For the fallen angels seeking redemption, from a world in which they don't belong.
When I first began writing, the universe that my characters inhabited was based on White Wolf's "World of Darkness", and "Vampire: The Masquerade".
However, over the years since my first additions to shadowedkisses and my own "fan fiction" shadowed_kisses, White Wolf have re-invented the universe with a new "World of Darkness", and replaced Masquerade with a new storytelling RPG called "Vampire: The Requiem".
I have taken creative licence and changed some things. Areas no longer have a specific "prince" who rules over all, continuing the idea from shadowed_kisses the council rules the vast majority of the world. It's made up of most vampire clans and various bloodlines, however there are rogue elements who refuse to bend to the will of others.
These rogue elements threaten to expose the secrets hidden in the shadows of an otherwise unsuspecting world, by breaking the "Masquerade Law", and using the mortals as pawns in their never ending war.
Raven stopped pacing the study and glared at the screen on the
wall, part of the video conferencing system that Angelo had set up, the man
being displayed clearly wishing he couldn't be seen right now.
"How could you not know?" Raven roared. "You've had him under surveillance for months; he's been working closely with members of the council. Was everyone so busy kissing his ass that they didn't notice he was a vampire?"
The man on the screen shuddered visibly, and stuttered his response.
"R-r-raven, i-i-it is as much of a s-s-shock to us, as i-i-it is to y-y-you. W-w-we're looking into h-h-how this c-c-could have happened…"
Raven had moved around the room to stand behind the large study desk, and slammed her fist down interrupting the man. Before he had the chance to continue, Raven cut in, her voice steely cold, her eyes locked on the image on the screen.
"As I am now a high ranking member of the council, you will show some respect and call me Miss Quelhaven, or ma'am. I am also evoking my new security status and requesting, no 'demanding', everything you have on Travis Aldridge, no matter how classified it may be. I expect that information to be on my desk within the next hour. If you fail in this task, not even the warm light of day will be enough to keep you safe. Am I making myself clear?"
The man on the screen swallowed hard and stammered his response, "Y-y-yes, ma'am."
With that the image blinked out, Raven sat down behind the desk, and slowly a satisfied smile played across her lips.
----To Be Continued----
The door to the limousine opened from the outside onto the rain swept streets of London. A hand reaching out for hers, Raven took it and steeped out onto the red carpet. Socked from the rain, it made a squelching noise as she moved. A young man, dressed in an impressive suit, held an umbrella above her head and led her down the carpet to the main entrance of the embassy hall.
"Invitation please, miss", said another man, in a similar suit to the one who held the umbrella above Raven's head. Judging by his build, and the weapon that was holstered inside his jacket, Raven assumed that he was security. Well trained security too.
Raven slipped into character instantly, smiling sweetly as she handed over the invitation. "Certainly, I think you'll find everything is in order."
While the guard was checking her invitation with a small scanner, another appeared from a small booth and began to pat Raven down for concealed weapons.
"Do I really look like I'm hiding a weapon?" she asked with a slight air of irritation.
"I'm sorry miss; I'm just doing my job."
As the guard finished patting her down, the other handed the invitation back to her and the pressed a small button on a device attached to his belt. Moments later, the door to the embassy opened.
"You may process miss, have a nice evening.
"I'm sure I will", Raven smiled again, and stepped through the doorway. Raven hid her awe well, as she entered the big hall that would hold the evenings "little" get together.
"Now I know why Angelo loves doing stuff like this..."
Raven tried to hide her impatience, she'd been at the embassy for over an hour, and Aldridge had yet to show himself. Considering that the event was being held in his honor, it looked like Travis was going to be a no show.
The embassy hall was enormous, and filled with people from various walks of life. Ambassadors, doctors, business men (along with their escorts), it was a strictly high profile "black tie" event, and it showed.
Raven lifted the glasses that were resting on her face, so that she could rub the bridge of her nose. The small earpiece she was wearing suddenly squawked to life.
"You know, I was watching that." Daniel's voice came through.
"I'm not wearing these so you can perv Daniel, any word on Aldridge?"
"I intercepted some mobile chatter; apparently he was stuck in traffic. Police communication in the area backs that up, as there were reports of an accident on a bridge along the route we... I mean... you, suspected he would take. And hey, I'm not perving, that's a state of the art camera I put in those glasses."
Raven smiled softly, taking a drink from one of the young waitresses, and sipped it slowly.
"It can store two hours of video data in its buffer, record in normal, night vision, thermal, and it transmits it all back here to the manor." Daniel continued, sounding truly offended.
"You're just disappointed that you couldn't figure out how to make it have an X-ray mode." Raven retorted, holding in the laughter. Daniel was easy bait. "Keep the comm. Chatter down, we can't afford to be discovered."
Moments later, Raven heard the clearing of a throat behind her, followed by an unmistakably male voice.
"Excuse me miss, I don't believe we've met"
Raven turned road, and had to suppress the urge to reach for her sword, despite knowing that she had left it in the limousine.
"Travis Aldridge, the world's leading developer of bio technology." Raven smiled as Travis took her hand and placed a small kiss upon the back of it.
"I feel I'm at a loss miss, it seems you know so much about me, and yet I don't even know your name." Travis said, in a way that only a creepy slime ball could.
"Oh, he's good." Daniels voice came through, clear as day on the earpiece Raven was wearing. Luckily she was the only one who could hear it.
"Whitechapel, Emily Whitechapel. I'm an attaché assigned to the embassy." Raven blushed as she smiled, the act was flawless.
"Well, Miss Whitechapel, it has been a pleasure meeting you. I look forward to our paths crossing again in the future." Travis looked up and down Raven's body in such a way it made her skin crawl. It was like he was undressing her in his mind, even though the slinky black dress that she had on left little to the imagination.
"Oh, the pleasure was all mine, Mr Aldridge" Raven smiled again as Travis kissed the back of her hand and left to mingle with other members of the crowd, with a small contingent of guards.
"What?! That's it?? I thought you were going to lead him away and kill him???" Daniel sounded like he was going to die of shock.
"Review the recordings, specifically the thermal one. I think you'll agree that a mobile phone that doubles as a silenced gun won't do the trick."
"Hey, the bullets on that thing will go through steel, it took me ages to get it..." Daniel paused. "Oh... we're fucked"
Raven sighed, "This is why I prefer to work alone..."
----To Be Continued----
"You do know who Travis Aldridge is, right?"
Raven took her eyes off the giant screen that took up one of the walls of Daniel's "office", to look back at him.
"I hadn't heard the name before this morning. Should I know who he is?"
"He's like the Bill Gates of the medical world!" Daniel replied feverishly.
"Easy tiger, you’re going to shoot a load if you're not careful." Raven replied, trying hard not to laugh at just how excited Daniel was. "Let me guess, his work involves blood, right?"
"Yeah, how did you know?" Daniel tapped a few keys on the keyboard, and the screen mounted to the wall, changed to an image taken from a newspaper.
The headline read "New hope from Aldridge", and the article detailed work Travis had done to aid those who needed blood transfusions.
"It would explain why the council were so interested in him, we've been working on synthetic blood for years, we just haven't perfected it yet." Raven turned her attention back to the monitor.
"So, why do they want him dead?" Daniel asked, fingers striking the keys of the keyboard hard, fast and noisily.
"He's outgrown his usefulness, normally we'd turn him, siphon off his accounts, and terminate him further down the line. However lately he's been getting too big for his boots, and there are rumors of him meeting with factions that aren't part of the council... though nothing has been confirmed. The council believes he's become a liability, which is where I come in." Raven picked up the cup on the edge of the desk and took a sip of Earl Grey. "We just need to find a way for us to meet..." she continued thoughtfully.
Daniel tapped the keys on the keyboard again.
"How's next Tuesday, say around... 9 o'clock?" he said with a grin.
----To Be Continued----
Raven rubbed the bridge of her nose, as she sat in the study reading the paperwork that was spread out over the large desk.
Having spent the past month in her new home, the mountain of paperwork was a welcome change to the endless number of meetings that the council had her doing. If Raven had to listen to one more territory dispute between rival clans, she swore she'd decapitate every member of the parties involved.
Raven's time at the manor, with the exception of the council's work, had so far been quite relaxing. A completely different change of pace from what she had been used to, though there were a few awkward moments when she was around the mortals that also resided in the manor. Raven wasn't accustomed to people serving her… then there was the one in the basement, Daniel. He was weird even by Raven's standards. Did he ever leave the basement?
Raven was letting her mind wander, and shifted it back to the documents on the desk, her latest assignment from the council. Details were thin on the target, a vile man by the name of Travis Aldridge, which wasn't the normal council standard. Though there was nothing normal about this assignment...
Travis Aldridge was a mortal.
----To Be Continued----
Raven crumpled the letter into a ball and threw it in the waste paper basket next to Angelo's desk.
"Dammit Angelo", she said softly, though the tone in her voice clearly showing her frustration.
Robert cleared his throat noisily behind Raven, indicating that he wanted to talk. Raven wiped the single tear from her cheek and turned to face him.
"I take it you know what Angelo has instructed?" she asked.
"Yes Miss Quelhaven, your room has been prepared and we are ready for your instructions." Robert folded his hands behind his back.
"Contact the council, let them know that I have arrived at the manor, and that I'm ready and waiting for their next assignment."
"As you wish, Miss Quelhaven." Robert turned to leave.
"Raven will do just fine, Robert."
"As you wish, Miss", with that Robert left the room.
Raven sighed, slumping back against the desk, when she heard another person approaching the study, though they were trying sneak up almost as if they were afraid. Catherine popped her head around the doorway, smiling nervously.
"I take it that you'll be staying then, miss?" Catherine said; nervous smile beaming across to Raven.
"I haven't got a choice, kid." Raven paced the room "Looks like you're stuck with me", she said reluctantly.
Catherine tried to hide the disappointment from her face, at seeing how the current situation sat with Raven. "Can I get you a drink Miss Q – err, I mean Raven?" She asked. "We have a fine assortment of blood, animal, hum-"
"Tea will be enough Catherine, Earl Grey if you have it."
"Certainly Miss, I'll get some right away."
Catherine's head disappeared from view, and Raven could hear her running down the corridor. Rubbing the bridge of her nose, Raven sighed again.
"Making me a high ranking council member, babysitting mortals, what have you gotten me into Angelo?"
My dearest Raven,
I hope that this letter finds you safe and well, as I have always wished. I only wish that things could be the same for myself, alas they are not.
Things have been coming to a head recently, between the council and myself. They have made certain decisions, which I believe to be the wrong ones.
When I look at the past 15 years, I feel that the events that have unfolded all appear to be part of a carefully laid out plan. A plan to what, I don't know.
I have to re-evaluate things, find out who it is that is toying in our lives, and why. I guess you could say I have to find myself again too. Until I return, the manor, and all its assets are yours to use, for anything you may need. In my absence, you will take my place on the council.
I have faith that you will make sure things run as they should, and not let things descend into chaos. I have contacted the council, informing them of my decision. Do not let their twisted views sway you; I trust you will do what needs to be done. Do not let me down, little one.
Nothing lasts forever, not even immortal vampiric love. I see that now.
Until we meet again,
----To Be Continued----
The rain fell down on the darkened streets of London. It
always seemed to rain whenever Raven came home, but tonight it seemed to be
doing so with passion as raindrops thundered against the roof of her taxi.
"Angelo summoned me, least he could have done would be to have sent the damn limo", she said out loud, but to herself, blowing the hair out of her eyes.
Four days ago, word had reached her that Angelo had wanted to see her. However, at that particular moment in time she was on assignment for the council; another low life, another clean up job.
As the Taxi pulled into the Manor's grounds, and rolled to a stop, a flash of lightning lit the sky. The taxi driver cleared his throat and turned to address Raven.
"That'll be nineteen pounds fifty, miss", his cockney accent thick, yet easy to understand.
Raven handed him the money through the plastic partition and exited the black taxi. Rain still falling hard, puddles forming on the ground, it made the manor grounds look dreary.
The taxi driver had exited the car shortly after receiving his money, and was now helping Raven take her bags to the door. Raven didn't get the chance to knock, it opened almost immediately.
"Miss Quelhaven, it is good to see you again" Robert ushered his young daughter Catherine to take some of the bags from the taxi driver, as he took some from Raven's hands, and invited her in.
When things had been brought in, and the taxi driver had departed, Robert took the opportunity to make sure that Raven was comfortable, and had a drink before he addressed her again.
"What brings you to the manor, Miss Quelhaven?" he asked politely.
"Angelo sent word that I was to come here at 'my earliest convenience'." Raven sipped the cup of warm blood.
Robert looked puzzled, "But the master hasn't been here for quite some time… he did say however that if you were to call by, I was to lead you to the study."
Raven finished the cup of blood, placed it on the small table in front of her, and allowed Robert to lead her to the study, despite knowing the way like the back of her hand. In ten years, the manor hadn't changed at all.
Robert unlocked the big wooden door to the study, opened it, and waited outside as Raven looked round the room. It was then that she noticed the small envelope on Angelo's large desk. It was addressed to her, and upon opening it and reading the letter enclosed, a single tear fell down her cheek.
----To Be Continued----
My life didn't turn out as I expected. Indeed, it never really went anywhere before I died. That was when everything changed, my new life as an immortal assassin… forgive me for jumping ahead a little, I guess you could say it all started 20 years ago…
Rain poured down on the city of London, as Emily made her way
down the poorly illuminated streets to club "Gothik". It was sad little cliché
club, with terrible music that sounded like someone smashing a guitar rather
than playing it, yet Emily couldn't get enough of it.
Emily was dressed for the occasion, black leather mini skirt, a black low cut top, and a long black leather overcoat, which she pulled round herself to protect her from the rain. Her long back hair, plastered against her face, make up running down her cheeks. It was how they all seemed to dress in club "Gothik", and you just didn't fit in if you wore anything else.
Arriving at the steps of the club, Emily stopped as the security guard checked her for weapons. In a strong cockney accent he told her she could go through. Passing through the main doors, it took a few moments for Emily to adjust to the noise, and the low lighting, before making her way through the crowd to the busy bar.
Finally getting a drink, she made her way to one of the darkened areas, far away from the dance floor, and sat watching the crowd as she fixed her make up. It was then she noticed the gentleman in the corner, hidden almost completely in the shadows, looking out onto the dance floor, almost as if he was looking for something.
Emily had seen him before, on numerous occasions. Usually he was in the private section, a different woman at his side each and every time. Tonight however, something was different and she couldn't quite place her finger on what it was.
"Hey, tall dark and brooding…" Emily called to him. "Can I get you a drink?"
The man came over, took a seat next to her and smiled softly, his brown green eyes twinkling.
"Thank you for the offer, little one, however I'll have to decline." His eyes scanned the crowd again, and then fixed on something. He grew visibly tense. "If you have somewhere else to be tonight, kiddo, I'd suggest you go." His voice was dark, and gravely, he was still looking at the crowd as he got up to leave. And just like that he was gone, melting into the crowd on the dance floor.
"Don't worry about him, darlin'. Old tight pants there doesn't know a cute little morsel when he sees one." came a voice to Emily's right.
Looking up she saw a man, dressed in a similar attire to her own, with black leather pants, instead of a skirt and dark brown eyes that Emily instantly got lost in.
"Drink up sweetness" he placed a glass on the table in front of her "I feel we've got a long night ahead of us", he said with a wink.
It felt like hours had passed, and although Emily could have
sworn that she'd only had two drinks this evening, the world was shaking from
side to side. She couldn't even remember the name of the man she was with, which
definitely wasn't like her at all.
He'd led her outside, the cool night air failing to snap her senses back into place, as he led her round the back of the club. The music still so loud that the dull thumping of the beat was making the walls vibrate.
"Where are we going?" Emily said, in a sleepy tone.
"We're going to wonderland kid, you'll love it, I promise", he almost seemed to be laughing, as he tightened his grip on her wrist.
Moments later, Emily was slammed back against the wall. His lips against hers, she could feel one of his hands pulling her skirt up, and the other lifting her hands above her head, holding both of her wrists in place. She knew that it was wrong, and she knew that she didn't want to do it, but Emily felt powerless to stop him, the world still spinning and flipping.
He was paying close attention to her neck, little kisses, and twirls of his tongue. It tickled and tingled, and Emily wanted more. As his teeth sank into the tight flesh of Emily's neck, she gave out a weak scream, barely audible even in the alley way, it took all her strength to make that much noise, and she could feel herself getting weaker, slumping back against the wall.
"Little young for you, isn't she Winter?" a low voice called out.
He let go of Emily, who slid down the wall to the floor, barely able to keep herself upright.
"Wait your turn man, there's plenty to go around." Winter called back, looking around to find the source of the voice.
"You know, there are rules to the way we feed", the voice called out again, it rang off the walls of the alleyway.
"Don't give me that 'masquerade' crap; the council don't know what they're talking about." Winter was getting nervous, and pulled out a gun from his back pocket. Security it seems, had somehow managed to miss it.
"That won't work…" The voice trailed off, as Winter aimed the gun down the alleyway, to the apparent source of the voice.
"Fuck you man, fuck this follow the rules bullshit." Winter let off a few rounds, the sound of them ricocheting, echoed off the walls.
"Winter Cranmere, you have been found guilty of breaking the masquerade law on a number of separate occasions. I have been sent to bring you to justice." The voice was persistent even as Winter fired off the rest of the guns clip, hitting nothing but the walls of the alleyway.
Moments later, Winter shrieked with pain, as a sharp wooden stake was driven through his back until it came out through his chest. A stunned expression on Winter's face, as he looked down at the stake, moments before dissolving into dust.
Emily couldn't believe her eyes as Winter turned from flesh and blood, into nothing more than dust that carried on the breeze. The world was fading around her, was it real?
The source of the voice, the man she had met earlier that night, crouched down beside her. Placing two fingers on her neck, he checked her pulse.
"Can you hear me kiddo?", he said, opening her eyes to look at her pupils.
"Yes..." Emily's voice was weak. "What's happening to me…?"
"You're dying; he took too much from you"
"Save your strength, little one."
He told me that he could save me, but the choice had to be
mine. I was 18, I didn't want to die. He tasted me, just like Winter had, though
I don't know if it was because I was dying, or if it was just him. But when he
bit me, it didn't hurt. I remember tasting his blood too, shortly before the
world turned to black around me.
When I woke up, I was in his home. He'd turned me, the only way he could save me. He explained that I couldn't go back to the world I had left, something I really only learnt when I went back to my father. Their world rarely accepts our kind, and our world is constantly at war with each other.
For the next ten years, I trained heavily with him. Picked a new name for my new life, and accompanied him on many of his missions. I too, became a vampire assassin, working for the council, doing their dirty work.
Although it's been ten years since I set foot back into his home, I have been summoned by him for reasons unknown to me. I guess I will find out what it is that Angelo wants, when I get there.
My name is Raven Quelhaven, welcome to my world.