Immortal Friendship: Celeste 2

by Edward Cupps and Dustin Evermore

Fianna awoke. For a moment everything was strange and unfamiliar. Then it occurred to her. It's the day after the fight. She and Celeste went out after Roma's debriefing to tear up the town and celebrate. Spending time together, the morning crept up far too soon, and Celeste asked Fianna to stay with her, being that the morning made travel dangerous. Everything was somewhat hazy, but remarkably pleasant. Perhaps after feeding things would clear up. Celeste sauntered over, seemingly happy. She offerred a glass of wine and walked over to her kit bashed stereo system (a frankensteined mix of micro chips, component stereo parts, vacuum tubes and a couple of small tesla coils.)

"Good evening Fianna, what would you look like to listen to?"

Fianna looked around. Her clothes were disheveled and she remembered fooling around with Celeste, but not much more than kissing and petting each other...she thinks. She definitely remembered controlling the situation. It was intimate, but not wholly physical. Magic was involved, definitely. And ecstasy laced blood for sure.

Fianna sat up and looked around, blinking. She instinctively reached for the offered glass of wine. "Ooo. I feel weird," she said, but she was smiling. "Maybe you can play something soothing." Fianna looked up at Celeste, "You're up early. Did I... Oversleep?"

"Yes sexy, you definitely overslept! After gorging ourselves on vitae...I like that word soooo much better than... 'blood'." She said the work in a Bela Lugosi accent. "We had fun. You really controlled things my friend. I'm glad that we did not go too far though. You are right, slower is better. We have centuries to discover ourselves and our feelings." Celeste puts on some trance techno. "I think that vitae went right to your head, I mean I was pretty messed up myself. I really have no idea what happened, but I...think...we were happy!

"Awe, pretty girl you're the best thing I've known in a long time." She downed the wine and hopped on the bed. "Lets hunt shall we!"

Fianna grinned and threw an arm around Celeste's waist. "What a splendid idea! How very unregimented, free, and wild. Do you have any idea how long it has been since I actually hunted? I have all these people back at my haven. They offer their blood for me in a bowl or goblet because I would not have them discovered to be a vampire cult. It's always been thus with me. I have not tasted the blood of a human that I have hunted and seduced since... Since ever. Since I was a ghoul, not even a vampire then." Fianna shook her head. She stood up and swayed just a little, but holding on to Celeste, she was able to keep her balance.

She held out the glass of wine theatrically. "To Celeste! The best friend I ever had!" She took a drink and looked into Celeste's bright, happy eyes while she offered the glass.

Celeste grabbed the glass while doing a pirouette, spinning on her heals and letting a very feminine "meow".

"I'm ready to go when you are, my friend," Fianna stated warmly. As she spoke her hand edged down over Celeste's buttocks, rubbing them teasingly.

Celeste ran her left hand seductively over Fianna's right side while holding the wine in her right. With a lick of Fianna's lips, Celeste spouts out, "Come on lover, the prey awaits your startling embrace. We should not disappoint them, shall we?" With that Fianna and Celeste trotted outside the haven.

Celeste stopped before exiting and pulled out a cell phone. Fianna curiously asked, "Who are you calling?"

"Just my servant. Her name is Chandria. I took her in as a roommate a few years back and she's stayed around ever since. Don't be jealous dear," she say with a self mocking smile, "She has a boyfriend and a real life. She rents the apartment upstairs and keeps an eye on things. You can never be too careful."

Fianna smiled, "That sounds like a very good arrangement. And I won't get jealous." Fianna laughed softly but then became just a little more serious. "Celeste, I will do my best to respect your judgment. I don't want to get all weird an possessive about this. But how do you feel about this? I'm supposed to seduce Alfonse, or at least someone of the Brujah clan, and get him to trust me enough to begin spilling secrets. Is that going to be hard on you? When I'm with you, it's because I like doing things with you. When I'm with others, it's because of some agenda or another. It makes a difference, at least in my heart."

"We all have our marching orders my friend," Celeste smiled back, "We share each other's hearts, bodies and thoughts. I mean, I worry about this idea of insinuating ourselves within other clans as friends and allies, and I can't promise I won't feel a little be jealous, but they will be jealous of us too. We are the public Tremere, the ones the common kindred will see. I think Roma believes that by hanging out with them we will gain acceptance. Only Roma knows why this must be done. I trust her though." Celeste shook her hair as if throwing this part of the conversation away and said, "It doesn't matter. When I'm with you I'm happy!" She stopped suddenly and said, "Wait lover, I feel our quarry is near."

Ahead of them was a downtown, upscale nightclub. This was a haunt of the dot com rich and the children of privilege. Celeste looked to Fianna, undressing her with her eyes and redressing her with imagination unbridled by convention and said, "Perhaps something in green silk?" And with a word, Fianna and Celeste were dressed to kill. The hunt began...

...blood dripping off their fangs. Celeste Dominated the two spent kine, one woman and one man and with Fianna she left them in the hotel, happy but certainly drained...

Later, after the hunt, Fianna and Celeste were walking from one bar to the next when Fianna spoke of something that was on her mind. "Do you think we could speak with Stazi about the band? I'd like to set up some times for practice and figure out what everyone is doing."

"Well, you know Stazi better than I do. I know Nuyen wants to manage us and give us musical inspiration, but he is a Boston fan and I just can't get that out of my mind. I mean their 70's stuff was vaguely okay, but they tanked in the 80's" Celeste mused for a second. "I'll get a studio set up. You arrange a meeting with all concerned and we'll set everything up!"

Fianna was quiet for a moment before speaking again. "You know, to be honest I really like this band idea because I want the attention. It's self-centered, I know. But ever since we saw those movies-- remember the one with the vampire queen? -- I've been aware of the fact that people really do worship these bands and actors and things. Not in the traditional way, but in an almost primal way. I... I really want to feel like that, if only for a few minutes on the stage. I want to be able shake my fist at the specter of my predecessors and say, 'Look at me! I can be everything you ever wanted, but couldn't achieve!' I want to hear fans chant our names, sway, dance, and scream."

Fianna stopped and touched Celeste's arm to get her to stop, too. "Is this wrong? Is it bad to want these things?"

Celeste said, "Umm, okay it's not bad to want adoration and applause, even love, but the music should be the be all and end all. Music is itself a form of magic. We can weave it's pattern to make people cry, exalt, laugh and sway. Yes, and most importantly to dance! How would you like to start? Concert hall or local gig?"

"I would like to start small. Work on our music and make it perfect in the studio. We can do it, because we could bend all our power to the task, and no one could ever know that we do it by sheer force of will and vampiric talent rather than by masterful harnessing of mortal talents. Nuyen wants to help. We can let him use his influence, and to gain the contacts we need, to make people aware of our music, and to enlighten the masses to the power of our music. I want them to practically beg us before we even do one single concert. Then, when we do a concert, it is controlled and done only on our terms. If we can pull this off, do it right, then we will make our fans wild for us.

"And if we do it just right and do not make mistakes, our kind will whisper our names in Elysiums everywhere, in jealous awe that we can do such a thing without risk to ourselves or the masquerade. The old ones will think we are merely fools. The young ones will think we are heroes. Is this not truly an adventure, Celeste?"

"You know my friend", Celeste retorted, "this might be a much better way to be loved and trusted by the masses than Roma's idea of seduction and the like. We need a Brujah drummer! What do you think? You vocals and rythum guitar. Stazi keyboards. Me, well I can do most any one, but I'll stick to spinning, mixing, sampling and sonic manipulation. I mean we're a techno-punk band with tribal, house and metal influences. Or we will be. Stazi gives us style, you beauty, me glamour. We need some angst. Got any ideas? I'd normally choose Nuyen, but he just doesn't fit in the group "Vertical Smile"..."

Fianna smiled widely, "Yes, I think you're right. Anyway, he doesn't seem to want to play music. I know three other Brujah; Alfonse, Garth, and a cop called Nate. The cop's already got a job. Alfonse doesn't strike me as particularly artistic. But I'm thinking that Garth has more than enough angst to make up for whatever lack of talent he might have. I haven't made contact with any of the Brujah women.

"Although, probably just being this kind of band will be enough to earn the respect of the Brujah. Maybe we should consider a Toreador band member instead? By looks and reputation, I think there is a perfect candidate for 'angst-filled drummer'. If she has the the interest and the freedom to participate. Her name is Sin and she's already got the, er, costume."

Celeste thought pensively and said, "well, from what I heard about those two, I doubt we'd be able to ask Sin without asking Saint as well. Also, one would think a Toreador would have some serious artistic control problems. No one get their ideas forward. I'm not looking to write music and be compared constantly to so-and-so, analyzed and cross referenced by how it "moves me"." Celeste stopped, gathered herself and started again, "Maybe another Toreador in a pinch, but those two...well, they disturb me. Worst case scenario I can use the drum machine?"

"I hadn't thought of it that way. You're probably right." Fianna continued, "Stazi might have some ideas, too. I'll call her. May I borrow your phone?"


Fianna gave Stazi a call, inviting her to meet them at the next club to talk about the band and the fourth member.

Stazi arrived at the club at precisely 10 pm. Looking over the balcony, she beckoned to Celeste and Fianna to join her at a nearby table. The two women slipped into the booth to the left of Stazi, taking every opportunity to "accidentally" touch. They seemed excited and full of energy and Stazi was the dour opposite. Calm, collected and regal, Stazi said, "So, what is this talk about a fourth member to our yet unnamed and unpracticed musical.. group?"

"Well we're thinking about adding a fourth on drums. Possibly a Brujah or Toreador? Fianna?", Celeste motioned for her companion to speak, casually slipping her hand across and onto her thigh.

Fianna smiled and said, "That's right. We'd like someone to handle the drums. But we're not quite sure who to ask. We'd like to ask a Brujah before we'd ask the Toreador because they tend to get, well, overwhelmed. So naturally, we thought to ask you. Any ideas?"

Stazi looked at the pair of lovers (it was plainly obvious to her), rolled her eyes and said, "Vhile I do appreciate your coming to me for ideas on zis, I really do not know many of the kindred of za city, much less zhose who have skills at ze drums. Anyway, I believe ve are getting ahead of ourselves a little bit. No music haz been written, practiced or performed. I brought zome lyrics to show you. Perhaps ve could have a...vhat do ze call it...a jham session? I have learned beginnings of za electric guitar and bass plus I know za piano quite well, yes?"

"Oh, you mean a practice? Sure, that'd be gwen." The last word had a Gaelic lilt to it. "Where should we do it? These machines that are used with the sounds now are pretty loud. I like that, but it might disturb people just to hear us practicing."

"Remember love, I was setting up a place," Celeste cut in, "I'll have it fully secure and ready to jam in two more days. It's down by the river. Here's the address." Celeste slid over a couple of cards to each of them. "I'm bringing a number of samples, cd's and -get this- vinyl, plus a full mixing board, dat recorder, mics and..." Stazi and Fianna stared at her blankly, "...everything we need. Tell you what, we'll all create, I'll handle the tech."

Fianna smiled and replied, "That sounds good to me."

Stazi nodded and said, "Ve should do very vell zen, yes? Good, two nights from now at this address. I'll bring Nuyen along to help, I'm very sure he vill enjoy it."

"Now if you vill excuse me for a vhile, I have to speak at leangth to ze owner of zis fine establishment. Nuyen has always vanted a nightclub, zis one might be for sale." Stazi winked and slipped off onto the dance floor and into the wild crowd.

Fianna watched her go and then turned to Celeste. "That sure would work well if Nuyen owned a night club. Maybe he'd even let us play at his club so we can get used to performing on stage."

"I'd love to perform with you, on stage, in bed, hunting in the dark," Celeste leaned over and kissed Fianna softly. After the embrace she ran her hands through Fianna's hair and said, "Firstly my love, you have to look the part. We have to make them worship us. That means revealing, titillating clothing. Exotic, erotic and tempting. Rebellious, but with the times. Hmmm. Let's shop tomorrow night, we'll get what we need. Or, perhaps we just be ourselves, ignore image and hope for the best. Nahh!! One thing though, musically (I hate to change the subject love, but I have a few concerns) where do we start? I mean I'm schooled in music, but not so much lyrics and rhyme. Stazi has a lot of raw feeling and poetry but it's not, please don't tell her this, but it's not really lyrical. I mean...technically it doesn't matter...but we need more inspiration than her anger. At WHAT, I have no idea. I mean these Tzimisce are always angry at something. Any ideas?"

"I think I have some." She let slip a light laugh and said more loudly, "Oh! I just had a thought. Growing up and then later when I became a leading priestess of the Morrigan in western Ireland, I learned a lot of old chants and songs." Fianna seemed to get more excited about the idea as she went. "I'm betting that if we wanted to use them, we could easily modify the beat and rhythm to match our own style. I could partially translate them and change any parts that might be inappropriate for this age. I think it could be a great starting point and source of inspiration for further music. What do you think?"

Celeste perked up, "Yeah! Best part is, no one alive remembers those old songs! A good start. So, we're looking at kind of a celtic technopunk. It can be done. I mean if Brian Setzer and reinvent swing with a guitar, then we can reinvent celtic strains and the like to techno, punk rock and the like! Yes!!"

"I know we can do it, Celeste." Fianna bit her lip and watched Celeste both a little playfully and a little mischievously. "We are going to be great! Let's get some wine and celebrate for little bit before we have to go back, okay?"

Celeste softly said to her, "I'm up for anything with you, lover. Wine it is!" She motions to a waitress, "A bottle of merlot for the two of us." The waitress nodded and moved away. She continued, "The next few days I'm in deep study for Roma finishing your amulet, but once that is finished we can go shopping and set you up!" She then leaned over to Fianna, forehead to forehead, nose to nose and with hands roving in places she had but a day ago only dreamed about, she said, "Then after a taste of wine, my place?"

Fianna, without looking away from Celeste's eyes, put her hands over Celeste's, stilling them a moment and drawing her complete attention. "Anything for you, Celeste."

Stazi, interrupting, "Zu two should get za room, yes?"

Fianna smiled and looked up. "Sorry, Stazi. Yes, we should go." Fianna scooted out of the seat and waited for her friend, bottle of wine in hand, for it had appeared almost magically when they were distracted.

Website designed by Edward Cupps and Dustin Evermore. c.1999-2002

Credit and thanks go to Jason Monroe, Brian Pint, Ryan McCullough, Josh Holt, Tom Welch, Holland Erickson, Lisa Hartjes, Curtis Eckerman and all those who participated consciously or not.  And of course...the Partyman R.I.P.