Title: amor patris in filiam
Description: Hellmouth Ghosts - Gaius Scipio Valerian
Cassandra - May 10, 2012 03:17 PM (GMT)
Although there weren't any tribunals scheduled, Cassandra found herself spending time in the cellar. Vampires came to ask for her advice occasionally, and it seemed to be the best place to get all the latest news and gossip about vampire politics. As a rule, Cassandra rarely, if ever, visited King Bill's court and she felt it was in her best interest as the Magister to know what was going on in the vampire world. Tonight, however, was proving to be disturbingly quiet. Since she'd become Magister, the tribunal space now had several of her books stored in shelves around the room... as well as several of her toys. Looking like a ten-year-old child gave her a little leeway in terms of what others would deem as acceptable behaviour, but Cassandra didn't want to push it. It was one thing to confuse the opponent by making them think she was just a little girl... it was another thing entirely to have them think she was incompetant. It was a strategy she'd become quite good at over the years, one that had saved her life on several occasions.
While she couldn't exactly remember when she first used it, Cassandra did remember when she first discussed it with another vampire. Her sire, Ajax, had noticed her disarming ability to make other vampires believe she was just some innocent little girl, and she remembered he demanded how she'd figured out vampires would be less likely to hurt her if they believed she was just some young, stupid little thing. She'd explained about how killing children always seemed to get a strong reaction from people, how most vampires had children of their own before they were turned, how children were meant to be innocent... basically all the things she'd observed over the years. At the time, it had been a throwaway line, but over a millenia later, Cassandra remembered Ajax commenting on how she'd inherited some of her father's tactical mindset. She personally didn't think she had, but it was kind of nice to think her father's brilliance had passed onto her.
Currently, the little vampire was sitting on the floor of the tribunal, her toys spread before her. All her paperwork was in order and, to be honest, she was bored, so she got out her toys. Anyone who wanted advice would now have to do so while joining in a game of dolls. Cassandra sat on the floor, a doll sitting in front of her as she brushed the doll's hair. As a little girl, she'd had beautiful dolls... although none of them had had hair. She'd realised very quickly that dolls with hair were definitely superior to those without hair. Cassandra continued to brush, hummning a barely remembered pop song, only pausing when she heard something moving behind her.
"Come, play with me. I promise I don't bite..." she said sweetly, her light voice filled with innocence. She turned to face the newcomer, expecting it to be a vampire seeking information or a homeless human looking for shelter. What she saw was so far beyond what she expected that the shocked silence that filled the room was entirely understandable. She shifted, moving so she was fully facing the new presence in the room. Cassandra had lived for a very long time, longer than most vampires usually lasted, and she had long ago accepted the fact that the entirity of her human family was dead. She'd seen it with her own eyes, seen the bodies strewn across the villa, their blood staining the marble. So what she saw now confused her more than anything. She sat and stared at the apparition, her eyes wide in shock.
This can't be... it simply cannot be possible for... she thought, slowly getting to her feet. When she finally spoke, she was no longer Cassandra, the Magister of the US. She was a little girl again; a little girl who saw the world from behind the safety of the villa walls, a little girl who was always weak and sick. No one knew that she had never actually been born Cassandra. Well... Ajax knew her birth name, but he had been missing for millenia. For the first time in millenia, Valeria Theodora spoke:
"Pater? Quid tibi hic?*"
* Father? What are you doing here?
The NPC - May 16, 2012 06:01 AM (GMT)
GAIUS SCIPIO VALERIAN He had a solid frown on his face, as he approached her, from behind. This, her seat of power, was the only place suitable for such a reunion. His silence - unearthly, thanks to his current post-life condition - allowed him to sneak upon even one of the night's darkest secrets. His eyes remained on her, as he tried to separate the general from the father. They could not be one in the same tonight. He finally stepped forward, making enough noise that the sensitive ears of the undead weren't necessary.
She turned, and his heart wept. It was true - she was a
monster. His little girl had become something grotesque - a demon from the darkest depths of hell. He was roman - he knew precisely where their kind came from.
His eyes remained hard, however, never wavering, or showing any sort of compassion for the beast that inhabited his dearest Valeria's body. His arms were crossed tersely behind him, and he stood in much the same manner as when he surveyed the lowest of the new cadets. Her words went unheeded, as he watched her transform from the monster, to the girl he'd brought in to the world.
"Estis pecus, et tu voca me pater?*" His words had all the harshness of a whip. He had loved her so much, and yet, she was a monster. The general in him admired the ruthlessness and the way she had amassed power. The father in him hated seeing her desecrated as she was.
"Melius fuisset mori vos Valeria...**" He shook his head, and droped a hand to his sword. Even in death, it came with him, and he didn't fear drawing it, even on a creature that wore her face. Yet, he held, the father she had called him holding out. Unable to take that sword from its resting place, to cleave her in two.
It was foolishness, he knew. Soft-hearted. She was a demon, now, not his daughter, and yet...
Yet he wished to hear her voice, more. He wanted to see the illusion of her smile. His eyes remained focused, the threat clear in his posture.
"Volo te vixit.***" He murmured, the only hint of regret he could muster.
*you are a beast, yet you call me father?
**dying would have been better for you, my Valeria
***I wish you had lived.
This post has been written by VEN
Cassandra - June 1, 2012 05:10 PM (GMT)
This wasn't real.
This could not be real.
Cassandra closed her eyes tightly, praying that when she opened them that he wouldn't be there. It was childish, perhaps, but she just couldn't imagine why or how her father could be standing there. He had died over two thousand years ago, he wasn't supposed to suddenly appear in her Tribunal looking as though he had never died. When she opened her eyes again, she wasn't entirely sure if she was relieved or annoyed that he was actually still standing there. She took a hesitant step closer, her bare feet barely making a sound on the concrete floor. Almost subconciously she scrunched her toes, biting her lip a little nervously as she remembered that Father didn't like it when she went about in her bare feet. He said it wasn't worthy of a patrician girl like her. She shook her head slightly, forcing herself to remeber that it couldn't be him.
...And it really was him. His face, his hair, his clothing... even his sword. She'd never seen him stand that way before though, having never been allowed to visit her father when he was with his men. None the less, it was her father: Gaius Scipio Valerian.... alive.
She was about to take another step closer when he spoke, a confused frown settling on her lips.
"Estis pecus, et tu voca me pater?"
She flinched at his tone, unused to the harshness in his voice. The little vampire took a step back, for a moment allowing herself to wonder why her father was calling her a beast. When she was alive he'd never had a harsh word for her, but now? Cassandra looked up at him, trying to hide the pain she was feeling at his words. Her eyes flicked to his sword, noticing how his hand naturally seemed to fall to it. Was he planning on using it? She hoped not... she didn't want to have to consider killing him again.
"Melius fuisset mori vos Valeria... Volo te vixit."
She frowned, eyes narrowing slightly.
He thought dying would have been better for her? He wished she had lived? Where was that attitude two thousand years ago?!? Her frown deepened into a scowl, drawing herself up to her full (yet unimpressive) height. Did he seriously forget what had happened all those years ago? Had he forgotten the visit to Ajax's lodgings? Cassandra took a step foward, feeling less like a little girl and more like the ancient vampire she had grown up to become.
"Vis ego vixit? Quod si vere intelliguntur, et non tradas me petiit ut Ajax!*" she retorted, taking another step closer towards her father. Despite herself, and despite the anger now bubbling in her chest, she could feel herself beginning to tear up. She reached up with the sleeve of her t-shirt, blotting at her eyes to prevent the bloody tears from trailing down her cheeks.
"Fecistis mihi Pater!**"
She glared up at him, almost daring him to contradict her. She doubted she'd ever forget the events of that night. The night her father carried her to Ajax and begged him to heal her. The Grecian vampire had tried to convince Valerian to try other methods, but her father was determined. She never knew exactly how much money had traded hands, but she knew her father had paid for her to be turned. She remembered the pain she'd felt, the confusion when he'd made her drink his own blood... the feeling of freedom when she woke up the next night as a vampire. She remembered seeing the look on her father's face when he saw her feeding from a slave for the first time. She remembered him cursing the gods two nights before Ajax came and killed him.
"Fecistis mihi Pater....**"
* You wish I had lived? If you truly meant that, you would not have begged Ajax to turn me!
** You did this to me Father!
The NPC - June 19, 2012 09:14 AM (GMT)
GAIUS SCIPIO VALERIAN Her shock was no comfort - her face was a mask, worn by a creature darker and more heinous than he'd had any right to ask for help. She - it - wore a facade, and though it might mimic her emotions, it could not be her. His cold gaze never flickered, as she rose, shock shifting slowly to anger. She... no,
it was nothing like the daughter he remembered - the beast, he suspected, beginning to lose whatever semblance of control it had. But her anger, though palpable, was something he could use to his advantage. He could use that anger to kindle his own. To give him a reason to strike her down.
Despite his reason and logic telling him that he should do just that - he could not help but see his daughter.
He did not want what came next - her eyes to begin to brim, and though she was quick to wipe them, he had seen it. A hint - not of innocence, perhaps, but of something more tangible. His jaw set, and her words struck back at him. If his had been a whip, hers had been a dagger, driving close to his own heart. He had made that decision for her, he had been the one to create the monster. He couldn't answer her - he had nothing to say. She was right. He had made her like this. He'd done it to her.
"Sic est mea culpa. Mea errorem ut ius.*" What could he do aside from fix it? He watched her, and though he tried to prevent it, his gaze softened. His stance didn't lose any of that straight-backed rigidity, but in his eyes, it was obvious that he was grieving for her. For what he'd done to her.
"Esset potest, ego mutare arbitrium, fecit in festinatione. Ego te perdere noluit. Quamvis quoad vitam, data tamen amissis te.**" He did not typically speak so much, but there was little he had but words. Remorse, regret. He'd had an eternity to realize his folly - that he would be so far away from his little girl, who would be confined to a hell of his choosing.
Who knew hell came with toys?
"Scio, puer.***" When she repeated, he couldn't say much else. He did know that the fault lay with him. It's all he had for penance. His pride wouldn't let him utter the words of apology. He had come to end his mistake, yet he stood, frozen. He'd never been a man who could not follow through. He did everything he set his mind to. Yet now? He faltered.
Her face, her tears... he could not draw his sword in the presence of that.
*Yes, it is my fault. My mistake to set right.
**Were I able, I would change that decision, made in haste. I did not wish to lose you. Though regardless of the life you were given, you were still lost to me.
***I know, child
This post has been written by VEN
Cassandra - September 21, 2012 06:54 AM (GMT)
How was this possible? How could she be talking to her dead father? She knew ghosts existed, but it seemed strange to her that her father would take over two-thousand years to finally contact her. Wouldn't he have done so sooner? He'd called her a beast, a beast that they both knew he'd helped to create. The little vampire watched him, hoping almost childishly that her reminder of what he had done would wound him. While she had long ago come to terms with what she was, seeing her father again brought up the old memories of her life as a human. Surely, she hadn't changed that much since her human life? She wasn't the same girl who had died all those years ago, that much was a given, but she hoped that elements of that girl were still present.
"Sic est mea culpa. Mea errorem ut ius. Esset potest, ego mutare arbitrium, fecit in festinatione. Ego te perdere noluit. Quamvis quoad vitam, data tamen amissis te. [...] Scio, puer."
She frowned slightly, not liking the way he said he needed to fix the mistake. Was he going to try and kill her? It would be ironic, certainly, for the man who helped give her life would be the one to end it. Cassandra, however, was not a fan of that kind of irony. She didn't miss the softening of his expression, although part of her worried that further proved her theory that he might try and kill her. A bigger part of her, the part that was still the sick little girl who had clung to her father when he carried her to the healer, wanted to show him that she was still his daughter. She took a step closer, reaching out to take his hand, pulling it back with vampiric speed before she could actually do so. Her gaze lifted to meet that of her father, her blue eyes belying the wisdom she had acquired over the years.
"Sed ... vos nunquam amittitur me. Adhuc sum filia tua ...*" she said,sniffling softly. She wiped her eyes again, refusing to cry bloody tears in front of him.
"Ego iustus ... crevit. Duo milia annorum in me, Pater. Numquam puella tuis semper futurum.**"
She managed a small smile, brushing a strand of hair behind her ear.
"Honorabilis mihi iam senior magister Civitatum Foederatarum in civitate. Non me superbi?^"
* But... you never lost me. I am still your daughter...
** I just... grew up. I am over two-thousand years old, father. I was never going to be your little girl forever.
^ I am Magister of the United States now and a respected elder in our community. Are you not proud of me?