Monday, September 2, 2013

The Seven ep04: Vampire the Masquerade

The Seven
Episode Four


Vampire the Masquerade
Classic World of Darkness

Antonio Ruiz steps into the concert hall, carefully eyeing the crowd.  Syn, his Sabbat contact, informed him that Madam Faqas would be found here.   The orchestra is at full swing, playing Dante's Symphony, and as the music swells, Ruiz finds the Madam.

The Madam seems deeply engaged listening intently and occasionally talking to herself.  Ruiz remains quiet at first, and slowly starts to realize that the Madam's conversations sound more like they are actually exchanges with other people.  

Jeremiah Ash arrives at the concert hall, as well, and bribes the woman at the entrance with a thousand dollars to be allowed in.  Just like Ruiz, he searches for the Madam and sits three chairs away.   He opts to wait for the concert to end rather than try talking to her too soon.

Samantha Fletcher realizes she is starting to feel the hunger grow. She visits the nearby woman's dorm to hunt and overhears the chanting of a sorority group holding some event.  Fletcher slips into one of the dooms and silently feeds on one of the sleeping girls.

And finally, Viktor Smith is at the train tracks, and through the use of his alternate identity's influence, secures the location for further investigation.  He finds trace amounts of blood and skin on the manacles that held the victim to the rear of the train.  He notes the significant amount of scratches all over the rear of the train and wonders if it was some kind of message.  As he looks up, he realizes that there's no sign of Samantha Fletcher in the area.  The Tremere was at the station when the body was found.  She was needed for more questioning.  With a silent release of his power, he Summons her back.

Fletcher feeds silently, and feels the call of blood.  Rather than resist, Fletcher licks the would closed and pulls away from the student.  Her lips mumble, "Acedia" and Fletcher just stares and wonders how the mortal knew of the word.  Fletcher scans her stuff and finds her name on the wall: Robin Lewes.  Knowing there might be a need to look into this again, Fletcher steals a used article of clothing from the mortal's belongings.  Then hurries to respond to the Summons.

Ruiz finally hears the Madam address her.  Calmly, she informs Ruiz that she knows he is a Sabbat Templar.  She casually talks to him about her concerns of a doppelganger in the Camarilla and Ruiz gently admits that he was looking for one as well.  He suggests the possibility that her deputy, Smith, was one, but Faqas shoots down that accusation.  "I know him," she explains, "I saw him during the Convention of Thorns."  Ruiz silently realizes that Faqas is implying the length of her unlife and how she is unafraid to face him.   The Convention of Thorns was a very long time ago.

Smith notices a man watching the site from afar.  As the man breaks into a run, Smith takes chase.  Easily catching up to him, the man turns out to be Greg Dorman, a reporter who had been following Argento since he was writing an article that suspected Argento was part of some kind of secret society.  Turns out Argento's fears of being stalked were real.  

Ash talks to Faqas, asking to be part of the investigations regarding his brother-in-blood.  Faqas warns him that he cannot be permitted to do so in any official capacity, but he is welcome to look into matters so long as he does not interfere with the official investigation. He learns of the train station and heads there to do his own investigating.   When he arrives at the station, he sees the reporter Greg Dorman being escorted by a policeman to a squad car. Smith has Entranced the reporter to surrender all the information he had gathered to him.  Ash follows them, and decides to take a look at what the man knew himself.

Fletcher arrives and Smith discusses the scene with her, collating all information they can on the last victim.  On the matter if they were Sabbat, they realize the attackers probably were not given the woman who struck actually apologized before staking her target.   Fletcher worries given the blood she had tasted through Taste of Blood confirmed that the woman was Tremere.

Ruiz brings the Madam with him and the two arrive at Syn's location.  Syn seems anxious to see Faqas, but before the Madam could intimidate her further the shadows swallow her.  Ruiz and Syn stare as the Archbishop emerges nearby.  "We must talk," he tells them and the three quietly walk inside.

The Prince is on a rush.  He dismisses others as he gathers his things.  He even practically ignores the deputy when Smith comes by to tell him of the near-Masquerade threat Argento was in.  Smith easily notices the fear in his eyes.  A message arrives on his cellular, and the Prince becomes frantic.  "The Angel," he intones, "The Angel sends his warnings."

Fletcher slips into the investigations tent, even after Smith insisted she leave the place alone.  Grasping the stake on the evidence table, she reaches through sympathy to gain a name regarding the attacker.  She grasps her name is Vera.  And to her shock, she senses the Cainite was at least 20 years into her unlife.  Diablerie was recent in her time.

Ash uses Domination to go through the gathered evidence and finds a recurring face among the photographs.  The strange woman repeatedly is present in many of them, and this gains his curiosity.  After offering his services as possible legal aid, Ash leaves the room and heads to a nearby club to feed.  The young man he feeds from does not survive the feeding.  He rushes to the Succubus Club and sees the place also in some frantic panic.  Was everyone leaving for some reason?  He finds the old ghoul of Argento on the roofdeck and the man is in tears.  "He wanted us to stay with him... He said, 'Don't let go.'  It wasn't for us to hold him down.  It was for us to stay with him.  To keep him company... and we failed."  Ash is confused.  Something larger was unfolding.  Something he did not understand.  

The door to the roof deck opens and Anabelle, his sister-in-blood, comes into view.  She tells him it is time to leave.  A helicopter arrives, with a rope ladder ready, to pick them both up.  Ash asks what is going on, and she merely tells him, "The Seven.  The Seven is unfolding in this city.  You were not meant to know of this."

Ruiz and Syn are told to follow and their questions are ignored.  Moncada has them ride the car and the three of them spirit away to the airport, leaving Faqas to emerge from the shadows alone.  As the car hurries off, Moncada starts mumbling about how he should be dead.  About how his own daughter, and her lover, were supposed to have destroyed him.  How that was one of the many steps that changed the events that transpired through-out history.  Ruiz looks at Syn and notices she seems as lost as he is.  "We were all expecting the signs," Moncada admits as they board the plane and begin the take-off procedures.  "We were all staring at the sky, searching for the red sign.  For the coming comet.  For the time of thin blood.  But we did not realize we were already falling into their hands."

The Prince stared at Smith, his hands cradling the cellular as it beeped another message.  "Every major City in the world chooses their Seven.  They are meant to appease.  To be offered.  They were sin-eaters to our atrocities.  They were our acts of penance."

Fletcher is enroute to the Chantry, hoping to ask Vaclav for more information, when she notices a car rush down the road.  Her eyes catch the passenger of the car to be Vaclav himself.  Where was he going?   She hurries down the sidewalk to the Chantry but finds herself intercepted by a man in black clothing.  The man calls himself, "The Messenger" and informs her that the next sacrifice has been made.

As she rushes into the Chantry, Fletcher finds Gomorra on the ground, having burst open from what seems to be thousands of pages of tomes and books that have been shoved into her mouth.  Words are painted upon the walls.  Praepropere.  Laute.  Nimis.  Ardenter.  Studiose.  Forente.  On her forehead, the latin word: Gula.

Fletcher throws her head back at the man in black, and he tells her that only one remains.  The final sacrifice.

"The others were attacked," the Prince admits to Smith.  "Calebros.  Victoria Ash.  Aristotle de Laurent.  They were all victims.  It was said something arose from the depths of the city to devour them. But no one knows the truth.  Not even the Nosferatu have seen anything."  Smith sees the Prince head for the door, "This however... this is how the City falls."

Smith watches as the Prince drives away.  Smith notices the Prince had left his cellular phone behind.  He picks it up and peeks into the inbox.  All that it contains are spam messages from an Angel Marketing Services offering discount rates for various days.  Was the Prince just truly as mad as his Malkavian blood required him to be?  Or was his ranting based on truth?

“To remember would shatter the minds of all that remembered it,”  Moncada tells Ruiz  and as he stares out the window, he admits further, “Not knowing is the greatest answer that can never be given again.”

Ash is not convinced.  He turns to his sister and demands answers.  She promises to answer only one.  "Where," Ash demands, "Where can I find more answers to what is happening?"    Annabelle admits, "The Giovanni."

"Then these sacrifices," Fletcher asks the man in black, "Whose forgiveness are we buying with these sacrifices?"  The man in black who seems to effortlessly read her sins replies, "The Demigods."

And Malkavian Faqas, somehow back at the top of the Empire State Building, feels the whipping winds that strike her from all directions and claws upon her face with her own hands.  She begins to rake into her very own skin a single Latin word.

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