Bulgarian Hit

New Day Dawning

I saw the sunrise this morning, just as beautiful as I remember from a few days prior. As far as I know I’m the only Kindred that can make the claim (while not bursting into flames for the viewing) and I can’t help but think it’s completely wasted on me. It’s been 48 hours since I last felt the suns warmth which is a fraction of a second compared to the other Kindred in this house. I wish I could have put one of them in my place. Maybe I still can.

Valko was surprisingly forward with me when we spoke about my place in the city and I began to lay out some of my designs. Kindred society is so cloak and dagger that I thought talking about any machinations, even among the Family, would be taboo. Once again the family proves that I’m the one having a hard time adjusting to them, not the other way around. I just keep waiting for the bottom to fall out like it always does. The second I become comfortable somewhere, when I let my guard down, i usually when I get burned the hardest. I know this is different and I know the Family is forever but I just can’t shake the feeling. Like the human part of me is having a hard time letting go.

I’m honored Alexander let me plan the confrontation with the Witches. I don’t think I could find the words to express how humbled I am that the greatest military mind that ever lived is trusting me with what he values most on probably the most dangerous encounter the Family has ever had. I know that teaming up with the Mages is the last thing Alexander had in mind but that’s why I think this is going to work. I know the Witches have been watching for a hundred years and that they can spy on us with nothing short of clairvoyant accuracy. That’s why we need to come at them sideways, hit them when we’re prepared and they aren’t. Most importantly we need to do something completely unexpected to throw them off and give ourselves the best advantage possible and I know working with Mages is the last thing they’d expect.

Still I’m worried about the upcoming conflict. I know everyone in the Family is a hell of a scrapper but against creatures that can drum up sunlight in the palm of their hands? That kind of power seems so limitless and overwhelming compared to the rigid structure of our own Disciplines. If we do come to blows with the Witches whether or not we win the day will probably set my precedence with the Family henceforth. I’ve been over the details a dozen times and I’m confident in the plan but I could always use more information. I don’t know what members of the Family are truly capable of. I don’t know how well they fight or what their dynamics are among one another. All of those variables are things I can’t account for which might mean the difference between life and death and it’s been eating at the back of my mind. Still, Alexander entrusted this to me and I’m going to see it through. Human me was always nervous before a big op like this, but Kindred me? I can feel the beast on the inside and it’s anxious for the fight. Valco said I should trust the beast to know what’s right and my instincts say this is the way to go.

I’ve been thinking about what happens if we are able to capture one of the Witches. How would we hold her? Could we convince her to help us? How could she possibly be trustworthy after one of her own attempted to kill us? It’s a long shot but if things are what they appear to be, if I can make this work and bring this Witch on board, maybe she can do for the others what she did for me. If that’s the case then I’ll be able to give the Family something they never even dreamed they could have. I know the scope of all this has a reach well beyond what I should be handling but i still can’t help chasing the rabbit.

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The Taste of Things to Come

Another overly interesting night. Scary stories and creatures of legend are becoming as common as street lights, the city streets are painted with their blood and I’m one of the monsters now. I used to loathe the Family’s bloodthirsty ways. I told myself that I was principled, that I would never resort to the brutal tactics of what I viewed to be thugs ruling a city through fear and power. Turns out I was only half right.

Julius told me the Kindred select members of the Family from humans who have certain traits which make them ideal members which is why all of the Clans conform to certain stereotypes. I spent most of my time thinking about the differences between him and me, specifically what sets me apart from the Family. Turns out he was doing the opposite. He saw in me what I saw in him, even though I didn’t want him to. He must have known what I would be like when I was turned and once again Julius proved to me he’s a lot smarter than I ever gave him credit for. Now there’s this thirst that can’t be quenched feeding this new found power flowing in my veins. Instead of being relieved I made it out of the fight with the Wolves alive I’m thinking about the taste of their blood and that I can’t wait for another chance to sink my fangs into one.

There’s something else that came with this new power. I’m not the same person I used to be. It’s like I let an animal loose in my own head and all it wants to do is feed. These urges and instincts are something I’ve never felt before, something so very foreign to me, but they feel so natural… like they are another part of me I never knew was there. I can’t just ignore it.

When I came face to face with the Wolves the human part of me didn’t know what to do. But the animal? The animal knew exactly what to do. It was confident where I was timid, steadfast where I was unsure, and more importantly, when I thought I didn’t stand a chance, it knew we could win. I didn’t know what else to do so I turned it loose. Something inside me snapped when Julius rushed forward and sunk his claws into that monster and I just couldn’t let him stand alone even though I know he’s ten times the fighter I am. There was something surreal about the experience that I can’t get past. I’ve spent most of my life wondering about my place in the world, trying to find something that I could invest myself in. Something that made me feel whole. If this is it, if this is what I was meant to do, then I guess Julius knows me even better than I know myself. Maybe I’ve always been a monster and I just needed Alexander’s blood to accept it.

Strange as it sounds, scrapping with Wolves isn’t what’s been on my mind tonight. I keep thinking back to the club we went to, After Party, and the girl I met there. I didn’t want to drink from anyone, I was still high on Wolf blood and dwelling on ripping one’s throat out so I didn’t want to risk losing control. I can come to terms with the animal in me but there’s a time and place for violence, I can’t let it control my life. Whether it was those ethereal green eyes or the way she so confidently strode up to us, I decided to indulge myself. I’m still trying to piece together what happened after I drank her blood, the words she whispered to me through the cloudy memories I can’t seem to recall, but it’s all just a fog. I can’t stop thinking about her and the fact that whoever was waiting for her that night that shot her and kidnapped her. The man and the animal in my head rarely agree on anything since I was turned but both of them acted in unison when I saw her get taken. I want to find her. I have to find her. I have to know what she did to me. Why she singled me out of the crowd that night. What she is, where she came from. My head hasn’t stopping ringing with questions ever since we got back to the mansion.

I went to find Alexander after everyone else went to sleep, for whatever reason I felt the need to tell him what happened. I wanted him to know and I hoped he could answer my questions but he seemed just as puzzled as I was. Puzzled and something else. Proud, maybe? I’m still not quite to terms with how easy it is for me to trust him or how natural it feels to look to him as a Father figure. I don’t know whether my feelings are from respect and admiration of a great man or the chemical consequences from the blood he fed me my first night as one of his children. I had time while we were talking to put everything together, here’s what I think I know.

We woke up a first and she’s not likely going back to sleep. There are many legends surrounding the Firsts. They say they can walk during the day and that any Kindred that drinks their blood can too. The more powerful the Kindred, the more potent the blood. She probably has an arsenal of supernatural powers, including the ability to seem human and to look like someone else. We know the Witches are interested in the first since they view her as the greatest of their kind. We know they’re trying to keep her away from the Kindred. At the car, the van shot a crossbow bolt and pierced her chest. Julius tells me a wooden stake, or bolt, to the heart is the surefire way to put a Kindred down. I tried to use my “super speed” to get to her but something was holding me back, making it feel like I could barely move my arms and legs, as if some magic force field was stopping me from getting to her. I don’t believe in coincidences and all the evidence points to a single conclusion. I wish I knew why I was caught in the middle of all this.

I only know of one way to test this theory and since I can’t leave this alone I’m going to try. Tomorrow morning I’m going to greet the sunrise and find out once and for all if this girl is who I think she is.

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Night Life

It started with a drink. Julius was setting me up for something I probably did’t want to do. Not that I could say no if he made up his mind. Ever tried to walk away from the mafia? Not a good way to keep on breathing.

We headed to a basement after that. I watched him nearly beat a man to death. Julius was tight-lipped about the whole thing. He didn’t answer any of my questions and he just gave cryptic responses when I tired to trip him up. All the while I couldn’t shake this feeling that something was wrong. Not that what we were doing was bad, I knew that already, but something was really wrong.

So he brought some goons and a few other people from “the Family” to meet us at the cemetery. We wound our way to the oldest part and entered a mausoleum which emptied into an expansive system of subterranean tunnels. What I saw next will probably haunt me for the rest of my days. A woman sleeping in a coffin. Only she wasn’t sleeping, she was dead. Only she wasn’t dead, she was sleeping. We watched her rise up, break off her nails and her hair, watched the fog eerily pouring out of her coffin, watched her move like people aren’t supposed to move. Easily the most unnerving thing I’ve ever seen, and from the look on Julius’ face I’d say he felt the same. She didn’t say much, only that she wasn’t what we were looking for. She probably could have recited the dictionary and I still wouldn’t be past the shell-shock of it all. So we left after she insisted, some of us broken-hearted but all of us empty-handed.

Then the zombies attacked. I’ll never watch a zombie flick the same way again. In the movies their clumsy shambling is almost comical and you always laugh at the main characters for getting eaten by them. In reality, they’re a whole lot stronger and scarier than they look. Four of them jumped me while we were trying to get away, almost outlasted them all too. Watched a lot of things happen that night. Watched Julius grow claws from his fingertips and rip them in half. Watched Victor put his own guts back inside his stomach then jog back to the car. Watched a bunch of rotted flesh monsters chew pieces of me and rip them off with their teeth. Watched the river of blood I left behind while I was running. Watched the ceiling of the SUV as I was bleeding to death. Watched Alexander shove his wrist into my mouth and feed me his blood.

I woke up. I shouldn’t have, but I did. No pulse, no scrapes or bruises, just me on a couch in someone else’s pajamas. Julius was there, looked like he’d been waiting a long time too. I never noticed all the little things until right then. Like how he never blinks. Like how he doesn’t breathe. Like how he can sit perfectly still, like he’s made out of marble. Just like I am now.

Now I know why he always called me “brother”. Turns out we’re related now, both children of Alexander. The Alexander, for the record. Alexander the Great. The guy that conquered most of the known world. Right here in Sofia, running the country with the children he’s sired into the world. They run this town because they’re supernatural. Humans call them Vampires. I call that an understatement. They’re far more powerful and terrifying than the movies make them out to be. I’m one of them now. The things they can do are incredible Survive explosions, outrun cars, upend dump trucks… incredible.

Truth be told I was a little resentful when I first woke up. Julius made a choice for me that would change my life forever without ever once asking me what i wanted. He wanted us to be family and now we are. Brothers by blood. But I was dead and I’d never see things like the Sun ever again. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to the day and that’s a lot to take in. So like I said, I was a little sore about it all. But then I felt it. The power in my veins that Alexander gifted to me. Julius wanted to make me into an immortal and I’ll be eternally grateful that, for whatever reason, he chose me. All the while I thought I was watching out for some knucklehead that was in over his head. That’s all true, except I’m the knucklehead and Julius is so much more than i ever even dreamed he could be. I wasn’t watching out for him, he was watching out for me.

Today I died, and it was the best day of my life.

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