23 - Vampire the Masquerade
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Inconclusive FightI checked auras. These creatures were not vampires, but were not completely human, either. The aura looked something like that of a ghoul. Physically, they were ugly, stooped, and loped like a gorilla. Their arms were exceptionally long, and the fingertips had long, nasty claws on the ends. The yelled and shrieked at the three of us from the old subway and trolley cars, and then they began to move in and attack. I guessed that there were maybe ten or so. I didn"t have my shotgun. I did have my knife and the McCluskey that Mercurio had given me. I pulled it out of my backpack and started shooting. It took about two rounds to bring one of these critters down, and they just died. Wesley had a short katana, and he was wielding it like an expert. It was good to see him fighting like a Brujah would fight. Ashe was unarmed, and just sort of hung behind us, shouting encouragement like a cheerleader. The fight was not that easy. They would not close with us. They kept a distance, and one or two would charge in and then die. They seemed to be using some sort of tactic, but the tactic wasn"t working. There was no leader among them to change the tactic, so they just kept on coming. Eventually, we wiped them out. "What the fuck was that?" Wesley asked. "I think some sort of ghoul," I answered. "But I have no idea. I want to talk to Strauss about this when we get back." The three of us pushed forward. As we neared the edge of the rail yard, we got another shock. A Nosferatu was getting the crap knocked out of him by three, well, three somethings. They were about seven feet tall, brown, and hairy, with very long arms. They walked upright. On the end of the right arm, in place of a hand, was a single, nasty-looking claw. On the end of the left was another human head. The mouth on that head would open occasionally, and blow out a green slime. The slime slowed the Nosferatu. I checked auras; they were the same as the first group of creatures we had encountered. I grabbed my knife and picked one. I started hacking it up. Wesley joined in with his katana, and the damned creature died fairly quickly. Then I saw a flash of flame, some smoke, and smelled a sour, burnt smell. I knew the Nosferatu was finished. I moved on another, and Wesley went to take on the third. The third one spit some slime at Wesley, and that slowed him. It didn"t stop him. He waited until the monster was close, and, when the creature swung his claw at Wesley, Wesley ducked under it. He came up and buried his katana in its throat. The creature dropped. I used the same tactic, but instead I stabbed the belly of the creature about five times. He staggered backwards; I grabbed my McCluskey and put two rounds in its head. The fight was over. Or so I thought. "Thanks, you two," Ashe said. "I have a car nearby. I can get to it from here. The storm drain is above ground here. Follow it north for two blocks, hop up to the street, and you will see my club from the rear. Once again, thanks. I think I will head to Canada." We watched Ashe run off into the night. Wesley and I talked for a minute, and then headed for the storm drain. As we neared the edge of the subway yard, we managed to get into another fight. The ugliest-looking vampire I had ever seen, and that includes the Nosferatu, appeared. He was about six feet tall, with a huge, elongated head. His skin color was dark grey. He had fangs in place of teeth, and his eyes were blood red. His chin was swollen, with some sort of claw on the bottom. His cheeks were sunken, and his nose flat. He looked at us and smiled. "So, Children of Cain," it said, "your blood is so fresh. And so powerful. You have defeated my creations, but it is of no matter. I will create more. You waste your time and energy serving the Camarilla." "What the fuck are you?" I asked. "And what were those things?" "They are the refuse of humanity," he said. "The homeless, the drug-addicted, the criminals. I take them, and I use them. I shape their bones, twist their sinews, and deform their flesh. They become my tools to gouge out the eyes and cut off the ears of the Camarilla." "Why do you want to do that?" Wesley had recovered from his shock. "The Camarilla is weak! They are useless!" the vampire shouted. "They deny their nature. We are predators, dark and strong, and created to feed on the useless humans. They deny that! Tell me, Camarilla pups, will you deny your nature, or will you embrace the Sabbat and become strong?" "The eyes and ears of the Camarilla?" Wesley said. He was still confused. "The gross Nosferatu," the vampire stated. "That clan is an abomination upon the Blood of Cain. They are a cancer. I will destroy them first. The Camarilla and Anarchs will be blind and deaf. We will practice Diablerie on them at our leisure. Now, pups, do not deny your natures!" "I won"t," I answered. I grabbed my knife and charged. Well, the guy got away. He waved his right hand and two more of those gorillas with a claw and an extra head appeared and charged. Wesley and I took them out in short order, but the strange Sabbat had disappeared. "What now?" Wesley asked. "You head back to Malibu," I said. "Check your haven. Make sure everything is okay. The Sabbat knows where you are. If you have a doubt about anything, anything at all, move your sister and the Dr. into my haven in Malibu. I am going to my haven in Santa Monica. I have to talk with Strauss and Bertram Tung." Wesley and I found our way back to our separate transports. Then we headed to our havens. I had some questions for both Maxmillian Strauss and Bertram Tung.