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"Greetings... Elder" Caleb said scornfully, pushing his shotgun further against the Elder's neck.

"What do you hope to accomplish here Betrayer?" the Elder inquired. "This building is patrolled and heavily monitored. There are legions of my men ready to come and deal with you at a moments notice. Can't you see that you can accomplish nothing here?"

"Save it for somebody who cares..." Caleb replied coolly. "Where are you taking my scroll?"

"You have no reason to expect me to tell you!" the Elder snapped, still unaware of just how untenable his current position was.

"The information or your life Elder, I am happy with it either way" Caleb continued, his fingers waiting expectantly on his weapon's trigger.

"It will accomplish nothing. The Cult of Tchernobog shall prevail, and we shall take our rightful place by his side once again."

"Hollow words from a hollow person" Caleb responded irritably. "Do you realize what I had to do to reach the rank of Elder? Do you realize how much time and service I spent serving my dark master before I reached your position?"

"You are the Betrayer, you have done no service" the Elder interrupted petulantly.

"Look at you sitting there in your fancy red robe..." Caleb continued unperturbed. "All you had to do was survive long enough for the Cabal to be desperate enough to make you an Elder. You never served the dark god as anything but a lieutenant, and now you lecture me about being the rightful heir of Tchernobog. It's an insult. Now tell me, where is my scroll?"

"You do not deserve the answer" the Elder replied again.

"No, you do not deserve to live!" Caleb declared, pulling the trigger and sending two shells into the back of the Elder's head at point-blank range. He collapsed on the floor, his upper body having now become nothing more than a bloody pulp. "That should teach you some respect" Caleb growled, staring down at the corpse.

"Behind you!" Johnny exclaimed suddenly, pointing to the stairs nearby. Several heavily armed Cultists were rushing forwards up the steps towards them. Caleb quickly reloaded his shotgun and ran off to intercept them, leaving Johnny standing next to the dead man. More and more robed men were now rushing up the stairway, taking the place of those that were also currently being slain by Caleb's repeated blows. Johnny fiddled with his weapon clumsily, trying to figure out how to fire. On the stage the Opera continued as normal. No one could hear the bloodshed through the music. Caleb quickly realized that not even he could repulse this many people in one go. He would need to find some way to get an advantage over them.

He shot a quick glance behind him and found a door marked "Dressing Room", and started backing towards it. He had by now run out of readily accessible shells for his shotgun and instead had started firing chamber after chamber of Tommy Gun rounds at the advancing hoard, having picked up the weapon from one his formerly felled foes. Caleb heard the sound of a door opening behind him, but before he could turn to respond a robed man lunged at him from the dressing room that Caleb had previously been hoping to use as an egress. A ball of flame embedded itself into the assailants chest, emanating from the flare pistol that was currently being held in Johnny's outstretched hand. He watched in horror as the man's robes lit up like lights on a Christmas tree.

"IT BURNS, OH MY GOD, IT BURNS!" the Cultist screeched, running down the stairs in agony, his arms flailing about in the air in what seemed almost to be a mock mime of flight. The other Cultists turned back and starting running away from the burning man who was now unwittingly heading straight towards them, falling down the stairs as he went. The music from the Opera being performed on the stage continued unabated.

"This way" Caleb called out suddenly, all the commotion finally reminding him that he did actually have more than one dog in this fight. Johnny was still staring down at the flare pistol, his hands shaking. He had never killed anyone before. Caleb quickly grabbed Johnny by the arm and led him through into the dressing room, fully aware of the fact that the Cabal would never leave them alone for that long. Caleb's eyes scanned the room before finally resting on a large chair in the corner, which he quickly grabbed and used it to brace the door shut. Johnny felt his legs give way and he dropped to the floor. With the door braced, Caleb turned to face him. "First kill?" he asked, something almost akin to concern in his voice. Johnny nodded solemnly.

"Don't worry, it gets easier" Caleb replied casually, causing Johnny to let out an apprehensive cold shiver. A large banging noise could be heard coming from outside, as the hoard of Cultists tried their best to batter the door down. Caleb helped Johnny to his feet, and led him to the room's secondary exit which led out behind the stage. Behind them they could hear the sound of splintering wood as the Cultists succeeding in breaking the door down, as well as a thump as they threw the large chair aside. "It had better get easier..." Caleb added, reloading his shotgun with a spare box of shells he found in one of his hard to reach back pockets. He would be in need of more firepower yet.
Some might recall that I had previously made mention as part of the Blood Wiki's sixth anniversary that I had plans to once again invest some of my time in an area of Blood fandom that I had formerly been quite involved in. To that end I present Scroll, a story I originally began in the summer of 2008 as a kind of retelling of the story behind Cryptic Passage in an attempt to bring it further in line with the main Blood canon. Designed to be published in multiple parts, I shall endeavour to release a new instalment of Scroll every Sunday from March 9th on until the story is complete.
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May 18, 2014
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