Zach's background story
Part 2

written by James Zarones


The sound that the tires made on the road soothed Jenna. The rhythm of the windshield wipers was also very calming. The rain slathered down the sides of the car as it rolled through Portland. Though Jenna was not that fond of this city, she did find it a step up from Albany. The car stopped in front of the large five star hotel. The lights from the antique lamp posts lining the road amply lit the area. A valet stepped forward to park the Mustang for her. Maybe Portland wasn't that bad after all.

Lucius had told her to meet him in Seattle, though he had changed his mind and at the last minute, let her know that he had a thing going down in Portland, and that she could meet him there. She strode down the hallway past the plump thirty year old man behind the counter. He looked at her, satisfied that she was the kind of clientele the hotel worked with. Had her suit cost less than 2 grand, he would have stopped her.

The elevator doors slid open and Jenna stepped in. She couldn't help it that her smile kept getting larger and larger as she got closer and closer to Lucius. He had a special assignment for her. He had never had a special assignment for her. Though she had served him extremely well in the past, most of it had just been difficult business deals. But this assignment required her being pulled out of the Albany job, one that had been 9 months in the making. God how she had hated Albany.

The elevator dinged one last time and the old man who operated it smiled at her as she strode off of it. She did not tip him because she did not feel he deserved a tip. All he did was push buttons, he wasn't even worth the thought that went into her justification of not tipping him. So she forgot about him.

When she got to room 808 she rapped three times on the door, paused, and rapped three more times. The door opened with a large pale man glaring at her. The expression on his face eased up a little when he recognized Jenna.

"Oh hey, haven't seen you in a while. C'mon in, boss is waiting for you," He mumbled.

Jenna stepped in, politely smiling at the man, though deep down, she couldn't stand the large oaf. Nor could she stand any of the other large Oafs that Lucius felt it necessary to have. Though it was true that they provided ample protection, it was also true that their stupidity and annoyance far outweighed any benefits that they possibly could have provided. Jenna had little to no respect for ghouls.

"Jenna it is indeed good to see you."

Lucius rose from the desk on the far side of the room. “I want to thank you for all the good work you have been doing for me in the past few years. Though it has been a few years since I last saw you, I do not allow myself to forget your valuable contributions."

Jenna beamed. Whenever Lucius spoke it was as if the air was alive with energy. It sent chills down her back but made her smile also. She had a supernatural love for the Ventrue. She would do anything to please him, anything to make sure that he thought she was the best. This was one of her only reasons for existing, to please this powerful elder.

On the far side of the room there was a vampire that Jenna could not remember. Which meant that she had never met him, as she had a photographic memory. He was lazily slumped on the bed staring at the ceiling with a smile on his face.

"Who is that?" She asked.

"That is your special reason for coming here Jenna. This is Zachery Phillips, entrepreneur, computer hacker, and new initiate to Clan Ventrue. I need you to teach him our ways, how to act, and how to use the powers of his blood."

Jenna stood still. It was as if she was a statue. Not a single feature on her body moved in any way at all. Her mouth hung down in disbelief. Anger flashed across her face as she glared at the youth on the other side of the room.

"Why would you have me do this? Surely you have others who can do this? Surely I am more use to you in the field, honoring our line. What have I done to deserve your anger sire?" she stuttered.

"DO NOT QUESTION ME! I MADE THIS DECISION BECAUSE I BELIEVE YOU ARE THE BEST ONE SUITED TO THIS JOB. IF YOU CAN MOLD HIM INTO MORE OF A LIKENESS OF YOU, THEN I CAN HARVEST THE POTENTIAL IN THIS YOUNG IGNORANT ONE. IF NOT, THEN HE IS A RESOURCE THAT IS WASTED. NOW, I SUGGEST YOU TAKE HIM AND LEAVE MY SIGHT NOW. YOU WILL BE IN CHARGE OF HIM EVERY OTHER NIGHT UNTIL I TELL YOU THAT I AM SATISFIED WITH HIS PROGRESS. GO." Lucius snarled.

"Yes Sire," Jenna said obediently.

Zach's attention had been caught when Lucius had yelled. He looked at Jenna with a blank stare. She glared at him.

"COME NOW." She said.

Zach's muscles acted of their own accord, he got off of the bed and walked through the hotel room, though he resisted it, he simply had no control over his movements as he followed her out of the hotel.

"I have been put in charge of training you. The faster you pick things up the faster I can be done with this. I don't want to put up with any whining or any shit. Do as I say and this will be painless. If I give a poor report back to Lucius you will be dead by the next evening. I have rented a house in a residential area of this city; we will begin your lessons there."

Zach just nodded. Long ago he had developed the ability to spot a bitch on a little radar inside of his head. Right now his radar was beeping quite loudly.


***

The Mustang pulled into the driveway of the medium sized house. Jenna got out of the car and motioned for Zach to follow. When he walked into the house he saw a kitchen directly ahead of him, and to the right, a comfortable living room. Zach stepped into the living room and plopped down on a Lazy Boy recliner.

Jenna sat down on the couch across from the tv and turned it on. It came to life and filled the room with its pasty glow. On the screen Zach could see all the rooms in the house, and the outside of the house.

"Cameras?" he asked.

"Yes, a simple, but effective security system, though nobody knows that we are here, it never hurts to be cautious," she said.

"So... What's my first lesson on being a vampire. Can crosses kill me?"

"No. A cross cannot kill you. Let me give you a quick rundown, that you can expand on some other day when you've got some free time. In the beginning, there was Cain and Abel. When Cain killed Abel, God cursed him with Vampirism. Cain learned of the powers that could be drawn out of this curse, one of those powers being, the ability to create other vampires. He sired several childer. We really don't know anything about these childer. What we know is about the childer of the next generation of vampires. The third generation of vampires consisted of thirteen different vampires. Each vampire had his or her own special abilities that were relatively unique to him or her. Ventrue, the vampire that we are descended from, had the power to tell others what to do. His commands went directly to the subconscious of the intended victim. He also had the ability to summon supernatural presence. Basically this presence could force anyone in existence to respect him. He also had the power to take immense damage. This ability is known as fortitude. There are 12 other clans. But for now, the only ones you need to be concerned with are Brujah, Toreador, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Tremere, and Gangrel. They are members of the Camarilla. The Camarilla exists to keep the knowledge of the true existence of vampires away from the human masses. It is called The Masquerade. Violating the masquerade and letting humans know of your existence is one of the largest crimes that you can commit, and usually results in your death."

"But I knew about vampires before I became one a few weeks ago."

"That is true, but did you ever, for even a second, believe that they truly existed?" Jenna retorted.

"Not since I was like twelve I s’pose."

"Exactly." she said.

"Now, we shall go for a walk. I am going to show you how to use the natural abilities that you have been gifted with." she said.

"Ummmmnnn, can I call a few people? People are gonna start wondering where I have been for the past few weeks, and I don't want my land lady to take all my stuff. Maybe we can do the lesson thing some other time? I just haven't had much of a chan...."

"FOOL. YOUR APARTMENT HAS BEEN DESTROYED AND THOSE WHO KNEW YOU HAVE BEEN FORCED TO FORGET YOU. I AM NOT HERE BECAUSE I ENJOY TALKING TO YOU. I AM HERE BECAUSE I AM GOING TO TEACH YOU. AS SOON AS YOU PICK UP WHAT I AM TRYING TO IMPART TO YOU, I WILL NOT HAVE TO LOOK AT YOUR UGLY FACE ANYMORE. NOW LETS GO FOR A FUCKIN’ WALK."

Zach almost felt like arguing with her, but changed his mind. He knew that she possessed the power to make him do what she wanted, and he would rather be under his own control. He didn't feel like trying to get away more. Like Jenna, he had a supernatural love for Lucius, and wanted to please him and bask in his approval. He still felt bad for letting this stuck up chick order him around.

They walked several blocks and got onto a bus. They drove a few miles until they got to the shopping district of the city. They got off the bus there and entered the mall. It was teeming with everything from materialistic preps, to outcast goths hanging out in the food court. Zach looked around, he had always hated malls as a kid, because he could never afford to buy anything in them.

Jenna ushered Zach into a less populated area of the mall. They sat down on a bench that was partially out of the way of the flow of traffic. Zach still felt horribly out of place in the suit he was wearing.

"Take this cell phone and this credit card. Do not just entertain yourself with the credit card, it is for necessities and emergencies. If you are in trouble, hit memory 1 on the phone. It will dial someone who will pick you up. If you need me, hit memory 2. If you need Lucius, hit memory 3, though I warn you, you had better need him, or he will not be happy to be interrupted by you. We are going to hone your mental abilities today. One of my associates is going to stop by and you are going to practice your discipline of dominate on him. You will give him the command to sleep. When you are giving the command, try to focus directly on his eyes, pretend that you and him are the only two people on Earth, feel yourself exerting force on him. The power to do this is in your blood."

"K."

Shortly after Jenna spoke, a red headed 25 year old sat down next to them and greeted Jenna.

"So...What're you going to have me do fer yeh today." Jack asked.

"Just sit there and let Zach practice a trick on you alright?" Jenna asked.

"Alrighty, don't make me do anything stupid okay?" Jack asked.
Zach looked at the man’s eyes and told him to sleep. The man just stared back at him without flinching. Zach kept the eye contact, except this time he asserted himself even more.

"SLEEP!".

The mans eyes fluttered and leaned into Jenna. The tricked had worked, the snoring made that rather evident.

"Holy damn that was cool! What else can I make him do?" Zach asked.

"Right now you probably can't get much farther than one word commands, you will need to practice whenever you get the opportunity... with practice you will be able to move onto complex commands that can be triggered by events, or simply happen when you want them to. But we are going to move on now."
The two got up and left Jack sound asleep on the bench in the mall. Several hours later the man woke up slightly dazed, remembering only the stare of the young man boring into him, and then everything going dark.

***

The next stop for the two was at a rough nightclub. Fights here were just part of the atmosphere, and unless someone got killed, the cops just didn't even bother anymore. Zach could feel his nerves on edge a little as they stepped into the club. He knew he was a vampire, and he knew that he was probably stronger than most of the people in the club, if not all of them, but he still was nervous.

Jenna explained to him that he also had the gift to force people to like him. To demonstrate this, Jenna walked up the strongest man she could find in the bar and shoved him onto the floor. The man sprang back up with anger in his eyes, but stopped right before he could tackle her. For a moment he just stared at her with a confused look in his eyes. The confusion subsided as the look of anger on his face changed to a look of impressed. Zach watched with astonishment, not only would he have never dared to do something like that, but he couldn't believe that she had gotten out of it without being pummeled.

They walked out the club and into the parking lot only to find that the blue Mustang had been stolen. Jenna's face flushed with anger for a moment before returning to its normal neutral look.

"We're going to have to call a cab or something, sit tight while I go get a bigger signal on my phone so I can get us one." she said.

Jenna disappeared around the corner and Zach leaned up against the a car waiting for Jenna's return.

"HEY!"

Zach turned his head to see a large pale man standing several feet from him. The man had a large knife in his hand and a sneer on his face.

"This is my turf pal. Everyone knows that. I think I'm going to have to show you why people stay off of it." The man growled.

The man lunged at Zach and easily pinned him down. Once on the ground the man headbutted him, and Zach could feel the blood rushing to heal his broken nose. Zach tried to look the man in the eyes, and he yelled sleep, but it had no effect on him. He just stood up and hoisted Zach into the air.

He spun around and threw Zach three parking spaces down into the side of a truck. The pain rushed through Zach's body as fast as the anger and the fear did. As the large man prepared to deliver a kick to Zach's face, Zach rolled to the side. The man’s foot dented the truck and nearly put a hole in the door. Zach glared at the man but this time decided to see if he could use the presence thing that they had just spent the last few hours experimenting with. However instead of projecting an aura of calm and happiness, Zach projected an aura of supernatural fear. His vampiric features became obvious as his fangs became visible and his eyes glowed red. He hissed at the man and got into a crouch. If his next move had been to pounce, he never got the chance. The large man’s features contorted in terror as he spun around and ran as fast as he could. Zach watched in astonishment as the man moved at over 70 miles per hour through the parking lot, hiding between several of the cars.

Zach flipped open his cell phone and hit Jenna's button. She appeared on the other line with an exasperated tone.

"I just got attacked by some really strong fast mean guy. Somehow I scared the living hell out of him, and he ran off, but he isn't far... and I get the feeling like he may be coming back soon," he said.

"Shit. Shit. Shit. There aren't any taxis and I can't get a signal to call a ride," she said angrily into the phone.

"Just come around back to the lot, I can get us a ride," he said.

When Jenna rounded the corner back to the parking lot she saw Zach with a piece of wire reaching through the crack in a barely opened window to pop the lock on the door. In a minute or so Zach got the lock to pop and he swung the door open. Zach slid inside of the car and and opened up a wiring compartment on the steering wheel. He used a pocket knife to cut two of the wires, which when he crossed, a spark of electricity jumped and the car sprang to life.

"Get in," he said.

Jenna shoved Zach into the passenger seat and they sped out of the parking lot. Zach saw the angry man peeking at him from behind a Camaro.

"What the hell was that thing?" he asked.

"Most likely, from what you said, that was a Brujah. They are big, fast, and strong. They also tend to be quite stupid. Like I have already told you before, the biggest threat to your survival is other vampires, who from now on, I will refer to as Kindred. Luckily you figured out how to get rid of him. Presence must be a natural skill of yours, as I do not even posses the power to send terror into someone by just looking at them. Maybe Lucius was right, you might prove to be something other than just an annoying ass clown."

***

To Be Continued?

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