Rubicon surveyed the aftermath of the brutal slaying.
All was silent now, save for the waves reaching like great hands onto the
shore, over and over, as if trying to rescue the afflicted before him, yet
being agonizingly out of reach. Rubicon had also wanted to rescue the
humans, but couldn't, and the images of his own slain wife and child
flooded back into his conscious thoughts, reminding him that this wasn't
the first time he had failed.
The stories the ocean could tell, he thought. Wave after wave
across its breadth, it communicates to others in distant lands the lessons
it has witnessed, of good and evil, and of life and death. All too often
the messages fall on hardened hearts, and often it is only those with a
sensitivity to the hidden meanings behind Thought and Intent that see the
Rubicon was such a one as this, for being of Tremere, he had
exceptional powers of the mind, allowing him to read thoughts and influence
people and events without the slightest physical contact. He recalled that
it originally required great faith to believe in this power over the
unseen, and once his faith bore the first fruits of initial success, he
began to see a doorway open, through which he witnessed the incredible
expanse of much larger waters - the truth behind the veil. This new world
burst forth like a glorious and concentrated beam of light, right between
his eyes, and he became smitten with its beauty. Grabbing hold, he would
mentally sit for hours within that doorway, in solitary meditation,
until he had achieved the conscious ability to lock and unlock, to
open and close, to enter and return.
Over time, he was able to easily read the thoughts of others, and even
influence their neural flow. He could sense and evaluate the aura of other
living entities, even those adept at Obfuscation. Yet he was always mindful
of his ethics to serve and to protect, not yielding to the temptations of
power nor to the need to impress for sake of ego. Even the essence of a
vampire's soul could be snuffed out in a moment, and the premonitions
Rubicon was receiving of late indicated a greater likelihood that such
things were imminent. The same mortal argument about life being "too
short" still applied in the world of the undead; it was all just a
matter of perspective and degrees.
Rubicon broke away from his momentary tangent of thought and evaluated
his next steps. His scientific instincts demanded of him to gather data for
evaluation back at his lab, and with that he exercised his Tremere skill of
sharpening his senses, effectively doubling their power of resolution. He
then gently stepped over and around the corpses, looking for any evidence
that might reveal itself. After a few moments, he was able to gather two
fragments of claws, no doubt broken off on the spinal column of the male,
as well as a jagged tooth and some deposits of slime. He pulled two little
plastic bags from his left side pocket and gently placed the evidence
inside them, sealed them shut, and returned them to the pocket.
With Spirit's Touch, he laid hands on the exposed brain of the female,
like some faith healer, and tried to decipher the final moments of her life
in the hopes that a psychic impression had been left in the tissue.
Stilling his mind, he allowed nothing to enter -- a
newborn ready to receive revelation.
Then an image and a feeling. It was just a snapshot in space and time,
but it slammed him in the chest like a sledgehammer, and he gasped for
breath. He felt as though his soul had been ripped from his body. Perhaps
this is what she felt in those last moments.
It appeared to him that there was enough, residual intensity imprinted
on the brain from the trauma that he could examine it further, back at the
temple lab. After recovering his composure, he reached his fingers around the
frontal and occipital lobes, and then pulled hard until the brain stem
snapped off from the spinal cord, leaving an empty lot where formally a
He then pulled out a little orb, about the size of a tangerine, from
his right side pocket. He pressed a tiny, recessed button on the device,
then placed it on the ground at a point just behind the two bodies. Within
seconds, the object chirped then shifted into a low-pitch hum while
radiating a green, vertically-oscillating beam of light. It sliced its way
three-hundred-and-sixty horizontal degrees, scanning and recording visual
and auditory information. Later the recording could be played back and
three-dimensionally manipulated in an attempt to gather further clues that
might have been missed. It was standard practice for Rubicon, and probably
should have been for the LAPD, but they didn't have these gadgets yet.
He had thought about taking the bodies with him, but often kidnapping
and missing-person cases received more media exposure than murders, since
the families needed the public's help in finding their lost loved ones. At
least bodies would be found here, and if he masked the scene right, it
would look like a simple accident. The less questions and snooping the
better, and he could always monitor the police frequencies to determine how
things were playing out.
His enhanced senses told him no living entity was nearby, which meant
he had a little time to stage the scene. He gathered up the orb and quickly
scooped up some seaweed and wet sand and flung it around and on top of the
bodies, after which he covered any tracks he had left. Using the small
MindLink device still attached to his scalp, he ordered the Vette
to power up, mentally drove it two blocks down the road into the back of a
restaurant parking lot, and then powered it down. The tinted windows hid
the fact that no driver was inside.
If only I could mentally control inanimates without such devices,
Rubicon thought. He for sure had some past success psychically interacting
with lifeless objects, willing his mind to press indentations into their
electromagnetic fields, resulting in interaction-vectors that created net
movement in a given direction. However his advancement in this area was not
as rapid as his ability to construct a bionic equivalent. It was also
apparent that controlling the functions of a complex piece of machinery was
much more involved than simply moving a rock.
He flipped open his untraceable handheld unit, modified his voice
slightly, and called in the 911, providing the necessary details. He then
went back and hid inside the tunnel, waiting for the police to arrive. He
wanted to be there just in case he had to persuade them that what they were
seeing wasn't what they thought they were seeing.