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       This is a story that I have written in one day. It’s hard to say whether or not this will ever happen to me again that I could be inspired to write something such as this in one day. The format I have chosen is in Parts as the story itself is rather long! A word of caution: This story does contain some strong language and a mature subject matter!
       To the readers of my story I hope you enjoy reading it as much I have enjoyed writing it. It gives me great pleasure to share this with you! All your comments and views will be welcome, you know where they go!

This is for Alex, Alyx and the rest of the Kingston Crew, thank you all!

A Few Words From the Author:

       A special thanks to the creators of the web site, thanks for the inspiration and the help with the names. Unfortunately only a select few may ever read this, but thanks anyway. And to all my friends and family, you guys have been great! And most importantly to Alexandra Williams, and my daughter Alyxandria Christina, you two are truly the best, I love you both.
       This story has been a pleasure to write and I hope that everyone who reads it will get as much pleasure just reading it as I did writing it. There’s not much to say about it, but I think that even though I have had no prior knowledge of vampires and the kindred I think that I covered my tracks pretty well.


       "They crowd our imagination. They hide under our beds. They lurk within the dark recesses or our primal unconscious. You can't run, you can't hide - it's going to get you. The beast, the ravager, the Lusus Natura. What is it, and why do we fear it? What is it's name?

       We have always had our Fiends. They have long fixed the romantic imagination of priest and poet alike. At one time we called them Trolls, later they were named Demons, and then they were Witches who brewed evil potions. Still later, the Monster was said to be the hungry Wolf, the Bogeyman, or the Godzilla of Cold War terror. Finally, some called it human ignorance and intolerance. For a time, they tried to tell us that monsters don't exist at all, that everything about the universe was either known or would soon be known.

       But now we know better. We have made our reacquaintance with the Beast. We have learned its true name.

       Now we understand the expanse of eternity, its unimaginable infinitude, the chaos of its structure, and our won petty insignificance. Now we have admitted the magnitude of the problems we face and our seeming inability to affect change on the scale necessary to save us.

       Today we have caught a glimpse of reality, and have seen the truth behind the veil. We have come full circle and rediscovered the Fiend. We have regained our ancient heritage. We have found that to which we have given so many names - the source of our mortal terror.

       We have found the enemy...and it is us.

       We are searchers, forever looking for the uncomfortable truth of our human condition, searching within ourselves for that which is unclean, uncertain impure - for that which has no name. By looking at the monsters we create, we gain new insights into our "darker half." These fiends express what we are at the deepest and most inaccessible levels of our unconscious. Since time immemorial, they have given us a connection to our animal self, the fulfillment of an unadulterated emotional vitality, and the promise of a brutal justice.

       The vampire is the quintessential fiend, for the vampire is so much our own reflection. Vampires feed as we feed, by killing, and through death can feel the same dread, guilt and longing for escape. They are mapped in the same cycle of fast, feast and purge. They, like us, seek redemption, purity and peace. The vampire is the poetic expression of our deepest fears, and the shadow of our most primal urges.

       Just as the hero of legend must descend into the pit of Purgatory to face the tormentor, overcome personal weaknesses, and finally he cleansed in order to return home with the gift of fire, so must we descend into the depths of our own soul and return to life with the secrets we have won. That is the real journey of Prometheus. It is the meaning of the myth. Only by embarking on such a journey can we discover out true selves and look into the mirror.

       The lure of this promise of spiritual connection is well-nigh irresistible. But, in the end, it is a most disturbing undertaking. You must take heed and step carefully - for no journey is ever without its perils. Do not look into your own soul, unless you are willing to confront that which you find there.

       So remember:

        There are no such things as monsters...."

Description supplied by "White Wolf Games: Vampire the Masquerade" first edition book.

The Hunted
By: FlaggPole

Part 1: Where The Problem Lies

       Only fourteen days left until the final curtain closes, the play has been running for some time now and all the actors are getting anxious, waiting for the time when they can finally go home and be with their families.  Only one of them has no where to go, he was found playing in a small tavern on the outskirts of town, sitting alone on stage and playing his guitar, strumming the strings frantically and singing in a language that no one had ever heard before.  He told them he came from New Orleans, truthfully, he couldn't remember anymore, and he was singing an old family tune that his mother had taught him, since then no one questioned the other strange songs and bursts of poetry that seemed to always be flowing from his mouth, they just didn’t care.  They were all too busy feeling the weight of the play being lifted from their shoulders, feeling relief for the director and all the other actors who had been here from the beginning.  No one even remembered the man’s name, although they asked him and it was pasted on his dressing room door, they dismissed him quickly and went about their make up and costumes, he just sat on the steps of the back entrance with his guitar and a bottle of whiskey clutched in his hands and a solemn look on his face.
       It was almost curtain time and he wasn’t even close to being ready, he wondered to himself how he could have gotten caught up in all of this when all he wanted was a small group of listeners, a guitar in one hand and a bottle of whiskey on the floor beside his stool.  He was happy where he was and never thought he would leave, until they found him.
       They barged in carrying papers and pens, asking him to read and sign here, here and here. He did, not knowing what he was signing just knowing he would be rid of them if he did. He was wrong, they took his guitar from his hand and returned his bottle of whiskey to the bar, they took him from the only life he had loved and the only people who he considered family, he remembers the head suit throwing his Armani covered arm about the Cajun’s shoulders as he chauffeured him from the tavern. There was a long white limousine waiting outside on the curb for them, it was glistening in the moonlight and purring softly as the driver kept the engine running, the man left the driver’s seat and scrambled around the car, obviously his first big client, he fumbled with the door handle on the rear passenger side door , finally getting a grip on it, and opened it wide.
       The head suit stepped to the side and motioned for the Cajun to get into the car, grinning and waving his hand. The Cajun man stared dumbfounded into the interior of the car, my God what a piece of machinery, there were two televisions, one facing forward and the other facing back. There was a refrigerator in the front of the seat that could possibly hold untold bottles of whiskey. The man climbed in and sat facing the back window of the car, the big suit stepped in and the driver shut the door, the suit started mumbling something in english, but the Cajun man just sat, staring, he didn’t understand english and he was glad he didn’t. The man in the suit went on for hours on end as they drove.
              "Hey man, you should get your shit ready," a voice called to him, bringing his memories to a dead halt,
              "Say wha-? Whatcho say boy?" He called back,
              "Remi, man, you need to get ready you’re on in like 15 minutes!" The stagehand, whose name was Jim, called from the back doorway of the theatre,
              "How long have I been sitting here ?" Remi asked as he stood up,
              "About half an hour man, you really need to hurry, the director’s pissed off something fierce." Jim let the door close and hurried off down the backstage area, Remi stood and looked around himself, there was nothing but cars and a chain link fence. Bullshit, he thought to himself, this is all bullshit. He turned and walked to the door, he could easily just walk away, just leave and never return here, leave it all behind, but he had been learning english, getting paid and had a roof over his head, something he never thought he’d have nor did he want. He pulled open the door and adjusted his eyes to the dimly lit theatre, he walked past the stage props that were sitting in wait for their big on stage presentation, the door closed loudly behind him making his heart jump almost clear out of his chest. The director, bah, he thought as he passed the door of the lead actor, a big gold star was nailed to the outside of it, "Sophia Nixon" it read, she was truly beautiful, and was the best actor Remi had ever seen, she captivated ever crowd that filed into this accursed building, He made his way into a dark corridor where he and the rest of the cast had their dressing rooms, finding the door which read "Remi St. Jean", that wasn’t his last name, but it fit well enough. He didn’t remember hi last name, he was content being called Remi, but just incase there was another Remi in the cast, which there wasn’t, he could be sure that this room was his.
       He opened the door and looked around inside before he stepped through, he was very untrusting and always made sure that his room was clear of any unauthorized and unwanted personnel. When he was convinced he stepped through and shut the door behind him, he placed his half empty bottle of whiskey, which he had totally forgotten about, down on the dressing table beside his make up and wig. He hated the sight of that confounded wig, just thinking of wearing it another night made his stomach turn, but if he were to stay here and maybe get an even better job somewhere else, then he would have to wear it, no matter how long or how much he felt like setting the thing on fire. He dropped himself in his chair and reached for his make up sponge, feeling like he could just pass out sitting there, he stared into the mirror and felt his nausea subside. The face he saw wasn’t his own, there was something different, too different, and he couldn’t stop looking. The eyes were pushed deep into the sockets and the forehead was bumpy as if it were covered in little spines. He found himself not able to even blink, the hair was askew and the chin protruded much farther than any humans could, then it smiled, the face stretched and wrinkled around the mouth revealing lines upon lines of sharp jagged teeth, then it laughed and was gone as quickly as it had appeared.
       Then there was a scream and smashing of glass from down the hall. What the fu-? Remi thought as he jumped from his chair, he ran to his door and threw it open, he stuck his head partially out and cocked it in the direction the noise came from. There was nothing but silence, he shook his head and closed the door again, as he did there was another scream and more shattering glass. This time he opened his door slowly and stepped into the hallway, there was sounds of a struggle from Sophia’s room. He bolted into a full run and knocked over the stage hand which had called him in from the back lot, he hurdled a pile of dirty costumes and landed a few feet from her door. He put his ear to it and listened carefully, there was no sound, he knocked once and called to her,
              "Sophia?? Are you in dere? Sophia!?" He looked down the hallway and saw the stage hand was gaining his feet and clutching his elbow,
              "Hey Remi, what the hell was that for? What’s goin’ on man?" He called, still rubbing his arm,
              "Not’ing, go get the director for me like a good boy," Remi called, still with his ear to the door,
              "Why?" Jim was making his way toward Remi,
              "Don’t ask, just do it!" Remi hissed and bared hi teeth at the boy who was being such a pain in the ass,
              "Okay, man, just gimme a second alright!?" Jim turned and ran around the corner,
       Remi was becoming worried now, he tried the doorknob, locked. He knocked again, nothing. He took a step back and charged the door, it came clear off it’s hinges and landed in the middle of the room, the star on it was hanging on for dear life. The room was a mess, there was not one piece of glass or mirror that had not been broken, Remi knew this sort of thing all too well. He prayed that this day would never come again, and now he was scared, not for himself but for the young lady that had been in this room. There was no sign of Sophia anywhere, the window just above her dressing table was scattered about the room, shard of glass and wood lay everywhere. Good God, not now… he thought as he felt the crunching of glass under his feet while he walked to the window, he was careful not to cut himself on the glass that remained in the frame. He peered into the darkness and sighed, what had happened, but he knew what had happened and he was scared. Then there was a rustling in the bushes just to the left of the window, he saw cloaked figure carrying what looked like a body running through them, he couldn’t tell the features but he was sure one of them was Sophia.
              "Sweet mother of God! What the hell happened in here!? Remi!?" The director had arrived and had been standing there for some time unable to say anything, until now. Remi dropped into Sophia’s chair and placed his head in his hands,
              "Someone broke in ‘ere and took Sophia," Remi answered, the sound muffled by his hands,
              "What do you mean ‘someone’, who?" The director was making his way across the room, each step accentuated by the crushing of glass under his feet,
              "’Ow da ‘ell should I know dat? Remi looked into the mirror, hoping to see the same face he saw in his own mirror,
              "What the hell are you doing in here? You must have seen something, or head something. What the fuck HAPPENED!?" The director bellowed the final word and plopped down into the couch that was lining the wall opposite to Remi.
              "Mr. Bethame, I did ‘ere somet’ing, but I didn’t see anyt’ing, I just ran down ‘ere after I ‘eard a big commotion, dat’s all."
              "Fuck, fuck, fuck! Now the show can’t go on tonight, I just fired Sophia’s understudy, just my luck." Mr. Bethame, put his head in his own hands and began weeping, he wasn’t a very strong man. Remi picked up one of her make up sponges and looked at it, he realized what he had to do.
       Remi, dropped the sponge and stood up,
              "Mr. Bethame, I ‘ave to quit, I ‘ave to get Sophia back, and I think I’m the only one who can do it." Remi said as he made his way to the door,
              "Remi!? What are you talking about? I need you to stay here, we’ll get another understudy for Sophia and the police can find her, what do you mean you’re the only one?" Bethame was completely in tears no,
              "You just don’t understand, I am ‘de only one." With that he exited the room and walked down the hall to his. He took his guitar and his bottle of whiskey, he took one last look around the room making sure he had everything he had brought with him. He returned to the hallway where Bethame and Jim were waiting for him,
              "Please, get out of my way," he said to the two men,
              "Where are you going Remi?" The stage hand asked,
              "To do something I should have done a long time ago," he replied, he brushed past the men and crossed the backstage area, when he reached the door he paused for a brief second, making sure he was positive about what he was doing, and he was. He flung the door open and stepped into the cool night air.
              He wouldn’t have much time to get his things before the two others were too far gone to catch up with tonight. He made his way back to the tavern where he had spent so much time before, the doors were locked and the shades had been drawn. He pulled the handles to make sure they were locked, they were. He moved around to the back of the building, he knew the owner Kendall never locked the stockroom door this early at night. He managed to get to the back door without making a sound, he pulled the handle and it opened, he was momentarily blinded by the naked bulb that hung in the room, his eyes adjusted and he entered. He crossed the open and mostly empty stockroom and came to a large wooden trunk, it was closed and padlocked, he took a quick look around the room and saw that there was only him and the trunk. He reached out and grabbed the lock, he knew where the key was but he didn’t have time to go get it. He took the lock in his right hand and pulled hard. The lock screamed in anger with the sound of twisting metal and breaking mechanisms, but came open.
       Inside there was a leather satchel which looked older than the trunk, which was no pretty sight itself. Remi reached in and grabbed the satchel, being careful not to lose anything out of it, he set it on the floor beside himself and opened it. Inside there were three wooden stakes, a crucifix and a bottle of dark dirty water. He hoped it would be enough. He sat back against the wall and rested thinking of the face which he had seen in the mirror he knew that face and it was that face that vowed to hunt him to the grave. He thought he had seen the last of that face years ago, but once again it had reared it’s ugly head just when he was becoming happy and content. Remi was part kindred, not fully undead, but still had powers which surpassed anything possessed by any other human. It had almost been close to four centuries since he saw that face last, when he had been younger his mother was a worshipper of the kindred and wanted to be one of them. One night Remi came home to find his mother sitting at the kitchen table with a golden goblet in front of her, inside was a thick red liquid which young Remi had never seen before. His mother’s head was laid back and off to the side in an unnatural position, it looked almost like someone had tried to remove it with no success. He was totally oblivious to this and slowly made his way to the table, taking the goblet in his hand and staring deeply into the liquid which only half filled the glass. He put it to his lips and drank, tasting the bitter, acidy liquid as it filled his mouth. He swallowed heartily and put the remainder of the disgusting fluid on the table.
              "You are a foolish child," a voice growled to him, he wasn’t a child anymore, he was almost a grown man,
              "W-whose dere?" He asked, beginning to shake,
              "My child, that liquid you just drank was given to me by a great man, he will be very upset to see that you have drank more than I have of it," it was his mother’s voice muffled by what he assumed was blood, he turned to face her, his hand still on the cup,
              "Yes, what you hold in you hand was mine, it was something which would have granted me the power of the kindred, but now you have ruined that, you wretched child," his mother was sitting upright in the chair now, her head still off kilter, but up, her eyes were empty, there was no color in them, no pigment at all. There were two small holes on her neck,
              "What, what do you mean Mama?" He began backing away from the table,
              "I mean that blood was given to me by a trusted member of the coven Giovanni. I was to become one of them, without it I will become nothing more than a slave. I was to become a full member, but you have ruined it for me!" She screamed as she bolted from her chair, Remi lunged out of her way and bolted for the door. He ran screaming into the night,
              "You can’t escape me boy, I will hunt you to your grave, you will pay for what you have done to me!" His mother’s voice grew quieter as he ran, he didn’t stop for anything, he just ran. His mother’s face was changing, getting spinier, growing long and un-human.
       He awoke, how long had he been sleeping, he was unsure but he knew that it had been too long. He was far behind now, and he needed to make up a lot of ground if he were to get close to the figure which had stolen Sophia from him. He was falling in love with this mortal woman, he had been learning english from her for the entire time he had been in the play, almost 2 years. She made him forget about everything he had ever been bothered by in the past, and he was feeling things he thought the kindred were not supposed to feel, he loved her, and now she had been stolen from him by someone who knew what he was. Someone who knew he was part kindred and knew that he wouldn’t rest until he had her back. Was it his mother? Could it be that after all this time she had returned to keep her promise? He knew that it was possible and he knew that he had to stop her before she did something that he would regret.
       He left a note for Kendall on the stock room door,

Dear Kendall;

Thank you for allowing me to keep my belongings here, and for your friendship
throughout the years. I will never forget what a kind and dear friend you have been to
me and I thank you again. I have left you a little something in the cash box for when you
return, it’s not much but it’s something, and where I am about to venture I will
have no need for it, good bye and thank you.

Your friend;

       He left the building and ran into the forest in the direction of the train yard, he hoped that his mother wanted to return to the house he had wronged her in, it was only a guess, but somehow he knew it was right.
       Kendall arrived at the bar sometime later and found the note attached to the door,
              "Sonofabitch, I can’t believe he left without saying good bye to my face!" He said as he opened the door, inside the trunk was open and the mutilated lock lay on the floor beside it.
              "Man, when you gotta go you don’t waste no time do ya?" He shuffled into the front room of the bar and made his way to the cash register,
              "Let’s find out what you left, my friend," he said as he opened the drawer, but it was hard to open, something was jamming it shut. He pulled harder and the drawer flew out of the machine. Money was slung all over the bar, hundred dollar bills floated above him into the fans and softly hit the ground,
              "My good God! Remi you sonofabitch" Kendall laughed and began dancing around the room, catching bills in his mouth as he did. Totally oblivious to the pair of eyes that watched him through the window. He continued to dance and catch money in his hands, then suddenly the window broke with enough inward force to send glass and wood projectiles flying all over the inside of the bar, Kendall ducked but wasn’t quick enough, a piece of glass caught him square in the left eye and he screamed as he hit the floor. He felt the sharp glass cutting into his retina, but he pulled himself up and over to the window and stuck his head out,
              "WHO THE FUCK DID THAT?!" He screamed, but there was no answer, "Answer me dammit!" still nothing, then he felt something close on his neck. He was pulled from the window out into the alley, his one good eye wasn’t adjusted to the darkness and he could see nothing, his other eye was in exquisite pain, a pain he had never know in his life, his head was swimming with it. Then someone spoke,
              "Hello Mr. Orser, did you enjoy your little present?" The voice seemed distant,
              "W-who the fuck are you?" Kendall said as he tried to free himself from the tight cold grip on his neck,
              "Now there’s no need to concern yourself with who I am, I have but one question for you, answer it truthfully and you may live, where is the hunter?" The voice was becoming angry,
              "The h-hunter, w-who the f-fuck are y-you t-talking ab-about? He was feeling cold now, almost to death and he was losing all of his ability to fight,
              "Oh, I see, you are lying or you didn’t know that your friend Remi was a hunter, either way I have no further need for you , I hope you enjoy your money." With that there was a scream, a ripping of flesh and then, nothing.

HoMe!       NeXt SecTIOn

FlaggPole 1998