Image by Ulysses0302. Please do not use without permission
Demeanor: Bon vivant
Concept: Club owner and Camarilla spy
Physical Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 3
Social: Charisma 4, Manipulation 4, Appearance 3
Mental: Perception 4, Intelligence 4, Wits 4
Talents: Alertness 3, Brawl 2, Dodge 3, Empathy 3, Expression 2, Intimidation 1, Leadership 3, Streetwise 3, Subterfuge 4
Skills: Drive 3, Etiquette 2, Firearms 1, Performance (Acting) 3, Security 3, Stealth 3
Knowledges: Academics 2, Computer 2, Finance 2, Investigation 4, Law 1, Linguistics 2, Politics 3
Backgrounds: Contacts 2, Generation 1, Haven 4, Herd 4, Mentor 3, Resources 4, Retainers 1, Status 1
Merits: Common Sense 1, Iron Will 3, Baby Face 1
Flaws: Infamous Sire 1
Virtues: Conscience 4, Self-Control 4, Courage 4
Morality: Humanity 7
Disciplines: Dominate 3, Fortitude 3, Presence 3
It was the Summer of Love, and I was 23, newly graduated from University (History and Politics, if it matters), and bumming around the world, taking in all the beautiful sights - especially the ones in short skirts - experimenting with drugs, doing a bit of campaigning against nuclear weapons if I really wanted to get laid and I thought my desire to save the world might impress her.
Maybe if I'd been thinking with my brain instead of my dick, I wouldn't be in this mess. On the other hand, I'm 67, and like Yoda almost said, when 67 years old you reach, look this good you will not.
Anyhow, there I was in Haight-Ashbury, an English kid from a respectable Church of England background, wallowing in (usually chemically induced) peace and love, and I met this girl. She was absolutely stunning, blonde hair, cornflower-blue eyes, and a figure that... well, just trust me on this, it was very distracting, especially because she liked dresses that turned kind of translucent when the light hit them just right. The sex was to die for.
A rather poetic expression for orgasm is "the little death". In my case it was the great big capital-D death. To coin a phrase, I came and went. It was the most intense experience I've ever had, before or since, and something about it imprinted itself on my mind. I can only feed, now, on people I'm having sex with. You could almost call it poetic justice.
The peace and love didn't last long after that, because my dear sire was what the Camarilla calls a Ventrue antitribu. Yup, a big, bad Sabbat Crusader. She saw potential in me, she said. With training and experience, I'd be the ideal covert operative for undercover missions in Camarilla territory.
Too bad for her that she wasn't so hot as a covert operative. We'd only been together a couple of months when an honest-to-God fucking Viking turned up and literally ripped the rest of our pack apart. My sire lit out of there like the devil was after her - not surprising, because this guy came close - and I thought I was about to become so much chopped meat like the rest of the poor bastards who she'd abandoned. But for whatever reason, the Viking - Eirik Haraldsson, he calls himself - decided not to shred me along with the others. He said he could see potential in me. Not the most reassuring thing for him to tell me, considering what had happened the last time somebody thought that about me.
Eirik works for - or does favors for, or indulges when the mood hits him, I don't know which - a guy called Marc de Brabant. Marc's some kind of big noise in Camarilla circles - he's not officially a Justicar, or an Archon, and in fact, as far as I can tell, he's not officially anything. But somehow, he's worked himself into a position where the Justicars and Archons regard him as a sort of go-to guy and Mr. Fixit. And being in that position means he always needs agents.
Adapting another quote, something is rotten in the state of Detroit, and there are things to be done. The former Prince was a Nosferatu elder who by all accounts went bugfuck-crazy; in his absence, there's a power vacuum and lots of dangerous instability. Marc wanted a guy on the spot to keep an eye on things.
It's not what I'd planned for my life, that's for sure. I had a very respectable First from Cambridge under my belt, and I'd got an offer for the fast-promotion track in the Civil Service. A glittering career advising government Ministers beckoned. Ever since I was a kid, I've had this knack for puzzles - putting the little pieces together, figuring things out, and assembling the jigsaw so it makes a coherent whole. I'd planned to use that talent to help shape government policy. First my sire and now de Brabant had other uses for it.
Unlike with my sire, though, it wasn't a totally press-gang recruitment; I got some say in how things went down. And I'll say this for Marc de Brabant, he was very understanding about my family issues. He let me stay in contact with my parents, even brought in a guy to magically "age" me for when I met them face-to-face, and arranged for me to have a "family", a wife and "grandkids" for their benefit. He actually had me organize the whole elaborate charade, partly as training and partly as a test, I think. I would have felt like a bastard about deceiving them so utterly, but de Brabant made it coldly clear how long they'd live if the Camarilla decided that they were a Masquerade risk. Anyway, "my" kids came from some of the shittiest backgrounds you can think of - absent fathers, heroin-addict mothers, deprivation and abuse. As the adopted children of a "consultant" for an "international political think tank", they went from that to having the best of everything - beautiful homes, the best education, and a loving foster-mother - or at least, a ghoul with orders to treat them well. That soothed my conscience a lot. My parents lived to see "their" first great-grandchild before old age finally claimed them.
One of "my" sons, Jake, is a bit of a special case. He wasn't a hard-luck story, he was the illegitimate child of a family called the Isaacsons, who are old-money types with some sort of link to de Brabant. He was born of a teenage indiscretion that his Dad's family wanted to cover up - something about endangering an arranged marriage. He's a bit of a shark, to be honest, but he makes a good front-man for me, since he looks a few years older. De Brabant admitted that I'd need a ghoul to handle the daytime tasks, and Jake was the obvious choice.
De Brabant gave me a lot of basic training. Not James Bond stuff, just the sort of basic, practical skills you need to gather information. How to pick a lock. How to get information from people in seedy dives, or on the streets. How to draw people out when you talk to them. How to read an account book. In a world of supernatural monsters with magical powers, you'd be surprised how useful that kind of simple, workaday approach can be - mostly, I think, because the Kindred are so used to thinking of their Disciplines as a universal problem-solver that they overlook it.
So, now I run a club, the Model T. It's quite a place, even if I do say so myself.
Image by odomi2. Please do not use without permission
Marc may have paid for the whole thing, but the idea and the design was all by yours truly. I figured, with the collapse of the auto industry, there had to be lots of unused manufacturing plants, and lots of blue-collar areas around them where people were looking to blow off a little steam, right? So take an auto plant. Renovate it so that the former factory floor turns into a great honkin' bastard of a dancer floor. Give the locals ownership by emphasising local ambience - like, for instance, we have cages hanging from the ceiling where the girls dance, but ours are artfully fashioned to look like Model T's and other Ford icons. Decorate it to look heavy-duty industrial with a seasoning of dark Goth, and provide plenty of space for, shall we say, private liaisons. Don't be too enthusiastic about carding - no point ignoring one of the most profitable demographics out there. And make arrangements with the local drug gangs so you control how and when the dealing is done. Perfect.