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Submitted Feb 3, 2016, 8:40:21 PM

31 - Vampire the Masquerade

Farewell to the Sabbat

Wesley and I were ready. Both of us were carrying our shotguns, McCluskeys, katanas, and had three blood packs each, courtesy of Bertram Tung. We had no idea what we would find inside the Hallowbrook Hotel, but it was better to be safe than sorry. The two of us rode my cab downtown, and we circled the hotel on foot, looking for a way inside.

Wesley found a door at the rear, off of an alley. He picked the lock using his new lock pick. With his Brujah dexterity, he was better than me. We entered into an old, rusty, rotted kitchen and began to creep around, looking for Sabbat.

Next we crossed a dining room. It was good the place was scheduled for demolition. The only signs of use were by crack heads and homeless. Regular folks had not used the place for many, many years. We turned a corner, entered a hallway, and encountered our first two Sabbat. They were human, and ghouls. We took them out quickly, and kept on working our way around the first floor.

Now, there was something we did not know. The Tzimisce vampire who was their leader had been, over a long time, building his strength. I had weakened him a lot with the Santa Monica affair. And Wesley and I had damaged him more in the battle up in Hollywood. And the attack on the LaCroix Towers had weakened him even more. We were going to have a very easy time finding the Tzimisce.

We kept moving, following the traces of the Sabbat. We found Sabbat ghouls, some humans brought in for feeding, and only two Sabbat vampires. They were new, attacked us foolishly, and went down quickly. At the entrance to a stairwell we found two of those strange creatures we had encountered destroying the Nosferatu. Shotguns worked well. They went down.

We went down the stairs and into a large basement storage room. My Malkavian intuition was tickling me, telling me that we were getting very close to the haven of the leader. We crossed the floor and found wooden double doors. Wesley pried them open and we entered. What we entered was a charnel house.

We stood atop a loft that ran around the perimeter of the room. There was a wooden ramp that led down to a dirt floor. Torches were stuck into the loft at various locations, lighting the room. The illumination showed pools of blood scattered about the dirt floor. Also scattered about the floor were corpses. Human corpses, and lots of them. Even as a vampire, I was sickened. This was revolting. We walked down the ramp and, from the other side of the room; the Tzimisce vampire appeared and approached. He drew within three yards of us and he spoke.

"Camarilla mongrels!" he shouted. "The Blood of Cain is wasted in you! You deny your nature, and the call of your blood! Now, embrace your Beast, and become one with me!"

"This is disgusting," Wesley muttered.

"Why do we need you?" I asked, quietly. "We have the sarcophagus. It is safe with me."

"Fools!" the Tzimisce shouted. "You could open the sarcophagus, and perform Diablerie on the Ancient that slumbers within. Think of the power you would gain! You could rule the world."

"Enough of this shit," I said, and grabbed my shotgun.

Well, taking out the Tzimisce was not that easy. He grew long claws, and moved very quickly. Neither Wesley nor I could get a clean shot. To further complicate matters, he kept popping in one pool of blood and out of another. He did claw me once, and it bit deeply. But I learned to keep moving, hoping for an opening. It wasn"t happening. He was moving too fast, and the pools of blood were, evidently, magically connected. We were at a stalemate.

I stopped for a second to reload, and I heard a scream. It was not Wesley, it was the Tzimisce. He had popped out of a blood pool. Wesley was waiting. He had grabbed a torch from the loft and plunged it into the Tzimisce"s face. Next he began running around, searing the blood on the top of the pools.

I grabbed a torch and watched a pool. I waited until the Tzimisce popped out of it, and buried my torch in his now badly scarred face. He screamed again. We had a working weapon.

It seemed like it was taking forever. Every time the Tzimisce popped out of a blood pool, one of us was there with a torch. He was weakening. And, our searing of the blood on the surface meant that he could not feed and heal on this blood. Finally, there were no more clean pools in which he could dive. He popped out of one and charged me. I pushed him toward Wesley with my torch. Wesley was waiting with his shotgun, and put four rounds into the Tzimisce. Flame, smoke, and ash. So much for the Sabbat.

"Well, what do we do now?" Wesley asked.

"We leave."

"Leave?" Wesley looked quizzical. "What about all of these bodies?"

"The damned hotel is scheduled for demolition," I said. "When they find these bodies, it will give the city fathers and politicians something to talk about for years. If they find them. This place makes me sick. Let"s go."

We tossed out torches into a blood pool and started back to the first floor. We found our way out, and began to head back to our ride.

"You know," Wesley said, as we walked, "We never did find out the name of that guy."
I just laughed. As we were heading back to the cab, we ran into Ming Jaio.

"Ah, Childer," she said, "you two have destroyed the Sabbat. You are close to approaching your destinies. I can see the direction in which you head clearly."

"What direction is that?" I asked.

"Both of you have great powers. Great strength," she added. "You bested my two best agents at the Giovanni estate. You should join with me, and together we can defeat the weak Camarilla Prince LaCroix." She continued to lecture Wesley and I on our destinies, and why we should join her and her Kuei-Jin.

Now, a funny thing happened to Ming Jaio as she spoke to us. Her shape wavered, blurred, shifted, and took on the form of Nines Rodriguez. Her voice also changed to match his. She was a shape shifter! I had my doubts about Nines killing Alistair Grout, and now I was sure. It was not Nines; it was Ming Jaio. She continued her lecture, and shape shifted again back to her normal form. I had to admit, I was impressed.

"Well," I said, "I will think it over. What about you, Wesley?"

"I am going to think it over as well."

"Think quickly, Childer," Ming Jaio said, and she walked away, vanishing around a corner.

"What now?" asked Wesley.

"First, we see Maxmillian Strauss for a good talk. Then we talk with my cab driver. After that I will see what happens."

I didn"t know it, but I was ready for check, and then mate.