Ottawa By Night

Chapter 10
Paperwork is Murder

Scene 1 (Michael)

Michael headed to the Liquor Board offices at 8 pm for his meeting to get his liquor board license re-instated. The official seemed overly cooperative, and Michael soon discovered why: it was a trap sprung by Derick! The Caitiff held Michael responsible for turning him in to the Sheriff, and had lured him by dominating the Liquor Control Board officials into shutting down Michael’s bar. Derick surprised Michael with a shotgun blast that injured Michael but killed the human puppet outright. Michael told Derick that he was going to kill him, and gave in to his frenzy. Despite Derick’s surprise, Michael quickly defeated him, demonstrating the legendary prowess of the Brujah. Feeding on the clerk’s corpse, Michael snapped Derick’s neck and ensured that his bar’s reinstatement was completed on the computer. He then noticed the blinking red lights of security cameras…

Scene 2 (Rachel)

Rachel followed up on the Giovanni research that her she had purchased from the hacker a few nights past. It seemed that most of the studies had been performed on patients much older than Annie, which made sense as the disease rarely manifests before middle-age. There was a lot of speculation on advances that could be made if a viable young test case was found. Rachel followed up with some online digging of her own and determined that most of the younger patients with this disease had died suspiciously – perhaps Tremere interference?

Texting Peter Hall, Rachel requested that Annie be put under observation. She then headed to Ottawa General. The nurses noted that Peter had been acting weirdly, but Rachel assured them he was fine. Entering his office, she caught him taking a swig from a flask of unknown liquid. He told her that a journalist from the Citizen was asking questions about her work after seeing her name on a recent sunshine list. She took the name of the journalist, and asked him to handle it. Since the journalist’s inquiries seemed to revolve around how much time she took off, Rachel suggested that she might pull some extra shifts, which Peter agreed to a little too readily. He also mentioned to her that the Giovanni Foundation had expressed interest in funding the blood research at the hospital, so they needed to avoid bad publicity for now. Rachel learned that Peter was staying late in part due to trouble at home. He once again tried to convince her to feed Annie blood to heal her, but Rachel refused.

Scene 3 (Charles)

Charles returned to the addiction centre, asking if Pete had returned. They told him that Pete had asked after him earlier that day. Charles sent Pete an email via a junk email account to ask how he was doing, then headed off to his research at the library. He also received an email from a local deacon to let him know that Emily Johnson had been placed with a local foster family after the tragic death of her mother the previous month.

Scene 4 (Wade)

Wade awakens late in his apartment to find Eddie regarding him. Eddie is a bit concerned that Wade is sleeping so long, Wade attributes it to his recent traumas. He tells Eddie about the Giovanni and the Tremere. Eddie decides he will confront the Giovanni directly, while Wade gathers support in other ways. Janice calls to tell Wade about Rachel’s attack the night prior, and to berate him for trusting her with the plan. Wade claims it was a way of testing her loyalty. Janice needs blood to heal her wounds, so Wade welcomes her to his hunting grounds. While waiting for her to arrive, he calls Rob Zane, and offers his Anarchs more prominence at future Elysiums if Zane can get him dirt on the local Giovanni. Zane agrees to the terms. When Janice arrives, Wade helps her feed, and then they discuss options for getting Annie’s blood, or killing her if needed.

Scene 5 (Rachel and Michael)

Realizing he’s been caught on camera, Michael calls Rachel hoping she can erase the camera files like she did during Derick’s previous Masquerade breach. Rachel agrees to help. Thomas arrives before she does, telling Michael that Derick had bragged to some of Thomas’ Anarch regulars about how he was gonna jack Michael tonight. When Rachel arrived, they found the IT admin’s computer and she was able to access the cameras and delete the files. Turning off the security, they took Derick’s rapidly-decaying body and fled the scene of the crime.

Scene 6 (Wade)

Later that night, Eddie returns to the slipper, looking a little paler than before. He told Wade that the Giovanni were willing to lay off on the intimidation if Eddie and Wade helped them secure Annie against the Tremere. Wade’s paranoia kicked in, and he insisted that the Giovanni had secret control over Rachel, and this was all a plan to set the Ventrue at war with the Tremere. Eddie acknowledged this could be true, but playing along bought them some temporary respite. Wade suggested that if they could make the girl disappear, both clans would suspect the other. Perhaps Eddie just needed to use Dominate on Rachel…

Scene 7 (Charles)

Charles received an email from Pete telling him that Pete was starting a new job tonight working as a janitor for some government offices. Later, he started to feel the hackles raise on the back of his neck while researching. Suddenly, all of the books on the shelf behind him fell onto the floor at once! As Charles picked up the books, his keen mind noticed that the first word on the opened page of the first seven books were a message: “Your new friend is my friend now.”

END OF NIGHT

Scene 8 (Michael)

A police inspector visited to speak with Michael about the murder of the Liquor Control Board officer. They noticed that the last bit of work on the victim’s screen was a re-instatement of Michael’s liquor license. Michael admitted that he had met with the man that night, but claimed that he saw a suspicious-looking drunk hanging out near the office when he left. He wasn’t sure that the officer was buying the story, so he turned on the Presence aura.

Scene 9 (Rachel)

Rachel returned to the hospital. She was told that a burn victim was awaiting her in surgery, but it turned out to be a Nosferatu. He claimed that he had been secretly tailing several of Rachel’s allies and enemies, and could give her information for a price. Agreeing to a boon for his help, Rachel learned that Wade and Eddie were playing both the Tremere and Ventrue off against each other, and that the Giovanni had broken into her apartment tonight to search for something. The Nosferatu told her she could call him Cipher, and gave her a drop box location she could use to get in contact with him.

Scene 10 (Charles)

Charles had a vivid dream of ancient Venice. In it, he saw Nicolae and Sir David, as well as a tall, female Cainite of corpse-like pallor. When the woman affixed her gaze on Charles, he awoke in a blood sweat. The deacon called to let him know that Emily’s foster parents were asking about Charles … apparently Emily was having bad dreams, and saying strange things about him.

Then he noticed the multiple emails from Pete. His janitor job had taken a grisly turn…

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Chapter 7: Elder Secrets

Wade’s Condition Needs a Specialist

Having narrowly convinced the ESPN staff to leave, Rachel made use of Wade’s hunting grounds to refresh herself, finding several suitable mortals to feed upon and taking some phone numbers for the future. After convincing Wade’s retainer to let her in to Wade’s apartment, she cautiously called for him, and then opened the door. She’s was mindful of how territorial vampires can be in their havens, so she only entered the apartment when Wade didn’t reply. He eventually roused, and discovered his physical condition had deteriorated further. Rachel took him to the hospital to access the blood bank and for further testing.

At the hospital, Rachel and Wade were confronted by the Tremere Janice, who told Wade that she had tracked a spiritual taint from the high school to him. A dark spirit had infected him, and it would consume Wade unless he accepted Janice’s help. Distrusting her but not seeing other options, Wade agreed, and the three of them left for Janice’s haven.

Arriving at a smartly appointed 2-level condo, Janice quickly took Wade into a sterile room that had a weird spiritual vibe to it. Telling Rachel to wait in the next room, Janice then inscribed a warding circle around Wade and painted symbols on his chest. As the ritual proceeded, the circle turned green, and the symbols on his flesh turned a sickly red, inflicting searing pain. Despite Rachel’s cell phone ringing near the climax of the spell, the ritual was completed successfully and the spirit was chained. Janice told Wade that the spirit was still inside him, but could no longer affect him. She would need to renew the binding periodically, but she was certain they could do so without alerting others’ to Wade’s condition. Wade thanked her, while considering his mounting debt…

The Hidden Temple

Charles surreptiously made his way to the office building that houses Jacob Donaldson’s lobbying company. Accessing the secret sub-basement from the elevator, Jacob passed through arcane wards designed to conceal the site from Tremere sorcery and Nosferatu spying. He then entered the secret temple of the Followers of Set. The room was heavy with the scent of incense, and snakes moved freely along the floor. In addition to Jacob, Charles also saw two others present: Marinette, the Setite high priestess in the city, and Roderick, one of Jacob’s ghouls who works at a drug rehab centre that the Setites had compromised.

Jacob informed the others that due to the recent Masquerade breaches, Prince Markus had seen fit to reinstate the ancient Camarilla office of the Scourge – someone who would cull the herd of the weakest Kindred to prevent overcrowding. Since Ottawa had a reputation amongst the Kindred as a frontier town where anyone could make their mark, Markus was secretly appointing Jacob to take on this role – he didn’t want the bad PR of a public Scourge. Jacob revealed to the other Setites that he had manipulated the Caitiff Derrick into his accidental Masquerade breach, and this was the goal of that gambit.

Descending a spiral stairway, they came upon a large sarcophagus with several Kindred chained nearby. Jacob explained that since the Scourge was only supposed to claim weak vampires, the blood of their prey wouldn’t be strong. They would need a great deal of blood if they hoped to awaken The Elder. Legend had it that this ancient Setite had been cursed, and blood alone would not awaken her. Charles reported that he was continuing in his occult researches to determine the solution to this curse. Jacob suggested that Charles should continue to make that his priority, but he should also continue in his mission to corrupt Wade Bogs. Jacob also indicated that some of the patients at Roderick’s workplace might need Charles’ special brand of encouragement.

Rats in the Basement

Returning to The Ritual from his meeting with Thomas, Michael asked his lieuntant Al what he knew about the Bronin gang. Al told him that the Bronins were tough, but not sophisticated. They had eked out a slice of the street drug trade, and viciously protected it from all comers. Al knew where their turf was if Michael wanted to go there. However, Al thought Michael might want to deal with the rat problem first. Specifically, all the rats downstairs had been found dead in a pile. Al had sent an employee named Denise to check on this an hour ago, and she hadn’t returned yet.

Taking the flashlight downstairs, Michael found the pile of rats, and saw that other dead rats had been left in a trail heading towards the furnace room. Using his Celerity discipline, Michael opened the door and entered incredibly quickly. Inside, he found Denise on the floor like a rag doll, while a Nosferatu in ragged clothes looked through her wallet and held her cell phone in an awkward fashion. Michael noticed that the rear corner of the room had been collapsed inward. The Nosferatu claimed that this way his territory, which Michael quickly disputed. The other vampire then suggested they take the matter to Prince Tiberius to be settled. Michael knew that Tiberius had been slain in 1978, and realized that this vampire was old. The Nosferatu told him that he had been caught in a sewer explosion in 1929. When Michael told him that Markus was the prince now, the Nosferatu’s faced contorted in an evil grin … Markus was his sire!

Trying to de-escalate the situation, Michael took the vampire upstairs for some refreshments, and called one of the Prince’s agents. 30 minutes later, a limo pulled up in the back alley of the Ritual, and a mortal named John Michaels introduced himself as an agent of the Prince. He addressed the Nosferatu as Master Chen and told him that the Prince was glad at news of his survival. He also thanked Michael for calling them quickly. The next night, Melissa called Michael in a rage, convinced that the Prince would give some of their domains to his newly-awoken childe. Michael decided not to take her call and left her to voice mail.

Dealings with Mortals

The next evening, Wade awoken refreshed and normal, although his Humanity had not recovered from his brush with the fomori. He was told that there were 15 new interview requests based on Rachel’s suggestion to ESPN that he had suffered concussion-related injuries during his football career. The sheriff stopped by to remind him that if he was going to live in the public eye, he should avoid letting questions about his health become an issue. Wade assured Roger that he had everything under control, and started spinning things to the press to ensure them he was in perfect health.

Meanwhile, Rachel got an earful from her hospital administrator and retainer, Peter Hall. He reminded her that calling herself Wade’s doctor on TV might raise questions about her licensing, and it certainly ran contrary to her goal of keeping a low profile. Losing her self-control, Rachel frenzied and injured Peter quite severely. Faced with the possibility of losing her place at the hospital, she crossed a personal line and gave Peter some of her blood, ghouling him so that he could heal his wounds quickly. He questioned why she was not using her blood to heal the other patients in the hospital. She told him that it wouldn’t be right to do so, but he wasn’t convinced. He reminded her that Anna’s condition was worsening. Getting angry again, she quickly left before her temper took hold again.

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Boons & Wounds

Service Rewarded

The day after the battle at Saint Peter’s, Rachel was instructed to meet Roger at the Green Belt to debrief on the night before. In an abandoned field she met Roger and another figure, whom Roger introduced as the Gangrel Primogen. Rachel explained that the ghouls they encountered at the school were traced to the blood bank thefts, and that she wasn’t sure why the werewolves were involved. The two Gangrel bought her explanation, and The Hunter noted that the werewolves left town after trashing the school cafeteria.

After The Hunter left, Roger commended Rachel on her efforts for the city. He noted that good deeds were not always publicly recognized, such as when Michael’s aid in the capture of Derrick was credited to the Brujah Primogen. Roger promised to make sure Rachel’s efforts were recognized for the cost of a minor boon, to be kept off the books. Rachel agreed to his terms.

Similarly, Leslie Charbonneau contacted Charles to discuss the Nutromi / Pentex deal. Charles pried some information about Pentex from Leslie while hiding his own involvement in the activities at the school. He deliberately made her suspicious of Wade. When Leslie asked if he needed an immediate favour to keep the owed boon off the books, Charles suggested they keep the boon as a secret between themselves for the moment, and determine a payment at a later time. Charles then visited one of his flock to feed upon, and spent the rest of the evening studying the University’s cache of occult writings. In an old Latin tome, he found reference to Sir David working for the church to steal artifacts from the Giovanni. He took the book home for further study.

Hatching Plans

Michael slowly worked to stitch his wounds together after the thrashing that Rachel gave him the night prior. He received word that a small-time music agent he dealt with in New York was in town and wanted to talk shop. He also got a mysterious text instructing him to meet in the East Side of Ottawa at 12:15 AM from an unknown number. Meeting first with his old friend Steven, he got the impression that the man’s mind may have been altered, as his reasons for travelling to Canada to scout out talent didn’t really make strong business sense. Sure enough, Steven subconsciously left behind an envelope at the table which was a letter from Michael’s sire Dominique. In it she warned him that her enemies might try to strike at him through her. He was told to be wary of new vampires in town, and given a phone number to call if he was ever in real trouble.

Heading to Orleans, Michael discovered that his contact was Thomas, the Kindred club owner who had suggested an alliance against Melissa. They discussed how to undermine her power base, with Thomas suggesting using the Bronin gang as pawns to mess up her premiere club. Michael agreed this might be a viable plan, and started thinking about pawns they could use so that the manipulation wouldn’t be traced back to them. They agreed to future meetings to cement their plans.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Wade also began the painful process of healing the aggravated damage that the bloodworm dealt him. He noticed that patches of his skin had taken on a tougher, more leathery texture while he slept. Getting to the Glass Slipper, he discovered that ESPN had called to arrange an interview the following evening regarding the 10th anniversary of his biggest college game. He told his manager to set it up for the following night. He was also told that one of the “ugly ones” was waiting for him out in the back.

Going to one of the VIP lounges, Wade found Ericson, the Keeper of Elysium. Ericson told Wade that the Glass Slipper had been selected for a forthcoming Elysium in three weeks. However, they expected a heavy Anarch presence at the Elysium, so security would have to be tight. Since the Prince was expected to attend, Ericson suggested that Wade find some human Vessels of the Prince’s particular tastes to provide suitable refreshments. He also reassured Wade that if he needed help with venue preparation, Ericson would help for a minor boon in return.

Wade quickly made some calls. He contacted Eddie to ask for help adjusting the memories of the women he would be recruiting as Marcus’ vessels. He also contacted Michael to ask for an introduction to Aylen, who Ericson suggested would be presenting at Elysium.

Going to feed on one of his herd, Wade found himself losing control and accidentally drinking her dry. He seemed to be retaining far more blood than he normally could, and was frightened by how natural it felt. He called Rachel for help disposing of the body.

Back at her apartment, Rachel had just fielded a landline phone call from Sir David, who asked about current events in the city and gave her peculiar instructions. He asked her to go to the home of the German Ambassador and tell him “It is time to execute the stratagem against the Belgians.” Wondering what David was talking about, she then received Wade’s call and agreed to meet him to collect the body. In exchange for this boon, she demanded access to his feeding grounds at the Glass Slipper, to which he quickly agreed. She also took a sample of his blood for testing.

The next night, Rachel analyzed Wade’s blood, but found nothing unusual about it. She stopped by the German Ambassador’s home. The Ambassador was quite amiable, but once she delivered Sir David’s message his attitude shifted and he asked her to leave. She heard him cancelling his plans for the meeting as she went out the door.

Heading to the Glass Slipper, Rachel saw that the ESPN film crew was there and clearly aggravated at Wade’s absence. Covering as his doctor, she told them that Wade was ill and had to cancel the interview. Searching for a scoop, the reporter questioned further and Rachel suggested Wade might have concussion-related injuries from his time in the NFL.

Meanwhile, Wade slept deep into the night, as the Beast gained greater purchase on his dwindling humanity…

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Hot Lunch! Part 3

Flight from the Boiler Room

With the hungry children blocking the exit to the boiler room, the vampires fled after the blood worm that was formerly Donald Hardwick. They discovered that it had broken through the ceiling into the high school above. Climbing up to follow it, Charles de Rohan was taunted by The Shade that she would lead the creatures to him.

The cafeteria appeared to be emanating a sickly green light, but the creature’s blood trail led away from it. The vampires followed the trail, which gradually vanished, suggesting that the creature was healing itself. Eventually they found the blood worm fighting two of the hungry children while a third took pictures on its cellphone.

Charles called Bloody Roger to report the happenings and call in backup, rifling through students lockers in the search for weapons at the same time. Michael and Rachel engaged the possessed children while Wade entered frenzy and grappled the blood worm. Eventually Wade managed to take hold and bite the beast, drinking deeply of its blood. He kept drinking afterwards, his frenzy driving him towards Diablerie.

Rachel and Michael fought with a second wave of the demon children, with Michael succumbing to frenzy himself. The children seemed to revert to normal upon their deaths. Charles made attacks of opportunity, and captured the cell phones that the creatures were using.

Then the werewolf howls started nearby.

Wade was still attempting to diablerise the blood worm without success. Charles appeared to Wade as Eddie to snap him out of his frenzy. It didn’t really work, but the distraction was enough for Donald’s soul to escape as his body entered Final Death, foiling the Diablerie. The group then fled the building, seeing the werewolves throw themselves into the cafeteria as they fled. Rachel called Roger on her phone to tell them that werewolves were present and they should not go to the school.

Aftermath

Wade still felt thirsty despite consuming a large portion of blood. He also felt no pangs of guilt over what he did. He called Eddie, who had no idea what might have caused the blood worm transformation in Donald. They both agreed that the blood worm’s corpse should be left outside to greet the sun.

Charles visited the Johnson household to feed, but frenzied and drank Deborah dry. The Shade then smashed a mirror to awaken Deborah’s daughter Emily, but Charles used Obfuscate to take on Deborah’s form and tell Emily to go back to sleep.

Rachel demanded that Michael provide her with a vessel upon returning to The Ritual. She started drinking from the ghoul Al, but she frenzied and started to drink him dry. Michael intervened and pulled her back from Al, but in her Frenzy she bit Michael, incapacitating him. With a monumental exertion of will, Rachel managed to flee from the bar before she killed one or both of the men in the room. Michael suffered a nasty aggravated wound, and told his staff to keep Rachel out of the bar in the future…

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Hot Lunch Part 2

(Note: Since the July 18th session was split into multiple narratives, I have combined some events from the September 4th session into that log for a smoother chronological narrative)

Customer Service at the Ritual

A few hours after Aylen left, the bouncer at The Ritual had trouble from a teenager with a fake ID. When Michael interposed the kid hit him, much harder than he should have been able to. A quick and brutal brawl ensued. Michael’s bouncer Al tried to grapple the kid while Michael taught him some respect. The kid then tossed Al into Michael, breaking Al’s arm in the process. Eventually, Michael overpowered the kid, and took him and Al into the safe room out back, buying a round of drinks to calm the drunken crowd. He deduced that the kid was probably a ghoul, and had exhausted his vitae supply during the fight.

Michael then called Rachel to ask if she could set Al’s broken arm off the record. Unbeknownst to Michael, Rachael and Wade had been trying to track down info about Donald Harwick and the Gatekeepers online, and this kid sounded like a good lead…

Arriving at the Ritual, Rachel quickly set Al’s arm, allowing the ghoul to heal it safely. Wade talked to the kid, who was named Doug Collins and was indeed a former player for the Gatekeepers. Using his Presence, fame, and shared experience, Wade won Doug’s trust, and Doug accepted his offer to take him back to his blood source, which was at the high school. Wade took Doug in his car, with Rachel and Michael following at a distance. But first he needed to head to The Glass Slipper … apparently a Kindred was prowling the crowd.

Back at the Slipper, Charles was mildly disappointed at the lack of other Kindred in attendance, and staved off boredom by toying with some rivalries among the attendees. When Wade arrived, he asked if Charles would help investigate – the words “high school” were all that Charles really needed to hear. The club’s manager also informed Wade that a woman matching the description of Aria Geroux had made a brief appearance at the club in his absence.

Horror in the Boiler Room

As they drove to the school, Doug explained that there was an old, unusued boiler room beneath the school cafeteria, which he and the other former Gatekeepers used as a hideout now. Parking at the school, they made notice of some other cars at the far end of the parking lot. Wade, Charles and Doug went into the boiler room, while Rachel and Michael stayed behind in their car.

Inside the boiler room, a strange, somewhat distorted voice spoke to Wade from the darkness. It revealed itself as Donald Harwick … who had mutated into a horrific, vampiric worm-like creature. It’s tongue lashed out and it drained Doug dry, telling him he needed to “take one for the team.”

Charles faded into the shadows and looked for an improvised weapon, while Wade employed Dread Gaze to break the monster’s will. The creature told Wade that Eddie had planned to replace him with it, and that it was about to happen. In then plunged it’s piercing tongue into his neck and started drinking greedily.

Rachel and Michael raced to the room, using Celerity to cover the distance in mere seconds. En route, they detected some kind of attack occurring on the football field – the other ghouled Gatekeepers, perhaps? They ignored it and ran to help Wade and Charles.

The battle was truly joined, with Rachel, Charles, and Michael all attempting to batter the creature. It’s hide was clearly tough, so they focused on the exposed soft points. Wade drew on his inner strength to overcome the pain and continued his Dread Gaze on the monster. Rachel snapped up a nearby switchblade and attacked the creature’s tounge, dealing significant damage and causing it to retract from Wade.

At that moment one of the ghouls entered the boiler room … battered and half-eaten. It yelled that they all needed to run NOW. The creature disappeared back into the boiler room. Wade followed it planning to finish things.

And a group of giggling teenagers filed in from the outside entrance, with glowing green eyes, hunched shoulders, and jagged teeth. They were so very, very hungry.

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Hot Lunch! Part 1

(Note: Since the July 18th session was split into multiple narratives, I have combined some events from the September 4th session into this log for a smoother chronological narrative)

Eddie’s Warning

Fast Eddie took Wade aside to ask for his help. Eddie believed that the blood bank break-ins might be related to a failed business effort of his from the previous year. Reminding Wade of when he went to go speak to a local high school sports team, Saint Peter’s Gatekeepers, Eddie revealed that he had used the opportunity to try to replicate his original experiment with Wade, this time dosing multiple members of the team so that the ghouls wouldn’t stand out so much. Worse yet, he had been using Wade’s blood to do it!

The experiment had ended in violence and the team being suspended from the local high school league. Eddie thought he had cleaned up his tracks, killing the QB Donald Harwick who had been his primary contact, and making it look like a car accident. But he now suspected that the other team members might be behind the blood thefts. Eddie agreed to look into it for him.

Heading over to the cemetery where Donald had been buried, Wade saw suggestive signs that the grave had been tampered with. He called Rachel with the news and arranged a meeting at her condo.

Doctor Lin Makes a House Call

While Rachel was making her rounds at the hospital, she checked in on Annie before the young girl went to sleep. Annie made reference to her blood being taken by a nurse, but Rachel saw no reference to that in Annie’s medical records. Calling Peter Hall to ask, she was told that a nurse named Mark Nelson had taken her blood, apparently by mistake, and tried to dispose of it outside to cover up the error. The nurse had been dismissed.

Sensing something amiss, Rachel visited Mark to find out what was going on. Arriving at his rather dingy apartment that was well below his payscale, she persuaded him to reveal the truth: Mark had been paid by a third party to deliver some of Annie’s blood. Apparently it was some kind of medical research that couldn’t afford the rigmarole of obtaining the blood through official channels. The money would let Mark pay off his gambling debts. He was supposed to drop it off by the dumpster outside the hospital, but it got spotted by a janitor and he was fired.

Rachel suspected that Mark was in way over his head. She arranged a plane ticket for him to head out east, and took his cell phone so that if the buyer called again, she would get the call. But her next phone call was on her own cell phone, as Wade called asking for assistance…

Preaching For Pentex

As a favour to Leslie Charbonneau, Charles spoke to local religious authorities in the Catholic Church about the parent protests of Nutromi‘s pilot project at Saint Peter’s Wisdom. He discovered that the protest was led by a mother named Deborah Johnson. Deborah had initially protested on concerns of the food’s safety, but those protests were largely dismissed. She then switched to a moral outrage angle, noting that Nutromi shared a corporate parent with Magadan Pharmaceuticals, which produced several medical products that were objectionable to Catholic dogma. This had gained a much wider support base.

Charles decided to pay the Johnson household a visit. He met Deborah and her young daughter Emily. Turning on the charm (and the Presence), he planted serious seeds of doubt in Deborah’s mind, and he learned that Emily was suffering social stigma at school for her mother’s crusade. As he left the house, Charles decided that the Johnsons might be a fun side project…

Charles then drove to the Glass Slipper in the hopes of meeting some other Kindred to socialize. En Route, he was accosted by The Shade, which started to accelerate his car. Charles managed to regain control and sped off.

Anarchy at the Ritual

Meanwhile at The Ritual, Michael was hoping for a quiet night without vampiric interference. He noted that a new vampire he had not met before was there with a group of college students. Since she wasn’t starting a fuss, he sent over a round of drinks and didn’t interfere. A less pleasant interaction occurred when Aylen and one of his flunkies arrived out back, accusing Michael of selling out Derick to the Sheriff. They told Michael that if he wanted to be accepted by the True Anarchs he would have to help them bust Derick loose.

Michael listened to them, but the idea was so vague (“blow up the wall!”) that he was immediately suspicious. The woman with the college students had joined the discussion, and she also questioned the wisdom of their approach. Despite this challenge, Aylen kept his cool and departed, if not as a friend. Michael pondered better ways to free Derick.

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Setites, Lies and Videotape

The Serpents’ Plan

Wade was contacted by Jacob Donaldson, who told Wade that a Setite mark named John Wilson would be visiting the Glass Slipper and that Setite ghouls would be attending him. In exchange for Wade’s cooperation, Donaldson would put in a good word about the Glass Slipper with the Camarilla establishment to increase it’s prominence with the Kindred. Donaldson then emailed Charles, who had provided Donaldson with psychological information on Wilson gathered from his role as Wilson’s priest.

Masquerade Breach

At Ottawa General, Rachel rushed into action as a young woman was brought into the ER almost completely drained of blood. She quickly determined that this was a vampire attack, and the clumsy idiot hadn’t sealed the neck wounds. What’s worse, her boyfriend had witnessed the assault. Rachel tried to save the girl, but she was too far gone … leaving Rachel to talk to her boyfriend while someone else called her father.

Back at the Glass Slipper, the party was interrupted when John Wilson received a cell phone call telling him that his daughter had died after an attack. Wade intercepted Wilson and offered to drive him to the hospital. Wilson’s Setite handlers notified Jacob Donaldson, who then called Charles to let him know what had happened. Charles, Wade and Wilson all converged on the hospital…

Meanwhile, at the Ritual, Michael was approached by Derick, who asked Michael to help him lay low – he had likely killed the wrong person and was trying to avoid the heat. Michael decided to take him in and offered him a back room in the bar.

Back at the hospital, Rachel was talking to the boyfriend, calming him down and sedating him with drugs that also made him more pliable to suggestion. She heavily suggested that the attack wasn’t supernatural, and was more likely someone tripping on bath salts. Shortly after she put him to sleep, Wade arrived with John Wilson. Wilson was understanably angry and agitated, but was calmed somewhat by the arrival of Charles. When he was told that the attack took place outside of the charity that the boyfriend worked for, Wilson perked up: they had recently installed security cameras at the location, which may have caught the assault! He also told Charles that the cameras were tied to Artemis Security Solutions’ servers downtown.

Wade and Rachel were already heading to the charity in the industial park when Charles called to tell them about Artemis. They arrived at the murder site to find the cops combing the scene. Wade used his fame and Presence to distract the police while Rachel used her Celerity to break into the charity’s office and access the computers. She hacked the system, putting a photo of the incriminating photographs on a USB stick and deleting the photos from Artemis’ servers remotely. She did not recognize the vampire that attacked Wilson’s daughter.

Wade and Rachel set up a meeting with the Sheriff to deliver the evidence to him. Roger recognized the offender as Derick, and assured Wade and Rachel that their assistance would be recognized by the Camarilla.

Later, Melissa approached Michael, demanding to know if he had heard from Derick. Once Michael learned that the Sheriff was looking for Derick, he told Melissa that the could turn Derick over, but would only do so personally – he wasn’t going to have Melissa claiming the credit!

When Roger arrived Michael showed him to the room where Derick was hiding. Roger blasted the door with a shotgun and incapacitated the Caitiff in short order. Roger announced that the Prince would want to make an example of Derick, and that all Kindred would be enouraged to attend…

Wilson’s Confession

A few nights later, John Wilson confided to Charles that he feared his daughter’s death had been a punishment from God for the sinful thoughts he had been entertaining at the Glass Slipper. Charles, knowing that the objects of Wilson’s lusts were Setite agents, suggested to John that his guilt was misplaced and that God would not begrudge him for seeking comfort in a time like this. John seemed to take Charles’ words to heart, potentially putting the Setite plan back on-track.

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Civic Engagement, Brujah Style

Michael

Michael set to his duties at The Ritual nightclub, feeding from one of the mortal herd he’s accumulated. He was approached by Derick, a local Caitiff down on his luck in search of blood. He explained to Michael that Melissa had barred him from most of the local Rack after he failed to satisfy one of his boons to her, becoming further indebted in the process. His protests were cut off as Melissa entered the bar, telling Derick to leave and asking Michael to prepare the bar for a 3 AM meeting. Aylen was calling a meeting of the local Brujah, and she wanted to host the meeting at The Ritual because she expected a Brujah gathering to have lots of property damage.

Stephanie

Waking up very hungry (1 blood point), Stephanie immediately went on the hunt. She quickly located a drunk hobo and fed on him – in her feeding frenzy, she drained him dry. (-1 Humanity) She quickly found an empty tenement building nearby to stash the body. On her way back to her haven, she was intercepted by the Anarch Rob Zane, who told her that James Aylen was arranging a meeting of the local Brujah and had excluded her deliberately. He suggested she attend the meeting and make her voice heard. He also casually mentioned hacking into local police databases and deleting her criminal records from her mortal life.

Rachel

Waking up ravenous after several days without eating (1 blood point), Rachel rushed to the hospital she works at to access the blood reserves. A security guard was on staff due to a rash of recent break ins at blood clinics around the city. Rachel showed her badge and convinced him to let her through – she then retained control enough to take the blood packs to a nearby bathroom before feeding on them. Afterwards, her retainer Peter Hall updated her on the local blood bank thefts – they were occurring at night, after blood drives but before the blood had been transported to local hospitals. As a response to this, the blood clinics would now be transporting blood to the hospitals immediately after collection.

Rachel looked in on Annie, a sick girl in ward 5C that is afflicted with the same blood disease that claimed Rachel’s mother 20 years prior. Annie seemed to be responding well to treatment, but her safety was still in question. Rachel also researched the blood clinic breaking online. At this point she was interrupted by the arrival of James Aylen, who was asking after her sire, Sir David. He then invited her to the meeting at the Ritual to discuss the Clan’s future. Rachel was uninterested in vampire politics but decided to attend to ensure she wasn’t taken unawares later.

The Clan Gathering

In attendance at the meeting were Melissa, Stephanie, Michael, Rachel, Aylen, and a young man who was clearly Aylen’s ghoul, but whose presence appeared to anger Melissa. Aylen spoke of the history of the city, and his role in the Anarch movement before his imprisonment. He said that despite Prince Markus’ unconventional reforms, he could not be trusted to offer an egalitarian society, citing the lack of a Brujah Primogen as proof. He asked the group to side with him to advance the Anarch cause and make Ottawa a city apart from the Camarilla. His words were magnified by his Presence Discipline, but Stephanie resisted it’s lure.

Melissa countered that Markus had driven the Sabbat out of Ottawa, and that the packs would return if he were deposed. Aylen argued that more Anarchs would flock to the city once it was free, but Stephanie suggested that would just be more competition for her territory. At this point Zane interrupted the meeting by hacking Aylen’s iPhone, mocking his ambitions and suggesting he needs to be more cautious around modern technology, causing Aylen to destroy the phone in anger. Aylen asked if he had no allies in the room; Michael tried to surreptitiously convey his support, but his clumsy attempt was detected by all.

Shortly afterwards Bloody Roger, the Prince’s Sheriff arrived on the scene. Aylen protested that they were having a peaceful meeting and committing no crimes. Roger pointed to Melissa and responded that he was only here at the request of the Brujah Primogen. Smiling, Melissa explained to all that Markus had selected her as the new Brujah Primogen. Aylen exploded, saying that Markus had selected a Neonate for the role as a way to mock the clan, and to keep them under his thumb. Sensing the odds against him, he contained his rage to destroying the bar table he was sitting at, then stalked out of the room with his ghoul follower close behind. Melissa commended those who showed loyalty to the Camarilla, and reminded them that while Ottawa may be dangerous, it offered prospects for advancement that they could wait decades or centuries to obtain in more established cities. Thus the Brujah gathering ended, with a smartphone and one table the only casualties of the event.

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