Hey everyone! Back again, I suppose. Not really much to say, so, on with the show!

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Iris was, without a doubt, having the time of her life. Charles had taken her to see the newest blockbuster in the cinema, and since then they had taken a cab to Santa Monica, where they rented a two person boat from an all-night shop that catered to nocturnal beach goers.

It was arguably the best day of her life, and now they were on the doorstep to her apartment. Giving her best smile, the twisted a bit of hair around her finger. "So… do you want to- what was that?" Looking down the alley where she was certain there was a shadow only a moment ago, she fidgeted nervously.

Charles was looking to, giving the alleyway a mistrusting look as if it had previously lied to him. "I'm not sure. One second, my dear." Walking across the street and into the alleyway with his hand in his pocket, Charles began scanning the area, ignoring Iris' pleas to return.

By no means was Charles a slouch in terms of combat. He was not as skilled in hand-to-hand combat as most, nor was he particularly strong; but he did have two distinct advantages over most opponents. One, he was fast. No matter how strong an enemy was, it was irrelevant so long as they couldn't hit him. Two, he was Tremere. While his grasp over Thaumaturgy wasn't as good as, for example, Regent Strauss, but he was at least competent with it.

None of that mattered in the slightest, of course, if you're hopelessly outmatched from the beginning.

The shadow came out of it's hiding place, behind some trash cans, slashing at him with some hooked weapon attached to it's wrist. Drawing his hand from his pocket, Charles revealed his small submachine gun while simultaneously bringing his left arm up to stop the blade, he held down the trigger and sprayed the figure with bullets.

Iris' screams were sort of background noise to him at the moment, as the figure stood back up and shrugged off a full clip from the automatic weapon.

Looking down at the hook still pressing against his left arm, he noticed a vital piece of information he had previously overlooked: it wasn't attached to the shadows wrist, it was growing out of it's wrist.

Following the arm up to the shoulder, and then looking at the face, Charles' undead heart seemed to stop working all over again.

The creature staring at him had dark purple skin, with two sets of horns growing out of the top of it's hairless head, curving backward and down over it's scalp, while another set of bones traced it's bottom jaw line to eventually come forward and jut out like some deranged tusks.

The creature was unmistakable for what it was.

A Tzimisce.

The flesh crafter laughed as he finished straightening his back, towering half a foot of Charles' 5'9", it gave the Tremere a sadistic grin. "Look at the little Childer, playing like it's all grown up." Bringing it's other arm up faster than Charles could follow, the monster slammed it's left fist into his jaw, spinning him away and into the wall behind him. "You have no chance against someone like me!"

Raising himself onto his elbows, Charles slung one hand forward, unleashing globule of blood that thinned itself to razor sharpness. The Tzimisce, however, had been fighting the Tremere for centuries, and as such had learned to defend from their more obvious attacks.

Bringing it's right arm up, the monster took the brunt of the attack on it's bone hook. "You seem to forget that your Thaumaturgy is not all-powerful. If it does not connect with flesh, you might as well throw a knife at me for all the damage it does." Drawing it's foot back, it grinned as his heel grew a spike of bone from the bottom. Charles' eyes had just enough time to widen before the creature drove it's foot into his stomach.

Gasping from the pain as the creature withdrew it's foot and returned it to normal, he clutched his stomach, willing some of his vitae into the wound to facilitate healing. The creature only laughed again. "Do not feel bad, you had no chance to begin with. I am a prodigy of Vicissitude, while you are only mediocre at Thaumaturgy. Perhaps in a century or two you could best me but now? You have a better chance of surviving Gehenna. But don't worry, I wont kill you now. No, I just want a prize for my hard work."

Turning around and walking toward the fear stricken Iris, the monster grinned. Finally managing to lever himself onto his feet, Charles grabbed a lid from one of the overturned garbage cans, before launching lit like a discus at the back of the Tzimisce's head.

Without even looking behind himself, the monster grew a spike of bone upward from his spinal column, deflecting the attack. Grabbing the now screaming Iris by the wrist he laid the bone hook across her throat. "What do you say to your boyfriend now, dear Kine? Now that you see what he is? A coward that can't even protect those close to him."

The Tremere could feel his hate bubbling inside of him, but he knew the monster was right. He was way out of his league. He could only watch as Iris screamed for his help one last time, before the Tzimisce grabbed her waist and leapt to the fire escape of the next building.

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The knock at the door disturbed Uther from his book. Glancing up from the novel, he gestured vaguely to the door. "Heather, could you?"

Hearing her master's words, the ghoul got up from her position resting against him and walked calmly to the door, hand in pocket.

Glancing out of the eye-hole, she let out a small gasp before drawing the semi-automatic pistol from her jeans. "Master, Charles is here."

Coming up from his seat, Uther placed the book on the end table before pacing to the door. Gently moving Heather out of the way, he opened it, raising one eyebrow at his visitor. "I thought you made it rather clear during our last meeting your dislike of me."

Glaring at him through his bangs, Charles swallowed his pride. "A Tzimisce took Iris. I can't beat him alone. I need your help."