Author Topic: Hamlet Meets Macbeth  (Read 577 times)

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Offline Billiam

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Hamlet Meets Macbeth
« on: May 17, 2019, 01:24:07 AM »
Jake's people had called Damien's people, and after the customary pissing contest of who was busier at business, the two sets of secretaries found a spot the following week where both men had an opening. The appointment was made, and so on the agreed upon night the Black Prince waited for the older vampire to arrive. He wasn't sure exactly how this meeting would go. He needed Damien's help, and that didn't give him much negotiating power. Jake didn't like going to meetings where he didn't already know the profile of the person he was meeting, and his knowledge of Damien Evans was limited. He saw what was public about his company, but Jake suspected that would tell him very little in reality. Jake's own business holdings looked completely innocuous to the untrained eye. To the people in New York who managed his hedge funds and stock portfolios he was just another yuppie with a business degree and old money. They never suspected he was actually older and a different species. Now the principle was different. His original fortune was mostly locked in dusty vaults in foreign countries, to only be drawn upon in an emergency. Those Swiss bankers knew the masters they served, and whole generations had managed his money without ever meeting their immortal client.

Then there was what was easy to find out about Damien's profile in the city. He'd been a player in the city for several years, part of the large body of ancients that ended up in this town. He had property in the north, east and south. He had a child, Pierre. Lisa-Joe had said Pierre was a good guy, full of fun and caring. She didn't know if that translated to Damien, but he'd had to learn it somewhere so Jake could hope. Benny's spies suspected a human pet that was kept very close, but Jake didn't have the details he needed to really play that as a card. He'd realized that trying to out maneuver the almost ancient wasn't going to work. Instead, he'd actually try being humble, something he hoped wouldn't be punished. After meeting with Zues he was rattled. The walls were closing in, and only Murphy and Sam were keeping him from getting paranoid. He needed to win this election. It would shut his haters up. Nobody could call someone who was just democratically elected a tyrant, and despite his hatred for Ben, Jake realized that as long as he won, the younger vampire may have done him a favor.

However, to win he'd need more than the Anarchs and clanned vampires. He'd need the ancients who lived in the Central District and the influence they carried. Seb would be met with soon to take the Harpy job from Lisa-Joe. As long as he accepted that was one feather in Jake's cap. If Damien Evans agreed to be his campaign manager that would be two feathers, and who didn't like feathers? He remembered his last exchange with Damien and how rude he'd been. The memory of it haunted him, not from any deep place of shame. However, it had been bad business, and Jake didn't normally conduct business poorly. On the other hand, it presented an opportunity. If he could get Damien Evans to believe in him, then the rest of the city would likely be a breeze.

The White Rabbit had been the agreed upon location. Jake would meet Damien downstairs in his private apartment. The bar wasn't appropriate for a quiet meeting, and the board room was stale. He wanted Damien to see that he was more than just a a wiseguy with a viper's tongue and a crew of loyal followers. He was a real person. He'd dressed all in black, with a turtleneck, jeans and boots making up the simple set of garb. His hair was slicked to the side. His nails were freshly painted and the color was of course black too. To Jake, it was the perfect mix of Black Prince and his more relaxed self. When Damien arrived he'd be met by Lisa-Joe who'd bring him down the elevator and to the door. 
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.


Cancer(Nox)~ Dragon(Jake)~ Comrade(Benny)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Legend (Tyler)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Thief(Apep)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Hamlet Meets Macbeth
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2019, 08:22:24 AM »
It was rare indeed that he frequented bars and the White Rabbit was no exception. Damien had always found the intoxication of others mildly uncomfortable and he found it a bit crude that the District Leader of Central lived in chambers beneath one of the city's wildest bars. Damien stepped into the White Rabbit with a blank face, having no expectations. It was much louder than he expected it to be in the bar. Raucous music was playing above his head somewhere, and there were more voices than he could count, all talking over each other until they were a choir of noise to the vampire. Men in leather jackets and beards stood at the counter, laughing, swearing, and slapping each other on the back in greeting. Damien was instantly reminded of a human memory he had long since forgotten; His men, dirty, tired humans, hundreds of years ago, standing in a tavern laughing and calling for more ale and wine, while barmaids tried to slake their thirsts. Damien blinked the image away easily and sought out the infamous Lisa-Joe, whom he recognized instantly as the woman whom Pierre had flirted briefly with at Charon's party only weeks ago. Of course, this would be the woman that Pierre had gotten himself wrapped up in.

He was taken down an elevator into the living chambers of District Leader Jake McCloud with little conversation to the redhead beyond the polite greeting. Any conversation she initiated would be responded to politely, but distantly. His face offered no express emotion and remained blank yet receptive.

Damien absorbed his surroundings, an old habit, taking in many of the details of the halls through which they passed (thankful that the chambers held more professionalisms than the bar above; perhaps McCloud did have a touch of decorum after all). He followed Lisa-Joe steadily as she led on. They found Jake McCloud sitting in the semblance of a living room, dressed all in black.

The elder vampire smiled amiably at the Ventrue and extended a hand in greeting, assuming that McCloud wouldn't make the mistake of not taking it and beginning this conversation with mutual respect. "Mr. McCloud, good evening." His tone lacked no politeness but remained distant and cautious as was his habit. He had not forgotten the last time he had shaken the other's hand and the dismissive nature of the young one.

"I must say, this was not what I was expecting based on the bar above," he remarked with amicable amusement, gesturing around at the clean, modern walls of the lower level.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline Billiam

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Re: Hamlet Meets Macbeth
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2019, 10:05:06 AM »
Lisa-Joe Hampton had been told to dress nicely to receive Mr. Evans. She'd complied with her prince's request, a sensible pantsuit and boring flats making up her ensemble. The bar was looking hot tonight, and as soon as she was done dumping Jake's stunt double downstairs she'd be joining that party. She saw him and enter and approached greeting him in French.

"Bonsoir M. Evans. Je m'appelle Lisa-Joe Hampton, District Harpy. Si vous me suivez, je vous dirigerai vers la chambre du prince."

Pierre was familiar with Lisa-Joe's french, and she wondered if he'd told his sire about her New Orleans flair. After receiving a neutral but polite response, their was little conversation. It was obvious little Miss Ventrue over here was just a caitiff version of the high clan, his polished looks, and stand offish manner being all the information she needed. She couldn't believe someone as fun and down to Earth as Pierre was the blood of this one. They headed down the elevator and threw the set of hallways and corridors that led to the residential area of the complex. A few smaller doors gave way to a grand one, and Lisa-Joe knocked before pointing to the inside of the flat. "He's just inside," she said in English. "Good evening." With that she sauntered away, and couldn't wait to do something sinful.

As Damien stepped inside he'd see a rather large room, with two sets of hallways to the right and the left. The ceilings were a bit low, as most underground complexes are, but otherwise it was a cozy looking space. Jake's taste in furniture was dark wood, like mahogany, leathers, and little light. A few overheads were on a dimmer, and a couple of candles illuminated the space, but otherwise it read like a professors study. There were bookshelves, maps, weapons of all variety's and other treasures from Jake's immortal life.  Most of it was Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and Early American, but there were touches of France, as well as Japan. In the center of the room was a large leather sofa, and as Damien entered Jake was rising from it. A book was on the sofa, some old tome in original binding. The hallways led to parts unknown. Jake took a step forward and accepted Damien's handshake.

"Mr. Evans," he said formally, feeling like it would be a while before they were Damien and Jake. He smiled at the thought. He ignored the comment about the bar, fearing he had no reply that was polite. He loved the White Rabbit, and whether it was human's making noise complaints or Ben calling his people psychopaths, Jake was a little defensive. Instead, he made a face that signified amusement, and hoped his thoughts were still his own.

"Please sit," he said, pointing to the other end of the sofa. There were also a few arm chairs if Damien preferred, all in the same style as the couch. "I would like to apologize in person for dismissing you the last time we met. Until the matter is settled it seems silly to discuss anything else."

His tone was polite but guarded. He didn't know what to make of Damien yet, and while his line about the bar hadn't seemed to mean offense, it didn't suggest he was a fan of the Anarch way. It's not like he said, "cool bar," or something.
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.


Cancer(Nox)~ Dragon(Jake)~ Comrade(Benny)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Legend (Tyler)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Thief(Apep)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Hamlet Meets Macbeth
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2019, 12:19:16 PM »
Damien adjusted his clothing and sat in one of the armchairs that sat across from Jake, preferring to have business conversations in such positions. Based on the email he received from Jake himself, Damien naturally made the assumption that this was a matter of some urgency, this business. He had fully expected to be lead through the performative questions and light banter that came with most business situations - in fact, Damien was prepared for it fully. So when Jake brought up the unpleasantness at the party, Damien was curious and amused where this conversation would do.

"You're not the first person in this city to slight me, Mr. McCloud," Damien said with a grin in a way of settling himself into the issue and staking out both his discomfort of Jake's reactions at the party as well as his experiences as a leader and voice of his lineage. "You certainly won't be the last." He paused letting the nuances of that statement sink and settle with that same protected smile on his face, thoughts locked tight in his head. Damien was not to one to press against anyone's defenses unless confronted with a reason to - thoughts were still sacred. He expected the same respect from Jake.

"The offense was small, and not one I wish to dwell upon." Damien leaned back into the chair, studying Jake with eyes that had the habit to bore into a person while he studied, curious to see the real reason the young one had invited him. His tone was even, bordering forgiving. "Had I wished to expend such energy on such folly, I would not have come tonight.

"Now tell me: what can I do for you?"
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline Billiam

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Re: Hamlet Meets Macbeth
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2019, 05:30:06 AM »
Jake smiled as Damien accepted the apology and explained that his presence tonight meant all was forgiven. He half expected to be chewed out by Damien and the the other would leave. It was refreshing that this hadn't occurred. With his previous sin swept away by Damien's words, Jake felt ready to transition into the business that brought them here. Jake had decided to start taking people at their word instead of always assuming the worst. If Damien decided to be upset about the incident later, Jake now had this conversation to reference.

Now tell me: what can I do for you?

Jake smiled darkly at all the things he wouldn't mind Damien doing for him, but quickly emptied the mental gutters. "You're direct. I like that."

He pulled out a cigarette and was about to light it, but then considered he should be polite, even if this was his own home. He didn't want to replace one offense with another. "Mind if I," he said referencing the sin stick.

Once the matter of smoking or not smoking was solved, Jake folded his hands on his lap. "As I'm sure you're aware Ben Samson is running against me for leadership of the district. I would like your help to make sure that I win."

He said no more, as Damien's initial reaction would be revealing whether they had much to talk about, or not.
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.


Cancer(Nox)~ Dragon(Jake)~ Comrade(Benny)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Legend (Tyler)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Thief(Apep)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Hamlet Meets Macbeth
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2019, 08:43:53 AM »
Damien gave the other man a nonchalant wave at the cigarette and watched him as he lit up, smoke billowing from his mouth with the first drag. The scent hit him instantly - sharp, like burnt earthen leaves. He never cared for the smell and never understood why any vampire would put fire so close to his mouth.

As McCloud made his proposition, Damien didn't move. There was no betrayal of his thoughts and if the younger vampire tried to hook fingers into his mind for a peek of his reaction, he would have been met with nothing but solid wall. "Hmm. I see," he breathed evenly. "And you are aware that I am now a professor at the Academy run by Ben Sampson?"

Truthfully, the timing of events had given Damien the best indication that McCloud wanted something political from him. First McCloud loses the West to the former demon Oligarch, then Sampson uses the Academy's opening to shamelessly announce his own campaign to lead the city. And out of the blue, McCloud - the District Leader of the metropolis - reached out to him, one of the richest and oldest vampires of the city with some of the most varied wartime experience of the Ancients, asking for a meeting weeks after rebuking him. Very suspicious indeed. It was exactly what McCloud was going to ask him that Damien didn't know. Of course, he could surmise - and did, frequently - what kind of conversation would be had. So far, his assumptions had proved true. But how far McCloud would take this conversation was yet to be seen.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline Billiam

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Re: Hamlet Meets Macbeth
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2019, 09:51:36 AM »
Jake was pleased Damien didn't interfere with his smoking. It meant he was respectful of other people's habits to an extent, and so he lit his cigarette with precision, enjoying the first drag and blowing a smoke ring for his own amusement. He made sure to direct the smoke away from Damien. He knew it wouldn't effect the smell per say, but there was a certain rudeness in blowing smoke at people, and his smoking was not intended to be rude. He also didn't try and read Damien's mind. He knew their age difference, and he wanted Damien to form a more favorable opinion of him. Poking around unwanted was likely to do the opposite. Besides, it was more exciting not knowing. Politics was a game, and games were fun when the rules were fair.

He'd expected this question, and had an answer ready. He decided to keep his responses short and specific for now.

"I do," he began, trying to make his tone as neutral as possible. It was a fact, nothing else. "And are you aware that I paid for a fair amount of the Central Campus's construction? We both have ties to Mr. Samson outside politics."

He smiled coyly, like it was such a fun coincidence they shared Ben in common. "I was hoping political backings and employment wouldn't be mutually exclusive."
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.


Cancer(Nox)~ Dragon(Jake)~ Comrade(Benny)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Legend (Tyler)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Thief(Apep)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Hamlet Meets Macbeth
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2019, 10:55:44 AM »
"No, I did not know that," Damien responded less evenly, a hint of surprise filtering into his response consensually. That is an interesting revelation indeed, one that the vampire filed in the back of his head for unpacking later. Such things were never wise to focus upon while at business meetings.

"What exactly would you like my help with, Mr. McCloud? Are you looking for my blessing and support for you as Central District Leader?"
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline Billiam

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Re: Hamlet Meets Macbeth
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2019, 10:03:23 AM »
Damien was no fool, but he was thinking too small. His blessing was important, but it wasn't enough. No, he needed more from the other man, and feared his whole campaign depended on getting more. He stood from his seat and walked to the mantle of a fo-fireplace. He couldn't have a real one down here. There was no way to get the smoke through a proper chimney. It was one of the many things he missed about his old home, the Dante's Inferno. He grabbed a book, it's pages yellow and it's words written by hand. It looked almost to be falling apart and he returned to his seat and flipped open to a marked page.

"Forgive me, I'm a little rusty," he asked, before pulling the book into his lap and reading a passage. It Damien spoke Latin, he'd understand the gist of what Jake was reading, but it would feel older than normal, almost from a time where Latin was still finding it's footing as a language. If he didn't understand, then Jake would reread the passage in a rough English translation.

"Ita fiat ut filiis suis immolabitque eum consurget. A magistris non solum omnis potestas in hoc mundo, nec propter aliquam viro, mulieri, nec puero angelus Dei esset ex eis elegit aliquem ad eam.."

He closed the book. "This is the oldest known copy of the Book of Nod I own. For my people the Book of Nod is a holy book, like a vampire bible. As far as  I know, this was one of the first copies to ever be written in Latin. Do you understand what the prophet is saying to the children of Cain?"

This wasn't a test, nor was Jake religious beyond a certain point, but the passage conveyed something he needed Damien to understand, and he needed that understanding hopefully before he asked his big question. He assumed based on reputation that Damien might appreciate a piece of vampire history like this, and hoped if nothing else fascination would hold his attention more than words he read.

Translation:
And so let it be done, that the children of Cain will rise up and kill their masters. The masters alone have all the power in this world, and not for any man, woman, child or angel of god would any of them chose to give it up.
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.


Cancer(Nox)~ Dragon(Jake)~ Comrade(Benny)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Legend (Tyler)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Thief(Apep)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Hamlet Meets Macbeth
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2019, 02:44:07 AM »
If there was one skill that Damien had carried with him from his human life and perfected in the afterlife, it was the study of linguistics and epistemology. He was extremely familiar with Latin, having spoken it since he was a boy in church, having written it since he was eight. He could spot Romantic foundations of words from in most languages simply by listening to context and knowing the language structure. He had been present for the development of many modern languages as they grew from local dialects into unified, structured languages with a Latin base - French, Provencal, Basque, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian...

Despite this, he could recognize the spoken words were older than his understanding. He obtained the gist of the sentence structure easily, the very basic meaning without the clarity of specific words. He was not familiar with the text, but understood it to be of some importance to McCloud's existence, just as the Bible had been important to a young Guillaume deToulouse. Prophecies of vampires rising and killing their masters (humans? Sires? Or some other sect of vampires within their belief system?). The passage, to him, hinted at bloodshed and revolution. Cyclical bloodshed, if he could extrapolate so far. If he weren't being so careful with his expression, he would have frowned deeply.

The corners of Damien's lips turned upwards as he kept this silent. The elder vampire crossed his left ankle over his right knee and widened his position unconsciously. With his most neutrally polite tone, Damien said "Please, enlighten me."
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline Billiam

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Re: Hamlet Meets Macbeth
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2019, 12:34:55 AM »
Jake had been hoping for more of a reaction but then again it wasn't Bible study hour. He placed the book back in it's protective glass case, locking it with an old fashioned iron key and placing it in a nearby desk. He returned to his seat and resumed his previous position.

"He's telling the young ones not to let the ancient's lead forever, or just because they're ancients. The passage is bit more violent than I'd say it's currently interrupted, but the meaning is more or less the same. Those at the top, those with power, won't give it up just because it's asked of them or to let a new generation lead. Our kind has always been this way."

He grew quiet for a moment, as if trying to figure out how to phrase the next part.

"I have considered that I have become the older and more powerful vampire who refuses to give up power. Perhaps Ben Samson's rise is what I've always wanted, although not him specifically. I had to ask myself was my desire to hold on to my power because I wanted to keep serving or because I like being at the top. I'm sure on some level it's a mix as most things are." He looked almost guilty to admit he liked being in power.

"Still, another part of me says I have what it takes to unite the young and old. I have enough years under me to understand how the game works, but I'm young enough to still know what it feels like to have my opinions and contributions minimized because of my age. My reign will end, but I don't think now is the time. The demons in the west will not be satisfied until they control the whole city. The new leader in the north simply proclaimed himself so without any of the other districts knowing, and a necromancer raises the dead and sends them against us."

Jake now came to the point. "I can't win without the support of the ancients. Ben has more of an edge with this population because of his relationship with Charon and the Sacrament, and my past public statements about age and status. Ben has Kerr, the former Luminary to manage his run. I need someone smart, who understands politics, money and most important of all... isn't afraid to tell me if I'm making a mistake. I want that person to be you Damien. I want you to run my campaign and help me bring the vampires of the Central district, young and old, together."
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.


Cancer(Nox)~ Dragon(Jake)~ Comrade(Benny)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Legend (Tyler)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Thief(Apep)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Hamlet Meets Macbeth
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2019, 07:55:07 AM »
Damien was silent for a long time, weighing McCloud's words against his own precarious situation in the city. He found himself tasting bitterness, laughter, disbelief, shock on the tip of his tongue, but was experienced enough to keep it there and swallow it all for further digestion.

He was not exactly surprised by Jake McCloud's proposal. What caught him by surprise was the lack of self-awareness McCloud seemed to have when speaking like this to him. Damien lived in Charon's district, operated in Sabrina's and Saraekiel's. How could McCloud know that he wasn't already supporting another? Because he had never made an open show of anyone? Damien disapproved of Kerr Galvin, Jake McCloud, and Ben Samson as being leaders of the city. Each of them were too young by far, too inexperienced with immortality for their own good. He couldn't trust the ones who hadn't tasted the madness of time, the ones who had never gone to hell and back, the ones who had never led an actual battalion of strength against unbeatable odds, or won battles - political or otherwise. The politics of this city were child's play.

He halted the thought, playing his own Devil's Advocate in order to find the truth of the matter. Perhaps he was bitter about his own experiences. It was certainly possible. Damien thought back to his sire briefly and how viciously he was forced to defend his position next to her due to his young age. Older, more powerful creatures had challenged him for a spot in her bed, a spot at her war table, and Damien had been the snake that won.

There was a point there to be made - the ancient's couldn't lead forever. His thoughts flickered over to Odessa and her madnesses; her madness had cost her the love of her only fledgling and, had Damien and Pierre not intervened, her masquerade and life. Was he really about to suggest that someone like Odessa was better at governing the city more than Ben Samson or Jake McCloud?

McCloud had proven himself capable of governing - he had done so in Central for a few years before his expansion into the West - a decision that Damien would have advised against. There was merit there. Central was the most populated district of the city, with the highest percentage of trade, foot traffic, and living spaces in the city. The money that flowed in and out of Central was crucial to the economy of the entire city.

Would an ancient really care about the well-being of the city's economy over his own needs?

"Hm," Damien said after a long bout of quiet, a slow smirk tugging at his lips again. He lapsed briefly into another bout of quiet before asking the most obvious question with a touch of curiosity, the first question most people who cared about such things would ask. "Why would I, specifically, be interested in this position?" He was asking both why he was chosen over others, as well as what things McCloud planned to offer him for his cooperation - to see how seriously and desperately this request was being made.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline Billiam

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Re: Hamlet Meets Macbeth
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2019, 04:33:32 AM »
The phrasing of Damien's request for payment was tricky. Was he seeking praise? Jake could point to things like his company, his network of properties in various districts, and his stable vampire family. No, there was something under the words, a political dance all by themselves. Jake sat in contemplation, wearing a pleased smile. Damien was a rival, a true rival, not like Ben. Ben was cruel, and clever, and perhaps even hardworking. Jake had all these traits, but Damien looked like someone Jake might grow into. Jake had decided he needed an older mentor again, and as Charon had picked Ben, and there were no other Ventrue around, finding a Ventrue like caitiff was the next best thing. He decided he needed to be careful in how he told this to Damien. He couldn't have him thinking Jake thought he was his better.

"I don't believe in role models. They always disappoint you and are just a fantasy of the person anyways." It probably sounded like a non sequitur, but he continued speaking to avoid Damien responding too early. "However, I do like the idea of a possibility model - a person who's life and achievements construct a possibility for you. I think you represent such a possibility for me. I respect where you are, with what little I know of you. My own people are strong, determined and are willing to say fuck you to the system that had us licking our sires's boots for generations. I have learned much from them. However, I've realized that I need new skills, a new way of thinking and doing things. I don't want to be you. I like me, but I think that I can learn from you and that perhaps we're not so different. That's why you, and not another. Sebastian is a better choice on the surface. He's already in with my people, and I'm sure he could teach me much. But when I look at him I don't see myself. When I look at you I do."

He wasn't sure if such a comment would offend him. Who wanted to be compared to the Brat Prince, the Black Pestilence, or any other such stupid nicknames his foes made up for him?

"As far as compensation, I'd obviously pay you but we both know you don't need the money. Other than a place in my new government where you'll be able to advise me and have a portfolio of projects for yourself, I don't presume to know what you want. I was hoping that you were tired of letting us young ones claw at one another's throats and that you might be an ancient willing to help lead this city. You're in a better position than most. When the North was vulnerable I was dumbstruck you didn't move on it." Back to the matter under discussion. "If you name a price and it's in my power, I'll give it. So Damien, what makes you tick? What do you want?"
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.


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Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Hamlet Meets Macbeth
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2019, 08:38:30 AM »
"Access to the resources of the Central district," Damien answered calmly without missing a beat. Silver-grey eyes held the other's gaze steadily, unwavering, as if he were waiting patiently for the exact moment.

He didn't feel the same as Jake - he neither saw himself in McCloud nor agreed with much of his methods for developing his district. No, when Damien looked upon Jake McCloud, he saw a hot-headed child who had too many things given to him throughout his existence - the right to rule. At McCloud's age, Damien still had an ancient sire and he was high ranking in the Aquillia - Lucretia's lineage - a position he had to cross continents, battlefields, and his own understanding of mortality to obtain. Damien remembered easily the faces of brothers he had killed, the trials he had to face in order to stand at his sire's side; his mind briefly flickered to remembering the pain of the flesh on his back opening under her nails. He knew little of McCloud's own trials, but his bravado spoke volumes to him. The simple mistakes of diplomacy, lack of humility, the arrogance... No, he had learned all those lessons as a human and Damien had no patience for government officials who couldn't even grasp the simple notions of fighting to live.

But perhaps that was too personal of an assessment. Central was flourishing and McCloud was young still. Before McCloud's thrust into the West, the city - both human and supernatural alike - had experienced a long few years of peace. And McCloud was quickly learning his mistakes. Wasn't that what was important in the end of all things? Picking up the pieces? He tried to imagine McCloud as his fledgling; what would Damien have done if Jake had made these mistakes in his lineage? Damien eyed him with an expression that could only be described as reluctant impatience.

The elder vampire sighed and shifted his position until both feet were flat on the floor and his hands were clasped in front of him, sitting on the edge of the armchair. "Those who seek power are the ones always chasing it," he said cryptically, then explained. "I am successful in most of my ventures because I do not seek power. I already have it. I chase perfection, balance in all things with the knowledge that I will never obtain it." He smirked at the younger vampire. "I don't have the North because I didn't want the North. That is not my path.

"My path," he continued before Jake could respond, "is one of protection." Gently, he offered an image of Rachel and a burned Pierre to the younger vampire, a light touch that he hoped would feel like nothing more than a hand on his shoulder. He brushed against McCloud's mental wall and kept the tether there to see if it would be accepted. "I cannot fight wars on your behalf; I have my own battles to fight."

Damien inhaled deeply and spoke as he reached the top of the breath, uncomfortable with the amount of trust he was about to offer the young one. "I am facing an annoying challenge. There is a demon whom is after my partner and has already attacked my son. I have exhausted my own resources looking for him. I will consider your offer with the understanding that I will be given access to government files which may be confidential otherwise and city resources in order to track this demon down and kill him." The words were emotionless, factually given with a purposeful lack of detail. His grey eyes were hard and unreadable again, though the other may have noticed a hint of murderous determination that challenged the District Leader to disagree with him. He didn't break eye contact with McCloud.
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Offline Billiam

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Re: Hamlet Meets Macbeth
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2019, 09:10:19 AM »
Jake's eyes hardened and turned cold. He'd been open with Damien, shared himself with the other and tried to connect, but just as he'd feared Damien was a selfish, arrogant ancient who didn't want to help others, only himself. The idea that Jake would let a citizen take vigilante justice on someone was beyond morally wrong. Damien hadn't even agreed to accept the position, just consider it. To authorize a manhunt and subsequent murder for consideration was also just bad business. He didn't doubt that this demon was probably a problem. His recent experiences confirmed that. The picture of his partner and Pierre were experienced as an open gesture - although Jake's mind prickled at being touched without asking - but did little to sooth his reaction.

If this demon was such a threat then Mr. Evans - because thinking of him as Damien was off the table - should report it to Charon and let the Sacrament contend with him. Charon would've shared that information with the Central, and the South, and he assumed also Zoehert and Sareakiel. It wasn't the job of the Central District to facilitate for profit murder. That's what this was; exchanging the murder of a demon for Jake's political benefit. If Zues or Ben even heard this conversation Jake would be ruined.

Jake, the demon butcher, butchers another demon.
Jake doesn't believe in due process.
The Central District is run by violent thugs.


He didn't wish to stand up in righteous indignation, nor come off as dismissively rude like their last meeting, but Damien's goals and Jake's were not compatible, and he no longer wanted him for the job. His expression turned to an apologetic one.

"Sadly that is not in my power to provide. The security forces and information services of the Central District serve the interests of the Central District's citizens. If you provide my sheriff with whatever information you have on his demon, I will open an investigation and inform the other districts to keep an eye out for him. The best thing to do is to let the ward or the districts take care of this person. It's the best way to keep your family safe. I understand how frustrating that must be, and please don't think I can't relate to your situation. I just can't be involved in an unsanctioned manhunt for someone I know nothing about. If I turned a blind eye to your case, what sort of leader would I be?"

He was polite, and tried to show Damien's situation some sympathy, but he also held his his head high and kept his eyes cold. This was clearly a no. 
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.


Cancer(Nox)~ Dragon(Jake)~ Comrade(Benny)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Legend (Tyler)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Thief(Apep)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~