I ran into something a little worrying the other night. I mean, okay, it's no strange thing seeing "vampires" around Manssen Park. Mostly pretenders from what I can tell, but some of the Disciples are real blood-drinkers. Creepy bastards, skulking around playing occult games with blood it's all code and they know it, but they like to keep up the illusion.
Anyway, I was on my way back to the nearest Hardline and started to cut through an abandoned lot under an onramp about a block away. Some lucky instinct stopped me before I'd gotten more than a foot or two past the hole in the fence. There was a whole crowd of them down there, gathered around a group of five standing in precise v-formation. Even aside from their tight organization, it was easy to tell that core group apart from the gang gathering around them.
They were better dressed, for one thing. There was a sort of aura around them, invisible but tangible: pure power. Especially the leader, in an odd mix of modern and anachronistic clothing with his face partially obscured by the upturned collar of his coat. At first I thought maybe this was the fabled core leadership of the Disciples until I realized the two at the ends of the V were holding a couple of the gang members, restraining their struggling with no apparent effort at all. I crept closer, until I could hear what the leader was saying.
"You think that you are safe here, defending your little piece of ground from other Exiles. To what purpose? I assure you, none of this escapes his notice. He only allows you to continue because he thinks you weak and insignificant. And you are. But together, we have the power to topple the petty despot from his seat."