The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary: men alone are quite capable of every wickedness. -Joseph Conrad
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Join date : 2016-05-16

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PostSubject: Last Resort   Last Resort EmptyThu Dec 22, 2016 12:10 pm

Geneva pulled her cloak tighter around herself, but not out of a wish to be warmer. The day was actually unseasonably hot for London. The closer she got to the abandoned theater, in the worst part of town, of course, the more she became aware of the risks that such a visit entailed. True, there had been three meetings of the Accords since its inception in 1872, but the general mood towards Downworlders was still quite negative. Interacting with Downworlders was seen as a chore that many found distasteful. Going willingly to the lair of such distrustful creatures and being caught in the act would only worsen her image in the eyes of those she sought to impress; that is, if there was anything left to worsen. Geneva all but disappeared into the thick cloth, as the carriage passed by a busy intersection.

Soon, the well paved roads were abandoned for the uneven, grimy cobblestones that characterized the neighborhood in which both vampires and werewolves could be found. Knowing that she wouldn’t see any familiar faces in this part of town, Geneva cast off the heavy cloak, feeling a brief sense of relief at the open air that cooled her skin. However, her nose quickly wrinkled at the sight of the dilapidated theater house and its accompanying smell of decay. The carriage entered through an arch barely large enough to allow passage and stopped just inside the courtyard. Not waiting for Jamie to get down and help her out, Geneva opened the carriage door and stepped out onto the cracked stone.

“I know you’re not stupid enough to not understand where we are, so I am ordering you not to say a single word about this visit to your sister, my children, or anyone else who you might make conversation with,” Geneva said, her voice sharp, as she stared up at the boy. “You will stay right where you are and will speak to no one. You know what will happen should you choose to disobey.”

Having finished her little decree, Geneva turned without ceremony and walked somewhat rigidly to stand in front of the main door. Its wood was degrading and, unless she was mistaken, a handprint of blood had been placed in the center. Wrinkling her nose again, she knocked briskly, careful to avoid the handprint.


Mariana’s eyes were closed, as they often were. Her back rested against a vibrantly purple pillow, made of silk and stuffed with goose feathers. Around her, lay her coven, lounging on lesser versions of her cushion. They were all quite decrepit. Decrepit, but many. The room would have been considered stuffy if any of them still created body heat.

Picked off the streets in fits of blood lust, their death’s transforming into a lives lived in the shadow world only by the changing of her mood, once enraged, then remorseful. At least that was how the first few had been created. The siring of the majority had been a calculated move, one that would ultimately fulfill a larger, more satisfactory purpose than the dismal company they now provided. They were the dregs of London. Drunks, beggars, whores, and oversized, street urchins. They had not been missed. But, once placed back in society, they could become as unnoticeable as the grime that London’s masses walked over each and every day. The perfect army.

They were precious to her purpose, but they held no special place in her heart. If she even still had a heart. However, one vampire, the first she had ever sired, she knew to harbor a certain belief of her inclination towards him. Mariana had turned Marius out of a longing for the resemblance he bore to Valerie, her long dead, adopted daughter. This resemblance gave her comfort at first and did still, when she found herself lingering in a lucid state. It did not surprise her, though, when his golden locks and feminine angles would bring anguish instead of satisfaction. She felt no guilt in the rage she sometimes dealt out on Marius. Her life had given her so much pain that it now seemed a fact of life. Pain, then, must be the same for everyone, a constant companion.

Still, Marius sought her favor, praising the actions she took and bringing her such gifts as he could find. Today’s gift was an entertainment Mariana had expressed a preference to, one night or another. Marius had searched the night before and had found a young, gentleman violinist. He had cast a fascination on the mundane, leaving him perfectly happy to follow a menacing figure into a dilapidated building, that smelled faintly of blood.

The violinist had been playing for the better part of five hours now, and Mariana could hear the slight twinges of mistakes in his otherwise beautiful work; his finger’s were losing strength. She could also hear the heavy breathing of her coven, thick with hunger and desperation. She liked to keep them constantly on the edge of starvation; it made them more dangerous. Despite their situation, not one soulless body would ever dare pounce on the mundane without permission. Fledglings, as most of them were, were known to be amazingly strong and fast. But, all knew that Mariana was stronger and faster.

“You can stop now,” Mariana ordered, her eyelids lifting in the same lazy movement as her body, as it rose from the cushioned floor. The silken robe that she wore seemed to float around her and yet, at the same time, cling to her, as she made her way over to the violinist. She could see a growing fear in his eyes, the same gaze that one would give a wild animal. Mariana guessed that the encantu must be wearing off. All for the better, most likely. She knew her coven liked a bit of a fight at dinner time.

“You played beautifully, but, like all things, beauty must ultimately meet its end,” Mariana whispered, almost to herself, as she came within inches of the mundane. She could see every droplet of sweat now forming on his face. “Unfortunately, you must now meet your’s.”

And with no other warning, she grabbed the mundane’s head and sank her fangs into his jugular. The hot, gush of blood met her tongue almost immediately, coating it and then the rest of her mouth. She took only a small amount of blood, knowing there would not be enough for the others if she took more. Detaching her mouth from the violinist’s gaping wound, Mariana threw his body to the floor. A flash of relief came into his eyes a second before the coven descended upon him. His screams were animalistic.

Mariana observed the frenzy with a feeling of distaste. She was spared further audience of the spectacle by the addition of a second scream, smaller and more humanlike. She quietly slipped from the room.

The area in which she kept her current child was as far away from the room she had just left as possible. The screams urged her ever faster, her feet reaching the threshold faster than blinking. Never a mother biologically, Mariana still felt the keen sting that all mother’s feel when a child cries out. The room was dim, a cloudy light filtering through the heavy drapes over the windows. Not enough to harm Mariana, but enough that, the young girl, lying in the room’s only bed, could see her visitor. The screaming stopped. Mariana quickly walked to the child’s bedside and sat on the edge.

“Now, sweet one, why do you cry out so,” Mariana cooed, her hand stroking back the girl’s golden curls. She didn’t miss the flinch her touch had caused in the girl, just chose to ignore it. As she also chose to ignore the restraints, belted tight against the girl’s body. The child had tried to jump out the window, only yesterday. She was new. In time, she would learn to accept her new life. As all the others before her had.

“I’m sorry if that poor man scared you with his loudness, but, see, he has stopped. And, now you can go back to sleep and dream of beautiful things.”

The girl let out a small whimper, her eyes staring wide, as Mariana leaned down and placed a kiss on the girl’s forehead. Sitting back up, Mariana felt a sudden tightening in her throat. The traces of her earlier feeding had not been cleaned away, so her kiss had left a crimson impression on the child’s skin. The contrast between the pale and the dark was so beautiful. It looked positively delicious. The motherly softness from earlier swiftly left her eyes, replaced with the fierce hunger of an animal’s gaze. The child saw the change and started crying, a noise that was swiftly muffled by Mariana’s hand. Her nails had almost pierced the soft skin of the child’s cheek, when a knock echoed its way into her mind.

“Seems we have a visitor,” Mariana whispered, her hand lifting away from the child’s mouth. Pulling herself away from the bed and out of the room was not as easy as she would have hoped. Her sanity was slipping. The haggard form of her constant companion met her in the hallway, Marius’ face expectant.

“Go and see who is at the door. Bring them to my rooms if they turn out to useful. I trust you to know the difference between a guest and dessert.”
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