Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sleeper ep01 : Part I : V20

9/18/2016
Sleeper

"Dark Streets and Cold Blood"
Episode One - Part I

Vampire 20th Anniversary

As the final new system I've broken into 2016, we opted to dive in and tread upon a long missed world, the world of darkness.  For this game, we were to have two new friends join me, Rocky, Che and Urim as we explore Washington D.C. by Night.
Vampire 20th Anniversary edition actually has quite a number of changes to the system which I feel makes it different enough for me to count as a new game system to play for the year.  Especially given how much changes have been done to accommodate the difference of technology for the times. I've separated the transcription to two parts due to the length of the awesome session.  While this will most likely only be a once-a-month game session (with Dave's incredibly active Scion game, Che's fantastic schedule-fu, and Urim's responsibilities), I promised to make each session as fulfilling as possible and at the same time educational given it is the first time to explore Vampire the Masquerade fully for some of the players.

Our cast of Kindred were as follows:
David Sullivan, Clan Tremere Occultist.
Embraced back in 1988, David is a perceptive Natural Linguist with Bad Eyesight.  He has a child who sadly is a member of the Tremere anti-tribu. He has a tendency to present himself as an Enigma, despite wanting to be in control of things.
Disciplines: Thaumaturgy 4, Auspex 2
He is played by Urim.

Diana Pierce, Clan Brujah Mercenary
Embraced back in 2006, Diana is a dextrous Rebel with a Reputation.  She is known to be a Bullyboy and is surrounded by a cold breeze.  Her infamous sire, Hernando, calls on her to kill undesireables.
Disciplines: Celerity 2, Potence 1
She is played by Che.

Alex Cross, Clan Ventrue IT Professional.
Embraced recently in 2012, Alex is an attractive man who tries to shows he's in control, but in truth desires to be told what to do.  His ability to Eat Food and his capacity to be an Elysium Regular allow him to move through circles most usually cannot do so.
Disciplines: Presence 3
He is played by Dave.

Mildred Hobbs, Clan Malkavian Armchair scientist.
Embraced in 2010, Mildred is an intelligent Social Chameleon whose true nature finds joy in disturbing others.  She has Acute Hearing, and an Eidetic Memory, despite having bad sight and suffering from occasional flashbacks.  She is a friendly face in Washington.
Disciplines: Dementation 2, Obfuscate 1, Auspex 1
He is played by Nap.

Mark "Dor" Roberts, Clan Toreador Blood Painter
Embraced way back in 1975, Dor is a charismatic Dabbler of many things with a heart set into celebrating life.  He is blessed with Efficient Digestion and always appears with the Blush of Health. His Infertile Vitae and tendency to be a Deep Sleeper support the Harmless facade he portrays.
Disciplines: Auspex 2, Celerity 2, Presence 3
He is played by Rocky.

Karina Dobson, Clan Ventrue and Seneschal
 (Jodie Foster)
Department of Defense, Elysium

The scene opens at an office.  Diana Pierce sits across a woman who dutifully seems to be going through some notes on her computer screen.  The woman is Karina Dobson, the Ventrue assistant and advistor of the Prince of the city.  She interviews the Brujah, asking about her sire, about her presence in Washington, D.C. and  whether or not they will expect trouble.  Diana admits when it comes to Hernando, trouble does tend to follow.  Diana admits the reason she hasn't presented herself to the Prince was because she doesn't "talk good."

Karina cites the many times Diana might have threatened the Masquerade, and her warning implies how many security eyes and cameras are in the city.  She claims to have access to any of them when necessary.  "We live in a modern day. I'm certain you are aware of what people can do with their cellphones nowadays, more so when you are here in the heart of America where the President tends to be."  Diana takes the warning well, used to all the drama most give to any Brujah.

Diana asks if she can go, but Karina tells her not yet.  Marcus Vitel, the Prince, is still very strict with the Traditions, especially since they are still recovering from a recent Regicide.  The former Prince was murdered and Vitel suspects the Sabbat agents are still in the city.

Monica Black, Clan Ventrue and childe of the Prince
(Krysten Ritter)
Underground Dance Hall, Elysium

Dance music roars in the scene.  Alex Cross watches across the sea of dancing kine the ongoing event of Mark Roberts on the second floor.  One of the more infamous members of the Kindred in the city, Monica Black, hangs with Alex.  They talk about Dor and clearly seem amused that the Toreador seem so obsessed with art and beauty.  When Monica opts to head off to feed, Alex stays where he is to observe the reporters and the people struggling to get Dor's attention.  Monica motions to Alex at the guy she had just seduced, who is now trying to dance and impress her with his sad moves.  Alex notes the man is pretty attractive and decides to go join her for a bite.

The two head outside with the guy, and when the man hesitates to join them, Alex uses his Presence to seduce the man completely.  They take him away in a car.

Scott Levin, Malkavian Primogen
(Michael Emerson)
None of them notice that standing just behind them were Mildred Hobbs and Scott Levin.  Scott tells Mildred about all these children they will have to deal with. "We are the only sane ones in the City."  They discuss whether Mildred plans to stay permanently or not, and Scott admits he is making arrangements for her haven and presentation procedures with the Prince, though it will take 25 minutes to do - which means shaving off a few other items on his list of things to do.    Scott was surprised Mildred asked for him by name. Mildred admitted she just... knew... to look for him.

Scott shares with Mildred the fact that the Prince has two daughters, Monica and Cynthia Black.   He also warns her about Dorian Adams, a Ventrue who lives outside the city that they best avoid.  He does not like talking about the Tremere however, since that attracts their attention, more so given they have a Pontifex in the city.  He suspects it was either Cassandra or Oliva de Bray who gave his name to Mildred.  "Not that many people remember my name considering I ate it a long time ago."  Mildred reaches for Scott Levin's face, and she begins to pull at his lips, tugging open his mouth to pry it wider.. open.. it does not break... she stares into a small office room with a man seated at a stool. Around him, computers are running. The man is furiously typing away.  "You are losing me."

With an eye-blink, Mildred realizes she hasn't moved in a while.  He tells her if she needs of him, to feel free to call him.  When asked how, he just tells her she already knows his name.   Karina Dobson monitors cellular calls. Pigeons on the other hand are with the Nosferatu and Gangrel.  "I recommend you simply Google me. I should notice any searches."  He then explains he has a few minutes to arrive at the corner where he will be picked up, and so he bids her goodbye. Mildred begins to forget whom she was talking to.  But then Scott turns back to face her and tells her, "I will let you remember."

She does.  She turns and sees the poster up front, featuring Dor.  She stars walking away.

Chas Voyager, Toreador Primogen
(McCauley Culkin)
Underground Dance Hall, 2nd Floor, Elysium

Cameras flash. Dor stands in front of his latest painting, a bowl of tomato soup.  The art groupies celebrate his work.  One, though, isn't as happy. Chas Voyager, a Toreador neonate who somehow the city also has as the Toreador Primogen.  He challenges Dor's work, questioning his validity as an artist.

Chas claims to know what Dor is doing, acting all distant to gain more fame.  Dor, however, feigns not recognizing or knowing who Chas is.

When pushed for a comment by the reporters, Dor suggests, "Cerulean" without bothering to explain why.  Dor is told by his assistant that Chas used to be a ghoul under the Toreador Anne Hyatt.  It seems Chas is getting into his business because Dor is getting into this.  Chas pulls out a knife and stabs it at the wall beside Dor's painting.  People gasp. Chas turns to Dor and tells him, "I've spoken."  Dor asks for a drink from his assistant, Judy.  When she holds a drink out for him, he tells her to drop it and looks away.  People stare at Dor upon hearing the shattering sound.

Chas steps out as he mentions, "Blue" to the reporters.

Dor rolls his eyes.  "So mundane.

Washington Monument


Pontifex Peter Dorfman, Clan Tremere
(Mads Mikkelsen)
David Sullivan is told that his arrival comes at an opportune moment.  He is talking to the Pontifex Peter Dorfman, who is in charge of the Tremere Clan's politics of the United States.  There is interest in Marcus Vitel, given the control he holds over Washington, D.C. Peter admits he believes the Tremere deserve Washington, D.C.  He sees the city having a sympathetic link to the entire country and he needs David's help in making this happen.  He is tasked to hunt and locate the Sabbat still hiding in the city.  Peter sees them as possible pawns that can become useful.  David admits he has his connections in mind.   He also notices that Peter Dorfman's suit is actually made of kevlar.    He admits the Tremere in the City are divided as not all believe the loss of the former Prince, Marisa, was a tragedy, and some even whisper that the Tremere may have had a role in her disappearance.  Though Marisa was useful, her death was necessary when she began to show an ability to outmaneuver the Toreador and the Brujah.   David asks if the Tremere disposed of her.

Peter stares back at David, aghast that such a question would come to his mind.  "The death of our Clanmate was not something done by our own hands.  That is what officially will remain our statement."  When David wonders if Marcus Vitel can be manipulated, Peter warns him that he has too many connections to risk such a thing.  He really feels the Sabbat and the man named Jack is the one they should identify and locate.  David thought the infamous Jack was an anarch.  Peter, however, clearly sees no difference between the two.  David is told he will be presented to the Prince soon enough.  Peter does ask if there is anything he should be aware of, and David claims there is nothing that needs his concern.  Peter does remind David, however, to address a young girl that might be seen following her with respect.  The girl is named Melissa and she is an elder of the Gangrel Clan.

David is brought to his haven, a room atop a used bookstore.  Before heading inside, he visits the bookstore and feels the pangs of hunger demanding for vitae.  One of the customers, a young man, asks him for a certain book.  David lies to him, claiming he has the book upstairs and the two head upstairs.  David's haven is a place with even more books.  As the man excitedly looks at the shelves, David grabs hold of him from behind and plunges his fangs into the man's neck.  The Kiss overwhelms the mortal, and David drinks his fill.  Gaining more control, David feeds just enough to sate himself before stopping.  He licks the wound to close it to hide any trace of feeding. David claims the man fell down and hit his neck, and the man doesn't know what to think given the enormous pleasure he just felt.  David implies the man must have taken drugs and watches as he crumples to the floor.  The man falls asleep from exhaustion and the blood loss.  David calls for his retainer to give the man a bottle and leave him outside somewhere, to think he had drunk himself silly.
Alexandria, childe of David Sullivan,
Tremere antitribu (Amanda Bynes)

But then, David realizes he is not alone.  The smell of something burning is in the room, and when he follows the trail of smoke, he finds his childe sitting on his bed.  The woman greets her as she smokes, ignoring his joke about smoking being bad for her health given they're already dead.  She stresses she too is hungry and wonders if the man was brought by David for her to feed on.  David admits there's a bit of development in the city given the Sabbat are being hunted in the city.  She stresses however she isn't Sabbat as she is anti-tribu.   They had left Los Angeles due to the hunt for the anti-tribu there, so they moved here.  David remembers how she was his lover before he had given her the Embrace. David lets her feed a bit from him, drinking some of the vitae he offers with a kiss.  He wonders, however, if he had blood bound her in all the months he's been feeding her directly.  They discuss the need for her to move out given the Pontifex in the city. She teases him though that he should be more afraid that the Pontifex might read his mind and find out the truth.  David assures her that his being a survivor of the Los Angeles riots, the Pontifex trusts him.  She asks to see the Rituals David has in the room, and he promises to one night teach her some.  The two pull into the bed, to make love as they used to.

Department of Defense, Elysium

Diana and Karina complete the interview, with Karina telling her how any vampire who has been in the City for a week without presentation becomes a Kindred she looks into.   Once it has been a month, the Sheriff then steps in. Beyond that month, they consider the vampire a member of the Sabbat.  Karina offers to present her tonight to the Prince, if Diana wants.  Karina admits she likes Diana given she doesn't bullshit around.  Diana thinks she's nice to consider that. Karina admits it is not being nice, it is being efficient.  Karina does mutter however about having problems with her database as it keeps telling her she has one record too many or one record too short.  She shuts it down and when Diana suggests she needs to get it checked, Karina admits she is already working with the best computer experts in the industry.  She just finds it amusing the record issue keeps happening with her records of the Malkavian Clan.  Karina mentions the problem they had once with a Malkavian named Gergor who had a think for children. They later uncovered the vampire has seven children held captive in his haven, which he used as a herd.  His two retainers were two missing children who had grown up to serve him.  The Prince then, Marisa, used her Lure of Flames to burn the vampire from the inside out.  Marisa decided the children knew too much, so she burned them too.  Diana admits that clears any loose ends.  Karina finds that statement to be quite cold, but it is refreshing to hear her honesty. Karina also shares the closest to a Masquerade Breach was a pandemic of HiV that hit the city, when a disease was being spread by a Nosferatu.  People despite not having sex or dangerous practices were getting infected.  Worse, the nossie had inefficient digestion, needing to feed thrice the normal amount.  That forced them to dip their influence deeper into the city to keep things quiet.  "The name of the game is misinformation," Karina admits, and they have agents in the NSA, the FBI and the CIA.  They haven't touched the Senate as they're too active.  They suspect the Sabbat have connected themselves with the terrorist organizations in the world.  "We're facing a whole new kind of Jyhad."

Karina asks if Diana drives, and she admits she does.  Karina reminds her of traffic cameras and speed cameras and Obfuscate does not help.  "Having another identity helps have a license," Diana admits.

Alex Cross' Haven

The man with Alex and Monica asks them to lean back at first, wanting to show off some moves.  They've gone to Alex' have and are now at the bedroom with most of their clothes left on the ground.  The man is doing push-ups, wanting to show off his well-toned physique.  Alex plants his legs on the back, using him as a leg rest.  Monica plays some music to add to the mood (and likely to conceal any screams that might happen) and the two have a brief debate on wanting different music. Monica insists however she is very hungry and will need to feed soon.  She whips the man with her belt a few times, and when he seems to be fine with it, she whips him with the belt buckle this time, drawing blood.  Monica throws Alex the belt, and she begins to lick the blood, teasing him at first, before plunging her fangs deep to feed on the man.  Not feeling hungry, Alex lets Monica go ahead and later joins the two for the physical joy of feeling mortal.   When the man starts kissing Alex, the man's kisses get forceful, so Alex uses the belt to force him back to keep him from breaking skin.  Alex leaves Monica to feed, and Alex sups a bit from the belt wound Monica marked the man's ass with.

Alex and Monica talk about some wrinkle happening in the city security while the man goes down on Monica.  She keeps her thighs closed against the man's ear to keep him from hearing.  Monica complains about how her sire has gotten so paranoid over the Sabbat that he has been forcing alliances with different clans.  Alex is shocked that he would even try to forge alliances with the Toreador Clan.  Monica admits her Sire has even been trying to win over the Harpies, to the point of asking her to join them.  Alex however realizes that is why she's hanging out with him.  Alex has been such a mover among the Harpies, Monica is hoping to use Alex as a way in.  Alex admits he knows how these people work and he tells her, "For the daughter of the Prince, I will help you."  The man falls to the ground, unconscious.  Monica gasps, "Damn it, I forgot they have to breathe."  Alex slides a finger down the guy's ass and when he grunts, Alex gives Monica a nod - he's still alive.   Monica deals with disposing of the jock, leaving him at a bus stop naked, with used condoms scattered all around him.

Alex thinks about Helena Taylor, one of the Tremere, but she might not be as approachable.  Then there's Cassandra, but she's kind of scary since she's a Malkavian who has visions.  They consider Angelique Stravinsky, who is Toreador and Alex does know.  Monica wonders if they can visit one of them tonight.  Alex opts to check if someone is available.     His call to Angelique, who answers the call and reminds Alex they haven't seen each other in a while.  She admits she's talking with a source about new commerce coming into the city.  Alex hints that he has news about one of the Prince's daughters, and Angelique is definitely curious learning it is about Monica Black and not Cynthia, who is very competitive. Cynthia is too lost in her own world.  "Is she planning to become Prince?" Alex admits she is planning to become something else. Angelique's curiosity is piqued and tells him to see her at the Botanical Garden, close to the Capitol.  "Well, aren't you flowering today," Alex smirks.  "It is the best place for one to bloom. So nice.  I'll be there." Angelique admits she keeps thinking Alex is one of them, despite him being a Ventrue.  They head off, taking Alex' car, and head for the Botanical Garden.

Madame Trussaud's Wax Museum

Mildred has been wandering across the city, looking for something interesting and she soon ends up in front of the wax museum.  Despite the lateness of the hour, there are still a number of tourists about.  Realizing she isn't sure where her haven would be, she pulls out her cellphone and tries googling the name of the man she spoke with earlier.  His name takes some effort to remember, and it eventually does come into focus:  Scott Levin.  She types the name in and clicks Search.  But then she realizes her phone's browser history is empty.  She logs in again and suddenly hears a man ask her if she needs help.  She looks up and sees the security guard asking her if she needs to speak to Scott Levin.  When she says yes, the guard calls someone on his radio to inform Mr. Levin that she is looking for him.  He then asks Mildred not to ask him about Mr. Levin again, blinks a few times, then aimlessly continues on his duties.  Somewhere in the city, the guy in the construction site received the radio call, then dials on his cellphone to tell the other person that Mr. Levin is needed, before blinking and forgetting he made the call.   Elsewhere, at a hospital, a woman answers her phone, hears the message, then dials another number to tell Mr. Levin that he is nedeed at Madame Trussauds.   They all delete histories where appropriate, leaving no trace of their calls.

Ten minutes pass. Mildred sees Mr. Levin comes into view.  He admits he wasn't expecting her to call for him within the same night.  She asks about the Haven, and he admits he thought she would want to go around on her own for a bit first.  He insists information is delicate, "There are some things best not spoken of,"  and he asks her for permission to share with her the information.  When she gives it, he telepathically sends it to her as a barrage of images.  She gains the information and thanks him for his discretion.  He asks if she's a woman of morals and when she admits she is, he shares she might be happy to know she interrupted him from taking a life.  He stresses how they as a race can only function at half the efficiency of a living thing. Thus every second matters.  He gives Mildred some advise to anticipate when she meets Cassandra, as Cassandra probably has already foreseen her arrival.  He warns her Cassandra would probably want Mildred to take the seat of Primogenship from her. And that she would ask Mildred if she met with him and if he plans to take the post from her.  He stresses he has repeatedly assured her, with an amount of time equal to seven days, that he has no plans to ever take such a position.  He tells her she would most likely meet Cassandra at the most prominent Elysium right now.  Mildred remembers the dance bar earlier.  Levin asks Mildred not to mention her name too often as it takes a lot more time to reset the cycle.  "Google is your friend."  Once again, as he leaves, he tells Mildred, "You will remember."
Cassandra, Malkavian Primogen
(Halle Barry)

Mildred heads out of the wax museum after a short exchange with the security guard about the museum. He laments working here, hating how the figures all look dead. "Imagine if I end up talking to someone dead."  Mildred smiles.

She walks and finds her way back to the Elysium.  She nearly gets stopped at the door at first, since she has no ticket to enter, but at the top of the stairs, a thin gaunt woman in what looks like a 1920s flapper outfit heads down and greets her.  Cassandra greets her warmly, stating they were fated to meet.  She admits Washington is a quiet city given most happen in the shadows.  Cassandra assures them they do not have to head up and she offers to take Mildred to see the Prince through her car.  Cassandra reminds Mildred they have to keep themselves busy or the ennui will lead them to madness.   She talks to Mildred how all the other clans punish themselves with madness, like the Toreador with their obsessions, the Ventrue the germaphobes of the Kindred society, the Nosferatu with powers to look like anything yet so traumatized by their looks they don't bother to hide it... "We are the only sane ones in the Camarilla."   She drives Mildred through the city to head for the Botanical Garden where the Prince is currently at.  Mildred asks how the presentation will go and Cassandra gently tells her the Prince will simply have to decide if he would like her to stay in the City or not.  She also tells Mildred that Kindred society is a society built on boons, and thus to never forget whom you owe a boon.  Interestingly, she does state there are only four Primogens in the city.  Helena Taylor, the Tremere Primogen and Regent is one she anticipates will be present.  Dr. Edward Walker is a bore and doesn't seem to like Malkavians in general.  The last Primogen is the youngest, Chas Voyager, a neonate Toreador who has taken the post given the last one was recently destroyed by the Sabbat.  "The role was probably given to him to shut him up."

They see a naked guy by a bus stop.  Cassandra slows the car beside the stop to check him but she realizes the man has already been fed on.  She tells Mildred that while the city does not have that many Kindred, Hunting Grounds are very strained. It is best to feed only what you need, perhaps even through animals instead.  They stop at a veterinarian clinic and Cassandra suggests Mildred go inside to feed.  Being a Thursday, feeding rights in all Hunting Grounds are given to the Toreador.  Mildred receives a key from Cassandra, suggesting this clinic is a Hunting Ground she does visit frequently.  Mildred makes a mental note to get one of the keys for herself.  "Washington follows a good system. If you're not part of the system, you're not welcome to be a cog in this wheel."  Mildred goes to step inside.

Velvet, Clan Brujah
(Angela Bassett)
Underground Dance Hall, 2nd Floor, Elysium

A woman approaches Dor, admitting to her that she won't forget that scene she just saw.  Dor studies the woman, realizing the African-American woman is Kindred as well.   "First time I saw a Primogen get insulted by a Clan member within the first few days of his reign." Dor realizes the woman is Velvet, of Clan Brujah.   The former Primogen was found chained at the railway by her wrists.  Her wrists were all that remained of her body. Dor wonders what he was doing when it happened, and his gaze ends at the painting he made.   She admits she has been following him for the last few nights, since the Prince assigned her to watch over him.  Dor is more bothered that Chas actually gained the seat.  Given Dor's popularity, Prince Vitel decided to assign Velvet to watch over him in case anything happens and the Kine notice their supernatural natures.  Dor wonders if the Primogen is the threat to his life.  Velvet makes fun of Chas' actions to clearly be less an assault than the kind she is paying attention towards.  Dor admits had he known Chas was the Primogen, he would have... have... his thoughts trail away.  Velvet questions Dor being a threat to Chas given she sees him as the most harmless vampire in the city.  Dor however has gotten distracted by Velvet's analog watch, finding it beautiful.

David Sullivan's Haven
Alexandria admits to David, after their bout of vigorous love-making, that someone had noticed her in the city.  She groans that the witness had Auspex, a young boy who had blonde hair and kept staring at her.  Alexandria tried to scare the boy by baring her fangs a bit.  But the boy snarls back and Alexandria found herself a victim of the Dread Gaze.  So she attacked back by tearing the blood out of him and bashing him through a window.  David reminds her to never do that again if she really wants to lay low.  David remembers he needs to present himself to the Prince tonight, but Alexandria suggests he present her with him at the same time, as Caitiff.  It would be far easier that way than to hide her.  David decides that might be an idea, but not now.  He prepares to head for the Prince while Alexandria pouts and buries herself in trying to learn the Rituals David has.  David tasks his retainer to deal with the body, then makes a call to the Chantry.  Someone answers and upon hearing about the need for presentation, suggests they head to the U.S. Botanical Garden.  David decides to go alone.

Nondescript car, mobile


Karina asks Diana if she ever faced any of the Sabbat. As far as Diana is concerned, despite the stories of the Sabbat being bogeymen among vampires and the like, they bleed just like anyone else.  Karina wonders what Diana's Sire will do if she was given a task that took her away from Hernando's influence.  Diana laughs, "I'd love to see you all try."

U.S. Botanical Garden
Monica and Alex begin to walk in, with Monica admitting that her father once mentioned that had Alex been Toreador, he would have been chosen to be the Primogen.  After a quick check against a mirror for any blood droplets on his clothes or skin, Alex feels confident the Masquerade is maintaine and the two head inside, with arms locked together.

Happy Pets Veterinarian Clinic
Olivia, Trapped Mortal
(Hale Barry)

Mildred feeds on a cat, feeling sustained but sadly learning cats contains so little blood.  She accidentally kills the cat.  Closing the wound, she slides the cat back into its cage and decides it might be best to step out. Straining her hearing, she realizes she can hear muffled sounds from the car outside.  Stepping out, Mildred slowly approaches the car and finds a panicked young woman inside.  Mildred worries, and tries to shatter the glass with her elbow.  The woman she finds inside turns out to be... Cassandra!  However, the woman is breathing heavily, fear overwhelming her, as she talks about having been kidnapped.  She wonders if Mildred has a phone and is terrified about only having so much time to ask for help.  "Did you see who knocked me out? Who took me?"  She identifies herself as Olivia, claims to be a victim who has been kidnapped, and upon using the phone Mildred lends her to make a call, Mildren listens in.

U.S. Botanical Garden

Alex and Monica breeze through the security at the Garden, as the people keeping watch seem to recognize her.  As they step into the nicely maintained verdant chamber, they immediately hear a ringtone.  Monica teases that is her "daddy's ringtone".    They follow the sound and as they get deeper into the "forest," they see Marcus Vitel on a cellular phone.  A man sits in a chair, wrapped in chains with a gag in his mouth.  There are a few other figures present.

On one of the marble benches, Diana and Karina sit, having arrived a few minutes earlier.  Diana sees the two newcomers and remembers Karina telling her about Vitel's daughters as well as the rising star among the Ventrue who seems to be mistaken often as Toreador.    Alex sees Diana and the two give each other a silent nod of recognition.   On the call, Marcus tells the woman he is talking to, an Olivia, that he needs to speak to Cassandra.

Happy Pets Veterinarian Clinic

Mildred sees the woman change in stance and posture.  "Thank you, Marcus," Cassandra's voice comes forth and Mildred realizes the crying woman has now been replaced with Cassandra.  She shuts the phone, hands it back to Mildred, and thanks her for her smart thinking. "I hope you didn't damage the car."  Mildred admits she had, however, broken the window to "rescue" who she thought was someone in panic.

Cassandra explains to Mildred that Olivia, the other personality, thinks she is mortal and believes she is kidnapped by some strangers.  Mildred is thankful that she at least knows now how to handle any future appearances by that personality.  She asks if there are others, and Cassandra shares there's Cassie, a younger personality who has given them ties to the Gangrel clan.  "I don't let her out long."

Cassandra tells her the Prince is already at the Garden. They should go to see him.  Mildred makes a side comment about liking Cassie better and wondering when their feeding day is.  "Mondays, of course," the Primogen tells her.

U.S. Botanical Garden

Marcus Vitel, Prince of the City
Clan Ventrue
(Rudolph Valentino)
Marcus Vitel informs them that the Malkavian Primogen will be slightly delayed.  Diana's presentation goes smoothly.  Marcus even states Diana's Sire's name, recognizing them and their exploits in Los Angeles.  He was impressed with how they handled things then, and is glad to have her here.  Karina admits Diana showed high marks and is very level-headed.  "Good," Marcus admits, "Considering we are in need of a Sheriff."  Marcus addresses Cross then asks him to help handle a situation.  Alex' eyes narrow and he recognizes the chained man: Charlston, the current Sheriff of the city.  Marcus tells them the Sheriff was caught playing both sides.

Marcus calls Helena Taylor, who admits she has someone to present.  Marcus asks if he would be surprised by the presentation, noticing Helena's hesitation in her statements.  She admits he shouldn't be.  Marcus closes his phone then turns to Monica, asking for her sister and she admits she hasn't seen Cynthia in a while.  Marcus tells Monica Cynthia needs to be here.  Monica calls her using Alex' phone and tells her that their daddy needs her here.

As does Mildred and Cassandra.  Marcus isn't too happy to see them, having expected to see the Primogen in the room.  Monica states she already called him. Scanning the room, Alex remembers Dr. Edward, the Ventrue Primogen should be in the room.  He finds the good doctor just quietly seated and waiting.  Alex, however, chooses not to speak to him.  Monica admits she liked it when Marcus starts getting all angry.   Karina suggests that they check if the Sheriff's thoughts it would be better someone other them handles it.  Marcus asks Diana if she ever learned it, which she admits she has not.  Marcus then asks Mildred if she can.  Mildred admits she cannot either.  Marcus starts getting angry that no one seems to be useful and growls that he is surrounded by useless people.

Dor and Velvet soon arrive, thinking this is an opportunity to try to apologize to his Primogen as well.  Dor is still shocked at the implication that the Toreador Primogen was insulted, and that Velvet only realized recently his works are actually painted with vampiric blood.  Most shocking, however, is that Velvet actually uses a bicycle, not a motorbike.  She stressed it was because she is legally dead and can't afford a license.  

Helena Taylor arrives outside, more or less the same time when David Sullivan arrives.  As she arrives, she sees David and just rolls her eyes, "Really? Not right now."  She barrels into the room, telling David to just follow behind her as she does not have time for this.

Helena Taylor, Tremere Primogen
(Emily Blunt)
The door shoves open as they enter, and the others turn to see Helena using Movement of the Mind to remove her coat and leave it hanging in front of David, until David realizes he should take it.  He was too shocked that she just used the same Thaumaturgical Path to shove the doors open.  Helena gives a very rude remark about hoping this meeting was worth her time given she was focusing her attention on more important events that were supernatural in nature.  When she asked what the Sheriff did, Marcus throws the question back at her, hoping she can tell them.  Helena turns to David, who explains he was sent here to present himself.  Helena spitefully makes the presentation of her "pitiful member of her Clan" to the City. Marcus calmly explains it is tradition that has them do these things and wishes she did not have to deliver the lines sounding like she hates the fact she has to do it.  Marcus asks David of his Sire and standing, and David confirms his Sire is still in Los Angeles.  Marcus gives the approval, but Helena hisses to just get on with it.

Monica whispers to Alex that the two used to date, hence the drama.   Mildred catches the words and smiles, amused by it too.  Dor slips in a chance to be presented as well, and Marcus welcomes him given he has seen his work in the past.  Helena glares at Dor, mouthing, "I don't like you" given his lack of need to do the protocol.  With no one able to gleam the thoughts of the suspect, Helena realizes a Ritual might be needed.  She asks David if he prepared a Ritual that allows one to sense truth, and learning neither of them prepared it, they will have to do the less accurate method: Aura Perception.  Helena does add she CAN read minds but she WON'T do it because he had made her promise to never again use the power in his presence.  Alex asks Monica how long and she admits it was ever since she used it to find out he was entertaining someone else while they were together.  Dor is asked to do it, but he confesses he's feeling a tad peckish.  Mildred is asked to do the task and she admits it would be an honor.  Marcus then asks Alex to come forward, tells him he is offered the position of Sheriff, and challenges him to get answers out.  But he reminds Alex there should be no blood.  Diana is then cast to assist Alex.  Helena tells David to prepare to use Domination to help the questioning but David admits he cannot Dominate either.  Helena scowls and tells the Prince this is clearly another night the Tremere will disappoint him.

Alex and Diana approach the former Sheriff.  They find a shard of wood embedded in his chest, locking him in Torpor.  Diana grabs hold of the wooden shard and begins to pull.  Mildred closes her eyes as she allows her hearing to be enhanced by her Auspex.  David and Dor on the other hand, peer at the Sheriff's Aura for any hints of lying.  Alex prepares to interrogate the man, thinking of the best questions that would lead the former Sheriff in admitting his role and affiliations with the Sabbat.

- End of Part I -

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