Prologue -The Letter-
That was the title in the front of each of the letters that I have been receiving from Malik for the past twelve years now. It's a letter that a vampire like me is best not to ignore being that it had come from one of the original elders, but considering the circumstance, it's better to take your chances with whomever Malik decides to sends after you, than to deal with Malik himself. I, by no means, have any issues with working for elders, and for the most part, I'm in good standings with the greater number of them, but it's the unfortunate fact that Malik is a Malkavian elder. Malkavians unpredictable nature has deemed them by other vampires as the lunatics of the underworld, and I now have the misfortune of having my services called upon by the leader of the lunatics.
I'd have to admit though that Malik was very creative in the various ways that he decided to convey his request. On average days he'd send me five to ten letters each containing a different tone. There was almost a guarantee that in half of the letters would be threats to me for the years of treachery of not replying to his requests. Others would be as though they were desperate pleas from a child begging me to see him, and then rest of his letters were more like messages then actual letters. He'd sent me a cake on my birthday one time. How he knew was beyond me since I hardly could remember myself when I had been born. I'm hitting somewhere around the six hundredth years of age. Eventually you don't bother counting the years and the actual day you were born starts to leave your mind. It wasn't till I received the cake that I even realized that it even was my birthday. How the hell did he know? Well regardless of this it actually wasn't a half bad looking cake, and of course in the middle was written "Happy Birthday Services Requested".
With greater frustration came greater creativity. Malik even went as so far as to send me a singing telegraph. You couldn't possibly have imagined what that had looked like. Malik had sent some kid who couldn't be much more than in his early twenties. He stood there at my door dancing and singing me a letter which was partially threatening, partially begging, and had an undertone of a demanding request. On a side note the kid wasn't that half bad. Except for a few C notes that ran flat he did a pretty good job considering the fact that he did it with a confused "Why the hell am I here?" look on his face, mixed with on-the-fly improvising. I had a feeling that this had been a far cry from the singing of telegraphed love letters that he often sung in the past.
So in all this mess of a situation you'd have to ask yourself what makes me so special that I'd be having somebody going this far out of his way to get my attention. Originally, I'd say that any Malkavian would do this until he got what he wanted, but my name had been called out many times before by many elders in the past. The reason being is that I'm a Tracker, and though me being highly skilled at tracking may have meant something a hundred years ago. It has become more of a nuisance than something I take pride in. There hasn't been anything or anyone that I haven't been able to find for the past five hundred years. If you do it with a great deal of tenacity and have innate ability to sense the environment around you. It really isn't all that hard, but since there are few in the world whom seem to possess these abilities. It has all but damned me to the title of "the lost and found guy."
It's obvious that my intent was to spend my life never to reply to even one of Malik's letters. Denying in a letter him would only motivate him, and talking to him just might get me killed. I really had no choice other than ignore his request, but eventually I knew he'd find a way to get to me. Three knocks on the door and I knew the time had come. The unseen person on the other side slipped a letter underneath the doors crack as it seemingly skated across the floor. The letter seemingly animated moved spinning until it finally stuck against the shoe of my left foot. I picked it up and looked at the envelope. This wasn't his usual behavior. Which considering that Malik is obsessive compulsive and even a bit psychotic, that this change is something that I knew is something of concern, so I opened up the envelope and realized that it had just dropped something on the floor. I knew what it was even before it hit the floors. I reached down and picked up the locket of hair. It was tied nicely with a red bow much in the theatrical way that the artsy Toreador like to do, but with Malkavians you have to always assume a twist. The bow itself was soaked with blood. I put the lock of hair up against my nose and took a deep breath as the scent. The ribbon and the blood it was soaked in were unfamiliar to me. The blood was definitely not human, but seemed hardly to be vampire either. It had come from a different source than the hair. Would Malik actually believe that I would confuse the sources of the two? I'd be a fool to think so. Malik doesn't make mistakes, at least not ones so easy as to think I wouldn't know the difference.
The hair was something completely different. I had to look back into the recesses of my mind to recall where I had smelled that before. What was Malik trying to show me? I already could tell that it came from a female, but whom? I went to a deeper part of my memory until I could see a face. I thought deep, and a cold realization had come upon me.
"Dammit" I said "They finally got her".
I took a deep breath, sighed, and did what I could to ignore the fact that my hands were trembling uncontrollably. It's been a long time now since I've ever felt this much fear, and I knew there was no alternative other than to face the one man I dreaded the most. Malik had to have been laughing now knowing that I would have no choice, but to confront him. I peered down at the letter and saw that Malik had decided this time his point could be made with just a few words.
"You have five days" ~Malik~