[Prince Alec ‘Daddy’ Cross – NA]
Alec Cross, Prince of Seattle, stood quietly upon the quarter deck and swept an ice-blue gaze across the main deck and those assembled there. He waited for the silence to become complete. Waited until the Kindred settled, their gaze upon him in return. For a moment his eyes seemed to flash and flare, their blue the cold burn at the heart of a candle’s flame; but surely that was only an illusion. He waited; but he did not have to wait long. Voices petered out and fell, and eyes were on him, a waiting sea of predators and monsters. He did not fidget underneath the weight of that mingled stare. He was inhumanly still, and watchful, the smallest of smirks curving his lips crookedly.
And then he spoke.
“It has been some months since last this Court has assembled. When last we stood together, it was to see the death of a traitor within our ranks. A Tremere, who breached our Masquerade, who saw all of us threatened by his reckless, shameful actions. By his flagrant and selfish, callow disregard for our Traditions! Some among you sued for mercy then; but most saw his death as the needful thing it was. As justice done.” His eyes were hard diamonds, glittering dangerously.
“And the time before that, our city was in danger. In danger, threatened by terrorists. Threatened by the Thinblooded, led by Teddie, by whose hand were our Elysia were endangered. By whom we all were endangered. That night, two of the Thinblooded received the mark of the Camarilla.” He paused, his eyes finding William Harley unerringly in the crowd, guardian to one of those branded. If the Prince smiled, it was not perceptible from such a distance.
“Since that time, one of those two has paid the ultimate price in service of this Tower.” His eyes found Lucille Conelly, and this time, his smile was visible, but not kind. “Since then, the terrorists were neutralized, the threats in our own ranks removed, the disloyal and dangerous among us eliminated. Our city had begun its return to the state of precariously balanced safety which is the lot of all Kindred in these nights. Our city. For it is our city. The Camarilla’s city. Our city.” His voice was mild, mellow. His eyes swept the assembled crowd again, and then his voice cracked out like a whip.
“But my domain.”
Prince Cross chuckled, a cool, soft sound. “I say so because I fear that some among you may have forgotten it,” he said, dryly amused. His eyes flashed again. “I fear also that I had too much faith in my followers and subjects. I had believed you all to be intelligent, educated, loyal… dedicated, as I am, to the Traditions which keep us all safe.” There was a beat, carefully timed, and he said, “But apparently I have been too tolerant. Apparently my belief in you has been unfounded.”
His voice went hard, all trace of avuncular camaraderie or warmth fleeing it to leave only a chill, metallic edge. “There have been breaches. There have been deaths, left uncovered and unhidden. There are those in this city who spend their nights in decadence, who put on circuses and pretend that means power and relevance, all the while threatening to draw the eyes of our enemies right to us. They fiddle while Rome burns!” His eyes were sharp as his fangs, bared as he spoke.
“There are fledglings, abandoned to the night, left at the mercy of their instincts, untutored and unlettered! The zealots of the Second Inquisition have been brought to our very doorstep! By you.” He stared out at the room, his eyes seeming to pierce the soul of each and every individual there.
“But actions, of course, have consequences.”