by Edward Cupps and Dustin Evermore
Over the next few days after reviving from being nearly destroyed,
Fianna was busy with her studies for the greater portion of the time. But
when she had an opportunity, she asked to speak with Roma about a personal
matter. Soon after, a student arrived to let Fianna know she'd see
Fianna, dressed in a semi-formal skirt and blouse and looking far more
healthy than she had been, approached the Mistress of the Chantry, and sank
to bended knees until Roma told her to rise.
"Thank you for taking time to see me, Roma," she said in a respectful tone.
"Please have a seat Fianna."
Fianna continued, "I wanted to give you an update on the matter of the
meeting with the Prince and the matter of Santiago the Nosferatu. The Prince
was as generous as his expectations were high. He awarded each of us a bounty
for every head of Sabbat we defeated, allowed us an additional ghoul, formal
permission to create a Childe, and increased hunting grounds. In addition,
he awarded a small favor."
Roma responded, "The Prince is a fair, but stern person. He rewards
"I had not expected any reward at all, honestly, but I see that he does
so because he wants and needs strong, loyal people to support him and this
is certainly a good way to separate the chaff from the wheat, as they once
used to say." Amazingly, that was one saying that Fianna knew from her day
that was still in use. She continued, "I respectfully declined the hunting
grounds since I didn't need them, nor did I have any real means of using
or guarding them from other predators. But I did immediately take him up
on his offer of a small favor.
"In a moment you'll see why I chose the way I did, I hope." Even the memory
exasperated and angered Fianna as she continued. "I spoke with the Nos,
explaining to him that I have strong doubts about trusting a man who would
shoot me in the back in his zeal to kill the enemy. I asked him to help me.
Give me a reason that I should trust him. He offered no justice, or apology.
His tongue was so loose he even told me to my face he'd shoot me again!"
Fianna's fists were balled in tight bundles of fury. "Oh, he tried to correct
himself, but his heart spoke plainly for all to hear!"
Roma kindly answered, "I do not believe he has a vendetta or bias toward
you personally; however, he obviously has little or no concern for injuring
a comrade when the Sabbat are involved. I believe the colloquialism
is, "a loose cannon". It is plain that both I, the Seneschal, and
yourself have informed him of his actions. He has been warned.
If he repeats these actions, then he will more than deserve what he gets.
For now, we need his contacts and his fighting prowess."
Fianna took time to draw a slow breath and calm down. "I know that we still
need these idiots," she said, her anger making her lump all her allies into
the same category as the one she was truly upset with, "at least until after
Ireland. So I left the room to ask my favor of the Prince. I asked for a
suit of armor."
"Armor?," Roma looked quizzical. "Given time we can craft defenses for
you. Why rely on something manmade?"
She swallowed and lowered her voice. "I know it sounds mundane, but if
I'm going to be around these insane, gun-happy, violent bastards, I need
to concentrate on short-term survival." Her tone, in spite of the
fierce words coming out of her mouth was soft and polite. It would not do
to yell at someone who was being patient and helpful and Fianna knew it.
She sighed, "And as usual, he has exceeded my expectations."
Roma leaned over a bit and said mother-like, "Dear Fianna, we can help
you neutralize the threat of mortal weapons. Celeste, Ashlynne, myself
and others have studied spells of defense that can give you an edge.
I'm sure Ash would teach you or provide the materials to study yourself if
you wished. It would take time of course, but in the end you will be
more powerful for it. For now however, when you are going to battle,
use your friendship with us, the Tremere, your family, to protect you.
You can be imbued with spells, given talismans, and anointed with potions
of power. We are your mother and your father and we will not allow
you to be harmed needlessly."
Roma leaned back, "Now however, I know you are probably quite angry at
the Nos and others in this situation. If you are half as angry as
Celeste was, then I'm afraid for you."
Fianna looked down. "I knew that sooner or later you'd hear about this, and
I wanted to assure you that I'm keeping my temper in check enough not to
break any rules. But sooner or later, I do want to extract my pound of flesh
from that Nos. In fact, as you have requested I do, I will be explaining
to Ashlynne exactly how I will use my Ogham to strip him of all his vampiric
power and leave him vulnerable and weakened before his enemies. I intend
to make sure he understands how it feels to be betrayed. And he will know
that it is I that take away his power, just as he did to me. I hope that
he will scream, curse and beg for me to stop, even as I suffered that humiliation."
Blood tears began to well in her eyes, but she angrily blinked them away.
She sniffled just a little. Her accent took on a vaguely native American
tone. "I guess I'm just asking you if you wouldn't mind if I started with
some of the darker uses for Ogham. Maybe even just working through it, I'll
work out my anger and not have to carry my plan through."
Roma saw in a glance that it was not all that likely Fianna would suddenly
shrug and forget about it. But bless her heart, she was going to try anyway.
Celts, ancient or modern, were not known for their ability to 'turn the
Roma answered, "Fianna, he has slighted you, this I know. But your
response must be measured. It's okay to be angry, and to want to seek
revenge. But, in the end, if you respond to him with force or pain
you may cause a feud between the clans. This cannot be allowed to happen,
especially here in Detroit. That is exactly what the Sabbat wants.
They wish us divided and fighting one another. Just the knowledge
that if he repeats his actions or some other similar misstep will bring
about his bloody demise should keep the Nos in line. He will think
twice before endangering you. Make him afraid of you with words first,
deeds second and in the end, if he does not learn, he will be destroyed."
"Yet, there is a certain satisfaction in knowing you can hurt him at any
time. If you wish to research a methodology for this, please do so,
but keep Ashlynne informed. Also, appeal to the Scourge to do his
duty and obliterate the Nos if he endangers you or any other working with
him again. But, always be discreet. I would also encourage you to talk
to your teachers, friends and advisors about this."
Fianna nodded. "I shall do as you say, Lady Roma. Thank you for hearing
me." After Roma smiled and nodded her dismissal, Fianna rose and went from