We found refuge in the empty carriage house. The prophet paced through the room, praying.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.”
Ernest, Salimah and Spiegel set up their laptops in a corner, plugging into Foresight’s network.
“He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.”
CJ and the tall woman called Rosa proceeded to barricade the doors and windows.
“He guides me along the right paths in His name’s sake.”
Charles and a muscled Bruja in a leather jacket called August started to count heads and weapons.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil.”
I stared at Ralph, kneeling in corner, his hands pressed together, bowing incessantly, mouthing the words of the prophet’s prayer.
“Surely Your goodness and love will follow me and I will dwell in the house of the Lord.”
I had never realised that Ralph had been Jewish during his mortal life. I had never thought it possible that god existed. If he did, then why did he allow wretched demons like ourselves to roam the streets? Why had the Maskerade prospered for hundreds of years?
The prophet turned to us and preached. God had realised his mistake. The Maskerade was to an end. Now was the time to repent. Our souls were not lost yet. We would be judged by how we received his message of salvation. Following his lead, we could still be saved.
There were sniggers and dismissive gestures among the kindred, but I also saw faith in the eyes of some. David the reverent. Ralph. The prophet’s tall bodyguard called Vera. Salimah, even though she was muslim. Carl the reverent who had his own tv show. August. I didn’t know what to think, and I turned to Charles.
“Ralph seems to believe him.” I said, doubt ringing in my voice.
Dull eyes gazed at me through the holes in the balaclava. “We are damned, Belle, and you know it.”
The prophet’s prayer had somehow erected a barrier around the carriage house. We could enter and leave, but it was impenetrable to the ones who had committed the greatest sin, as the prophet called it: diablerie. The consuming of another kindred whole, blood and soul. That kept the Prince and her council members out of our safehouse.
A few tremere fled the castle and joined our ranks. They helped us divise a method to break the barrier around the castle. It was powered by seven anchor points, one for each member of the council, which we could break one by one. The final one was the vessel of blood on the mantlepiece in the ballroom of the castle. And so we started a guerilla war on the eve of our destruction. To save whoever we could still save.