Eugene "Brody" Wright | Zack Arkell; April 2009
Zack Arkell; April 6-20, 2009
Zack walks down the street at about 10 at night. He knows he should go to court but this is more important...at least to him. He stops down the road from where he used to live. He can see the house but he doesn't dare go any closer. He allows his mind to take a small stroll down memory lane and what he life could have been had he never been bitten....No! He stops his mind there and returns to the present. He glances at his watch and sees that he just spent fifteen minutes daydreaming. He scolds himself for allowing that to happen. Epically given where he is. If he's missing court for this, well he better do it and stop wasting time.
He takes out his phone and calls his younger sister, Laura. As soon as she answers(if indeed she does) he makes her promise she won't tell anybody he has called her or anything she might see. After she agrees, he tells her he is just down the road and to come meet him but not to tell mom and dad. After he hangs up doubt begins to set in. Not about his sister breaking her promise, he knows that she will keep her word and his secret if he asks her too, but about what Brody, Whit and Haldor will say. That they won't understand why he needs to do this. He let's out a sigh. Well too late too turn around now. He thinks. Zack closes his eyes and kneels down lightly touching the ground with his right fingertips. He calls out to Max, his golden retriever, he tells him to follow Laura to him.
When Laura comes out, Zack realizes how much time really has passed since he was turned. He knows it's her, but she no longer looks like the little sister he sometimes read to at night and tucked in. The little sister he watched over and was always there for. No. She is now a young women. His heart aches for the time he has lost with her and his mind reals with all the times he has failed to be there for her and do his job as a big brother. Later, he tells himself. As Laura sees him the shock that he hasn't aged is obvious.
Zack gives her a look that reminds her of her promise. When she approaches Zack takes her in a tight hug and holds it for a bit. He smiles at her and his tears of blood hang at the edge of his eyes. He quickly turns away and wipes them dry, hoping she didn't see. He begins walking as Laura falls into step. He asks her how she is doing and how high school is going so far. He asks how mom and dad are and the rest of his friend's. He hesitates but also asks how Heather is since he not only broke up with her but ended their friendship while he was in Cleveland.
Once those subjects are exhausted, Zack asks if he could take Max. Not right then but eventually. Max will travel with Zack and will be the courier passing messages between them as well as how Zack will still keep an eye on his little sister. After she replies he tells her that he is about to give her half-truths but that is all he can do. She must trust him, not ask any questions, nor try to find them. If she refuses then he will take her home now and he will never be able to see her again because there is no alternative and that is the last thing he ever wishes to do. If she agrees he tells her that he will not age and he will only be able to see her at night.
He will act differently and odd at times but when it comes down to it he is still her big brother and nothing will ever change that. After he says that he asks in more detail about what is going on in her life. After they are done chatting or it is getting late, he walks her back to the same place. He kneels down and orders Max to watch over here and protect her since he cannot and hopefully one day Max will be able to join him. He gives Laura one last hug and kiss and sends her off. He watches her re-enter the house. He stands there a moment later, watching the light turn on in her room then go out after a bit.
"I'm sorry I can't be the big brother I was little sister...I love ya Laura," He says as a tear slides down. He stands there a minute later then turns away and begins heading back home. He knows Whit will grill him about where he was and Brody will ask where he was but he won't tell them...not yet....he knows Whit will flip out and say he was stupid for meeting his sister. Brody would be more sympathetic but say that Zack should have thought it all through, and Haldor very well might mind rape him...but he doesn't care. He already said goodbye to Heather. He won't do that to Laura...no matter what.
You call Laura. Her voice is shaky as you hear her over the phone. Your Common Sense tells you it's unwise to trust her as much as you do. You've been missing for over a year, and you haven't seen Laura in ages. Any rational girl would dial the police immediately after hearing your voice again. In spite of this, you bank on her promise pulling her through. You don't want to think about your sister betraying you.
She hazily asks if it's you several times over, and punctuates the initial conversation with questions. "Zack, where have you been?" "Zack, why did you leave?" "Zack, why aren't you coming home?" "Zack, is Mr. Wright doing something to you?" "Zack, why aren't you coming home?" "Why won't you come home, Zack?" When you cannot answer any of these to her satisfaction she begins to cry softly. Your return obviously is doing more to upset than reassure her. Nevertheless, she agrees once more that she won't tell your parents.
In spite of her tears and trepidation, you see her and Max in the distance within a few minutes of the call cutting off. They are alone. Laura is, as you mentioned, blossoming into a young woman. She wears a trendy T-shirt you previously would have thought that she would have found distasteful, and looking closely you can see a smudge of glittery lip balm on her teeth from where she's bitten her lip. Bad habit - she does it when she's nervous. At least that hasn't changed. Her hair is highlighted with streaks of blonde.
She isn't overly shocked at your appearance (you haven't been under the curse long enough for your youthfulness not to be simply chalked up to late development). As you reach out to embrace her, she hugs you back stiffly and doesn't mention the tears if she sees them. It seemingly takes a moment for it to sink in that it's genuinely you. You start to talk, and shakily she recites her answers to your questions.
"Mom and Dad are still upset. Really upset. After you turned eighteen, the police dropped the case. Dad's been about ready to kill somebody over that one. He spent a bunch of money on a PI after his friends told him that the commish wasn't going to push anything against Wright.
I'm... I'm worried. Mom's been really... [pause] sick. She's started working part time and she's just. She stays in bed a lot, Zack. She doesn't eat sometimes. I'm not sure what to do. They... they think you're dead, Zack."
She glares at you for a moment as if to lay the blame at your feet, and her eyes widen for a moment as you feel the hot, metallic tears begin to well at the corners of your eyes. Once more, she says nothing if she notices. Instead she draws a breath, looks away and continues.
"Anyway, school, my friends... jeez Zack, of all the things to ask... Katie moved upstate. Jennifer and I don't hang out much anymore. Corinne's still cool. I'm getting a B in Algebra and I'll get a D in English if I don't get this stupid report on Julius Caesar done."
"I haven't talked to Heather much at all. She took things pretty hard too."
You do your best to comfort her and try once more to tell her that she can't ask questions, and that you're genuinely all right. She, in turn, tries her best to not press the issues, but seems somewhat detached for the whole visit. When you tell her about your plans for Max, however, she raises her voice, still looking away from you and obviously angry. Somehow, you think you've hit a snapping point.
"Zack, if you're going to keep hurting us... could you just... could you leave us our fucking dog."
You've never heard her swear before. Before you have much time to reply, she's grabbed the retriever and is bolting down the street, sobbing. She likely doesn't hear you as you stand alone, mouthing your "I love yous" to the night.
Zack Arkell; April 17, 2009
Personal Action: Burying his past, making it a little harder to be recognized and beginning to set up animal contacts by forming friendships with the animals.
One night Zack first goes to a store and buys a baseball cap, some shades, and a puffy jacket in an attempt to make it harder for any of his friend's or family from his old to recognize him. While there he also buys some cheese and bird seed and a few newspapers.
Afterwards he goes to Prospect Park where his new life began. He takes out the bracelet Heather gave him. He looks at it a moment, contemplating for one last time the life he could have had. He kisses it then buries it then heads back to Brody's.
Later that night he sets out the newspapers on top of each other and spreads them out slightly. He opens the window and uses Feral Whispers to summon three birds or owls to him. He invites them in and offers them some of the bird seed he bought. He talks with them for awhile in an attempt to form a friendship with these birds so he can start creating a network of animals in case anything happens.
Once they are done for the night he tells them to return next week at the same time and they will continue to get to know each other. The next night he summons three rats/mice and does the same thing, telling them to return next week also.
You hit a thrift store and get some shades and a an old, slightly oversized Mets windbreaker and cap. You realize this is, at best, a temporary solution, as NYC is on the cusp of spring and on its way to summer, complete with high temperatures and humidity. On the way back home, you stop in a drug store and purchase your bird materials and a small gardening trowel.
At Prospect Park, you watch carefully to make sure none of the passersby are looking your way, and then duck off the path into a more secluded area. You carefully set aside a small patch of sod, dig a small hole, and bury the bracelet. After carefully replacing the sod, you head home. Your heart feels lighter, but somehow lessened.
After several abortive attempts to use Animalism x1: Feral Whispers to catch the attention of a passing bird, you resort to Animalism x2: Beckoning to get a couple of crows in the window and then use Feral Whispers to talk to them.
You find that, despite your vampiric nature, the birds do not seem frightened of you. You have a bit of trouble communicating, but they seem to appreciate your offerings, and are willing to talk. They are not particularly good conversationalists, but they seem to prefer talking to (and being fed by) you over the great outdoors. At least, for a little while. After some initial difficulty, you think you managed to convey the concept of a "week" to them.
You have even less success talking to the rats. You are unable to Beckon rats into Brody's apartment, so you head over to a nearby park (whichever is most appropriate for your character) and try there. You find that the rats are much more difficult to interact with than the crows were.
Between 6 and 9 days later, the crows drift back, one by one, tapping on your window until you let them in and feed them. None of your rats return.
From this experiment, you surmise that although crows are more intelligent than mice or rats, neither type of wild animal is particularly well-suited to your needs in terms of developing an animal network.
Eugene "Brody" Wright; April 20, 2009
Animalism x 2
Brody wants to spy on Zack Arkell, who is almost certainly going to break his parole, and try to contact his family, probably his sister.
Brody wants surveillance done, but nothing that this kid's parents - who are smarter than him by a great deal - can notice, or if they do, trace back to Brody.
Brody's player is also really bad at getting in contact with Kevin before deadline, so Quenton Vale's out.
Stealing ideas from Lusha!
SUMMON PIGEON ARMY!
Hey, Pigeon army that I can talk to with this discipline. Have delicious bread that is laced with my infernal bloods! Man, this is awesome!
So I need you guys to do surveillance around (Arkell Family's address) and let me know if a scruffy little human kid is sneaking around there! Yeah, he lives around this tower, same place I do (for now, because Jonathan forgot he's there)
So follow him around, and I'll give you more of this good bread! Hooray!
Goal: Zack Arkell is going to roll up on his family, if he hasn't already. Brody wants to catch the kid in the act without his parents being able to trace it back to him, as that was more than enough trouble the first time.
Pigeons are dumb. But there's a lot of them.
NOTE TO STS - for those who were not aware of said scene, Brody got up in Zack's grill, and informed him that if he tried to contact his family again, he was done.
Whether that means dead, or exiled, Brody never specified. Just so you guys are in the loop :D
Pigeons are dumb, dumb creatures. You get a group of 10 pigeons together, cooing and crapping on your windowledge, eager for the bits of bread that you offer them. As the bread has bloods in it, they are now willing to work for the proffered foodstuffs, whereas before, they would have flown off to the bird lady in the park and ignored you.
After taking some time to explain what an address is, giving up, and telling them what to look for, the pigeons generally get the hint and head out to what you hope is Zack's former house.
Their reports to you are a little muddled. "There's a smaller human who seems upset, (it's a she right? When they have two bumps on the front? or one, sometimes there's one big long bump in the front) hugs the loud, wants to eat us and chases the squirrels thing while water comes out of her eyes. The ones that boss her around are acting odd for the huuuumans (they are rather unfamiliar with the word that you taught them) they huddle together but not for warmth, mouths making sounds at each other.
They went to talk to the she-chick, shouted some too, and she shouted back,covered her mouth with big eyes, then got quieter. The big ones started acting like this, (two pigeons do their best imitation of two agitated humans complete with too much head bobbing.) We don't know what it means."
ST Note: If you want them to be more useful (like get details and understand humans better) put a point in Retainers.
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