Hourglass of the Hostile


The inky black parklands set four sharp borders of definition around the myriad twinkling lights of the square-mile set city. Further lights stretched outwards from this angled heart, north, south, east and west. Like parodies of an LED-lit circulatory system of oranges, whites, reds and yellows, the city lights of Adelaide stretched outwards to the hills and surrounding plains, terminating at the western waters edge.

As they had approached the city, they had become aware of a change in the flavour of the air. It had become thicker, stickier, more tangible, a sharp contrast to the dry dusty air of the wild northern outback they had flown away from.

Their stay at Thomas Jarvis’ station had been a time of healing and learning. To the three members of The Scourge of Adelaide now sitting inside the cabin of the Jet-powered Cessna, the past 4 days seemed surreal. A brief pause in an erratic whirl-winded heartbeat of paradigm shattering events.

With the Kine pilot partitioned through a thick black curtain, the three Kindred were left alone to toil over their undead thoughts. Gazing in silence at the twinkling expanse of humanity growing closer with each passing moment, the silence brewing a mixture of anxiety, anger, frustration and anticipation for what awaited them below.

A warrior, whose recent physical trials had taken him to new heights of surviving injury and insult to his non-living animated flesh. With speed and strength vastly exceeding human limits, and with the ability to move unseen by human eyes, the past months had taken Sebastion Doyle from an orphaned childe of solitude, to a terrifyingly adept urban hunter. An explosively efficient machine of wholesale violence and destruction.

The socialist, a genius of social science and amongst her immediate peer’s an individual who had walked the darkness for many more a decade. This strange Island of the British Colonies seemed to be having some kind of strange effect on her, as if the raw expansive wildness had somehow infused her being with its untamed energies.
Her recent brief stay in the ‘outback’ wilderness, seemed to have amplified her unnatural powers, somehow removing a perceptive barrier whilst at the same time tying her deeper to the warm sanguine lives she now relied upon for sustenance and survival.
As her eyes filled with the growing brightness of the electric-lit city below, she could feel the waves of raw human emotion being unknowingly broadcast. The sensation left her reeling in the tactile joy, her hands involuntarily curling around the palpable energy. Clutched in her hands, she could feel the tendrils of human energy, their defining social phenomena of human emotion strung and ready to respond to her every desire. Dr Freda Otta experiences a sudden involuntary smile in acknowledgement of a new level of puppet and master.

A prophet, witnessing more than simple lines of roads, houses and buildings spread out in the city-scape set before her. There were words and images reaching up to speak to her, flavoured with yellows, oranges and reds. It was the red ones that tasted the best of course, their voices so sweet. She had come to enjoy red things.
She could feel the chaos within her respond to the messages spread out in the city lights below. Messages coursed through her nervous system, soliciting an occasional twitch of finger-tip, eyelid or lip. Images play across her face, people she has known of course. Men, women, gender didn’t matter anymore, it was all about the red stuff and how much was on offer. A bouncer, a werewolf, a little girl in the street. They all had things to tell her, all vitally important. She could hear them all now. That is what was different. Whereas before her ears were deaf to the special things they had to say to her, she could hear them all now…all at once (she would have it no other way). Of course, she could also speak back to them now, make them see her point of view, and this made Raisa Matvey very, very happy!

A brief shuddering of the cabin, coupled with the high-pitched scream of turbine engines, heralded the return of Adelaide’s Scourge. As the sleek Cessna Citation V coasted onto the tarmac of Adelaide Airport the statuesque inhabitants of the plushly detailed cabin slowly begin to animate. Gazes flitting from face to face, their features all sharing one thing in common…a grin of savoured territorial return.

Biting the Hand that Feeds

My world is briefly consumed by twisted metal and smoke. An unfamiliar sensation blossoms in my abdomen and left thigh, in the tiniest measurable moments between falling through the air and landing heavily on the concrete floor (where more of the as yet unidentified sensation assaults my brain), I finally remember what it is that I am experiencing. Pain.

Dragging myself to my feet, my vision remains obscured by smoke, I can make out some kind of industrial equipment, which flanks either side of me. I shift blood to my left thigh, and feel the shard of still cooling steel embedded in my flesh and bone begin to shift, as ancient muscle and sinew reform around its leading edge, shunting the foreign object from my flesh. The rapid healing wrought by my arcane blood is accompanied by a strangely satisfying ‘ding’ of something metal falling onto the floor near my left foot, my leg already feeling stronger. With a sudden ‘pop’ acuity is returned to my hearing, allowing in a sound which gives me pause for concern: A growing cacophony of human voices, rising in both volume and number. Theirs is a call not heard by my ears in many decades; it is a distinctive call of the species, a call of conflict and fear. In my multiple lifetimes of human experience, I have come to know this as the opening lines to the song of war.

I catch movement in the slowly clearing acrid mist, left behind by the destruction of the metal over-way. My ears catch the sound of many footfalls, all heading in my general direction. To my right, across the machinery, I hear sounds of conflict, of sharp things striking flesh. These noises are joined with an animalistic snarl issued from a human throat, this too is a sound I am familiar with, it is a sound made by those of my kind, the raw bestial nature unique to my Kindred.

As the echoes of that bestial snarl die in my hyper-acute ears, I am beset upon by no less than five humans. They are dressed in dark silken robes, deeply hooded, obscuring all but their chins and clenched teeth. Their dark robes bear the silvery symbol of a beast that is part lion, part goat and part snake – a Chimera, if my memory serves me correctly.

Their assault is well coordinated and furious. I raise an arm and feel bone and wood shatter on contact, a shocked gasp is offered in response following by the hush of air forcibly expelled from lungs as I drive my fist into the source of that gasp, satisfied with the crumple of flesh and bone on contact. Something sharp tears through my Dris-a-bone jacket, sending a brief tendril of pain across my back, I lash out with a foot, and am rewarded with yet another surprised expulsion of air accompanied with further noises of snapping bones and human pain. I am grappled, each arm and my neck. I throw the two on my arms into opposite sides of the machinery, snapping the neck of one, and crumping the skull of another with the ferocity of my blows. The one around my neck attempts to tighten his grip, the fool perhaps forgetting that his prey had forgone the need to draw air centuries ago. My fingers bite deeply into his flesh, crushing ribs and vertebrae as I wrench him from my back and throw his body into another group of approaching attackers.

In the brief reprieve this action gains me, my vision lifts to the higher structures of the manufacturing warehouse. I catch a glimpse of a woman, lying prostrate before a man who stands dressed in a dark silken robe, embroidered with some kind of dog or lion like symbol in silver thread. A child clutches his leg in a near perverse fashion. I also espy a female form, garbed in tight fitting black clothes, her skin the colour of dark stained oak.

My attention is forcibly pulled back to my immediate surroundings, as the assault is renewed, this time with double the numbers, my assailants bearing an unwholesome variety of very deliberate anti-Kindred weaponry: Stakes, long knives, ensnaring chains, nets and sledge-hammers. Calling again on my blood to lend me further unnatural strength and speed, I respond to their well-coordinated attacks, their movements in near slow motion as I stir into action. Theirs is a world of deflected blows, blurring target and pain, as I deliver unwholesome destruction to their flesh and bones. Of course, many blows find their mark on me, most of which are deflected by my ancient and resilient hide, however theirs is a game of volume, and through sheer number of blows, I experience the occasional gouge or snap, as incorrect positioning or a lucky strike slip past my defences.

There are at least a dozen mangled and ruined bodies surrounding me now and yet their numbers surrounding me continue to grow. I can see a press of five to six deep in those that immediately surround me, and I can smell and hear many more swarming throughout the complex.
There is a sudden sharp cry of pain from my left, and I feel a wave of fear briefly pulse through my grouped assailants. Could this be the allies previously observed outside, now joining the fray? Something changes in the faces of my assailants, a rising scream is issued from the throats of those immediately surrounding me, they surge forward and I am buried beneath a wave of snarling and screaming flesh. Fists slam into me, nails claw and blades seek purchase of my flesh. Stunned, briefly by the ferocity of the assault, I gather my limbs beneath me, inching my arms and hands free.

There is a sharp resounding crack, which issues from the north-western edge of the complex. This harsh sound, sends the tiniest pause through the mob piled on top of me, and it is in this briefest of distractions that I make my move. With strength many magnitudes greater than should be possible for my bulk and body mass, I launch myself from the floor, uncoiling my limbs in an explosive burst of unnatural power. Bodies fall away from me like water droplets from a sprinkler, showering the floor with their soft masses. Something grates between the ribs in my back, sending a lance of pain along my spine. The beast, previously stirring around in the background, now takes a step to the fore. I feel my canines elongate, and my eyes glow with the distinctive glare of darkness perception.

My gaze takes in my surroundings, and I am drawn to the silvery rollers of the conveyer system on my western flank. With brutal speed and strength I grip the 3-metre long stainless steel roller, and wrench it free from its setting, bringing the item to bear like some kind of gargantuan baseball bat.

Spinning around I witness a dark shape leap metres into the air, beyond the still massing hordes of attackers. His mass comes slamming down atop several attackers who were mid-clamber across an adjacent conveyer system, flattening them in a bone-jarring motion. Rising briefly, I see his red glowing eyes regard me briefly, his hands elongated, misshapen and claw-like, covered in glistening gore. His vision lifts, first to the scaffolding above, and then to the concrete dais where I had previously caught a glimpse of the strangely attired male and his dark-skinned female accomplice. With speed and power akin to my own, he leaps an inhuman distance towards the individuals on the elevated platform. The human throng before me, presses in again, wary now of the weapon I wield. I reward their bravery with a chest-height swing of the stainless steel pole, crumpling all those in its path as I carve an arc of pain and death. The end of my impromptu club now slickened with blood and human gore.

I catch movement above me, and in the space the swing of my club has afforded me, I witness a familiar shape spring through the air. His distinctive black leather jacket trailing behind him as he soars through the air with shocking speed, I watch as his clawed-hands snags the head of an assailant standing atop the conveyer near to my back. In act of horrific strength, the ensnared body is slung into a further group of attackers, the force of the throw bowling over a mass of humans as if there were mere skittles. Glancing behind him, our eyes meet, and I reply with a fanged smile, a smile which is reciprocated with something feral and only near-human. Thus ends the extent of our communication as yet again our attackers close, their fanatical purpose seemingly greater than any mortal fear of pain or death.

More gunfire, this time it’s origin is from above me, the same weapon, although this time it is answered with an aggressive burst of automatic weapon fire, soliciting a rain of sparks and a somewhat feminine grunt of surprise. Tirelessly, the fanatics press in on me, Further sweeps of the commandeered conveyer support-turned club, cuts swathes through their ranks, bringing me closer to my Grand Childe, who appears to be struggling with the press of humans swarming in from the south western side of the building.

As my position changes, I spy a figure leap from the upper roof scaffolding and descend towards a burly looking dark skinned male. Whilst the leap is well placed, connecting solidly with the figure, the large male seems to be minimally shaken, falling back from the darkly clad female with short hair, whom I presume is the understated Dr Freda Otto.

Back to back, Randal and I hold off our assailants, forming a ring of bowed and bleeding bodies around us. There is more noise coming from the raised concrete platform where I last saw Dr Otto disappear. The sound of a door nearly being torn off its hinges, cries of pain voiced from something more Kindred than Kine. As the seconds pass, and the press around us begins to slightly thin, Randal and myself rotating, young Randal having taken heavier insult to his being than myself, there is a ring of metal on concrete, and then a bright blinding flash, followed by a concussive rush of heat and air, fortunately too far away to be of any threat. Catching Randal’s eyes, his concern brazenly displayed, we are forced to continue our defensive assault, the humans somewhat heartened by the noise. Further moments pass, the numbers of wrecked bodies climbing to multiples of tens, the soft scuffle of feet and cries of human pain briefly overwhelmed by the sharp distinctive roar of a large calibre automatic weapon, leaving a brief eerie silence.

Tapping Randal on the shoulder, I break towards the sound, sweeping another two Robed assailants aside with my gore-slick metal pole hoping the younger Vampire is following in my wake. A sharp metal on metal noise forces a stutter in my step as I gaze upwards at the source of the noise. Situated amongst the pipework and metal walkways is a small thin and pale woman, holding a fire extinguisher. The curious nature of the implement is lost in the greater action of her having forced a rent in a pipe carrying Carbon Dioxide, the contents of which were now forming a descending and thickening cloud around me. Passing through the crowd, I hear an accented female voice call:

“Grab the Elder, and get out of here”

I quicken my pace, leaping over bodies and sweeping aside more figures foolishly attempting to bar my way and slow me down. As I sweep aside the last assailant with a bone-crunching blow from my metal pole, the body becomes entangled, with haste now as my priority I release my warm sticky grip on the bar, tendrils of slow-to-congeal blood stretching in a toffee-like fashion. There is a slamming of metal on metal, shortly accompanied by a brief squeal of tyres and I catch a glimpse of a large commercial truck exiting the now-opened large galvanised doors.

As I clear the conveyor lanes and associated equipment, I am distracted briefly by loud coughing and sounds of caught breath, glancing back I see a group of eight or so robed figures, doubled over and clutching at throats and chest, having foolishly attempted to pursue Randal and myself and passing through the CO2 cloud facilitated by the young Raisa Matvey. My concentration is again broken by the harsh bark of large calibre machine gun fire, the timbre of this weapon carrying a distinctly familiar sound. None-the-less I flinch and reactively duck, instincts even one of my age and experience find difficult to ignore and throw off. The origin of the weapon fire originates from the east of the building, the direction from which I entered. Sweeping my vision around I witness a short squat muscly form, brandishing a Steyr-Aug automatic rifle, his distinctive over-wide and filed-tooth grin strobed by the muzzle flash of the weapon. The roar of the weapon ends mere moments after commencing, and as I close on the concrete ramp leading to the now departed trucks’ last viewed position, I witness a scene of grisly precision slaughter. A line of human bodies, lie wrecked and ruined, their bodies perforated by a myriad of bullet holes, an assortment of viscous rich-iron smelling fluids spilling out onto the floor. Hungry and tired from my trials, I employ every mental trick learned in an effort to push the gnawing call of the beasts hunger. Someone blurs past me, the supernaturally adroit form leaving a brief stretched after-image of a black leather jacket and blue jeans.

As I return my gaze to the line of grisly carnage, my attention is caught by movement from a body lying amongst the torn human bodies. It pushes itself gingerly up on all fours, its body a depiction of horrific punishment. What remains of its clothing is burnt in encrusted strands on its (his?) back, pieces of skin curled and blackened from some kind of intense heat exposure and in the centre, a large puckered wound where glistened bone can be seen in the fluorescent light shining in through the opened door. His brawny arms are covered in what appears to by glassy black splinters, and there are several large grooves bored through parts of his arm, wounds distinctly caused by firearms.

There are further shots from the street outside, accompanied with a feminine cry of rage, however these things no longer concern me, as I approach the slowly moving figure rearing up from the ground. The individual turns his face to me, his twisted visage familiar to me. “Are you ok lad?”, my enquiry sounding almost lame in my ears. Now standing, I can see the hunger in his eyes. Surrounded by so much slaughter and free flowing blood, he is unable to resist the call, and I watch, detached, as he snatches and drains a still gasping Kine.

“Fuckers got away.”

A raspy uncouth voice breaks through the sounds of choking and the low moans of the dying, noises I had somehow blocked from my perceptions. I turn and regard the black militaristically clothed and grey-skinned individual standing beside me. Nodding towards the sound of escaping gas and choking humans I order “Clean-up time Jarrod”. Understanding all I desire in those four words, he departs, the spring in his step a reflection of his enjoyment of his unique and specific talents.

A gasp of hunger satiated returns my gaze to the bruised and battered Vampire, dropping the pale and no-longer breathing corpse onto the concrete floor, I clasp the Kindred on the shoulder. “Sebastion Doyle! You did well lad, I was not expecting such a force”. There is a hint of pride in his animalistic stare, his wolf-like eyes a sign of control let-slip, glare at me, and I am answered simply with a nod and a slight up-turn of the edges of blood-rimmed lips.

As my perception of time begins to return to normal, I am aware of the sounds of humans running, fleeing from the building. Two-figures appear at the top of the concrete ramp, male and female. The woman’s shoulders are slumped forward as if bearing some kind of burden. The male bears an excessive amount of rips and tears in his black leather jacket and jeans. Brandishing a phone in one hand and a still-smoking hand-gun in the other, he appears to be mid conversation, the woman steps forward, a look of defeat and anger on her bookish featured face. “Dr Otto?” I enquire.

“They have gotten away with Doug, I tried to stop them but there was someone else in the cabin” Her accented words, sounding hollow and troubled. I answer simply with a nod, unable to offer more.

“Rick is on his way, probably no more than 2-3 minutes, we are unable to obtain any kind of significant police response as some kind of stouche has erupted down south, between the Angels and the Jokers” There is anger and disbelief conveyed in the tone of voice used by the cities’ Sherriff.

“Is Rick bringing someone to drive?” I ask, the intent of the near cryptic question easily understood by Randal.

“Yep, Kris is with him”.

Nodding I turn to face the assembled members of the Scourge, my eyebrows rising slightly at the recent soundless appearance of Raisa. “We need to get out of town for a few nights”. I raise a hand to silence the protest appearing suddenly on Freda’s face. “You cannot stay here in the city, at least not for the immediate future, I am not ready for my presence to be known to the other elements of the city, and it’s necessary that the three of you are made scarce in the wake of what has transpired here.”

Knowing my explanation to be barely adequate, I am mercifully saved by the arrival of a heavy-looking black Toyota Landcruiser, followed closely by a blue Porsche 911. The plain-featured Rick Fitzgerald disembarks from the Landcruiser, throwing the keys to the concerned looking Kris, having barely exited the Porsche.

With no further explanation, the Scourge is herded into the leather wrapped interior of the armoured four-wheel drive. After a brief quiet word with Randal and Rick, I too, join the Scourge and in uncomfortable silence and bearing the burning gaze of one Dr Freda Otto we depart Adelaide.

Frayed Edges...

Cool the touch, the broach is a deep pewter in colour. Intricate lines carved into the lower organic rhomboid shape are Celtic in styling, all interlocking lines and patterns. The upper half is shaped as some kind of wingless drake, it’s body made up of five looping curves, which mesh with the lower design, which is further punctured by four splayed claws and short stumpy legs. Most hypnotic are the multifaceted red stones set in the eyes, the way the light catches from the incredibly delicate cut gems, seems to reflect light onto the teeth and open maw of the cast creature…an allure of red light, bright and arterial in colour.

It stares up at me and I see with it’s eyes…

It is raining, the deluge of water drumming a loud roar on the iron roof covering the porch. There are tree’s all around, and I can see headlights from a car, projecting their beams through the rain, creating an effect of swirling watery patterns. The windows to the cottage have been boarded up, with a small sliver of light leaking from around the boards set in the window. The light is bright and paints thin sharp lines on the roof and concrete floor of the porch.

A boy stands before me. He is in school uniform and he appears slightly pale, he is no more than 9 years of age. He has a worried look in his eyes. The boy speaks.

“Granma, I don’t really want to be here tonight, it’s a horrible wet night and I want to go home to Mum.”

A female voice responds, soothing, cajoling and with a hint of condescension “There is no need to be worried Toby, everything will be ok, it is warm inside and there is delicious food for you hungry tummy”

“But Granma, I don’t feel like doing things with you tonight, I have school tomorrow and want to feel well.”

“But Toby, I can’t help your Mummy and Daddy get the things they want if you don’t cooperate with me, and don’t you want a Robo-saur? I’m sure all of your friends at school have them”
The child begins to pull away, shuffling towards the porch he looks towards the car parked in the rain.

“Please Granma, I really, really want to go home I’m too tired tonight”

An arm reaches out, wrapped in light brown suede, a hand, delicately manicured, but bearing the wrinkles and veins of an older woman, snakes out and snatches a handful of clothing near the childs shoulder, spinning them around roughly. The female voice cuts through the white noise of the rain, sharp and authorative.

“Toby! I have not driven all this way in the rain to listen to a spoilt ungrateful child whine about feeling cold and being tired, when there are perfectly good drinks and tasty food inside.”

A fearful, wide eyed stare from saucer brown eyes. Again the feminine voice, softer with forced compassion.

“ Come inside sweety, we’ll be as quick as possible, and once it’s done, I’ll let you see the special treat I have for you in my boot…I’ll even let you play with it all the way home…”

Vision fades, my answering frown is palpable, as if the top half of my face is trying to cave in on the lower half. Freda and Seb stare at me with that look.

“Umm…This broach from Sabiti’s house…”

From the Diary of Randal Shepherd,
Wednesday 30th September 2009. 20:58

I write this as I sit and watch them unload Rosalie Sabiti’s White convertible Audi A3 onto the concrete floor of the Glen Osmond warehouse. Surrounded by late model Mercedes Benz vehicles, the car seems oddly fitting in this environment. Kris has organised a couple of motor technicians from one of Thomas’ dealerships to come out and rig up the Audi to run 24/7.

Phaelan assures me that he can tap into the cars elaborate multifunction telecommunications service and obtain the location of any incoming calls as well as allow us to listen in on any call made with any number registered on this system. I have read about this, and have considered an upgrade for my Suby, it will be nice to see it all in action.

The footage from the airport security camera’s clearly show Sabiti attending the Europcar stand and hiring a Mini. She is observed driving away in the Mini, so it is clear that she remains in the city. This is further confirmed with footage from the speed and traffic observation camera’s positioned throughout the city.

The Scourge have elected to head back to visit Carlos Sabiti, to see if he has any other phone numbers on his phone which we may be unaware of. They have elected to pose as police officers, and have armed themselves with one of my mock warrants for search and seizure of property. They are going to slap the poor fool with paedophilia allegations, which should be more than enough of a distraction to seize his phone amongst other things.

The Scourge have also decided to hand the two Chimera prisoners over to me for ‘further management’. While Seb and Raisa seemed to take this decision in their stride, Dr Otto seemed to be struggling with the concept. I’m not sure if her pensive mood was a reflection of regret in her decision, some kind of disguised callousness or restrained horror. I can imagine such a decision may way heavy upon one’s conscious, and I know from self-experience that these types of decisions, made on a repetitive basis, can wear away at one’s connection with humanity, like some kind of slow chaffing of fingers and palms gripping tightly to fading tendrils of emotion and humane connection.

Okay that’s more than enough of THAT kind of reflection. Kris is signalling me to come and talk, gotta go.

From the Diary of Randal Shepherd,
Wednesday 30th September 2009. 21.50

Phaelan has logged a network service tag from the third unlabelled number in the phone book of Sabiti’s Audi. The phone was only online for about 30 seconds before being switched off again. Phaelan tells me that the signal tagged three base stations, which triangulate to an area between Regency Road and Grand Junction Road, which matches my previous registration tags made by the cities various speed and traffic observation camera’s (Note: Have more installed).

This equates to roughly six suburbs, translating to hours of searching.

The Scourge are back, and are strangely subdued. Their search of the Sabiti residence has turned up naught. It would appear that Rosalie’s husband is unaware of any potential child pornography goings on (just as well, I’m not quite sure if Seb would have left much of him around had he found evidence to the contrary). Lucky for him, not so lucky for the Scourge, who are like agitated teens agers preparing for a hard nights partying, and are waiting for the ‘responsible behaviour’ lecture to end.

They elect to head out to the general area and begin a search of the surrounding suburbs.
I have placed an ‘observe and follow’ order for the local law enforcement in my desperation to snag any kind of lead on Sabiti’s whereabouts.

The wait continues.

From the Diary of Randal Shepherd,
Wednesday 30th September 2009. 22.18

A second network service tag, again from the mysterious third unlabelled phone number. Again the phone is only online for around 30 seconds, not quite enough to get a fix, however the previous tagged telecommunications base stations remain unchanged suggesting she hasn’t moved (at least not very far).

The Scourge have begun a search of the Suburb of Blair Athol. It is yet to yield any results.
I am undecided as to whether to move or wait and be present for any possible calls.

It seems clear to me that Sabiti is clearly expecting a message or someone to call.

From the Diary of Randal Shepherd,
Wednesday 30th September 2009. 22.51

A third network service tag, again unchanged in origin, this third episode remains consistent with a 30 minutely check in.

It would seem something is definitely going down tonight. I better call Jarrod.

From the Diary of Randal Shepherd,
Wednesday 30th September 2009. 23.03

Fourth service tag, this time only 15 minutes from the last, a sign of getting more desperate?
The Scourge are still yet to yield anything. Jarrod on standby. Rick notified.

From the Diary of Randal Shepherd,
Wednesday 30th September 2009. 23.17

Eureka! A fifth network tag, and this time a phone message, which has been transcribed by Phaelan.


I have Phaelan running a back ground check on the business, should have details in the next 10 minutes, Scourge are on their way to the location, Jarrod also enroute. Kris has finally opened the warehouse door, gotta fly.

Smells of human industry ride heavily on the winds in this section of my city. I flex my muscles and adjust my arms, to angle my feathers in an effort to catch the meagre updrafts driven up from the wide and high industrial buildings. Acrid scents of chemicals, rubber and steel are snatched from the winds buffeting my sharp ebon beak.

My sharp eyesight espies movement below, a group of three, moving rapidly across from my final destination. A large burly male, all but obscured from my augmented vision, this fact alone telling me a tale of significant growth in power and prowess in my short absence. He is accompanied by a similarly obscured feminine form, graceful and sinuous in her movements, her rapid, yet careful strides soliciting barely a whisper from the broken gravel and stiff grass she passes through. The third, another female, breaking away from the group, climb rapidly up the side of an adjacent building, her speed and strength belying her petite stature.

As I feel my patience beginning to wane, the anticipation of what I face this evening bringing an uncharacteristic tiredness to my being, I glean the roar of motorbike engine, carried to me on southern winds. Within moments a small dark figure, with strangely grey pallor skin, riding atop some kind of powerful Japanese touring bike, circumnavigates the warehouse serving as my selected destination for the evening. With several large pumps of my wing muscles, I lift higher and trace a lazy parallel to his course, observing his sharp and unnecessarily brazen parking manoeuvre in a car park close to the Polycarbonate manufacturing premises.

As I bank for another look at the three positioned adjacent the main vehicle entrance, a second, highly familiar engine sound is carried to me on the winds. The distinctive burble of opposed piston engine, coupled with the high pitched whine of turbine herald the arrival of the cities Sheriff.

Far from helpless, it would seem their resourcefulness has led them to the same destination as my own. The thought of their presence weighs heavily on my ancient mind as I observe the newcomers link up with the patiently hiding three. Their actions suggest knowledge a degree of knowledge of the events about to unfold, I pray they are adequately prepared for what awaits.

Mercifully, I am left only a small amount of time to worry over these musings, as the anticipated actors in this Danse Macabre take centre stage.

The fleeing yellow bird, screeches into the street below, It’s eyes bright and wide with fear. Closely followed by the Silver Fox, eyes wide and filled with the thrill of the hunt, the taste of anticipation riding it’s hungry maw, it’s eyes a deep sanguine.

The yellow bird banks sharply into the warehouse, barely missing the gates and disappearing from view, the Silver Fox follows mere moments behind, its heedless lust cutting a swath through the premises gates, the sharp thud of metal on metal sending a wave of desperate panic through its prey.

I bank sharply now, the time for action now upon me. Slicing through the winds I pin my wings to my side and arrow lower and lower, slipping beneath the warehouse veranda. With claws outstretched, I touch the ground with the lightest of touches, using the briefest of inertia to augment my course, to sail above the Silver Fox to better take in my surroundings.

The Silver Fox is toying with its prey. More than capable of outrunning her, he allows her to cross through a grated steel bridge, spanning what appears to be a sunken conveyor and serving some kind manufacturing plant. With frenzied haste, the old duck crosses the threshold pausing as her mortal vision finally catches sight of three shadow characters situated across the other side of the manufacturing floor. Situated next to two widely spaced consoles, on a platform at equal level stands a man of my height and stature, he bears dark silken robes, hooded. The robes are emblazoned with a silver threaded Chimera situated on the left breast. In one hand he totes some kind of firearm, the other is concealed behind the head of a child who clings to his leg. My sharp bird eyes observe something unseemly in the manner in which the child grips the man’s legs, and there is an inhuman glint in the child’s eye, a missing spark of innocence perhaps? The other two figures are obscured by shadow, my eyes only able to pick out that one is female, and the other a large dark-skinned male. Both appear to be holding a similar stance, arms and hands held in front of their bodies and heads tilted down.

The duck hesitates, briefly unsure at these darks figures and their seeming lack of recognition of her existence. The robed individual appears intent on Silver Fox, who now aware of the newcomers, hesitates near the centre of the suspended walk-way.

It is at precisely this moment, this pause in action, that I strike, descending to several metres from where Silver Fox stands. Calling up my blood, I forcibly veer into my human form, knowing the briefest moment of animal ecstasy as I coalesce to my anorak, hat-bearing form. Silver Fox is now aware of my presence, and he turns to face me, eyes wide and tinged with blood.

“Thomas? What are you doing here?”

“I followed you Doug, to prevent you from getting yourself in deeper trouble than you are already in.”

“What do you mean trouble? I’m not at any risk here – It’s Granma and her team of filthy kiddy fiddlers that are about to cop it” His voice accusatory, echoing through the seemingly empty manufacturing plant. “This isn’t your fight mate.”

“Actually Doug it’s you who has come to the wrong fight. This IS my fight, not yours. Besides, I didn’t think instant gratification was your kind of thing?”

“What do you mean? I’m doing what I’ve always done…” he turns to take a second glance at his prey and those she now stands near.

“Look at who’s she with Doug…” Snatching a glance at me, he returns his gaze to the adjacent platform “…have a good look, this is not what you think it is…”

“Wierdo’s, Child Molesters’…soon to be dead…”

A third voice enters the foray, this one a deep timbre, it is a voice intimating leadership, tainted with arrogance and self-righteousness. Stepping away from the child and breaking their embrace, the smooth featured and somewhat chiselled chinned character speaks.

“You’ll have to forgive me gentlemen, but all this banter is inciting boredom. I must admit I would tend to side with Mr Clarke here, I have found that actions speak louder than words.”

With inhuman speed his hand swings from behind his back, as my mind registers the possible purpose of the strange aerialled box held in his hand, his finger depress on the single red button situated on the sleek black body. There is a beep issued several steps from where Douglas Clarke, the Silver Fox stands, and my vision is foiled with a sharp bright light. The metal beneath my feet ceases to be and I feel my body falling. I am washed with a wave of heat and something sharp and hot hisses into my flesh, an involuntary gasp escapes my lips, decades of painless existence bought to a sudden end as the nearly forgotten sensation returns in all of its bright nerve burning glory. A similar cry issues from a blurred obscured figure barely two arm-spans away. Something hard and metal slaps against my left thigh, spinning downwards. There is a rush of hot thick air and the floor rushes up to meet me.

Where there is smoke...

From the diary of Randal Shepherd,
8pm Tuesday 29th September 2009

Intuition. Something I have relied upon all of my living and non-living life. I guess my peers may even say I am ‘gifted’ that way. Gifted or not, I have this feeling in my stomach like a ball of concrete encrusted with barbed wire, heavy, sharp and unpleasant.

With the recent deluge of information unleashed upon The Scourge and myself concerning Chimera, a cult of trained vampire killers, cell like in structure and incredibly well hidden, I feel besieged with a growing list of ‘Prospective Hostiles’. Not only are the numbers or the extent of the threat posed by Chimera unknown, there is a growing body of evidence pointing towards this group being headed up by Kindred. The name ‘Ben’ has again surfaced, a name previously touted by the now infamous Quinton Sail. Certainly the gathering of Adelaide kindred intel would match up with the presumed ill-intent of this character and more than likely our friend ‘Ben’ has recently acquired some allies.

I feel like some kind of marionette, dangling from strings, handled by multiple puppeteers, unable to trace a cohesive line back to any one source of control. Continuing with this metaphor, my subsequent actions are spasmodic, erratic and fitful. I am constantly on my heels at the moment, and seem unable to make a breaking headway into what is seething beneath this cities skin, my fangs dull and no longer able to pierce or tap into the lifeblood of the streets, people and networks of Adelaide and drink from their rich and soothing offerings.

Our Elders seem to provide minimal comfort or advice as to how to tackle what is happening…too preoccupied with their decade’s old schemes and plots and the machinations of their social circles, and as always we are plagued by an ongoing lack of hard physical evidence at what is unfolding before our eyes. Old jaded eyes, unable to see through the myriad of shadows and the movements they conceal and too distracted to take meaning from things observed. Let’s hope they can still stir from their crypts once they see the flames through all this smoke.

The Scourge feel it too. I can see it in their eyes, hear it in their voices. Desperate to strike out at an enemy which constantly provides them with little more than fleeting glimpses and enshrouded actions.

Concrete and barbed wire, cutting, weighty, seeking a way to tear its way out, to drop through me, dragging my screaming nerves away with it. I know it will happen soon, I can feel it deep inside me, I can only hope that when it finally rips free, that the resulting trauma is kept to a manageable level.

I am meeting Phaelan at the airport, Sabiti’s car was found by police earlier today, he has a feeling that some information can be gleaned from the cars electronics. The vehicle is being watched, and I have the airport footage primed and ready for a viewing.

Freda has spoken with me about Douglas Clarke. There is a tie here between ‘Little Boy Blue’, Clarke, Chimera and Sabiti. Something serious is up, and I can’t yet put my finger on it, but for all intents and purposes it feels we are walking into some kind of ambush. I’m sure she is still in the state, I just pray we find her before Doug and/or whatever might be stalking Doug explodes in an ugly mess.

Ok incoming call from Grief, time to check this car out…

Unwelcome Thoughts

Unwelcome Thoughts

Oh goody, Seb has found me a stake. Just look at it, there is something perverse about it, with all its phallic wood grain length and sharp pointy end. It feels horrid in my hand, like holding a spider there is just something fundamentally WRONG with this thing. What’s that on the end? Is the wood darker at the tip…

The smell of brine, iodine and some kind of lime eroded rock…yeah definitely earthy in there. I’m standing high, because I can see the familiar scoop of the Eyre Peninsula tail away to the south-west and I’m eye level with the cliffs that surround the shoreline. It’s dark (Horrid mortal eyes it’s like looking through cotton wool now!) but there is a small degree of light in the sky issuing from a source behind my back. Dusk? Dawn? One of those (Uh oh).

There are silhouetted figures before me, dragging something reasonably heavy. Their movements suggest a dead-weight, a distinctive movement that seems unique to a human pulling around something dead and organic. In the poor light I notice that the source of their labour is in fact a body, a body with a clearly visible stake through its chest. As the sky lightens slightly, more detail is revealed. Gore on the t-shirt surrounding the point at which the wood penetrates her skin. The stake is sitting at a funny angle, a result of it having been plunged off centre, I am guessing to avoid the sternum and yet still puncture the heart. The stake has been inserted on the left side of the chest.

Unable to draw my eyes away, from her body, it’s skin deathly pale, a near translucent white in this enchanted light. Her face would be quite beautiful, were it not frozen in a wide stare of pain and fear. Not daring to meet that paralysed gaze, my eyes are drawn to her midriff top, her stomach bearing blood stains and bruises, her jeans torn and further blood spattered. There is no movement in this corpse, no tell-tail rise and fall of the chest, for all appearances she is dead.

The labouring figures leave her body propped-up against a rock formation, the scene punctuated with a crashing crescendo of waves from then sea many meters below.

A new figure enters my field of vision, as he stands closer his features are revealed as he bears no beanie nor hood like her carriers did. He squats down, bringing his face level with hers and his voice breaks the eerie silence like a sledgehammer, gruff and authoritive.
“You see that?” He points behind me, towards the rapidly growing light source.

“Yeah, I know you seem dead, but I know you can hear and see even with that wood in your chest”
“This is what awaits all you fuckers, light , simple, pure…light”

He stands and turns to face the light, I see his face and the glint in his eyes as he smiles wryly at me.

(That face…the club…that’s Nadine’s father…Noah)

As he finishes this last sentence the sky suddenly brightens, and I am witness to a creeping tendril of pure burning sunlight, it’s passage a hungry grasping claw upon the earth as it slips beneath my feet and creeps its way towards the hapless still form of the woman with the stake in her chest. With hushed anticipation we all watch it claw its way across the soles of her Dunlop Volleys, the pattern slowly bathed in light. Tendrils of light claw along her jeans, I watch as tendrils of smoke issues from the various holes borne by her jeans. The light continues its incessant advance, reaching her hips and slipping it’s way up her midriff, to finally kiss the exposed skin. Like some kind of giant ant placed under a magnifying glass her skin quickly blackens, smoke begins to curl from its surface as the skin visibly begins to draw taught. Cracks form in what was porcelain smooth flesh, blackened and cracked, there is a hissing sound issuing from the body now, like some kind of angry snake. Smoke is pouring from the clothing now, my view of her body mercifully obscured, as I witness lumps of black fall from her abdomen and fall to the ground with an ashen ‘plop’. There is a smell of meat, burnt and charred, oily and unpleasant. The body begins to shake and shudder as the beams of light finally reach the face…

“AGH! Get it away from me, It’s horrible, evil, bad, bad, bad.”

Freda and Seb simultaneously draw their gaze from the dropped stake to Raisa, who is rapidly recoiling from the wooden object.

The moment is interrupted with The Angels – “The Dogs are Talking”, Seb’s newly selected ringtone.

“Seb, Randal here, there has been a Kine police force dispatched to your current location. I didn’t have anyone in the area so they aren’t necessarily loyal to the Society, I would get out of there, you have about 8 minutes”.

“Time to go” Seb’s flat objective statement stirs Freda into action. With a gentleness belied by his stature, Seb hooks a large hand beneath Raisa’s shoulder and gently pulls her out of the room.

Wrapped in German leather and Vorsprung Technik the Audi A6 powers through the Northern Suburbs of Adelaide, its occupants silent in their contemplations.

“Hello Dr Freda Otto?”

“This is May Grigg, Marcus’ Sire, I was wondering if you and the other members of Scourge were available for a chat sometime this evening? I understand you must all be very busy with the events of the past 24 hours, however I feel I must express my gratitude to you all in person. I also have something to offer the three of you, something which might help your current investigation. ”

Approaching the now familiar entrance to Feminino Machismo the Scourge witness a hive of cleaning activity. Industrial heaters directed at walls and floorings, Kine mopping, wiping and polishing. A buff and gruff doorman, biceps bulging with his mopping of the dimpled Pirelli tiled flooring, takes a defensive stance as the trio fill the doorway with their imposing presence. Realising the visitors to be friends, he relaxes and encourages them to enter.

With the ambience of the club significantly robbed by the flurry of cleaning and distinct lack of near-naked bodies wrapped in leather, plastic and metal, the group quickly pass through the kine accessible areas of Feminino Machismo to knock on the door to Marcus’ sanctum.
They are greeted by Marcus, dressed in what appears to be a vested robe and sarong, both garments incredibly detailed with gold brocade. Less ostentatious yet equally eye catching is May Grigg in a stunning ankle-length dress, an elegant mixture of red and black, sporting highlights of lace.

The group are gestured to be seated in the large leather divan adjacent a large recreation of William Bouguereau’s flagellation of Christ. The painting dominates the wall, and whilst holding true to the original painting in concept, the images and colours have been subtly changed, the face of Christ now bearing a closer semblance to Marcus and with the onlookers all bearing a ghoulish and dark disposition. The shadows are darker and the blood more copious and vivid.
As all within the room settle into their respective seats, a conversation blossoms on the back of warm welcomes, praise and thanks directed at the members of the Scourge.

They sit before me these three, temporal Neonates, however there is something in the way they carry themselves…a subtle confidence . On first inspection they seem and ill-fitting to the eye, the uncouth Gangrel Childe, raw and broken in appearance, bearing his pain and mortal suffering with what can only be coined as pride. The Childe of Malkav, Raisa a curious retracted creature, near childlike in her demeanour, and yet her eyes convey knowledge far beyond her outward appearing age. She supplies me with a reluctant gaze, almost embarrassed in some ways, but I find meeting her eyes for any length of time difficult. It is as if she can pierce right through my soul to see deep within my being. Wary shall I be with that one. Finally the Doctor, rumour is that this is some kind of philosophical doctorate. Of these three she is the one I am most inclined to gravitate towards a degree of understanding. Whether it be her general worldly-ness, her somewhat exotic accent or perhaps her purposeful sense of dress (albeit quaint and rather machismo), there is something that resonates at the same frequency with my sense of self. Denial, fuelled by intellect, rebellion spawned by deep flowing and restrained passion. The Dog, The Cracked and The Scholar, three members of our society who have repeatedly put their unlives on the line for the greater good of our Society. Its time to begin to pay them back for their service to me and my Childe, lets see what they think about this offer…

May offers The Scourge her considerable talents in Telepathy. The offer is initially met with a degree of trepidation and restraint, with non-verbal communication racing back and forth between Raisa, Seb and Freda. Freda, acting as spokesperson , enquires as to why May is making such an offer and asks as to what she intends to do with the information, her conversation alluding to possible Ventrue involvement in the form of a bullying move to encourage Marcus to take on protection and/or business partnership.

Practising political correctness, May dismisses this hypothetical, and states simply that the grounds of her offer are based on a willingness to assist The Scourge in any way possible with their current investigations. She also describes a degree of curiosity at wanting to see members of the group of her Childe’s attackers.

Wishing to discuss the offer, The Scourge politely thank May for her offer and claim the need to discuss matters further before making their final decision. May is non-insistent with her offer and warmly thanks The Scourge for their time and allows Marcus to escort the group to the stairs leading out.

On returning to the A6, the group initiate a call with Sheriff Randal Shepherd.

With a brief exchange of information about events of the past few hours, Randal agree’s to meet the group at the Gangrel safe house in Panorama.

Brandishing the various spoils of their raid of the Blayne household, the Scourge and the Sheriff enter a discussion about their findings.

Randal sits with a deepening frown of concern as The Scourge detail their findings, highlighting the paramilitary nature of the training room, the deliberate anti-vampire nature of the literature and the subsequent physical evidence of this knowledge being placed into practice. A picture of a well organised vampire killing family is swiftly depicted. Randal is stunned at the level of equipment and preparedness, stunned that this had not been picked up prior to now.

The answering machine message is also discussed. Perplexing in nature, Raisa details the name Rosalie Sabiti to Randal, who departs from the room briefly to retrieve a MacBook Air from downstairs. Powering up the computer on his return, Randal spends several minutes in silence, opening older and older databases as he plumbs through the various systems. His initial search takes him down the lines of the Blayne family tree, tracing back two prior generations worth of addresses and details, including a strange entry concerning the sudden death of a Mrs Katina Blayne, grandmother of Noah Blayne. On closer inspection, Randal discovers the details of the death (having occurred over 40 years ago in 1967) to have been deleted or simply listed as ‘unavailable’ a technique utilised by secret services or the Society to hide details surrounding Kindred related suspicious deaths.

The second interesting fact derived from his database digging, is the revelation that Rosalie Sabiti is listed as a current employee of ‘Little Boy Blue’, the child depression charity/corporation of which the chairmen of the board (Basil Fridolf) was recently found dead and dumped in the river Torrens nearly four nights ago.

A wide-eyed conspiratorial stare is shared between Freda and Randal, whose thoughts automatically turn to Douglas Clarke, implied as the potential murderer of Basil Fridolf.
With all this new information being furiously churned around by The Scourge and the Sheriff, a decision is rapidly reached to employ the services of May Grigg, in an effort to add more context to these recent discoveries. Whilst Freda raises brief concerns regarding May’s as possible source of loose information, Randal quickly placates these concerns with a brief overview of May’s history and her relationship with Jean Renard and Mays traditional negative stance towards Anthea Talbot as Jean Renards’ former Kindred lover.

With a quick call to May to ascertain her immediate availability, the group arrange to meet at the safe house in Unley.

Arriving at the renovated 1800’s stone cottage in Unley in Dr Otto’s Audi A6, Randal, Freda, Seb and Raisa disembark. Randal and Seb manage the gates, allowing the black BMW 7 series carrying May Grigg access to the property.

May greets all and begs a moment of discussion prior to ‘meeting’ the Chimera captives.

Standing in the bricked in and renovated lean-too of the cottage, and standing over the concrete lidded doorway to the cellar containing the captives below, a hushed conversation is conducted. May stipulates the limitations of her powers, stating that with warning and effective training she may be blocked from probing thoughts too deeply. Her recommendations are to nominate the one you are most keen to obtain the majority of information from, and whom would have the lowest mental stamina. She also asks The Scourge and The Sheriff to nominate a list of information or questions in order of priority for her to work with, so her probing can be directed and focused.
After a short discussion a list of questions are devised and the group nominate Nadine Blayne for May’s first efforts. Seeking their final assurance this is who they wish for May to start with, in light of the limitations, The Scourge are firm in their choice and this the group open the hydraulic assisted cellar door and descend into the make-shift prison.

The bright fluorescent lit concrete starkness contrasts with the soft, relatively soothing stone and wood of the cottage proper. As I descend into the harsh luminescence, my senses are assaulted with fetid human smells. Sickly sweat, sharp ammonia, cloying pungent bacteria and fear, these animal scents provide a reminder of the ongoing fundamental differences between myself and those I now call kin.

Pathetic. They are chained to the crude, rough concrete walls, separated by several meters of space, the floor stained with their human secretions, an oily oozing of their life, a sad desperation to infiltrate this stark dwelling built for unhuman purpose with their organic being. The male sits furthest from the stair well, his breathing indicative of injury and pain, his chained detention somewhat more merciful that the rod-linked cuffed hands and feet of the female. They shift as we enter, no doubt responding to their instinctual fear of what we are, and no doubt cognizant of the fresh air, perfumes and colognes we surround ourselves with as we dance the Masquerade.

Without a word spoken, I gesture for the attending Ghoul to remove the females blindfold so that she may take in my glorious visage, a trick of animal empathy to lure her defences to brief reprise before I plumb her mind for much needed knowledge.

Hazel eyes greet me, in a face that is near shocking in its youth. Her gaze his defiance and vehement spite, a rare conviction in someone so young. Her demeanour already tells me much about wait awaits me within…have they made the right choice?

I fill the room with my being, forcing my glorious presence to resonate with the soul of the living and the emotions of the undead. I give them a taste of my beauty, a glimpse at the nightly glory that is my eternal burden. Of course she resists, initially, but her youthful soul is curious, there is much she wishes yet to see, and of course she is a woman, her female curiosity drinks deeply from my well of feminine glamour, succour to her need for idolatry of womanhood.

It is now I employ my voice, soft, soothing dripping empathy and understanding.

“I am here to ease your suffering an pain, I am here to offer you a chance at freedom, to turn the decision of those behind me to have you killed.”

For a brief second, she lets go of her formidable defences, and chooses to believe in my words, seduced by my radiant power and connection with her animal sense of self. In this second I strike, driving a spike of sharp coiled mental energy deep into her psyche. Releasing my pent up rage and frustration at the audacity of the previous actions, I force my sight into her mind and begin to claw at the abundance of memories her short life has to offer…

…A knock at the door, Damn I’m going to be late for TAFE again! Door, Screen door, delivery guy. Image of parcel addressed to ‘the residents, 3 Maynard Crescent, Parafield Gardens’. Dad’s pumped, a leadership drop! Photos of some prissy thin pale anaemic looking faggy guy, thin moustache, standing in some kind of alleyway talking to a couple of nicely buff cute men…bouncers? Elation. Fear. Defeat. Capture…

…A childhood memory. A crowded room, smells of incense, cigarette smoke and that funny herby stuff Mum, Dad and their friends smoke in that funny pipe sometimes. Holding my Mum’s hand, loving my new robes which match mum and dad’s, with the Kai-meer-ra monster on my chest. A tall man appears on the stage before us, everyone goes quiet, Daddy whispers to Mummy, ‘Ben’. Thoughts of a sandpit, red hair and freckles, smashes my sand castle sigh boys…

…”…more evil than you can imagine Nadine, and they control many things in our society, police, government, councils. Our best weapon against them is to stay off their radar, to hide and remain hidden, and to strike hard, fast and then fade away without a trace. Should that ever go wrong, we get found out or captured, we make for Nanna’s and Grand-da’s house shortly after which we will hide with our Other Aunt’s and Uncles throughout the city, we practice our hiding, it is our best defence…The Chimera has no room for those weak enough to get caught…”

…The sun! It’s rays harsh and bright, a face…achingly familiar…beautiful with its perfect pale complexion full pale red lips…flesh now darkening, splitting, lips peeling back to reveal teeth, bone, flesh inside the mouth darkening, lumps of skin dropping in greasy ashy lumps, eyes blacken, shrivel, hair smokes and briefly alights, hot, heat, penetrating sun…


My withdrawal is prompt, faced with a wall of images of my depicted death. I whisper her fate, as I hastily gather my composure, covering my shock by placing my face close to her ear, out of her field of view…of course she recoils from my words…reality is often hard to swallow for Kine in their youth…

We debate my findings, the information taken from her mind stimulating a downpour of revelation and supposition from The Scourge, The Sheriff and myself. With the taste of fresh information on their lips, I am implored to return to the fetid chamber of failed human defiance against our kind and try my luck with the male. Steeling myself, we return…

His face is a mask of pain, wrapped in a sheen of sweat, what-would-be handsome features are diminished by his poor physical state. I feel a seed of detached pleasure in his pain take root within me. His suffering soothes my slightly ruffled nerves, helping me rally my mental energies, readying myself to assault his thoughts and memories. Again, I signal for the Ghoul to remove his blind-fold allowing him to take in my Kindred beauty, and allow him to better feel the emotional warmth I am issuing forth into the room. As my power fills the room, I can feel the emotional strings draw taught amongst those in the room, five sets of eyes drawn to stare at my back, and one pair of brown eyes locked with my own, eyes filled with pain, fear and defiant acceptance…

“Come, let me ease your pain…let me take you away from here…” My voice briefly fills the room, soliciting a flinch from the restrained female a few metres to my left. His shoulders slump slightly as my melodic voice issues forth what he desires to hear and my opportunity arises…I strike…

Red raw waves of pain, broken ribs, hairline fractures in several vertebrae, a lobular lung collapse, patches of internal haemorrhaging and severe diffuse bruising across the trunk and lower back. I push past the pain, grasping hold of the tendril thread of euphoric opiates sliding through his blood and mind…

…Hips, thighs, breasts, bums, necks…(Ugh Typical mortal Man! The stereotype ever lives on, base, carnal, boring and pathetic…ah!) …No sorry Lindy can’t make it around tonight (damn gonna miss that great fucking rack) got something on, yeah Wednesday’s are generally no good for me…

…Robes, Stake, Colt, Crossbow…SMS alert, under an hour to get there! Lucky I stayed home tonight…Cars…Warehouse…Lots more Robes, Stakes, Drugs (Fuck Lawrie’s sister has come of age since last year, her bod is slamming even with that robe on! Are cousins illegal???)…Shit gotta be at least 200 people here tonight, looks like the baby boomers were correctly titled!…

…A chest of drawers opened, Draw is completely removed, base is tilted upwards and light from the room’s energy saver globe sends a shaft of light into the space…the space is filled with Australian and American notes, there are other documents in the false bottom, as well as a scrunched up dark satin like ball of material with something ridged wrapped up in it, the thin cylindrical shaping parts of the fabric where it nears the surface…A mail looking cardboard satchel containing a mixture of notes is upended and tipped into the space, at least 4-5 large wads of money fall into the space…Another month in paradise…

…SMS Alert, Wednesday 5th Aug 2009…shit that’s the third one this year…day-um, I’m gunna have to call it here, and I was having such an awesome run with my luck tonight, and I think I was in with a chance with this total babe of a Dealer…Swig of something smooth and malty, an alcoholic fire blossoms in my throat and stomach…glass down, Sitting on two Tens, I call for a third looking to sink or swim…slut-red nailed hands slap down an Ace next to my tens…Best charming smile and wink, collect chips and regretfully walk…three in a fucking year, there must be something big coming…let’s hope Nadine is out for some sport with us all tonight, I could handle watching that bod in action any which way (Unsavoury thoughts)…

Filled to the brim with innuendo and banal singular focus of the flesh and unwilling to saturate my own thoughts with these base animalistic desires long left behind, I untangle his psyche from his, allowing the waves of pain to splash back in amongst his thoughts, my escape quick, the harsh smells and stark bright concrete replacing a life of thought drowned in sex, steroids, drugs and violence…

The final series of revelations fall upon their shoulders like a judge’s gavel punctuating the passing of sentence. My words rain upon them like blows, with different levels of dawning realisation painted on their various masks. There is a deadly, deadly threat to our society, breeding, growing and thriving beneath our noses. It has been there for many decades…a terrorist movement far deadlier in ramifications to our kind than any militaristic mortal based sect…a deadly hand grenade, it’s pin removed and quite possibly about to be released…


Hands trembling as the doorbell rings. It’s Here! It’s Here! It’s Here! Toes squishing through sumptuous plush carpet, security bolt removed and door opened. Delivery man warily peering through my screen door haze.

“ Maynard Crescent, Parafield Gardens?” (Bingo!)

Yes, yes…thank you. Digital transaction requirements met, it’s ALL MINE! Mmmm just smell the packaging materials, I swear I can smell Italy in there. Gucci Couture Oh yes! The girls are going to be SO fucking jealous. Ok packaging materials AWAY! (Shit almost knocked over the bong, Mum will kill me if I get that shit on the carpet). Oh here it is, glorious, GLORIOUS! Yes I may not be the first in my clique to have an iPhone 3, but goddamn I am the first to have my own Maddison Parletti custom designed metal embossed backed iPhone 3…

Raisa? (damn, she almost looks like a kid when she runs this ‘item voodoo’ crap).
Raisa? What was that you whispered? Did you say Parafield Gardens? Maynard Crescent?
(another job for the SAPOL database via iPhone)

Ok, the place you mention is registered to a Mr Noah Blayne and his wife Veronica Blayne, daughter Nadine and Lawrence… Sounds like you guys have an address to check out.

That stupid dog is sniffing the air again. Oh I guess it will next berate my ear drums with that terribly growling bark. Oh yes, here it comes, growl, growl you big guard dog you, so big and strong. Strange I haven’t heard footsteps or voices yet. Wow, look at those raised hackles, oh he’s moving closer to the fence, my oh my why the moonlight looks lovely on his coat.

What was that? Was that hissing? A fellow reptile? Oh if only I could turn my accursed neck! Gosh, look at his tail tuck under, barely a whisper, perhaps it IS a fellow reptile, although how it got through or over the fence I’ll never know.

There he goes, getting his courage back…never seen those boots before. That doesn’t look like anyone I know. Hey! What are you doing with Spook? He doesn’t like being handled, you put him down this instance!

My word that was fast, why if I wasn’t the prime specimen of reptilian life I am, I think I would have missed the whole thing. Now where did he put Spook? He’s not in his hands anymore. Was that Spook on the other side of the fence? Could he have jumped over the fence? Surely not? He sounds somewhat injured, I hope he is ok.

Excuse me sir would you kindly tell me what you are doing in my backyard, and what did you do with my Spook?

I don’t think he can hear me, it must be those dark things covering his eyes (and what is with that strange reddish glow?). He doesn’t look like anyone I have seen before, all dirty and greasy, although he is certainly built like Master Lawrence.

Oh! There are more of them, a woman, dressed in black and also wearing things across her eyes, she won’t be able to hear me either then (does it matter if they are clear?). Another one? Another female, this one doesn’t have any things across her eyes…where did she go? She just disappeared? Right before my reptilian eyes!

What are they doing to the door? Do they not have keys? I could tell them where the spare is if they just asked me. Never mind, they have found their way inside, I suppose they’ll find out for themselves that the house is empty. I’m pretty sure they took all the good stuff, the weapons racks will be empty and there’ll be no food, and I’m pretty sure all the money is gone, as is some of those strange smelling robes. They may, however find something interesting to read, I don’t recall them taking any of those books they covet.

Being pinned to the wall is no place for a respectable Duck! We are creatures of the sky and water, not plasterboard, oh the indignity. Ah now here comes someone who might help, she looks somewhat respectable, although her dress is slightly odd and a tad dishevelled. She could do something more with her hair as well, but it does convey some kind of look I guess. Perhaps she was going for a nesting kind of thing?

No, no, no breaking that open won’t help, you have to press the square things with the strange glyphs on them, numbers I think the humans call them. 71 56 84 31. Maybe I should speak to her and tell her, she looks awfully worried about things.

Excuse me miss…

Oh, she’s running off, was it something I said?

Oh there she is! No, don’t…not my head.

Ow! Hmph mumph phumph.

Oh don’t look so surprised, you were standing on my bloody head! What you have never heard a stone lizard speak before? In all honesty if you had asked me before going in there I could have saved you a world of trouble.

The Ducks? Oh they are harmless, probably trying to help you with the code for the thingy, you know the thingy don’t you? The code? Sure I know the code, it’s 71 56 84 31.

How rude, not even a thank-you! I mean really, stand on my head, give you the code to the thingy and not even a thank-you, audacious chaos this is, chaos!

The texture is silk, hand woven and it’s dyed a deep purple, virtually black in the dim moonlit bedroom light. They smell like a catholic church, all frankincense and camphor. But there is something else there as well, a human smell, an animal smell. Fornication?

Vision swims, the world moves sideways and my senses are drawn deeper into the fabric (ALL of my senses!).

Music, it’s throbbing and raw and…old. 70’s I think, Rolling Stones, Deep Purple that kind of shit.

There are people all around me, a man’s warm hand rests across my back and atop my hip, his body holding me close. The place smells of steel, incense, marijuana and people. There is a stage before me, a figure wearing the same robes as me, his hood pulled deeply over his head obscuring the top half of his face, leaving his gorgeous well chiselled mouth and an alluring smile. There is just something about him that just makes you want to kneel down in front of him and… totally entrancing in that baaaad way.

He speaks to us of something which preys upon us all, something which we have all been affected by at some point in our lives, and something which will take the commitment of generations to eradicate from this city. Of course we cheer, his voice like liquid honey and sexy man scent, stirring warmth within me. I can see everyone is affected the same, man or woman, he draws us in and makes us his.

He calls us the birth of the ‘Chimera’ and reveals to us this fucked up looking lion come goat come snake thing, a massive statue cast in some kind of metal, and beneath its belly, below stylised animal like nipples, are piled the craziest mounds of coke, mary-jay and moonshine that I have ever seen. We are talking like twenty gran worth of shit, bloody-hell we are talking a house here. I blink as my eyes catch a figure standing to the side of the statue, hair flying out like some kind of Rasta, all ropey and long (did I just imagine that?).

Oozing testosterone forged tenor, he instructs us to indulge and taste the ‘succour’ of the Chimera (yep I’m pretty damn sure he used the word ‘succour’ you know like suck-oar, almost sounded British he did, old like a Bible word).

The music flares up again and with an uplifting sweep of robed arms from the man on the stage, the gesture seeming to release a wave of unbridled passion throughout all assembled, I am lifted up, strong firm hands now clasping the naked flesh under my robe…I give myself to the Chimera…

Raisa? Raisa? (are her pupils dilated? Is that normal for Kindred?)

Seb’s checking out some dressed-up car in the shed, there are dummies down stairs with holes in the chest and slashes to the neck area, and the books…Daughters of Liltu and Vampires, Burial and Death…

The relative quiet is sliced with the abrupt electronic ringing of phone. The phone rings seven times, at which point a message machine requests a message in a robotic tone. A woman’s voice is projected throughout the house, a detectable air of panic in her voice.

“Hello….Hello…My name is Rosalie Sabiti I have been given your name by…someone who said you could help me, you see I am being chased by something, and I…I fear my life is in great danger…I have another number I will try…”

The call ceases abruptly and an electronic voice dictates the time and the date. Silence returns to the house…

Methods of Inquiry

12am – 3.25am Monday 28th September 2009

Having come through their ordeal bearing little more than ripped clothing, a small gash along Seb’s third rib and a strangely deformed bullet casing left clinging to the flesh above Seb’s sternum, the Scourge had managed to thwart a focused anti-vampire attack on Adelaide’s latest neonate addition to Kindred society.

Whilst Marcus Fratelli was facing some reasonable repair costs for potential water, fire and human inflicted damage, his club Feminino Machismo had survived. While no patrons were injured in the seemingly random assault, one of Marcus’ trusted doormen – Ridley, had been grievously injured, having been stabbed in the left side of the chest with a wooden stake.

Standing in water several centimetres deep, and holding two of the perpetrators captive, the four Kindred find themselves in the lobby area to Feminino Machismo looking down on the battered bodies of the two doormen, one of whom had started breathing erratically and laboriously.

Crashing to his knees in an emotional panic, Marcus pleads for assistance from those present to help his dying doorman. With focused stares Seb and Raisa attempt to administer some kind of first aid, but draw blanks on how to deal with the situation beyond diagnosing some kind of lung problem.

A burst of densely exhausted air heralds the arrival of the SAPOL, followed by a knocking at the fire resistant glass doors leading out to Peel Street. Senior Sergent Brett Gibbons, having ascertained that the Kindred were in no immediate danger, and that the perpertrators had been chased off, sends his Kine police officers off to chase down any straggling members of the assaulting group.

The doors are opened and Officer Gibbons enters, to be confronted by the scene of medical drama unfolding before him. Quickly calling for Paramedical support, he then enters a brief phone conversation with the medical advisor, who crudely diagnoses a pneumothorax and suggests a temporary thoracentesis whilst awaiting paramedical assistance. Passing step-by-step instructions to Seb Doyle, who under Brett’s verbal guidance, plunges a large round metal pouring assistant supplied from the bar area, and with a spurting burst of sanguineous splatter, relieves the pent-up bleeding and pressure resulting from the terrible stake mediated injury.

With the wail of sirens and increasing pressure for more Kine Police officers to enter the area, the Kindred are encouraged by Snr Sergeant Gibbons to depart the immediate area and take their captives so that no further complications evolve.

Making their escape through the fire exit into a small alleyway, the mouth of which faces Hindley Street, Seb speedily retrieves Raisa’s newly acquired Subaru Impreza WRX 22B. In the moments between Seb retrieving the vehicle and parking it at the opening of the alleyway, Dr Otto takes the opportunity to attempt to obtain some opening information from the two captives. From the young, tall and athletic female, Dr Otto’s enquiries are met with a wall of defiant attitude and anti-vampire zeal. The male captive, badly battered from Dr Otto’s brutal snatch and haul into the lowered portcullis, replies with responses that are closed and delivered through gritted teeth, his vocal tones filled with pain. Their defiance is met with sequined bindings over eyes and in mouth, followed by binding of hands with green bridesmaid dress.

Having been shoved into the cramped confines of the two-door Japanese rally car, the group make their way through the city. Dr Otto initiates contact with Randal Shepherd, who upon realising the Scourges’ predicament and need to question their captives provides them with an address in Unley: 3 Barrow Street.

On arrival, the group are witness to an 1800’s stone cottage, surrounded by 7 foot high brush fence, the gate to which is sitting ajar and through which the group espy a familiar black Suzuki 1100 GSX. Realising Jarrod’s presence, The Scourge suddenly derive a darker premise to what was originally intended to be a session of intimidation and questioning.

Tasked with taking their bound and gagged captives into the house, Raisa and Freda leave Seb to join Jarrod in his ‘specially prepared questioning room’. Seb embarks on closing the gate, however is interrupted by the timely arrival of Randal Shepherd. Allowing Randal inside the property, they both join the rest of the Kindred and captives inside the house.

Reluctantly handing both captives over to Jarrod and his plastic coated room, the Scourge retreat to the kitchen for a brief moment to speak with Randal about what is unfolding. Clearly uncomfortable with what Jarrod is intending to set about (gross physical torture), the group seek Randal’s counsel about attempting subtler methods of information extraction prior to allowing Jarrod to conduct his beastly work. Randal, having been taken back by the somewhat compassionate and tempered stance of the Scourge, reminds them of the threat the captives pose in context of The Masquerade. Randal makes it clear that there are now few choices for the fate of the two captives, and none of those choices stand to be pleasant in any fashion.

With the Kitchen conversation over, Randal informs Jarrod about the change of plans. The group then relocate the male prisoner, who had been zip-tie bound to a steel framed chair whilst the discussion in the Kitchen was being held. Under Dr Otto’s instruction, Seb and Jarrod relocate the chair and it’s occupant to the kitchen, who are then ushered out of the room by Freda and Raisa.

Positioning herself immediately in front of the male prisoner, and removing his blindfold and gag, Dr Otto proceeds to insinuate her vampiric presence into his emotional being. With a calm and somewhat soothing smile, warmth, security and hope are radiated towards him, ensnaring a small portion of his soul in an attempt to loosen his tongue.

In the questioning that follows, Dr Otto manages to extract a range of details from the individual. His name is Vic, he belongs to a ‘greater and higher cause’, a cause dedicated to the eradication of ‘her kind’. The group of Kindred hunters call themselves ‘Chimera’ and he claims them to have been around for quite some time. Despite Freda’s vampiric charms, Vic manages to retain a degree of defiance in his responses and Dr Otto, realising this, and also aware of the taxing nature of the questioning in light of his reasonable injuries ceases her questioning to speak with the others about what has been revealed.

In this final huddle, Randal reveals to the Scourge that whilst he had suspected the existence of a group like ‘Chimera’ but up until now had never managed to uncover anything, an impressive coup considering the volume of investigative resources at his command. Secondly, Randal detailed past occasions of suspected Kindred killings (piles of ash found near crucifixes adorned with empty bindings) and/or wire racks with human sized piles of ash in warehouses, barns and storeyards. Randal vaguely detailed these occurrences as being ‘quite some time in the past’ (some 20-30 years ago) and he also mentioned that these possible kindred killings were strange in that they didn’t involve ANY of the known Kindred of the city at the time…no one known ever went missing.

Breaking the silence the thoughts this information had produced, Jarrod brandishes a highly decorative iPhone 3, with its backing embossed in metal, imprinted with the image of a horse, he explains the item was found in a custom strap and pouch secreted in the small of the female captives back. The phone is currently switched off, much to the gathered kindred’s relief. Jarrod also describes the presence of a Chimera tattoo situated on the lower back of the female captive, matching a larger version situated on the left breast of the male captive.

Contemplating their next move Randal, Jarrod and the gathered members of the Scourge stare at the highly customised and expensive looking phone, yet another puzzle piece to be slotted in the unfolding picture…

Don't Blink

As percieved by Marcus Fratelli – Toreador neonate

The smell of glue and drying paint still hovers in the background amongst the pervading smell of sweat, flesh, sex and blood. Amongst the myriad of sensory input which collage the creature I have painstakingly taken months to assemble, the throbbing music marking its heartbeat, the alcohol and human body fluids which make up its blood, the hand selected staff its immune system, the state of the art security its eyes and myself as the brain, it is the smell which connects me most to its corporeal existence.

Like cradling a new-born baby, it is this cocktail of acrid cigarette smoke, phenol, industrial chemicals and human pungency which evokes the strongest emotions in me.
I stand and watch them threaten my baby, and it is the smell which cements me in place, locks me in disbelief as the black anonymous figures strike at my first line of defence. This assault is not random, these infiltrators are not here to deliver casual violence. This is a calculated attack. I know this because the sharp wooden stake which has just entered the chest of Ridley, my stunning blonde Adonis, is not the type of weapon a common thug brings to a club known for its clientele of ‘alternate lifestyles’.

The screen in my glorious sanctum glows its cool LED lit light, projecting into the room in razor sharp definition the unfolding violence at my front door, as the eight or so dark figures finish their work on my bouncers and begin to move inside. Into my evocative foyer, it’s black Pirelli tiled surfaces gently accepting of their rough purpose.
Someone leaves the room.

A brief conversation occurs. Of course my newly acquired senses pluck every syllable from the phone based conversation. The voice in my room is German. Shepherd is 20 minutes away. He is sending people. What type of people? Kine we can trust, apparently.

Barely 5 seconds have passed and I still stand transfixed. Their assault is unrelenting. Haley has closed the cloak room shutter. They are displeased at this and begin to hammer away at the shutter with a mallet, maintaining the assaults uncouth fashion. The blows ring from the door, sending muffled tapping into the club. The patrons are now aware that something is amiss, the noise interjecting the rhythmic pulse of the music. I will need to address this.

The mouth of my child is filled with black creatures of ill intent. But I have designed her to be strong, the custom portcullis serving as both a themed aesthetic door and a near impregnable security measure holds to its intended purpose. My spine shudders as a screeching sound of protesting metal reaches my hypersensitive ears, there is new movement in my field of vision, the shutter has been lifted…but there is something amiss, it has been opened from within the cloak room it protects.

Violence of flesh abruptly returns to the crystal clear images being relayed to my eyes, as the mallet wielding thug is brutally drawn into the small opening offered by the lifted shutter. While no sound accompanies what I witness, there is pain detailed in the images. My baby has an ally, a brutal and deadly beast, an animal which has been poked with a mallet.

Someone else leaves my room. The cool burst of air briefly breaking the enchanting hold of the digital imagery. The back of a small woman, wearing a sparkling sequined suit, a ridiculous paradoxical image that my mind is unable to give context as these seconds pass by. I return to watching the screen.

They have retrieved the would-be metal worker from the stainless maw of the cloakroom counter. There is a flash of orange-white light, accompanied with the sharp angry snarling bark of firearm and my acute vision captures a small flower of blood blossom from the shoulder of one of the dark figures situated in the middle of the foyer. His body fluids are quickly lost to the dark bubbled texture of the tiled floor, and closely following, he too is embraced by Italian rubber. The assailants respond as one, dropping to the ground to stay out of the animal’s sight.

The sound of this shot is not missed by my clientele, a palpable wave of fear runs through the still beating hearts of every patron and staff member in my club. Once again my reverie is broken, shattered by the poignancy of my utter disassociation with the live, air drawing creatures in my domain. The screen can hold me no longer, responsibility floods my being, I am an apex predator and my flock is threatened, disrupted. I need to respond.

Snatching one final glance at the screen, as I depart my inner sanctum, I witness a flurry of supernatural sped activity. The beast is amongst them now, having emerged from the cloakroom, he is shot at, attacked in waves. A steely block fends off a stake wielding attacker, a two man tackle is laughably shrugged off with one entangled assailant receiving multiple blows to his back, all delivered in eye watering speed. The gun barks a second time, appearing to again hit the animal loose in my foyer, but he shows no sign of being hit, gunfire and physical assaults both casually disregarded as he methodically lays waste to the assailants of my baby.

Away from the screen now, I emerge into my dungeon of entertainment. My flock parts at my approach, my facial expression and my body language detail enough at what is unfolding above us, as I hit the stairs I coldly and calmly order them to ‘go home’. I clear the first turn in the staircase and am now out of sight, I call upon my blood to quicken my movement and my nervous system, my surroundings becoming, for a brief instance, a blur as I defy physics and displace air with my haste.

Emerging into the upstairs room, the core public arena of my baby, I am confronted with chaos and the palpable sense of human fear. In amongst the unfolding madness of fleeing Kine, my eyes are drawn to the visage of a woman who reflects the same detached incongruence as myself. She stands near the bar, wearing a dress that can only be described as horridly ill fitting, like something out of a Freddy Kreuger version of Bride Magazine. While her emerald green couture clearly marks her misfit status , it is the message reflected in her eyes that sends a brief shiver through my spine. Her deep dark eyes somehow mirror what they have recently witnessed, and what I see there sends tendrils of ice through my veins. Drawing her gaze from mine, she turns her head towards the back of the bar and in a few short elegant steps, slams her palm into the fire alarm.

A ringing claxon fills the hollow and empty sound left by the cessation of my child’s signature heartbeat. I continue on to the portcullis, in a vein effort to assist those who have come to the aid of my baby. What awaits me in the foyer, stirs a base fear I had been warned about but not yet encountered. The assailants have bought fire to my premises, a creeping, deadly force to those of my blood.

The sequined woman was fighting them through the portcullis. She had managed to snag the shirt of one of the attackers and, with strength belied by her stature, had dragged him violently into the unyielding wall of steel forged by my grandsire’s hands. The beast too had curried victory, his ferociousness and supernatural resilience having clearly stolen the assailing groups resolve and forced all but the near incapacitated into a rout.

They ask me to raise the portcullis. I relay this to the green dressed woman with the frightening eyes. In seconds it is raised and control begins to return to my thoughts, actions and senses.

In an act of raw defiance, the remaining injured male member of the team of assailant’s attempts to flee through the spreading wall of flames at my door. In a flash of sequined lightning, he is intercepted and roughly thrown back into the foyer.

There is fire across the entranceway to my club, its flames the products of a young woman and an accelerant filled bottle, a cocktail of Molotov. This arsonist slut is in custody of the beast, he bears bullet holes and little else to mark the trials of a room filled with people wielding calculated hostile intent. Beyond the fire stands a man of medium build, his balaclava now removed, revealing the non-descript face of a Caucasian male in his 40’s. He calls for the whelp, naming her ‘Nadine’. Nadine tells him to leave “get the fuck out of here Dad”.

My doormen are injured and subject to the hungrily licking tongues of the flames, I am unable to master the deep-seated fear the fire presents, its threat to my Kindred nature too fundamental to overcome despite my love for those threatened by its presence. With a look that is part disgust, but mostly business, the bitch is handed to me, while Sebastian Doyle, survivor of assaults and master of fear, grabs the body of Ridley and drags him away from the fire. He is joined by the sequined, small but deadly Dr Freda Otto, who also having mastered her fear of fire, drags Thom out of the alleyway and into the safety of the foyer.

The doors are simultaneously closed, removing from sight the deadly fire, sealing us securely behind the expensive fire proof glass and tempered steel frames. Turning to stare at the bodies on the floor, and the remaining injured and cowed assailant, with timing that is near comical, we are doused by the fire suppressant sprinklers, extinguishing the small flames licking at the clothing of the staked, but still breathing, body of Riley.

The watery silence is now filled with thoughts…thoughts filled with questions, questions which will need answering, whatever the cost.

Water drips into my field of vision, and for the first time in the past 30 seconds, I blink.

Are we at War?

Excerpt from the Diary of Randal Shepherd

Diary Entry Sunday 27th of September (early morning)

Reading over my last entry, it is clear I had NO IDEA about just how average things were going to be down at Rick’s dockyards.

I managed to review things prior to the members of The Scourge getting there. Essentially, it would appear that Mr Walker-Davies has ordered up some pretty high-end tunnelling and earth moving equipment under the guise of ‘EcoSurv’. As far as I can tell, the itinerary taken from the Joost lists the origin of 50% of these items as being from Singapore. The remaining 50% leased from a company known as Tunnel Boring Australia, a legitimate billion dollar Sydney based company.

Concerned about whatever purpose may be behind Clay’s importing of such specific machinery and equipment I elected to discuss this further with Rick (more about this in a sec).
In between looking over the EcoSurv ordered machinery and discussing what to do about the equipment, The Scourge apparently have rocked up to review what has come in, only to have their ‘viewing’ of the equipment interrupted by an alarm sounding from the Industrial X-ray compound.

On arrival I discover that the place has become a murder scene. The Scourge were quick to secure the area and remove potential witnesses. What we found:

- Two bodies, both dockworkers (one a third generation dockworker, an Olivio)
- Both killed with some kind of edged weapon
- Both killed by ‘something’ which emerged from the shipping container they were X-raying

Intriguingly the boys had managed to snap off two X-rays prior to responding to whatever it was that emerged from the container. Reviewing these X-rays revealed two shots, one detailing a skeleton lying prone in a box in amongst the tightly packed electronic items (bound for Adelaide retailers). The second, a shot of the previously prone skeleton, appearing to be pulling itself out of the container it was stored in, clutching some kind of oriental knife.

Having just reviewed the post mortem reports put together by Dr Bishop, it would seem that the blows were uncannily precise, caused by a weapon wielded with force more akin to injuries created by industrial presses or hydraulic rams, not a human being… As summarised by Dr Otto, it would seem that we have some kind of Assassin loose in our city. Oh yeah, forgot to mention that the creature managed to make it clear of the compound rapidly, and that after having Kine searching for its whereabouts for the past 48+ hours, have turned up nothing. Not even a foot print in the relatively soft earth in the fields adjacent to Rick’s dockyards. A freaking ghost!
A brief inspection of the container that housed the ‘skeleton’ has revealed no skin, no hair, and most importantly, some kind of low-tech radiation device which luminesces when subjected to X-Rays. We have guessed that this is the trigger mechanism used by whatever was inside this thing to signal it was time to get out of the container.

That now makes for a total of two unknown aliens who have managed to make it into the city in the past week and have since disappeared without a trace. It’s shaping up to be a bad month, I could desperately do with Thomas’ guidance on where to start poking our noses at this stage. All of the leads the Scourge have diligently turned up have either lead to dead ends or have ended up as mere whispers and shadows.

Looking at the facts:

- Two (let’s call them vampires) Kindred, into the city in the past week, intentions unknown (well malevolence most likely)
- A narcissistic Elder Vampire, in control of vast enough resources to be able to pull in a shitload of high-end mining level equipment in a reasonably short space of time, who sits in the acting Prince’s pocket and who is up to something (but what?).
- A museum break-in where seemingly abstract indigenous artefacts are taken under mysterious circumstances (and some kind of link to the Lawson’s)
- The beginnings of some kind of Bikie or underground crime turf war, the origins of which are as yet unknown (but I have my suspicions…)
- Two factions of Garou, both with seemingly different agenda’s, one exhibiting behaviour which could almost be described as benevolent, and the other the complete opposite and this faction possibly has ties to above mentioned Elder Vampire’s private security (military?) company.

Are we at war? If so who is the enemy, I mean the real enemy here? I feel like I am flailing around in the dark, striking at shadows and sounds, hoping to god my claws strike something tangible. This is no way to police a city…

Add to the above woes, the recent brutal and sadistic killing of a high-end charity board member (and Chief Executive to a pharmaceuticals distribution company known as PosiPharm). While I will spare my diary the details of the seemingly severe torture this poor human underwent prior to him succumbing to his injuries, I will note that a pamphlet from the charity to which he sat as a board member – Little Boy Blue – was found wedged inside one of the many ‘newly acquired’ orifices in his body. The sadism surrounding this attack clearly points to one of two types of perpetrator, Kindred or some kind of VERY sick and twisted Kine, like I’m talking an evil serial killer type. Bishop has told me that the injuries closely resemble those found on a series of bodies also discovered dumped in the Torrens some 20 years ago, people who were also implicated in being involved with some kind of charity. So now I have to have a fairly serious conversation with a particular Kindred Elder. Fuck, as if I need to deal with this shit now.

Finally, I’m not sure if it’s relevant but Dr Otto discovered some kind of discarded intradermic gun canister after that little scuffle with Clays security forces and a Garou. It would appear that the chemical traces found in that canister are ‘military or experimental’ in nature. Essentially this translates to Clays grunts being fuelled up with some pretty hardcore drug technology, but the purpose of the chemical was far from clear. Another shadow?

Well that’s me for now, I’m hoping to have a few quiet nights this week to puzzle over what is happening and possibly pick over my notes from the past few weeks and see whether I have missed anything.

Reminder – probably nothing, but I should just note down something said seemingly in passing by Raisa on Friday night. She mentioned something about there possibly being other Childer of Peppi, as always she gave me a fairly sketchy answer, but there was something in her tone of voice and her body language when I suddenly turned up the heat that makes me want to not forget about a conversation I need to have with Peppi once things relax a little.
Randal out.

From the Diary of Randal Shepherd (Thurs 24th Sep 09)

From the Diary of Randal Shepherd

Early Morning Thursday 24th September 2009.

I know it’s been some time since I have recorded anything here, so with this brief moment to catch my breath I thought it wise to try and document some of the events that have taken place since last I penned anything about the unfolding circumstances in Adelaide’s darkness.

Let’s see now…ah yes, my last entry concerned the detailing of The Scourge’s dealings with the hunted Garou in the Private Catholic school grounds. Whilst fearing significant political backlash from the Scourge’s barely concealed intentions with the Garou scenario, it would seem that Clayworth has bigger fish to fry at the moment.

With all that has happened since then, it is hard to believe that only 5 nights have passed since that event.

So that was Saturday night pretty much wrapped up, Sunday night (20th Sept) saw further escalation of the rapidly accelerating descent of the city into chaos since the disappearance of my Grandsire and Prince of the city – Thomas Jarvis.

The first half of my evening was spent tidying up the significant mess and media fall-out resulting from cordoning off nearly an entire superb with Strategic Tactical Response police forces. As it turns out, my counterparts had spent this time investigating one of the few remaining tenuous leads we had linking all of these recent strange events together. The members of the Scourge seem convinced of a link between Clayworth and the Herd Murder, but at this stage the Elder Vampire has proven to be made of Teflon, nothing seems to stick.

As I understand, the group attended the residence of a Mr and Mrs Lawson, a pair of indigenous blooded kine who appear to be linked with the newly arrived mysterious Garou of the hills (The Good Guys?). The significance of what was discussed at this meeting was not made apparent to me until The Scourge and I were bought together later that evening, in response to a break-in at the Centre for Australian Indigenous Culture, Tandanya. While museum break-ins are not unheard of, it was thanks to the efforts of newly inducted Sergeant Brett Gibbons who quickly realised that the circumstances surrounding the robbery were far from normal.

It would seem that there had been some kind of fluke catastrophic failure of the relatively sophisticated security systems which guard the museum. The stats quoted were incredibly rare and thus Brett suspected some kind of paranormal interference, hence why we were called. Added to this strange failure of the security system were also the very specifically targeted items which were stolen: several obsidian stone ceremonial knives, some ancient percussion instruments and a rare and uniquely coloured didgeridoo. Of greatest and significance and strange coincidence, it would appear that the didgeridoo was only a replica of the original…an original owned by none other than Mr Scott Lawson, the gentleman whom the Scourge had visited earlier that evening.
While the significance of this find is as yet unknown, it would appear that the robbery would seem to be linked to the newly arrived Garou and whatever it is they claim to be fighting in the Adelaide Hills.

Raisa was able to ascertain that there had indeed been some kind of paranormal involvement in the robbery, as she recounted images of someone breaking into the secured viewing cases with some kind of mystical lock breaking power (a clicking of fingers as I recall).

At the time of this entry I have been unable to discover any further facts surrounding the disappearance of these items. My feelers for all the usual fencing avenues for these types of items have turned up dry, so my suspicion is that whoever took the items, intends to keep/use them for some sordid purpose. I pray we find out pre-emptively.

Since the break in at Tandanya it would appear that the incursions on the cities security have escalated.

The following evening (Monday) bought about the discovery of a young Mr Nick Arden, flagged due to his presentation of roadside trauma and abnormally low haemoglobin. It would appear Nick had been ripped from his 2008 Kermit Green Holden V8 Ute and briefly attacked by a ‘dark character’, who then drove off with his car (later found). After a quick chat with Nick, it seemed that there was some very strange circumstances surrounding his attack, not the least of which was the discovery of a damaged light truck embedded in the scrub, some several hundred metres away from where Nick was attacked.

I dispatched the Scourge to investigate, this kind of thing being squarely aimed at their brief. Wisely their first port of call was the victim, from which we discovered he was attacked by a dark skinned stranger with ‘strange eyes’. Evidence discovered at the site of the damaged Light truck, strongly pointed to this stranger being some kind of Kindred. The truck itself bore the signs of supernatural combat, with large dents in strange places on the body of the truck, wheels damaged by a contraption forged with kindred strength and with Raisa’s ‘images’ of more Garou activity (These dogs are beginning to be a serious problem). There also seemed to have been a reasonably large degree of automatic gunfire, yet there were no corpses discovered around the site.

Being the thorough little neonates I have grown to love, they took things a step further and investigated some mysterious boot prints which led the group to a nearby abandoned farm house and sheds. Long story short, they managed to uncover the corpse of a Garou buried beneath a reinforced concrete block (apparently used to dip sheep in). How do we know it was a Garou corpse? BECAUSE IT WAS STILL IN THE SHAPE OF A BIG ANGRY-MODE WOLF-MAN!!!

Kris reported that this block looked to be well over a ton in weight, and apparently both Seb and Frieda moved it…I would have liked to have seen THAT!

Yep this significant find rocked the Society sufficiently enough for there to be called an urgent meeting of the elders (conveniently held under the guise of introducing May Grigg’s latest fop assembly). At ‘the viewing’ of the creatures body, Gorman could barely contain the drool dripping from his fangs, and his manic behaviour almost dropped him in the shit with Peppi who had her hands smacked away by Gorman when she went to touch the corpse (like I need the fucking Elders to start openly fighting amongst themselves…). Fortunately Peppi didn’t react (Random!) and the others were able to quickly turn the topic to other things.

At present it would seem Gorman wants to spend some ‘quality time’ with the corpse. I have given him 48 hours, after which I will incinerate the creatures corpse, as it poses a heavy threat to the Masquerade. Thankfully he didn’t fight me on this.

Crap where are we? Ok so that was Wednesday night. Monday night was the investigation of the light truck at Karoonda and subsequent discovery of the strangely buried Garou body.

Did I mention who or what we suspected buried the body? No? Good.

Tuesday night…what happened Tuesday night? Oh yeah as far as I understand there was little the Scourge were up to, I did hear a rumour that Seb and Raisa went and picked up a WRX STi 22B from Jarvis Subaru…how the fuck Raisa is going to manage to drive something like that I have no fucking idea. Gotta admit, I’m a little jealous…

I have no idea what Frieda was up to, but no doubt it was something frighteningly productive and no doubt political (SUCH a Brujah!).

So that leaves me here on Thursday morning, with the sun about 50 minutes from hitting the sky. I have 2 police incident reports to chase up tomorrow evening, both surrounding bikie raids on known whore houses and drug dens. I have no idea what has prompted this new round of attacks, but with all that has been going on, I have a bad feeling in my veins about this. Let’s hope it is just some Kine turf war and nothing else… Something I can set Leo to sort out with a few pointed early morning visitations.

Oh yeah I almost forgot – Seems that Thomas’ signature ends up on the paperwork sanctioning the bulldozing and storing of waste at the Hum-bug scrub ‘indigenous site of cultural significance’. What’s more, it would seem that his Chief in Human Resources (gotta love that term) and Accounting was also party to the signing, along with some other stranger, who (as claimed again by Raisa) was encouraging Thomas to sign-off on the action. I haven’t had a chance to speak with Ceaser yet and I’m not sure if I’ll get a chance too before late Friday morning…

…Gotta love messages from Jarred at 5.15 in the morning. Seems like I’ll be spending the first half of my evening at the docks, it would appear our mate Clay has some new arrivals we should be checking out before releasing them to whatever the hell he wants Tunnel boring and mining equipment for…

Randal out.


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