Closer (Dredd x Darkflames13)

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Welcome to Waldendorf City, also known as the haut monde of New America, the prime spot for most business ventures, an urban paradise where only the elite can live amongst the elite. With its neon-decked skyscrapers and wonderful new technologies, life in this illustrious city is never dull.

Among the city's pioneering residents is a powerful family known to most as the Vampires of Waldendorf. While they are not mythical creatures as the title suggests, they do have some traits that make them suited to the name. Don't let appearances fool you; underneath those perfectly rehearsed smiles, the Vampires are ruthless businessmen, cold as ice and treacherous like snakes. Owning ninety percent of the enterprises in Waldendorf, they own practically the whole city itself. But if one would pay no heed to the whispers in the dark, the Vampires would seem just like any other ordinary family. Their record is flawless—there is no crime, no scandal or anything of the sort that can be traced back to their name. As far as society is concerned, the Vampires are perfect. Powerful. Untouchable. Nothing in this would could possibly besmirch their good reputation.

But underneath all the glitz and glamour surrounding their lives, there is one sordid truth just waiting to be unearthed.

Fifteen years ago, wanting to ascend the social ladder and triumph over competing families and firms, the Vampires formed an alliance with yet another family: the Winthrops. While not as influential nor as sophisticated as the Vampires, the Winthrops were powerful in their own unique way. They ran a secret organisation and were involved in numerous illegal activities. Like spiders, they weaved their underground social web, gathering the deepest and darkest secrets of Waldendorf's elite which they then sold for a good hefty price. The Vampires exploited the Winthrops' ability to gather information. In exchange for information on their rivals, the Vampires enriched them with money and privilege. But forming an alliance with the Spiders was like striking a deal with the devil; the devil always has the upper hand. It turned out that the Winthrops had an ulterior motive in mind. In their heads a terrible scheme was created, for what these Spiders wanted most of all was influence—influence that no other family aside from the Vampires could ever hope to achieve.

The Winthrops strived hard to achieve their goal. They tried to earn the Vampires' trust, tried to uncover secrets, tried to stage scandals and spread lies in an effort to taint their name. But easily the Vampires caught on, and all of a sudden the tables were turned. The Vampires made it so that the Winthrops' illegal involvements were brought to justice. Those who managed to evade imprisonment only did so by the skin of their teeth, and even then they had no assets left to live a comfortable life.

The Spiders learned their lesson, but it was too late to make amends; the Winthrop name had already been smeared from high society.

p l o t

It is the year 2134. The Vampires are still at the helm of Waldendorf, and the city is just as illustrious as ever. Fifteen years have passed since the Winthrops were driven away from high society. But among the Winthrops' long line of descendants, there is one who has managed to climb back up the social ladder. All it took was a new adoptive family and a change in her name. What motivates her now is not money, not power, but revenge. Revenge for the family she has lost. Revenge for all the terrible things she has gone through. And her target? The Vampires, of course. An arranged marriage is already in the works. Before long she and one of these Vampires will be made to live under the same roof. What will happen then? Only time will tell.

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