Karma was a Nosferatu I played in a Vampire the Masquerade LARP.

Karma ‘s Story

Most stories start with a name.  Not mine.  I came into this world unwanted, unloved.  I never knew my parents.  Not their names or what they did, where they are now, or even if they’re alive.  I don’t even know what day I was born on.  Just that it was February of ’88.  I was found.  The paper that covered the story claimed it was on the steps of a church, but somehow, I just can’t force myself to believe that.  It just doesn’t fit.  It’s romantic and the perfect start for someone that will one day rise up and do great deeds.  That’s not me.

They called me Hope.  It was meant to bring me luck I guess.  Didn’t work, though it was the most anyone ever really did for me in my life.  The papers ran and tried to find my parents, a side story behind the cover story of yet another murder, another rape, but as with such things, the papers were read, an “oh, how sad” was muttered and the papers were set aside without another thought.  No one came forward to claim me or to take me in.  I went into the foster care system as an infant.  I got passed from house to house to anyone that was willing and capable of taking care of such a young child.

At four I was in a foster home that was willing to keep me.  That lasted about a year.  The house burned down.  No one was hurt, but I still had to move somewhere else.  The cause of the fire was never officially decided, but I remember.  One of those bright, vivid memories that seem more lifelike than reality.  I remember the colors.  The dance of the flame.  The flares and bursts, the cracks and pops, as I fed my toys and anything else I could get my hands on into the woodstove.  It was beautiful.

I passed through a dozen more houses without another big mishap, though no one wanted to keep me around for long.  I was bad luck, tainted.  I ended up in a group home when I was twelve.  I learned a lot in the two years I stayed there.  I learned how to stay quiet, and invisible.  I learned how to listen.  I learned a number of skills by trial and error that most would consider less than proper for a young child.  I found I had a knack for computers during my stay at the home, and I built those skills as far as I could take them.  My stay there ended in much the same fashion as my earlier foster home.

My fascination with fire had never left me, and I had learned to master it over the years.  A small thing I could control when everything else was decided for me.  When a new girl moved into my dorm and decided she was going to make my life hell, my life took a new turn instead.  I was tired of being pushed around, an insignificant pawn lost by the system to be stepped on by anyone that thought they were bigger than me.  That house burned.  Oh yes, the flames reached high for the sky that night, but they didn’t die without a fight, and my oh so wonderful roommate left with some impressive battle scars.  It was too bad she didn’t die.  After the cops talked to her I got a short trip from foster care to juvie.

I didn’t just go to some plush place where I could relax my days away until my time was up, no, I had done bad.  I spent two years locked up, but I learned in that time.  I learned how to take care of myself.  I learned how to fight.  I expanded my skills, and I made connections.  I found others that were just as fed up with the system as I was.  When I got out they put me in another home.  This one was a distinct downgrade from the one I had been in before.  I didn’t stay there.  I took to the streets and disappeared.  I don’t know if they looked for me, but they certainly didn’t find me.  I vanished into the turmoil of Seattle and found the people I had decided I needed to find while I was locked up.

It took me a couple of weeks but I made contact with an anarchist cell.  I caught them through the net.  Funny when even those that fight the system are so dependant on it.  I found them though and that’s what mattered.  I got enough information out of the computer I had managed to hack to pose a threat to them and let them know it.  We set up a meeting time, and they were willing to hear me out.  They did their background work and showed up knowing where I had come from, and I was too young to be an infiltrator.  They took me in.  I was sixteen at the time.

My natural talent with both explosives and computers impressed them and I quickly became an asset to the cell and not simply the kid they had picked up.  I expanded my network of information.  I was useful.  I was a back up though.  I was too much of a risk to take on any actual jobs.  I did the groundwork, the background work, and they went and made things happen.  It took a year for them to realize that I was serious.  That I had my head on straight.  That I was willing to die for this cause and I wouldn’t panic under pressure.  They decided I was ready for my first real run.  And it all went bad.

It was January and damn it was cold.  We were to take out a section of Seattle’s harbor, and I was to set the explosive for it.  My explosive.  I had built the entire thing, and I would get to put it in place and set it off.  Somewhere we missed something though.  I had just gotten to the location and put the bomb in place when we heard the sirens, and they were close.  Way closer than anyone was expecting.  I don’t know if someone tipped off the cops, but everyone panicked, everyone but me.  I stood there watching as they all took off, scattering in every direction.  I remember listening to the sirens, watching the flashing red and blue as they got closer.  I remember thinking that I didn’t have time to get things finished before they got there, even enough to set it off and take us all out, and the trail of thoughts ending with “I will not go back to that home.”

I ran.  I ran as fast and hard as I could.  I looked for a place to hide and found a tunnel opening so I dove for it and kept running.  It was then that the adrenaline got the better of me I think.  I just kept running.  I thought they were chasing me still, thought I could hear footsteps behind me.  I guess I should have stopped and realized that I had run farther than any tunnel under the city should go, and the way had been far easier than it should have been.  I stumbled on blindly through the dark until I hit a slope and fell.  I slid down a long way.  I have no idea how far it was.  Time and space seemed almost to not exist in that dark tunnel, but I ended up in a pool and that’s the moment my life changed completely yet again.

I wasn’t alone in that pool, and it wasn’t a rat that was swimming with me.  They say the New York sewers have alligators in them.  Exotic pets flushed by the rich when they get too big.  Well, I’ve never been in a New York sewer, but Seattle had quite the impressive specimen and I had found its lair that night.  It grabbed me by the leg and pulled me under.  The memory still comes vividly to my mind just, detached.  As if from two feet to the left.  The only thing I knew in that moment was that I had to survive.  I had managed to get my knife out.  I don’t know how, just that it was suddenly in my hand.  While the rest of the tunnel had been pitch black there seemed to be light here from somewhere.  I remember catching the glint of an eye and jammed my knife down there as hard as I could, knowing that was my only chance.

I guess I got lucky.  I managed to kill the alligator.  I’m not even sure how I managed it, but I was done for anyway.  It had ripped out a large chunk of my right thigh and I would bleed out in moments.  I blacked out.  There are other memories after that that I could tell you about, but they are far from pleasant and hold secrets that the world was not meant to know.  So we’ll skip ahead to the important part.  That croc hadn’t been a random occurrence.  It had been carefully bred and raised by the local Nos.  They found me, unconscious, floating next to the dead alligator, and quickly deliberated over what to do with me, as I didn’t have much time left.  Some said leave me as a feast for the rest of their subterranean beasties, but others, the majority, were impressed by the audacity and perseverance I had shown.  They figured I should be rewarded for that, and, they figured, I needed to work off the debt for killing one of their best tunnel guards.  One of the younger Nos recognized me from the time I had spent with the anarchists and knew of my skills.  He offered to sire me.  And so I came into the closest thing to family I have ever known.

I took up the cause of the Anarch in death as I had in life, fighting the system and those that would think to rule without any right.  I learned of Kindred life and how to take advantage of what I had become.  My skills were put to use by both the Anarchs and the Nos of the city and I quickly paid my ‘debt’ and earned a place of my own. 

I stayed in Seattle until April of 2007.  I had continued my work with the anarchists, though a bit more discretely, and it was then that some of my work caught a little too much attention.  I had set fire to an entire lot of patrol cars and investigations started getting a little too close.  The Nos decided that I needed to move to keep suspicions from creeping too close to the warrens, and so I left, agreeing with them completely.  I moved down to Olympia where I joined up with and pulled together the loose group of Anarchs that were living there into a pack. 

Currently, I reside beneath St. Martin’s College, in a haven deep within the sewers.  What better place to steal internet from? 

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