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Alexander Ramsey - Assamite Antitribu
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“Risin' up, back on the street
I pretended to read the two-day-old newspaper from the table of a sidewalk café where I had been sitting for the past four hours. The café was deserted at this time of the night but it was one of the few that the SS allowed to stay open after curfew in case their soldiers needed a fresh cup of coffee or a croissant that was fresh from the oven. Pink tendrils were beginning to form on the horizon that told me dawn was fast approaching, but that mattered little to me. If I didn’t find the location of the Camarilla bastard’s haven that I had been ordered to watch, I wouldn’t be allowed access to the abandoned warehouse where the rest of the pack had been staying since our arrival in the city.
For some reason, springtime in Paris had never affected me much, especially now that my body had no chance of feeling the warm air because of the vampiric blood that now coursed through my veins. I had ceased to feel regret over the loss of my mortality that had been stolen from me so long ago but as surprising as it may seem, there were a few earthly delights that I still missed. Chocolate. My mother’s plum pudding at Christmas. And the thirty year old brandy that my father used to let me sip as a child when my mother wasn’t looking.
What saddened me greatly now was how appalling this noble city had been treated during the war. Many of the structures that my father and younger brother had marveled over in my youth were now either destroyed nearly beyond recognition or completely leveled all together. It’s amazing that, even as I sit here and marvel over the loss of such great works of architecture, I have to little care for those who created them.
It is the lasting value of things that had always intrigued me, even in the days when I was human. I was an archeologist before Jaya found me and brought me into her world of darkness. I remember how I could barely contain myself enough to make it through my studies at Oxford so that I could graduate. I couldn’t wait to get out in the field. To feel the small hammer and brushes in my hands and the sand as it slipped through my fingers.
It was Giza that I had longed to see and that was where my current life had begun
I shook my head to clear it from my daydreams. With so much to do and prepare for, now was not the time to get lost in what had happened in the days of yesterday. I was a lone member of a Sabbat pack lingering on the streets of a major Camarilla stronghold. There was no one here to watch my back. I was on my own.
I laid the newspaper down on the table next to the café au lait that I had order for looks when I had first sat down and pulled my watch from the pocket of my shirt. Four o’clock. Only two hours until dawn and the vampire I had been sent to watch hadn’t left the building in over four hours. I was beginning to get antsy when from the corner of my eye I saw a troop of SS soldiers as they turned the corner a few blocks away and I quickly picked up the paper and pretended to read again.
Even though it was well past curfew, I wasn’t too worried about them questioning me; the uniform that I had borrowed from my supper earlier in the evening had made certain of that. But I had no way of knowing if they had known the good commander that I had killed for my supper and my mission tonight was too important to jeopardize discovery by either the Camarilla dogs or the Nazis. To my great relief, the troop crossed to the other side of the street without a glance in my direction and quickly moved out of sight.
I was about to leave the café in search of alternate exits from the apartment house when I saw my prey pushing through the front door. Absently, I folded the paper and tucked it under my arm as I rose from the chair and made my way through the sea of empty tables. My target was a Ventrue fledgling who still lived with his sire who just happened to be the Primogen of the clan. It was the packs hope to take out each of the cities leaders all at once but in order to do that we had to first find out where their havens were. The Ventrue was my assignment.
Using my Assamite disciplines, I slipped behind the young Ventrue and crept closer until I was near enough to hear the tune that he was whistling. I didn’t recognize it but the beat was quick and paralyzing enough that had I been a Toreador I would have been lost in it for days. As it were, it allotted me the knowledge to keep him in my sights without giving away my position. Quietus is a wonderful gift to an assassin such as myself but one must learn never to count on one ability to achieve his end. I only allowed myself to take a few steps before looking all around me and I had my garrote in my hand, ready to strike.
Without missing a beat in the tune he was whistling, the young Ventrue swiftly turned down a dark alleyway and disappeared from view. After a quick glance in either direction to assure myself that we had not been trailed, I followed behind him when I arrived at the opening. The space was poorly lit and narrow with tall apartment houses on either side and there was no visible outlet from the opposite end. It was like a cliché from a typical dime store mystery novel about an alley that was sure to hold a cut throat of some sort that was ready to kill a person for their valuables. It was a place where I myself had hidden on many occasion to wait for my intended victims so I held no sense of foreboding upon entering.
As I moved deeper into the alley, I quickly stole a glance upward toward the night sky and saw only a tiny sliver of inky, starscape that was in my view. The advantage was mine in these circumstances and I slipped from shadow to shadow as I followed the Ventrue puppy down the long alley, hoping silently that he was heading home for the day.
He stopped suddenly at a noise that sounded like metal grating on metal and I stopped as well and moved to my left until I was partially standing under a fire escape. Because of my Assamite abilities, I knew that I wouldn’t be seen but the movement toward concealment was a habitual one left over from when I was human and purely self preservative in nature. The sound had come from the darkness ahead of us and my eyes narrowed as I tried to make out the source on the disturbance. The young Ventrue glanced nervously over his shoulder in my direction, as if he could already sense an attack from behind. I was the first to see the thing that appeared from the darkness as he turned his head to face once again where he had originally been heading.
It was taller than any human I had ever seen. Nearly nine feet in height, if my guess was correct. Even though I had never come into contact with one before, I knew that the creature had to be a werewolf and from the way the young Ventrue was looking like he was about to shit his pants if he could, he knew it as well.
“Going somewhere?” the werewolf asked teasingly in French. “Home perhaps?”
The voice sounded female but gravely. I silently cursed the creature for picking this night to enforce the views of her kind. I had a mission to fulfill that had just taken a turn for the impossible and she was to blame.
“W-w-what do you want?” the young fledgling asked as he took a step backward. Fear was quite apparent in his tone, and with good reason too because the werewolf followed, not letting her prey to get too far from her.
“You taint Gaia with your very existence,” the she snarled through teeth long enough to snap a man’s arm off. “The time has come for your final dead, spawn of the devil.”
Just as one would expect a Ventrue to do, the young fledgling turn and ran in my direction, terror imprinted on his features. The werewolf followed, then stopped quickly and snatched up a large piece on rock that had no doubt once been a part of one of the buildings before the Nazi’s had begun shelling the city. The Ventrue was fast approaching the place where I was hiding in the shadows and he had no idea that a nearly forty pound rock was being hurled in his direction and from the look of it, would hit him square in the back.
I watched silently as the missile seemed to twist at the last moment and head in my direction instead. Knowing that it would give me away, I dodged hastily away from the other vampire who had now heard the rock as it had made contact with the side of the apartment house and had now doubled his efforts to get away.
I landed on one knee so that I was facing the wall of the building and I hoped that somehow I had managed to elude the attention of the werewolf. Moving the way I had negated the power I was using and as I knelt there I was optimistic that she had somehow missed me. Boy was I wrong.
“What do we have here?” I heard the werewolf ask. Her voice was right over me and I closed my eyes, not wanting to face what I was sure would be my impending end. Please allow me a moment to explain that my dread had nothing to do with meeting a foe face to face. I am not a coward. Even though my main purpose in life now was to be an assassin who had to sometimes lurk in the shadows much like the ones here in this alleyway to meet my target, it has nothing to do with my ability to fight hand to hand or how bravely I do it. In fact on many occasions I had to do just that to achieve the ends required by my pack and elders.
My dread came from the fact that I had heard many stories throughout my undead existence that had nothing good to tell about vampires who had encountered lupines like I now found myself doing. Even though I had not been given a choice when I was made a vampire, I still valued my life and didn’t want to throw it away now. I was good at what I did for my pack and my mother holds much respect for me even though I have my faults.
I tightened my grip on the garrote to ensure myself that it was still there and slowly rose to my feet again as I attempted to hide the weapon in the sleeve of my uniform coat. The thought that maybe she didn’t know what I was kept running through my head and I clung to the idea desperately. As I had mentioned earlier, since I had never run into a lupine before, I had no previous knowledge of their abilities. I had heard from the stories of other Sabbat pack members that mentioned how their strength was incredible and the fact that they could turn themselves in various degrees from man to wolf. I slowly turned toward her and tried to keep myself in the shadows as much as possible as I observed the werewolf with a guarded expression.
Deciding that the best course of action was to continue to pretend to be a Nazi officer, I spoke. “Good evening, Fräulein,” I said in French with a strong German accent. I felt myself slip into the role that I had set myself up to play, something I had done so many times before in my life. I watched as the werewolves eyes narrowed on me in suspicion as I took a defiant step forward and meet her gaze steadily.
“It is curious to come across one of Gaia’s children in a dark alleyway,” I went on after remembering that she had mentioned something about the ancient representation of Mother Earth when she had first encountered the young Ventrue. I was banking on the fact that she couldn’t recognize me as a vampire in the hopes of killing her, or at least getting away from this situation in one piece. It would be a first for me to take on the guise of a lupine, especially with a real one in front of me.
She didn’t hide the fact that she was sniffing me as she leaned forward slightly and her nostrils flared as she inhaled deeply. “You do know that it is past curfew,” I said as I held my ground and clasped my hands behind my back like I had seen hundreds of SS officers do during the war when they were throwing their weight around. “It is not safe for you to be out like this.”
“What do you know of being safe?” she countered. Since I was still standing, I guessed that my charade was working so far. I knew that I could keep the act going for as long as I needed, but the trouble was – was the werewolf acting, too?
“There is much safety to be had for those under the protection of Führer,” I replied in a steady voice. Raising my hand, I indicated the open end of the alley that I had followed the Ventrue in through and continued, “Please, allow me to accompany you home, Fräulein so that you might better understand the safety of Hitler.”
She eyed my warily then looked toward the open end of the alleyway. I could almost feel the questions as they moved through her mind. What had I been doing in the shadows of the alleyway to begin with? What were my intentions? Why wasn’t I scared to see her in her current state? And most importantly, what exactly was I?
When she didn’t move to walk in front of me to exit the alley, I spoke. “Perhaps you should shift back to your normal form before someone else comes along sees you, Fräulein,” I said as I did the unthinkable and turned my back to her and began to walk slowly.
A pain like I have never known ran through my entire body when I felt her claws rake diagonally across my back from my right shoulder to my waist on the left side. I felt the garrote slip from the fingers of my right hand as I dropped to first my knees, then forward still until I caught myself with the palms of my hands. I was on all fours now and very vulnerable to the werewolf, so it didn’t surprise me when she stepped to one side and kicked me in the ribs with all the force she could muster.
“You are devil spawn!” she hissed through clenched teeth. “Did you think to trick me with your charade?” She kicked me again and regretfully, all I could do was take it. My body felt numb with the exception of the fire on my back and I couldn’t move it no matter how hard I tried. Thoughts of turning my blood into poison to use against my attacker crossed my mind but the impact of her foot into my ribs again temporarily sent the plan from my consciousness.
I tried to stand by attempting to get my feet back underneath me but the pain was too intense and I landed on my knees again with a grunt of frustration. My back felt like it was ablaze where the werewolf had raked me with her claws and I could feel the blood as it poured out from the four wounds until it soaked the entire back of the uniform I was wearing. I tried to manipulate my blood in order to close the wounds but it only slowed the amount of blood that poured from my body. I had received aggravated wounds before during various fights, but I didn’t know that a vampire could get one as a result of a werewolf attack.
She kicked me again and this time I fell over onto my side with a groan and I offered up a silent prayer to Caine that he would somehow come to my aide.
I felt her hands on the front of my jacket as she hauled me to my feet again and she held me easily with one hand while she used her other one to pummel my face numerous times until my eyes swelled shut. Through the pain, I heard her mutter curses of hatred toward me during the beating but her words meant nothing as the pain coursed through my body. Then she let go and I crumpled to the ground once more.
“I’m going to gut you like a pig and wait for the sun to rise and watch you burn to ash,” she said from over me and I was glad that I couldn’t see her, even though I felt her saliva as it dripped from her snout and onto my cheek.
“Prepare to go to hell, blood sucker.”
I heard her walk off then and I tried to move, to get away, but I had lost too much blood and by now I was very weak. I had used just about all the blood I dared to heal myself and now I didn’t even have enough left to poison some in order to try to kill her.
The fingers of my right hand came into contact with something on the ground next to me and I quickly closed them around the object, hoping that it was glass or something that I could somehow use it so save my life. The sun would be up soon but I held out hope that I could somehow escape and see my sire, Jaya, again.
The werewolf wouldn’t hesitate to do what she threatened, I understood that threat clearly enough. It took me a moment to realize that it was the garrote that my fingers had found and as I heard her draw closer again, I brought my trusted weapon to my chest and tried to keep my head clear enough to devise a plan.
She grabbed the front of the jacket again and half carried, half dragged me a short distance and I concentrated on keeping the garrote in my tightly clenched fingers as I wondered what I could do to stop what I was sure to be my last moments of unlife.
In the next instant my ears were filled with her howls that I was sure was meant to call more of her kind to watch me die and hoped dimmed again inside me. Her fingers relaxed on the front of the jacket and I fell to the ground again in a thud that sent more shocks of pain through my body where my back collided with the hard ground and I cried out in agony.
When I was once more aware of my surroundings I realized that I heard cries that sounded like a wounded animal coming from the ground beside me. I used what little blood I had left to heal some of the damage that the werewolf caused but it only allowed me to open my eyes slightly so that I could see the scene before me.
What I saw was my sire standing behind the female werewolf who was now holding her huge clawed hands over her face as she mewled in pain. Jaya held a revolver in one hand and a knife that I knew was made of silver in the other. Without a word, Jaya put the tip of the knife in her mouth and when she pulled it out again, I could see that it was covered in her blood. I then understood that she had used one of our best skills to spit into the face of the werewolf like I had hoped to do earlier in order to stop the attacker and that Jaya now planned to finish the job.
I watched as she set her face sternly and plunged the knife into werewolf’s back two or three times. As the tainted blood began to take effect, the female werewolf cried out in agony and tried to swipe her claws to get Jaya with each plunge of the knife, but my graceful sire danced beautifully out of her reach each time and the lupine eventually dropped the rest of the way to the ground.
Jaya put the blade to her lips one more time and with the newly tipped edge she slit the werewolf’s throat from ear to ear and the werewolf moved no more. She was dead and I watched through barely opened eyes as she transformed once again to a naked, young woman with long, dark hair that was now matted with her own blood.
Jaya came to my side and as the girl returned to her normal form and I thanked Caine as she knelt beside me and quickly ran her hands over my body to assess my injuries.
“It’s nearly dawn. We must hurry,” she said in a low voice just before she eased me over onto my side and found the claw marks on my back. “Oh, Ramsey,” she whispered as she carefully pulled back as much of the material as she dared until I inhaled quickly as new shocks of tingling hurt coursed through me. Somehow she got me to my feet and to the opening of the alley where she had left a car. I passed out in the back seat as she raced through the quiet streets of the city to a place where we could safely hide for the day. I was on the verge of death but Jaya wouldn’t let me go.
“You’ll not leave me now, Alexander Ramsey,” she said with determination as she pulled me from the vehicle and over to a pile of straw that smelled like summer rain from the days of my childhood. Jaya made sure that all the doors and windows of the barn she had taken us to, were boarded against the fast approaching daylight then she came back to my side.
“I’ll be back soon,” she said as she smoothed back the hair from my face then she was gone. She risked her own life to return outside as the first rays of sunlight began to pinken the sky so that she could bring back a human for me to feed from. So that I wouldn’t die.
Eventually I recovered from the wounds that I received from the werewolf that night. It goes without saying that the planned takeover Paris was postponed due to the rather open death of one of the cities werewolf population. Jaya and I managed to stay hiding in the city until I was fully restored to health before we returned to our pack and when we did we went on to create more interesting situations around Europe.
I will always be grateful to Jaya for what she did to save my life. She has since become my guardian angel and together we delve into what it means to bring ourselves closer to Caine and his teachings. She is my partner in this undead life and I wait for the night that I can be to her what she was to me in my hour of need. My only goal in life is to see that she survives.
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