14 - Vampire the Masquerade
DescriptionMeeting the Prince
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Meeting the Prince"Let"s tear its eyes out." "I want its teeth!" "Let"s stake it, and leave it out for the sun. You think you can fuck with the Sabbat, fuck?" The Sabbat were discussing my fate. I was lying on my back underneath a street lamp. This was my fault. I had let my guard down. To make matters worse, the only weapon I had brought with me was my knife. My shotgun and .38 were back at my haven. I looked up, and thought of praying for a miracle. But vampires don"t pray. At least I don"t think we do. Then I heard a shot. It was a loud shot, and it was from no .38. This one came from a large caliber pistol. The bullet hit one of the Sabbat in the head, and he dropped to his knees, bleeding like a stuck pig from the right temple. The other three turned to the direction of the shot. I saw my opening and moved. I hit all three with my trance power. It did not wipe their brains like it would a human, but it caused them to hesitate. That was all I needed. I was on my feet in a split second, knife in hand, and cut the throat of the closest Sabbat. He disappeared in flash of flame and some smoke. I stabbed another in the ribs and heard the gun go off again. Another Sabbat dropped to his knees. I didn"t take any time to see who was shooting; there were still three of them. I cut the throat of the one I had stabbed. The first Sabbat to be shot was now on his feet. He was pointing at someone and shouting. I followed his finger and watched. "This isn"t over, Rodriguez!" he shouted. "We"ll find you, and kill you!" Next he turned to me. "And we"ll find you too! No one messes with the Sabbat and lives!" The two remaining Sabbat ran off into the night. I looked at Rodriguez, standing there with a .45 caliber automatic in his right hand. "You have to be more careful, newbie," Rodriguez said. "This isn"t the "˜burbs, this is downtown, and there are a lot of Sabbat here." "Thanks for your help," I said. "You showed just in time. I remember you from the theatre." "Name"s Rodriguez. Nines Rodriguez, newbie," he said. "You have a name?" "Randall Davis," I answered. "Everyone calls me Randy." "Randy," he said, "I"ve got a lot to do tonight. As soon as you get a chance, stop by the bar called the Last Round. It"s pretty close to the LaCroix Towers. I"ll give you the real story of what is going on in L. A." "Thanks, Nines. I"ll be sure to do that." Nines left, and I walked two blocks to the towers. I entered and a security guard challenged me. I stated my business, he checked a computer terminal, and told me to go right up. I entered the far elevator, which was an express to the penthouse. When I got to the penthouse, I found myself in a pretty classy office. Behind the desk sat Prince LaCroix. Next to him stood his enforcer, minus the cleaver. I approached. "Good evening," he said. "You destroyed the Sabbat warehouse. Excellent. Fine job. I trust you had no difficulty in completing the aforementioned task?" I mentioned the haunted hotel, the Malkavian Jeanette/Therese Voermann, and the Thinbloods. I was going to tell him about Mercurio, but something in my brain said that I should keep my mouth shut. Mercurio just might be useful in the future. "Just a taste of what is to come," he said, with a sly smile. "Tell me, Randy, would you be interested in another job? It will be fairly simple." "Sure," I replied. I was beginning to feel fairly confident about things. "Have you heard of the Elizabeth Dane?" the prince asked. I said no. "The Elizabeth Dane," the prince stated, "is a small freighter that arrived from Turkey at Long Beach Island. The ship had to be towed into port. Most of the crew was missing. The Coast Guard towed it and secured it at Pier 35." "Sounds spooky," I remarked. "It"s not funny," the prince said. "The ship was carrying cargo from an archeological dig in Turkey. On board is a large artifact known as the Ankaran Sarcophagus. Do you know what a sarcophagus is?" "Yeah," I said. I did not like his condescending attitude. "It"s a big stone coffin that the Egyptian kings used to bury their dead." "Not just the Egyptians," LaCroix stated, "but a lot of nobility in the mid-East. The sarcophagus is on board, along with a lot of other cargo from the dig." "Okay, what do I have to do?" "A man of mine named Jenkins will meet you on the pier. He will provide you with the Coast Guard report, the ship"s log, and the ship"s manifest." Here the prince paused for a second. "He will get you on board. You are to observe the sarcophagus, and nothing else. Under no circumstances are you to open it. When you have completed this, report back to me with the articles Jenkins will give you. Now, you cannot slaughter everyone wholesale like you did at the Sabbat warehouse. Remember, humans are easily fooled. Use your powers. Can you go now?" "Sure," I said. "I"ve no plans." "Excellent!" he said. "Oh, and I have heard that you ran into Nines Rodriguez. What did he have to say?" "He asked me to come and visit with him at the Last Round." "Good," he said. "You should go, and listen to the Anarch tripe that he will give you. You may find it amusing. Now, on your way." I left, and my cab was waiting. I jumped in and we sped off to Pier 35 at Long Beach Island. I had a bad feeling about Prince Sebastian LaCroix.