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World of Darkness: Attrition - Using What You've Got [Disturbing Themes] [Fin]

Sarah Dead-Wolf

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[Evening of 25 March 2009]

Sarah was frustrated. Again. For the umpteenth time, she'd had to chase - literally - some damned clueless leech off of her territory. It was damnably annoying. And, she knew, it was at least partially her fault... because try as she had, marking her territory had been largely a matter of half-measures.

By now, she'd come to understand that vampiric senses were capable of picking up certain scents - if the leech involved chose to inhale, which they did both in speech and old habits fairly often. Some were better at it than others; the Shadows, for instance, and a fair number of her fellow Gangrel. But rare was the coterie that failed to have at least someone who could, with a little effort, recognize a scent marking as such.

And therein lay the problem. Sarah didn't produce pheromones anymore. Nor could she produce urine. There was only one element available to her, and that was vitae. But cutting herself to bleed at the base of her markers had entirely failed to leave any sort of a lasting scent mark; within minutes, the tang was reduced to that of any other blood, and quickly washed away to nothing.

There was one option that remained untried. It did so because it frankly disturbed the Dead Wolf a bit. She'd never seen it done - and was thankful for that - but had heard stories (indeed, one of Dallas' "pack" had commented on the topic, back during her ill-fated journey home). The stories made clear what needed to be done. Only now did Sarah's frustrations finally overwhelm her disgust.

So, she shifted to the wolf and went to work. And it was ugly work indeed.

Two hours later, Sarah had successfully created her first scent mark. It wasn't urine. It wasn't pheremones. And it wasn't exactly vitae either, not anymore. The thick, dark stuff that had finally flowed from within - after internal twistings and effort with muscles she'd never tried to really move before, her dead womb clenching painfully with the unnatural effort - had a musky scent that was instantly recognizable to her sharp senses, both in content and intent. Smearing it at the base of an oak, well beneath the carvings she'd made months before, was somewhat embarrassing work, even in wolf form. But in the end, she'd done what she had set out to do.

It took her a full night before the nausea and disgust at the act passed for her to mark another tree. But after that, things smoothed out. After all, she thought while loping away from the newest marking, you've gotta use what you've got.

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