Thomas went to stop Michael before he entered his trance thing, but words died in his mouth as the other vampire began talking. He waited patiently, curious as to how all this worked; how the man-thing was able to get images about the future. College level physics classes whizzed through his head and he smirked, not sure what was true.
Thanks. I kinda had that idea when she stopped responding and didnt show up here. A warning shot across our bow, maybe.
He looks away, runs his hand through his hair, and turns back.
You know, I'm getting tired of this bull----. It seems like the wild west out here, or like 8th century England. People do what they want, abduct and kill others, all in the name of some queen. Lets get to the fountain, meet Richard, and start settling this mess out.
Thomas turns and walks towards the park, leaving the other vampire to catch up. And you know, I only just met the girl, but I liked her. And the crap with me, working to only find out I have no idea for who, or why. Come to think of it, I havent been back in days, with all our adventuring. They might come looking for me.
What a post, g85. Gave me the willies. Love to know what was going on. ;)
At Club V
Sasha seemed irritated. She leaned back on her white sofa, letting her shoes dangle in front of Gorgeous's face, he looked irritated by having the shoes there, finally grabbing one and throwing it into the crowd of people dancing in the club, one by one. The Queen immediately sat up and scowled at him.
"NATHANIEL! Those were 2k shoes!"
He laughed and sat upon his knees, looking at her.
"Then, you stupid b%~$~, get them out of my face! Besides, we've probably paid for someone's bar tab then,"
"That money goes to me!"
"No, it goes to Anneliese you greedy whore! Her mother signed over the rights to her; and besides, it never was yours to begin with,"
"F*!* you. You're fired,"
"You love me! Loooove meee,"
He leans closer and closer to her, until their noses are almost touching, and his breathing becomes heavy as he runs a hand up her leg. The Queen breaks into a fit of giggles.
"Okay! Okay you cock-lover, I love you! GOD!!! You had be thinking you were going to f@#* me right here!"
"Only if you had a dick"
"Well, you can suck mine,"
"Gladly. When are you going to talk to the boy?"
In their awkward position, they both turn and look at Oroku Saki, who had been standing there the whole time. The Queen runs her eyes up and down his body, like a tiger looking at it's prey.
"Who is he?"
Nathaniel turns and looks at her, and licks her cheek. She screeches, and pushes him off her, then spreads out on her couch, still looking Saki over and over.
"He is Oroku Saki, and he's here because you sent for him. And stop looking at him like a b&$&! in heat,"
The Queen stands up and walks over to Saki. Her bodyguards seems to straighten up as she puts her arms over his shoulders, her bosom sagging in the most inviting of ways. She leans in to whisper in his ear.
"Why haven't you come to see me Saki? All Vamps must report to me. Why didn't you present yourself? I assure you, the benefits would have blown your mind,"
She backed away, waiting for his answer. Nathaniel stands up and drapes himself over her, creating the look of a mink over a woman's shoulders. He bites her ear.
"I hope it's because he's sly," The Changeling whispers, loud enough for Saki to hear.
Richard feels alive running through the night air. It's been quite some while since his heart pounded while he ran or he tasted the night air as he gulped it into rarely-used lungs. He arrives at the fountain slightly flushed, and carefully controls his face when Zack introduces Whisper by name. Of course he'd heard of her, but he'd hardly expected to meet the Infused representative of the Masked Council like this...
"Fine. Nice to meet you parasite. How many people have YOU killed?"
Zack uncharacteristically got angry.
"HEY! He brought me this, okay? You wanna take down the Triad!? You've got to make friends! I've NEVER known Richard to harm a fly!"
Normally Richard would speak for himself; the words were on the tip of his tongue to call the cape out for her morally superior grandstanding- nobody with power in this city was innocent, she was as complicit in the current state of affairs as anyone. She had the same sort of 'everyone's a criminal' attitude that certain cops got from dealing with scum all day... but he hadn't come here for a fight and she seemed satisfied when Zack spoke on his behalf.
"I'm sorry Rich. I've known about what you are for a few years now. It was just easier to...ignore it."
"You needn't apologize. It was easier... we'll talk more about this when we're alone."
Joining Whisper at the fountain, Richard nods a quick assent when he sees Zoe's image, Yeah, I know the Maximoffs... and the Triads. I did my best to stay out of their business until the queen threw me to the dogs a few nights back."
<<The Chemco Plant>>"I don't know what that was I saw Richard, but I thought a Parasite might be able to tell me."
As Richard watches the scene, the blood drains from his face. "Vicissitude. Fleshcrafting. I mean... I'm no expert. I suppose it could be any number of magics, but if that thing was a vampire then it was probably the Tzimisce I've been looking for. I might be able to tell you more, if you'll dispense with the 'Parasite' nonsense and hold a civil conversation..." Richard is not just fishing for an apology, he is trying to set a some groundwork for future social interactions with her. It could be useful to be on speaking terms with one of the Masked but he had to strike the right tone...
Intelligence(2) + Politics (4*) 6d10 + 1d10 ⇒ (2, 1, 9, 7, 4, 7) + (6) = 36 = 1 successes - I assume I know Whisper has a seat on the Council... correct me if I wouldn't and I can retcon the post.
Default to intelligence for occult test (2-1) 1d10 ⇒ 8 = 1 success - To know a little something about the vicissitude discipline and the Tzimisce clan... let me know if I assumed something Richard wouldn't/couldn't know.
Intelligence(2) + Streetwise (Rumors)(6) 8d10 ⇒ (6, 8, 1, 7, 5, 9, 1, 9) = 46 = 3 successes - What sort of rumors are floating around about Whisper?
I will get something up soon about what you all Vamps know. Anyways:
Whisper has the following rumored super-powers: Super-Strength, Super-Speed, Superleaping, Invulnerability, Flight, Laser Beams, Invisibility, Time-Control, Sound Control, Light and Darkness Control, Telekinesis Wall Climbing, Teleportation, Control of the Air, Illusions. GM'S NOTE: THEY AREN'T ALL TRUE!
Richard can now confirm two: Illusions and Superleaping.
Some say she works closely with the police.
Some say she enjoys killing Supernaturals.
Whisper looked ticked.
"HOW DARE Y--"
Zack grabbed her shoulder.
"Don't! DON'T! If he's a freak, you're a freak as well! Just because..."
He frowned, looking at Richard, before looking back at Whisper. It was becoming clear the two had a history.
"We'll talk about this later Whisper! Now, apologize. Just because you beat up bad guys doesn't mean you get to be a b%$~+,"
Whisper opened her mouth to speak, but turned to Richard instead.
"Fine. Hi Richard. Let's talk. So, a what the hell using what the f@**? What the F&~* was that? Who do I have to talk to figure out, if not you?"
Michael made his way into the clearing.
"I don't know what to tell you Thomas. This is our life. This is your's now. The best thing to do is get you more involved in the Vampire circles. You'll have to join a Covenant sooner than later. But me and Richard, we'll set you on the right path Thomas. I won't let you join the Lancea Sanctum, that's for sure,"
Thomas walked on ahead to Richard.
"Richard! Me amigo! Hows...holy s#&$! A Cape! Hi ya Cape! How's it going?"
I thought I was in one. The others, in down time, talked on some way of equality. Said the queen was wrapped up in it too. Sure doesnt seem like it. I have to admit, it does have its draws. This whole situation is getting tiring. Thomas frowned and walked on.
Looking at the fountain ahead, he saw Richard, accompanied by others he did not recognize. Michael yelled about a cape of some kind.
Bewildered, Thomas looked to Richard for guidance, before the knowledge dawned on him. Vampires, other creatures in the bar, cape... Oh christ, you're a ----ing superhero? Why am I surprised? With a flapping of arms, Thomas turns around, walks a few feet off before returning.
Sorry about that. Richard, who are these lovely people? He looked around. I'm Thomas, this eloquent individual is Michael. Pleased to meet you all.
The young monk has had his eyes on the ground in deference throughout the exchange, which was apparently meant to cause some kind of embarrassment. His internal translator working overtime to keep up with the nonstop string of profanity and slang being spewed back and forth by the hedonistic pair, Oroku Saki gives no sign that any of their jibes are affecting him in the least.
Since the queen held court in a club where his monks robes were frightfully inappropriate, the kindred before her had come decked out in his finest club-sheik gear. Richly hewed blacks over iridescent reds with metallic edging. His bleached hair freshly spiked strait up with each tip frosted lemon yellow and his mirrored wrap-arounds pushed securely up onto his hairline. (See powerman 5000's lead singer in 'Nobody's Real' video for an idea.)
Slowly bringing his left fist to his right hip and then rolling it into the flattened palm of his right hand as they circle forward and around each other, he bows deeply as he gracefully slides one foot back in the formal greeting of a Shaolin monk. He speaks softly in Szechuan, in both respect and as to not obscure the louder English words provided in the engrossingly vibrant synth voice of his translator, trying his best to sound as formal as he can muster.
"Your majesty does this simple monk great honor with the favor of her touch. When finding oneself in a new kingdom my sensei's lesson was always to learn as much of its law as possible before venturing forth, especially into its courts. A Mr. Yui Sakaichi and a miss Zoe Maximoff have been so gracious as to instruct me in the law of your wondrous city. It was suggested that since all of our... kind are your subjects and at your leisure, I should await the highness's summons so as not to inconvenience her. Is there anything the queen would ask of a humble subject?" He still has not raised his eyes from the ground, even though he has risen strait again from his bow. "Maybe a dance? I have heard it said your majesty and I share a - fierce? obsession with the culture?" A warm and honest smile touches the edges of his mouth as he finishes his question. He finally lets his fist-in-palm salute relax as he subtly gestures to his garb and then holds out a hand. The current song pounding through the club winds down, and Saki's eyes flick from the floor up toward the speakers in the corners of the ceiling. "I'm certain you won't need your shoes for the next one in this set." And then his eyes finally meet hers directly, his slow smile changing his whole face from humble monk to completely self confident club kid.
Being as the queen is such an avid clubber, Sasha and Saki may have actually crossed paths before the official meeting. But for whatever reason, be it his Aspect of the Beast and/or his barfly/sanctity merits they have never interacted until now.
Do I need to make any rolls right now? ie: Wits+Socialize (8) to come off as smooth as possible, or perception (don't know which Atr+Skl make this now), or even a Dex+Athletics (7) if she takes him up on his offer to dance right this second?
"Oh, one of those. Be go--"
Nathaniel whispers in her ear.
"Hmm? Oh yes, very good, you naughty man you! In fact, my little monster, you can do something for me. You need to find out who your Sire was. The one who gave you the dark gift? Go find the Vampire named Richard, he is already trying to do this for another Child, and I'm sure he can handle one more. You are now his problem. Ha! That socialite should have his hands busy trying to control a warrior. You're not as much a childe as that Thomas fellow though,"
She waves the martial artist away.
Saki gives the slightest of shrugs as he drops his waiting hand and bows to the queen again. "Could your royal cuteness have someone send a text message to this Richard something, about your request for me to join him and have them also provide me his contact info so I can catch up with him tonight?" He hands his number to the guard, and points into the mass of bouncing people out on the dance floor. "I'll be out there waiting for those digits." He smiles innocently again and takes his leave of her royal snobby-pants and sidles up to a little hottie on dance floor, falling into step with her current fad moves as she smiles and guides his hands to her waist. His yellow spiked hair vanishes as he and the girl are swallowed by the churn of the crowd.
Once Saki gets the info, he texts the "Socialite" vampire Richard for his location.
'My name is Oroku Saki and I have been asked by the queen to join your current endeavor. If you'd send me your location, I can make my way to you. You should also be receiving a message from the queen's people to the same effect.'
If she snubbs him the info, Saki can call Yui or Zoe to see if they know how to get in touch with Richard.
Good call; once she waved Oroku away, he no longer registered on her radar as anything more than a fly. What a B&~*!.
Yui reports back that she doesn't know any Richard, but then again, she doesn't float in the typical vampire social circles.
Zoe, however, tells you that at one time, he was a rising member of the Invictus and potentially a harpy of the court, but he fell into oblivion until recently, when there was an 'incident' with Barkovia, and that actually brought him some attention. She lists the Black Ale tavern and Main Street as the haunts she knows him to spend time at, and tells him that Richard keeps his finger on the city's pulse, or at least, he used to. She says the word is that he is currently training an adoptive childe, and that one of the princess's Oracles has been looking for him as well.
This latest girl slowly opens her eyes again as Saki pulls back reluctantly from the long, deep kiss. He has a small white pill in his gloved hand at waist level all of a sudden, that has a red heart on one side as he turns it over.
He has adjusted the volume down on his translator so only she could here its reverberating words. "My 'red magic' will take you to the sweetest place you have ever been. Give me your tongue." He places his forehead against hers as she coyly opens her mouth. He slips the 'red magic' heart side down onto her wet, wriggling tongue as he passes a hand over her lips.
Her jade green eyes widen almost instantly before returning to sultry slits a few moments later, a smile widening across her young face. "Now my lovely, I have some business I need to take care of. I'll see you again soon though, Cindy."
Feeding*: Wits+Socialize 8d10 ⇒ (2, 9, 1, 5, 5, 7, 10, 2) = 41 1 success
Hand off: Dex+Larceny (sleight of hand)7d10 ⇒ (4, 5, 4, 7, 4, 8, 8) = 40 1 success
Perception: Wits+Composure 9d10 ⇒ (7, 5, 5, 7, 4, 5, 8, 1, 5) = 47 1 success
He leaves Club V cruising down the old Main Street, keeping an eye out for anyone matching the description Zoe had given him of this Richard as he made his way across town to the entrance of the Black Ale to see if anyone actually has the number for the socialite.
*I added my standard feeding method to the "Other Stuff" section of my sheet. I have a feeling those pesky 1s on wits rolls are gonna get me killed. At least they don't count on surprise or initiative rolls.
"Fine. Hi Richard. Let's talk. So, a what the hell using what the f%%~? What the F@@+ was that? Who do I have to talk to figure out, if not you?"
It's somewhat uncomfortable, discussing kindred business with outsiders. Richard chooses his words carefully- what influence he had left came from carefully sharing the right information with the right people but Whisper (and now Zack, for that matter) was a bit of a wildcard.
"It's hard to explain; the blood, it changes us when we die. There's a power in it that has passed through the generations. Some of us have tried to analyze it, classify it, break it down into 'clans' and 'bloodlines' but in the end it's all just... magic. The clan Tzimisce are a little weird; their embrace can change how they see the world and it lets them change themselves or others to suit their new anesthetic- fleshcrafting. Most of the Tzimisce in Underpendros, they're nothing like that. He waves a hand at the fountain, "They're like... plastic surgeons, useful specialists who have found a market for their talents."
Richard watches her expression as he considers whether to reveal this next bit of guesswork. He has no proof at all for what he's about to say, but it strings together several disparate facts and rumors that had come to his attention recently and made for a good story. Even if it wasn't true, if Whisper believed him it would give her something to look into and keep her out of his business for a while... Richard speaks with authority even though he's making it up as he goes along.
"What you saw was someone making a new sort of vampire. We've been calling them 'Catiff', it's not the right word but it's as good a term as any. They've become a real problem in the past few years and the bodies are piling up. They're vicious, they can walk in the sunlight, and there are hundreds of them. As you've seen, the Maximoffs have something to do with this mess but I'm not sure where the queen fits in-"
"Richard! Me amigo! Hows...holy s@*!! A Cape! Hi ya Cape! How's it going?"
Richard drifts off as his coterie, except for Natasha, joins them at the fountain and he makes awkward introductions. "Thomas, Michael, meet Zack and Whisper."
"We owe her a bit of thanks; I believe Whisper here has brought us closer to finding your sire, Thomas."
Some say she works closely with the police...as in the actual police, or Barkovia?
Saki, having been to Tavern before, knows to keep his head down and walk straight forward through the street level bar.
Once inside, he can see that the Tavern is alive with activity. The owner, the wererat Francious, is nowhere to be seen. Instead, the bar is being covered by a gorgerous black woman dressed head to toe in gothic looking clothing and possessing dreadlocks, and the tables are being waited on by a pretty looking gal, in her early 20's. A Changeling band plays a merry old folk tune on the corner stage.
"Well, these...how the hell did you pronounce that? No really, I have no clue. Anyways, anyone capable of that should be put to death. That's almost the worse thing I've ever seen. Which is still pretty damn bad,"
The Cape was actually referring to someone who was capable of being so horrible, but it could easily be misunderstood as her saying anyone using Vicissitude should be killed.
Zack spoke up.
"Alright. I got you the info you wanted Richard. This...I knew that Vampires drank blood, but this...I need some time Richard. Could you just...not contact me for a while?"
You've lost Zack for a temporary period of time; the price for such a useful bit of information. To make up for it...
Zack puts his hands in his pockets and begins to walk away. Whisper looks Richard up and down.
"Well, I'm not so damn delicate. I don't actually know any Vamps. You can meet me in the historic district at night most weekends. Just stand on a rooftop; I'll find you. But I need you to do something with this; you help me, I'll help you,"
...you get a 3 dot Contact in Whisper. If by March in RL you haven't contacted Zack, everything will switch back.
"SIM-ease," Richard enunciates. "And yeah, whoever is behind this needs to die. IF the queen's not involved we can go to her about it, but they obviously have the support of at least two of the Maximoffs so I'm hesitant to simply march up and start making accusations to her or the masked." Richard said 'hesitant', but what he meant was afraid. The Maximoffs were bad business and he didn't want to be anywhere near their reprisal or the target of one of their infamous 'messages'.
At some level Zack's rejection hurt. They'd been going on for years with the typical wink and a nod, now when things got difficult he was just turning his head, closing his eyes, and hoping it would all go away. Mortals! Richard's tone is a little sharper than he intended, "Fine; but I want you to put your best accountants to work on getting those lawsuits thrown out. Things are getting ugly and I might need some liquidity soon. Give me a call when you change your mind, I owe you dinner..." I'd planned on bringing this up at the dinner to justify the next few dots in resources. If you don't have any objections I'll buy a dot immediately.
After Zack walks away Richard gives his full attention back to Whisper. "Yeah? Well I'm a helpful sort of fellow, what do you need?"
"A while" for Richard could easily be a matter of years, he'll probably wait for Zack to contact him. He really doesn't like losing people who he's put effort into grooming, he thinks of Zack as his and would probably eventually resort to disciplines and/or vinculum to get him back... after a year or so.
Whisper raises an eyebrow.
"Hell if I know. The only Vamps I know are either Macario, or the ones whom I have to dust...not that they generally dust. And me and Macario, we don't see eye to eye. So, now you know something, right? Go and find out more with it. You can go places I can't. Talk to people who won't talk to me. Aren't you the one who asked Zack for this info? What did you need it for in the first place?"
She doesn't wait for Richard's answer; she just simply vanishes.
Saki scans the faces as he moves across the floor of the tavern, looking for this so called socialite as he goes. He sidles up to the bar, near the bartenders current location, with a pleasant smile on his face. "Hello there miss thang, any chance of whipping Franky (Francious) out of his hiding spot for a minute? I'm supposed to join up with a... fellow that comes in here all the time he might know how to contact, goes by the name of Richard something? Hes supposed to be some kind of... 'elbow rubber' or... 'Smooth Talker' type?"
His translator is presenting him with several options of how to describe the vampire, and Saki has selected a slightly different timbre of voice to go with the change in scenery. He tries to figure out from her movements if she is also kindred as she bustles back and forth mixing drinks and pulling pints.
Each time the busy bartender swings back by him for more than a second he rattles off another bit of the physical description he got from Zoe, placing some money under his hand, on the bar, once he's finished bothering her. "Or maybe if you knew how to... 'get in touch' with him?"
Investigating, Wits(4)+Investigation(2)6d10 ⇒ (9, 3, 1, 3, 6, 10) = 32=1 Success
Having no other leads, the monk will have to wait for a while (no more than an hour) to see if anything happens, but he's still hungry and the night is calling. He offers to buy the pretty waitress a drink while he waits when she glides back up to the bar to refill her tray with another order.
Maybe if this doesn't pan out, the queens guard will finally get back to him with the contact info? Otherwise Saki is going to go out and try to find something more to eat.
I bet he could find some wanton band of hooligans out in the park...;P
Richard opens his mouth to reply then stands awkwardly for a moment when he finds that she is gone. He turns to Michael and Thomas, "...aaand that was Whisper. You missed an interesting meeting, we have a busy night ahead of us! We can afford to wait here for an hour or so to see if Natasha shows up, but then we need to be about our business. Here's what I found out..."
Richard goes on to relate the horrific scene at the chemical plant along with some of the guesses he's made and conclusions he's drawn as to what's going on.
"So, our options stretch from asking a few discreet questions to firebombing the Giovanni warehouses and chemical plant. What are your thoughts on the matter?"
The Black Ale Tavern
The bartender looks the guy up and down. Saki doesn't detect anything about her that says Vampire, but she does seem to be some sort of Supernatural.
"Huh. Seen you before; the rat ain't in though. And yeah, Richard comes here once a week or so. Likes to think. I don't know what he does, but I understand he used to be a guy in the know. Before my time. Used to throw around a decent amount of dough before he had a 'thing' with the Barkovias. Or was that the Maximoffs? Anyways, the past week he's been walking about with a few fresh bloods. Maybe he's in the know again,"
When he puts down his money, she looks right at it, and then at him.
"You goin' buy something Parasite? Cause credits are no good down here. I need something more real,"
She nods her head down the bar to someone leaving golden coins.
Michael looks at Richard shocked.
"FIREBOMB? WHAT? Well, let us say that is what we AREN'T doing. I say we..."
He looks at Thomas, throwing an arm around him.
"Find a mage! That's my first plan of action. What do you say boys? Wanna see s$+* that'll make your head spin? Oh...wait...we already have! And now you have done that twice Richard! Why on earth does this crap have to concern us? We aren't some damned Infused playing up to be Spiderman! We're just damned! I say, Richard, we get this boy into a suit, find him a brownie, and make some connections! Hell, lets find a club and get a bite to eat; I'm starving here!"
After slapping Thomas heartily on the chest, Thomas removes his arm from the EMT's shoulder, and walks closer to Richard.
"All I'm saying Richard is, well, isn't this just a teeny bit over our heads? Triad? Maximoffs? F!#%ed up blood rituals? We don't know anyone with mystical abilities, and even if we did, why is this our business? No one has breached the Mask. We all still have a Poker Face. This will piss off all the right people Richard! Our heads? Piked in a fortnight. Can't we just be Vampires, not...those kinds of Vampires?"
He tries persuading Richard to his thinking.
Persuasion+Manipulation+A but load of penalties=1d10 ⇒ 8 Wow. Richard takes one Casual Sway damage (/) to his Nerve, but it won't really influence him that much.
Don't take this as DM persuasion; it's what Michael feels. Me? DO whatever you like!
"Michael! You of all people... that vision you had the night we met; do you really think it means we should go clubbing and while our nights away carousing? Something is *wrong* in this city! One of my friends almost died last night, another had assassins sent after him- Richard suddenly pauses for a moment.
Sam! S---! Would they go after her too?
"-and and Natasha's missing, and I have a feeling things are going to get worse before they get better. You want to bring up the laws? Maybe we're keeping a Poker Face, but there's a Monster out there! Maybe we toe the line now and they ignore us, but I've grown rather comfortable here and am fond of Pendros. Someone's planning something big and unless you want to leave town and find a new Domain then you're stuck dealing with this too."
"Now, as conspiracies go, this is hardly a blip on the radar. I've dealt with some really heavy stuff before, and I can tell these guys are getting sloppy. That's not necessarily good news, it might mean that whatever they have planned is about to kick off. If you can think of a better idea than arson then I'm all ears- but maybe my description is not doing it justice. I'm a fairly tolerant guy... whatever it takes to make a buck- but f&~!ed up doesn't say half of it, what Whisper showed me was evil. We don't need to do anything about it tonight, but I'd imagine you have enough trouble sleeping already without having something like that on your conscience, knowing you could have done *something* but instead just let another delivery truck make its rounds every night..."
"Take a day to think on it. Putting together a proper plan will take some time, and I'm also feeling a bit peckish. Lets wait a bit longer to see if Natasha shows up, then grab a bite and show Thomas a side of Pendros that's not so terrifying."
When Richard is done talking/arguing with Michael he'll write a message to Sam with the program she left on his phone for emergencies.
I had a pal looking into that thing you helped me with earlier. He had a few tailors try to make an appointment to take his measurements, but it turned out he couldn't make it to the party... he's not sure whether or not they're going to reschedule. Is everything OK on your end?
Richard is by no means a Trekkie, although he enjoyed the original series well enough when it aired in the 60s. Learning about the franchise was the only way to engage the reclusive 'Sam' in conversation at first, and he watched more and more of it during his free time as a way to reach out to her. It took him a while to come to trust the miner who had broken into his private systems, but without Star Trek as a tool to bridge the gap it probably wouldn't have happened at all.
Thomas stares at his shoes as Richard finishes up the conversation. The acquaintances of Richard's didnt seem to have any interest in the two new vampires, and Thomas figured Michael could handle the exchange himself. Especially given the fact he felt pretty clueless. The word Tzimisce caught his ear though.
He knew enough about himself to know that whoever had changed him had done it for a reason, and that the person had been Tzimisce. Which meant he was too. Until now, it had just meant sleeping in the dirt, and a few... interesting talents.
Look. Tzimisce dont do all that. Whatever she saw, I dunno. I have some, err... Well, that is... Thomas blushes As far as I know, it means I can sort of make myself change. Might be able to make others too. But that... thing. The sentries she saw... I dunno, maybe.
He looks at Michael. I cant help but agree that this thing is evil. Look, there is too much going on. Richard's friend nearly gets killed, Natasha dies, and yes Richard, she's dead. We've gotta do something. We can be vampires, but if this crap keeps up... How the hell do you hide that for long?
Thomas is clearly nervous and getting angry at the same time. I dont know about firebombing. Not if they have guards. But maybe a look around, or some more snooping... He trails off as the realization that his work may have contributed to this situation, and his stomach drops.
"What, dead?! What the hell do you mean? What happened?"
After receiving a satisfactory explanation Richard will tell Michael to lead the way. He has a lot to consider and a lot of plans to make. He hated being so... unprepared. Formerly he would have had all sorts of contingencies and plans in place; since settling in at Pendros he'd grown too comfortable, downright lazy. As he walked he considered the best way to 'thank' the Maximoffs for sending assassins after Zack. He was leaning toward approaching a street gang and offering them a deal to help an anonymous manager with insurance fraud. Offer the gang a cut of the payout for burning down the warehouses... yes, that could work...
As Saki pulls back his hand, the gold of the coins under it slightly catch the warm light of the cavernous tavern, and are sitting on top of a scrap of paper with a phone number on it, which he taps. "A pint of 'red' will do, and this is in case he shows up." Saki waits a bit and then heads out into the park to find a real drink, after smiling and nodding his departure to the lovely bartender and waitress.
He walks through the darkness with the appearance of not having a care in the world. He keeps his ears and eyes open for individuals or very small groups that might be looking for trouble. Zoe had said that Richard also frequented Old Main Street, so he keeps a lookout for him as well.
I don't know what else to do to catch up with the others, unless your oracle has a vision including our young club-kid monk. Saki really doesn't have the contacts to locate 1 person in the whole city. Which phase of the moon are we in?
Any chance of getting some kind of rough map of Pendros, so I can see where things are relative to each other? Or even some basic dimensions, ie; 5 X 5 miles with Main street in the middle and the Cherry Blossom Temple on the hill to north end etc., would really help.
Everyone gain 3 vitae. Everyone spend 1 vitae to wake up
Richard woke with a headache, the first time in almost 100 years. He winched as well...the sun’s final rays vanishing over the horizon, leaving him able to see the gorgeous orange and pink sky for about 10 minutes.
Looking about, Richard saw his company---Thomas was there, but Michael was not, in his place a vampire who was distinctly Chinese. (Saki)
And as Richard looked about him, he saw the city of Pendros all about him…because he was on a roof in the Casino district.
And as he looked out onto the city, it basked in the final rays of the sun, two thoughts dawned on him:
If he just woke up on a roof, Richard and his companions must have spent the entire day…under the sun.
What the f#%# happened last night?
Before he does anything else Richard takes a deep breath and tests his clothes for scents* that might give hints about the previous night. He could only assume they'd found their Mage. He then looks himself up and down and checks his pockets for any other clues- signs he'd been in a fight, a receipt or business card, a suntan...!
Richard wracked his memory of all the vampires he'd met over the years, but try as he might he couldn't place the fellow next to him. He watches the last glow of sunset bemusedly and checks his messages as he waits for the other vampire to wake. As he checked his phone, one thing gnawed at him. It seemed quite likely that he had missed his appointment with Mr. Esterhase. He *hated* missing an appointment.
* use of auspex discipline
As he patted himself down, Richard found a few things.
-His clothes had been burnt a little
-He had a poker chip in his pocket from the 'Golden goblin'
-He had an pink, glitter covered old-school cell phone: a razr, with an interesting looking cellphone charm.
All Richard could tell by taking in a sharp breath was that he had been a lot of places the night before, a few of which were where the booze and blood flowed freely, and he also got a strong whiff of cigars; what kind, he couldn't tell; somewhere mixed in were cloves.
One moment Richard is patting himself down in the midst of 2 sleeping vampires, and then the newcomer sits strait up. The club-kid yawns and scratches his side nonchalantly, like he completely expected to wake up on a casino roof with the sun still in the sky. He holds up his hand, not having seen it in this much daylight for 6 months, and shrugs at it acceptingly.
He looks over at the sleeping Thomas, and then around at a man consumed with sniffing his own clothes, with all the concern of a tree sloth. The cyberpunk runs his hands through his lemon-yellow up-spiked hair, before rolling back onto his shoulders and silently flipping up onto his feet, as if he had done nothing more than crack his neck after waking. He sniffs the air and looks around the roof, giving the other conscious vampire a chin nod as if they had been passing acquaintances for years, before spotting the hill across town where the Cherry Blossom Temple stood sentinel amongst its namesake grove of trees.
After a moment, the Chinese man's black eyebrows furrow ever so slightly and he turns toward the sniffer with something like actual recognition in his manscara'd, almond eyes. His shiny red and black club gear rustles as he takes a step toward Richard, awkwardly holding out his empty hand in American greeting. "Chin choi nee Reecherda san een..." he seems to stop mid-phrase, as something is obviously wrong, holding up a finger.
He gently taps the silvery speaker, that has been surgically grafted into to the hollow of his throat. Rolling his eyes in mild frustration while whispering in Szechuan under his breath, the speaker crackles and hisses for a couple of seconds. "...est, test, there that's better. Technology, what can you do? We're all at the mercy of our machines...unfortunately." The hauntingly tremulous synth voice that flows from the coin-sized speaker is quite unexpected, if you weren't a regular in the club scene. He clears his throat, and gives the slightest of apologetic bows before he continues.
"As I was saying, would your name be Richard, by chance? I was sent to assist someone going by that name. A man who frequents the Black Ale? My name is Oroku Saki, and I've been frequenting Club V lately. You do match the description my friend Zoe gave." He extends the hand again without approaching further, allowing the stranger a chance to take in the sight he must be presenting.
Doh I was going to turn into a bat and go feed off cows in the farmlands until I was full...but I guess this works too. Since I have "Blood Seeps Slowly" now, do I still have to spend a blood point to wake?
Gotta love that composure 5 with a specialization, to make people think you know more than you do without meaning too. At least I don't have anyone's underwear on my head... but I do, as it happens, have the taste of someone's blood in my mouth.
Thomas wakes with a start, noticing immediately that he was not at home. Damnit. Not again. Irritable at once, he rubs his eyes with his hands, unaware just yet what was going on. Finally gaining the courage to look around, he saw Richard, and some other vampire he had never met.
Who the hell are you? Richard, what happened last night? I barely remember a thing. Thomas looks around, noticing he is on the roof of some building, and that his clothing is singed. The sun must have just gone down, judging by the light. Jesus, have we been on the roof all day? How am I not dead?
Waiting for the others to answer, he checks his own well being, and feels like has just fed. Odd. Last night must have been quite a night. Hopefully I dont have some crazy face tattoo, or missing teeth.
Without taking his eyes off of Richard, his infectious smile spreads across his young face. Something about it just makes others want to smile too. Tapping a finger whimsically to the tip of his nose with one hand, while enthusiastically pointing to Thomas with the other. "I just knew you were Richard. Which would make our late riser here, the new turn who's sire you're hunting down?" Saki finally turns toward Thomas offering him a hand up. The smoothly translated words of his artificial voice carrying none of the satisfaction, that his softly spoken Szechuan words conveys beneath them, at finally locating those he was sent find.
"My name is Oroku Saki, the queen sent me to lend you folks... a hand in your hunt. But I don't know how I got here, or who could have gotten me up here with their limbs still attached. Richard was checking his pockets, maybe for clues or gum or something? Maybe we should try that too, Mr.?" Oroku starts patting down his myriad pockets without waiting for an answer, unzipping those where he feels something inside. Piling everything into one hand, after an annoyingly long time he finally starts running out of pockets to check. He goes through what he's found to see if anything rings a bell.
Do we need to roll frenzy checks for meeting new vampires? I wonder who's going to find the missing fang in their pocket?
Richard rolls out a crick in his neck with a loud series of pops and cracks. He's a little bemused by this new vampire, who spoke so casually about having been sent by the queen. What the hell was her game? "Last night was... a hell of a party. Truth be told, I can't remember much past going to look up that friend of Michael's. It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Saki, but if you're looking for a hunt I'm afraid you'll be sorely disappointed. As best we can tell Michael's sire was simply a transient; I've been doing my best to make a few introductions on his behalf to ease his transition into our society." He can't really be more obvious to Thomas without shouting at the man, hopefully he'll pick up on Richard's lack of trust for the queen's latest envoy.
It's potentially rude, but he's relatively sure the vampire before him is a neonate and he decides to probe for information. "What of your sire? What does he or she think of this task the queen has you on?
Intelligence(2) + Streetwise (rumors)(6) = 8d10 ⇒ (1, 9, 1, 4, 8, 2, 3, 8) = 36 = 2 successes to have heard of Saki by reputation
His bright smile dims a bit at the mention of his own sire. "Hmm maybe hunt isn't the right word. Your language is very... complicated to speak properly, with so many words that mean almost the same thing, but not." Saki looks off at nothing in particular, searching the databank of the translator in his head for a moment. "Maybe investigation, or search are the word I was trying for?" It starts to become clear that this new vampire really doesn't speak any english yet.
"I wasn't made in your fair city here, but this is where I was ordered to come six months ago, and I'm sure I have no idea what he thinks about anything."
As Thomas and Saki look themselves over, they find the following things:
-Thomas finds that his clothes have a large thick orange stain upon them.
-He also finds a shot glass with the label "The Glitterdust Club"
-Finally, he finds that his wrist and ankles are quite sore, surprisingly. Along with his jaw. (take one bashing damage)
-Saki notices his clothes are covered in some sort of white fur.
-He wears a wristband for the Barkovia Tower, the largest building in Pendros.
-He finds a Johnny Cab credit chip in his pocket, which announces that he still has two free rides remaining.
Richard nods to Saki, "Well, I suppose the first thing to do is figure out just which rooftop we're on. We can backtrack from there..." Wincing slightly from the headache, Richard sets to looking around for a door, ladder, or stairwell along with any other features of note on the roof.
At some point he looks through the phone for messages, call history, contacts, pictures, or other information of note.
Saki tries to brush the white fur off his cloths, grabbing a pinch of it to take a closer look. "What types of animals in the city have white fur like this... or did I just get into a fight with a geriatric stripper? Maybe I went to see someone with a white haired pet?" A he's holding up his hand to examine the hairs, he notices the wristband snapped around his arm. He checks the Barkovia Tower entry-band for a time stamp, to see if can gather a clue as to when he was there.
Looking out over the city, Oroku spies the iconic Barkovia Tower, silhouetted against the slowly darkening sky. He calls back over his shoulder, "Hey Richard, Thomas, looks like I was over at the big tower there at some point." He holds up the banded wrist over his shoulder, twisting it to show the identifier, while still gazing across Pendros from the edge of the roof.
He looks down toward the street for a sign or garishly lit billboard to identify which casino they were standing on top of, as Richard poses the question. Before the other vampire sets off searching the rooftop, Saki holds up the Johny-Cab cred-chip. He slowly spins the chip as he studies the brightly colored logo, especially the unreadably tiny legalese printed around the edge.
"At my monastery in China, the monks kept records of everything, from the amounts of food we grew and stored, to where and when we traveled, *...ichine huang zju sweene*, ...even lists of births and deaths in the surrounding villages. Do you think this...business, might keep records we could check?" The young Chinese man's translator crackles out for a moment, but he doesn't seem to notice or care, when it cuts back in a few seconds later.
The battery on the old school phone is dead. Since the charger for it is now defunct, he'll have to make an effort to activate it.
Oroku sees that they are on top of Miner's Casino, a old-timey mining themed Casino. Oroku tends to stay away from this portion of the Casino district, as it is not the life of the city, but where the old folks go to gamble, being nearer to the National park and the Barkovia district, far, far away from the Nightclub district. In fact, it buts right up against the mountains. Thus, the mining theme.
Yeah, I'm the one who is clueless about what's going on. Glad my reputation has been spreading. Thomas looks down, and sees the orange stain all over his clothing. Orange stain? Ooooh, and I'm wicked sore. Looks like we hit the casinos hard. I'd also be willing to bet, judging by our circumstance, my little implant didnt remember much of last night. I wonder what it got hit with to make it go fritzy. Thomas checks his implant. Nope, just dead. Apparently I havent charged it in a while. Gets good battery life too, thanks to a nice undervolted kernel I fla... He realizes he is rambling a bit and stops.
Alright. We know we hit up the Barkovia tower, I have a shot glass from the Glitterdust Club, whatever that is, and it feels like someone tied me up and beat the crap out of me. He looks and sees the door off of the roof and likely into a stairwell.
Should we get off this roof?
Richard answers Saki's question "Yes, they keep such a record. The only question is how much attention we would raise by inquiring of it..."
He rolls a chip from the Golden Goblin across his knuckles as he strolls up to the door. "Yes, let's. I'd very much like to retrace my steps from last night and find Michael. Whatever company we shared... they sure know how to throw a party. Richard feels more alive than he has in quite some time. The mysteries of Thomas's sire and the Catiff, their day (?!) on the rooftop, and even the headache(!) combine to give him something to really sink his teeth into. A thought occurs to him as he tests the door, "Thomas, Mr. Saki, are you armed?"
Does the Miner's Casino have an entrance to Underpendros? Does Richard know anything interesting about it?
Giving the slightest of accepting shrugs, Saki steps back from the edge of the roof and strolls over to the door while shoving the chip back in a secure pocket. "So who's Micheal, another wayward neonate? But one of the things I don't understand, is why I would have taken a Johny-Cab in the first place... when I can fly?" He says the last part so matter-of-factly, that those listening don't get the impression that he means in a hover-car.
When Richard quietly turns the knob to the roof access door, asking his question, Oroku gives a slight bow. "I spent my whole life in the Szinguah Sang Monastery in northern China, raised by the Shaolin monks there. I acquired enough skill to merit the brands, so in your country I was considered a deadly weapon, before I was killed. Like the professional boxers of your country, I am always armed." As an accent while he briefly describes his past, Saki waves his fingers into fists, cracking every one of his knuckles.
Playing a Guile 1 character can be fun. ;P No coy game-playing required.
Lucky you, flight, deadly weapons. You're like a late 20th century kung-fu movie come to life. Thomas grumbles a bit before looking back over the edge. He steps away quickly, pats himself down to see if he's carrying.
GM call? He woulda carried atleast one in a waistband holster before setting out to the meeting the day before. Also, I'll be travelling again this weekend (shipping off to Boston) but I should have internet.
Thomas finds that his weapon is missing; he swears he was packing the night before. However, the clubs and casinos of Pendros have a strict no-weapons policy. Most firearms can't make it past the gun scanners (See firefly episode 4, Shindig), leaving Thomas to believe he probably left his gun at, probably, the first Casino or Club the group went to. He lacks, however, a receipt to reclaim the weapon. Where he left it, he has no idea.
"No, Michael has been around for some time. He served as the younger Barkovia's oracle until recently and-"
...but I might have seen a shadowy figure in the coffin. It was a big coffin...
"-and I think you should meet him; he's had some rather interesting visions recently. As to the cab, perhaps you were traveling with someone else?
Richard considers as he heads down the stairs... China? kung-fu? flight? What had the queen sent his way? Was he one of her pawns, a spy perhaps? Someone high up in the food chain knew what was happening at the ChemCo factory and, unless the queen had simply given up on governance in favor of her public hedonism, this must be part of her plans. But where does Saki fit into it? For that matter where does- no, did Natasha figure in...
Richard finds that it is actually quite easy to open the door. If he were to go down the stairs, he'd find that stairs are a set of staff stairs, but each of the doors lack handles or locks, except for one which opens onto the main gaming floor and another fire door at the bottom, which opens into the garage. There are five floors including the roof and garage. If you wanted to know so much.
Oroku finds that his translator keeps going in and out; somehow, it must have gotten damaged last night. The others find that their electronic devices also are either dead (Old or Thinkbest) or on the fritz (Barkovia). Failure rate is 1-4 on a 1d10 roll on each use from now on for Barkovia devices.
Michael spends one willpower point
"Rachel, you need to shut your whore mouth. Preferably around my dick, but mainly just shutting it in general would be nice."
"You've done nothing for this team. All you do is yap yap yap,"
"I made you those sunglasses,"
"Yes yes. And we're all so proud of you. Except you didn't guard them against being crushed by a werewolf. Speaking of which, I need you to make me new sunglasses,"
"What? Why? What happened?"
"I just explai...shut you whore mouth. Frank! Where are the suits?,"
"I'll call my tailor,"
"That woman? In my day, a tailor was a short little Chinese man whose only written language was stitching. Not a person with boobs. A person with boobs was called a whore or a wife,"
"What about little girls?"
"First, people with boobs. Second, could also be whores. Depends on how immoral the society was. Third, shut your whore mouth Rachel,"
"I sent her a message Garren. The suits should be here in a few hours,"
"Sounds good. Wait, she's not coming?"
"No. Thinkbest employees aren't generally allowed to see how the hire-ups live. I mean, it is called the Thinkbest exclusive executive residential building!,"
"So, she COULD come up,"
"Well, yeah, but it isn't generally..."
"Good. Get her up here,"
Michael shook his head as he awoke, the vision he just had disappearing from his...well, there wasn't anything to see...it was just stuff he had heard...what did it mean?
Intelligence+Academics+Vision Interpretation:4d10 ⇒ (6, 6, 1, 8) = 21
It was probably a message to help Rachel.
The Vampire opened his eyes. He didn't see anything. A handkerchief was over his eyes, and he was hanging upside down, his legs and arms bound.
Someone clapped slowly, and began speaking with the oddest accent.
"Oh good! You have, awoken. Is very nice! I'ma glad you have decided to finally, uh, how you say, join us? Yes. Join us,"
"Oh god. Is that you Nikos?"
"What? Oh, ah-no, this is not Nikos, this is, uh, Niko..li? Nikoli!"
"Nikos, I'd know that accent anywhere. It's you,"
"Oh. Well, in that case...tell me where you put my special tablet, and we let you go!"
"I haven't a clue what you're talking about,"
Michael realized he didn't remember anything about the night before, after meeting the cape, at least.
"Yes, we were afraid you'd say that! But don't worry, we, uh, how you say...oh yes! We have ways of making you talk,"
With that, Michael felt incredible pain as someone pulled out his fangs, and then felt his whole body engulfed in what felt like flame...and he blacked out.
Heading down the stairs to the lowest unlocked level, without a care in the world, Oroku delights in the echoy sound the metal stairs make as he stomps on each of them in turn, like a 5 year old. He seems to be very soft-spoken as his translator seems to stop working during several attempts. "Shin shoi szu qua feen huin ngah Johny-Cab ohm...?" Saki gently palpates the area around his throat speaker, to try and feel if anything is loose or stabby on the inside. "Szure ohm nee how..."
Very slowly he phonetically sounds out a few words in English he must have picked up in the club scene, when his translator fails him a third time. "You... geeve... numba... tvuu... caw yuu?" He pantomimes and old-timey phone by punching keys with his thumbs. Saki fishes the cab-ride chip out again when they're outside. "I guess we're going back to the Barkovia tower then? Good thing I have this after all. Maybe I can get a list of everywhere this was used last night from this cab's memory?"
Translator 1d10 + 1d10 + 1d10 + 1d10 ⇒ (1) + (2) + (3) + (7) = 13
Wow those dice hate me this morning. Am I right in thinking the Johny-Cabs are like the ones in "Total Recall" and completely automated, if hover versions?