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1 yr ago
Gone: To sort things with the Person that matters most in the world, then on to greater things


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Los Angeles
The Nights of Last Summer

Nines rolled with the punches.

These were lessons he had learned well before he had entered the world of the Kindred, but they were lessons he had put to far better use since then he ever had before.

Los Angeles was aflame, caught in a civil war between two people he had both considered allies at different stages. Two people who had mislead the Anarch movement from its inception, but ultimately made it possible.

For some, that might have come as something of a speed bump. A crisis of identity. Not Nines, Nines rolled with the punches. He dished them out as well.

The latest to encounter this last fact was an unfortunate Gangrel Kindred of whome there was very little left. Nines finished the blow which would end the kindred's struggle, for now, before ducking to avoid a hail of fire, keeping low to the ground, he darted across the street. Usually the streets of the city made for little cover from aggressive fire, but such was the devastation around them that he made it across without a scratch, not even having to depend upon the heights of his supernatural ability, moving between the burned out shells of unfortunate vehicles.

Awaiting him, a few pensive looking faces. Another pair of Brujah, fellow Anarchs who would follow him regardless of his stated allegiance. None could command the loyalty of the Anarch Burjah like Nines Rodriguez, none perhaps save Smiling Jack, and neither had ever looked for the leadership many had tried to shove upon them. The other face was apart from the others, a slight Ventrue, Rachel was one of Eva's coterie, and spoke to their current loyalty. It had not been hard, while the Kid might command the loyalty of some of the Anarch greats, the old guard, he was also visibly insane, as far as Nines could tell. His rebellion had been a key part of Eva's own. With both Nines and Catlin (Yanci, he corrected himself) urging them to forsake the advice of their embittered elders, the younger, more populous, Brujah of LA seemed to sway in their bulk towards Hollywood's hidden mistress. This was not to say there was not plenty of fighting still to be done. The Sabbat pushing their limits within the city only further complicated matters.

"We're in a right hole here. They have us pinned up against the Sabbat, no way we're getting out of here in one group." Nines broke the news to the others. A few last minute changes in allegiance had left them in a rather exposed position once the fighting had started in full. Rachel had been in position to secure key assets for their rebellion, while Nines and the others were sent in to secure Rachel once it looked like a few too many faces had broken their promises to support them against the Kid. Such behavior would be repaid, but only if they lived through the night.

"Diego and I will run at their guns, see if we can't get their full attention. Our car's a few blocks away, you two get out of here, regroup with the others, then come get us." It was typical Nines bravado and heroism, but it had never failed him yet. Rachel wasn't particularly self serving for a Ventrue, but she had a duty to perform to Eva, and she couldn't do so dead. Equally, Nines' reputation was hard to avoid, he always survived things like this.

It would not go to plan though, not this time.

It wasn't a failure on their part, Rachel and her Brujah companion were fast and smart, Nines and his were fast and hit hard, and loud. But these were not just Sabbat they were facing, they were up against those who until a day ago would call them allies, and they knew Nines as well, knew the stunts he would pull, and there was more of them than they thought.

More than there should have been

The thought crossed Rachel's mind as she once again, for what seemed like the hundreth time, hunkered down in cover, like a soldier in a warzone, not the exceptional lawyer she was. This wasn't her element, but even then, her mind raced, pulling apart the situation. None of it made sense. There should not have been enough opposition to keep both split parties pinned down, but all physical evidence suggested otherwise. Somewhere, hidden in the equation, was a factor none of them had foreseen.

Their assailants were approaching. There was only so much cover a side street could provide, and, assured that the other half of their targets were pinned down elsewhere, they were free to move from their own cover, approaching for a better angle. Rachel had a gun in her hand, that was rare enough, the Brujah with her was equally armed. It would be hard, but they might just make it out. If only she had a few more moments, she could have picked the situation apart better.

Then, drifting over the air, drifting louder than fires burning nearby, of the boom and patter of gunfire, was the oddest noise. Music.

Sometimes I get my head in a dilly
Feeling so lost, ticking you off

She couldn't pinpoint the noise, nor could their assailants. The crack of their suppressing fire diminished, as they tracked the area around them for a new target. Not a large enough window for Rachel to act, but enough for her to note. The music continued on, the chirpy tune anathema to the events it underscored. She could hear the rival Brujah talking among themselves, ordering sweeps of the area, before another voice carried over them.

"What a lovely n-"

The crack of gunfire interrupted the voice. It had been melodious, even sing song, before it had been interrupted.

Baby there's a Shark in the Water

"Now, that was quite rude."

The explosion of noise that followed the crescendo of the song exceeded even the improbable blast of the song. The chatter of the Brujah became more eratic, desperate, before they were met with only the occasional scream. Among it all was a powerful void of sound, an efficiency of movement and power that rendered their attack a blind spot to the senses. There was almost a supernatural pull at them, and within the next few moments both Rachel and her Brujah companion could not help but start to leave their cover simply to gaze upon what had occurred.

They glimpsed only the final moments of their circumstance, a male kindred, who had moments before been their aggressor, stumbling down the alley. His leg had been shattered, but he clung to defiance, or terror, either way he moved towards them, but there was no hostile intent to his actions. Simply the desire to get away. He did not make it far. There was a crack in the air, and the Brujah toppled forwards.

Standing above him, was a Kindred. Young of feature, almost achingly handsome, watching as the gangster-turned-kindred crumpled to the ground, before descending into the ash of Final Death. When the newcomer looked up, he did so with a smile that was hopelessly disarming.

"Ah, there you are." He spoke, with that sing-song voice.

"Who...who are you, why did you help us?" The words were not Rachel's, she had yet to find her's, although something about the manner in which the newcomer took his next few steps towards them filled her with dread.

"Help you? Didn't you hear the song."



Pain was everything that she was.

She had possessed a name once, identity, but it was lost in the feeling. She writhed in the darkness, her own mind pulling itself apart, as he took her secrets from her.

"Unusual, I suppose. Most of our Kind only rely on their own blood. But you, an adopted little Ventrue childe. It seems the grand-chile is much like her sire, for all his flaws."

Those were words that had meaning, she could remember that, but she could not placed them, as she writhed upon the ground. Ground that was slick. The floor, she realised, was awash with blood. Had it always been so? She couldn't remember. As soon as she realized this, the hunger returned, the aches of her body felt worse, almost enough to drown out the pain of her mind. Even as she convulsed, she gulped down the vitae, surprised, and horrified, to discover it was still warm. Once she had done this, her mind returned to its destructive pain.

"Fear not, none of what you are will go to waste, all your wasted independence, the folly of your mind, shall be honed to a greater purpose."

Despite herself, the words comforted her. She could not remember what it was to not be commanded by him, for what he said must be so. Even as she thought such things, the pain subsided, as if such things pleased the malignant force that consumed her very being. A sob escaped her, a sob of purest relief at the slightest lessening of her pain. Her eyes cracked open, and she looked upon her surroundings. The vitae ran across the ground, but the walls. The walls were mirrors.

"An easy trick. I once broke a Lasombra here with the barest effort. Merely allowed them to stare into the abyss that was themselves for an eternity. The Sabbat are even easier than you, mayfly." Again, those words, names, had meaning, but she could not hold them, but it did not matter, the pain was less. She could not see him, the voice was from above, behind, to the side of her, ever out of her vision as she twisted to glimpse the voice. Then it spoke again.

"Rachel, wake up."

She was herself again, the memories flooded in, meanings, identity. The ghost of the pain remained, and she could not rid herself of it. It was only then that she realized where she was. She had moved.

The face that looked up at her was the same from the night. The night that seemed so long ago, still as handsome, still smiling, still without the barest hint of warmth. She was straddled across the man. She could not remember moving, let alone bringing herself so close to anyone.

She screamed, and attempted to pull away, but found she could not. The noise, and her effort, seemed only to stir his cruel features further to mirth.

"L...L..Lubbock." She managed, with the return of her identity, so came her knowledge, and she connected dots just as fast as she would in any other situation. Hints from Eva, reports of the mad ravings of the Kid. The kind of power he demonstrated in his barest movement, this was everything the Kid had feared and more.

"Good, good. " Recognition seemed to please him further. He reclined atop a simple chair, sat at the centre of the same room as before, although the floor was quite dry, and mirrored. She wondered if the other details had simply been the inventions of her failing mind. The fact she was there, atop him, seemed almost inconsequential to him. "Alas, little mayfly, this may have been an entertaining evening, but, you have fulfilled your use."

"They...she...will find you." She managed to murmer, once again she felt the pressure of his will upon her, speaking was becoming difficult again, almost as constricting as whatever force held her in place. It was as if his very existence was enough to crush her will to nothing. Lubbock noticed this, and the grin only widened.

"Perhaps they will not have to." The elder kindred held something aloft, a dagger, although it seemed to pulse in the air, with a languide motion, he placed it over his own heart, point first, before, slowly, he moved her hands with his own, placing them atop the hilt of the dagger, while he held it steady.

"Kill me."

The command struck her like a direct blow. Her eyes roamed to his, the unfathomable darkness they held within them, before drifting back to the blade.

"Go on, do it. Think of all that you'll save, maybe even yourself, but certainly your allies, friends, coterie," He continued, his voice a full sing-song once more. Internally she strained, screamed, urged herself to do so. The muscles of her arms bulged as she fought to do it. But even as she wished to, even as he commanded, her thoughts clouded with the same miasma as before. She saw his features and witnessed perfection, for every inch of her that wished to slay him, another fought back to simply crawl and bow.

"Come along now."

She wailed, but she did not no if the sound passed from her lips. Tears ran down her eyes, sobs wracked her as she tried. Tried desperately to press the dagger those few extra inches, to push into his heart whatever arcane relic the dagger was, for it hummed with power.

"KILL ME." He roard, an avalanche of noise, as if his patience has run out. In that moment she crumbled, and with another shriek, a true one, found her strength and pulled the dagger up, before plunging it down.

Into her own heart.

The last thing she heard as the Final Death claimed her, as the vitae that rejuvenated her Kindred form splattered across the man who had shattered her mind.

Was laughter.

Laughter and music.

Baby, there's a shark in the water
I caught them barking at the moon

The Region of Yaa
3000 BC

The accursed Sun beat down upon them, the scattered few, as they climbed through the heat-cracked rocks of the foreign land. They had fled far, as far as one could flee, and still judgement burned from on high.

Lucifer surveyed the world around him. Even here, far from the cradle of Eden, man and life had begun to grow, to flourish. Already there had been wars and strife between the tribes of humanity, already one had crushed the other and given name to the dirt they died upon. His whole form tensed at the thought. It could all have been so different. He sighed forlornly as he turned to look upon what remained of his retinue, His hard expression turned to one of slight worry as he watched them. Heat and exhaustion had drained them, burns across their skin, ribs showing from lack of sustenance. Worst of all, he could sense the insidious growth of the cancers which plagued them. He did not know if that would be their end, ultimately, but it was a life of following him, regardless of their mortal frailties, that had brought them to this.

It could all have been so different.

"Stop. We are here."

The noise almost crashed against them, even hidden within a human shell, the power of the first Elohim was almost too great for a mortal human to bear. It was not unpleasant, he instilled as much hope as he did terror, but both were dangerous, both prevented any true guile. He would have to learn to hide more thoroughly.

Once they had recovered from the briefest pulse of Lucifer's power, the humans collapsed, setting about in the creation of a camp. They did not know he meant the end of their journey together, that this truly was the last 'stop' these three who had remained by his side for so long, but he would allow them to believe otherwise for the time being.

They had crested the rise of hills and mountains into a great basin, stretching out before them. Encountering the tribes that had recently driven off the original inhabitants, they knew its name to be Yaa. It had potential, the soil was fertile, despite the heat, and the sea was plentiful, as it often was. None of these things were why Lucifer had looked for this place, that was far beyond the scope of human frailty or prosperity, but he made note all the same. At least he was not abandoning them into the jaws of starvation for all time.

He strode away from them, as topics of conversation arose among them. The desert cloaks he was wrapped in whipping in the sea wind. Still they were stitched with the icons of Babel. The first great city, his city. Even with the failure of his first, desperate plan, Babel had almost enabled him to succeed regardless, but he had not known the extent of his father's punishment. Lucifer snarled with exasperation, not at the memory, but at himself. Dwelling on past failures, even recent ones, would aid no one, least of all the people, and the future, dependent upon him. He walked for hours, allowing the sea breeze to mitigate some of the scorching heat, lower, towards the sands. Towards the site he had never seen, but knew to be there. The map of the nascent Earth spread before him in his mind's eye, tracing the fonts of power, the web of energy that traced the creation of the Earth and its peoples. They would lie dormant, until they were not, and they would be the doom, or hope, of all creation.

At last he reached the spot. Nothing gave it away, no monument, no mystical font of life. Perhaps even his fellow Elohim could not have detected it like he could, but unlike the others he had helped his father to shape this Earth, and to him, the thrum of power was almost inescapable. He knelt in the sand, closing his eyes, and spoke the words of power. The Ancient language of his kind had been old before the Earth was even a dream, from when he and his siblings had danced across the eternity of the cosmos. To speak it was a reminder of the years, of the crushing eons that weighed upon him.

His essence bled into the ground, the touch of the First Son invigorating the dirt beneath him. The Sand turned to glass, the unrestrained touch of his true form anathema to this mundane world of dirt and rock. In the sky, the Morningstar shone, just bright enough, if only for a moment, despite the height of day. With one final word, Lucifer stood. Beneath him, a plaque of glass, trapping a fragment of a star, of him, the heart of an Elohim. With another bark of words, this time of the Sorceror's tongue, the lyrical verse of Babel, he cast the glass lower, deeper into the rock, far below, watching as dirt and sand poured to hide the effort of his works. He nodded, briefly, before setting to return to his followers.


"My lord, you cannot mean to-"

"I am no one's lord, Terial, nor did I ever claim to be. Not here" It was a noble effort, to argue with him, he could sense the strain in the man's body, it almost killed him to simply not throw himself at Lucifer's feet, to give in to the innate desire of any human to simply abide by the call of heaven. Curse you Father.

"We would stand with you, you must know that." Yenaria's voice was quiet, almost dangerous, as if she was daring him to argue with their conviction. Of the three mortals that still followed him, that had not departed on their given tasks or succumbed to the events that had stricken them, she had the most fire left, the most personality not bled away by the constant presence of his divinity, and the trials it had brought them.

"I would never doubt such a thing, it is I, that cannot stand with you." Lucifer admitted sadly, with his hood pulled down, the vaguely Babalite features of his mortal guise gazed upon them openly. He could pass for human from a distance, but up close, he was simply too flawless, his skin marble like and unyielding. "To walk with me now is to invite death, and you have been too loyal in your friendship for me to bring that upon you." Their protests were loud and immediate, but he had not the time. He had exposed his power for only a brief moment, and those that would hunt him might soon be upon them. For once, he waived them off dismissively, the slight touch of his power enough to silence them.

"But the task that I set you is of far more note than simply being my ally and friend, although I have, and will always, treasure you all. It is time that I resume my exile, alone, but we have prepared the foundations for an effort that will span the ages, but, will ultimately save all your kind." He could not be sure, but it was his best hope, to avoid the future God had tried to hide from even the Elohim.

"You are free to live your lives, however you may choose, farm, conquer, hunt, remain aloof. Forget me, but do not forget your task. Down the ages, you and your descendants will live upon these lands, flourish, but remain. One day I shall have need of champions, and from the corners of the Earth, they shall arise, bolstered by generations of proximity to the fonts we have mapped and altered across the world.
From here I shall draw my heart, one day, the child of your descendants so far flung, will prove my greatest ally. I know that this is bitter thanks for your dedication to our cause, but it is all I may offer."
He stepped closer as he spoke, watching their expressions as they grappled with the news he had forced upon them. They sobbed, for him to speak more than a few words was enough to break their resolve, even without the meaning behind them. As he finished, they embraced, all three, turned inwards, and away from him. It ached within him to see them so, who had been his closest companions, but Lucifer did not have the luxury of mortal bonds. Not now. Once he was sure they would manage no more protest, he began his journey alone.

Off, into the ages.

The Region of Yaa
Modern Day

The noise and din of the city crashed against Henry Loche as he walked the streets of Los Angeles. The one-time London gangster of some formal renown, for now hid in the very American garb of a Lakers hoodie, obscuring his features among the purple vestment. His right hand gently rubbed at the beard fostered upon his chin. A recent addition, following the fighting that had swept LA and his increasing role in the management of the city, he wasn't yet sure if he approved.

Snapping out of his personal review, his eyes turned to watch the shop across the street from him. It wasn't anything of note, a Seven-Eleven run by an old family of Eastern immigrants, they knew him well enough. He did not plan to go in today, to inquire after whichever daughter had just gone off to school in whichever state, although he would make a note to return on a social call soon. No, for now, he was tasked with the matter of preservation.

He saw them long before they telegraphed their intent. Being the owner of Sunset had enabled him to grow quickly accustom to the Brujah and their propensity to violence. That had probably been his first meeting with Yanci. The thought made him chuckle, even as he began to cross the street. Something hard and metallic slipped from his back pocket, concealed by the length of his sleeve.

Three males. Gang tattoos. No obvious religion iconography. Not Sabbat

The thought made him frown slightly. If these weren't Sabbat, the threat had spread beyond those most vulnerable to mania.

The shop had been one of the locations tied to conflicts prior to the recent civil war. Of the artifacts the Sabbat wanted. One had been seen for sale as a knick-knack in said shop. He calmed himself slightly, even if these particular Brujah were not Sabbat, that did not stop them wanting to claim the bounty put out by them.

"Evening Gentlemen." He strode right into their path. They were burly men, even before the strength and boon of unlife they had not been used to others challenging their direction of choice. Henry was not a small man, he stood imposingly enough, but each could rival him in size, and there were three of them. Bikers

"Oh look, it's Mary Poppins." One of them spoke up with a laugh, earning a smirk form the others. A flash of fangs from all three.

"Oh. British accent. Yes, terribly original." Henry replied. Their arrogance was making them sloppy. The fact only one of his hands rested infront of him could not have telegraphed any harder that his obscured hand held a weapon. He could have taken this more seriously, but it had become something of a game. Just how useless would he had to be for one of them to finally get the slip on him.

"Think you're in our way, Poppins." One of the others spoke up, frowning at Henry's return-snark, all three took several steps towards him. He could sense the vitae flowing in their veins, reinforcing their already supernatural abilities. They were gearing up for a fight. Good.

"Interestingly enough, that's exactly where I intended to be." Henry continued, allowing his shoulders to relax. While vitae flowed to their muscles, strengthening them, Henry's skin hardened, reinforced by a surge of his own abilities, not that they'd notice.

"And why would that be?"

"Well. Because I don't want to get hit by the truck."

"What t-"

Somewhat predictably, the speak was cut off. Predictably, because even for a kindred, it's quite hard to talk when being rammed by a multi-tonne vehicle going somewhere above the speed limit. The driver was one of Henry's best, enough that he trusted him to pull off the obvious show of force without more than the necessary collateral. The vehicle had hit all three, before careening onwards into the wall of a multi-story car park. The structure was sound enough to take the blow, as planned.

The turn had been ludicrous, speeding by, it had taken every iota of anticipation and simple gift-from-God ability for Max to have turned the moving vehicle off the road, and then perpendicular to the group of Brujah. It had, of course, killed some of the momentum, but that was why Henry had brought a knife.

One of the Brujah was little more than paste, whether it had caused Final Death or not, he would be out of the fight. One was still pinned beneath the vehicle, but a third had escaped, very much from simply being hit hard enough to bounce off the structure before the truck could pin him to it. To his credit, he was up and on Henry before a moment had passed, a vicious snarl and a ferocity that could almost be a break in the Masquerade, were the people of Los Angeles not entirely used to the actions of roid-rage gang bangers. His first swing caught Henry on the shoulder has he rolled it into his path, keeping him from a direct blow to his head. The force rippled through him, enough to register despite his supernatural pain threshold. With a grunt, he spoke;

"There's your one."

The Henry became a blur, his fingers grasped the Brujah's fist, the one that had just struck him, before with a sickening crunch, he inverted the hand's bones, his own suprior strength turning the Kindred's fist to mush. The Brujah didn't have time to react even to howl before the knife came up. Not a kill blow, not for a Kindred, punching into the reverse armpit of the combatant. Both arms paralyzed by pain responses, even for a vampire, the Kindred had no defence against the consecutive knee-blows driven up into his chest. When Henry allowed him to collapse to his knees, a simple backhand was enough to send him into the deepest torpor the 'young' kindred had ever felt the need to.

Of course by now there was screaming, people running from what was undoubtedly yet another scene of gang violence, albeit a somewhat dramatic one. It was a shady enough part of Los Angeles that it would take some time for the police to respond, even if Henry's associates were not currently redirecting calls.

Max groaned as he rolled himself out of the van. Thin and lanky, the wiry individual was a gangrel embraced at a somewhat awkward stage of adolescence. His limbs were slightly too long for the rest of him, but they held the supernatural power of his clan, and once he had recovered from the impact, a swift blow to the temple of the pinned-Brujah finished off the last potential source of resistance.

"Lets get these three to lock-up, might need a shovel for the first." Henry spoke as he dragged his now sleeping assailant over to the other three, looking down and the bloodied mess that was the three would-be-attackers. "It seems they still need a reminder we're not tolerating Sabbat bounties." Loche exhaled, even as Max began the work of extracting the injured from beneath the wrecked vehicle.

"Public execution?"

"No Max, I'm not a fucking Consul of Rome." Henry lent down to aid him, deadpanning as the Kindred turned to look at him incredulously.

"Well. Not for a long while."
New peoples :)

I'd recommend joining our discord server for the rp, helps with character discussions etc.
While we take a look over your sheet, I'd recommend joining the RPs discord server :) invite in the start of the OOC.

Los Angeles
US Bank Tower

The bird's eye view of LA was something to be admired, a city of countless dreams, extreme, failings and triumps, expressed in a gridlock of lights, stretching as far as one could see. All the dirt and glory of humanity beated down into a series of bright shapes, etched into the Earth.

Hardestadt thought of this to himself as he gazed out across the sprawl. L.A may have been the territory of others, but the Camarilla played a part in the lives of most global companies. It was fairly easy to acquire himself a temporary office in one of the city's grandest towers, and, at least, the one he felt most visually pleasing.

He strode back towards his 'new' desk. The office had been the work station of a man who had spent his entire lifetime climbing the rungs of whatever firm owned this particular space, scrabbling away to attain his goals. Human lifetimes were so very short, to have fought so hard, for so little. It was to be admired, really, if only the Kindred commonly showed such zeal. Still, the man had found himself shunted back to whatever perch he previously occupied, probably something similar merely a floor down, for the time being.

The desk was not overly grand, apart from its surroundings, functional, a work place, Hardestadt could appreciate that. He'd seen far too many obsidian monstrosities to ever feel respect for someone based on their inclination towards dramatic desks. After yet another momentary distraction, Hardestadt focused on the files before him. Hard copies, none of what he was reading would ever be transfered to the risky sphere of electronic communication. While the force of technology had done wonders for the reach of the Camarilla, it provided another avenue for attack, one they could ill afford with such matters. Pages of worrying reports, of elders and their abuses towards the younger generations of kindred, of uprisings and the efforts to put them down. It galled Hardestadt, not because he felt much in the way of remorse for the young, but that the ancients of his people would risk so much simply because of a lack of tact.

Sighing in exasperation, he tossed a particularly troublesome report aside, just as the intercom spoke to him;

"Mr Hardestadt, a Nicolaus Strøm to see you, Sir." The receptionist assigned to him was pleasant enough, capable to protecting his authority without aggrevating guests in the manner that so many L.A. Kindred could do.

"Very good. Please send him in." He replied, before releasing the reply button on the device, standing, as the onyx doors to the room opened gradually, automatic, when guests were expected. Hardestadt was a man of easy authority, but he had not forgotten the boon of decorum in all his years, moving around his desk to greet the man.

"Archon Strom, a pleasure." The handshake was firm, as expected, but as always, the spark of Hardestadt's inescapable command of presence flaired along the contact. Even if he could hide his power from those attuned to it, it was doubtful he would, it was always profitable to remind his fellow Kindred that were he to truly focus, they would kneel before him before they could strike.

"Please. Sit." He motioned to the chair before the desk, before returning to his own, collecting the files atop the desk. None had been left open, but it was always good to collate.

"Tell me, how do you percieve LA?"

Nicolaus didn’t make a habit of guessing another’s appearance or even their personality based on a business card, but sometimes a few lines of text -or in this case, a gold-foil letter- is enough to build a sound hypothesis. Although if the immense Bank building of classic construction and elegance, along with the tall, black double-doors leading into Mister Hardestadt’s office from the lobby wasn’t enough to convince him, then the very aura being projected from the other as they shook hands was sufficient. The subtle, yet potent effects of his presence was something Nicolaus had not experienced in a very long time from another Kindred. On the lower end of the spectrum, such tactics were generally employed to gain the other’s trust and allow for a more peaceful exchange, but it was also a double-edged sword as it gently reminded the recipient of just who was in charge.

“Thank you.” The Ventrue nodded as he settled into the dark tanned leather-bound chair facing Hardestadt across the desk.

The question came as a bit of an abstract, and Nicolaus supposed he could have spent more time mulling over the correct answer as though there were one, but after a moments pause he simply echoed the sentiments of what most elders felt already.

“On the surface, Los Angeles is the epitome of success and reward for those willing to work hard. A place that builds up and tears down on a daily basis, but still manages to survive the night.” His tone was smooth and even, and eye contact never wavering from the other. “Peel all that back however, and you get a city that is youthful, irresponsible and complacent. And like most liberal areas in this country, it is a city on its knees begging for leadership but too proud and stubborn to ask for it.”

As the Archon answered, Hardestadt's gaze did not leave him, the Ancient seemingly content to give the younger kindred his full attention, at least for the moment. He nodded slowly to the man's response, not neccesarily an affirmation, but a recognition that he was listening.

"Such is the way of the Anarchs, to hate what they need, and to shun those who provide it." For now, the Elder's sight returned to the files on his desk, opening one and flicking through the contents, before he responded any further.

"Los Angeles has always had leadership, although not all of them knew it. One of the more...egregious, excesses, of the Toreador clan forced many into exile. A particularly successful disapora have been crafting the city from its outset, not a minor accomplishment." He cast the file aside once more to return his focus to the Archon, a faint smile across his lips.

"This hidden leadership has become public, but under a different figure, I am sure you are aware of the new Baron, she's an...interesting, character." Hardestadt almost laughed, it had been a while since someone had dared to speak to him so, beyond their final desperate moments. Refreshing.

"I do not know where their previous leader, an elder, now in torpor, is resting, but that is irrelevant. I have no need to push into the politics of this city, for now. Whatever previous tasks you have been assigned are moot, your activities in this city are being narrowed to two purposes." Another file was selected from the table, but this time, handed over to the Archon.

"It is imperative that the Sabbat not be allowed to extend their territory into the city, with the fall of San Fransico, I expect them to at least make the effort. You will work to counteract these efforts, 'quietly' I do not wish it to appear that the Camarilla is supporting the Free State openly." The Elder paused before continuing, this time, tapping on the file he had just handed over.

"Secondly, the Baron has a right hand, a man who goes by the name of Henry Locke. He is not something I have encountered before, and when you've lived as long as I have, that can become somewhat troublesome. Find out who, or what, he is. I believe this will be fairly important to the future of this city, and where its loyalties lie." Hardestadt's tone grew more serious, more the commanding elder, than the elitist businessman, on this final matter.

"That will be all."

The Venture did his best not to allow the satisfying smirk that was hidden deep behind the emotional mask he wore to surface, but he was very much looking forward to giving the Sabbat as much hell as possible, perhaps even grounding several of them into the dust of the earth along the way. Since his separation from the Black Hand over two hundred years ago, the anger and resentment of the sect allowed him a resolve that would never waver from its course, never simmer as endless time passed, and would always be in the forefront of his memory to remind him that they will always be the enemy. And while this fueled a passion to write the so many wrongs of his past, he had to ensure that personal feelings would not cloud better judgement.

“Very good sir.” Glancing at the file folder for but a moment, he nodded to the other in acknowledgement and stood from the leather chair, causing a slight creaking sound from the old wood and joints of the furniture.

He remembered Henry Locke, although aside from slight insignificant details and perhaps a generally positive attitude that he most likely wanted others to see on the outside, he knew little of the ex-proprietor of the Sunset Lounge. But such was the way of things. There are those who keep away from the public eye of humanity, and then those who entrench themselves even deeper, hiding from the Elders and Justicars of kindred society, only resurfacing when events begin to shift in their favor. Nicolaus held a certain respect for Locke based only on what he knew of the vampire, but everyone has a secret.

“If I may ask, sir.” His tone was curious, as it should be, considering he was quite unsure of just what role Hardstadt played in all of this. “As for the relay of communication, shall we work directly or through a proxy of your choosing? I am fine either way. Although I have many trusted eyes and ears throughout this city, and so a recommendation is possible if needed.”

"I will likely remain in LA for a few more days, I believe my secretary can provide you with a number to call should you need to reach me in that time, beyond that, I do not foresee this city requiring my direct touch." The elder Ventrue kept his focus on the younger as he stood and moved away, he smiled as he responded, but it was not from kindness.

"What I have tasked you with goes beyond the authority of any other contact or mission you recieve, I would be careful to not....frustrate, other Elders of prominence, but be under no illusions, I want LA to remain as it is, and I do not want to have to directly involve myself again. I will contact you if your work is lacking, see that it is not." While he lacked warmth, Hardestadt's tone was not intentionally threatening either, petty threats and intimidation were beneath him, and he respected the work of the Archon too much to believe that he did not already know what the state of play between them consisted of.

The OOC is evidently up, but we're still recruiting and looking for more people to join! The IC has only just really kicked off.
How's everyone going with WIP posts and characters?

The RP will continue to chug along at whatever pace we can all manage, but updates would be helpful :)


No matter how ancient he had become, Henry still found himself slipping into behaviours by nature, becoming accustom to whatever new role he had set upon himself, before losing it to the whims of fate. Now, watching the city stretch out before him, from the luxury of Chateau Marmont, he found himself at a loss. Sunsent was no more, his life running the lounge, as much ash as the rubble on which his bar had been built. Here he stood in a new establishment, as patron, not owner.

Still, the line had been drawn, Los Angeles was his home now, and he had promised such to those who mattered. In the cosmic scale of his liftetime, his bond with them was but a whim on the wind, but to Henry, that still mattered more than his own wishes. It had been so long, if ever, that he had been free of such obligations.

Prepaerations were nearing their conclusion, soon one of LA's most exclusive locations would be prepared for two particularly exclusive guests. The usual staff were preparing the venue, while Henry himself was finalising his preperations of a different nature. It was his role to ensure the survival of the Free State of LA, and by extension, the kindred best postioned to lead it. No matter who these guests were, and the power behind them. He had a host of mortals, ghouls and kindred he could call upon, and sure enough, they were held in reserve, should matters go awry, but with the aim of no overt displays of hostility, for now, he was working on his own. The angles had been calculated, the approaches considered.

It had been some time, time that made years seem like the patter of rain, since he had taken so direct a role in the matters of mortals and immortals alike, for so long he had simply drifted through their worlds, stopping only when either empathy or curiosity forced him to intervene. Perhaps a combination of both had driven him to LA, and then into aiding the eclectic band of Kindred that had built the city, and the Free State, from the shadows. As he watched the city, he allowed his senses to slip from his bodily form, roaming on the aethric winds. While he might search through the city for potential threats, for the unkowns, that would have likely been a waste of time, as slow as any mundane approach. Instead his concious thought felt for the presence of one unconcious mind. He did not wake, her, simply watching her through the skein of his power, watching the chaos that was her mind, and the new powers it wrestled with. The death throes of a second, weaker, personality within. There were few alive, or dead, who could so obviously reach beyond the boundaries of Topor, but Henry did so, at least with her, with contemptuous ease. He did not wake her, but she would feel his presence, maybe not now, but in reflection. A reminder that someone of like mind was watching over her city, and watching over her, especially with a mind so conflicted. He hoped the two promises, to her, and the latter to himself, would never compete.

She had begun the fight he had first waged before time had ground his will to dust, the challenge against the Oblivion which was burningburning forth to meet them. The cynic in him would argue the yet further time would only result in the same fate for both of them, surrendered to their fate. Of all the things he had ever been, he'd never been a terribly good cynic.

In the next moment, he returned to his physical form in full thought, eyes flickering with the power of his form for only a moment, returning to his mundane, mock-human, senses.

He turned back into the function room, stepping back through windowed doors. The oppulance of the room was ignored as he moved to a nearby table, steadily finishing the process of dressing appropriately. A burgundy tie done up, gold tie clip in place, he paused only to examine his cufflinks before setting them. Twin stars, as was his preference. He had always been fond of the little momentoes. As he finished correct the sit of his shirt, the doors to the room opened. He felt her presence before he saw her. He had always been observant, and the aura of those with whom he was familar were traced like a breeze to him. He turned to her, smiling, although it did not quite reach his eyes.


She came into the room like a storm of sweet scents, aggitated energies, and the barely audible sound of her high heeled Prada black leather boots sounding off against the hard wooden floor of the hall below her until she hit the room carpet. Big brown eyes literally seemed to glow honey gold when she stopped under the accent lighting fixtures directly above her. The tightly fit black slacks and shimmering champgange colored silk halter hiding under a black blazer coat, the exterior of it's arms a delicate web of black lace. Chateau Marmont and it's old Hollywood glamor was a long time favorite for her, but not just her. Rock stars, actors and actresses, directors, Hollywood elite, writers, visual artists, and whoever else could buy their way in. Even on off nights anything could happen. But the Chateau wasn't a normal hotel, for other reasons, too; reasons directly related to the guest list factor. Each suite was it's own little haven, with the privacy and security to back it up. Once you passed through the main building, unless you stayed there, there was little to no mingling.

Henry had set them up in the kind of posh, catered, room that their two visitors would be most used to. Yanci Carolina couldn't have loved the man more, loved him enough to have regrets for the first time in a long time. Still the decision had necessitated a change. That was easy enough when Eva controlled the site since the original owner first sold it. Eva hadn't been there, of course. That was old West Hollywood, afterall. Yanci had been sent in her place, but even then Yanci hadn't been the front woman to that pow-wow. That had been their ghoul front; Albert E. Smith. Alby, as Yanci overjoyed in calling him playfully. She even recalled how much they purchased it for: $750,000 cold hard USD. And at the moment all she could think about when her eyes looked this way, then that, much more furniture they'd put into this room since the last time she was in it. That had been a while, if Yanci remembered correctly.

Bar Marmont, on the other hand, she had been to more recently. And often. Even Brujah can act a little Hollywood in this town. As she stepped up to him, she finally spoke. "This hotel is where James Dean jumped through a window to audition with Natalie Wood for Rebel Without a Cause, Elizabeth Taylor nursed Montgomery Clift post car crash, Led Zeppelin rode their motorcycles through the hallways and John Belushi took his final breath...these two don't rank that high, so I moved us."

When his eyes caught her's as he process that, she smiled. Big. "C'mon. They're probably waiting on us." She knew they were. Through the wide halls she led him, out the back, through the balcony and down the stairs that led to the exterior aft courtyard. The Spanish Bungalows, even the pool, weren't originally even part of the Chateau. All of that was added later, by someone too unwilling to wait for a deal to be done to buy the Chateau. Eva. The Chateau bought the pool, and bungalows, a few years after she purchased it.

"She saw it. I don't know how." As they walked, she looked back from the lead to see him blink. It made her chuckle. "She looked at a failed apartment building and saw a legendary Hollywood location. I told her she was crazy, back in the 1930s. When they turned the hotel into a state historical site in the mid-90s, she celebrated. I happily took that 'told ya so' from her."

Throughout their walk Henry made sure to take in her words, to visibly do so, nodding to the analogies, the stories, the information of her past, the past of the city and her past with Eva. Some of it her already knew from other sources. The feeling behind it? Eva's motivations, her dreams for the city, that he knew in its totality. Henry had connected with Eva in a way that he had not with another since what felt like the dawn of ages. He did everything he could during moments like this to not remind Yanci of that. Let Eva be her's, he cared for them both too much to open those wounds, and their work was too important.

They walked by a few tables tucked away behind shrubs and trees; there was no main line of sight in the back of the Chateau. Paths spide-webbed out from the back entrance of the hotel main building, the roofs of the bungalows peaking out in the slight distance, all of it hidden behind the thick, tall, stone walls covered in ivy--and the electronic security everywhere the walls weren't. Yanci knew the people at the table; low level Hollywood execs "trying to make it happen." But her focus was on the second bungalow, the white wooden door opened as they got close by a young man with a wide smile, tight cropped brown hair, and pretty blue eyes.

Inside were white stucco walls with wooden beams above and the wooden ceiling further above that. Taller ceilings than most might consider, the main room of the bungalow in use--closer to the door was where their guests had been seated, on the other side of the room was a man flanked by a small group of other men, tailors, to be exact. The blonde man in the middle kept turning before thick mirrors brought in, giving feedback, shaking his head, even drawing chuckles. Seated close to the group was a man with salt and pepper hair, and a handsome face. It was the slightly older man, the one seated with salt and pepper hair, that turned his head upon their entering.

"Your friends are nice. I think we settled on dark blue."

Yanci's eyes bounced to the man in front of the mirrors. "Yeah, yeah I think the dark blue works. It's not Navy, but it's not gaudy. It'll work for the opening scene."

"Wonderful. Thank you, gents."

The older man stood, the blonde man trailed off into another room to change. Yanci brought Henry over to their side of the room, so Henry could shake hands with the older man. Even close up, he didn't look as old as he was. People joked the man was a vampire; Yanci knew better. "Henry, George Clooney. George, this is my friend Henry."

"Very nice to meet you, Henry." After the hand shake, his arms crossed reflexively over his chest, his blue eyes focusing anew on Yanci. "What happens if I need to talk to her?"

Uh. "You haven't heard?"

He looked pained, suddenly. "I had. I was hoping once I saw Gwen, or yourself, I'd learn it was all bad gossip. She's coming back?"

She nodded, firmly. "Absolutely."

A shrug, and the smile audiences knew so well showed itself. "Well, okay. Let me see about Matt. Thanks."

The tailors were already gone by then, leaving Yanci to motion for Henry to sit at one of the two seats across a white wooden coffee table with an ice bucket and champgange chilling inside, glasses resting next to it. They were untouched. She wasn't surprised. Finally, finally, Yanci regarded the Cardinal and the Ventrue. "Hello, welcome to Los Angeles. Please say nothing to seriously piss me off. Shall we start?"

The most unusual thing about the two men sitting patiently for Yanci and Henry was felt more in their similarities than their differences. These were two of the most prominent members of rival ideologies, the two great warring sects of the Kindred world. Yet both were here, dressed in fine, modern clothes. They would not have been out of place atop the spires of Downtown, or on a home counties private estate, networking and planning the rise and fall of business.

Instead, one was a Cardinal of a cult set on bringing about the end of the world as all had come to know, and the other a global conspiracy to hide the existence of vampires from all humanity. Cardinal Charles Delmare was the slightly more ostentatious of the pair, jeweled rings bedecked his hands and the cut and style of his suit was notably more flamboyent, but far from the realm of ridiculous. Despite his generally softer appearance, he seemed to have taken the wait worse, offering both Yanci and Henry little more than a curt nod for now.

Hardestadt had been eyeing his opposite intently, but was alive the moment Yanci regarded them both. To say he was warm would be inaccurate, the paragon of Ventrue capability, he was efficient, cut and dry. But his power of personality was almost overwhelming, it stirred even Henry's supernatural senses as he made to shake his hand.

"A pleasure to be here, and to enjoy such fine company." His hand graced Yanci's the next, just as firmly, but if the presence of the Ventrue was tantalising, his touch was all consuming. There were few kindred alive who could claim such a mastery of the vitae-fuelled presence. Despite this, his smile did not quite reach his eyes. "I shall endeavour not to offend you then, Baron." The edge of contempt touched his words as he spoke her title. It was a fine enough moniker, but it wasn't prince. "Shall we begin then." It was anything but a question.

"Indeed, Los Angeles has been abuzz of late." It was Charles Delmare who spoke next, his eyes flicking to Henry, but focusing on Yanci as the power in the room. "Is this wise to bring us both to your door, when you hardly have a handle on the fires spreading across your house?" He was calm in tone, but direct, with the assured quality of a man of great faith. "Mayhaps your Sheriff can advise you on such matters." He raised an eyebrow in Henry's direction, waving a loose hand.

"Get out. Now."

Moments went by, and no one moved, but shadows appeared on the otherside of the door, darking the sunlight that had been shining through the imperfect glass windows bordering the front doorway. The back was worse; it was all glass. All of it. There were good reasons that the Chateau was surrounded by so many walls, tangible and intangible. Yanci wasn't inviting the two back to the bedroom with it's back glass wall; probably for the best considering she wasn't entirely sure George and Matt were done and gone. When the two ancients finally moved, it was to look at Henry, then each other...never Yanci.

"What up, Yance?"

The voice belonged to CJ; thick rimmed black sunglasses, Raiders hat backwards over dreadlocks, dark skin so dark it was near purple in certain light. CJ wasn't a big guy, around 5'6. He didn't have to be what with the auto-shotgun held tight, at the ready, in his small hands. Yanci had a feeling the two ancients knew the rounds loaded in that shotgun, and the shotgun carried by every one of CJ's friends. The Bloods had been at the Chateau for days, spotting, security. The moment Yanci stepped onto the property, their number increased three-fold.

"The Cardinal is leaving."

CJ blinked, looking at the two visitors. "Which one is he?"

"The one that looks like a bad imitation of a Mexican pimp."

CJ smiled. "A'ight. C'mon, El Cardinal." Card-in-aleee, was how CJ said it, emphasis on the end of the title. A playful emphasis. "Stand ya self on up, and let's escort you out homeboi."

" know," Yanci's right hand appeared at her chin, her other arm folded against her midsection, as she retreated to a deep ponder. Or at least, gave the exaggerated pretense of doing so. "Nah. Let him stay. But let's get something clear..." She didn't sit. Instead, she stepped closer to the Cardinal. She bent at the waist, lowered her eyes until they were riiiight at level with the Cardinal's, maybe an inch away. "You can't even take shitty San Diego and you want to tell me about the state of LA? You don't have the first clue of what's going on in this city. If you did, you wouldn't have accepted this invitation. And I know this isn't an really DO think you're that important, you're that're not. Not here. Got that, Chief? So piss me off again and that 'state of LA' you're so uncertain about you'll see first hand, reallllllllllll fuckin' quick. Awesome."

She smacked the back of the Cardinal's shoulder in a friendly gesture, before moving her hand away and her body went towards her seat. Her eyes had already moved on, as did her focus: they were on the Ventrue. "Can we stop fucking around now? Maybe you've mistaken this for the annual meeting of your European financial institution tight-ass club, but this is Hollywood." Then, only then, did Yanci sit beside Henry. Quickly, comfortably, casually. Smiling big.

"So let's talk. I'm not who you wanted to talk to, but I'm who you're stuck with. If you're curious, she's watching, she's listening. She's PROBABLY holding her face in her hand right now, or whatever the equivilant--I'm not that old, I've never had to go full on fucking hibernation. I should be more polite...but I warned you not to get uppity and piss me off. It's the first thing you both did. No one's going to put up with your shit, here. Doesn't stop you from rolling up Sunset thinking you own the place, like any rich VIP who comes to Hollywood. They find out the same lesson: this won't be a pleasure, the company in Hollywood is as fine as it wants to be to you." A direct retort to the Venture's earlier line.

"She wanted this to be friendly. She was hoping for honest communication. So let's be honest: we know both of your clubs are gonna keep coming for us. Now you finally know who's really in charge. Now you finally know who to aim at...but she built Southern California. Damn near literally. Either of you ever do something so profound? Ever create something that changed the world in so many ways, time and time again? Generation after generation? Either of you two have a skin on the wall as big as SoCal, or Hollywood? Why NOT consider working with us? We maintain the traditions; shit, I'd say Hollywood has done more to turn vampirism into a myth, to directly help the Masquerade, then anything your club's ever done. I'll stop so you can tell me I'm wrong."

Both the Ancients responded to the tirade sent their way with something akin to amused surprise, although they wore it in different ways, Charles, as the primary focus of the ire, was cold steel, regarding the scene with little more than tense restraint, relaxing only slightly upon the end of Yanci's words. He may have been leadership, but he was Sabbat, he dealt with more fiery personalities daily, just not so very focused.

Hardestadt wore a more visible reaction, a raised eyebrow and the hint of a grin. It was unusual for him to be spoken to in such a manner, unusual in a way that could either entertain or enrage him, for now he picked the former, allowing himself a nod of agreement at Yanci's final words. Despite all this, it was neither of them who spoke next.

"You can take the girl out of the Brujah." If Hardestadt's enjoyment was restrained, Henry was smirking in full, watching 'his' Baron go to work. While he may have teased her, it was clear, at least between the two of them, that his amusment was at the expense of the Ancients, and not her. "Eva's accomplishments were grand, yes, as I'm sure many of both the Camarilla and the Sabbat can claim to be, but as much as we aren't here to fuck around, we're not here to trade nicities either. Business, gents." There was something of the London gangster there, hidden beneath the carefully crafted neutrality which Henry wore to cover the habits of countless mortal lives across just as many nations.

"Of course. As I've come to be aware, Los Angeles has shed the Anarch Free State, a wise move, if you ask me, consolidation without dragging the old divides and motivations of the Anarchs with you. You may strike out on your own, I believe that to be the cause you are set on, but I would reintroduce the offer of the Camarilla." Hardestadt was the first of them to speak directly, the trace of a German accent adding to the imperious nature of his tone. He was, of course, breezing over that the last Camarilla 'offer' had been nothing short of an invasion. "Nothing so dramatic this time, LA would maitain it's current structure, and control of the region. You could even still call yourself Baron, if you so wished." Hardestadt's final smile. before he was interrupted, was smaller than his last, but in a way more genuine. He was being generous, but he was also under no misgivings that the offer would be rejected, at least at this stage.

"The Camarilla are weak out here, as well you know, as well do they. He seeks LA as a bastion in a land he has failed to tame." The Cardinal spoke, his gaze flicking from Hardestadt to Yanci. "We control San Fransisco, they have failed to stop us there, they will fail to stop us here, should the time come." The Cardinal spoke more intensely when the matter of the Final Nights came to the fore, he may have been intelligent, modernising and put together for a Sabbat, but he was still one of them, still bore the title of their religion; "The signs are strong out here, and that time is approach, whatever the specifics of the date. Caine rises." Charles had never been one of the Sabbat to place too much faith in the specifics of prophecy, the fact they had been wrong according to a modern, kine calander bothered him not, but it was still a public failure of the Sabbat that he had to reference, or allow as a free weapon.

Whatever the effect of his words on the others, Henry tensed, inperceptible to those who did not know him. A roll of his joints hidden as a stretch, the tiniest flexing of a fist. The Sabbat may have been wrong, but they would be right when it counted.

The voice that came from Yanci Carolina was different, now; different in tone, different in intensity, different in every aspect except the feminine, but there was no mistaking the voice for Yanci's. The voice was Eva's. "Gehenna will come. I know this now. I see this now. Thank you for accepting my invitation, however this new information changes the very nature of the world of darkness. I suggest speaking to your elders."

There was a blink of Yanci's long eyelashes, and when her eyes opened anew, they were closer to auburn than their usual brown. One blink turned to a flutter of lashes, as Yanci adjusted to the sensation that she had been a passenger in her own body, and no more. When her lashes stopped, she knew she was back.

It did little more than inspire a sad smile on Yanci's face. "...I imagine, uh..." Her tone was fit for a Church now, her face looking more like she'd just woken up than the half-Brujah that was present just minutes prior. Her right index finger came up to rub the inside of her left eye, her mind straining with focus. "You know how to contact us should you have questions, or desire to speak to us. But, um...the Anarchs were never in charge, here. The Kid was, letting the Anarchs believe what they wanted, Eva kept him sane...until she stopped being able to, and then he forced us public, and SoCal errupted. That's the honest story. "

"Of course not, the Anarch movement is a sham, even on the shining sea of the West Coast, the younger of us need the guidance of the Elders, even if those elders hide away." Hardestadt was serious in tone when he spoke, looking at Yanci, but as if he spoke through her, to the voice that had only just retreated back away into the darkness. He smiled, once again, gently. It was not a comforting sight.

"And it is to the oldest of elders to whom we must suplicate, if we are to survive." The Cardinal spoke next, although once again his focus seemed to shift between his Camarilla counterpart and Yanci, again, not truly to the woman who was actually there.

Only Henry remained focused on her, actually her, impassive visibily, but bleeding concern behind his mask. It was disconcerting, that feeling, to have one's body driven by another, through the power of your bond alone. It was several moments after he realised he was staring before he refocused on the matter of the meeting.

"How long will you gentlemen be staying? I can provide direct lines of contact back to us, should you be leaving soon." A mundane question, but it distracted him, as well as serving a true purpose.

"I believe I will be leaving," The Cardinal spoke, already rising as he did so. "The warning has been given, and likewise, received. We shall see how these Final Nights play out." He nodded to all those assembled, including his Camarilla rival, before making his way to leave. A true Lasombra, door's opened before him and he was soon lost in the shadow.

"He's just as insane as the rest. Far more dangerous, but just as insanse." Hardestadt spoke as he watched him leave, drumming gently on the table, before turning his focus back on the pair of hosts. "If we might have a word alone." He spoke to Yanci, although did not ignore Henry in his attentions. "If that is quite acceptable."

Yanci's head turned to Hardestadt slowly, as if traced his direction by some invisible fingertip just under her chin. Her words were her own, but given the slow, careful, way in which they were spoken she wouldn't have blamed Hardestadt for uncertainty in just who he was talking to. "...sure. CJ." The door was closing by the time she even named the Blood, his friends escorting the Cardinal to the Exit Tent. The Exit Tent was a really good time, as she remembered it, she doubted the Cardinal would have fun. He didn't seem the fun type.

A quick listen, and she was certain George and Matt were gone. Matt laughed, and complained, too loudly to not be heard eventually. George was the sneaky type. Clooney had a suspicion about Eva, about Yanci and Gwen, too. It didn't matter. It never did. They had their protections in place. There was a reason Hollywood helped the Masquerade, but was never threatened by it.

Her eyes didn't leave Hardestadt. Instead they studied him, briefly and with casual interest at best, before honey-brown eyes perched the brows above them. "Better?"

"It will do."

As the Venture spoke, the glamour of his presence fell away, blonde hair was replaced with brown, age lines and a bulkier form gave way to a younger one. The blue eyes remained, but they were flecked with yellow, his jaw sharp enough to cut with an edge. As he did so, the establishments security equipment began to stutter, not enough to compromise the facility, or even any surveillance of others, but Hardestadt the Younger would never be caught on camera, moving or otherwise.

"You spoke of your Sire in a manner few would speak of me, that is assured, and I can understand the precaution and care through which she has crafted Hollywood, and the Free State, I more than most." The manner in which he was speaking, in how he regarded both Yanci and Henry were palpably different. He was still Ventrue, but something of the hard extreme of his arrogance fell away.

"It is a noble work, worth saving, but Hollywood has stood for what? Pushing a century? You may think my work less profound, it may shine less bright and with less glamour, but it has stood since the Fall of Rome, and it is a work very dear to my cold heart." There were few enough that new of Hardestadt's great lie, and fewer still on this new continent. It was Henry that spoke next.

"The Younger." It was not a question, but a statement, dragged up from the memories of a man who had lived even then. It earned him a curt nod from the ancient Ventrue.

"So, you can imagine, that leaving the seat of my power is not something I take lightly, I am not here just to chat, to offer Camarilla protection, although that offer is very much real. I am here because the Final Nights approach, and most of us old, or powerful, enough to stop them are mad enough not to care." Hardestadt placed a card on the table, a number written across it, nothing more. "For matters which stem beyond our different alleigances." With that, the Ancient stood, patting down the exquisit, if simple, suit he still wore. No matter his form, whichever he wore, it seemed tailor made.

"Unlike my Sabbat counterpart, I will not be leaving your city immediately. Do feel free to drop by." Gradually the force of his presence restructured the glamour he weaved around him, the appearance of the elder Hardestadt returning to the fore.

Her eyes still never moved. They left Hardestadt sure enough; but only because he moved away and beyond her sight out the door. Yanci felt cold. The end was coming. Screw the guy who ran the Camarilla...Eva told her. It wasn't all Eva had told her, either; just all Eva wanted to share with the others. Los Angeles was about to get busy. In ways Yanci was having trouble imaging.

In ways she was certain Henry could imagine far better than she. "I need to talk to Gwen. Maybe a...supernatural apocalype movie that's bad enough to become infamous, and mocked endlessly with memes. Turn it into a pop culture fed joke. Enough actors and actresses owe us a bad movie. I'd say rush it through--but I suppose that was implied by making it 'bad' in the first place."

But that was just the rapid-fire damage control of her mind going off. Let it all process for a moment, and Yanci heard herself deeply sigh.

"Fuck. It had to be the City of Angels."

Name: Teric Korva
Age: 48
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Force Sensitive: Yes (Just about)
Faction: Jedi
Skills: Espionage, surveillance, marksmanship, general black ops, fighter pilot.
Weaknesses: Limited Force Sensitivity.
Equipment(Include any assets):


The child of a Jedi survivor of Order 66, Teric has lived with secrecy since he was old enough to understand the concept. Home was where ever the Empire wasn't looking, sometimes right under their noses, sometimes delving into uncharted territory. Both of Teric's parents were truly loving, but not blind to the realities of their existence, and so drilled their son constantly on how best to survive, and remain undetected while he did so.

This would be what kept him alive after the Empire finally caught up with them during Teric's adolescence, his parents and their ship, his effective home for those years, destroyed in a sudden attack. The fortune of the errands he was running, and him lacking any formal mark of existence being the only reason he survived that day. It would be years before he grew past wishing that he had not.
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