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Vampire: The Requiem - Preludes

 
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:35 am    Post subject: Vampire: The Requiem - Preludes Reply with quote

You may start your preludes now. Please write why your character has lost humanity, or I may give him or her a starting derangement.

What was your character doing (employment, study, family life, etc) before the Embrace?

How was your character embraced? What was the embrace like?

What is the name of your character's sire, and is there still a sire/childe relationship?
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Ivan Karpenku
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ivan Karpenku was born in the USSR, in Moscow. He inlisted in the Soviet military, and joined the Spetznaz. He came to the attention of his sire, Mikhail Sergeyvich Alekseyev, during this time. When the USSR disolved, he lost direction until joining the Russian Mafiyeh. While there, he was arrested for murder, but the authorities could only prove assault with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to 8yrs in a Russian prison. While there, he stabbed and killed a fellow inmate who was rumored to have given information to the police. Prison authorities couldn't prove his involvement, but he was put in solitary confinement for a year as a result.

Last year, he was released from the prison. His sire approached him then, and brought him into the Daeva clan and the Circle of the Crone covenant.

His humanity was never very high, and his time in the Mafiyeh and prison didn't help that. The embrace was GLORIOUS for him. He gained power, and he gained the confidence of knowing that his enemies can't kill him (not with bullets, anyway). All of the subtle aches and pains that had started when he passed his prime... they're all gone. Too many minor injuries from old missions, and years spent in a Russian prison, had started making him feel old. But now, nothing hurts. Hunting is exhilerating. He enjoys the full range of hunting... sometimes taking the victim unawares, sometimes letting the victim know that she was being hunted first.

His sire's elder childe, Tatiana came to Lordenshaw City earlier this year. Mikhail has decided that Ivan is ready to be on his own, and has asked him to come here to support her in her actions.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John 15:12. When I was a kid and my parents would drag me to church every Sunday morning, it was the Pastor's favourite bible verse. “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” I used to think it was such a load of shit.

Take my parents. Surely you'd expect them to love me almost as much as God does, me being the fruit of their loins and all that shit. But no. To them I was nothing more than a status symbol. “Did you know that our son was elected Student Body President? Did you hear that Jonathan first in his class this year at Howell? Did I tell you that he's the captain of the track team?”

As long as I was popular and got straight As and had a pretty, blonde, chaste girlfriend, everything was fine. But as soon as I did something that they didn't like, something they couldn't brag to their friends about, then they disowned me, with him calling me an abomination while she stood their trying to act like she was upset. And not doing a very good job.

Then there was David, my best friend since we were three. We were pretty damn close – always went to the same schools, both ran track, practically lived at each others houses. We did everything together. We even lost our virginity to the same girl one night at a frat party we snuck into, although he had to take my seconds since I was always a bit quicker on the uptake when it came to girls. Best friends forever, right?

Wrong. Seems that David just needed me to help him make friends with the right people – the cliques that he wasn't smart or good-looking or athletic enough to get into on his own. As soon as I really needed a friend he hung me out to dry, the asshole.

The funny thing is, he probably would've been better off sticking with me. He was nothing on his own and everyone knew it, so before long he was almost as alone as I was. I hear he knocked up some slut who can boast that the only reason she's not a whore is that no one would actually give her money for it. The kind of girl who's already got three kids, and three different baby-daddies. And his folks made him marry the bitch. Lucky David, huh?

It's been almost two and a half years since I last saw David, or spoke to my parents. Since then I've had more people profess their “love” for me than I can remember, but all any of them really wanted was to use me. To stroke their ego. To drown their sorrows. Or to help them get their rocks off. And every single one of them thought that they had me wrapped around their little finger, never thinking that it might be me doing the wrapping. Fuck, kine can be stupid sometimes!

Take the esteemed Professor Morris, one of the grunts Howell's Engineering Department kept around to teach the basics so that the real brains of the operation don't have to lower themselves to anything so vulgar as interacting with students. I met him at Flesh one night maybe six months ago where he was trying to work out how to save his shitty marriage. I think his initial plan to screw the living daylights out of the youngest guy he could find at the club was a bit misguided, but the fact that I took him home and gave him the ride of his life probably wasn't the smartest move either. Three months later and he's telling me that if I don't stop seeing other people he'd report me to the Psych HOD.

I'm just glad I'd already gotten sick of him and sent his wife an email about her husband's exploits, complete with a few well-cropped pics. He took the news pretty hard, or so I found out a few weeks later when I read the obituaries. I feel a little sorry for the guy that found him though, especially after he'd been hanging there all night, but at the time I couldn't have cared less.

After all, that was the night I met Mina. And Mina was the one who changed everything.

I'd just finished breaking the news to Professor Morris when I almost ran into her in the street. She told me later that it was my casual cruelty that first caught her eye – the way I ruined the Professor's life and then moved on, as if I'd done nothing more exciting than ordering a pizza, or reading the newspaper. And in a way that makes sense – Mina certainly knows how to be nasty. That night though, as we walked back to her haven, she was anything but.

As we huddled close so that we'd both fit under her umbrella, she asked me how my night out had been, and regaled me with tales of her own adventures earlier in the evening. When we arrived at her apartment, she poured me a drink and lead me to the sofa where we talked about my time at Howell College and my plans for the future. And by the time we finally made it to her bed, she'd already seduced me with kisses that started out sweet but then quickly turned hungry and passionate.

“Do you trust me, Jonathan?” she asked as she straddled my waist and pinned my wrists to the pillow. I chuckled and told her that I didn't, but that I had nothing to lose. “Exactly”, she purred, and with a wicked smile she leaned forward and gently kissed my neck. And then I felt her fangs pierce my skin.

Looking back, I'm surprised that I didn't panic. Instead I simply lay there and felt the humanity slowly drain out of me, and it wasn't horrific or painful, just softly sad. I was already dead when she found me anyway, at least I was on the inside, so what probably should have been a “No!” felt a lot more like a “Finally!” And then, just as I reached the point of no return I felt her finger, wet with blood, brush my lips, while her other hand caressed my throat. “Drink, Jonathan. Just a drop. Drink, and know what it really means to die and yet to stay.”

As I swallowed, it was as if an orgasm of pure fire exploded within me. My back arched, my hands clawed at the sheets, I threw my head back and screamed at the night, and from one moment to the next I was changed. With one single drop of her life's blood, Mina finished what my parents, my friends, and my lovers started. She killed me, and in doing so she both blessed and cursed me, with power and hope and damnation.

She may not “love” me, but that's not a problem. She's never pretended to.

“This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” Turns out they all love me as much as God does. My parents. David. Professor Morris. The problem is that God doesn't love me at all. Even if He does exist, He's all about anger and hatred, not love.

John 15:12. Perhaps the most followed commandment of them all then. And still nothing but bullshit.
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James Randel
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The intro music faded, all lights went dark. The booming pyrotechnics were accompanied by the thunder of the band coming to life. James looked out of the seething crowd as he played with way through the opening passages of the song. Thousands of frenzied fans moved to the groove. He grinned to himself. These were his people. He was in his element.

"I tell you what guys, your first albums sales are booming. Most successful metal band of the year. Keep this up boys and you will be the new Metallica!"

Kaine, the bands manager, was grinning from ear to ear. He had hit the money crop with this band. Sure the back line wasn't anything overly special, but he knew he had winners in Max and James. As long as Max kept the crowd screaming life any good front man, and James kept up the output of quality music, then he would be laughing all the way to the bank.

He looked at the band. They seemed so young compared to his 40 years. He sucked back on his cigar, grinning through the smoke. He sensed he would have a nice retirement with these guys.

The world spun. Hair creating a propeller, James swung his head in rhythm with the music. His sweat streamed down his arms as the burning lights beat down on him. Max worked the crowd, screaming orders to the fans to do more extreme displays of fanaticism. Guitars and drums broke down into a crushing groove as the crowd, split down the center, charged at each other like two opposing warbands. Carnage ensued when the two front lines met, a mess of limbs and moshing bodies. Max could play the crowd like an instrument. One person remained stock still amongst the living, convulsing sea of fans. James was distracted by this stillness for a moment, nearly missing his cue to solo. He snapped back to the music and felt warm. Now it was his turn to be at the forefront, now it would be he that played the crowds heart strings.

"So, James, Deathspiels second album is currently riding the top of the alternative charts. Last time you did all the writing for the album, was that the case with this latest work?"

"Firstly man, call me Jimmy. To answer your question man, yeah bro, writings what I do. I mean, the other guys all play their part, but when it comes down to it, its me losing sleep in the build up to each album."

"Cool Jimmy. You do a few new things on this album. Must have taken alot of time to construct such musical diversity yet pull it together for that distinctive Deathspiel sound."

"Haha yeah man. I tell you, was alot of lonnnng nights up with my guitar. I swear, if anyone is qualified to explain what it would feel like to be a vampire, after the months I spent getting no sleep, it has to be me......

People screamed as the last notes of the solo faded away. The band went straight into the second song of the set. An old favourite, the people on the floor went berserk. Yet James eyes were drawn to the small patch of stillness. At its center stood the most stunning woman he had ever seen. He found himself drawn into her. Pale yet shapely, auburn red hair falling upon curved breasts upon an hourglass figure. He soaked up her beauty and in that moment knew which fan would be lucky that night. He smiled and her and nodded. Whilst any other girl would scream with joy, this one simply turned and walked away through the crowd. And like that she was gone. James blew it off. Dumb bitches loss. He would have no trouble finding another temporary love. But something about the way she looked at him plagued his mind all night.

"Look at this, you dumb fuck! I thought we talked about this! You cant keep trying to claim all the glory man!" Max screamed at James. "First you start taking those bullshit twenty minute guitar solos, and now your telling magazines that you do all the work and we're just along for the ride? Fuck man, you may as well just have a wank seeing as all you do is play by your self" The front man threw the magazine on the counter in front of James, who calmly put aside his guitar.

"Well shit man, I'm sorry." His words dripped with sarcasm "Perhaps if you dumb fucks put in some real fucking effort then I wouldnt need to do all the fucking work in the first place. And twenty minute solo? Did it feel that bad to be out of the spot light for that long? I had to do SOMETHING. Freddy over there couldn't even play in fucking tune, the crowd wanted our blood man. So I gave them a little something special. You know, like what a good front man is meant to do you worthless waste of air!"

"Fuck you Jimmy." Max said coldly "I remember that this band used to be a team man. Your nothing but shit to us now. Sort your shit out or we will replace your sorry ass."

And to that James laughed. A quiet laugh with the stench of arrogance "But Max, get real man. I AM the fucking band. You can't replace me....


Like any good show, this one came to an end. The crowd roared for more but Deathspiel was spent. Sweat began to cool on his skin as James walked off stage. Backstage was the usual entourage of reporters. He went through the processes, posing for photos with band mates and answering a sea of the same questions they all asked. As soon as that was done he went out to the car to head to the after party. He looked forward to getting his hands on a woman. It had been a long tour and the last few shows they hadn't hung around long enough to enjoy the sins of the flesh.

As he walked out the back door of the venue there she was. Standing as still as she was in the crowd, the beauty smiled at him in a way that chilled, yet he was firmly in her grasp. Up close she was even more of a pleasure to the eye. Her close fitting lace corset top flowing into a leather skirt and net stockings that hugged her shapely legs. Her eyes were a rich amber that just purred to him. He knew he must have her. Her rich lips screamed for his.

"I've been waiting for you Jimmy."

And her spell was complete. They spent the night together, whilst the after party raged around them. They had their own little corner of stillness. For some reason the usual parade of women wanting a signature weren't around tonight. It was almost as if the two of them didn't exist. They sat in silence, just holding each other. Then after what felt like an eternity, she began to whisper in his ear.

"You could be great Jimmy." She hushed him when he went to retort "I've seen you, I've seen the crowds. They love you, adore you. You are the puppet master. But these others, your band mates, they are but dead weights to you. with them you are like a mighty sun eclipsed by the tiny moon. You could be great Jimmy. You could be like a god."

He went to speak but she placed a slender finger to his lips, silencing him, before giving him a lust filled kiss. Then she stood and left. He wanted to run after her but was entranced. He sat there, her words playing over his mind time and time again.


"Jimmy! What are you doing? You got to be one stage in a few minutes!"

James took another swig from his bottle of Jack Daniels "Look Kaine, I'm over this shit. get me a good band. Then I'll make you rich. Till then I'm getting drunk. Shit, I'm out of J.Ds..."

"Jimmy man, you gotta pull your shit out of your arse man. 5000 fans out there and they will be pissed if you don't show u... ah fuck Jimmy not on my shoes!"

"Max! Max! can you share a comment on why Jimmy Randel is no longer in deathspiel?"

"Sure Colleen. Basically it came down to creative differences. We wanted one thi" The TV clicked off. James looked at the empty bottle in his hand and had a quiet sigh. Alone in his dark loft apartment, he had sobered up to find he was out of alcohol. He got up and began searching the place for any more booze, hitting play on his answer machine while searching his fridge.

"Jimmy man, its Kaine. Look bro, I'm sorry man but no ones interested in picking up your contract. They all want bands man, this ain't the 80s any more, the solo metal guitarist is a thing of the past. Anyway man, best of luck. You should give me a call if you get another band going. Sorry bro."


"So, Jimmy, could you give us the inside scoop on why you left Deathspiel?"

"Look man, I'll cut the shit. There's only so much carrying a mother fuckers back can do before it breaks. Fuck them, they're a sinking ship now"

"Then how do you explain the sales on their latest album, best selling album since your debut?"

"hey man, fuck that shit! I don't know about you but I like listening to actual fucking MUSIC man. Anyway, ignore that shit, Give me a few months and my new project will be out. THEN you will get a taste of real heavy fucking metal."

"Well you heard it here first folks, Jimmy Randels got something new in the works. Lets wait and see if he can keep up the brutal tunes that set this country alight!"

The card played its way through the powder. Not for the first time James felt like he was looking at a little snowy mountain range before snorting it all into nothing. he sat back and waited for the high to kick in. It was his last hit, he would need to sell another guitar for more tomorrow. In the background the TV was playing one of his old concerts. He stared unfocussed at the screen. The fans, HIS fans, were screaming for the band. Like an angry tide they went berserk for the music. He missed those days. He missed being someone. Being something. Being anything.

The drugs began to take hold and he sat there, head spinning. He needed to be something. He was like a god. She said so. A sun, a big fucking sun. But noone else could see. The concert on the television came to an end. MTV switched to a documentary on some old blues musician. Robert Johnson. Jimmy watched in doped fascination. It was then he got his idea.

Hours later, moon high over head, he found himself yet again out of alcohol. Except this time he was seated with his back to a rock, a cold broken musician. Broke, high drunk and strung out. He sat at the crossroads plucking away at his guitar. He was almost ready to pick himself back up and walk home. Only a fool would think he could really sell his soul to the devil. Stupid old traditions.

He felt a presence behind him and he turned. There she was, looking as beautiful as ever. And she smiled.

"James, I've been waiting for you" and then she lunged at him.


"What the fuck happened to me? What have you done to me?"

She smiled her ever graceful smile "I made you into something next to a god. You wanted to be something, you were waiting for something, a gift. I gave you that gift. " She closed and whispered in his ear.

He leaped back from her "Your mad. Fucking mad."

"Am I? How do you feel? More sober than you ever have been? Clearer? Fitter? Like for the first time ever you look at the world without blinkers?"

Realisation set in as he steered at her in horror. Her beauty had taken on a whole new level, much like how a tigers stripes look beautiful while it hunts. "You mean you turned me into a monster"

And to that she smiled, but not her seductive beautiful smile. No, this was the smile a shark has before it sets upon a school of fish. "Why Jimmy, don't be so down. One persons monster is another persons god..."


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

James awoke again. It was dark. He looked over to his side and the bed was empty again. For the third night in a row he had awaken alone. He missed her, for though he loathed what she had done to him, she had been much valued company in the weeks after his siring. Now she too had left him. Once again Jimmy Randel was alone.

He spat a curse and got out of his bed. To hell with her. To hell with them. To hell with everybody. All James needed he had. Never again would he grow dependant. The world was his oyster. He chuckled to himself. No, not oyster, his hunting grounds. This was his second chance at being a god amongst men, and he would grasp it with both hands.

And thus, Jimmy Randel stepped out into the world a new born. And it would never be the same again.
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Tatiana Ivanova
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good evening, my name is Tatiana Ivanova. I was born under the rule of the Communist Party, in Moscow. I had an aptitude which the Committee for State Security, KGB to the West, found useful. I was, as a young girl, sent to special schools, my life before I joined the Sword and Shield of the Party is indistinct. Training in all the ways in which I would need to operate within the home of the Primary Enemy, the United States. I was trained to work within the US political structure. Not to be a candidate, but a “wheeler-dealer”, a kingmaker. I was meant to work my way up from the “grass-roots” level, up to regional. There was doubt if even the KGB’s skill at crafting false records would endure the scrutiny at the national level. I spent some time at the so-called “Sparrow School”, where the oldest methods of persuasion were part of the curriculum. I discovered there that my tastes ran somewhat…..off the norm, shall we say. At a function where we underwent a field test, I made the acquaintance of Ivan Karpenku, a Spetznaz trooper, quite good. I succeeded, to his mild detriment, on my test. One essential aspect of the Sparrow School was to separate emotional attachments from any other considerations. They had many psychology experts, to shape us youthful, idealistic, dedicated students into the desired state of near sociopathy. I did not, at that time, realize the attention I had garnered. Mikhail Sergeivich Alekseyev had noticed me. His attentions came to my rescue after the Communists fell. With no Cold War, funding for my “education” disappeared, as did all prospects for employment using my specialized skills. At the time, he simply offered me a job. What I did not realize was the scope of my employment. You see, Misha is Kindred…..and after a probationary period I was gifted with the Embrace. I am now come to the US to look out for his business interests, by essentially doing what the KGB had trained me for initially. I have discovered I greatly enjoy the exercise of the Disciplines of the Kindred to facilitate my wishes.
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Khalida Mufarrij
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The moon shining brightly overhead, Fadi Mufarrij hurried home from his Laylat al-Qadr prayers. Fortunately, the mosque of Duba was only steps from his own home, where his beloved Jalila labored.

Climbing the marble stairs to hurry across the wide veranda, Fadi tossed his robes to waiting servants, and then hurried up the burnished cherry-wood stairs. The doula was outside his wife’s suite, looking for him, hands wringing repeatedly. From the room, the swearing of the midwife was unmistakable, “You will not die on me, Jalila! Not before this babe of yours is born, and not after either. Push!” Fadi’s face drained of all color, and he braced himself to force his way into the room. Seeing him, the doula took on a professional air, “You can’t go in, master Mufarrij. You will only be in the way. Wait here, in case we do need you.” Then she slipped back inside, closing the door in Fadi’s frustrated face.

Fadi leaned against the door, yearning to go inside and gaze upon Jalila’s face. But the birth was in the midwife’s and doula’s hands. Turning about, he walked to the balcony that hung over the downstairs veranda, looking over the rolling hills where his thoroughbreds played to the shores of the Red Sea below. Looking upon his lands always calmed him, but at the moment even the view did not quiet his concern.

The sound of an infant’s wail brought his attention back to the closed door behind him. Turning about, he strode back towards it when it opened suddenly; the pale face of the midwife before him. In her arms, she held the squalling infant. “Your daughter, master Mufarrij. May she bring you joy to replace your loss…”

Reaching out to hold this new life received in exchange for his beloved’s, Fadi brought the crown of his daughter’s head to his lips and kissed her gently. “Kahlida, my ever-living. May you never suffer your mother’s fate,” he whispered forcefully among his kiss.

Gently handing his daughter back to the midwife, Fardi turned abruptly and strode down the hall, commanding his servants as he walked. “I will no longer remain here. This place no longer has meaning for me and instead holds only sorrow…”

                                                                                                                        ***

Running with the horses, ten-year old Khalida sang and danced in the fields. Her father was getting married today! He seemed so happy; he had been so busy the past few years rebuilding his horse racing dynasty from scratch since they relocated here to the farm outside Lordenshaw City. But his reputation as a breeder and trainer of Arabians had spread and he then cast his eye about for a new wife. Khalida would soon have a mother! Something she had never known in her young life and for which she longed.

                                                                                                                        ***

Howell College gleamed in front of Khalida, beckoning her to enter its hallowed halls of learning. Placing her hand on her hijab to make sure it was positioned correctly, she squared her shoulders and entered…fitnah.

Three months later, hijab long discarded and dressed to the nines, Khalida was dancing and drinking with the president of the fraternity who hosted the best parties. She had caught his eye early on in the school year, and he had been instrumental in her introduction into secular society. He leaned in close, close enough for her to smell his own intoxication, and whispered to her, “Kali, you look ravishing tonight. I have someone I wish to introduce you to later. He is…older, but very powerful here in Lordenshaw. He has watched you at some of the alumni events, and wishes you to…accompany him to a political gathering he must attend.”

Khalida was surprised. “Why me?” she asked.

Tilting her chin up and smiling into her eyes, he replied, “Multiple reasons, which will be explained later in a quieter, more secluded room. Will you come meet him? I see the potential for you to make a lot of money by doing as he wishes.”

Khalida nodded. The thought of earning her own income was welcome. Oh, her father still supported her, but the sooner she could break free of his support before he arranged a marriage for her, the better. The meetings of KARAMAH, one of the organizations on campus for Women’s Rights for Muslims, emphasized the members need to do so, and Khalida hoped to soon follow the organization’s suggestions.

The song ended and her partner moved off, then turned back. “Come upstairs at 3:00. The police will probably come soon after to shut the party down. You will find me in the conference room at the end of the hall. From there, you will meet your potential client.”

As the dawn rose the next morning, Khalida slowly made her way back to the condominium her father had bought close to campus for her, fingering the $500 she had earned by proving her worth to the older man. The bills, along with the date and place where she was to meet him again, dressed in an outfit he would supply, were in an envelop. “You are amazing, Kali!” he drunkenly whispered to her, before he fell in to a deep sleep. “Keep your wits about you, stay at my side, and do the same when we leave as you just did, and your name will be soon at the top of a select few.”

He turned over in the bed and faced away from her. “Now go; I must get some sleep before I head into the office and cook up a story for my wife. I will see you Tuesday.”

Tuesday afternoon came, and a knock rapped upon her door. Looking out her peephole, Khalida saw no one. Opening the door a crack, she saw the parcel from one of the most expensive women’s designers in the city. Bringing the package inside, she opened it to reveal an outfit she would have never considered wearing on her own. Trying it on, her breath caught in amazement at the sight that greeted her in the mirror. She would turn every head in the meeting, male and female both!

Making her way to her bathroom suite, Khalida spent hours getting ready. When finished, “Kali” gazed back at her.

Smiling at herself wickedly, Kali then grabbed her clutch and headed towards the meet point. This is going to be fun…

                                                                                                                        ***

The young Arab woman gazed upon the fields of her father’s ranch several miles outside Lordenshaw City’s limits, watching the thoroughbreds canter and play. “Khalida!!!” she heard her step-mother call, and she winced at the brassiness of the tone of voice. She was glad Howell College's holidays were soon ending, and she could discard this façade when she returned to the city. Since her step-mother joined the family, her father had become more and more fundamentalist. She chafed against the restrictions placed upon her from the age of ten. Howell College opened her eyes to a different world. One she relished: the freedom to make her own choices; to dress as she wished; to uncover her hair….

And, praise Allah! she thought to herself with a wry grin. The freedom and release of sex!!!

Let her father continue to think her a college student with an internship that kept her out to all hours of the night. Once she returned home, “Kali” will again be paying her way, in the oldest way, all the while being paid, to move among the rich and powerful…
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Khalida Mufarrij
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“…Islamic family law must be based on divine logic as revealed in the Qur’an and not on some hierarchical world view foreign to it. The Qur’an states that God created humans, male and female, from the same nafs so that they may find tranquility, mercy, and affection with each other. The Qur’an also states that male and female believers are each others’ walis (protectors, guardians). These themes permeate the Qur’an and make it very clear that there is no metaphysical, ontological, religious, or ethical primacy for the male over the female. The Qur’an also makes it crystal clear that divine will contemplates a relationship of harmony, consultation, and cooperation, as opposed to conflict and domination, between the two genders.”

The speaker wrapped up her presentation on that note, and the room stirred as the young women within relaxed and began gathering their belongings. Khalida frowned slightly as she thought upon the message. She was all for males not dominating her own gender, but she enjoyed using her own influence upon them. They were so easy to manipulate, with just the right…touch. She then smiled to herself. “Cooperation? In a sense, they get what they desire by cooperating with me,” she thought, silently laughing while straightening her stylish and slightly tight sweater and skirt as she rose from her seat.

Her eyes scanned the room when she turned towards the exit. Yes, there she was again. As out of place as the previous times, the meticulously dressed blonde Russian stood alone in a corner of the room, gathering her own possessions. Khalida had noticed her at the previous monthly meetings. She was always silent, respectful, and seemingly supportive of the goals of the group; Khalida’s curiosity about her grew with each sighting. Was she a journalist? And was Khalida’s own membership within the group safe from the knowledge of her father should a story be published?

Her eyes lingering upon the woman a bit longer than she intended, the subject of her perusal suddenly looked up and directly at her. The magnetism of her gaze caused Khalida’s breath to catch in her throat, and she found herself striding to that corner, the urge to introduce herself to this infidel overwhelming any caution. Finally standing beside her, Khalida found herself gazing into a pair of deep-set blue eyes, from which breaking her gaze was impossible. Licking her suddenly dry lips, she took the plunge.

Salaam. I have seen you previously at our meetings; I hope the officers have made you welcome.

“I am Khalida. Did you enjoy tonight’s presentation?”

"I found it interesting. Refreshing, even, to find teachers of your faith who do not view women as mere chattel.. My name is Tatiana Ivanova, I am recently come to the city, looking to familiarize myself with it's more....notable features." This last was punctuated by a subtle, but deeply appraising look at Khalida.

“Lordenshaw City has many features to speak well of it,” Khalida responded, surprisingly feeling a familiar heat growing within herself, though not one she ever felt towards a woman before. It frightened her slightly, yet heightened her curiosity about this woman even more. “Yet a meeting whose purpose is to empower Muslim women strikes me as an unusual interest for a non-Muslim. Am I correct in assuming you do not adhere to the words of the Prophet? Are there other reasons for your interest? Ones that I could perhaps,” she swallowed to wet her dry throat, “help you with?”

"I could, indeed, use your help." Tatiana continued, smiling very warmly at the younger woman. "As for my interest, I concern myself with all areas of women's empowerment. As many Muslims use the teachings of your Prophet to justify their treatment of women, I seek out and nurture those who refute such tyrannical interpretations." A soft, gentle, yet irresistible hand on her back guided Khalida off to one side, creating some small privacy. As she meekly let herself be led, a small, barely-there smile of triumph flit across Tatiana's face. Once they stopped, she turned to the young Muslim woman again; this time the Russian's smile heady with smoky promises.

Still gazing into those deep-set blue eyes, Khalida’s head started to swim from the attention this beautiful woman was giving her. “How…how may I assist you?” she managed to whisper back. “I will be happy to answer any questions you have that I can, although one of the officers would more likely be more informative. And, I fear my father’s retribution should he know I frequent these meetings…”

Smiling benevolently, Tatiana took Khalida's hand in her own, to reassure her. "I am capable of the utmost discretion, have no worries about your father." Her thumbs began to gently, seemingly unconsciously, rub small circles against the back of Khalida's hands. “Perhaps we could sit someplace, and discuss this? I would like to know who speaks to who, who supports which office, local politics....and more about you, of course," with a coy smile.

“Of course,” Khalida warmly smiled back. “Have you anywhere in mind? Or would you prefer someplace somewhat…private? I make a mean Gahwa Arabiyah, if I do say so myself. My apartment is not far…” she suggested, amazed herself at her own audacity. But, Tatiana was new in town and Khalida felt an overwhelming urge to make the woman welcome. How better than to show her some hospitality in her home?

Slowly withdrawing her hands, letting fingertips caress Khalida's palms as she slowly separated, Tatiana replied, "That would be an excellent place for us to...talk," with a heated look in her blue eyes, enjoying the young woman's reaction to the subtle application of Majesty and untold lessons from her youth. As one hand gestured towards the door, the other oh-so-casually brushed against Khalida's hip and thigh as it drifted back to Tatiana's side, seemingly accidental in contact. The Russian marked well Khalida's response.

Rising slowly with her head clouded as if in a dream, Khalida again collected her belongings and straightened her outfit. Turning towards the exit, she verified Tatiana was by her side. She felt the way she imagined one of her clients felt when she was on his arm; amazed to have such a presence next to her for all to see and an intense hunger building within her. Her body began to show that hunger. “Praise Allah I have on a sweater,” she thought, as her nipples hardened perceptively. “How…wonderful to feel this.” Only a few clients have lately generated a hunger within her, and that was usually more in response to the influence her whispered suggestions to them could wrought than their own physical prowess. "Perhaps I need some…variety in my own pursuit of pleasure," her thoughts continued as she turned to covertly gaze upon the fair woman walking beside her.

The walk from the meeting was brief; barely twenty minutes at the outside. Khalida inserted her key into her lock, and opened the door to her home. “Please, feel free to sit anywhere,” she said in welcome. Making her way into the kitchen, she drew out her dallah and pan, slowly heating the dry coffee, then adding the water and boiling for a few minutes before filtering into the dallah and adding the cardamom. Placing the dallah back on to the burner, she arranged her coffee service while the coffee simmered for twenty more minutes. When the coffee was ready, the dallah was placed in the center of the tray along with a few chocolates and she went to find where her guest had situated herself. The apartment had not had a visitor in awhile, but Khalida felt enough of herself was represented by her possessions throughout. She welcomed the idea of sharing her feelings for her possessions with Tatiana, should anything catch her eye.

Lounging at her ease, Tatiana sat regally upon the sofa. Her suit jacket unbuttoned, but still on, legs crossed at the knee, black stockings against the grey of her slinging skirt, matching her jacket, her blouse blue to match her eyes....eyes which follow every move Khalida makes, predatory. "Please, tell me of yourself...I'm not very familiar with your culture, as of yet. But you could..serve..as a window into it," as one hand beckoned imperiously for Khalida to sit beside her.

As she placed the coffee tray on the low table in front of the sofa, Khalida took the time to pour out two half cups of thick steaming, golden brown liquid. The crema floating on top was perfect for shaping. Blushing slightly, Khalida reached forward for a small silver rod on the coffee tray. “I make a good gahwa, but can only do the most basic shape.” Swirling the crema with the silver rod, floating on each of the two cups was the shape of a heart made of the crema. Lifting each cup carefully, she handed one to Tatiana, waiting for her guest to take the first sip. “There is not much to tell about myself. I was born in Saudi Arabia, but immigrated here as an infant with my father to a farm outside of Lordenshaw City. He has a magnificent horse farm there. I..,” casting her eyes away as she told the falsehood, and wondering if Tatiana would notice, “…I study at Howell College. My father financially supports me so I can do so. I was raised Muslim, but have embraced secular culture, hence my style of dress. What would you like to know of a secular Muslim?” she asked, slowly bringing her coffee cup to her lips and taking the tiniest of sips before sedately licking the resultant crema which clung there.

Leaning in slightly closer, Tatiana also lowered her voice slightly..."OH, what sort of things you like...what sort of things move you? What makes you feel?" pulling away that same little bit, and returning her voice, she leaned back and gestured expansively, "If I am to help women like you, I must get to know them very well.” As she said this, a soft susurration was audible, as she uncrossed and switched legs, in a slow, languid manner, before turning her body slightly towards Khalida, with an open, awaiting expression upon her face.

“What moves me? Makes me feel?” Khalida was taken aback for a moment, but then she pressed ahead. “The freedom to dress as I choose, to leave my hair uncovered as I choose moves me. The freedom to do as I choose, regardless of the teachings of the Prophet.” Her voice grew passionate as she delved deeper into herself to answer. “The freedom to be friends with whomever I choose, whether they be infidels or not, or approved by my father. My father would cut his support and disown me in an instant if he knew I invited you here. And yet,” she once again gazed into the Russian’s blue eyes, “I see nothing wrong with you being here and maybe, becoming my friend.” Self-consciously, her hand reached out and gently placed itself upon the forearm of her guest. She did not know if Tatiana felt as she did, but the Russian’s touch was electric to her and she wished for her hands to be rubbed again, if nothing more.

Sensing Khalida's desires, Tatiana took her hands again, fingers and thumbs moving in leisurely, languorous patterns. "I see. I can give you that. That, and so much more," she whispered huskily as she leaned in closer, her very breath brushing coolly across Khalida's face. "Things you can barely conceive of, yet desire, I can give you," as her hands slid caressingly up Khalida's arms, to her shoulders...hands behind her now, drawing her closer...barely whispering into Khalida's ear "You can learn so much from me....I have so much to teach you..." before lowering her mouth to the younger woman's neck...nuzzling...kissing…before slowly sinking her fangs into the tender throat. Tatiana reveled in the heady rush, the rapturous delight of hot blood, seasoned by such exquisite emotions, such passion. She drank deeply, feeling the racing pulse slow, falter, and then cease…before quickly using a fang to slit her own wrist, which the Russian then moved to place the wound to Khalida's lips. "Drink of me, sweet one...and cross over into a new world I cannot wait to show you."

Khalida closed her eyes as the woman…the woman she found herself desiring…took her hands again and slowly rubbed them. Unconsciously she moved nearer, Tatiana’s sweet breath compelling her closer. She felt herself held close and words whispered in her ear. “Sweet nothings in my ear,” she thought, “but what sweet things to say,” as sensation overtook her when the fairer woman nuzzled and kissed her neck. Delight was coursing through her body, experiencing sensations she had not felt in many a month, perhaps never, from her clients. “Oh yes, variety is definitely what I need. But will I find another as fine as this?” she wondered, just before an exquisite pain and then…rapture unlike anything she had ever known overcame her. Dark…Darker…Darkest. She hungrily fell ever deeper, unknowingly slipping further and further into death…

Warmth. Life. Blood.
The offering against her mouth was luscious. What little had trickled in was better than any wine or meal she had ever consumed. And it was hers. Her…her love offered this incredible gift to her. With an effort, her tongue gently tasted more of what was offered, and then lustfully, hungrily, her lips parted and formed an embrasure around the wound, drinking deeply and fully, also reveling in the emotions, the passion inherent in the nectar, until it was drawn away from her.

Yearning for more, she opened her eyes and gazed again into those deep-set blue ones of the Russian. Her tongue flicked out towards her, and Tatiana chuckled. “We have other pleasures in each other with which to indulge ourselves, sweet one,” she whispered, as she pulled Khalida up and walked with her towards the shower. “Perhaps at dusk tomorrow as you awaken I will feed you again.

“…and perhaps yet again the day after,” she mused to herself, as she turned on the shower and kissed the Muslim woman deeply as the water coursed over both their bodies.
_________________
Whispers in the dark,
intimately suggested.
Influence unfolds
…”

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Maddoc
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

“While biologists and psychologists might tell us that memory is a continuous process, in practice it very rarely works that way. For example, a man in his thirties might be asked to recall and describe his seventeenth year in detail. Does he then remember and describe every time he brushed his teeth that year? Every meal he ate, or every bowel movement? (restrained laughter) No, he recalls very specific events, highlights like buying his first car, or the day he played in the winning football team. In other words, he describes the watershed moments from that year that were deemed significantly important enough to be etched indelibly on his cerebral cortex. Functionally then, memory is a series of snapshots…”
(from a lecture given by Tomas Maddoc Snr; ‘Memory: A Societal Deconstructive Tool.’)



“…but if it’s so safe, I don’t understand why I can’t come with you and Mom?”
“Because your mother and I will be working Tom. This isn’t a holiday, you know.”
The older man kept packing, speaking to his son in the same tone of voice he used for his students. “If Saloth Sar comes to power, it could change the whole face of Cambodia, maybe even that of South East Asia. Your mother and I simply must be there, to gather first hand data. You know how long we’ve been waiting for a chance like this.”
Silence.
“But Dad. What about me?”
The man stops short, pulled from his vision by the mute appeal in his son’s voice. He makes a concerted effort to focus on the boy. “It won’t be that bad, Tommy. Aunty Sharon will be looking after to you at her place. We won’t be gone for long, six months tops…”


“…We understand the hardship Tomas must be experiencing, Mrs Jackson, and we sympathise. But I am responsible for every student here, and Tomas’ behaviour, well-”
The well-dressed man sat at the desk, the woman before him. The boy, his exclusive preparatory uniform dirty and dishevelled, sat against the wall.
“But his grades have been so good,” the woman interjected, desperation evident in her voice. She looked tired.
“Oh, young Mr Maddoc is academically gifted, no doubt. But he refuses to apply himself, blatantly disregards his teachers, and refuses to complete homework assignments. Plus he disrupts the classroom, affecting the work of other students. Perhaps, we have been too lenient…”
At the back wall, ignored and ignoring, Maddoc whistles tunelessly.
“As I said,” the man continues with a frown in the boy's direction, “we understand Tomas’ situation. To lose one's parents that way…horrible, just horrible. Nevertheless, we cannot condone this behaviour Mrs Jackson."
“But, cant we-“
“Mrs Jackson. Sharon. Look, I’m sorry but I have no other choice here. The school board is very strict about these matters. After all, marijuana is a known ‘gateway’ drug.”
Unable to contain himself, Maddoc bursts out laughing…


…The boy is a man now, at least by society’s definition. He makes a living dealing to the students at the university he attends. Not that he’s enrolled there, no, but he goes to classes all the same. Sociology and Anthropology lectures mainly, but occasionally he finds himself enthralled in a Physics lecture. Or Biology, or Literature; Archaeology, Politics, even Economics. He dabbles in them all, just as he dabbles in the products he sells.
His business is popular. He provides good customer service, understands their needs like they were his own. His singular skill is being able to match customers to their ideal product.
Economics major? Here, quarter gram of coke should do the trick. Philosophy? Tab of mescalin. Some heroin should help you better identify with Byron or Wilde. And for that all-important mid-term, a special combo of synapse enhancers wrapped up in a neat speedball.
It is a smug, snug existence. Empty…


…waking up to the sounds of rats fighting over a half eaten pastry, the smell of faeces heavy on the fetid air. His slept-in clothes are torn and ripped, his hair filthy. He looks around him, struggling to bring his eyes into focus.
The room is squalid almost beyond description; layers of refuse slowly accumulated over years of neglect. Maddoc can’t remember how long he has been sleeping here, but surely it isn’t long enough to have contributed much to the rooms detritus. He stands, wading into the rubbish in search of his shoes.
The movement causes dormant pain to criss-cross his body. His thin arms are lined with sores, his legs weak and unsteady. A new pain - a dull, burning sensation from his rear - clambers for attention. Reaching back there, his fingertips return stained with dried blood.
“Oh man, oh man, oh shit…”
In revulsion and fear, he reaches reflexively for his shirt pocket and the small zip lock baggie it contains. Quickly, struggling not to think, he finds the hypodermic needle surround by paraphernalia. He fixes up, shooting the drug into a vein in his bare foot.
"That’s it baby. Make it all better,” he sighs.
Straightening with exaggerated grace, he glances around the squat, finds his tatty runners near the front of the stained mattress he slept on last night. He takes his shoes majestically, then turns his back on the room.
“Me? I’m just a memory” he says, leaving the room behind him forever, just like the ones before it…


…Maddoc knows better than to cut through the park at night, but he’s running late for the buy, so he does it anyway. It must have been destiny, then, that he stumbles across the body of the dead man.
Fighting his initial fear, he clamps a hand over his mouth to keep from screaming, holds his legs frozen to keep from running blindly.
He runs a professional eye over the corpse, noticing the well-tailored suit, the heavy gold watch on the body’s wrist. In a moment, a junkie’s greed quashes his fear and he pounces on the dead man, rifling through the pockets of the Armani.
“Why for you bury me in the cold, cold ground?” says a voice, cold and dead.
Maddoc freezes anew, looking down into the dead man’s eyes focused upon him. A thin hysterical giggle slips past his lips, then Maddoc is drawn down into the velvet darkness, and his vision runs red, red, red…


…Over time, the Dead Man shows Maddoc much, teaching him the rules of his new un-life.
His emptiness, his questions, are still there; but lessoned, subsumed beneath the all consuming hunger…but the Dead Man schools him on controlling that Beast, too.
Then one day, the Dead Man is gone – who knows? Maybe to greet the Dawn – and Maddoc must make his own way on the streets, must find his own answers…
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malachi laid spreadeagled on a yellow-stained mattress, vacantly staring at the mouldy ceiling. He was still wearing the same clothing he had on him from when he burst out of the packing crate once his plane landed: tan trench-coat, tan three piece, and fedora. The television was playing an old Humphrey Bogart film, but the parallels escaped him when there was a maelstrom of thoughts running through his head. Moments played back from the past couple of weeks brought mixed emotions.

He originally wore this garb ironically; an in-joke with his former colleagues, nay friends, in his former life as a vampire hunter. An organisation simply titled 'The Order'; humans who sought the prejudiced destruction of vampire-kind.

His main expertise lay in tracking them, leaving the dry work to the Dusters: the guys who practiced martial arts, drank power shakes, and offered tickets to the 'gun show'. Malachi wasn't a close combat specialist by any stretch of the imagination, but he could hold his own in a shoot out until the dusters showed up.

Dry work... they jokingly coined the phrase because they would usually return covered in dust, rather than blood. Malachi's job as a Tracker was hit and miss at times, since vampires were such experts at maintaining their veil of secrecy. The Dusters would often give him -- as with all the Trackers -- a hard time about seeing no action.

He missed his old life. It was hard, because his quarry made it hard. It hard because it wasn't very rewarding, since his victories had to be kept secret, and defeats meant the loss of life for his comrades, and potential loss of life from those who would be fed upon in the future. In fact, the job had more bad days than good. He only did the job because it was all he knew, being groomed for it since childhood by The Order. What made it bearable was the people he worked along-side in The Order.

They understood what it meant to lose a colleague, and felt the shared thrill of dusting a long sought-after vampire. The Order wasn't just work-mates, or even friends. Now that he thought about it, they were his family... more parent to him than the father and mother who gave their son to that life... more brother and sister than any sibling he would ever know. He would have grown up with half the people attending any given briefing, and the other half were like revered uncles, aunts, and older cousins.

All of this came crashing down when a lead gave him evidence pointing to the haven of the Mekhet regent presiding over the city. The lead was a she, and she was a ghoul. She was found huddled in a corner after a dry work mission, and brought back for rehabilitation, and he was the one tasked with getting any information from her that he could....

"I got it, alright. She seemed so grateful that we'd rescued her from her old life. Her old lord was apparently a lieutenant of this regent, and she would visit his mansion whenever there was some big function being held for the vampire elite. She told us of an upcoming ball, and The Order set to work on getting a plan together to take him out.

"My job? Scope the place out. Get intel. Find out who the other vampires were, where they sat on the food chain, where their territories were, and bring it all back for The Order to use in future.

"Once the intel got back, and the location of the local regent was confirmed, we would hit him the following day. Post-party, when they were bloated with blood and pride, and watch those smug faces of theirs turn to dust.

"The plan was solid. The girl... the ghoul, wasn't. She played us from the beginning. She led me to the right place. The mansion was as extravagant as she'd described, but it was empty, except for the regent.

"At gunpoint, she led me to his haven, and he monologued... they always do... about his grand plan for my Order (he almost spat that word out). The ghoul played her part. Of course she did. She wasn't a the ghoul of that sidekick we dusted a while back, she was the regent's ghoul.

"Instead of catching him and his party while they were sleeping, he caught The Order while they were sleeping. Resting up for the big coup-de-grace the following day. Vampires stormed the Chapel of The Order, my home, and slaughtered every last one of my family. At least most of them were asleep.

"I wasn't. I was alone with our arch-nemesis. He said he had plans for me. It could have been any of the Trackers, but I was the one assigned with getting to know the ghoul, so I was the lottery loser. My prize? Torture. Torture until he lost interest in me, and boy was I interesting.

"After those few grueling weeks, he finally iced his cake. He embraced me, what would otherwise be an honour amongst his... my folk. I was to be an example of what happens if we mess with vampires, so becoming a new high-blooded citizen of his fiefdom, I was exiled. Left in a foreign land, so my supposed heritage will garner no favours. Packed in a crate and shipped off with nothing but the rags on my back like the bastard child I was.

"That was the second time I'd been dumped into the "care" of strangers as a "new born". The first time wasn't so bad, because I was left in the care of my, then, future family. But now? According to my sire, I should expect no sympathy from humans, now that I'm not human anymore. And vampires? Well, he chuckled at the thought of a bastard trying to make his way through vampire politics.

"And that's it. That self-congratulating smirk before the lid of my packing crate closed."
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