Kim-Christian's Chicago Chronicle

Confrontaion With The Unholy Menace
Mike's last moments.

”Dear lord – forgive me for failing you. I’ve asked you countless times before. Please. I don’t know what came over me. What caused me to refuse your grace when the hour was at its’ most dire. Now I’ve exposed to the darkness what I swore and dedicated my life to keep in the light.” The knight’s steady prayer was interrupted.
“The time for prayer is over. Knight.” Said a smooth and silky male voice. The knight grabbed onto his cane and the rail of the prayer bench he was kneeling at. He grunted with effort as he rose to face the evil in god’s house and addressed the abomination with calm. He now knew his time was up.
“Father Milton took his own life earlier this day. He was a devout catholic. I guess I now know why he found that inclination so overwhelming within himself – to condemn his own soul to eternity in hell. Now that you’re free again it might be worse here.” The knight’s tone was polite.
“You’re wrong. First – I’m not that bad. Second – he was simply weak of will. Hence the reason why he was so vulnerable even open to my influence in the first place.” Replied the abomination. It stepped out of the shadows of the dimly lit chapel. It could only loosely be described as human. An athletic young white male with aquamarine blue eyes that glinted like the gemstone itself. Two orbs of glowing emerald green shone in his forehead proclaimed the presence of the outsider. Anitoch. Within its’ host Friedrich Vogler. The bones of the young body protruded nearly everywhere as a suit of exoskeletal armor. Spikes from the forearm at the elbows and each vertebra along the spine which continued through the tailbone into a scalpel sharp tail of vertebra-joints ending in a tip. Twin pincers rose above his head like a scorpion with two tails – their three joints twitched erratically with random nerve impulses. Much like an insect. Bare bone-clawed feet echoed clicks and scrapes from the marble-cobbled floor of the church as the bone dancer slowly encroached on the holy man.

“I suppose this is my final night in this world?” Asked the knight. His tone stated fact rather than asking a question. He cast a quick glance at the great mosaic illuminated by the moon and stars of the night. Genuine sadness touched Vogler’s features before he replied. Some distant echo of humanity won through.
“Yes – regrettably. I will take no pleasure in it.” Said Vogler. The lights suddenly dimmed. The glow of the emerald-green eyes of Antioch intensified and the chapel interior took on a feint sheen of green for just a moment.
“Oh? But I will! Great pleasure indeed.” A deep rumbling voice emitted from somewhere within Vogler. His lips didn’t move. Just as suddenly the lights returned to normal. Vogler had a look of great annoyance on his face.
“That one took it’s grudge on your people more to heart than I. My own motivation for murdering you is merely of necessity. A path I needed in order to keep…” Vogler pointed a clawed index-finger to his temple. “…Mental accommodations to my benefits…” He gestured around with both hands. “…-And keep his endless blood thirst from eating up your kind.” The knight’s features took on clear skepticism.
“Wauw… that’s mighty big of you.” The knight said his words dripping with sarcasm.

Suddenly Vogler blurred flashing forward too quickly for the naked eye to see. The knight felt a sudden palm-sized impact of pressure and pain on his chest. He heard his ribcage snap in several places before he was sent flying – up and over the altar. His backside crashed directly in into Jesus mahogany Christ on the cross. Before one second had passed the bone devil was face to face with the knight again glowing eyes of frost locked with the knight’s where the corneas had filled with blood from the sudden pressure. His body contorted and then exploded in a cough spraying blood fourth in a mist – splattering lips and cheeks of his assailant. Vogler shoved the helpless knight up against the chest of Christ with one hand in a vice around his throat. The devil’s black tongue slithered out to taste the blood and he quivered with excitement. Bony pincers descended. One rested on Christ’s collarbone and the other caressed his waist. The knight was carefully lifted away one-handed. Choking sounds barely escaped the man’s throat. In one swift scissor-motion god’s son was reduced to a pile of splinters on the church floor. By now panic had taken hold of the knight – he was flailing uselessly his feet scuffing on the floor and arms wrenching at forearms hardened to rock. He was hauled back onto the cross again. Bone pincers descended once again. One was carefully being pressed through the knight’s shoulder with surgical prescision. Bone and grissle cracked and popped in the joint where arm met shoulder-socket. As the pincer bit into the wood of the cross the knight’s neck was released. Mike screamed. A cracking wail of agony pierced the air that would send jolts of terror running up the spine and brainstem of anything living who heard it.

“You shouldn’t mock me sir knight. I will indulge Antioch and he’d prefer this goodbye lasted the night out.” Vogler said it calmly his tone oddly in contention with the violent outburst. The knight’s head sagged limply. Bloody saliva dripped to the floor. Vogler grabbed a handful of the Mike’s dark hair lifting his face to meet his own and giving him a backhanded slap.
“Are you still here sir?” Vogler asked slight mockery in the last word. The pincer twisted a couple of degrees – wood creaking. A hiss of pain escaped the man and he began trembling violently and struggling to force words out.
“If you have that kind of control why do you indulge him at all? If any part of you wishes better for the world. You seemed to suggest that before. Was that just pretending or are you simply fooling yourself?” Breathing was obviously very painful for the man much less talking. That didn’t keep the slightest hint of a smile off his face though. Vogler started pulling his left upper arm bone through where it had dislocated the socket, split the skin protruding the shoulder. He did it in one slow and fluent motion.
“I left humanity behind. I don’t wish one thing or the other for you. The path I’m on now allows control of the two beasts now residing within…” Vogler said. Sighing and shivering slightly clearly in pleasure. “…But. It also dictates that I must now take my vengeance.” Now holding a blade of pointy bone in his right hand he whirled it around a few times and spun it between fingers checking its’ balance as he continued. “The priest told me about you. A truly righteous man – with a family…” Panic entered Mike’s features but Vogler held up a hand in a placating gesture. “…Don’t worry. I won’t touch them. Michael.” There was actual compassion in those last words. The lights dimmed again and Antioch broke in.
“Oh. But I will!” Vogler smiled mockingly as he replied the to outsider in a barely audible whisper.
“You won’t. Stop posturing.” Vogler rested the blade on the knight’s collar bone as he’d done on Christ. Right next to the external carotid artery. “Our talk is cut short it seems.” He mumbled and turned his head. “It seems we have guests. Brothers and sisters of mine.”
“Realease him fiend!” Shouted one of the new arrivals. A hooded figure. He was holding Lux in tenebris.

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From Ashes to fire

Location: A back alley nearby Daniel’s apartment
Time: Shortly after encounter with Sabbat at Oblivion

The hunger gnaws at my very core…I need blood, and soon. The Beast will not be kept at bay for long.

There is shouting and yelling as a couple is fighting outside a tavern, and as the man goes inside the girl is storming off. She is quite young…reminds me of my sister, and yet I stalk and grab her, the first chance I get. The small voice of guilt fades as I sink me teeth into her bared neck and the blood starts trickling, sweet, warm and satisfying.

I wrest my self free, and the Beast is sated for now, althoug still the Hunger burns. She is still alive – confused but alive and earlier anger forgotten.
I leave as she stumbles homeward, her feet slightly unsure and I wonder if I would have fed on her if she truly had been my sister. I hope not.
“Sure you would have”, Lara’s voice echoes in my head “…’cause you are a monster”, she laughs.
Maybe I am.

The pain from my wounds takes hold once again, as the euforia of feeding fades, and the memories of our earlier encounter with the Sabbat comes forth.
The woman in the pitch black? Is she truly a demon? If yes, am I an angel for standing against her? No, I cannot be both angel and monster,…I don’t know.
Consciously, I know that she isn’t truly demonic. Lasombra more likely, but still..is it any wonder many believe it to be semantics.

I do know that I was afraid, very afraid. She hurt me. I had almost forgotten what that’s like. I haven’t been hurt physically since…Phoenix. Not since my Creation at the hands of my Sire have I felt such pain, or fear.

I grab my neck. It is still a gaping wound, unable to mend it. I will need more blood to heal it during the day, so I continue my hunt.

A few hours later….
I haven’t found any prey. The streets seem filled or deserted, never at that crucial capacity. In a desperate attempt I try and rouse a homeless woman, but she is so despaired that she is of no use to me and I’m caught off guard as other homeless persons rush me and I trip and fall amongst the garbage containers.
When I dig myself out all are gone except one.
I crawl out, disheartened, full of doubt, self-pity and look up, into a pair of blazing emerald eyes, and a fiery mane of wild hair…Phoenix.

My salvation, one way or the other, and relief takes hold as I let her lead me into the night.

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Descent
Nightmares

“The fog creeps among the buildings in slow moving snakes as the pale moonlight fights to pierce it and illuminate the ground. There are no people to be seen as far as I’m able to perceive, but I hear someone screaming in terror nearby.

I rush towards the sounds of screams and catch a glimpse of a young woman running away. She’s mortal and afraid. I can smell the fear and hear the blood pumping, as her heart frantically beats to supply enough blood. What is she running from?
I hear a great and otherworldly snarl, very nearby and I sprint after her.

She’s fast, seemingly just out of reach at every turn, and the beast is just as fast, keeping pace as we run through the deserted streets…no not deserted, just seemingly empty.
Out of the peripheral vision I sense someone else, watching me.
I recognize Mercêdes, she seems intrigued and inquisitive, with an almost frantic eagerness in her eyes. My Sire is also watching. Her emerald eyes haunts me as she seems pleased, either with me, or with herself?
There is another person present. A man, whom I don’t recognize, yet he somehow seems familiar. He stands tall and broad, statuesque. He is wearing a robe, plain and without any symbols, but it is his eyes that draws me in. They are full og compassion and sadness, and as I reach the fleeing woman he looks away, dissappointed.

I turn her around an recognize her. It’s Lara, although mortal, and as she looks at me she screams…"

I awaken…

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Blast from the past.
Sam

The noise from the bike roars in her ear. Sam cranks up the gas and the bike lunches foreward. The wind i hard and cold on her face. The girl sits in front of her. Her tiny bodhy is trembling violantly. Maby it´s the cold, maby it´s the chock. Probably af bit of both. Imageges emerges in her heard. Dark ones, from a time long ago. Sam shakes her heard to try to make them go away, but it dosent help.

She is at a party in a abandon building by the highway. Theres alot of peaple she knows, and some she dosent know. The rome is dark and smells of rot and deaccay. Hands are grapping her, holding her down, undressing her aginst her will. She tries to fight, to break free, but she is too drunk and too high to do anything. Her body is numb and heavy, but somehow her mind is quite clear…
The next day. Feelings of shame and guilt fills her head. She cant find all of here clothes, and leaves only half dressed. Other thouths comes ind to mind. Was it somebody she knows? Or strangers? She tries to recall last night but it’s a blur. Only the feeling of fear and disgust is very clear.

Sam stops the bike in front of a house. The entrence is dark and secluded. Hopefully this will hide the fact that her hands is smoothered in blood. She have never been here before, but she have heard postitutes talk about this place. This is where they go, when their pimps beat them too much. It’s a place that helps women who live on the streets. It’s at new establishment, driven by charity. Sam wonders, if it would have done a difference if it have been there when she needed it. All those years ago.
She rings the door bell. She can hear someone come to the door and stopping to check to cameraes, to see who’s outside. A woman opens the door. “Can I help you?” She askes. “She’s been raped. She needs help.” Sam pushes the girl foreward. Her face tells the whole story. The woman puts her arms around here, and she breaks down in uncontrolable tears. Sam turns around and walks away. Good. they didnt asks any questions. They know how the streets works. Sam gets back on her bike. She dosent notice where she is going. The memories is all she sees.

_She is affraid. Constantly. She feels weak, disgusting, pathetic. She dosent sleep, she dosent eat. She feels herself wasting away into nothing. She is noting…
She walks the streets alone. Day and nigh. One night she comes to an empty parking lot. Some kids are fighting. She’s heard about them. They do it for fun. For the rush. Because society says you’re not suppose to figth. You’re not suppose to like it. Someting drives here closer. The kids notice her. Asks if she want in. She nods and walks toward them. “What am I doing?” She aks herself. “I dont fight. I dont like violence.” But she joins them and the fight begins again. Sam’s not use to figthing, and the others dosent show much mercy. But for every punch that hits her body, she feels the pain numb here fear. For every punch she gets in, she fells weakness leave her body. She feels nohting but the physical pain and the rush of adrenalin. But for for the first time in many weeks. She feels happy again.

Sam stops her bike and loke around. She’s in the nice part of town, right in front of the appartment buildning where Wade lives. “Well how about that.” She says to herself, and drive in to the parking basement.

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Nightmares
Hell

I awaken…it’s dark outside. I can feel it, but…it’s later than it used to be. Will there come a time when I don’t waken at all? If so, I pray it’ll be a dreamless sleep, or perhaps an eternal sleep reliving my dreams will be my purgatory?

The room is cold, windowless and dark, but for a single lightbulb in the middle of the room. It’s electrical buzzing sounds like thunder to my heightened senses. As I concentrate in front of a somewhat functional sink and mirror I close my eyes for but a moment and it all comes rushing back, flooding my sense of reality as I’m once again trapped in the turmoiling events of a nightmarish hell.

“The smells of sulphur, burnt flesh and human waste are crippling to the senses and combined with flames and smoke it is nigh impossible to orientate.
We advance cautiously to the hellish symphony of screams, chains, etheral whispering and clash of steel. Not all of us have made it this far, I’m vaguely aware of those unfortunates who’s minds broke upon entering these caves. As we pass one of the many pits I look into it, and immediately wish I hadn’t. It’s writhing, alive, with malformed humans, all naked and in various state of rot and decay. Still stunned by the madness encountered we are attacked…they are not humnas, might have been once but no longer. They come at us in waves and seem endless, as we fall one by one. When finally they stop I look around, and confirm that we are but a handful left, none of us in condition to fight much longer. It is a miracle we have lasted this long.
I feel the air being sucked away and turn just in time to see the flames coming at us, and raise my arms in front of my face and body in futile attempt and find myself screaming….”

The banging on the door brings me back to reality. My face is covered in streams of blood, and I vividly shake as I tell whoever is at the door that nothing is wrong. As I look back into the mirror I can still feel the skin blackening and cracking as memory of being burned alive clings to my mind.

How do I make it stop?

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Downward spiral
Reflection on detoriation

Place: Back alley of a shady bar
Time: a little while after nearly draining victims to the point of death while feeding, as the paramedics blinking lights fade away.

Lara: Why didn’t you kill them?
Daniel: Because it’s wrong.
Lara: You really believe that?
Daniel: I want to believe it.
Lara:…but you have killed before!
Daniel: Only with a just cause, and for survival.
Lara: You know that’s not true, and besides you would probably have done the world a favour by taking their lives. They are lowlives, weakening the herd. Sometimes a little killing does a lot of good.
Daniel: Killing is only a last solution, albeit a solution none the less, given the right circumstances.
Lara: Why didn’t you kill them?

I have no answer and a chill runs through me as I fear she may be right. I hear her soft and subtle chuckling as I turn and walk away as she fades back into my subconscious

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Daniel's Creation
Flashback - as seen by Jessica

Place: an abandoned factory
Time: not so long ago

Pain…

It’s cold. I’m shivering as I feel the ropes dig deeper into my wrists firmly securing me to the chair in the middle of an empty storage room.

It’s cold and damp, yet I’m sweating, due to the pain she’s inflicted upon me for …..I don’t know how long….It’s all a blur.

Pain…

I’m made to focus on her face once more, as she’s putting down the needles used for tattooing my body, my legs and arms. Her hair is like faded flame, surrounding her angelic face, broken by few delicate scars, her piercing emerald eyes and blood red lips. She smiles, anticipatory, predatory and her fangs are clearly visible. How could I not have noticed when first we met? It seems unreal.

“Done”, she says, “at least with the tattooing. Your powers should hold through the transcendence, but that comes later. First a little reward…” She straddles me with a caressing touch as she bites down hard upon my neck. The pain is gone, replaced by pure ecstacy.

Pain…

How long has it been? I don’t know. The torture seems endless, eternal. She lifts my chin up, all strength gone from my limbs, so I can gaze into her eyes. She seems reserved, solemn.
She speaks, “Keep your head up. Good!” She’s pleased. An inkling of hope dares intrude my thoughts. “You are ready for your transcendence”, she pauses, “An initiaion into our divine ranks”. It comes back to me in flashes. Battlefield, wars, nightmarish creatures, fire and blood. Always blood.

“It is time to join the Grigori”, she states as she begins to change, and for the first time I truly know fear…..

Pain…
Death…
Blood…
Darkness…

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Alter ego
Memory

Time: not long ago
Place: somewhere in Gary

The sounds of the city at night echoes faint through the alley.
I’m scribling something on a wall with my hands…they are covered in blood? Who’s blood? It’s not mine.

I have no control of my body. It’s like i’m not really here.
I…the other me speaks in a unrecognizable tongue. Some of it is almost familiar, but I can’t quite put it together.

She’s here…Mercédes, asking the other me something. I don’t hear her question, but I answer, not understanding what I say.

I take a few steps back and look at my scriblings alongside Mercédes. She seems satisfied.
The writing looks bizarre, yet oddly familiar. Should I understand this? Why can’t I make sense of it?

Am I missing something?

…or am I simply mad beyond salvation?

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