As The Chips Fall

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas!
Getting Acquainted

Despite the Sinatra song, Las Vegas truly is the city that never sleeps. As much as people may want to stop the world, it just doesn’t in Las Vegas, which makes it a perfect setting for a supernatural world.

While not a milestone adventure for the campaign, it did involve the characters all getting acquainted. Are they best buddies? No, but they have all interacted with one another. While it was established that Alexis and Vivian knew each other already, with Enno being so new in town, he had to meet with the others.

So… on with the show.

The scene opened at the Excalibur, where Vivian had previously spoken with Drake and was meeting with Alexis to hire her for some housekeeping that needed to be done. While the White Court may be known for backstabbing and mind games, Vivian is not one to easily forgive and forget. She hired Alexis to put an end to the life of Kane Kurosaki, who was pretty much singlehandedly responsible for bringing the Red Court to Las Vegas. At first, Vivian gave the reason that Kane had done what he could to destroy the White Court, that wasn’t enough to convince Alexis to take the job. That was when Vivian played the Red Court card. And Alexis set off to bust some heads – well, one in particular.

Following the incidents involving Kane, his master had decided that Las Vegas was not a place to stay – at least not in human form. Therefore, he left, leaving Kane behind to tie up loose ends. Having known that the walking stick that Kane always had was the source of his power, Vivian told Alexis that it would be the first obstacle. Remove the cane, and then, remove the Kane.

Alexis made her way down to the park where she found Kane (not surprisingly) enjoying a hot dog. On the man’s napkin was Alexis’ name and a message saying she was going to kill him. Kane, not being the overly bright type, showed Alexis the napkin before she’d introduced herself. So, Alexis said that she did, in fact, know Alexis Belmont, and said she was a maid at a nearby motel. She led him to the motel, and spoke with the guy at the desk before leading Kane to one of the rooms.

Without going into much detail (namely because I didn’t take notes), a large battle ensued, each of them unleashing their respective dragon fires upon one another, destroying the room in the process. Flight attendants were frightened and saved, but the same couldn’t be said for Alexis’ hair, which had been lost to some dragon fire. Still, eventually, Alexis came out the victor in the UFC match, and made her way back to the Excalibur. She spoke with Drake, who was glad that she’d taken care of the problem she’d been hired to do – mostly because she’d taken out another dragon who’d been roaming about the city. Drake then went on to mention that there is a new kid in town who’d been doing some damage, and asked that Alexis look into it, and whether it would be a problem in the city; if it was a problem, she should take care of it before it escalated.

So, once again, Alexis headed out, heading to a motel in the outskirts of the city, where she met with Enno Marx. While he didn’t say much, nor did she, she invited him to a dinner at the Excalibur. While sitting down to dinner, they discussed things like what Enno was doing in the city, and the fact that what he was doing was not at an acceptable rate – in other words, there wasn’t any competition in the hit-person market anymore; Enno was doing jobs for what could be likened to pennies on the dollar. Alexis convinced him to come up in his rates, and encouraged him to meet with Drake the next morning. She did mention to Enno that she knew there was something different about him, and though she didn’t outright mention it, she had noticed the differences in his tattoos between their first meeting at his motel room and the dinner. Yes, she was clued in to what he was.

Enno had not only agreed to raise his rates, he accepted an invitation to meet with Drake over the next morning’s brunch. When Drake explained his personal role in the Las Vegan supernatural world, he also explained that he didn’t like when things tipped the scales in either direction, and he couldn’t have a revenge-driven Red Court Infected running around. He offered him a job, a place to stay, and a car in exchange for services as well as not disrupting the delicate balance. He also said that there was someone who could potentially point him in the direction of Arick Vogel.

Enno then set out for the Blue Martini to look for a William Moore, but rather than confronting him, decided to lay low and follow him instead. He followed William and what looked to be an underage girl of about 17 to a hotel, and tried to see if he could find anything of interest in William’s car. Since the car’s alarm was armed, Enno didn’t get very far, so he went into the hotel and made up a story of an accident outside to get the desk clerk away from his register and the desk itself. Looking in the register, he found 2 Williams but none by the name of Moore.

He dejectedly left the hotel and got in his car, speeding off toward the Strip and the Excalibur. Once on the highway, he looked in his rearview to see a girl with pigtails and a man holding a gun to the back of driver’s seat’s headrest. Rather than stopping the car, Enno performed a dangerous maneuver, flipping and rolling the car on the highway. At least he didn’t get shot. Outside of the vehicle, Enno and William had words, William got Enno’s information and said he would see if he could help, then whisked the unconscious and injured Tina off to safety.

William then showed up at Surrender, where Vivian gave him a hard time about his appearance, and reminded him about the “rules” in her club (it should be noted that members of the White Court with decent discipline break the rules all the time). William then passed on the information about Enno, and Vivian called the Red Court Infected. After a brief conversation, she invited Enno to meet her at the Terrace Point Cafe at the Wynn.

Again, Enno pleaded his case, and asked if Vivian might be able to help him find Arick Vogel. While the name didn’t sound familiar to Vivian, she thought of someone who might be able to help, and gave him the name of Anton Deneuve, who had a knack for knowing when supernatural beings came and went from Las Vegas.

So, let the chips fall as they may, and let the story unfold from here.

An Eye for an Eye for an Eye

Despite my general flippant attitude towards her, I have no huge problem with Alexis Belmont; I even find her company and blunt sense of humor rather uplifting on occasion. That being said, in regards to my disposition she only ever seems to shoot herself in the foot. I make such a statement assuming that it has never been her direct intent to royally piss me off, but with that child you can never be too certain.

Its nights such as the one following that make a fine example. I had been happily situated in my room playing some Halo, a much needed form of stress relief I often make use of, when I heard the familiar, always-eager knock at the door. Of course it was Ms. Belmont, demanding with a childlike impatience that I accompany her on another pointless outing. She liked to do this – to drag me from my contented solitude – and would only ever give the same reason for doing so each time: “We need our faces seen!” I had the brilliant idea not too long ago of suggesting that she simply slap her face on a few posters, but I doubted at the time that she would appreciate the humor.

This evening it was to be poker at the Venetian. While I’ve never been one for gambling, I must admit that I love casinos. The bright lights, lively noise and bustling activity all serve as excellent distractions, making it merely trivial for one such as myself to remain unnoticed. I entered the Venetian a short while after Alexis and easily found her table, joining her discreetly. Acting as if we didn’t know each other at all she and I had intended to play for a few hours as usual; intended of course being the emphasized word, because as I had quickly come to learn in Vegas, nothing ever goes according to plan. Not long after we had settled into our usual rhythm, a rather interesting character decided to join us at our table.

He played like a pro, winning almost every hand. He raised every bluff, almost as if he could see the hand of every other player, but that’s not what made him stand out to me. The entire time he sat there he would fidget nervously, never make eye contact with anyone and I noted that his pupils were heavily dilated. I even caught him folding once or twice, but only when someone else at the table had an amazing hand that couldn’t be beaten. One such time I even caught a glimpse at his cards as he tossed them to the dealer, and it was a great hand that one would normally never discard, but my cards just happened to trump them. Trading glances with Alexis told me that she and I were onto the same thing.

When he finally left the table after clearing poor Alexis out completely, she stood up gracefully to follow him. Not wanting the odd man to associate the two of us, I opted to stay for a few more hands while she handled it on her own, knowing that if she needed me I could always join her. Roughly fifteen minutes later she beckoned me from the table, and I met her at the bar to hear how things had gone. She had followed the man through the crowds towards the cashier, noting how he seemed to cower from every supernatural being he passed. After that she followed him towards his room where she actually had the audacity to speak to him directly. Complimenting his performance, she introduced herself, noted that he didn’t seem to be feeling well and even remarked that he looked high. He introduced himself in return as William Faulkner, stated that he had eaten something odd at the buffet and that he was off to rest, then Alexis gave him her number, mentioned an upcoming tournament at the Excalibur and they parted ways.

Certainly intrigued enough by Faulkner at this point, I decided to give my good friend Victor Buys a call. I met victor a few years ago during a brief visit to Miami, where he worked rigorous shifts as a member of Miami Metro Homicide. He had been fed up with his job for a while and was just waiting for an excuse to retire, then in a rather complex and coincidental turn of events he stumbled across my true nature. He had been clued in the supernatural long before we met, otherwise he would never have accepted me so casually. It’s a long story, but the summary is that I helped him with a few important problems of his before I left town, and he finally retired to go live out the rest of his days in, of all places, Las Vegas. Speaking with Vic briefly I mentioned William Faulkner’s name and requested a background check on him, a service Vic could still provide me despite his retired status. He told me he’d call me back shortly

As I hung up on Victor I got a call from Vivian asking to speak with me in person. I had nothing better to do, now that I had humored Alexis for the evening, so I agreed to meet her at her club shortly thereafter. When I told Alexis where I was headed she mentioned needing to speak to Vivian for her own reasons, and we agreed to simply go together. On our way there I heard back from Victor, who informed me that William Faulkner appeared to be a perfectly average corporate guy from somewhere not too far away, and that nothing on his record stood out as unusual in any way. This could either mean that Faulkner was an average joe, or more likely based on his behavior, that he was just good at remaining discreet.

I had never been to Vivian’s club before, but I have to admit that for a nightclub the atmosphere was rather pleasant. I also noticed, even as little as I indulge in such things, that the bartender wasn’t half bad looking – plus I’m reasonably sure I caught him glancing at my ass. Vivian met us in her office, which resembled the rest of the club in that it was, quite simply, very pleasing to the eye. She opened the conversation, after offering us drinks, by presenting me with a folder and summarizing its contents for me as I flipped through it myself. Apparently a man by the name of Richard Voss, matching Arick’s description, had spent a night at the Encore roughly six weeks prior using a since-canceled credit card. Vivian had even taken the liberty of compiling a background check, which revealed him to be of German origin and provided a passport photo, but the quality was too low to be of any use. Included in the folder was a copy of that passport, as well as pages from the check itself, courtesy of the Clark County Department of Records, the credit card information and the number of the room he stayed in.

This was a huge lead, and I was surprised by the effort she had made on my behalf, but it was already too old to act on. Arick wouldn’t have left a single fiber in that room, and if by some miracle he was careless enough to do so housecleaning would have certainly erased it by now. A hotel as popular as the Encore would have also had multiple guests stay in that room since then, so without the entire cast of CSI assisting me the task of scouring the room myself would have been entirely fruitless. On the upside, I now had a folder containing numerous things I could investigate and reference later. Thanking Vivian and inquiring a bit further to no avail, I let Alexis take the floor.

She explained to Vivian our encounter with William Faulkner in the casino, giving full detail regarding his behavior and the brief conversation she had shared with him. I interjected to mention my calls with Victor, and that his check had revealed nothing unusual. The three of us contemplated aloud for a few moments, discussing what could have caused Faulkner to act as he did and making guesses at his true nature, and eventually Vivian suggested that we pay a visit to Anton, bringing with us something that he could use to better target our strange gentleman. I still needed to meet with Anton myself regarding Arick, so I offered no protests in response. Before we left, Alexis and Vivian had a few minutes of estrogen-laced girl talk, the majority of which I was hardly focused on, though I did pick up enough to know that Vivian was planning to head out of town the next day for a ski trip with her father. She didn’t sound extremely excited by the idea, and implied that she would try to get out of it if she could, to which Alexis replied with an invitation to the Excalibur’s poker tournament – the very same that she had invited Faulkner to as well.

From there Alexis and I headed straight back to the Venetian where we had agreed to focus our efforts on Faulkner some more. I would do what I do best and stalk him once he left his room, and Alexis would meanwhile gain access to his room and search it for anything valuable. We occupied ourselves for a few hours waiting for him to wake up, but before too long I spotted him wandering through the lobby towards the street. Signaling to Alexis, I promptly followed him across the Venetian’s threshold and into the crowds. He wandered for a good while before sitting down to eat in a relatively nice restaurant, which took him a good half hour to do, before finally ending up at the Mandalay Bay. The entire time I watched him wade through throngs of people and eat his dinner I didn’t see him display a single of the odd quirks he had just a few hours before. Even as he sat for hours to play poker in the Mandalay Bay he appeared and acted as a perfectly normal guy, exhibiting nothing like his prior behavior. After poker I followed him back to the Venetian where he went back to his room, leaving me relatively disappointed.

In the hopes that her night had been more successful than mine, I gave Alexis a call, only to realize as I did so that it was roughly 4 in the AM, and that she was most likely sleeping. Almost as if in response to this realization she answered the phone practically drooling into the receiver. I tried to wake her up by telling her about my disappointing evening, to which she replied by drunkenly implying that it would have been more successful had I asked Faulkner out, and here I thought I could keep that side of myself discreet as well. She proceeded to hang up on me, leaving me with nothing to do but head back to my own room at the Excalibur to get some sleep.

I woke up late in the afternoon the following day, as usual, and decided to blow a few hours before the poker tournament reading. I had heard good things about the Harry Potter series recently, and a few days ago I had picked up copies of the first five books to read in my spare time. Reasoning that I could probably read through all five before I had to be anywhere, I started in on the first and just kept reading. I know they were originally supposed to be a children’s series, but as the books progressed they began appealing to the older audience more and more. I was actually enjoying myself quite a bit until Alexis called me around 4, when I was almost finished with The Goblet of Fire, to tell me that she had scheduled a meeting for us with Anton in an hour. When she asked me what I had been doing all day I told her about my foray into Hogwarts, and the next words from her mouth in response were “Snape kills Dumbledore. *Click*”

The next thing I remember is standing in front of Anton’s house behind Alexis as the blind rage began to settle, pointing at her and angrily shouting something to the effect of “Go die in a ditch you lousy whore, how dare you, blah blah blah.” In the end she didn’t seem too displaced by my rage, though Anton, who stood in his doorway witnessing the exchange, certainly looked confused. Focusing once more on our current situation I set aside my burning hatred for the redhead and greeted Anton, proceeding with Alexis into his house. The sight within was truly traumatic.

Lining every surface of his house were Precious Moments figurines, each as creepy and unsettling as those adjacent to it, and no two were alike. They all seemed to be watching us, and I could tell that Alexis was getting a much stronger feeling from them than I was. He told us that his wife liked to collect them, but I wasn’t very satisfied with that explanation. The three of us discussed Mr. Faulkner, and Anton excused himself for a moment to work his magic when Alexis presented a hair that she had apparently taken from Faulkner’s room. When he returned he simply told us that Faulkner wasn’t supernatural at all, and that there was nothing more he could tell us. Having conducted that business, I then asked him about Arick. He mentioned that there were exactly 7 red court vampires currently in Vegas, but that without something personal from Arick he couldn’t tell me anything more specific.

Alexis and I then left Anton’s place, and on our way out I discreetly pocketed one of the creepy Precious Moments figurines. Alexis noticed me doing it and gave me some crap outside, but after the Harry Potter thing I was quite thankful for the opportunity to piss her off even slightly. We parted ways and I stashed the figurine in a dead drop, not knowing what else to do with it. I really had no intentions for it when I stole it, but my intention when I stashed it was to come back for it later should I ever need to. If it wasn’t there in a few days then I could be reasonably sure that something was definitely amiss with those damn figurines.

Later that evening we met up at the Excalibur for the tournament, but not before Alexis filled me in on her successes since I had parted with her the night before to stalk Faulkner. She had asked the clerk at the front desk for access to Faulkner’s room, who had referred her to someone named Shane who worked at the hotel. Alexis spoke of Shane as if she knew him well, but I had never heard the name before and didn’t think to ask her for an elaboration. Shane helped Alexis gain entry to the room, wherein she grabbed the hair fiber from a comb and found some broken glass with some sort of chemical on it in a trashcan. She even mentioned that Shane had asked her out and that she had politely refused, though to be honest I couldn’t care less about her private life. Taking the glass to a private lab that afternoon she had it tested while we met with Anton, and the results implied it to be some sort of “Super LSD,” or in other words a very strong hallucinogenic drug. That would explain why Faulkner appeared so high and acted so strangely when we encountered him the first time, but not how he was able to play so well. Alexis also mentioned that on the way back from Anton’s she had received a call from Vivian who had apparently come across a drug quite similar to the one Alexis had just tested. Vivian tested it as well, minus the lab, and was still quite loopy as she conversed with Alexis. Apparently she even offered Alexis some erotic fun, though Alexis supposedly declined the offer.

Armed with all of our acquired information we then began the tournament, noticing beforehand that Vivian had chosen to attend as well. Alexis seated herself at a table next to Faulkner while I chose to sit at a different table directly behind him, with a perfect view of him that didn’t allow him to notice me at all. This time he was back to his original mantra, with dilated eyes, awkward mannerisms and excellent playing. He, once again, cleaned Alexis out early in the game, and she ran off to consult with Drake while I stayed at my table watching him. Shortly thereafter a break was called, no doubt the result of Drake’s request, and Alexis and I casually herded Faulkner into an interview room in the back of the casino. By “herded” I mean to say that I aggressively grabbed him by the collar and practically dragged him back there, whispering “I’ll be the bad cop” to Alexis as I did so. I like being the bad cop.

I kicked open the door to the interview room as loudly as I could, tossing Faulkner violently into the room where he slid across the floor and bounced a bit off the back wall. When he looked back up at me, fear already dripping from his gaze, I warped up to him in the blink of an eye, putting my face inches from his, and using my best scary voice I screamed “What are you on?!” This is why I like being the bad cop. Needless to say, he pissed himself on the spot and broke down in a panicked hysteria. Alexis shot me a stunned look before running over to comfort him, though some of the reassurances she gave weren’t that reassuring at all. I made a mental note to remind her to work on her good cop at some point. She shooed me from the room, telling me to go grab Vivian, while she tended to the mumbling crybaby I had left for her.

I found Vivian seated at the bar, giving some random lucky fellow a back massage. It must be nice to be able to feed so openly, I remember thinking to myself. Interrupting her for a moment, I shared with her the news of our progress and requested that she join Alexis in the back room. With Vivian present Faulkner quickly calmed down, and shared with the girls his experience with the drug, which he referred to as “Three Eye.” He explained that it helped him see people for what they really were, and that he could also use it to play poker by determining which cards were good or bad simply at a glance. Thanking him for his cooperation they helped him find some fresh clothes and eventually escorted him back to his room, though by that time I was already involved in another project of my own.

While Alexis and Vivian were off taking care of Faulkner, I took the liberty of obtaining as many Precious Moments figurines as I could fit in my car. I reasoned that, based on her reaction to Anton’s collection, I could get some payback for Harry Potter. That night as she was sleeping I snuck into her room, situated conveniently next to mine in the Excalibur, and placed a Precious Moments figurine on every square inch of available surface area, each facing towards her as she slept. The next morning I was greeted by the sound of shrill Romanian curses, loud crashes, a few bangs, the smell of something burning and, immediately following, the sound of the hotel’s sprinkler system going off in her room. Luckily for me I had fallen asleep in my clothes.

Planned Parenthood

Authors Note: Written at the last minute. If anyone cares to edit it or correct it if it is missing info, please feel free to do so. I am still adjusting to working overnights and I have been exhausted and had little time to work on this.

Upon waking, Alexis was horrified to see hundreds of wide eyes staring at her, twitching to follow her every movement as she went for the loaded gun under her pillow. “Ce dracu ’e asta?“ She swore, reverting to the Romanian she had been raised with. On the best of days, Alexis had only a slight accent. This morning, her accent was thick and angry. Out of the corner of her eye, one of the dolls shifted it’s eyes towards her and in her half sleeping state, she let burst a long gout of dragon fire at it, setting the wall ablaze. “Demonii!”

When called in by Drake to explain the damages his hotel had received, Alexis explained that Enno had set a swarm of demons on her. Drake gave his blessing for Alexis to kill Enno on sight, but she explained that even though he had set a swarm of demons on her, she rather liked the guy and just wanted to make him suffer instead.

Making no mention of the incident to Enno when she spotted him at the Venetian, Alexis proceeded to search out a dealer of Three Eye and buy a sample for Drake to experiment with.

Alexis and Enno went to talk to Vivian. (I cannot remember why). Alexis had called Vivian up on the way over, calling about 30 times before giving up. When Vivian called back, Alexis and Enno were at her casino, downstairs. The girls chatted a bit and Alexis pointed out a dealer that she suspected of dealing Three Eye in Viv’s casino. Vivian had a chat with him, then she and Alexis had some breakfast before Alexis left.

Enno had followed a dealer back to a warehouse where he broke in to steal information on the shipments. Instead, he woke a sleeping baby and the mother came to check on it. He interrogated the mother for a bit, and then security came to check on the scene. Enno used the mother as a shield when the guard shot him, and she died. Enno grabbed the baby and ran. Then he gave the baby to Drake to do with as he wished.

Drake asked Enno about summoning the swarm of demons in his hotel, and Enno told Drake that Alexis had lied to him. That he bought her some presents and didn’t know why she got so bent out of shape.

Meanwhile, Vivian had called up William to ask him to take a sample of Three Eye and see what it could do to white court vampires, because she doesn’t care about it’s effects on humans. Vivian is only worried about what it would do to her kind when used. There was some heartache at the rooftop pool, and then William left her to go look into information for her.

Drake had found out that the Three Eye was used to help train Apprentice wizards of the White Council to help them develop their Sight and learn to control it better. With the drug in town, Drake knows the White Council will arrive soon if it continues to spread in use, unchecked. Alexis and Enno are tasked with getting rid of the drug before the White Council shows up.

Alexis and Enno decide to see if they can hit the distribution center before the people clear out, but by the time they get there with some goons, the place is empty. Enno finds a name and a phone number on a sheet of paper dropped between some pallets. Antonio Montegna is the name, a White Court Vampire. Enno whips out his phone straight away and dials the number up. Of course, no good comes of this and he gets hung up on. The two find out through Vivian, that Montegna is a Greed vampire who is often found in the Bellagio.

Alexis goes to report in to Drake and finds him down in his private chambers in dragon form preparing a broth for the baby. She convinces Drake that finding a way to adopt the child out to Enno would teach Enno some self restraint and make him think twice about his actions so long as Drake were to hold him responsible for the child’s welfare. Drake agrees, so long as Alexis can get Ennos signature on a blank piece of paper.

With the help of Shane, Alexis attempted to gain Enno’s signature through UPS delivery. She had a package addressed to him as coming from the man he as hunting, but Enno became overly excited about the package and didn’t quite understand how the UPS system worked. He thought the delivery driver knew who sent the package, and Enno stalked the girl to the elevator trying to question her. He had refused to sign for the package at first, then scribbled on the receipt in a hurry so he could open the box.

Inside the box were books on how to raise a child. Enno puzzled over the books for a while, trying to find the cryptic message that Arick had surely hidden inside.

All Fired Up, Gonna Go Till I Drop
I don't know what I'm doing- All I know is I don't wanna stop.

Alexis had the intention of doing her boss proud when she slid into the seat of the Lincoln Town Car and twisted the key in the ignition, bringing the vehicle to life. The large interior felt opulent, as did many of Drake’s vehicles, but the car had a full ballistic treatment on it that, when combined with the three body trunk, made it Alexis’ car of choice. The fact that it happened to blend in well, being the most popular chauffeur car of choice, might have also played a part in her decision.

Enno had found the address earlier, a middle class home that seemed nothing special. Inside the home however, were people bottling the glowing blue drug known as Three Eye, working hard to get even more of it out on the streets. Alexis had parked a block away and was watching the house when she saw a vehicle pull up and men begun unloading jugs from the vehicle. They were big, the water jugs you put in water coolers at home or at the office.

Alexis grinned at the payoff and pulled out her cell, dialing up Enno to let him know what she had seen and to get him into position to help her follow the vehicle. They finished their business at the house much quicker than anticipated, and Alexis had to make a tough call. Follow them alone and risk getting spotted, or let them go and try it again another day. If she waited, that was more time for the drug to be on the street, and more time for the White Council to notice what was going on.

Alexis kept the headlights turned off as she put the car into gear and pulled out after the SUV slowly. Drake didn’t want the White Council in town, so she’d be damned if she gave up over fear of a little tussle. She figured either outcome, she would be the winner. She would either follow them to the origination of the drug, or she would get spotted and have to deal with some combat to secure an informant. Another phone call to Enno let her keep him appraised of her location.

When it was clear she had been spotted, she had little time to react. The vehicle she had been following suddenly slammed on its brakes, spinning the car slightly to block the road and another vehicle pulled in behind her. She had no time to clue Enno in on what was happening as she slammed on the gas and sent the Town Car rocketing towards the nose of the SUV blocking her path. She could hear the plink-plink-plink of ammunition bouncing off of the vehicle and then there was a horrible wrenching, tearing sound as the car scraped by the SUV.

The vehicle behind her came tearing after and she faced another hard decision. A chase through the city could mean civilians hurt. Alexis slammed on the brakes, pulling the car into a spin as she dove out, and used it to block the roadway much as the SUV some blocks back ad done. Her body rolled as she hit the pavement, and she pulled her elbows in and drew her knees up, sending her lithe form rolling some yards. As she stood brushing the dust off of herself, otherwise unharmed, the second vehicle plowed into her.

Alexis was quick enough to leap onto the hood, startling the driver within when she slammed a fist through the glass. The driver started to shed his flesh mask, revealing the flabby form of the grotesque bat creature within, but Alexis grabbed him around the neck anyway and hauled him out. A shotgun was aimed her way by the passenger and she barely had time to pull the driver between her and the gun, blocking some of the shot. A few pellets grazed her, drawing stinging welts of hot blood.

Alexis rolled off the vehicle, dragging the driver with her down to the asphalt. She gained her feet, drawing her handgun and shot him once in the belly, rupturing his blood reservoir in an impressive shower of blood. Looking up, she saw more of the Red Court vampires running towards her, shedding their flesh masks as they ran. She stood her ground, grinning fiercely and pulled her game face on.

Alexis’ form shimmered slightly and the 5’4 redhead gained some inches in height, bringing her up to a full six feet of fiery fury. Her skin gained a hint of red scales, her eyes becoming slitted, golden orbs, tongue forked and serpentine. Her spine extended into a long tail, lashing fiercely. A pair of large leathery dragon wings sprouted from her back, easily twice her height in their width.

Alexis screamed an incoherent challenge to the oncoming vampires, waiting as they ran towards her. Two closed in on her and she took a few light gashes from their claws, drawing blood. The others came in range and Alexis unleashed a gout of fire on them. Some were able to dodge the dragon fire, but three fell down, writhing in flames as the others continued to bound toward her.

She grabbed one of the vampires at her feet, the one she had shot in the belly, and stepped away from the burning corpses, as the first of the vampires flung itself at her. She used it’s fallen companion to ward off the venomous attacks by the two in her face, as still two more were closing in on her.

A squeal of tires announced Enno’s arrival and he leapt from the car, rushing to Alexis’ aid. His body was a blur of motion as he drew two swords from under his jacket, his hands smoking as they clasped the hilts of the Blessed Blades of St. Giles. He was the picture of holy vengeance itself as he came up behind one of the vampires on Alexis and stabbed it in the back and straight through the belly. Blood spewed from both the entry and exit wounds, hissing and burning white-hot from the blades, and Alexis grinned to see him, stepping back from yet another burning corpse.

“Took ya long enough!” Her voice was friendly, showing a hint of her weariness as she moved too slow to escape the reach of the other vampire on her. It’s claws raked across her belly, slicing neatly through the tank top she wore to expose a gaping belly wound.

Another vampire had ripped the bumper off of one of the cars and swung it in a wide arc at Enno. The German’s agility carried him up and over the vampire in an elegant flip, spinning both blades with enough precision as he did so to sever both of the attacking vampire’s arms at the shoulder. As he landed in a crouched position behind his now disarmed attacker, he flourished a quick gash across the back of it’s thigh, effectively hobbling it.

The last vampire on Alexis took advantage of the belly wound, driven to a frenzy by the scent of her blood, and he shoved his arm into her gut, and up, buried to the elbow in gore. Alexis screamed in agony at the pain, able to feel the vampires hand questing through her innards, seeking her heart. The scream died off in a coughing gurgle of blood as claws punctured her lung.

Before Enno could react, Alexis grasped the vampire by the throat in one hand, the other hand braced against it’s shoulder. And she pulled. The head came off with a sickening sound and a spray of blood, dangling a short section of spine as Alexis let the body fall away, the hand sliding out of her. “Do. Not. Fuck. With. Me.” The girl screamed in pain filled fury, before tossing the head to the ground, staggering.

Enno, leaving the armless vampire writhing around on the asphalt for a few moments, chased after a pair that had attempted to flee. He was fast enough to catch the first, but the second managed to escape his grasp just barely. Flinging the body of his catch on the ground beside the helpless other, he mashed his boot against the armless one’s face to angle it towards the head of the new arrival, which he promptly skewered through the eye socket with a blade. It’s skull glowed like a jack-o-lantern as the blades ignited the blood in it’s brain, sending a bubbling gore seeping from the ears and nose. He was pretty sure the armless guy got the message.

Meanwhile, Alexis needed medical help. It was all she could do to keep from collapsing in the street among the bat-like bodies. A normal hospital wouldn’t be any good. They would remove her bracer and right now, she was sure that was the only thing keeping her alive. While Enno was busy tossing the armless vampire into his car, she called the one person she knew who would have doctors available at a call, willing to keep quiet about the supernatural.

Vivian answered her phone and Alexis’ voice was soft, pain filled. Her breathing was labored and wet sounding as the blood burbled in her lungs. “476 Rochester. Need a doctor. Hurry.”

Vivian’s voice came back in confusion, “Ok.. I’ll get an ambu-” but Alexis cut her off.

“No. Private doctor. Please.” And she hung up as Enno was helping her into the car. Despite her injuries, he was rough about it as he tried to hurry. More vampires could be coming any moment. He had his captive in the back seat, still horribly crippled. It’s body would begin to heal itself, but not before they could get to the safe house.

Vivian called William as she hurried through the casino towards the parking garage, requesting that he get a doctor and meet her at the address Alexis had given her. Ryuunosuke caught sight of her and fell into step beside her, catching the air of danger around her. Vivian took no notice of him as she finished her call, and then swiftly ordered him to get in the car as they reached the vehicle. She drove swiftly but made it to the safe house without incident.

There was blood everywhere; it led up the walk and was smeared on the door. On entering, there was a horrible sound of agony coming from the bathroom and Alexis was sprawled on the couch, face white, eyes closed as she clutched at her belly. Some gauze had been packed against the wound but it was already soaked through with blood, and seemed ineffective. Her shallow breaths rattled with the blood in her lungs, audible. Despite the excruciating pain, she was quiet, teeth ground together in determination. Her face bore signs of tears where they had washed through the blood and grime on her cheeks.

Vivian and Ryuu stared at the scene before Vivian hurried to Alexis, calling out to Ryuu “Go check on the bathroom.”

Ryuu hesitated only a moment before moving to obey her “Elevate her arms and legs.” Then he was into the bathroom to check on the noise.

The bathroom was a sight to behold. Enno had the vampire in the bathtub and was sitting on the edge of the tub as he casually pressed the flat of his blade against the vampires skin, burning him with the holy weapon. There was a faint grey outline of swirling tattoos reminiscent of thorns or some tribal markings visible on his exposed skin as he glared at the vampire. “Who do you work for?” His voice was full of rage as he leaned in close, screaming the question at the wounded vampire. The vampire screamed again in pain as Enno pressed the blade to his flesh before waiting a moment to allow him to speak. The vampire had numerous burns on its body and the tub was slick with blood. He seemed to have the situation in control.

There was the sound of a car out front and shortly after, the door opened and William came in, followed by Nigel. Alexis was out of it for the most part, not aware of the people around her. Nigel set a black bag down beside the couch and leaned down close to Alexis, whispering softly to her. She could barely hear him, but a feeling of sleepiness washed over her and she struggled against it for a moment before succumbing to a deep dreamless sleep.

Vivian had gone outside to grab a blanket from her vehicle and Tina was visible sitting on the hood of William’s car, eyes closed, focused intently. The girl had thrown up a glamour on the area to shield them from prying eyes. She got the blanket quietly without taunting the girl like she normally would.

The White Court vampires spoke quietly as Nigel set about removing Alexis’ shirt so he could better treat the gaping belly wound. There was only so much he could do for her so seriously injured. A doctor was what she needed, but she wasn’t going to get one. With the wounds cleaned, he surmised that she would get better eventually, but for now she ought the be taken back to Drake.

Enno scooped Alexis up and took her out to his car, tossing her gently into the back seat. At Nigel’s suggestion, Vivian accompanied the two so as to have someone less blood hungry along in case Enno became a danger to Alexis. Enno phoned ahead to Drake and was instructed to park in the lower parking deck and take the elevator down to Drakes private chambers.

Drake thanked them for bringing Alexis to him and held out his palm for Enno to lay Alexis within the safety of his claws, and then dismissed them, turning away with his wounded Emissary.

While Enno, Vivian, and Alexis were on their way to Drake at the Excalibur, Ryuu found himself without a way of getting back to the Encore. Seeking out the one person he knew on the scene, he approached William as the latter tossed a large waterproof duffel into the trunk of his sports car and mentioned he would need a ride.

With the duffel soundly stowed, William decided to have a little bit of a chat with Ryuu, asking how it was he found himself at the scene on Rochester. Ryuu replied that he had never known Vivian to be the rushed type, and when he saw her rushing through the Encore during club hours, he sensed that something must be wrong, and followed to see if there was something he could help with. When Vivian told him to get into her car, he simply obeyed.

“Good instincts!” William complimented, and went on to ask about the job and whatnot, and asked what he thought of Vivian. Ryuu told William that Vivian is pleasant to work for, and William corrected that Ryuu worked for the Encore, not Surrender, and went on to explain that the reason he asked about Vivian is that she has a bit of a knack for getting into trouble and since he still cares about her, despite the mutual breakup, he would like for Ryuu to keep an eye on her – help keep her out of trouble – then said that Ryuu was welcome to ride back to the hotel in the back seat.

Meanwhile, as Drake tended to his Emissary, Enno brought Vivian back to the scene on Rochester, to see that the blood that had coated the door had been cleaned up, and Vivian was well aware that Nigel’s “Janitorial Staff” was hard at work inside the house.

And Then the World Exploded

After Alexis was returned to Drake’s care, she was left to recover in Nigel’s enchanted sleep. It was a sleep disturbed only by dreams, but those dreams seemed to stick with her. In her first dream, she went about her normal day, but everywhere she went, the people around her shed their flesh masks to become red court vampires. Each time, it always degenerated into a fight for her life, but occasionally Enno would arrive to help her and save her from the red courts. Afterwards, though, she could see his face shifting and moving as though it were a flesh mask, but he never removes it.

After that dream comes a second one. It starts with Alexis in a seemingly normal house, living a seemingly normal life as Drake’s wife. Alexis hears a knock at the door and realizes it is her parents outside. She runs to Drakes office where he is counting money and starts to pull down weapons from the walls and arm herself for war. She urges him to flee, wanting to protect him from her parents, but then a small grenade type object smashes through the window and begins to emit a sickly green substance that fills the room, sort of off putting and strange smelling. The door out of the room had been shut and no matter how hard to tried, she couldn’t open it. With no other avenue of escape left, she leapt through the window ready to kill her parents if need be.

Instead, she finds herself secured to a hospital bed with wires and machines hooked up to her body with tubes in her nose pumping that same off-putting, sick smelling green smoky substance into her nose. Trying to remove the tubes, Drake stops her and calls it medicine, which she eventually accepts. Finally, as she climbs to wakefulness, the scene changes once more, with the hospital bed now out of place in one of Drake’s private alchemical chambers where he’s less then impeccably dressed with bloody hands. Finally, as she wakes and becomes aware of her surroundings, Drake explains her medicine and her wounds, and half cautions, half orders her to relax and take things easy until she heals completely. Finally, she is escorted back to her suite to rest and recuperate, but left to her own devices while doing so.

Meanwhile, Enno is making good use of the information taken from the captured Red Court vampire. More specifically, he chooses to visit the address to see just what goes on in that warehouse. Finding a very hidden alcove, he manages to watch the warehouse unimpeded. Most of the business seems to be pretty mundane, but at one point, a figure comes out to stand on the roof of the warehouse to smoke a cigarette and Enno recognizes him as Arick Vogel. Instead of acting, however, he simply continues to watch before returning home to sleep.

Ryuu, after being dropped off by William at his place, spends the night pouring over his small library of magical tomes, two from his master and two purchased from his quiet inquiries about magical knowledge. The comments Vivian and Enno had made about the drug they’d encountered sparked something in his mind, something on the tip of his tongue, and so using what meager resources he has, he went to work. Surprisingly, in one of his master’s tomes, he found an alchemical recipe for a product that seems to have the same, or at least similar, effects. Even more advantageous, the recipe listed several more common reagents that could be substituted to make the product easier to create. With that knowledge in hand, Ryuu chooses to prepare his own batch of this compound, keeping the project to himself.

After delivering Alexis into Drake’s care, Vivian chooses to visit the safehouse where Nigel’s official cleanup crew is still hard at work sanitizing the safehouse, using all of the official trappings, including crime scene tape and an actual crime scene clean up business. Vivian, after a brief examination, chooses to wait out the group until she can go in and verify that the mess is gone. After dozing in her car, the key to the safehouse is delivered to her and she is able to go in and check the house. The carpet was given a complete industrial steam clean, and the couch Alexis had been bleeding all over was simply gone.

The following day before work, Ryuu takes the time to go shopping for at least one of his needed ingredients for his creation. In Chinatown, he finds a promising looking apothecary and slips in to search. While perusing the supplies, a trio of young looking Triad thugs enters the store to get their “payment.” This payment includes Ryuu’s sixty dollars for his reagent. The shakedown doesn’t sit well with Ryuu and so, with little else to do, he follows the three, hoping to ambush them and retrieve his money. In addition, the leader was wearing an obviously magical amulet that Ryuu also hoped to obtain for his troubles. Although the ambush idea failed, a fight did break out between the two thugs and Ryuu. The obvious leader stays back, simply watching. It becomes clear almost immediately that Ryuu outclasses the two in fighting training and ability, even if the two are armed with batons. When one of the thugs goes for a gun, a simple hex disables him, and Ryuu finishes his thorough trouncing and the two thugs back off and the leader, a man by the name of Seung Tseng offers him work. Not being stupid, though, Ryuu decides to ask his few contacts (namely his boss) about that name and so he heads to work, sans money and amulet, but with, perhaps, a valuable connection.

Once her survey is complete, Vivian chooses to make a brief stop at Drake’s establishment to check on Alexis, which leads to a quick conversation between herself and Drake. In return for saving his emissary of power, Drake gives Vivian a small locket. Once being shown out, she heads for an out of town retreat she knows of to sort through her thoughts and decompress from seeing someone she knows so well so near death. While there and relaxing, she opens the locket given by Drake to find a picture of her father in one side and a picture of a woman she does not know on the other, seeming to face each other. In addition, a single lock of hair was contained in the locket. As she continues to relax there, she is come across by an FBI agent who seems to have some sort of interest or business in Las Vegas. As it comes closer to time for her club to open, she returns into town and to her club.

While Ryuu is at work, before he has a chance to speak with Vivian, Enno approaches him about returning to the warehouse to check it out. Leaving a message with his coworkers for Vivian, Ryuu decides to join Enno as backup, especially after witnessing Alexis’s condition when investigating alone. On the trip to the warehouse, Enno fills Ryuu in on his story and on Auric, who has been spotted there. About the time that Ryuu is caught up, they arrive at the warehouse only to walk into an ambush by four members the Order of St. Giles. While Enno escapes the first strike, Ryuu ends up being struck with several tranquilizing darts.

However, both Ryuu and Enno are both more than able to recover and a fight begins. It becomes obvious very quickly that the people are here for Enno and not for Ryuu, as they all close in on Enno. However, they seem to be out to capture Enno alive, armed with cattle prods. While Enno manages to defend himself, Ryuu chooses to use the element of surprise and, using his Earth Channeling, opens a hole in the concrete floor under the attacker nearest to Enno, removing him from combat. With his twin blades, Enno is able to keep the three attacker’s attention for the most part, allowing Ryuu to cast a second spell, using a truly massive wave of earth to throw a second attacker out of the warehouse window and down three stories. At that point, Ryuu chooses to move in closer and engage, but by now he’s been noticed and has to deal with the minor effects of a flash bang grenade. By now, Enno has managed to disarm one of the attackers and claims the cattle prod for himself. Sending one attacker flying with a solid strike from the prod, Enno is left to face none other than his old teacher from the Order. Leaving that woman to Enno, Ryuu closes in on the remaining, partially disabled attacker. However, it’s clear that the man is fairly skilled, putting up a decent fight and coming with some protective gear, even if he no longer has his weapon. Enno, meanwhile, is clearly at a bit of a disadvantage, since his opponent knows all of his tricks, and the fight seems to be fairly even, with neither actually gaining much of an upper hand. However, Enno does manage to disarm her of one of her weapons, while he still has both of his. Having dealt with his own opponent, Ryuu grabs the woman’s sword, wanting a weapon for himself as he moves in to help. Realizing even now that they are in some trouble, Ryuu quickly calls for another spell, binding the woman by one arm to the wall of the concrete structure.

And just as Enno and Ryuu are able to catch their breath, the whole world explodes, courtesy of a well placed grenade launched by Arick.

Picking Up the Pieces
And Cleaning Up the Mess

After getting Soteria into the fray, we picked up at the scene of the exploded building. It was a rather horrible scene, akin to a war zone rather than the organized chaos that is the aftermath of a hotel implosion. For all intents and purposes, though, it was a war zone, between Red Court Infected, the Order of St. Giles, and… Arick.

Under the rubble, Ryuu and Enno lay unconscious, the former being the first to come to and do his damndest to dig his way out of the devastation. After surfacing, he looked about for Enno. While he had no idea how long he had been out and buried, he knew it couldn’t have been entirely too long – the same night, at least – as fire/rescue teams were still en route, but had not yet arrived on the scene. Seeing a hand sticking out of the rubble, judging by its size, Ryuu knew it wasn’t Enno’s, but that of one of the other Infecteds who had been involved in the melee.

Intent on finding Enno, Ryuu cast a minor spell to make the rubble around the others far heavier, or more dense, or… a whole lot more difficult to emerge from, then went looking for Enno. With his arm dangling somewhat limply at his side, courtesy of the dislocated shoulder the rubble had caused, Ryuu found what he was looking for, not only in that he found his partner in chaos, but in that he found one of the swords that Enno carries. The odd thing was, when Ryuu picked up the sword, he could feel it burning into his hand. Determined to protect that which Enno holds so dear, Ryuu managed to sheath the sword and dig out the fallen German.

With him over his shoulder, Ryuu abandoned the scene of the explosion just as rescue crews arrived, making his way as far from the area as possible. While in the fireman’s carry, Enno returned to consciousness, flailing and flipping off of Ryuu’s shoulder. “Where’s Arick?” was the main thing on Enno’s mind, but unfortunately, Ryuu couldn’t answer the question when asked. They tried to determine what happened, but had to accept the fate that Arick had not been one of the casualties of the destruction.

The first person that Ryuu could think of to call was Vivian, and after he asked Enno to either call or hand him his cell phone, he did just that, dialing her office, where the phone rang enough to be thrown into voice mail. Since it was during business hours, and Vivian wasn’t in her office, Ryuu tried her cell and got through to her.

Seated at a benefit dinner at the Stallion Mountain Country Club, Vivian almost welcomed the call, even if it was (at least she thought it was) from Enno. She answered, but the voice on the other end asking for help wasn’t who she expected. “Ryuu? I thought you were at work. Where are you?” she asked. He explained the location, and Vivian said she was close by that she could excuse herself from the dinner and go to his aid. When she first suggested the Eastside Cannery, Ryuu thought it would be better to not be in so public a location, so Vivian suggested the access road between Nellis Air Force Base and the LV Motor Speedway – a route that would be all but abandoned at the present hour.

When she arrived, spotting the odd pair in her headlights, they did indeed look like they’d had a building dropped on them, and she pulled up beside them to return them to safety. Enno was bleeding pretty badly from a head wound, and she directed him to the first aid kit in the back of her Range Rover while she tended to Ryuu’s dislocation, which he had to walk her through repair procedures, despite pain. With a satisfying pop and string of Japanese curses, the shoulder no longer looked out of sorts, but no doubt hurt something fierce.

With them loaded into the back of her Range Rover, Vivian brought Enno back to the Excalibur where he met with Drake, explaining that he had found Arick and the drug operation at a warehouse on the extreme east end of the valley. Unfortunately, however, they hadn’t managed to get Arick before the building they were on was destroyed, and he and Ryuu found themselves buried in its wake. With a sympathetic nod, Drake told Enno he would be best to rest in his room, and offered him some medicated bags of blood to help with the healing.

Meanwhile, Vivian brought Ryuu back to the Wynn, where she arranged to have Nigel take a look at the Red Court Infected. Upon entering Nigel’s office, which Ryuu had never seen before, its primary occupant looked quite in his element. Offering Ryuu and Vivian a seat, Nigel proceeded to take his place behind his own desk. Not overly concerned with Ryuu’s injuries, Nigel did mention that he had caught wind of the fact that a baker’s dozen of Las Vegas Metro’s finest were found dead on the scene of the explosion, in what looked like a Red Court attack. Knowing that Ryuu is an Infected Red Court, Nigel asked that Ryuu prove that he was not responsible.

Using Vivian’s dagger, Ryuu sliced the inside of his forearm in almost a ritualistic manner, proving that the wound he inflicted on his own arm was similar to that a mortal would suffer, rather than a fully masked Red Court. The vampire passed out from the overwhelming trauma of the night’s events. Nigel then addressed Vivian, asking if she knew whether Ryuu would need to drink blood to be fed or if a transfusion would be enough. She admitted to having no clue on the matter of a Red Court vampire.

More his concern, however, was the fact that one of Drake’s charges was responsible for Ryuu’s injuries. While Ryuu wasn’t at the forefront of his concerns, the involvement of the White Court with him was, as was the call made by Drake to start a war among Red Courts (if that was, in fact, what was happening). If that was the case, Vivian and William would be the ones taking the fall, since there was no war between White Court and Red Court vampires in Las Vegas, but now they were involved. Vivian tossed William under the bus in saying that it was his idea to take Ryuu in as a security guard, but Nigel quickly pointed out that it was Vivian who got the call for help, which she answered. Vivian was then tasked with heading to the Excalibur to ascertain Drake’s true involvement with what happened. He also asked that Vivian check in on Alexis.

When Vivian arrived at the Excalibur, she asked the desk clerk if Alexis was in her usual suite or elsewhere, and the clerk gave Vivian a key to the room, just in case Alexis was unable to get to the door of the room. On her way up to the room, she ran in to Enno who was also on his way to check on Alexis. Enno thanked her for her help in getting him back to the hotel, but Vivian was less than thrilled with Enno’s casualness. Curious as to why Enno had just ‘borrowed’ Ryuu and nearly gotten him killed, she asked whether Drake was aware of the fallout. Enno insisted that Drake had sent him there (which, he had).

They went to check on Alexis, knocking softly on the door, and hearing a quiet reply of “who is it?” and some shuffling inside the room. Vivian said she and Enno were there, and Alexis unlocked the door before returning to the bed where she’d been healing. A little annoyed at the fact that her so-called friends had taken this long to come visit her after losing the better part of a lung (and an undisclosed amount of blood), Alexis called them on their absence to which Vivian explained she’d checked in the day after it happened, but only spoke with Drake while Alexis slept. Enno just replied with a “Hey there, kiddo” to which Alexis genuinely smiled.

As soon as Enno finished explaining what had happened, including mentioning the Order of St. Giles had made it to Las Vegas, the door ripped open to reveal a very angry (literally fuming) Drake-in-human-form. With smoldering shoulders, Drake stared Enno down, eventually grabbing him by the throat and lifting him to his feet. Enraged by the fact that there were four newly turned, no longer infected but full blown Red Court Fledglings running around Las Vegas and feasting on the rescue team who had saved them, Drake performed a soul gaze on Enno, violently rummaging through his mind and soul to determine the truth. The unfortunate thing with the soul gaze was that Drake revealed all kinds of information about his past into Enno’s injured mind, leaving him in what seemed like a catatonic state.

Alexis and Vivian discussed what had happened, Vivian becoming aware of the fact that the White Council would likely be on their way into town if the Three Eye, and now the Red Courts tearing through town, and nothing seemed good. One good thing, however, was that as Enno awoke, Alexis got him to sign a piece of paper; a minor victory for the huntress. Drake had tasked Alexis and Enno to get to the bottom of what had happened, while he would have to do damage control with Las Vegas Metro.

During his own healing process, Ryuu headed up to the Four Queens (tailed quite obviously by a few of Nigel’s goons who were to ensure that Ryuu stays out of trouble) to watch Soteria perform. After her show, she came to speak with him, asking what the heck had happened to him. When he said he had his ass kicked, she concurred, and then pointed out that he was being followed. Ryuu explained that he was essentially on probation, and though the White Court was never mentioned, Soteria recognized them from her days of dating William, likely making the connection between Ryuu and the White Court – even if she doesn’t know he’s Red Court. She then offered to take care of him through his healing process, which Ryuu kindly accepted.

After the conclusion of the session, Jesse added that Anton knows that 4 additional Red Court Vampires have come to town. Also, Drake did damage control to the best of his abilities, then informed the heads of the Supernatural Factions (Nigel, Giovanni, Joe, and the Fae) that an emissary of the Red Court would be making a public address at the Excalibur, denouncing the actions of the Red Court vampires in question – they will be brought to justice!

EDITOR’S NOTE – The next few days will conceivably be played out in the forum – when a tangent is complete, feel free to add it to the log.

Summary of the Forum RP
Week of March 6

(OOC – It’s a quick summary. If I left out anything you feel was important, please edit this post.)

After his mind had been invaded by Drake, Enno excused himself from Alexis’ room to return to his own, maintaining composure until he was safe behind his own door, where he crumpled to the floor and wept. His mind had been assaulted, forcing him to recall events that he would sooner forget. It took quite some time, but Enno finally managed to sleep, even if it was in the heap on his floor. Upon waking and showering out the various knots he’d acquired in his odd positioning, Enno made his way to the hotel’s café then left the Excalibur to tend to some domesticities – the evil L word: Laundry.

While at the laundromat, he put in a call to Victor, explaining about the occurrences at the warehouse, and even the notice of Arick. “No way – you caught him?” would be a PG way of saying what Victor said, but Enno suggested he head over to Victor’s later that night to discuss details. After arranging things with his old friend, he decided to look for Ryuu. When he exited the Laundromat, Enno could feel the familiar sensation that something was watching him. After a bit of cat-and-mouse, he determined that it was the Order of St. Giles tailing him and informed them through the Bluetooth that it was they who should be watching their backs.

Enno continued on his way to look for Ryuu, realizing he didn’t know much about his potential whereabouts, but thought maybe Vivian would know. He put in a call to her office, and only managed to get her voice mail at which he left a message asking her to call him. Recalling what Ryuu had said in conversation while on the way out to the former warehouse, Chinatown was mentioned, so that was where Enno decided to start looking, knowing it was a shot in the dark, but the best he had to go on for the moment.

Waking at the Four Queens in Soteria’s room, Ryuu had done a considerable amount of healing for a mortal, but from a Red Court standpoint, he may as well just have been injured. Still he felt the need to hunt for the formerly Infected vampires, even if Soteria would likely chew him out for taking off in his condition. Nevertheless, rather than just letting him leave, Soteria accompanied Ryuu to wherever it was he was going, which happened to be Chinatown, and the pair managed to run in to Enno.

Ryuu couldn’t help but notice the tension between Soteria and Enno as she recognized the latter as a Red Court Infected. To that, he pulled Enno aside to speak with him, stating that Soteria didn’t know he was Red Court Infected, and asked that the mystery remain intact. He also suggested that they head about Chinatown and bust some heads. Enno wasn’t quite sure why, but decided to go along with the plan, even if it didn’t sit right – either with him or with Soteria.

Soteria kept herself between Enno and Ryuu, clearly uneasy around Enno, though when Ryuu started out to raise hell with some Chinese men leaving a restaurant, she cursed under her breath in Gaelic, and even though she was tired (long overdue for a catnap), she suggested to him that they just talk, stating that fighting in such a public venue might not be so wise.

Vivian, in the meantime, had gotten up early for her, the soulgaze Drake had done on Enno having left her unnerved enough to have disturbed her dreams. She put in a call to Nigel’s office, knowing she would have to leave a message, then decided to swim to take her mind off things for a while. She didn’t know how long she was swimming, but when she emerged from the pool and headed downstairs to shower, she put in another call to Nigel to see if he had arrived yet. Glad to get through, she set up a lunch date with Nigel.

When she finally met with him, she mentioned a number of things, including Drake’s soulgaze on Enno, and the fact that Alexis seemed as though she tried to stop him from doing it, implying there might be a certain… fondness that could be used against them, should the need arise. She also mentioned that she planned on speaking with Joe Mercado about possibly getting the ghouls to help sweep the city for the rogue Red Courts. Nigel warned her about it, reminding her that Joe would need permission from Drake to act on one side. After a nod, Vivian took the lunch dishes from Nigel’s office and returned them to the restaurant where she’d ordered, before making her way to Wynn HR to see if she could find contact information for Ryuu who had left the room where Nigel had set him up.

William intercepted her and they discussed a few things, namely that there was a tail on Ryuu and he could be found quite easily. Satisfied with that, William mentioned that he might need her boat for “easy disposal”, and after agreeing, she left to go speak with Joe to see if he would be interested in the potential of a hunt for rogue Red newborns. Of course, being a ghoul, he was quite interested.

When she left Mercado’s, she checked her cell signal then called her office to catch up on voicemails. The one from Enno caught her attention and she decided to call him back, where he asked that she join him for a late lunch. They agreed to meet at the Luxor’s steakhouse, and she then checked her text messages, seeing one from William who she called back.

He was frustrated that he was failing at his task at hand but he wanted Vivian’s boat keys, so she had to make arrangements for him to get them, then made her way to the Luxor where she met Enno for a satisfying lunch of very expensive cuts of steak.

March 13th and 27th
Fallout and Consequences

This brief log recaps the high points of our March 13 and 27th games sessions. March 20th was a missed session because of the GM and a player going to Fear the Con. Some of the details have grown a bit fuzzy, so feel free to edit in details I’ve missed.

March 13th.

As the death of so many mortal police officers had set the city on edge, there was a great deal of pressure on the PCs to make things better. In particular, they were hunting for Red Court, specifically Arick Vogel and the freshly turned, feral vampires who’d slain the officers.

Vivian met with Joe Mercado to work out an arrangement where Clan Mercado would ‘sweep’ the city’s sewers with his boys to seek and destroy the hiding ferals. Joe was amenable to the arrangement, but professed that his hands were tied unless he was given leave by Drake. The ghouls are forbidden to operate within the city limits without prior permission.

After thanking Joe for his time, Vivian went to Drake to share her plan. Drake saw the merit of the ghoul sweep, but politically, felt the need to get permission from the three major fae powers in the city: the Summer and Winter Courts and the Wild Fae at the Four Queens. Although Vivian suggested that they split up to cover ground more quickly, Alexis wanted to work together, and Vivian conceded without argument. It became quickly apparent that Vivian regretted the decision when Alexis’ negotiation tactics proved somewhat challenging. The best the ladies could do was arrange a town hall meeting to discuss the matter at the Blue Martini.

In the meanwhile, Ryuu and Soteria prowled Chinatown, looking for Triad thugs. Ryuu learned that Seung Tseng was likely planning a bloody takeover of the local triads. Now, that’s not exactly a great surprise, given that he’s an ambitious and powerful young man with a knack for leadership in an organization where advancement is based both on merit and blood.

Afterwards, Soteria was tapped to escort Thalia, the Muse of Comedy to the ‘town hall’ meeting. The were tigress wasn’t thrilled to perform said action as she considers her service to the fae a type of slavery. Still, she played nice and made her way to the meeting, where all the city’s luminary’s seemed to be gathered. Drake, Mercado, Giovanni, Nigel, William, Vivian, Alexis, Enno, Shane… a veritable who’s who of Vegas’ supernatural community.

Conversation proceeded briskly until Katherine Piece, dressed in a stunning red dress, walked into the room and introduced herself as a Red Court Emissary to the city. She apologized for the mischief her kinfolk had caused and offered restitution. Several large bags were presented to the court, which she claimed held the remains of the ferals and of Arick himself. Enno Marx openly scoffed, a sentiment that was held by much of the room. Katherine assured the room that the remains would stand up to thaumaturgical testing.

Those gathered decided to have two parties test the remains. Anton Deneuve was selected almost immediately, and after some debate, Ryuu was selected as well, largely because of his ‘ahem’ Red Court experience. Thalia, however, seemed rather hostile toward Ryuu and Enno, and took some persuasion to accept his involvement.

March 27th.

You Get the Pitchforks, I'll Get the Torches

Something was off. As I walked back to my burgundy Scion from Angelica’s mansion, a fog slowly lifted and clarity began to settle in its place. I remembered arriving at her behest for a lunch that day, being offered some jobs, and a sharp pain to the back of my head. As I absently pondered the events that had just occurred, suddenly it all snapped into place and I nearly stopped dead in my tracks. The way Angelica had looked at me as I had turned to depart, and not just a sharp pain, but the familiar feeling of a mental barrage. In that instant I knew exactly what had happened during that lunch – a knowledge I assume was granted to me willingly, almost mockingly, by those who had inflicted the circumstances – I had become Angelica’s thrall.

I should have swiveled on my heel and ripped her throat out right there and then, and don’t think for a second that I didn’t wish to do so, but coupled with that desire was another I couldn’t begin to comprehend. I felt the strong urge to please her, to make her happy, and fueling it was a sick and artificial adoration. I knew it to be a fabrication of likely her design, one I did not house naturally, but that didn’t change the fact that it was present and potent. As I recall I even struggled with myself for a few moments, just feet from my car, fighting the urge to simply get in and drive off in favor of a more violent course of action, but it was to be a losing battle. I now sympathize with morbidly obese women one can always find on daytime talk shows, complaining about their problems and claiming that they simply can’t resist the urge to tear apart a fridge for a slice of cheesecake. I’ll think twice before I poke fun at Rosie again.

My first stop was Surrender, where I managed to catch Vivian as she was locking up. Our conversation was cordial and brief, but I updated her as to my progress with Angelica so far, even stating that I had just come from a lunch with her. Vivian then made it clear that she did not approve of my methods, but I belayed her concerns by insisting that I was using Angelica’s trust to get closer, which would eventually give me the opportunity to get what Vivian wanted without blowing the place apart in my usual style. She thanked me for my efforts, however much they differed from what she had expected, and handed me a wad-o-cash for the trouble, promising more once the job was done. As I left the thought occurred to me that I should have asked her for work long ago.

Confused by my newest infection of many, I made my way back to the Excalibur to sort through my mental facilities. I didn’t yet know what to make of the situation, but it seemed logical to seek a bit of solitude, so that I might take a more studious approach to my predicament. Even as I drove the distance between Angelica’s mansion and the Strip, images of, oddly enough, Soda and her bracelet kept flashing through my mind of their own accord, even a few depicting me delivering it to Angelica. It became quite clear that I was being instructed to make a snatch and grab for the sake of my new captor, and much like my earlier desire not to harm Angelica, I could hardly deny myself the similar desire to please her by following the order.

I made it to my room shortly thereafter, where I proceeded to open a fresh bottle of Johnnie Black, forgoing the use of a glass completely. Luckily I had drained the thing before Alexis showed up, allowing me to stash the bottle and chase it with a swig of orange juice from the carton before opening the door. I had hoped that she wouldn’t notice the scent of alcohol on my breath; not for the sake of professionalism, but rather because I didn’t want to leave the impression of someone who got shitfaced at 2 in the afternoon. Luckily she seemed not to notice as she strolled casually into my room, planted her ass on my unmade bed and told me of how she had a few hours to spare while she waited for a call.

Rather than the usual nonchalance with which I accept any offer from her to blow a few hours, I responded with what must have come across as enthusiasm, god forbid. Usually she only ever asked me to hang out with her when I was otherwise occupied with something that didn’t involve casino hopping, which was what we always ended up doing, but today I welcomed the opportunity for a distraction. She invited me to, as usual, romp across town on a whim, but the thought of leaving my room didn’t comfort me too much at that moment, and I almost insisted that we play Halo instead. She had made a comment to me days before suggesting that I show her why I liked that game so much, and the look I gave her seemed to remind her of the conversation. Accepting my suggestion, she gave me a quizzical look before picking up a controller, which she held in an offensively incorrect fashion as I started the console. I couldn’t define at that moment if it was a good thing for her to be suspicious of me, being influenced evenly by my own common sense and the forces that attempted to override it, though as occupied as I was maintaining control of my own thoughts I would have been surprised if I could act well enough to conceal the fact.

We played Halo for what seemed like an hour, though with enough alcohol in me to drop a large human I could have easily miscalculated. The game proved hardly a challenge, and I think it’s fair to say I downright massacred my unfortunate redheaded friend, but it served its purpose and managed to hold at bay the urge to go pay Soteria a visit. Eventually a knock at the door sounded the arrival of our mutual employer, Mr. Brandt, who seemed none too happy with our chosen allotment of clock-in time. Taking a moment to berate us for lounging about, he practically kicked Alexis across the threshold and onto her ass, telling her to fetch him a mortal that had been using Three-Eye. He seemed intent on doing a healthy bit of study, mentioning as well that he was curious as to the effect the drug would have on one of the supernatural community, which led me to volunteer myself as a guinea pig. In retrospect: Probably not the smartest thing to do, but I wasn’t feeling at all like myself that day.

After Alexis set out to look for some poor sod to abduct, Drake turned his attention to me, wondering what I had been up to. I told him of my lunch with Angelica, mentioning everything but the details concerning my current status, of which he seemed entirely unaware. His interest piqued as I reminded him of what we knew so far – that she was a total bitchface whorebag and clearly involved with La Eme – and he requested that , by whatever means I felt necessary, arrange for a meeting between them in Drake’s territory. In layman’s terms I got to kidnap someone who deserved it, something I would normally enjoy but was feeling oddly upset about, though I took care not to let it show. I also made mention of the list of names she had given me, saying that if I could complete the job she had issued me I could then just walk straight up to her and use a bit of tact. He seemed unconcerned, and basically ordered me to think for myself, reminding me unintentionally of how odd I must have been acting.

I left the Excalibur and gave Victor a call, throwing the four names at him to see what he could give me in return. He claimed that he was busy sorting through the precinct’s new filing system, and that it would take longer than usual, but I thanked him without complaint. At that moment I had nothing else to do until I heard back from him, and the urge to visit Soda finally overpowered me. I arrived at the Four Queens soon enough, and was quickly able to find her room amid numerous disapproving glares from the various fae I passed. Apparently one of the Four, Thalia if I remembered correctly, had some stick up her ass for me, but I couldn’t care less if a few Tinker Bells thought I was a meanie face. I gave the door a knock and was greeted by Soda herself, though it took me a moment to notice her under the ridiculous outfit she was wearing. Not giving me a chance to inquire, she explained that it was for a meeting she had scheduled with the muses, and seemed content with the lack of interest I displayed. I noted as she spoke that the bracelet I was being given the hots for sat contentedly around her wrist, and I could have so easily taken it by force without much of a fight, but common sense demanded that I be more subtle. Being a thrall might have turned me into some bracelet-hungry Angelica fangirl, but I could still retain some concept of repercussion.

I explained my visit as an impromptu desire to check in on her, an excuse she seemed to accept as deftly as I had offered it, and we chatted for a few minutes about her and some of her problems. From what I gathered between the moments in which I ignored her completely, Katherine Pierce was to be meeting with the Four that afternoon, and for some reason Soda had been invited. It interested me, but I wasn’t quite ready to focus my attention on Katherine just yet, and I let the conversation wander into other topics, one of which revolved around her dislike for me as a Red Court infected. I’m afraid that, despite the promise I had made to Ryuu, my tongue slipped and I mentioned off-handedly her dislike for me as opposed to her friendship with him. Something about my tone hinted at what I had so carelessly exposed, and Soda leapt for the lead like, if you’ll permit me the expression, a tiger for the kill. She pinned me down in a manner I would probably find appealing were I not so concretely homosexual, punching me across the face and making a piss-poor attempt at interrogation. I just shrugged her off, insisting that she ask Ryuu about it, and also that she apologize to him on my behalf if she ever did so. Then, dodging a flying stage prop, I strolled back to my car without the prize I had come for.

I had only just sat down in my car when Alexis gave me a call and asked me out to dinner. I’ve never been one to refuse free food, and I happily accepted the offer. At dinner about half an hour later she filled me in on all that she had accomplished since her earlier departure. Though the details elude me, she was able to grab up some sucker and get him to Drake, involving hotel security to do so but in the end accomplishing her goal. Once she had done so Drake told her of the task he had given me, assigning her to the job as well, and then sent her on her merry way. She finished her recollection and suggested, to put it simply, an assault on Angelica’s mansion: An idea I felt a strong disapproval for. That part of me that wanted to please her now wanted to protect her, as I had intended to do flying solo, but now that task had just become much more complex. Playing along with Alexis, I helped her think of how best to storm the place, and even called Soda for backup while she called Vivian. Soda seemed excited by the offer to kick Red Court ass, and she agreed to meet us there at the agreed upon time. Alexis apparently reached Vivian and was forwarded to William, with whom she made the arrangements. The manner with which relayed her phone call made it obvious that Vivian and William had just enjoyed some White Court sex; fun stuff.

I made it a point to suggest to Alexis that we treat Angelica with at least some manner of restraint, as the idea of inflicting pain upon her made me cringe. Perhaps if the desire to protect her were naturally my own and not the result of my enthrallment I would have voiced those concerns in a manner slightly less alien, but such not being the case, Alexis gave me the second funny look of the day. I think she was beginning to catch on, and considering the oddity I had just subjected her to I would be alarmed if something didn’t strike her as strange. Even from a first person perspective I can attest to the readiness I most often display when offered the chance to hurt someone, thus my request to do just the opposite to Angelica of all people must have been a big red flag. Even so, we continued discussing strategy and enjoyed some inexpensive food (inexpensive for Vegas, at least) until the time for action arrived.

(The following was a bit rushed. I thought I had written the entire thing, only to find it unfinished and unposted. I beg that you all can forgive my lapse in organization, and I implore you to make edits to anything you find unsatisfactory.)

The group – Alexis, Soda, Vivian, William, Tina and I – gathered as scheduled and where planned. As the moment had gradually approached my desire to fulfill Drake’s request was slowly overridden by the inverse desire to protect Angelica from harm. I managed to convince the group to let me scout ahead, receiving little protest as the undisputed stealthiest member of those present. Their trusting nature would prove their weakness, as I snuck just out of sight before strolling through an open window and into the company of Angelica herself. I warned her of the impending attack, in response to which she ordered me to attack and kill my companions. I was helpless to deny her, and blinded by the influence she had over me I threw myself at them for her. William was the first to gain my attention, and wading through a very clever disarm/illusion attempt by Alexis and Tina, I promptly ran him through. Meanwhile Soda made a good show of distracting Angelica’s guards, leading them into a pool house where she could ambush them in tiger form.

Before I could disengage from William he managed to lay a hand upon me, clouding my already corrupted mind and sending constant and oddly pleasing neural spasms down my spine. No sooner had he managed to weaken me than Vivian hopped over a nearby fence and did the same from range – an ability I know most White Court to be incapable of – incapacitating me completely. As I lay quivering helplessly on the well-manicured lawn I could see Alexis, blood running from her ears and nose, toting an unconscious Angelica to Vivian’s car. I had been outnumbered and overpowered, and I had failed to protect her.

Pain and Suffering

Alexis, still suffering the fallout of Angelica’s massive mental assault, was dropped off at the Excalibur and proceeded to confuse the hotel’s security by not remembering simple details, like where to find Drake. She was eventually shown the way so that Drake could share in his mens’ confusion. Alexis, did not remember any details about Vegas or her business relationship with him. After securing Angelica in a cell, Drake took Alexis to his hoard, hoping to jar her memory. He made it clear to her that she’d forgotten something.

Alexis left, armed with some bearer bonds and a confused expression, and did the reasonable thing. She called home, telling her estranged parents all about the city of monsters and her location. After some initial confusion, her mother told her than an extraction team would come to get her. Alexis, not knowing any better, was thrilled.

Still haunted by Drake’s insinuations, Alexis pried off the golden bracer that served as the source of her supernatural powers, dislocating her thumb in the process. She was in awe of the scarring underneath, but nevertheless tossed the bracer into a drawer for safekeeping, took a shower, and took a short nap. When she woke, she had enough time to run to the gas station for some aleve before her father was due to arrive.

Enno had been watching Alexis the whole time, with the aid of some ghouls from Joseph “Joe” Mercado. He followed Alexis to the gas station and had the ghouls wait at the hotel. Alexis never noticed him shadowing her. On the way back, Alexis and Enno heard serious gunfire erupt at the hotel. Both sprinted back, but Enno beat Alexis. Jason Belmont was there in combat with a ghoul. He mowed one down with his S.A.W., while his sister in law, Jenny, took care of another. Alexis’ younger cousin Timothy was overpowered by a ghoul, and killed.

Enno entered combat with Jason, and Alexis soon joined. Alexis and her dad took Enno on together. Even after Enno demolished the S.A.W., both Alexis and Jason were too much for Enno to handle and he fled. Jason then took care of the last remaining ghoul, while Alexis went to check on her aunt who had been tossed by a ghoul. Jenny refused to allow Alexis to come near her, and held her at bay at gunpoint. Jason soon joined her, and forced Alexis to put a pair of handcuffs on. Confused, Alexis did as she was told. She knew that both Jenny and Jason were capable of pulling the trigger on her. Believing she was being punished for coming to Vegas without permission first, Alexis went along with what her dad said, and the three loaded Timothy’s corpse up into a hotwired SUV, then left town.

Ryuu, having finished his ritual for binding Soteria’s bracelet to her regardless of her form, went to the Four Queens to visit his were-tiger friend. Soteria, of course, was in tiger form gnawing on the lower half of a red court infected she’d killed, having drug it back home through a handy passage through the Never Never. At his knock, she shifted back into human form and opened the door for him in full blood soaked, naked glory. Ryuu, taking that oddly well, swallowed and came into her suite, offering to perform the ritual.

After tidying up by showering and draping a sheet over her chewtoy, Soteria gave Ryuu the bracelet. He spent a good 45 minutes on an elaborate ritual, pumping mystical power into the bracelet, so much so that he wouldn’t need to renew the enchantment for at least 2 lunar cycles. Successful, he handed the bracelet back to its owner and watched as she began getting dressed so they could go get some dinner, even though she’d already eaten… a person.

Of course, after dinner, she would probably eat a little Ryuu, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

Alas, that was not to be, as Soteria felt an alien presence invade her mind and force her to try to murder Ryuu. She shifted into her tiger form and lunged at him, only to sail over him as he ducked her pounce and fled into the bathroom. Knowing the door wouldn’t hold her for long, he quickly formulated a spell to try to contain the tiger, and when she burst through the door, slammed her with a huge gravity effect, basically making her feline form too heavy to lift.

She would not be deterred, and painstakingly drug herself toward him, gnashing teeth. He vaulted her, using her nose as a launch point, then decided to try to get the bracelet off, hoping that would break whatever effect was upon her. Unfortunately, even though his spell was keeping her contained, the binding magic he’d placed on the bracelet was doing it job. as he wrestled with the bracelet, his concentration wavered, allowing the tiger to get a massive swipe in, slashing his arm and flinging him across the room. Desperate, and with an enraged tiger closing in on him, Ryuu lashed out with his earth magic and focused as hard as he could on the bracelet itself, ripping loose along with some fur and skin.

Freed from the compulsion, Soteria just blinked in confusion for a moment. Ryuu took a relieved breath and began to curse in pain. Of course, that’s when Terpsichore burst into the room to save her pet, displaying phenomenal levels of strength. Soteria leapt to Ryuu’s defense, who raised his arms in surrender. Seeing that the danger seemingly had passed, the Muse left after healing Ryu with some Fae ambrosia, telling Soteria to clean up the mess.

More soon…


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