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#13562468 Dec 10, 2017 at 05:54 AM
76 Posts
“Eram quod es, eris quod sum.”

Inquisitor broke a silence that felt hours long, while he stared into the empty sockets of a dessicated corpse. The venue for this strange vigil was a dim, disused crypt. Light from eighteen candles shimmered against the stone walls and the derelict columns in between.

The dead body, housed in a hard plastic box, was once Baron Gilles de Rais, a knight of renown during the Hundred Years War, and comrade to the legendary Joan of Arc. De Rais was also a brutal defiler and murderer of almost two-hundred children. Their body parts he used to barter with demons for alchemical secrets that would restore his ailing wealth.

The four men at Inquisitor’s feet were more recently deceased. They regarded him, with pallid faces, frozen in fright. These men had intended to return the Baron from the dead, but were instead given to death themselves.

Before tonight, they had slain a child in Nantes, offering up the boy’s organs in perverse honor of the Baron. Then they profaned his grave and brought his corpse to this crypt, beneath the Château de Tiffauges. Gilles de Rais had once called this place home, though it was little more than a tourist trap now.

The Château was his second grave now, and Inquisitor the only man in attendance of his second funeral. The black of his tight fitting costume seemed appropriate.

Inquisitor shut his brown eyes, and drew in a breath, swimming in the odors of his surroundings.

Rot. Sweat. Amaranth powder, used in the summoning circle that stained the crypt floor. Burnt cotton. Cheap cologne, its heart note meant to imitate seawater.

Blood.

That blood what lingered just behind Inquisitor’s lips, on his teeth and tongue stole his attention.

He relished its heady, copper-tinged flavor. Left in the sanguine drink were vestiges of memory, flickers of emotion, that were equally exquisite.

Inquisitor’s face twitched and shifted expression while he pursued the fragments of mind within the blood. He could feel these men’s dashed hopes. He tasted the remnants of fear that had gripped them, as he drank deeply from their throats, until each of their hearts had gone silent.

Yet from these pieces he could not surmise why they had sought the Baron’s resurrection. It seemed a foolish endeavour to Inquisitor.

And yet, here he stood, a man resurrected. Inquisitor smiled wryly. There was no lack in life for strange things, it seemed.

His mission was accomplished. Though he had not ascertained the reason behind these men’s aspirations, he had silenced them for good.

There were more men to do away with. But they could wait. The thrill of his meal had yet to wear off, and Inquisitor planned to enjoy it as long as he was able, before the hunter pulled on the hound’s leash...



“...why doesn’t he carry a radio?” One of the surveillance techs peeked over her shoulder at her superior, eyes glad to be pointed at something other than a computer monitor.

“Hm?” Agent Simon Seguerra finally tore his eyes away, and shook his head. He had been staring at the radio monitors, the camera feeds of his strike team, and the computer eye of his surveillance drone for hours. He was glad for a break too, and took a deep breath.

Their armored van waited in the autumn-stricken forest outside the castle, along with two fireteams of well-trained and well-armed soldiers, waiting to close in. These were the Shepherds, an officially unnamed covert initiative who reported directly to the United States Undersecretary of Mystic Affairs. Their purpose: to assess and neutralize all supernatural threats to United States citizens or its sovereignty.

Right now, Seguerra thought, their purpose was to sit by and let the supernatural threats neutralize each other.

The thought of Tiffauges, or any other place, suffering the same fate as Pittsburgh*, ate a hole in his stomach worse than the hours of stale coffee did.

“He says the ‘voices in his head’ distract him from ‘the hunt’.” He replied, with no small measure of sarcasm. The young tech’s eyebrows lifted onto her forehead. Simon shook his head again, grinding his teeth. “Command okayed it, that’s why. Eyes forward, Kalinsky.”

“Phone call incoming!” The other tech exclaimed. Agent Seguerra snapped his fingers and pointed at one of the tech’s panels. “Let’s hear it, c’mon!”



A buzzing, like a great, lumbering honey bee stimulated Inquisitor from his trance, and he looked over his shoulder towards the noise. It emanated from one of his kills.

Inquisitor gave a final look towards the skeletal form of the Baron, before turning slowly, and stepping over two bodies with care. His cape flowed behind him in silence, gently brushing over the eyes of the dead men.

The buzzing persisted, and was beginning to become acutely irritating.

He looked upon the body for a second, knelt on a single knee, and slipped his hand between its black button-down shirt, and its suit jacket until his hand felt the vibrations.

Inquisitor produced a cell phone, alive with activity, and stood, regarding it with the eyes of a child who had found a new toy, and found it wanting.

He had only used the strange devices once before, and had to call on the blood of his victims for a moment to remind himself what to do.

Inquisitor’s gaze was drawn to the drained corpse of one Jacques Martin. Then Inquisitor’s index finger rose and pressed upon the screen, swiping right to answer the call, guided by the morsels of know-how in Jacques’ blood.

He rested the phone against his ear, pleased that the buzzing sound had gone, and waited.

A man soon thereafter spoke on the other side of the call, in French, “Martin, tout est clair ici.” (“Martin, it’s all clear out here.”)

Inquisitor said nothing.

“Martin? Êtes-vous là?” (“Martin, are you there?”)

He closed his eyes, and called on the blood once more, to answer.

“Ce qui reste de lui.” (“What remains of him.”)

This age's French was not altogether different from the one Inquisitor knew in his time, though his felt more akin to Latin than Monsieur Martin's.

Inquisitor took a breath; his mouth warmed to the blood flowing and fueling his new dialect. “Tu espérais ramener un homme de la mort. Ce n'est pas impossible, mais hors de portée, monsieur.” (“You hoped to bring a man back from death. Not impossible, but sorely out of your reach, Monsieur.”)



Agent Seguerra narrowed his eyes at what he just heard. “...He’s on the phone.”

The two techs looked at each other, and braced themselves.

Ay, mierda! Their superior said, under his breath. “Why is he on the phone!?”

"Qui est-ce!?" (“Who is this!?”) Said the man on the other end of the call.



Inquisitor paused, compelled to take the question seriously. His thoughts rolled back into the fog of memory. This man - and others - were waiting for his answer. Inquisitor spoke in modern English now, reciting a fragment of his own memory in his natural Spaniard’s inflection.

“The noblest knight, in a higher seat, as seems proper...”



The spark of Agent Seguerra’s rage exploded into a barely contained inferno. His forehead burned.

“They put food for their hound on a fine beast’s skin…” The anonymous man on the other end was silent. Simon wasn’t about to sit as idle as he.

“Tell me where he is, damnit!” He demanded. The techs were fast at work. “He’s in the crypt, under the chapel.”

Inquisitor’s voice continued, and Simon listened for a few more words, “...soaked in blood, mixed together.”

And then listened no longer. “This freak is going to blow our cover!” He barked over his own radio, “Shepherds, move in!”



“Ils arrivent.” (“They are coming.”) Inquisitor said simply, before removing the phone from his ear. He held his hand out and let it slip from his fingers to fall back upon the man it once belonged to. He stole away, flowing past the candles and into the cover of night.



From the forests, arose a squad of soldiers, gazing through nightvision goggles at their target: Château de Tiffauges. More orders came across the radio, “Be advised, Agent De Ville is off mission. Make with the silver rounds, everyone.”

These men and women clad in their dark forest colors and ballistic vests all switched to fresh magazines of silver bullets, and chambered their first shots. Each Shepherd had a collar of spikes, all six centimeters long, that wrapped around their throats, upon a weave of kevlar. The spikes themselves were a dark metal alloy. These too, contained silver.

“I repeat, Agent De Ville has deviated from our mission. Follow protocol: if he doesn’t cooperate, put him down.”



Jean held his pistol outwards, racing to the crypt over the grounds of the Château, his heart pounding like an engine’s piston. He and Michel, who followed behind him, had not heard from Jacques since their ritual began.

The air was cold, and full of suspense. There might be police incoming, or government agents. But despite these dangers, Jean could only hope, in his depraved fantasies, that the summoning had been a success, and even if his compatriots were dead, he could be the one to first talk to the Baron. A man risen from the dead. A miracle.

He wondered if that had been the Baron’s voice he heard on the phone.

The dimly lit entrance to the chapel was getting closer.

“Michel, surveille mon dos, j'y vais!” (“Michel, watch my back, I’m going in!”) He called back to his patrol partner.

There came no answer. In fact, Jean couldn’t hear Michel’s footsteps behind him, or the gasps of air he took to keep up with the more lean of the two men.

“Michel?”

Jean turned about, in time to come face-to-face with a tall man with black hair, wearing blue and black. His cape, and the collar that surrounded this man’s head, followed the whims of the breeze crossing the courtyard.

The man opened his mouth, and unceremoniously lunged forward, burying long canine fangs into Jean’s throat. He screamed.



Eight souls rushed past the castle gate, and into the open, casing the courtyard for the source of the scream. They trained their weapons on the figure their nightvision illuminated for them. Though he tarried, his hands risen in a gesture of supplication, Agent De Ville's eyes reflected infrared light back at them like a jaguar, ready to leap from its perch.

“Mea culpa, señores.” He said, curving his lips with subtle delight beneath a glaze of warm, red blood.



Agent Seguerra stared at Inquisitor, through the gear-mounted cameras of his men. “That sonofabitch.”



Before an hour had slipped by, the Château de Tiffauges was restored to the mediocre state it required for its usual brand of visitors. The blood had been scrubbed out, the bodies were collected into black bags, including that of the infamous Gilles de Rais, and arranged in the castle’s stables.

Under the cover of Police municipale, Agent Seguerra and his team had locked the castle down.

Inquisitor himself waited in the stables, with the dead and two of Seguerra's Shepherds, whose automatic weapons pointed at him like tilting lances.

Inquisitor didn’t bother exchanging words with these men. He was far more curious how his - handler - would react to the evening’s events. In fact, he was anticipating it. The scent of horses and hay threatened to make nostalgia inescapable, but what was to come seemed too sweet for Inquisitor to indulge in anything else. As if conjured by these thoughts, Agent Seguerra stormed into the stables, an immediate glare in his eyes.

An armored van also rolled into view, and parked near the stables.

“Listen to me: you do that again?” Simon said, daring to step past the minimum safe distance his men had apportioned. “You die, for good this time.”

Inquisitor did not reply, save for a curious look. The response further fanned the flames of Seguerra’s ire.

“Your doctor friend isn’t here to protect you. Out here? You are my asset.”

Four men, wearing full combat gear and the seemingly ubiquitous wolf collars, exited the back of the armored transport. They hefted two large hard plastic cases, that took two of the men to lift.

Seguerra studied Agent De Ville’ who defied his anger with silence. Inquisitor almost looked amused.

“You knew I was listening to that phone call.”

“Of course," He finally said. “You said you would be listening.”

Seguerra, somehow, glowered even more intensely than before, perturbed by Inquisitor’s obtuse mask.

“It was so we could listen to them.” Seguerra pointed to the row of body bags, which Inquisitor regarded with indifference. ”Not you. You are supposed to be blacker than black, silent as a goddamn grave. Unseen, and unheard.”

The four men came closer, and Inquisitor eyed up each of them, before setting his brown eyes back onto Seguerra. He leaned forward, causing the Shepherds to flinch. Their fingers flexed upon their weapons.

“I am your hunter, Agent.” His tone was almost cheerful. “I flushed your prey into open ground.”

“You warned them. You blew our cover!” Seguerra barely contained his outburst.

“But not mine.”

Simon nearly pulled his weapon right there. The thought of asking for a raise crossed his mind, just after the urge to give the order and retire his so-called ‘asset’.

But just as Inquisitor had a leash, Seguerra’s was equally as tight. The agent buried his anger, and looked to the men who had flanked Inquisitor, in a well-practiced dance. They set the hard cases on either side of Agent De Ville.

“Make sure the 'straightjacket' is tight for his ride home.” Seguerra narrowed his gaze at Inquisitor, one last time, before turning swiftly and exiting the stable, finishing his thought under his breath, "I've had enough of his insanity for one night."

Each case was then opened, revealing heavy shackles, made of the same alloy in the Shepherd’s spiked collars.

Inquisitor fought back a grimace - he could practically feel the silver touching his skin, burning like frostbite.

Instead, the costumed man brandished a smile, and lifted his arms. He jested at his captors. “Forewarned, forearmed, señores?”

One of the men lifted a silverine mask from inside the case. He carefully approached the smiling Inquisitor, and placed it over the lower half of his face. It displayed a maw of faux teeth bent back towards him slightly.

This mask was a muzzle, and a warning to others. It chilled against Inquisitor’s skin like ice. Inquisitor blinked hard and the smile faded - the only signs that the restraint was vexing to him.

The other men affixed the shackles around his arms, wrists, neck, and chest. Each weighed a considerable amount, and took two men to hoist and lock onto Inquisitor’s body. Self-preservation, that nonpareil instinct, growled within Inquisitor, such that these men could almost hear it. But he stayed its savage hand, for now.

None of the men spoke - Inquisitor knew why. He could smell the sweat on their bodies budding from their pores. He could hear the quickening within their chests.

They were afraid, and rightly so, for what else would be the lamb's response to the wolf?

The men beckoned him forward, towards the armored van. Inside was a massive container; a sarcophagus forged in that same offensive alloy.

From beneath the perturbing face mask, Inquisitor bore another pleased smile. He breathed deeply, and let his eyelids fall, savoring the blood of wicked men within him. Like the chase itself, it vivified him, even as he marched towards the silver-wrought coffin. Inquisitor permitted the Baron and his men a farewell thought.

"Eram quod es, eris quod sum."




From the Author: This is was meant to be something like a pilot episode for Inquisitor. I hope you enjoyed it. He's something of a side project I've been slow-cooking in my head for the last year. Don't be afraid to let me know what you think! I don't intend to break him out in RP that often - I have a very specific story in mind for Inquisitor - but it's not out of the question. There's a Primus Database page in the works for him, and a few more stories too! Thanks for the read!

----
* - See "The Siege of Pittsburgh" and "Children of the Immortal" for more!


Check out the Calamity Cain Cast of Characters here on PRIMUS Database!
#13564042 Dec 11, 2017 at 08:36 AM
1247 Posts
It's a good layout of the basic dynamic that will surround this character. You strongly convey the tension between Inquisitor and the Shepherds (and I like the irony of shepherds managing a self-professed wolf). 😉 Your prose is colorful without being florid, an entertaining read.

I wish I could muster more enthusiasm for yet another morally-challenged vampire PC in this allegedly superheroic game. But that's my personal bias. 😑
#13564148 Dec 11, 2017 at 09:46 AM
76 Posts
#13564042 Lord Liaden wrote:

It's a good layout of the basic dynamic that will surround this character. You strongly convey the tension between Inquisitor and the Shepherds (and I like the irony of shepherds managing a self-professed wolf). 😉 Your prose is colorful without being florid, an entertaining read.

I wish I could muster more enthusiasm for yet another morally-challenged vampire PC in this allegedly superheroic game. But that's my personal bias. 😑



Fair enough, haha. I appreciate the read and the response nonetheless! Always glad to see my work not only made sense (a common anxiety of mine) but that it conveyed what I wanted.


Check out the Calamity Cain Cast of Characters here on PRIMUS Database!
#13564464 Dec 11, 2017 at 03:39 PM
1247 Posts
BTW you imply that "Agent Deville" has been around a long time. Let me know if you'd be interested in some of the official immortals and supernatural beings (including other vampires) that he might have some history with. There are others who could become targets he's sent to neutralize, or even who might come after him. Those can become ways to weave him more into the setting.
#13564472 Dec 11, 2017 at 03:54 PM
76 Posts
#13564464 Lord Liaden wrote:

BTW you imply that "Agent Deville" has been around a long time. Let me know if you'd be interested in some of the official immortals and supernatural beings (including other vampires) that he might have some history with. There are others who could become targets he's sent to neutralize, or even who might come after him. Those can become ways to weave him more into the setting.



That would be awesome!


Check out the Calamity Cain Cast of Characters here on PRIMUS Database!
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