The King is dead.

Simple statement. 3 words; subject, to be verb, adjective. But to the Detroit, it means everything. This town has always been one great man away from the edge, even in the glory days. Its just always had the luck to have someone step up whenever the last big boss died. It was Cadillac, and it was Cass. It was Ford for a long time. But after dark, for as long as anyone can remember, it was always Lafayette. More of a rep than a prince, a better supervisor than enforcer. He held the Kindred in this town together by sheer personality and never veiled threat, but never more than barely.

But now he’s gone. Maybe some goddamn Von Helsing wannabe got luckier than they can possibly imagine. Maybe Invictus knew they couldn’t hatch this bullshit with him there to break them. Or maybe he was just smart enough to see the inevitable coming, and get the hell out of dodge. Can’t say I blame him. Can’t say I wouldn’t do the exact same thing last night given half a chance. But with the “quarantine” up, half would be overshooting my chances by about 50%.

So we stay, and we get used to the new reality. Carthian, Ordo, Crone; none of it means shit anymore. There’s us and them, have’s and have not’s. Christ, did I really just say that? I’ve been spending too much time at Anton’s. Tell him I said that and I’ll throw you off the tower myself, though? Where was I? Oh yeah. New realities. Adaptation. All that bullshit that means that most, if not all of us, are going to end up sucking each other dry for Vitae until all Invictus has to do is stomp one big bad beasty Carthian out and call it exterminating the court.

…Christ, you don’t think that’s what they’re going for, do you? Some kind of sick, twisted uber? Fuck, guess it doesn’t matter anyway, right? Much more likely the fucking Kine will hunt us all down at the rate they’re going. Adapt, adapt, adapt.

But that might work well for you. Some of the old Count posers, they’re not willing to budge. Still wanna pretend that they can run these people like peasants in old Europe, or blacks in the segregated city, or fat line workers willing to stay quiet for a one story house and college for their kids. There’s something in the herd I’ve never seen before, or even heard of. They’ve been desperate for years, nothing new there. I think most of them gave up hope years ago too. I think all it is is the realization finally setting in. The one last little corner of their brains losing the last little shard of hope that things might ever get better; that the city might live. And its made them free. Free is dangerous.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any illusions about getting out of here. I’ve got a nice little hunt set up with my friends, and it’ll hold us for a long time. But not forever. Its anarchy in the court, and I don’t see any of the clowns claiming the title having the nuts to actually be Prince, which just makes the little Invictus and Hunter annoyances worse. I can tell you though, and I don’t know for the death of me if we’re even capable of this, one thing I’d like to feel before I die is free.

Now, I let you stay because you’re new, and I like talking the ear off someone with no interest in leaving, and, I can’t lie, because I was also seriously considering eating you. But for future reference, this is my bar. You want drinks and unclaimed Kine? Try Red Squared. But if I catch you in here again without specific business, I will drink you dry right in front of the goddamn assembled court, and no one will waste breath objecting. Now get out.

Oh, and kid, before you go, remember this. The king is dead.

Long live the king.

- Willy Stabler, Andiamo barfly and Duke of the Renaissance Center

Blood and Oil

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