Author Topic: The Prince's Gambit  (Read 146 times)

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Offline Billiam

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The Prince's Gambit
« on: February 20, 2019, 04:22:59 PM »
No Reply, Filler
Date, February 11, 2019, the night the west was won
Time: Dusk
Location: The Rabbit Warrens


Jacob. Jacob? Are you there my little prince?

Jacob McCloud awoke from day sleep with a startled expression, shooting up in bed, and instinctively grabbing the knife beneath his pillow. Then it was silent. Nothing. He blinked and cleared his eyes, adjusting to the darkness of the room. He flicked on a nearby lamp. The chamber was empty. He could hear Sam moving about the living room. It appeared even Scott had slept in his bed. Ben, he assumed, was still in his room. He had given the neonate the night off, but told him he couldn't leave the building. He was sure Ben thought him cruel but tonight it was for his own protection. Tonight they took the west district. The distant voice was forgotten for now, and honestly the Black Prince was happy to put it behind him. He did wonder though who had addressed him so tenderly. It was almost like a lover, and yet he knew the owner was not one. But the voice knew him as a lover would. How was that possible? Jake never laid with women, and Sam and Lisa were the only two who could claim such intimate knowledge. He would think on this another time, but now he would prepare for battle.

He walked to his closest and pulled out his body armor. The latest model was what FBI raid teams were using, and Jake had snagged a few prototypes through that bald, greedy slime Jonathan Myers, who sat in Haven Crest. He was useful, as he had no problem making money on the military grade needs of the Anarchs. His one condition was that Jonathan sold to nobody else, and despite how good Jonathan was at hiding his tracks, Jake was better at uncovering them. It was sleeker than the last one, and allowed more range of movement for his joints. He placed on the main chest piece and strapped and buckled his way in, making sure it was tight, that it fit right, that it covered his weak spots, etc. He stared in the mirror as he put on his upper arm guards and wondered if this what it was like for Alexander of Paris when he prepared for battle. His armor would've looked much different than this modern wear, but the spirit was the same. The Prince was preparing for glorious combat.

What monarch would be ready without his scared blade? Jake walked over to a vault in the bedroom and put in a combination of seven numbers. The safe opened and inside was only a single object. A katana with a black handle and sheath waited inside. White flowers were inlaid into the grip and stock, creating a certain softness to the efficient killing machine. Jake never stopped marveling about how balanced the blade was, despite it's deadliness. He wasn't worthy of such an awesome weapon. He knew it. Each time he used the sword's amazing power he was sure a better master for it existed in the world. Respecting one's instrument was the sign of a true warrior and so Jake gave a quick thanks before picking up the blade with two hands. He could feel it's dark power radiating through him, and he drew it, hearing the cool steel scrap along it's sheath. Now exposed, he inspected the metal. It was flawless. He practiced a few common forms and stances, alternating between the classic two-handed approach and the more flashy one handed-one. As usual, the blade would serve him well. He bowed to the sword, and placed it on the bed. Surely a vampire of a European heritage should've had a broadsword or ax, but Jake had a katana, and he sought to be worthy of it.

He finished dressing, putting on heavy black boots, his leg armor and pants over it. He'd ditched the trench for tonight, preferring a black dinner jacket. He would want to celebrate later. For tonight the west would be liberated of the pathetic demon gangs who were running every scam possible on the defenseless citizens of the west. These thugs were showing their supernatural nature openly, running racketeering scams, committing muggings, and worst of all, several humans had disappeared. Jake didn't want to know what happened to them, but decided enough was enough. The Anarchs would free the west from this tyranny and protect it's citizens going forward. Sure, it also meant they would double their domain, but that was just a happy accident. In truth, the Anarchs needed to expand. Immigration from Camarilla cities had flooded the Central District, and Jake could no longer give jobs to everyone. The District just didn't need them, and many couldn't find work in human circles. Additionally, there were just too many vampires per number of humans, and that was a great way to attract hunters. Most of the new arrivals were kids. They were less than twelve years in the ground. They had no idea what eternity had in store for them. They'd only been told one thing; Jacob McCloud will keep you safe and give you a place to find your happiness. Jake saw the spirit of these young freedom fighters in his own kids, and he stole a quick peek and swelled with pride. They were the future. They were connected, and Jake thought he'd save them all.

They were like him when he was young, or younger to be more accurate. It was odd, but in the last few weeks Jake felt youthful again. In human circles he'd lived many lives, but to vampires, dark angels and some demons, he was still a kid in the sandbox. He didn't mind it though. They underestimated him, called him a brat, a no nothing, a hothead, a poser. Let them. After tonight they'd know that this "poser" could back up the shit he talked. That was good. They should fucking know, and hopefully it would make them think twice about retaliation. Truthfully, Jake was sure he could take any district other than the east. The Sacramentum were too powerful there, and besides Jake had just made an alliance with Charon. It wouldn't do well to repay it with treachery. The Anarchs were not the most powerful faction, but they were the best resourced, most populous and had the drive to take on any problem that came their way. Like Jake himself, his people were survivors. He would avoid war, but if it came to it, the national Anarch movement could be called. There were always more freedom fighters willing to risk their eternity for the cause. That was the Anarch way. It was why Jake led every important attack. Let no Anarch say their Monarch sat on his throne. It was odd that the movement of freedom had such an outdated institution like monarchy, or at least the illusion of it. Jake never demanded his own people bow to him, and yet many did. Lisa-Joe explained it once as, "You give them something to rally behind."

Jake moved into the main room and told his children goodbye and not to leave for the night. He was sad Scott wouldn't be with them in battle, but he wasn't over Conner yet. A night with Sam might do him some good. Ben was left to his own devices. He'd been especially nasty the previous night, and Jake had paid him for it with a harsh slug to the mouth. The exchange played over in his mind as he locked the door and headed to the departure point.

I'm trying to show you how we do things around here.
I already know how to be a poser without any real power. Got anything else?"


Jake had been so angry he'd moved over and formed a fist before quickly, and harshly, punching Ben's lips. He'd been in pain, but had showed Jake as little as he could. If Jake admired one thing about Ben it was his stubbornness. He'd make a great Anarch if he'd open his eyes and ears to listen. Jake had been a saint to the little brat since his arrival and more and more he wondered what the big deal about Ben was. He just came off as entitled, rude, cruel, and defensive. Jake knew he shared some of these traits, but Ben had served as a reminder of what not to be. Jake reached the upper floors of the White Rabbit. It would be open for business tonight, but now it held a room full on Anarchs. They would be helping him take the west and they cheered as he entered the space. One tough Brujah named Leon threw a punch at him, and Jake responded with a gut punch of his own. The room cheered! Now was the moment he was expected to rally his troops. It was his duty to inspire. 

"Listen! Listen to me now!"

The crowd cheered, and one upstart yelled "make me." Lisa-Joe Hampton, Keeper of Elysium wacked the man on the back of the head which got a quick, "I was only kidding Lisa-Joe. Jesus." Jake jumped onto a table, and it shook under the weight of his armor. It steadied though, and he then addressed the now silent crowd.

"Men, women, and all those fucks who live in between, listen to me now!" A cheer went up! "When I came to this city I was amazed by what I saw. Different species on a single council working together. I thought... this is it. This is the answer!" He looked around the room. All the young faces with their tattoos, piercings, leather, denim and black looked to their leader, and hung on his words.

"I knew the Sabbat had set up shop here and would ruin this oasis and ran to the government for help. They had the power to crush the Sabbat. They could've sent their beloved Mimic demons to destroy the feral cult in one attack. But did they answer the call?"

"NO!" The crowd yelled back.

"Did the Mimics destroy the Sabbat and protect this city?"

"NO!!!"

"Who did?"

"The Anarchs!"

Some said "you did," referencing Jake, others said, "You and a team." One said, "vagina." That line got a slap from Lisa-Joe. "Ouch!"

"Kerr Galvin, vampire Oligarch listened. He fought. He helped me find others to fight. Then he was rewarded and made Luminary."

The crowd booed! Kerr was generally not liked in Anarch lower circles. They had tales about him being an elder in disguise or a strange time traveling wizard. Some Gangrel had told them that one it seemed. Jake continued.

"Kerr made me vampire Oligarch and I represented you then, and when Kerr and Ben brought down the Oligarchy who stood by you all?"

"You did... The black prince... Lady Sam... Lisa-Joe..."

Jake waited for silence. The call and response portion was over. Now they would listen. "The truth is my young Anarchs that we are the future. I'm not talking about just this city. The eternal war is ending and now a new age is dawning. I am glad to represent you now, and see the bright futures of each and every one of you. But the truth is this. The old have all the power." There were some soft boos. "They have the money, the raw power, and control to keep us all in our places licking their boots!" His tone had gone from jovial during the introduction to ominous and dark. "They wont die you know, those in power. The ageless never do. If we let them people like Zoeheret and Damien Evans, and long lost Vomas will always seek to keep us bowing."

"And what do we have? What can we offer this city, nay, this world? We have nothing but our fearlessness, or numbers, and our passion. We have an understanding of the modern world that the ancients can't fathom. It's time to redefine respect around here to mean more than you didn't meet the sun for a thousand years, or are related to God somehow. We must demand better from those who'd seek to control us! We must embrace our destiny!" Now they cheered, unable to hold it back any longer.

"The west district already has spill over from our ranks settling along our border. They come into our district to work, to play, to drink and yet due to geography are not our brothers and sisters to govern. Should we let random hordes of demon gangs attack our people?"

"NO!"

"Should we liberate the citizens of the west and let them prosper with us?"

"Yes! Yes! Woot! Yeah! Let's go!"

"Wait but a moment my friends, neighbors and countryman." Now to close. "Tonight we take the west, and I must admit I'm afraid what will happen to us. Will the others try to squish us as the Ivory tower has done, as the Oligrachy has done, as the systemic issues of this world has done? I don't know. However, I know that if this is the beginning of a greater fight, I am proud to serve as your leader. I am proud to represent the hipsters, the punks, the rejects, the weirdos and the forgotten. Let us rise up and be forgotten no more. Let us show this city that the Anarchs have put in the work to make the city a better place and now we want our dues."

Jake leaped off the table, and let another silence fill the room. Then he took a knee and bowed his head to the group. "I lead because you wish it. I lead because you let me serve, and so I bow to you, the real leaders of this movement." He had never done such a thing before and the crowd was silent and confused. Then a young vampire, only two came forward. She had a tall pink Mohawk, a septum ring, and had scars all over her cheeks. She had suffered much in life. At first Jake did not know what to expect, but then she took a knee beside him and took his hand. "Long live the Black Prince," she yelled, her eyes full of optimism as she stared at what she hoped was the man that would lead her. The crowd echoed, "Long live the Black Prince!" Then, one by one, they all bowed together, Jake, Lisa-Joe and all the Anarchs. They were ready. When Jake stood, they all did and a round of cheers, fights, and general debauchery took place before Jake decided now it was time to move out.  It was time to take the west.

Jacob. Jacob? Are you there my little prince?

Jake heard the voice again, and this time knew it's owner. Sophie, he thought confused as to why he'd be hearing his dead sire. Lisa-Joe, his faithful Keeper placed a hand on his shoulder. "You ready," she asked, and in truly rare form added, "my prince." He turned to her, and held her hand tightly. "Let's do this."

[[Chapter Two will be posted below and wil chronicle the attack and acquisition of the territory.]]
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Leader(Jake)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Saint(Tyler)~ Lamb(Freddy)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~ Majesty(Mithras)~ Comrade(Benny)~