Calm Before the Storm

Across town, a midnight-blue Corvette C8 Thunderhead rolled up to the edge of a steep hill overlooking the ocean, gravel crunching underneath thick tires. Its seven-liter, supercharged engine was supernaturally quiet, belying the aggressive exterior and 750 horses of this prototype vehicle. Inside the cockpit, Rubicon viewed the VR computer screen mounted into the center console. The displayed information - detailed assessments of recent Sabbat activity in the LA area - radiated in a three dimensional, holographic-like matrix, and the pathways of its data were telepathically navigated and manipulated via a MindLink headset. Rubicon mentally drilled into a section of the data related to Malibu and adjacent coastline territory, but the system indicated that no Sabbat incursions had occurred in those regions for the past several months.

The MindLink device was yet another example of how Tremere adapted the latest breakthroughs in science and sorcery to their goals of both clan survival and Camarilla preservation, and it also represented the power Rubicon held in his connections with FusionTech, a cybernetics company where, in his mortal days, he was a promising scientist and applications developer.

In the early era of Tremere history, when the clan first announced its existence into the world of vampiric darkness, it was arcane blood magic and other wizardry that marked their uniqueness. Later, it was their reputation as innovators at the forefront of technology, be it in cybernetics, genetics, quantum computing, nanotechnology, or the like. Of all the traits Rubicon inherited subsequent to his Embrace, the most notable was shedding his life of habit -- as he thought humans were prone toward -- to becoming a creature of immense adaptability and change. Indeed, this latter trait is the primary hallmark of the Tremere.

Rubicon specifically adapted MindLink, a quite versatile product as far as its many applications, to jack into all of the Vette's primary functions, including steering, acceleration, braking, climate control, as well as the more secretive capabilities which resulted from special modifications he made to the vehicle. Interestingly, a scaled down version of MindLink would eventually be made public in the C8 as a limited production item, representing yet another of those often subtle influences the Kindred have upon the landscape of human progress. In reciprocity of benefits, negotiations with the car's designer netted the Tremere a whole fleet of these treasured vehicles.

Navigating through the virtual data corridors on the monitor, Rubicon drilled through to the Message Center to determine if the Tremere Primogen had commanded of him any duties this evening. Scanning....all clear.

If the humans ever tapped into this data stream, or did the Sabbat for that matter, the security of the Camarilla sect and the delicate balance between Kindred and humans could be jeopardized. Thankfully the Camarilla, at the behest of the Tremere, had formed a consortium of security specialists, culled together from the most trusted and technically savvy of the member clans, with the end result being a standard, accepted specification for transmitting data across the Internet using existing data-transport mechanisms. Data Articulation and Masking of Inputs and Outputs, or DAMIOS as it was called, provided a set of robust protocols and encryption algorithms, unrivaled in the human sphere, that safely allowed Camarilla transmissions to pass along existing Internet, wireless, and satellite infrastructure, invisible to mortal computing protocols and data-packet sniffers. Essentially, the data was electronically transported on a portion of the information-spectrum beyond the "visible" range, a layer hidden to humans, yet containing vastly greater amounts of data than that of human network-traffic.

Rubicon slowly stroked his graying beard as he settled back, relaxed, and began contemplating these and various other realities.