Moving the Pawns - Random Short Story - Comments Appreciated!

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Moving the Pawns - Random Short Story - Comments Appreciated!

Post by Tyler Bishop on Fri May 08, 2015 1:10 pm





Tristan Ward was a giant of a man, ruddy and gruff, like an angry Norse god. His dark blond hair was cropped military short above a furrowed brow, and his impressive physique was slumped in exhaustion. At the moment, his alert eyes moved from figure to figure in the room as he tried to slowly put the pieces together. He was a reliable and deadly servant of the Gangrel Primogen in Kansas City and a formidable creature. It was that reason he found himself in his current predicament.

Blood drenched the tattered remains of his shirt that he had taken off and used to keep pressure on a significant gash that cut all the way to the bone on his ribs. He had just dispatched a small security force and killed the man they were trying to protect. It was a mission passed down from his sire, the Gangrel Primogen himself...or so Tristan had thought. He now eyed Marcus Tywin, a small wisp-like man who was a ghoul of his sire, and wondered why he had brought this strange kindred to their rendezvous point.

"Extremely well done," Corbin remarked coolly as he slowly walked a circle at a safe distance around the wounded animal that was Tristan. "That security force you put down: some of the Prince's finest ghouls." He added with sincere admiration. Corbin enjoyed watching the big, dumb animal's brows continuing to furrow as he tried to process everything that was unfolding.

"I... don't understand," Tristan stammered. Marcus had contacted him last week when he gave him this assignment and had said the Prince himself had wanted the man he had just slain dead. If that was true then why had that man been guarded by the Prince's own men?

The ghoul, Marcus, shifted nervously as he idly tugged at his collar, obviously not comfortable with the situation. Corbin continued a full revolution around the wounded Gangrel and approached the ghoul, reaching into his pocket and producing a small case that he handed to him. The ghoul eagerly took and opened it, his eyes going wide at the prize as he licked his lips unconsciously. Gentle hands reached in and took the syringe, already loaded with a generous dose of his drug of choice; heroin.

"Your sire, the famed Gangrel Primogen of Kansas City," Corbin continued, exaggerating the words, "has made many enemies, Tristan. Among them, my sire, Jessica Banes."

The big, dumb Gangrel still sat slouched over in the chair. At first Corbin had been concerned about how he would be able to restrain him but in his current state, and with the injuries he had sustained, Corbin didn't think the Gangrel had much left in the tank at all. This was going to be easier than Corbin had imagined.

Tristan growled instinctively as he glared at the one circling him, a childe of that treacherous bitch, Jessica. A new-found hatred filled him as he glared as the creature he shared clan blood with. He felt disgusted.

"Ah yes, now your little brain is churning, isn't it?" Corbin taunted. "My friend Marcus here passes you orders, conveniently forgets to deactivate the hotel security cameras like he assured you he would, and there you are, the progeny of my sire's enemy, slaughtering the Prince's men and killing the Prince's hand-picked politician who was to be the next Mayor of Kansas City. All caught on tape and already being hand delivered to the glorious Prince of Kansas City," Corbin said, almost spitting the title with disgust. Jessica would make a far better leader for this city. He couldn't wait until she was in charge.

Tristan's eyes flashed with fury as he looked to the ghoul who was even now sliding the needle deep into a vein and injecting himself with the one thing he craved almost as much as vitae. "You traitor! How could you?" He growled in disgust.

The ghoul slipped back into the chair behind him, his eyelids already getting heavy from the drug. "Oh spare me, you spoiled mutt," he snapped, the drug apparently already loosening his inhibitions. "You don't know what it's like; you're always involved and tended to. I sat on the sidelines and had fight for scraps. Your precious sire would leave me for months on end without vitae. Do you know what that does to someone?!" He snarled. "Corbin here, and Jessica, they have promised me a position worthy of my talents. A position of status...and all the vitae and heroin I could ever want," he added dreamily.

Corbin smiled at the ghouls' words and then flashed a knowing grin at Tristan. After all the careful planning he had done there was no way that ghoul would ever leave this warehouse alive. 'It's so amusing when a pawn aspires to be a king,' Corbin thought happily.

"You're a coward and a disgrace to our blood," Tristan barked; his eyes back on Corbin as rage poured into him and colored his words.

Corbin smile deepened, "Disgrace to our blood? Is that what the big, dumb grizzly thinks?" He said, stepping closer and leaning in to talk softer, almost as if tutoring a child. "There was a time when men like you were the backbone of our blood," Corbin stated. "Strong, fearsome, meeting your enemies head on and pummeling them into submission. But that was a time long ago, my friend."

Corbin turned to look out one of the shattered windows to the city outside, "Gone are the times of mindless, thoughtless beasts ruling our clan. We have little need for a bloodthirsty savages anymore," he said as he turned back to regard the wounded gladiator. "These nights belong to those in our clan who are as cunning as the fox," he added, flashing a conspiratorial grin, his fangs glistening in the moonlight.

Tristan lifted his chin in defiance and snarled once more. He willed his blood to answer his call and staggered to his feet as claws began to grow from his fingertips. "Let's see what a cunning fox can do when confronted by a raging bear," he snapped, taking a shaky step towards Corbin.

Turning his back to the man Corbin uttered two simple words, "Kill him."

Muzzle flashes erupted from the shadows as the men hidden within the building, men loyal to neither Corbin, the Gangrel, or the Camarilla. Men loyal to money, especially the generous amount Corbin had arranged for them. The wounded Gangrel behind him barely took another step before his body toppled to the ground. A few more shots continued to ring out for good measure as the animal yelped and stirred for the last time. When it was done two men emerged from the shadows and took the body, dragging it out of the building. A third approached Corbin.

"Your assistance will not be forgotten, Anthony," Corbin said softly as the man approached him with a professional demeanor. The men had laid in wait the entire time for Corbin's order, just as they were instructed.

Anthony Giovanni allowed a slight grin and a nod of his head, "Always a pleasure assisting, especially when supporting a regime change friendly to the family." He added with a more sinister grin.

Corbin nodded, "As we agreed. No trace of his body or any other part of him." The Giovanni had a particular penchant for handling their enemies in this world and the next. Corbin wasn't fully familiar with how contacting the dead would work but he was leaving nothing to chance. The Giovanni were a clan that could certainly ensure no trace of someone was found on either side of the veil and that's preciously what he was paying for.

"Not a problem," The Giovanni replied confidently before shaking Corbin's hand and concluding his business. "But you originally mentioned two targets."

Corbin nodded to the Giovanni and then turned to the shivering heap that was the Prince's ghoul. He walked up beside him and crouched down, his fangs digging deep into the flesh as he began to feast.

The Giovanni glanced at his watch and then waited patiently as the Corbin finished.

Before long the ghoul crumpled to the ground, the last trace of life being sucked out of him by the cunning fox that was pulling all the strings tonight. Corbin's eyes rolled back in ecstasy as the tainted blood swirled inside him, the heavenly taste flooding his palette. With graceful ease he lifting the body out of the chair by the scruff of his shirt and tossed him to the ground near the Giovanni.

"This one too.
"


Last edited by Tyler Bishop on Sat May 09, 2015 6:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Moving the Pawns - Random Short Story - Comments Appreciated!

Post by Vicar on Sat May 09, 2015 2:29 am

A very classic sort of scene, the culmination of a bait-and-switch. There was a small grammatical error I noticed - "you're little brain" instead of "your" - and when the syringe was withdrawn from the pocket, I had to read the segment twice to understand that Corbin was pulling it from his own pocket, and not extracting something from the ghoul's pocket.
"Corbin... approached the ghoul, reaching into his pocket and producing a small case that he handed to him." I would recommend simply making it "into his own pocket", or reworking the sentence more thoroughly along the lines of, "Corbin reached into his pocket as he walked a full revolution around the wounded Gangrel. When he returned to the ghoul, he handed him the small, silver case his pocket had previously hidden."

I feel like I'm missing some painfully obvious detail as to what clan Corbin and Jessica are. They don't shy from interacting with the Giovanni, and I feel like the 'cunning as foxes' line is repeated enough to be meaningful, but it's eluding me, and I need to know! I'm invested in the mystery, now.

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Re: Moving the Pawns - Random Short Story - Comments Appreciated!

Post by Vincent Gerhardt on Sat May 09, 2015 2:56 am

Well written, Tyler! I enjoyed reading it very much Smile


@Vicar I believe they are all Gangrel, bar the Giovanni, of course.

"Your sire, the famed Gangrel Primogen of Kansas City," Corbin continued, exaggerating the words, "has made many enemies, Tristan. Among them, my sire, Jessica Banes."

"You're a coward and a disgrace to our blood," Tristan barked; his eyes back on Corbin as rage poured into him and colored his words.

Corbin smile deepened, "Disgrace to our blood? Is that what the big, dumb grizzly thinks?" He said, stepping closer and leaning in to talk softer, almost as if tutoring a child. "There was a time when men like you were the backbone of our blood," Corbin stated. "Strong, fearsome, meeting your enemies head on and pummeling them into submission. But that was a time long ago, my friend."
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Re: Moving the Pawns - Random Short Story - Comments Appreciated!

Post by Vicar on Sat May 09, 2015 2:58 am

Thank you, that makes perfect sense now. Hooray for trying to speed-read literature and missing key details like the word "our."

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Re: Moving the Pawns - Random Short Story - Comments Appreciated!

Post by Tyler Bishop on Sat May 09, 2015 6:42 pm

Thank you both!

I fixed the typo, and Vincent was correct on the clan. Smile

He's actually a Gangrel I played on a different board a long time ago. One thing I really played up was his preference to drink from druggies and junkies. When he was turned he was kept in a drug den for most of his early days and developed a taste for it, I guess you could say. Smile

He was a really awesome character, but the board I played him on was just... barren of activity or excitement.
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