REDEMPTION - Blood Bond
by ‘Teresa Devereux’
Van Myers had some business to attend to, so Marie and I headed out to feed. We had both sustained injuries last night, and had used up our reserves to heal our wounds. She took me home first on the back of her motorbike, so that I could change my tattered clothes. I put on a black pin-stripped suit, consisting of pants and a jacket, matched with a red blouse. I decided to try and avoid wearing white blouses from now on, for obvious reasons.
We then went to an area Marie referred to as ‘The Rack’. She persuaded two young men to follow us into an alley. I didn’t know what she had said to them, and didn’t care to know. One of them was ogling me in a way that made me feel very uncomfortable indeed.
As we stepped into the alley, the men were the ones that grabbed us first, and pushed us both up against the wall forcefully. The man with me went to kiss me on the lips, but I moved my head to the side, and bit into his neck as he came forward. He buckled under my draining kiss, and relaxed in my arms. We left them there, weak but alive. Marie just walked off, but I notified the bouncers outside the club that there looked like some ‘drug users’ in the alley needed help.
Lying has never been in my nature before, but then, everything I do now seems against my nature. I know my life will never be restored, but the least I can do is remember my compassion.
We rode back to Van Myers place. He had finished his business, so we headed out together in his car. We went to the ‘Players Club’, the bar we had first seen Michael in last night. It was just after eight o’clock when we arrived, and there were only five other people in the room, besides the staff. We split up, and I approached one of the waitresses behind the bar cleaning glasses. I asked her about a ‘friend’ of mine I missed the night before. I described him and said his name was Michael. She didn’t know much about him, but recognised him from my description. She suggested I talk to Julie, as he usually sat in her section, and pointed over at another waitress across the room.
Julie was occupied with her thoughts as she wiped down the tabletops. She looked up with a start as I stopped in front of her. I too was taken aback, as I noticed she wore one of Vissago’s necklaces. I excused myself for interrupting her, and asked her about Michael. She denied knowing him, saying only that he came in from time to time, and tipped well.
I motioned to her necklace, and said “I can’t help but admire your necklace. I don’t suppose a man by the name of Vissago gave it to you?”
She got rather defensive, and said she didn’t know who I was talking about, and that she was very busy and had to get back to her work. She seemed genuine, so I thanked her and walked towards Van Myers.
I was glad that Marie was on the opposite side of the room, as I was worried what her reaction would be if she saw the necklace on the waitress. I told Van Myers about the conversation, and pointed the woman out as she walked out the back via the ‘Staff Only’ door. Van Myers suggested we wouldn’t find out anything more here, and that perhaps we could call on Forty Dog again at Reno’s. We signalled to Marie and left.
I wasn’t sure how we would be received at Reno’s, particularly since the shoot out we had there last time. Van Myers didn’t seem concerned however, probably because of Forty Dog’s lust for vampire blood.
The bar had been renovated since out last visit, and was bereft of the large ‘goon’ security men that normally hovered around. After querying the staff, we learned that Forty wasn’t in. Whether he was at all now, or if it had been sold, we weren’t told.
We left and sat in the car, each of us somewhat drawing a blank as to where to head now.
I pondered about our predicament, then spoke my thoughts out loud.
“What we need to do is find someone that can help us find Vissago. We have tried to find him and Michael, but to no avail. What if we went to someone like Tabitha Steine? Perhaps she could help us in some way?”
Van Myers cringed at the mention of her name. It seemed he didn’t think very much of her ‘ways’. To be honest, neither do I, but I respect both her own, and Maximillian’s, knowledge of the mystical arts.
“It’s possible she may know a way, but she would need something in return. Money is of no consequence to her, it would have to be something that would interest her?”
I thought back to my personal library at home. Over the years I have collected various ancient texts relating to mythology, and I was sure to find something that would whet her appetite, so to speak. I told Van Myers and Marie about the books, and suggested we go to my mansion first, then on to the university.
On arriving, I went to the oldest section, where many of the books were so frail, the pages crumbled when handled. There was one book in particular that caught my eye. It had been hand-written in Latin, and was bound in leather. The pages had been hand sewn together, and I had estimated it’s age at being over 400 years old. I had never found the time to translate it, but there were many of what I believed were magical symbols on the pages within.
Van Myers seemed suitably impressed, while Marie wandered aimlessly around the room, plucking books from the shelf at random before replacing them carelessly. It is one of those things I tend to be pedantic about, respecting my tomes of knowledge. The quicker I could get Marie out of the room, the better.
The university buildings were mostly in darkness, except for Tabitha’s block. Van Myers didn’t even bother to knock, instead opening the door and moving purposefully inside. Tabitha was seated at her desk, with Maximillian sitting in the corner chair reading. Neither of them had the time to even stand by the time we were in front of them.
Tabitha’s eyes blazed at me, but before she had a chance to speak, I placed the book in front of her. Looking down at the gift in front of her, she did little to contain her awe, and gently touched the cover with her fingertips. I was glad to have the upper hand, this time. She opened the cover carefully, and scanned the pages within.
“This is but one of many books I own. I am prepared to give this to you, in exchange for information, and assistance. For any ongoing services, I am sure I could supply you with similar items of interest.”
We waited in silence for her reply. Closing the book, she looked up.
“I’m interested. What is it you want?”
I looked at Van Myers, who stepped forward to address her. He looked over at Marie then back at Tabitha.
“We need to know about blood bonds. Is there some way the Thrall could locate their Regent?”
“Yes. I’ve heard it has been done under hypnosis. I don’t hold too much faith in it myself, but Mr. Korde has training in psychology, and could try.”
With that Maximillian place his book on the night stand beside him and stepped forward. We all looked at Marie, who nodded her approval, albeit hesitantly.
Maximillian extended his arm, beckoning Marie to sit in the empty leather chair in front of him. Tentatively she sat on the edge, looking around her nervously. He lit a large church candle on the window sill beside his chair, and dimmed the overhead light.
Tabitha said “I will leave you in Mr. Korde’s capable hands”, and walked into the adjoining room. Van Myers followed her, but I was hesitant to leave Marie. She seemed so nervous. I asked her if she wanted me to stay, to which she nodded silently. I gripped her hand and squeezed gently, then sat in a chair slightly behind her.
Maximillian began the trance induction, and I could tell by how Marie was relaxing that the suggestions were taking effect. He asked her to find Vissago, and to describe out loud what she saw.
She began haltingly, pausing often between sentences.
“I’m walking into a ballroom. I’m wearing a ball gown and I’m being escorted in by Michael. I can see Vissago. He is on the opposite side of the room, in a flight lieutenant’s uniform. Kathlyn is here too, talking to some people over in the corner. Van Myers is the band leader. Teresa is the cloak clerk as we walk in. Wait, it’s changing. It’s going all misty.”
Maximillian gave her instructions to “make the mist clear.”
“Vissago is walking past me. I think I know the area, but I’m not sure where it is? There is a soup kitchen. He is serving homeless people bowls of soup. But he has cut his finger, and he is putting a drop of blood into each bowl! He’s walking outside now, out into a back alley. There are two homeless men.”
Marie flinched, and continued. “He’s ripped their heads off. He has hold of their bodies, and is flying up to the top of the building. There are corpses everywhere, piles of them on the rooftop. There are five men there. They are black men, and they are carrying black briefcases in their hands. Vissago drops the bodies. Now he’s leaning against the wall, wiping his hands. The five men have levitated up in a circle, and are making archaic symbols in the air. There is a vortex forming in the middle of them.”
“There is a winged creature that has appeared. It would have to be six foot high. Vissago has stepped forward. He is saying something to it. I can’t hear what he’s saying. It’s listening to him, and now it’s flown off. Vissago has gone.”
Maximillian and I looked at each other in disbelief. It seemed as though we had come to the end of the session. Suddenly, Marie’s eyes opened wide with excitement.
“He’s here, he’s here in the room!!”
Maximillian tried to snap her out of the trance, both of us thinking she was now hallucinating badly. Her eyes were staring at the invisible Vissago. Just as suddenly, she seemed to snap out of it, and looked around the room at us.
Marie was saturated in her own blood from sweating. Maximillian turned the lights back on, and Tabitha and Van Myers re-entered the room.
I turned to Tabitha and said “I think we should leave now. Vissago knows we have been here.”
“Yes, I think you should. Thanks for the book.”
We stood to leave. Van Myers saw Marie’s blood stained shirt, and draped his jacket over her. The general public would ask too many questions about a woman covered in blood, and the Masquerade was important to maintain. Especially with Marie’s Sabbat involvement hovering over our heads. I feel compelled to keep myself onside with the Prince. He is constantly in the back of my mind, and I wonder when I will get to see him again, and have him hold me. I am so drawn to him, to the point where I can hardly think of my own future without him in it.
We took Marie back to her place to change. As we went to the door, Marie stopped in her tracks as we saw it was ajar. Tentatively Van Myers approached it, and pushed it open quietly. We listened for a moment, and not hearing anything, stepped inside. The apartment had been totally trashed. Marie looked around the room slowly, seeing the floor littered with her possessions. She went into her bedroom and hurriedly changed her shirt, then stormed out to the car. Following her to the car, she ordered us to take her to Kathlyn, her Sire. Marie directed Van Myers to an ‘A’ list bar in the city.
The Matre’d looked at Marie disdainfully when she approached him, but he asked us to wait in the foyer, and he would advise Kathlyn of our presence. She breezed out of the bar, and greeted Marie with ‘air kisses’.
“Dahhhling, whatever can I do for you?” Looking Marie up and down, she added “You look terrible. Come into the sitting room, and tell me what’s happened.”
With her arm around Marie, Kathlyn led her into a small private room. After a few minutes, Kathlyn flowed out and over to the Matre’d. She whispered in his ear, then made a couple of phone calls on the public phone. Her hushed tones were inaudible to us. She strode back into the room, but there was something that didn’t quite seem right. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but Van Myers seemed to sense it as well. He went to the phone and hit the redial button. Hanging up, he looked at me and shook his head. Whoever she called, Van Myers didn’t recognise the voice of the person that answered.
Marie and Kathlyn walked out together. Kathlyn bid her farewell with an ‘air hug’‚ and added “call me”.
Marie seemed more relieved now. “Kathlyn is going to send someone to help me.”
She walked outside, with us straggling behind her.
A black van pulled up to the curb in front of us, and the driver stepped out.
“Are you Marie?”
Van Myers and I went to get in too, but the man turned to us and said “no, only her. This is Clan business.”
We were about to argue, but Marie turned and said “it’s OK. Just go, I’ll be fine.”
I was sceptical, but she was adamant that we leave. As the man got into the drivers seat, I noticed a tattoo on the nape of his neck. It was the same symbol as the one above the club the vampire murders occurred at. I spun around to Van Myers, and told him about the tattoo. He said “Shit. Get in a cab. It’s a trap.”
We followed at a distance, not wanting it to be obvious that we were behind them. The van stopped in a warehouse district, outside a chemical company building. Marie had a black hood over her head, and stumbled as four men led her down beside the building.
As we walk towards where they disappeared, Van Myers picked up a star picket that was lying beside the building. I figured I should get a weapon as well. I saw a wooden crate leaning against the wall, so I pulled a plank of wood from it. We crept around the corner, and saw Marie in a scuffle with the men. We broke into a run to go to her aid.
I went to the vampire closest to me, and lunged at his with the stick. I stabbed him, but missed the vital heart. Van Myers had knocked one of the men unconscious, and was fighting another man. He had thrown him the cliff beside us, but somehow the same man was now jumping back over the cliff at me. Seeing him just in time, I managed to roll to the side, just as he kicked at me.
I could hear Van Myers yell out “leave” to his opponent. Amazingly, the vampire walked away. It must have been his power to dominate the man that worked, even in battle. I stood to face the vampire about to attack me, and did the same thing. I said forcefully “leave”. He stopped, turned, and slowly walked away.
I spun around to where Marie was, in time to see the last remaining vampire shove a wooden stake through her chest and into her heart. Van Myers and I both ran to her aide, and tackled her opponent. Van Myers looked into his eyes, and once again said “leave”. Dazed, he stood and walked away as well.
We lowered our heads to check on Marie. She was lying lifeless, with her eyes in a dead stare. I haven’t seen anyone look as dead as Marie did at that moment. Van Myers reached down, and pulled the stake out of her. He walked over to where the unconscious vampire was laying. He dragged him over to Marie, and dropped him onto her. He cut the man’s throat, so that blood ran into Marie’s mouth. She regained consciousness after a moment, and grabbed his neck to drink. She kept drinking, a lot longer than one would when drinking from a human. Van Myers noticed too, and said to me “we’ve got to stop her”.
I grabbed the man, while Van Myers grabbed Marie, and we tried to pull them apart. Marie had become super strong however, and we couldn’t prise her from him. The vampire arched his back, his hands clutched at the ground, then went limp. Marie threw him off her, and screamed. It was like the blood curdling howl of a Banshee, the kind that sends shivers down your spine. She was sitting up, her eyes had a look of pure evil in them, and she was muttering in some language. She looked down at her hands in fascination, and all around her. It was like one would expect a young child to look on their first visit to a circus, mesmerised by the new sights.
I had a feeling of dread and distrust when I looked at her now. I wasn’t sure what she had done to that vampire, but there was something inherently wrong with what she did. She was leering at Van Myers, with what I can only call a lustful look in her eyes. I feared that had I not been there, she would have tried to do the same thing to him, as she had the other vampire. His drained body crumbled to dust, and was blown away in the breeze.
“We ought to get out of here, in case those other vampires decide to return.”
I had to agree with Van Myers. We grabbed Marie on each side to support her, and ran out to the road. The black van was now gone, but we had no transport ourselves now. Van Myers pulled out his mobile phone, and called for a car. We sat on the curb and waited a few minutes, until the limousine service vehicle pulled up. Van Myers and I sat on the opposite seat to Marie, and stared at her nervously the entire way back to Van Myers apartment.
Story 2 - “Blood Bond”
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