by Timothy Toner (14 Feb 93)
Well, boys and girls, you're gonna hate me for this one. Nowhere in the rules is the following explicitly covered, so I'll talk about it in a later post. What, pray tell, am I talking about? Now that would be telling. Besides, it should become...apparent...soon. Comments, critiques compliments welcome.
Name: Janet Lancaster
Apparent age: 25
Physical: Strength 4 Dexterity 3 Stamina 4
Social: Charisma 4, Manipulation 4, Appearance 4 (That's _4!_)
Mental: Perception 3, Intelligence 3, Wits 4
Talents: Acting 2, Athletics 2, Alertness 3, Brawl 4, Intrigue 3, Seduction 5, Subterfuge 2
Skills: Bribery 1, Dancing 3, Debate 2, Ettiquette 3, Drive 2, Firearms 2, Gambling 3, Police Proceedure 2, Research 3, Stealth 3, Survival 1
Knowledges: Accounting 2, Area Knowledge (NY) 4, City Secrets 4, Criminology 2, Economics 2, Finance 2, Investigation 2, Kindred Lore 2, Politics 2
Disciplines: Obfuscate 4, Animalism 3, Potence 3
Background: Retainers 2, Herd 4, Resource 2, Contacts 4, Influence 2
Virtues: Conscience 1, Self Control 2, Courage 4
Blood Pool: 13/2
Janet was a gangster's moll. This meant one thing: money, jewels and comfort, as long as one thing happened-- Your boyfriend stayed alive. In 1947, the luck just wasn't on her side. With one fell swoop, Meyer Lansky and his boys eliminated much of the competition. Lansky was smart; he _never_ trusted women. They were always around, acting ditzy and looking pretty. But the problem was that they were _always_ around-- when the deals were made, when the boys talked about the heists, etc. Most of them played dumb, but when push came to shove, they would tell all to the cops. So Lansky figured to be better safe than sorry.
After the death of Janet's boyfriend, Lansky's boys grabbed janet, and took her to a club on the east side, wearing only a negligee. Lansky gave her a choice. There were two doors. One led to her first john, waiting to be serviced. She would be a prostitute the rest of her life, watched over by Lansky. The other led out into the alley, in the dead of winter. Lansky explained that Janet had nothing: no money, no home to go to, no friends, and, of course, no clothes. Without a moments hesitation, Janet picked the alley door, and walked out into the night. She caught a .45 round in the back for her troubles.
Jordan was new to this scene. He was told by Gisel, then Prince of New York, to watch the change of power in the crime scene, and report back. To Jordan, 300 years old, all this was confusing. He watched as each moll chose the door to prostitution, all that is, but the last. She made a defiant decision, and they KILLED her for it! No matter. He would exact his revenge on them later. Now he had to save a soul so courageous she would make a choice like that. The prince would assent to this Embrace, since they now had a spy who knew _everything_ about the organization they were grasping at straws to understand.
In life, Janet was a beauty. Her boyfriend had plucked her out of a modeling school. In unlife, she was hideous, a mockey of all she once was. She settled into he new existence quickly, though, but she did torture herself by covering her haven with pictures of her as she once was.
She was a damn good spy, insuring the Prince would know every single move the underworld made. Further, she hounded Lansky until his death, playing cruel pranks that cost him millions, and saved others like herself from no win situations. She gained the trust of the Prince, and eventually became his crying towel, as he relegated to her all the problems that he faced in his rule. She accepted this, as it was a minor conversion from her previous role as a moll.
Then the terror came. Janet returned to her haven early, determined to get a good day's sleep, when they arrived. Darkness, sudden and cold, enveloped her, and they were on top of her. She fought like a Beast, but so did they. She was staked, and a leather bag tied to her head for good measure.
When she awoke, she was back in her haven. Covering the walls were pictures of her as she was _now,_ the older ones taken. Someone was out to torment her, and...
A strand of blonde hair fell before her vision.
It was back! She looked at her hands...smooth and new! If only she had brought a mirror with her!
She dashed out of her haven, and saw it. A mirror stood right outside her door, and showed her the sight she thought she had lost: herself, as she _truly_ was.
Blood red tears coursed down her face, and she prayed to the God that had deserted her all those years ago in gratitude. And _they_ answered.
It was only four of them, but Janet knew their voices, distant memories from that first battle. She would not try to fight.
"What do you want?"
"Information, Number 6," the first intoned. "Sorry, couldn't resist. Love the show."
"Shut up, Dmitri...damn Malkavian..." muttered another.
A black woman, tall and muscled, stepped forward. "This...this is our offering to you. Free of charge...well... Almost."
"The effect lasts but a week, then it's back to _that!_" The woman pointed into the haven, at the plethora of pictures that covered the wall. From out here, the room looked like a Tableau to obscentiy, and it made Janet want to wretch in disgust.
"If you will give us...information...we will give you this." She showed Janet a Holly Hobbie thermos, red streaks crawling down the sides.
"Enough for a week?"
"What's the question?"
"What did the Prince think of the opera last night?"
Janet had accompanied the Prince when he went to see _La_Traviata_ the night before at the Met. It was such a simple question. Any skulker desperate to know could have easily found out. And the reward...
"He didn't like it. He thought the male lead ought to have his gonads removed, to increase his range."
The woman turned to Dmitri, who nodded in a savage sort of way. "Excellent." She handed Janet the thermos. "Put some of your own blood in to make it work."
Janet nodded. "And next week?"
"Another question..." They turned to go. The women indicated to one of her followers, and he broke from the pack. He removed from his denim jacket a manilla envelope, bulging with contents. He handed it to Janet.
"What is this?"
And it was true. All that Lansky had stripped from her was now present. It contained forged ID, passport, a key to her old apartment, bills of receipt from Sax and Bloomingdales, to indicate the closets were _very_ filled. And best of all were pictures...of Lansky.
He looked dead, but then again, so did she. Still, his eyes were open, and his face contorted in pain, as they did...things to him. The worst involved a fire hose, well hidden, and water gushing from his mouth. She smiled within. It was only questions, after all...
And something in the shadows smiled as well.
The secrets of the Prince were laid out for the eyes of the Sabbat, bit by bit. All his havens, all his lieutentant, all his habits, even his preferred prey, all were grist for their scheming minds. And all was provided gladly by Janet. After all, it was a new life for her.
She had been used and abused by men for as long as he could remember. The attempt to save her life, in that alley, condemned her to a worse fate. The one thing she cared about was taken from her. And all her new "friends" didn't want to help her regain it. All they wanted her to do was sneak and watch and snitch, and then hide her repulsive form when she was done. The Sabbat were different. They CARED! So she maintained two lives. One was hidden by Obfuscate, with all the sanctimonious fools too trusting to check, and the other was the unlife she had been denied. A chance to be in charge, a chance to _live._
They did not tell her when the hammer fell. Before her eyes, the Prince exploded, and her new dress was awash in his tasty blood. She still keeps the dress, sort of as a souvenier. Only one Camarilla lackey survived: Maxim, who swore bloody vengeance against Janet. She laughed out loud, and was soon joined by her allies. But deep within, she knew the truth, and she wept bitterly.
By the time they told her the "potion" was useless, she didn't care. She trusted the Sabbat with everything. Then they told her that the potion wasn't exactly placebo...it was Vaudlerie. The hatred that should have come died on her lips, and she suffered out a weak smile at the tremendous joke. She wanted to hate them, but how could she hate...her friends?
She destroyed all her mortal belongings, and fled back to her first haven. Bitterly disappointed at...something, she was determined to remain down there, and live the life that had been meant for her, by Fate, by God, and by Caine. She remains there to this day, although she does ascend every now and then to maintain good relations (attending Ritae, etc.)
The Viccisitude has not yet worn off, and neither has the Vinculum. She feels strongly about her Sabbat allies, now the leaders of New York, but also feels deep regret. She wanders the sewers, freely displaying her original Nosferatu form, and seeks to help other who have been ravaged by the System, whether it be mortal or vampiric. Often, she can be relied on by Sabbat wishing to escape persecution at the hands of their own kind. She will also aid Camarilla kindred who are in need.
FOr their part, the Sabbat care little about Janet. She was a good ally, but deep inside, she will always be Camarilla, and the potential for betrayal is always present. Her continued existence is assured by those of the Path of Honorable Accord, who see her actions as basically loyal, and to turn on her would be wrong.
Assume Janet has a Vinculum 9 rating in terms of the Sabbat rulers of New York. She is desperately trying to regain humanity, and also seeks to learn the discipline of Viccissitude, so that she can free other Nosferatu from their curse.