Date: Saturday, May 10, 1997 6:41 AM
To: Vampire The Masquerade
Subject: DbN: Where are wheeeeeeee goninta
Canth was having difficulties. She was grappling with an opponent, unsure of why she had done so when slashing and keeping clear was always easiest in battle, and her fangs were looking for an opening. There was a compelling feeling inside her that she was desperately trying to fight and she found in misery, that she was losing. The battle raged at a blinding speed around her. Hesitation could kill her malkavian friends if she wasn't there to watch out for them, yet she couldn't bring herself to care. The blood mattered. It called to her.
"You ok, Canth?"
"Time to go!"
The Malkavians were calling her from a very far distance.
"We're still going to the mansion, yes?" millie prodded.
The remainder of the undominated, unmangled, foes were fleeing for the mansion. Shen had put the fear of the wild into them. Far worse than any instinctual fear of fire.
She looked up, blood matted around her jowls, eyes hazy. There was never a time in her life that she ever felt more torn than now. Her thinking was not clear, her mind, slicing around in a disoriented brain, was equally lost. "yes?"
"Going then?" glowed millie expectantly.
Canth nodded, but was only able to gain her feet with the assistance of Shen and both Malks, for moral support more than anything.
Ryk watched the fleeing wolves approach the mansion from his vantage point at its front steps. He had concealed himself behind one of the marble pillars near the entrance.
The first one streaked past him into the safety of the mansion.
A second ran slowly by as well.
Glinting steel rammed into the chest of the limping wolf in the rear. It dropped with a thump to the floor boards of the front step.
Nothing stirred within the mansion.
When the others finally reached the mansions front step, Ryk, stood cleaning his sword slowly and deliberately. Not much about him spoke of care. Old leathers worn haphazardly, t-shirt, dirty and torn in places had seen better days, his hair was a mess, finger combed, set atop his head to lie in wait vilely. He was not so much a slob, he didn't smell, as a person who seemed to care less about what ill affect his appearance had on others. An easily practiced routine had kept him this way. It took a lot of work to be the Brujah Elder in a city as large as Dallas, image was everything, those who stood in your way had two choices. Move. Or be moved. Ryk, sheethed his Katana coldly, even daring to make eye contact with Joseph Tudor to drive his point home. He had many enemies in the city and he liked it much better that way. The Malks were mauling the Tremere Elder.
"Joseph has to dance with her!"
"We think we saw her in the ball room."
"Very nice music."
"wHo? doesn't know how to dance though."
"Bet Mr. Tudor dances best."
"The clothes, the style, it all goes together."
"You think he's a waltzer or a two stepper."
Joseph Tudor was being propelled towards the front door by the wave of millie and wHo?'s incessant babble, their hands gently pushing him at this point and that, trying to grasp his arm and tug him along, causing him to shy from their infernal touch and in the process bring him closer to the front door, their objective.
"What are you two yammering about?" Joseph slapped at a hand that was no longer touching him anymore.
"We know she'll like you , Joseph."
"Cuz we gotta have a diversion."
"You know all the right moves too."
"Ice cream in it for you if you get the first dance."
"I do not ... "
"Unhand me you ... "
The door to the mansion opened, seemingly of its own accord. Darkness seeped from the depths of the ancient dwelling like tangible ichor. Two red pinpoints of light, feral eyes, were approaching the door.
Ryk, Rebecca, Canth and Shen were standing behind Joseph, the Malkavians had taken this moment to step out of view and disappear from trace. The resulting effect was basically Joseph Tudor standing in the doorway, everyone else behind him, and a rather tall man approaching the, not so tactically placed, Tremere mage Elder. If a vampire could make a 'gulp' audible, then that is exactly what the Tremere did.
"You rang." The voice seemed to emanate from deep within the mansion, even though it was obvious the man standing before Joseph was the speaker, it left an eery chill on the usually temperature insensitive vampires.
"Tell him you wanna dance."
"He's here to visit the lady of the house."
Canting his head to view the Malks hiding by a pillar, the doorman lifted a hand. "This way to the ball room."
Music, now that the towering butler had stepped aside, was again sifting through the cloying air of the mansions front hall. Tapestries, long left untended, shed their cloaks of dust as the percussion of the unseen orchestra reverberated through the ballroom and into the hall. A sickness seemed to hang about the air, oil paintings looked washed out, faded, carpets showed signs of greater days yet now lay drab, soiled. A Tapestry depicting fierce french cavalry hung tattered upon a high plaster wall, old stained oak peaked through where the wall had given way to the bare bones of the estate. Nothing within the mansion displayed any vibrance or showed any sign of life anymore. This was a home of ghosts and yesterdays. Whatever dreams lived here at one time were no more. A blotchy faded recollection, obtained from the bits and pieces of history, was all that stood to adorn the senses of any visitor bold enough to wonder.
Joseph Tudor was in his element.
The entourage followed the lanky doorman through the entry hall and an adjoining gloomy corridor, towards the ballroom. Canth seemed to be in a state of disbelief, her wariness evident. Although the majority of the group seemed to follow along with little hesitation, Ryk, had other thoughts in mind. Not one to walk blindly into the spiders web, he'd done that enough in his unlife, he was hanging back at the rear of the group. Guarding the backs of his companions. Preparing to get the hell out of this death trap that was desperately waiting to happen to be more precise. If he'd ever witnessed a bad situation then this was it. Ryk, didn't particularly like it when the enemy was aware of his presence, especially if it wasn't of his own doing.
A dance hall filled with revellers, courtiers, and entertainment to meet any mans or womans wants, awaited. Orchestra, jesters, jugglers and more. Fools all. They took across the floor like it were for the sake of their lives, dresses lifted while twirling, hands and faces tilted just so, a hall of merriment conjured from madness. For none in the room could hold a straight face, leering smiles, unfocused eyes, lolling mouths. Each of them, while participating in the festivities, still wrapped in the madness crashing through their own personal worlds. Singular maelstroms twisting through a room of like entities, ever touching, yet never truly interacting. Lost in visions far removed from their companions short sightedness. The ultimate feast of fools. Each of them wore the expression of predator made prey like ivory opera masques, yet none halted in the dance. All them continued the waltz.
Reaching the arch entering the room, the butler skirted off into the crowd to mingle, leaving the motley crew, ill dressed and gaping to their own devices.
Tilting his nose up at the uncouth Malkavians, Joseph, slipped into the ritzy crowd with the ease of a high born prince. A drink appeared from nowhere and he quickly became engaged in a small groups conversation. He blended as a black attired man at a funeral.
Rebecca amused herself in a similar way but being more intuitive than the Tremere, quickly realized the general bent towards madness that the crowd seemed to hold in common. Her mingling was that of a cautious carouser.
Wallflowers, was the best way to describe the remaining vampire and werewolf mix.
Moonlight streamed through the tall arched windows like overextended luminous gravestones laying across the revelry. Catching features and shadows at odd angles, the dim radiance dropped a ghostly light on some and a ghastly haze on others. Tapestries, disguised in ruined tatters, lurked upon the walls waiting for a stray passerby to fall prey to its mouldy embrace. Imagination set free would find a field day of nightmares creeping through the shadows of the vast room, yet none could be less imaginative here than Canth. She needed no definition of what lay within these walls. Her mind would need no reason to exagerate. Burned in her soul was the very picture of what would be found here. When all the layers were carefully stripped away and all the pompous frills dispersed with, the Master, is what they'd find. Gaia forgive her, but she would do her best to kill them all. Whether it meant her companions lives or not.
"Where is she, friend, Canth?" inquired Shen ominously. He stood quite still, his every nerve on edge in wait of assault.
Canth shook her head.
"Looks like a no show. What a shame, let's go." Ryk motioned to the same archway they had entered through.
No one took his invitation.
"More purple would do ... millie?" wHo?, played the conversationalist.
"Fuschia." millie argued.
"Ooh ... shiney?"
"Christ." swore, Ryk.
Ryk dropped a no-nonsense, don't go there, look, wHo?'s way.
wHo? tap danced away from Ryk meekly, distancing himself remarkably.
"Canth, what are we waiting here for?" hissed Ryk impatiently.
"Where?" he knew enough not to ask 'who' around any of wHo?'s friends.
Following her eyes, Ryk, saw the master approach.
At the far end of the ballroom two flights of stairs swept up from the dance floor, like curved, outstretched arms, to a balcony perched on a landing on the second floor. A set of double doors, the only other exit from the vast hall, opened upon the balcony revealing darkness and a pale figure stepping forth. She had no name in Canths vocabulary, her title was an effigy of chains and cages. Canth charged her with all her speed and was half way up to the balcony before anyone realized what was going on.
Joseph began muttering under his breath and closing the distance to the base of the stairs leading up to the balcony, he didn't flinch as, Ryk, propelled by the insistent Malks, darted past him.
"You can do it." prodded, millie.
"Use the force." countered, wHo?.
"What?" Ryk, as was usually the case when amongst his Malkavian companions, was confused.
"Rockem sockem lockem mockem."
Finally giving in, Ryk, shrugged them off. "Just don't get in the way you two fools."
The two malks cheered enthusiastically.
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