A Different Kind of Art

from the chronicle Where Chaos Reigns

copyright 1995 by Deborah Atwood (19 Jun 95)

This story is not background to the chronicle, but is an actual scene from the chronicle as it was played out. This story was written with help from Chris Gladis, who is the player of Whitechapel. I will admit, this is the most amount of power I have given a PC yet, although there is another PC who is sort of a "player" in the Game. But when his original character died, he was reincarnated as a human mage, and as the Enganeros, and therefore is missing a wee bit of his (well, now her) vampiric power.

As always, feedback, questions, comments on the chronicle are appreciated...

(Translated from the original Latin).

Author's note: All events within are chronicled exactly as they happened. I have only written down that which I am positive transpired, including those thoughts of Whitechapel's which are portrayed. Crystal was careful to lift them verbatim from his dreams and nightmares...

"Are you ready?"

Whitechapel turned at the soft touch on his shoulder. Tall and silver blonde, Sara smiled down at him. It was the Kook who had made the original deal, but Sara had insisted that she be allowed to collect. Valerie's penchant for games had nearly destroyed Daniel, and had alienated Christine. She refused to allow Whitechapel's death to be as painful as the others.

She could see in his eyes the sudden memory of the deal, and the acceptance. She couldn't see the fear he hid, that gnawed at his stomach. The fear of becoming what Sebastien had been, of having that... thing in his mind. But a deal was a deal.... "I am."

"Very well then." She glanced around, and no eyes were on them. "Follow me." She slipped away from the crowd, Whitechapel's hand in hers. No one watched them leave, nor would they if she did not desire it. And this time she desired privacy for her disappearance.

She took him to one of our private retreats, one of the little known havens throughout the city. She gave him time to settle in, to calm himself. She waited in silence, resisting the Kook's attempts to gain control over the body.

Do it quickly, the Kook urged. Kill him now, before another takes the chance. Time is of the essence.

He has agreed, Valerie added her voice.

Sara was silent, showing none of her own inner turmoil to Whitechapel. She smiled slightly at Jillian's soft comment, I like him. He's fun.

I will not do it any way but his, Sara finally said firmly to the other voices within our head. Amara, this will be your story to record. And I agreed with my silence.

Whitechapel sat in the chair, and was silent, watching, waiting for Sara to make the next move. She took a deep breath, sighing for effect. "You understand why." He nodded briefly. Sara tapped his forehead lightly. "You will have him inside of you if this works. It will be strange."

"I know." His voice remained calm, his eyes clear. She had given him his last chance to back out, and he had not taken it. How could he not take this chance? A small part of Whitechapel's mind cried out for him to be an avenger, to put right the things that Sebastian had done, to fix the abuses of his power. Another part of him wanted to claim his birthright, whatever that meant.

"How do you wish to die?"

He seemed surprised. "I don't know. I hadn't thought about it." How to die? A stake? No... Fire? A good possibility. To be engulfed by a raging pillar of flame.... An image of Joan of Arc flickered through his head. He smiled slightly. "Something artistic."

"Fire works well," Valerie murmured before Sara could squelch the comment. Stay out of his mind, Sara cautioned inwardly, then adding vocally, "Sebastien had a fondness for flames." She caught his eyes and an image sprang to her mind of Whitechapel standing in a burning pyre, red flames licking up around his body and consuming him.

"It would be quite impressive, wouldn't it?" Whitechapel agreed.

Sara wasn't satisfied. It would be artistic, yes, but it wouldn't be perfect. And Whitechapel's death should be perfect. He had agreed to die for her plans; she owed him the perfect death. Then slowly she began to smile. "Come with me." She grasped his hand, tugging him outside to her waiting car. He settled into the passenger side and she slipped into the driver's seat, quickly starting the car. She pulled out, heading for the Turnpike. "Trust me," was all she would say. "I have the perfect idea."

They drove in silence. Sara didn't offer any conversation, and Whitechapel was silent as well as he thought about his coming death. And hopefully his resurrection.

Sara drove down into Connecticut and out into the country. She knew a place there, with a bank on a small river. She pulled up into a spot at the side of the road, thankful that no teenagers had chosen it for a parking site that night. Still, it was late, near dawn. Her age, her abilities would protect her when the sun rose.

Whitechapel stepped from the car, looking around curiously.

"Come with me." Sara motioned for him to follow, heading down to the edge of the river. She sank to a seat on the bank and looked up at the moon, low on the horizon. "It will be dawn soon."

Whitechapel sat then, knees drawn up, hands linked lightly around his legs. He looked completely comfortable, and at peace as he realized what she meant. Above the sky was darkened with clouds slowly dispersing from the storm that had swept the east coast and was only just heading out to sea. By the time the sun rose, from across the water, the clouds would be gone and there would be nothing to stop its rays from beaming down upon him.

He stared out over the water. "How did you die?"

Sara had to smile. "Like this. Watching the sun rise through a window." She resisted Valerie's urge to stand and pace. The memory made it difficult to sit still. "It is not an easy death. There will be pain. But I thought..." she hesitated slightly, "I thought you would like to see the sun one more time."

He didn't answer, but there was a slight smile on his face. And Sara settled in to watch.

She could see his muscles tense slightly at the first signs of color over the water, then visibly relax. He watched as light slowly spread towards him. A gentle shiver at the first licks of warmth. She could see the heat rising from his body, smoke, and then tiny flames flickering across his skin. Shoulders tense, his head dropped between his arms, looking down onto the ground instead of the gleaming sun. She muttered a few words, strengthening her own body against the flames as well as the sun.

The flames grew stronger, stealing all over his body. He did not scream. He made no sound as it began to consume him. Sara moved up behind him, placing her hands on his shoulders, feeling his muscles jump slightly at her touch. The fire rose up around them, and she sat there watching until she felt the moment when the body collapsed from the flames. As suddenly as they had been created, the flame disappeared, leaving a charred husk of a body.

Sara waited a few moments, to see if it turned to dust. When it didn't, she began to smile. She picked it up easily, taking it back to the haven she had used before. And she smiled again three nights later when Whitechapel rose again.

A Different Kind of Art is copyright 1995 by Deb Atwood. A single hardcopy is permitted for personal use only. Story may not be distributed without express permission of the author.