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Demon: Night Train Detective Agency (Actual Play)

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  • #16
    Wow, my scope for my Seattle game is a lot tighter than yours. I hadn't even considered giving my players a reason to go all the way out to Diablo Dam. I applaud you for using so much of Washington (and a bit of Oregon) in your game.


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    • #17
      Working on that storyline, I originally went to Wikipedia to track down the nearest dam to the city. However, when I saw the name Diablo Dam (with Diablo Lake) and it was connected directly to Seattle City Light I was unable to resist working it into Night Train. Also giving the Noir-ish feel, I felt that a dam made a good backdrop as well as being good somewhat remote Infrastructure; the PCs would have to travel a bit to get there, but the G-M would only have so much immediate reinforcements on hand.
      Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 10-28-2014, 03:09 PM.


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      [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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      • #18
        Yeah, it does work really good. I'm just gonna have to start thinking about the greater area I guess. I already have plans for an underwater city hidden in the Sound.


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        • #19
          I have some odd aquatic stuff in Balance of Shadows with the Brineborn, so steered away from it here. I'd be interested to hear how you are using it, though.

          And honestly, my advice is use the greater area as much or little as you need. My plot called for a Dam, so that was where I began digging. One question if you are planning stuff may be asking your players what interests them in the general area and go with that, to a degree.With your better grasp of the area though I am sure you can do some awesome stuff.


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          [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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          • #20
            It'll be interesting to see my players reactions to the greater area stuff since we are all native born and raised here ( Here being about 40 miles south of Seattle proper, almost Tacoma). We all know the area very well, in fact some of the characters are living in the same neighborhoods as some of the players did in college.


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            • #21
              It’s that off-week again. I thought I would post a handout I gave my players with plot hooks. As I noted, at least one is an important part of God-Machine operations, at least one is a big plot having nothing to do with the God-Machine, and at least one is a total red herring with nothing to it. And the others more or less fall into one of those categories Enjoy



              Don’t Blink

              SCP-713 is a rumored…”item”…in a local Facility. Resembling a sculpture of concrete, rebar, and spray paint, most of what Demons know about SCP-173 are the procedures for keeping it intact. Only groups of at least 3 enter the “container” housing it at a time. Anyone must announce before blinking. At least two maintain eye contact with SCP-173 at all times. If it gets free, seal the door and sacrifice whoever was inside…and the cell is often caked with gore.

              Not knowing what SCP-173 is has not stopped some Saboteurs, including Scarecrow, from advocating “freeing” it to wreck havoc on the Facility. Of course, finding it for sure would be the first step. The second would be freeing it and escaping. Don’t blink.

              The Fremont Troll

              Under the Aurora Bridge in downtown is the Fremont Troll. A large public sculpture of a troll clutching a bug, it was part of an effort toward beautification as the area was known for drug dealers passing through and such.

              Rumor has it the Troll moves a little when you are not looking directly at it. While it’s position is unchanged in pictures, some say the current position of the statue is the one all pictures portray, and yesterday it was not in that position. What is known is the God-Machine tells Angels to avoid messing with it, and they try not to spend Essence in front of it.

              The Fog Men

              Demons are not known for crying too hard when an Angel dies, but the public execution of an Angel downtown by a group of strange people defies explanation. Demons are far away as California have heard the story…a powerful Destroyer in Seattle was attacked by five people, people who, according to Demonic witnesses, were neither Angels nor Demons. They accused the Angel of murder of several people, which he had done to further the goals of the God Machine. Then their bodies twisted and warped, they called weather and pulled their bones to the surface as weapons, and straight killed him.

              Of course, he was outnumbered, but the howling avengers seemed all but invulnerable to his attacks. When hit, they seem to bleed a strange fog, which slowly filled the area. Then, as quickly as they arrived, they left. How they know of the Angels activity, and just what they were is not known.

              Lake View Cemetery

              The Lake View Cemetery is a large, beautiful Cemetery in downtown Seattle, the resting place of everyone from Mary Ann Conklin/Mother Damnable to Bruce and Brandon Lee. It’s a haven for Goths and well known to cemetery hunters.

              It’s also a doorway to the Underworld. Shedding someone else’s blood while reaching across between the Lee’s graves creates a passage between the graves. Why is not known, but many suspect it is the powerful resonance of the two graves together, and their joint association. Regardless it is a way into the Underworld, but be careful, it is known to be such, and watched.

              Rumor has it there is a second entrance in the Cemetery, though which grave it is tied to varies with the teller. Mother Damnable’s grave often comes up here, however.

              The Numbers Stations

              Numbers stations are a thing that exist in the world, but given Seattle is not Cold War Eastern Europe, an awful lot of them can be heard there. Some are doubtlessly in use by the God-Machine. Some may be used by Demons, indeed rumor has it the Saboteur Scarecrow maintains one of them. Some are no doubt maintained by enthusiasts that find them amusing. Some may have an even darker purpose.

              The Hot Cross Buns Station plays Hot Cross Buns as a station identifier, followed by a series of numbers. It can be heard at 8:30 PM, 11:30 PM, 3:30 AM, and 5:59 AM local time, and that set of transmissions is usually the same. The voice is either synthesized or an angel or demon in their true form. Hot Cross Buns is not known for unusual transmissions; it is suspected of being God-Machine because of its rigid schedule.

              The Naming Station has a mature woman with a Canadian accent reading much of the time. It got its name because instead of using the usual NATO phonetic characters, it uses American names, like Franklin or Peter. The names are consistent. The station is fond of zeros, and they appear generously in any set of numbers and letters. The reader says “Zero” with an unusual sound to it, not sounding local or Canadian. Sets tend to be introduced by three (or occasionally two) names together, and tend to be sets of names and letters. No set schedule.

              The Warner Brothers Station communications in cartoon clips from Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, and Roadrunner cartoons. There will be a quote from a character, followed by a series of numbers in text-to-speech. This station is extremely erratic, going months with no broadcasts and constant (different) ones in a given day. No letters are used.

              The NATO Station is similar to the Naming Station, with a younger woman and uses the NATO phonetic alphabet. It is more regular, airing at 6 and 12 am and pm every day, though most messages end in “Zero” and when they don’t, there is usually a slight tone of urgency to the speaker’s voice. Messages going out at unusual times never end in “zero”, suggesting the “zero” ones are test or filler messages.

              The Magnetic Fields Station is similar to Hot Cross Buns, using Magnetic Fields by Jean-Michael Jarre as a station identifier, then a series of numbers. Names are occasionally used assumedly as phonetic letters, but different ones than the Naming Station uses, and much more rarely; never as a prefix. It only airs at Midnight with any regularity, when it airs at all.

              The Music Box Station, also known as the Satan Station, uses a music box as an identifier, and the numbers are read by a distorted little girl’s voice. The voice is said to be “a little unnerving” to those who have heard it. It reads clusters of numbers and uses NATO phonetic characters, but changes “Delta” to “David” much like airlines that use that Alphabet do. It usually airs on 3s, 9s, and 6s, on the clock when it airs, but has no regular schedule.

              The Frogs Station sounds like a very loud synthesized frog croaking, sometimes more than one. It has no regular schedule; it may be silent for weeks, or go for hours. Like the Satan Station, it sounds unnerving, and extended listening can cause people to roll for a breaking point.

              The Owls Are Not What They Seem

              Washington State has always had odd owl activity. But it seems to only be getting stranger. Not normally seen in groups, owls have been arriving in greater numbers, and actually begun to be seen occasionally in Seattle. Strange owl calls can be heard outside the city as well.

              Some Demons suspect The Works has tainted them somehow (see below) or they could be connected to Tsagogla'lal (again, see below). A more precise explanation has not been found, but to be sure the owls, or at least some of them, are not what they seem.

              The Space Needle

              The Space Needle is a major landmark in Seattle, and for whatever reason, Angels visit frequently. Demons secure in their cover visit too, but it is clearly an active Infrastructure, if not Facility, and it’s construction was audacious, to say the least.

              Needless to say the God-Machine’s minions spend a lot of time keeping the Space Needle inscrutable, and Demons spend a lot of time digging around. To go to the Space Needle invites scrutiny, but sometimes a Demon has to know.

              In the meantime, how many Angels dance on the head of the Needle is not known.

              Tsagogla'lal

              Four hours South of Seattle, in the Columbia Hills State Park, is Tsagogla'lal, a pictograph in the side of a mountain whose name means “She Who Watches.” The local natives spin a charming story about it, and seem to be the original artists.

              However, those in tune with the supernatural in Washington State say Tsagogla'lal exists beyond that pictograph. Just who or what she is is unknown, but “She Who Watches” certainly does…watch. Sometimes supernatural denizens, from Vampires to Angels, get odd feelings of being observed. Sometimes they see nothing, but sometimes shadows fall in a pattern similar to the Pictogram. What is Tsagogla'lal? No one seems to know.

              The Seattle Underground

              Beneath parts of Seattle is an underground city. The Pioneer Square area was raised over the swampy ground to be built, leaving underground saloons, hotels, and other areas beneath the feet of Seattle’s residents.

              Some area, with saloons, restaurants, and hotels is available to the public, but it goes deeper. Rumors of hidden Infrastructure of the God-Machine are whispered to be down there, as is an entire hidden city of Vampires. It’s not completely safe, it’s very dark, and some odd cryptids reside there. But if you wanted to hide something, it is a place to do it. And the God-Machine does like to hide things. Just mind that not everything in the dark has such an easy explanation as part of the Infrastructure.

              The Works

              Also called the Pipeworks and the Muckworks, the Works was a major Facility used by the God Machine in the 50 through the 80s. There is a high fence around it, and several buildings on the campus, which is North of Seattle. Connecting the buildings are a series of rusty metal pipes and tubes which crisscross a huge muddy hole.

              While once a major Facility for the God Machine, the Works was hit by a major assault by the Saboteur Agency Symphonic Metal in 1988, which ultimately failed in their objective of seizing or destroying it. While they did a tremendous amount of damage to the Facility, which would cost millions of dollars and months, if not years, to repair. For some reason, after collecting and recycling their remains and initial attempts to repair, the God-Machine chose to shut the works down. Angels were placed to keep an eye on it, but it ceased doing…anything.

              Rumors abounded on why a major facility would be given up. Persistent rumors had it Symphonic Metal released a dirty bomb…or worse…inside the Facility. Or that they called something with no place in this world and dumped it in the God-Machine’s doorstep. Regardless, Angels kept an eye on the facility, but after the first month made no attempt to repair.

              What is known is that the Works creates some strange Cryptids, and sometimes they get out. The Works has what can be politely called a “Mothman Problem,” and sometimes the Mothmen get stirred up, and the Angels descend on the area to cover it up. Rumor has it some strange feminine crocodile or alligator like creature can be found there, though crocodiles and alligators are not common to the area, and how one got in to become a Cryptid is strange.

              Also, that the former Angelic Guardian, who survived the battle, vanished a month after when it was shut down. Some rumors say he Fell and made the Works his domain, though it seems unlikely other Angels would protect him. Some claim he was eaten by what was left behind by Symphonic Metal, and when he was destroyed out of hand it was decided that the Works was more trouble than it was worth.

              Today Angels keep an eye on the works, but rarely go in. Strange things rattle the fence. Some Unchained feel keeping an eye on it is good, as it is a way to spot undercover Angels. Of course, conspiracy theorists are sure something is in the Works, so someone creeping around may be an Angel, a Demon, or a whacked out theorist hoping to talk to aliens.



              Couple comments past that. As noted before I am not using the splinters, so stuff like the Fremont Troll is unrelated to them. Also, this was information the PCs had walking in; places that have come up in game, like the Diablo Dam or Municipal Tower, are not on there because they became relevant in game, not from rumors heard outside it.

              And obviously some stuff is cribbed from elsewhere. SCP-713 for instance being from some creepypasta from my creepypasta folder (I did a lot with Candle Cove in Balance of Shadows as far as creepypasta goes). There is a Twin Peaks reference snuck in there too.

              The Numbers Stations may be important depending on my players. If you are not familiar with Numbers Stations they are awesome (by awesome, I mean a little creepy). Go Google the Conet Project and download it; it is free and legal to download. There are plenty of sites out there with info and free to download recordings, and a BBC documentary called “Tracking the Lincolnshire Poacher” can be found on Youtube. Most of the stations listed in the text above are homages to actual stations. The Phonetic Alphabet Station, Nancy Adam Susan, Swedish Rhapsody, The Frog, several of my favorites sneak on there. Not the Tyrolean Music Station sadly, I could not justify it here.

              This is my first New WoD game with Numbers Stations, but there is a Numbers Station run by one of the Conspiracy in my Classic WoD game Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora as PC Setite is running a Numbers Station. I have a plot involving one for my Geist game Balance of Shadows, but that game has a huge plot backlog. We may get to it who knows.

              Anyway, I will talk about Numbers Stations all day given the chance, so I will just wrap up there. Journals go up next week, I have them from Speed, Kilroy, and Clytemnestra, so should be fun. See you then, but of course comments and questions are welcome.
              Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 11-01-2014, 05:33 PM.


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              [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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              • #22
                It’s time to cover session three. Jack’s player had to miss but included a journal to cover some of his activity. Here we go

                Session III

                Speed Demon’s Monologues

                We decided to stop on the way back, some place public, where we could get some fucking dinner, or maybe lunch, but definitely some goddamn alcohol. My jacket flask was empty and the spare one in the car had been dry as fuck for awhile. I needed a fucking drink, and if I got an alibi out of the situation as well, so much the better.

                The office was within stumbling distance when Liz noticed Herb ducking into a bar. I swung us into a J-turn, screeching into the parking lot. I think I might have made Billy grab onto his goddamn hat with that move. It takes a lot to ruffle the fucking g-man though, so he just settled it back down on his head as he dryly commented that I seemed to have read his mind.

                The bar was called Kiki’s. The inside was as dark as a dog’s asshole, and twice as grimy. The only bits of light came from the low hanging flourescents just above the two bars, and blue LED lights just bright enough to read what passed for a menu and just goddamn soft enough to make it that much harder to see anyone’s face, The place smelled like ozone, marijuana and sex, in reverse order. The first two were self-explanatory, and gave enough of an excuse for Billy to light up his cigar. The third one’s nearest source was a palooka getting head from... someone. I mentioned it was ass-dark, right? They were probably human, at least. The pair were two tables away from Herb. I almost got bowled over on my way there from the bar by the waitress, too busy rolling her eyes at Herb’s leering “I’ll have what he’s having” to worry too much about where she was going.

                “Somebody to Love” was playing low on the radio while the four of us traded banter for awhile. The big lug is good at it, I’ll give him that. It’s a fucking dying art, a good bit of banter is, and he’s an old hand at it. I’ll even forgive him for mispronouncing gyro, or thinking that the the plant is pronounced with an ‘h’ at the beginning. Maybe an h bit him when he was a child. I played along with the gyro bit. I figured it couldn’t hurt to give the waitresses a little grief that didn’t involve a game of grab-ass. After we got past the usual - “You following me?” “Nope.” “Alright then.” - he let us know his play. He was tailing a dame, one Mrs. Gina Sanderson of the goddamn lizard dog fucker Sandersons. The song had switched over to “Mama Told Me Not to Come” I wondered who’d put their fucking playlist together while he spewed the usual shit about how fucking dangerous it all would be.

                This Sanderson was a personal project of the big lug’s, a calling he said, which is a bigger word than I figured on him throwing out on the regular. He was goddamn close-lipped about it all, but Billy was reeled in anyway. He wouldn’t even say as much as he knew about the fucking lizard dogs, just that they were mistakes. He did fill us in on what he had on the wife, and if I’d been working this as a divorce case, I’d figure someone was getting a paycheck for damn sure. She came here often, with a squirrelly look on her face, the kind of look that screamed you were up to something and that you weren’t used to it. At some point, a waitress had gone missing, after taking a ride down shit river with Gina as her only paddle. That’s when Herb started paying her more attention. She’d fingered him as a tail, and something more. That’s why he’s shown up to a dive like this at fucking 3:30 in the afternoon, far earlier than the usual crowd made it busy, hoping to snag a seat in the shadows before she showed.

                After a bit, Herb gave Billy a hard look. “You know, I can’t pay. I mean, unless there happens to be a particularly flush fella in the alley out back.”

                I leaned back in my seat, ignoring the less than fucking subtle references to his side job in the mugging business. “That’s what I figured,” I said, just as the g-man responded himself.

                “That’s not what this is about.”

                I rolled my eyes. “That’s also what I figured.” I didn’t mind too much. The retainer from Scarecrow would keep us in the black for awhile yet, and having a proper butter and egg woman meant it was less of an issue, but that wasn’t any call to let down my hardboiled exterior. So after a suitable amount of time to let my reluctance sink in, I sighed and asked Herb the waitress’ name.

                The fucker smirked, just a little. “I’ll tell ya what, I’ll check my files when I get home. Lisa something, I think. Don’t make it a habit of carrying around papers with names of pretty dames that have gone missing.”

                That Buffalo Springfield song, the one that starts with a man with a gun over there, queued up as I made my way to the bar for a third smell from the barrel. This time I flagged the barman down for a more extended chat. He knew a Lisa alright, a Lisa Russell, who'd been too pretty to work there, who’d fucked off to LA with her boyfriend to hear him tell it. Herb was skeptical about the fucking off part, but the name was right.

                By the time I’d got back, Herb had called up a picture of dear Mrs. Sanderson on his phone. She was a blonde, and that was sure to mean trouble. She had the gams to make a goddamn bishop kick a hole in a fucking stained glass window, and certainly to catch herself a rich husband, though she lacked the social grace that usually goes along with such things. After a long appreciative look, I tuned back in to hear Herb telling a fucking ghost story, some bullshit about the very Kiki that bequeathed her name to this fine establishment, before doing a different sort of dance than you usually see on stage, a couple years ago. Billy’s eyes lit up. I fucking swear, he is more curious than a goddamn herd of cats, and as hard to steer.

                We shot the shit for awhile after that, settling in for the stake out, when a woman in a bright red coat made a splash of color in the doorway before fading into the shadows of the place, stumbling into the first verse of “Riders on the Storm”. She gave Herb a long look, holding her side as if she were bad hurt, so I went ahead and popped the optics. Billy isn’t the only one allowed to be curious.

                She was a hard customer, mentally speaking. I got shit putting the screws to her subconscious. Aura Sight worked better, though only so much, since I’d never seen anyone of that particular brand of supernatural. I could tell that someone had given her the Broderick, but it wasn’t anything beyond that. Just bruises she’d feel for fucking certain in the morning. She stayed alert, focussed on the big lug. With the looks she was giving him, you’d have thought she heard his first suggestion, that I tell her I was a doctor, and that I’d noticed she was hurt around the tits, and preemptively disapproved.

                Liz called that plan off, taking Billy in as a wingman, and leaving me and Herb sharing pickups lines and relative success rates. That trailed off as we both just watched the dame work. She sauntered over, taking a seat and crossing her legs, just so. She knew they were good. She leaned forward, just a bit. She knew they were good too. The unfortunately named Robin Graves was twisted around Liz’s little finger in no fucking time.

                In addition to taking Robin from 0 to dizzy in no time flat, Liz had managed to drop Gina’s name, and gotten no response. She’d also been informed that Herb was some sort of undead non-vampire thing, which seemed both oddly specific and nonspecific, at the same fucking time. I gave the lug a once over myself, mostly noting a vague similarity, mystically speaking, to the goddamn lizard dogs, and an undercurrent of violence.

                Since Liz now had a later invitation for a nightcap with the widow Robin, and Billy had some fucking equipment or some shit to pick up before the stores closed, they caught a cab back to the office, leaving me to stake out the bar. It was a slow night - the most interesting thing for awhile was the argument Robin appeared to be having with no one - but their whiskey sours were half decent, if not up to fucking cabana boy standard, so I grabbed a table of my own to wait it out.



                I don’t want to give the impression I was bored or anything. I got, via text, the thrilling running commentary on Vivian and Liz’s internet searches. Less sarcastically, the man Sanderson did have a fucking interesting history of wives. His first, Patricia Franklin, had died of a psychedelic trip, mixed with an open swimming pool. They’d been married about 2 years. His second, Willowdeen Davis, lasted 16, until a fight with her husband (probably) led directly to her getting eaten by bears, or possibly lizard bears. Or even bear lizards. Who can keep track? Her brother Jake had tried to, and gotten the shit kicked out of him for his trouble.

                His third, and current wife went by the name of Gina Manning before they married, or at least she did for the three months between meeting him at a party and becoming the guest of honor at a wedding. Before that, who knows what she went by, or if she even existed? The Internet sure as fuck didn’t, and Vivian’s money was on the latter, though it might have been some kind of Breakfast at Tiffany’s shit.

                I was distracted from Vivian’s ongoing investigation by the arrival of one goddamn classy dame, bringing the count of shithole regulars of that type up to three more than I would have guessed. This one was certainly the snazzy dresser, her three piece putting my cheap rumpled suit to shame, and I mean the better one of my two. Her leather pants fit her like a fucking glove, and she topped it all off with a black bowler. I didn’t need to see she was a vampire to know she was trouble. But I could, so I merely appreciated from afar, not wanting to step on Louis’ toes. Which might have been quite literal, as he came skulking in a few minutes later to the opening strains of “All Along the Watchtower”.

                It wasn’t too long before Gina herself showed up. She was a softer touch than the widow Graves, and her surface thoughts bubbled up like carbonation in a club soda. She called Herb the Promethean - whether that was a title or a type I don’t know yet - hoping that he wouldn’t do anything to make her hurt him, or have him hurt. But over that was a constant check that “this is what real people do, right?” Real people sit like this, real people would use their phone now. I really wanted to wander over and tell her that real people don’t obsess about being real people. I really wanted to, but I didn’t. Give me some fucking credit for some goddamn restraint. The weirdest thing about it all was she didn’t even seem particularly supernatural. There was something there, just beyond what I could put my finger on, but it was subtle. Subtler than I’d expect from someone constantly worried about acting like a real girl.

                I let the others know and Vivian made her way back to the bar. Liz was... otherwise occupied, so it was the two of us, alone again. Well, as alone as you can get at a shithole dive like that, which is pretty damn alone when it comes down to it, but there was a mark to watch, even if it was for someone else’s fucking calling and not a goddamn paycheck. Said mark was herself keeping a close eye on the broads in the establishment. Especially the ones with light skin. And very fine arm hair. Yeah, she was lusting after their fucking arms. But hey, who am I to judge?

                Vivian filled me in on what her spook sight saw. She was leery of Herb, but that was obvious. She was fretting about her day job - it seems she was worried about screwing up making a person. Again. I commented to Vivian that next time Mr. Sanderson should try not pulling out. She gave me a look. I gave her a leer. And finally, the first event of the night that made her seem normal, Gina was afraid she was about to be dumped for Carla.

                A quick search on Vivian’s phone brought up details on one Carla Pierce. She was pretty, if not the knock out Gina was. She was also fucking competent, from what we could tell, possessing a real goddamn human history, including a degree in psychology that played into a stint in military intelligence, specializing in interrogation. She currently worked as a consultant, a PR rep, the kind you sent out to represent your company in your stead. She seemed like something of a right hand woman to good old Mr. Sanderson, and I’d worked enough divorce cases to know that the right hand is as often as not the one you use to get yourself off, provided they have the equipment you prefer. Hell, we live in an enlightened age, Gina might actually be on to something - he might not even mind trading in a trophy for a workhorse, provided she was pretty enough.



                When I said the blonde was bound to be trouble, I didn’t fucking figure on trouble to the tune of 6 inches of steel cutting to my collarbone. Another inch over, or a few more pounds of leverage, and she’d have had my head clean off. That’ll teach me to bring a goddamn rod to a straight razor fight.

                Let me back up a bit. Vivian had been there about twenty minutes when Gina got up to go, leaving on the heels of some cat and his pro skirt. There was just enough of a crowd for me to get lost in, and Vivian didn’t do a bad job herself. Did a better than me in keeping her eyes open. I noticed Gina nod to an Asian woman in a parked car nearby before she got into her own beat up VW, far too used to be Mrs. Sanderson’s usual conveyance. Vivian noticed that the Asian woman was reading a pulp novel called Cocklords of Mars and that she, her passenger and the two palookas in the other car that started up when she did all had on bullet catchers.

                Gina kept after the pro and her john, and the mooks kept after her. I kept after the mooks. My car purred as I shifted in and out of traffic. I don’t know how anyone can fucking stand to drive one of these fuckers out of the box, but they’re easy enough to tweak into shape. The leaders of this goddamn caravan stopped at an alley a ways away, and then it got interesting. The mooks stayed idling nearby as Gina pulled out a half a foot of straight blade and snuck off towards the alley. Vivian encouraged me to drive past while she grabbed up our little Princess. I glanced at the mooks readying their typewriters and told her where the hell she could shove that fucking idea. The five seconds of lead I’d have letting the sunlight into my car as I tore out of there would be five seconds too many.

                So instead, she used her ability to possess people to hop inside the head mook, and give the whole situation a twist. My part was to get Gina in the car while they were distracted. The plan went smooth as silk... for about the same 5 seconds I’d figured it would take me to leave them in the dust. She was shaken, sure enough, by my appearance. Whether it was the badge, or the gat or my dulcet tones as I told her to put away that shitsticker and grab some air, I couldn’t tell you. But she called my bluff, or made one of her own, saying she’d wait here if I called the police. When I pushed, her eyes fucking glazed over and before I knew it, she was on me, cutting deep into my goddamn collarbone. I decided discretion was the better part of continuing to fucking breathe and ducked around the corner, using my mirrored skin to blend into the scenery of chipped bricks, shit covered dumpsters and rough concrete.

                She wasn’t interested in a fucking chase anyway. She made for her car like all the goddamn demons in hell were after her, not like she’d just almost cut one’s head off. Kilroy was still playing with the mooks, having put one on the ground and left two choking on their own fucking gas grenades. I swung by to pick him up, cursing under my breath as the steering pulled on my shoulder. He stayed in possession of one of them, a fella with the fucking stupidest haircut I’d ever seen and flashed a book at me.

                “See?” He smiled expectantly. The cover centered on a man’s bulging crotch, barely covered by some sort of fucking loincloth, while 2 kinda dressed men clung to the legs the crotch was attached to.

                I sneered at him. “Just get in the fucking car.”


                Jack’s Thoughts

                I don’t have friends.

                In Tacoma, they only tolerated me for a while because I made myself useful. Even that didn’t last because I picked the wrong punk to tag right out of the gates. I shoot my mouth off because that’s what I’m supposed to do. Gotta stick to the script. How I shoot my mouth off though, that’s the way I express myself and still lay low.

                I came to Seattle to try and start over. That story’s pretty played out and you all know what it’s like. But then Gabe started coming to me for information. Now we have this thing together. And for the first time, I have people that I actually care if something were to happen to them.

                Last night, seeing the angel up close and personal just tearing people apart, I got nervous. Nervous that she’d come for me, come for us. Then when she torched the reptoids, I took off after the one survivor. I thought I had a chance to pump him for information. Maybe learn something to help us make Red Fall too. But the stupid motherfucker didn’t have the good sense to Stop, Drop, and Roll. By the time I caught up to him, he was barbecued iguana.

                I realized that if Red could just be waiting for another angel like that, there could be others either here or on the way. And that made me start the “What If” engine. What if The Man started looking around? What if other resonance traces were detected? What if “they” tried to infiltrate the Agency? I may have panicked at the thought of the people I was starting to trust being reenslaved to The Man.

                So with that in mind, I hit the computers. I hope you guys don’t take this the wrong way, but I looked each of you up. I’m no Vivian so it took me a while to get all that shit together. I won’t include what I found here, because I know how computers work. But I found something that uniquely identifies each of you. I’ll tell you what it is when I see you in person, but don’t worry. I’m not looking for leverage. I’m not that much of an asshole. I just needed to way to know that you people are actually you, and therefore safe.

                I mean we’re a drunk, a washed up Fed, a loud mouth thug, and a rich girl slumming for kicks. What do we got, but each other? I guess I should say that I don’t know how to have friends...so now I’m trying to learn.

                File last saved 09/24/14 12:15 am


                Kilroy’s Transmissions

                Pro Bono Politico

                Dinner and a Show at Kiki's

                Upon our return to the city proper, there was a sentiment to seek out food. It was late for lunch but early yet for dinner. However, our activities had delayed proper nutrition. Also, being seen publicly would insure that our investigation of the Diablo Dam was not detected.

                As we were driving to find a suitable location, Clytemnestra spotted Herb entering an establishment of questionable nature. Speed demonstrated her superiour driving skills with a rather dramatic turn into the lot and we followed him into the bar.

                Kiki's was dimly lit and filled with the a pervasive miasma of tawdry desperation. As Billy, I promptly lit a cigar to shield myself from the odor. The place featured a pair of bars with low hanging lights and a collection of tables around a low stage. The tables were lit only by LED runners along the menu and condiment holders, casting everything into a hazy shadow. Herb was sitting in one of the corners furthest from the entrance. Clytemnestra and myself made our way over to him while Speed detoured to collect a drink from the bar. Herb dismissed the waitress and insured that she would not return without coaxing by suggesting that she provide him with oral sex. Apparently, while the staff is prepared to turn a blind eye to public sexual activity and blatant drug use, they do not actually facilitate these activities.

                I made formal introductions, as Clytemnestra and Speed had not interacted with Herb at the train station. I assured him that we were not following him intentionally, but had simply happened by and seen him entering. We spoke and he explained that he was here to watch for Gina Sanderson, wife of the one and only James Sanderson. He was not entirely forthcoming about the crocidilians, though he did describe them as being accidental byproducts, though of exactly what process he did not say. So they do bear some further parallels with cryptids. What he did offer is that the Tomorrow Trans-human facility was absolutely crawling with the things and that Sanderson had the means to control and modify them with various cybernetic upgrades. Apparently, they are also prone to 'sleep' when in the presence of mundane human witnesses, a detail which could be of use in dealing with them. However, Herb's discordant nature sets the things off, preventing them from going dormant when he is near and making it impossible for him to enter the Tomorrow Trans-human building.

                During this conversation, Herb made it clear that this was a personal matter for him and that he did not have the means to pay us for the help we were offering. It seems that his own goals are in some way tied to investigating Sanderson and Tomorrow Trans-human. At this point, Speed made some obligatory noises about charity work, mostly for the sake of her cover I believe.
                With that settled, Herb explained that he had arrived early in the hopes that Gina would overlook his presence if he was already here in the shadows. It seems that she is able to see him truly. As to why a woman of her beauty and wealthy is frequenting a quaint dive such as Kiki's, it seems to be her hunting ground. She picked up a waitress by the name of Lisa Russell some time back and the woman was never seen again. The bartender, in addition to providing her last name, explained that she had abruptly left town to move to LA with her boyfriend. A scan of social media confirmed that this misinformation had been disseminated to her cohort as well, but she had not responded to any of them since. Classic cover up job really.

                At this point, we inquired of our companion as to the safety and edibility of the local cuisine. He assured us that the gyro’s were actually quite good, though he continued to demonstrate a lack of proper pronunciation regarding the letter H. We summoned the waitress, who seemed to still be a bit leery of Herb but took our order without issue. As we ate, Herb told us about the former owner of the bar, who was actually named Kiki. A couple of years prior she sold the place and then announced that she was going to put on the show of a lifetime on Halloween night. It was the last show of her lifetime at least, as she hanged herself on stage. Since then, the stage lights are always kept lit whether there is a show or not as it discourages her ghost from appearing. My knowledge of glitched souls is far from exhaustive, but her continued presence and apparent desire to attract attention seem at odds with a willing suicide. I find my curiosity peaked.

                As Herb's recounting was winding down, a woman entered. She was clearly nursing injuries to her side and seemed a bit too polished for the establishment. She also picked Herb out rather immediately, despite his assurances that he had never seen her before. She took a seat as far from him as she could. I scanned her fears and found that she was afraid of the pale vampire leader of the Ordo Dracul, she has a daughter that she cares for, and she was concerned about Herb. Speed determined that she was bruised and a supernatural entity she has not previously encountered.

                Clytemnestra took quite an interest and she and I crossed the room to speak to the woman. I let Clytemnestra take point, as she is more adept at the social graces than I am. Also, while the woman was not South American, she was quite attractive. We used our cover as detectives to explain our forward approach, and she assured us she was not in need of our services. However, it was all the opening Clytemnestra needed to being seducing her. We learned that she goes by the name Robin Graves and she a widow. Like a proper wing-man, I excused myself once Clytemnestra had her engaged. Whatever she is, it seems that she was able to determine that Herb was some manner of zombie. Not a vampire but most certainly undead. It does not seem too at odds with the glimpse of his scarring I had before. It did seem much too extensive and uniform to be from injury. We elected not to ask Herb about this yet, as it seems a bit early in our working relationship to pry and would likely prompt a similarly intimate revelation of our truth in exchange. While there is certainly a palpable wrongness to him, I believe Herb can be cultivated into a very useful ally. Also, I do find myself feeling some fondness for the man's blunt and pragmatic demeanor.

                At this point, we elected to split up. I wished to acquire a short wave radio tuner to connect to the computers at the lab for monitoring and record the local number stations which required traveling to specialty stores that kept fairly regular hours. Clytemnestra wanted to prepare for her date with Robin. Speed chose to remain and continue watching for Gina.


                Working in the Data Mines

                Computer work of an advanced nature suits Vivian better and I find it easier to focus on such tasks as her. Also, while I was not contacting them in any direct physical manner, it is a good habit to keep her contacts and Billy's separate and distinct from each other. I put out some feelers to the local network about recent number station activity since clearly the incident at the train station would be likely to provoke any network tied to the players involved there. The most noteworthy item was that the Music Box had broadcast on every multiple of three after midnight.

                Once we had returned, I set the equipment up. It was a fairly simple matter. Clytemnestra did some preliminary research into Gina Sanderson and found a rather interesting lack of history. Gina Manning did not exist before the night a couple of years ago when she met James Sanderson at a party. They were married three months later. I found the lack curious and so picked up the trail when she departed for her rendezvous with the widow Graves. I had no better luck finding anything. Given what I have discovered concerning his other wives and Gina herself, my hypothesis is that James Sanderson may have either created or had his current beautiful trophy wife constructed. Alternatively, the woman currently known as Gina Sanderson reinvented her identity. Normally I would find this more likely, but evidence suggests that Gina is less familiar with being human than I or my fellow unchained.

                Looking further into James Sanderson's past, I found that he had two previous wives, both dead. Both were wealthy socialites from respectable families with plenty of records. The first was Patricia Franklin. She lasted two years before mixing too many recreational drugs with a swimming pool. Deemed accidental though there was a minor amount of scandal due to her illegal drug use.

                He was married to Willowdeen Davis for sixteen years before her death. The couple had documented troubles with frequent arguments. It was after one of these that Willowdeen went hiking and was mauled by a bear. There was no shortage of suspicion, though the official police investigation refused to entertain the possibility of a trained bear as a murder weapon. When Willowdeen's brother, Jake Davis, confronted James about the matter, Mr Sanderson reportedly mocked him while having him beaten by his security personnel before throwing him out. Given that I know he has access to monsters and a means to control them, it seems quite clear that the man got away with murder. Mr Davis maintains a local residence and thus will not be difficult to find and meet with. It seems likely that he will prove useful.

                Having pursued the current leads, I decided to see what the web knew about Peterson Chemical. The resulting pattern was familiar. The company has just enough of a legitimate presence to avoid raising any flags but lacks any public client listings or advertising. It owns and operates from a single location. It seems highly likely that it is a front for the God Machine's Infrastructure and that those trucks where part of whatever occult matrix the dam is going to be powering. I shall have to investigate this at my earliest opportunity.


                Cock-lords of Mars

                I was considering following up on Peterson Chemical or Jake Davis when I received word from Speed that Gina had entered Kiki's. I drove her car back to the bar and joined her. I do believe she was pleased to see Vivian though she remained focused on the task at hand.

                I used my embed to read Gina Sanderson's fears while Speed shifted demonic enough to use her aura sight and mind reading. The results were intriguing. Gina's surface thoughts seemed mostly focused on her concern over whether or not she was behaving convincingly human. This was interesting as her aura was only mildly touched by the supernatural. She was concerned at Herb's presence, not wanting to have to kill him or have him killed. She refereed to him as a Promethean. She was also concerned that she needed to correctly make a person with a sense that her efforts had been unsatisfactory and worried that James might dump her for Carla.

                As Speed observe red her and noted her attention was drawn to female arms, specifically those with fair skin and light hair I pulled up information on my phone. Carla Pierce is pretty, though certainly not on par with the raw sexuality of Gina Sanderson. Her history is deep and detailed enough that I believe it is likely real and it paints a picture that concerns me. High intelligence. High marks in school culminating in a degree in psychology. A highly respected career with military intelligence specializing as an interrogator. And currently working as a PR representative and executive at Tomorrow Trans-human second only to Mr James Sanderson himself. This woman is smart and well-educated and driven enough to not only enter but to excel in an environment not only unforgiving but often actively hostile to women. We will need to tread lightly and be very sure not to underestimate her.

                About twenty minutes after my arrival, Gina got up to follow a prostitute and her client out of the bar. Speed and I tailed her. Speed used her embed to merge with the crowd on the street while I did my best to keep a low profile. Gina Sanderson walked to a nondescript Volkswagen, nodding to an Asian woman reading a novel with the rather lurid title Cock-lords of Mars. The woman, presumably the leader of Gina Sanderson's well armed and armored security detail, closed her book and signaled her people into motion. Soon, there was a very discreet motorcade moving through the streets. Gina was shadowing the couple while her guards followed discreetly in a pair of suitably dark sedans and Speed tailed them all unnoticed.

                Before long, the couple pulled over and entered a dimly lit alleyway. Gina parked and her escort pulled to the sides and waited, engines idling. As Ms Sanderson emerged from her car and approached the alley, she pulled forth a remarkably large folding razor. The security teams drew and began to discreetly load and ready automatic weapons.

                It was a clearly hazardous situation and I did consider recommending that we simply drive past and try to circle around and observe Gina's actions without interfering. However, it has been my experience that my fellow unchained, even those like Speed who are not as openly sentimental toward humans as Clytemnestra and Quietus, take offense at my 'cold-hearted science experiments'.

                I proposed instead that we drive by and use either force or my possession Exploit to collect Gina Sanderson for examination and interrogation. It would have given us considerable intelligence on Sanderson's operation and her own mysterious activities as well as preventing her from harming the humans. Speed vetoed this plan, indicating that even with her driving prowess we would be exposed to the security guards' fire for too long and the odds of one of us being injured or having the car incapacitated were much too high.

                So I put forth what I thought to be a safer plan. I would use Possession on the guards and turn them against each other, effectively keeping them distracted while Speed moved into the alley to subdue Gina Sanderson. I jumped into the Asian woman as Speed slipped unseen into the alley to confront Gina. I was unable to follow precisely what happened. Gina did trip a silent alarm that registered in the cars. Before they could respond, I turned my automatic upon the lead agent's partner.

                My burst caught him center mass and his Kevlar vest was the only thing that kept him alive, converting fatal puncture and shrapnel wounds into broken ribs. It was still enough to mostly disable him. The other car began to lay down cover fire and rather than engage me, he dove from the far side of the car and flattened himself to the ground with his hands on his head in the universal position of surrender.

                It was at this point that I saw Gina fleeing the alley and jumping back into her car. The second detail threw a gas grenade through the broken window of the car I was using and I felt my stolen body tearing up and coughing. I tried to leap to Gina before she got out of sight, but she resisted me with surprising and decidedly inhuman resilience. The gas was hitting me particularly hard and as I felt the woman's body slipping away from consciousness, I lept to the driver of the other car. The Exploit glitched, turning his hair to a distinctly 80's punk pure white spiked look and his partner promptly reacted by setting off another gas grenade in his own lap. Better to render us both unconscious than have a point blank exchange of lead. Not unreasonable. I held out long enough to evacuate the car and crossed back to confirm that the other two were still secure. On a lark, I grabbed the woman's novel and turned to use it to flag Speed down.

                And as she pulled up and stopped, I could see she was quite seriously injured. Gina Sanderson had apparently rallied after her initial shock and entered some sort of combat trance. She'd attacked Speed and nearly decapitated her in a single blow before fleeing. I should ditch this body before we return to the agency, either that or take some time to edit his mind and erase us completely from it to insure he doesn't remember anything potentially harmful. Or I could just kill him, in which case it doesn't matter what he sees. Whatever I decide to do with him, I think between myself and Speed it is clearly time for me to see about a mending embed.


                Clytemnestra’s Yarns

                I see dead people.

                Oh no, not constantly, but after this little fling I am decidedly of the seeing ghosts type, and it is sort of freaking me out. What could I have supped on the essence of that would make me see such things? I should explain.

                So we were deciding what to do for lunch. We had almost settled on this sandwich place when I saw Herb head into a bar called Kiki’s. We decided to go in. Kiki’s seems to like 60s era music, LED lights, and very dark rooms. Herb was more okay with our presence than expected, and told us he was there surveilling Mr. Sanderson’s wife Gina. Mrs. Sanderson apparently kidnapped a waitress who was never to be seen again, though they told people, convincingly apparently, she had run off to LA. Herb knew she was up to something, but he did not know what.

                Also apparently the original owner Kiki hanged herself there on a Halloween show two years ago, kicked the chair out as soon as the light fell on her. She has haunted the place since. I am so not going there right now.

                Anyway, while we chewed the fat, I noticed a curly haired woman with an intense gaze entering. She was clearly injured, and clearly had noticed Herb. She looked more injured based on gait than bruises, but that was what Speed said her problem was. I elected to investigate.

                The woman had the very odd name of Robin Graves. Yes, I know. She said Herb was “A Zombie” and that she had been hurt but it was nothing, you should see the other guy sort of thing. Kilroy and I let her know we were detectives and would be glad to help her if she needed it, but she demurred. However, I managed to intrigue her enough to perhaps meet to go to a movie. I said I was new to the area and looking for friends…hardly a lie. She decided going out would be fine, but she “did not know where any dyke bars or anything like that [would be],” so I offered to come by her place and pick her up.

                I filled in the others about Herb. None of us decided to ask him if he was a zombie, so we decided to split up. Kilroy needed help with some equipment for recording some of the local unusual radio activity, and I wanted to look into Mrs. Sanderson. Speed remained behind to watch for her.

                Looking up Mrs. Sanderson was something of a dead end, if a revealing one. As “Gina Manning” she first appeared the night she met James Sanderson, and was married a few months later. No parents, no social media or legal footprint. Of course, I am much better at seducing mysterious women than I am, you know, research, so after Kilroy had spoken to her contracts, she took over. I did help her a bit before I had to go get pretty…er. I think Kilroy’s current theories are Mrs. Sanderson either was made for/by James, or she actually has a totally different identity.

                I met Robin at her townhouse. She owns a lot of clocks, lot of…old-fashioned stuff. Pocketwatches, the winding kind even. It seemed like every third thing was a century old. Lots of black, too, though some grey highlights. Also tarot cards, lots of tarot cards. I noticed a particularly, well, I will say creepy portrait of a hooded man on a glowing grey horse.

                There was also, interestingly enough, ample signs she had a child, though none were present.

                My attention, however, was swiftly riveted to her. She poured some tea and we began to talk. I drew her close, and any interest in leaving to see anything but me swiftly evaporated from her. Once the sofa proved no longer adequate for our needs, we retired to her bedroom. The night was luxurious, languid, and pleasant. Once she was exhausted, I gently sank my golden fangs into her breast and consumed a sampling of her essence. She barely noticed.

                The morning was pleasant. I had left her quite alive of course, and she was a good, if terribly shy and self-conscious hostess for breakfast. I need to buy her some real shampoo though. That off brand stuff will not do. I wish I could say I left with a good idea of what sort of entity she was, but she was cagy even post coital. She did mention luck an unusual number of times, maybe that could be a clue. But the biggest clue hit me by surprise after.

                Once I had kissed my farewell and gotten on my way I saw an eyeless little girl with twisted metal sticking out of her body skipping down the median. Were I human, I would have had a wreck, but of course our unique physiology lets us control such reactions. Driving by a house I saw…for a moment…a sullen teenage boy hanging from a noose in the front yard glaring balefully at passing cars, and then he was gone. On my own road I nearly wrecked when a phantom car came barreling out behind me giving me little enough time to react I would have been hit were it a real car. I’m…I’m not sure I can leave the house now.

                I need to find out what was up with that girl, that her juices would do this to me. Consuming an Angel had no side effects; I don’t know what this is about. Maybe because I only ate a little of her Essence? Sadly, I can’t just ask if she noticed the fangmarks and the light-headedness and explain she was just a little midnight snack. People take these things poorly. What do you think, Kayla?

                Oh the others? They are probably fine. I am sure they had a quiet and uneventful evening without me.

                End Session III

                The songs listed in Speed’s journal came up in game, in order. It seemed appropriate. Kiki’s is obviously a made up location; like Balance of Shadows and Malibu Dream House, there will be a mix of real and created locations used.

                As for the book, it had come up in a long ended game when I needed a schlock-y book and decided to go “gay pulp sci fi” with the title. It’s…not very tasteful, but there you go.

                What is Gina’s deal? Well she is not a Promethean, and does not seem to at least have a major template. She did 5 levels of damage to Speed with one hit in what was a good hit for her pool, but not too surprising. She is dangerous. Robin Graves (what is that look for? C’mon the name is awesome) is a Sin-Eater, though the PCs don’t know what one is in character, ¾ are in a Geist game.

                Had a Halloween one shot, Malibu Scream House, with characters from several games, including Balance of Shadows, Malibu Dream House, Night Train Detective Agency, and my old Changeling game Beyond the Sea, as well as a couple from other folks games. Night Train Detective Agency had Kilroy and Clytemnestra show. It went pretty well, if we get any journals from any of the 13 who showed I will post them.

                Well it was quite a session, and we are excited about the next. Comments and Questions are welcome.


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                [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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                • #23
                  Why can't some Promies just rob graves like NORMAL people...

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Last session for Demon was interesting. Quietus’s player came back, Speed’s player had to miss. We progress the story a bit. Let’s check in on the Ring.

                    No Kilroy journal...his player was swamped at work. I assume we get a combined one next time.

                    Session IV

                    Speed Demon’s Monologues


                    I dropped Kilroy and his fucking meatbag at Liz’s place. He assured me he’d take care of the spikey-haired motherfucker, not that I gave two shits at the moment. Before he fucked off, he used a new trick he had picked up, old dog that he might often be. He twisted reality a bit, and told me to go home and sleep it off, promising I’d be good as new when I woke up.

                    That might have flown for a goddamn retired g-man, but I knew what my recently leaking bloodstream needed and there wasn’t nearly enough of it at my shit hole apartment. I might have been better served heading to the shit hole bar near my rat-fuck of a place, but I’d been meaning to check out the locals around the office anyway, and there’s nothing like a little adventure to get the blood pumping. The way I saw it, there was so much less of it, it could use a little pep in its step.

                    I’d gotten a good enough look and smell of Kiki’s to last me for a bit, so I started on the other side of nearby. I’ll be fucked if I remember a goddamn name, but the first one I came to was a mirror opposite of Kiki’s - well lit, not a whiff of anything illegal, and full of bright optimistic players. I scowled at them. My shoulder twinged. I needed a drink.

                    For all of the bright happy people there, there were seats at the bar open. I slid into one of them. The bartender was quick to slide over himself, smiling to charm the fucking sun from the goddamn sky. He wasn’t bad looking, for a fella. Too bad about that anyway.

                    “What’s your pleasure, sweetheart?”

                    I raised an eyebrow. My usual is a whiskey sour, and ordinarily I’d put Smiles here through his paces and see whether he gave me a lemonade or a slightly bitter glass of rye. But my collarbone was throbbing in time with the low music and I didn’t want to risk setting my teeth on edge.

                    “Whiskey, on the rocks, and put the ice in a separate glass. And then throw it away.”

                    He smirked at me. “Water?”

                    “Nah, I’d hate to dirty another glass.”

                    I had more than a few more there, and true to his craft, he tossed those fucking ice cubes each time. Smiles knew a lot about the area and gave some color commentary on his competition. He warned me off one in particular, so of course, when I stumbled out, I made a beeline for it. Like I said, blood pumping, adventure, all that.

                    It was as full of rough and tumble cats as Smiles said it would be. Their whiskey was just as rough, and warmer than the reception they had for me. I didn’t bother asking for the ice. None of them tried anything though. No, the dust up was all my fucking fault.

                    It was a goddamn pro. Again. This city’s got it out for them, or some shit like that. I might have figured it was just a job - hell, it might have been - but I was there when her john brought her in, and if she was expecting his friends the same way they were expecting her, I’ll eat my hat, without salt. And I like salt.

                    I sighed and finished my drink, calling for one last shot. That done, I wandered over to the pool table, taking up one of the cues. I hefted it, going up to the ringleader.

                    “I think this one’s balance is off, what do you think?”

                    The crack that the cue made as it broke across his cheek was goddamn satisfying. That first hit had him reeling, but not down. My $2 special did that. The other two were too shocked to do anything but stare for a few seconds. Then they came at me with a roar. I stumbled out of the way, so only one of them got to play a fucking rumba on my ribs. before the bouncers waded into the fray.

                    I don’t think they liked the other fellas much, considering the two thugs got it worse than me before they tossed us outside. It might have also had something to do with one of the bruisers muttering some shit about hitting girls, or the fact that the third hit, directly to my collarbone, left me mostly limp.

                    They gave us the bounce and left us on the sidewalk. The rain that had started while I was inside was cold as a nun’s tits and roused me before it did the saps. I pressed my luck and looked them over for ID and some petty cash to replace the roll of nickels I’d dropped when I went limp. No such luck - the fuckers were cleaned out. Maybe that pro wasn’t as inexperienced as I thought. She’d certainly fucked off quick enough when the hitting started.

                    I stumbled back to the office, intending to call a cab from there. Lady Unconsciousness was calling stronger than that though, and the next thing I remember was a hand that looked blearily like Liz’s, gently shaking my good shoulder.

                    “Fuck off.” I’m eloquent when I’m asleep and hung over.

                    From very far away, I heard what was probably Liz’s dulcet voice. “Said, fuck off. ‘f there’s not a client with $500 a day plus expenses, fuck the shitting hell off.”

                    She raised her voice as she went through the door, or maybe I was just slightly less asleep. It made me wince either way. “So sorry dears, you’re a wonderful looking bunch of cheerleaders, but...” She trailed off as the doors closed behind her.

                    “Fuck cheerleaders. If they don’t have $500 a day plus expenses, fuck ‘em. Goddamn charity work.” I muttered to myself and lost consciousness again, if I’d even actually had it in the first place.

                    I woke up for true a few hours later, good as new, just like Kilroy had promised. Well, my shoulder and collarbone were. It felt like all the Angels from the metaphorical pin had relocated their dance class to the inside of my skull, and they were doing Riverdance today. One of the g-man’s river muck lizard fuckers had clearly gone and died in my mouth. In short, I needed a goddamn drink.

                    I took a few pulls on my flask as I set a pot of the coffee Vivian had gotten to brew. I couldn’t fathom her fucking contraption, so it wasn’t science coffee, but shit that strong will do, even without the science. After one cup, then another, I felt like something near human. Or at least as near as I get.

                    Billy Mac had been keeping me updated, in fucking Russian, no fucking less, which explained the constant goddamn chirping from my coat. They’d gone to check on Peterson Chemical, for whatever fucking reason, and figured out it was more Infrastructure. It made some chemical shit, that kept a goddamn lake monster in check over near Diablo Dam.

                    So, naturally, they made the drive over that way. And met fucking fish people. Billy’s last message said some shit about a picnic and spending some time talking with the Cryptids. I checked the time. It was recent enough. If I put my foot down, I could get there before they were done. If.


                    Clytemnestra’s Yarns

                    I’ve heard of someone talking like a fishwife, but this is ridiculous.

                    So I heard the Pacific Northwest is lousy with Cryptids, but not since arriving here, over the past 48 hours or so, have I seen so many. But I am getting ahead of myself.

                    I’ll take a refill, yes.

                    When I got home I found Kilroy at my house. He elected to mostly not comment on my paranoid behavior as I updated him on my evening out with Robin, and he spoke of his group’s activities. I went up and got changed and we headed out to the office.

                    Quietus was there, he had been laying low. Kilroy got him updated as I put coffee on. Speed was hung over in her office and sort of growled at me when I checked on her. After some discussion we decided to check Peterson Chemical out, as TT was stirred up and the Dam was a ways outside town. Speed snoozed.

                    Staking out the Chemical Plant went smooth and easy. Well, I just hooked up to and gobbled down some Aether, but Quietus and Kilroy were more successful. Kilroy especially figured out what it is for and how to break or subvert it.

                    It turns out we have a sea monster! Except not in the sea. It’s in Diablo lake, probably mutated by Aether runoff. I always wanted my own Sea Monster, but I am not sure my pool is big enough. The plant, it turns out, was making a chemical to keep it sedated. Also, vividly dreaming. Naturally Kilroy wanted to go poke it, but as it turned out the poking went in a different direction then he originally intended.

                    We got some scuba gear and piled into my Camry I use for slumming and headed up to the Diablo Lake. Finding the monster did not take long, it has a big bulb body, an eyestalk, some tendrils and an enormous mouth on the bottom. It was asleep. The Cryptid sentries, however, were not.

                    They looked like sorta fishy people…I’m not really an expert on Cryptids. Kilroy, however, decided to expand his knowledge of Cryptid anatomy. I figured out that the leader, who calls herself Ganora, has ambitions of controlling the area for her fishy family. This intrigued Kilroy enough to indicate to them to have a conversation at the surface. They agreed.

                    Turns out Ganora worships Tsagogla’lal, some sort of weird native spirit. It did sort of seem to have it’s appears worn into the rocks around us, which was freaky. Ganora learned a song from Tsagogla’lal, apparently, she can use to control the lake monster. She did not offer to teach it to us, despite my having a marvelous singing voice.

                    Kilroy offered to help Ganora with having some influence on the dam, but was frank that having the dam under her full control was not going to happen. She could not shift to a more pure human form like Jimmy Marsh, and the God-Machine had a real interest in the dam. He did figure he could leverage Langley Fitzgerald to be her minion, though he stopped short of promising pending some investigation of the goober.

                    I was not excited. I don’t need mind reading ability to sense that I was not going to be “initiating” Cecília to the “next level” of power. I realized I was probably going to be going through the goobers drawers, which is even less interesting than it sounds like. Possibly hunting “Rattus” whatever a “Rattus” is, sounds like some sort of Cryptid again.

                    Quietus was excited, though. Not to be searching the goober’s office, but mentally constructing Pacts for Kilroy to offer. He spoke excitedly of a few options when we had a moment away from Kilroy’s fishy friends. We did not establish anything yet, though. We returned to discussion, and Kilroy decided it was time to seduce him a fishwoman. Which…went fairly well for him, actually. The two went to find a grotto, while Quietus and I just sort of scratched our heads.

                    So that’s how Quietus and I wound up having a picnic and waiting for Speed while Kilroy had a booty call. What happened in your day?

                    End Session IV

                    There was an, uh, charming Innsmouth “Wish You Were Here” card I found which proved the inspiration for Ganora. It’s kinda disturbing.

                    Beyond that, lotta investigation. Used some of the rules in Flowers From Hell for investigating and hacking Infrastructure. The stuff with Speed was outside game, as her player had to miss.

                    Apologies for the lateness. It’s been a rather busy week, which delayed journals and delayed this work. Plus Dragon Age Inquisition came out. But we are back on track, Comments and Questions welcome.


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                    • #25
                      I know I'm going to regret this, but is there a copy of the card online you can link?

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                      • #26
                        Sure, why not


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                        • #27
                          THOSE EYES SCAR MY VERY SOUL!

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                          • #28
                            It happens. I recommend a topical ointment.


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                            • #29
                              Demon update. Our intrepid villains investigate the dam. Note Kilroy’s journal covers two sessions.

                              Session V

                              Speed Demon’s Monologues

                              A bit less than an hour later, I interrupted Liz and Jack’s little picnic at the lakeside. The good g-man was indisposed when I got there, fucking a goddamn fish broad. To be fair, she did have certain assets that weren’t particularly fucking fishlike. And even so, he found time to pump her for information, in addition to the rest of the pumping going on.

                              The long and the short of it, we had two angles there, both of which we decided to pursue with a bit of B and E after dark. For one, we needed to figure out if Mr Langley Fuckhead was going to be fucking copacetic to head up our soon-to-be fish cult. Billy knew right where his office was, so that was stop the first. With any luck, he’d have information there on how to get to the lower levels. Apparently, the others had gotten us signed up to moonlight as goddamn exterminators now, as job the second was to deal with a Rattus problem for the Santa-like old man who parcelled out the Aether. All I gotta say is that the damn Aether better get me fucking drunk or something. Goddamn charity work.


                              They say you oughta be careful what you wish for, cause it just might come true. In that case, I wish I had a billion dollars, a few spare Maseratis, a couple of Venom GTs, a hot girlfriend with commitment issues and a goddamn fucking pony. If that turns out half as well as my previous tongue-firmly-in-cheek wish for alcoholic Aether, I will be at worst some kind of bee-keeping smash and grab from being set for fucking life.

                              To back up and let us get from point A to point B: after 15 minutes of wheedling Liz into slumming it with us at the shitholes around the dam, 20 minutes of scarfing down a fucking greasy-ass burger and fries, and a couple of hours of seeing how much I could scandalize the couple sitting next to us without getting them to call a goddamn manager, we were back at the dam without another soul in sight. The handful of shitty cameras they had around the place were easy enough to avoid, by being careful. Liz might have fucking overdone it a little, but we all got through without being seen. Meanwhile, security was just completely fucking fucked - every door we ran across just swung open at a goddamn touch, left ajar by the most ideal of coincidences. Even Langley’s office was carelessly left right the hell open.

                              We split up the searching duties. I have a better eye for the lay of the land, and the g-man knows his way around a computer, so I rustled through his desk and file cabinets while Billy gave his computer a once over. He found, mixed in with an frankly fucking impressive collection of insulting limericks concerning Cleveland Shooter, enough to make a damn strong case that Langley was spying on the dam for some fucking outside party, a party that was concerned with the occult matrix and nighttime security. My gut says it's the goddamn vampires, even if, as Billy pointed out, the description fit us just as well. My gut also says the redhead Gloria Langley was concerned about was Puriel, with possibly even less evidence, but there it was.

                              Most of what I found was innocuous dam supervisor shit, until I’d dug down to the bottom of the drawer hoping to find a bottle of something. Admittedly, given his cheerio, can do attitude, and god fucking awful puns, I was more likely to find uppers than downers stashed away, but a woman can hope. Instead of either of those, I found a knife, made of bone and painted with blood. The look of the thing, especially in light of the shit Billy found, had us figuring it was an Angel’s bane. We wound up taking the knife, vampires be damned, mostly as insurance in case we ran into the Angel whose bane it was. Billy was concerned with fucking up Valefor’s day, but most likely Langley is working for the occult-ish faction, so worst case, the older vampires try to pin the theft on Valefor’s patsies, with no evidence.

                              We also managed to figure out where the hell Shooter’s office was and how to get downstairs. Unfortunately, Shooter’s office has so far remained untossed, by us at least, as right about then 3 gees and their dog walked into the complex. Liz and Billy fucked off downstairs, while I snuck off to get a half decent look at them.

                              If I wasn’t a Demon, it would have been the damnedest thing. Two city flatfeet and a state trooper, along with a Great Dane that got its cues from goddamn Scooby Doo. To top it all, they acted like they had reason to believe something was screwy, but they had their radios completely off. Public flatfeet of any type just don’t fucking do that. Something stank, and it stank like Angels. Four of them, as no fucking dog I’d ever seen outside a cartoon looked around quite like that. I had a thought to give them a looking over, see if I couldn’t read anything, but it was too goddamn likely they had some kinda senses going themselves, so in the end I just fucked off downstairs myself.

                              The lower level was pitch black, so Liz put on her sunglasses and took the lead. It wasn’t too long before we came to a heavy door, that was this close to having actually latched the last time someone went through. Fucking lax security. A little bit after that, Liz called a halt. On the floor was a skateboard. A fucking skateboard! Around ten feet past it was a bit of razor wire strung across the one path at about neck height. Further past that, the floor was covered in newspaper, barely managing to kinda obscure the homemade bear traps scattered about the place.

                              I cursed under my breath at whoever thought it was a good fucking idea to let a bunch of goddamn dog-sized humanoid rat-fuckers watch the goddamn Home Alone movies. They had the whole fucking nine yards - slingshots with small metal shivs for ammo, fucking fishing wire tied to a goddamn boiler door, a hallway sized rubber band that took two of the fuckers to pull back. There was even a goddamn bucket of caustic Rattus blood on top of a slightly ajar door to cap things off.

                              I cleared some of the fucking bear traps by sending the skateboard careening through the first few. It wasn’t all that useful, except to have one of the Rattus, the jumpiest of the little fuckers, to go off a bit prematurely. We all went full demon form, and I switched up my treads for a hover thing anyway, so none of us wound up spending much time on the goddamn floor.

                              That first ambush was full of lucky motherfuckers. One of them got a decent shot at me, leaving a deep scratch down my rivet arm. The rest mostly went after Billy and not a single one of the regular bastards did anything but bruise him a little. I teased him some, after the last of the fuckers left a sharpened piece of scrap metal stuck deep in his shield.

                              “Next time, I’m stealing your damn shield.”

                              The g-man turned to me, his face serious. “It’s a Process. You can’t mimic its effects with your own Amorphous Process.”

                              I rolled my eyes at him. “Fine, ruin all of my fucking fun. I’ll steal your goddamn armor then.”

                              “That is within your capabilities, yes.”

                              We got around the fishing wire and boiler trap by having Billy jet forward at the last minute and grab hold of the door. The dumb ass rat fuckers tugged on the wire until it snapped, then fucked off. Liz glued the door in fucking place, so at least if they tried to set it off behind us they get caught in their own damn trap. The comedically oversized slingshot similarly relied on not being seen. The setup was fucking gruesome. The ammo they had were limbs of some sort, removed from the vaguely Santa-like old man’s torso, with the protruding bone fucking sharpened into a goddamn point. The torso stood guard over the T-intersection they were hiding behind, impaled on a fucking stake. The ambush was easy to avoid by flying above its line of fire and filling the two fuckers full of lead though.

                              Past them we found a pair of rooms, full of fucking glowing golden honeycomb topped off with Aether. There was also another Rattus, not the smartest rat in the sewer. Or maybe it was - that’s not a particularly fucking telling bar. It certainly wasn’t going to be winning any goddamn awards other than a Darwin, as it was dead on the floor from eating a spray of bullets it had served to itself. I grabbed the SMG it left behind and stashed it in my bolthole.

                              All of our cell phones went there too, after we stocked them and ourselves with a full load of Aether. Billy analyzed the Infrastructure. Mostly nothing new, except that the Aether it was collecting could be moved via bees, ostensibly for stealth transportation purposes, as few Demons would suspect that a truckload of bees was moving Aether for the fucking God-Machine. Far more importantly, the bees would translate the Aether-pollen they gathered from the honeycombs into the honey they made. And, since honey can be made into alcohol... Aetheric alcohol. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a better fucking pair of words, other than eager redhead, or free booze, or paying client. OK, so maybe I can think of lots of better pairs of words, but that’s just because I have a halfway decent fucking imagination, not because Aetheric alcohol isn’t God’s gift to thirsty Demons.

                              There was only one place left to explore, other than out, and it was a fucking nasty goddamn place. Billy neatly sidestepped the bucket of acidic Rattus blood, giving us all a good glimpse of the four generators, including the unpowered radioactive one that served as the linchpin. We also got way more of a look than any fucking person ever wanted at another Rattus. It was bigger than it brothers, armed with two shivs and sporting three eyes, three balls and the mange. He threw himself, screeching, at Billy, and actually managed to punch through that armor of this. Didn’t help him much though, as Billy responded by putting lead right in the center of his three eyes.

                              On the way out, we didn’t find anymore Rattus, though we had a far closer encounter that I ever fucking wanted to have with a few of their traps. The machinery ended at another heavy metal door. This time it was unlocked without me even needing to tweak reality, as a good quarter of the door, including the goddamn locking mechanism, had been bitten off. It led to a cave full of steel barrels, with with similar teeth marks. The owner of said teeth was no fucking where to be seen, so we made it further down through the dam into a room that opened up into an underwater cave.

                              I shifted out and back into my Demonic quantum state so I could swap out my jet pack for an aquatic adaptation. Good thing too, even if it did cost me a hell of a lot to do so. It took me around twenty minutes to find a safe route out. Even that route was fucking pushing it, but the other two got out without any trouble, when we could travel the exact best route without any exploring.

                              We met up with Jack at the cars. He mentioned the flatfeet had spent a lot of fucking time milling around them, so I gave them a check up myself. I found a GPS tracker on each and figured I’d see how long they’d chase after a stray dog that happened to have picked up a bit of a bug problem.


                              Turns out they were too goddamn quick on the uptake for that particular trick. As soon as I hit city limits, I noticed I’d picked up a tail, a white sporty thing, driven by a Mormon looking mother fucker, and his mirror opposite, a bald fucker in an Animal t-shirt, white goggles, a pair of neon red short shorts and combat boots. That’s my kinda fucking style right there, it’s just too bad one of those fuckers screwed around with my goddamn car. I’m gonna say it was the Mormon motherfucker. Mr. Short Shorts is clearly above such bullshit.

                              I kept an eye on them for a bit, to make sure it was a tail before I made a quick J-turn and gunned it down the road, weaving in and out of traffic. They stuck close right at first, but I quickly pulled ahead. I was goddamn close to losing them when my car’s engine died completely. A million plans rushed through my head, from possessing my car and let the dead engines be damned, to going full demon form and flying the fuck off, but so far, those two fuckers hadn’t seen shit and there was no need to play my hand now. So I forced the wheel to the side. There was just enough momentum to roll me about halfway off the road and give me room to dive out and duck into a bar nearby.

                              Mr Short Shorts came out after me, but I was in the bar and lost in the crowd before he got there. He didn’t stick around long, not that I didn’t expect him to be right outside the fucking door, waiting. There were at least three exits to the place, so I had something of a chance. Still, not good enough odds for my taste, so I stuck around until closing time, and had a few drinks to calm my temper. Fucking Angels fucking with my goddamn car.

                              There were still plenty of folks at the bar at closing time for me to stick with a crowd out the door, but the Angels were nowhere to be seen. The real bulls were out in force, just about to tow my goddamn car, but I played it fucking nice, swore my face blue that I was waiting on my own tow truck, “yes officer” and “no officer”ed at all the right places, and they let it go, this time. I tossed the GPS trackers in the nearest gutter the cops couldn’t see me at and fucked off home in a way that took me around my asshole to get to my ear. Fucking Angels.


                              Kilroy’s Transmissions

                              The Old Man and the Sea Monster

                              Abduction Protocol

                              Once I had utilized my newly developed mending embed to facilitate Speed's and my own recovery from our injuries, she deposited me at Clytemnestra's house in the body of the security man. I made use of my fellow unchained's guest wing, stripping and then binding myself to a chair quite securely before exiting the human's body and assuming Billy Mack's once more.

                              The man was quite calm under the circumstances, which speaks rather highly of his training and the caliber of Tomorrow Transhuman's security personnel. My abilities revealed that he was far more concerned with what Sanderson or Carla Pierce would do to him for disloyalty or that there was such a thing as Sanderson's monster more less what it might do to him or his family if he failed his master than he was of what I might do to him. It set an unfortunate starting point for the interrogation but I was able to gain some basic knowledge of the facilities security from him. The areas of note, the uppermost floors and the lower ones, are outside of the standard human security forces.

                              Once I had gained what he was going to tell me, we began to negotiate for his life. He seemed a bit confused at first but once he decided that I was serious he gave consideration to what he could offer up to save himself. In the end, he agreed to give me his ex-girlfriend if I spared his life. We signed the contract and then I used my memory editing to remove his memories of everything that had happened after the fight and replace them with some slightly hazy but clear memories of alien abduction. I then drove back to the alley and left him unconscious and naked there.


                              Peterson Chemical

                              Clytemnestra returned home late the next morning, after I had slept and while I was enjoying some breakfast prepared by her staff. She was clearly unnerved and explained that she was having intermittent visions of ghosts. It seems most likely it was a side effect of feeding upon Robin Graves' essence. I am not familiar with what the woman is or with the practice of feeding upon essence the way Clytemnestra does so I cannot be certain. At some point, I would like to investigate this intriguing effect but I am doubtful that either Clytemnestra or Graves is likely going to be keen on being subject to my scientific curiosity. Pity.

                              In light of her altered awareness, I drove us to the office. Speed was there, but not functional. Quietus was also present, having been laying low to insure that the angel at the train station did not trace him back to the rest of us or the agency. After some discussion, the three of us decided to investigate Peterson Chemical.

                              The building was simple and not heavily guarded. It seemed designed to avoid notice as its main defense, and to be fair, had we not seen the trucks at the Diablo Dam we would most likely not have found it.

                              We made our way inside and I set to discerning the infrastructure’s purpose while my companions kept watch over the security guards present. The results were not what we had expected. The facility was producing a chemical designed to keep something very large in a state of high REM sleep while not effecting reptoids or humans and being easily filtered. I considered altering the chemical output and some ideas for how to neutralize the compound or adjust it's effects to include reptoids came to mind. However, I was not about to do such without knowing exactly what sort of monster they were keeping sedated in Diablo Lake.


                              What Lies Sleeping

                              Quietus and Clytemnestra agreed that it was worth investigating and so we set out for Diablo Dam after renting some SCUBA equipment. Entering the lake, we were soon able to locate the monster. Clytemnestra also spotted a pair of aquatic cryptids. They seemed more interested in withdrawing than aggression. Our powers identified them as scouts for the God Machine's agent at the dam but they seemed less than pleased with that arrangement.

                              I approached them and was able to communicate my desire to speak. They agreed and we returned to the surface. The principle was a female, Ganora. She was the alpha of this pack of a dozen or so cryptoids. She was quite open about her desire to take control of the dam and lake. I quickly pointed out that neither the God machine nor the mundane human authorities would allow her and her people to hold the dam for any length of time. She was disappointed, but seemed to understand the necessity well enough. After some negotiation, we roughed out a plan to forge a mutually beneficial pact. I discussed it with the others and Quietus was very interested in working out a reasonably effective bargain.

                              Ganora was quite agreeable to the deal when I presented it to her, and had there not been concerns with Langley Fitzgerald's suitability to lead the human contingent of our newly minted fish goddess' cult we would have finalized things. The delay was disappointing to Ganora, but again she was reasonable and understood the need for caution. As I spoke to her, I assured her further of our intentions and both to distract her from impatience and cement myself and my fellows as friend and ally to her I employed the charm. She was most responsive and I made a point of encouraging her and showing an interest despite her inhumanity. As things progressed, it became clear she was agreeable to cementing our alliance in a most traditional and intimate manner. I had not explored intercourse with a non-human before and the prospect intrigued me.

                              I took a moment to inform Clytemnestra and Quietus that I was going to spend some time getting to know our new ally intimately while we waited for it become late enough to infiltrate the dam. They seemed mildly surprised but as demons, neither of them are overly hidebound non-humans. Ganora took me to one of the underwater grottoes that dot the lake and we spent the remainder of the afternoon exploring and enjoying each other physically. She seemed quite satisfied when I left to return to the surface and I feel confident that she feels some affection and trust for me at this point.


                              Those Dam Rats

                              Speed had woken and joined us while I was enjoying Ganora. As expected, she had some colorful comments about my choice in sexual partners but nothing that seemed beyond the usual for her. It was still a little early and so we chose to find a small diner to eat and wait for the dam to reach the lowest levels of activity.

                              Once we felt the timing was optimal we made our way to the dam. Quietus remained with the cars to keep watch over our means of departing the area. Speed's embed proved quite adept at getting us inside and allowing us to freely investigate the dam.

                              We began at Fitzgerald's office. I took to his computer while Speed and Clytemnestra tossed the physical space. We both found several items of interest. He is not, as I feared, a God Machine cultist. However, he is already very much the agent of some other group with an interest in the Diablo Dam. While there is no hard evidence, my initial theory is that he was sent by the Ordo Dracul vampires. He's investigated the dam's nocturnal security and taken steps to weaken it. Speed located a dagger made of bone and painted with blood, certainly a bane, most likely for an angel. Yet his notes on the his investigation of the occult matrix show a far less developed knowledge of the occult. He is thus clearly working for some group with advanced lore which all fits with the vampires. Of course, he could be the pawn of some as yet unknown player. We shall have to investigate his loyalties further to know for certain.

                              We decided to keep his talisman, just in case we encountered the angel it was made for. I had located information on the hidden infrastructure as well as Cleveland Shooter's office. We opted to move on Shooter's office first, but the arrival of a group of security caused us to change plans. Clytemnestra and myself made for the lower levels while Speed took a closer look. Two local police, one state trooper and one hyper intelligent dog, all acting in concert and under radio silence. It was suspicious behavior for actual law enforcement but seemed quite in keeping with angels impersonating such. We chose not to test our theory.

                              The lower level was sealed by a door of most impressive stature, which Speed was able to find conveniently unlocked due to her powers. We passed and sealed it behind us to slow or turn back the investigators. But as we made our way through the darkened inner workings of the dam's occult infrastructure, we discovered the rattus.

                              The entire area was laden with makeshift traps of a particularly clever and devious nature. The cryptoids themselves were diminutive but likewise armed with weapons they had crafted from the materials available to them. Sadly, they seemed unwilling and most likely unable to communicate dispute my efforts. However, they were no match for us in combat. The three of us shifted to demonic form and we made our way through the rattus and their traps and ambushes.

                              Along the way, we found the gristly remains of the old man that Ganora had told us oversaw the dam's infrastructure. They had murdered him and used his body as both bait for a trap and the primary armament for it. As with their other clever efforts, it was not up to the task of demons. At the heart of the structure, we found one more rattus that had died trying to figure out the old man's weapon and a particularly large and further mutated specimen lurking in the actual reactor chamber. That chamber is highly toxic, I will have to make sure to warn Ganora to limit her people's exposure to it.

                              The focal point was a power collector, which had been damaged by the rattus but was still intact. As expected, it was a storage center for Aether, though quite novel. It was fashioned in a honeycomb and seemed suited to actual beekeeping which would allow the bees to transport the energy in a manner that would be quite inconspicuous. Speed seemed most interested in the prospect that this honey could be processed into mead, and I have promised her that I shall make her some. However, we lacked any proper means of transporting any meaningful amount of honey with us so it will have to wait.

                              We did gather our fill of Aether and store what we could in our phones for later. The way back seemed perilous with a quartet of angels so we moved deeper, seeking the lake access Ganora and her people had been using. We found it, along with signs of some very large and aggressive cryptoid that did not match anything we'd encountered. We braced ourselves and waited as Speed became submersible and explored the underwater cave. There was no sign of the creature and we were able to exit without further incident.

                              Quietus reported that the angels had examined our cars and Speed located tracking devices on both. I expressed some interest in remaining to update Ganora on the escalation of the rattus threat and what we had discovered, but no one else wanted to remain. The prospect of a decent bed was also quite tempting to me so I did not argue once a plan to return soon was established. We shall need to set up a means of communication with our cult as soon as possible. The lake and dam are an inconvenient drive to handle everything in person and we need to be accessible to them in an emergency.

                              Speed took the tracking devices and left in her car. She has plans to send the angels on a wild goose chase I believe. I drove Clytemnestra and Quietus back myself. My hostess has plans to spend the night with her minion so I had her drop me off at the office. I shall bed down in the cot here in my lab tonight. I am feeling rather tired after the day's events.


                              Clytemnestra’s Yarns

                              Rattus are a variety of Cryptid I will not be sad to never meet again.

                              So, the rest of that story. We snuck into the Diablo Dam to try to see what we could find below. Quietus is less a sneaker so he kept watch. Lucky bastard. The first part was not so bad; we searched Langley’s office for info and found evidence he is spying for someone, though we are not sure who. Kilroy suspects Vampires. I would suspect Valefar except that he seemed surprised by what we found about the dam. Of course, Demons are notorious liars, don’t cha know?

                              What? Would I lie to you sweetheart?

                              Our perusal was interrupted by the arrival of a group which I am pretty sure were Angels. They had access via the door and there were three, plus a dog I am fairly sure was also an Angel. We elected to go deeper inside and avoid the matter entirely, Angels or no. Kilroy had found a way down, so we slipped into the lower part inside the dam.

                              I’d say it was a mistake, but it was part of what we were there to do. The lower part of the dam was a hellhole. Rattus are some form of mutant rat Cryptid, and they were apparently carrying on a guerilla war with the humans and angels of the dam. They had, in fact, killed “the old man” we were looking for and riddled the area with traps. Awful creatures. Darling, if you hear a place is infested with Rattus, keep away.

                              We eventually found our own way out. Well, we left via the river, to avoid the probably-Angels above. We found the cars were bugged, but Speed took the bugs for disposal. With that, we headed to town.

                              Once I got a bath and change of clothes, I called for Cecília to come. I enjoy pacting with mortals, and carefully took a few bits of her soul I gave her much in return…money, influence, greater beauty. She will be our office manager, and will be almost as memorable as I am. I kept Cecília for the remainder of the evening. When she emerged from my private wing the next day she was a new woman.

                              You should come visit. I can show you my private wing. You won’t survive, my love, but it will be totally worth your while. No? Ah well, you really don’t know what you are missing.

                              End Session V

                              Rattus are of course another Cryptid (I am having way, way too much fun with Cryptids) and it was my job to make the trip through the dam as exciting as possible. The Rattus would not stand up to a straight up fight so it was largely overcoming their traps.

                              Given the nature of the session, a lot of it was taken up dealing with the rat traps.

                              That’s all for now, comments and questions welcome.


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                              [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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                              • #30
                                So, I am curious about something. RAW the God-Machine doesn't use / cannot detect Aether but both Speed and Kilroy mention the infrastructure collectin and/or storing it. Is that something you changed?


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