The newly minted Keeper of the Elysium should have realised he was in deep water the minute the two of them asked to see him together. Two against one and no experience with negotiating the more dangerous waters of the court scene. He didn’t know it but he had lost before they had even sat down.
Almost vibrating with excitement, the young Toreador looked at each of the Brujah in front of him expectantly. They had names but in his head he called them Old Fox and Alley Cat. Alley Cat lounged in his seat, relaxed but somehow still giving the impression of a being ready to pounce at a moment’s notice. His long, black leather coat draped open, barely covering the empty sheath at his side. In contrast, Old Fox sat more upright, calm, and betraying none of the rage of his clan.
“So come on, don’t leave me in suspense for any longer, how did it go?” asked the Keeper, sitting on the edge of his seat.
“It went well enough,” says Old Fox, “although there was some disgruntlement. That was to be expected.”
Alley Cat leaned forward, with calculated casualness, towards the young looking Keeper and continued, “Actually almost the whole of clan Brujah helped you out keeping this new ruling you’ve made. I hope you have a plan for continuing to ensure your new edict isn’t broken without requiring such kindred manpower.”
“Yes of course, I am very grateful for the efforts of your clan, it is and was very much appreciated,” said the Keeper with a cheerful smile, still not realising the reality of the situation.
His cheer wavered slightly as Alley Cat frowned seriously and sat back in his chair with deliberate emphasis, “See, I think that the elder was being nice when he said that there was ‘disgruntlement’. In my opinion, you had a lot of kindred that were deeply insulted that the city didn’t trust their word that they didn’t have weapons.”
The Toreador’s eyes flicked between the two in front of him as he realised the implications of a whole court of disgruntled kindred. Not a good start for a new Keeper of Elysium.
“We,” said Alley Cat, motioning to himself and the other, “are probably going to get a lot of shit for being on the front line and defending this rule so I’m thinking that our clan deserves a bit more than gratitude for it…especially if you are wanting me to put my neck out personally.”
“Why of course, I meant no disrespect, something more than gratitude for the great work you did, of course, it seems only right,” says the Toreador, immediately apologetic. In an attempt to placate the two in front of him he asks, “So what does clan Brujah wish for in return for the service they kindly offered and delivered?”
Old Fox looks contemplative for a moment and says, “Well, we have not discussed, as a group, the matter of payment but how does this sound; full licence to carry weaponry within Elysium for those who aided, alongside a Minor Boon a piece for works currently done? In addition I’d like you to post a public letter thanking those of clan Brujah who aided a domain official.”
He turns to Alley Cat, “Would that satisfy you?”
“I would be very pleased if something like that was on the table,” he grins widely with a glint of fang, “That would even put me in a pretty good mood for anything else the Keeper here would want to talk about”.
The Keeper, feeling like a mouse caught in a corner, stammers on, “Well…that is…I mean of course, the Clan should be publicly recognised for the work that they did, I would be happy to put up a notice stating that. The weapons and the boons… for all of the Brujah…I have no issues with either of you…but, you see..” He tries to gather a last defense, “I was not aware that you would be enlisting the help of the others of your clan. I am grateful of course but that was not, from my point of view, the original agreement. I’m just a little…surprised…this is something we should have worked out prior to court I think.”
Like his namesake, Alley Cat maintains a steady gaze at the keeper and his growing discomfort.
The elder Brujah, Old Fox, unperturbed by the Keepers attempt to stand up to them begins, “It is indeed something that should have been thought of before court. Unfortunately it was not, I had heard not a word from yourself as to how you would enforce your new ruling and knowing you could not be present yourself we acted within the limited time frame afforded us. I did not think it would be an issue as you surely could not have expected an elder to stand around all night. A rudimentary shift pattern was improvised and most had a turn. However I understand your position and the lion's share of searches did fall to us. Perhaps only full licence for the two of us whilst the others will have to negotiate should they desire it. However, I will follow up and be displeased if you’ve short changed them for their efforts. How does this sit?”
“Oh no, I wouldn’t have expected you to stand there all night,” sees the Keeper quickly, “however what is done is done now and I apologise for not providing more detail. You will have no need to be displeased elder. I promise you I am a man of my word, and they will not go unrewarded for their efforts.”
Feeling somewhat deflated and unable to hide his crestfallen face, the Keeper asks, “Is there anything else you require of me?”
Alley Cat grins, albeit with a touch of sympathy for the keeper, “Well, we still need to work out future arrangements, right? I mean, you need to decide exactly how intrusive you want your security to be and how much you trust everyone else not to come in armed.”
When the keeper does not respond Old Fox smiles and says, “Don’t look so glum, deals and favours is how the Camarilla works and I expect, as Keeper of Elysium, much will pass through your hands. In fact I already know what I wish to ask of you so the debt won’t hang over your head overly long.”