Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Night 2 -- Trent's Story

Trent’s story

Leaving the theater, Trent returns home, the chaos of the night weighing heavily on him. As with all the characters, I don’t know much about Trent’s living conditions. Does he live on campus, or off? Does he have roommates or a significant other? I use the generators to comes up with some answers, and we are ready to proceed. Like Daron, the CF rests at 7, and so the odds of an unusual occurrence are quite high. 

Lives off campus, renting a room in a shared house. His roommates are dicks,  who he hates. Interrupt: Ambiguous Event: Failure Riches

He awakens the next day, his body having gone through the spasms of death.  The filth from his body fascinates him. He knows it should disgust him, but instead he finds it intriguing. He had never really considered what dying was like; to be fair, he had never considered he would be around to experience it so intimately. He cleans the room and himself the best he can, showering and washing away the blood and filth that had caked on him. Each experience feels far more new and vivid to him than it ever had before, but none so amazing as the simple act of shaving. The cool razor blade gliding across his skin, the feel of each hair being pulled and cut. He has no redness, no need for the aftershave he puts on out of habit. He might have cut himself, perhaps. It was a fairly routine accident in his life. Well, what had been his life, at least. But his new, dead flesh seems unconcerned with such minor annoyances.

His roommates are none too happy to see him, grumbling about this or that bullshit. His work called, multiple times, wondering where the hell he was. Also, some cop called, something about some girl he knew having gone missing or something. Oh, and his share of the rent is late. Does he have the damn money, yet? Things start off pretty heated, but his preternatural calm shuts them down. They were different than what he was now. Annoying, yes, and seeming to delight in humiliating him. Again, and again, he has had put up with them. But tonight, they remind him of nothing so much as yapping dogs. Annoying and infuriating, but not real. Not actually threatening for all their posturing. He stares at them, thinking about how easy it would be for him, now, to silence them. To make them respect him. They clearly sense that something about him is off, the way he just stares at them. As they quiet down, he promises that he will have the money tonight, just needs to go pick up his last check. They’re mollified, but are clearly relieved when he heads out. 

He’s sick of dealing with the bullshit of his life, and wants to take this new body out for a spin. He’ll worry about money and rent and such mundane things later. He has more important things to worry about. His hunger had returned when we woke, and he feels a desperate need.  But more, he wants to experience what this new form really means, and what he can do now that he is longer controlled by the fears of his life.

He heads to the strip of bars near campus, and chooses one of the “good ones”—a place frequented more by grad students and professors and those who prefer a bartender who actually knows how to make a proper drink, not just pour a draft. He rarely came to these places, having neither the time nor the cash to spend so freely. When he drank, it was more likely to be at a house party or with one of his few friends over a shared 6 pack. Another barrier lifted, thanks to the new world he finds himself in.  

He knows vamps are supposed to have mental powers, and he KNOWS Daron did something cool.  He wants to see how it works, and how far he can push it. It’s Sunday night, so the place is fairly quiet, aside from a group of frat brothers or the like cheering on some game. Probably rooting against a rival of the Pioneers or something, though Trent wouldn’t have cared before, and he certainly isn’t about to start now.

Ignoring the rowdy brothers, he heads directly to the bar. A few others are there, including a small group of what he identifies as members of a sorority, thanks to their incessant need to label every article of clothing with their Greek Letters.  He calmly walks to the bar, orders a particular brand of scotch he had heard Daron talk about, and sets his eyes on the girl nearest him.

Now, Trent has never really been in a relationship, being one of those “nice guys” who feels that he’s entitled to a woman of a certain degree of attractiveness, and dismissive of anyone else. Of course, he was always too shy and awkward and self-pitying to actually talk to and get to know any of the women he desired, save as a “friendly acquaintance,” and so the few times he tried, he had met only failure. A failure he was quite ready to blame on the girl in question, and her failure to appreciate him.  But now, with no heart racing and no sweat to grease his palms, he feels certain he can get what he “deserves.”

Seduction system.
  • Opening line: Trent’s Appearance (2) + Subterfuge (1) 3 dice against a difficulty of (targets Wits (we’ll say 3) + 3) 6. He gets one success. Trent makes a bad joke about how annoying the game is, but his calm delivery helps him land it on the “so bad its funny” side. The girl, Becky, laughs a small laugh and glances at him.
  • Witty Exchange: Trent’s Wits (3) + Subterfuge (1) for 4 dice against a difficulty of 6 (Targets Intelligence (3) + 3). 2 Successes. She replies with an old and bad joke about men and playing with their balls, and he laughs just the right amount, then makes a fairly clever pun based on the punchline.
  • Conversation: Trent’s Charisma (2) + Empathy (1) for 3 dice against 6 (Perception + 3). I give her a 2 in perception, for 5. 2 Successes. They begin talking, and Trent’s calm and honest fascination with her works to mitigate any lack of natural charm. He actually listens to her, finding the way she speaks and her way with words utterly enchanting.

As he’s talking, I roll an event to see what’s going to happen. NPC Action—Failure Dreams.

As the conversation begins to ebb, Trent attempts to move things somewhere more personal, “Hey,” he says. “do you feel like getting out of here?”

No, she doesn’t. She’s here having a good time with her friends, and they had a nice talk, but she really has no interest in him. She politely explains, seeking to let him down easy. Of course, Trent doesn’t accept that, not understanding how she could not want to be with him—hadn’t they talked? Hadn’t he made her laugh? Hadn’t she made bad jokes with sexual references? Clearly, she wanted to go with him, she just didn’t know that yet. He tries to convince her, explaining away all of her excuses.  He goes quickly from nice guy she was having fun talking with to a creep and an asshole.

He gives up doing things the “right” way; it’s not what he’s here for, after all. He tries to do what he saw Daron do. He looks her deep in her eyes, and explains to her that she will come with him. It’s too much for Becky, who was trying to avoid something like this, but she will not be treated this way. And now that she can really see his eyes, she sees them as cold, harsh things, and she knows that this guy might be the most dangerous person she had ever met.  She backs away suddenly, yelling for all to hear Trent is an asshole, and a perv, and that if he so much looks at her again she’ll gouge his damn eyes out. And does her best to get away. 

The whole bar hears, even the cheering frat brothers, and looks their way. Then they all focus on Trent. Even with no heart and no sweat, the humiliation and shame threatens to overwhelm him, but Trent keeps it together, barely (self-control, dif 7). He gets up and throws some money at the bar. He heads outside, tossing off what he thinks is a witty put down, but which just leaves everyone shaking their damn heads.

Outside, the shame of his failure in the bar quickly burns into rage at the world as a whole. What is the point of even being a fucking vampire if you can’t even feed off whoever you want? In the rear of the bar, he sees a couple of cars--new cars, fancy cars, and stomps over to them.  Cars like fucking Daron would drive. Probably belonging to the assholes in the bar, the ones that pay to have friends, pay to party all the five damn years they spend at school, pay for whatever they want. Only they don’t pay, their parents do. And their parents get them great jobs and co-sign houses afterwards, and they’re never hungry, having to choose between rent and food. They show up for class, if they bother to go, hungover and tired from drinking all night, not working their asses off hanging dry wall to pay for a damn used text book. He glares at the cars, with their shiny paint and fine leather seats and gradually his rage fades away, lost in studying the detailed work done on the seats, and the careful, delicate craftsmanship that went into them. Each thread and each stitch seems to contain a multitude. No matter how many or how similar, he understands that each is unique, and singularly fascinating.  And each draws his attention completely.

He stands there, he doesn’t know for how long, unaware of the light snow that begins falling over him, covering him, leaving him looking less like a man and more like a statue.

Eventually a voice breaks the spell. “Yo, asshole, you wanna fucking move?” It is one of the guys from the bar, him and two of what assuredly are his frat brothers. They’re big, and meaty, and carry themselves with the swagger of young men who know that everywhere they look, and everything they see, is theirs.

Trent does not move.

His stillness, the snow covering him, the way his dead eyes looks blankly at them gives them pause.
What happens next? Truce/Food

The one who was talking is about to say something else, something humiliating and cruel, when one of his companions places a hand on his shoulder and stops him. “Dude, are you ok? You must be freezing out here.”

Despite his apparent calmness, Trent is roiling. His rage at these boys was near absolute, and his hunger is screaming out to him, driving him to desperate acts.  He damn well knows what he is, and he knows what he wants. But he also knows he isn’t a fighter…he was in decent shape, hard not to be when you worked for a living. But he has never been in a fight before. And these three—they walked like they knew how to throw a punch--but maybe they don’t know how to take one.  Does Trent dare? YES.

With no hesitation and no warning, he leaps at the first one, attempting to strike him down as fast as he can. He moves faster than he had before, but his blow is weak, and he strikes the man harmlessly. All three laugh at him, and his supposed target casually pushes him to the ground.

His anger rises, becoming something dark and awful. He feels his blood begin to burn, to course a strange and awesome channel through his body. He felt suddenly light, and powerful, and all his fear drowns in a sea of blood. These boys might have played at playing wolves, but he was the tiger.

“Dude, you’re gonna get your ass kicked” one of the fools’ bays at him, not realizing, yet, the danger they were in.

Trent stands up, unfazed and almost giddy at the thought of a fight. The leader, or whoever, throws a wild punch and he and the world seem to slow to a crawl. Trent felt fast and untouchable, seeing everything, taking in every detail, and almost laughing at how slow and clumsy they all seem. Trent casually blocks him, stepping just to the side of the blow, and counters, hard. Hard enough to hear something give, something in the face breaking under his blow. He hits him again, and again, each strike breaking more of the man, each blow landing with a speed and power that should terrify Trent, but he is too giddy with power. The man falls to the ground, alive but barely breathing. Trent turns to the other two, a wicked smile pulling back his lips.

Do they fight? Yes. That’s their boy this bitch just suckered punched!

They come up, seeking to get at him by two different sides. One throws a solid punch, but Trent easily sidesteps and rams his fist in his face knocking him back. He spins to strike the other one, but is too late, and the blow lands. It was a solid blow, right at his face, and Trent’s head snaps back. It should have, at least, knocked him down, if not knocked him out.  But Trent, thankful for his new body, is unfazed. The boy has a second to look at amazement before Trent grabs him by the head and rams it into the beautiful, new car.

They are all hurt, but alive and bleeding, sobbing pathetically.  And Trent is oh so very, very hungry. He bends down, fangs extended, ready to drink and to be warm and…he can’t. The boy’s crying and whimpering invokes a sense of pity on him, and despite his efforts to WILL himself to feed, to kill, to do what he is. He just…can’t. All he can think of is Vince, jackass, asshole Vince. The time Vince and he stayed up late, smoking up, talking about their lives, sharing stories, bonding over all the shit they’ve had to deal with. Vince with a quick joke and easy way, who made him feel casually welcome where ever they were. Vince’s dead body lying in his arms.

He falls on his knees, surrounded by his victims, ashamed and guilt stricken for all he had done that night. These guys, just out for a night with friends. The girl, oh, god, what he had intended to do to her, to force her to do.

Eventually, he comes to his senses, and stands up. He pauses just a moment to root through their pockets for cash, needing both the money and some way for them to explain what had happened. Being jumped by muggers might be something they can understand, after all. He runs away, berating himself for being weak, for being a coward, for being unable to seal the deal. He was hungry, so goddamn hungry, and so cold, and so fucking alone. Maybe he should go back, be a man and finish them off, he thinks.  But no, he could already hear the sirens in the distance, knew the police must be on the way. He thought of heading back to campus, but why? Or maybe he should go home, he had the rent money now, after all.  But he is so hungry, maybe he needs to keep looking?

And then he just stops, scared, truly scared for the first time, at what he now was.  Wondering if he could survive this, with either his body or his mind intact. Unable to see a way forward, he just stars as the still warm blood oozes off his knuckles and drips onto the snow.

Story starts here. Continues here

No comments:

Post a Comment

New Year, New Character Day 22: Pendragon

  New Year, New Character   Day 22    Pendragon  Pendragon is a game where players take on the roles of knights in Arthurian Britain. That&#...