Kindred 2006. The End of the Masquerade

1. Caitlin

"Feeding time, leech?" – asked Lilly, when Caitlin arrived. Lilly hated Caitlin. Ten years passed, but Caitlin was still as beautiful as before.

It happened in 1997. Cash and other 3 gangrels were missing for several weeks. Daedalus and his "information gatherers" were sure that they had been killed by the Sabbat. So Julian gave 4 siring permissions to repopulate the clan. But to his surprise, Cash and his friends returned back safe and sound. Yes, they were caught by the Sabbat when Cash tried to save Sasha, and kept as prisoners, but finally managed to escape. Or may be Sasha helped them to escape – who knows - in any case Cash would never admit it. After her betrayal, Julian had to declare a blood hunt on Sasha, but he always hoped she would never be found.

After that event the number of Kindred became unbalanced with the number of mortals in San Francisco, so Luna declared a strict "siring freeze". Lilly decided to benefit from it. She came to Caitlin with a tape recorder, just to talk about her "dreams". Of course, Caitlin said several times "This dream was so real… I am not sure it was a dream at all". It was quite enough for Lilly.

At the next primogen's meeting she used this tape as a proof. "Caitlin's memory was not erased" – she said. "So, she must be killed or embraced". Poor Julian. He could not embrace her – he declared a siring freeze and could not make any exceptions until the number of Kindred becomes balanced again. And to kill her… it was absolutely impossible for him.

When Lilly prepared for the victory, he found a perfect solution. He made Caitlin his ghoul. Caitlin was invited to the mansion and kept locked for few weeks, until she fed his blood 3 times and the blood bond became unbreakable. Since that Luna fed her regularly several times a year, and she helped the Masquerade using her newspaper. As a ghoul, she became very healthy, strong, but of course, not as independent as before.

2. Bad news

"No", answered Caitlin, "actually, I have a very bad news". She was so serious that she ignored the offence. She left a CD ROM to Luna. When Julian looked at the files, he invited all primogens to an emergency meeting.

- Why do I get this information from Caitlin, not from you, Daedalus?

- We were not ready yet. The analysis is not complete

- Yes, but the Sabbat operation IS complete. We've just lost a NYC. Prince is probably killed. So, what do we know about this mysterious new clan? Daedalus, I need to know their weak and strong points, how to destroy them, location of their heavens, everything!

Daedalus opened his notebook, and began to talk.

- So, what do we have on them… Clan… name is not known, but they call their selves "Vampires", not "Kindred". It is a very old clan from the Eastern Europe, moved recently to the US. As any Sabbat clan, they are proud of being Kindred, they don't hide their nature… they prefer a gothic appearance. They are very strong, but except for Celerity, they don't use any magic disciplines. However, they have a lot of Hi-tech stuff.

- Location?

- We tried to find their heavens, no success yet.

- Primogen?

- A very ancient Kindred. More then 600 years old. A merciless killer with a low humanity. Remember, once Nines Rodrigez from L.A. killed a werewolf with his bare hands? Now imagine, she killed hundreds… Also there are rumors that she had diabelized her grand-grand-sire. I am afraid she is too strong for us.

- Why are you smiling, Cameron? Remember, you live only because I allow you to. So, if that clan doesn't use magic, we should contact the Tremere clan, they can help…. Be careful. Report any unusual activity. Lilly, remember, you should take care of Gomez. Dismissed.

3. Gomez.

He called the "Deb of night" so many times, each time with a new conspiracy theory. He was absolutely harmless, until the last time. Lilly had to find out who gave him that information, about the sarcophagus and vampires. She found his latest post in a forum, when he explained his theory. She sent an email to Gary – Nosferatu hackers will take care of the forum, this message will disappear soon.

She called Gomez, told him that she had some very important information. Of course, he agreed to meet her. Then, it was so simple with her charm. She did not want to be messy, so she came to his apartment. As soon as the door was closed, she said "I am afraid, young man, but you have to die. The only way for you to survive is to tell me everything". Of course, she lied, she would never let him live.

He looked frightened, but at the same time excited. "So it is true, it is true" – he repeated. Suddenly she felt she was not alone. She turned around, but it was too late: four armed men stood behind her. "Don't move" – said one of them. "You think that few bullets won't make you any harm, but believe me, these bullets are very special – they contain an Ultraviolet liquid inside. Even one will be mortal to you".

- What do you want? She asked with a panic in her voice, when she realized, that these kindred were from that clan. "I am not ready for the final death" – she thought.

- Well, actually, we just wanted to save the life of this poor human. We knew you were going to kill him. Don't you find it strange: Camarilla kills people, and we are saving them? So who are the monsters?

- He endangers the Masquerade.

- Masquerade is doomed anyway. Now just go, we will explain everything to him. He will be on our side.

- Just go?

- Yes, just go. You are free. What did you expect - that we are going to kill you? Again, we are not the monsters. We even don't drink a human blood, we use an artificial one.

- But...

- You, Toreadors, are very flexible beings. I am sure that when the time comes, you will be on our side…

4. More bad news.

Lilly called Julian from a taxi. "We need another emergency meeting" – she said. "They are here, in the town". When she arrived, Julian was awaiting all primogens.

"So, they just let you go"? – asked Julian.

- You don't believe me?

At that moment, Cash entered the room.

- Caitlin…

- What?

- She disappeared. I tried to contact her but…

Julian looked shocked. But the nightmare has just only begun.

Now it was Daedalus' turn to bring bad news.

- Julian, Cameron has refused to come. I am afraid, he is on their side.

Julian eyes became green. – Why some many bad news tonight?

- This is not all, Julian – continued Daedalus. – We lost Chicago and Miami. One prince was killed, another… betrayed us.

- So, they want a war… they will have it. Daedalus, any information from the Tremere clan?

- They refused to help us. This new clan, they did not kill other kindred in the NYC. They control the city, I expected the massacre, but apparently, nothing like that happened.

- So, Tremere are going just to sit and wait? They are not going to enforce the Camarilla law?

- They prefer peace. So, if this new clan does not kill us, the Nosferatu clan also will try to be neutral.

- Daedalus, I counted on you…. And you too…

Julian sat down. Everything was ruined. He remained silent for several minutes. Then he said: "well, we still have some time to prepare before they dare to attack us".

5. The end of the Masquerade.

But he was wrong - they had no time. Suddenly they heard few gun shots and voices downstairs: "Don't move, or I will shoot you!". Everybody turned their faces to the door, the door opened, and they saw a girl with unnaturally blue eyes and black hair.

- My name is Selene, she said. I am a primogen of the new clan

- I don't believe, how could dare you, Sabbat, to come here. To my city…

- It is no longer your city. And we are not the Sabbat. We are the 3rd force. We are the future. No wait! – she noticed that Julian wanted to take a sword. – I don't want to kill you, even it is very easy, you are so young, less then 2 centuries old.

"You see", she continued, "You Kindred are so stubborn… with your so called "Masquerade". Do you really think humans don't know about us? Give me a break. Just use a Google search and you will find a lot of interesting things. Do you want to survive for the next century with your old SSNn? Do you know that any attempt to obtain a biometric passport will make obvious that you are not humans? Can you imagine the number of people confused with finding more and more the same 50 or even 100-years old fingerprints in the FBI database? It is just a matter of time when we will be all exposed. So we must act ASAP.

All the movies, little green men… Mortals got used to it. They will accept our existence. Yes, we are the night creatures, but… humans respect all sorts of differently-challenged people, so, they can also accept blood-dependent sunlight-challenged creatures. (Lilly smiled) Are you afraid of the "hunt"? I am not. Do you know what I am really afraid of? The number of wanna-be vampires and ghouls. Imagine, how precious is that gift – the immortality. So we are going to save our species, and we are going to redefine the rules.

If you join us, you will have an unlimited amount of the artificial blood… yes, it can not be compared the real one, I would say, it sucks (Lilly smiled again)… but… the quantity, as I said, is unlimited. You don't need to do any criminal acts at all to survive. The era of the Masquerade is ended. Period. A new era begins. Are you with us? It is up to you.

As she walked towards the door, Julian stood up and said with desperation in his voice: "So, nobody is going to help me kill this Sabbat bitch"?

Selene opened the door and turned around.

- And by the way… if you want to follow the Camarilla law and to continue with that "masquerade bullshit, then go ahead, but you will have 2 small challenges first. Enter!

Two women entered the room. The first one was Sasha.

- Are you going to kill me, uncle? - She asked.

Another one was Caitlin. But… What happened to her? Her heir… it was black. And her eyes…

Julians' eyes are widened in a horror.

- Caitlin… are you embraced… by them?

The end.