18th September 2004
Sirens filled the night as the debris began to fall on the city, the inferno engulfing LA's highest artificial peak as the seat of Camarilla rule laid in ruins. Set apart from the kine and their worries, two figures stood atop one of the many parking garages of Downtown LA, close enough to see the devastation in detail but to avoid the unbearable heat of the tower itself.
"Hell of a fireworks show kid, shame you can't stick around for the aftermath, going to be a hell of brawl." Smiling Jack laughed, his eyes following the clouds of smoke drifting across the city, crushing the detonator in his hand, before casting the remains off the roof to the streets below. His laugh had the usual hoarse, smoker's tone, despite years of undeath. "Hell, if they do think you're dead, you might make the red list in under a week."
"I did always want to travel the world, Africa sounds nice." The other figure spoke, instead watching the flames atop the Camarilla headquarters, bleeding heat into the sky. They had chosen this form of attack as metaphor as well as literal, a warning to the Camarilla, a beacon to the Anarchs, a reminder they were still in the game, and in a big way. The younger vampire's trench coat flapped behind him as the air pockets from the inferno picked up the wind.
"I'm sorry about your ghoul, only a kind though." It had been a fairly simple ruse really, the fairly distinctive and concealing dress of the fledgling hiding the features of the new vampire's only ghoul, imminently before the planted bomb detonated, no matter the almighty power of the vampires, the city would successfully, for the most part, fool for one of the simplest disguises concocted. It had been the Fledgling's idea, Jack may have been cold when he needed to be, but he wouldn't have volunteered his ally's property for him.
"If we'd have failed, they would only have killed her anyway, I'll be seeing you Jack." The figure turned, placing his hat atop his head, tilting it to cover his eyes as he began to disappear into the night, the cold wind of the night whipping around him until even Jack couldn't make out the Kindred with his heightened senses.
"I wouldn't bank on it Kid."
23rd October 2004, Present Day
Even in his office, the base of the music beneath him just about blocked out, Henry could hear the call. A call that brought a tired sigh to his lip. He enjoyed Herodotus greatly, and had just managed to find himself in the flow of reading Ancient Greek despite the background noise. The club wasn't exactly his ideal hall of residence, at least most of the time, but such was the company he kept. Another sigh broke his lips as he placed the book back down upon his desk and turned to exit the eye of the storm that was his study in the club, pulling open the somewhat sound proofed door and was immediately hit by the base. Shrugging it off, he began to descend the stairs down to the second floor, where at the elevator he was met the by now familiar persona of Isabella Voerman.
"How is my favorite British duckling this evening?" Her voice nearly a purr, she waited for him to join her in the elevator, before pressing the button for the ground floor, waiting with her back to the far wall of the metal box they now inhabited. It was archaic to say the least, but it was never used by the patrons, or even anyone outside of the Inmates, so it was hardly top priority.
"English, and I was fine, what is this about?" His bluntness earned him a rather typical eye roll, even as the woman across from him giggled, her distinctive black and red having been traded in for black and white, trails of black mascara drawn down from her eyes in the impression of tears, there was a gothic theme running through the club at the moment, even more so than usual, and of course its mistress reflected this, although to Henry's eyes she looked more like a French maid than an actual goth.
"I need someone to police the Ocean House for the night, someone who the Kine can see without freaking out their pretty little minds." Despite talking about business, her voice retained its surly and flirty tone, bordering on childishness. As she spoke, she twirled the ends of one of the ponytails of her hair. Henry may have been as bastion of calm, but he wasn't completely immune to her charms, and so took a second to centre himself as they arrived on the ground floor. The doors and metal guard sliding open, the barely muted base now overpowering Henry's sense of hearing, to the point that he simply replied to Isabella with a nod, before heading towards the exits. He briefly spoke to the two bouncers on the door once outside, exchanging a few pleasantries. He had dealt with servants all his life, in one form or another, it was always good to develop personal bonds with them, that way it would be far more inconvenient for others to bribe them. He called a cab for transport to the Ocean House, it wasn't far, at least not for a Kindred, but he didn't feel the need to expend his precious blood reserves when he had far more money to waste. With a considerable tip, the cab sped through Santa Monica. Still bearing the scars of the proxy gang war fought in the area during the Camarilla's push to extend its influence over the whole city. They hadn't banked on the Inmated and their web of ghouls and gangsters, even crooked cops. The Voermann sisters had been willing to dance to the Camarilla's tune, but not direct slavery, they were Kindred not Kine, and the Camarilla had bled for every step they claimed, and bled more for every step they took back in retreat.
As the cab approached the Ocean House the buildings began to thin out, until they approached the double metal gates of the premises, Henry calling ahead to have them opened, before he was dropped at the steps. He took them one at a time, there was no need to rush. The Ocean House was a reasonably smart hotel, but the suit Henry already wore was sufficient, so with a nod to the doorman, he swept inside, halting at the reception desk, well aware one of Voerman's ghouls was on duty. Her tastes hadn't been asthetic for this one, a middle aged man, although still built for power, he wore his uniform well, although he wasn't the bordering model material of many ghouls chosen by kindred in these modern nights.
"It seem I've been sent to play guard dog, anything of note I should keep an eye on?" His archetypal noble tone drawing a few eyes, although mainly in curiosity as he spoke to the receptionist, whom promptly waited for any kine, whom were unaware of the true nature of the establishment to be out of earshot before he spoke.
"A few kindred, and possibly that new Camarilla big shot from Chicago, so I doubt Isabella's wanting anything to go wrong."
"Bigshot? Whatever the man may be he is still a guest, remember that Daniel. Get the call round, double the outer security, I want ghouls all all approaches. We may not be strictly Camarilla, but I doubt our fellow kindred will turn their noses up at a potential attack to deal the Camarilla another blow, and obviously keep the Kine away from any rooms they may inhabit."
"Yes sir," The man nodded, before picking up the phone beneath the desk, although before he had finished dialing Henry had already left, heading towards the central dining hall. So he wasn't only a guard dog, but a star host. Brilliant.