The story became a script for an audio narrative, or mp3 podcast. This led to 'grammar' being changed, to fit pronounciation, not rules of the written word. The extension is more direct, and more foolproof:
"This story is inspired by a science fantasy tabletop role-playing genre. Set into a near-future, fictional universe, within which cybernetics, magic, and fantasy creatures co-exist. While major corporations, gone tyrants, fight high & mighty, down & dirty. It combines genres of cyberpunk, urban fantasy, and crime, along with occasional elements of conspiracy, horror, and detective fiction."
Now, the story, as written and audio-scripted:
Family Affairs, aka, My Avenging Vampire.
© By Andre Michael Pietroschek.
Quote: “When forced into battle, Fox always fights to kill, not stun or capture.” Quoted, from 'Shadowrun – Shadows of Magic'.
“Thou shall not suffer a witch to be born!”. That pseudo prophetic warning weighed upon my mood, like a death omen, or banshee cry, while I woke up. Some brain dregs, like that, formed the sermon of another, hopelessly outdated, yet supposedly holy, book. But I knew to watch out, for Wyrd echoes and emanations, especially, when dizzy, or distracted. And I got one. "You may save two, but you won't save three!". Geesh, make my day. Even, for an occult delver like me, such was more weird a wake-up call, than angry birds peeping outside the window! My problem with it was: The woman, whom I had married, was a witch, and my daughter thereby could be suspected to be a witch as well. Even by the slivers of scientific education, which I care to remember.
All she had wanted, was to get to that teenage music band called 'Celtic Soul', on concert in town. Well, we had not forbidden that, just failed to tell her about our decision in time. So she did, what every good daughter does. Rebelliously she made use of the personality traits inherited and learned from her parents. The lil bitch sedated us, and sneaked off.
“Next time you tranquilize your elders you might wake up in the cauldron, along with spices, dear.” I wished I could tell her, as, for now, she was still missing. When we had finally gathered enough cash and credit, both, me and my wife, had decided to proverbially leave running the shadows, those underhanded, barely legal ways of earning money, and the big city life, behind.
The technology was lightweight and portable, so we did not miss much, and did spent our time in an arcology, much like those retired rangers often tend to do. Controlled environment, security, and some comfort. Independence, as we could produce our own food and water. Except for me, nearly all others also knew how to brew alcohol. Not synthetic brew, but real, handmade-brew alcohol...
When it all started, back in 2043, I had been another urban neo-shaman. Or better said, I may have once been supposed to become a proper one. Fox was my totemic quintessence, but the criminal underclasses were my environment. There is no great prudence, nor any meta-magical knowledge, which a high caliber bullet into my head could not neutralize instantly. We had our problems from the start. Because I guess Fox knew it, yet decided, to leave my choice to me. Even the well-meaning can hurt one brutally, such was not new to me.
I had made my choice. After ten years of running with Fox, and as a fox, I told my totem that we better depart. It was mutual. I did not lose all my magic. I was not killed by some breach of my spirit either, and not even the separation process finished me off. Without fox, I simply was a proverbial shadow of a man. There was no day in my life, I could be fully awake for more than four hours. That was the price to pay. Lifelong imprisonment on the borderline of dreamy slumber. Like a sedated lunatic. I hated Fox even more, yet knew it was not his misdeed. Fox was just one more totemic manifestation, and the fat, and ill-tempered man, whom I had become, did not live prudent, nor tricky, at all.
We had done, as what parents typically do, when their child goes missing. We had instantly indebted ourselves and hired a private investigator, who had scored some successes in Wayne, earning a reputation, in precisely the city, wherein 'Celtic Soul' were predestined to jump upon the stage. But there is this truism about solutions among street-survivors: “An easy solution is no solution at all!” The bitch named Consequence is not fucked by anyone without dire repercussions to follow. My wife tended to smack me with one of her elbows, whenever I was caught babbling such vulgarism aloud...
The investigative sleuth had returned to us with one of those facial expressions one only wants to see in media entertainment, or as a Spanglish "Oh, Retardo!" kind of telenovela parody. The fact that he visited an arcology at all proved him professional enough to me. He delivered a message from my daughter's pseudo-kidnapper. Kinda: `Come, jump into my trap, so I can avenge myself, or your offspring... ~signed: K.´.
Insanity has only one limit and that is certain death. I should have killed K, straight the first time he had proven himself a false friend. I did not, because I was brainwashed by the laws of old, long-gone democracy, calling it murder. So he had risen in power, and was eager to put the blame onto me once again.
“He'll have you raped, and tortured to death!” My wife commented, with the shimmer of divination magic in her eyes.
“Or worse, He forces me, to listen to his self-pity-fuck sermon again! I will not abandon our child to his fangs!” I tried to fake a smile, and to pretend immortality.
K had become the boss of a special gang. Süpür-Khalafi, which meant mostly Homosexual Turkish criminals. Funded by some corporate media friends of him, them hoping that K, who happened to be a vampire since 2048, would gift them dark immortality by infecting them with the virus in his blood. K had played the patience-card. Bluffing, about how his rise in power would mean the blood, by which they would soon be created, could be much stronger. Well, it needs a certain denial of what Evil means, to trust a vampire anyway. To utter a remark on it. Corpse-lovers and coffin-sleepers are wrong in the head, for sure.
Disease worship was inevitable in the less established social classes, actually pretty common in most cities. And it was the Undead, who were mostly immune to it, not their mortal admirers, who hoped to get transformed by kissing cheeks. Preparing, for the task at hand, I went back into my armored clothing and coat, loaded my handguns, hid the small hold-out pistols, and my ritual blades in sheathes subtly woven into the resilient fibres of the modern age body armor.
So I ventured into the big city one more time. The arrival by hovercraft nigh threw me back into the dark and steamy alleys of the city. I needed neither magic nor scouts, to find a K, who wanted to be found. Shortly after midnight, shortly after, because my fat, older me was out of breath, I had entered the gang-hosting mansion of the vampire.
K was well prepared. Neither my weapons, nor my suicide-capsule, escaped the vigilance of his guards. I wasn't surprised. So I went into the vampire mansion. Armed with nothing, but unstable magick and a father's duty explaining my disregard for personal safety. Once more a black sheep coming home, to the butcher. Ready to face my self-declared judge. It was much, as I had anticipated. K wanted something, which I could not offer. I saw it in his eyes, when he made his melodramatic moves, sneaking around my bound daughter, like a ghoul around a passer-by, who had just died of heart failure.
K believed the brain-crap he was babbling, he did not just play the victim. With all his nocturnal powers, he was still trapped. He had to blame me, for he failed to accept the responsibility for, and consequence of, his own past misdeeds. I couldn't end our friendship, for he had always been faster than me. Didn't he realize that much at least?
I ignored K, not that his vampiric powers wouldn't have impressed and intimidated me, but another shock had impacted me much more severe. No, it wasn't God coming to our rescue.
"Kiddo, you should've told me about your boyfriend.", was my resignation comment. But, in truth, my last remaining option had just gone awry. The only ace up my sleeve, undone. Not by K, who sure would have rejoiced, but by life, as horny teenagers tend to live it. I could save only two, but I could not save three! The muscles in my legs began shaking, and I felt my heart pounding.
K indulged a personal form of amusement, using his own psychic talents, enhanced by the fact that down here, away from the sun, only one of us would not tire and collapse, soon. He had managed to ward his tomb against magick, an accomplishment few darklings could boast with. That limited my choice of magical incantations and spells to unleash, wise sucker. Simultaneously it made me realize, why the morning had begun with the weird proverb and the not less weird echoes I believed to have sensed about saving two, but not three.
“Now you miss that capsule, I guess?”. K asked, in his triumphant mood. His fangs nearly shining in the semi-darkness.
“Plan B is with Hel: Still, I actually just needed you to be distracted, until the spell works, dear K...” Came my reply.
The last memory I ever had was the shock of realization, and understanding the inevitable, dawning in my child's eyes. My daughter was transported home, as I unleashed old, Norse, witchcraft. A sacred form of magic, born in bloody, desperate survival measures. The awakened merely attempting such a spell is torn to shreds, within the proverbial moment of his deed. It is a spell made only for females, originally more Hel, than Freya, or Frigga, invoked by it. I only knew it due to a lesson, on female viking spirit, I learned in my own youth. It saved my daughter, and robbed my oldest adversary of his vengeance.
I died, much like the chicken babies thrown into the meat grinders for KFC. I had understood the prophecy, and I came to rescue her, not blow myself to shreds. Naive father's ignorance I just had not known my daughter to be already pregnant. "You may save two, but you won't save three!".
[So, he did indeed not suffer his grandchild, a witch or warlock, being born. Thank you, dear readers and listeners.]
My special thanks to:
Julie Hoverson and John Scott Ballentine, the two audio professionals, who made me unafraid of the proverbial long road, when it comes to art and poetry. Thanks, it inspired me to try better and harder again.
Neike Taika-Tessaro, who helped this bummer I became, when I really failed to make it on my own. Thanks, for being you, it did teach me a new perspective and attitude.
Author Notes: I wrote this in Pietroschek Prose, not US-English, nor British English. Pietroschek Prose is something like unintentional, imbecilic-moronic violation of the two English versions to which it is often, and lets hope accidentally, compared to. ;-)
To know the background world better than just by the video games: http://www.shadowrun.com/what-is-shadowrun/