Gasper. If you’re me, tell me. Do I care anymore?
Thursday morning, 10 March 2016
GM: Em’s in someone’s bedroom. The ravishingly beautiful vampire he saw in the enfant’s… whatever is naked and frantically shaking at a motionless naked man. His aura lacks the telltale glow Em has encountered around actual people. An alarm shrieks from a nearby phone.
Emmett: Odd. Decidedly not where he meant to end up. He studies the naked vampire, and her apparent…victim? He looks dead, anyways.
GM: She bites her wrist and presses it to his mouth while shaking him with her other hand.
Emmett: As she does, the dead guy’s face clicks into a long-vacant slot in his memory. Stephen Garrison. Celia’s cuck ex.
Well, looks like he’s moved on, albeit also off his mortal coil.
But if the vamp killed him, where’s the caul?
GM: Em sees no caul, but he sees through the walls. A group of people dressed like plumbers or repairmen are busily working on the apartment’s front door as the phone alarm shrieks.
Emmett: Dressed as, but clearly not. It doesn’t take three pricks in coveralls to shimmy a door.
Caroline mentioned hunters. Maybe coveralls are the Van Helsing vogue.
He strolls into their midst, trying to better ascertain their intentions. Not like he can do much to them, though, even if he had a reason.
GM: One of them has a tool belt around his waist and is working on the door. It has an electronic keyless lock. The other two seem to be keeping a lookout. Em sees through the cases they’re carrying like so much smoke. And the clothes on their bodies. Cases and clothes both conceal wooden stakes, nasty-looking long knives, handcuffs, handguns, containers of lighter fluid, and assorted other implements whose purpose looks more like destruction than repair.
“God, is everybody in this fucking city a vampire?”
GM: The three men trying to break in don’t seem to be.
Emmett: But they’re vampire hunters. That’s vamp-adjacent. He’s pretty sure he’d rather be a hunter than a ghost.
Granted, there’s two bloodsuckers inside and three Helsings outside, so… kind of seems like anybody’s game if they’re about to rush in.
Still, fuck all he can do to affect the outcome, drained and deathly as he is.
GM: Sounds like someone could use some juice.
Emmett: Not sure why I should give a fuck about some random vampire bitch, though, even if she is all up in Celia’s shit. Might be better if they got her, to be honest.
GM: She’d owe us. Him, too.
If they kill these wannabe Van Helsings that’s three souls we get.
Emmett: If you’re offering, I’m listening. What’s the price?
GM: I’ll just get a little stronger.
Emmett: All right. Hit me.
GM: It surges through him in a hot, toxic rush. It’s the vicious satisfaction he felt at seeing the ‘oh shit’ click in Sami’s head when she realized why Em brought her to Dino’s dad’s place. It’s way she screamed when the cigarette burned into her skin. It’s the way Cash Money howled when the knife sank into his hair beanpole leg. He was strong, then. He’s strong again now.
Emmett: Not a lot of time to waste. He broadcasts through the phone’s screeching alarm in an inter-dimensional PSA, a staticky but distinctly clear voice like a newsman from the ’50s:
“INTRUDER ALERT! INTRUDER ALERT! WOLVES WEARING COVERALLS!”
Okay, maybe a little on the nose. But it gets the point across.
Celia: The phone chimes in before the female vampire can. She shoves it at him once more.
GM: “What the fuck!?” Stephen frowns.
He taps in the code to unlock it.
“Shit! Three guys out there!”
He springs off the bed. “Fuck! The middle of the fucking day!”
He pulls the female vampire outside the bedroom, grabs the bookshelf against a nearby wall, and pulls it across the carpet. There’s a door in the space where it used to be.
“Get in, hurry!”
Celia: She nods, snatches her phone, grabs his hand, and hauls him in with her.
GM: He shakes his head. “I’ll hold them off. Even if they get me, they won’t think to look for a second lick behind the wall.”
Celia: “I’m not leaving you,” she hisses at him, “get in or we’re both fighting.”
GM: “No time to argue.”
He pulls open the door, grabs her, and tries to shove her in.
Emmett: It’d be sweet if it wasn’t utterly pointless and stupid.
GM: Describes you pretty well too, when you’re trying to be the white knight.
Emmett: I’m never a white knight. At whitest, I’m beige.
GM: Yeah, true.
But I said ‘try.’
Celia: He tries. He fails.
Celia is faster than she looks. She executes a quick spin around him, just out of reach of his grasping hands.
“You’re not the only one who knows how to fight. Close it. We can jump them. They only expect one.”
GM: “Goddamnit!” he yells, making another grab at her as she blurs away. “I’m not letting more hunters rape you!”
Emmett: Is that a thing hunters do? Definitely makes them seem less… white knight-y.
GM: Why wouldn’t it be?
We’d have been happy to stick our dick in her.
Emmett: Necrophilia, though.
Celia: “Roderick, please, you’re wasting time—they’re going to be in here any minute, we can easily dispatch three of them between us. Close it. Close it or get in with me. I’m not losing you because of some misplaced sense of chivalry.”
GM: ‘Roderick’ makes a frustrated snarl, and then he’s gone in a blur. The female vampire’s suddenly shoved through the door. A baseball bat, phone, and family pictures fall over the floor or against her bare chest as Roderick pulls the bookshelf closed behind them.
He closes the door against the shelf. Locks it.
“Okay. Fine. We’ll hope they don’t find this place.”
Celia: “Silence your phone,” the female vampire whispers to him. “Turn off your alarm.”
GM: There’s a bed on the other side, along with a laptop, phone, some guns, handcuffs, a mini-fridge and microwave, and assorted other survival supplies.
Roderick frowns as he does exactly that.
“It shouldn’t have said that,” he whispers.
“The alarm is just a beeping noise.”
GM: He thinks for a moment, then tugs it between his hands, and finally snaps it.
He walks up to the wall and taps a monitor. “We can still see what’s going on.”
The three men dressed like plumbers or repairmen are still working on the front door.
Roderick and the female vampire talk for a while. They also call some people over their phones. They consider whether or not to call police, calling them “in the prince’s pocket.”
“I’d rather capture some hunters ourselves, but better to have them locked up than out on the streets.”
Huh. That ain’t good, Em’s Shadow remarks.
They need to kill these guys for us.
The vampires talk some more. Emmett sees through the apartment’s translucent walls that the hunters have gotten through. They can’t be anything else, because they have stakes, guns, and knives out. They close the door behind them after slipping under the barrier, then fan out to search the apartment.
They’ve pulled masks over their faces, for all the good it does them now.
Celia: The female vampire leaves a quick message, shoots off a text message, and looks around the room.
Emmett: He sends a text to the phone. It comes from a number that glitches and changes and whose presence on the phone makes the air chiller.
KILL THEM FOR ME AND WE’LL BE FRIENDS, it reads.
Celia: She stares at it with a look that says:
What. The. Fuck.
GM: Roderick snarls at the screen.
“That’s why I took the family pictures, by the way.”
Celia: “Smart,” she tells him.
“Listen to me,” she whispers, “I’m going to hit them with star mode, and we’re going to take them out.”
GM: “I’m pretty confident I could take three breathers with surprise.”
“Know why I’m not?”
He looks at her.
“I stand a hell of a lot more to lose than to gain from that fight.”
Oh, cute, Romeo wants to play hero.
He squeezes her hand back.
Looks down at their naked bodies. Chuckles.
“This would almost be sexy.”
Celia: “Hush, you, we’ve already got a track record for fucking at inopportune times.”
GM: We need to give these Van Helsing wannabes a tip-off.
Emmett: It does look that way, sadly.
He uses his text-sending prowess again. This time, he catches one of the hunter’s eyes in the mirror, standing behind him in what’s empty air when the coverall-wrapped killer turns in shock.
“Behind the bookshelf,” says the man in the mirror when the hunter turns back. Then he’s gone. Maybe he was never there at all.
GM: The masked man’s eyes narrow.
“Hey,” he whispers.
His companions make their way over.
“Guy in the mirror. Said behind the bookshelf.”
They look around.
“Ghost he killed?” one whispers back.
“Might be,” whispers another. “Or trap.”
Emmett: What is he, a magic 8-ball?
GM: They inspect the kitchen mirror more closely. One shines a tiny light over it.
“Ectoplasm,” he whispers.
“Thanks, spook, if you’re for real.”
“Check the shelves,” whispers another. “Extra careful.”
Emmett: He appreciates it. He still hopes they die. But he appreciates a little gratitude.
He returns to the safe room.
Celia: “We need to kill them.”
GM: He shakes his head. “Rather not risk you.”
Celia: “The closer they get to the door the less opportunity we have to ambush them.”
GM: “And rather take them alive, if we have to fight.”
Celia: She nods.
Emmett: The girl’s phone gets a text.
Kill two. The third can wait til u talk to him.
GM: The female vampire ignores it. She and Roderick talk a little while longer. She says something is up with her family. They talk about tactics. What to do when the hunters get in. What they’re good at. Roderick says he’s a “classic Brujah” with super-strength and speed. The female says she can hide, charm the hunters, and make them underestimate her.
They settle on a surprise attack: the female will turn into a cat, Roderick will play asleep, and then the hunter gets a bat to the skull. The female will turn back and jump the second. Roderick will take out the third.
They watch the monitor. Roderick lies down on the bed back-first, bat nearby, and closes his eyes.
Celia: She locks her phone. Her form blurs, shifts. A moment later a cat is slinking into position.
Emmett: Yeah… they can turn into cats? Didn’t know that. I mean, not that I want to turn into a cat. But it’d be nice to have the option.
GM: Time passes.
But not that much time.
Em watches as the hunters move the bookshelf. They work on the lock. That takes them a little while. Finally, it comes open. The men creep in. Their stakes are already out.
They look at Roderick’s sleeping form.
Then, simultaneously, they all look at the cat.
Celia: She stares back at them.
GM: One of the men looks at the other two.
He doesn’t speak.
At last, he shakes his head.
The others look at the cat for another moment.
Then they turn away.
They approach the bed.
They ready the stake over Roderick’s chest.
He doesn’t once move. Doesn’t once breathe or blink. He sleeps like the dead.
The man positions a mallet over the stake.
Three hissed words escape his lips:
“No food bowl-!”
That’s when Roderick strikes.
The baseball bat streaks through the air, smashing into the man’s skull with a grisly, bone-shattering crack. The man doesn’t scream. He just hits the floor in a heap and doesn’t get up. Blood pools across the carpet.
Emmett: I miss movies. Let’s find a way to watch movies sometime.
GM: They’re the movie.
Celia: The female vampire strikes from behind.
Powerful hind quarters propel her through the air to launch herself at one of the men, her form blurring and shifting as she dives. Her claws are the only part of her that do not change, that do not sink back into her body. She is not some housecat whose belly they can rub when she flops over for them, not some pet they will collar with a little bell that goes ding-a-ling with each step.
She is a monster. A predator.
It was an animal that left the ground, but a Beast that lands on his back with fangs and claws and murder in her eyes.
GM: Propelled by her once-feline haunches, the female vampire’s weight smashes into the startled hunter like a cannonball. He goes down in a heap. She goes for the throat. The larger, stronger man grunts flips her halfway off, rolling under her as he drives the stake towards her chest. It goes wide and stabs her collarbone as her fangs pierce his neck. Too slow. The female vampire drinks ravenously as she straddles him. He weakly tries to fling her off, but the female vampire shreds his triceps with her claws. She grinds against his crotch with hers, tries to guide his cock up her cunt.
Emmett: He watches in mute appreciation of the unfolding carnage for a while.
…oh, now she’s trying to rape him to death. Great. Really cool. Is it necrophilia when a corpse fucks you?
GM: Is it when two corpses fuck?
The third hunter rushes Stephen while he’s left himself open, plunging another stake towards his heart. It punctures the mattress as the vampire rolls aside, lashing out with a lightning-fast kick into the hunter’s kidneys. It sends him crashing into the opposite wall.
He staggers to his feet and rips off the window’s curtain. The female vampire is too occupied in her grisly feast to notice the stream of sunlight that stops only inches away from her feet. Stephen, though, howls and pulls back as smoke wafts from his blistering skin.
The hunter steps forward, full into the sunlight, then pulls for the gun on his belt. Stephen chucks a laptop at his hand, sending the gun flying away. The man curses and clutches his hand.
He looks at his motionless friend on the ground, then the female vampire riding his dying friend’s how-is-it-even hard cock. He pulls open the window and starts climbing out. The drop has to be at least several stories.
Emmett: He follows, unfolding leathery wings as he vaults through the corporeal form of the hunter and flaps over the street.
GM: Em doesn’t have far to follow. Stephen snarls and grabs the man by his pants, yanking him down. The vampire’s blistering arms turn blacker as he pulls the hunter out of the sun. The mortal man kicks at first, futilely, then whips out a long hunting knife and drives it into Stephen’s gut. The vampire howls and smashes a fist into the man’s face with a gory crunch, knocking his head all the way to the floor from the impact. Stephen pounces on the prone hunter, sinks fangs into his neck, and then it’s all over.
Em watches Celia’s boyfriend thirstily drink, his blackened skin gradually turning pink again, until a translucent copy of the man floats up from the body like escaping steam from a kettle.
It joins the two others wrapped in gauzy cauls. Their close-eyed expressions remain calm and placid.
Stephen leaps onto the still-feasting female vampire. Blood paints both of their naked bodies as he roars, tackles her to the floor, and sinks fangs into her skin. She goes along with it, for a little while. Then she kicks him off, scrambles to her feet, and runs out of the room. He chases after her.
Huh. Reminds me of us and Sami.
Emmett: I guess that’s kind of… sweet. Or depressing. Little column A…
He tucks his wings and sets about the somewhat lengthy process of soothing the fresh enfants from their cauls, starting with the one he contacted through the mirror. He needs the juice, and he has a feeling the licks will be engaged for… a while.
GM: Em plunges his hands through the enfant’s caul. Pure nightmares wash over the newly-born wraith’s eyes as he conjures forth the most awful visions he can think of from the depths of his blackened soul. As a finishing touch, Em rips off the enfant’s caul, then kicks him in the balls.
He then does the same thing to other two wraiths.
That’s for what a cunt you were in Sami’s dream.
You should really know, Em. We don’t ever forget a slight.
Don’t worry, though. I’m happy to see us get these three off to Maman’s. And if you want some juice, I’ll give you a fix anytime!
Emmett: Ok. Whatevs.
If Gasper’s going to fuck everything up, it’s clear there’s about fuck all he can do to stop him while also trying to look out for his interests. So it’s useless to care.
How we gonna get them there?
GM: Gosh, what do we call those two things sticking out of our shoulders?
Emmett: And we’re going to… carry them?
With these big. Hunky. Arms?
GM: That should be funny to watch you do.
Emmett: I mean, I could also not. I’m very lazy.
GM: I truly don’t give a shit if you lug along these losers or find some others.
Emmett: Why would I bother to find others if you’re gonna make it harder to transport them every time?
GM: Nah, I’ll only do that when you’re a cunt to me.
Emmett: So, what, we’re even now?
GM: For now.
I’d bet good money you’ll find a way to fuck that up though.
But what do I know about you, I’m only you.
Emmett: Gasper. If you’re me, tell me.
Do I care anymore?
GM: You’re almost there, Em. Almost.
You only pretend you don’t when something has really gotten to you. Really defeated you. Really reminded you that everything you do counts for shit, and that you’ll never do better. Because you won’t.
One day you’ll realize that as thoroughly as me.
Emmett: Em doesn’t say anything because he doesn’t need to.
For all his posturing and tired goading, the truth is he’s still the only part of himself that Gasper doesn’t own, yet. The only part of himself that dares to hope that the dreams he’s made of are something more than nightmares, that Emmett Miloud Delacroix makes a better dead man than he did a dying one.
He knows he may be wrong. He knows his road is strewn with atrocities that will make his past crimes pale for their innocence. He knows that soon, his Shadow may consume him. Soon, perhaps, he will not care.
But for now, some maimed, raped part of him does. The part that never learns.
Even, then. Let’s go deliver some souls.