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Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Childish Grumpino, Apr 13, 2013.
'Elysian Fields'. One of Camden Town's biggest and most bizarre nightclubs. Multiple floors of thick plate glass filled with gyrating punters here to enjoy the infamous night life of London, strobe lighting blasting across the vast room and pounding music echoing throughout. The three bars, one for each level, are hives of activity as buzzing guests attempt to push through the mob to acquire drinks with stern-faced security watching over the cacophony.
It's the largest and most popular of the clubs belonging to the enigmatic and notorious entrepreneur Harry Rothstein, listed in the student guidebooks and attended by celebrities from across the world. Up-and-coming acts are willing to give an arm and a leg to be featured at a venue like this, to get the exposure gigging at a Rothstein club can bring.
But through an unassuming set of doors and up an escalator to the hidden peaks of this vast building, one can find the secret heart of Elysian Fields.
One can find themselves neck-deep in the world of the Kindred of London.
Pale-faced attendees flit in amongst each other, like wolves circling their foes. Wary, eyeing the competition, the potential allies and enemies. The bar girls, eyes glazed and with blissful yet empty expressions written across their faces, serve drinks of crimson as the guests drift around the vast room. The walls swirl in bizarre, cold patterns and feed the atmosphere further.
This is a room full of predators on their very best behaviour.
And holding court amidst it all is Harry Rothstein, Anarch Baron of Camden.
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Elysian Fields Layout
Elysian Fields Layout
The sun was setting. How did Wakahisa know this? He could hear his ghouls coming down the stairs to wake him. The Ventrue awoke, ready to face his clearly enthusiastic ghouls, openly. The first one downstairs, was, of course, as always, Tanaka-kun. Ren had a particular soft spot for this particular ghoul, God forbid any other kindred find out. Closely following him was Seomun-kun. To be honest, he was immensely fond of both his ghouls, though Tanaka shared his homeland, whereas Seomun was born second-gen American Immigrant from Korea. They both had a gleam in their eyes, and Wakahisa assumed that they'd explored the area while the sun was still up, and had plans for him. With an exasperated sigh he placed his hands on his hips. "So did you have something useful to present, or were you simply planning to kidnap me to some Kine cesspool where I cannot feed anyway?" He spoke his English with a heavy Japanese accent, only really kept out of an inner necessity to keep himself Japanese. He spoke the English in the first place, because Seomun was not fluent in Japanese. Tanaka needed a better grasp of the commonly used language, anyway.
They seemed to definitely have the same thing in mind. "Elysian Fields." Seomun said, with an air of accomplishment. The reference was not missed. Sounded like a location of Elysium if there ever was one. However, if his ghouls had so easily heard of the place during the daytime, it had to be tricky. It was almost undoubtedly crawling with Kine. Ren had hoped that they had also spent part of the day working on business, even though it was their first official night in London. He supposed he couldn't find fault with them for hopping on the tourist train. He remembered his first week in America, vaguely of course; it was decades ago, now. He allowed a small smile to form on his face, to which his ghouls responded with larger smiles of their own.
Ren started walking to the closet, and Tanaka and Seomun took to their tasks in proper form. One could say Wakahisa was spoiled as a child. He knew how to dress himself, well enough, but was never comfortable managing it on his own. He'd always had a servant at hand. Within minutes, the Ventrue was prepared to leave the house. He walked upstairs into the under-decorated main room of his new home. The only real things they had brought with them was a portrait of Wakahisa Akira, the Ventrue's father, in life, and the family sword. Both were to be proudly displayed, even if Wakahisa hated seeing his father, and worse, how much he had come to look like his father, and would remain that way, for the rest of eternity, should he play his cards right. He eyed these reminders of the family he had belonged to, in life, as he walked through to the front door.
Tanaka drove. They were at the club rather promptly. It didn't seem too busy with Kine, just yet, but that didn't make it certain that he was in the proper place to present himself for acknowledgement. Would he be able to find the Prince of the domain here, or maybe even the Primogen of his clan for the domain? At the already thumping techno music, he found himself doubting. He walked in behind his ghouls, trying to tune out the ruckus of the music, and focus on the task at hand. Were there other Kindred here? Would they make themselves known? He had his hand on his jacket's inside pocket where all his proper paperwork was nestled very very securely. God forbid they lose their place, and get lost in a place littered with Kine. Such a breach of the First would not be tolerated on his watch. The two young men wandered toward the bar. They were allowed. Wakahisa simply kept close to the wall, and his eyes peeled for any hint that he was in the correct place.
It's surprisingly difficult to find a decent apartment in the London area when you look like a walking ad for a meat tenderizer company. Between property taxes, closing fees, Down payments, insurance and the ever famous issue of working on a fixed income, the whole process served as little more than a giant headache. Add to that the issues associated with not being able to converse in person and you find yourself in a right proper mess. When Deadward had made his trek overseas, he did it with intention to only have to lay low for a month and some change. Whoever's sick idea it was to embrace him and leave him for dead in a ditch did a lot more than jack with the man's complexion. Unable to step foot in the sunlight in fear of final death had made slumming a whole new kind of experience. Two weeks was spent living in a variety of locations scattered about the streets of the city. The most famous was the night he crammed himself into a storm drain and found out he didn't need to breath anymore. An unnerving experience to say the least. Following that brought on a spree of breaking and entering, making his stay among a series of warehouses that dotted the docks of the Thames. The locks might have well been made out of saltine cracker and what few cameras that were there were obvious enough to avoid. It wasn't five star living, but it was better than the street and it sure as hell beat the sunlight.
Between evenings along the dockside the American managed to take up residence among a storage area used to hold Computer equipment. While not lucky enough to be sporting anything the likes of laptops which could be hawked without issue, the components did manage to fetch spending money after some fiddling with eBay. It wasn't much but it was a start that netted the Nosferatu a 6 months paid on a 10x10 storage unit in the east end of the city. It wasn't anything more than a long steel building with a dozen units per side, but even in life the American was hardly delicate. No amount of washing could remove that dull scent of burnt flesh from his body. Showers these days only seemed to clog up the drain with about a pound of dead skin and ash. Even touching things casually would leave traces of soot along surfaces if he didn't wear gloves. It was almost like going through puberty all over again, except rather than becoming a man he was turning into the coal Santa puts into your stocking when you act like a shitbag.
The Shed started with little more than four cinder blocks and a strip of plywood to lie on, but as time went on, more items went into its upkeep. What the Nosferatu lacked in the ability to converse in a face to face format, he made up for in the money saved from mundane tasks like eating and rent. Because he was off the records of the government, he didn't pay taxes. Because of the nature of his condition, he was no longer a slave to biological needs. It's unbelievable how much money a person spends just floating along in today's society.
While never the fan of scavenging for rats, there were plenty to be had in the area. The location was quiet and close enough to a few dive bars to catch a bite of something touch more appealing if the occasion called. The transactions made through the internet were prepared through a Post office box, so a hard address was not important. Despite living in a steel box in the slums of town, lif... existence wasn't that bad. Things were simple, and the only concern that came about through day to day life was the preparations covering the storage bill at the end of every six months. In a weird way, it was kind of like camping. It might have been the process of this ease of mind that made the Arrival of Harry Rothstein's letter so concerning.
The letter had been sitting in his PO Box one evening after collecting the proceeds from a handful of Kindles at a steal. The envelope was quite well to do compared to anything he normally dealt with, so it caught his eye right away. The Nosferatu knew that his actions weren't exactly invisible, but he rather hoped it would have been at least a bit more of a chore to track him down than clear evidence before him said otherwise.
Deadward shortly after his embraced was sanctioned by the Camarilla, a meeting that was about as comfortable as stabbing himself in the eye with an active blender. The process began as an introduction to politics in the region and ended up with a split open cheek bone after a few wisecracks. While a comical bunch of dusty old farts with sticks up their asses, the lot didn't show much for a sense of humor. A shame really. As Deadward read the letter in his box, the same general tone of the piece seemed to be fresh in its composition. As the young nosferatu read it, he considered eating something to induce vomiting. It wasn't rude at all, it was just too fake.
Glancing the letter over revealed a return address to a similar post office box location. The nosferatu knew that the Baron likely didn't expect any semblance of a response, but principal dictated that he couldn't help himself. Besides, he'd already lost his looks, his life, and his ability to go out in public without Scotland Yard being called on him. Losing his sense of humor would be a real travesty. With a pair of scissors, he cut the Baron's letter into pieces and arranged hand written blurbs below the clippings to relay the intention of the message.
Deadward had a feeling he was going to regret sending that at some point. Likely enough this sow would probably be just as quick to violence and losing his temper as the mismatched lackeys of the Camarilla. At this point however, the dead vet just couldn't bring himself to care. His entire life was a continuing event of being played. He was played by his parents, Played by school, Played by the army, played by the law, and now that he was dead, the whole tune was starting a new. What he didn't expect was a very out of the ordinary response.
Now, the nosferatu was interested.
Not only had the Baron matched his wit, but he'd done it in a manner that was light hearted enough to realize the humor of the situation and serious enough to not lose any semblance of face. After an exchange like that, saying no to an event of the sort was out of the question. As of whether or not he'd agree to the man's requests was yet to be seen, but from his initial impression any business proposal made would be considered with open mind. The Baron was right, Deadward could not be trusted.
There was an old saying that went something the likes of "A good Man can never be trusted to be honest, but a dishonest one can always be relied upon for his dishonesty."
It was in this premise that both parties seemed to understand each other.
It was to the tune of Jimi Hendrix that the Dead Vet found himself greeting the evening. The sound echoed from the alarm of a disposable cell phone which had been hacked by a tech minded college goer for a spot of weed and some small figures of money. The Baron's "Tea party" was tonight and Deadward had every intention to show up on time. Gathering up a small gym bag, the vampire packed a set of clothes that hadn't stained too poorly from the ash residue of his skin. Jeans, Faux Vintage Grateful Dead shirt, shit kicker boots and the same Desert camo issued field jacket the army had provided him for the Middle East. The jacket sported a number of patches determining unit affiliation and Brigade. On the right shoulder sat the insignia of the 25th Infantry Division's 4th Brigade Combat team. A symbol likely lost on most of the folks in the area, but one that even with the lows of military service held quite a bit of meaning to the dead vet.
To say it was a loud outfit was an understatement. Deadward liked the Baron's initial impression, but not enough to dress up for the man. On the bright side, adding a wool cap and a scarf to the ensemble made the horrific appearance of the nosferatu practically invisible. The clothes were stuffed into the gym bag and tossed over the vet's shoulder. He'd trekked the sewers enough times to know you don't wear something clean when you move through them. Tossing the bag over one shoulder, Hammond started off towards Elysian Fields.
A touch of music here and there- Fiona Apple was always a good choice.... yes... Yes... this scene was coming together.
The gurney and restraints held a frightened victim, and she was beyond delighted- yes... now to just get off the gloves to begin this little-
A notification for mail went off. Well, then. Not many send Lana mail- so who could it be? She quieted down the music, straightened out her gloves and then fetched the mail, slowly opening it as the music trailed on.
~Oh sailor, why'd you do it, what'd do that for?~
Catchy. And the sounds of the new victim trying to silently escape lent themselves as wonderful relaxing noises as she read the contents.
[SIZE=+1]A good evening to you, Miss Vy Amrit.
I trust my letter does not interrupt anything too important, and if it has then please accept my humble apologies. I am Harry Rothstein, Baron of Camden Town and proprietor of several of the district's most popular nightclubs. As it happens I find myself in need of expert help, and your name came up in conversation. When in need of such help who better to call than a member of Clan Tremere, after all?
In a few nights I shall be holding a small gathering of our fellow Kindred, in part as a social event and also to discuss certain matters I feel are important to our exclusive little community. Your skills and knowledge would be greatly beneficial to all this, so I do hope you can find the time to make an appearance. Enclosed are all the details; simply show up at my club on the due date and my people shall ensure you find your way to me.
Whilst I am aware that Clan Tremere's hierarchy is rather different from my own and that you tend to be more open with your superiors, your discretion on this meeting would be appreciated if at all possible. A man such as myself always has enemies, after all, and I do not wish to tip them off. That would be most regrettable for both of us.
Thank you again for your time, Miss Vy Amrit, and I do hope to see you soon.
- Harry Rothstein, Baron of Camden[/SIZE]
Well then. How interesting.
She turned herself towards her captive again, seeing that he had chosen to take the bait- she had left that restraint on his right wrist a bit loose- and now he was trying to get free. He was very quickly loosening himself from the gurney- and yet... she had allowed it. Why not? Only meant she can justify getting a bit rougher with him. Hell, the poor lil shit hadn't even noticed she was watching him.
~Oh sailor, why'd you do it?~
"You'd be surprised how loud you are right now." She spoke sternly, a tone similar to a irked and disappointed parent. The man froze and a shudder seemed to run through his body- wasn't long before he got control of himself again- staring her in the eyes, that fake macho bravery- oh, these were moments she lived for. "I'd suggest you lay back down and let me re-do the restraints. If you're good, I might even give you a little reward." Her voice was usually abrasive, though in times like this, it was cloying like honey, teasing and taunting.
Right on cue, the music changed, a faster pace, "Fast as You Can" was a song for the frenzied moments like this- and each time, each patient always seemed to run on the same clock, run on the same time. Each would try to escape before the first song ended, and the new song would always seem to start now.
~-disprove your faith in man, so if you catch me trying find my way into your heart from under your skin...~
He refused to move and she smiled, coming closer. One step at a time and his bravado was leaking away and his skin was paling more and more. Just break, little man, just break.... let those frenzied cries of fear out into the open.
She pushed him down roughly, and surprisingly- the man was trying to fight back. Fear made cornered kittens into frightening lions at times, it seems. But it was for naught- she had her assistant coming in to help, and within moments, he was unable to even twitch with ease. Fear was in full force now as she worked on taking her gloves off again.
It took thirty minutes, a new record.
Ah, she had forgotten about the letter...
Would she go? Should she reply back?... and could she go without telling nary a soul? Well, maybe.... It was uncertain... Why would someone want her though- she was perfectly happy with the gig she had right now... and wasn't looking to change anything... Hmmm
She had her assistant watch the captive, with orders to kill the little shit himself if the man so much as moved a finger. There were always plenty more.
Think. What does Lana want to do? What does this man have to offer? What kind of job would this be? She was curious, but was she curious enough to break habit and not tell her superiors? Hmmmm...
She gazed down at her hands, these weapons of design that she didn't quite understand. True, a few times she had tried to take a scalpel and see for herself how it worked, but the major mechanics of it still seemed to elude her. A lot of these things seemed to elude her- she was still very new to all of this, after all.
"Kill him, we're leaving. I have... matters to attend to- no more time to play." She spoke in monotone as she went about the task of trying to pull her gloves back on. Not too long after that, there were some horrific noises, and in the end, she was cleaning the gurney as best she could before collapsing it into a more manageable form. The body disappeared, like the rest. He had never existed.
Just like she had never existed.
No... no, she HAD existed, and her life before the Embrace was one of untold cruelty and abuse. A life of fear, fear of hurt and pain that would come from the hands of her classmates... Scars would form on her skin as the acts of violence left their mark on her psyche... breaking her... preparing her... She wasn't one to get off on receiving pain, and grudges were ingrained into her as she discovered she had the means to get revenge... Yes... no one would make her feel that way ever again...
She dressed up in a smart, white, button-down blouse, a nice pair of slacks, a loose black tie around her neck, and some dress shoes and was on her way. The gloves lent themselves to the appearance, she wanted to look her best, but dresses were never useful for work. She entered the place... hoping that she hadn't made the wrong choice.
Her assistant was bundled in some nice clothes, though, he wasn't much for company, more like a human version of man's best friend, only lacking more in intelligence. He'd occasionally drool or mumble to himself otherwise, he was, as always, on good behavior.
So, where was the man of the hour?
[size=+1]London is not exactly car-friendly, even in the late hours of the day.
When attempting to get anywhere in this city via automobile, one must accept the inevitability that there are going to be at least a good couple hundred thousand people with the same idea as you. Thus most roads tend to move at a pace only slightly faster than a snail for most of the day, and it doesn't get much better even when one is travelling at night.
Thank the gods, then, for motorcycles.
Two wheels mean a far narrower frame than four, which allows Sevens to carefully navigate his way through the mishmash of traffic as a cacophony of angry shouting and beeping horns accompanies his progress. In the hierarchy of the London transport system bikers rank only slightly higher than cyclists, but this has never bothered him; he quite enjoys getting the nightly opportunity to duck and weave his way through the streets of this city whilst flipping off every asshole getting angry with him.
It's the little opportunities in life to stick it to others that a Brujah appreciates.
One can feel the atmosphere change almost as soon as you enter Camden Town. It's a district that's quite the sight by day, but a venerable spectacle by night; the lights, the noise, the pounding music emanating out of nightclub doors, the people out for a good time. Truly, this place is alive when the sun goes down. It's small wonder, Sevens notes, that his kind like the place so damn much. Makes you almost feel like you're alive again. Almost.
Pulling into an alleyway a few streets away from his destination, he lets the Harley's engine roar and grumble it's way into sleep. Sevens has been riding this bike for years, and he's damn fond of her. Solid, dependable and packing a punch, with the added bonus of the bitch never answering back. If only all men were so lucky. He pulls himself out of the saddle and wheels the bike over to a nearby pile of crates, stacking junk and debris against her before throwing an old piece of tarpaulin over it. The locks are solid and the security decent, but in London you could never be too careful.
Stepping out of the alley, he begins to amble in the direction of Elysian Fields.
The cut Sevens wears, over faded dark leather and denim, means that he's given a reasonable berth by the patrons and punters of Camden Town's night life: the MCs of London might not be as prominent as they were back in the day, but folk still know well enough to show some respect. It's helped, of course, by the sense of otherness that pervades from him. Contrary to what elder vampire types might think, kine are not stupid, ignorant organic bloodbags with no clue as to what's going on around them. That little lizard brain in the back of their minds can remember far back; they still recall what it feels like to be hunted.
They still know a predator when they see one.
A short walk later and he stands outside the Elysian Fields. The name makes him snort once again; Rothstein's a good guy, despite the opinions some of the older Anarch types hold, but his love of pomp and circumstance will forever mystify Sevens. The music spilling out from the doors is alien to his ears, the music of a generation many decades removed from his own. Dio's dead, Ozzie's mental and the Rolling Stones look like plastic models constructed from botox, and yet here Sevens remains, unchanged even after all these years.
Grouchy old man in a young thug's body. He lights a cigarette and watches the masses file into the nightclub, not quite willing to come face to face with his fellow Kindred just yet...[/size]
[size=+1]“...and so I told the uppity little n'er-do-well, 'my dear boy, you will provide for me the blood I have requested, or else something very unfortunate may befall your place of business in the near future'. Did not think it was possible for our kind to go any paler, but I will be twice-damned if this little neonate did!”
There's a chorus of chuckles and laughter as Harry Rothstein, Baron of Camden Town, finishes his little tale surrounded by the backstabbers, sycophants and hangers-on of Kindred society. Twenty to thirty of them, at most, each as dull and uninteresting as the last.
The fact that most of these individuals rank on his hierarchy only slightly higher than tape-worms is something that Rothstein is very, very good at disguising. Most of those in attendance tonight are of little to no interest to him; would-be freedom fighters without the conviction to go the whole way alongside Camarilla types who know they'd be beaten half to death if they ever walked into a real Anarch establishment and so try to 'live dangerously' by coming here instead.
Useless, to a fault. But they make for a great screen behind which to hide his true motives for tonight's gathering.
The guests he's actually hoping to see have yet to make an appearance yet, but the night is still young. No doubt they are their way, even as he drifts over to another cluster of his delightfully drab fellows of the night.[/size]
[size=+1]Ren's ghouls have barely made it to the bar before a vast figure in a dark suit makes his way through the crowd to him. The earpiece disappearing into his jacket and sheer bulk suggests bouncer... but that desperate, hungry look in his eye says ghoul.
“Sir, Mister Rothstein is very pleased you accepted his invitation,” the ghoul states with a thick London accent, “If you would please follow me, I can take you to the gathering. It's just upstairs.” He motions with his hand towards a set of heavy steel doors marked 'PRIVATE'...
[size=+1]Lana, too, is quickly noticed by another ghoul who seems to be on the lookout for guests of the function upstairs. He too is decked out in the attire of a bouncer; it seems Rothstein keeps a number of ghouls on-hand to act as security for his nightclubs.
“Welcome to the Elsyian Fields, Miss Vy Amrit. Mister Rothstein's gathering is just upstairs, if you would be so kind as to follow me to the elevator.” He too motions to the set of doors that separates the world of the kine from the world of the Kindred...
Traffic, it was always terrible which is why it had been a good call to leave right after sunset. The night was still young then when the luxury car pulled up and out stepped the half-blood Indian turned kindred. He was dressed what he would call fitting for the invitation, a striped shirt under an open mandarin collar jacked with patching dark pants and dress shoes. Is reeked of being purposefully chosen to be just short of formal wear which was the impression he had wanted to give. When someone this important sent you an invitation it was useless to dress as anything than yourself not because that is what he wanted to see but because he already knew who you were.
And who was Eric Sanderson? He was a Lasombra and a Camarilla, that in itself put him between worlds. Then there was the fact that he was neither alive nor dead and the little tip bit of him only recently being emancipated and having yet to acquire ghouls or even a herd of his own. Maybe he had been with his sire longer than average but in that time he had learned. There was a game to play where the older monkeys higher in the tree called the shots and would rather see their progeny kill each other than rise to become a threat. Ambition a guile only got a neophite so far and especially after that face he saw the week before if he were going to play he would play to win, perhaps from the sidelines at first, attention was an enemy if it was the wrong kind...
He cleared his throat and cut off that line of though as he looked up at the building before him. He had heard of it before now and knew what could be found. A meal, a place to talk that was too loud for others to overhear, a dance of that was what you were after... and the Baron of Camden Town. He placed his hand on his chest making sure the ankh pendant was visible, a little proof of identity and he genuinely liked it and what it meant. Before receiving it he was frightened of what he was but once if lay in the palm of his hand he was seeing what he could become.
Striding forwards he approached the building mentally repeating the directions he had gleaned to get to there that Baron could be found. Tonight was a big night no matter what transpired... perhaps the biggest in his new life since the day it began.
It was to the tune of Lewis Carroll that stirred in the dead man's head as he walked through the passages of the sewer. It was always one of those things in life that you knew was down bellow you but you never really gave it much thought where it led. Doors were abound and more often than not it was rather surprising to find where they led. With a spot of resourcefulness and a good eye for direction, it didn't take long to find your way around. Most of the passages were kind enough to sport maintenance catwalks along the tunnels as to keep at least some of the smell off you. For Ed, it didn't much matter. The smell of Burnt flesh often would illicit the same response these days.
It didn't take long to come across the door listed in the Baron's letter. The big wig was kind enough to have drawn up a map to follow through the sewer ways. As the Nosferatu found his way to the door he was greeted by a sheet paper sign scribbled with permanent pen. Two simple words in fancy cursive. "Knock twice." Sure enough, the bastard had even gone through the formality of leaving out a mat to wipe his feet on.
Cute really. If things kept up this way he'd have to patent the rights for the next gripping spy thriller. Slowly the Nosferatu doubled up his fist into a ball and rapped against the frame of the metal door. A handful of seconds passed before the sounds of deadbolts chimed from the other end of the passage. A less than gentle tug popped the seal of the entry and gave the impression that the passage hadn't been used in quite some time. From the other end of the passage, a suited man in sunglasses glanced down at Deadward with a glare that could freeze water. In life Ed was never really a tall man, 5'8 and some change on a good day. Looking on the face of the bouncer though, the man had easily a half a foot on the Vampire. As the pair stared the other down, primal tinges raged in their psyches. Age old instinct of fight or flight bubbled and turned as both men held there ground. Slowly a wide and toothy grin peaked from both corners of the Nosferatu's mouth, showing a maw more a kin to that of a shark.
"Avon Calling." Deadward rasped contently.
[size=+1]The sunglasses do a reasonable job of hiding the bouncer's reaction, but Edward can notice the signs of someone holding back the urge to recoil in shock. The man swallows, seemingly not responding to the Nosferatu's remark.
“Uh, Mister... Hammond?” The question answers itself; it's not like the man was expecting another individual to show up at this door with a face pulled from a horror film. There's another awkward pause as the bouncer stares a little longer before he finally snaps to his senses and wrenches open the door further, stepping to the side with an outstretched arm to show Edward the way.
“Right this way please, sir. Mister Rothstein is expecting you upstairs; we can take the elevator.”
[size=+1]Willing or not, Sevens comes face to face with a fellow creature of the night almost as soon as he's taken the first draw of his cigarette.
The man's clean-shaven, hair neatly cropped. Dark suit, impeccably-tailored and well fitted, and a crisp white shirt open at the collar. He could be one of London's many professionals, an investment banker or some law firm pencil-pusher. But Sevens knows what he really is, in the same way a predator in the wilds knows another predator is nearby.
Monsters are good at recognising other monsters.
This one he's heard of; the Lasombra pup. A rarity amongst vampires outside of groups whose idea of a good time is running around a shopping centre with chainsaws and railroad spikes. Sevens isn't exactly in on the politics of the Ivory Tower but even Anarchs take note when a Lasombra gets in bed with the Camarilla. It's a clan with a dark reputation, but that's to be expected for one so intimately involved with the dark.
The urge to get inside begins to rise, and with an irritated grunt Sevens flicks his barely-lit cigarette into the gutter. He brushes past the Lasombra with a grunt of recognition that sounds more like a growl before shouldering his way through the crowd of clubbers at the doors of the Elysian Fields.
Harry, he thinks to himself, better have a fucking good reason for asking him here...[/size]
Ren eyed the man, immediately assessing his state as not-quite-as-mortal-as-he-could-be. He removed his hand from the pocket inside his jacket and tugged at it gently to be sure it was in place. He was annoyingly petite. Even tailored suits would sometimes slip out of place. He looked at the doors and with a nigh imperceptible glance toward his own ghouls, he nodded and began to follow. He remained silent. He would address the Kindred himself. While underlings deserved respect, it was their higher ups that were required to give it.
Speaking of underlings, Tanaka noticed the large man, escorting his master away. He stopped where he was and watched in suspicion, looking for any sign that help might be needed. He watched as his master made a subtle sign to calm himself. Tanaka felt uneasy on a level or two, but continued his walk toward the bar. Seomun noticed his slowing, and put an arm around his shoulders. "Hide, you need to loosen up! Just because our boss has business doesn't mean we're on high alert!" His accent was basic West-Coast American. His voice was full of laughter, and his eyes sparkled as he looked at the people coming to party for the evening."Here. We'll get some drinks, and then later tonight, after this all you can help Mr. Wakahisa unwind." He winked at his fellow ghoul. Tanaka knew exactly what he'd meant, and wasn't sure how he felt about the whole situation. Since their differences on the matter had been solved, Seomun had been pushing him to be more forward than he'd ever feel comfortable with. It was enough to take care of the man. He needed it after all.
[size=+3]EARLIER THAT NIGHT...[/size]
[size=+1]Alice awoke as the sun set. Another night had begun. She opened the door of the closet, still sleeping in there despite taping the curtains down in her room, just in case. The room was bare, save for a single folding chair. She hadn't the resources the make it more personal. That and she was saving her money for something more important then an end table or lamp.
Leaving her room, her toiletries in hand, she went to the shared bathroom. Almost ritualistically she splashed her face with cold water and then dried it off. There was little need, it wasn't like she needed to wash her face, but it was a harmless habit that made her early nights a bit more normal.
After brushing out her hair, and returning her items to her room, Alice headed out. Even though the night was young, shops did not stay open nearly as long as she could wish. Taking the Tube she eventually found herself where she wanted to be.
The neighbourhood had seen better times, but further off there was in fact several unused buildings, so the occasional empty store front was better then it could have been. As she wandered the streets she stopped at a shop that was now familiar to her. Inside there were many string instruments. She looked inside the window for a while before walking in.
"Hello," she called out to the shop keeper, a wizen old man that had become more and more paranoid as the years crept up. He was a decent man though, after all, despite having a long ways to go to save for a cello he had allowed her to play one the first time she walked in, just for a few minutes. Those few minutes turned into twenty and she was told she was welcomed in any time to play. After all having someone playing so well in his shop was good for business.
"Are you here to purchase today?" The old man asked.
Alice shook her head. "If things go well, maybe in two weeks."
"Ah," he replied, and then he pointed to where one of the cellos were cased near a chair and a music stand. Alice walked over and noticed there was sheet music on the stand, it seemed he wanted her to play that particular piece. Alice didn't mind and with in a few minutes she was settled into the chair, the cello between her legs, and her eyes on the score.
[size=+1]It was cold, no it always felt like that, but blankets brought no warmth to a body the held none begin with. He straitened his tie as he stood in the dark alley that was his entrance hall, the front doors of the theater he called home having been barred and barricaded, and yet still the occasional vagrant managed to get inside in search of shelter and warmth, maybe something to eat. Their blood wasn't always appetizing but they were never missed.
Tonight though... as every night Eric was binding himself to a promise. Tonight he would make the most of things, by sunrise, then he rested his head he would be in a better position than right now where he stood.
It's wasn't easy to be him, his clan with his loyalties, but the nights were his and the gift of unlife would never be squandered as his like had been. With these thoughts he emerged into the streets of the dilapidated old theater district. The wind, what there was was bitter and the moon shyly skirting the clouds, but the streetlamps were lit and he had no trouble walking through the streets and finding his way.
At first he thought he imagined it, the haunting song resonating with memory. A cello wielded with skill. It was close by, and he frowned the the memories of a soft face, a time before he was reborn.
He let his feet guide him, though a pedestrian way and around a corner to a music shop and he paused, hand on the glass front. He He had come this far before, but had never taken the last step of looking through the window, maybe he was afraid, maybe he just didn't care... Maybe it wasn't who he thought it was... Then he tapped his fingers on the window. No point in looking just yet, maybe he could take this musician and start building a herd...[/size]
[size=+1]As she played, she heard a slight taping in the direction of the window. It seemed her playing at least had someone at the shop door. It wasn't the first time, and having an audience was always preferable. As her fingers found the spots on the strings and her eyes read the notes, she smiled. Smiling wasn't something she did much of late, but while she played she could not worry about what else life, or perhaps existence, had in store for her.
As the last note hung in the air, she sighed, another habit from life before, but a useful one. Quietly she then closed up the sheets of music. "Thank you," she called out to the shop keeper as she began to put away the cello.
"You know you're welcome to stay," the old man said from the counter.
"Another night perhaps?" It was partly business, she knew that, but it also seemed like a lonely man looking for some comfort in music. That she seemed to provide that was touching. Tonight though she had other plans.
As she opened the shop door she was startled, though she quickly schooled her features. She knew sooner or later she would run into him after all and even now she wasn't sure how she felt about the encounter.
"Eric," her tone was dead. A contrast to her emotions, but it was fitting considering the last time she saw him.[/size]
[size=+1]He froze, his eyes darting upwards to find her standing there. "In the flesh." He did his best to display an easy smile when inside he was frozen to his core. "It's been a while, Alice." he added studying her, she hadn't changed a bit... not at all down to her hair and he furrowed his brow. If he had breath to take he would have taken a deep one.
"It's dangerous to go out at night." a simple statement, that might hit home for her considering the last time he had seen her or thought he had. With the shock of seeing her still not allowing him to break away or think strait he refocused on what he was doing here on the streets in the dark. Should he stay and talk or should he go and forget he saw her? No, she was here and he wanted to talk, maybe later he could forget.
A genuine grin split his face and he turned and gestured. "Walk with me, I'm sure you have an many questions as I do." if she followed then it would show she did, if she didn't it would make this meeting easier to forget. "I don't remember much of that night but you have to know what became of me."[/size]
[size=+1]"Danger I am more familiar with," her expression didn't change. It seemed Alice, who could so easily be able to share a smile, was not present. She thought though he seemed surprised. More then just running into any one person in a city as big as London. Did he think she was gone? Perhaps, though she might have been inferring too much she knew Eric and this man was more Eric like then the one she had followed on her faithful night.
She still had some time, and if he wanted to talk, it wasn't likely going to kill her again. As they started walking, the slight wind ignored, Alice shrugged. "I find it much better not to dwell on that time." Or the time following. She knew seeing Eric would bring back the painful past, and this might have been the worse night for this meeting to occur, she needed her wits about her later she was sure.
"It would seem you are well suited for the night," she said to him, waiting at an intersection as the cars drove past them. Glancing up at him, Alice was uncomfortable. She was uncomfortable with most of their kind, and that she knew him before didn't seem to matter. She tried to push past that and tried to ask an honest question. “Are you happy now?”[/size]
[size=+1]"I don't think the past is worth thinking about anyway." he said pressing the button on the traffic light which would show them when to cross. He had no destination in mind, yet, but it was better than staying still. "It's the future we need to take care of, since the present we can do little about." he spared her a glance before beginning to cross the street. "I don't think I need to tell you I've changed." his voice had hardened, growling with determination and for a moment, as they reached the pavement he paused.
"Do you have a safe place?" he asked, his tone back to neutral as he turned his head halfway towards her and his eyes swivelling to bring her into his view. "If you need somewhere, I have extra room." it was true, he had. "You could play there for me in safety." A few more cards on the table, but his hand was still close to his chest, even with her he couldn't show his entire hand. She had changed too, everyone did. It was the rule of the night. Well, one of many.[/size]
[size=+1]"Safe? I suppose it is," she kept back the words that if she hadn't found a way to take care of herself it was unlikely he would have met with her again. A homeless vampire could survive, but their were fewer places for them to sleep then the human kind, though she had heard some had some interesting tricks for staying out of the sunlight. Then there was just the predatory nature of vampires in general. It's what made her nervous. She was well aware of her place on the totem pole. At first she had been hoping to go relatively unnoticed, but she lost that delusion recently.
"Thank you though," the offer was kind, but there was something about how he made his offer that made her be on alert. If Eric wanted to help her she was not going to be offended. She did not want to not be aware of any strings though. This was Eric, but he was different then before. Maybe she was too. Before she would have wanted to know more about his place and actually consider his offer. Now, well, he was an unknown, and until she knew how far she could trust him, she would keep him at arms length.
Starting to walk again she looked up at the sky. The stars were unfortunatly not to be in full view this night. "You spoke of the future," she brought up as they started to walk again. "What do you see in yours?"[/size]
[size=+1]It was a no. A gentle one but he inclined his head. "Good, I'm glad you're safe. As safe as you can be anyway." he was studying her face, there were thoughts hidden he could not read. She used to be easy to read and now... she was weary of him. Disappointment was best was to describe his feelings. "Greatness." he said walking slowly up past the shopfronts. "I wasted my life, I'm sure you'll agree. I will not waste my unlife." he spared her a look, reading her reaction before he shook his head slowly.
"For what it's worth I wish you hadn't been dragged into this." neither of them had said what they were but it was clear, she had changed too much not to be a vampire. "I could use an extra in a few nights, if you're interested. I'm meeting someone. If you're not busy, maybe..."
The unfinished sentence hung in the air. Maybe they had something left for eachother, he had given her up for dead, or as good as and had resigned himself to never seeing her again, maybe it was better that way.[/size]
[size=+1]"I wish you had found a different way to strive for greatness." Her hands were in fists now. The facade she wanted to keep with him starting to crack, as the kaleidoscope of emotions grew. She was sure he meant his apology, after all, as far as she could put together, he was already a step into this world, if not specifically being groomed, before the events of that night. She was, plainly put, a victim.
But did he really have any clue how that went? Did he think she was just picked up as a pretty trinket for a night? He did and that was all the apology, she would think much worse of him and yet she was angry he likely had little clue at all. A part of her wanted to grab him by the shoulders and shake him, to demand to know what exactly he thought happened to her.
Her festering anger almost caused her to miss what he said next, and it spun her in completely the other direction. He wanted her help! There was a time Alice would drop everything if Eric asked her to help. Not because, like so many girls from their school, she had an over inflated crush on him, but because he had never refused to help her.
"I would...." then she paused, and not because she didn't want to say yes. It wasn't a problem of contradictions at all to want to shake him in anger and help him out of fondness. "I am not normally a busy person, but I think you might have found the one time where I have other obligations that I shouldn't neglect." An obligation that hung around her neck. The facade broke a little more, she had thought only music was something from her old life that could make her feel stable in this new world. "But if the timing for you changes...."[/size]
[size=+1]He clasped his hands behind his back to keep them out of the way as his narrowed eyes looked at her. "I didn't say which night..." so, she was flat out saying no and truing to be nice about it. "If you think I chose this knowingly you're wrong." he said a hand moving forwards to clamp on her shoulder, cutting off her escape.
"You've changed, I've changed, I'll take your refusal as a signal that we're just no longer... associated."
The word was very carefully chosen, and said slowly and clearly. "You're probably better off keeping your distance from me anyway. People of my clan are not usually liked, you should stay... safe."
He released her and then stepped around her to continue down the street, with or without her he'd carry on, she was from a dead life, one that had very little bearing on where he was going.[/size]
[size=+1]Hadn't he? Maybe she was too preoccupied with that blasted.... Her eyes widened in surprise when he grabbed her shoulder. So he was going to take her refusal, even if it was what it seemed, as a signal to wash his hands of her? Actually it might have been just as well she refused him if this was his reaction. That just stacked on the pile where she was angry with him.
As he let go and started to walk away, into the city and the night to get away from her, she narrowed her eyes. "Eric you are a selfish bastard! Don't give a fuck about the past, or be concerned, but don't dance back and forth and then act like the wounded party." Her volume hadn't changed from their conversation, but the tone did as she didn't try to mask the anger any more. She couldn't trust him, but then again she couldn't trust anyone, but that didn't mean she couldn't foolishly still hope. That had not been killed within her somehow.
She took a step backwards, ready to be done with this, at least for tonight. "Until I get what I want, my habit isn't going to change in the evening. You have time if...." Turning she went to walk back across the street.[/size]
Deadward chuckled to no one in particular as the bouncer lead him to the elevator. He didn't often get the opportunity to revel in the reactions of stiffs without risking undue exposure. Isolation became more often than not the name of the game. You learned to cope with an empty condo and a healthy lack of pleasant day to day conversation. Bar singles chit chat and midnight spots of tea weren't up for debate. So when all of a sudden the invitation arises to step into the lime light as a VIP and piss over a lot of pampered bottom feeders... Well, that's not something you pass up lightly.
The lift doors chimed out with a bell and pulled open, flooding the elevator with a wave of dubstep. Bass rattled the very marrow of the Nosferatu's bones and as he stepped out from the passage, the faint gleam of falling ash could be had trailing from his corpse. The vampire squinted at the piercing lights that danced across the room. The pale yellow of his eyes served as an eerie centerpiece to a face more fitting to a Lovecraft novel. As he moved among the upper level, he could feel the unmistakable pleasure of recoil in the kindred he passed. A skunk among wolves. It didn't matter if the lot could tear him apart. As it stood no one wanted to even breathe the same air. The most pristine of London's damned scattered in the Nosferatu's wake like Moths to a quickly extinguished porch light. A wide grin sat along the maw the visibly pleased Deadward. It was like conning virginity out of a choir girl from the back of a sleazy sedan. The only difference was this particular prom was backed by quite a bit more money. The souls here had left their innocence on the chop block far too long ago. As Deadward eyed his audience, he knew one all too pleasing thought.
Talk all the shit you like. When all the lights die out and the facades are discarded, each of you fucks are just as ugly as I am.
It didn't take long for the thought to be verified. Like clockwork, the chime of a particular voice sounded in the corner of the Nosferatu's ear as he passed. "My my, Look at what the cat dragged in..." the tone sounded as if the man was holding his nose as he spoke beneath his breath, "I wasn't aware the Baron was taking charity cases tonight."
A glance over the shoulder revealed a suited duo that looked like rejects from an Armani commercial that never saw the airways. Both sets of attire were black, boring and unoriginal. The speaker of the pair had even gone to the point of loosening his collar and letting an open bowtie hang for a lingering casual look. The ensemble was completed with a martini glass half full with a dark shade of blood. It was like high school all over again. Ed stopped on a heel and pivoted to an about face, giving a touch more flair to the turn than was needed. A defensive glare bled across the suited man's gaze as he leaned forward into his chair. As Deadward stepped towards the suit, his tongue trailed over the yellowed edges of his teeth. He wasn't straining, but the beast within him wanted to tear itself from his ashen flesh. To beat the kindred senseless with his own stale sense of jockish humor. To pin his face beneath a boot and make him beg for a God. As the corpse took his last step towards the table, one could almost feel the air about the pair drop in temperature. Edward's grin widened as the fist of the suited vampire doubled up and a snarl crossed his lip.
"Your fly's open." The Nosferatu chimed, cool as a cucumber.
The suited vampire was caught off by the unexpected shift of the exchange, breaking the mood like a china dish in a blender. He glanced down and shifted in a corrective manner. The low rumble of laughter sounded in Deadward's throat as he swiped the Martini glass from the distracted kindred's hand. Another turn on a booted heel and Ed made his way to another end of the venue, taking his small victory with him. The Nosferatu's cackle grew as he threw back the contents of the glass and set it against a nearby surface. Like taking candy from a paraplegic.
Much as Ed wanted to continue his rounds and see what other feathers he might have the opportunity to ruffle, they'd be time for that later. As it was, it was time to see what Count Chocula called him out here for. Hammond eyed the crowd and picked out a particularly populated group centered about a man in a chair. Carrion feeders looking for their next hand of scraps to feed upon. The walking corpse moved towards the cluster and leaned against a nearby ledge overlooking the lower level. He wouldn't be as forward as he'd been with the commercial reject. After all, out this way the monsters in question sported teeth.
Her body fell to the bed like a rag doll, her head hanging off the foot of the bed, mouth open, blood still streaming down the side of her face.
Vincent stepped over her body and gracefully down to the floor, eyes closed, head and chest lifted to the ceiling as he let out a satisfied, fluttering breath. He was in the throws of a euphoria no mortal could ever hope to experience.
A weak moan escaping her throat as she lay there, half naked and nearly lifeless. But she would survive. They usually did anyways. This one was lucky he'd manged to maintain control. He'd waited too long this time, and had felt himself struggling to keep the beast from within from tearing out the poor girl's jugular flesh, muscle and all. Such were the consequences of putting off the inevitable.
The beast was something he did his best to hide, it wasn't befitting of a gentleman to act in such a manner. But as surely as the sun would rise tomorrow he was destined to prey on unsuspecting kine like the sweet little thing that now lay unconscious behind him. There were times where he felt almost sorry for girls like her. But not now.
For Kindred, like it or not, feeding the creature within offered was like a temporary nirvana. But it wasn't just the quenching of one's thirst that was pleasant. Any addict will tell you the entire ritual was a rush. Those first thoughts in the back of your head, the final decision that tonight's the night, walking to one's hunting grounds, stalking your prey, all the way up to the minutes after where you replay the whole evening in your head. It was a powerful feeling to know that their life was in your hands, and they lived simply because you allowed it.
As the initial effects of having satisfied his inner devil began to wear off, Vincent began to slowly un-arch his back, letting his arms fall to his sides. The clock across from him read 11:00, it was almost time to leave. He moved to the desk and picked up a small party invitation on thick beige paper and held it up to the moonlight, angling it so that he could better see the writing. In the distance, the silhouette of city skyline on the shores of the Themes looking out over the city skyline across the Themes
"Elysium..." he says as he leans against the floor to ceiling window looking out into the night. Tonight was the night he was to meet The Baron of Camden. He'd had dealings with the Camarilla as a family proxy for the Don before, however he had yet to meet this Henry Rothstien. Vincent, would have rather made his way to the Family compound and spend the night amongst the ancient tomes of the archives that lay within. However, as a newcomer in the city and the family's latest representative in court it was important that he make as many connections as possible. His station demanded it.
An outsider would think it a great honour to be given such station so early, but in truth his roles was more similar to that of a herald than a diplomat. Any Giovanni with real status was too busy dealing with internal matters to be bothered with the Prince and his Court.
But it was no matter, Vincent would earn his place, once he had acquired the rank of Ancillae he would be able to dedicate all of his nights to continuing his research. For now he would play their game.
The young kindred moved to his closet and reached for a fresh shirt, and dawned a deep green blazer. From his the rack on his door he grabbed silver tie. On his wrists he buttoned a pair of grey cuff link fashioned in the shape of a G written in Venetian style calligraphy Checking himself over in the mirror he nodded in approval and made his way down to to the parking garage to get his car. However when he exits the front door he finds a familiar old Rolls Royce idling out front. The tinted passenger side window begins to roll down.
"Bonjourno Signor Vincenzo, sono qui per portarvi al vostro appuntamento." The driver says.
"Grazie." Vincent replies, a small smirk comes across his face. His sire has sent one of his ghoul's to act as chauffeur for the evening. This wasn't out of the kindness of his heart, not at all. The Giovanni like to make an impression when meeting with new business partners, evidently old habits die hard.
The drive to Elysium is a short one despite the traffic, one of the benefits of having a driver with what the cabbies in this city call "The Knowledge." Any normal driver would stick to main roads to get across the city. But the ghoul ops to weave down side streets and surface roads in order to cut the time in half, giving Vincenzo on opportunity to see some of the darker streets of London before they reach their destination.
Upon arrival the driver pulls up front and steps out to open the door for the necromancer. "Buona fortuna, signor. Lo aspetterò nelle vicinanze per la chiamata." he says.
Vincent hears him but continues toward the door, he approaches the bouncer and reaches into his suit jacket to produce a business card.
"Vincenzo Giovanni; I am here for a private gathering."
If there was a thing Alice disliked more then the mass of people crowding in a club, it was that she was so willing to go into it. Elysian Fields was bigger then she had thought from the instructions she had recieved. Instructions to get there, and invitation to be there. Alice knew she could not refuse, and also that by being there she might gain something. Still though the Catiff was nervous and fiddled with the small object in her jacket pocket before she entered the building.
The music was typical, the noise level to be expect and the mass of people, well, they were not really tempting. She attened to her own feeding with a paticular pickiness that might have been unexpected for one considered so low on the totem pole of the night. How other vampires saw her she could guess, but she would make them guess as to what she was.
Alice was no rebel without a cause, she was a fine musican with a lifetime now much expanded to enjoy her passion. Being classically trained gave her a confidence in attitued and dress. There was no jeans or tailored rips in her clothing. She wore a light colored dress to contrast her darker skin, skin that had paled in the night, but her Indian heritage still shown through. Sensible perhaps, but ballet flats seemed a better choice of foot wear then heels.
There were games afoot and while Alice had rather not play politics, she was not for a time going to be involved and she wanted to be focused. A quick wit might keep her safe this night, but she also knew she did not want to challenge anyone, or appear to challenge them. Tonight was going to be a tough one, and she just wish she had an inkling as to what it was to be. As she looked around to find a certain set of doors the back of the head of a man not too far in front of her caused her to think of who it reminded her of. Alice frowned. She did not need her imagination distracting her with confusing and unpleasant thoughts.
[size=+1]The bouncer takes the card and sniffs audibly as he looks between it and Vincent with an appraising eye, before turning to another suited figure behind him and handing it over.
“One of your lot, Jerry,” he growls, before turning back to the throng of clubbers waiting to gain entrance to Elysian Fields.
The second man steps around his colleague and moves over to Vincent, smiling politely.
“Mister Giovanni, we're very pleased to have you in attendance. If you would be so kind as to follow me inside, I will take you to where Mister Rothstein is entertaining his guests tonight.” Motioning with one arm, he begins to lead the vampire through the doors...
[size=+1]Sevens rides the elevator in brooding silence with the suited Lasombra he saw outside and an ashen-faced woman whose pale-blonde hair and smart business attire screams “CAMMY” at the top of their lungs.
This is supposed to be a domain free of the suckers of that big ivory cock, and here Harry is inviting them through the fucking door like they're old friends.
For the second time in as many minutes, Sevens hopes that the Baron of Camden Town has a good reason for all this.
After what feels like far too long a wait the doors finally open onto Rothstein's private venue and the Brujah shoulders his way out of the elevator ahead of the rest. The scene that greets him doesn't exactly inspire much optimism in the Baron's decision to throw this get-together; he spies a few of Harry's regular drinking chums and a couple true Anarchs, but the rest are Camarilla fucks looking for a bit of danger to their nightly jaunts and their assorted hangers-on.
“Fuckin' great...” Sevens growls, starting away from the crowd and glaring at anyone making eye-contact.[/size]
...and into a borderline sonic boom of sound as the music shifts once more to cheers from the horde of attendees.
Making their way through the crowd, Vincent and Jerry reach the doors just after Alice has slipped through it and right as Ren is stepping into the elevator with another bouncer. As he spots Jerry, the second bouncer steps out of the elevator and motions the next two guests through. The doors begin to close and Jerry hits one of the switches on the controls, sending them all upwards in an ascent towards the upper floors of the nightclub.
Three predators stuck in a small steel box, eyeing each other warily...
[size=+1]Plate glass windows allow the guests of Harry Rothstein to look down upon the gyrating masses below. His little joke; not exactly subtle, but amusing all the same. Even from his position amidst a cluster of jabbering kindred Harry can spot several of his guests making their arrivals. The charming Nosferatu 'Deadward' is making friends with some other party-goers, and the ever-cheerful Sevens has arrived just ahead of the darkly suave Mister Sanderson and the icy Miss Vy Amrit. No doubt the remaining few are on their way.
The Baron of Camden Town smiles to himself briefly. Yes indeed, things are proceeding quite nicely.
As soon as the elevator opens up, revealing the final three guests, he leaps into action, striding through the small cluster of vampires to a more easily noticeable location.
“Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed guests,” he begins, a rich Oxbridge accent flowing through the room and silencing other conversation in an instant, “I thank you all for taking the trouble to indulge me this little visit. My modest little abode may not match the heights of other kindred establishments elsewhere in this fine city of ours, but I do hope you enjoy yourselves here tonight all the same.
“Refreshments are readily available; please help yourselves. Further entertainment shall be forthcoming and I will make sure to introduce myself properly to each of you in turn,” his eyes flicker across the final seven arrivals meaningfully, “but in the meantime please continue enjoying yourselves. I do hope you have a most enlightening evening, ladies and gentlemen.” Smiling the sort of effortlessly charming smile only a Toreador can muster, Harry inclines his head before turning towards the bar...[/size]
Alice did not stiffen when the other two entered the elevator, but she realized she was now going to be among those that knew their sires and their "birthright" as it were. These two at the very least seemed to have the confidence that a vampire should have but it was more then that. They had means, or their sires did. Both were dressed well. Not that Alice wasn't, but Alice's wardrobe consisted of savvy second hand finds. These men may or may not have had wealth, but they dressed like they did. She half suspected they both had their suits tailored for them.
She nodded her head in a show of acknowledging their presence but did not speak to them. They might have known why they were here, or they might not have, but she did not want to let it be known she was unsure of her reason to be there, that could give them power or leverage over her, something she did not need to let happen. Instead she took note of their attire, how they held themselves and tried to guess a bit about their personailties. Such observations might help her later. Know them better then they knew her.
When finally the door opened and the sounds of the new floor embraced her, Alice let a small smile out. There might be more vampires here, but at least she could move around easier. An elevator was an uncomfortable experience when you were already riled up. She had no more exited the elevator when someone, presumably the Mr. Rothstein that invited her here, made a small speech. If he was being theatrically humble or not she wasn't sure, but she knew this was the nicest Kindred dwelling she'd been to and likely would get t see for some time. As for entertainment, well learning more about the different clans by actually seeing some of their members in action might be entertaining. Alice took a few steps in, looking around.
Vincent feels a subtle pull deep within like german shepheard snarling as it snaps at the edge of its chain. A familiar feeling, to the Giovanni. Kindred are solitary creatures who form relationships by necessity. The beast with in sees every other of its kind as a threat to its territory. An instinct leftover from the times where there were no princes, and every of creature protected his own territory. But Vincent maintains his distinguished composure, giving no hint to his instincts. This was Elysium afte rall, it was important that they all put on their best face and at least pretend to be something more than the creatures they are.
His eyes move first to the Asian gentleman, oh knows this game well. That suit, the way he carries himself. Definitely a Blue Blood, or at least wishes he were. The Ivory Tower was full of young men like him, all willing to do whatever it takes to climb the latter. The Ventrue weren't all that different from The Giovanni, both used wealth and power to acquire what they wanted. The difference was that the lords seemed to view wealth and power as both a means and an end, leaving them wanting more and more. In his eyes that made them reckless, but often predictable. However, there were always exceptions.
The young lady was harder to place though. Definitely not a Ventrue. Their female neonates tended to wear power suits. Her dress was far to modern to be one of their anachronistic elders. Nor was she looking down her nose at him with that sense of self entitlement. Could she be a Toreador? Perhaps a Malkavian on a down slope from one of their manic phases...He'd been surprised before.
Just then the elevator pinged announcing its arrival. Vincent stepped out onto the floor letting his eyes wash over the scene. He looked on as The Baron greeted all of the guests in attendance with that famous Torie charm. It was times like this that he wondered how long he could go on like this. Every time he heard one of those gracious speeches he died a little inside. So much time wasted watching immortal celebutants rub elbows with the real movers and shakers, praying that some of their good fortune would rub off on them. He should be ripping souls from the freshly dead mortals and building his sanctum not sharing blood bags with beasts pretending to be something more.
It was then that Vincent laid eyes on the Nosferatu, confidently working the room and quickly making friends of a sort. Now there was an honest kindred if he'd ever seen one. Fully aware of how he makes people feel and not attempting to mask what he really was. Flagging down a passing ghoul, Vincent ordered himself a glass of Blood Merlot. Looking on as Deadward embarrassed one of the Camarilla attempting to make a joke at his expense. He couldn't help but chuckle inwardly as the bastardo reached down to correct his imperfection.
A moment after the altercation, his drink arrives and Vincent takes a moment to waft of the glass before speaking. loud enough to catch the Nosferatu's ear.
"Why is it, do you think..." his voice loud enough to catch the Nosferatu's ear, "that the other clans seek out every opportunity they can to ostracize your kind ?" The tone of his question is a curious and sincere one rather than the prodding type that the sewer dweller is likely used to.
Here at last in the Anarch den Erick was almost immediately among the other Camarilla, they could sense their own. A glass of ruby liquid in hand he chatted idly with them. They were at ease with him or as at east predators can be with one another, until they found out his Lasombra heritage. Some had heard of him or his sire but this was his first time in a gathering like this. He could see their faces change when he said who he was... As far as Camarilla trying to live on the edge by coming here, by token of his heritage he had them all beaten. None could be more on the edge than a Lasombra in bed with the Camarilla in the middle of an Anarch den, but that was not why he was here.
He wondered between the groups catching pieces of conversation and then paused at the window overlooking the gyrating bodies below. How far he had come already from being one of them, a piece of meat intoxicated and helpless as hungry eyes watch unseen. His eyes followed the path of a staggering girl through the crowd closely followed by someone with the unmistakable hallmarks of the kindred. He fall against someone and clung to then her face turned up to theirs only to be shoved away. Pushing through the crowed she looked back at the pursuer whose unhurried pursuit kept him just short of her heels, the girl seemed doomed. Another girl took her arms and the girl's face lit up with recognition and she was pulled towards a group, relative safety...
The elevator chimed and Eric turned to look, three more guests and... Curious. His eyes fell to the face he recognized. It was her and she was here. What would their host want with a sireless runt? Interesting... tonight was bound to be full of surprises and Eric made his way towards the bar. After their last talk he didn't know if he wanted to talk to her... or her to him. Before the night was out however he would find her. What would happen next was anyone's guess.
"Why is it, do you think... that the other clans seek out every opportunity they can to ostracize your kind?"
The question cut through the sounds of the crowd like a roman spear in a batch of custard. The room did not silence and the words were not loud. Even so, the weight of the man's voice seemed to drown out the trivial chit chat of which the evening had become so accustomed. Deadwards ear's perked to the inquiry and he turned to the voice, seeking out the source who posed it. Admittedly, the Nosferatu had still been comfortably riding the high horse left in the aftermath of his last victim. He expected the voice of the man to fall from yet another suit, too busy posing for crosshairs cleverly disguised as cameras. Another spoon fed sap too pampered to get his hands dirty. Considering such a preconceived notion, the nosferatu was only half right.
Looking into the eyes of his interrogator, Edward saw death...
A knot welled up inside the vet's throat and he could feel the hair that still lingered along the back of his neck stand on end. The world around him seemed to freeze and his one and only concern came to rest upon the potential threat before him. His beast yearned to tear itself free. Gnash it's teeth and snarl at the man who for simply voiced curiosity. Flooding rational thought along the warrens of a brain wired to instinct, Deadward scanned the Giovanni. His attire was clean and his stance lacked any semblance of aggression. All the same, a nagging ping scraped along as the base of the Nosferatu's spine as the vet looked upon his company. Ed could not put his finger on the why, but this man was dangerous.
Deadward took a second to collect his mind, making sure his initial impression did not filter through his expression much less his words. The Nosferatu resisted the urge to take a step back and crossed his arms across his chest. A defensive stance, but one of words rather than tactics. "That's a loaded question Jack," Vet rasped in a graveled tone of voice, "one I don't rightly think would elude a soul with a functional pair of eyes."
Hammond paused a moment to gauge the man's reaction as he spoke, taking specific interest in keeping the Giovanni's hands visible. Elysium or no, instinct ain't a light switch you can flip leisurely. "Which begs further question: You just looking to dig up an answer or are you intent to poach on my answer?"
[size=+1]The Baron is acting subtle, playing the charming host and making no mention to the invitation Sevens had received, no doubt along with others. This seems out of character for him, the Brujah cannot help but note; his clan means that there's always an element of drama to what he does, but he's always admired Harry for being a straight-talking guy. The presence tonight of so many Camarilla types along with this unusual behaviour is making him more than a little nervous.
Sighing and leaning against the railing that separates the floor from the drop to the plate glass, Sevens watches the other guests, sizing each of them up and seeing what he can determine. The creepy one in the suit can only be of Giovanni's ilk, talking to the burns ward escapee of a Nosferatu. In fact, he can't help but note that 'the one in the suit' would be a descriptor for most of the vampires present in this room; it seems that there was an unofficial dress code no-one bothered to tell him about.
Or this is just further proof that these fucks think that suits are a surrogate for actually having some worth as a vampire.
One of the later arrivals catches his eye. She's dressed up well for the occasion, but not in the same way as the rest of the puffed up undead roosters and hens with their tailored clothes. For the life of him he cannot place her clan, but she could almost pass for one of Sevens' political mindset but for the fact that the Anarchs of London are a close bunch and he's not heard mention of any new bloods that fit her description.
Intriguing; perhaps there's someone worth more than the shit he scraped off his boots in attendance tonight. Snatching a glass of warm, dark red liquid from a tray being carried around by one of Harry's dolls, Sevens pushes his way through the crowd towards the woman. Coming to a stop near to where she stands, he looks at her inquiringly.
“You don' strike me as a fackin' Cammy type,” he observes, gravelly Cockney accent right out of some British gangster flick, “an' I ain't seen you round with any of my lot. Which makes me wonder, who exactly are you supposed ta be?”[/size]