Niko's Backstory

A bit of backstory for my Anarch Brujah, Niko. This was written kinda as if he were talking to someone or maybe writing in a journal. I rarely write in first person so it was a good exercise.

I was still in Los Angeles at the fresh turn of the decade: the miraculous '90s. I ran with a decent sized crew then, though our numbers had kinda dwindled over the years- accidents, gang shit, overdoses. Typical shit that takes a young adult's life in that hellhole that was Los Angeles. Faces came and went regularly enough that no one really batted an eye at it anymore.

But then a new face started coming 'round one day. I can't really remember how or when exactly he joined our crew, or why he even came to us specifically. Mikhail was charming from the beginning- he hit it off with most of the crew quite quickly. We came to enjoy his company, and he felt just like another brother.

I enjoyed his company most. I wanted him from the first time my eyes fell upon him.

He was tall like me but more filled out in all the right places. Pale-skin that seemed to glow in the moonlight, long blonde hair as soft as silk, and eyes like emeralds. He looked to be around my age. His voice had that deep smooth timbre with the hint a foreign accent to compliment it. Every time he spoke it sent shivers down my spine.

I had a hunch from the moment he introduced himself that he was a Russian immigrant just like me- maybe that's why we bonded so quickly and easily. Only difference was he'd been born and raised in Moscow and moved here as a teenager. (Turned out that wasn't a recent thing, but I'm still not even sure how old he actually was.) We often got shitfaced and stoned off our asses as he reveled me with stories of our homeland; a home I never got to see.

Pretty sure I was drunk as fuck when I finally got the courage to kiss him, but I still remember how that lightning shot through my body, the fireworks that went off in my mind. Wasn't long before we were rippin' clothes off each other. It became a pretty common occurrence- to the point I was almost ignoring the rest of the crew anytime he was there.

And yet, somehow I never noticed he only showed up with our group at night- maybe cause all of us were nocturnal like that... or cause we were always wasted on something. I never noticed that he didn't eat or go to the bathroom. I was completely enthralled by him and yet I missed all the signs that should've clued me in.

I don't think I even cared. I was heads over heels for Mikhail. And he lead me to believe he felt the same. I finally felt some semblance of happiness.

But then, one night after I'd just turned 25...

That night didn't seem extraordinary in anyway. Mikhail brought me back to his place to celebrate my birthday, which as always, ended with us in the bedroom. The fucker... didn't even warn me; didn't even ask. (mocking voice) "Hey Niko, you wanna be cursed to live forever and never see the sun again?" Nah, not even the fuckin' courtesy for that. All I knew was one moment he was fucking me, next moment his fangs were buried deep in my neck. Like some kinda instinct, I knew I was going to die and I clawed at him desperately to get him to stop as I felt my life slipping away... but it was impossible to fight when that indescribable euphoria kicked in and left me clingin' to him like a second skin until I no longer could. Least I went out with one hell of a fuckin' orgasm.

I don't really remember dying, which I guess is a fuckin' blessing. There's only some vague recollection of the sweet taste of his blood followed by intense pain. Eventually I came to my senses again, ~born anew~ or some sappy bullshit like that. Smug bastard had a smirk a mile wide as he watched me freak out over all the new sights, sounds, and smells I'd never experienced before.

And then I remember this powerful anger taking over— shoving him against the wall with my newfound strength, screaming at him, What the fuck did you do to me? He didn't fight me, he didn't shove me away. He simply laughed.

"Oh Niko, любимая Niko. Isn't this what you wanted? You wished for an eternity together and now I've given you that."

I wanted to remain angry at him. I wanted to curse him for what he'd done to me. But when those arms enveloped me again, his lips against mine, every ounce of rage melted away.

Guess I should be glad he at least explained the basics- the hunger, how to hunt, things like that. Like most fledglings, I was starved and near frenzy after the embrace. The taste of his blood was just as sweet, but it didn't satiate that screaming hungry Beast within me. Just my fuckin' luck that I ended up cursed like this. My first feeding attempt was an abject failure. As Mikhail dealt with the Kine I'd tried to feed off of, I was retching every last drop until nothing was left.

It was vile, painful beyond belief. And it happened again, and again.

It continued happening until I was must've been a fuckin' step or two from losing complete control of myself to my starving Beast, when finally.. finally I was able to keep it down. And then it took more trial and error after that to figure out what it'd been exactly that I needed to have in the blood to not reject it.

Hilarious for an alcoholic to end up needing to feed only on alochol-laced blood, huh?

Vitae was different, at least. His was always sweet and thick, nearly addicting. Hardly any time had passed before I ended up fully bonded to him. I didn't know about blood bonds then, I just thought it was part of being in love with him, but even if I'd known I would have done it. He'd always promise the world to me, whispering sweet nothings about ruling the night together for eternity... He was my world.

And then one night I awoke and he was gone.

We'd been together barely... a year after my embrace, roughly two years after I first met him, when he vanished seemingly into thin air. That's how I learned how painful the slow breaking down of a full blood bond is. He had to have been alive right? Or the bond would have broken instantly. But no, instead I suffered for days. Searching high and low for him. Any sign of him. Struggling to even keep myself fed, because I only fuckin' cared about finding him.

It broke me.

All people saw on the news was the apartment building burning down, just barely contained from becoming the raging inferno I'd felt when I started it. Sometimes I lie to myself, and say I did it only out of anger, to rid myself of the memories of him. I was too broken for that. I wanted the fire to consume me along with it, but even for all my resistance to Rötschreck, I still suddenly found myself standing on a hill, watching the flames of my broken heart light up the night sky in the distance with no memory of how I got there.

I haven't seen him since.

I'm not even sure if he's still... "alive." The bond is long gone, I don't feel any hint of him anymore; no sense of his presence anywhere I've been since then. If I ever see him again.. I can't predict what I'll do. That same blood boiling rage I'd felt before is always there, simmering beneath the surface, just waiting for a chance to break free. If I see him again, I can't promise there will be anything left. Of him or me.

After that I wandered for who knows how many years. I still mostly kept to my home turf within LA, but even there I felt lost. I felt broken. There was a void at my core- he'd taken such a huge piece of me and no matter how hard I tried, nothing filled it. The pain of the loss of him echoed in my soul.

My old crew... It was like they could instantly tell something was different, something was off about me. So many years runnin' together and I suddenly no longer felt like I belonged in the group.

Emilia, once so warm and caring to me, no longer greeted me with that comforting hug of hers like she always did.

Mikey was still pissed at me, feeling like I had betrayed them— that I abandoned the group for Mikhail and was now crawling back to them with my tail between my legs (I guess technically he was right, huh?)

Then there was Taryn, who freaked out and launched a bottle at my head, punching me, and screaming at me like a wild banshee. I nearly snapped and killed her. No, instead I merely crushed her arm by accident, trying to stop her flailing.

That was that and I never showed up around them again. I guess it was for the better; Kindred hanging out with mortals rarely ends happily for anyone, right?

I spent who the fuck knows how long keeping to myself, livin' like a fuckin' hobo vampire or some shit. Why should I care about sleeping comfortably? My one comfort was gone, and it's not like I wasn't used to livin' on the streets already. Eventually I did manage to find a few other Kindred like me. The first ones were, what were they called.. Camarilla? Don't remember what clan, but that wasn't the important part. I mean I barely knew fuck all about clans and our differences then. They wanted me to join them, so fuckin' pushy about it. But being who I am, when I heard all these staunch rules that they expected me to follow, I told them to fuck off and left.

Look, I'm not stupid. Even a rebellious dumbshit like me knows that breaking the masquerade not only endangers ourselves but our entire kind. But all the fucking rules. The etiquette. Bowing to some fuckin' lame ass prince— who the fuck decided some prissy little shit like that was so special anyway? I don't care to bow to anyone. I don't want to be fucking told what to do like some goddamn whipped servant. I never had. I hated the fuckin' cops when I was mortal, now we got the motherfuckin' vampire police over here. They could threaten me all they wanted, fuck 'em and fuck their prince.

For a while, I felt lost again and wandered without aim. I didn't know where I was most of the time, I just simply existed- feeding, fucking, trying my best to forget. Somehow I ended up back in LA in the late 90s.

The next time I ran into a group of kindred, they looked just like my old social circle. A bunch of punks, social rejects, clad in leather and spikes, adorned with metal through their skin and ink upon it. I came to know them as Brujah, the same clan I'd been reborn into, and part of the Anarch.

Even though I was all for their cause, the struggle against those who would try to opress us- much like my real life causes had been, after the whole Camarilla shit, I was hesitant to join them. If you can even really call it joining. I guess I'm technically a part of their sect, but I've never really had to answer to any leader, never been given rules or orders. I think I met our so-called 'Baron' once. Felt too similar to the whole Prince bullshit for me, but at least they aren't some kinda uptight suits trying to micromanage everything we do.I'll continue wavin' that Anarch flag, not puttin' up with those stuck up their own ass Tower motherfuckers.

But y'know, even as an Anarch stronghold, Los Angeles has always been chaotic, both in the mortal realm and in ours, and over those years it just kept getting worse. Tensions were high, fellow Brujah fighting with other clanmates, feeding seemed to be increasingly difficult to do without being caught, the Cam fucks trying to force their way back into taking over the city... I just got tired of it all. Even someone who loves chaos can tire of it, I guess. Home just didn't feel like Home anymore.

So I left again.

I'd heard rumors about NOLA being welcoming to all types, bubbling with activity of mortals and Kindred alike. It sounded calmer than LA- but then again, so did almost any other place. I'd even have one somewhat familiar face there- a Ravnos named Laz that I'd met here in LA before. So I decided to check it out, stick around for a bit and see what this little town is like. After all, what's a few years to those like us?

Writing © koutetsuhime, May 2022.