Disclaimer: Don't own Squat.
(A/N: sorry but I won't be too sure when I can update next cause of school and the like, but I will keep writing even if it's a crappy poem that I become overly fond of.)
Celest Chronicles: Chapter 1: Scandal
She sat in the Elysium waiting for the Kindred to calm so she could speak. The Gathering was in disarray. Celest watched as the Kindred argued about what she saw as nothing. Did it always have to come down to a fight to the death with these children? Celest looked up to the top of the dining hall stairs to see Seneschal Aeris of Clan Brujah standing at the top and counting backwards from one hundred. Looking around the room, Celest became increasingly more disgusted as she watched a few clan leaders argue for position of Prince while the rest prepared for a fight. Guns were cleaned and knives were sharpened, all except for Tori the Anarch Baron and her friend Sasha. Tori looked exceedingly agitated and ready to burst at the seams, while young Sasha was trying her best to calm her.
Celest strained to hear other conversations than just the fight over who becomes Prince. When she could hear nothing over the raised voices, she sighed in annoyance as the debate continued to rage in front of her. Did nobody have respect for those with sensitive hearing anymore? All this fighting, just to vie for the position of Prince? Celest schooled her features into her signature apathetic look as she rose from her seat in the corner of the room. The debate was becoming quickly out of hand. Carefully measuring her steps and watching her temper, she moved to stand between the few Kindred that wanted nothing but power. Everyone involved glared in her direction and went to move around her so they could swing on their target.
"I have seen enough of this foolishness. Pittsburgh is in no position to lose any more members. As an Elder I declare your fighting to the death over Praxis null and void. There will be no fighting." Despite keeping her voice low, her tone flat and her words polite enough, she received spiteful glares from Regimond, the Ventrue, and Terry, the Toreador Elder, arguing heatedly over the position of Prince, only the Brujah Sheriff seemed thankful for the interruption.
"And what would an Independent Caitiff be able to do? Such petty and weak words from one such as yourself, Priestess!" The Ventrue only grinned to himself in pleasure at this, his disgust still apparent in his smile.
"Silence Childe! You seem to forget I could devastate you with a single flick of my wrist…" Celest had tried, she really did, but her temper had busted its seams. Her hand was on her sword that was normally hidden within the folds of her large warrior's kimono.
Loud cracking sounded from above, and faces turned to see the Seneschal's signature temper had taken hold much to the railing's dismay as it shattered into a thousand pieces and fell to the ground floor in a clatter. "Now listen here. I don't rightly give a damn who has the bigger dick! We need a fit and capable Prince!" The Seneschal began to slowly descend the remaining stairs, still twitching in hopeless anger and leaving dents along the way. "Now that our most recent Prince has been involved in a scandal and is currently Blood Hunted, we need to get a ruler in the city both wise and capable. And well, let me see… I have before me a Clanless Independent vying for order, a Ventrue with a telephone pole so far up his own ass we can see the wires sticking out his head, a Toreador who gets distracted by damn near anything shiny, and our own Brujah Sheriff who hardly speaks even when spoken to… I believe the choices we have are asinine! Now if anyone has any reason why I shouldn't have you all Hunted for not aiding the Hunt that should be already underway, please say so now. And before anyone tries anything funny, I will remind you that I am the oldest and most powerful kindred in the Camarilla now that the old Prince has left!" Mumbles of 'No ma'am' and 'sorry' were heard coming from the gathered Kindred, but more than a few seemed agitated by it. A few dark glares passed between older Kindred before Celest began to speak.
Celest waited for the Seneschal to pause before she spoke. "This city needs one in office who is wise and worthy. Those are qualities that very few here possess. But I know one in this room who does possess them." Celest turned to the bar setup to meet the gaze of a very nervous looking Nosferatu. He shifted uneasily as Celest stepped towards him. She had been watching him over the past few nights in her 'sleep'. She watched as he led the city into a relative state of peace, driving away the Sabbat with an iron fist and proving himself a just ruler by considering not only what he was told, but what wasn't said as well.
"Why would we bother listening to one who holds no interest in the responsibilities of the Prince? He would likely abandon us!" the Toreador shouted in outrage.
"It is because he gathers the proper information before he acts that he is wise and he is far more powerful than you, Childe, for he is a Clan Elder. You need a patient and pragmatic man to rule this city and not use it as his plaything. So, what have you to say?" Celest turned her attention once more to the Nosferatu she had backed. He shook his head at a loss for words as he tried to piece the enigma that was the Priestess together.
"Very well, to stop the senseless bickering and begin this God forsaken Hunt, I Aeris, Seneschal of Pittsburgh, Clan Brujah, demand a vote.
First, Regimond Felt of Clan Ventrue." A few hands rose from the Ventrue, but nobody else seemed inclined to vote.
"Second, Terry Harper of Clan Toreador." A few kindred snickered at the lack of raised hands.
"I, Sheriff Stone remove myself from the voting." A few kindred looked on in disappointment at his announcement, but nobody said anything. Celest gave him a respectful nod and he returned the gesture.
Aeris nodded her assent and continued, "Third we have …what was your name again?" She turned to the Nosferatu and gave him an impatient look. "Noris, ma'am." He flashed a weak smile in her direction and she continued. "Noris, Elder of Clan Nosferatu." Before she could finish her words, most of the Kindred inclined to vote raised their hand. Celest had to try hard not let the mischievous grin spread across her face. But she guessed it was only to be expected when she had saved most of their lives, discreetly of course.
Aeris sighed in relief before her expression became one of suppressed pain. "The Kindred of this city have chosen. I believe congratulations are due Prince Noris of Pittsburgh." Noris nodded weakly shooting Celest a pleading look. She walked over and whispered in his ear. A mixed look of relief and resolve covered his face as he stepped forward to make his speech.
"Kindred of the city," Noris began, his tone was polite, not telling anything of his nervousness.
"I am honored by your decision. I shall do my best to be just and fair with tough decisions. As it is, I shall likely call for a change in office soon. After all, change is good for a place stuck in its ways." Celest suppressed her impish grin as Noris paused, surveying the reactions of the Kindred before him.
"But as for the more upsetting business, I hereby call for a Blood Hunt of Donovan James of Clan Brujah and Gabriel Bastion also of Clan Brujah. Donovan James is guilty of Diablerie and his sire, Gabriel Bastion is guilty of Aiding the Escape of his Childe. Now any Camarilla Kindred that does not aid or contribute to the Hunt, is to be Hunted themselves. I did not write the law, I am only stating it." Noris waited for the reactions of the Kindred in front of him, many of them looked anxious to leave and were placing their weapons in accessible places.
Celest would have sighed in relief if it were not for the aforementioned scandal. Now Gabriel Bastion had been an agreeable man, even for a Brujah. He was strong, capable, and had dedicated himself to his studies much like the Brujah of old, but that would never seem to be enough. After all, Carthage was still fresh in many an Elder's memories. Celest looked off into space as a vision of the past overtook her sight.
Celest had devastated the Sabbat presence within Pittsburgh. She was in and out without a trace and all that was left was a large pile of rubble where the abandoned church once stood. When DJ had goneto seek vengeance for an old vendetta against the Bishop within the city, he got himself in a very awkward situation, and while friends and allies had been scouring the city for any sign of him after he suddenly disappeared, it had been to no avail.The pain and sorrow DJ had emitted was strong. While busy battling demonic minions elsewhere, Celest had felt the alteration in his aura, he seemed extremely distressed as he tried to reach out for help. She raced towards him with no hesitation. It was there in the abandoned church she found them. In the blink of an eye the Sabbat were mostly destroyed, but the basement was a different story. She battled minions and monstrous creatures created by none other than the Tzimisce Bishop. DJ was found incased within the Bishop's body and a young Brujah by the name of Sasha was found going through 'initiation'. Both DJ and Sasha were more than happy to be taken from the remaining rubble that was once the Sabbat stronghold.
Now, one would have expected DJ to be happy with his rescue. However, it had seemed this was not the case. DJ had gone into a depression, leaving Tori, the Anarch Baron, at somewhat of a loss. Tori and DJ would always be rather close friends. They had been through a lot together always saving each other from certain death. DJ's Sire, the Prince of Pittsburgh, had decided that DJ did not need his help. After all, Bastion had given up on his Childe. Understandably, Tori was furious with Bastion and in turn, the entire Camarilla.
As her vision returned and she realized she was still standing in the Elysium, Celest backed out of the middle of the argument that had just taken place. She had things to do and wasn't in the mood for dealing with squabbling children vying for power. She had to find the motley crew of Sire and Bastard Childe that had escaped the confines of Pittsburgh. She needed to speak with Bastion.
After stepping outside, Celest remembered how this regrettable night had begun.
The night had been rough, as she walked away from yet another fight with an Infernalist's minions. Celest stretched after surveying her outfit. She was covered from head to toe in burns that would have killed a lesser being, her clothing was singed beyond repair and she was sheathing her swords when the vision hit her. Tori stared in the face of her sire with pure hatred. "Fuck you!" she screamed at him. Her Sire laughed at her insolence. "Embrace what you have become Childe! For I will watch as you kill your best friends!" He laughed as Tori screamed in pain at her Sire's words. Celest waited as her vision focused in and out and a different point in time came into view. "Ummm… Hi." Tori was greeted by silence as she looked in the face of the one who had pulled her out of the burning Anarch stronghold, so she tried again. "Look, acting like the strong silent type will get you nowhere. My name is Tori. And you just saved my fucking life." DJ looked down to the woman he had just saved and just raised an eyebrow at her.
Her vision swam once more…
Tori sat alone in a warehouse with the ex-Seneschal looking down at her from the catwalks above. With the ex-Seneschal, now Bishop, was the Archbishop and a Templar. The Bishop watched with a grin as gunfire was heard coming toward their location. Tori couldn't move, couldn't shout out. She just watched with glazed eyes as the doors burst open revealing a battered looking DJ and Sasha. One step. Two steps. Three steps… the doors slammed closed as shadows covered them and all lights were snuffed. Monstrous creations came into view for those who could still see. Sasha wandered blind and Tori couldn't move. DJ grabbed Sasha and tossed her in Tori's direction. A creature several hundreds of feet long covered in bone spikes slithered around them like a snake cutting them off from any escape. They were trapped with two stitchlings in close proximity. DJ lost his arm and almost his life on several occasions as he went rounds with the creatures. The whole time, the Sabbat leaders watched with smiles on their faces. Sasha was the only one to find the route to escape. She clicked on a flashlight and fought the urge to vomit at the sight before her. She grabbed a few of the grenades that Tori was famous for threatening enemies with and blew a hole in the giant snake-like creature. DJ made a break for the exit with Sasha carrying Tori on his heels.
Celest leaned against the wall outside the Elysium as she remembered…
Celest shook her head and thought for a moment. DJ had recently gone on the hunt to save Tori. It would only make sense that Sasha had gone with him. Celest raced toward the direction of DJ's aura. As Celest walked up to the broken and abandoned warehouse that stood as a Sabbat hangout. She walked around the dead guards by the door. As Celest progressed, she could hear the breaking and shifting of metal from the many explosions and watched as rust fell from the ceiling. She arrived to the source of the explosions only to find DJ fighting what seemed to be clones of a rather nasty Brujah. She stepped through a doorway and watched as DJ, weak as he was, sank his fangs into one and it turned to ash. She did the only thing she could. Celest waited for the catwalk to fall and entered the room where DJ had fought valiantly for his friend's life. She caught the three Sabbat members and swiftly staked them. She took them outside and placed them into DJ's van. She knew he would be credited for catching them, but why should she care for glory or recognition? On the other hand, what she did care about was he would now be Hunted by his own Sire and the Camarilla. Obviously, the relationship between Sire and Childe was strained but Celest was worried. She moved almost mechanically toward the Elysium.
Celest arrived long before DJ and his friends, but the moment they walked in the whispers began. 'Diablerist' they whispered to each other. The rumor of a possible Blood Hunt spread like a wildfire among the Camarilla. DJ limped to his sire's office to inform him he would be leaving the city and who was waiting in the van. Tori followed in shortly after. She glared at the Camarilla members as she waited for her friend. Celest watched it all unnoticed from within the shadows. From her seat, she watched as DJ left and the Seneschal wandered upstairs. Bastion was never seen leaving, but his aura shortly followed that of his Childe. The Seneschal came back out troubled. She stood gripping the railing of the stairs for support, watching and listening to the gathered Kindred. Celest watched as the Seneschal's emotions were locked away and a blank look covered her face.
The Seneschal sighed, and cleared her throat. "I regret to inform you that the Prince has left our Great City. He feels he is needed elsewhere at this time." Her speech was interrupted by shouts and jeers from the Kindred below, 'scandal' 'Diablerist' and 'traitors' could be heard. Celest closed her eyes and waited for them to be silent. "As I was trying to say, at this time we must declare Praxis or have an Archon breathing down our necks for the third time this year alone. So I, Aeris of Clan Brujah, declare Praxis in the City of Pittsburgh. Would anyone wish to stake a Claim?"
Celest opened her eyes back to the present, and stepped back inside. She would find Bastion and DJ after she settled the bad feeling she had. The Elysium seemed to be emanating danger…
As she stepped inside the dining hall, Celest came face to face with both Tori and Sasha. Tori looked less than pleased with the current situation. Celest could see the pain and sadness hiding underneath the mask of rage on the young Toreador's face. Lucky for Celest, Tori was fixed on the scene unfolding before her. Celest knew what was going to cause the problem. Tori was finally losing her temper. Celest used her speed to exit the Elysium. The building shook from the force of the grenade Tori had let loose in the direction of her own clan.
"Now listen and listen good. I really don't care what you think of DJ. He has saved my ass and a few of your asses on more occasions than I care to count, so if anyone has a brain in their head they will forget what happened. But, because I know that is far from likely, I am going to save his ass as he just did mine. Got it? Fuck you! Fuck the Camarilla! And fuck this god damned city!"Tori's voice could be heard echoing into the nearby alleyways as Celest ducked out to recover her hearing. Tori's retreat was marked by the sound of gunfire and explosions. She watched as Tori and Sasha ducked out into the streets with the Camarilla on their heels. Celest knew she would be heading to the prearranged meeting place her and DJ had kept secret. But what she also knew was that this city needed less chaos and more stability. She couldn't leave yet. She just prayed that the church had gotten her letter and knew what to look for.
[A/N: Thank you crackedradio for being my beta. I love to read reviews because they help me improve my writing, so please review!]