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Supercape

Meeting the Master

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GM

The address of "the Master" was in Lantern hill, near to the cemetery, and not far from St. Stephens Church. the buildings here were old, very old, and very beautiful, full of class and distinction, with a Victorian flavour.

They were, almost certainly, extremely expensive.

The Address lead Revenant to a particular delightful, tall house, not quite a mansion, but spacious, with a garden. It had a slightly tumbledown appearance, with an overgrown garden peppered with rubbish and bricks. Its chimney filled the air with a plume of smoke - someone had a fire going inside.

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Lucy rolled up outside the mansion about an hour before dusk for a change using a taxi rather than getting there under her own power.

The time had been carefully chosen she knew younger vampire couldn’t stand the light of sun at any time of the day but she expected older vampire to be active but less capable. She was well aware that any information she had about ancient vampire came from Dracula, but she suspected the book contained more than a grain of truth.

She’d also take time to dress in her battle heels, along with a sensible skirt and a pair of stockings. It was the same style of clothing she’d always wore at trial. At first it was to distract the male lawyers but it had eventual it had become something of a good luck charm, especially at the trial that would have made her career, and instead made everything insanely wonderfully different.

If had bought her here.

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GM

As Revenant started towards the house, she could see it closer. No 22, Flag Avenue, said the engraving, with unsurprising accuracy.

The house was not magnificent or ostentatious, but it was old and perhaps even worn. It was also large.

As she approached, the front door swung open, held by what, to all intensive purposes, appeared to be a butler. He was old, venerable even, bent and pale, with strands of white hair over his head.

"Welcome, Madam Harker" he croaked, his voice infused with iron despite its age. His posture and gaze was unassuming, but it did not flicker.

"Please come in and make yourself at home..."

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She strode past the butler fighting the urge to thank or even register his presence. After all she, to the Masters mind at least, was superior to anyone other than her kind. So she acted like she owned the place, which wasn’t that difficult to do.

There was something about this place that felt familiar, as if she had been here before, but that couldn’t be true as she couldn’t remember visiting this place before. She had visited similar places in the past so maybe that was it?

She stopped abruptly in the hall to apply the final touch, bright red lipstick which stood out against her pale white skin. All the vamps she knew, of both types, were in black and white but she was sure that this was the kind of look they would have been going for.

Spending just enough time admiring the looks, and keeping him waiting just a little while longer, she strode off confidently for her meeting.

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GM

"Ah....number two...."

The curtains were drawn, but light still perfumed the room, sunlight at that. The old drawing room was elegantly furnished with wooden pieces, full of dusty tomes.

The voice was crystal clear but faint. Still, it seeped confidence and intelligence.

The man was young of age, but sunken, like a cancer victim. He came in dressed in a neat black suit, black of jacket, shirt, and bow tie.

He was in a motorised wheelchair, frail, his frame collapsed in on itself.

Despite the youth of the face, a handsome face at that, with crystal blue eyes, his hair was pure white, and swept back. His skin was pale, but not ghostly white.

"How are you feeling?' he asked, in a voice devoid of emotion but sharp and astute.

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Without being asked she perched herself on one of the chair scattering the room, which was probably a antique.

“I’m not one to keep score or anything but I seem to have out smarted both of your other efforts, I believe I’ve earned the right to be addressed by my real name. I’d asked your but I sure you wouldn’t tell me, what with names having power and everything.â€

She looked thoughtful for a few seconds before answering his question.

“I feel a hunger for knowledge but that can wait after all we have quite some time for answers. How about a nice walk in the fresh air first? The sunlight is lovely at this time of day.â€

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GM

"As you can see, madam..." the young man said, gesturing weekly to his wheelchair "walking is not something I have had the capacity to enjoy for a very long time..."

The man's flesh seemed cold, sallow, and dead, despite his handsome features. Only his eyes brimmed with, for want of a better word, life.

"But if you would care to push, then then I would be happy to enjoy the sunlight..." he smiled, a trace of contempt in his full lips, mocking Revenant with his tones.

"Do not deign to think you have the better of me, no matter appearances" he said, slowly and deliberately.

"And do not for one moment think the sun enjoys any power over me" he added, nodding to the venerable butler who opened the curtains fully.

The cold flesh basked in the midday sun, without smoking, or bursting into flames, or any such effect.

"Come then, my dear...Lucy...was it not? Harker, I recall...you may push..." he said, his eyes flicking to the wheelchair "and let us see where you take me...."

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Without missing a beat Lucy stood up and took her place behind the chair.

“Lucy will do fine, after all we’re almost family.†She leaned towards his ear and gave a stage whisper “In my few short months in the 21st century I’ve learned never to jump to conclusions. And I would never dream of underestimating you.†The sentiment was sincere.

She began to push the wheelchair up to the sidewalk with hardly any effort, after all she could lift car without effort. She doubted that the occupant would be quite so simple. Out of habit she put on her sunglasses to hide her cold dead eyes.

“I normally come up here to talk to the Reverend up to the church and tend my Grave at the cemetery. But that might not be appropriate, let’s just see where the spirit takes us.â€

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GM

"Your Grave?" replied the man, an eyebrow raised faintly and for the first time a note of - well, not quite uncertainty, but surprise perhaps.

"How sentimental" he said, barely missing a beat as Revenant pushed him down the street, in full sunlight.

"This intrigues me. Your...nature is not quite as I had expected. So, why don't we visit the cementary. It is, perhaps, fitting, is it not?" he said, a faint chuckle and slightest twitch of his mouth into a half - smile.

As they made their way to that very place, he continued.

"So, tell me, if you do indeed have a grave there, whose corpse resides under the ground. 'tis not yours, that much is evident..."

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Lucy suppressed a wince at the memory the Gravestone bought back for her. A few second was all it took, but she was sure that he noticed.

“My family were sentimental like that.†She put a note of sarcasm in her voice but the sentiment was genuine “It was a family plot and it was one of the last before the graveyard closed. As far as I know the plot is empty…â€

She pushed the wheelchair along in silence for a few moments.

“Are you not afraid of the spirit that is meant to haunt the cemetery? It’s said it punishes wrong doers. Or are you a bastion of purity?†despite herself she couldn’t help but smile.

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GM

“Are you not afraid of the spirit that is meant to haunt the cemetery? It’s said it punishes wrong doers. Or are you a bastion of purity?â€

"Spirits?" came the answer "I know of many, and none frighten me. If it punishes wrong doers, then it is as foolish as it is inconsequential. There is no right, there is no wrong, only men and their judgements. Travel far enough, then one becomes the other. Such whims are beyond me..."

"As for purity, I am pure. I am me. Unlike the corrupted form of you and your sisters, with one foot in one world, and another in this. But who is to say what is pure, and what is not? There is only refinement, the law of nature...in this world and the next..."

He held up his hand to stop, and paused for an uncomfortable time.

He stretched out his finger to a shadowy ally, where a rich city man was being kicked by a mugger.

"There...who is right, who is wrong? the rich? the hungry? the violent? tell me that! and what are you going to be doing about it?"

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“Of cause Beyond Good and Evil. I’m sure you believe in red of tooth and claw as well.â€

As she spoke Lucy carefully picked out a suitably sized stone and sent it flying, knocking the mugger on the side of his head.

“They was talk about eugenics back in my day. I was never a fan of it myself, I heard of lions tending there blind pack mates and other such things. And there this idea of what it called… Chaos Theory? That you can never predict the outcome of events, after all if I might humbly suggest your most successful child was a complete accident. Besides…†she gave a wicked grin “If you let the weak survive it makes them easier to control, less of the strong. Isn’t that an advantage to strive for?â€

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GM

The mugger collapsed to the ground, out cold. The man in the suit ran towards Revenant, shocked.

"Th...thanks...I...got mugged...I...gotta go!" he spluttered, giving a quick glance at the wheelchair bound man before dashing off.

"Eugenics?" said the soft whispered voice of the frail man. "What interest would I have in that? I am immortal, like you. There is no reason to perfect, generation after generation. There is only refinement of the self...of the condition..."

"And as for Chaos theory, you mistake me if you think my interests do not include all aspects of modern science. I am well familiar with the theory. Nothing, no nothing, can be controlled absolutely. But to sit back and exert no control is to fall foul to the whims of chance and fate. And the blind gods of such forces are not to be implored...."

He waved his hand, slowly, and almost irritated.

"No no, the weak have no interest to me, they are only food. Why control them? No, I want to free myself of all needs. I will not be controlled. Not by them, not by you, not by my condition. You see already how the sun has little power over me. Thanks to you and your sisters...."

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This was getting harder, she was sure her action with the Mugger had tipped her hand. He must have his suspicions about her; maybe he was just trying to figure out where she stood. Until then she’d just have to try to find out as much as she could.

“So is that what you want to force your own order on a chaotic universe, with you in charge of cause. Even if from behind the scenes. So do you want a world of cold Stonehearts? Or maybe Nora’s? Just what do you want, and where do I stand in this glorious new world of yours?â€

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GM

"Oh my dear...I have tried so very long...to become..."

He rasped, like he was a collapsing balloon, caving in on itself, become wrinkled and ancient.

With a jolt, he stood up like an animated puppet, full of furious power. He grabbed Revenant by the shoulders and twisted her to him, like a bolt of lightning, fast and horrible.

He gazed into her eyes, the sockets hollow and withered as he continued to wither and collapse.

"to become YOU! HAHAHAHA!" he laughed like a horrible wind, with the last breath from his collapsing chest. His eyes were black as the darkest night, and drank in Revenant, scratching away at her soul...

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Lucy was stunned for a few moments stunned by the “Masters†psychic attack. She mentally cursed herself for falling for the attack. From the start she’d had her suspicions that something wasn’t quite right.

She looked down at the corpse of the poor man that had been used by the Master. She so wanted to just rush back to confront the master, but she couldn’t just leave the poor guy sitting in the street…

A few seconds later she burst into the church carrying the poor man’s corpse, she carefully put the poor man down before the Reverend.

“Look sorry I can’t stay but please call the police, but tell them to be careful this man was possessed by an evil influence. I promise to come back and explain everything (if I can)as soon as I can.â€

With that she took off at full speed back towards the manor, this time she didn’t stop for niceties instead ploughing into the door.

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GM

The doorway exploded into shards of wood as Revenant plowed through it.

"Madam!" said the startled ancient butler in response. He was, apparently calmly, making a pot of tea.

"The door, Madam, the door!" he said, with eyes wide from shock.

"Really, this will not do" he mumbled, shaking his head at the mess. "The master will be most upset, having you demolish his home. Why, this building is centuries old, madam! it has history!"

With a "tsk" he started reaching for the phone, a rather antiquated but fine ring-dail set.

"I shall be calling the police! better they deal with you than the Master...."

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“That’s why I used thee door rather than the wall.â€

No wait; there probably wasn’t anyone who knew the Master better than his servant?

She softened her features and gave a friendly smile. “I’m sorry your right it’s…†she lowered her head and took on a worried tone “It’s just I got separated from him and I got worried. There’s no need to contact the authorities, I’m more than happy to pay to replace the door.â€

The finally touch, best not to over play it, she looked up still a little submissive

“He told me you’d help if we became separated, that you’d know where he’d be found?â€

It was either this or tearing up the house looking for the creature.

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GM

"He told you that did he?" asked the butler, his eyes slowly following Revenant. He withdrew his hand from the phone, to press it upon his venerable chin.

"I am sure the master can accommodate the price of the door..." he said, looking at the shattered remains of said item "although it will be quite the irritation having to board it up. I shall have to call some workmen, I suppose..."

He shook his head in annoyance and contempt.

"Whatever your reasons, it was most vulgar, madam. I had been lead to believe you were a more refined creature, rather than a creature of passions, but...ah...well..." he shrugged slightly and a faint smile appeared.

"As to where he would be found, I am afraid I do not know. However, his workshop is downstairs, a rather splendid arena for his delving and prying, if I say so myself. It took considerable effort to expand the cellar into a fully functional and operational arena..."

He shuffled, so slowly, towards the fireplace of the dining room, and pressed a hidden button. The Fireplace withdrew, opening up to a neon lit, ultra modern corridor and beyond...a large underground complex!

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Lucy gave a friendly smile not the full beam she wanted. The man was smart enough and observant enough to have noticed any excessive reaction.

“Thank you I will try to be more respectful in future. All this is still a little new to me.â€

It of cause be a trap the Master would have contingency on contingency. But on the other hand he might not have thought of such a simple deception. But then again this was probably her only chance to discover exactly what he was trying to achieve.

So she began to descend the steps into the complex and hopefully towards answers.

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GM

The cellar, if it could still be called that, was large - a low ceiling complex that stretched far in every direction - maybe fourty or fifty yards each way, like an open plan office block, with pillars. It must have been quite a feat to excavate.

"Zombies" whispered the venerable butler, in answer to her unasked question.

"Oh, don't be alarmed. I know all about the Master. And animating corpses is child's play for him. I am not a religious man, I can't say it bothers me. Very efficient, they were...needed direction of course...."

Around the lair where all sorts of equipment ranging from medieval alchemical sets to modern chemical and medical. Thgey were computers, and dusty tomes, supplies of chemicals, and most shockingly, corspses on tables.

Whilst Revenant spied Silver and Garlic, she saw no mirrors in the liar.

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“I’m sure that will be of some comfort to their families.â€

When she was last around zombies were vague and exotic things, from strange foreign lands. Now they were, in the media at least, everywhere. She wasn’t quite sure why, they didn’t scare her in the least – but then again neither did well anything, but on finding out more she couldn’t help but feel a kinship with the animated dead. She’d heard of a Zombie hero running around the city and at some point she should really meet up with him and compare notes. It seemed however that the Butler didn’t share her kinship.

“You don’t have to be down here with me, the master trust me enough to be left alone.â€

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GM

"I am at your service madam" said the old man, bowing. It seemed he actually creaked when he did so.

"And from what I understand, I would be in no position to refuse your demands. I understand your physical strength far exceeds that of any mortal man. Is this so?" he asked, politely, examining Revenant.

"Forgive my inquisitiveness. It has kept me alive these many years, you understand, with such...peculiarities around me..." he explained, waving his hand at the corpses on the tables.

"And on that note, may I be so bold as to ask what your intentions are when you meet the master?"

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Lucy despite herself gave a little smile. “Don’t worry I wouldn’t hurt you unless you gave me no other choice. And I don’t plan to destroy any more of this wonderful building.â€

Though she wasn’t that happy with the whole torture dungeon vide of the Masters laboratory. It suddenly occurred to her that anything she’d say would get back to the Master. Either directly, like Stoneheart, or just via the fact that he was his master. And just what did she want to do now.

“Answers. All I really want is answers, what happens then depends on what those answer are. I’d prefer to talk him out of any nefarious plans, but I can’t promise anything beyond that.â€

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GM

"Answers?" replied the venerable butler, shrugging slightly.

"I suppose he is looking for the same thing" he said, gesturing around the complex.

"I am not certain he can give them to you, but who am I to say" he said, distractedly, with some modesty "I rather suspect he was looking to you for answers..." he continued, somewhat cryptically.

"However, I may be of some assistance...his library...his notes...." he said, shuffling in a somewhat arthritic way towards the more ancient part of the book storage component. There, a vast array of books lay, from modern medical text books to crumbling leather (or possibly skin) bound tomes on medieval alchemy and philosophy.

"Here we are...his favourite...he often read it...annotated it..." he said, pulling out a cracked and worn leather bound book.

Libro Mortuus Animas*

"I should warn you I have not read the tome myself. The master did warn it was a perilous volume to read for one not protected..." he said, laying the book down on an elegant reading table carefully, and taking off his reading glasses that he had perched on his nose.

The Book of Dead Souls

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