DC Shadows, session 4

This week, Lars was absent, and thus Sergei was mostly tied up assuaging the agents of the Sheriff and the Ventrue Primogen that Dmitri’s Hold wasn’t a liability to the Masquerade (and checking it for bugs). Also, I wasn’t take the notes, so there are a few more details than usual that I’m not sure I’ve gotten right. I’ve also interpolated from the notes and my [questionable] memories, so I may have imputed some motives, behaviors, or even events, that aren’t true.

Parry, through a supreme act of willpower, stays awake Fri, and sneaks into the morgue before dawn. He hides there during the day, in order to sneak into the ME’s office and mess with some of Nikki’s work, in the hopes of getting her in trouble. With a bit of luck, he manages to identify some important paperwork (an autopsy report in a criminal case), and absconds with it. He then returns to hiding until dusk. During the day, he hears a few voices whose source he can’t identify, but is unable to find Nikki’s brother.

When he gets up [Fri night], Dennis has a voicemail from the Sheriff. Since he was the last person to have talked to the Tremere primogen (Alexander Wright), the Sheriff wants to talk to him. Barry also has a voicemail from the Sheriff telling him to come and meet him at Elysium, and to bring “that Lasombra” [Opal] along. So Barry gives Opal a call, and tells her to head to Elysium.

Once they’ve arrived, the Sheriff invites them all to sit down, and asks to hear the story [of the previous night’s investigations] again. Dennis repeats the story, and in response to the Sheriff’s questions explains why he trusts Sergei: the info about the two mystery women spotted at Dmitri’s Hold shortly before the warehouse massacre, and how Sergei has been helping in the investigation.

They find out that the Sheriff had tried to find the Tremere Primogen himself but couldn’t, and would like us to help prove that the Primogen is being framed. The Sheriff doesn’t like the idea that he [the Sheriff? the Tremere Primogen?–not my notes] is being implicated in this, because he feels he knows the Primogen well enough to doubt his guilt. Therefore, he doesn’t want to take this to the Prince unless he’s sure. Having gotten no response trying to contact the tremere Primogen, he broke into his office, with only slightly-better results: He found the Primogen’s datebook, which he always keeps with him. He had something penciled in for Wednesday [2 days ago], and no one appears to have seen him since then. Unfortunately, the Primogen keeps much of his datebook in code, so he can’t tell whether it was a meeting or something else. But he was able to find out from Anna (the Keeper of Elysium) that they are clan Tremere symbols, often used online to identify one another and coordinate efforts at misdirection. Alex is usually the one in charge of such things for DC, but his [symbol?] is not there. The Sheriff thinks that either somebody has kidnapped the Alex, or something has happened to him and he is not himself.

During the meeting, the Sheriff also lets them know that Mr. Dobs is still fine and he has a meeting with him later in hte night, and that the Keeper took care of the mess that Dennis discovered in the office building. He instructs the 3 of them to keep investigating, but also to keep in touch with him and each other, and not go anywhere alone. And to not hesitate to ask for backup—if someone has taken/overpowered the tremere Primogen, we could all be in serious trouble.

Dennis points out that a lot of this looks like it’s coming from Philly, which is almost certainly Sabbat territory. When he mentions having Parry’s cell #, the Sheriff is extremely interested, so he gives it to him. The Sheriff also says he will call Nikolas (a Tremere) and ask him to analyze the blood [from the massacre, in the vial, which Dennis got from the ME].

Opal takes the opportunity to suck up to the Sheriff, and test out a few plans with him. They discuss what’s going on and what their response might be—the stories are that the Sabbat have a pseudo-religious hierarchy, run by a very vicious “Archbishop”. Barry, dutifully keeping an eye on Opal, interjects that the Sabbat have some sort of mystical ability to force loyalty, making infiltrating any Sabbat group—even one here in DC—a very bad idea.

Dennis calls Parry as the latter is on his way home from the morgue, in a cab. Parry has the cab pull over at 4th & Stinson and gets out, so that Dennis can come pick him up. While he’s waiting for Dennis, he finds himself having another waking dream: he is wearing a ball gown, pleading with his father to go to the party, but “his” ugly stepsisters (from the Disney Cinderella) won’t allow it. He grabs them and smacks their heads together, when one of Cinderella’s mice shows up and roars at him. Parry hears nightclub music, and has a general feeling of frustration and annoyance. As well as a really insistent hunger. He feeds on the two stepsisters, but still is very hungry. In looking for more food, he gimps his way down the block to a convenience store, and waits around just outside the door (attempting not to be on the entranceway or pump security cameras). He holds a cigarette and asks each customer as they leave for “a light”. When one of them starts to pull out a lighter, he grabs him and feeds, attempting to make it look like they’re making out. Another costomer, still in the store, seems to be watching pretty suspiciously, so Parry licks the wound and gimps his way out of there as quickly as possible. Still hungry.

When Dennis arrives and can’t find Parry, he gives him a call, they connect, and Parry half-heartedly tries to convince him to swing by the convenience store and somehow take the surveillance tapes. He also matter-of-factly mentions that he is still hungry, despite having fed 3 times in the last hour.

While Dennis is gone, Opal, Barry, and the Sheriff discuss ways to get any Sabbat to reveal themselves. Nikolas arrives and analyzes the vial of blood—which involves drinking it. He discovers that it is a mix of bloods, some of it from a vampire. And that, apparently, the blood clearly indicates that blood was drunk an hour ago, and they’re still hungry. But there was no diablerie involved. Nikolas then excuses himself to go do something to nullify the potential blood bond he just drank—apparently the Sheriff had omitted the detail about already suspecting that the vial contained vampire blood.

The remaining people discussed what it meant that “the vial of blood had drunk blood an hour ago”—we were pretty clear that that didn’t mean an hour before the blood was taken from its source, but an hour before Nikolas made the proclamation. But I’m pretty sure no one thought to ask [him or the GM] whether that meant the actual blood sampled, or the person from whom the blood had been taken, and I don’t think any of us knows enough about Thaumaturgy to know one way or the other. So, either there’s a perpetually-hungry vampire out there somewhere, linked to this blood, or the blood itself is somehow perpetually hungry, and able to imbibe/ingest/encompass/subsume other blood.

Opal, Barry, Dennis, and Parry convene in another conference room, and Dennis tells the others about Parry’s ceaseless hunger. Parry assumes it is the aliens messing with him, and isn’t too concerned. [He figures the aliens are usually messing with him.] The hallucination/vision returns, and Parry hears music from Cinderella, and finds himself dancing with the tremere Primogen, Alex. He suggests that Alex lead, in the hopes that he’ll lead them somewhere useful. Alex, however, starts crying blood, and doesn’t respond when Parry asks him what’s wrong. Parry asks him if the aliens want him to tell him something, but Alex says he won’t tell Parry anything. Parry realizes it’s because he knows the aliens are listening, asks Dennis to remove the implant from his head (with a pocket knife, or possibly a pocket knife and a ball peen hammer, so they can go in through the top of the skull). Dennis counters by suggesting they go down to the subway, figuring that any implant won’t receive that far underground, and Parry agrees to try that first. Once they get down in the subway, both Parry’s vision/hallucination and his hunger disappear.

Meanwhile, Flora Sewell, the Libertarian lobbyist, calls Opal because she’s late for their meeting. Opal decides to rush over there and have the meeting anyway, and Barry goes along to keep an eye on her. On the way, Barry is able to give Opal some advice on Ms. Sewell, because he’s dealt with her before. At the meeting, they try to find out why Ms. Sewell is asking for information, and she appears to just think that they might have better connections than she does. Once they leave, they keep an eye on her while calling Dennis in to tail her.

After some debate, they decide that there is no need for Parry at the rave, and Barry and Opal have the best chance of blending in there. So, once Dennis and Parry arrive and tehy point out Ms. Sewell, they head off to the rave. In the cab Opal unbuttons a couple more buttons and gives Barry a makeover. At the rave, they find a warehouse, all hte windows painted black. The bouncers size them up, and decide it’ll cost them $100 each to get in (compared to the $10 they’ve seen others getting charged). Opal flirts with one of them, and persuades him to drop it to $50—but $150 for Barry. So Opal really turns on the sex appeal, and manages to get a pint of blood [unbeknownst to the bouncer] and her admission reduced to $20.

Inside, it is already crowded, and they start looking for “189”. Opal spots Kariann, Amanda Jones, and Emmanuel Lint (who’s handing out flyers for The Asylum). Barry suddenly sees Jonah (a probably Toreador) approaching him. Jonah questions why he’s here, advises him not to dine here, and strongly advises him to leave. Jonah seems genuinely concerned about Barry’s presence, and Barry notices some of the ravers noticing him, and beginning to talk. Barry takes Jonah outside while he makes a call: to the Sheriff, to see if he thinks this is on the up-and-up. The Sheriff blesses Jonah’s help, so Barry shows him a picture of “189”, and tells him to keep an eye out for her, and keep an eye on Opal, and then slips off. Jonah goes back into the rave and tells Opal what’s going on.

Meanwhile, Parry and Dennis are keeping an eye on Ms. Sewell, and Parry is starting to feel strangely hungry again, and also angry. She looks like she’s getting ready to leave, so Parry eavesdrops on her as they both start heading for the door, Obfuscated. She says “Sorry I couldn’t. No, I’ll be right there.” In order to follow her, they decide to share her cab: Parry positions himself near the curb, Obfuscated, and basically intercepts her as she approaches the cabs. He then steps out from behind a parking meter and sp’anges her, trying to do it right as she opens the cab door. She basically brushes him off, so he then “mis-steps” and his cane “slips,” causing him to fall down, grabbing at her as he goes. She practically throws him off of her, with clearly-superhuman strength [probably a ghoul]. But while she’s distracted, Dennis, still Obfuscated, slips into her cab, and to the other side. Parry fades away into the masses, so she gets into the cab, and tells the driver she’s going to Halo. While they’re en route she’s texting, and Dennis takes the opportunity to read her messages—nothing unusual: “whr r u going 2 meet me? i cant wait 2 see u” etc. Once they’re out of sight, Parry hails his own cab, and gives it an address all the way on the far side of town, in the direction that he saw Ms. Sewell’s cab head. Once Ms. Sewell gets to Halo, Dennis sneaks back out of the cab, but bumps the door, and she notices. He calls Parry, and Parry tells his cabbie that his friends have moved, and now they’re going to Halo. Which raises an eyebrow, since Parry isn’t dressed well enough to clean the bathrooms of the sorts of people who normally go to Halo.

Ms. Sewell bypasses hte line at Halo, and the bouncers let her right in. Dennis manages, barely, to sneak past the bouncers himself. Inside, it is very posh, brightly-lit, with upscale furnishings, and lots of mirrors. Ms. Sewell is at the bar, stirring a drink; appears to be waiting for someone/-thing. A few minutes later, she becomes very excited, almost ecstatic, as a man approaches her. He’s gorgeous, well-dressed, charming, and unfamiliar…and casts no reflection in the mirror behind the bar. But he has a very lively complexion, and appears to be drinking and eating. Though Dennis never actually catches him imbibing/ingesting, so he might just be putting on a good act. Many [most? all?] of the women in the club are fawning over him, some practically swooning in his presence. He asks Ms. Sewell to dance. After a suitable interval, and with no sign of anything significant imminent, Dennis sneaks into the bathroom to call Parry.

Parry tries to sneak into Halo, too, but is too noticeable in these circumstances, and Obfuscation is barely able to obscure his clumsy presence, making the bouncers suspicious. He overhears one of them whisper into his mic “Mr. D’Angelo, we might have a problem.” Dennis comes out of the bathroom just in time to see Mr. D’Angelo (the charming man) stop dancing and head toward the doors. In order to preempt a thorough search, or other measures that might detect Dennis, Parry decides to make a scene. He walks right up behind two women drinking champagne, and announces his presence by putting his arms around their shoulders and saying ‘hi’. Mr. D’Angelo calls off the bouncers and approaches Parry himself. Parry attempts to act drunk/high, and claim that he just wandered in and nobody stopped him. Mr. D’Angelo sees right through him, however, pointing out that there’s no way they wouldn’t’ve noticed someone dressed like that, for even a second. He puts a hand on Parry’s arm and commands [Dominates?] him to accompany him upstairs. Parry decides to not try to fight it, and Dennis follows them. Mr. D’Angelo punches a code in a keypad (while Dennis and Parry are watching) and ushers him into an extremely upscale office, with no windows, but mirror-lined. And is shocked to discover that Parry doesn’t have a reflection, either. He sends the two thugs that were waiting in the office out, and releases Parry. His whole demeanor changes: “Are you a vampire?” Parry: “For now.” “There’s a cure?” “I’m working on that part.” Parry is having a very hard time getting a read on Mr. D’Angelo, and so sticks to very guarded answers and half-truths, attempting not to lie, while not giving anything away.

Meanwhile, Dennis sneaks off, out of hearing range, and calls the Sheriff, to let him know they’ve found an unlicensed vampire, Parry’s in danger, and they may need the cavalry. The Sheriff, in turn, calls Jonah, who suddenly appears next to Opal in the rave, and all but drags her out. He asks how fast she is, doesn’t like the answer, tells her to climb on his back, and starts running ridiculously fast to Halo. [I forget, but I don’t think he really explained what was going on at this point.] Dennis sneaks back to the office, and waits outside of it, ready to punch in the keycode if it sounds like Parry’s in real trouble.

Mr. D’Angelo claims he’s never met another vampire, and asks if Parry has. “Well, i’ve met my sire.” “Who?” “The vampire who turned me into a vampire.” “I don’t even know who turned me into a vampire.” Says he’s been a vampire for about 7 years, and in DC for 3 months. He asks Parry to introduce him to other vampires (“Well, Sam—my sire—isn’t real sociable”), and wonders why no one has ever come to talk to him before—basically playing innocent and ignorant: “It’s not like I keep it a secret. Haven’t you ever noticed that women really have a thing for vampires?” He offers Parry a suit and his hospitality, and notices the rather large number of cell phones that Parry transfers from his coveralls to the suit’s pockets, and asks about them. Parry says he’s a PI, points out that it’s a job that’s relatively compatible with working only at night. Mr. D’Angelo assumes that it must be great being able to force people to confess, but Parry says he’s never really tried—that he prefers to follow physical evidence.

At this point, Mr. D’Angelo is convinced that Parry is rather a bit of a loser, who isn’t taking appropriate advantage of his many vampiric gifts—and the many willing women out there. He invites Parry to party with him for the night, and they exchange names (Ray Tutto and Antonio D’Angelo) and shake hands (Mr. D’Angelo is unusually cold to the touch, even for a vampire. The two of them emerge from the office, arm-in-arm, and head don the stairs to the club, proper. [“Dennis doesn’t believe Parry.”—i think this was in reference to some lie Parry told that appeared to have snowed Mr. D’Angelo, but it might’ve been general incredulity at Parry’s behavior. I don’t recall to what this refers.]

Once they’re out of earshot, Dennis gives the Sheriff a call again, lets him know that the situation is, perhaps, not dire after all. Is informed that Jonah [and Opal? Or was she not mentioned?] is on the way, so he heads outside and de-Obfuscates so that Jonah will be able to find him.

Jonah has been running like hell, and strangely nobody seems to have noticed. When they get about a block from Halo, he stops running, puts Opal down, and drags her into the shadows to explain what’s going on: Parry is in trouble.

Mr. D’Angelo walks Parry up to a pair of women and invites them upstairs: “I just found out he’s a vampire, too.” They head for a secluded alcove upstairs, in order to have a drink. Parry is really hungry, but he does what he can to hopefully get her to remember it as though she’d imagined he was a vampire—chooses the drunker woman, and subconsciously activates his Dementation to heighten her ecstasy, in the hopes of overwhelming her. Despite his hunger, he’s able to stop before he does any real harm, and notices that Mr. D’Angelo doesn’t seem to be stopping.

Dennis, meanwhile, has followed them back upstairs, and is about to interfere so that Mr. D’Angelo doesn’t kill her, when she passes out, and he stops drinking. He hears a quiet voice from a nearby alcove, “What should I do sir?” and is reasonably certain it is Jonah. Dennis fills Jonah in on the situation, in brief, and they decide they’re going to have a talk with him: Jonah will wait in Mr. D’Angelo’s office, and Dennis will “ask” him into the office to have a chat. Though first he should tell Opal to also meet them up here.

Mr. D’Angelo explains to Parry that there are no worries: he has confidentiality agreements with a number of women, and reinforces them by commanding them not to tell anyone [presumably using Dominate]. Parry isn’t mollified; he insists that Mr. D’Angelo tell the still-conscious woman that Parry is not a vampire, which he eventually does, even though he thinks it’s ridiculous.

Mr. D’Angelo offers to go round up a couple more women, and Parry readily agrees—he’s still hungry. He “succeeds at seducing” Opal, who is just playing along, hoping to get a meal herself. Dennis sees her already coming upstairs with Mr. D’Angelo, so doesn’t bother trying to tell her. When they get upstairs, Opal attacks him, and is pleasantly surprised to find herself drinking kindred vitae, rather than just blood. Mr. D’Angelo, meanwhile, is shocked, but manages to break free. He asks Parry if he knows her, and Parry is utterly unconvincing in his denial—plus, Opal doesn’t do a very good job of playing along. About now, he stops trusting Parry at all, and Dennis appears out of nowhere at the top of the stairs, blocking any escape. The three manage to convince him to go back to his office to sort it all out, which he does, reluctantly.

When we go in, his two thugs are lying on the office floor dead, and there’s a fair bit of blood around. Mr. D’Angelo asks what’s going on, Jonah appears and shrugs nonchalantly, and it looks like he’s about to try to make a break for it. Opal commands him, “In.” and they all enter the office.

Parry admits that there are, in fact, a few other vampires around, and Dennis explains that there are very powerful vampires, who wouldn’t take kindly to him flaunting his vampire-ness. Not to mention angry mobs with torches and pitchforks (or TV cameras and automatic weapons, as the case may be). Beyond that, they mostly ignore Mr. D’Angelo’s questions, and grill him.

He claims that no one has ever noticed he was a vampire before, and has never before met another vampire. Parry thinks he’s lying about not being noticed, but can’t put a finger on exactly where the lie lies. He says he’s been living in NYC until recently, though he doesn’t sound truthful. At first he denies ever seeing the two neonates that were delivered to Sergei and Nikki Genovese, then admits he saw them at the club, but says he doesn’t know anything about them being vampires, and didn’t turn them himself—which seems to be the truth. In fact, he claims not to even know how to make someone a vampire, which also seems to be the truth.

Opal texts Sean, and asks him to come. After some discussion, it is decided that he’ll be presented to the Prince at the next Elysium, and kept under house arrest by Jonah until then.

As they’re leaving, Parry chides Dennis for calling in the cavalry and ruining his infiltration possibilities, and claims he was never in any danger.

Sorry for the delay—last week was really hectic. On the upside, that means last week should be fresh in everyone’s minds, which should be particularly helpful for Lars.


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