Warning: This journal entry, which is a work of fiction, contains content not suitable for all ages and may be disturbing for those with a history of abuse. Reader discretion is advised.
If my head could still pound, it’d be hammering away like a jack hammer right about now.
I’m awake, despite the fact my new phone says it’s 6:05 PM and the sun is still out. As I crawled out of Felicja’s bed – confused, on the verge of frenzy. Once again I was grateful for the heavy curtains and blackout shades I had installed here. Still, the gnawing angel of my undying nature knew the Sun lurked just beyond some cloth and planks of wood, so here I am: wiped out, hungry, and hiding in my girlfriends shoe closest.
At least it’s a very large shoe closest.
This was as good of a time as any to do a little scribbling. It’s a bit tricky – I’m using a nifty book codes to encrypt all these journal entries. It’s like writing in another language that you speak well enough, but struggle writing in. It takes a while.
Luckily, I’ve got a couple of hours to kill.
A good place to start would be what happened last night. Fuck me if it isn’t all a bit hazy. I roused around 9 or so; the rest of the coterie had already cleared out of our mutual haven in the bowels of the Succubus Club. I took a quick shower, threw some product in my hair, and got dressed – nothing too ostentatious, but still something I could be seen in. I went up to the main floor, ran into Angela already running like a madwoman: tonight we were having our first live act at the Club – a local group Angie scouted called Pestilential Thorns (sounds a bit ‘edgy’ for my taste, but kine aren’t rolling up to the Succubus Club for their daddies smooth jazz). I parked myself at the bar, phone in hand, and got to work.
I do practically all my business over my phone, which is a bit scary for the Luddites among the Camarilla. I’m careful though – the Eternal Academy beats (very literally) the conscientious use of security protocols into you early in the curriculum. I keep my conversations short and succinct, I encrypt almost everything, and for the truly saucy stuff I talk in code. Sure, the Inquisitors masquerading as NSA operatives might still see me bitching out a certain Nosferatu over how she hasn’t held up her end of the deal and how she needs to get back to me, but to them it’ll simply look like a heated debate over the dietary requirements of Persian longhairs.
Nosferatu. My hands are trembling just writing the word. Inside my chest, it feels like a caged wolf’s trying to shred its way out of me. My Beast was fury made manifest, a creature that held a deep indignation towards everyone and everything in the world. It didn’t take much to set it off, and right now it had a justifiable excuse to drive me from safety as soon as night fell, find the nearest Nossie and bash its Monster Mash excuse for a face in till it tells us how to find Nightingale, then finding that clearly treacherous whore and taking the information we dealt for out of her ass.
In moments like these, I turn to math problems and logic puzzles. Boring, tedious, and mildly annoying, I’ve found they have a way of dulling the Beast and diverting my thoughts away from whatever mayhem it urges me to cause. As righteous as I might feel if I let the Beast work through our mutual umbrage, it wouldn’t assuage my shame. No, I paid well for the information I was owed and I intended to have it. One way or another.
That’s why, after a quick chat with Felicja – who was on her way over to drop off the suit I procured for tonight festivities – and getting an update on the business, which runs 24-7 (so lucky to have such effective, hot, and living help to keep an eye on it in the day), I sent the first of several messages to Nightingale to conclude our business of a few nights ago.
Nightingale was a Nossie that looks like a Goth princess who got dragged out of Lake Michigan after a few weeks in the drink and came back to life: dark auburn hair, blood-shot red eyes, pallid skin with varicose veins, shark-like teeth, a huge rack and a body that was still shapely (if a bit sunken in places). I’d be lying if I didn’t say she was hot in a freak-show, necrophiliacs-wet-dream kind of way (I suppose relations with Kindred in general, myself included, could be considered a form necrophilia though). That said, it’d be bracing waking up to that in the evening.
I became acquainted with Nightingale after taking out a street pimp that got my ire (it also helped that some of his girls had reached out to some of mine, expressing a desire to defect). In my zeal, however, I didn’t do my homework: this pimp was owned by another Kindred – by Nightingale. To say she was annoyed with me for having removed her principle source of vessels was…and understatement.
She jumped me a few nights later: remember the Invisible Man? Yea, it was like that. Thankfully, I’m tougher than I look or Nightingale would have gotten me with her opening salvo – bitch opened up on me out of nowhere with a Saiga-12 on full auto. (Note: apparently Kindred who can go all stealth mode can’t pop off artillery and stay hidden.) Long story short, I got her down with a right hook and a LOT of charm convinced her not to exsanguinate me or have her Sewer Rat buddies ruin my life or a few other choice acts of retribution she had promised not a few moments earlier.
After that, we had a relatively pleasant and productive chat. Nightingale was a hard-nosed negotiator who didn’t sway easily to my forms of persuasion. I did owe her, but she had tried to give me the Final Death not twenty minutes earlier. After some hming and hawing, we came to an arrangement – a trial run on what might be a mutually beneficial relationship: she needed vessels, and I could clearly use another source of reliable information. I would procure for her a vessel to her specific requirements, and she would find the answer to a burning question I had about a certain newbie in my coterie.
I should backtrack here to about six months ago: Amanda Price, lawyer in the Prince’s employee and my loaner seneschal (I should call her what she really is – my handler; if I can’t be honest with myself, who can I be honest with), rolled up to the Club with a stack of completed paperwork for the joint and a fresh-faced lick for us to to babysit by the name of Perry Myers. No sire, no place in society, and since we were all about community projects, the Prince thought ours was the perfect coterie for Myers to cut his teeth with. I was told in no uncertain terms that the Prince wouldn’t look to kindly on me if I let young Perry get broken, run wild, or failed to impress upon him the way a Kindred should comport themselves in his City.
If that wasn’t bad enough (I’m too young for kids), the guy was a Ventrue and creepy to boot. I checked him out: night professor for some colleges around town, lived in suburbia with his wife and kids despite his condition, standard middle-class life. The only red flag, and for a Ventrue I understand this is a BIG deal, was Perry having no idea who made him. Coupled with the aforementioned creep factor, I decided to dig a little deeper: my investigation quickly stalled as the Kindred most capable of helping, other Ventrue, either didn’t know or weren’t inclined to help me (some of them were quite rude about it, I have a list).
The question gnawed at me though, and fast-forward back to my ‘conversation’ with Nightingale, I now had a chance to find an answer. So I seized it. The only niggle to this deal of quid-pro-quo, a niggle that’ll come up shortly, was that I had to show mine before she showed hers. After all, she was the original aggrieved party and pot-holes from a shotgun blast in the sternum close up quickly enough for our kind with a little effort.
So fine, I went about the task as described to me: acquire a female vessel that had dark hair and eyes, like a doll, and possessed a potent melancholy Dyscrasias. That wasn’t the sort of vessel I had lying around in my stable. No, this was going to require I cast my eye outward and get creative. Or underhanded.
Now this part, this part I can’t tell anyone else. So I’ll write it down here: as Fate or the Devil’s own luck might have it, I knew someone that might actually fit that bill. There was a girl, fourteen, who recently came to the women’s shelter I volunteered at (soup kitchen stuff mostly, and of course I went to all the fundraisers). Dark-hair and eyes, thousand-yard stare, and withdrawn with this aura of fractured innocence about her. Her’s was a case of horrific familial abuse, the details of which I won’t recount here. Sufficed to say father was in jail and the mother was in a padded-room. So it fell to social workers and volunteers to help this girl work through what happened to her, to help her build a new life.
That included me, no matter how small my role might have been. I was in a position of trust. I knew she was vulnerable, and that I had a moral obligation to help her or at least do no more harm.
But I needed the deal. Not only because of the security and leverage it might give my coterie and I over our newest brother, but all the future security a deal with Nightingale might make. So, I reasoned, for all the lives I would continue to save now and in the future – all the other battered and exploited women and children I had already helped and for those yet to come – this one sacrifice was worth it. After all, I gorged myself on coeds and bimbettes to slake my own hunger – a little harm for a potentially unending lifetime of good. I convinced myself, in the moment, that taking this girl from people who cared for her and selling her to Nightingale was no different.
So I went to the center, and with this little knack I’ve developed since joining the undead, I bid her to follow me. Once away from the others, where no one could see what I was about to do, I commanded her to sleep. I put her in the trunk of my car, drove her out to this boarded up old warehouse I occasionally use when privacy’s an issue and verified the goods with a taste of her blood.
I’m not a crier. I don’t weep over babies or cry during movies. But the taste of this girls blood sent me into uncontrollable sobbing the likes of which I hadn’t experienced since the day little Kyle was told by mommy and daddy that Scooter had gone to Heaven. I’m talking the kind of balling that guts you, cores you out, and leaves feeling like a husk. Cathartic, but exhausting.
Strangely liberated and desperately wanting to get this over with, I set up a meet with Nightingale that very night. She came, I presented the goods, told her they fit her specifications to a tee, and gave up the girl. Nightingale, inspected and sniffed the merchandise, and was satisfied. I’d have my answer in a few nights, she said.
A few nights that have come and gone.
The first night, I woke up feeling tremendous sadness – the days sleep a roiling mess of faces and regrets (I didn’t do regret, so the feeling was quiet alien). I spent the rest of that night with half a dozen horny coeds, all coked out of their minds. The sanguinary quality of their blood and the drugs seemed to dull the bad trip I was on.
The second night I woke up in a bloody sweat at Felicja’s. She was unimpressed that I ruined her linens. I don’t remember if I dreamed. After being pushed into the shower, I cleaned up and went to look at myself in the mirror. If I had been on a full stomach, I’d have vomited blood in disgust right there. I opted for putting my fist through the glass instead.
I didn’t hear from Felicja till the next night – last night – and I think it was only her own sense of professionalism (and I like to think the two-dozen red roses I sent her) that brought her around the Club to drop off my suit. The make-up sex was suitably pleasant, though I couldn’t drink from her. Guess I was still working out that girls blood from my system. She went off to get some sleep, I changed and went down stairs.
Her name was Jeannine, by the way. The girl, the chattel. Her name was Jeannine. I did’t forget it. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. But in case the long march of time dims this severity of this atrocity, let me write a final reminder to myself: you took a broken girl, barely more than a child, from a place of safety and gave her to another monster, all for your own benefit, and her name was Jeannine.
That’s why, as I sat at the bar last night in my fedora and my fancy clothes putting on the airs of a frivolous club aficionado and supportive bestie while Angela aloofly plowed her way bovinely through a surprise interview by the Tribune (harsh, she did okay; heavy is the crown and all), I was beyond tilt and near homicidal frenzy. Nightingale wasn’t returning my texts, and all my carefully reasoned arguments were beginning to crack.
Luckily, Meyer’s showed up with Christopher and a pack of kine in tow. Members of his Temple, I found out later. I’m not into religiosity myself, but like most spiritual gurus and cultists Perry has a lot to say about enriching ones life and pursuing happiness. I can’t think of anything more American than that, and as a man with a body set to forever be in its prime, it’s a message I could get behind. Perry sent Chris ahead with a couple of college boys – kine from a new herd he was cultivating for himself perhaps (Note: I should look into that later, ensure he’s being discreet) – and he and I shared a smoke.
Meyer’s a bit older than I am – on both sides of unlife – and he pulled out this fat cigar. I’m a bit more modern, so I vaped – this cherry-vanilla concoction an old girlfriend turned me onto. We got caught up, and this girl rolls up to him. Real hottie – apparently its his protege, who goes by Lillian. I say as such, making some offhand comment about how I’d given the whole cult thing a second look if I knew women like that were hanging about.
Now I think Perry meant this half as a joke (perhaps half-annoyed I was eyeing up his right-hand lady), but he turns me on to this older bird in his menagerie of the downtrodden seeking enlightenment. She was attractive, for a 50’s somethings spinster who dressed like a secretary working for the most conservative law firm in town, and brimming with untapped lust. Mood I was in, I said fuck it: blood is blood and pussy is pussy.
I’ll give it to Perry, the man isn’t a successful cult leader for nothing: he seems to always know what people need in any given situation.
Meyers left me with the lady – at the time of writing this, I’ve already forgotten her name – and I showed her the best thirty minutes she’d had in a long, long time I reckon. I kept my wick dry though, keeping to third-base. I wasn’t in the mood, and willing more blood around just to get it up to simulate enjoying sex sounded tedious. Besides, I got what I needed anyway – a sharp shot of sanguine blood that made me forget all about naughty birds who hadn’t yet sung me a song.
My memory of this part of the evening is still sketchy. I vaguely remember tearing open my shirt and leaping down onto the dance floor. I might have pushed the kine a bit too far, as I remember a very vigorous mosh pit. Oh, and I smashed my phone to bits after a text from Angela: wrong woman at the wrong time, I guess.
That brings us back to now: new phone, updated journal. It’s 7:30 and I think I hear Felicja roaming around out there. I might call her in here, make sure we’re all good with a little bit of this and that. Then, when the sun finally goes away, I’ll attempt to reach Nightingale and I be calm as a still lake.
Player’s Note: This is the first journal entry recapping the background and events of the first session of the Second City Chronicle – a game of Vampire the Masquerade, 5th Edition I have the good fortune of playing around a brand new digital table I was invited to. My character, Kyle Thomas Johnson or K.T., is a young Brujah from a wealthy North Shore family. A dilettante and socialite, he crusades against sex-trafficking while simultaneously using his access to recruit willing, able-bodied girls for his escort agency. He is a silent partner in the reborn Succubus Club.
He is joined by his coterie-mates Angela, a Toredaor who has been given the responsibility and glory of reestablishing the Succubus Club in Chicago; Perry Meyers, a Settite and Temple of Set cultist; and last, but not least, the creepy professor and orphaned Ventrue Christopher Walker. I had a blast with this first session, and I’m looking forward to diving more deeply into the World of Darkness later this month.