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[IC] Vampire: The Masquerade - Pyramid Scheme [PBP]

124

Posts

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Rockin' ShoujoRegistered User regular
    "My suggestion is simple. Go about your meeting, only instead of doing as your dear Elder requests, report back to us on what you find. We'll leave you be, and then in the future, we can deal with this problem with a more... effective means. Of course, you could just not tell us a thing, but then we'll just have to find you at a later day, under... less pleasant circumstances. I do realize this puts you in a rock and a hard place, so... the choice is really yours. Loyalty to your clan, or to your city? Because I assure you, they do not have the best interests of either in mind."

    At the offer, the man takes the device, and rotates it around. "Well, if you mean it losing operational capacity, anyone with a decent wifi jammer could pull that off. But if you're asking me if I think your wayward contact was responsible? Then, yes, that is absolutely in their purview."

    oK4l3R4.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    "But do you think they could have been listening in on our conversation without our knowledge?"

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Rockin' ShoujoRegistered User regular
    "Almost certainly, unless you have ways of detecting that sort of ability being put into use."

    oK4l3R4.png
  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    Having watched the whole exchange mainly engaged in a wry, continuing sidelong glance at Bone-Spurs, Louie finally perks up at the end of the conversation. Hands dug deeply into his pockets at first, he approaches "Beau" up close. He gives a wary, secretive nod to Gurstag's nearby cellphone.

    "Well then," he says, noncommittally (obviously, an act for whoever might be listening). In the dim light of the overhead street lamps, he subtly extends a hand for "Beau" to shake. "Suppose we have o' decision to make, don't we? Appreciate all the concern and conversation, folks...I do so hope you all stay in touch, like you've promised!"

    "One more thing," he asks, looking to both of them. "For manner's sake, the next time we see ye'all. You already must know me, and my friend the Professor here. But...what do we call you? Just ta', ya know..." He says playfully. "... tell ya 'part from the next pack o' Creepers that run us down?"

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Rockin' ShoujoRegistered User regular
    "Well, how does the saying go? Don't call us, we'll call you? If another pack of 'Creepers' happens upon you, I doubt they will be quite so polite. Still, since you were so kind to ask..." The man lowers into a faux bow. "Felix will suffice. Until another time, ideally under better circumstances." He climbs into the passenger's seat, closing the door.

    The woman seems far less eager to depart, but eventually does as she was seemingly told. "Julie, and I'll be waiting for that dance, fuckboy." With an irritated hiss in Louie's direction, she gets back into the car, and it tears off into the night.

    oK4l3R4.png
    mrpakudiscrider
  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited February 28
    Louie nods gratefully to Felix. The vamp gives a half smirk and a half bow to Julie as the two "new friends" depart. "Sure we'll be seeing you, luv!" he says, too-sweetly. The false charm cuts off instantly as the Nos's car door slams shut. Still smiling, Louie waves eagerly as they depart, but his tone soon drops into a bitter, hateful register. "Drive safely!....you hamster-nosed, hook-kneed, five-pack-a-day-voice ol' sack of vile, contemptuous...." The rest is a quiet snarl behind a throaty growl, but Gurstag can make out some highly questionable language in there for the few words he can pick out.

    "C'mon, less'go," Loony Louie says, hesitating for a brief moment, before deciding to toss his car keys to Gurstag. "You drive the rest of the way. I'm liable to do something...emotional." Climbing into the passenger's side of his car, Louie slams the door brusquely. Arms crossed, he stares ahead through the windshield, glaring daggers at no one in particular.

    mrpaku on
  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    Louie simmers in the passenger seat of the car for a few moments. Eventually, anxiety leads him to paw around furtively inside the glove box. Flipping it open and harshly digging through the contents within, he withdraws the owner’s manual, and an old, highly weathered blue-ink pen.

    Grumbling with a repressed fury, the usually-chatty vamp pulls out the manual and the pen, and begins sketching furiously in the margins (after a few frustrated moments of attempting to awaken the device by licking it). Within a couple minutes, Loony Louie has produced a rough, very-hard to read body of text and symbols, sketched about the fringes of the owner’s manual. Getting Gurstag’s attention with a rough poke in the shoulder, and grunting towards the Professor’s phone with a warning, “The Voice” drops the manual atop the stick shift, quickly moving to stare out the window with a fist pressed under his chin afterwards.

    Within the (not-very-well-constucted, too-complicated) sketch, Gurstag sees:

    - A pair of Glasses and a shitty sketch of a Radio, at the exact Center of the piece (seeming to depict Gurstag and Louie in metaphor, respectively), and circled

    - Four individual large, aggressive arrows, pointedly digging in on the Center two drawings like knives

    - A separate series of question marks directly below, seeming to denote confusion and bafflement at the current crisis

    - Yet another line of text below the question marks: two words, all-caps, that read simply “ABSOLTELY FUCKED” “Absolutely” has been underlines four times, and “Fucked” six times, and circled

    Louie continues to pretend to stare out the window as he drops the pen on Gurstag’s lap subtly….

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag grimaces.
    He'd already been chewed out for grinding the gears trying to pull out of the carpark.
    He didn't like his chances of drawing and driving simultaneously.

    Instead he clicks the radio on, and switches on the late-night jazz channel.
    "My phone's in the back now", he softly states.
    "Should be able to talk somewhat without anyone eavesdropping. Just got to keep your voice low." He glances at the warmth radiating from the radio. "I doubt there's anything in this car that's computerised."

    He clears his throat.
    "But yeah.", he states loudly, "Seems like we're fucked alright. Guess we have to just go to the meeting and deal with our assailants after. Perhaps they don't find us again."

    He drops his voice again.
    "I don't know what our mutual friends were trying to warn us about, but they've hardly given us any options.
    We go to the meeting, and see what's what.

    Worst case, they go full pitchforks and torches on us, and we have to feed.
    Very sad.
    I'm sure the Regentia won't begrudge us offing vampire hunters, or worse, wanna-be Tremere."

    Gurstag checks the mirrors briefly, half expecting to see the old banger still following them.
    "If they're not so single-minded in their approach, hopefully we walk.
    They probably know the bind we're in, and might question our loyalties.
    But they must expect we're playing our own game, and it's not like they can just find some other kin to entreaty.
    There's too much risk to the whole facade.

    So the plan remains the same. We go in expecting trouble, and we try to live to miss the sun.
    If they begrudge our little altercation with our aggressors, maybe they'd like to share how they detected them in the first place."

    Gurstag winces a little as he pulls into the small lane.
    "And if we smell trouble, we can give them trouble.
    And now for the tricky bit"

    He nervously reaches for the stick shift as he readies himself to park the thing.
    At least this one doesn't have a choke.
    But the professor was more used to walking where he needed to go. Or public transport.

    mrpaku
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Rockin' ShoujoRegistered User regular
    There isn't a sign of the vehicle giving chase... or any vehicle at all, really. The lot of the meeting place is ominously quiet, as if the entire city block has turned in for the night. The only other vehicles around appear to have been sitting that way for days if not months.

    There is one small sign of life; that of the pawn shop's vaguely operational neon sign flickering on and off, indicating that it is open, along with a vague source of light illuminating what appear to be a pair of figures waiting inside.

    oK4l3R4.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    The shop's bell jangles as the pair enters the crowded shop.
    There is a nearly overwhelming range of disparate items on display, but Gurstag only has eyes for the "Antiqes" up in the back cabinets.
    Or at least he would, if he isn't brought back to tonight by the sight of his two guests waiting uncomfortably among the jewelry boxes.

    Sighing, Gurstag raps on the wooden counter's window frame.
    "Al, are you there? We'd like to use one of your viewing rooms for a bit, if you don't mind. We have some business to attend to before we can get to,", he waves his hand across the room, "appreciating your stock".
    Alfred Zhyrgal is the proprietor of this fine establishment, according to Random Name Generator :P

  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    Louie says nothing. His hands clench the counter with a steel grip, and his eyes have a cold glint in them.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Rockin' ShoujoRegistered User regular
    "Ah, it seems our fashionably late guests finally arrived." Jonathan appears engrossed in an old journal of some sort, flipping through the pages idly. "Hope you don't mind, I was perusing some of the selection. I trust you had no problems with your fellows along the way."

    The proprietor in question waves from behind a glass partition in a vague direction towards a wooden door. "Make it fast, this isn't a library."

    There doesn't seem to be a sign of anyone else there, though you could have sworn there was someone else in the common area before entering.

    oK4l3R4.png
  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited March 21
    "Nothing we couldn't handle," Louie says rather tersely. Almost immediately catching himself, he takes a long, private breath, trying to forcefully shift his demeanor back to "calm and relaxed". Turning back to the group and a familiar smirk already tugging at his top lip, he gives a slight nod towards the proprietor's comment, then looks back to Jonathan. "But it's been a long night already, sunshine, and my friend and I are done sitting on the edge of anticipation. How'za bout ye put the rag down, and we all finally get to the brass-tacks?"

    mrpaku on
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Rockin' ShoujoRegistered User regular
    "Splendid. Let's get this over with." He sets the book down and retreats into the side room, which looks like a repurposed office, just barely having enough space for a desk and chairs on each side. He takes a seat at the far end of the room, opening up what looks like an oversized laptop that could be at least two decades old.

    "So if what your Regentia's said is correct, you plan on updating the networks of the entire clan within the region, and then cascading those upgrades out to the rest of the region and so on, until the lot of you throughout the country is integrated... and with top-shelf military grade IT encryption? No easy feat, kiddos... not impossible, but no easy feat. The question is if your little tech upstart of a mistress is willing to let us access her network. I'd normally just check it out myself, but she's got some funky blood magic ritual locking it down, I wager."

    "And we have yet to be told what would make this worth our while." The second voice appears to have come from literally nowhere, until you see a woman in a dark suit standing off in the corner. The room appeared empty prior to her appearance, as far as you can recall.

    @discrider
    It appeared to be a guidebook to local hotspots for pagan witchcraft, particularly local Wiccan covens.

    oK4l3R4.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag sucks some air through his teeth as he sits down.
    "Well, that's what we're here to find out."

    Leaning forward he continues, "Our leader suggested that this should be a partnership. We all develop the new network, with you providing the protocol and we provide the medium, so to speak."
    A shadow crosses his face as he briefly considers how little he knows about how the internet works.
    "In any case, she seemed to indicate that you would be as interested in keeping your presence secret, as we are in ours. And that you would have access to the technology we develop.
    I would have assumed to be implemented in a separate network to our own.
    Unless you're willing to share your own data?"

    He draws back.
    "But you have my apologies. We would have prepared a more enticing offer, but when I tried to garner what else you might be interested in last night, my internet cut out.
    Perhaps we should ask, are there other things we can help you with?"

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Rockin' ShoujoRegistered User regular
    "Well, friends, information is the best currency, as they say. Even fractured as you are, I've been told that your information records are quite... thorough, especially in the wake of a certain specialist clan of yours having been left somewhat on the outs. If your dear Elder is interested in letting us access whatever archives she has on the city, particularly its more occult history, that would do wonders, for a start. We can agree on that much, yes?"

    Jonathan gives a glance to the figure in the corner, as if seeing if she concurs. The woman only nods slightly. "We're particularly interested in the territory of this Wiccan faction of yours, if you're familiar with their activities. They've been making some significant strides in taking territory as of late... both of the dead and the living, as it were. I'm of the understanding they have significant connections in both worlds."
    You both may have a passing knowledge of what faction she's referring to, but it's definitely not something the Tremere as a whole like to talk about, as it's something of a blight on their record.

    oK4l3R4.png
  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    “Ugh, back to that family business again,” Louie grunts in suppressed annoyance. “A few gently dissenting brethren have a minor squabble after a wee bit of trouble, and everyone thinks they smell blood in the water an’ wanna get a taste!” Shaking off his mild anger with briefly closed eyes and a single deep breath, Louie switches the charm back on almost instantly, and moves to follow Gurstag into the politics of the evening:

    “Jonathan,” Louie says playing it cool, to-the-point and all-business now. “You’re obviously a very clever young man, so I’ll be straight with yeh’. Whatever else you’ve heard, please understand: it’s only because of our…”situation”…that yer getting the opportunity to even try this project! Men have killed to be anywhere near your sorta position before,” Peering off into the middle distance in a moment of lost thought, Louie shakes off his disgust at the presumed memory, leans over and whispers (audibly) at Jonathan, “An, a helluva lot worse than that, I don’t need to tell you!”

    Louie gets deep into his bullshit, going for the hard sell, “Are our records thorough? Buddy, ye’d better believe it! Whatever you’re looking for, can basically guarantee you we got it. Hardbacks, in the original editions! But are we…is the Regantia… just about ta’ throw open the doors to the library, let ya check out an armful o’ books at a time, take ya at your word you’ll bring em’ all back safe, cause you helped rebuild the shelves?” Louie shakes his head, sadly but firmly. “Nah, my man. We’re gonna need some receipts.”

    “Nothing too painless, I assure you,” Louie tries to bring it back, hands up and palms out, his voice sweet and consoling now. “It’s as much to cover your ass as ours. As I’m sure you’re well aware, the things you can learn, at our library? Sometimes it can…change people. Make them do…crazy things. If one of yer number say, were to hypothetically slip yer’ leash, start fucking around with things they ought’ent? Bad people are gonna hear about it quick enough…and who do you think they’re gonna come ask about it first? Think of it as “mutual insurance”.”

    Louie goes in for the “kill”, “So, to your questions! We could certainly see clear to talking the Regentia in to giving you access to the city records on whatever-occult shit (within reason, o’ course), an’ what we know of the Wiccans, for all that you’ve agreed to do fer us! But, the Regentia is gonna wanna’ know the “why” on both counts. I mean, that’s just manners!”

    “As fer our terms, there’s the three big ones. One, we all agree to operate in good faith: you get what you want, we get what we want, everyone walks away happy an’ no one finds any daggers in their backs later, yeah? Right! Two, ye’ll have to promise to take what information’s requested; only what’s requested and nothing more.” Louie jokes, “You ask fer Keith Richards number an’ we find out you guys went trying to bother Elvis or Tupac instead, yer gonna fucking hear about it, alright?”

    “An’ three,” Here, Loony Louie turns to fully face the lurking, quiet presence, flashes his brightest smile towards the unseen figure, and addresses the corner of the room. “In the interests of full disclosure and mutual trust, we will need to know exactly who we’re working with.”

    “Ma’am?” Louie asks, expectantly, cocking his head in anticipation towards the woman in the dark. “Assuming you’re the boss, here?”

    discrider
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Rockin' ShoujoRegistered User regular
    "You drive a hard bargain for a messenger, initiate. I am not the 'boss', no, as we both work in tandem... as do most of our ilk. A shame your House has yet to learn that valuable lesson. Those of a scholarly nature can benefit so much more from collaboration than from competition. Still, let's not get into the differences between our kind, as we do want to work together."

    As the woman considers the terms, Jonathan continues to make notations on the laptop, while also accessing what appears to be equally dated spreadsheet software. "You'll forgive Liana, she is somewhat blunt. I'm well aware of the questionable nature of your archives, and rest assured, we have no interest in your, shall we say, darker secrets. Do with them what you will, we do not traffic in magic of the blood, and even if we did, we doubt it would do us much good. You can be equally confident that we won't be putting knives in backs or any such trickery. Leave the stabbing to the stabbers, and your Clan does seem to specialize in that kind of socialization, as I understand it."

    With a few more notes, Jonathan leans back and braces his arms against the chair. "Why are we after information on your splinter group? Their magics are more relevant to our interest than your own, to be direct, and their accruing of influence is starting to threaten our own. One we stand to benefit from, the other can not be tolerated. So, in short, the enemy of our enemy can hopefully be our friend, in a sense."

    The woman returns Louie's smile with one of her own. "You want to know exactly what you're dealing with, child? You deal in blood, they deal in traditions. We deal in science, both ancient and modern, putting us well above the other outdated sorcerers in your quaint society. They call us Technocracy."

    oK4l3R4.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag chuckles at this, flashing his fangs before re-composing himself.

    'This is all very, well, cute. I'm sure I don't need to tell you, that we thought ourselves as scientists before we all fell. And I must say that I was taken aback when my own work lead to my condition.'

    'Still,' he continues, 'I can't say I don't feel a little slighted. I'm sure we can get you information on our break-aways so we can deal with a common nuisance. But I'm hard pressed to think what knowledge they could offer that we could not.'

    mrpaku
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Rockin' ShoujoRegistered User regular
    "Another example of hubris, not acknowledging what your fellows may have obtained that you could not." Liana seems to be beyond the budding argument, so she opts to deter her attention, letting Jonathan finish the discussion.

    "Well, then, you have our terms. If you can get us information on these so-called "break-aways", all the merrier, though you'll find such knowledge not easily obtained. I believe you two should return to your mistress with our proposal, in hopes she'll be accommodating... though I can't see why she would object." He gives a pointed nod to the clock on the wall. "I'd rather not delay you both needlessly, since, as the saying goes, I don't expect you have all night."

    oK4l3R4.png
  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    Louie's eyes follow Liana back into her quiet corner, eyes momentarily flashing. Afterwards, he gives a silent, tired sigh into his collar, trying to keep from appearing outwardly overwhelmed at all this.

    Louie smiles politely over to Jonathan. "Appreciate your concern, o' course! Well, now that everyone has their cards out, we'll be bringing this back to the "management". As you said, everything-the-same, I expect you should be hearing back promptly from our patron, and then we can get the ball rolling en' this new an' exciting enterprise! I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful partnership, for both of our greater concerns!"

    Louie bids a congenial farewell to Jonathan, his smile curt but kind, and then turns once more back to the corner. Addressing Liana with a conciliatory tone, he says, "Ya' know, there's another saying I was just thinking of: "Pride Goeth Before the Fall". Oldie but a goodie, right? Well, Miss Liana, our brethren may have fallen...but, as I suspect you're very aware, for those people who survive, long enough to learn from the experience of being broken? Well," he flashes one final winning smile to the quiet woman. "What comes afterwards could be just about anything, couldn't it? Don't count us out just yet, luv."

    Louie makes for the door, keys already out. "Professor?" He says, turning back to Gurstag and giving him his clearest, most wide-eyed "please-let's-get-the-fuck-out-of-here" look. "Unless you had anything else for our new friends...?"

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited April 18
    "No..?", the professor starts, taking in Louie's alarm.
    What could he have seen..

    "Very well. I expect we'll be in touch.", he states, quickly rising from his chair. "And I, personally, look forward to seeing what you obtain. Or have."

    And with a nod, the professor ducks out the door into the main shop, quickly making a beeline to the book Jonathon was perusing before.
    It did not make do to simply let his associates have the information they desired.
    Swiftly, he palmed the book into his jacket, before moving towards the counter to pay.

    discrider on
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Rockin' ShoujoRegistered User regular
    "Splendid. We'll be in touch, I trust." Jonathan gets up and passes by the two on his way to the door, shadowed by the woman, though not before producing two business cards, giving one to each of the warlocks. "Try to avoid any undue encounters on your way home, yes? That would be unfortunate for all involved."

    He completely ignores the back and forth between Louie and Liana, who offers a momentary smile. "I don't count anyone out. That's the best way to ensure survival, I find. You know what they say about the cornered beast and all that. Safe travels." You each feel a brief flicker of disorientation, and when it clears, the two are nowhere to be seen.

    "I hate when they do that. $10." The owner seems completely unfazed by all of what transpired, though who knows how much he was privy to.

    oK4l3R4.png
  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    Loony Louie offers a jolly, "Oh, will do!" back to Jonathan. To Liana, he simply makes respectful eye contact, then returns a nod of deep understanding, although his eyebrows flicker up in momentary amusement at the mention of cornered beasts. Well, this one gets it far more than she probably should. Shit. Miss when I was just playing off entertainers an' other simpletons...this political wet-work business is exhausting...

    He shivers as the ghostly disorientation passes over him, stamping his feet in momentary frustration at once more being toyed with. "Ugghh....feckin' hate that! Be in the cab!" And without another look at either the shop owner or Gurstag, the leathery vamp stomps his way out of the shop and towards his car, slamming both doors behind himself.

    Sitting within the vehicle, Louie drums his fingers upon the wheel impatiently, unable to properly process the evening's frustrations. He was sick of feeling like a pawn, sick of feeling used. Felt like there were no good options here, and everywhere they turned was social danger, or even the lingering spectre of the final death. With a disgusted noise, Louie fishes out a cigarette from his front pocket, lights it frantically, and proceeds to absolutely fill the car with smoke as he waits for the Professor.

    To no one in particular, he announces through a mouthful of nibbled tobacco, "But swear to Christ, next person who fucks with us tonight..." He leaves the thought unspoken, letting his rage imagine the violent, cathartic possibilities...

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Inside, Gurstag raises an eyebrow at the proprietor at this, as he fishes for his wallet.
    'Do they come here often then? I'd be interested in anything you've garnered about our mutual friends. It is rather hard to have business dealings with folks I don't know much about.'

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Rockin' ShoujoRegistered User regular
    "The guy, yeah. Never seen the lady, though. He usually checks in randomly to see what weird shit gets turned in... stuff like this, usually. You don't strike me as a pagan, kiddo... and sorry, I don't usually give out info on my clientele. Not for free, anyway." It's hard to tell if he's serious or not, though he smirks as he slides the book across the counter. "Need a bag?"

    oK4l3R4.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag considers.
    'And how much would a bag cost these days?
    $20?'
    He pulls out $30 and slides it across the counter.

    mrpaku
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Rockin' ShoujoRegistered User regular
    "That's a pretty cheap bag you want, but it's your cash." He palms the money and gestures in a vague direction. "I know he lives someplace in the suburbs, a whole bunch of those occult types hang out there." That's about as specific as saying it's a high rise in New York.

    oK4l3R4.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag grimaces.
    'Well, what bag could you suggest then.
    If it could tell me what he might be intending to use his weird shit for, or where I might be able to visit him for a catch-up later, I'd be more interested in it.'

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Rockin' ShoujoRegistered User regular
    "$100 might get you a street name. I don't have a clue what he uses his texts for, but it's all kinds of stuff. Catholic, Wiccan, especially anything really south of the border. Probably things you shouldn't mess with, wouldn't surprise me if he dices up goats in his spare time."

    oK4l3R4.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    A hiss escapes Gurstag's lips as he draws himself up.
    Locking eyes with the shop owner, he pushes across a $50.
    "This should cover it, I think.", he states flatly.
    The owner pulled into the void between his weighted words, as Gurstag's eyes flare.
    "I'd hate to get less than cordial, but our friend here has not been the most easy person to work with.
    And I'd rather not risk my neck chasing my tail without knowing about him much longer.
    So Spill"

    Minion roll 5d10t7 for getting an address

    getting an address:
    5d10t7 0 [5d10t7=5, 5, 2, 5, 2]

  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    Meanwhile, outside in the car, Louie has just finished snuffing out the cigarette in the center console. Immediately, he lights up another. Subconsciously, the vampire has begun to drum out the rythm to "Crazy Train" upon the wheel of the car as he stares around the darkened city blocks, anxious for any more signs of "company" this evening

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Rockin' ShoujoRegistered User regular
    "Cute. Thanks for the cash, but the rest isn't what I'd call persuasive." The owner pockets the money without a care, waving you off towards the door. "Shoreline by way of the southern Channel is your best bet. Now take the book and scram before he finds out you've been poking your nose where it doesn't belong."


    Fortunately, the parking lot remains empty. If anyone knows of your location, they're leaving you be. It's nearly 4AM, meaning dawn is not far off.

    oK4l3R4.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag attempts to not glower at the shopkeep.

    We don't eat the staff

    "Fine. It's been a long night.", he states flatly, stowing the book in his satchel.
    "And yes, I'm not into this sort of stuff, but I'm not quite so used to our friend popping in and out as you appear to be. Maybe it's time I was."
    He heads for the door.
    "Have a pleasant evening. I'd suggest we both try to forget this ever happened. I imagine I'll be meeting them again all too soon though."

    Gurstag unceremoniously plonks himself beside Louie, fuming.
    "Damned humans getting the drop on us. Let's head back to the Regentia and go from there."

  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    Louie nods quietly to Gurstag as he gets in, putting the car into gear and starting around the corner while rolling the windows down to let the smoke come billowing out.

    After a few minutes of tense, awkward silence, the vamp finally mutters over to the Professor, "Y'see the bird at the back o' the shop, trying her damnest to stay hidden? The Nos' were right to warn us we were fucking with fire, tonight. Not only just humans we're working with, on that end. " Louie shakes his head in dull exhaustion. "I didn't quite see what the illusion was hiding...the aura just a strong black and white...but whatever she is? Powerful fuckin' brood, mate," Louie, reflecting ponders aloud. "I wonder...does the Regentia know she's gotten roped into working with literal-devils? Or does she know exactly who she's working with..." Louie's fingers tap the wheel like a tic. "...an' she's playing an even more dangerous game en' we'd realized? What do we tell her about tonight...an what do she already know?"

    Louie let's out a heavy sigh, glad to get some of these thoughts out of his head. As a last aside he wonders, "...an' these "Kids", the Wiccans....they're caught out to get smashed between a rock and a hard place in all this...ain't they?" He lets the question hang tentatively, his curiosity about Gurstag's opinion on the Wiccan's situation apparent...

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    "The Regentia has to already know.", Gurstag sulks.
    "I don't see how she could be roped in with another without have sounding her out first."

    Gurstag pinches his forehead.
    "But black and white? Thaumaturgy no good for them?"
    He lets our a nervous snort.
    "LIAna? Got to be an AI or something. Just living in our devices and manifesting somehow. Wouldn't have blood then. But who knows."

    "But yeah, the Wiccans.
    I thought the Technos were trying to play them off against us, but I wouldn't put it past Johnathon to be working with them already.
    Sounds like Johnathon has been visiting that shop often, hoovering up all the Wiccan stuff he can.
    I got that book he was interested in", he taps his stachel, "and maybe that will tell us more about what Johnathon actually wants from them. But he didn't buy it, so perhaps not. Maybe we can stake out some Wiccan haunts and find out, or Johnathon himself."

    Gurstag stretches out in his chair.
    "Maybe they're even being straight with us. Just connecting with everyone they can to get a leg up in all our arts. The Technos seem Tremere enough in that manner through and through."

  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    "We just go straight to the Regentia, be up front with her about everything about tonight then? The Black an' White Lady? The Hold-up?" Louie questions cautiously. "Ain't lookin' ter' bite the hand that feeds, o' course, but this all feels a lil' like getting fed to wolves slowly, dunnit?"

    "An' then, the two Nos'," Louie grumbles, grimly remembering the encounter from earlier. "I'd be surprised if we don't hear from em' come early as, even, tomorrow, an' likely when we're least expecting it. We'll need a story ready...and a good one. An' ta know whether we have wriggle room enough to keep em' thinking we can play ball..."

    At a red light, Louie strokes his chin, considering quietly. Finally, he remarks to the Professor, "Liking the idea of tracking down the Wiccans er' Jonathan of our own accord. Feels a bit like," a throaty, prideful noise builds in the vamp's chest, "Like taking control of our situation, yeah?"

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag sighs.

    "I don't see how we can't be upfront about everything."

    He starts counting things off his fingers.
    "We don't know what Liana is or what we're dealing with."
    "We don't know what the Technos are doing with the Wiccans or why they'd prefer their help over our own."
    "And Johnathon is already being hunted by the Nos, so even if we decide to work with him, we face the danger of our contact turning up drained in a gutter some other night, if we don't offer protection."
    He raises a fourth finger tepidly
    "Which leads round to, how are these mortals sourcing their power? The Wiccans? Whatever Liana is? Are the Nos even a threat to them? They can't be kin though, otherwise why not ask for Thaum. In any case, we don't seem to be on their level. Not even. Maybe the Regentia is, or some of our elders."

    He folds his hands again.
    "At least we're not going back empty-handed. We have an accord.
    Although not sure how the Regentia is going to react to the suggestion of allowing the Technos access to Wiccan resources.
    Just need to stress the enemy-of-my-enemy angle I guess."

    "As for the Nos..", Gurstag wipes his face with his hand.
    ".. we don't know if the Technos are up-and-up yet.
    We can't throw the Technos to them to save our skins unless we're sure of treachery.
    The Regentia wouldn't take kindly to that."

    Gurstag turns over the book in his stachel.
    "Maybe we just throw them the book as a bone. Say we never met up with them. Bought the book from the shop after John turned it over and heard from the owner that they were buying this sort of stuff.
    They can go stake out Wiccan shit and leave us alone."
    "I'm not going to let them query the owner though. Need my people in one piece, and he managed to shake off my imprints so he still remembers everything.", Gurstag sighs, "It's not my night."

    "But yes, trying to locate Johnathon and figure out what he's doing with the Wiccans is the work for tomorrow night.
    Get on the front foot.
    Assuming he's not just teleporting all over the shop and we can pin him down."

    mrpaku
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Rockin' ShoujoRegistered User regular
    edited April 22
    Thankfully, this time, you can dispense with the pleasantry of entering a code upon returning to the building, almost as if the 'staff' are aware that time is running scarce. The door buzzes the moment you approach, allowing you access to the ominous interior... likely due to the fact that the lights and monitors are dimmed, as if the office is closing up shop.

    "Sheesh, we had you written off as dead, like, the final kind." Had she been sleeping? Suzie's tussled appearance suggests as much, or maybe she's just been run ragged over the past few hours. "Head on back. I took the liberty of removing a certain someone from the system, guy dropped off the map not long after you all hit up that pawn shop." It's pretty clear she's well aware of what you've been up to, and maybe even who's been on your heels.

    cj iwakura on
    oK4l3R4.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited April 22
    "How's this read?"
    Gurstag hands a handwritten report to Louie, entitled 'Collaboration with the "Technocracy"'.

    Met and consorted with the Technocracy:
    They agreed to help with our project, on the condition:
    - We share the developed technology.
    - We give them access to any information about Wiccan locations that we have.

    Technocracy/Wiccan relations:
    - The Technos claim that they are struggling with sharing territory with the Wiccans.
    - However they also claim they are interested in Wiccan magick (and not our own)
    - Our contact, Johnathon, has been seeking out Wiccan artifacts.
    (Given this it is possible that they have already been working with the Wiccans, but then why ask for the information)

    Technocracy is already being surveilled by other kin:
    - We were accosted by two other kin, Felix, and a Nos, Julie.
    - They claimed the Technos were a threat to all of us, and that we were stepping too close to a final death by working with the Technos (i.e irrespective of the Masquerade, the meeting was a threat to our souls).
    - We managed to delay them for now, but they are expecting us to aid them in taking down the Technos.
    - Very real threat of the plan being outed to the Sheriff through them, and they at least recognised us as Tremere, if not knew of our meeting and personage prior to us arriving.

    The Technocracy's capabilities:
    - They have the ability to either teleport or move very quickly (while slowing everyone outside their temporal field down)
    - Have been able to detect and avoid the surveillance they were under.
    - One, Liana, presented with an unnatural aura when under Auspex. Strong black and white presence.
    - They aren't interested in our secrets. Presumably these powers aren't inherited by blood.
    - They consider themselves our peer, or at least refer to themselves as such.

    In summary:
    - Suggest caution.
    - The Technos seem sincere about collaboration and research to the exclusion of political feuding.
    - We still don't know their aims, the source of their powers, nor their relationship with the Wiccans.
    - We suggest moving forward with the plan but also surveillance of the Technos to try and discern the bigger picture (if unknown to you).
    - We will either need to deal with or misdirect the other kin, until such time as we have a better picture of any Techno threat. And there is a real threat of the plan being outed to the Prince through Julie and Felix.


    Gurstag puts his pen back in his stachel.
    "Figured we could save some moonlight, if I scribbled some stuff in the car"

    discrider on
    mrpaku
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