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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 6
by the Brat Queen

Acts 12-13

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

Time: Late night.

*Daniel is going to die.*

Jesse knew this fact with great certainty and it was the first thought that came to her mind as she began to wake up. Her only regret was that it would take her some time to get away from wherever she was, find her way back to where Daniel was and toss him into the fire herself.

*I don't care if he's a fledgling like I am. I don't care if we're in the same coven. I don't care if Armand didn't have a date for 200 years until he came along. I'm going to kill him.*

It was Daniel's fault that Jesse was in her current predicament and not back at the Mayfair house. Daniel had asked Jesse to take his place in the search for Julie, who had not come back when she had been expected to. He had been too worried about Armand to want to leave his side, or so he told Jesse. "I don't know what it is," he had said, "But he's not acting like he usually does. I don't want to leave him alone, Jesse, please."

*Last time I do him a favor.* Jesse thought. She had gone to search for Julie and Daniel stayed behind. Jesse had found Julie, gotten attacked by a gods only knew what, had her throat slit, blood drained, body pumped full of some sort of strange blood and then passed out. Daniel was probably shacked up with Armand in a hotel room in New Orleans.

*I really, really hate him.*

Jesse entertained herself with images of Daniel's demise until she felt well enough to move. Whatever it was in the blood that she'd been given had left her with a pounding headache.

"Jessica? Are you alright?" a voice, softly accented, broke the silence around her. It was Julie. Jesse felt Julie's hand gently brush her hair back from her face. "Jessica?"

"I'm fine, I think," Jesse replied. She sat up and immediately wished she hadn't. The pain in her head grew worse. She opened her eyes and was only minorly relieved to see that there was no light to make her headache worse. "I can't see a thing. Where are we?"

"I don't know," Julie said. "We're in a truck of some sort and before this we were in a plane but I have no idea where we are beyond that."

"What happened?"

"We were attacked. They knocked me out not long after they did you. I woke up a few times while we were in transit but I suspect that you know as much as I do about who did this or why we are here."

"Which is to say, nothing at all," Jesse said. "Well we're both up now, let's see what we can find out."

Jesse stood and braced herself against the walls of the truck as it hit something in the road that made it shake. She heard Julie lose her balance and caught her before she fell. She was surprised to feel how thin Julie was.

"Julie? Are you ok?" Jesse asked.

"I'm afraid not," Julie said. "I was hurt very badly in the attack and have not been in the sun since. I haven't been able to heal."

"We'll have to get you out in the sun then," Jesse said.

"How?" Julie asked. "I've tried to open the doors but they're barred shut. Our enemy knows what we are, Jesse, he would not waste his time on jails that would not hold us."

"Perhaps, perhaps not," Jesse said, making her way to the back door of the truck. "You're not as strong as you usually are, maybe that's why you couldn't open it. Let me see what I can do."

She found the door in the dark and felt along it until she came to what she hoped was the part nearest to the latch. She reached underneath the rim of the door, grabbed it firmly and yanked it upward with all of her strength. The door rattled, but did not budge.

"Dammit!" she hissed, hitting the door in her frustration.

"What's wrong?" Julie asked.

"My strength's gone!" Jesse said. "I'm as weak as a mortal."

"Do you think it was the blood they gave you?"

"Without a doubt," Jesse said. "You were right on one aspect, Julie. Our enemy didn't waste time on jails that would not hold us but he made us to fit the jail, not the other way around. It's a good thing--oh gods!"


Jesse hit the door again. "I just realized why I haven't been able to read the thoughts of the one driving the truck! It's not that they're shielded, it's that I can't read thoughts anymore. I really am as weak as a mortal!"

"But how?" Julie asked. "The blood again?"

"Yes, though I don't know how," Jesse said. "I didn't know that there was any drug that could take away psychic ability. Not without damaging the user at any rate."

"Neither was I," Julie said. "What can we do to stop the effects?"

"I don't know," Jesse said. "I've never been under the influence of drugged blood before. I think I have to wait for the effects to wear off."

"Is that all that can be done?" Julie asked. "Surely there must be something else. Who knows how long this drug will last on its own?"

"Pure blood might help," Jesse said. "If I could get my hands on a new mortal victim, I might be able to reduce the effects."

"Perfect," Julie said. "I could find one for you while the sun is up, or perhaps you will have enough time before that to take our driver."

"What do you mean?" Jesse asked. "There's plenty of time, the sun just set."

"No it didn't," Julie said. "Jesse, the sun's been down for hours, it will be dawn soon."

"That can't be!" Jesse said. "I just woke up!"

"We did travel in a plane," Julie said. "Who knows where we are now? Your internal clock might be misaligned."

"Vampires aren't like that," Jesse said. "Our bodies are attuned to the sun no matter where we are. The sun rises, we sleep; it sets, we wake up. We might catnap a bit at night but our deep sleep is controlled by the sun."

"It did set long ago, Jesse. I was conscious enough when it happened to see it," Julie said, gently. "You did not wake up at all. In fact, until you started to move a short while ago, I was convinced that you were dead."

"Oh gods," Jesse whispered. "What the hell did they put into me? Julie, if I don't know when the sun is rising and setting, something is truly wrong. What am I going to do?"

"Let's not panic," Julie said. She laid a comforting hand on Jesse's shoulder. "We are still in the same situation as we were before. You're under the influence of the same drug, only now you know the full extent of it. Our plans have not changed. Remember that."

"What are our plans?" Jesse asked. "We don't really know that much about what's going on to plan something around it."

"I know," Julie said. "Our goal is to escape, obviously, but how to achieve that is uncertain."

"It's probably for the best," Jesse said. "Like you said, our enemy knows what we are. Chances are that we're surrounded by telepaths. If we had a plan they'd be able to find out about it."

"True," Julie said. "We shall have to improvise then."

"And even that we will have to keep under wraps," Jesse said. "We'll have to clear our minds of any revealing thoughts in order to be sure that our enemy learns nothing."

"Agreed," Julie said.

They sat in silence as the truck moved on. Hoping that their enemy would not realize that they were awake, they let their thoughts drift randomly, as a dreamer might. It was an exercise the Talamasca had taught Jesse and she passed the lesson onto Julie as best as she could. She didn't know if Julie was successful, but it was better than nothing.

Some time later the sound of the truck hitting bumps in the road was replaced by the sound of a garage door opening. The truck rolled forward on smoother ground and the sound of the truck's engine echoed through what Jesse guessed to be a large building of some sort.

The truck stopped and Jesse could hear the cab door open and slam shut. The driver called out to someone who answered from the other side of the room. Jesse felt Julie press her arm and she tapped Julie's hand to show that she was ready.

The sound of footsteps approached the truck's rear door. Someone turned a key in the lock and the door was raised. Jesse and Julie were on them in an instant, tackling the men on the other side before the door was opened all the way. Julie's opponent was immediately knocked unconscious, Jesse's nearly pinned her to the ground before a well-placed kick to his abdomen winded him enough for her to hit him against the wall of the truck and disable him. A trickle of blood ran down from the man's forehead and Jesse felt herself become drawn to it.

"There's no time!" Julie said, grabbing her. "These men are simple workers, they couldn't alert the others. But if you drank from him our enemy would surely feel it! We must go while we have the chance!"

The pull of the blood was strong, but not strong enough to disable Jesse's logic. She let Julie drag her along as they ran for safety. The garage door had been closed behind them and locked with an elaborate electronic device. A door nearby it was open and they went to that instead.

They ran down hallways blindly, not knowing where they were or where to go, changing direction whenever they saw another person so often that they became lost entirely. Jesse kept up with Julie as best she could but her energy was failing.

"Julie, I can't go on," she finally said, stopping to lean against a wall. "I'm exhausted, I have to sleep."

"We'll look for a hiding spot then," Julie said, looking around to see what direction might be the best to go to find such a place. "It looks like we're in a basement of some sort. It shouldn't be too hard to find a place to stay."

"No," Jesse said. "I'll stay, you go. Julie you're ill. You need to find a way out so you can be in the sunlight, you can't stay with me while I'm sleeping."

"And leave you alone and helpless? I don't think so," Julie said. She slipped her arm around Jesse and supported her as she walked. "We're together for better or worse, my friend."

"You don't have to do this," Jesse said. "I'd understand."

"Well I wouldn't," Julie said, smiling at Jesse. They had reached a part of the basement that seemed to have been unused in quite some time. Julie opened a door at random, found the room to be empty and entered. She lay Jesse down on the floor then shut the door and locked it as best as she could. "You can explain it to me when you wake up and maybe then I'll dump you."

Jesse grinned, starting to fall asleep. "It's a date."

Time: not long after sunset.

At the main entrance to the Talamasca Motherhouse in London was a pair of wooden doors that were nearly 700 years old. From a distance could be seen the marvelous carvings on them of gargoyles and knights. Closer inspection would show the detail of these carvings: the eyes of the gargoyles, the crests of the knights, the scrollwork that surrounded them all. These doors had survived for centuries in near perfect condition. There were some marks and holes from battles of long ago when a few well-aimed arrows had hit their target, but this only added to the beauty of the doors. Otherwise, the doors had lived through the ages as an homage to the skill of their creator, withstanding rebellions, fires, natural disasters and even world wars.

Against a 200 year old vampire with the blood of the Ancients in him, they did not stand a chance.

Lestat exploded through the doors, shattering them to pieces and stood in the main hall of the Motherhouse. Nearby members of the Talamasca ran for cover from the flying wood but Lestat reached out with his mind and barred all the exits.

"WHERE IS LOUIS?" he shouted, the power of his voice deafening some of the younger scholars. "Tell me *now* or I shall rip this house to shreds and all of you along with it!"

One of the neonates, a young woman, struggled to her feet and managed to speak. "Who-who are you? What do you mean?"

Lestat turned on her and affected a genteel smile. "Forgive me, mademoiselle. I'd forgotten that the esteemed Talamasca has procedures for dealing with creatures like me. After all, how would you be able to write about this incident without the proper information? My name is Lestat, that's L E S T A T, not Lestrad as one of your fools mixed it up. I am a vampire as many of your members damn well know and I'm currently searching for my companion Louis and if someone here does not tell me where he is I will kill you all one by one. Does that make it clear?"

"Lestat!" one of the older members hissed. "Get out of here! How dare you return after all you have done!"

"Ah, so you do remember me!" Lestat said with exaggerated gaiety. "How lovely that you acknowledge my existence! But how rude to throw me out so quickly. What have I done to you to deserve this cruelty?"

"David was my friend, you bastard!" the older man snarled. He grabbed one of the swords that hung above the fireplace and advanced on Lestat. "You killed him! You shall pay for this!"

One of the younger men held the older man back before he could advance any further. "Get out!" the younger man demanded. "Haven't you done enough to us already?"

Lestat reached forward and grabbed the younger man by the throat and lifted him off the ground. "I *never* do enough!" Lestat said. "I'm an overachiever that way. Now tell me where Louis is!"

"Let him go, Lestat," the woman said, moving towards him. "Leave us in peace."

"Or what?" Lestat asked. "How do you figure to make me? Hmm? You're not David, you can't make the spirits come after me and even if you could it wouldn't help. I haven't met the spirit yet who could top me!"

"Oh really?" a new voice asked. "I'm hurt, Lestat, after all we have met before. How could you forget me so quickly?"

A wind whipped through the hall and centered like a cyclone near Lestat. The wind spun more and more rapidly until a form appeared in its center. The shape of a man solidified and the wind stopped.

"Lasher!" the older man said. "Why must you come here?"

"Oh calm the hell down," Lasher said. "I'm not here for your precious Tessa. She was of no use to me when I was alive, she's of less use now that I'm not. I'm here for my dear brother, Lestat."

Lestat let the younger man drop to the floor and faced Lasher. "You're no brother to me, spirit. Now bring me Louis!"

"We're brothers in soul, Lestat, and don't you try to deny it," Lasher said. "And as for your precious Louis, how did you think I would bring him here? After all, I am only a spirit that you could easily top."

"Use your powers you overrated figment of the imagination," Lestat said. "Or I will show you how easily I can make you fall."

"You want me to use my powers to bring you Louis?" Lasher asked. "As you wish my brother."

Lasher's form dissolved into a dark cloud then slowly reformed into a new figure. Louis' figure. "Oh, Lestat," Lasher said, imitating Louis' voice. "Do you really miss me so? Do you really want me back? Do you really think I care?"

"I'll kill you!" Lestat yelled. He ran to attack Lasher but the spirit vanished just as Lestat reached him. Lasher reappeared standing outside of the now broken doors.

"Lestat, how could you?" Lasher said, still as Louis. "After all we've been through, how could you try to hurt me? It's no wonder I left you!"

"Tell me where he is you son of a bitch!" Lestat tried again to attack Lasher and again came up with nothing. Lasher reappeared, floating above Lestat's head, continuing to keep Louis' form.

"You want me so bad, Lestat?" the false Louis said. "Come and get me!"

Lasher flew up into the clouds and Lestat followed close behind him. Lestat tried repeatedly to grab onto Lasher but the spirit constantly eluded him.

"Rather symbolic don't you think?" Lasher called out to Lestat. "Here I am, as your beloved Louis, and you couldn't hold on to me if your life depended on it, my dear brother."

"What have you done to him?" Lestat shouted. "I swear by all the demons in Hell if you've hurt him--"

"And what makes you think I have him at all, brother?" Lasher stopped in midair and watched Lestat from his position.

"I know your powers, spirit. You can't imitate a person unless you've been around them for a while," Lestat said, moving closer to Lasher as he spoke. "You have to be the one who took him."

"Perhaps, perhaps not," Lasher said. "Maybe I followed Louis around before he was ever involved with this incident. Did you ever think of that, brother?"

"Why should I believe you, liar?"

Lasher grinned. "Laughter. But you wound me, brother. However, if I must prove myself to you, I will. Does this sound familiar: I've come for you... I've come for you all... the sins you have made have come for you!"

Lestat stopped. He looked at Lasher warily. "If that was you, spirit, my esteem for you has sunk to new lows. Have you nothing better to do with your afterlife than that?"

"Perhaps, perhaps not," Lasher said. "Maybe I'm lying now and I am the one who took Louis."

"You son of a--"

"Or, perhaps, Louis didn't need taking at all," Lasher said, smiling smugly.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean, spirit? Are you trying to imply that Louis wasn't captured? And so help me if you say 'perhaps' one more time!"

"Laughter again, brother," Lasher said, he changed back into his original form. "I shall respect your wishes. But I'm afraid that I can't answer your question now. After all, you clearly won't believe a thing I say, why should I tell you anything about Louis now?"

"You will tell me where he is, spirit, or I will make you tell me!" Lestat said, advancing towards Lasher again.

"Laughter," Lasher's form dissolved and then reformed, this time into Lestat's shape. He imitated Lestat's voice as he spoke. "How do you figure to make me? Hmm? You're not David, you can't make the spirits come after me. You can't control the spirits at all, brother. And I am no ordinary spirit!"

Lasher raised himself up higher in the sky and began to fly eastward. Lestat followed.

"You certainly aren't an ordinary spirit," Lestat whispered. "But that is the kind of spirit that I know."

:I doubt that highly, brother.: Lasher's voice said in Lestat's mind.

:Your loss, 'brother'.: Lestat replied. He focused his mind on the connection Lasher had made with his unspoken thoughts. Lestat's mind was strong enough to keep the connection open without Lasher realizing it. Lestat began to think of a song then. One with rhythm and one that he found deliciously appropriate. He focused on the music first, sending its pattern deep into Lasher's mind. He felt the spirit falter. He thought of the lyrics then, and sent them into Lasher's mind as well.

:/I am the bullet in the gun/And I control you/I am the truth from which you run/And I control you/:

:Stop! Brother, please!:

:/I am the silencing machine/And I control you/I am the end of all your dreams/And I control you/:

Lasher stopped, trapped in the beat of the song. Lestat caught up to him then.

"Spirit, tell me where my lover is or by all the devils I swear your pain will be his!"

"Who says he's in pain, brother?" Lasher asked. "You assume too much, I think."

Lestat sent the song into Lasher's mind again, repeating it over and over until the spirit cried out. "Mercy, brother!:

"How the mighty have fallen, 'brother'," Lestat said. He sneered at Lasher as the spirit's form dissolved back into its original shape. "You're not as strong without your emerald necklace to guide you, are you 'brother'?"

"We're alike that way, brother," Lasher said. "But I'm not going to give your precious emeralds back to you. Louis and his green eyes are exactly where they want to be."

"What does that mean?" Lestat demanded.

"I'll never tell," Lasher said. He took advantage of Lestat's anger to escape, once again flying eastward.

Lestat swore, then flew after him. They disappeared into the clouds, tracking each other by telepathy alone as the vapors around them obscured their view. Lestat was finally able to grab onto Lasher's mind and sent him the song again, making it seem faster than the first time. The spirit was forced to stop.

"Tell me where he is!" Lestat said, standing over Lasher's still form.

"Clever, brother," Lasher said. "I cannot resist the song. But I'm afraid it's too late. I'm too weak to speak anymore, I must go home."

Lestat took the still solid form of Lasher by the lapels and brought him up so that they were face to face. "You will tell me where Louis is *first*, spirit."

Lasher smiled, sheepishly. He reached out and gently ran his fingers down Lestat's cheek. "Of course, brother. How could I leave you in agony over your lost Louis? But, before I tell you where he is, might I ask one favor of you?"

"What?" Lestat asked.

"Kiss the morning sun hello for me!" Lasher cried and shoved Lestat with all his might. Lestat fell from the clouds and the full force of the rising sun hit him. He screamed as the pain ripped through his body, his clothes providing no protection from the blinding rays. Helpless, he dropped from the sky and plummeted deep into the ocean below.

:Sweet dreams, brother.: Lasher said to Lestat as the water, and the blackness, overcame him.

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