|| Blood Pool:
|| Blood Hunted
| Deceptive Aura
Zodiac sees his humanity as the Path of
Caine, and acts with Conviction & Instinct rather then Conscience and
through Steven Thompson. What Steven can supply, he does, though Paris
doesn't ask for much.
Thompson & Claudius
Manipulation Specialty: Devious
He's a young man, maybe
18 or 19, small and slight. His babyface is hidden under a Robert Smith-like mop of black
hair, hanging greasily down over his innocent green eyes. Dressed in a pair of dirty,
ragged jeans, old Converse All-Stars, and a T-Shirt of a smiley-face in a Hannibal
Lector-ish mask, he's very much a child in a teen's body. His demeanor is meek and
hesitant. He projects a childlike innocence about him. (Arcane 1)
He's a young man, maybe 18 or 19, small and slight. Broad-faced, with a hint
of stubble on it, the angles of it are somewhat harsh, with green eyes staring
malevolantly out, looking back and forth shiftily. He's dressed in a 'House of a
Thousand Corpses' T-Shirt and black jeans, with a crimson jacket over the shirt.
His gaze burns with a twisted leer, and his lips are quirked upward in sick
amusement. This is not one to play games with, because his games might just
hurt. (Arcane 1)
Zodiac carries a scalpel (Strength Damage, Lethal) and a survival knife
(Strength+1 Damage, Lethal) with him at all times...to Paris, they're just
shiny, pointy things, and he knows not to play with them.
The Zodiac Journal:
A hand-bound book, sandwiched between a Webster’s Dictionary front cover and
Hello Kitty journal cover on the back that’s too small for the rest of the
book, the book is about 70 pages long, most of them covered in a strange
combination of child-like writing and much darker, more adult writing--both
in tone and in handwriting. The paper itself includes computer paper, pages
ripped from spiral notebooks, quad-ruled paper, a couple pieces of
construction paper, badly cut down, and so on.
Now, here is where it gets complicated...because it appears that pages have
been added to the journal often, the pages are not in any real kind of
order. It seems to go as normal for the first few pages, starting with the
date March 27, 2002. Then, after a couple pages worth of entries (sometimes
dated, sometimes not), it starts skipping around. The further into the
library you go, the more drastic the skips get. Again, sometimes they are
dated, sometimes not, adding to the difficulty.
As stated, the first date in the journal is March 27, 2002, written entirely
by Paris. In it, he talks about being sent to “the big siti” by what can
only be assumed is his sire, who he calls “Doctor.” He’s sad he has to leave
El Paso, because he has some friends there, but he is glad to be away from
Doctor, who scares him immensely. Besides, he’s been seeing a lot of people
around his home lately, people who don’t seem to like him very much. He’s
decided they are intruders, and while he wants them gone, he does seem to
feel for them, since they all seem so sad.
The next entry is entirely Zodiac’s. He had just arrived in New York, having
taken up temporary residence at Mercy’s house. Mercy, he’s decided, is a
watered-down version of his sire, which he calls Father, and Paris refers to
as “Doctor.” Since Father failed him, he knows Mercy will too, and thus he
hates him. He also mentions how much Hell it is, being trapped in the same
body as a spoiled child. Mercy has assigned a mentor to Paris, a ghoul named
Steven Thompson. Zodiac is looking forward to seeing how long it takes for
Steven to lose it, so that he may “become one of the children.” He’s glad to
be in New York, a “fresh place to start over, with so many children to play
As the journals go on, things progress slowly. Paris lives with Mercy for a
decent amount of time, which grates on Zodiac to no end. He starts to slowly
begin his “work,” first killing a young homeless woman. Without the freedom
of working with Father, and Mercy ignorant of his killings, he feels
drastically restricted, and the first girl is torn to shreds and thrown into
the bay, more an act of frustration and rage then anything approaching the
detail he later shows. There is no newspaper record of this girl, either
missing or found.
Meanwhile, Paris finds himself coming out of his shell a little bit. Steven
has a lot to do with that, caring for Paris and making sure he can exist on
his own. Paris comes to look at Steven as his Father, causing Zodiac’s
hatred for the ghoul to increase. Calling a ghoul “Father” is a slap in the
face to his Father, and it drives Zodiac into further bouts of aggression.
He’s surprisingly intelligent about the matter, though, and moves across
jurisdictions, either from borough to borough, or even across to New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, or the like. He’s exceptionally careful about disposing of
bodies, and he usually selects from the lower subcultures of
society--homeless, ravers, drug users, prostitutes, et cetera, to the point
that many of the deaths referred to in the book have no documentation from
newspaper articles or the like.
About 80% of Zodiac’s early New York killings are rage killings. The other
20% are his ritualistic work, and for these, his selection of targets is
much more specific. The victims are always women, 15-20 years old, young,
then, pretty, and members of the goth or rave subcultures. The total body
count, by quick tally, would be 32 confirmed ritualistic killings, and
probably between 30-35 rage killings, depending on what he means by his
ramblings, over two and a half years. That’s about one ritualistic every
lunar cycle. Most of the rage killings, as previously noted, are early on,
within the first six months of him arriving.
In November 2002, something strange occurs. Paris writes in his journal that
Mercy “hurt him,” but afterward, he felt bad, so he moved Paris into his own
place, allowing Steven to go with him. From that moment on, Paris’s fear of
Mercy goes to a pathological level, and he latches onto Steven even more as
a protective figure.
In truth, what happened can be found from Zodiac’s entry, and it was that he
made a bold move. Up to this point, he had occupied a burned-out tenement
project in the Bronx to house his ritual killings. However, he has been
talking for this entire time about “fucking Mercy over,” and in November, he
makes his move, performing his first ritual killing INSIDE Mercy’s home
during an Elysium meeting of the primogen. He lures a young girl named Trish
and her boyfriend Chris into Mercy’s house, drugging them with an
ecstasy-spiked drink. Zodiac takes great pleasure in describing her death,
which took about an hour and a half. He knocks Chris out and ties him up,
then ghouls Trish. He spends about twenty minutes leaving shallow cuts all
over her body in various occult symbols. He teaches her how to use her blood
to heal herself, then alternates between stabbing her in the genitals,
letting her heal, and replenishing her blood supply. Chris becomes food in
order to allow him to replenish her blood. By the time his blood pool is low
enough to have him near frenzy, Trish is nearly senseless with trauma. He
finishes her off, ripping her heart from her body and consuming it...at
which point Mercy entered.
Mercy was furious with what he saw. He beat Zodiac nearly into torpor, in
perhaps one of the few times anyone has ever seen him lose his temper. Paris
came to, in agony and exceptionally confused. Zodiac describes with disgust
how easily Mercy shoved Paris off into his own place,
manipulating the “pathetic weakling” like he was nothing more then a toy.
Zodiac certainly doesn’t mind, though, as it affords him greater freedom. He
vanishes periodically, stalking prey. Steven worries about him, not that
Zodiac cares. Unfortunately, with Steven around, it is harder and harder for
Zodiac to take control. Paris’s desire to be around Steven is such that he
unconsciously overpowers Zodiac, forcing him back. Zodiac apparently stays
dormant for almost three weeks, while Paris’s bond with Steven strengthens
Suddenly, the next page is an entry dated much earlier--March 15th, 1970. It
is a Zodiac entry from El Paso, detailing the murder of a young glitter-goth
girl. The style of the murder is very similar to Trish’s death, and is,
disturbingly, administered under the watchful eye of Father, Paris/Zodiac’s
sire. Father seems to be a mentor figure to Zodiac, and he guides Zodiac’s
hand in the torture and execution Zodiac speaks of Father in truly reverent
terms...it appears, from Zodiac’s words, that he is newly Embraced at this
point. He states that Father wants him to give his “work” more meaning...no
more shooting deaths. Father gives Zodiac’s ritual form. At this point,
Zodiac is not yet fully aware of Paris...he senses another aspect to him,
but isn’t sure what it is. He speaks almost like a newborn child at
times...it appears that the wall between the two personalities isn’t
completely solid yet. When he asks Father about it, the elder Malkavian says
that everyone came from somewhere, and in Zodiac’s case, he hasn’t fully
left that which he came from.
Back to the recent past, where another Zodiac entry appears. Steven takes
Paris out on a Friday night in December of 2003. Paris wants to go out and
see the Christmas lights, and Steven is happy to oblige. Steven stops on
their way back to the Garment District to get a coffee, and Paris waits
outside. He hears a noise in a nearby alley, and creeps over to investigate.
What he finds there are two members of the Sabbat--later identified by
Zodiac as JJ and Ricky--beating one of their ghouls literally to death for
disobedience. Paris is frozen in place, horrified, and Steven comes up.
Steven’s arrival attracts JJ and Ricky’s attention, and JJ finally snaps the
neck of the ghoul before moving toward Paris and Steven. Luckily, the timely
appearance of a couple of Sheriff Golden’s convinces the two Sabbat to flee.
Paris and Steven are unhurt, although Paris is exceptionally traumatized by
the experience. This allows Zodiac to get back out.
Zodiac’s entry shows that he’s obviously impressed with the Sabbat’s
penchant for brutality, and sensing his chance, he makes his move. He
escapes, wandering the streets of New York for a week until he comes across
JJ again, this time in his (at the time) guise as a Camarilla Toreador. JJ
recognizes Zodiac and his potential for Sabbat recruitment, and he speaks
with him at great length, testing him to see if he would be a viable
Zodiac speaks of JJ at great length. On one hand, he respects the man
greatly for his view of vampires as superior beings to humans, and thus
human’s lives are inconsequential--playthings for Cainites to break as they
see fit. His status as a ductus of the Sabbat is also appealing to Zodiac,
as it makes JJ a monster among monsters in his eyes. Also, his ability to
move between the Camarilla and the Sabbat is something Zodiac can understand
and identify with. On the other hand, JJ’s a laughing stock outside of his
pack, and that disgusts Zodiac. Overall, though, he respected JJ and thought
of him as a good leader.
Paris writes about JJ only once. From the way the journal entry went, Paris
was dominant one night while in JJ’s Camarilla front’s haven. JJ apparently
realized immediately, and was very nice to Paris. He told Paris not to say
anything about their friendship, that it was a secret. Written from Paris’s
perspective, it sounds eerily like a child molester manipulating his victim.
After several meetings between JJ and Zodiac, JJ brings Alejandro Delgado to
meet with Zodiac. JJ offers him a chance to jump ship to the Sabbat. He must
prove himself, though...he must lure a Camarilla Kindred to New Jersey, for
JJ to diablerize. Zodiac readily agrees, and chooses a Malkavian who Mercy
is particularly fond of. It’s not difficult for Zodiac to get him to Jersey,
as the Malkavian in question, a young lawyer by the name of Alvin Wold with
the unfortunate affliction of hematophobia, is ambitious enough to buy
Zodiac’s story of “a potential job interest” with the law firm associated
with the Sabbat. He brings him in, and JJ is lying in wait. He stakes Alvin,
they drag him off to the strip club, and JJ finishes him off. With that, and
with Delgado’s influence, Zodiac becomes a True Sabbat.
We then go back to an undated entry, hand-written on the inside of a piece
of lined notebook paper that has been folded over. It is a Paris entry. He
seems exceptionally upset...and very lucid. In this entry, and this entry
alone, he seems to remember who he is, and what is happening to him. The
entry is very disjointed, and is as follows:
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME??
I know what I am. I am a monster. I don’t want to be a monster, but I am.
Dr. Wilk has torn my mind apart, and Zodiac was born. I don’t know why he
did it, but he did, and I am at the mercy of two monsters, instead of just
the one who did this to me.
REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE!! YOU ARE PARIS BENNET ZODIAC IS THE FRAGMENT YOU ARE
I’ve followed my own trail of death, and it horrifies me. Wilk did something
to me...I think he made me what he is. I can’t clearly remember what happens
when Zodiac is out, but I know Wilk has turned him into a monster. And he’s
struck again. It wasn’t just a random shootings--Wilk had Zodiac torturing
the person. He’s more of a fiend then any of the worst plagues to walk this
PARIS BENNET YOU ARE PARIS PARIS PARIS NOT ZODIAC NOT A KILLER NOT A
VAMPIRE NOT A BEAST REMEMBER JESUS PLEASE REMEMBER
I can feel myself slipping away, going further and further. It’s harder and
harder for me to think in complex terms. I can feel myself regressing to a
simpler mind, which is terrifying. The more I regress, the harder it may be
REMEMBER PARIS NOT ZODIAC FOR GOD’S SAKE YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER!!!
I’m Paris Bennet. I am 24-year-old psych major. I attend the University of
California at San Luis Obispo, and I’m a week away from graduation. I am not
Zodiac. I have not killed people.
I AM NOT A MONSTER
The entry ends there, and there is no other entry similar.
From there, the journal continues on in the recent past narrative. Once
confirmed as a True Sabbat, JJ, Delgado, and Jerrick Garcia, another Bishop
tell Zodiac, that he needs to become Paris again. Zodiac hates the idea, but
he understands why...Paris is the perfect unwitting Sabbat spy for the
Camarilla. Ignored by Mercy, he can move in and out easily, delivering
important information to the Sabbat. He is to undergo Domination by Delgado
to submerge himself, and then be sent back to his haven.
Paris’s next entry is one of confusion. He doesn’t know where why he has
been asleep for so long, and Father (i.e. Steven) is very worried about him.
Also, he has many “intruders” around his home, which can walk through walls
and call him “Zodiac.” He doesn’t like them, because they are very scary,
and he wants them to leave, but they say they can’t because of him. He does
not understand what is going on.
Zodiac’s next entry is a little more frenetic and wild. Dated two weeks
after Delgado submerged him, it doesn’t have the same cold poise or fury of
his previous entries. He confides that he has found a Master, one who will
lead him to further greatness then Father ever did. His worship of his
Master is total and unwavering, due to what is quite obviously a Blood Bond.
Zodiac almost seems close to frenzy as he writes this journal entry, and
there’s a small blood smear on the bottom right-hand corner of the paper. He
says he must complete his first work for the Master, and ends the entry.
As the entries progress, mostly Zodiac’s, he details his work with Master.
He talks about getting JJ involved under his Camarilla identity, prompting
him to have Paris ask Steven about Rachel Ingram, Prince Eliot’s ghoul.
Steven answers the questions, of course, and Zodiac uses that information to
manipulate Rachel, using a combination of Dominate and Presence to bend
Rachel’s will to his. He gets Rachel to believe that Eliot cares nothing for
her, and needs to be done away with. At Master’s instructions, Zodiac
manipulates Rachel into acting as the go-between to purchase the bomb,
setting up the Anarchs by making the transaction with Delgado (as Enrico
Montoya, a supposed Anarch) in the Nevermore. Rachel delivers the bomb to
Zodiac, who in turn gives it to his Master.
In the meanwhile, Paris’s entries get more and more despondent. He is
confused about his missing time, and one day, he wakes up to find Steven
gone. He is completely lost at that point, and doesn’t know what to do. He
feels totally alone, surrounded by his intruders who accuse him of horrible
things, except one, Trish, who has tried to talk to him about his friend
Zodiac. Paris doesn’t understand...he doesn’t know a Zodiac, though for some
reason, the word frightens him. He doesn’t like Trish, because she keeps
asking him about the Zodiac.
The next entry by Zodiac is nothing more then insane Sabbat rantings about
Eliot’s death. There are references to “Caine’s Sword falling on Eliot’s
neck,” and “the tide of blood pouring through the streets.” He gleefully
writes that he cannot wait to complete his Master’s work, and he will start
soon with Rachel.
From this point, the writing quickly degenerate further and further.
Zodiac’s writings turn into nothing more then ravings in worship of his
Master, while Paris’s become more and more confused and depressed. The only
significant pieces of information are 1) the death of Rachel,
which is incredibly well detailed, almost gleefully so. His Master, for
reasons unknown to Zodiac, handpicked Antonio Saenz and his child and
delivered them, chloroformed, to Rachel’s house while Zodiac was killing
Rachel in mimicry of Trish’s death by the Master. He then performed the same
ritual to both child and father, leaving the Zodiac symbol as the Master
outlined. He also notes, in the same entry, that he has learned a secret:
“I have learned--oh, how I have
learned--that the Master is truly a man to be worshipped, as he is empty
inside. Like the Bishop--the only man who can hope to measure to Master--the
Master has no soul to reflect against the glass.”
That is the last entry in the journal.