|The Story of Serina, Caitiff
Author: KindredWoD PM
The backstory of Serina Foster, my Caitiff kindred played in the Memphis, TN chapter of MET Larp. The primary purpose: why she's a runner.Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Horror - Vampire - Words: 2,487 - Published: 02-24-12 - id: 7867199
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Serina Foster's backstory
From the time she could recognize a pecking order in life, Serina knew her place was at the bottom. Her mother took off before she could remember what she looked like, leaving Serina with her father and two older brothers in the shithouse in eastern Las Vegas she called home. Growing up, Serina quickly got in the habit of coming straight home from school, picking up a rock from the front yard, and using it to wedge at the bottom of her bedroom door. It was the closest thing she could find at 13 years old to act as a lock against her older brothers. When they were between girlfriends, they tended to substitute with
Sad Serina, as they called her at their leisure.
By the time she turned 16, Serina had dropped out of school and been legally emancipated, but the only jobs she could find didn't allow her enough money to move out on her own, not with the cost of living in Vegas. Figuring she could get a roommate or boyfriend to pay half the rent (they couldn't be any worse than her current housemates), she started allowing herself to look at potential guys. Such a thing hadn't really been an option before, not with how the whole idea of sex made her feel thanks to her brothers. But when she was just about to turn 17, she managed to find her first real boyfriend. In the middle of the night, she took only two backpacks of belongings and escaped into the cool summer air. Bobby was a decent enough guy, but after about a year, his habit of putting money towards his veins before food in their stomachs was enough to make Serina look elsewhere. Four boyfriends, and consequently four apartments, later she found Dylan.
Serina doubted Dylan was his real name, but she didn't care enough to pry. He was a way out. After about a month together, they celebrated Serina's 24th birthday. Dylan had a surprise present for her. The night was a blur, something he slipped her combined with some freaky thing he did with his eyes. All she really knows is that she woke up two nights later more thirsty than she'd ever been in her life. Sitting up from the bed, she turned her head slowly to her right, somehow sensing that he was seated there without even seeing him first. When her stormcloud-grey eyes landed on his face, somehow seeing it in pitch black, his grin was what she remembered most. "Welcome to the night," he said as he jumped down from the table he was crouching on. "Time to learn some new rules, Stormy." He only called her by her nickname from that point on. He never said why.
Serina picked up on as much as she could. Sunlight? Bad. Crosses? Don't care. Turns out Dylan had a whole group of friends he'd never introduced Serina too; friends other than the junkies and drug-runners she had already met and were part of how they paid the rent each week. Caitiff, they called themselves. Apparently she'd become one too, since Dylan had made her and he was one. Whenever Dylan said it was time to go meet up with them, Serina stayed quiet, stood in the back, garnered as little attention as possible. She didn't like the group gatherings, didn't like being around too many people. Most of them didn't care for her much. Apparently she had something wrong with her. She remembered one Latino guy said, "Her beast is too close to the surface." He went on to describe her habit of growling and how the humans she fed on didn't go serene when being bitten. They screamed. Oh did they scream. They fought and hit and kicked, trying anything in their power to get out of her grasp. She learned to either cut her victims ahead of time and merely drink the runoff, or grapple them into submission.
After a few weeks, she disciplined herself enough to adapt a "learn fast or die faster" mentality. Since she had to work extra hard to manipulate her prey, she learned how to perceive what they were feeling, using her deeper vampire sight to see how she needed to push them.
She also picked up the nervous tick of clawing things when she felt uncomfortable, which was quite often once she heard one word. "Dude, your girl's a freak. Need to put that bitch on a short leash," some jerk from the north side told Dylan. Freak. In a group of blood-sucking monsters, she was a freak. It was bad enough that she learned the Caitiff were hated by the Prince; a big bad vampire who pretty much owned the city. Apparently he was, and almost all city Princes were, hotshots in the Camarilla, a worldwide group of vamps that enforced old, ridiculous rules the Caitiff didn't give two shits about. She wasn't even accepted in the group that was supposed to be like her.
"Hey, lay off. Just makes her more lethal once she frenzies out," Dylan said in a half-hearted attempt to get the other guys to keep their comments to themselves. "Ain't that right, baby?" he asked Serina. She had to force herself to keep from snarling at every one of them.
It was only a few nights later that Serina found a need to leave Las Vegas. In their usual fashion, the group of Dylan's Caitiff were lounging in a cheap apartment complex, watching the comings and goings of the residents, waiting for one or two that could be shared in the group. At around 2am, an SUV far too expensive to belong to a resident pulled up on the group. "Good evening, ladies and gentleman," a stunner of a blonde announced as she stepped from the passenger seat with far more grace than a human would be capable of. Each of the other three doors opened, revealing large men who looked like they were all business. "Where might I find…" she was momentarily distracted as she pulled a small leather-bound book from her satchel, flipping to a certain page. "Dylan Parker, Jakob Anderson, Michael Sanchez, and Toby Bridgewater?" The blonde woman gave a pure plastic smile as she looked the group over, having named off all present except… "And who might you be?" she asked as she looked at Serina.
Before anyone could give an answer, Jakob puffed out his chest in traditional overconfident male fashion. "Who the hell are you, lady?"
The answer was a blade cutting clean through Jakob's throat, his head slowly falling forward and rolling away from the body. Serina never saw the man from the driver's door unsheathe it; only saw the aftereffects. "Undesirable number 238: Removed," the blonde announced as she pulled a pen from the spine of the book and made a checkmark with extra flourish. "Now which one was Michael?" she said as she looked back to the group.
At this point, all hell broke loose. Serina did the one thing her instincts told her; run. Without a single backward glance, she took off in the exact opposite direction of the SUV and its occupants. "Stormy!" she heard Dylan yell before several gunshots went off. She wasn't sure how she made it away. Clearly the Prince's lackeys (as she knew them to be once they called Jakob an undesirable) were faster than them. Maybe Dylan helped her escape. Maybe they didn't know what she was yet so had no reason to chase her at that time. She didn't care to know. She just ran.
She ran for hours, ducking between the casinos and scampering through the edges of the other kindred territories. Once she was outside the actual city and the sun threatened to peek over the mountains, she dug. Burrowing into the hard and compacted dirt of the desert with a tenacious drive to survive, she hid from the sun in the arms of the earth. In the tiny space around her face that she didn't let the dirt collapse on, Serina's lips twitched idly, perhaps offering a silent prayer to gods that had never shown her favor. Finally, she succumbed to the lethargy of the day and slipped into unconsciousness as a coyote yipped in the distance.
The following dusk, she ran until she thought she was outside the Prince's domain. Laughlin was a scrap of a city. Still within Nevada, but far enough away that she thought the possible price on her head might not reach. Also small enough that she thought they wouldn't have much of a kindred enforcement group. Hell, maybe she would luck out and the only other kindred there would be clanless like herself. Luck was not on her side…
Only three nights after arriving, Serina was scooped up by five brutes even faster than those she'd in Vegas. Brought into what looked like a warehouse, she was escorted down several flights of stairs until reaching an underground building protected from the desert days. "Well well well," a raven-haired man in a rich green suit said from the head of a long dinner table. "What have you brought us, Turkus?" Serina kept her head slightly down, but her grey gaze never stopped, trying to take in all that was around her, find a way to escape back up to the surface.
"A stray I've been watching a couple nights," one of the five enforcers said from behind her. "Looks like a scared rabbit to me," he chuckled in a deep baritone.
"Well, we can't have strays, now can we?" the apparent man in charge replied. Standing from the table, he buttoned his suit jacket with nimble fingers and smoothed his hair back at the temple. He looked no older than thirty-two, but Serina knew looks were nothing if not deceiving in her world. "Allow me to introduce myself," he continued as he stepped toward them in an arrogant swagger, Italian loafers clicking softly on the concrete floor. "Vincent Long, Prince of Laughlin." Great. Another Prince.
"I apologize for entering your city," Serina offered with her head bowed and eyes flicking between the floor and Vincent, favoring the floor. "I am only looking to pass through. I will leave immediately if your men will show me the door out."
The Prince chuckled and his lackeys were quick to follow suit. "Oh, my dear. We wouldn't want to throw out one who could increase our numbers. It's not a very large city, after all." Vincent walked right up to Serina and stood less than a foot in front of her. The feral instincts pulsing through her vitae screamed for her to put distance between herself and the potential threat now presented before her. It took a measure of willpower she didn't know she had to keep her Converses right where they were. "Now then… What's your name and clan, my dear?" Serina was quickly learning to detest that endearment.
"Se- Serina Foster. I- I don't claim a clan," she confessed in a small voice.
"Everyone must have a clan," he said with a million-dollar-grin. Turning slightly, he stepped up beside Serina and threw a confident arm around her shoulders like they were best buds. It snapped something in Serina. Not a huge snap; just enough to make her dip into the taboo books. She hissed at the Prince.
Everything in the room stopped. Had she been in her right mind, she would have said that even the worms in the dirt around the walls stopped crawling. After the initial shock wore off, Vincent let out a belly laugh and removed his arm from Serina, strutting back over to his seat at the table. It was enough to let Serina come back to reality. "You know what I think, little Serina?" he asked rhetorically as he unbuttoned his jacket again and plopped back in his fancy chair. "I think you're one of those rogue Gangrel who've been hiding out in the desert, unknowing of the Camarilla's wonderful…" He paused as he kicked his feet up on the table, crossing his ankles as he searched for the right words. "Partnership program," he finally settled on. "But don't worry. We'll let you spend some time with the Dog Trainer, as we call him." Serina watched the Prince wink and then make a shooing motion with his hand. She was then shoved rather roughly to the side by one of the five goons, towards a door she hadn't noticed in the dark before.
An hour later, she met the Dog Trainer, as the Prince had called him. He was actually a Cammie-loyal Gangrel named Jack. He was instructed by the Prince to retrain the Gangrel they brought in from the desert to be loyal to the Prince and (eventually) the Camarilla. Jack didn't think anything different of Serina than he did the actual Gangrel who had been brought in. They were all reluctant to accept the Prince and wanted to simply be their feral selves. Serina's luck took a fortunate turn less than a week after being acquired by the Dog Trainer. Some of the Gangrel frenzied when the Jack told them they were all to pledge loyalty to the Camarilla the next night. In the commotion, Serina and a few of the Gangrel escaped. And once again, Serina ran.
This time, she knew she had to get out of the desert. Word of her escaping two Princes would definitely reach a few states over. Opting for humidity over dry desert air, she ran to the east, burrowing into the earth as she needed during the day and running with enduring determination at night. Eventually she found herself in Missouri, but thought she needed to go a bit further. After crossing the Mississippi River, she turned south and ran almost parallel to the river for quite some time. As she came into the Memphis city limits, she thought to try and settle again. This time, she'd try to get some friends to keep her safe, as she was obviously failing on her own. It wasn't difficult to learn the club where kindred were known to hang out. A flash of a fang within its walls and she was directed to the house where she would be able to meet some with certainty.
In the chilly February evening air, she stepped through the door of the house, and met the Anarchs of Memphis…
Please note this story is still pending final approval for acceptance into the nationwide network of MET.
So what do you think?