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Vampire: The Danse Macabre (The Final Nights of Pendros)

Game Master Goblins Eighty-Five

"Life's not a song. Life isn't bliss, life is just this, it's living. You'll get along, The pain that you feel, you only can heal by living. You have to go on living,"
-Spike, Once more with feeling


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Cheliax

Dude Human Student, 5th lvl

Chapter 1: The first night
Time: October 1st, 3028
Starting Location: Club V, Night Street
----------------

The music was loud. So loud, in fact, that even the kindred had to wear earplugs. And the club was almost pitch black.

Just the way the Queen liked it.

Sasha smiled, and flashed a toothy grin as she sipped her Crimson Cocktail. The Vampire Queen lounged on a long sofa, her legs draped over the changeling Gorgeus, who sat with his arms stretched over the back of the sofa. Both wore their favorite color, white, and Sasha, wearing a tight dress covered in glitter, practically...sparkled.

The Queen snapped her fingers as a servant took the glass from her hands.

"Richard Richard Richard...B~!@@...what shall we do to you Richard B~*!!? We warned you not to try to make a move on Barkovia territory...but you just didn't listen, did you? And don't give us that song and dance about 'not knowing', because we...don't...care..."

She chuckled as she swung her feet from the Sofa and stood up.

"If it was any other night, we might make such an OLD B%~%$ take a jog in the morning sunrise. Just enough for a taste, mind you. Good for the heart, we're told. Good for the skin as well,"

She smiled as she said this last part, and walked up to him. The Vampire looked barely a day over sixteen, despite being in her forties. She had to look up at the older Vampire.

"But...I have another problem Richard B!%*&, and we think you can fix it for us. Actually, you can thank Nathaniel here for saving your bacon. We think he has a little crush,"

Gorgeus, known for his outrageous homosexuality, winked his eye at Richard and gave a sly smile.

Sasha walked away and gestured over her shoulder. A bouncer moved some red rope railing out of the way, and two vampires were pushed in front of Richard. Sasha turned around and leaned up against a shirtless, well built Gangrel bodyguard.

"Richard B***+, meet Thomas and Natasha. These two childer haven't a reliable sire, and that's a no no in our city. If they liked it, then they 'should have put a ring on it', as our law clearly states,"

She giggled.

"I can't BELIEVE that Thomas fell under our radar for so long, but Natasha only just got turned. Of course, neither knows who did it. And Micario says that they're telling the truth. So..."

She threw him a ring. Richard knew what it was; it designated him as owing to the Queen.

"You just got assigned some pupils. Find their sires, report your findings to Micario, and Richard B$*~&? Richard B$&!@, teach them to indulge, to drink deep the waters of life. And you two..."

She pointed at Thomas and Natasha.

"You teach your B@~@! instructor how to program a holoplayer and to dance to the lady's words. You do dance, don't you?"

She crossed her arms.

"Now begone my little monsters, and dance in the dark,"

She walked over to Gorgeus and plopped into his lap, and went about curling her fingers through his hair.

"Oh, and Richard? Don't be a B%!!$ anymore, or next time..."

She showed her fangs.

"I'll eat your heart,"


Female

I will not attack the queen, even though it is tempting. I will not attack the queen, even though it is tempting. I will not attack the queen, even though it is tempting. I will not attack the queen, even though it is tempting. Iwillnotattackthequeeneventhoughitistempting.

Natasha says nothing, responding to the queen with nothing other than a nod. The queen struck her as dangerously insane and incredibly irritating, but there was nothing she could do about that. For the moment, all she could do was avoid any stupidity and play along with what the woman wanted.


Male

Damnit, I managed to fly under the radar for so long. I still had my job, I learned all the gunplay skills my vamp boss taught me, and I hunted, albeit reluctantly. Now this queen wanted me to be... taught... by some old fart?

Thomas tried to show some respect while listening to this deranged woman tease the old one. Who appointed her queen anyway? She's 'Carthian' but I dont see anything about allowing others a voice.

He nodded at the queen's question, and waited for her to finish her tirade.


Dance?! I danced with flappers- I know more about dancing (metaphorical *and* literal) than this upstart B----!

Richard keeps himself tightly in check, enduring the queen's tirade with just the hint of an ironic smile at the corners of his mouth while he considers her words and makes his plans.

What was she playing at? Sasha seemed frivolous, but she didn't keep her title by luck alone... some sort of deal with Barkovia apparantly- but the younger or the elder? Or maybe one of the Maximoffs had pulled some strings to keep me busy for a while? Apparantly I'd stepped on somebody's toes, and it'll be best to take things slowly until I know who's involved

After the queen's parting threat, Richard bows the takes his leave of the club with his charges in tow. He and the youths have business to discuss, V is not the place to discuss it.

Cheliax

Dude Human Student, 5th lvl

As they walk away, a man dressed in nothing but black clothing and a red tie walks up to Richard, and walks along with him. It is Micario, the Queen's Seneschal. He sighs.

"I apologize for the Queen's behavior. She can be a crazy b!&~$ when she wants to be,"

The Elder Vampire walks the group through the front entrance, holding the doors open for them.

"However, I will remind you that she doesn't take her threats lightly, and neither should you,"

He gestured towards a Limousine parked out front. A man opens the door to it for them.

"My Limo will take you anywhere you need to be. And Richard, I'm sorry to say it, but Nathaniel really was the one who saved you from a glimpse at the sun. I'd find some sort of way to say thank you. Or at least find out why he really did it; I know he doesn't go for Vamps,"

With that, he smiles, and then turns back to walk inside the Club.


Female

Natasha slides into the limo and then looks expectantly at Richard.

"Is the queen as insane as she appears?", she asks.


From what I know of her, does the queen often make threats as an opening move in bargaining for what she wants, or are her threats always in earnest?

Richard takes a seat in the limousine and directs the driver one of the nearby entrances to Underpendros. Tonight calls for privacy and a lot of digging and the Taven should provide opportunities for both. Besides, if the queen wanted this coterie of his to see what Pendaros had to offer then he might as well start off by throwing them in the deep end. He idly wondered if either of them had seen a changeling without their seeming...

Until they reach the Black Ale Tavern, Richard steers the conversation toward innocuous topics. "When it suits her, she can be crazier than a crackhouse rat; I've also seen her use poise and grace to wrap the masked around her finger. When she turns up the crazy I'm not sure if it's real or if she's pulling a Hamlet, but she's dangerous either way... did anyone explained the queen's law when they grabbed you?"


Male

Thomas stays quiet and in his head for most of the ride to the tavern. Being forced to be in a... coterie is not what he had in mind, especially not with some woman and an old fashioned Ventrue.

The queens law? I dunno. The one who... you know, he pointed me at someone low in the government and told me I was working there. Thats about all I got. They tell me what to do, I do it. Mostly pointing a gun at someone, telling them to stop whatever. Its been a few years, I'm doing ok. Why do I need this anyway?


Female

"No. Nobody explained anything to me. All I know is that I'm something called a Gangrel or a Carthian, but I don't know what those are or why some people call me one and some the other."

Cheliax

Dude Human Student, 5th lvl

The Limo stopped and the window rolled down.

"We're here,"

It seemed like they were in the seediest part of the city; the old industrial complex. Outside, there was an unlit door with a sign above it reading 'Franks'.

But Richard knew the score. Walk in, look straight ahead, talk to no one, and go through the back door.

He'd been going to The Black Ale Tavern since it was created in the 60's, and he can still remember the biggest piece of advice he'd ever gotten when using the street entrance:

DON'T
TALK
TO ANYONE.


Male

Just prior to getting out of the limo.
The word Carthians pulled Thomas back out of his inner monologue. Errr, I can explain that one. The carthians, of which I am, I guess, and the queen claims to be, kinda believe in a more progressive situation. Less old school, vampire crap from the storybooks, and more normal. Atleast, thats what I read.


Richard takes a look around then gives a quick briefing as his companions exit the cab.

"Long story short, someone did you wrong. I'll explain more when we have some privacy... in the mean time follow me, keep your eyes to the front, and don't talk to anyone!"

Cheliax

Dude Human Student, 5th lvl

Unless you say otherwise, I'll move ya'll forward now

The newly formed coterie exited the limo and entered 'Frank's' as the nice car drove away.

Within, the bar was dark and dreary. A few people mulled over their drinks as the bartender cleaned out glasses, but the bar was otherwise very quite.

Richard kept moving forward, and walked through the backdoor.

"HEY! You can't go in there!"


Male

Thomas followed Richard, exiting the limo and entering the seedy looking bar. He wondered what was so special about this place. At first glance, it was some dark townie bar.

The bartender put up a halfhearted yell as the group exited through the back door, and Thomas was curious to see what laid beyond.


Female

As the bartender began yelling Natasha tensed, wondering whether he was actually going to try something. She had no idea why they were here or why the bartender didn't want them there, and she wanted to be prepared for whatever was going to happen next.


Same old place... I wonder how the childer will hold up...

Richard pays the shout no heed and continues past the door and down to the undercity.

Cheliax

Dude Human Student, 5th lvl

As the Kindred moved through the doorway, they could continue to hear the bartender yell and curse at them. They heard the click of a shotgun. A threat to call the cops.

And in front of them was a brick wall.

The door behind them swung closed.

And then everything changed.

The brickwall melted away, and the sounds of a huge crowd talking, laughing, and singing could be heard. The door behind them was gone.

The coterie were now on a brickwalkway, with wooden stairs zigzagging down against the wall. About 50 feet below them was a large tavern, filled with wooden tables and chairs. A fireplace was inlaid against the opposite wall, with large comfy chairs around it. In the far corner was a stage, on which there was currently a group of 4 changelings singing old timey drinking songs. And directly in the middle was a square bar, behind which was a staff busily at work. In the very middle of that was a pillar made of wooden kegs of beer that seemed to go up through the ceiling. As they watched, they heard a cry, in a french accent.

"BLACK LAGER!"

The column of barrels began moving and shifting, as a barrel from the top made it's way to the bottom. The barrel was quite clearly talking as it did so.

"GUID SWALLY COMIN' DUWN! GIET AY TH' WAY! AH NEED TAE BRIN' MOTHER'S MILK TAE 'ER BAIRNS! MAKE WAY FUR GOD'S GIFT TAE CHEIL! GUID DAY! YE! YEAH, YE, LECHT SWALLY! GIE OOTTA HAUR!"

This was the Black Ale Tavern.

Despite the noise, Richard knew that the north facing doorway in the commons area would take him to a place much quieter. However, he'd have to first talk to the head barkeep, the Wererat Pierre Francious, before he'd be allowed back there.


It was good to have an excuse to visit the tavern again, sometimes Richard forgot how much he loved this place. It was a distillation of all the best pubs, gin joints, speakeasies, and bars he'd seen through the years- combined with that spark that you only got in Pendaros. Richard walks up to the bar and spends a minute chatting with Pierre about the current gossip and rumors before asking if there's a booth open in the back.

If the conversation drifts to Richard's recent meeting with the queen, he does his best to cast it in a positive light- "Sasha needed a favor, and of course she thought of me..."


Female

Natasha looks around the place curiously. "What do you think we're doing here?", she whispers to Thomas.


Male

Thomas looks around, taken aback by the scene. He runs a hand through his hair, trying to take in what was going on. This is something out of a crazy movie. Pirates of the Caribbean crossed with Twilight, he thinks, thinking back to some movies around the turn of the century.

He hears Natasha whisper to him, and whispers a response.
I have no clue. I guess we're either meeting someone or talking. He seems to have something in mind. Any ideas?

I actually met Flogging Molly a few years back. Super nice guys, really chill.

Cheliax

Dude Human Student, 5th lvl

Francious smiled as Richard mentioned the Queen.

"HA! And my mother f+#$ed lady gaga. You can't sneak one past me Richard. Anyways, there's a booth open, but you know the rules! What'll you all be having? I'll send one of the girls into the back with your drinks, and maybe food? Haha! Just kidding. I know you don't partake,"

Richard knew that the wererat would be preparing the drinks with blood, so even though he wouldn't be pulling any substance from them, they'd be able to taste the drinks and not throw them up later. And maybe get just a little buzz, if they wanted alcohol.


Male

The odd little Guy behind the bar definitely belongs here. Thomas is still very much put of his element. He looks at Richard who doesn't seem to want to cough up any information at the moment. Thomas ponders the bartender's words.

Drinks? What are these rules? oh. and we definitely came from the queen. her limo just dropped us off.


Female

Natasha says nothing. She wanted to know what they needed the booth for, but she had the feeling that she'd find out soon enough.


Richard's had a lot of practice at controlling his body language over the years, so he doesn't sigh or wince at Thomas' lack of subtlety... he just ignores him for now and orders a round of lagers to start with and asks his charges to join him in the back.

Once they're settled in and have some privacy he'll become much more forthcoming, and the questions can begin in earnest...

I'd kind of like to avoid a monologue post about vampire nature, the queen's laws, and the like. If it does turn out to be necessary I'll try to keep it brief.)

Cheliax

Dude Human Student, 5th lvl

When they entered the back rooms, they'd find a long wooden hallway with curtains on either side. Some of the curtains are pulled shut, but Richard goes to a booth that is empty with an open curtain. The booth is about two feet up from the floor and is in the shape of a semi circle.

Once all the vampires had settled in, the curtain closed itself. While the noise of the Tavern had still been streaming into the hallway, the curtain cut off all sound from the outside. Richard knew that except for a knock on the wall from the hallway, no noise could be heard coming in or out. They could talk as they liked, without whispering.

Okay, I guess, for now, you guys can take it from here! I'll take your questions in Discussion, or if you'd rather E-mail me, you can can contact me at this E-mail addy that I use for all PbP related things: Narratore@gmx.com


Male

So what exactly is going on? I'm confused. Why are we sitting here, in this strange bar?


Female

"That's what I'd like to know."


"We're here because this is both a good place to be guaranteed of privacy, and because it is a good place to ask some questions. On a good night a quarter of the people who know how Pendros really works might pass through here. And (no offense) I have plans of my own and I don't want to spend any more time on Sasha's business than necessary."

Richard pauses at a brisk knock on the booth's wall and continues after the drinks arrive, occasionally sipping on his beer. "I'm in this mess because I moved a little too aggressively on a business venture and now I'm paying my dues. The queen is a crazy B----, but she holds this place together and makes some of that Carthian nonsense actually work. She set up a few laws that keep things civil around here, and one of them is that you don't Embrace a mortal without her permission and you take care of anyone you do turn- at least until they can make their own way. Nominally, the penalty is pretty light- you get beaten senseless and starved, then buried underground 'till you wake in a few weeks or a few years. The point is someone's been flaunting the law; and if she found you two suddenly I think she's worried there might be more..."

"So, what are your stories?"


Male

Dont know what to say, really. I was working a shift for the EMT squad at my college, and we got word of someone hurt. They sent us out alone to see the calls first, since half of them are pranks or drunk kids. I must have surprised the dude while hunting, and he turned on me, and embraced me right there. Dont know why, never really talked to him.

Thomas stopped, and looked at the other two, taking a drink and continuing.

Ugh, this is crap. Anyway, he dropped me off at some door, turned out to be a local office in the government, just not the government I was used to. They told me what had happened, and to show up certain times for work. I found out what happens to people who dont listen, so I kept working. I dropped out of college, but kept my paramedic license. Work keeps me busy, one or the other.

Thomas took another drink, and thought about what he'd said. There wasnt much else.

I dunno. I got used to working for those guys, I can handle a gun alright, but I wish I was back at school. Heh, I sleep on a mound of dirt, because if I dont, I feel weak. Some life, eh?

Thomas takes one more sip.

Natasha, what's your deal?


Female

"Me? Up until a couple of months ago I was a corporal in the Canadian Army. I was born in Russia, moved to Canada halfway through my childhood, and signed up for the military for the training and pride. Now I'm legally a deserter because I can't continue my service due to my... condition, so I have to stay off of Canadian soil for my own good. Whoever made me one of you guys didn't stay to explain things to me, so I have no idea how everything works or what to do now. I'm only here because whoever this Queen is sent people to bring me to her."


"Paramedic huh? Sounds like a nice gig... who cares if the licks show up a pint or two low- they're at a hospital anyway! How's it working out for you?"

After chatting about their pasts and their current predicaments, Richard sets in to explaining the various vampire customs, traditions, covenants, clans, and laws to Thomas and Natasha. He tries to keep the latin to a minimum, and wraps things up after an hour or so.

"... Natasha, your death will be what you make of it. Keep your head low and in a few years you'll probably be declared legally dead- you can get a fake identity and move back up North if you still want to. Give Pendros a chance though, if you've got to damned this is the place to do it."

Richard finishes the last of his drink and looks to the two younger vampires expectantly, "Any other questions?"


Male

Thomas nodded at the comment. Its works out ok. I still enjoy the work, and it does make the hunt easier.

He listens as Richard explains the rest of the vampire bits.

Well, that felt like a lecture. Things also make a bit more sense now. Where do we go from here? I wouldnt know how to find the guy that... err... embraced me?


Female

"I think I might stay, at least for a while. I'd rather not spend the rest of my days alone."

That said, she turns to Thomas. "Do you think you could get me a job where you work? I was a medic when I was in the army, and I've treated combat casualties, so I'm very much qualified, and I need some sort of work."


Male

Dont see why not. I bet you could get all the necessary documents, and if not, maybe you could help, he says, looking at Richard. Apparently its good to maintain a cover story. Its not bad, and there's always a shortage of people willing to work third shift.


Richard nods to Thomas, Yes, that is the right word. I want to find out everything there is to know about that office you were dropped off at and whoever works there. It could be a small-timer taking advantage of a gullible neonate, or it might be someone making a serious power play. I'll spend some time tonight chasing down rumors and doing a bit of research. That's the most direct route, there's another thing that might work but it's a bit of a long shot... I'd rather see where this leads first.

The requiem is important, it keeps you sane and keeps you connected. I know a fellow who used to work medical billing scams out of the state department of health, I also know a guy who might be able to slip your information into the right databases. Let me know if you need me to call in a favor...

We can meet up at Main Street Park on your next night off to compare notes and go over what I discovered.


Female

"Thanks. I could use the work. Perhaps I could do something to help catch Thomas's sire? I'd like to catch mine, too, but that's pretty unlikely, seeing as how I was embraced in Nova Scotia."


Male

Sounds like a plan. I've got a shift tomorrow night, but I'm free after that. Given the queen's plans, I dont think I have to show up to that work.

Thomas looked down into his beer, looking up to once more take in the two figures sitting with him. The woman, young, clearly russian at some point, seems to be one of the good ones. Hard to fault a medic, I guess. The man, harder to read. He's been around, clearly. His fashion taste shows that one off. Although he could have been turned with one of those ironic moustaches that were apparently popular when I was born.

So what's the plan, then? Main Street Park?

Sorry about the delay, work/finals are killing me.


Richard looks to Natasha, What did you have in mind? One avenue of investigation will be to find any public surveillance footage of the areas where you were embraced. The occlusion will have long sense hidden them, but perhaps there were witnesses or something else we can use. Do either of you remember what your sire looked like? If we're lucky they were chipped or were carrying a phone and the grid recorded their information. I am... he waves his hand vaguely not up-to-date on theses systems. If you know any good hackers or have any contacts in the police or private security services you might be able to find this information. It would certainly save me some time and favors...

Yes, Main Street Park two nights hence. In the mean time, enjoy the nightlife! Make a friend out there, he waves toward the main room of the tavern, feed, or just enjoy getting buzzed- the bar has an excellent selection. I'll meet you by the fountain on the north end. Now Thomas, what was the address of that building where you were dropped off? With that, Richard opens the curtain and stands up to leave.

Oh, and a word of warning- be careful of making deals or promises with the people you meet in Underpendros, Vampires aren't the only monsters you'll meet down here...

Yes, he called it a "phone" and called them "hackers". I'd imagine these terms are quite anachronistic in the modern '30s.


Female

Natasha looks at Thomas. "So, what do we do now? I'm open to suggestions."


Male

Gonna make some stuff up, lemme know what you think, lol.

Thomas takes a look at Richard. Errr, hackers, I mean, I've done my share of... hacking... but no, I dont usually keep those sort of contacts. Not that I'd know what to look for. As for the building, you'll love this. Its a Bail Bonds place a few streets over from the University. Smileys. Teeth, smileys... clever. Anywho, its a nice cover for a 24/7 place. Around the back, through the parking lot there's an entrance not for regular folks.

That should be enough for him to get started. I wish I knew what to do with the rest of the night. Whats a nice way to say its not my scene?

Beats me. I havent really socialized with other... well, us.


Even with the queen's audience and the time spent educating his new coterie, the night was young. It's been a fair while since Richard has had time to kill at a bar and he's in the mood to indulge. He'll spend a few hours socializing, sharing drinks, and catching up on gossip before attending to the night's work.

After that he'll attend to his Masquerade, teleconferencing in on a board meeting in Thailand and Russian holding company's strategic planning session. Afterward he'll have a "mentoring" session with the intern doing the note keeping...
His hunger slaked for the night, Richard gets in touch with Sam. Things move so fast now- It's been a few years since he had anything to do with the datahaven scene and now everything he knew is obsolete. He needs Sam to make a few introductions on his behalf so he can start digging into the electronic side of this mystery.
Richard's next message is for Zack (assuming he's not awake at this time of night), Hey Zack, I have a job for you. I need you to do some digging on a Bail Bonds joint named Smiley's at {address}. Let me know what you can turn up as far as property records, business licenses, complaints, and the like. It's not urgent but I'd like to have at least a preliminary report on-hand by 6PM Sunday.

Richard spends the rest of his time at home catching up on record keeping. As the coffee maker turns on and the first blush of twilight starts shining outside, Richard says good morning to Iranis and sequesters himself in the alcove under the bed with the mannequin.

9d10 ⇒ (3, 5, 4, 3, 5, 7, 6, 5, 9) = 47 Manipulation+Streetwise check for rumors = 1 success

Assuming nothing untoward happens for the rest of the night, those are Richard's plans. Per the call to Sam, I'd like to buy a dot in contacts for hackers...


Male

As Richard left, Thomas sat in uncomfortable silence with Natasha. Errr, I may just head home for the night. I think I'll look into what we need for you to get a job, see what I cant turn up. Have a good night.

With that, Thomas exits the booth and heads out into the bar. Making his way around the patrons, not all of whom he understands, he heads out through the outer bar, not speaking a word and keeping his head down until he's outside.

It was early, but Thomas did not need to hunt. With a shift tomorrow, he would be guaranteed a meal. Instead, Thomas made the walk home to his small, basement apartment just off Main Street. Expensive, but the buildings were old and somehow comforting. Nobody gave him much trouble, and his landlord was just happy to have someone living in the usually undesirable "garden level" unit that payed regularly.

Thomas jacked in to the internet, searching to see what he could turn up on his new companions.

Not sure how to do the rolls for this. Or what it would accomplish if he turned up a hit. But its what he would do, for sure. Or I would lol facebook.


Male

Dice:

Information Search (Natasha),(Int+Comp): 7d10 ⇒ (6, 4, 4, 9, 8, 1, 5) = 37 2 successes
Information Search (Richard),(Int+Comp-4): 3d10 ⇒ (10, 2, 1) = 13 1 success
Reroll on a 10: 1d10 ⇒ 4

8,9 or 10 is a success, right?


Female

Natasha went to her motel to get some sleep. Assuming nothing happens, she intends to call Richard tomorrow night when she wakes up to try and figure out a plan of action. Perhaps he has something she could do for him. She's a bit lost as to what she should be doing at the moment.

Cheliax

Dude Human Student, 5th lvl

Richard, if you feed as an afterthought, which I’m cool with, you need to back it up with a roll. The mechanics are on page 164 of the core book and cool details on page 75-76 of Blood: The player’s guide to the requiem. For now, I’ll say it explains your current Vitae amount. Also, I love the term datahaven, I’m adding it to the lexicon now. In reference to Sam, you’ll need to be specific about what you want; only cause I don’t understand your inquiry.

It was the next night that Richard got his response from Zack. It came up on his screen when he awoke. Zack was sitting in his office, daylight streaming in from behind him.

“Hey Richard, it’s Zack. I’m on lunch right now, and may I just mention again that I wish we could meet during my office hours? Anyways, I got your records, my people got together a report for me, and here’s the summary:

It’s owned by a larger company called ‘The Giovanni Group’, it is legally registered, it has a 100% turn around record; none of their clients have ever turned tail on them, the only complaints against them are sealed, and that’s about it. Only two complaints; I’m sorry I can’t give you any more information than that. However, I had my people also look into ‘The Giovanni Group’ for you, since I knew that’d be your next request, and they own a lot of older properties, including, get this, most of the old warehouse district. You know all those old, rundown buildings that should be condemned, that not even Barkovia Securities will go near? Those ones. The company’s manager is a gal named Chastity Maximoff, and she’s only 23. After that, well, I’m bound by attorney-client privilege; I represented her last year along with most of the Maximoff family.

Anyways, I’ve got to run, we can talk more about this later, can we meet at the White Chapel Bistro on Main street? You’re paying, of course! Call me if you want to set it up,”

As Richard awoke, Spend 1 vitae he recalled the conversation he had had with François.

Memory wrote:
“I’m not sure about that girl of Sasha’s, you know, Anneliese Barkovia? She keeps making plans for the afternoon ceremony next week, and was in here today with some of her event staff! I saw her bodyguard, and shapeshifter going by the name Southpaw. She musta stood seven feet tall, and was all dressed up like some native American wannabe. Oh, and get this! Topside, the head of her security is rumored to be a hunter! Ha! I say this thing explodes like a powder keg,”

----------------------

As Thomas mined through the records, he’d find that Natasha’s story rang true whatever is on Natasha’s character page, you now know. It now looked like she had deserted to avoid being deployed in the North-Pacific war, according to her records. That was all he could discover before being booted from the website.

Richard, it is up to you to tell Thomas one piece of information about your character due to his findings, out of character. I can't be inconsequential, but it doesn't have to be anywhere near his deepest darkest secret either
---------------------
Natasha’s trip home should have been uneventful.

It wasn’t.

“Mira lo que acaba se presentó! Ven aquí nena, no quieres bailar? Quiero bailar, ¿por qué no bailas conmigo y mis amigos? Give us a kiss!”

A group of five men started walking towards her, the man who had looked at her gyrating his hips as he moved forward.

But before Natasha could act…

“A*~$$+*! Is that how you treat a lady?”

Natasha looked up. Standing twenty feet above her on a window ledge was a woman dressed head to toe in white tights that had wide sleeves and pants like bell bottoms, and she wore a domino mask . She jumped down and landed squarely on the back of one of the men. His bones made an audible crack.

“How about you kiss the pavement, dirtbag!”

“How about you kiss this b+$~~!”

One of the men pulled a gun and shot the woman. It hit her in the chest, and she grunted, looking at Natasha.

“RUN! RUN!”

Two of the men started walking towards Natasha.

What do you do?


Female

Am I carrying a weapon?


OOC stuff @G85:
Some of my WoD games have used a house rule that 6 dice can be traded for an automatic success in non-dramatic situations. Do you use a similar rule? Give Richard's talents I rarely see him going hungry... Manipulation 3 + Persuasion 5 + Herd 4 = 12 dice for feed check 12d10 ⇒ (5, 5, 9, 10, 8, 3, 9, 4, 6, 1, 1, 10) = 71 + 10-again 2d10 ⇒ (10, 3) = 13+1d10 ⇒ 4 = 6 successes

I think the term datahaven is from William Gibson's books. I like it enough that it's worked its way into my permanent cyberpunk vocabulary.

What I want from Sam is either for her to dig into the electronic records surrounding Thomas's turning, or introduce me to someone who can. To start with, check for any archived recordings of the event and the surrounding area. His sire won't show up but the vampire's vehicle would. Any electronics he/she was carrying might also have left an impression- perhaps something scanned an implanted identity chip, or there is a data trail from a phone or PAN (Personal Area Network). Expanding the search, any police/private security records about attacks or unusual occurrences in the area would be examined too, along with all the things I'm not thinking of because I'm not a hacker in the 2030s...

"Techie" is pretty broad and give you a lot of options for how you build Sam. If that sort of thing isn't her strong point, then Richard would ask her for introductions to the sort of people who are good at this work. Then I'd use that point of XP to buy the contacts and start making friends...

Oh, and if these records do exist, then someone was getting sloppy about the masquerade. One more thing to hold over their head when we figure out what's going on...


Thomas's Research on Richard:
After a few hours of research, you turn up the basics about Richard's life. The databases show that he was born in 1999, attended a distinguished university, and was 'fast tracked' through the managerial program in a multinational finance company. Since then he has taken part in several entrepreneurial ventures and has had is name show up in trade magazines, professional networking sites, and all the appropriate government databases.

You also come across an recently restored offline archive of a conspiracy theory site that was popular in the 2020s. One interesting post purports to have uncovered a time-traveling Republican CIA operative. It links "Richard Twidwell", a suspected political operative who lobbied on behalf of the White House plumbers, with "Richard Twidwell", a suspiciously well-connected up-and-coming consultant employed by a several super-PACs and corporate advisory committees. There was a brief peak of interest on the original site, but it faded after the poster dropped off the net.


Female

Natasha pulls out her handgun, takes aim at one of the guys, and screams at him to stop moving immediately.

Cheliax

Dude Human Student, 5th lvl

The man makes to run at Natasha.

Roll Initiative!
Gangster 1 1d10 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Gangster 2 1d10 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Gangster 3 1d10 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Gangster 4 1d10 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
Gangster 5 1d10 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Cape 1d10 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10

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