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Joined: 06 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The feel of the cold ocean spray was chill upon his face, but this didn't bother the Ventrue at all. For over three-hundred years, his skin had matched that same temperature. He had learned to live with it, and in time, even to use it to his advantage. The waters stirred hard this evening, crashing up against the sides of the Gentleman's Demise, a ship he had taken control of, naught but a month ago. He was a Pirate. The Camarilla had seen to that. He was of them, but he was Immortal as well. When a snot-nosed Prince needed to be put in her place, he was the man to do it. What would she do? Call a Blood Hunt? It had happened. He fought, and when he could no longer fight, he had left. He understood, better than most, that in fifty years, most would never recall seeing him, and that fifty years, for one such as he, was but a drop of water in the bucket of eternity. Below him, in the bowels of the ship, over fourty Brujah celebrated, getting each other roused, and calling for more feasting upon the mortal slaves they had captured in another day of well-done pirating. Gareth Winchester heard his name several times, mostly in good content. Though he was the Captain of the Gentleman's Demise, he did not join his crew for a round of imbibing. Rather, on evenings such as these, he preferred to ride the bow of his new home, letting the salted-water soak him down, and losing himself to his thoughts under the watchful moon above.

Silver upon silver, the ring would reflect the kisses from the lunar illumination, hanging from a leather cord about his throat, and catching his attention. Not that it was ever far from his attention. It was simple in design, nothing extravagant, but in that, it was just as she had been. Nothing extravagant, but able to command the depths of his emotion. It commanded, just as she had, and more than once the Ventrue had lost his temper upon one who sought to remove it from him. The Pirate, Gareth Winchester, had only felt love once in the entirety of his mortal life, and in death, his feeling had not changed. In a manner, she had been a woman who stole his heart twice in two lives, and thus was created a bond that could never be broken. Even while she slept, hoarded and sheltered by the greed-livid cravings of his noble, selfish bloodline, he would speak with the ring, when he was alone. He would talk to it, as is he were speaking to her, telling her of the adventures brought upon by the most recent setting of the sun. Had he lost his mind? Perhaps.

The Brujah below deck had started up a round of drinking songs, though ale was not that which they consumed at all. They drank the life of another. They did not just take a bit, and let go the prey, so much as they drained the entire vessel. To them, it was life. All of them vagrants to begin with, given the dark touch, and Embraced into a Clan that would allow them to express themselves in a manner that none had ever dreamed of. Humanity was lost on them in life, and in death, degeneration into pure beasts was closing quick upon them. The Captain of the Gentleman's Demise knew that his time was limited. Brujah were rebels. It was the curse of the blood. Anger and rebellion. In time, they would lose most semblance of a conscience, and when that happened, there would be mutiny. Gareth knew this. He could smell it. He had been raised in it. And he could see the future in their actions. He was no Seer, but he knew better than to trust those who did not think twice about draining a mortal to the husk. He was at least that smart, having survived this long. Yes, his time drew shorter with each day. Enemies closed in. He had raided the Sabbat. He had raided the Camarilla. He had raided the Giovanni, and even the Church. However, when the piper came to call, the Devil would be gone. And that was just as Captain Winchester had planned.

Taking his mind off of the sounds below, the Ventrue dipped a hand into the inner-folds of his jacket, pulling out a sheet of thin, expensive vellium. At least, it had been expensive in the age which it had been crafted. Cordoba, Spain. 1242. The Year of Our Lord. The words that were so carefully scribed onto the vellium, he spoke only in his mind. He would never speak them aloud again. They would be forbidden the pleasure of mingling with the dance of the light breeze, or the crash of the great blue as it warred with the rocks of the shore. They were sacred. They were his. And if he was heading for insanity, they would halt his progress. To speak them. To let them fly forth from upon his full lips, would be to permit their escape, and thus would be the same as letting go of his mind, much as if it were a sea-faring bird that would never return. And so, like everything else that had to do with her, he hoarded it to himself. Without mercy. Without conscience. Without pride. Old, self-interested blood flowed through him now. Often times, it would cause turmoil within his spirit, which was still young and idealistic. Every night, a balance between both had to be found. Some nights, it was not. Those were the nights that the Captain of the Gentleman's Demise had locked off from his memories. They were the form that his Beast took to haunt him. He would be damned if he would let it. Then again, he was damned.

The raucous sounds from below grew even louder. Gareth, stirred from his thought, heard his name again, but not in a fond light, this time. Drunk on the high of the blood. It was their manner. It had happened in nights past. They would decide that one of them could do better, and the whole lot of muscle would rise up the deck of the Gentleman's Demise, and challenge him. Their chances were little. His supernatural power of persuasion was more than formidable, and quite enough to keep them in line. He had proven it, time and again. But now, he questioned the worth of doing so for another night. It would happen again. And then again. And in the end, he would, one night, not be so alert when it happened. Then he would be in trouble. The sound of steps on the stairs drew his attention to the door that led below the deck. Shadows flicker, cast as they came up the stairs, by the glow of lantern-light. The Ventrue only saw the hand of the first Brujah, before he slipped from the bow of the ship that he called home, falling down and into the cold Embrace of the ocean. The sound of the body against the water was covered up by the sound of the water against the ship. Pressing all of the air from his undead lungs, the Pirate drifted down, taking only those things that he had originally had when he first took control of the ship. It was, in a way, ironic.

The salt of the water did not sting his sight in the least. He was long dead, and safe from such. It was fitting though, that at a moment when something that could not cry, would cry, it would be while drifting down through a substance that so closely resembled tears. The taste of the ocean reminded him of the pain of his mortal life. Of the suffering. Of the loss. He continued to slip farther into the clutches of the Lady Ocean which he had sailed upon for the past year. He cared little that he was sinking deeper, nor was he afraid of what waited beneath. His swords were at his side, and they would carry him through any danger. He simply, failed to care. Was this Ennui? That sickness that was known to become stricken upon his kind after lengths of time had passed? It was possible. Anything was. But his thought was that of doubt. He would walk, or rather, swim away from this, as he had everything in his life, and in his un-life. He was in no rush. The caress of the Ocean would protect him from the rising of the sun, which was due soon. When next it fell from grace, he would make his way back to Venice, and there, checkmate awaited.

The next night, Gareth Winchester, no longer a pirate, sat upon the railing of the boardwalk that framed one of Venice's canals. He rested there with an ease and a balance, and watched as, miles off, two flaming pinpricks drifted along the moonlit horizon of the ocean. The Gentleman's Demise, and the Wave Reaver. Yesternight they were his. Tonight, they belonged to Lady Ocean, just as he had. However, he had escaped. They would not. It was for this reason that he was Ventrue, and that his crew were Brujah. He had raided the Sabbat. He had raided the Camarilla. He had raided the Giovanni, and the Church. His enemies closed in, as he had said, and also, as he had said, he was nowhere to be found. The tip-off as to the location of the dangerous ships had been a creative touch. He rather prided himself on that. From there, it had been a short race to see who could wreak justice first. Fire upon water. That was, strangely, the live that Gareth Winchester lived.
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