The pain was immense and distracting. I rely on my years of training to remain conscious but no one never told me it would feel like this, never
mentioned the unholy grip of flame that would wreath my arteries.
Looking up and forward down the neon lined street I could see the dark minimalistic sign, my only hope for rescue, solace or salvation but I knew I
was doomed. The sign I followed like Polaris in the gloom of midnight read "Café Delirium" and beyond it lie a cliché hipster boutique wherein was
served the fair of it's denizens. Coffee, pastries and espresso would be on display the lofty scents of cinnamon and nutmeg would play about the knit
capped heads of it's customers and their laptops and their smartphones.
I stifled a painful cough and gripped my neck hoping to stem the flow of the Maladie Du Sang. I could feel it even more now, pushing it's corruption
further along my cardiovascular system; I grew more weary with every step toward The Café.
At long last I had reached the alley that led to the blocks beyond and slinked my way toward the access stairs near the café's receiving docks.
Stumbling painfully down the stairs I leaned heavily upon the handrail as my vison began to pulse with a crimson malevolence that filled me with rage
at having found myself in this situation to begin with. I issued the knock that served as our unit's passcode and waited.
"Verily, knight! Speak your cause or move along." A voice spoke from the other side of the door.
I said, "It's me Rico, they got me; There's no time for your LARPing crap."
From beyond the door I hear Rico, The Guild's doorman, unlatching and unlocking deadbolts and magnetic locks. "Are you sure?" Asks Rico looking pale
"Yes I'm sure, how could I not be?" I remove my hand from my neck showing him the wound while walking into the Guildhouse, black lines of Maladie Du
Sang gripping my veins as corrupted and lithe tendrils, crawling invasively down my neck.
"Oh no, no, no, no!" Rico was beginning to panic.
"Calm down Rico!" I whisper through strained exasperation, "Just get Saint and meet me in the infirmary."
"Saint? Saint is on a mission till later tonight she'll be gone for hours!"
I groan and punch the wall feeling my strength and hope wither like so many black roses left unwatered. "Dammit, okay Rico now you can panic because
I'm officially a deadman. How is the Café?"
"How is the the damn Café, Rico?"
"Everything upstairs is fine there are only a few customers and Anjutwan is watching the Promethean Senate like you..."
"Forget the damn Senate, Rico, follow me to the lab just in case I pass out. Afterward I need you to go up to the Café and tell Anjutwan to meet me
in my quarters.
I grit my teeth and begin walking down a portrait lined corridor toward an open communal living quarters with identical corridors branching off in
each cardinal direction. Heading down the east hall I make my way to Saint's lab and begin looking for a vial of already prepared Ombre De Lune.
Finding the pulpy purple liquid I unstop the vial and quaff the concoction. The pain and red rushing in my head begin to slow. Rico watched the entire
time not taking his eyes off of the two welting fang punctures in my neck.
"How did it happen?" Rico looked frightened but in a respectful sort of repose.
"I was stupid, careless and lax." Meeting his eyes I continue, "It's not the women we have to beware of Rico, it's the men. All that nonsense in the
middle-ages texts... useless!" The rage was coming up now and I was losing focus quickly despite the Ombre De Lune.
"Well," began Rico, "Who was it? One we are familiar with at least?"
I scoff, "I should be so lucky. Well I'm not feeling faint so you had best fetch Anjutwan. I won't be long at this stage."
Rushing off toward the hidden entrance to Café Delirium Rico seemed entirely distraught but his training as a recon liaison for Commandement des
Opérations Spéciales he was a trained observer and not ignorant in matters of combat medicine. He knew time was short and as such returned to my
quarters post haste and with Anjutwan in tow both men looking concerned and curious.
"Sir," Anjutwan said meeting my eyes. "Has the Promethean Senate made their move?"
"No Anjutwan this has nothing to do with those blue ragdolls." I remove the gauze I had been holding to my neck surprised that Anjutwan had not
noticed in sooner. "The vamps got me. For good this time. The Maladie Du Sang has reached my heart, Anjutwan and the time has come for you to fulfill
your end of the bargain we struck when I recruited you in Kuwait. Please." I reach within my coat and pull a silver stake from the bandoleer slung
beneath my arm.
"But there has to be something we can do, Boss. Saint,"
"Is not here, Anjutwan!" I growl feeling the rage of the Maladie Du Sang surge through my mind. "Finish me off now, I can feel this corruption eating
at my heart!" I force the stake into Anjutwan's hands and this time he grips it. "DO IT!" I rage.
Gripping the stake in both hands as all members of the Culte du Délire are trained to do Anjutwan forces my silver stake through my chest breaking my
sternum and impaling my heart.
Flame and ash are all I can remember. Flame and ash I shall remain for there is no salvation for Vampires. The Victimes de la Maladie du Sang. In my
home, Café Delirium, the war would still be waged. Paris shall never know the sacrifice we make keeping them from the devils of Le Syndicat du
Paradis de L'enfer. The syndicate of hell's paradise.
edit on Tue Jul 20 2021 by DontTreadOnMe because: (no reason given)
on Cpm6Tuesday0220215231Tue, 20 Jul 2021 18:02:52 -05002021 by CagliostroTheGreat because: small edit