Art by Ken Meyer, Jr.
c. 1981 CE
During the Final Nights, she created a thin-blooded empire, bringing thin-bloods from all over the world to L.A. to help against the Camarilla and the various Anarchs fighting over control of the city.
|“||After the stunt Jack pulled, people came gunning for him and everyone around him. They got me and – I saw things. A churning black ocean. I don't remember it fully. I think I was dead. Then Jack pulled me back, but it had been too long. The Embrace didn't take – not quite.||”|
While not much of her past is revealed, what is known is that Smiling Jack found her when she was twenty-two and had dropped out of college. What drew Jack's attention to her was her birthmark, almost in the shape of a crescent moon. Jack took her to a tattoo parlor to have the birthmark touched up, and made her his ghoul.
At some later point, Cross came to Jack no longer his ghoul, but a thin-blooded vampire. Because of the chaotic effects of Gehenna and the Withering, Jack's blood within her strengthened and she became a vampire without being Embraced. The touched-up birthmark and her lack of Embrace molded her into exactly what Jack wanted her to be, the perfect prop for Gehenna.
Gehenna: The Final Night Edit
By the time of the novel, the Camarilla is aware of Cross and her growing army of thin-bloods. The Prince of L.A., former San Diego baron Tara, was placed in charge of the city after the death of previous prince Sebastian LaCroix and was the primary target of Cross' attacks. Cross first led a raid against Tara, using the prince's seneschal Dionne to get to Tara. While Cross and her coterie were successful in ambushing Tara, the prince was still able to escape through a window, albeit heavily injured.
Some nights later, Cross made a deal with the Kuei-Jin Four Winds Conspire to betray Prince Tara. On the night that Tara met with Four Winds Conspire, he revealed to the Prince that he and the rest of the New Promise Mandarinate had considered Tara's offer of $10,000,000, and decided to take her previous offer of $5,000,000 and leave the country. As he left, Jenna Cross and her thin-bloods walked onto the rooftop and engaged Tara. While slightly successful as dodging the bullets from the thin-bloods at first, the Withering had overtaken Tara and she was subsequently ripped apart by a hail of bullets. With Tara dead, the L.A. Camarilla were leaderless and Cross had taken the first step in claiming the city.
Later during the Final Nights, her advisor Samuel began whispering in her ear that soon people would learn of her status as the Last Daughter and begin coming for her, either to kill her or study her. He told Cross the worst of the hunters would be a vampire named Beckett, and that she needed to be extra alert for his arrival.
Soon enough, Beckett did arrive with his companion Kapaneus. They were seeking Smiling Jack, and were to ask Cross where they could locate Jack. Instantly put on alert, Cross greeted Beckett harshly and nearly didn't believe that he was just looking for Jack. It was only with the arrival of Lucita and her threat to rescind her offer did Cross believe Beckett, and sent for Jack.
After Beckett met with Jack, Beckett requested another audience with Cross to ask her about Gehenna and her part in it. Cross quickly conspired to take this opportunity to kill Beckett and Kapaneus, and Lucita too if she interfered. Cross would offer the trio of elders a guest room to stay in, under the guise that she would meet with them the following night. The reality was that she was going to have some of her thin-bloods that could stay awake for a few hours after sunrise kill the three. Unknown to her, Kapaneus had snuck into the house and heard the entire conversation and related his tale to Beckett and Lucita. Before dawn, the three escaped the thin-blood neighborhood with Beckett's mist form and Lucita's Abyssal powers, making it seem that a fire had broken out in the house and forced Cross and her thin-bloods to flee due to the Red Fear. Infuriated by his ploy, Cross would continue to send assassins after Beckett, even after he had fled the country.
It was not until Beckett killed a team of Cross' thin-bloods in Miskolc, Hungary that Cross decided to stop sending her soldiers after him. She realized that she was the one who struck the first blow, and that Beckett was giving her the chance to stop before it was too late. She deemed Beckett far enough removed from her situation that she didn't need to worry about him, for the time being. She then turned her full attention back to beating the Camarilla.
Towards the end of the Final Nights, Cross found herself confused by the actions of the Camarilla. Hardestadt began focusing the full efforts of the Camarilla on L.A, throwing away all the rules and beginning total warfare against Cross and her thin-bloods. As she pondered her predicament, Beckett appeared in her haven. He quickly assuaged that he was there to do Cross harm, and began to explain to her that she had been played, along with himself. Her close advisor Samuel was no more than Beckett's former companion Okulos, and from the beginning he was conditioning Cross to hate Beckett. Realizing it was Okulos' manipulations that caused Cross to send her comrades to reasonless death chasing after Beckett, Cross suddenly felt defeated and had no desire to keep fighting. It was only Beckett's words and help that stirred her to fight once more.
While Beckett's "specialist" Theo Bell went and dealt with Hardestadt, Beckett led Cross and a few of her closest thin-bloods to Chicago to kill Okulos for manipulating her. After Beckett went in and talked with Okulos, he left and said his last to Cross. Cross and her companions went to Okulos' apartment and utterly destroyed him. This is the last that Cross appears in the novel.
Cross is mentioned once more at the end of the novel, having returned to L.A. With Gehenna in full motion, Cross and her group decide to break the Masquerade and introduce themselves to L.A. city officials, including the police department. Kapaneus reveals to Beckett that the violence in the city has drastically subsided, with substantial thanks to a group belonging to a woman named Jenna Cross. The duo think that if society does survive past Gehenna, and Cross does too, she'll be the one to lead the new society.
V20 timeline Edit
- Before 20th Anniversary Edition there were no pictures of Jenna Cross. However, a line from Gehenna: The Final Night mentions that she looks similar to the protagonist of the Tomb Raider video games.
- Because of the manner of her vampiracy, it is unclear the specifics of her clan (though it is most likely Brujah) and if she could be considered to have a generation.
- - chapter "The Blood Matures"