Hiroshi lore #3
Including these topics in the narrative is not the same as glorifying them. The narrator instead aims to address certain topics and explore them critically, and use these delicate themes to develop various characters.
Attention: Writers, translators, players and all other professionals who participated in the creation of this content do not share or identify with the violence described. It is used solely as narrative and dramatic content.
Ezekiel 25 17 | Detroit, USA – 2013
“… for he is, in truth, his brother’s keeper and the keeper of the lost children, and my greatness will descend upon them with great vengeance and furious indignation…”
– Ezekiel 25 17, Revised by Adine
Not much time had passed since Hiroshi’s entry into the society of the damned; barely a couple of months. It was long enough to adjust to the concept of nurturing, but not enough to get a kick out of the hasty night crossings, driven by that incessant anxiety of having to return before dawn.
The two Lasombras were in the car and had already driven many, many miles, but Hiroshi had no idea what the destination was. It didn’t matter, as long as he was allowed to bring his Nintendo 3DS and spend time with it on his commute. That was how he completed Ace Attorney, one of his new favourite games. He was stuck at a point in the game that was difficult for many, but he would not give in to the idea of looking for solutions online.
“Listen, since you are Asian…”
“Yes, yes. Japanese. And since you care to point it out, are your people serious, or not?”
“The question is poorly phrased. In what way can it be established, and especially by what parameters?”
“What parameters? The usual ones, right? Common sense, linearity of thought, sustainability. A balanced economy, foods that are not always just processed, distances and weights that follow the international system. Not like some countries that don’t give a shit about others and use other systems of measurement.”
“I guess so. I consider mine to be serious, with a great sense of honour and responsibility. The food is healthy, I would say. As for distances and weights… there used to be a Japanese system, but in the end we adapted easily. Ours is a country that is always curious and ready to import new concepts to make them our own. First the metric system … then the Yukawa particle, you know?”
“If you nerd out, I can’t make my own punch lines.”
Hiroshi stopped answering and Adine stopped talking, partly because the radio was certainly more companionable than the Asian who was disinclined to small talk.
He was going through the same round of inspections and dialogue again for the tenth time, with no clear idea of what to do.
The radio, on the other hand, knew exactly how to proceed.
The boy shifted his attention from the display for a moment, when Adine decided to turn up the radio volume: he was humming You Never Can Tell by Chuck Berry.
“Have you ever been to France?”
“I don’t know, I guess so. What do the French have to do with it?”
“No, but I was in Geneva, and I had Canadian colleagues.”
“Never mind the Canadians. Did you ever meet any French people in Geneva?”
“I don’t know, I guess so. What do the French have to do with it?”
“It’s always about the French, trust me. Okay, so, the French. They are precise, aren’t they? Here, you know what they call in France a quarter pounder with cheese?”
“I’m confused…why do you use the imperial system now if you’re German?”
“That sucks, answer me. Do you know it or not?”
“Translating literally, it’s quart de livre du fromage “
“What the fuck, no! Unbelievable that you are so smart and can’t answer a simple question like this. Let’s try again, what do they call 180 pounds of meat?”
“Cent quatre-vingt livres de viande?”
“No, wrong again.”
“Then what are they called?”
“If they are in a trunk, I call them Christophe.”
The back road was still long, the sky, that night, particularly dark.
Adine was driving as the boy began fiddling with his smartphone, searching for who knows what truth on the search engine. He had long since abandoned the video game, now engrossed in something else.
Among the various queries, the young man was looking for things like ‘excessive violence,’ or ‘mass hysteria,’ or even ‘porphyria, slowing cellular life.’ He couldn’t find the information he was looking for, nor particularly useful insights to construct new reasoning about the true nature of vampires. Among all the pages he visited, though, one ad struck his interest; a fast food restaurant was launching a new, delicious sandwich.
The boy resented that he could no longer enjoy one. Since he had become a monster he had to feed from pulsating veins or carcasses. His wistful gaze was lost beyond the window. The sire, though she could not see his expression reflected in the side mirror, still imagined the boy’s regret. She was not a monster of empathy, but she was certainly far from stupid. Although it was clear that the boy wanted to be consoled at all costs, she decided to ignore him, continuing on for several miles, preferring to switch to industrial music.
Eventually he would give in to sulking, and so he did.
“I don’t understand.”
“Why torture him if you have to kill him. Couldn’t you just…kill him?”
“Eh no. Besides, I needed information. Everyone knows that torture is the best way to get it truthfully.”
“I disagree. You could have used that thing vampires do by looking into their eyes-that hypnosis.”
“I told you it’s called Domination. And you’re right, but…using it wouldn’t have been functional.”
“Functional!? So, I’m supposed to infer that you didn’t do it out of pure sadism? I really don’t understand. Beyond morality, you could have saved time by using domination or other methods. Should I therefore assume that there is a deeper reason? A perverse practice? A training in cruelty? A dendritic reinforcement?”
Adine sighed. He was one of those people who had to rationalise anything, establish a beginning and an end point, and then thread through a series of processes-strictly defined-to complete the meticulous analysis and feel smarter than others. She did not know what instinct was, and if she came into contact with it for some unfortunate reason, she certainly did not know how to handle it.
“Hierarchy,” she said finally, “I do it out of expression and hierarchical duty. Exercising power, training between the expression of authority and authoritativeness. And yes, I was a little bored, but I certainly couldn’t go to the movies or enjoy a sandwich at Burger King.”
Those words sounded like stabs in the chest for the boy. Adine had been observant, and perhaps even a little empathetic. When she wanted to be cruel, she could be terribly empathetic.
“Which, by the way, is not even the best. I say, there’s McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Jack-in-the-box.”
Hiroshi decided to continue, “Why should a leader train authority through terror? It occurs to me that they have to learn how to handle strong, negative emotions, that process called desensitisation.”
“Strong emotions. Shit, I remember my favourite burger. Big Kahuna Burger.
If you haven’t enjoyed a shit burger, you certainly can’t appreciate it. So yeah, it’s the same as I was saying with you: it’s functional.”
The boy tried to feign indifference: “Emotions are discharges of potential reporting feedback. You’re simulating strong negative events to help your brain manage these discharges, kind of like a cat playing with some prey.”
“Not only that. I was trying to get you to pick up on some clever metaphors, but I see you’re nerding out in the wrong way. In any case, yes. Ours is an important role. We are custodians, we are Lasombra. We must get used to the darkness, become one with it.”
Hiro shook his head, “As logical as it may seem to you, that is, training ourselves to do increasingly bad things in anticipation of what we will eventually have to do in the future, torture is not a biologically ethical or useful tool. In a natural model even species that want dominance do not torture: they kill.”
“You can’t just kill everyone. Among predators, it is functional to exercise control through fear.”
“We live in a society that does not require these barbarities.”
“How not. We live in a society where people pretend one way because they are terrified of being judged. It happens in all fields and especially online. One wields power and
strikes fear over another, and often the masses lash out over what they consider socially intolerable. Like witches in the middle ages, so today for someone else.”
“Yours is sophism. Any proposition that claims to be true needs not only to be logically proven true, but also have scientific evidence to support it.”
“The usual bias of scientists or alleged scientists. What you cannot prove is not always true, see Einstein’s black holes, or the Higgs boson. You are always so inclined to reflect your inability to find supporting evidence on the veracity of the theory. What assholes.”
Adine got out of the car, with an attitude more like that of a 40-year-old Italian-American with too much beer and food in his stomach than that of an elegant Sabbat regent. She huffed, impatient with her offspring’s passive attitude.
“What next, tell me. You break boxes with ethics, when it’s all about Marketing. Messages and communication. Take McDonald’s and Burger King; I mean, Burger King says, why eat with a clown, when you can eat with a King? If you follow the metaphor you’ll understand well that hunters are kind of like a huge Big Mac, with fries dipped in mayonnaise.”
She looked at him seriously, waiting for a brilliant reaction that did not come. She was trying hard, but he was not receiving.
“I mean that hunters can kill and torture hundreds of ghouls and not lose one iota of their humanity. It sucks. Like fucking mayonnaise on potato chips, right?”
“Some people like to put ketchup, others like to put mayonnaise. Still others like mustard, and there are some who even put cheddar on fries. You mean it’s a matter of viewpoint?”
“Yes, morality is predetermined by something called the Path. The path is a set of moral codes that both humans and vampires have. If you kill by virtue of your Path, not only do you not lose your humanity but you can even go so far as to feel satisfaction and pride. As I told you: first they killed witches, then heretics, then innovators, and now vampires. When they do that, they are happy about it. You judge my actions as ethically incorrect because you apply an incorrect and obsolete moral system, namely that of humans, when you are a vampire, and you should accept it.”
“So, you believe I am subject to a bias where humans’ actions are understandable, but I blame vampires for theirs because I do not have a path, or because my path is closer to that of a human – But tell me, what does that have to do with hamburgers?”
“That it is always and only a matter of Marketing. Our choices and ethical systems are based on beliefs that we create and solidify over time. We consider ethically correct what is right according to the moral system we have decided to adopt. For humans, it is simple: it is survival and the systems we learn as children, passively. For Vampires, however, it is something else entirely. With eternity ahead, and a bunch of humans ready to kill you at the slightest mistake, choosing the ethical-moral path is crucial, and mine requires me to be the strongest badass motherfucker in the world of darkness.”
The boy looked at her in silence. He reflected, indeed, on the fragility of a person’s moral foundations. They certainly had to be an error in the biological machine called the brain.
In truth she was right, but he did not want to admit it so easily: he was in fact too childish and immature to set aside his ego in favour of pure reason, so he decided to retort.
“It cannot be a matter of Marketing or any persuasive act. Ethics and morality must be intrinsic and even objective elements in nature. Ethics serve to safeguard the existence of the majority of the species. Moreover, laws based on these ethics prevent those less inclined to morality from unfairly prevailing over other groups of individuals, which vampires constantly do. Paths must be ethical and moral-defining processes for a balance to be maintained, as happens in the animal world.”
“What a heartfelt and pathetic speech. I would like to remind you that torture is practiced in the animal world as a form of personal entertainment or ritual to forge pack bonds.”
“But we have evolutionary traits that allow us to discern. That is why ethics eventually allowed for a homogeneous evolution of the species. I believe that vampires can afford certain attitudes because there are so few of them. How many do we count in a metropolis, twenty at most? If there were thousands, a civilised society and strict ethical system would be essential.”
“What you describe exists and is called Camarilla, but its work has not been great. In fact, it sucks. Moreover, evolutionary leaps have always happened when people went against ethics and morals: I am referring to the church-imposed ban on dissecting corpses that slowed down medical research dramatically, not to mention modern medicine. There are few rebellious souls who act against common morality for the greater good. Among those are hunters, in an attempt to save themselves from the threat of us monsters, and anyone else who is not a coward sunk into comfort and mediocrity.”
“So path building is basically abandoning the morality of system A for a morality B that is newer and more suited to one’s new condition and beliefs. An evolutionary tool in a social, ethnic or even species sense?”
“Exactly. My path is called the path of Elegance, and on this path, what’s immoral is the act of wasting time, repressing one’s desires and failing.”
“A speciation within speciation. The path is a psychological and sociological means to survive, evolve and preserve one’s inheritance.”
“I see you are beginning to understand. I tortured that asshole because he had discovered important things about the Common Singularity, a concept no one should be aware of. You don’t always get the information you need with Dominance; some reactions may emerge only by stimulating particularly primitive areas of the brain. Being a custodian is hard and getting your hands dirty, cruel or otherwise, is necessary when it comes to saving the asses of thousands of vampires and more. Trust that for these purposes even mass extermination is incredibly ethical according to our path. Now, let’s get going. We have to destroy all the evidence in this hovel and then take him out; we don’t have all night.”
Vampires on Vampires
The two lasombras finally arrived at Christophe’s lair, a sort of decadent-looking cabin lost in the depths of a forest, which they began to search: the goal was to find anything that could be considered confidential. Many documents and notes spoke of things the boy could not take seriously for a moment: dimensions, layers, realms, and planes. They mentioned the Order of Hermes and other esoteric lobbies, cultists who were descended from Native Americans, down to a mapping that was more reminiscent of Dungeons and Dragons than a plausible geography of the real world.
Hiroshi scanned some documents, which he began to read. Adine sat down, almost waiting for something. He listened to the progeny with a bored look.
“Cain, the first vampire of all, was cursed by God and welcomed by the Dark Goddess. Once on earth, he broke his promise not to share his power with humans through embrace. He generated vampiric progeny who in turn generated vampiric progeny. Today, it is thought that the First Vampire may return to put an end to the bloody struggles of his sons. Others think, however, that it will be the Antediluvians, third-generation vampires, who will awaken and devour everyone else. This event is called the ‘Gehenna’ by vampires, but not all vampires believe it, particularly the Camaril-“
“It’s called Camarilla, I was telling you about it earlier. It is a sect of vampires opposed to our faction. The name Camarilla is due to the intervention of a Spaniard in the first councils, Rafael de Corazon, and in Spanish Camarilla means a clique, a group…a lobby. That’s why we thought of calling ourselves Sabbat. Camarilla tastes like bourgeois squires with a stink under their nose, Sabbat is badass.”
Hiroshi resumed reading: “The Camarilla is officially formed by the following clans: Ventrue, Toreador, Gangrel, Malkavian, Tremere. It then welcomes some clan orphans, called Vili…’clan orphans’, such a tragic sounding title…wasn’t there a more suitable term?”
“No, because they are pathetic. Vili are on everyone’s dick because they are vampires without sires, abandoned or without a clear lineage – bastard dogs without masters. We have them too, mongrel dogs, and they are certainly smarter. They barked to no end, so much so that finally to stem our irritation, we lasombra gave them dignity and named them Pander. It was in honour of the first one who decided to do something about their position and demand some minimum recognition.”
“Revolted and idealistic, I see”, I keep reading. “Most clan names are derived from the ancient name of their antediluvians, vampires descended from the direct progeny of Cain. They are in fact third-generation vampires, fathers of the vampiric bloodlines and engines of the centuries-old vampiric struggle called vampiric Jyhad. One example is Malkav for the Malkavian clan, also called Lunatics.”
Adine snorted, “Not always, in some cases we have called the antediluvians by the clan name for convenience or lack of alternatives. In others, the reasons are varied and not always identifiable.”
“I found some information about the clans. Toreadors, vampires immersed in art and mortal worldly life, aligned with the Camarilla”
“Hilarious. Stupid, emotional and hysterical. Moved by artistic drive and passions that border on the ridiculous. For example: their antediluvian, Arikiel -or Ishtar, do you- fell in love with a bullfighter and named her clan Toreador for that reason”, Adine burst out laughing. “Hilarious, what assholes!”
“Indeed, an unsupportable reason. Along with the Toreadors at the top of the Camarilla are the Ventrue, vampires linked to power and politics, meddling in mortal affairs.”
“Of all vampires, they are the ones I detest the most. They want to buy everything with money, especially loyalty. That is why the Sabbat was born. Long ago, ancient vampires did not bother to hide from mortals, nor did they limit their nightly performances. When mortals felt too much danger, the Leopold Society was founded: the organisation of vampire hunters-but also of other supernaturals-whose purpose was to take us all out. Next, Ventrue and Toreador decided to found the Camarilla and establish rules that all vampires had to observe: division and respect for each other’s territories, responsibility towards the elders, rules for being able to embrace, abolition of acts of cannibalism between vampires and the Masquerade.”
“I gather it’s that practice of hiding from humans and pretending not to exist. As a human, I never had any contact with vampires nor did I believe that this new species, publicized in video games, movies and novels, could be real.”
“Bingo. The ventrue declared the Camarilla a universal vampire sect and tried to buy everyone’s loyalty, but you get that with charisma, passion and dedication. You get it by inspiring people, not by putting them on a hierarchical scale based on economic or social classism.”
“So you said no and founded Sabbat?”
“In short, yes. Some declined the invitation and chose to remain independent, but still on good terms with the Camarilla. Others … tied it on their finger. In particular, Lasombra and Tzimisce; We did not appreciate the work of the Tremere clan.”
“I read that the Tremere are blood sorcerers, without an antediluvian.”
“They have it in truth. He was human and, together with friends, stole blood from vampires. Some say they were looking for the elixir of eternal life, so they used vampires by making a mess. That’s why many call them ‘usurpers’. Stupid move of theirs, they were Mages and they destroyed their Avatar because of some bullshit, of course they couldn’t have known.”
Hiroshi put down the papers. “Mages?”
He could not believe his ears. Not only vampires, but wizards as well. The further he conversed with the sire, the more meaningless nonsense she added to the already accumulated nonsense.
“Then I will explain, there is a time and place for everything”.
Adine nodded. He was really nerdy in the wrong way.
“There are thirteen major bloodlines, corresponding to the thirteen antediluvians, the sons of the sons of Cain: Irad, Enoch and Zillah, although he probably had a few more. In alphabetical order they are Assamites, Brujah, Cappadocians, Gangrel, Lasombra, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Ravnos, Followers of Set, Tremere, Toreador, Tzimisce and Ventrue. The Cappadocians were killed and replaced by the Giovannis, while the Ravnos were taken out by their antediluvian.”
“I read that in the Camarilla there are Brujah, Gangrel, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Tremere, Toreador and Ventrue. While the Sabbat contains only Lasombra and Tzimisce.”
“That isn’t entirely correct. When members of a clan go against the default alignment, they are called Antitribu. If a Ventrue decided to ally with the Sabbat, they would be called Ventrue antitribu and often blamed and kicked out of their original Clan.”
“So there are also Tzimisce and Lasombra antitribu who have decided to align themselves with the Camarilla?”
“Don’t talk nonsense, of course not.”
“But it would be plausible.”
“A Lasombra who decided to become antitribu would be killed before he even got around to declaring his intention.”
“I see. In any case, what do the other clans do instead? I mean Assamites, Giovannis, Ravnos and Followers of Set.”
“They mind their own business, of course. That amounts to being independent and loyal only to the rules of their own clan.”
“It makes sense, so a vampire can decide to align with the Sabbat, the Camarilla or remain independent.”
“Not necessarily: there are vampires who align themselves with a kind of sect-non-sect, called the anarchist movement. The Sabbat was born as an anarchist movement when the Camarilla was announced. When the Camarilla proposed a treaty, the anarchists divided into gutless anarchists and badass anarchists. We are the badass ones.”
Hiroshi continued scrolling through the documents, reviewing the remaining Clans.
“Assamites: assassins originally from the Middle East.”
“Assassin’s creed, but without the cool soundtrack or the animus. They all use them as assassins.”
“Brujah: philosophers, thinkers, activists and crowd-pleasers.”
“Sometimes they call their spiked clubs charisma. They are no different from college students who do protests and activism – A big pain in the ass.”
“Gangrels: nomads, kindred with animals. They can turn into predators.”
“Giovanni: Italian necromancers distributed in a genealogical line of mortal kinship.”
“Incestuous dickheads. They killed the Cappadocians and ended up as a bad copy, like The Godfather, but with Casper characters as guest stars.”
“Malkavian: Alienated, able to bring madness to victims.”
“Overrated as a danger and underrated as a resource. They have a hive mind – when they want to.”
“Nosferatu, information smugglers and underground dwellers.”
“Yes, they win beauty contests every year.”
“What do you mean?”
“Haven’t you ever seen the movie? Anyway, they are very individualistic, but useful. If you need anything, you can ask them. They usually get paid back in the most bizarre ways, but you’ll be fine.”
“I see. Ravnos… Gypsies?”
“Yes, in 90 percent of cases, but they are gone. They probably stepped on the wrong foot. They’re gone, gone. Apparently their antediluvian woke up and took them out.”
“Followers of Set. You mean … the third brother of Cain and Abel?”
“No, splinter. The Egyptian Set.”
“So they are a religious cult.”
“They are THE religious cult. Sympathetic, all things considered. They hold dubious sex rallies and build underground temples, the kind that would appeal to all the Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider freaks.”
“They seem out of their minds.”
“You can’t imagine the half of it: If you see one, don’t make a deal with them. Before you’ve even exchanged a word with them, you’re already screwed.”
“There are no good people among the vampires I see. In any case, Tzimisce. Demons?”
“It’s just a nickname. They’re not really demons, but they come pretty close.
They are sculptors of the flesh. In vampiric society, only they are able to change the appearance of a vampire and make those changes persist over time.”
“This, I guess, is how it was possible to take care of my physicality.”
“Bingo. They are very helpful, good people. A particular love of torture and an incomprehensible kink for traditions and courtesy.”
“Well, I’m done here. Did you find what you were looking for?”
“Not yet, but I’m sure Christophe is as predictable as he is pathetic … Didn’t you forget the Lasombras?”
“I skipped them. They had bullshit written in them, like that we emerged from the abyss and bring the black soul of the darkest hells into the world. We don’t reflect on it because the divine goodness took pity on the light, which cannot reflect us. This is foolish: we should be like black bodies, able to absorb it all and not re-emit it.”
Adine laughed. “They are not wrong. If your theory was correct, we’d be invisible to the naked eye as well.”
“Do you believe more in the theory of divine goodness?”
Hiroshi opened the hood of the car to retrieve Christophe, looking reluctant. A cigarette sat clenched between his teeth, a pair of gloves already stained with the blood leaking from Christophe’s mouth.
Two slaps on the cheek to wake him up, followed by the untying of his legs, the boy looking silent but irritated.
The hunter, on the other hand, seemed not to want to stop talking: sermons and messages, judgments and criticisms against the young vampire who was only carrying out his thankless and unwanted task.
Fortunately, the car was only a hundred meters from the lair, so the religious torture did not last long. Now the Sire’s idealistic one would begin, and that, unfortunately, would never end.
Once through the door, Hiroshi set the hunter down and carefully tied him to the chair so that Adine could finally feel satisfied. The woman approached the unfortunate man.
A lighter sounded.
A cigarette between the hunter’s lips.
“So, Christophe. I’d say we got off on the wrong foot. Let’s try again, shall we?
I am Adine, a huge fan of you Leopold dickheads. I really admire the work of cleanliness and order that you do, I swear. It’s because of that admiration that I’m here to propose a deal to you: you give me what I’m after and I won’t take you down, so tomorrow you can go back to being a Marvel hero. What do you say?”
“I don’t do business with you filthy agents of chaos. God damn you, you abominable outcasts of the cosmos!”
Adine took the cigarette back from his lips to smoke it. “I see.”
Layers of dense shadow rose around them: the Cloak of Darkness, one of the perceivable manifestations of the abyss.
In that dense, impenetrable blackness, Christophe – like any other human – could neither hear nor see. He could only yield to the unplumbed terror.
Hiroshi,however, could hear the streams Christophe couldn’t.
The woman was torturing him using the Abyss, and the boy could not help but look away.
“So, Christophe. Do you feel more relaxed now?”
The hunter trembled.
“Do you feel more relaxed, yes or no?”
“Y-Yes. I feel more relaxed.”
“Good. Now I’m relaxed, too. Let’s smoke together, Christophe. That way we can converse quietly. We’ll get to know each other, we’ll exchange a few cliches, and I can fuck off back to my beautiful home while you stay in this dive bar praying to your fucking lord.”
“Therefore, correct them firmly…” he recited to himself, “So that they may live soundly in the faith and not heed Judaic fables and precepts of men who reject the truth. Everything is pure for those who are pure, but for those who are corrupt and without faith nothing is pure: their minds and consciences are corrupt.”
“Oh, nice. Did you learn that in catechism or is that the crap they teach you instead of learning how not to get your ass kicked by a Lasombra?”
The man ignored her “They claim to know God, but deny him in deed, being abominable and rebellious and unable to do good,” he continued. Adine interrupted him.
“I know one too, but at the moment it doesn’t come to mind. In the meantime that I’m making up my mind, tell me: are you from a serious country or not?”
Christophe did not answer, Adine then kicked him, overthrowing him to the ground.
“What the fuck is your country?”
“I-I am of French descent!”
She tugged at him, pulling him up by the collar.
“M-but I’m from the United Kingdom.”
Adine laughs, returning to her smoke. “Shit, Christophe. That was close-you had a chance at being cool … And tell me, what fucking system do you use in your country?”
“The imperial system.”
“Did you hear that, son? They use the imperial system. Precisely the length of their tiny cock, no kidding!”
Christophe pulled up his neck so as not to choke on his own saliva. Adine pulled him up with a tentacle.
“So you’ve been to France.”
“So tell me, since we’re lucky enough to have a British dickhead with a baguette stuck up his ass, can you tell me how to say ‘A quarter pounder with cheese’ in French?
“Come on, it’s not like I asked you for the moon. Just a little translation, for an avid cinephile like me.”
“Do what you have to do, and don’t linger any longer with these stupid questions.”
“What, you don’t like baguettes up your ass? Too soft, in fact. Would you like something harder?”
“Fuck you I said!”
“Look there’s nothing wrong with that, do what you love and live in freedom. Of course your God might even be less strict if his little pooches want to mate now and then. Why are you looking at me like that? Have you perhaps fallen in love? Don’t tell me you want one of my tentacles up your ass?”
Adine burst out laughing.
A sadistic, cruel laugh, that of a predator preparing to make his ultimate move.
“You have exactly 3 seconds to tell me where the document on MY fucking singularity is, or I swear I will shove so many tentacles up your ass that I’ll turn you into one of those Japanese cunts my son likes so much.”
Christophe’s eyes darted swiftly to the wall, but he refused for the umpteenth time to speak.
“Hmm? The painting?” she asked. His eyes barely widened.
“Christophe, Christophe. You must learn to control yourself, otherwise your emotions-especially fear and anger-will betray you, just when they shouldn’t. In any case, I thank you. I can take this, can’t I?” pointing to his bag.
A quick step led her to a painting that appeared beautiful to Hiroshi. Dante and Virgil were watching one damned bite the other.
“FUCK YOU, MONSTER!”
“No, fuck you!” she said, lifting the bag’s contents “Ingenious, I must say. I like it. Let’s see if it’s what I think it is, Christophe.”
The UV detector found in the duffel bag quickly showed a text reflected horizontally on the picture.
“I guess this is your divine light, Christophe,” she said, before detaching the painting “This goes with us, while you, Christophe, can go to hell.”
Tongues of fire lapped the air, carrying with them the knowledge and matter that had composed that hovel. They devoured secrets that would now remain so.
Christophe’s lair burned behind Hiroshi, who headed for the car where Adine was waiting for him several blocks away, scrolling through Youtube suggestions.
As he got into the car he smelled a very strong odour of fast food.
He did not say a word: he remained with a contrite expression and his arms crossed.
“I remembered that passage from the Bible. Too bad Christophe is no longer with us, he would have liked that!”
Hiroshi did not respond.
“Ezekiel 25:17. The way of the Cainite is threatened on every side by the iniquities of other stubborn and weak monsters and the stupidity of ignorant mortals. Blessed be he who in the name of truth and good will leads the Cainites and all others through the valley of darkness, for he is in truth his brother’s keeper and the keeper of the lost children, and my greatness will descend upon them with great vengeance and furious indignation on those who try to soak and finally destroy my principles, and you will know that my name is that of Darkness when I will bring down my vengeance upon you.”
“Hmm. Pulp Fiction, but revisited.”
“What, are you pissed off?”
“Affirmative answer. I don’t understand why you had to do that thing. I mean, the Domination. You said it was not an Elegant way to exercise power, and now you do it instead? You are inconsistent, disrespectful and also very rude.”
“I’m very rude?” she began to laugh.
“Yes, to use psychological torture against me. I’m not a fool. You know I hate that stuff and you didn’t hesitate to use it. You were really rude.”
“I only asked you to fake a suicide and set everything on fire.” She was amused, and her son’s anger seemed to amuse her further, perhaps that’s why she was raging so much “Don’t you learn these things, in all the freaking bullshit you watch on Netflix?”
“What was the need to kill him? You could have Dominated him and made him forget everything.”
“It’s not that simple, and besides, Christophe and I are colleagues. I mean, we both clean the world of shit, I just did my job. You should compliment me instead.”
Hiroshi huffed, then took his ally of lucubrations back into his hands.
He lit his cigarette and took refuge in silence.
Adine laughed. “Come on, here. Eat these sandwiches and tell me which one tastes best.”
The boy ignored her “Why was that painting so important? Was there anything written in Latin on it?” he asked instead.
“Take the sandwich I said, this is not the time to talk about that damn painting.”
“If you didn’t send a Ghoul or some other vampire, it must have been really important.”
“Are you deaf? Eat the fucking sandwich.”
Hiroshi sighed, more an exasperated snort than a real sigh, then reluctantly began to eat.
It took very little, a few minutes at most, then Hiroshi threw himself at the door, opening it to throw himself to the ground and vomit “Fuck you!” he cursed at the sire, who had burst out laughing again.
“See?” She said, “No need to worry about which one is better, because we are Cainites and we don’t need this shit. It doesn’t affect us. We are no longer human, we cannot be touched by this nonsense.”
“Did I really need to regurgitate for the sake of a lesson?”
“Of course not, you asshole, I just wanted to punish you. You’ve been ignoring my brilliant Pulp Fiction quotes all night.”
“Well, I can say one thing. There was no point in calling him Christophe.”
“180 pounds of meat.”
“So what would you have called them?”
“Tony Rocky Horror, of course.”