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DISCLAIMER: The following stories are all non-profit, amateur efforts not intended to infringe on the rights of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, David Geffen, Warner Brothers, Geffen Pictures, Knopf, Randomhouse, the city of New Orleans, the U.S. Consititution, any copyright holders that I might not have thought of or even a certain author who shall remain nameless but who has a set of initials which are, coincidentally enough, just one letter off from spelling "B.S."

Sins of the Past Post 2
by the Brat Queen

Acts 4-5

*word*=italics, used for emphasis, thoughts or dreams.
_word_=emphasis in thoughts or dreams.
:word or sentence:=something spoken telepathically.

Time: later that same night.

Michael ushered the last of the police officers out of the house, shutting the door firmly behind them. It had taken some convincing to make them believe that their help was not needed. Fortunately no one had been seriously hurt or some serious explanations would have been necessary.

He turned to face Rowan who was sitting on the staircase with Mona. Her face looked ashen. He walked over to her, took her head in his hands and made her face him.

"Rowan, it will be alright."

"No it won't! It's him, Michael. I know it, Mona knows it and you know it."

"But how can you be sure?"

Rowan turned and looked out the window--out at the oak tree in the garden, the tree that was now split in two from one single bolt of lightening.

"I know."

"Forgive me," said a female voice from behind Michael. "But I'm afraid this might be our fault."

Michael whirled around in surprise. No one should have been in the house at all but there before him stood Ramsey, Julie, Sebastian and Jean.

"What are you doing here?" he demanded. "What do you mean?"

Julie stepped forward and drew a sheet of paper out of her purse. "I think that whoever started the fire was trying to hurt Ramsey and me. We've been recieving these threats which, you can see, are like the one that was shouted out after the fire."

Mona was suddenly attentive. "How did you hear that? That wasn't spoken out--"

"Quiet, Mona," Rowan said. She stood and addressed Sebastian and Jean. "Why do you remain here?"

It was Jean who answered. "For the past few days, we too have been recieving a threat similar to the one heard earlier."

"That still doesn't answer my question of how any of you heard it in the first place," Mona said.

"Perhaps I can explain," Ramsey said. "After the house was evacuated the four of us happened to come upon one another in the garden. During our conversation we discovered that not only had we all recieved similar threats but that we, shall we say, had pasts that were quite similar. Due to the type and similarity of these pasts we decided that it would be best to return here and see if our pasts had affected you as innocent bystanders or if somehow you shared this past with us. Your comments about knowing who has done this makes us believe that you are connected in some way and that we might all be facing a common enemy."

"I don't follow you," said Michael.

"Oh for the love of Heaven!" said Sebastian. "The sun will be up soon and I haven't the time for this! Look, he and I are not named Sebastian nor Jean but Lestat de Lioncourt and Louis de Pointe du Lac. We're both vampires and if any of you has happened upon a movie theatre lately you know the essense of that horrid little tale--no offense, Louis. *He* is not Dr. Ramsey but Ramses the Damned and both he a Julie are a different type of immortal altogether but immortal nonetheless. And *you* are three of the most mentally powerful mortals that either Louis and I have ever seen. Now it's very obvious that all of us have been threatened by the same person and since the three of you seem to know who that is I suggest you fill the rest of us in on it before I lose my patience alltogether."

"Lestat, that had all the tact of a traffic accident," Louis said. "Forgive him, it's been a long night for us all."

"Believe me, I know," said Rowan.

"All this aside," Julie said, "we are still apparently united against a common enemy. I think it would be best if we were to tell each other as much as we can now so that we can prepare ourselves for what might come next."

"All right," said Michael. "His name is--"

"Michael wait!" said Mona. She jumped off the stairs, disappeared into another room for a moment, the reappeared carrying a Victrola. She wound it up and music began to play. "I think we'll be needing this again."

"Thank you, Mona, I'd forgotten," Michael said. At the curious looks of the others he explained. "The one who is responsible for this is named Lasher and he is a spirit. He's strong but he cannot hear what we say over the sound of music."

"When you say he is strong," Louis said, "what do you mean by this? What are his powers?"

"You name it, you got it," Mona said. "He can read minds, move objects, affect matter on a cellular level--"

Rowan put her head in her hands.

"--cause storms--"

"Like the one before," Julie said.

"--posses bodies--"

"Oh God," Lestat groaned. "Can we change the subject?"

Louis patted Lestat's arm. "Forgive me, but this does not explain what this Lasher would want with us."

"Lasher's been haunting this family for centuries," Rowan said. "It was one of my witch ancestors who first summoned him. For years he existed as a kind of familiar to us until about a year ago when he was able to take control of a mortal body and nearly killed me in the process. He would have succeded if Michael had not killed him first. But no, I don't know what Lasher would want with any of you. In my dreams, when he would threaten me, I saw none of you."

"It seems too much of a coincidence that we were all threatened in this past week and that we were all here tonight when part of that threat was carried out," Ramses said. "There must be something that holds us in common."

"I hate to suggest this," said Michael, "but what about the Talamasca?"

"The venerable order of moss-backed snoops? They couldn't hurt a fly," Lestat said.

"I agree," said Ramses. "My dealings with the Talamasca have always been passive. They're annoying, but no more."

Michael shook his head. "Not lately. Recently a small faction of them formed within the Order with the hopes that they would bring together two Taltos, that is two of a human-like, nearly immortal species that is practically extinct. This faction masqueraded as the Elders, decieved everyone and even killed one of their members, Aaron Lightener, in the process."

"Aaron's dead?" Louis said. "David and Jesse aren't going to be happy to hear that."

"Rowan and I, with the help of one of these Taltos, thought we had put an end to this conspiracy," Michael said. "But it is possible that we only scratched the surface."

"David and Jesse aren't going to be happy about hearing that either," Lestat said.

"The more I hear," Ramses said, "the more I'm convinced that we here only know part of what's going on. As it is nearly sunrise and Lestat and Louis will have to leave, might I suggest that we all part for the time being, contact our other immortal friends to see if they too have been threatened or put in danger, then come back here tonight and compare what we've found?"

"I agree," said Rowan. "I don't want to admit this, but there's nothing we can do now with what we have. We'll have to get together tonight and form a real plan. Here's as good a home base as any."

"Would it be possible for you to contact these Taltos?" Julie asked. "They might know something as well."

Rowan looked over to Mona. "I don't know if we'll be able to reach them, but we'll try to see if they're interested in coming."

"They have to come," Mona said. "All of them, Taltos, vampire, immortal. We're going to need all the strength we can get. I can feel it."

"I can too," Louis said.

"Tonight then," said Ramses.

"Tonight," said Michael.

Time: early evening, that night.

Lestat heard the music long before he could see the Mayfair house. Apparently some enterprising soul had replaced the Victrola with the stereo and was taking advantage of the latter's greater volume.

He could sense the many others at the house. Louis who, unlike Lestat, had decided to hunt later in the night, was there as well. Entering the house he found Louis and Daniel standing in the hallway, looking into the livingroom at Armand and Mona who themselves were deep in a discussion about Lasher.

"It's like they're looking into a mirror," Daniel said.

"The twins: the early years," Lestat laughed.

"Don't let Maharet hear you say that," Louis said.

"Is she here?"

Louis shook his head. "No. They felt that having the whole coven here would be too much. Jesse and Marius came. David too, of course."

"Where is David?"

"Talking with Jesse. They're still in shock about what happened at the Talamasca. David especially since it would seem that some of this was going on while he was Superior General."

"I cannot concieve of a more pompous term," Lestat said. "So what are we waiting for?"

"Some friends of the Mayfairs," Daniel said. "The Tal-whatevers."

"Taltos," said a voice behind them.

Lestat turned and looked up, then up some more at the one who had spoken. "I must say, it's an apt name."

Ash laughed. "I never thought of it that way. You must be Lestat, I'm Ashlar and this is Morrigan."

"Is there anyone who doesn't know you, Lestat?" Daniel asked.

"We've read his books," Morrigan said. "What a wonderful idea for a creature of a unique species to write of his experiences. I believe I shall do the same one day. To make a record of what the Taltos are and what we do would be invaluable to the world don't you think?"

"Morrigan!" Mona came running to join them. A look of confusion passed over her face as she looked from Morrigan to Ash and back again. "It's only the two of you?"

"Samuel elected not to join us," Ash said, deliberately ignoring the true nature of the question. He made a motion with his hand, indicating that they should join the others. "If we are all here, should we not begin?"

The dining room had been elected as an impromtu headquarters and all those in the house took a seat at the table. As if by unspoken agreement, everyone sat with one of their kind. Looking around the table, Lestat could see Rowan, Michael, Mona, Ash, Morrigan, Jesse, David, Marius, Armand, Daniel, Louis, Ramses, Julie and Elliott, the latter of whom was a friend of Ramses and another immortal.

Lestat watched with amusement as a servant moved around the room offering refreshments. The vampires, of course, declined.

Ramses waited until the servant had left before beginning to speak.

"I fear that things have progressed faster than we had originally expected them to. This morning, Elliott's home was set on fire. Fortunately he was not in it at the time, but the implication is clear."

"Is it?" Michael asked. "How do we know if it was a warning or an attempt to kill him?"

"It's a warning," Armand said. "Trust me, if our enemy intended to kill Elliott, Elliott would have been in the house at the time. No one would waste their time on such an effort and not ensure that the victim was exactly where they wanted him to be."

"And he knows whereof he speaks," Daniel said, indicating Armand.

"But this brings us back to our original question of who our enemy is," Julie said. "If not Lasher then who?"

"It's Lasher," said Rowan. "He attacked the house last night that much is for certain. The question is what connects him to all of you?"

"Which brings us to the Talamasca," Ash said. "It could be that the conspiracy within it was deeper than we had at first surmised. If it was possible for members within it to capture a Taltos and to attack the Mayfair family then it is possible that they wish to connect all of us somehow."

"But for what end?" Marius asked. "In all of my observations, nothing has indicated to me that there was a need to bring us together. The Talamasca collects the research of thousands over the years, how could they make a connection that one of us could not see? Or rather, how could mortal observers see what those of us who live this did not?"

"Why does there need to be a reason at all?" Lestat asked. "If I had known that all of us existed I would want to bring us together just to see what would happen! No reason needed beyond that."

Mona shook her head. "It takes a lot of effort and energy on Lasher's part to do the littlest thing. The display we saw last night would have exhausted him, even when he was at his most powerful. To do that as an attempt to get revenge on our family would be understandable but to waste more energy on harming you for no reason? It makes no sense. Besides, in the past Lasher got his energy from the Mayfair witches. He needs someone to give him the strength to do what he does. If it's not one of us, then who?"

"Which again brings us back to the Talamasca question," Ash said. "David, you were once the Superior General, could you shed some light on this for us?"

"I'm not sure that I can," David said. "None of this makes sense to me in the light of the Talamasca as I understand it, as I was in charge of it. Our role was to observe and no more. If two kinds of differing immortals came together we would note it but it would end there. In fact, chances are we would not even notice it since we would assign our members to specific things. Jesse for vampires and Aaron for witches, for example.

"However, I was not aware of the conspiracy involving the Taltos so there may certainly be something else happening. But to associate such a thing with the Talamasca is unthinkable to me."

"I disagree," Jesse said. "The Talamasca, for all the good within it, was ready for anyone with some foresight to take advantage of it. It fell victim to its own mysteries. Why someone hasn't thought of pretending to be one of the Elders before this is beyond me. And, David, you and I are living examples of how seductive our subjects are. If the Superior General could break from the rule to observe only, how many others can and did?"

"And what about those who were once part of the Talamasca but were thrown out?" Elliott asked. "It seems to me that one such as that, one armed with the knowledge but not surrounded by the discipline, could do a lot of damage."

"I don't want to hear a word out of any of you," Lestat said, glaring at the vampires beside him.

"Might I point out," Julie said, "that we may be hobbling ourselves by focusing solely on the Talamasca? There could be other people and organizations that we have in common that we are currently ignoring."

"Taking into consideration all that we know so far," Morrigan said, "it seems to me that our best course to set is to follow through on both options. Some of us should come together and share what we know of our pasts so that we might search them for common enemies while others search through what the Talamasca knows about all of us to see where a conspiracy might occur."

"How can we do that?" Michael asked. "After the whole Taltos conspiracy the Talamasca closed ranks. They won't even speak to us anymore."

"Simple," Morrigan said. "Most of the Talamasca's files are stored on computers and the conspirators relied heavily upon computer technology to help them achieve their goals. All we need to do is to break into the Talamasca's database and find what we need to know."

"I'll do it," Lestat and Mona said in unison.

"Me too," Jesse said. "I was the one who started putting the files on the computer in the first place so I should know where most everything is."

"Fine," said Lestat. "We can each take on one of the major Motherhouses. You take Rome, I'll take Amsterdam and Mona can have London. Where are the computers?"

"Upstairs," Mona said, getting up from the table. "I set up one of the rooms as a lab of sorts. We'll have all that we need there."

A short time later Lestat found himself in front of a computer screen, downloading most of the files from the Amsterdam Motherhouse. Occaisionally someone at the other end of the connection would try to cut him off but he'd successfully foiled each attempt so far.

"Enjoying yourself?"

Lestat turned to see Louis standing beside him. "Really, Louis, you shouldn't spy on me. Makes me think you don't trust me."

"I don't trust you," Louis said, a smile playing upon his lips. "But I wasn't spying upon you either. I just got here."

"Downstairs too boring?"

"No, not at all," Louis said. "It's quite interesting. Lestat, you'd be amazed at the history that is in this house. Taltos, immortal, Mayfair. Astonishing. Ash was telling me of his past. Lestat, he's older than the Twins! Can you concieve of such a thing? To think that a being can live that long, see that much and still keep going. Do you think we could have the stamina for that?"

"Why not, Louis?" Lestat asked. "What would stop us?"

"I'm not sure I'd want to know the answer to that question," Louis said. He leaned against the desk and stared down at the carpet for a moment. Then he shook himself as though to wake up. "No, I couldn't bear to think of it. Some things can remain a mystery to me as far as I'm concerned. It's sad about Ash though."

"How so?"

Louis looked over to Mona and Jesse at the other computers and lowered his voice so they could not hear. "He and Morrigan were supposed to have a child but for some reason could not. Ash thinks he might be too old to impregnate Morrigan and this frightens him. They're the last of their kind, Lestat. If something should happen to them the Taltos could be lost forever."

"Didn't Rowan give birth to a Taltos baby?" Lestat asked. "Why not have another?"

"She can't have any more children," Louis said. "The trait to give birth to a Taltos is apparently common in the Mayfair family but it's extremely dangerous. Giving birth to Morrigan nearly killed Mona."

"*Mona* is Morrigan's mother? And you think *I'm* full of surprises!" Lestat said, but not loud enough for Mona to hear. A beep from the computer alerted him to another effort to disconnect him. With a few keystrokes he aborted the attempt.

"How much longer do you think you will be?" Louis asked, looking at the computer sceen.

"Not that much longer," Lestat said. "Jesse's practically finished and I'd give Mona and myself about another half hour before we're done. Why?"

"I'm hungry," Louis said quietly. "And being around these mortals is too distracting. I can't wait any longer."

"Do you want me to come with you?"

Louis shook his head. "No. You stay here and finish. I shouldn't be that long."

"What if we're done before you are?"

Louis considered this. "Start without me then. You can always fill me in on what I missed."

"Alright then, beautiful one. Of course this means that I shall have to pay attention to the discussion but I cheerfully make such sacrifices for you."

"The continuing hardships of your life, Lestat. I don't know how you endure." Louis said with a smile. He got up from the desk and went to leave when Lestat took him by the arm and pulled him back.

"Forgetting something, Louis?" Lestat said, giving Louis his sweetest grin.

"Lestat, you are the bane of my existance," Louis sighed. He checked to see that Jesse and Mona were intent upon their computers before bending down and kissing Lestat. "One of these days you shall push me over the edge and I shall have no recourse but to strangle you in your sleep."

"Louis, please, you must be kidding," Lestat said. "It would be far more satisfying to kill someone like me when I was awake and begging for mercy don't you think?"

"True," said Louis. "But I've never heard you beg for anything in your whole life so I don't imagine you'd start now."

"I'd beg for the right person, Louis," Lestat said, sliding his arm around Louis' waist.

"Don't tempt me," Louis said. He pushed Lestat's arm away, kissed him one more time and left him to his work.

Ramses looked up as Lestat, Mona and Jesse came downstairs carrying stacks of computer paper in their arms.

"Finished already?" Daniel asked.

"Yes," Jesse said. "There weren't as many files as we had hoped there would be. We accessed all we could but it would appear that not all of our records have been put on computer yet."

"Is it possible that there were files that you missed?" Ramses asked.

"It's a possibility," said Mona. "They could have been moved to the database of another Motherhouse or stored on a computer that doesn't have a modem. It would take some time to find out though."

"Someone else's time you mean," Lestat said. He threw the papers he was carrying onto a nearby table. "I am not meant to waste my time sifting through files and you can't make me do it again. You can find yourselves another librarian as far as I'm concerned."

"You volunteered to do it," Armand said.

"What's your point?"

"If I may," Ramses said, interrupting Armand's reply. "Why don't we read through all that we have so far before making decisions on what our next step is?"

"No need," Lestat said. "I've read them already."

"You have?" Michael asked.

"Yes, it only took a moment," Lestat said. "There's not much there really."

"A *moment*?" Michael looked at the stacks of papers in amazement.

"It's a vampire thing," Daniel said. "So what did they say?"

"Not much. There's a lot about the Mayfair family, but we knew that already. Ramses has a couple of files but nothing useful for us to look at. Quite a few files about vampires but it's the standard drek. Files about me... about the Theatre of the Vampires... about...." Lestat's voice drifted off. He looked around in confusion and tried to start speaking again, but couldn't.

"Lestat?" David got up from his chair and stood next to his friend. "Are you allright?"

"Yes... no... I..." Lestat leaned against a nearby chair. "Something--something's wrong. Something's not right."

"What?" David asked.

"I don't know. I just felt it all of a sudden. Like a pressure, right here," Lestat said, pressing his hand against his chest. "Like something grabbed me. Some.... Louis! Something's happened to Louis! Bastards! I'll kill!"

Lestat pushed himself away from the table. Frantic, he looked for a way out of the house but David held on to him.

"Lestat what are you saying? How could something have happened to Louis? None of us here felt anything."

"Let go of me, David! Something's happened to Louis and I'm going to kill the son of a bitch that did it!"

"Who, Lestat? Who are you going to kill?" David demanded, holding on to Lestat with all of his strength. "What are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about Louis! Let go of me now!" Lestat shoved David hard enough to make him fall back a few steps. Lestat turned to leave but found himself surrounded by the rest of the group. He looked at each of them in turn before moving towards Mona. "Out of my way!"

"No!" Mona said. "David's right! You're surrounded by witches and vampires, if there was anything to be done we would have sensed it! If Louis was anywere in New Orleans we would have sensed it! He's gone, Lestat, you have to face that."

"Oh *shut up* Claudia!"


"Whatever!" Lestat turned away from her and found himself face to face with Ramses.

"She's right," Ramses said, laying a hand on Lestat's shoulder. "Whatever has happened to Louis, you're needed here, my friend."

"My *friend*," Lestat hissed. "If you don't get your hand off me right now I'll rip your head off and see if you grow a new one!"

"That's it!" Marius said. "Take him into another room."

David and Jesse stepped forward and, with Ramses help, managed to drag Lestat into an ajoining room. They closed the door behind them but Lestat's swears could still be heard.

"He can't be held there," Rowan said. "Not for long."

"I know," Marius said, rubbing his forhead with his hand. "Might you have a well-stocked medicine chest and a pet you're not particularly fond of?"

"There's a stray dog that keeps digging through our trash and plenty of supplies in the bathroom next to the kitchen," Michael said. "Why?"

"I'm going to have to make use of both of them," Marius said. "I'll be back in a moment. Armand, Daniel, you stay with Lestat and the others until I get back. Don't let him leave!"

"Like we have a choice," Daniel said. He followed Armand into the other room as Marius left for the kitchen.

Marius reappeared a few minutes later, carrying what appeared to be a large glass of dark, red wine. He entered the room where Lestat was, closing the door behind him. There was the sound of a few crashes and some shouting which suddenly stopped, as though someone turned off a switch.

The door opened and everyone but Lestat came out. Marius came out last, making sure to close and lock the door behind him.

"That won't hold him for long," he said, sinking into a nearby chair. "But it will give us some temporary peace and quiet in which to think."

"What did you do?" Ash asked.

"Slipped him a Mickey," Daniel snorted.

"I don't understand."

"Vampires are affected by whatever is in the blood they drink," Marius said. "If we drink from someone who is drunk, we become drunk. If we drink from someone who is high, we become high."

"And if you drank the blood of an animal that was drugged?" Rowan asked.

"We'd become drugged," Marius said. "By the way, you're out of what I estimate to be a year's worth of Valium. I hope you don't mind."

"It's alright," Michael said. "I wasn't using it anymore."

"That's good," Marius said. "I disposed of the animal's body as well so you won't be bothered by that. Now then, Lestat is currently passed out and, from what I was able to make him drink, I belive that he'll be out for an hour or so but Lestat rarely does anything that I believe him to do so I'm not betting on it, as they say. In the meantime, what are we to do about Louis?"

"I don't know," David said. "Ever since Lestat first said he felt something, I've been trying to scan for Louis, but I can't find him. It could be that Louis is shielding himself well, but I read no signs of that either."

"Louis would be back by now if everything was alright," Armand said. "He doesn't like to take long when he hunts."

"I know" said David. "Considering that he had only to walk a block to find a victim that suits him he should have been back an hour ago. I don't know how Lestat knew this before we did, but I think we must face the fact that something terribly wrong has happened to Louis."

Marius looked at the door that separated them from Lestat.

"I was afraid you were going to say that."

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