The Hunt BeginsMature

Ricky is stunned by the Gangrel primogen’s statement. “What does he mean, ‘there is always someone willing to kill you?’” The fledgling asks himself.

“Yes, Ricardo,” says Darius, as if he is able to read the young Toreador’s mind, “such is the sad truth. No one can be fully trusted in this world of darkness: the Giovanni, the Sabbat, the Anarchs, or even the Camarilla – someone will have you destroyed if you’re not careful.”

“But I thought-“

Suddenly, all the noise stops. A large being of fiendish appearance climbs to the stage. “Ladies and Gentlemen, please lend me your attention for a moment,” he says. “First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for coming once again - I simply can’t believe you still have time to attend to the Elysium, after all the evolution Las Vegas has gone through in the past decades!... I would now request you to remain where you are for an announcement from Prince Benedic, please. Thank you.”

All eyes are now upon the well-groomed Prince, who slowly ascends the stage’s steps. His demeanor is stoical and dark – that is, even more stoical and dark than it already is – making Ricky wonder what is wrong. Is it his fault? Does his presentation not satisfy the Prince after all?

“Thank you, Mr. Montrose.” The Prince’s voice is loud and clear; if there is anything troubling the Prince, his eloquence seems to keep that trouble at bay. “Fellow Kindred, as our dear Mr. Montrose said, it is a great honor to see so many of us actively interested in the political and social affairs of our community. I appreciate your ardent cooperation.”

Vampires from all clans applaud their Prince’s praise. “It is- thank you, thank you very much. It is that same ardent cooperation that our city now requests from you. My friends, the situation that brings me back to this stage is a most threatening one, and it requires me to take such a drastic measure that it will make our dear Seneschal look like Jesus.”

Chuckling can be heard across the room. Geoffrey Montrose is, in fact, quite well-known for having ice in his veins to the point of annoying his fellow Kindred of the Camarilla, a characteristic that contrasts deeply with the Prince’s usual “laissez-faire” attitude; but then, that is why the Prince appointed Montrose as his Seneschal. No one is more competent than the Nosferatu primogen to fill that office.

The Prince continued. “Ladies and gentleman, this is the situation: we have a vampire – most likely, a methuselah – in our city whose despicable actions of slaughter put our community, if not all of the Camarilla worldwide, in jeopardy. This vampire has recently arrived to Las Vegas and did not seek my permission to stay in our city, thus breaking the Traditions of Domain and Hospitality, and his slaying of kine in an inhuman way threatens the very Masquerade. Our Scourge, Mr. Rohva Ferish, tried to single-handedly defeat this conniving wight, only to be severely incapacitated by the offender. For those who are... concerned about Mr. Ferish’s state, rest assured that our Scourge is now safe from harm and is recovering from the hazardous duel.”

Silence and expectation fill the room. Every vampire in the magnificent ballroom longs impatiently to hear the Prince’s resolution.

“For these reasons,” says Prince Benedic, with renewed conviction, “I summon all Kindred of Las Vegas to a blood hunt against this bane of our society. From now on, our target will not be the Sabbat or the Giovanni. From now on, our target will be the Lasombra psychopath Alikiner T. Soslatier!”

Sighing and whispering take over the former quietude. Darius and Sam smile, while Ricky remains unsure of what the Prince is talking about. “A hunt? Man, this vampire must be a real beast – or the Prince wouldn’t tell us all to go after him...” He says to himself.

“Fellow Kindred, every second counts. Our very existence is at stake until we have stopped this killer. You are dismissed.”

The vampires slowly leave the room, including Sam. Darius stays with Ricky. “Ready to hunt, fledgling?”

Ricky acquiesces. “Ready when you are.”

The Gangrel pulls out a gun and hands it to Ricky, who shows off his stylish SAP gloves in refusal.

“You’re either a madman or a fool. Take it with you if you want to survive.”

“Trust me, elder. You will need it more than I do.”

Darius smiles and nods, hiding the gun just as they leave the elevator. They exit the congress center and head towards their respective cars, yet there is something in the other side of the road that grasps their attention. It is utterly dark, like a void always empty no matter how much it consumes. They can hear its fatal call, its deadly whisper, all the way from the other side of the Strip.

“TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SAILOR.”

The End

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