Word had come swiftly Marcus Draco, head of the house Amayah. He was considered a pure blood by the undead, because he was the offspring of two undead. Normally, one needed the Fount of Psyche for something like that to happen. However, they had learned a trick in shunting blood to the organs and equipment that would allow the propagation of offspring. He had never known anything about the human life, because he had never been raised amongst that. He had been around for about 137 years, and because of his birth, he had become powerful, and all he had known was royal treatment. However, his was now the last of two households left, and one of them was a shame to the world of the undead as far as he was concerned. They did not want to kill, and found other means. They actually wanted to fit in, and really believed the myths of"vampire salvation." In other words, they sought Golconda, which everyone knew was a myth. There was no trusting House Lichen, and if they were not out on Oregon, he would have ordered the wholesale slaughter of the remaining 55 of the household. He figured that it would be a mercy killing, considering that they were not willing to kill to live, and that they were extremely selective on whom they turned. To Marcus, they were slated for extinction, and their time had passed. Yet, he had another problem, and it had to do with the fact that there indeed were only two households left. One issue was Blade. He had left his normal haunts of Detroit, and came to New York to try to finish off the undead. At one time, Draco would have considered that a pipe dream and Blade would have gone that one bridge too far to where he would have been stopped. However, over time, the haste with which they had been dispatched had been increasing, especially in New York, and that disturbed him greatly. Considering his locale, he knew that his house had to be next, and he had to prepare. What was left of the board suggested that they pull up stakes and get out. This, however, was not something that would be all that easy. They were well rooted in the city, and the 200 or so in the house were spread out over all the boroughs, as was the whole operation. Those outposts had only one purpose: gather and herd human cattle to feed, keep themselves alive, and find the few that were worthy and turn them. Just up and leaving would cause too many questions, considering the fronts in the human world they maintained to excuse their being there. All he could do now was prepare for the fight. Still, it almost seemed that Blade had an army aiding him.
He had had spies all over the city tailing Blade as best they could, avoiding direct contact with him as he sought to finish off House Cathong to preserve their own lives. However, in every strike, it did indeed seem that he had some help beyond the delusional human that thought he had the ability to fight the undead, and the traitorous vampyra that stood by Blade's side and aided him in everything he did. That help always managed to stay out of sight and it always managed to fade before his spies could move in and gather the information that would let him know what was going on. Yet, word on the street was that there was another group of vampires that had moved into New York City about a year earlier that seemed to be made up entirely of pure bloods, but that sounded as ridiculous as it had to be considering what it took to make one. Still, the rumors persisted, and he felt that there may be something to it considering how it was that Central Park suddenly ended up a safe place to travel at night. The previous mayor had done much to clean up Times Square, but now it was REALLY safe! This wave of un-crime-if you could call it that-was spreading out from Manhattan and moving out. Many gangs were becoming scared, and it was actually affecting his work in the boroughs. Gangs made useful idiots, but if they were not willing to do anything, then what was the point? What they were saying is that gangs were attacked in the middle of a crime, but they could not remember what hit them, how they had been stopped, and anytime they sought to try to continue their ways, they suddenly dropped in pain, as if someone was jabbing knives into every joint in their body. They were fine for about amonth, when, unexplainably, there did not seem to be any desire to do what they had been doing. When that wore off, and they went back to "work," then that is when it started. Other gangs, when they heard this happening regularly, began to become either more careful, or just scared to do anything. The only thing Draco could guess was that a group of undead that Blade had not killed from the other houses had banded together to make a play to survive. This was not necessarily a bad thing, because, if they became big enough, they could absorb them into House Amayah and make themselves stronger. Yet, why would they even care about the well being of the humans. All they were to them were lowly sub-creatures only there to provide them with food and slaves. By doing this, they bring order, and that worked counter to the chaos they wanted to create that covered their tracks, and made it easier for them to operate. However, if they were secretly aiding Blade... No, that could not be. Blade trusted no one but the two that worked with him, and he still would rather work alone.
Marcus paced in his office, knowing it was now two hours before sunrise, and he only had so much time before he had to rest, and he wanted to get some more things figured out. His office rested in an old 20 story building that had been restored to its former glory, and served as a great outpost to do his work. He had the finest that could be imagined: his office doubled as his living room complete with white leather couches and seats, a cherry wood desk afine black carpet and wood walls done in the Victorian style, glass side tables and a polar bear throw rug, a fireplace, several plants, the most expensive paintings, and the best stereo system money could buy. His bedroom was designed to have no windows, and had a king sized canopy brass bed, white shag rug, big screen television, a luxury bathroom, essentially, the lap of luxury. He sat down at his desk as he turned on the stereo and started to play jazz renditions of Bach as he poured over his information. He kept trying to trace the emergence of the drop in crime with anything new that had also emerged during that time. It had to be somewhere on either Fifth Avenue or Central Park West, because that is a good area for an operation to work. Since the crime drop started there, that was the most logical choice. He had discounted it before, because they had not been able to find anything. Yet, his gut instinct told him things were happening there. The only thing that had moved in was a new restaurant on the corner of Central Park West in a building owned by a benefactor that sponsored the shop. However, they wished to remain anonymous, and no matter how many strings he had in city hall, there was no way he could loosen any lips to say just who that benefactor was. Whoever it was must have had some influence, because the spies all the houses had in city hall mysteriously disappeared. Their eyes had vanished in city affairs, making the demise of the few households save his own less difficult. When they sent spies into that area, they could find no vampires there, and all they found was afive star restaurant called The Cavern with trained housebroken bats on the ceiling, a mellow atmosphere, coffee bar, (no alcohol, oddly enough,) and a band or duo that came in from time to time to play soft jazz or folk music. In examining the building, there was nothing out of the ordinary, nor were there any undead anywhere. Therefore he had to discount the place. There were no others that had moved in at that time save them, but then there was nothing at all to indicate them. He finally slammed down the papers in frustration and decided to turn in early. When he awoke the next night, he would start to plan the defense of the house, and put an end to Blade and his mysterious benefactors once and for all.
The seven returned to the Cavern, happy that another house had fallen. Much had happened when the whole crew, for the most part, moved to New York City. Jean-Claude figured that their best chance lay there, and he was delighted when he found out he was right. There was a bit of protest from his children, but once they began to settle in, make friends, and were accepted in a junior high school for the arts, they made the adjustment quickly as children are wont to do in situations like that. They were now 13, Kannon was 9, and Sophia was 5. The twins were running the show with Kannon until Sophia was old enough to do things herself, which would not be long. She was 5, but was as mature as the eldest Golconda, and it would not be long before she was calling the shots. Jean-Claude knew there would be no power struggles, considering that the other three kids knew how powerful Sophia actually was, and that they would stand no chance against her. The team still called themselves Die Kaiserinhand in honor for Empress Sophia, because she knew she was due the honor. They also started to pay proper homage to the vampire royalty, to which the kids had learned how to accept graciously after a few months of awkward reactions from the kids. He was also glad that they still acted like normal kids out of the sight of everyone else, and they thus knew how to change with the environment. Once they were settled in, they put up the wards, and Die Kaiserinhand, (the Hand, for short,) started to clean up Central Park and Times Square. It was only three months into the purging process when they discovered something new and horrifying.
In the effort to build the Clan in the U.S., they ran into some undead. Knowing that one or two might exist here or there, they were not surprised to see this. However, when Karin started to describe things to him, in order to give him safe haven, his eyes grew wide with fear, and he tore off. Jean-Claude went after him and caught him, trying to find out what had frightened him, and to keep him from blowing the lid off the thing. That was when he first found out the truth. The undead started cursing him and speaking in Creole, which was the same language that he had encountered in the Bokor War. He had learned some since then, and he used his knowledge of French to hear him announce that the world Jean-Claude described could not exist, and if he was what he claimed, then he was doomed when the remaining houses learned about his operation. He then announced by his actions that he was going to start with Jean-Claude, and formed the vampire claws. That was his last mistake as Jean-Claude ripped his head off. The undead immediately dissolved in a glowing flame and ash. After some investigation, it was then he discovered the undead households that had agrip on the United States, and how it was that they were as expert from hiding as the true vampires had been. He then got in contact with Tokyo and Elda Marker, and told her what they had found. By that point, there were nine houses left, and they did not know what to do. When Elda heard this, she suddenly remembered something that happened during the great purge of Europe in 1809.
When the vampires moved to safer shores, some wound up in New Orleans. However, there were very few, and they had to assimilate themselves with the voodoo culture. Up to that point, that was all she knew, and knew about that culture before the Bokor War had been fought. Elda said she would contact the council there, and begin some research. After a few days, she called back, horrified by what she had learned. It appears that they started to create undead, just to have other vampires around. However, those undead were different than others, and essentially became responsible for all that humans had thought about vampires from that time on. For some reason, they could not be out in daylight, and they were obsessed with what they describe in their culture as the Thirst. In order to live, they have to kill all their victims, and they have no preference. Because it is far stronger in them, (in order for them to just survive,) they are obsessed with the blood. The first few were not that bad. However, they started to create undead without the auspices of the pure bloods, and they were even worse. When the pure bloods tried to stop it, they were killed, and then they began to breed their version of pure bloods, and created 12 households in the U.S. The only thing they had in common was what they were, their habits, and that they all spoke Creole. As decades past, they lost all respect for human life, and thought themselves superior. Yet, somehow, the knowledge of the true world of the vampire had been lost to them, and they went underground. Because of the lack of true pure bloods at that time, save for your seven mentors that knew nothing happening in the south, they melted into society. Later on, more true bloods came, and the two worlds there have grown side by side, each one not knowing the other existed. When Jean-Claude announced that there were now only nine houses left, Elda was shocked. That was when Jean-Claude dropped the bomb.
He announced that there had been a systematic killing of three of the houses, and after some searching, they found out what was going on. He then told her that it was someone called Blade doing the work. That meant nothing to her, but that caught Victor's attention. He then took the phone and asked Jean-Claude to repeat the name; he was shocked to hear that he was still around. Back before he was turned, all he knew was that vampires needed to die, no matter who or what they were. It was in that time he met Blade and even helped him from time to time. There came a point that he had heard that Blade had died, and thought no more of it. Once Jean-Claude said what Blade had been doing, Victor said that they should aid him as much as possible, considering that the only way the Dream would spread was when they were gone. He also told Jean-Claude that his real name was Eric Brooks, and that he came from Detroit and that was all he knew. After he thanked him for the information, research began. They found out as much as they could about the undead world, (offing afew undead as they went along,) while Anjou and Karin went to Detroit to find out about Blade. Jean-Claude was shocked to find out that, not only was he adhampir as he was, but he came in a different way. His mother had been bitten while pregnant with him, and because of that, he wound up a day walker with afew more benefits than Jean-Claude had, but two major drawbacks. He had all the abilities of the undead vampire, but none of the weaknesses. However, he still had the Thirst, and he could also create undead. To prevent both, he invented an artificial serum that both curbs the thirst, and keeps him from feeding. He also despised what he was, but had to live with it, and he was so mad at what that world had done to his family and life that he vowed to kill every vampire in existence. When the royalty heard this, they said that that had to change as soon as possible. The best way to do that was to aid him in destroying the household, staying in the shadows for as long as possible, trying to win his confidence by deeds. Jean-Claude picked six of his best, and he was glad to see his sisters with him. Both had come a long way from their softer lives, and had become battle hardened veterans. However, he liked the fact that they did not lose their personalities, and was the same as they had always been. He was so proud of Karin during the Inquisition War when she took charge after he had been captured, and she had only gotten better. The seven were ready, and went to work. There had been attempts by other members of the Clan to get into contact with him, (the Clan having grown to about 30 by that point,) but they had all failed. Blade either did not want to listen or believe what he had been told. Worse, he did not want to believe them vampires, because all he had known was the undead world, and there was no other way outside of exposing himself to the public to prove it. This had now changed. The time had come to come out in order to save him, and now he wondered just what he was thinking by that point.
Blade and Crystal were now scanning frantically for anyone that had approached him before about this weird speech of some crazy dream, true pure bloods, and this thing called the Clan. After felling the first of the houses in New York, he was approached by someone who looked human enough, save for the paler skin. He scanned the area, and when he knew it was not some kind of an ambush, he then talked. He had notable fangs, but Blade's specially designed sunglasses showed that his body temperature was 98.6, and a scan with the UV light did not affect the speaker at all. This made him doubt just with whom he spoke, and he figured it was some kind of Goth punk with a vampire fetish, although he did not dress or sound like that. Then this man went on to try and tell him that there was another world of vampires beyond what he knew, and that what he dealt with were the pretenders to the throne. He had told Blade that true vampires were not killers and that they wanted to live in peace. Then he said he was aware of Blade's crusade, and that they wanted to aid him in riding them of something that was just as much of a scourge to them as it was to Blade. Then he told him something ridiculous about some Fount of Psyche, and how her blood could help him and his friend is more than what they were. Blade stomached as much as he could, and said, "You do one bad imitation of a vampire, and now your life is in danger. You apparently know what I am, and you're too stupid to be usable by Cathong or whoever you could work for, so do yourself a favor and get as far from me as you can."
The man then said, "Sir, you turn down a great opportunity."
"You're turning down an opportunity to scram before I kill you for being a suspicious fool," Blade said in return. However the man said, "You're going to get help whether you like it or not."
"Whatever," was all Blade wanted to say at that point. The man then said,"Then, if you change your mind, you should look for anyone wearing this ring."
Blade stopped, turned around, and saw the man holding up his right hand, displaying what looked like a class ring riding on his finger, but with a blood red jewel in the middle. He walked over to humor the man and examined it. Around the jewel was written, "E Pluribus Unum," on one side, and, "The Clan,"on the other. The left side panel had a book open and the inscription, "Fear is ignorance in a state of panic," and the right panel had a cross with the Latin saying, "Donna Nobis Pachem," which means, "O Lord, give us peace."
"Good," said Blade, "This way, I know how to identify your body when the vampires decide to kill you for knowing too much."
The man then just gave him a quizzical look, and shook his head. Yet, Blade did not seem amused, and he continued by saying, "I don't know what kind of asilly club or a cult you are a part of, but the vampire world is not what you want to be involved with, because it will cost you your life. Do yourself afavor: get rid of the ring, get out of this club, and get out of New York, because it is no longer safe for you. If worst comes to worse, call this man,(as Blade handed him a telephone number,) and he can get your identity changed. Just do yourself a favor: flee and forget you know me."
With that, he was gone. As he watched the man from a secluded spot, the man just shook his head, sighed, and went his way.
It had almost been a year from that time, and now that ring suddenly became important. He was about to meet his end, and then, out of nowhere, seven (what he had to assume was,) people came out of nowhere, wielding high caliber assault rifles that give normal mortals difficulty in full auto setting. They were wielding them like they were M-4 carbines. Then one came out who was built like a slender defensive end, and clashed with his would be killer with the skill and ease of an elder vampire. He took a blow that should have crippled him, but he shook it off and ended the fight. Then there was the brunette with the purple hair tint that clashed with the pure blood with ease and skill, and then put an end to her in a forceful and gruesome way. She even allowed Cassandra a weapon to defend herself, rather than just killing her. He then knew what he was dealing with when, just before he killed him, this stranger displayed some healthy fangs and drank another vampire's blood. That was not unusual, but it was that he did not seek to drain him, and then killed him with the sword! He was going to act, but they torched the place. The kicker was that they knew his, Shin's, and Crystal's names. They also had the same rings on their hands, and now he knew that there was something to what he had been told. Now, he was scouring New York looking for that ring again, and yet trying to get back to Blade's hideout before sunrise for the sake of Crystal. She had to get some serum and then rest. It would wait until the next day. Shin needed to get some groundwork done, so that would leave Crystal and Blade open to search for this mysterious Clan, and find out if they were friend or foe. However, he had to guess "foe" for, as far as he was concerned, outside of Crystal, he never met a vampire he did not like...dead.