Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Seven ep03: Vampire the Masquerade

The Seven
Episode Three

"Keep the Sabbath Day Holy"

Vampire the Masquerade
Classic World of Darkness

Stockholm, Sweden.
A letter arrives.  Jeremiah Ash reads about the death of his brother-in-blood, Argento.  Both of them being children of Modius, Jeremiah realized that he had to head to Argento's last whereabouts in a bid to gain more information about his Final Death.    He visits the Prince of Stockholm, Greger Anderssen to inform him of his plans to leave with his ghoul.  The Prince admits he understands and even shares him information on the Primogen of New York city.  "Seek out Patricia Westwayer, the Toreador Primogen of New York.  She holds her court at the Elysium known as the Succubus Club."  The Prince warns him that New York has been long contested by the Sabbat.  And since the disappearance of the former New York Prince, Calebros, many wonder what events have transpired in the powerful city.

La Merced, Mexico.
A Templar steps away from a building as it begins to burn.  The sun is inching towards the horizon.  He steps into an alleyway and feels the cold touch of the shadows as they whisper to him.  "Ruiz.  Confessions."  The Templar understands and immediately makes his way to the airport.  He knows where the Archbishop awaits.  The airport does not give him a fuss, as the woman at the counter reacts the moment he mentions a certain word.  Quickly he breezes through the customary checks and eventually sits on a First Class seat on the plane.  In his haste to travel, he decides to regain necessary blood by feeding on the flight attendant.  He fails to keep his Instincts in check however, and drains a tad too much more than he should have.

New York City, New York - The Succubus Club, Midtown Manhattan.
Patricia Westwayer shares with the Sherrif, Madam Faqas, and her deupty, Viktor Smith, the events leading to the death of Argento.  Her narrative is filled with emotional moments as she struggles to come to terms with the fact the Toreador designer is dead.  In the background, muffled by the walls, the song Diamonds is playing at the dance floor.  The Malkavian Sherrif leans closer to Viktor, who assumes she has something important to share.  "I hate Rihanna," is what she mutters, "She mutters the word Diamonds 38 times."  Viktor tries to remain placid, even as the Sherrif slowly fades away using Obfuscate.  The Toreador Primogen does not react to the Sheriff's breach of Elysium rules.  She just asks Viktor if there is anything else she can do to help the investigation.  "We will be in touch," Viktor replies and bids the Primogen good night.  As he leaves the Succubus Club, his cellular phone rings.  Sliding it out of his pocket, he sees it is the Sherrif calling.

"I'm still standing in front of the Toreador Primogen," she mutters and Viktor realizes the Sheriff had just Vanished from the Mind's Eye but never left the room.  He could almost imagine her leaning in front of the Toreador.  "I'm literally staring at her face and yet, this Toreador elder does not sense me.  Are we certain she really is Toreador?"

When Viktor arrives at the Sherrif's office to go through the information they've gathered on the previous victims, he finds the Prince of New York actually there as well.  The Prince, Haridan Morgan, was the Malkavian Prince that succeeded Calebros' rule.  "The Bishop..." he mutters in a barely controlled manic episode, "He readies to checkmate.  The waters stir.  The words cannot be spoken.  Too much earth.  Too much dirt.  I am screaming.  Why can't anyone hear me?"   Viktor tries to make sense of the Prince, knowing some believed him to have occasional moments of what seemed like oracular pronouncements but there seemed to be no order in his gibberish.    By the time Madam Faqas arrives, the Prince has reached a calmer state.  "I'll handle this," she calmly tells the deputy.

Hoping to find more information, Viktor silently considered the message from Adam Parker.  He had asked him to meet at where they first were when they arrived in New York City.  Viktor knew there would always be a risk in meeting up with the Sabbat Ductus, but information on the Sabbat's side would prove very vital at this point in time.

New York City, New York - Beneath Barnard College, Manhattan.
In the Chantry of the Five Burroughs, Samantha Fletcher and the Tremere Primogen Vaclav discuss what they have gathered so far of the murders.  The connection to Dante's Divine Comedy is unmistakable.  As they consider the kind of person who would have to be behind the events (learned, intellectual, an Elder with enough Generation to command larger numbers of kine, etc) Samantha starts to feel uneasy that they were lacking the third "know-it-all" voice of Gamorra.    Vaclav wonders if the Sabbat are going through their own set of murders, or if not, would the killer be of that Sect.  But Samantha admits the killer behind the murders had taken huge steps to maintain the masquerade.  Everything from pulling out fangs, to dominating any witnesses to misremember things, the actions did not strike her as those an older member of the anarchist sect would be concerned with.

The owner of the red BMW they had traced in the earlier nights had lead to a drug addict who simply did what he was asked to do.  Samantha takes a leap and uses Taste of Vitae on the ghoul's blood.    She is uncertain of the Domitor of the drug addict, but senses it is Kindred blood.  And the vampire is one of the Tremere.

Samantha decides to visit the Deputy, but realizes she needs to feed first.  She over-feeds a bit on the drug addict and finds herself bothered when the ghoul actually asks, "How is the Madam?"  Samantha worries of the Sherrif had actually located and spoken with this man.    She sends a few text messages to Gomorra, asking her to reply as soon as possible. Visiting the Chantry's own personal Herd, she finds the room to contain ten blindfolded people who are chained and gagged against the wall.  She finds the healthiest one and feeds from him.  It bothers her that the Tremere have such a resource, and how Vaclav even proudly proclaimed about getting a new "shipment" soon.  She learns from Vaclav that the Prince himself used to visit Gamorra.  He used to even refer to her as "his second angel."

Samantha declines to know more.

John F. Kennedy Airport, New York City.
Antonio Ruiz, Sabbat Templar, arrives and makes his way down the ramp to the customs area.  Before he arrives, however, another woman approaches him and with a blank stare simply tells him, "Follow."  They walk past the lines and quickly move to the exit terminal, with the woman giving the Templar clearance through all the existing security points.

He finds a woman with multiple piercings waiting for him outside the airport.  The woman is Syn (nicknamed Ducky by the Sabbat given she is one of the friendlier Ducti) and she informs Antonio that she had been given explicit instructions by the Archbishop on where to bring the Templar.  Antonio feels a bit perturbed as they move through the city.  She tells him that Antonio is expected to present himself to the Prince within a week's time.  He is to pretend to be a member of the Camarilla.  Pretend to be Syn's Sire.

In the same airport, Jeremiah Ash arrives and is forced to go through the usual channels of security.  The immigration officer who interviews him admits he recognizes him as one of the reclusive wealthy men based in Europe.  "I saw those videos about you on youtube," he beams and gives him full approval to visit the country for an extended period of time.  Jeremiah plays it cool and simply remains cordial for the whole period.

Once he steps out of the airport, however, he finds himself approached by a couple.  The couple seem to stare blankly at him as they talk to him, asking him to follow their instructions as they stand in representation of the Sheriff of the City.  The ride brings them to a house where a young eight-year old child awaits.  The child talks to Jeremiah directly, and apologizes for the loss of his brother.  "We continue to search for whoever was behind this violent cruelty."  She reminds Jeremiah not to interfere with the Deputy's investigations.  And that he has one week to present himself before the Prince.

Grand Central Terminal, New York.Viktor Smith waits for his friend, Adam Parker, to arrive.  Samantha calls Viktor, asking for his assistance to check on Gamorra.  Given her disappearance, Viktor decides to try using his police connections to trace the last call Gamorra made.  The Tzimisce quietly joins him at the bench and the two regard each other silently.  They share news of the murders and of the Archbishop and Viktor learns to his regret that there have been no known murders among the Sabbat.  However, there has also been no talk whatsoever among the Sabbat regarding the murders.   Viktor is curious to why the Archbishop, however, would come to visit at such a time.

This is not what perplexes Adam, however.  For Adam, that which bothers him more is the fact that Viktor Smith seems to suffer from a special form of amnesia.  He seems to have no recollection of his time among the Sabbat, or his mentorship under the Archbishop.  Adam wonders how this could  have happened.  And more importantly, why?

New York City, New York - The Succubus Club, Midtown Manhattan.
Jeremiah Ash arrives at the Succubus Club and after a brief moment of confusion at the entrance, is permitted entry when another ghoul recognizes him.  He is escorted inside and notices a small gathering among the Kine at the ground level, a wake of sorts for his departed brother. Argento was a fashion icon among the elite, it seemed, and they were gathered now to pay their final respects.  Jeremiah ignores them and continues up the stairs, with the Primogen's office as his goal.

Antonio Ruiz arrives with Syn, and Syn quickly reminds him that he is "Mister Bigg" the man who she had mentioned to be her Sire.   Given her multiple stories of him, many "knew" of Mister Bigg as a hero during the Anarch Revolt.  A Camarilla vampire who did not fear flames of the Anarch Revolt.  Both are bothered, however, when upon arrival, learn they are on the guest list.  "We were expecting you," the ghoul tells him.

"But we only just decided to use that alias," Syn whispers worriedly to Antonio Ruiz.

The Primogens stare at Jeremiah as he enters the room.  In his business suit with flowing sleeves, the Toreador from Sweden gives them the proper show of respect.  Jeremiah wore the black suit over a gaudy yellow inner shirt intentionally.   “My clothes speak of my inner state of being.  There is something supressing the joy coming out, yet it is there nonetheless.”  Present are Sister Nikolai, the Nosferatu Primogen, Dennison Stark, the Ventrue Primogen, Mister White, the Malkavian Primogen and Patricia Westwayer.   Dennison clearly recalls Jeremiah, and the two recall how the Ventrue had once lamented that Ash would have been far better suited among the Blue Bloods.

The Prince is in the gathering.  Antonio feels the Prince's arm wrap around his shoulder as he walks straight up to them and talks about how honored he is to stand beside a Hero of the Camarilla.   As more celebrities and fashion icons speak of Argento at the stage, the Prince mutters regretfully that he did not foresee Argento's death.  "The Angel only talks to me when the app is charged," he lamentedly shows his powered off phone.  Antonio finds himself tensing up.  A Malkavian Prince is always an unpredictable danger.

Viktor gets a trace.

Samantha Fletcher and Vaclav decide to try looking for Gamorra as well.  Waiting for the Deputy to come up with answers did not seem like the best thing to do.  Given their fears of a reenactment of the acts of penitence and punishment from the Divine Comedy, Samantha wondered if trains would be used in the next murder.  They decide to head to a train station to check.

"You should stay with me," the Prince smiles as he invites "Mister Biggs" to stay at his Haven instead.  "I would rather you stayed in a safer Haven than a public place.  Antonio Ruiz reluctantly agrees.

Viktor stares at the address and sends it to Samantha Fletcher.  She stares, dumbfounded by the message.  She calls Viktor to ask if he is certain of the address, and he tells her he plans to head there to check it out.

She tells him that is precisely where she is right now.

Jeremiah asks to see the ghoul who almost didn't let him in, after learning that he was one of Argento's favored ghouls.  Patricia had all of them become part of the Succubus Club after realizing all fifteen of them would become likely Masquerade breaches if they were left on their own.   Directed to head to the kitchen, Jeremiah Ash calmly makes his way to the lower floors.  He talks to the ghouls.  Offers to have them work for him instead.

Viktor rushes to the location, contacting Madam Faqas to inform her of what they've uncovered.  To his surprise, her answer almost suggests she is aware of the location before he mentions it.   As he arrives, he finds Samantha on the ground, unable to move.  A second form is on the ground, staked from behind, and a third form looms at him from the tracks.

Another victim.  The ashes were packed in the shape of...
...Half a person.

And on his forehead, the word Acedia.

He or she had been chained to the train.  And the train must have been moving earlier.  The kindred had been eroded all the way to the chest area.  And now, the victim was a black humanoid shaped form of ashes.  Viktor grabbed his cellphone to call for Madam Faqas again, but the wind whipped and shattered the body, transforming the victim into a cloud of ashes that fluttered all around them.

Ruiz walks with the Prince to the door.  The Prince seems bothered by something but doesn't say much.
Antonio feels something... and notices a door ajar.  He peers in and finds Madam Faqas sleeping.  Quietly, he starts to step back when he hears a soft buzzing sound.  A cellphone.

Viktor helps Fletcher to her feet, and learns from her that she and Vaclav were investigating the location when they heard a noise.  The security guard saw them and she quickly persuaded him to call for help, claiming to have lost her sister.  But then the attacker struck, and she felt her body go rigid with but a single touch of the assailant.  As she hit the ground, the attacker whispered, "I do this for your own good."

Fletcher struck back, using Theft of Vitae in hopes of at least gaining some knowledge about her attacker.  She learned something unthinkable.  And realized now that things are far worse than she though.

Six Kine approach the murder scene.  Viktor stares tremendously bothered as he realizes all six are new people.  Madam Faqas seems to have such an influence that those that serve her as the Six are not six specific people.  But rather, six people who serve her when she desires it.  His hands dial her number on the cellular.  And suddenly one of the six blinks, looks around confused, and wonders why he is here.  Viktor hears the madam answer the phone.

"What is it?" the Madam answers the phone, and Ruiz pulls back as he notices she does not rise from the bed.  She remains lying down, as if still dreaming, even as she talks.  As he pulls out of the room as quietly as possible, Madam cuts the call and suddenly addresses the room.  "You.  You will remain where you are."

Ruiz' nose bleeds.
But he is able to escape as if the Domination did not hold.

Ruiz flees the night.

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