The moonlight broke through the trees, as the summer winds blew gently from the south, the smell of soil and foliage entered through her nostrils as she sat under the large maple tree, forgetting the things that haunted her dreams and present state of mind. The new territory that she had been scouting proved to be interesting, with the knowledge that others of her kind were indeed located here. This would prove hazardous to her health if she continued to insist on making herself visible. The only way to avoid them was to either leave or go back into hiding.
Her leather jacket felt a little tight around the shoulders tonight, she probably figured it was due to the fact she had been staying in this form for far too long. She wasn't used to her human form, not anymore. She used to spend most of her free time in her animal shape, keeping from humans and feeding off the local vermin that would tend to get in her way. She was an animal, even when guised as human, she was still a feral creature. However since she had come to this place, she has remained in her human form, denying what she believed was the truth. She was not human, she was not an animal, she was an evolved form of life. The ultimate predator.
She slowly slid off her jacket and placed it on the ground beside her, she would have to bury it later in case someone decided it would be a nice prize for them to carry off with. Her hears twitched slightly as she caught the sounds of the nocturnal birds fluttering in the trees above her. Usually such things didn't bother her, but she assumed it was because she had spent too much time in the realm of man. Slight pumps in the night were making her paranoid, yet at the same time she had every right to be paranoid, they knew she was here, at least one of them did, she hoped though that Celeste had forgotten about their encounter, and she assumed that Celeste was not the type to take long walks in the park, the old bat might break a nail.
Her eyes glanced around to make sure she was alone, at least for now and, once she was certain that no spying eyes were watching her in the dark, she slowly began to change. Fur slowly sprouted from her skin as her bones cracked and popped in unusual ways, she remembered when she was first created the pain she would feel during her change, but now she has become so accustomed that the pain no longer affects her. Her ears pointed and slanted upwards as her nose blackened, her continuously growing claws sunk into the rich black soil, her thin tale tucked under her body as the transformation came to a complete. Now where Brook once sat, stood a small badger in her place. Her tongue slowly rolled out and licked her whiskers, sniffing the air around her. It seemed well enough to hunt. Her maw wrapped around her leather jacket, and began to drag it across the ground, she would need to make a den soon, but for right now she could hide the jacket while she went out hunting on small pray, just enough to satisfy her hunger. Unlike some she did not condone feeding until she was gorged, she fed little, and her kills were always males, that way she would never teeter the delicate balance of nature.
Strange, thought the nigthingale to herself.
Wanting to get a closer look she launched off the coniferous perch and swooped down. Upon examination of the moonlit area Chryseis viewed a badger trudging and toting something large and black. Interested in the plight of this funny animal she came to a rest upon a large rock. It was a good viewing area.
She drug the jacket to a clear spot of land and, dropped it to the ground. She circled the area as she sniffed the ground, checking to make sure it was a safe spot to dig, when she was satisfied she began sinking her claws into the ground, scooping out large clumps of soil. Every so often she would stop, and peek her head into the hole, testing the size, before she continued on. Once the hole was large enough, she grabbed her jacket and stuffed it inside her makeshift treasure horde, than with a happy little growl she buried the hole with her hind legs and, packed it down tightly with her hind legs. This way no one would know where her jacket was hidden, or at least the clever little badger thought, unaware that she was being watched.
Her rear end plopped down and her hind leg came forward to scratch behind her ear as she contemplated what to do next, hunting was in order that much was certain. Her tongue rolled out of her maw unconsciously, as her black eyes glanced around the area, her eyes caught the attention of the nightingale that was curiously watching her perched on a rock and her hind leg lowered. Brook never had much luck chasing down birds, the whole flying thing and Brook's lack of wings. Ground animals were more efficient prey, 'however were nightingales even up in this neck of the woods?' She thought to herself as she examined the nightingale. She wasn't sure if it was a nightingale, but if it was, she wondered how it got here. Perhaps a pet that got loose? Her head tilted to the side and made a slow lowered crawl toward the flycatcher, obviously curious but cautious.
She didn't advance far, perhaps it was just the way the light hit the animal, she couldn't be for sure, and figured if she got to close the bird would fly away, thus loosing any chance for further examination. The badger snorted once, before she turned away.
God she had to be bored to be thinking like that. Regardless she stiffened when the badger took notice of her up on the rock. This could turn into a pretty good game of taunt and fly away, that was a better idea than theft. Her head turned about this way and that getting better angles of the little chubby beast who slowly moved towards her.
The snort startled her instinctively. As the badger lost interest and turned away she hopped down from where she rested on the rock and followed a good ten feet behind the unsuspecting animal. Each hop she landed she released a small chirp trying to get it's attention.
This could be a messy game in the end. It had been a long drawn out beginning to her evening and a good scaring of an animal to death would spice things up a little bit. Her humor was something to be questioned even when she was in her normal vampire form. Tonight gave no exception.
'The hell?' She thought as she canted her head to the side, brave bird coming so close to a predator, especially a badger. Her claws turned inward and she thumped her front paws as she gave the bird a warning bark. The hair on the back of her next rose as her teeth bared to the small creature, making an intimidating threat, if to only scare the bird away so she could make go on her way.
'Stupid bird.' She thought to herself. 'Brave, but stupid.'
In the back of her mind she still wondered why this animal was hording human items and there was something more to the situation. That same part of her mind told her to quit playing and follow to find out.
Maybe, just maybe someone was injured nearby. That would mean a snack that she wouldn't have to clean up after.
Giving in to the sensible side she sighed and took flight just above the badger. Whistling and trilling lightly a small song in hopes that the badger would forget about her and lead her to where ever it got the items.
Brook continued on her hunt as she sniffed around with her nose in the dirt. There was nothing like a hunt to quicken the blood through one's veins, the excitement of catching prey after a long run down, feeling the night breathe sweet life into the very fiber of your being. Then to take the essence of an others life into you, feeling their heart stop and yours quicken, feeling their muscle finally relaxing into your savage arms.
Her black eyes landed on a small animal, a rabbit, something she knew she could out run giving the right circumstances. She thought she would have it tonight, her claws sunk into the ground as she stalked her prey. Watched it's movements, as she concealed herself within blades of grass and other shrubbery. Lowered onto her haunches, her movements were calculated and precise, she had to make sure she did not make any sounds as her belly dragged across the ground. She slithered closer as she edged herself inch by inch. Badgers usually fed on diets of burrowing animals, it was not uncommon for them to hunt rabbits, nothing would be out of ordinary if one observed the badger.
She stopped momentarily as the rabbit caught wind of her scent, Brook waited as the rabbit looked around to sniff the air, rabbits were fast as skittish, if Brook made even one mistake, she would have to rely on her speed to catch her furry dinner. The rabbit hopped once or twice but not leaving the immediate area before it went back to nibbling on a blade of dew grass. Brook took her opportunity and sped across the ground. Quick and agile, badger's were naturally fast and graceful hunters. Before the rabbit could take on a full leap, Brook had already snatched her prey, and grappled the kicking and struggling beast by the side of it's neck. One sharp pull, and the neck broke with a loud snap, the badger eased her prey onto the ground and fed as the rabbit's hid legs occasionally twitched from time to time.
The badger did not eat the flesh, but only drained of it's fluids. Her claws slowly came forth from the beast as she took a step back and looked down at her prize kill. Instead of doing a praised dance over her kill, the badger almost seemed saddened, or perhaps humbled. She plopped her rear end down in front of the fallen prey and lowered her head for a moment. It wasn't that Brook was sad for killing the creature for substance, but she has come to respect the animals of the wild. These creatures were more than food to her, much more and it seemed almost proper to give last respects to those gave their lives to quench her blood lust.
She slowly turned herself, and started to dig up a small hole to bury her first kill of this evening.
"Interesting indeed." She thought to herself.
The longer she followed this animal around the more she discovered. Perhaps the jacket that was being hidden wasn't a treasure comically stolen from a dead body. Maybe, just maybe this was one of her own.
The idea wasn't totally far fetched, here she was as a nightingale and she knew of others in her clan who could change. Thaddeus and Mai for starters and Chryseis knew there were more. She was so out of the loop as of late. Spending all of her time at the museum and barely any at the manor. She hid from the manor and emptiness that was left behind in the wake of a missing friend. The fact that she didn't recognize this possible badger reminded her of the need to pay attention better to her duties of The Rose.
Swooping closer to the badger she dared to be within touching distance. A test is what it would take to determine if this was a clanmate or a uncanny beast of nature. A small screech tore out from her tiny beak and she flew higher once again allowing herself to cascade down, close enough to danger. If she didn't piss the badger off now as it buried it's prize she didn't know what would.
The badger took a step back and, contemplated why this flycatcher wanted her attention so badly. Her body started to morph, her snout shortened, her body elongated as the fur started to melt away until flesh became dominate. Brook's pink wispy hair flowed down into her face, as she watched the creature in front of her.
She brought her hands close to her chest, as her head tilted to the other side observing the creature that was exposed to her view. "Brave little shit, aren't you?" Her thick southern drawl weighted heavily on her tongue. She slowly lowered her hand onto the ground, as though beckoning the bird to come closer to her. "C'mere.." She spoke in soft tones, as to imply she was gentle. "Ain't no one gonna hurt ya." She reached her hand a little more towards the bird, but not to quickly. She didn't want to scare the thing to death.
She made little trilling and whistling noises, trying to mimic the earlier sounds of the flycatcher in hopes she would gain some sort of trust or to at least coax it to investigate even further.
Chryseis let her wings take her higher as the badger melded into a human body. A pink haired one at that.
'Ah, that's where the flash of color went earlier.' she mused.
She heard the vampires words and at her beckoning she dived down with one lone barrel roll before beginning the change back to her true self. Before she hit the ground as a nightingale she was whole again and stood facing the pink haired woman with a smirk.
"Brave or some would say venturesome. Although I am disapointed that you hadn't stolen that jacket off of a half dead body. I was hoping to be lead to a snack."
She wasn't found of her kind, especially those who came from her creator's clan. She stood up to her full height of only five foot three, like the beast she transformed into, she was small and bulky. Her feminine curves were almost lost under layers of muscles. She ran a hand through her hair and brushed it back, so he nightingale could see somewhat of her face, Brook wasn't a drop dead gorgeous beauty queen, but she did have an uncanny average beauty about her. She had the potential to be more appealing, but at the same time, she was appealing in her most natural of states. However when it came to standing next to women of her creators clan, she might of well been a dog, like the one before her, they are beautiful as well as refined. Women who walk and talk with a bit of noble charisma, then there is Brook, not only did she smell like sewer and wet dog, but she was a miniature tank, who just bulldozed people out of her way. 'Somehow', Brook thought, 'I think Brom made a mistake.... yeah.'
"So didja come ta kill me or whut?" Brook's cunning linguistics struck again, she didn't speak with grace, she spoke in word vomit. Her posture changed, into a more defensive state, she trusted no one, especially those of her kind. Why else would the woman be there other then to rid the clan of another mistake? It made perfect sense to Brook. Send someone older and more experienced to exterminate an annoying young nuisence.
The woman moved more defensively and Chryseis couldn't bite back the small laughter. She thought Chryseis was going to kill her?
"Now why would I do that? I was being serious when I said I thought you would lead me to a snack."
This one was spunky. So many of the other Anantya were much like herself, sirene and poised for thought, but not this one, she was ready for a fight it seemed at all times. In a way she was glad she hadn't run into one of the more happy go lucky clan members, they irritated her greatly with their constant sunny disposition.
Taking a step back Chryseis let her hands hang passivley at her side.
"I'm only interested in killing human's. They taste better, besides wouldn't I have attacked you when you were the runt rather than wait for you to put up a fight? To me it seem's like that would have been a easier target."
Brook spent a lot of her time, studying animals, she was well versed. She had come to respect badgers, especially after seeing one be bitten by a venomous snake, the badger was struck four times, there was enough venom pumped into that creature to take down an elephant. Yet the badger got back up, refusing to stay down and killed the snake, ate it before walking away as though it had never been bitten. A week later she went to check up on the small badger, he was still alive, unaffected by the snake's venom, she later discovered that badger's had an immunity to different various venom, but it was still inspiring to watch.
Brook kept her defense up, but eased her stance. She was cautious and paranoid. Was the woman lying? It was possible. It wasn't like vampires were an honest bunch. "A good stratigest would have wanted me and coaxed me to change forms. Then guise themselves in good nature towards me to bring down my guard. Let's face it chica, manipulation is the schtick ain't it? It is easier to shove a knife into the back of someone who is defenseless and gullible." She held her ground, digging her feet firmly into the ground, so she wouldn't be so easily pushed off balance....just incase.
"You kill, not because you are a murderer but because you are a predator. Predator's do not like other predators, not naturally. It is competition, for food and survival. I am another predator in yer mists. I'm yer competition. To kill is in yer nature." Her nostrils flared, as she bent her knees and brought herself closer to the ground. "Have you ever observed pack creatures? It is very interesting. They will kill their own kind when food resources become low. Their is a delicate balance in nature, the predators cull the herds of the herbivours, so they don't devour all the plant life, and the predators will kill each other so the herbivours aren't wiped to extinction. However, unlike nature, we aren't apart of that delicate balance. We just consume. Like parasites, we care for nothing else then our own selfish endevours. We leech from mortals to gain that brief moment of ecstacy, to drown out the hollowness we feel with each passin' night. What's stoppin' us from turnin' on one another to fill that same hollow void? Not a damn thing." Her hands touched the ground as her eyes remained fixed on the woman in front of her. Brook analyzed Chryseis, calculated the woman from just what she could see before her. Every night was a fight for survival, even if the woman was sincere, caution was imperative.
"You don't need a reason to kill me, you could just feel the need. Logic goes out the window when you are create who feels the blood rage coursing through your veins. The beast within that drives us."
"Since we're analyzing things, wouldn't my apparent lack of knowledge of your animal form give me away as a non hunter, and did you just admit to being weak at this very moment? One would think that wasn't very wise on your part."
She rethought her previous term of calling the woman spunky and thought maybe it would be better to label her as crazy. Only partly confused on the woman's behavior Chryseis considered briefly that she was apart of the orphans. How did she shape shift then? The vision this one seemed to see before her was very anarchist and full of conspiracy.
"Perhaps you are right, should one clan or individual put the rest of us vampires at risk to being exstinct or exposed then I would only assume that Anantya would step in and dispose of said threats. Otherwise I really see no need in killing brethren should they not bear me any great injustice."
Her stress on the word clan was what it was. She didn't happily believe in Evenhet but they had been given the grace of the Triad to do what they seemed fit, and the orphans? They didn't deserve to be listed as anything but that, orphans.
"Are you of Anantya blood? If so you should not fear another of your fold. A battle within our ranking would get us nowhere, we aren't the oldest the strongest and the best without reason. I am no threat to you."
Chryseis's mind stiffened and prepaired to fight should this little one refuse to listen and attacked. Her body on the other hand gave away nothing. She stood still as a statue gauging the the level of intesity of the situation. The woman looked powerful but it was obvious she lacked the control that centuries gave way to.
"Your not very old are you?" Her query was equal parts question and statement.
"To answer yer first question... Was it a foolish move to make you assume I was weak being in this form? No. There are three possiblitie, one you already think you know enough to strike, puttin' on the niave act to make me second guess myself. Doubt is a very good tactition tool, it clouds the mind, yer target cannot think clearly and hesitates, skewin' their perception for even a moment will allow ya the upper hand. Are you friend or foe? Surely you would have to be a friend, ya come with no weapons and ya claim no ill will. Two, ya are purposely keepin' me distracted long enough for someone to come up from behind... Surely I cannot listen to the voice in front of me and be cautious of what is all behind me. Distraction is yet another very good tactition tool. Third, you could be very well telling the truth, you know nothing of the animal kingdom and have only been followin' me to see if I would lead ya to a midnight snack, which I find very hard to believe, being though if you are so much older than I, ya should have paid attention to those who live in your presence. In by admitting that I am weak, I have turned the tables, am I really weak? Ya can't be for sure can ya?" Brook rose a brow as she asked her questions. Even a small glimpse into Brook's thoughts would reveal her madness. Her paranoia. No one was ever innocent, everyone wanted somethin' and every vampire she met was a potential assassin. It would be only a matter of time, before someone tried to take her life. It would be only a matter of time when she could no longer find a place to hide. Brom promised he would never let her go, she belonged to him and the more she fought, the more danger she would envitably find herself in. But she would never give Brom what he wanted, she would die first then to let him have the satisfaction of keeping her as his slave.
"Ya are the one who is hesitant. Not quite sure if I am friend or foe, not sure of my motives." In a public place, Brook could be as crude and snide as she wanted to be, what were they going to do in front of a gazing audience? Nothing. However alone, she had to be more cautious. One foolish move and her head could be tumbling off her shoulders. "If you truly lack any knowledge about animals, then perhaps I was lying? Or at least over exageratin'. Ya dunno, or do ya? Perhaps I am just a wayward child who has lost her way? Or maybe, I ain't so lost. Ya don't know what to think of me, which leaves you hesitant and yer mind clouded."
Complex thoughts swam through her mind, "Ta kill me, would rid the clan of one more nuisence." It was the same thought that ran through her mind each night and plagued her dreams every day she slept. "And that's what I am ain't it? Just an annoying nuisence? The Anantya would rather see my head on a spike than to offer a kind word and a place amongst them." Her voice rumbled in accustations. It wasn't the woman's fault for any of the past misdeeds that were placed upon Brook, but Brook had become so jaded that every vampire, clan or not was a threat to her very well being. "I'm young, easily replaced with someone far more worthy. A mistake that can be resolved." Brook had lost rational reasoning, she just rambled, how would Chryseis know the situation Brook was in? Brook would just appear to be a nutjob, instead of the lost child who had no real idea where she came from or who her clan really is. She knows nothing, except for what Brom had showed her. "Isn't that right? So whut reason would I have to believe you followed me and showed yer true nature in good faith? For all I know lady, yer a hired assassin come to rid the clan of one more fuck up."
This one was truly mad.
Half the things the young one said didn't make sense and the other half spelled out toxic fear. There was nothing she could say that would tell this insane creature she wasn't here looking for a fight.
"I am going to be honest here, basically I'm a hermit. If I'm not at work at the museum I'm holed up in my suit at the manor. Quite certainly I'm not the biggest socializer so it wouldn't take much for me to not notice who lives around me. Somehow I could guess that you don't live at the manor at all."
All this talk of a mistake made her think she'd get along with her nephew, the only difference was he was more of the depressive 'whoa as me' type than this woman was.
"The only thing that clouds my mind is how in the world you survive thinking like this. In my experience 'mistakes' take care of erasing themselves. No one else needs to be involved in that process. You keep on the path you are on and one day you will antagonize the wrong person, regardless of clan."
She was slowly becomming irritated and now she let it show, stretching her lips back father when she spoke letting her large fangs show. It was subtle intimidation, she wasn't all that much of a fighter. There was no doubt that she could fight should she be hard pressed but she rather not get her hands dirty when possible.
"It's obvious your maker was a fool." She paused letting the woman assume incorrectly what she meant."If this is what he taught you of his clan, of our people, then he is a disgrace to the name Anantya."
"No one really wants to get their hands dirty, no one wants to face a person they do not know. Self preservation, only the arrogant will attack with the thought they could win hands down." That and the arrogant will attack always first. Chryseis showed irritation but she did not attack, perhaps further provocation would have turned the tables but it would not have been worth it. "You could have attacked, and have rather good rationality to do so, but you didn't. I do not believe it is because you are a non physical type, everyone of our kind has the ability. Some more refined than the others, but the potential is there nonetheless. I believe you have different methods, much more honest method, and I can retract the fangs for honesty."
Was this a trick? One would assume so, Brook didn't know for sure what she was doing, but if this woman was telling the truth, and everything Brom had taught her was a lie, than Brook needed to find out the truth, so she could better prepare herself if Brom should ever make another surprise appearance. "I know nothing of the clan, other than what my creator has taught me. I usually avoid any of our kind, by either scaring them away or fleeing from sight, finding refuge in the places they will not tread. My experience with our kind has been, unpleasant. Misguided, if what you say is true." She shrugged her shoulders slightly, as she pulled out a pack of cigarettes, tapped one out, and brought the flitered tip to her lips. "I don't like shackles and collars." She didn't whine to the woman, only explained her situation as she lit her cigarette, and took in a deep drag of the heavy smoke. She locked her gaze with Chryseis, unafraid as the smoke of her cigarette rolled from her nostrils. She wanted to challenge Chryseis to show her the truth, but didn't speak another word. Letting a silence overcome the situation and left the ball in Chryseis's court. Which ever way the ball went would prove to be entertaining.
"Rarely do I flee. I'm old enough and bored enough that even a badger dragging a coat around holds my attention long enough to see if I will find something of interest. Even if said badger turns into a nihilistic vampire who's been lead in the wrong direction by a sadistic sire. Although, you may draw the conclusion that I will probably kill you out of boredom as well your wrong. Like I said before I kill human's not other vampires."
The woman was beginning to show a degree of level headedness and that eased Chryseis's nerves. Right here in front of her stood a young woman who had no idea of how the clan worked. Chryseis, who was ever so proud of her hertiage, had found a wild clan member. She fought the urge to preach Anantya tot he young one. Knowing that would do no good at this point in the evening she rethought her plan.
Her nose wrinkled when the woman mentioned shackles.
"How archaic. Chain's and shackles? We do not reside in a dungeon of terrors. Your maker clearly was a sadistic man. I should hope he has met his demise by now? Where have you been living? I'm going to also assume you have not been to the manor to see if your makers bullshit was true?"
She pictured Fallon welcoming this highly suspicous vampire into their home and smirked. The woman would have ran for sure at that point.
"I must warn you though, some of the people there are....perky." with a forced shrudder she gazed at the woman as she smoked.
"Of course if you agreed to come back with me to the manor without acusing me of leading you to a slaughter you would find out just how wrong your teachings have been. You might even find yourself fitting in with our hunters or or the more steathly of the clan."
Her offer was there, to bring the woman back to the manor, and if she chose to stay and thrive then chryseis could fill her in with all the boring stuff. If not well, then it was her perogative.
"If you don't like it there you have your free will. Just leave."
She scratched the back of her neck, lost in thought for a moment. She couldn't help but think she was being set up. "My creator, put me through a series of tests. For three nights I was nearly torn apart, then as dawn approached, he would rest and check to see if by the following night I had survived. I have survived his animals, I have survived his temper tantrums, and I have survived his tests. I have survived everything that beast has ever thrown at me." She verbalized her thoughts, quietly and without boast. "If I don't go and see for myself, than all my defiance would have been for nothing, and I might as well track him down and shackle myself for him."
Her words paused for a moment, then looked directly at Chryseis with a worried frown. An eyebrow rose, and she placed a hand on her hip. "They ain't gonna make me wear a dress are they?"
"The sewers? That sounds utterly horrific."
She hated traveling through the sewers just to get to the House of Pain. It was so grimey and rancid. She felt the need to be sympathetic but refrained. As she listened to her recount the horror her sire had put her through she knew that the woman wasn't looking for sympathy at all. That was good, because Chryseis wasn't all that great at it.
With a real grin, god she was experiencing those more and more these days, she shook her head about the dress comment.
"No, no dresses. You can dress and look however you desire. Also you need not worry about fear there. The manor is pretty well monitored and protected. No one's going to hold you there for your retrieval. In fact I would wager that your maker Brom wouldn't dare set foot where The Triad reside."
She forgot that this one probably had never been told of The Triad and who they were.
"You may not have heard of them given your circumstances, The Triad are the ones who govern us all. They are the soul of Anantya. You are in the stronghold my dear. Maybe you will find something here to help you, I would guess there's no better place to look."
She realized that she had flown here and they could either hoof it back or she could call her driver. Maybe the woman had a vehicle near. Somehow she doubted that since she lived in the sewers.
"Did you by chance drive here first? If not I could make a call and my driver will come retrieve us. The manor is not close enough to walk to from here."
She gave a sigh of relief when Chyrsies mentioned that she wouldn't have to wear a dress, mostly because Brook didn't own any dresses, formal wear did not fit well with her life style. "I know about the Traid, not much." She admitted with a bit of shame. "Brom was more interested in teaching survival than politics. However you are right, maybe I will find something, anything at this point is better than nothing at all, I suppose."
She chuckles deeply, as the woman asked if she drove here. "That would imply I own something besides the clothes on my back, the only thing I drive are my chevelegs." She pat her thigh, indicating that she walks everywhere she goes. "So if you want to take a vehicle that's fine, but I need to get my jacket." That jacket was the most important material item Brook owned, at least to her.