035. Memoria – Sixth Sense

Title: Sixth Sense
Genre: Undefined
Characters: Marcus Van Arden, Valerie Vega, Melissande Blanc, Christian Koenig
Story Origin: Vignettes prior to Angel of Lies
Prompt: 035. Sixth Sense
Word Count: 1,660
Rating: PG
Summary: Marcus finds his way.
Warnings: None

Marcus felt a bit like he was in a daze.  He looked around and took in his surroundings, the gilded, reflective walls and the sparse decoration all very misleading.  It certainly didn’t resemble any of the vampire strongholds he was accustomed to.  Had things truly changed so much since he’d slept?  It seemed moot to make an appearance now, but the murmurs of a Soul Taker was enough to bring him out.  Ones as old as Marcus found little interesting anymore, especially given how the vampire bloodlines dwindled and gave way to mortal fancy.

He spent a great bit of time tracking down this supposed Soul Taker.  Supposedly, he was here, hidden amidst all the candles and finery.  Marcus found that a little troubling.  As he was guided through the maze-like corridors by a young female vampire, he couldn’t help but notice all the… strange sights.  Most, if not all, the occupants seemed to be primarily female.  The entire place had a very feminine feel about it.  There was a woman’s distinct presence lurking around every corner, in every perfectly hung painting and carefully chosen furniture.

Suddenly, the door on the wall before him creaked open, revealing yet another female.  She was definitely vampire and not the mortal-turned-nightstalker kind.  She was pure blooded, electric vampire–the energy in the room shifted around her, evidence of her blood lineage.  She looked at him from behind full lashes, a bored expression on her face.  She moved at a sluggish pace, her considerable heels clicking against the stone flooring.

Marcus found himself a bit taken back by this, the fact that his kind still existed amongst the muddled masses.  He had heard of a massive culling of vampires, but assuming the worst, thought it had been his kind.  It seemed he was very wrong.

She stopped in front of him, slender hand on her hip, her gray eyes meeting his for a brief second.  She said nothing, waiting for him to speak first.

“You’re a blood vampire… which family?”

Her dark eyebrows rose, visibly intrigued, “Blanc.  Melissande Blanc.  My brother and I are the last of our kin.”

“I see you’ve broken free of the cult.”

Melissande’s eyes darkened, and she chose to ignore his comment completely, “you’ve come to see Christian?”

“Eckhard’s son, yes?  I hear he’s… undergone some changes.”

“If you mean to say he is no longer vampire, you are correct.  Anything else you can talk about with him.  I’m just here to ensure you are who you say you are.” She peered at him, pursing her full lips together.  “You can’t just waltz in here and expect to speak to Christian directly.  That’s not how it works.”

“Of course not,” Marcus replied, though there was amusement in his voice.  “I assume you’re not the Seer, then.”

She laughed, “she wishes.  No, she will be coming shortly.  Be patient.”

“I’ve been through quite a lot and so far, for nothing.  I’m growing tired of the games.”

Melissande gave him a look, walking past and taking a seat on the couch, “and we’ve only just begun.  Be patient.  You’ve been alive for centuries… I’m sure you can wait a few moments longer.”

“I understand the need for precaution, but I am not exactly a plebian vampire.  I’ve sought him out of my own free will, I don’t enjoy being treated like a toy.”

“I’m sorry you feel that way,” a third voice sounded from the door.  A young woman walked out, startling Marcus.  Her dark blue eyes were vacant, but moved about the room all the same, almost as if they could actually picture the surroundings.  “This is all necessary.”

As she drew nearer, Marcus nearly sputtered.  She was young, too young.  She looked like a mere child in woman’s clothes, her cherubic face and girlish ponytail doing nothing to take away from the image.  She wasn’t dressed provocatively liked the other females he’d seen, in fact, her pants didn’t even seem as if they were fit for a female’s form.  They were rolled up and bunched, made into makeshift capris.

It was the final straw, the last mockery he would tolerate.

“Is this a joke?” Marcus growled, his voice low and deep, brimming with anger.  “Now you send in a blind child?  This is ridiculous!”

Valerie had been doing her best to contain her energy, but at his comment, she burst at the seams.  Marcus was overwhelmed by the seemingly endless wave that pounded against him.  The nearer she drew, the worse it was.  He backed up, giving her a strange look.  This was no child, this was something else entirely.

He had failed to notice the tension that followed her as she entered the room, the telltale signs on her face, in those vacant eyes.  She moved with confidence, despite her small stature, each footstep fueled by power.  She looked around because while she could not see like everyone else, she could see what moved beneath the superficial surfaces, past the everyday trees and grass to what laid beyond.

“A child?” Valerie’s voice boomed, considerably stronger than when she had first spoke, backed by preternatural power that caused it to vibrate.  “I am the Seer, vampire and I will have the respect that you would show any superior being.  You may be old, but I have shared the consciousness of all and am privy to secrets no mortal mind should ever have to comprehend.  I will not tolerate being referred to as a child–by anyone, or anything!

Marcus was considerably humbled, but it did little to soften his already soured mood.  The Seer.  They had baited him almost as surely as a fisherman bates his hook for the catch of the day.  He’d tumbled into the trap completely, without even bothering to see all the warning signs.  The Seer’s energy was permeable now, building around him, paralyzing him.  It was dizzying.

“I apologize, Seer, I did not realize.  It’s… been a long time that I’ve been absent.”

Valerie turned away and with that motion, the energy around him disappeared suddenly.  A great weight lifted off of him and he closed his eyes, his body trembling from the aftermath of it all.  There was something else in that energy, something wrong.  It was with that single realization that he noticed what he’d missed all along.

There were four people in the room, not three.  His eyes moved to the side of the Seer and he saw it, a faint disparity in the air.  He felt the slight pressure of it, of the energy it concealed.  It wasn’t the Seer… this was different.

Suddenly, he felt his mind’s walls fall as if a great wind had blown them all over.  A voice sounded in his head, its very nature intrusive and extremely strong:

‘That’s enough.’

Valerie turned completely as the shape formed, much taller than her, much broader, too.  It revealed itself in a slow, agonizing motion that Marcus was forced to watch, the hairs all over his body standing on end.  The energy came out of hiding, filling the room with an invisible fog.  It made Marcus feel weakened somehow, almost as if every movement, even blinking, were sluggish.

“What are you doing?” Valerie snapped, her voice resuming its normal pitch.  “This is not–”

Again, the voice sounded, like a psychic broadcast in all of their minds, ‘He figured it out.  The ruse is up.’

Marcus felt like a fool.  For all his years, for all his time on this earth, he had nearly missed it entirely, too caught up in Valerie’s appearance.  Christian had been there all along, right beside her, hidden from him but privy to everything in the room.  He had nearly failed and if so, he feared to know what the consequence would have been…

“This isn’t safe, Christian,” Valerie warned her counterpart, completely unnerved now.  This was not the plan, not at all.  “What if he’s…”

‘It was a test and he saw through it.  I will speak to him.’ Christian’s shielded eyes moved to Melissande and without another word, she left the room.  Valerie lingered behind, unmoving.  ‘Valerie…’

‘I’m not going anywhere,’ she said forcefully, resorting to Christian’s form of communicating.  Both their voices rattled around in Marcus’ brain like a jackhammer.  His apitude was hardly magic of the mind.

Christian sighed, though his body showed no signs of wearied emotion.  Instead, he faced Marcus completely and focused his voice on his mind and his alone:

‘I am not a legend, I am not a fable… I am real and I am dangerous.  Being in this room with me could cost you your life.  Because of this, this will be my last direct communication with you.  Anything further will be channeled through Valerie.  Speak to her as if it were me, for everything she hears, so do I.  This is a safety measure, not a game.  You can feel it now, surely, and the longer this goes on, the worse it will get.  Now, speak, Vampire.  And do so quickly.  It’s been a long day…’

Marcus felt the connection fade, his entire body reeling from the impact of it.  It was true, what Christian had said, he could feel it.  Pieces of him were missing… tiniest bits, but gone, nonetheless.  He looked at the young Seer and then to Christian.  Suddenly, he felt it, the great weight, the huge burden.  Valerie as a mouthpiece.  The Seer bore the entirety of his burden almost as wholly as if it were her own.  She was the single thing that protected everyone else from him, including himself.

He suddenly regretted his brash words against her.

So, now we know where Marcus came from.  There’s a bit more to it and that’ll be in later Memorias.  I have a few planned during my break, hopefully to stir my creativity back into action, so keep checking back.  Sorry this one is kind of crappy, my computer crashed in the middle and Ijust didn’t want to deal with it anymore, lol.

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6 Responses to “035. Memoria – Sixth Sense”

  1. goodbye_sun says:

    I do very much love the putting Marcus in his place after his very bad first impression, even if it implies even more what Christian has become and what Valerie has had to do to keep it in check. Its good to get to know a bit more about Marcus, he seems to have mellowed quite a bit from here, humbled by the experience I suppose.

    Marcus wasn’t exactly humbled, just informed. He’s not really one of those haughty types, though he isn’t fond of mortals-turned-vampires. He doesn’t like being jerked around, though, and he felt that’s what was going on. Poor Valerie. No one sees her as the adult she is.

  2. Gayl says:

    The weight of what Valerie has to endure is truly shocking and an incredible burden. She’s a filter for Christian. Certainly above and beyond the job description not that I think she would run from it. It is amazing how much has changed, Christian, Valerie, all of them.

    Valerie has proven her maturity and the fact that she’s grown, but everyone else refuses to see it. Very infuriating, I’m sure. I’m glad you’re enjoying seeing the changes. Everyone changes eventually and given what’s happened, change is certainly inevitable…

  3. Beth says:

    The change in Valerie is even more shocking than the change in Christian. He was always dangerous. But she is taking him on, and to come right up in Marcus’ face like that – wow. I love Valerie.

    Marcus is interesting. Very full of himself and his wonderful bloodline, isn’t it? That kind of pride is blinding.

    I love the references to the feminine surroundings, and his discomfort with it!

    Marcus is from a wee bit different time. He’s been sleeping awhile. He’s not being arrogant for the sake of it, it’s mostly ignorance. He doesn’t actually have a problem with women… but for a man like Christian to be somewhere like that? He half expected him to be a she. ;) Valerie steps up a bit. Caring for a child and trying to keep Christian sane will do that to a person.

  4. E. Black says:

    The full weight of what Valerie has to bear. I’ve always loved her and I’m glad to see she’s become stronger but it’s costing her so much. And the toll Christian’s power has taken on him…that’s some heavy stuff. It’s also good to see how Marcus came into play and that he was actually helping Evangeline. I wonder if she had went with him would things have been a tiny bit better or would they have been more dangerous.

    Valerie has grown up and embraced the strength everyone told her she had. It’s definitely a bit jarring, to see it in practice, but she’s been on this track the whole time. Only, sans the whole Christian thing, lol. That’s a good question, would things have changed? It’s hard to say… but I will say that Virgil and Evangeline meeting up changed everything.

  5. TK says:

    Wow… am I late or what. What has Christian become? Eep. And was it part of Sanctus Unus’ plan?

    Sorry it took me so long to get to this! That is a GOOD question… one that will be answered. ;)

  6. Veron says:

    Sorry I’m late! A) Congrats! B)I was two feet outside of Orlando for work on Thursday and Friday and I hope the rain didn’t ruin the parade on your end of Florida!

    Christian is scary. Officially.

    How does Melissande bear being so close to either of them for extended periods? It seems like, even with Valerie as a barrier, that Christian does not give off the warm and fuzzies. And how Valerie is even able to bear the strain of him directly. Geez, she must be a powerhouse.

    I have to admit, I loved with Valerie bitch slapped Marcus down a notch. This was an excellent view into the beginning of his relationship with this little clan.

    And Marcus is a lovely thing.

    Melissande isn’t really affected, no one really is unless they pay attention to it, provided Valerie si there to act as a wall. Christian is also getting better at maintaining it so it doesn’t go spilling out all over the place. ;) Valerie IS a powerhouse. It was something that was hinted at repeatedly in WoS and is now coming out in its entirely in AoL. It’s a big part of who she is, her strength and her ability to withstand just about anything. She’s been through the ringer ever since she was just a kid.

    Christian is scary, but he’s still Christian. It isn’t easy for him, not at all. :(

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