Heartland Orphans

Encounters

Sybil waits with the Wolf at the ruined farm house as Alex drives Martock and Ethan over. Suddenly a wave of force washes over the Gangrel pulling at her blood. As she totters the Wolf grabs her. Distant chanting fills her mind.

Sybil tells him what she experienced. The Wolf suggests she might be the target of a blood sorcery ritual with the aim of manipulating her blood.

Fifteen minutes later the others arrive. They all push into the car and drive off into the night.

In the front passenger seat, Martock talks to Ethan about studying the remains of the Antediluvian. The Wolf voices Sybil’s thoughts that the two Dragons are foolhardy to deal with those bones. As they leave the city, Martock also suggests capturing the Elder. The Wolf growls and repeats that she needs to be destroyed. He hints that she can manipulate the minds of those around her.

Alex senses a deeper reason for the Wolf’s hatred. He asks why he has such venom in his voice. The Wolf explains he wanted to join the Circle of the Crone in Chicago but that she only allowed members a certain bloodline join. Meanwhile Ethan uses his powers to pry into the Wolf’s secrets. He senses a proud and ambitious beast thwarted in his aims and sent running.

Sybil listens to this from the back middle seat when the waves of force intensify. Her blood burns, evaporating from her veins. As she struggles to control her sudden hunger, a deer runs across the road.

Alex deftly swerves around the animal. The Wolf commands him to stop as Sybil shivers and shakes in the back.

The doctor pulls to the side of the road. After a long moment, Sybil calms down.

The Wolf gets out of the car to let Sybil chase after the deer.

The pair disappear for ten minutes. Just as the others begin to worry, a much less ravenous Sybil returns along with the Wolf.

The coterie and their allies continue on their way to the ruins of the Elder’s haven. As they turn off the main road, the Wolf and Sybil discuss what force might have caused the destruction of her Vitae. The Nosferatu decides that the Witch is the most likely culprit.

A half hour later, they find the farmhouse as Ethan and Alex left it. Sybil transforms into a bobcat and begins sniffing around.

With the Wolf’s help she finds two trails near the farmhouse escape tunnel. An older trail leads away through the fields while the other loops toward the charred wreckage. It moves through the debris, pausing near the remains of the other vampires and the cellar entrance. Then the scent trail leads to the road.

Sybil and the Wolf follow it while the others trail behind in the car. As Sybil wonders why this “vampire” smells of sweat and adrenaline, Alex notices a suspicious shadow moving between some trees behind them.

He decides to pull up to the Wolf. He asks the savage looking Kindred if he can see what is out there. The Wolf squints and points out a black owl. “We are being followed.”

Ethan turns and sees it.

“How can we stop it?” asks Alex.

The Wolf considers the Strix. “We need a small structure of some sort.”

“Why?”

“Because I don’t have much salt.”

For the rest of the long journey into Bloomington, Ethan keeps the silent threat in sight.

Sybil leads them past a series of stores before following the trail out into a large parking lot. The transformed vampire notes where the Elder left with a mortal in a car by scratching a gouge into the asphalt. Then the bobcat scampers off in search of a good ambush spot for the Strix.

A short while later, she leads the vampires to a small shed. The Wolf nods to her and instructs Ethan to unlock the shed while the others draw the Strix’s attention to that side of the structure. Invisibly, he then begins to lay down a trail of salt around the small building.

Martock throws himself into the task, commenting loudly on how the remains must lay within. As Ethan opens the lock, he instructs his childe to disappear while Alex, Sybil and he go inside.

“There she is!” he cries as he rushes in. The shadowy owl swiftly glides in behind them as the Wolf completes the trap.

Inside the Strix screeches angrily as it realizes the ruse. Alex pulls the Strix’s attention with his supernatural gifts while the others escape the shed.

The owl screeches at him in a voice Sybil knows all too well. As the Witch lunges for him, Alex knocks open the door and leaps over the line of salt. The Witch almost grabs him but Ethan throws a rock thrown at the last minute. With the Strix distracted, Alex escapes.

The Strix bounces off the mystical barrier. It flies in circles and screams at them, promising to curse all of them.

The Wolf warns it that the Strix should try to get loose before dawn when he intends to return with a can of gasoline.

They leave the Witch behind and continue to follow the trail. Sybil cuts quickly across town, swiftly homing in on the Elder’s current location.

As they arrive at an apartment complex, a car pulls out with two women in it. Sybil sniffs the Elder inside the car, even though neither has white hair. She jumps back into Alex’s car and resumes her normal form as they head off in pursuit.

Alex attempts to trail them but the vampires are soon spotted. As their quarry accelerates onto the highway, Alex puts the pedal to the metal. As he pulls along side he tells Martock to dig his gun out of the glove box.

Martock fires haplessly at the fleeing car’s tires while Alex attempts to catch the curly haired driver’s eye. The shots and the speed of the vehicles do attract the attention of a police officer. As the sirens close in, the Wolf climbs out the window and on top of the car.

Alex holds the car steady next to their quarry as the Wolf leaps across. Then the driver slams into him, sending them sliding into a ditch.

Luckily everyone was wearing their seatbelts. As Alex attempts to get the car out of the ditch, Sybil transforms into a bat. While the doctor’s car slowly pulls back onto the road, she lands on top of the speeding police car as it follows the escaping vehicle.

Ahead the Wolf climbs into the car, causing the driver to lose control and collide with the concrete divider. As the police officer pulls up behind, Alex swerves around the vehicles and cuts off their escape.

The passenger in the damaged car stumbles out. Despite the hair dye and modern attire, they recognize the features and red eyes of the Elder. As Ethan exits the car, his sire points the gun at her and demands her surrender.

Sybil detaches herself from the police car and flies through the open window on the driver’s side. She latches onto the woman sweaty brown skin, biting deeply.

As the driver succumbs to the Kiss, the Wolf leaps from the interior and claws at the Elder. Surprisingly blood pours freely from her side.

Alex locks eyes with the cop. “You need to restrain the subject,” he commands. The cop rushes to the Wolf’s side to subdue the Elder.

The Elder leaps over the barricade and into oncoming traffic. Ethan runs to the police car and grabs a shotgun while Martock exits the car to join the chase.

As Sybil continues to feed, the Wolf and the officer pursue the Elder, attempting to grapple her.

Alex puts the car into gear and races down the road before shooting through a gap in the barricade to intercept the vampires. Surrounded the Elder runs up to his car pleading for him to save her.

Ethan and Martock leap the barrier and train their guns on her as she pounds on the door.

The Wolf leaps on her, bearing her to the ground and sinking his teeth into her neck. The officer still in a trance, grabs her arms and slides his cuffs on the desperate and dying woman.

As the Elder struggles in her cuffs, the Wolf feeds on her, drinking her blood down to the last drop. Martock fires into the beastly vampire but he barely flinches.

Alex gets out of the car and convinces the scholar and his childe to back off. The Elder snaps her cuffs but it is too little too late. The Wolf drains her dry and consumes her heart’s blood.

Back at the wreck, Sybil resume her human form. She tries to get some answers from the groggy ghoul but resorts to popping the trunk instead.

Ethan finds her there, picking up a leather satchel that clinks with the sound of ash and bones. He asks for it but she declines to give it up for now.

Nearby, the Wolf wipes the blood from his mouth as he stands. On the ground the Elder ages before their eyes before rotting away into a skeleton. Alex directs the officer to cover this up.

Their prize in hand, the vampires return to Bloomington and the shed where the Witch is trapped.

As they pull up, they hear the screams of the Strix and discover the line of salt intact. Alex helps the Wolf siphon gasoline from his tank and with Sybil’s help they douse the shed liberally.

It is only as the sky begins to lighten with the dawn that blaze begins in earnest. They watch as it crumbles down upon the Witch, crushing and consuming her. A high pitched keening cuts through the crackle of flames from somewhere to the south.

While the other are distracted. Sybil steps away, still clutching the bag containing the Antediluvian’s remains. She slides into the earth with them.

As the sirens begin to close in, the Wolf also disappears. The others drive away, dumping the car at the edge of town and finding a motel to crash in for the day.

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