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The Gate Saga

022 Conrad’s Secret

For a few days Leon and Lily have been able to keep Ciara away from Conrad long enough for him to get some rest and heal a bit. Ciara is determined to speak with him today, and there is a comical fight on the floor with Leon as he holds on to her leg for dear life. Conrad wakes up, spying Lily asleep in one of the chairs, touched that she kept watch over him. He moves her to bed, but she hears her mother shouting at Leon and wakes up to be surprised at Conrad being awake and moving.

Exiting the room to the kitchen, Conrad finally explains to everyone what happened when he was a child. A woman named Carmilla was friends with his mother, but she was slowly making his sisters go insane. Really horrible things happened to all of them in a single night, followed by his own father getting butchered. Carmilla possessed his mother’s body. Oracle had rescued him and send him back with his family, but once he was old enough he returned to the city and joined the Organization.

Ciara decides that Conrad is suitable for guarding her daughter and walks out with Leon trailing her. She’s angry about these sort of things happening to people, and yet the Oracle Organization seems to either get there too late or is completely ineffective. She plans to DO something about it. Lily finds a kindred spirit in Conrad.


  1. Conrad reveals his tragic family history. He is touched by Lily keeping watch over him.
  2. Lily finds a kindred spirit in Conrad, empathizing with his past.
  3. Ciara is angry that these sort of these keep happening to those that can’t defend themselves. She decides to do something about it.
[Ciara thinks two days is plenty of time to get a story straight and would like Leon to stop clinging to her leg!] -03:43 Oct 21
[Leon flashed Cissy a wolfish grin!] -03:45 Oct 21
Leon: *Checked the clock on the wall!* Hm … Five more minutes and I’d have beat my old record. -03:45 Oct 21
Ciara: Get off! *…and not one to let Leon beat a record, she had herself a couch cushion to BEAT him with!* -03:46 Oct 21
Leon: OOofff! Oooff! *Takes the battering like a man–er, wolf!* Hey … Cut that out! *He clung even tighter!* -03:47 Oct 21

Conrad: *Sat up in bed, feeling a lot better now. He didn’t feel weak now and he felt restless. He’d spent too much lying in bed for his liking.* … Lily?

Ciara: *Beat! Hit! Ploof!!* Get off already! I’m allowed to at least go check on my own daughter! Don’t think I haven’t figured out what you’ve been doing! *FWAP!* -03:49 Oct 21

Lily: *Being a bodyguard was a lot more work than it sounded like, and Lily was currently hanging over a chair sleeping with one of the cousin’s science books!*

Leon: I have. Oooff! No idea. OOofff! What you’re … OOoff! Ow! Talking about! *With the way Cissy wielded that pillow, it might have been filled with rocks! She really did have quite a whack there!* -03:50 Oct 21

Conrad: *Smiled a bit.* Welcome to my world. *He took the book away and put it on the table beside the bed and moved to pick Lily up so he can place her in bed. He felt really bad about her hanging around, watching him like this. On the other hand, he was really touched. It had been a real long while since someone had watched over him.*

Ciara: *Thump! This is so stupid! She tried dragging him across the floor attached to her leg, but apparently he could make himself weigh as much as a moose! One mistep and she splatted on the floor!* I’m about to start kicking you, Leon Santos! -03:52 Oct 21
Leon: *Sniffle!* Have a heart, Cissy! *He rubbed his cheek against her leg.* Where is the ASPCA when you need ’em? I mean … how could you possibly want to hurt an adorable wolf like me! Lily! Your mother is oh so cruel! -03:55 Oct 21
Ciara: Apparently it’s really easy! *She was gonna kick him..! Instead she pressed her foot to his shoulder trying to shove him off!* You’re getting your cootie germs all over me! -03:57 Oct 21

Lily: *Between being moved and hearing her mother shouting at Leon, Lily was pretty sure she was supposed to be springing in to protective action! Except.. she was in bed!* ..You moved!

Conrad: *Sheepish grin!* Yeah. I’m real sorry. I’m not used to people watching over me, especially when I’m supposed to be watching over them. Besides, you needed your rest. *He cocked his head towrd the door.* And it sounds like Leon only has moments to live before your mother turns him into a rug.

Lily: *She rubbed her head, eyeing the door with a look between amusement and annoyance.* She’s sort of relentless… I can sleep later, anyway. Leon needs backup,

Leon: I would have thought you’d be used to them by now! *He rubbed his cheek up against her leg again.* ‘Sides, they absolutely love you. Don’t you, cooties? Yes, you do. Yes, you do, you do, you do. -04:02 Oct 21
Ciara: …What the hell, Leon. *That made her pause, as she rest on her elbows to stare!* You’re so weird. -04:04 Oct 21
Leon: *BIG wolfish grin!* Comes with the territory. You have to admit, it’s rather refreshing to have someone weird like me. I bet you spend your time with dull, boring guys who play golf all day. -04:08 Oct 21
Ciara: Maybe I like boring men that play golf all day instead of chasing me around the house with cooties and rubbing a need-to-shave face on my leg. *Stupid wolfy grin. If he smiled any wider his face was going to stretch. And now she had forgotten what she was doing!* -04:12 Oct 21
Leon: *Blink blink! He scratched his cheek.* It’s not that bad. I once grew a beard so thick and bushy that I had a family of pigeons living in it. *He was thoughtful for a moment.* Oh wait. That wasn’t me. That was some flick I saw once a long time ago. Oh well. I always did have trouble growing a beard. Isn’t that weird? A wolf having trouble growing more hair. -04:15 Oct 21
Ciara: I wonder if I shave you bald as a wolf if you’ll have no hair when you’re a man again. *…and that got her thinking about OTHER things that she was doing so well to forget over the past two days!* …Let go of me, or we’re gonna find out if wolf meat really makes a good stew!! -04:18 Oct 21
Leon: *Another sniffle!* But I’m so much better alive and well and … not in a stew! Believe me, I’ve learned that the hard way! *And he was still clinging for all he was worth!* -04:20 Oct 21

Conrad: You have to hand it to Leon. He’s got a lot of stamina. *He glanced at Lily.*

Ciara: …you were in a stew before?! *She’s not falling for it this time, she was getting to that door, if she had to crawl and drag him the entire way!* -04:21 Oct 21

Lily: *After listening, Lily was curious about the stew story herself!* Are you well enough to deal with her now? Though I think he could last another day at least.

Conrad: *Deep breath.* Your mother is right to have … opinions. I’m sure she’s ready to kill me by now but I have to come clean with you, her, even Leon. *He took the doorknob and opened the door.* Ms Grey. Leon.

Leon: *Wolfish grin and a wave as if clinging to Ciara Grey’s leg was an everyday, and very normal thing!* Hey, Conrad! Welcome back! *He was still holding on to her leg, though!* -04:27 Oct 21
Ciara: *Trying to look dignified while attempting to shove Leon off her leg was nearly impossible!* I want to have words with you, Conrad Wolfe. -04:28 Oct 21

Conrad: Of course. *He nodded.* How about over some tea then? *And he walked around them and into the kitchen to start a pot. The rest of the family was outside and no one was cooking so the kitchen was empty.*

Lily: *Lily stepped around them, only to turn around and give Leon the thumbs up and a smile behind her mother’s back!*

Leon: *Gave absolutely no indication that Lily gave him a thumbs up.* Oh! I bet they have some leftover food! *And he suddenly let go of Ciara’s leg, scrambled to his feet and dashed into the kitchen!* Last one there is a rotten egg! -04:34 Oct 21
Ciara: *Ciara stopped herself from chasing after him, taking the time to fix her clothes, straighten her hair, and make sure she looked perfectly intimidating when she stepped in to the kitchen. She gave her BEST glare to Leon before seating herself in a chair and clasping her hands.* Now that I finally have the opportunity to speak with you, I think it’s about time you come clean about your background history. -04:36 Oct 21
Leon: *Looked up from gnawing on some left over fried chicken to flash Ciara a wolfish grin when she gave him a glare! Then he went back to eating!* -04:38 Oct 21

Lily: *Lily made sure to steal herself some of that chicken and a crouscant roll for a small sandwhich before Leon swallowed bones and all! For the moment she leaned against the counter. Leon would tackle her mother if she planned on attacking anyone, and she was in charge of escape routes!*

Conrad: *Turns the stove on and puts the pot on top, he turns around.* It happened 17 years ago. I was eight and me and my family lived in New York City. My mother, Erica, was a professional violinist. You probably heard of her. She performed in front of royalty all over the world, visited places like Tokyo and Moscow. It was hard for her to leave us. My dad took care of us, working from home. I was the only boy with three sisters. Anna was the oldest, followed by Bethany, me and my youngest sister, Danielle. *He took out a cup.* Anyone else want some tea? *He asked before continuing.*

Leon: *Finished off all the chicken! He pardoned himself when he burped!* I’ll take a cup of hot water! *He stood to grab some hot cocoa envelopes from the cupboard.* -04:45 Oct 21

Lily: I’d like tea and so would mother. *She said before the woman could interrupt!*

Ciara: Go on. *Giving Lily a look, she didn’t ask any questions..yet… just noted each of the little details.* -04:50 Oct 21

Conrad: *Got cups out for Leon, Ciara, and Lily!* My mother didn’t go by Wolfe. She went by her maiden name so that we could enjoy some peace and not worry about all the publicity and trouble. She attracted a lot of attention. Particularly the eye of a wealthy woman of royal blood who became a sponsor of sorts. She and my mother grew close. It wasn’t long before my mother introduced her to us. Her name was Carmilla Sheridan. *The kettle was beginning to whistle by now so he began to make the tea.*

Conrad: Carmilla spent a lot of time with us, especially my sisters. They used to go out to the park and shop. When one of them became sick, Carmilla would nurse them back to health. When my dad had to run an errand and she happened to be there, she watched us. I didn’t notice anything was wrong … But when I did, it was too late. My sisters were acting different, you see. Dad pased it off as hormones. Mom just said it was the city. So although they talked back to my parents when they didn’t get their way or taunted their friends until they ran out crying … We just shrugged it off and said it was just a phase.

Conrad: *Was silent for awhile after that.* … I … I went to sleep early that night. I had a field trip the next day. We were going to the zoo. *He smiled a bit.* The tigers. I wanted to see the tigers. So Dad tucked me in early. Mother was home. She had gotten back from Paris just that night. She was tired. She was looking sick. I had just fallen asleep. Then I heard it … A knock at the door. I heard Dad answer it and I tried to go back to sleep. But then the yelling started. It was so loud and yet I can’t remember what was being said. I remember sneaking out of my bed. The yelling had started in the living room, then gone past my room down the hall, to my parents’ room. I went there, I peeked in. I saw Dad yelling at Carmilla. He was shaking the phone at her. Now I remember … He was talking about my sisters. They had done … some very bad things. And he was convinced that Carmilla was the cause of this.

Ciara: *Ciara kept her mouth shut, taking a cup of tea when it was offered and sipping in thought while she listen. She would have preffered if Lily wasn’t in the room to hear the story too, or maybe it was just uncomfortable for herself. Still, she listened without interruption.* -05:16 Oct 21

Conrad: I found out later what they had done … Anna had … Anna had … um … killed someone. She was staying over at a friend’s house and had stabbed her. Over and over … She had uh, slipped a pillow over her friend’s face to muffle the screams. Bethany … tried to kill herself. She tried to jump off our building’s roof. Kept talking about shadows with fangs … how they were everywhere. Danielle had … She’d gotten raped. All of this happened in one night … *He shook his head.* I saw my mother get up. She started to defend Carmilla, said something about how Carmilla had been the reason she’d gotten into music. How she owed her. I’d never seen Dad so mad before. He was getting violent. He looked like he was going to swing the phone at Carmilla. I … I tried to stop him. I ran into the room and I threw my arms around his legs. He was so surprised. He dropped the phone. He was telling me everything would be alright … But his back was turned and I could see Carmilla … She had fangs. And claws. I held onto my dad while he was being ripped to shreds by her. I screamed and I screamed … And my mother just stood there. A statue. There was blood all over me … and I was screaming. Dad was trying to do something, trying to say something. But blood … everywhere. And Carmilla laughing and me watching as she possessed my mother’s body. She admitted to toying with my sisters. She said it was just a game. Then something happened … someone came. Darkness. *He shook his head.* I woke up at Oracle HQ. They shipped me here. But I moved back to the city as soon as I could.

Leon: So … Erica … is actually Carmilla. Is Carmilla her real name or uh … just another of her victims? -05:33 Oct 21

Lily: *Lily didn’t say a word, the cup paused in her hand midway to her mouth, seeming to stare off in to space or at a spot on the counter. After a moment she sipped her tea, a questioning look at her mother.*

Conrad: Carmilla is just a name she used. *He replied.* I understand if you want to fire me, Ms Grey.

Ciara: *Ciara remained silent. The worst part was not being able to look at her daughter’s face. It had been a very long time since she had really, genuinely felt sympathy or compassion for someone else. This was not at all how she planned on ending the day.* …My original idea was to fire you, yes. But now… I think you are a very appropriate choice for my daughter. -05:42 Oct 21
Leon: *Now there was something you didn’t see or hear everyday! Cissy’s approval!* Alrighty then! Now that that is settled … Does anyone have any other matter of business they would like to discuss? -05:48 Oct 21
Ciara: *Setting down her cup, she removed herself from her chair.* No. I’m going for a walk. -05:50 Oct 21

Lily: *Lily moved to nudge Leon with her foot. That look on her mother’s face was worse than when she was about to beat someone.* Go with her.

Leon: *Gulped! He didn’t know if it was such a good idea but …!* Wait, I’m coming, too, Cissy! *And he dashed after her!* -05:56 Oct 21
Ciara: *Ciara wasn’t waiting for a wolf, but at least she wasn’t trying to escape him either. She rest her hands on her arms, and headed towards the trees.* I’m walking. Don’t get yourself lost. -05:59 Oct 21

Conrad: *Watched Ciara and Leon leave! It was awhile before he spoke.* Does this … change anything?

Leon: You get lost in the museum, the public library, the park, and the beach a few times and you get branded as someone who gets lost easily. *Huffed as he walked along with her.* -06:00 Oct 21

Lily: You are kind of like a kindred spirit, in a dark and twisted sort of way…

Ciara: You are what you do. *She moved her arms frm her head to cross them and circled around a tree. She really didn’t seem to be heading anywhere in particular, just walking!* -06:05 Oct 21

Conrad: *Smiled a bit and scratched his head.* Thanks. It feels … a little better to share it with someone else. And … weird.

Leon: Mm … Good point. *He walked and walked with her.* Hey, Cissy, what are you gonna do when you get back to the city? -06:10 Oct 21

Lily: It’s strange to hear someone else’s story too… I think you might have made her cry.

Ciara: *Ciara stopped to stare at Leon, tapping her fingers on her arms.* Why is it, that so many horrible things keep happening to people and it’s as if no one in the world seems to notice what’s going on and doing anything about it? -06:13 Oct 21
Leon: A lot of people are too caught up in their own troubles. I guess that includes those who can do something about it, like those guys in Oracle. -06:15 Oct 21

Conrad: Maybe I should go apologize. I just wanted to explain myself. But I ended up getting caught in the details.

Ciara: Yeah, those guys in Oracle who couldn’t find my daughter in ten years, and it took one freaking vigilante vampire to do in one night. *She pointed back towards the house.* And him, a kid whose whole family gets slaughtered and they welcome him in with open arms to march in to some poorly planned mission, likely to get his head bitten off in the first ten minutes? -06:18 Oct 21

Lily: Leon’s with her. He’s been really good at keeping her sane. I sort wonder how she managed without him while I was… gone.

Leon: *Stretched his arms over his head.* Well, Cissy, you always did know when to shake things up and how. I’m sure you’ve worked out where to begin. -06:20 Oct 21

Conrad: Yeah, they’re real close. Did Leon ever mention having a family himself?

Lily: He really hasn’t said a word about it. All his stories usually involve Moma…

Conrad: From all the stories I’ve heard, he’d be a great writer. *He checked the clock.* Are you hungry? I can whip us up something to eat.

Ciara: Besides marching in the front door and shooting who’s in charge? *Ciara leaned against a tree and looked up at the sky.* …and then watch as somehow nothing I do makes a difference, and we’re all miserable… -06:26 Oct 21

Lily: I’m nearly always hungry. *Lily hopped up in to a chair, taking her cup with her!* Are you going to be able to take me on a horse, or should I wait until next time we visit Montana?

Leon: I wouldn’t say that. If one vigilante vampire can make a difference, surely one very determined mother can, too. Besides, I’d rather be miserable after you’ve tried something then be miserable and you haven’t. -06:29 Oct 21

Conrad: Damn, I nearly forgot about taking you riding. How about we go see the horses and once you’re comfortable with Maverick, we can go for a little ride?

Ciara: It’ll take mountains of work. Restructuring an entire organization from the ground up. …You’ll actually have to work for your dinner. No more free steaks. -06:31 Oct 21

Lily: *Lily eyed him carefully..* Should you actually be riding a horse now? What if he decides to throw me off a mountain or something, and you have to climb down to get my mangled body.

Conrad: Whoa! We’re not going anywhere near a mountain. In fact, I think we should just stick to a nice ride in the corral outside. We could call it a riding lesson.

Leon: *Face fell!* What?! Like … what kind of work? *He gave her a sideways glance!* -06:34 Oct 21

Lily: An official riding lesson? …Mother tried that with me once, and it didn’t go over very well… *She wasn’t sure if she were just teasing him, or not-so-fondly remembering how terrible that was. She was pretty sure she screamed for an hour!*

Ciara: Official wolf representative. Can’t have trainee hunters running off and shooting everything with fur and teeth just because it looks like a were… -06:37 Oct 21

By Diala

Alarice and Diana have a severe addiction to Oracle, while running naked through Shadowstar, Desire of the Deep and anything else they dip their hands in to.

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