Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
Andromeda "Andi" Brooks
Punk rock star
Everybody has a dark side
That they run from
But they can’t hide
Faced with the choice of do or die
Can you tell me
What you’ll decide
—‘Dark Side,’ Love & Liars
Punk is musical freedom. It’s saying, doing, and playing what you want. In Webster’s terms, ‘nirvana’ means freedom from pain, suffering, and the external world, and that’s pretty close to my definition of Punk Rock.
Andromeda Brooks is a light-skinned black female that stands halfway between five and six feet. Her hair adds another few inches to her height, since every time she refuses to flat iron it it’s a wavy, bouncy, curling mess. Her eyes are a hue of green that isn’t often seen outside of white folk, which makes people think she’s at least half-Caucasian, but if she is she doesn’t share that information with anyone. Her lips are full, her chin only slightly narrower than the rest of her face, and she’s got a body that looks like it was made to be on stage.
Name: Andromeda Atalanta Brooks
Date of Birth: June 18th, 1980 (Webster, Pennsylvania)
Date of Embrace: April 16th, 1999 (New York City, New York)
Apparent Age: 18
Real Age: Approx. 40
Eye Color: Green
Hair Color: Black
Education: High school
Occupation: Rock star
Andromeda Brooks was born the middle child to Willard and Maybelline Brooks, a construction worker and nurse respectively, whose fondness for mythology saw to it that all of their daughters bore the names of legendary women from ancient Greece. Their eldest child was named Calliope, their youngest Kallisto. It was mildly confusing for the girls when they dubbed each other Calli and Kalli, though those outside the family had the worst time. No one ever quite knew who Andi, the middle rambunctious troublemaker, was talking about when she used the nickname to refer to her sisters.
The girls grew up in a small town halfway between Philadelphia and Baltimore, the kind of place with plenty of parks and farmland, where trouble didn’t find you unless you found it first. Unfortunately for the Brooks family, Andi was the kind of girl who found it frequently. Her formative years coincided with the emergence of punk rock bands, and while her sisters studied to go into law or medicine she spent her free time jamming to whatever records she could find and sneaking away at night to make the long trek into the city to see bands at underground clubs. She claims that she was at the first show the Ramones played at Performance Studios and later toured with Minor Threat during their brief time together.
In high school Andi couldn’t get enough of the band she’d formed. Instead of jetting off to college to follow in her sister’s footsteps, she made the move to New York to be as close to the grunge and punk scene as she could. Her drummer came with her and they shacked up in a small apartment in Brooklyn, unaware that their lives were about to be cut tragically short.
Andi was at a live show the night of her Embrace, elbow-deep in a sea of writhing, sweating, undulating bodies while the music that poured out at them from the stage washed over the audience. She and Keegan had come out to scope the place for their own upcoming show—opening for a larger group in a week—and had stayed to check out the acoustics and the music itself. The Sirens, the band onstage called themselves, and it was no wonder: an all female band, each of them a knockout in their own right, but Andi’s attention was on the bombshell crooning into the mic. She wore a red sequined dress, the only spot of color in the otherwise dark room, and her words spoke to Andi’s soul.
And if you are broken
know that you can never go back
to what you once had
no, ‘cause had’s in the past
and turning away
never felt so simple
So captivated by the woman’s voice, Andi thought the first gunshot was simply just another part of the song. It wasn’t until the screaming started and someone jostled her from behind, sending her spinning into Keegan, that she realized something was very, very wrong. Another chorus of gunshots broke out above the sound of music still coming from the stage, then it was a mad dash to the doors. She tripped over something on the way and went down hard in a slick puddle of blood, but Keegan hauled her to her feet and they made it to the exits with the rest of the flowing crowd. Right into the waiting arms of a Sabbat pack. Andi was bound and thrown into the back of a van with half a dozen other people and driven out of the city.
She doesn’t know how long she was in the back of the van or where, exactly, they took her. But when the doors opened and she was hauled out of the van, kicking and screaming, she found herself standing with twenty other people in the middle of the woods. A giant pit yawned open in front of them, six feet deep and ten wide, with a mound of dirt beside it. A handful of people stood off to one side without the ropes that tied the rest of them, among them a woman with white hair and the darkest, meanest eyes Andi had ever seen. One of the men who’d grabbed her outside the club took the head clean off a girl who tried to run, and when Andi screamed at the sight of her limp body falling to the floor his friend knocked the air from her lungs with a well-placed fist to her gut.
The night was a blur. Fear kept her rooted to the spot, even as one by one her companions died. The woman with the white hair stopped before each of them and peered into their eyes, declaring them worthy or unworthy. Those deemed worthy were given a drink from a flask and had their throats slit in one smooth motion, their bodies dumped into the pit. The “unworthies” were given to the waiting pack to be torn apart at groin and throat and wrist, their bloodless bodies discarded like a piece of trash once it was over. Andi’s mind refused to register the fangs that jutted out from their mouths. She couldn’t think the word.
Then it was her turn. Second to last in line, bodies all around her, Andi was rooted to the spot by her own fear and a pair of hands on her shoulders from behind. She expected to feel something when the woman looked into her eyes, knowing that she was about to die one way or another, but there was nothing. Just a swirling fog behind her eyes.
“Not our brand of crazy,” the woman said. Her eyes moved behind Andi to the person holding her. “String her up.”
Hands pulled her toward the nearby tree. Too numb to do more than stumble after them, Andi didn’t think to run. A length of rope was added to the bindings on her hand and she was yanked from the ground, shoulders screaming in agony as her entire body weight was put on the joints. They stripped her while the woman slit the throat of Keegan and dumped him unceremoniously into the pit with the others. A piece of cloth was stuffed into Andi’s mouth when she finally shrieked. Knives plunged into her naked body: her chest, her legs, the soles of her feet. Blood dripped from the wounds to water the grass beneath her.
The pit was filled in, burying the bodies of those who had been slaughtered. The assorted people left a dangling, bloody Andi behind them as they filed out of the clearing.
“Shovelheads,” she later learned. She saw why. The freshly turned earth soon began to bubble and shift. Like a horror movie waiting to happen, first one hand and then the next appeared, fingers outstretched toward the sky. Andi screamed around the gag as the bodies she had seen buried slowly clambered out of their hole, their eyes turning to her as the smell of blood hit them. Some of them looked confused, but not the big one. No, he started right for her, veins bulging in his neck as he took in the sight of her helpless, waiting body. He yanked her toward him and sank a pair of fangs into her thigh.
Then the world went black, and that was all she knew.
Requiem, Early Years
Andromeda woke on a bed, an unfamiliar face looming over her. He told her he’d saved her from the pack that had tried to tear her apart. Unfortunately, the damage to her body had already been done, and he hadn’t had a choice but to turn her into the same monster that they were: Kindred. He called himself Perseus, citing that he was like the Greek hero of old who had saved “his” Andromeda. She was his now, he told her, and that was that.
He kept her enthralled with the blood bond and only ever grudgingly let her out of the home he’d made for himself outside the city, preferring to have blood brought in through various “allies” than teach her how to hunt in the “dangerous, Sabbat infected” streets of New York. He was paranoid, possessive, and cruel; Andi learned quickly to stay on his good side, though that hardly seemed to matter when his moods shifted as quickly as the summer storms back home.
The Camarilla Takeover
With a sire as abusive as the self-proclaimed “Perseus,” Andi was quick to jump at the opportunity to free herself when he made the mistake of not staking her when business called him away. She fled to the city she’d known as home but had been estranged from for the first dozen years of her Requiem to find that there was a war going on and she was caught in the middle with no side to call her own. She avoided other Kindred as she could, but one evening came across a familiar face: Keegan. She might have fallen in with her former bandmate and one-time friend if not for the appearance of one Alexander Wright, who took the smaller lick out before Andi had even realized what happened. He’d had his bat raised to deliver the same sort of justice to Andi when he was attacked from behind by the rest of Keegan’s pack, and Andi, recognizing that this might be her only chance to avoid being crushed by the hulking Brujah, helped him polish them off.
He let her talk long enough to explain her situation—a familiar one—and the pair settled into an uneasy alliance of jaded childer during his stay in New York. Once the threat was over and the Camarilla had regained their seat of power, Andi, fearing the return of her sire, asked the hound to take her with him when he made noise about leaving. It was an easy decision for the Brujah, who knew all too well the horrors of such a loathsome regnant. The pair took off to New Orleans and Wright vouched for Andi’s acceptance into the city.
Unfortunately for the would-be couple, the strict rules of the Camarilla chafed at Andi. She’d spent most of her life raging against the machine, and the idea of bowing to some prince didn’t sit right with her. She and Wright parted on good terms when she defected to the Anarchs in Mid-City, and once she’d gotten her feet under her she started making music again. Her band, Love & Liars, took off with the release of their second album, and even though Andi calls New Orleans home now she is often away on tour. She was on tour during Matheson’s trial, though when her longtime friend Pietro texted her to let her know that he was defecting to Savoy’s camp from the Anarchs she sent him a thumbs up and said she’s “happy to throw in with the self-styled lord; maybe he’ll make me a queen when I come back.”
In truth, Andromeda doesn’t need Savoy to make her a queen. She’s managed to handle that all on her own with her recent dubbing of “Queen of Punk,” as featured in Rebel Magazine in January 2016. At least once a year she’s gone for tours, and she releases new songs and videos during her downtime. Less interested in Kindred politics than she is making music, Andi’s efforts to stay in the eyes of her mortal admirers has paid off. Her albums consistently top the charts and her shows are always sold out. (Fame ••••)
Due to the fact that she’s out of the city as often as she is, Andi doesn’t have her own domain. Her coterie mates are always willing to share when she’s in town, though, and word is that one of them pulled strings to move her studio into the French Quarter for her imminent return.
• The Twins (g. early 21st century, Ghoul Status •)
The Twins have their own name, but Andi only ever refers to them as their moniker, “The Twins.” One plays guitar, the other keyboard, and both are as devoted to their domitor as any ghoul has a right to be. They don’t seem to do anything for her outside of serving in the band, and the two are never seen without the other in company.
• Keegan Malone (g. early 21st century, Ghoul Status •)
Probably not the original Keegan considering his Embrace and downfall at Hound Wright’s hands. Maybe Andi wasn’t able to let go of the name, or maybe she just happened to find another boy named Keegan. Either way, that’s what she calls the ghoul that serves as the drummer for her band Love & Liars.
• Annabelle Smagelski
Annabelle was a budding music student when Andi found her at a club in New York. Apparently she plays a handful of instruments and has the voice of an angel, but her real interest lies in producing. Andi moved her to New Orleans to manage a record label, 25 to Life. The girl has been content to handle other local artists, though she knows who butters her bread and always has time for Andromeda’s band.
Despite their place on opposite sides of the war, Wright and Brooks have never managed to be anything but civil to each other when they encounter one another in public areas. Maybe it’s because Brooks hasn’t had much of a presence since her defection to Savoy’s camp, or maybe it’s because Wright is the one who gave her an out from her abusive sire. Either way, when they are seen together there’s no flying fists.
Brooks has often been seen in the company of Roxandra Adrieux and Jade Kalani, and word is that the three of them are part of a krewe. She’s also pretty tight with Tyrell Turner, the fourth member of their krewe and the lick who accompanies her whenever she hits the road.
Outside of those three, Andromeda is quite close with the Nosferatu Sundown, as both of them have a stake in the music industry. When she is in town she can often be found in his clubs, and more than once she’s put on an impromptu show for a fan who spots her just trying to have a good time.
• 7. Unknown Sire
• 8. “Perseus” (e. early 19th century)
• 9. Andromeda Brooks (e. late 20th century)
Andromeda is the childe of Perseus, a Malkavian who only answers to “Perseus” or “P.” If he has another name or a mortal identity it has been long lost to the distant recesses of his mind. Perseus has never spoken openly of his sire or any other childer. He is thought to not have left New York since his Embrace, even to track down his wayward childe.