The two men walked up to the
outside of the Haven with the Immortal in the lead, little or
nothing could have stopped Richie as he walked in. Kindred recognised
Kindred immediately and there were several glances in the fledgling's
direction. Those who had been in the club the other evening recognised
the newly embraced individual, only those who hadn't been there,
actually took stock of what they were looking at. Advance knowledge
was sometimes a block to seeing the truth, and most of those who
had not seen Richie before made a mental note to keep out of his
The two men had not spoken much
in the car and Frank wasn't exactly sure why they were here. He
was tagging along more out of curiosity than anything else, mixed
in with a slight suspicion that the Prince of the city may just
have something here he couldn't deal with. That in itself made
"I'm looking for Luna,"
Richie said to the barman as soon as he had covered the distance
between himself and the counter, "is he here?"
Lillie had put one of her own
in charge of the drinks and he made the mistake of not actually
looking at the Kindred to whom he was talking. He glanced
at the Immortal, recognised him from his last time in the Haven
and made the wrong assumption.
"What's a fledgling like
you want with the Prince," the Toreador responded with a
slightly disdainful look.
It was early, there weren't many
humans in yet, so there was no-one to hear. That was not the right
thing to say to Richie, however, he was in no mood to play games.
He reached one hand over the counter, took hold of the other Kindred's
waistcoat and pulled him off his feet. The glowing scowl he showed
the vampire who should have been many times his superior, made
the barman reconsider his position.
"I didn't come here to answer
questions," Richie said slowly and pointedly, "I came
for answers. Now, is Julian Luna here?"
"No," the other replied,
just a little afraid of something he did not try and understand.
The few mortals in the club who
saw anything ignored it, they'd seen stranger stuff in the Haven,
the Brujah who'd been in the club the other night, however, did
not. They had a couple of friends with them and all they saw was
a chance to teach an uppity new Kindred a lesson. When Richie
and Frank turned to leave they found themselves confronted by
six Brujah just itching for a fight. The fact that the Immortal
smiled widely as he saw the challenge did not do anything to defuse
"Playing with the pet cop?"
one of the other Kindred asked snidely.
"Get out of my way,"
Richie said evenly without even responding to the jibe, "we're
"Not until you apologise
to our friend," the Brujah leader shot back had grinned at
Now it wasn't exactly right to
say they were friends of anyone in the club, these Brujah stuck
with their own clan, but it seemed a good excuse to the thugs.
The half amused look that never faltered on Richie's face really
should have warned them.
"I'll ask once more,"
the Immortal said calmly, "get out of my way or I'll make
Now every Kindred in the club
wanted to see this. Six Brujah against one Toreador had to be
worth watching. The thugs laughed as if they were all connected
up to the same voice box, and Richie had just about had enough.
"Okay, times up," the
new Kindred said loudly and deliberately stepped right up to his
It couldn't even be called a
fight really. The Brujah didn't even get a look in, as Richie
took hold of his jacket and almost casually threw him across the
room. Now Kindred were strong, but the effortless way the throw
was executed showed the deep routed skill that MacLeod had drilled
into his pupil. It didn't take the other assailants any more to
realise that something was not quite right here. Kindred didn't
get to be that fast until they were a lot older than a few days.
Like a pack of animals the clan members decide to attack on mass.
The first to reach his target
was met with a swift blow to the head and went reeling backwards.
The second received a knee in the stomach and was bodily thrown
into one of his accomplices. A little improvisation was required
for the third Brujah, and a foot shot out with deadly accuracy
hitting him squarely on the chin. The fourth thought he'd blocked
the arm coming at him, but quickly discovered that the elbow was
far more painful. The fifth had disentangled himself from his
companion who had collided with him, and he suddenly found himself
looking at a barely bothered Kindred whose whole attention was
focused on him.
Now the Brujah may have been
somewhat violent, but they were not stupid, and this one knew
when he had no chance. He held up his hands as he surveyed his
fallen comrades and actually got out of the way.
"Coming Frank?" Richie
asked calmly as he slowly walked past the other Kindred.
Well there was no way the police
officer was staying in the Haven. He didn't quite believe what
he had seen, but he was not about to question it now. He could
live without a pack of angry Brujah on his tail. The two men walked
out the way they had come, and Frank didn't need to be told where
they were going.
Phones started ringing all over
The mansion was impressive, but
Richie wasn't there to admire the architecture. Several of Julian's
security people tried to stop him outside the house, and Frank
just trailed on behind past the unconscious bodies. He wasn't
quite sure what he was following, but he knew Richie was no ordinary
Kindred, and he also knew that he was not in a particularly good
mood. The pair walked into the hallway unchallenged.
It was Cash who strolled out
of one of the interior rooms, looked somewhat surprised and decided
to take on his role as chief of security.
"The Prince is not available
this evening," the Gangrel said with an amount of restraint
that actually made him proud of himself. "How did you get
"Funny, that's what everyone's
been trying to tell me," the Immortal shot back. "Thing
is, I don't believe you anymore than I believed them."
Now the Primogen of the Gangrel
clan was on his guard.
"I'm going to have to ask
you to leave," he told the pair evenly.
If Richie had been his own clan
or possibly Brujah, Cash could have accepted the behaviour, but
he recognised Toreador when he saw them. What he obviously hadn't
realised was that this was the man everyone had been looking for
over the last few days. He was in charge of personal security,
Julian had found someone else to do the foot work. Frank would
have been happy to explain, but he knew he wasn't going to have
time. Short was not quite the word for his companion's fuse this
evening. The police officer was beginning to wonder when Richie
picked up a Russian accent, however.
All that Cash knew was something
hit him. There was virtually no warning and no way for him to
get out of the way. The far wall was very hard, and after colliding
with it, the floor seemed a very comfortable place to go to sleep
for a while.
"You know, just talking
to them might get you somewhere," Frank commented as they
proceeded further into the house.
"I'm not interested in lackeys,"
was the cold but calm reply. "If you want action, you go
to the centre of power."
There was definitely a slightly
patronising tone to the voice, but the police officer chose not
to comment. He figured he'd be better staying on this guy's good
side: humans had a tendency to break a little more easily than
Kindred. The two pushed opened the doors to the conference room
and walked in as if they owned the place. They didn't find Luna,
but they did meet Daedalus.
"Good evening, gentlemen,"
the Nosferatu said calmly, "you have a great number of people
looking for you, Mr Ryan."
"It's nice to be wanted,"
Richie responded evenly. "Where's Luna?"
The other Kindred smiled, he
knew something was strange with this Toreador and he found him
intriguing. Julian would most definitely want him kept here, and
finding out who embraced him would be interesting. His current
state of health explained a lot about the last few days.
"Our Prince is in his study,"
the Nosferatu replied as if he was not bothered by Richie's presence
in the slightest. "I'll tell him you're here if you wouldn't
"Don't bother, I'll go myself,"
patience was obviously not one of the Immortal's current virtues.
He moved off in the direction
that instinct lead him, and found his way blocked by a very large,
"I'm afraid I must insist
that you wait here," Daedalus said as pleasantly as possible,
"I'm sure Mr Luna will not keep you waiting long."
Now Frank knew a little of the
Nosferatu reputation and this was the Primogen of the clan, he
didn't think going against him was a good idea. Taking on a pack
of Brujah was one thing, but this was the Daedalus, taking
him on was pure stupidity.
"Ah, Richie," the cop
said, hoping that he could talk some sense into his companion,
"let's just sit down, huh. The chairs look comfortable."
"I'm not in the mood to
sit down," the Immortal said coldly.
His eyes changed colour dangerously,
but all Daedalus did was smile. The Nosferatu let his own Kindred
face reveal itself and two vampires stared into each other's gaze.
Richie scowled at the creature who blocked his way, scowled and
asserted his will. The Immortal stared down the Primogen of the
Nosferatu clan and came out sane.
"What are you?" Daedalus
asked for once in his life, surprised by what he saw.
It took a lot to shock a Nosferatu,
but Richie managed it. The Kindred also decided in that moment
that this strange fledgling could be a threat. Daedalus let all
the traits of his clan appear, and fangs and claws became readily
"Wanna play?" Richie
enquired, totally unafraid of the display of power.
The games were over, this was
for real and the Nosferatu did not waist anytime. A clawed hand
grabbed Richie by the throat, intent of exposing the jugular and
giving a clear strike to drain the troublesome individual. A bloodless,
weak Kindred was much easier to deal with than one who seemed
to possess far more power than should have been possible. The
only thing was, the grip didn't hold.
Daedalus found his arm being
slowly pulled away from it's target, and a hand going for his
neck. The Nosferatu was very lucky that Kindred instincts were
ruling Richie at that moment, it never occurred to the Immortal
to go for his sword. The blond man literally snarled at his opponent
as unnatural strength battled with unnatural strength. For the
first time the Nosferatu doubted his own ability to force this
anomaly into submission, and he put all his power into one throw.
Richie went sidewards a good
five feet and collided with a chair, but he was still upright,
and seemed to be actually enjoying himself. He used Toreador speed
to very good effect, and Daedalus found himself at close quarters
again almost instantly. Material ripped as both Kindred went for
handholds on their opponent, and the roar of an angry Nosferatu
filled the room. The Immortal gained the upper hand this time
and Daedalus went flying through the air just like Cash before
him. The picture he landed against followed him to the floor,
but the Nosferatu did not stay down. What climbed to his feet
bore little resemblance to the calm, efficient creature most saw.
This was Daedalus at his most dangerous, and he was quite willing
to frenzy. He threw the wrecked canvas aside and growled his anger.
"Stop this," the command
was loud and held the roar of authority, just as the two were
ready to go for each other again.
The sound actually shocked the
pair out of the rage that was quickly taking over both of them,
and two sets of golden eyes turned to look at Julian Luna.
"Well, well," Richie
said coldly, "the man himself."
The Prince scanned the room slowly
and took in the destruction that had occurred. He also took a
long moment to observe the creature standing in the centre of
the carpet. He knew instantly that the combination of Kindred
and Immortal had created something neither race could claim to
know. A being who was neither totally vampire or totally human,
and one that it appeared, was very powerful indeed.
"We've been looking for
you," Julian said and calmed himself completely. "You
didn't have to assault every one between here and the gate, you
are quite welcome in my house."
He decided to try the civil approach,
he could have every member of staff jump on his guest later if
"They didn't seem to think
so," Richie returned calmly.
It was at that moment Cash decided
to stagger through the door. He came to a rapid halt as he saw
what had been going on.
"Your friend, Duncan MacLeod,
has been worried about you," it was a relatively safe tack
to take. "I can give him a call if you like."
The name brought an astounding
change over the young man before him. He had not allowed his eyes
to fade to their normal blue, but at the mention of MacLeod he
blinked and they lost their supernatural colouring.
"Mac," he said slowly,
seeming almost confused.
Now this was the person Frank
remembered letting sleep on his couch. The accent was gone and
so was most of the aggression. All the Kindred heard what happened
next and found it most intriguing. Richie's heart started beating,
even when he had fought, it hadn't done that, and sparks lanced
across his eyes. It was as if all strength just leaked out of
him, and he collapsed to his knees his head in his hand.
Nobody moved as Julian's watchful
gaze kept them in place. Daedalus' mask of logical reason was
back in place and he looked on with cold curiosity. Cash just
clamped down on most of his instinct.
It was confused, almost frightened
eyes that looked around the room, as the real Richard Ryan tried
to work out what was going on. The only person he recognised properly
was the man he had come in with.
"Frank," he said quietly,
"how did I get here?"
Now Julian took charge.
"Do you remember anything
that's been happening," he asked almost kindly and walked
towards the kneeling individual.
He could be cold and ruthless,
but the Prince could also be compassionate and kind. He helped
the young man to his feet, much to Cash's growing concern, and
sat him in a chair.
"Bits," the Immortal
responded slowly, "I was at Frank's flat, then I remember
something at the club, but I don't know what I'm doing here."
An insane Kindred was not the
best person to have around, but then, Julian had already decided
that this was no ordinary vampire. In this state he seemed almost
like the fledgling he was, but there was an underlying power that
radiated out of him.
"That's not important now,"
Luna told him with half a smile, "you're newly embraced,
and that takes some getting used to."
of Part 5