In the Kingdom of the Blind

Spicy times

It all starts normal enough. CCT gathers to discuss the recent developments, and to share information on new investigations. Not a lot of people showed up, but enough to talk about Mr. Bensen, the possible disappearance of Johnny, and other strange things. Quickly growing bored with all the talking, Leo and James decide to break into the absent Alex’s room to find it mostly cleared out, and burn his Pony action figures, call him up and send him pictures.

Meanwhile Tatiana decides to check up on Johnny in person to see if he’s actually been kidnapped my Mr. Bensen. (He hadn’t been, but CCT is kinda weird like that without Alex or Marv to stabalize the place) Alex shows up in an impotent rage at the destruction of his possessions to the tauntings of Leo and James. So far, everything seems mostly normal, though Alex is wearing cheap sunglasses at night, and kinda creepy, but nothing too bad.

Tatiana decides she’s fed up with Leo’s bullshit and punches him in the nose. Leo reels, but stays standing, laughing it off until Alex leaps on his face with a wild look about him. Tatiana pulls him off. Yeah, Alex is now a hungry, baby vampire. He’s still mostly Alex but rather grumpy, and he keeps watching Leo hungrily.

CCT expedites

/* — Break for lazy —*/

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Meet the new boss
Creepier then the old boss

Pre-adventure:
After the incident between the Russian Mob and the Yakuza we seem the have gotten little contact from our more criminal elements. Honestly, it was kind of nice to get a whole two months off, but nothing lasts forever…

Game-start:
Leo receives a text from Johny saying that he’s in trouble and giving an address. Eager to jump back into the fire, CCT gears up and rushes off to the location Johny gave (In this case, the Transamerica building). (Of note: Will and Mark Greyland have brought their characters in, and are dragged along with little more reason then them being PC’s).

On the way in Alex starts acting funny(er then usual) and grumbles something about hacking his own brain. Everyone else tries their best to ignore this and approaches the security guard. While the guard at first turns then away, he quickly gets a message relayed to him and directs CCT to take the elevator up.

The doors open up to the glass walled office on top of the pyramid, and an ablino man in a white suit gets up to greet our group. He intorduces himself as Richard Bensen, and claims to be the majority shareholder of General Products.

With Alex still acting strange, and Marv’s detection powers on the fritz, it is strikingly apparent that Mr. Bensen is no small fish.

He proceeds to (gently) compliment CCT for our endeavors, and offer us a chance to work for him to take care of those things that go bump in the night. He’s vague on the whereabouts and condition of our old “boss” Johny, but says that so far Johny keeps his nose clean and thus is generally allowed to exist.

He informs us that his previous group of supernatural hunters disappeared while looking into the Styx Regency Hotel and reappeared apparently in the 1990’s, and may have been turned into vampires. While he would appreciate any information on their disappearance, or how they might be retrieved, he says there are other investigations he’d prefer we focus on.

He offers to forward us the details later, but in brief there are rumors of cult activity, supernatural fire starters and a ghost ship appearing in the bay.

Should we work for him, he’s offering a lot of money, and the knowledge that we make the world a safer place. Honestly, CCT was probably hooked a long time ago, this just synches things.

Once CCT makes it back to Raven Hill they disperse, some to a strip club, some to gather information, Alex to meet a “Friend” and Tommy to go check on Johny.

As everyone eventually gathers to go to sleep, Tommy can’t help but notice Alex never came back from meeting his friend…

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Poking trouble
We really can't help ourselves

Our adventure starts with our recovering heroes trying to piece their lives back together. Most of CCT spent time in the hospital though a few members weren’t badly hurt and decided to walk it off. Tatiana, for her part spent the session avoiding the group, presumably because she was still upset at us for destroying the ancient religious tree and ghost.

Alex and Jack had projects to attend to, but for everyone else, the group fell back on their usual plan: go to a bar. (Everything happens at bars). Chance had returned to the group and had apparently been spending time tracking down a mark. He seemed to be looking to seduce a certain profile of woman, and he thinks he’s tracked one down. She apparently frequents a joint by the dubious name of “Oh My God!” in the city. A little high class for CCT’s normal haunts, but everyone else was game to give it a try.

CCT, sans Alex and Jack, set off to conquer a new scene, and before long Leo and Chance found themselves the life of the party, Leo on the dance floor and Chance in an overstuffed booth, filled to the brim with hotties. James Tyler floated about, being friendly but not drawing a spotlight of his own, and Tommy wandered over to the bouncers to fill his usual niche.

Tommy scanned the floor with his usual suspicious eye and before long spotted an inhumanly languid female, putting him in mind of a serpent wrapped in human skin. He subtly tipped off his allies, warning them away from her, and much to his chagrin, no sooner had he told James of the danger then he dove into conversation with the suspected Victor.

Things were going well enough, but Leo got envious of James and decided to press himself into their conversation. Before too long he managed to challenge the woman (with a name I can hardly pronounce, let alone remember) to a dance off. She confidently accepted, and was very surprised when Leo edged out ahead of her. (I think all of CCT was shocked to remember Leo could do more then shove guns in people’s faces and make as ass of himself). Leo offered to take her somewhere more private and she consented with a smile.

Leo was walking to the door, glowing with pride and dripping with sweat, all but high fiving any dude he passed when Tommy dashed at him. Slapping him across the face Tommy yelled “You’re cheating on me, with a WOMAN!?”. Leo was stunned and took some time to recover from this abrupt event, in which time the Victor slipped his arm and wandered back into the party. Tommy’s work done, he stalked back to the bouncers.

After that, the night was relatively uneventful. Chance got the number of many a lady, including his mark, and James managed to get in a few last friendly words with the Victor.

For their own part, Jack and Alex split ways. Alex called up a girl he’d had a romantic encounter with a week or so ago at Halloween and followed her invitation to a local club/rave. Jack went back to his own secret warehouse to work on a special project. Thankfully he had no neighbors or there might have been a noise complaint at all of the mad cackling.

The next day Chance got a License and a Motorcylce, Alex got some work done on his computer, and Jack got the excitement.

Jack was on his daily routine when a was cornered by asian men in suits and asked to a special meeting. He consented and was led to an asian mobster who had recently come to town. He wished to do business with Jack’s employer, purchasing a large quantity of Cocaine from him for a very reasonable price, promising terms including selling it off of Jack’s boss’ territory and other agreeable things.

Jack calmly accepted and promised to pass the proposal along to his boss, got in his car and drove away.

To be continued…

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Halloween
The Lost adventures

These posts are late, and rushed so don’t count for Beats.

We first learned that there was trouble going on when one of our apartment-mates was found murdered. His body-less head was all that remained in the bloody mess with his emotionally scared girlfriend/fiance in the closet. She was initially an emotional wreck but after some calming she was able to tell us what had happened earlier. While she didn’t remember the murder, they had encountered and killed a creepy old man at a farm who had become hostile after they discovered him apparently preforming a human sacrifice before his white oak.

The police were involved early on, but decided we were probably slightly unhinged but not major suspects. (The cop lived in the building, and vouched for our relative harmlessness).

Over the next day or two all of the people involved started turning up dead as we pursued a growing trail of bodies while making the cops increasingly agitated by our coninuted involvement.

Soon not only were the four people involved dead, but their families started turning up murdered in bloody and potentially supernatural ways.

Notable moments include when Alex and Jack had a mutual freak out and drove the party van over a small cliff and into a swimming pool.

Eventually we ran out of leads and began to get desperate. We decided to do something stupid. We went out to the creepy farm a few hours north in the country side, to try and take this thing out at the source.

We found the farm house burned and smoking and explored further into the field to find the giant while tree and the alter that we had heard about, with a scarecrow in the fields. Alex told Leo to shoot it and no sooner had the words left his mouth then Leo had taken a shot at it.

All hell broke loose, and what followed was a fight with a ghost scarecrow, an animated tree, and the undead bodies of those who had been sacrificed before. Active use of hedge trimmers and gasoline pulled us through the harrowing fight and by the end of the night we were almost all heavily injured and in need of a rest.

Notables: Tatiana was against violence the whole way through and feels emotionally scared that we went through with murdering this symbol of ancient religion.

Alex’s van fails continue and in an attempt to run over the scare crow, he wound up pining Tommy to the alter. Tommy Punched Alex after the fight

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Meeting the Samachi

With a general lack of solid evidence about where to find the demon, or a clue what to even do about it if we find it, and one of our own in the hospital, CCT decided to take a month to deal with “Normal life”. Though some of us couldn’t let go and took the time to do some research.

Jack spent his time dealing with his contacts and getting his own space to “work”. Alex spent his time getting into college, and as a side project hacking a backdoor into SFPD’s network. Tatiana spent her time going over old newspapers in the college archives, but she found her focus pulled to look up Kip and his family some more. On Kip there was little, but she found evidence of an Ethan Samachi character. Tommy spends his time in the Gym, attempting to get his army body back. (side note: Alex finds out there is a spooky agent who took all the evidence of the demon off SFPD’s hands.)

The group feels unfocused when game resumes. We sit down and talk trough our gains over the past month (some more then others…) and before long we do what CCT does when at a loss, & head out to a bar. (Off to the side Tatiana had Alex track a certain number) The dive bar in question turns out to be a port side gay bar & thoughts of getting Alex laid here are quickly abandoned. Instead a certain Kip Samachi is in a booth with an unknown friend. Kip is surprised to see us all, but carries himself well. Tommy’s keep eye notices that not only has Kip’s friend left the booth but he’s standing with us.

Tommy brings this us to the shock of Kip, and the gentle amusement of Ethan Samachi. It quickly becomes apparent that Ethan is a BIG fish, especially compared to Kip. His presence overwhelms the discussion. Alex, despite all forms of better judgement, attempts to probe Ethan’s mind. Quickly overwhelmed with a vision, Alex collapses with a migraine.

After a bit they take their leave of us. Around that time Leo, James and Jack decide to wander to a bar where the women might be a little more woo-able. Tommy, Alex and Tatiana decide to stay a little long. Alex and Tommy start talking, while Tatiana slips off on one of her solo missions.

After her being gone for a while, Alex sends her a text to check in. Her response arouses a little suspicion, and further texts only convince Alex something isn’t right. CCT assembles and Alex starts tracking Tatiana’s phone. Finding she’s in the bay, Jack calls a guy and gets us a boat so soon we are on the water. Tatiana eventually settles on a port in Oakland, and when we come by, she’s sitting there bundled up sipping a bottle of tequila.

When questioned Tatiana says she’s been with a nondescript, pretty girl all this time, but has no real memory of what happened after she split from the group. Alex confirms this in her head. After they get her back to Raven Hill, Alex and Tommy show her the evidence that made them go looking for her. After some prodding her memories look more and more falsified & Kip has been removed from her phone. Alex still has his number from when he tracked Kip & Tatiana starts sending aggravated texts.

Kip, apparently wanted to break ties, and is quite annoyed his attempts didn’t work out. To show his annoyance, he steals Alex’s Franken-puter (Midnight Sparkle, by name). Upon discovering his missing hardware, Alex has a fit. CCT is called, and after some discussion, and meeting with Johnny, everyone advises not taking any action in retaliation. Alex, while still quite upset agrees to not lash out directly at Kip.

Johny offers to see what he can do about getting Alex’s comp back, but promises nothing. Though he does mention that perhaps he could help Alex get a new one.

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A moment to breathe

After their grueling fight with the Lucifuge, CCT crawls back to Raven Hill to lick their wounds and fall into bed. (Though Leo is rushed to the hospital due to his critical condition). Tatiana does her best to repair her burned hair and winds up getting a fair portion of it cut off.

The next morning CCT attempts to return to their normal lives for the most part. With Plans to meet up with Johny that night, most of the group scatters. Tommy goes to work, James goes down to the shooting range, Jake buries himself in gang work. Chance is still no where to be found. Only Alex and Tatiana don’t take time off. Tatiana heads down to the university archives to begin looking up historical references to kip from the 1860’s, while Alex runs M4nF1d3r on the dead.

Tatiana finds references to a hoodlum by the name of Kip who was saved from the law and adopted into one of the largest, and richest families in SF. She also finds rumors of a family photo that was done some time after that. Alex for his part eventually uncovers not only a rough back story for our three pyro cultists, but links to about 100 names of other presumed members of Lucifuge spread out all over the world. Apparently they are based in Venice, and though he looks he can’t find the Matron.

After sifting through the names of these cultists, Alex finds two more that live in SF that remain unaccounted for. (A student and a professor at SF state)

After work, Tommy swings to by to see how Leo is recovering. He is surprised to find that while Leo is definitely still injured, he is patching up remarkably fast. Tommy jumps to the conclusion that Johnny is behind this speedy recovery. When questioned Leo admits that while he’s had no other visitors, Johnny did appear in one of his dreams. Tommy leaves him for the night, promising to return the next day

When the group gathers for diner everyone checks in. After a quick round of discussion and some much needed food, everyone moves up to call on Johny. He’s happy that the job is done, but points out that there is likely some cleanup work that needs to be done at the houses of the dead. Any secrets they uncovered are likely best kept out of the public eye, after all. Though we did handle the job, and as promised hands over a bag filled with money to the group.

When asked if there is anything else worth knowing, the discussion turns to a very uncomfortable Alex who admits about the other two members that have been found, explaining briefly about the international devil worshiping cult that apparently gave then their powers. These loose ends get added to CCT’s task list.

Tommy takes a moment of the conversation to try and cryptically dissuade Johny for feeding at Raven Hill if he’s going to live here. Johny cryptically responds that he can do what ever he damn well pleases, and Tommy would regret continuing on this topic. Tommy grits his teeth and backs down, for the moment. (though he does stay behind after everyone else leaves to continue talking to Johny)

After a quick check up on the two remaining members, Alex finds that they both died mysteriously a few days ago. (One was run over by an ice cream truck, the other burned to death in his shower). CCT headed to the scene of the stranger, and after an easy break in, finds the worst possible outcome. The Professor’s notes have all been taken (both physical and electronic), while the shower shows sure sign of a supernatural fire.

Worse yet, the remaining resources in the library seem focused towards demon summoning, and a through exploration of the basement reveals a used, and broken pentagram. To all appearances they summoned and fell victim to a demon. Before we know it, CCT has it’s next case, and not nearly enough information on our quarry. The notes might have been taken by the cops, by Kip looking to clean up, or by a third party we have yet to meet. Praying it’s the cops, CCT retreats to call on Johny.

Rose answers the door instead looking like we just woke her, and sleepily takes a message that we’d want her notes if the cops took them.

CCT then calls it a night, as some of us have day jobs (Cough, Tommy, Cough)

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Feeling the Heat
When shit meets fan

After getting back from Johny’s recruitment, our group mostly turns in for the night, with the exception of Alex who proceeds to spend every practical waking moment for the next 20 hours working on some code to help them find clues. Waiting on the next good lead, most of the CCT busies itself with other tasks, including Tommy buying fire resistant clothes for everyone in preparation for a showdown with the pyro-kenetics, Tatiana following Kip’s moves with a strange and likely unhealthy obsession, Jack helping Johny and his assistant (Rose?) move in to the recently vacated penthouse suite (Prompting a wave of angry cooking from Tommy), and Leo, James and chance generally lounging around taking a day off.

After the sun goes down, Leo and James and Jack go out to a bar, & once Alex declares his code completed, the rest of CCT join them (except for Chance who is taking a night off to deal with some “personal matters”)(Alex’s code will take a while to run it’s program and turn up results). Leo, James and Jack are settling in to a half mocking, half serious game of trying to get Alex laid & everyone’s had a chance to start on their drinks when Tatiana get a message saying that Redemption is on fire.

Rushing to the scene (though stopping quickly at Raven Hill to gear up), CCT find Redemption burning strong with a sizable crowd of police, ambulance, and gawkers. Tatiana wastes no time in clambering up to the rooftops for a better look around while the rest of CCT contents itself with looking from street level. It’s a good thing she did, for from her vantage, Tatiana was able to see Esmerelda Santos standing on top of a plain white van. Wasting not a moment, Tatiana leaps across the rooftops towards them, and screams out in her mind for Alex. (Normally Alex has to focus to get anything out of his telepathy but white noise, so it was a long shot). Somehow Alex caught her message with the force of a sledge hammer and was sent reeling by the force (and vertigo) Tatiana delivered.

The group collapsed upon the van, but Esmerelda saw them coming and the mysterious pyros began making an exit. Tatiana (Having watched far too many action movies in her life) jumped on top of the van as it started to speed away. By some Miracle she not only made the jump, but held on as the driver tried desperately to shake her. The van drove into an underground parking garage, where they stopped to confront their unwanted stowaway more directly. (Particualarly the Ethiopian woman who’s name we though far to hard to say. For the duration of the scene we christened her “Axe Woman”, and she was aptly named).

At first, violence was slow to ensue, and was quicklyEsmerelda Santos stopped by the arrival of the rest of CCT, particularly a gun toting Leo, who stepped to the front, and a quiet, fire retardently dressed Tommy. Bobby (the driver) stepped out and began attempting to calm the scene. When no one started shooting, people began to speak to one another. Not much was successfully said however. (Alex did get a look into their minds during the lull). They offered to buy us off, calling us either vampire flunkies or mercenaries. (Leo gravitated more towards the 2nd title).

When discussion began to look thin, Alex made an uncharacteristically bold move and stepped forwards, offering to go with them, so that they may speak civily and in depth, even going to far as to offer his cellphone as a sign of his intent. This was too much for Tommy however, as he attempted to slam into Bobby. Soon fire was flying everywhere as CCT began attempting to dog pile on the Pyros. The tide was turned in CCT’s favor when Kip showed on the scene, gun blazing and hair flowing. (He had been texted by Tatiana. Kip made an impressive display of himself, but his arrival made the fanatics very desperate. They attempted to pile into the van and make an escape, but where stopped by Tatiana bravely dashing into the van to snatch the keys. Alex had been hiding in the van, praying for a peaceful solution, but when Tatiana was grabbed and burned by Esmerelda, he pulled his knife and joined the fray. (pleading all the while for them to surrender).

In a last desperate play, Bobby stepped out of the van, and into Kip’s arms. While CCT tried to separate them, or disable Bobby, Kip kept his prize protected. When Bobby smeared his blood on Kip’s face, he looked more dead then ever. With his dying breath, he told us that this was our chance to kill one of them. Kip quickly dispatched the pyro, and though Esmerelda tried her best to fry Kip, CCT didn’t join in. She was overwhelmed and soon laid low as well. CCT Gathered themselves, and piled into a getaway car, caring the unconscious Leo (A victim of Axe Woman’s axe) and made their escape, seeing the last fire set for the pyros as Kip burned them in their van to destroy the evidence.

The Shaken CCT rushed Leo to the ambulences at the fire, and headed home before anyone could ask questions, leaving Tatiana and James at the scene (James had fallen into a fugue at the sight of supernatural fire and had spent most of the scene pissing on a nearby car)

As CCT collects themselves, though shaken, they remain whole and this marks the end of their first job as an organization.

god(s) help us all.

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Courting Fire

CCT gathers on the 6th floor around Tommy Yates’ meal for the evening (Kentucky friend chicken). After comparing a few notes the group decides it is best to touch bases with John Doulahan. Before the group departs Chance returns from his adventures and decides to join in the young ghost hunters in checking in with their client. Alex, for his part elects to stay behind and investigate some leads on his computer.

After a lively discussion on the way, all plans are derailed when CCT arrives at St. Finigan’s to find it smoking and surrounded by a crowd and firefighters. Tatiana decides to explore the scene from above and climbs the roof to get a better forensic at the scene, attempting to discover the source of the fire. She finds the door was blown in from the outside by intense heat, almost like a flamethrower before it reached the kitchen and the fire set into the bar. (the bar itself is still standing, but not in working order).

Mary is outside getting tended by the EMT’s who are mumbling about how she looks better then she should. After shooing off the EMT’s, Mary allows the party to follow her as she checks in with John about what happened.

Right about now the group notices a Russian Trombone player has been shadowing them who claims to live in Raven Hill Appartments. Tommy looks him over and procalims him “Human and not a threat.” and decides to allow him to follow the party through their strange adventures.

When talking to John and filling him in on the message left in the ally outside of Club Redemption he tells us that we are released from our duties and he will pay our full bill. Tatiana and Tommy insist that we are not through and we will continue to investigate and be involved. John tries to discourage the group, but after cryptic warnings drops the topic and tells the group that he will meet them at the club Redemption

At Redemption there was a group of suspected Victors, being led by Kip who seems to have the presence to command all their attention. Tatiana who ran ahead was in the thick of the discussion but it seemed to wrap up by the time the players got there. John, however invites the party out to diner.

(Tatiana is not happy about the russian and refuses to let Tommy console her)

Over diner John interogates the Russian and outs him as a member of a local russian mob family, as well as outing Chance as a member of the same Irish mob that John works for.

(Around now Alex makes it to the scene)

John claims us all as his pet employees and sets us all to task, and begins taking us through what we have learned so far. (The whole way filling us with threats & reminding us how deep we are in and how working for him is our only option, often making vague allusions to the others who would harm us if he stopped protecting us)

Apparently the fire was made by a pair of Pyrokenetics description of Bobby and his Milato companion. (spontaneous colorful manifestation) who have assaulted Mary and been instigating all kinds of trouble.

After giving the group an expense card and a fair amount of alcohol, john sends the group on it’s way. Most of the group gathers to begin talking about what they want to do for the pyros we’re not looking for when we find them. (Most of the group decides that it would be best to not kill them. Leo has his own ideas, but what else is new) Alex begins running his home made program to start tracking down Bobby and his friend for the next leg of their adventure.

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Hopeful beginings
The calm before we realize just how bad things are

Alex returns from a canceled family emergency to tales of his friends meeting with the mysterious John Deagan, and even got a job. The story goes that they apparently met a young, goth, lesbian vampire(?!) who killed someone outside of Deagan’s bar (St. Francine). Apparently the details weren’t worked out at the time, though, so after working out details like catching each other up on the story so far and making a first stab at getting a warehouse in Oakland for cheap. (Note to self: don’t let James or Tatiana do the negotiation) We weren’t totally successful, but we got the price down to a range we could afford. (** of resources/month)

Once we had wrapped up the upkeep part of our session, we headed out to St. Francine. Our group still hasn’t settled on a face we trust, so there was some discord in the negotiations. Alex eventually managed to keep the floor long enough to use telepathy and close out the discussion with a decent deal. The end result should cover the warehouse for 6 months or so (Plus expenses), if we can find the girl, and figure out who she’s with, and what her motivation is.

As far as what to do to her, our client remained vague, and we shied away from the thought of becoming hired killers, so we left off on deciding what to do once we tracked her down for until we had more information.

Satisfied with this, we moved onto searching for this mysterious person in the most sensible way we could think up, by searching all the local clubs. Focusing on the goth oriented ones, we donned proper gothy clothing and went out into the night. Tatiana and James both made a good showing of themselves at the club, and really fit in, while Leo used his celebrity status to surround himself in a cloud of groupies. Alex however finds the mental noise in the club overwhelming and quickly heads outside, to relax with the smokers. Before long Tommy shows up, and after getting caught up by Alex, he quickly finds his social niche and begins hanging with the bouncers.

After a few hours of chatting the group meets to discuss what we’ve learned. Apparently the girl we’re looking for goes by the name of (______, I have it on my character sheet) Though we still didn’t know her last name. She was a regular around these parts a while ago, but dropped off the scene when she started going to a small club called “Redemption”. (Though before we could leave, we had to track down James who was badly zonked out in to corner, in some kind of stupor. He woke up in the car later, like nothings wrong)

Hungry to follow the next lead, and with Tommy now rejoined the group we quickly headed over to Redemption. Before we could get in and follow the lead, we found ourselves being shut out by a stringent bouncer, who (rightly) pegged us as posers. Desperate to not lose the trail, we claimed we were here with (_______). The bouncer asked for her last name, and Alex pulled it out of his head. Now we had a full name and at least the bouncer’s attention. He told us we weren’t the first to be looking for her, and that Bob (?) had also come looking. (Alex reached into his head and pulled am image of a 30’s or 40’s white man and his Milano female companion) The bouncer had told them off too, and was about to finish shooing us off when Leo and James started talking the bouncers language and slipping him wads of money. Before we knew it we had managed to squeeze inside.

Inside it was the club that all goth clubs want to pretend to be. It had all the cliche’s but none of it had come out of a factory. (Especially unsettling what when Tommy pointed out even the skulls were real) Antique artwork lined the walls and people of many sorts enjoyed the pleasures of the club. Tommy started listing off people as "Victor"’s (V is for Vampire) and counted at least four of them in the club that we met. One watching the door with an intensity that makes hawks cry, once dancing harder and faster then anyone else on the floor, and two sitting alone, playing chess.

Leo started talking with random club goes, avoiding any that Tommy labeled as “Victor”. Conversely, Tommy went right over to the two playing chess and attempted to strike up a conversation. Tatiana began dragging Alex around the club as she quite verbally geeked out over the artwork. I forget whatever it was that James started to do because he didn’t get very far at it. Before long his eyes went blank and he wandered out of the club. Alex volunteered to go and make sure he didn’t get in trouble.

Leo found out that the girl was known here, but once again she had stopped coming about a month ago. She’d been reportedly looking pale and sickly just before she stopped coming. But the person to ask for sure would be Mistress (______) who was sitting by the door, petting some pretty young girl.

Tommy walked over to the chess playing “Victors” and after watching for a bit (& being completely ignored) decided to give advice to the losing one (A young looking Asian man who’s great composure almost hid his incredible frustration). The younger (appearing) victor was about to give a curt response when the older (looking) one burst out laughing. (A twitchy fellow, looking to be about middle aged, & really not that pretty) He said that the suggested move might help, for a moment, but then proceeded to list out the remaining 20 moves of the match before his inevitable victory. The younger one excused himself (they named each other in the conversation, and the names are noted on my sheet).

After scaring off his competition Tommy got the pleasure of a discussion with the highly intelligent and thoroughly eccentric Professor (_______). Before long Tatiana joined in the conversation, drawn in by her curiosity. Quickly taking a liking to Tatiana, they discussed their academic experiences, and after some introductory banter he mentioned that he’d love to tutor her in chess, get to know her better and examine the full extent of her intellect. (Dissection was suggested, but denied) The professor was quite a character, but he didn’t track the comings and goings of the every day crowd, and knew nothing of our quarry. Instead he also suggested speaking with Mistress (_______).

While this went on inside, Alex followed James in a fugue. On a positive note, he didn’t wander far, where he did wander was right into an alley with a dead body and a message in blood. Alex managed to (mostly) keep his cool until James bent to the open head of the dead body with the apparent intention to begin painting with the gore. He quickly reacted to grab James and drag him back into the car, where he left James with a tracker on his underwear band and locked the doors.

The Corbis Colem Turban gathered and compared notes before going to meet the mistress as a group. While in discussion she didn’t reveal anything more then what the group had already gleaned, and her face remained inscrutable, Alex decided to look into her mind for clues as to their target. The mistress had seen the girl, often, dancing, petting, and other more intimate thing in the bedroom. Before Alex could get much more he found himself starting at himself through her eyes, and visa versa, creating a psychic echo between them as they started into each others minds. Soon she began speaking into his mind. Alex for his part, spent the next five minutes mumbling apologies to the air.

As they left the club, Alex pointed out the body in the alley and the writing (“No redemption for the dead and the damned”) as a clear sign to the plot thickening. Tommy quickly made sure that the mistress was informed of this and she dispatched the dancing one (______) to investigate the mess and clean it up. He complied while grumbling his annoyance at being interrupted from his fun.

After a long night of excitement the CCT crawled back to Raven Hill in the wee hours of the morning, to record all they had learned and figure out where to look next for their quarry, and new suspects.

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A place, a Face, and a Mystery

Most of the newly formed Corbis Colem Turbam unavailable while out in Oakland hunting for a cheap warehouse, leaving Alex at the apartment to work on his new computer. After completing his work on the new machine (Midnight Sparkle), Alex wanders into the common area to relax. there he finds James (douche) looking haggard as he collects soup out of the pot that Tommy (Marv) left. James is of course evasive about his activities of late, and the conversation is quickly derailed as a new face walking into the room. (Raven Hill apartments emptying out as fast as they are, any new face is pretty surprising). The man’s name is Chance, and as his accent would suggest he’s fresh off the boat from Ireland.

Chance wastes no time in making friends with anyone who will talk to him, and eagerly asks about the best places to visit in the windy city. James (douche) knows a few places and picks out a blue collar joint nearby called St. Francine (or something). They decide to go that evening and without anything better to do Alex tags along.

James and Chance quickly begin mingling with the crowd, even (especially) the shadier types, while Alex finds a quiet corner to enjoy his drink while he tries to not look uncomfortable. There is apparently some kind of a gang has this as it’s major hangout & Chance seemed perfectly comfortable rubbing elbows with them and their women. As more people wandered into the bar Alex suddenly got very anxious and started pestering James and Chance that it was time to leave, saying he “Had a bad feeling about this.” Neither James nor Chance had any interest in leaving attributing Alex’s cryptic comments to social anxiety. After a few attempts Alex left for home, leaving James and Chance to their carousing.

Chance caught many an eye, being the handsome Irish man that he is, but the only one that he showed any interest in was another Irish lass who helped run the bar (forgot her name), nothing official, mind you. They both played it pretty close to the chest, but a canny observer could see them circling each other like a pair of poker sharks, Neither wanting to give up the edge or show interest while learning about the other. One of the only bumps in the conversation was when the lass asked James what he did for a job. James, being the bold one flatly stated that he was an independent drug dealer. Stranger still was that neither Chance nor the lass seemed particularly put off by the knowledge. The lass’ only comment was “Not in the bar.”

Chance made sure to gather as much information about other nightclubs in the area, and continue his dance with the lass (though nothing came of his one direct attempt to get to know her). At the end of the night Chance helped the drunk and mentally scared James stagger back to the apartment. Alex was waiting for them in the lobby, and paused his computer activities to talk to them briefly, asking only “So, what do you think of John?” When both James and Chance gave him blank looks he smiled and wished them a good night, commenting that he was glad they were safe.

Chance has heard rumors that the water in the apartment taps had made people go crazy and kill each other, but had forgotten to get a pack of bottled water in his enthusiasm to get out and socialize. So he left on a late night venture for safe drinking water to stave of his potential hangover. While finding a corner store was easy enough, Chance became suddenly disoriented on the way back and swore that he watched a skyscraper migrate.

Getting slightly unnerved by this, he decided he wanted to tell someone. Soon he was knocking on Alex’s door. Alex took his story in stride and even took chance up to the roof to show him which one he thought had moved. While Alex though it was in the same place it always was, he still promised to put it on the map of spooky things in the area.

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