WAR: It’s All a Game

It’s All A Game

Sukh

Toronto, Night

“Zombie s at six o clock,” Angelique lifted the automactic rifle in preparation to defend her ragtag group of suvivors.

“Noted,” Sukh acknowleged as she lifted her chainsaw and pulled the startup cord. The whine of the saw slowed down a few of the uncoming zombies, but most kept coming, lured by the scent of fresh human.

“Fuckers,”  Tom, one of the suvivors, lifted his pump action and took aim.

“Fire, Tom!” Angelique watched as a zombie went down, a huge chunk of the creature’s head exploded in black and gray.

“ Go Sukh!” Angelique watched as the redhead waded into battle, the chainsaw loping off heads as Tom contined to load and fire his weapon.

Angelique aimed and fired her rifle. The first row of creatures fell, their heads shredded by the repid fire of the automatic fire. The rifle jammed.

“Damnit!” She growled as she ripped off her  helmet.

The test lab of Nitecrawler Games appeared as the test of the newest high tech simulation game stopped.

Sukh pulled of her equipment with a grin. Tom did the same, and started to exit the test room.

“I’m hitting the lab. I’ll put in my report on the weapon I used.”

“Lucius, it jammed agaion in the same place. Get someone on that glitch.”  Angelique yanked off her gloves and stomoped towards the control booth of the  holosimulation area. “ Gamers with this kind of money will not toleate this kind of mistake.”

“Birkoff, find the glitch and correct it.” LaCroix suggested in a silky growl.

“Birky, I’ll give you a hand,” Sukh entered the control booth as  Birkoff started to hustle off.

“ Sure, you’ll be able to help me pinpoint the damage.” Birkoff consulted his computer and set it to download to the other lab. “I need Tom’s imput too.”

As soon as the mortals hustled off, LaCroix turned to Angelique. “I think, Dark Venus, that we need some time away from this project. The Paris Gaming convention is soon. Perhaps basking in the success of the last game would help. We were nominated for some awards for it.”

“I suppose,” Aangelique sighed. “New Jereselum after Dark  did do very well in the MMO online subscription category.  I do think Micah should come as well.”

“Go where?” Angelique’s Immortal brother asked as he stepped into the booth. “I need this for the next test of that new time battle game.”

“The Paris gamer convention.” LaCroix shot Angelique a brief glare. “Maybe this will improve you mood after not finding your beloved Hanna.”

“I could usea break.” Micah. “Let me see if Duncan can take over for a bit and tweak the Culledon battle game sequence.”

“I also want Sukh, Spike and Angel in Paris as well. Have Willow and Tara work on the  the paranormal battle game with Oz.” Angelique paused. “Wait,  give Oz to Duncan as an assistant. Get Willow ,Faith and Tara on with Tom on the Zombie battle and the paranormal game. Have Giles make the travel arrangments. Then get him on checking the spells for the parnormal game to make sure they are beign in RL. I  don’t need a lawsuit from an idiot that accidentally summoned a Demon at this point in the company’s success.”

WAR: Hell Hath No Fury

Hell Hath No Fury

Hanna Clay

April 21st, Las Vegas, NV

Jenny stared intently as she watched Hanna clean up her mess.  Every move was deliberate and unhurried, as if they had all the time in the world.  Which, Jenny thought to herself, they did.

“Don’t be too sure about that, Jennifer dear.  Thoughts like that will cause you to be arrogant, and arrogance will get you killed,” Hanna chided as she tossed the last chunk of Tony into the vat before her.  With each person, Hanna insisted on preparing the room so there would be no evidence left of any kind.  Plastic tarp, the kind laid down in holes that had been dug to keep water out, like with pools and graves when it rains, was laid out on the floor.  Other than the G-chair and one table for instruments, the vat was the only other piece of “furniture”, if it could be called that, in the room.

Jenny still didn’t know what it was that Hanna did to keep the sound from escaping.  She would simply stand in the corner, not interfering, letting Jenny vent her pain and fury.  No matter how much any of them screamed, begged, no sound ever escaped that room.

Tony was only the third one so far.  Lance, she had made last for almost 4 days before his heart finally gave out. Hanna offered to make him a ghoul, give him some of her blood as he died so that he would remain half alive, but Jenny declined.  She wanted to get to the others, and Lance got boring when all he would do was whimper.  She wanted them to scream.  Needed to hear more than just “Please stop!”  Jerry only lasted a day.  Hanna fetched him while she slept (Jenny thought about asking how she was able to move around during the day), and when Jenny saw his face, she went straight for his throat.  Literally.

Hanna didn’t chastise her for killing him so quickly.  She never criticized anything Jenny did, and only the once with Lance did she even offer to help.  This was Jenny’s vengeance, only she had the right to it, and Hanna made sure she had no interruptions.

Jenny fingered the serrated knife she had used on Tony.  The pieces Hanna was discarding slowly, making sure each was fully eaten before tossing in the next piece, Jenny had cut off him.  She cut each and every inch of his body off a piece at a time while he screamed.  She almost gagged him to death when she cut off his penis and shoved it piece by piece into his mouth, forcing him with her hand working his jaw then stroking his throat, to eat it.  She made sure she left out the tendons, anything that he could have choked on, just feeding him chunks of flesh.  When he tried to vomit, she made him eat anything that came up.  Hanna taught her the trick of being able to glamour him, and she found it hilarious to make him act as if he relished the taste of vomit and his own flesh.

Rather that stitching the flesh where his penis had been, Hanna showed her how to use her own blood to seal the wound: just a little bit of it, traced across the flesh, and concentrating on knitting it together.  She had said most Kindred used the trick, only with their saliva, to hide bite marks after they had fed.  She had said it was more effective when blood was used, but that it risked the chance of making the person into a ghoul.  But neither of them were worried about that with Tony: he wasn’t going to live long enough to become a ghoul.

She watched Hanna’s face, trying to see if there was any flicker of emotion as she put the last chunk in the vat. She said this was a trick she had learned from August in Casa Loma.  That was before Spike had grabbed Jenny, so Jenny didn’t know anything about it.  When she tried to ask, Hanna looked at her, the normally violet eyes glowing red, and commanded in her broken glass voice, “Don’t ask.”

Still, Jenny thought the piranhas were a clever touch.  They stripped away everything, leaving only bones.  Hanna said when they were done in Vegas, she would deal with the bones and the piranhas.  They only had two more left here; everyone else on the “List” had moved on to other places.  And they were going to hunt them all down. Hanna actually remembered each one chronologically, and it was that way they would die.  In order.  If they had to go back to somewhere simply because one of the people was there, just it wasn’t their position on the “List”, then they would go back.  Hanna was absolute in her certainty that each of Jenny’s “demons” needed to be dealt with in the order they had harmed her.  Jenny didn’t mind.  She just wanted them.  She wanted to feel each of their lives as she ripped it away from them, wanted to feel their fear, their pain, their terror.  Just like what they did to her.

“There are only so many though,” Jenny whispered, almost sadly.  “When we get to the end…”

“I’ve been saving him.”

Jenny looked at her, completely at a loss.

“He isn’t dead.  I made certain of it.  I put word out, everywhere.  Others are watching him for me.  And everyone knows, no matter what, that he is to be kept alive for me.  Even if they have to stake him and put him into Torpor until I can collect him.”  She looked at Jenny and smiled, and Jenny almost cringed at the light in Hanna’s eyes.

“Davistch will be last, Jennifer dear.  He survives, until you are ready.  Just remember that whenever you revenge yourself on these human monsters.  The real one, the one who started this for you, waits at the end.”

If anyone could have seen them then, the terror would have been absolute.  Their smiles were identical, promising agony, suffering, eternal pain…

WAR: Birth (pt. 3)

Birth (part 3)
Hanna Clay
April 27th, 2006
Las Vegas, NV
Slowly, the dreamless sleep that held her completely started to slip away.  She felt the softness of the bed beneath her, letting her mind absorb the fact that she no longer felt any pain.  It was wonderful to finally be free of pain.  Now, she would be able to protect herself, fight anyone or anything that tried to touch her.  She knew Hanna was strong, one of the strongest of her Kind.  So she would end up being a pretty strong vampire too, that no scum could touch…
Come to think of it…other than the absence of pain, Jenny didn’t feel all that different.
It was then that she realized she was breathing.  It took a moment for it to sink in.  Almost lethargically, her right hand moved up to her throat, resting on the side.  Her pulse, while slow from sleeping, was steady and strong.
Jenny bolted upright in the bed, screaming in fury, “YOU FUCKING BITCH!  YOU PROMISED!”
As she turned to lunge off the bed, she found Hanna sitting in the lazy-boy by the TV, sitting perfectly still.  Her white dress, her short hair.  If Jenny wasn’t so pissed, she would have seemed like a statue to her.
Jenny propelled herself towards her. “WHY?!” she screamed. “YOU PRO…” She stopped mid-stride, rebounding as if she had hit a wall.  She didn’t fall backwards…it was more like something grabbed her and kept her from moving at all.  She was about to scream again, and found she couldn’t open her mouth.  All she could do was move her eyes.  She tried to struggle, tried to fight, but it was as if her body belonged to someone else, and she was just along for the ride.
Hanna shook her head mockingly.  “Such rashness will never do.  Had you remained calm long enough, I would have explained why I had not Embraced you.  We will temper this rashness within you, Jennifer.  I will not tolerate a Childe who does not think about her actions.”  She waited, cold and implacable as stone.
Jenny stared at her, knowing that Hanna could crush her like a bug, and she couldn’t even bat an eyel…
“Oh stop that.  You know better, Jennifer.  While it is true that I could kill you, and probably every living thing in this ridiculous city with hardly any effort, you should know by now that I would never harm you.”  She paused, deliberately for the effect, “Unless you make me.  And you aren’t going to make me harm you now, are you?”
No, damn it, Jenny thought to herself.  I was just angry.  I thought…
“You thought I betrayed you.  Betrayed my Word to you.” Hanna shook her head again, with that same mocking air to it.  “Again, you should have known better.”
Jenny suddenly regained control over her body, and almost like a chastised dog, scuttled back to the bed and sat down, her hands folded neatly in her lap.
Hanna snorted in disgust.  “If I want you to be a good little puppet, I’ll remove tendons from your body and make you dance like a marionette.  Now stop sulking.  It’s repulsive coming from you.  You have survived so much for so long, to turn into a cowering, simpering idiot is beneath you.  And insulting to me.”
The tone in her voice made Jenny raise her head, her eyes flashing,  She was NOT simpering damn it!  Hanna chuckled, the velvet that she had been keeping in her voice slipping back to the broken glass.  Jenny had almost forgotten how she really sounded now.  Forgot that she was making the effort to put enough healing into her throat so as not to alarm Jenny by her voice that sounded so much like Davistch…
And just like that, the velvet was back again.  “Forgive me.  I have spent the past few years outside of ‘pleasant’ company, and enjoyed scaring the life out of those who caused my attention to fall upon them.  I prefer the torture the sound of my voice causes them.”  She glanced sadly at Jenny.  “Watching you these past few years has caused me to become, shall we say, a very nasty little bitch.”
Jenny’s eyes widened about as far as they could go, and then tried to open wider.  In all the time she knew Hanna, she never once heard her swear…or enjoy being evil either.
“I didn’t say ‘evil’.  I said ‘nasty’.  Perhaps ‘vicious’ is a better word.  It’s amazing really.  All this hatred and anger I kept invested in August and everything she’d done…with her gone, it had nothing to focus on.  I finally found something for it, but we’ll get to that when it’s time.”  She looked at Jenny pointedly.  “Are you ready to hear me now?”
Jenny nodded once.  Calm, controlled.  She didn’t say she wasn’t “going” to Embrace her after all.
Hanna chuckled again, the broken glass once more.  “Instruction must come first.  You are aware that our Kind of vampire descends from Caine, yes?”  Jenny nodded.  “Caine Himself only ever made three Childer, and destroyed two of them Himself when He cleansed the cities they had created.  They had made slave-cities, all of lesser Childer, that they fed upon, and their numbers continued to grow until they threatened to outnumber the humans in the world.  That must never happen.  For what happened in those cities…they began to fight and kill each other over the ever dwindling supply of human blood.  Your Bible speaks of these cities, Sodom and Gomorrah.  Though they were not destroyed by any angels.  Caine is far from angelic.  He went through both cities, wiped His two Childer and all the others they had made, off the face of the Earth.  I was told by Lamech, His only surviving Childe, that the effect of seeing the destruction of his Brother and Sister was a lesson he’s never forgotten in all these thousands of years.”
Jenny tried remembering what she had learned in Sunday school, and Hanna stopped her.  “Don’t bother.  Most of it are clever lies made up to control the masses.  And takes us away from the Instruction.  Lamech had only one surviving Childe.  August.  He came after me once he learned I had Diablerized her.”  She paused briefly, sighing.  “Caine is the First.  We mark our rank, our strength, in Generations separated from Him.  Lamech is Second Generation, which made August, his Childe, Third.  Jonas was then Fourth, and I was Fifth.  Normally, when one Diablerizes an Higher Generation, one climbs a single rung of the ladder.  Only, with Jonas’ destruction, there was nothing that stood between August and I.  What was left of his essence was left within me, as his Childe.  So when I Diablerized August, I didn’t become Fourth Generation.  I became Third.  In the baldest of descriptions, there is Caine.  There is Lamech.  And then there is Me.”
Jenny was frozen half in terror, half in awe.  She did truly know how much she meant to Hanna, but to be told that the third most powerful vampire in the Kindred world personally wanted to take care of her, and was willing to Embrace her, was daunting.
Jenny blinked, and Hanna was sitting on the bed next to her.  Like she just…
“I’ve had years of practice in being what I am.  I’m making the effort to move slowly for your benefit.  I can no longer pass through the mortal world without extreme effort.  The power within is too great.  Such is the reason that Lamech and Caine both remain removed from the world.” She looked directly at Jenny; violet eyes meeting brown.  “It is the greatest sin among our Kind to Diablerize another.  When Lamech attacked me, I was no more than a ragdoll.  However, the moment he tasted my blood, he knew everything.  All that August had done, everyone who had been killed, or worse.  He knew of her destruction of the Garou, to the murders of almost every Kindred in New Jerusalem.  All of Casa Loma…and the rest of her 2000 years of life.  He also knew two things: in all the world, no one had more right to kill her that I did; and, by our laws, he was responsible for her actions.  By our laws, I should have killed him, and he would have let me.  He had left her to go her own way, and never once thought to stop her from anything.  And just as with Lamech and August, I will be responsible for what actions you take.  If you were to behave in a fashion that brought about your destruction, I would be called to answer for it.  Though, by all rights, only Lamech or Caine Himself can call me to accounts now.”
She reached a tiny, delicate finger to brush a strand of Jenny’s hair from her face.  “It can be rightly said that my Blood is too strong, that it can only drive you insane.  But I will not abandon you to it.  I will be at your side, tempering the effects, so that you are able to grow into them, learn to control them.  I believe that you have the strength to endure and overcome whatever madness there is.”
Her gaze held Jenny like a vice suddenly.  “I do believe, however, that you have to be purged first.”
A chill ran through her body.  “Purged?” she asked hoarsely.
“Of your anger.  Your hate.  Your rage and guilt.  You’ve spent these past years debasing yourself because you thought you deserved it for surviving.  I have seen everything you have done.  Everything that has been done to you.  If you are ever to be whole again, ever be anything other than a monster, you must be purged of your demons.”
“How?”
Hanna smiled, and Jenny winced again when she chuckled.  “You’re going to confront them, of course.”
Suddenly, Jenny was alone on the bed and Hanna was standing by the door that led to Lance’s “playroom”.  “When one is Embraced, most Sires do not give back enough blood, causing their Childe to Frenzy.  Rarely do they do otherwise.  Jonas, however, did this for me because he did not want me to suffer the taint it would bring to what remained of my Humanity.  I will do the same for you, though for an entirely different reason.  When you Frenzy, there is no control, no thought, no comprehension.  I want you aware of what you are doing.”
Hanna opened the door to the “playroom”, and Jenny’s eyes widened in fear and confusion.  Bound wrist to ankle, on the G-chair as she had been, was Lance.  His new “toy” was on the table next to him, along with the flagellum and all the other things he had used on her.
“I decided it fitting we start with Lance, since the damage he inflicted is still fresh in your mind and spirit.  I leave it to you, Jennifer, to decide.  Do you wish to begin your “purging” as a human, or as Kindred.
Jenny paused for a moment.  “I can cause and control the damage done to him better as a Kindred, right?  Do things to him to keep him from dying too fast?”  She licked her lips unconsciously.
Hanna’s answering smile was all the answer she needed.  “Embrace me first.  I want this to last a long time.”
“As you wish.  Once we are done with him, we will visit them all; each one that has hurt and abused you.  All the rapes, all the beatings.  You will make them all pay, one by one, and purge the demons of their acts from your soul.”
“And when we’re done with that?” she asked, her eyes still locked on Lance.
Hanna looked at her intently.  “We’ll discuss that when the time comes.”  She closed the door to the “playroom”.  Turning to Jenny, she said, “And now, my dear Jennifer, lay down.”
Jenny lay back, her heart beating fast.  Hanna sat down next to her, turning her head to the right with a tiny hand.
“First, I will take most of your blood.  When we come to the point that your heart is ready to stop, I will feed you my blood.  It will hurt; your body is dying after all.  But there is so much pain that it soon becomes ecstasy.  I tell you this so that when it starts, you will know it is normal, so that you will not be afraid of it.”  She stroked Jenny’s hair as she leaned in slowly.  “Once you have taken back what I have drained, you will rest.  And then you will begin on Lance.”
“I am ready, ” Jenny whispered.

WAR: Birth (pt 2)

WAR: Birth (2)

Hanna Clay
About 2 hours after “Birth”, Las Vegas, NV

She finished smoothing the dark green, rayon dress over the sleeping girl’s tanned legs. Everything about the girl, from the tips of her toes to the crown of her head, radiated peace. She was perfectly, absolutely safe and knew it, even in her sleep.

Hanna sat softly down beside her on the bed, a brush in her hand, and slowly began to stroke it through the girl’s long, coal-black hair. She wasn’t aware of it at all, but she began to hum quietly a wordless tune. Had she noticed, she would have recognized it as the same tune her father once hummed to her as a child, whenever she grew frightened. Even in the midst of a nightmare, he could sit by her bedside, humming it to her, and her dream would grow peaceful.

Her father. After almost a millennium, she couldn’t remember the slightest detail of his face. But she could still hear the sound of his humming.

She stopped brushing for a moment, her index finger stroking down the side of the girl’s cheek softly. Did she remember anything of her father? Did she want to? She knew the precise moment Jennifer Schanke had run away from home, because she had kept a constant vigil over her after she had left New Jerusalem. Her parents kept her at home, thinking it best to keep her feeling safe and secure.  All the friends Jenny had at school and around the neighborhood were shut out completely, not by Don or Myra, but by Jenny herself.  Whenever a friend would come to see how she was feeling, bring a present for a birthday, Jenny would simply walk into her room and close the door, refusing to respond to anyone. Myra has suffered a nervous breakdown, consumed by guilt over the fact that she had been completely incapable of protecting her only child. Don had tried to comfort her, tried to make her see that it was in no way her fault, but Myra refused to accept that she had no part of the blame.

Don started drinking, until Reese had to suspend him for a week for drunk driving. Hanna intervened then, mentally dominating Don into kicking the habit.  She left him with the thought that he had gotten Jenny back alive and unspoiled, despite the things she had seen, and that there were plenty of terrible things in the world that happen that a parent is powerless to stop.  She filled his mind with her own memories of Racine and his Norman cohort that had come to her father’s manor.  She showed him how her father had died, knowing what the soldiers would do to his daughter, and being unable to
prevent it.

Myra had come in the living room while she was there, and Hanna quickly added her into her impromptu “therapy”…

*********************************************************************

“The only ones who truly have any blame in this are either dead, or soon will be,” she assured the both of them in her ruined voice.  She smiled at Don whenever he grimaced at the sound. Naturally, she could have healed her shredded vocal chords, but felt neither the need or the desire to.

“And you must take comfort in the fact that Jennifer merely saw things no one should see, whether a grown man, a woman, and certainly not a child. Her mind and spirit were overwhelmed, but they can recover. Things could have been so much worse, especially with Davistch’s fascination with pure, unspoiled, little girls.”

Myra wept uncontrollably, and Don cradled her head against his chest. “Do you have to say that?”

“Would you rather I lie to you? You both hold yourselves to blame for things that were beyond your power to stop. I am simply telling you that you must be thankful, for Jennifer’s sake, that Davistch forbade anyone else from touching her, and that he himself restrained his perverse desires, for the simple fact he wanted to savor her as long as possible. Imagine if he had not! Imagine if he had done to Jennifer all of those horrid, evil, perverse things
he has spent hundreds of years enjoying!  Imagine the state she would be in now, had she survived such treatment!  I tell you now, the only reason he did not was because he had planned to Embrace her on the night he took her virginity.  He had decided that SHE was his perfect little girl, that he would keep her “perfect” forever.  For some, like him, the blood becomes sweeter when the suffering is the greatest.  He wanted her ripe with pain, with absolute anguish of the soul. When the time was right, he would have raped her quite literally to the point of death, then he would have drained her, and
Embraced her.  I swear to you, Donald, Myra, it could have, and should have, been so much worse.”

“SHOULD HAVE!?” Myra screamed at her.

“Had I not saved her from Davistch, he would have.  I doubt Donald told you anything of me, or what was done to me, when I allowed myself to be caught, so that Jennifer could go free.”

“But I thought…Micah…Jon…Jonas…I thought you let August take you so they could escape?” Don asked her, his eyebrows drawn down in puzzlement.

“I did.  And I sent my spirit out to Jennifer in the Prince’s Tower, showed her the way out, to save her from Davistch. You do remember the cemetery, do you not, Donald?” she smiled at him, and he immediately began to shrink back into the couch.

“I wish I didn’t!”

“You have no idea how much I agree with that sentiment, Donald.  I would definitely rather not remember being buried, bloodless, in quick-drying cement.  And I could spend the rest of my immortality never remembering having to rip my way up to the surface through it.”

Don looked at her sharply, a disturbing thought settling in his mind.  “You’re not holding a grudge against Jenny for that, are you?”

Hanna laughed, the sound of it assaulting them so strongly that Myra slammed her hands against her ears, whimpering, and would have run from the room had Don not held her tight against him.  As it was, he was almost inclined to run himself.  “Why in the world would you think something so incredibly ridiculous as that?  I could say I have never harmed an innocent in my life, and that had been true up until Casa Loma.  Let us leave it as I have never willingly harmed a innocent, and I would never dream of holding a grudge against Jennifer, or Micah for that matter, for the consequences of a course of action I chose.  If there was a need to hold a grudge, August and Davistch, perhaps Divia as well, would have been the only ones that
I would have held to an accounting.  August, quite obviously, received her punishment.  Divia I will leave to Lucius, Nicholas, and Trapper.”

Don looked straight at her, was going to ask her about Davistch until he noticed her eyes. Where before he had seen them change from violet to coal black, now they were burning red.  His mouth dropped open, the question dead on his lips, and he felt suddenly very certain he, Myra, and Jenny were all about to die.

“Do not be foolish, Donald Schanke. I would not have troubled myself with saving your child, nor would I have come here to try to help you with your ordeal, if I had intended to kill you.  And believe me this, if you believe nothing else I say,” she leaned forward a little, and Don drew back away from her, “if I wanted to kill you, you would never see me coming.”

Myra pressed her hands tighter to her ears, trying to shut out that horrid voice, and Don started stroking his hand up and down her back, trying to comfort her.

Hanna sighed.  She knew she was doing more harm than not, but she truly wanted to help them.  She had tried easing the memories in Jenny’s mind while the girl slept, but the child proved to be a Resistor.  So, having little choice in the matter, Hanna resolved to try to alleviate the guilt Don and Myra were feeling.  She shook her head, thinking to herself how little success she was having with them as well. They simply refused to believe there was nothing they could have done to prevent what happened.  Jenny, however, was stuck in a trap of guilt, feeling that somehow she was to blame.  Hanna knew precisely how she felt, since she had spent the better part of her immortality believing the same thing about Racine and the Norman soldiers that had raped her for weeks.  She of course knew now that most victims of abuse harbor feelings of guilt and responsibility over the abuse done to them, but in Jenny’s case, it angered her almost to the point of madness.  She knew Spike had taken Jenny because of August’s orders.  August knew she would be obligated to save Jenny.  She also knew it would make it all the worse for Hanna if Davistch had the girl, given the man’s tastes.  So in a very real sense, Hanna was to blame for all that Don, Myra and Jenny were going through.

“I am not helping at all.  I realize this, and I am terribly sorry.” She sighed again as she rose, turning to leave.  “I simply could not let this go on without trying to be of some help, since the child suffered only to spite me.  Since I am only causing you more grief, I will go. Only know this,” her voice grew stronger, more forceful as she turned her head to look at Don over her left shoulder, “Davistch will never lay a finger on her.  I swear it to you, on all that I hold dear to me.”

Don met her eyes, knowing she meant what she said.  He didn’t like her, couldn’t like her, but he did know he could trust her word if given.  He nodded once at her, understanding completely…

*********************************************************************

She moved the brush again, watching the light play along Jenny’s freshly washed hair. “Poor Donald. If you knew what your little girl forced upon herself, trying to banish the demons visited upon her mind…”

Once she finished brushing Jenny’s hair, she climbed up into the bed and lay beside the girl, occasionally alternating between stroking her hair and her cheek.  She had promised the girl, but she couldn’t bring herself to the act, not without knowing if she was absolutely aware of the consequences.  As she waited for Jenny to wake up, she remembered back over the years since New Jerusalem was utterly destroyed.  She had spent almost all of that time watching over Jenny, trying to keep her safe.  She watched her since before she ran away, always hoping beyond hope that Jenny would call out for her, just once, asking for help.  She knew if she rushed in to “save” Jenny at any point, the girl would grow all the more indignant, and slip further into the abyss.  So she was forced to wait.  Forced to watch as she lost her virginity to a pimp and his six best friends.  Forced to watch as she was sold to anyone for any price.  Forced to watch the beatings, the rapes…all the horrors Jenny endured.

She was never able to stop anything from happening, knowing how Jenny would feel about it.  She ached, burned, for years to make each one of the bastards pay.  She never forgot a single one of them, or where to find them.  And now, after Jenny finally reached out to her, finally accepted her help, she waited.  If Jenny was still certain once Hanna was through trying to dissuade her, if she truly wanted to…

“We shall see,” she whispered as she lay her head down on the pillow next to Jenny.

She closed her eyes, and as sleep came to her, she revisited the memories of each man that had ever raped Jenny…

What they looked like…

Where they lived…

WAR: Birth (pt 1)

WAR: Birth

Hanna Clay
April 20th, Las Vegas, NV

She held her tiny hands before her, concentrating on holding the limp form with only the power of her mind. While there were plenty Caineites that could use telekinesis, it still wasn’t a very common ability. She had only come by the ability after diablerizing…

She furiously locked her mind on the task before her as her control started to waver. Best not think about anything but what was right before her.

As best as she could, she lowered the naked form into the steaming bath, trying to go slowly so that the water wouldn’t splash everywhere. She could have limited herself to performing a sponge bath, reducing her contact with water as much as possible, but she never considered it more than a second. She may have repaired the girl’s body from all the incredible damage that had been done, but the child was absolutely filthy, covered in blood, urine, semen, beer, and feces.

Once the still form was almost completely submerged, she relaxed her will. She drew a chair near the tub, dreading what was to come.  Since the cave…

She shuddered a little at the thought of it, trying not to remember.  She had already been vastly stronger than most other Caineites due to her age, Generation and training.  When one had instructors who had been using their abilities for millennium, and spent almost a millennium learning as much as one could, the results tended to make others look infantile. The Diablerie had changed her even more drastically. She was stronger by far than any other Caineite living, save the remaining few Third Generations. Lamech, one of the three Childer of Caine himself, was the only Second left “alive”, and he had been August’s Sire.  He had come to her after she had left New Jerusalem, once she had killed the assassins that had destroyed what was left of
the city, and would have killed her for the Sin she committed.  Why Lamech had spared her after she Diablerized his Childe she didn’t understand, unless he understood the true reason she had done it.

Her abilities were so grossly outrageous now it made her sick to think of what she was truly capable of.  “Power corrupts,” she whispered, her broken voice almost harsher than Davistch’s had been,” and Absolute Power corrupts absolutely.”

She shook her head as she took the soft sponge and submerged it in the water. Before that day, she was incapable of even standing in a puddle of water without becoming incapacitated. Now, her arm was in the tub up to her elbow, and it barely bothered her. She snickered a little then, at the memory of August.

Grabbing a bottle of gel soap, she pulled the wet sponge out of the water, covering it with the soap. She put the bottle down, and slowly began to scrub the filth off of her lost little darling…

WAR: Passion Play

Passion Play

Renie
April 20th

**********************************************************************************
Camille had been different. They had met at a nightclub in Madrid.  At first, he hadn’t been sure he was dealing with a vampire.  He’d thought the petite red head delicate and enchanting.

Nikolai had allowed himself to be seduced by her.  He always enjoyed that part of the hunt.  Bedding women was a favorite hobby.

Camille had known he was immortal.  Not many vampires knew of his kind and vice verse.  She had wanted to know about him and they had spent hours talking.  Not only was he incredibly attractive, she actually found him quite interesting as well.

He hadn’t really known for sure that the woman was a vampire until it was too late.  He had taken her to his hotel and into his bed.  The Russian hadn’t seen her eyes or thought to look as they frantically undressed each other, never breaking physical contact.

It wasn’t until Nikolai was deep inside her murmuring Russian endearments into her ear, that he saw the unnatural glow of her
eyes.  He startled for just a moment before she caught his eyes and cupped his face with a delicate hand.

“I won’t harm you.” Camille assured him. “I’ve fed well tonight. I want your body, not your blood.”

He didn’t need to think about it.  Nikolai couldn’t have stopped, even if he wanted to.  His body, consumed by lust and raw need, demanded he continue.

The immortal resumed his slow, deep thrusts.  Camille purred and wrapped her legs around his hips, urging him to move faster.  He smirked down at her and continued at the same maddeningly steady pace.

She flipped him with a growl.  It was a surprising show of strength for such a small woman.  Nikolai gasped as she started moving at her own pace, taking him faster and deeper. His head sank into the pillow and he let out a low moan. His hands grasped her slim hips, driving her down onto him.

A few minutes later, the Russian felt himself nearing his peak. He placed a hand behind her head, claiming her mouth in a searing kiss.  With the vampire’s body crushed against his own, he rolled them so he was again on top and in control.

Their joining became frenzied as they both came closer to completion.  Camille’s cries of pleasure mingled with his grunts and moans.  Mortal women were satisfying most times.  But every once in a while, Nikolai enjoyed a night of rough, no-holds barred passion.

The vampire’s skin glistened with blood sweat.  Her nails raked his back, leaving bloody scratches.  The smell of the heady immortal blood was almost too much.

“I… I need…” The vampire panted against his neck, nipping and licking at him.

“What do you need Millashka moya?” He asked in a breathy whisper.

“Blood… I have to bite… I need to.”

He’d been bitten once before.  He was lucky to have survived that night.  The immortal had come up behind a female while she fed.  The bitch had gotten her teeth into his neck before he’d had a chance to kill her.

He had been able to gut her with his sword, nearly cutting her in half, but she’d ripped out a huge chunk of his neck and jugular when she fell.  Her head was neatly severed just before the darkness engulfed him.

Nikolai had bled to death in the alley next to a pile of dust, just a few feet away from the bloodless corpse.  He’d woken up in his hotel room with no clue how he’d gotten there. He knew he’d somehow dragged himself to safety, but had no memory of doing it.

“It will be pleasurable for you… I’ve been with immortals before… You just need to relax.”

She’d said she wouldn’t hurt him. At that point in time, he’d allow her nearly anything as long as he could reach his impending release.  When he was right on the edge, he gave a quick nod.

The bite was gentle, very unlike the brutality of the other one.  Camille didn’t strike hard, merely slipped her fangs into his vein.  His gasp of pleasure was nearly drowned out by the vampire’s growl.

She tightened her arms and legs around him, holding the immortal in a vice like grip. Her body shook violently beneath his as she peaked.

His gasp as she tightened around him ended in a passionate cry.  The world seemed to shatter around him as he shuddered and emptied himself into her willing body.

The immortal was surprised when it was the vampire’s life that flashed before his eyes and not his own. He knew his whole life was being communicated to her through his blood.

He was still enjoying the last fading waves of his pleasure when he realized the vampire wasn’t letting go. Camille was going to drain him.

Damn. Well, at least he’d die happy.  Now that she knew he hunted her kind, Nikolai hoped she wouldn’t break her word and take his head before he revived.

Her toes were still curled from the amazingly powerful orgasm when Camille felt the life leaving his body.  He was still inside her when his heart slowly stopped beating.

~~~~~~~~

Nikolai came awake with a loud gasp, his body launching up from the bed.  The vampire was still there, lounging next to him.  His exquisite, muscular, body was still unclothed.

Camille put a hand on his back between the powerful shoulders, while the other rested against his broad chest.

“It’s alright.” She said gently.

He looked at her surprised. “You stayed?”

The vampire shrugged and handed him a glass of orange juice.

“Wha…”

“I had room service send it up. They give it to mortals when they donate blood.  I never understood why.  Anyway, it can’t hurt.  I know
you’re thirsty.”

He drained the glass in just a few gulps, and then reached for the pitcher on the bedside table, draining it as well.

*****************************************************************

“So, any plans for tonight?” Gunther asked.

“I thought we’d go out together.” Bourbon responded jauntily.

Camille was already gone seeking out her immortal lover.

“Wait.  Wait a second.  It’s Spring in Paris.  You’re here with your woman.”  The immortal began to tick off on his fingers. ” And you want to spend the evening with me?”

“I’m afraid there will be no room for me in Camille’s bed this evening.” Bourbon threw an arm around his friend’s shoulders. “Tonight, my friend, we go wenching!”

The Viking dropped his head back and looked up at the night sky.

“May the gods help us.” He moaned.

They had done this enough times to know exactly what would happen. Bourbon would get completely bullocksed on a mixture of the blood of a virgin, a touch of the finest red wine, and curare.

Gunther just hoped they didn’t end up getting killed again this time.

He heaved a long suffering sigh. “Okay. Fine. I’m in.”

“Oh don’t make it sound like such a chore. You love it and you know it.”

“Just take it easy on the curare, okay?”

“You have your whiskey, ale, and rum. I have curare.” The vampire sniffed.

“Yeah, but just like with alcohol, you’re not supposed to drink it until you black out, and then do something stupid. Or vice verse. I’m tired of getting myself killed.”

“You’re immortal, my friend. What do you care?”

His friend set a quick pace for a club.

“Because it hurts you stupid bastard.” Gunther said under his breath.

WAR: The Arrival

The Arrival

Renie
Sundown
April 20th, Paris

Thanks to a well-placed whammy, Bourbon and Camille had arrived in Paris via a chartered, private, nonstop flight. As the only passengers on board, the flight was quiet and peaceful, allowing them to keep all of the windows closed to block out the sun. Not only were they able to rest during the daytime, they took advantage of the privacy and renewed their membership in what mortals called “the mile high club.”

She had changed since their time at New Jerusalem. She was much less timid, more confident. Gone was the demure, little girl who allowed her chivalrous mate to protect and shelter her. She had grown. The vampire had an air of maturity about her that had not been there before.

She had also developed a temper.

He and Camille had never argued often. Before, their worst disagreements had only involved a lot of shouting and growling.  Since their time with the large group of immortals and vampires, they now involved thrown pottery and broken lamps. Bourbon had gotten good at ducking and weaving.

It was just after sundown when they arrived at the airport. The couple climbed into a waiting limo and was whisked to their hotel.

Bourbon had reserved the best suite of rooms at the historic Hotel Meurice. The hotel itself dated to the early 1800s, but had undergone many renovations in order to provide their guests with every modern convenience and luxury. The rooms were lavishly furnished with antiques to give them the feel of what they were like when the hotel originally opened.

The flight had been free and no doubt the hotel would be too.

Bourbon loved a good scam. He’d pulled off many in his long lifetime. He was a millionaire several times over and had more than enough money to pay for anything he wanted. The vampire just thrived on the thrill of getting away with things.

Once they were checked in and their bags were delivered to their suite, the vampires took off into the night. Their Immortal friend, Gunther, had arrived a day earlier, so Bourbon rang his hotel. Half an hour later, the threesome met outside a night club.

There was to be an auction the next day. That was the main reason they had come. Camille owned an antique shop in Seattle. Though she rarely set foot in the place, she loved traveling and acquiring the merchandise.

Ordinarily, Camille and Bourbon would have gone together. This time, Gunther had seen the catalogue and immediately booked a flight. Several Medieval weapons and pieces of armor were going to be auctioned. Among them were items recovered from a recently excavated Viking burial. The immortal suspected the newly discovered grave was that of his adoptive father.

Since Olaf died after Gunther became immortal, and had no other sons, the family’s sword had been buried with the patriarch. There was no way to recover the longship, since the wood had long ago rotted away. His father’s helmet, some pottery, the sword, pole ax, and flail had survived the ravages of time, though.

Bourbon was mildly interested in a few of the swords. There was a Rapier that looked vaguely familiar, though he couldn’t place it. Mostly, it was spring in Paris and Camille wanted to be there.

Camille was interested in some jewelry and a few pieces of furniture. For her, it was more a matter of who would be at the auction rather than the items offered.

There would be a Faberge egg, some porcelain and enamel plates, and silver, all of which were rumored to have belonged to the Romanov’s.  If they were, indeed, Romanov possessions, perhaps they would bring “the Tsarevich” out to play.

That thought tantalized Camille.  Nikolai and she were, for lack of a better term, “fuck buddies” as mortals put it.

He was phenomenal in bed. Mind bending, in fact. His body was perfectly formed, well muscled, with curves in all the right places.  His soft voice was a low, soothing caress that sent a shiver of desire down her spine. Yet the same sensual voice could be regal and authoritative when necessary.

The problem was that he detested vampires and actively hunted them.

Camille was the exception, and by extension, Bourbon.  As long as his death would hurt her, the Russian would let that one live.  The female vampire and many other women, mortal and immortal, had Nikolai’s body, but none his heart.

He still deeply felt the loss of the one woman he ever loved.  Ekaterina Poskov was an immortal like him.  They were together nearly 40 years before a vampire captured her. The female vampire tortured his wife until she went mad, and then released her to kill him.  He himself had been forced to take his Katya’s head. Only then had he known what had happened to her while she had been held prisoner.

He’d spent every night of the next 65 years hunting vampires.  He’d taken enough immortal heads as well, but he never went looking for a
fight with his own kind. He had his own agenda and little time for the game.