White Spider Part 2
FLASH – LIST X DIST
MSG TIME ZULU 00:45:36 DT 04-12-12
FROM – FIELD ECAV UNIT 12, LDR MARK THOMPSON
TO – CENTRAL OFFICE PLANTECH, HIST & INT DEPT
MSG BODY FOLLOWS
“TEMPLE FOUND – CARVING APPEAR INTACT. RADIO-C DATING APPEARS ERRONIOUS C.40,000BC. AM RETESTING. SOME MINOR SISMIC ACTIVITY. WILL SEND IMAGES AND FILES VIA PGP ASAP. SIMILAR TO PRVIOS FINDS. WILL REMOVE KEY STONES & SHIP TO LDN ASAP. EST NEXT 3 WKS. PLS ADVISE / APPROVE.”
INTERECPT TIME ZULU 00:46:37 04-12-12
SUBJECT ENCYPT ID 13-12
MSG STENAGRAPHIC – ID’D IN FB IMAGE FILE – RECOVERY VIA ECHOLON COMPARISON W/GCHQ “PETER”
DECRYPT TIME ZULU 04:06:32 22-12-12
ANALYST “PETER” CONFIRMED
ANALYST COMMENT “LEVEL 1 – IMMEDIATE ATTENTION – IT’S HAPPENING AGAIN”
These nights are cold and dark, and for most, brutish, poverty stricken and unpleasant. London is a great city of commerce and financial trading, a city filled with pleasure for those that can afford it, and deprivation for those that can’t. The city is a dichotomy of urban slums and glittering glass office blocks, street vendors and Michelin starred restaurants, sewage and fast cars, bright lights and broken glass.
State education is woefully underfunded, meaning although literacy is high, meaningful qualifications must be sought out by the highly motivated and gifted, or bought by those wealthy enough to seek private education for their children.
Justice is seen to be done, but is more brutal and less forgiving than our world, and the death penalty is still enforced for many crimes. Handguns are legal, with a licence; heavier weaponry is available but strictly controlled. The Met police is huge, employing perhaps 150,000 people in capital alone, but is brutal and thuggish and corrupt. The judiciary is generally not corrupt but there are bad apples in the barrel, willing to pass outrageous judgements with little fear of investigation.
People disappear from time to time on the streets, and little is done to find the culprits or determine the cause of death. The coroner’s courts are packed with cases stretching back years, decades in some cases, and the fabric of society is on the point of collapse. Drugs are illegal and possession can be a capital offence, but it hasn’t curbed their usage and every family will either have someone who is an addict, or a relative killed in the lucrative trade with the continent.
The media is free, but all stories have to be run past the Lord Chamberlin’s office, the 1737 “Examiner of Plays” Act has never been repealed but instead expanded to cover all forms of media and are subject to investigations for sexual impropriety, blasphemy, and foul language. The internet is a means of mass communication but thanks to the “Internet Barrage” it occasionally ceases to function, or stories are removed on ‘moral’ grounds.
Nevertheless London proud to be the home of democracy, albeit with a small franchise; voters have to demonstrate sound mental fitness, pass a test to show they have read each of the three main parties manifestos, and be vouched for by someone already enfranchised. As a result turn outs are small, and generally middle class. People are generally very patriotic, and union flags are often seen on the lapels of even the poorest in society.
Three years ago strange things started to happen in the city; firstly strange lights were seen in the skies, and earth tremors felt in the city. A virus ripped through hospital wards and out into the streets claiming hundreds of victims. Bodies were found drained of all their blood, some notable society leaders became recluses and apparently retired to their penthouse apartments communicating only via phone and email to a select few. Rumours abounded on the streets that there was a huge meteorite headed for the earth that the authorities didn’t want anyone to know about, or a foreign power was about to invade, or the rapture was coming. The city became frenzied as apparently sane individuals began to see things, and gibber incoherently. Cults began to spring up. Strange beliefs not seen since the Dark Ages took hold once more, and people began to flee the city for somewhere, anywhere, but here as an unnamed dread seized them. Then, one dark night in the dead of winter the city was shaken by a massive earthquake, those who saw it swore part so the city fell into the earth and vast cathedral of pure black rose from the living ground to dominate the sky line before, shuddering, crumbling to dust and then disappearing apparently without trace as dawn broke. The visions people had have faded. The virus abated. The BBC ran a story claiming that a series of gas leaks had caused the visions, and slowly, normality returned to the streets. People came back, sheepishly at first, but faster and faster so that today London stands as if nothing had happened, locked once more in the daily struggle for survival. Some of the cults that rose in those dark nights are still here, but most have faded to a distant memory as if the city had awakened from a nightmare. The end of the world is not nigh.
Well, not yet anyway.
In the dark, things are stirring
Prayers from the Prey
Will turn night to day
All is lost
All is won
Beware the eyes of the Chosen one
The Kindred known as the Brotherhood or behind their backs The Bastard’s Children, walk the streets of London, masters of all they survey following their actions to put Prince Malik back on the Throne and prevent civil war amongst the Pretender Princes, Arthur, William and Teef.
But all is not well as London starts to breathe again – there are things in the darkest places, long hidden from the sight of Kindred and Kine alike and they seek blood. The Brotherhood has enemies who have long memories and an even longer reach