, and guess who it was? I don’t like to admit it, but she startled me. Maybe because I’ve been on edge lately, or maybe because I’m a coward. Nope, I’m definitely a coward. Mark didn’t waste any time here either, as he went straight to business. He wanted Rhea to admit having stolen the letters, and, to my surprise, she did. That was a bit unexpected. They started arguing about whose idea was more beneficial to the group and I must admit, in a way, I agreed with them both. Mark wanted to secure us a feeding spot, and Rhea wanted to give one of us a boost in the kiddie pool food chain. One thing I really didn’t want was to get involved in all this and that was exactly what they were trying to do. I was the “nominee” for the feeding grounds in the Spot as well as the main “candidate” for the signature – both features, although immensely flattering, I clearly did not deserve. And then they asked for my opinion. I didn’t know what to say, nor did I know whom to support, so I stuttered like a fool without actually contributing to the argument. Luckily, the conflict was soon resolved as Mark gave it up and went to Tina. Albert volunteered to join him, which was not that surprising. I knew something was up between Tina and him, and although I know it’s none of my business (I’m not usually so nosy), I guess I got really curious about the nature of their relationship. Maybe because romance is a thing we usually associate with humans and I’m trying desperately to cling to my humanity.

When they left, Rhea offered to teach me how to fight. I agreed, since I obviously needed guidance in the field. As far as fighting is concerned, I’m both a coward and a wimp. A lovely combination indeed. I guess rock climbing doesn’t prepare you for a fist fight. As we walked back to the crypt, we talked about the letters and I expressed my thoughts on the matter. Not that it mattered any more, since it was already decided. I admit, I did feel bad about Mark a little. If his intentions were what he said they were, his plan might’ve been highly beneficial in the long run. On the other hand, how long are we gonna stay here? Years? Decades? A signature, no, a chance for a signature is something really rare, on the other hand. So giving one up might not be a wise choice. At the same time, expecting that we’ll get enough signatures for the whole team isn’t wise either. It’s only a matter of time before we split up. We’ve got to make the most of our teamwork before that happens, I guess.

Turned out Rhea knew quite a few useful fighting moves, so I definitely had a lot to learn. We don’t spend much time together lately, so I wanted to enjoy the training session as much as I could, before Mark came and yelled at us (to get our attention, I assume). Now I know he’s a Nosferatu, but I’ve known him for some time now, and that was the first time he looked really scary. Great, scared twice in the same day… He brought a green letter, which he got from Donald. Luckily, it was the exact colour Rhea was missing. Mark told us that Daniel had also collected all the letters, so we had to act fast – only one vampire would get that signature.

Mark and Albert left once again and Rhea and I started planning. She led me to her current whereabouts, which was another crypt in the cemetery. I assume I was the first one to see. In fact, that was not the first big secret she’d shared with me only. I guess she trusts me and I value it deeply.

Now that she had the whole set, we were able to read all the messages. The instructions said we had to come to the Founders Bridge at the first rays of the sun and pick the third… The third what? Great, more mysteries. To make the matters worse, the last message was “I am God’s Holy Monster.” Hah… My mom would immediately ask “Which God’s?”. That wouldn’t solve the mystery though. We already knew where the Founders Bridge was, so we had the where covered. It was the when that posed a difficulty, since it was clear what “the first rays of the sun” implied… I suggested getting a car to the bridge; we could cover the windows with something thick, like a torn body bag. Rhea agreed and she went to investigate the bridge.

Later, she called me on the phone and informed about a change in plans. She decided to spend the day in the hotel and, as it later turned out, she even got as a room with a lock. When Albert and Mark returned, I told them about the plan and we went to the hotel to meet up with Rhea.

We stopped to feed on the way there. I thought it was the right moment to talk to Mark about the Ordo Dracul. Now I know I wasn’t too thrilled to join any of those sects at first, and frankly, I’m still not too happy about it, but I realise joining one might benefit me greatly. The Dragons do all sorts of research and this is exactly what I need right now – I need to understand my current condition from a scientific point of view. Or at least as scientific as it is possible. Mark told me many things about the dragons, and the importance of their studies was one of them. “A Dragon has no loyalties above his studies.” That sounds reasonable. The Dragons are also interested in using our condition to their advantage, to become better, stronger, more resilient. I remember I once talked to Gerardas about becoming human again. He’d told me that the Dragons were among those who’d come closest to achieving that goal. If that is true, joining Ordo Dracul is something I must seriously consider. On the other hand, Mark was rather vague about the joining conditions. He told me he’d give a recommendation on my behalf. How thoughtful of him. And this, once again, brings me to the topic, which would probably keep me awake during the day weren’t I a vampire (though if I weren’t, I wouldn’t have to think about these things in the first place). Do I trust him? Does he have an ulterior motive? The thing that put me off in the beginning was his eagerness to get me into Ordo. But maybe he just wanted to be helpful. I guess there’s only one way to find out. I’ve got to take the red pill. I wonder if it comes with a leather trenchcoat and insane acrobatics?

When we reached the hotel, we took Rhea and immediately went to the bridge. We only had half-an-hour before the sunset. So there was the bridge. And now what? We had to pick the third out of… something. Well, I picked a rock. This was pointless. Maybe we’d misinterpreted the message? Then we noticed some of the grass broken by the shore… It looked like spaces for boats. Four boats! Are we supposed to wait for boats? At this hour?

Suddenly, we heard voices. It was Daniel and his gang. Sure took them a while to come here, though. Rhea quickly obfuscated Albert and we all sat in the places where the boats were supposed to be. When the gang reached us, Daniel told us to get out, but neither of us replied. I, personally, didn’t know what to say. A conflict was imminent, or so I thought. Albert, however, turned out to be a quick thinker (I’m not surprised). When Daniel called out again, he dominated the poor schmuck and the rest of his team. Oh the irony. I can only imagine how mad he might be if he remembers the whole ordeal afterwards.

The sun was soon to rise, so Albert and Rhea took off with Daniel’s gang, leaving Mark and me to wait for… for something. I wanted to believe that the boats would show up at the last minute, but we could already see the first rays of the sun and they weren’t there. To say I panicked was an understatement. We’d gone so far, it couldn’t just end like this. And then…

Well, the next thing I remember was a sharp pain and Mark’s face when I opened my eyes. Then he disappeared. Then the pain again. The boats. The boats were there. I must’ve fallen asleep. When I was steady on my feet, we had to choose the third boat. But which one was the third? All four boats stood there in front of us. We decided to board two different boats – I chose the second on the left, and Mark went for the second on the right. The man on the boat asked for a password. Of course! That God nonsense! I uttered the last sentence from the letters and the man motioned towards a barrel. I crept in and as he closed the lid, we began moving. We sailed for a while, I wasn’t even sure how long, when the lid was lifted and the sun cut at my skin like a thousand knives. It’s a pity, really. I cannot express how much I missed the sun, and yet it was so deadly at the same time. What a poetic way to die, though. I’ll definitely consider it, if it comes to this.

The next moment my barrel was knocked over and I fell into the water. It took me a while to realise I picked the wrong boat. Did it mean that Mark picked the right one? I sure hoped so… Though I felt it was Rhea who was supposed to be there, yet I shouldn’t exclude Mark, either. If anything I was the least worthy to claim that victory. And so I ended up in a river, tired and wounded… I tried swimming against the current, since if I remembered correctly, it was the right direction towards Kiddie Pool. After a while I saw a cave. I felt like I should rest there, at least until the sunset.

When I woke up, the water was black. I swam to the shore and saw Felix, of all people, standing on the river bank looking angrily at me. Suddenly that cave being there made a lot of sense. Talk about invading privacy… That, in fact, was the matter he wanted to… discuss with me. He likes to look threatening, but he doesn’t look like an idiot, so frankly, most of his threats seem more like bluff. Or at least I am biased against people who throw threats left and right without a valid reason. Though, is there really a valid reason for threats? It wasn’t fear that made me talk, either. I just didn’t want him to think I went to his cave on purpose. I told him the whole story and I think he believed me, though he didn’t seem amused by the whole thing. Dammit, man, what do you find interesting? Don’t tell me you sleep 20 hours a day like a lion… A lion who lives underwater. Merfasa… Haha…

He turned around to leave and I remembered that I wanted to ask him about demons and will workers. As with the whole letter-hunting ordeal, he said he didn’t know anything about them. Will I become so disinterested with my surroundings when (if!) I get out of kiddie pool? He told me to live simple and not involve myself in anything of the sort, to which I said that I only got into it to help a friend. Well, a friend of a friend, to be more accurate, but still. His answer was the same.

We talked about friendship and again, what was it – the third time today? Indeed, the third time today I was reminded not to trust anyone. I tried to argue with him, yet deep down I agreed with most of what he said. No coterie ever stays together for long. I won’t argue with that, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t form coteries. Surviving on your own is nearly impossible, and although we aren’t human anymore, we still have the instinct to get into groups, I guess. Plus, even if the coterie brakes up, there could still be someone who you’d consider a friend.

But then he brought up backstabbing, which made me think – was he betrayed? Maybe he was so bitter about forming friendships because he was once badly burned? He said getting too attached to people is too big of a risk to take, but isn’t it worth it? Doesn’t what you gain from a friendship make it worth the risk? And there I remembered my younger self, when I was very skeptical of romantic relationships. Frankly, I still am – I hold friendship above romance, and the only way a romantic relationship can have any value at all is if it’s based on friendship. But it wasn’t a bad experience that formed my opinion, it was… Well, it was mistrust. I used to have a hard time letting people get too close to me, and love seemed like something incredibly irrational, and, worst of all, uncontrollable.

I don’t know what happened in Felix’s life, and I didn’t want to ask any unnecessary questions. However, our conversation got me thinking about things. He said there hadn’t been a single coterie that stuck together after getting out of the kiddie pool and that there was a reason why the elders didn’t form coteries. So is my attachment to my coterie a remnant of my denial? My inability to accept the inevitable, embrace my condition?

Live a simple life and don’t get into unnecessary trouble… Easier said and done. He didn’t continue the conversation too long and I didn’t have anything to say to him either. Frankly, I still can’t understand why I’m so attracted to Captain Grumpy. When he left, I decided to stay on the river bank for a while, in case… In case Mark showed up.

Hartford: Thirty-second Session: Markas

This evening was like no other. When we woke up I talked with the rest of the coterie and we decided to talk to Rhea. After finding her, we had a long conversation about our coterie and our needs. She is so stubborn, we could have had the point for our selves. But I saw that Rhea cares for our coterie, she wanted Amir to get those letters. I left the decision making to Amir. They went with Rhea’s plan. It’s not like I am putting my ass in danger for them or anything… Teodoras will be angry at me… Really really angry at me…
I with Albertas went toTina’s place. She greeted only him, but not me, I wonder what I did wrong. I wanted her advice on the coil, but Tina was too distracted. Also she doesn’t know much about Erika’s and Daniel’s fight, that was really disappointing, the only people that know are the one’s that I don’t want to ask.
I had a meeting at 12 near hotel with the Carthians. I saw Daniel with his friends, which was very odd. I took some measures and went inside of the hotel obfuscated, just in case. Antonijus was there without my brother, so they weren’t collaborating together. Daniel explained that Donald might pose a threat to use, I took it like an insult to my strength, but I kept my mouth shut. Anthonijus explained that he set up a meeting with Donald at the garage. We all went there and confronted Donald. That clever bastard tried to lie that Albertas changed his memory… I give some credit for that… But Antonijus saw that I didn’t lie. Both Daniel and Antonijus beat the crap out of Donald left him there beaten up. Also they took his letters and we split them equally, almost equally. I got only the green letter and a bike. Why did I take the bike??
At the clinic I found Amir and Rhea fighting. I used nightmare and yelled at them so they would stop. It seems they were just training. I gave Rhea the last letter, to our luck it was the last one. Like us, Daniel had full set of them, but at this point I didn’t even care who will win this competition, it was splitting us all apart… Rhea went doing her own stuff while I with Albertas went to see Donald. He was in a bad shape. I wanted to ask what he was going to do, but he was too pissed at me. He explained that Erika was responsible for that death and that she was stupid not to cover up. I blackmailed Donald that I will tell everything to Sarkejus and he asked me to stay quiet in return he would owe me. I took that gamble, beaten up, lost all friends, nobody will trust him again. Sure he brought that upon himself, but if by any chance he will rise, I will have a favor from him.
When I returned to the clinic with Albertas, Amir told us about the plan. We went hunting. Before that, Amir asked about the Dragons and I told him, though I might have skipped several components, but Amir is an atheist, he would deny the Dragons. I really want that Amir would join the Dragons out of all in the kiddy pool, he is the best candidate for Ordo. I hope he will come to his senses soon enough.
After feeding the letters let us to the bridge. We found a place where 4 boats make shore and we waited. We heard Daniels group approaching. I knew that we will have to fight for this signature, there was no way to hide Albertas, he was the only one without obfuscate powers. To my surprise, Rhea was able to hide him, she is really advanced with obfuscate even at this age. I didn’t know what to do even if we were hidden. Should we fight Daniel… Should we run… I didn’t nothing… Albertas used his dominate to control Daniel’s group. That was going to stop fighting, but what will happen when Daniel finds out that Albertas used dominate on him. He hit me for asking to use dominate on others, but now… Albertas is going to be beaten up really badly… I will not be able to save him… But I will try… Albertas and Rhea left with Daniel and the others, I don’t know where though.
It was almost morning. I saw the boats on the first rays of the sun. Amir went to sleep… I didn’t think he was this weak willed. He needs to be improved. I woke him up, exposing my self and him to the sun. That really hurt… He woke up, just to go down again. I woke him up again and now for long. It said “Choose the third one”. I let Amir to choose which one he wants and I would go to the second one. I was in panic because the sun was up, though we were safe for now. After boarding the boats ghouls showed us the barrels. After that I don’t know what happened, I went to sleep. I woke up in very fancy room. When I opened the doors a man was waiting for me. He showed me to my grandfather, that wasn’t a surprise. I asked him that he would give that signature to Amir, but he refused it, said he isn’t worthy, who am I to disagree?? But how will I explain it to the coterie?? Rhea will hate me… But in my defense I let Amir choose the boat that he wanted to go and I boarded the other one. I guess what happened to him. Is he here somewhere or he was dropped into the water by the ghouls?? I hope he is alive. My grandfather drunk my blood and left a mark, that was his signature and ordered me to sleep. Said I will wake up tomorrow in the kiddie pool.


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