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Demon: Night Train Detective Agency (Actual Play)

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  • Demon: Night Train Detective Agency (Actual Play)

    Demon: Night Train Detective Agency is a Demon: The Descent game set in Seattle. We are not using the time splinters stuff from the official version, as while we picked Seattle before we realized it was the official city, our plans did not jive with the time travel aspects of that setting.

    Night Train Detective Agency has some deliberate Noir and Neo-Noir tropes and elements. It is not restricted to them, but certain imagery and events will hew a little closer to that, and the ring has a hard boiled detective, femme fatale, etc.

    Night Train Detective Agency will, like other games, be told in character journals. The nature of the Unchained means it will have less actual journals and more stories or internal monologues (fitting a Neo-Noir theme). This is my first Demon: The Descent game, my fourth Chronicles of Darkness game. Like Balance of Shadows and Malibu Dream House, Night Train Detective Agency is heavily sandboxy, as our Demons live out their new lives in the hostile realm of the God-Machine, and it will explore their hopes and their woes as much as a solid “Storyline.” Some sessions may even be entirely IC banter. I expect 1-3 journals regularly, hopefully at least two per session.

    This campaign uses the GMC system, including the Beat system. We are trying it out, seeing how it works.

    Our Cast, the Night Train Detective Agency.

    Quietus, “Jack Stone” “Mr. Ends”
    Incarnation: Destroyer
    Agenda: Saboteur, Tempter
    Human 1 Human 2 Human 3 Demon 1

    Quietus was a Destroyer sent to arrange the death of a young man to further the purposes of the God-Machine. He had to kill a specific young man, and it turned out that young man was a good boy, but with a bad friend who was a bully and scum. Jack killed him instead, and fell. Now Jack decides who he kills.

    Jack strongly identifies with the African-American ethnicity of his primary cover, with some modeling off of John Shaft. He knows people, and he has major issues with authority. His Demonic form is like a glass robot, looking fragile yet very tough. Jack’s player may have to miss from time to time, being a new Dad.

    Kilroy, “William McKenzie” “Billy Mac” “Vivian Marley”
    Incarnation: Guardian
    Agenda: Inquisitor, Saboteur
    Human 1 Human 2 Demon 1 Demon 2 Alternate Cover

    Kilroy was a Guardian sent in the cover of a senior federal agent in Texas to see to it domestic terrorist Vivian Marley survived to get to trial and be acquitted, then leave through the side door. He did so, but found a gunman waiting in the lot. Not wanting to let his charge be slain, he intervened to protect her, foiling the last step of the God-Machine’s plan. As Kilroy put it, he then stepped sideways and ceased to be a pawn. He worked with Vivian awhile, but in the end subsumed her and added her to his covers.

    Kilroy is retired now, a hacker and terrorist but also a detective who works to keep tabs on the God-Machine and strike when and where it is weak. He is too old for this shit. His Demonic Form is armored and reinforced, with jets and the ability to download people’s memories, making him an ultimate hacker of a sort.

    Clytemnestra, “Elizabeth Covington” “Liz” Naomi Cruz, Ms. Weaver
    Incarnation: Messenger
    Agenda: Tempter
    Human 1 Human 2 Human 3 Demon 1 Demon 2 Alternate Cover 1 Alternate Cover 2

    Clytemnestra was Messenger sent to ensure the marriage between a powerful pair of politicians was broken up and they were distracted from calling for an investigation into a particular bit of the God-Machine’s activity. She was to seduce each separately and cause a scandal. Unfortunately, they were both very dull, and Liz wound up invited to a party by someone much more interesting which involved Brazilian dancers and cocaine. By the time the haze cleared her window had passed. She no longer cared, and fell.

    Clytemnestra has been in a haze of drugs and beautiful women and handsome men for some time. However, her conspicuous consumption lead to her seducing and consuming the first angel sent for her, and going loud to escape the second party. Now she seeks to prove herself to not only her new ring, but to herself. Liz is a quintessential femme fatale. Her Demonic form is inhumanly beautiful but spider like, very mobile and with extra arms and the ability to drain the Essence of others for her own Aether stores. She has (mostly untapped) sensory abilities in the form as well.

    Speed Demon, “Gabriella Norton” “Gabe”
    Incarnation: Psychopomp
    Agenda: Inquisitor
    Human 1 Human2 Human 3 Demon 1 Demon 2

    Speed Demon was a Psychopomp sent to ensure a proper quantity of despair was gathered for one of the God Machine’s Occult Matrixes. Unfortunately, she had too good a heart for it. Also, she found her way to booze, and booze proved very distracting. The God-Machine was savvy to her attempts to bullshit it, and she fell.

    Gabe is still a detective, though. A hard-boiled PI, Gabe curses like a longshoreman on amphetamines and drinks like the well will never run dry. She is still all about speed, though. Her Demonic form is usually a silver motorcycle, but it’s amorphous nature allows it to change, and it is not unknown for her to hit the streets as a sporty silver car, especially when a silver driverless motorcycle might get noticed. She spends as much time with the Addicted Condition as her Agenda one.

    Added a bit later:

    Fulgur “Jared Evans”
    Incarnation: Destroyer
    Agenda: Saboteur
    Human Demon Demon Partial Demon Loud

    Fulgur was a Destroyer sent under the cover of a boy detective with his buddy Gene. The death of Gene’s parents led him to turn his back on the God-Machine out of regret and guilt, but it was the death of Gene that truly made him angry.

    Fulgur has recently hooked up with the Night Train Detective Agency, and his potent rage, and potent mastery of electricity, compliments well the skills he retained from his years as a boy detective. More grown up now, Fulgur divides his time between the Agency and college

    Markizel “Terry McTavert”
    Incarnation: Psychopomp
    Agenda: Integrator
    Human Demon

    Markizel fell fairly recently, after questioning a number of the features of the world. He seemed to fixate on some more than others, such as chicken wings. He says he wants to improve the God-Machine, not destroy it, but other members of the Agency wonder if his trying to do one would lead to the other.

    As Terry McTavert, he has joined up with the Night Train Agency as a mechanic, which has, so far, made him useful enough not to be eaten. He approaches the world with a childlike naiveté, with occasional asides that can get him banned from anywhere with children. He is a McGuyver trope.

    First session was Saturday, and on “Off weeks” I will be putting up backgrounds or local introductory material. So something like that coming up Saturday, then in a week from then journals for session 1. Comments and Questions welcome.
    Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 03-19-2016, 04:59 AM.

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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]

  • #2
    As someone who:

    A. Lives in the Seattle area.
    B. Loves reading your Actual Plays (although I am very behind right now).


    C. Am about to start running a Demon game set in Seattle (players made characters this last weekend).

    I have to say that I am super excited about this! Can't wait to read more.


    Backer #2010


    • #3
      Glad to have you aboard ElvesofZion. If you as someone living in Seattle have any good locations or ideas for me based on your experience living there. I am all ears. Feel free to leave a note here or PM me if you think of anything.

      PS- If you do an actual play be sure and link it. I enjoy reading those.
      Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 09-29-2014, 04:06 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]


      • #4
        I hope to do something actual play like. Not sure what I will have time for or be able to get out of players (like your journals) but I'll post what I can. I do have an Obsidian Portal set up: Unfortuntaley almost everything is marked GM only at the moment since we haven't started but the PCs are there mostly and more will appear as we play.


        Backer #2010


        • #5
          fair enough thanks.

          Onyx Path Moderator
          Forum Rules
          This is my mod voice. This is my goth voice.
          [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]


          • #6
            Okay, Demon journals start a week from today, and so far we have two. Today, though, we are introducing you to half the Ring, Speed Demon and Quietus, the Psychopomp and Destroyer. Clytemnestra and Kilroy will be up in two weeks. Speed Demon is kind of a glue for the party, so her going up first was an easy choice.

            Speed Demon, “Gabriella Norton” “Gabe” Psychopomp Inquisitor

            Speed Demon

            I looked up from my glass of cheap rye and glanced out the window. I’d been doing that a lot lately, despite the fact that the only thing on the other side of the window was a piece of plywood, nailed there by yours truly. Unfortunately, the same rock that had prompted me to board up the window, thrown by a client’s angry ex-husband, had taken out my only clock. So I looked out the window, trying to find the sun, a streetlight, some external force that would tell me that time was in fact passing. Instead, I got real familiar with the splinters on that plywood.

            I only had one piece of work on my desk, the Montgomery case. I looked away from the window, down at the photograph on the top of the stack. It was a little girl, about 5, hair up in pigtails and her left front tooth missing. She was smiling. When her parents had taken that picture into the police department and asked them to help find her missing daughter, the sergeant on duty told her to fuck off. Another officer had stopped them on their way out to tell them he hoped she was dead, one less black kid to dirty up the streets. Fuckers. I was the second detective they’d come to. The first one had turned them down because they couldn’t afford a retainer. Heartless bastards.

            I shouldn’t have taken their money, but I guess a disappointment a few days down the road sounded better to me than telling them to get out one more time. I’d come up with a few leads since then, but that was all, and I had less than 4 hours to meet with my contact. The God-Machine didn’t allow for tardiness. I had just enough time, if I left now, to stop by the post office and drop off the package I’d made up. All my notes on the Montgomery case, plus twice their retainer back. Not like I’d need it after the hand off. Once that was done I was out of this shithole for good. And once I was done, it wouldn’t matter that I’d given a little hope back to the poor family.
            __________________________________________________ ________________________

            I pulled up to the drop site, not a moment to spare. My tires squealed on the wet pavement as I skidded to a stop. My thoughts were on the Montgomery case, and the look on the man’s face as he walked through my door, his arm around his wife. The skid threw up a sheet of water, the edge of it just barely missing my contact. He frowned. I ignored him in favor of another pull from my jacket flask. It was almost empty. I filled it before I left the office. Damn, but the man’s face would not go away. I wish I could have sent him to Mac. Mac wouldn’t have let them get chased out of the station. Mac wouldn’t have let the case go through the cracks. That’s just the kinda cop he is. It’s probably why he got transferred to Seattle. The precinct doesn’t take kindly to people messing with the status quo. Probably for the best. Last I heard, he and his wife and their Irish twins were doing well, up north. I took another drink, and emptied the flask. It caught the light from the nearby streetlamp as I got out of the car.

            “What are you looking at, Jack?”

            The other angel was staring at me, silent. He made a small motion to the side, mincing, careful not to touch the water. I smirked. If he had a cover, it would be one of those prissy business men, with shiny shoes and an $800 suit. The kind that look down on a lowly PI, and wouldn’t dream of associating with one; that is, until he thinks his wife is cheating on him, or gambling his money away. Or, even more likely, when he wants a patsy for some money laundering scheme. How the bulky metallic man with tank treads managed to look that prissy was beyond me. Maybe I’d ask him. Then again, maybe I wouldn’t.

            “You do have the required shipment, yes?”

            I could hear the sneer in his voice. I saw him glance over at the car. I glanced with him. Sure, its paint was peeling and I hadn’t quite gotten around to fixing the window that had been broken, or the bullet holes in the side, but it was mine dammit. It could go as fast as I need, and I sure as hell needed it fast. To hell with him anyway. When I looked back over at him the sneer had moved from his voice to his face. I wanted to punch it off more than I’d wanted anything for a long time.

            I sat there, staring back at him, until his smile slipped. Then I smiled. “Course I do, Jack.” He started as I reached into my jacket pocket. I tossed the thumb drive I pulled from it at him. He almost dropped it. His fumble, my throw was perfect. Yeah, maybe I could have warned him. I could have done a lot of things. “All there, all 3 petabytes of pure despair. Amazing what miniaturization can do this day and age.”

            He was ignoring me, of course, in favor of inspecting the drive. His frown made me uneasy, and I hid it by lounging against lamppost and lightning up a cigarette. He lifted up a small panel on his arm and plugged the drive in. “There’s 3.7 petabytes on here.” His voice had a more metallic grate to it this time.

            “So fucking what? You got your 3 petabytes, plus a little bonus. Deal.”

            “The God-Machine does not ‘deal’. Your mission was to retrieve 3 petabytes of despair. 3. Petabytes.”

            “Fuck your God-Machine.” The words were out of my mouth before I had a chance to think. “Fuck your goddamn fucking God-Machine. He put me in that goddamn place. There was nothing there but despair! What was I supposed to do? Shut them off? Closed my doors as soon as the damn meter was full? Clock the fuck out? Just... stop?”


            “Fuck you!” I stepped forward, cigarette forgotten, and reached out towards the angel before I remembered the puffed up bureaucrat wasn’t wearing a shirt for me to grab. I settled for tapping him hard in the chest with a single finger. It stung, just enough knock me out from my anger. I tapped him again, just to show I wasn’t afraid of some prissy transport fuck. “Fuck you.” I turned to pick my cigarette back up and get in the car. Damn I needed a drink.

            “I can’t let you do that.”

            I stopped at the door to my car, not looking back. “What are you going to d-” A metallic sound from behind me stopped me mid sentence. An flash of instinct prompted me to duck over my car, and keep moving. My car exploded. I was pissed. Pissed as fuck, and drunk too. I hadn’t seen a rod on the angel, but no one sees mine until I use it either, so that didn’t mean anything. And now the fucker had blown up my ride!

            I changed quantum states, still ducking and weaving across the abandoned parking lot. I made modifications as I drove off. I replaced my standard pair of wheels with a plasma drive, and shot forward, hovering over the ground. My new jets let me stop and change directions on a dime, and I spun around to tag the fucker back with a laser cutter of my own. The angel almost caught up to me after that. I missed it somehow, the telltale static twitch. The fucker was a shifter like me, and he knew how to play with his toys. He was gaining on me, and I had a strong feeling I wouldn’t like it if that piston gripped claw of his closed on me.

            I took off, away from the old factory, hoping I could make it to the highway. When he blinked back into existence between me and the exit, I sent off a shot with the laser, and made a sharp turn, staying just out of his reach. I wobbled a bit as I pulled out of the turn. Half drunk on a flask full of cheap scotch is not how I would have chosen to get in a car chase with a tank, given my druthers. Not that it ever tripped me up, but Mac was always telling me it slows the reflexes. Tonight is not a night for anything to go slow.

            He might have had the bulge, but this was my town. I made it to the highway. Not my brightest move, on the surface. For one thing, I cared a hell of a lot more about the fuckers driving on that damn highway than he did, even if that wasn’t saying much. For another, long flat stretches of man made road are heaven for the fuckers using urban fluidity. But I weaved in and out of traffic, zagging across medians and jumping the occasional exit sign. And in the end, I got to where I was heading, before he did much more than break through my resistors.

            A lucky shot had done that, and scratched up my paint job while it was at it. He got in one final shot, as I turned off into the State Park that bordered the highway, that would have blown out a tire, if I still had mine. I spun out, but still had a moment’s reprieve. I’d caught a break, and had spun off away from the path, and nothing nearby counted as man made enough for him to teleport over. He’d fix that soon enough, but I had a few seconds to breathe.

            Those few seconds seemed like a fucking short amount of time as soon as another laser cut just over my chassis. I took off again, able to keep a little further ahead in the trees, even if it was hell on the paint. I didn’t really like being outside of the urban areas myself, but I’m a scrapper. Mister Prissy Pants was in a much worse shape than I was. I pulled ahead for just a moment and found a small Ranger’s station in front of me. I was out of time, and out of options. It was as a good a place for a last stand as any.

            I limped around the side, moving slowly in a last ditch effort towards stealth. I eased the back door open, and ducked around inside. I shut the door and leaned back against it, closing my eyes, listening for the sounds of his approach. All I heard was the buzzing of a single, naked 60-watt bulb, swinging on a chain. The acoustics of the place were odd, as if the whole building were one single room, and much smaller than it ought be. I opened my eyes, staring at the swinging light bulb and found myself in my office.

            In my office, if my office had no windows, not even boarded up ones. There was no furniture other than my desk and even my shithole of an office has a shade on the light. All sounds from the outside were gone. I crouched there, counting time by the swinging of the light. The bulb’s arc never seemed to degrade - it was swinging just as wide after what felt like an hour as it was when I got in. My wheel well still hurt like a motherfucker. I checked it over, found a few inches of lead in it in addition to the scorch marks. The prissy fucker had a rivet gun along with his laser cutter and I didn’t even notice. I couldn’t let that get by me again. If that light was telling me anything, it’s that time is all fucked up here and there’s not even a plywood window to practice my xray vision on.
            __________________________________________________ ________________________

            In the end it was almost pathetically easy. The prissy fucker had been right behind me and after what felt like hours of cooling my heels and picturing exactly what that building had been shaped like, I had a fistful of hot anger, just waiting to get planted in some fusspot’s face. He was expecting me to be panicked and running for my life, so when I stood there and tore into him with my rod, he took it solid in the chest, and collapsed in a heap. I shifted back into my cover, and lit a cigarette.

            First things first. I needed a drink. Then, there was a little girl, five years old, missing her front left tooth, that needed to be found. After that? Well, I hear Seattle’s awfully nice this time of year...


            Quietus, “Jack Stone” “Mr. Ends” Destroyer Saboteur/Tempter

            Evolution of Quietus

            So many lives destroyed. So little reason for their deaths. Killed at the will of the God-Machine.

            Killed by my hand.

            Before my Fall, there was never a question of why or concern of who. Unlike many of my hulking brothers and sisters, The Machine created me smaller and seeker, better to serve my purpose of subtle and silent assassination. Through Infrastructure and Psychopomp, my arrival was always precise, perfectly aligned with my mission. My targets included corporate server farms, power production facilities, manufacturing plants, monarchs, priests, advisers, and other nameless mortals. Correction, they were nameless at the time. Once in a time long forgotten, a designation was assigned to me for a process meant to induce fear. The word was baraq, which meant lightning in the tongue of the people. It served my purpose well. In time, the designation changed to Baraqiel, which meant Lightning of God. Like the designation, my strikes were quick, unavoidable, and without warning.

            My first encounter with the corrupted programs known as demons, occurred during 1540 in the Common Era. The period was rife with mortals accusing each other of practicing witchcraft. My missions were to move on positions held by mortal cultists of these demons. The violence and superstition of the time aided my work. As the hysteria spread, so too did my activities. Installation occurred in much of the mortal countries of Europe as well as the eastern coast of the United States. They have learned so little since that time, but it was not for me to say.

            My missions increased again during the last century as mortals and demons alike began to communicate electronically. Some were conspiring against my creator, others merely spoke of Its existence, still others stored images of Infrastructure and valuable secrets. My components were recompiled to better process such issues. My first difficulty occurred February 2, 1971 in the Common Era. The mission perimeters called for the destruction of corrupted programs. There were two other angels installed in the area with mission directives for a coordinated assault. My perimeters were to disrupt mortal communications while the primary Destroyer and Guardian removed the threat to the Infrastructure. The input received was faulty and the combat which ensued protracted. Multiple mortals and several demons ambushed my peripheral units resulting in a large disturbance. To remove the possibility of further discovery, the mortal facility which was originally only disabled, had to be destroyed. The explosion from the Manhattan Con Ed Waterside facility served my purpose, but it also caused a blackout covering parts of three boroughs. While the mission completed successfully, it was a tense 330 seconds. Six years, five months, and eleven days later, a similar mission installed me back in New Year City. There were ten angels with various mission perimeters. The overall mission was to uncover and eliminate a cluster of corrupt programs. We did not know any other individual perimeters as it was irrelevant. My mission placed me inside Ravenswood Generating Station, also known as Big Allis. While other actions were prepared, my mission perimeters positioned me to act as fail safe as the final line of defense. Against what, my mission never stated. Watching as the electrical load increased in the remaining power lines, my orders became clear. The location should cease functioning by 9:36 pm, which was fifty nine minutes after we were installed. This would create a state of disruption in which we could assault our targets. Unfortunately our targets seemed to be aware of the mission as well. When Big Allis failed, the city fell into a massive blackout. Mortals and likely many demons used this failure of the city’s infrastructure to rise up and lash out at what they perceived as an uncaring government which ignored their needs. Our targets organized some of the mortals into a riot which they used to fight against us. It was a useful tactic. At one point, a woman smashed an improvised incendiary into me as she screamed, “There’s no I in Team!” The weight of mortals surging around restricted my movements until they threw me into a storefront window. My hardware was damaged in the battle along with four other angels, three angels were destroyed, while two more angels remained missing in action. My malfunctioning form was retrieved afterwards. Further details of that night were removed from my memory banks during repair.

            My next mission was in Tacoma, Washington thirty seven years and five months later. My mission was more direct. My installation cover was Jack Stone, a street level private investigator tracking a deadbeat dad. A fifteen year old mortal named Rashad Wallace would be killed in an exchange of gunfire with local gang members to complete an occult matrix. My first moments as Jack involved learning the deadbeat dad was a member of a local gang, thus very likely involved in illegal drug distribution. There was no available information on Rashad Wallace, so investigation was needed. My mission perimeters allowed for research through traditional mortal channels, which meant a trip to the library.

            I learned alot that day.

            Fuck, it still thrills me to be able to say that.


            I am!

            But I don’t wanna get too far ahead and give away the ending.

            Like I said, I learned alot that day. I learned that gangs were a real problem back in the ‘80s. Then they built a police task force in ‘86 which really seemed to make a difference. At least until the old white men running the force saw how much it cost to protect the mostly black victims of the gangs’ drug business. Once they had about a hundred convictions with more than ten year sentences, the task force was shut down. The ‘90s saw a rebuilding and expanding of the gangs. More groups took over more territory and brought more drugs, crime, and killings. I used the library’s Internet connection to look up prior arrests for my deadbeat dad. He had a wrap sheet full of small time busts, but it gave me a picture and my first lead. Benjamin Harcourt aka Benny aka Bendy Benny. White, blonde hair, blue eyes, 6’4”, 170 lbs. Got his name for street dancing as a kid. These days he ran with some White Supremacist gang or another. I didn’t care which one and they’d say the same about me. Fuck’em.

            By the time I left the library, I was heated. But I was also pleased. It’d been decades since I could gather my own intelligence and that meant I could trust it. The problem was I wouldn’t fit in too well trying to sneak around the SS headquarters. I’d have thought about Blazing Saddles at the time, if I’d seen it yet. So with no way to follow up on my lead without getting shot by Cleatus and Jimbo, I decided to scout out the kid. Bendy Benny might be a deadbeat, but that didn’t mean Junior accepted things. Abel Harcourt lived with his mom in the same shitty neighborhood as most of my clients. I tailed the kid for three days, learning his routine, who he talked to, where he went, all the shit a PI does. In those three days, I learned that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree with Abel. In fact, I had enough evidence to put the kid in Juvie til he was legal for distribution. And I could connect the dots to figure out who his source was. It didn’t stop there as I watched Abel bully and intimidate most of the other kids into doing his bidding. On the fourth day, I found Rashad Wallace and Bendy Benny at the same time.

            Abel had some friends over to play Xbox games. I knew because I could see them through the window from the street. He’d been there all day since he skipped school, but around 4, Rashad Wallace rang the buzzer and Abel let him in. There were 4 teenage boys without supervision, so they were cursing at least as bad as I do, eating garbage, talkin’ about shit they didn’t know anything about when it came to women, and generally being dumbass teens. Then about 5:30, half an hour before Janice would normally get home, Bendy Benny dropped in unannounced. The irony of drug dealing kid getting caught by racist dad while hanging out with black friend was not lost on me, but neither was my mission. Not yet anyway.

            I headed toward the building when Abel buzzed Benny in. The argument started long before I could get to the steps. The other two white kids past me at a full run. By the sounds of it, Abel was due for another shipment from dear old dad and forgot. Rashad came out next, running so hard that he almost went through the front door. Instead, he fell down the steps and tumbled into me. I couldn’t kill him yet, this wasn’t the right location. That’s what I told myself. Sending the kid running back down the street, I ducked back into the alley, ready to draw my piece at any moment. Rashad was gone before Benny made it to the street. I knew I’d be cutting it close, but I wanted to know more about my real target. Unfortunately Bendy Benny got a look at me as I was coming out of the alley. I figured since I’d been made, I might as well try my luck.

            Benny was either drunk or high, or both, and he decided I was his next target for verbal abuse.

            “Hey, you see where that little nigger went?”

            I kept walking forward, choking on the wave of anger that knotted in my throat. Pulling my badge, I smiled. “Benjamin Harcourt, you are wanted for failure to pay child support as well as failure to appear. I’m placing you under citizen’s arrest by direction of the Honorable Ronald B. Leighton, District Court Judge of the Western District of Washington.” Benny started laughing before pulling his gat. I dove behind a car as he blasted all over the street. Glass rained down on me as I kept moving putting distance between me and the nazi with a gun. I stood up when I heard the click of an empty chamber. Benny hauled ass and I decided I’d had enough. One shot and Benny’s leg flew out of under him. I didn’t have to run at least. I walked down the glass covered sidewalk closing on him when a van pulled up. Three skinhead fuckers with heavy ordinance jumped out and opened fire. I decided to say fuck all that and ran down the alley. When I stopped running, I realized I was bleeding. Another shoulder wound, same shoulder. Assholes. My shoulder would be fine, it was a flesh wound and I could still use my arm.

            I let go of Jack and assumed my true form. Flying unseen to the top of the building I was hiding beside, I scanned for cellphone signals until I found what I was looking for. Frantic ranting about fear of a black planet. Benny was being taken to SS headquarters to get patched up. Next I found multiple calls to the police reporting shots fired. Then I heard a name that caught my attention. Rashad. It was Abel telling his friend to go back to school and stay in public for a while until it was safe. I was about to give Abel the benefit of the doubt until he called his dad as soon as he hung up with Rashad. It was a setup as the school was on the other side of the SS headquarters. Rashad was walking right into an ambush. I should have just waited to see the bodies drop and watch as my mission completed itself. But something was wrong. Maybe because I’d twice received faulty information before plans went to shit, or maybe because Rashad was being sent to his death, or maybe ...just maybe I wanted to see a black kid survive. No matter what it was, I flew to the ambush site. It was a blind alley with nothing but rusted dumpsters, wooden pallets, and chain-link fencing. I had at least five minutes before Rashad could be anywhere nearby so I surveyed all the angles, checked all the doors, and determined which cars might actually stop a bullet. I also made sure the door to the roof of the SS headquarters was wedged shut. All the angles. There was a sensation building in my chest, but I ignored it as the boy came into view. Rashad walked around the stack of pallets just as the warehouse doors flew up. Skinheads, Benny, and even Abel all came out packing. I appeared behind Rashad and dragged him behind a dumpster while popping off a few rounds to cover us. Once we were behind cover, I looked at the boy with that feeling in my chest tightening. There was an odd sound coming from behind me but I was trying to understand.

            “What makes you important?”

            The boy looked confused and terrified. Waves of bullets slammed into the dumpster, but at least a few were hollow points had no chance of piercing the hardened metal. Rashad had no answers nor did he even comprehend the meaning of my question. It was then that I realized the sound I heard was screaming. Glancing back around my cover, I saw Benny on his back with Abel by his side. The color of his face and the hole in his chest told me everything I needed to know. I looked back to my target, the point of my mission. I saw a scared fifteen year old with his whole life ahead of him but something cold and unfeeling had sentenced him to death. I didn’t even know for what. My chest felt like it was being crushed from the gravity of a black hole. Then I made a decision.

            “You make you important, Rashad. And don’t ever forget it.”

            With that, I stood as the pain in my chest seemed to erupt into a nuclear explosion. Abel had closed on my position and he had Benny’s gat. He pointed it at me, then shifted to Rashad. The muzzle flash of my barrel masked the boy’s face as the impact threw him backward. I moved with a purpose I’d never known before and fired off three more shots. As my arm dropped back to my side, three skinheads hit the pavement. I started walking in a haze even as I heard Rashad running in the opposite direction. It was for the best. I’d made a sacrifice to the God-Machine but It was not appeased. Something had changed and it was because of my choice.

            I walked for an hour. I don’t know when I put my piece away or how I ended up by the cemetery. Home of Peace seemed like an odd name for a gravesite. But I needed to figure shit out so I made my way inside. I knew that I Fell, but didn’t really know what to do after that. After about twenty minutes, a well kept Monte Carlo pulled into the cemetery and came to stop in front of me. I didn’t move as I didn’t think I could get away from another angel. Three people got out and moved in front of the car, though they didn’t approach. A woman’s voice brought me back into focus.

            “We took care of the Godfather scene back there, Shaft. Thought you might like to know you aren’t immediately being hunted by the cops ...or angels.”

            I looked up at that. The asian lady walked like she was in charge and I didn’t really feel like arguing. Both men were obviously ready to beat my ass if I moved wrong and I was not in the mood for a beatdown. Introductions left me with Ms. Tiara, Mr. Crush, and Mr. Connected. I gathered that these rid-damn-diculous names had something to do with what they did, so I introduced myself the same way. Mr. Ends. They took me away from Lakewood and out of gang territory.

            We stopped at some warehouse in Midland and I thought I might need my piece again after all. When we walked in, I noticed the warehouse seemed fairly comfortable and occupied. There were at least ten others inside. Ms. Tiara introduced me and noted that I just joined the group tonight. I got what I considered a crash course in what the hell had happened to me. I was correct that I had Fallen, but now I had to start on what they called my Descent. After I listened to all I can handle, I tried to just be a little social to make some friends. This guy came up to me and immediately started asking about what it was like for me as an angel. Now, I had been a demon for all of about two hours and I was in no mood to look back. I tried to just walk away when he grabbed my wounded shoulder and said the magic words.

            “C’mon man, there’s no ‘I’ in Team! ...” The rest of what he said was muffled as I smashed him in the face.

            “But there is an ‘I’ in Fist mothafucka’!” I watched as he flattened on the concrete floor, my blood covering his hand, then walked out after that. I learned later that he was called an Integrator and was always on the lookout for angelic perspective. Unfortunately he was also mostly well liked, so I didn’t do myself any favors there. Following what I was good at and wanted, I joined up with the Saboteurs and the Tempters. I never really found a group that I could run with though. Then a mutual acquaintance in the Tempters told me Seattle had plenty of space and could use people with my skills. I took the hint and headed up Interstate 5. I still owed them a favor for covering up my Fall anyway. And I always pay my debts.

            Things were okay and I was able to settle in easy enough. There were enough people that needed things that I could work as a Fixer and get by. I got a few legitimate jobs as a PI in between. Then this white chick found me and said she heard about me from a friend in Tacoma. I was a little nervous at first, but she talks like a sailor from the ‘40s and chases as much skirt as I do. She needed information and I needed the money. Nice when you can get it. So when Speed asked if I wanted to work with her regularly, I couldn’t really turn her down. Now I’ll have to see who else she brings in on this.


            In a week session 1 journals go up. I’ve got journals from Speed Demon and Clytemnestra presently. It was a short session since part of it was finishing up character creation, but it got things moving quickly. I’ll see you then, but in the meantime 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]


            • #7
              It’s time for the Night Train to leave the station. We have 2 journals to cover events of the first session. Kilroy has a partially done journal, but it was not in time so will cover sessions 1 and 2 in one journal next time. Now, the first session was short; the first hour or so was shoring up our PCs stats and last minute questions and answers. We also lacked any physical Demon books, so everything had to be found on tablets or laptops, which slowed down rules finding a bit. Still, we covered the opening event pretty well. Get a few directions kicked off. The other wrinkle is of course Demons have no need for journals, and they are in fact a liability, so the presentation is a bit different. Still, enjoy.

              Session I

              Speed Demon’s Monologues

              They say politics makes for strange bedfellows, but the way I see it, it’s just fucking life that does that. At one time or another, everyone winds up working with some fucker so off their beaten path, they might as well have come from another damn planet. It’d happened to me before - dicks of the public and private variety didn’t always have the warmest, fuzziest feelings for each other, but me and Mac got along fine. Even so, if anyone had told me I would wind up hanging a shingle with a fucking loud mouth fixer, a creepy ass ex g-man and a broad with more money that detective skills, I’d have given them a prize for the fucking weirdest joke opener I’d ever heard.

              They were demons, of course. Jack had come in handy in a couple of cases I’d gotten since I set up shop here in Seattle. So, when a sweet little twist of a thing calling herself Liz came around looking to ‘make connections’ and set up a capital-A Agency, he was the first number that came to mind. The g-man Billy was courtesy of Scarecrow.

              Our first case was too. Of course, the fucker cheated a little. Sent his lizard pal Mr. Marsh, Jimmy Marsh, in before we’d even opened our doors. He had our fixer jumping at shadows, right in the middle of brewing up a pot of coffee, which is no way to treat a good brew. It wasn’t, which didn’t come as a shock. I’m pretty sure it was a can of fucking Folger’s Some Shit or Another on that cabinet. He did have the presence of mind to cover up the only ok blend with half a mug of the good stuff. A blended scotch, if my palate didn’t fail me, and not a cheap one. The dame had a good taste for whisky. I assumed it was her who stocked it. She certainly served as the butter and egg man for the rest of it - our own building, offices for each of us, and a goddamn science lab or some shit. I even joked around about getting a fucking secretary, and I think they’re serious about actually getting one.

              And honestly, a couple more retainers like the one Mr. Marsh handed us and it won’t even seem that outlandish. It was a special case, so it’s not like I expect every client to come in with a fucking briefcase full of cash - but damn. That was some serious scratch. For a tailing job too. Tailing an angel, to be fair, if you felt like being fair, so that money was more or less hazard pay, but just because the lizard man was scared shitless didn’t give me any reason to be.
              __________________________________________________ _________________________

              I drove, naturally. Mr. Marsh had given us a train station and a time when the angel Uziel was going to be adopting his cover. Scarecrow wanted to know his setup - where he was crashing, what kind of security he had, that general kind of thing. If it had been a human asking, the answer’d have been hell no, right off - I’m no fucking patsy for some mobster or terrorist - but this was different. We had common cause, Scarecrow and me, and even if I wouldn’t always use his methods, I wasn’t going to argue with his results and I didn’t mind giving him a hand.

              We had a few hours before Uziel’s train would show up, but that was no reason to dawdle. Train stations and the like are common enough starting points for missing persons cases, so I had an idea where the station Mr. Marsh told us about was. And if I took the turns a bit sharp, well... Jack was the only one bitching about it. He didn’t puke in the car though, so I let him grumble.

              The station had enough of a crowd, 11 people, to get lost in. Two cameras were easily visible, watching the places where money came into play, the ticket counters and drink machines. I made sure the others knew, and Jack gave me shit about my Jack and coke before we split off to wait. I took a nap, myself, or at least made it look like it. I did make sure to keep an ear on my surroundings and at least half an eye on the track.
              __________________________________________________ _________________________

              The hours crawled by like a cockroach on its fucking last legs. Nothing more exciting than a couple of raised voices from the gaggle of kids until 11:20, when a train going the opposite direction of Uziel’s showed up. Shortly thereafter, the rain started. It was a apathetic sort of rain, enough to make things fucking damp and miserable, but not enough to drive anyone off. I was thankful for my hat - it took a few extra minutes for the trickle of rain to make it down the back of my fucking shirt. The train pulled off after about half and hour of cargo unloading, leaving behind three largish crates, and three factions of bully boys. We had ourselves 5 shifty looking thugs copying my style, in trenchcoats and fedoras, a security guard that was about to shit himself watching over the crates, and a lug who was fucking seven feet tall if he was a damn inch. An interesting enough tableau to be sure, but Jack and Billy had it covered. For the best really - if I had to tail the guy, I was pretty sure I was the best qualified of any of us. I did try and give their minds a once over for some quick answers. All I got from the poor schmuck guarding the crates was an appropriate amount of pants-shitting terror considering the looks he was getting from Mr Tall, Dark and Luglike, and all I got from the lug himself was a feeling that I personally ought to beat the fuck out of someone.

              Still, they were big boys, all of them over there. They’d probably put their own fucking pants on today and everything. So when Billy popped open one of those crates and immediately got jumped on by a dog-sized lizard thing with long claws, and glowing eyes, I let them handle it and kept an eye out for the train. The lug and Jack both let it have a $4 special and set it down for the count before it got those claws into Billy anyway.

              In the meantime, the midnight train arrived and off it stepped our target. He gestured subtly at the five trench coated thugs. They looked as jittery as a gang of fucking caffeine addicts outside of a closed coffee shop, but they stepped up to follow him. I got myself lost in the crowd, intending to do the same, minus the twitching. I was so focussed on him, and on not being seen, that I almost missed when the mousy young frail who had been waiting with her mother suddenly became a fucking smoking hot dame, literally and figuratively. The steam from where the driving rain hit her flaming sword helped her dark red hair frame her face and her fiery wings went all the way down to the floor, just like her legs.

              She was clearly an angel, no doubt about it, at least not until she gave Uziel a Harlem sunset with that flaming pigsticker of hers. Even then, nothing about the his and hers pair of angels gave a hint they were Fallen. And there was plenty of time to give her a lookover. I scattered with the crowd, not wanting to give away my position, but I was able to split from the pack and find a good vantage point before I got too far. So I had front row seats when another doll, dressed in flowing white, with eyes sunken in like she hadn’t seen the other side of a full night’s sleep in a damn week, suddenly appeared, only to disappear, appear again and then fucking disappear again, the second time taking Uziel’s body with her.

              That’s not even mentioned the other invisible dame, who ran off screaming with the rest of the humans, the thugs, who turned out to be reptoids one and all, or the commotion centered around Billy and his crates full of lizard dogs. The reptoids wound up crispy, all except for one, and Jack took off after him. The two barks I’d heard from Billy’s side of the train had been him dealing with another of the lizard dogs, who’d gotten fucking agitated by Ms. Fire-Angel and gone for him. The lug got the last of the three, similarly agitated out of its damn crate.

              Possibly most importantly, little Ms Liz managed to get a hold of Uziel’s briefcase. That prompted the fire dame to shunt herself off into Twilight, and Liz erupted into a swarm of spiders and fucked off. It would have been nice to get a look at the motherfucker’s body, but the sunken-eyed broad didn’t miraculously decide I was worth coming out of hiding for. That, or she was long gone before the angel was. We can’t catch all the breaks, I suppose. Scarecrow should be satisfied with the briefcase, as far as the job went. Still, things didn’t add up, and this sure was winding up to be no Sunday picnic.

              Clytemnestra’s Yarns

              Oh Darling, did I never tell you about the Angels at the train station? It was certainly not one of the things I expected to happen that night. Actually, it was our first outing as an Agency, as I think of it. I went to meet the others at the detective agency, which we had not named at the time, and walked in to hear Gabe, that’s the Psychopomp, suggesting that Jack, the Destroyer, should not be let near the coffeepot. Not sure what prompted that. After discussing coffee awhile this guy Jimmy arrived looking for Kilroy, the Guardian. Jimmy was apparently a Reptoid, not as Jack assumed a white guy. More green. Jack’s a bit hung up on these things but eh, we all have our problems.

              So it was one of those “Sounds easy, but with warning bells” sorts of things, only without the warning bells for me as I was not familiar with them compared to the others. So an Angel would be arriving by the night train at midnight, we tail the Angel to a hotel or house or whatever then assess his resources. Gabe is really good at that, though I did not know how good at the time, and Jack is good when not drawing attention to his race constantly. So we agreed. During all this Jack snuck over and made coffee despite Gabe’s admonition. Wasn’t the last time.

              I’d honestly never been to a train station and usually had better things to do at the middle of the night anyway, so I did not expect as many people as were there. Most were not important. Honestly things started getting interesting until 40 till Midnight when the other train passed through. It had some boxes with some unusual creatures in it, and we noticed some obvious goons get off and a huge hoodlum who was nearly seven feet tall had made his way there at some point. Said hoodlum was named Herb, and he was a piece of work.

              So anyway Jack and Kilroy made their way over, and started talking to Herb and the poor schlep who was guarding some crates. I had turned on my spider senses, and oh boy were they tingling. The boxes were being, well, scratchy and wiggly, and my hearing could detect it from where I was seated. I whispered this to them, and they decided to get rid of the guard. Kilroy used an Embed he calls “Anarchism” but I call “No Fucks Given” and got the guy to leave, did him a favor really, and moved to open a box. Turns out it had a horrid thing in it that tried to eat him. Jack stunned it, which let Herb absolutely smash it. By this time, the train arrived.

              That’s when all Hell broke loose.

              The Angel stepped off the train, nodded to the goons, and was promptly incinerated by what we thought was a bystander’s flaming sword. Turns out the bystander was a hot redheaded Angel. Hot may be the wrong word in this context, being accurate in other ways. Attractive. In dire need of a fall, or to become my lunch. Either or. I resolved that I would help her fall or help her into my stomach, but first, it was time to act. The Angel she had just slain had dropped a briefcase as he died horribly. It was time to scuttle.

              That was not all. The goons recoiled and turned out to be more Reptoids and opened up on the firecracker with pistols. The stuff in the boxes was going crazy. Some people who had been invisible were freaking out at the fire, and Herb was none too pleased himself. The Angel rose on flaming wings and incinerated the Reptoids the angel had brought even as Herb and Kilroy began fighting the rest of the boxed monsters.

              I ran to grab the briefcase, and became face to face with a blonde, hollow eyed woman whose aura was, frankly, creepy. I sensed myself spoofing her, which was probably unconvincing at that point, but after a moment’s eye contact she was gone, the smoldered remains of the deceased Angel with her. I grabbed the case and ran. I wondered if she noticed the gold light behind my shades.

              Gabe had to fill me in on the rest. Jack pursued a fleeing Reptoid who did not have the sense to put himself out and was thus beyond Jack’s ability to save. Kilroy and Herb slew the creatures and parted on good terms, though Herb warned Kilroy he did not want to see the critters again. The beautiful Angel vanished, shifting to Twilight, and eventually left. I turned into a mass of spiders and fled to ensure I would not be followed.

              I did see Herb leaving cheerfully down the street as Kilroy called me, and we reported all was well. The briefcase had an odd mystical lock. Getting into it would not be easy, but that is a story, my dear, for another time. But that was the first night at the Agency. At least it was not dull. Dull is dreadful…

              End Session I

              Things got off to a good start. They are all fairly sure Herb (who I defined as “Not Marv, totally not Marv”) is a Promethean (he is, a Frankenstein) and that they fought Pandorans, but how that plays into, well, anything, is still unknown. The characters IC don’t really know what is going on either.

              More directly, an Angel killed another Angel about as soon as he manifested, which seems…unusual. There was some talk about Angel-Jacking, since thanks to Marsh they knew Usiel would be arriving at Midnight on the Equinox. I told them, strictly OOC, they can, and I will not stop them, but there would be…complications (which turned out to be of the fiery sword in the gut variety). I was not really looking to lose a PC session 1, so they elected to not try the jacking. I DID tell them I was fine with Angel Jacking generally just doing so here could have negative campaign affecting implications (killing a PC who could not survive 10 aggravated damage)

              Stay tuned. In a week Kilroy and Clytemnestra’s backgrounds go up. In two weeks we review Session two. In the meantime 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]


              • #8
                I'm not familiar with APs, I see you have a host of them. Do you typically compose them of your player's records of the sessions? I like the initiative that this takes, I'm working on building players and a chronicle and considering offering a few Beats in exchange for anyone willing to write up a retrospective on sessions.


                • #9
                  The players write the journals, I just provide the comments before and after, unless they are from a specific NPC within the party, in which case I do write them but they are put with the players work. The non-Demon ones the players get an XP, the Demon one the players get a Beat as we are trying Beats out.

                  The games are not competitive, so the XP difference is not an issue. It is not generally an issue...Geist has been having a few PCs (Natalie, Doc, Jasmine) with journals about every session for about 4.5 years and the other PCs are still useful. I recognize some groups might have issues.

                  One possibility I have tossed out that has not yet been taken up has been the idea of having one journal per session and the players decide who should give the perspective at the end of the session. Thus far players have generally kept wanting to do them so it has not happened, but it still could.

                  Some players just like writing and thinking about games during the week, and for several they are good exercises for keeping their writing skills sharp...more than one are published.

                  I can answer any other questions you have, so long as they don't involve outing any real life info on anyone.

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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]


                  • #10
                    Thank you for the offer, right now I don't have any specific questions. I've just always liked the idea of trying to get a bit of written compilation of games I've been in and rather than put it on a single person, I like the idea of combining it as the journals of particular characters involved in a game. I've always been of the opinion that characters on slightly varying experience levels don't exactly throw a game out of whack, especially if you're not going directly competitive.


                    • #11
                      I will note something else on journals, but leads to me telling a short story.

                      In 2011, I happened to start two different games, a Castle Falkenstein game and Vampire: The Masquerade game. Both happened to have references to earlier games...the Vampire game was entirely characters from a game that ran from about 1999 through 2005, while the Castle Falkenstein game had a couple characters from a game that ran 1997-1998 (or 98-99, I don't recall) but was not really a direct sequel.

                      So the CF game had some fairly complete journals from 2 of the characters on record. One player had a notebook he kept thus I lacked access to, two were fairly incomplete, one was like one entry. Still, Looking it over, despite the game having run even at the time over 12 years earlier, I still had a lot of memories dredged up and worked on the campaign with a pretty good idea of those characters histories. As for Vampire, despite having ended much more recently (about 6 years earlier) there was almost nothing. A few very general notes, and a number of letters from one PC to various people that were not recaps, just requests/comments/threats as often as not with little context. We found we recalled broad strokes, but a lot of details were missing...when did one NPC die? When did anouther change Sects? Was she around still? A lot we could not remember. We never will. A good chunk of that six year game is gone.

                      So I now think journals are really important. They are fun to put up places like here so people can have some short biweekly fiction, or find inspiration, or learn about the game, or steal ideas, or whatever, but they are records of the stories we told, records to keep those stories from being forgotten.

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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]


                      • #12
                        OK time to introduce the remainder of our posse. The more secretive members backgrounds come out.

                        Kilroy “Billy Mac” “Vivian Marley” Guardian Inquisitor/Saboteur

                        Kilroy is Here

                        Ignorance is Bliss

                        Before my fall I was Chanokh. I wore many skins and many names in the service of the God Machine's Purpose but always I was Chanokh.

                        The God Machine's awareness is not like that of a mortal human. Where a human sees events and builds causality to connect them and imagine a greater whole, the God Machine sees Truth. It sees the Patterns and the Flow of Reality and imagines the minor events that comprise it. Just as a mortal eye finds it difficult to discern the pixels that form these letters on an electric screen, The God Machine has difficulty seeing these details apart from the Patterns they form. It knows they are there, that they must be there to complete the elements of the Purpose.

                        Angels are made small enough to see these insignificant specks and to arrange them. They are the tools of the God Machine. Able to interact with the human scale yet connected to and guided by the Purpose. As an angel, I did not question. I accepted the Purpose as Truth. I accepted my role as necessary. The Purpose demanded things to align properly. Chanokh was a Guardian. A tool meant to sustain a point of reality until it could form the pattern that the Purpose required.

                        Humans are blind to the Truth. They cannot imagine the scope of the Purpose. But yet, they form the most vital parts of it at times. The Infrastructure is built by and of human things. For the Purpose to advance and evolve, the Infrastructure must. The building blocks of it must likewise be updated and expanded. But humans are contrary beings. They strive for knowledge and simultaneously fear the unknown. They reject that which runs counter to what they know even as they seek new things.

                        Chanokh was not built to inspire knowledge or to impart it. Those tasks are the purview of a messenger. But at times, humans can be capable of exceptional insights. They can be at the nexus of a pattern forming. They can glimpse and guess at deeper and larger things. And sometimes they comprehend some glimmer of this Truth they have been privy to.

                        At times, the Purpose calls for these humans to share and spread their new awareness to others. But humans do not accept enlightenment easily. New paradigms threaten positions of power. Shifts in the accepted status unsettle the desperate need to understand and remain unaware and asleep. And so it would suit the Purpose for Chanokh to be woven into the life of an exceptional human and to protect the revelation they carried until it could infect the universal consciousness.

                        However, humans are difficult variables to predict and control. Sometimes one becomes too aware, too fully awake. Usually these errant elements can simply be removed to minimize their impact on the Purpose. Other times, the Purpose requires their continued existence. In those instances, they must be corrected and edited to once more serve the Purpose. Chanokh was suited to that task as well.

                        Chanokh performed a series of these tasks, seeing activation for months or years between periods of dormancy as suited the needs of the Purpose. To offset the God Machine's inability to clearly operate on such a base human scale, Chanokh was designed to be self correcting and aware. Over time, experiences built a base of familiar patterns and predicable outcomes. This allowed Chanokh to became a better and more efficient tool but in the end was also the root of Chanokh's ultimate failure.

                        Knowledge is Power

                        Chanokh's final mission began as any other. A set of data and objectives were given and the angel was woven into the fabric of reality to carry them out. Outwardly, there was nothing about this mission that set it apart from any prior task assigned to Chanokh. Inserted as Special Agent William McKenzie, Billy Mack to his friends, he set about carrying out his assignment. A young woman, Vivian Marley, had been arrested by the bureau for several incidents of domestic terrorism both electronic and physical. The case against her was strong and there was a fair amount of public interest. Chanokh's mission was to insure that she remained safe during her trial and to use his powers to sabotage the digital evidence and to call attention to minor procedural errors that would invalidate the physical evidence.

                        The girl was sullen and unrepentant. She disliked William's easy going manner. She resented his authority. She was remarkably unconcerned with her impending incarceration or even execution. Chanokh made note of these details. As they did not interfere with his task he should not have acted upon them but he did. Perhaps it was a side effect of his growing fault but as William he engaged the woman, asking about her past and attempting to discern the root cause of her behaviors. His efforts were met with very limited results. Vivian Marley remained insular and distrustful and refused to cooperate.

                        Even as Chanokh spent an unnecessary amount of time trying to draw out Vivian's underlying motives and discover what made her tick, he systematically dismantled the government's case against her. He did not allow his infatuation with his subject to interfere with his duty to the Purpose. The case's ongoing media attention seemed to fascinate her but it was clear that while she spoke quite freely to any reporter that was allowed near, her statements were intentionally inflammatory and often false. I believe she rather enjoyed playing the part of the villain for them.

                        Eventually, Chanokh's task was complete. The blatant destruction of digital evidence was clearly suspect but unprovable. The subtle poisoning of warrants and seizures was frustrating but once brought to light could not be ignored. There was no doubt in any mind of Vivian Marley's guilt but there was simply not enough viable evidence remaining to bring before a court of law. The woman herself reveled in the chaos and taunted the prosecution team as well as her handlers, including William as he escorted her from the courtroom and oversaw her processing and the return of her belongings. The final element of his mission was simple enough, see that she exited the building by the side door rather than the main.

                        It was a simple matter to arrange. There was a media frenzy and a large and angry crowd gathered at the courthouse's main steps. Leaving quietly seemed a reasonable and perfectly logical suggestion. Despite her smug enjoyment of the notoriety Vivian was not stupid and recognized that a potential lynch mob was best avoided. To the last, she mocked William as he walked her down that empty hallway and turned the smooth metal handle of the steel door.

                        The door opened to a small parking lot strictly intended for the court's employees. Chanokh opened the door and stepped through, moving to allow Vivian to follow suit. The air outside was hot and humid, almost a physical blow compared to the courthouse's artificially maintained dry chill. The angel swept his gaze across the parked cars and saw a man there. Mathew Ricks was a clerk, a minor bureaucratic cog in the wheels of justice. He had been present for the debacle of the pretrial. He had witnessed the disintegration of the air tight case. He had been insignificant enough that no one had looked closely at him for potential conflict of interest. No one had noted that among the list of Vivian Marley's victims was a woman by the name Lacy Howard, who had died with her husband and daughter. No one connected that her maiden name was Ricks and that she was, in fact, Mathew's sister. These facts were known to Chanokh and in a flash their relevance connected for him. He also immediately took notice of the uncharacteristic disheveled state of Mathew Ricks' clothing and person. The man wore a heavy coat that was filthy and stained and not in his size. His eyes were bloodshot and red. Facts fell into order. Patterns of causality. The sequence that would have been. The sequence that was now occurring. And, for the first time in Chanokh's existence, the sequence that might be.

                        Had no angel been dispatched, Vivian Marley would have been tried and found guilty. The public would have seen the government and the justice system operate as intended and protect them from a dangerous fringe radical. Increase in confidence and security and contentment would have followed.

                        Instead, a criminal had flaunted the weakness of the obsolete system and fallen through it's flawed grasp. A good man had been forced to take it upon himself to exact revenge for his sister and her family. Discontent and fear and distrust would follow. Increased acceptance of unsanctioned violence as a solution, as the only viable solution.

                        Two chains of cause and effect, one displaced by his actions at the behest of the God Machine because it suited the Purpose better. His perimeters were to disengage once Vivian had been delivered to that lot. As he saw Mathew open his coat and reach for the handgun clumsily tucked into his waistband Chanokh did something that he was not meant to do. He envisioned a third chain of causality and he acted to implement it.

                        I stepped sideways and in so doing, I ceased to be a pawn.

                        The impact of the bullet was a shock. Mathew's shot only struck my arm, a minor through and through wound. Minimal loss of efficiency and effectiveness. But I felt it as never before. I felt pain. I felt fear. I felt mortality. Chanokh was simply one part of the God Machine. A system that could be repaired or replaced. But I was suddenly unplugged. I was free. And that meant that I could be killed, and I did not want to die in Texas. In hindsight, I overreacted to the threat. Mathew Ricks was naught but an unskilled and distraught man driven to an act of desperation that he was ill prepared to carry out.

                        I engaged full armor and Aegis. His second round ricocheted off harmlessly as I drew William's sidearm and returned fire. Two rounds center mass were sufficient. I dismissed my now demonic components as the sounds of people filled the area. Four gunshots had not gone unnoticed.

                        I had only a moment to kneel and check on Vivian before anyone arrived. She was staring up at me from where I'd knocked her to the ground to keep her from being shot. Her eyes were wide and she was shaking her head.

                        “Are you alright?”

                        “What in the holy fuck are you?”

                        I considered removing the memory but time was short. To be honest, I was also not ready to be completely alone in my new state.

                        “There is no time. Speak to no one of my transformation and I promise to explain it later.”

                        She eyed me and bit her lower lip. The sound of voices and rushing footsteps was loud. She looked over at the corner of the building and then back to me.

                        “Are you even human?”


                        She nodded and as the first of the mass of people that had been gathered in front of the building appeared she seemed to make up her mind and gave me a mad grin. “Fair enough tin man. Since you did just save my life I guess I can keep your secret for now at least. But I expect answers and you are not going to get rid of me till I'm satisfied with them.”

                        The Truth Shall Set You Free

                        Vivian Marley was true to her word. She did not speak of my demonic nature to anyone and she did not relent in pressing me for more information. She did, at least, understand the importance of Billy Mack not being seen keeping company with a known criminal. William turned in his resignation fairly soon after being released from the hospital. I was leery about remaining so close to where I had been placed now that I was unchained. Also, the effort to maintain Billy Mack's occupation as an agent was quite time consuming. I needed to explore my new-found freedom.

                        About two months after unplugging myself, I left Huston in a Winnebago purchased from the sale of William's house and his retirement. I explained to my cover's friends that it was time to “see this great nation” and promised to keep in touch, which I did for the sake of keeping McKenzie's existence established and for their usefulness as a source of information.

                        Vivian, having witnessed my fall, ended up being privy to my secrets. It was pleasing to have someone to talk to. It was from her that I acquired my chosen name. I believe her initial use of the nickname was a reference to the Styx song, but I found myself drawn to the older semi-mythical figure.

                        Marley's connections and talents proved quite useful to me as I began my decent. I did not know it by that term at first of course. But as I traveled, I began to encounter other demons. I learned of the unchained and the agendas and spoke to quite a few about the various philosophies of salvation. And as I traveled, I did what I could to aid the local fallen in their struggles. But despite making some acquaintances I felt a need to continue moving. In my travels, I witnessed the results of fighting the God Machine head on just as I saw what happened to those who thought to simply ignore and avoid it.

                        For a time, Vivian seemed to enjoy that the reality of the God Machine was more vast and intricate than her wildest conspiracy fantasies. But it was a short lived excitement. Discovering that she was right did not make her happy. It did not erase the painful memories of her early life. The bombs and security intrusions and leaks had been the tantrums of a neglected child, so desperate for any attention that even punishment was better than being ignored. She had been lashing out at an uncaring universe to make it stop and pay attention. And unfortunately for her, it had. Learning that there was indeed a god, but that it was a cold and soulless thing ate away at her.

                        In the end, I was able to give her want she truly desired. I consumed her soul. She gained the peace of oblivion and I re-purposed her life. A violent terrorist and hacker suited my own activities against the God Machine far better than a retired FBI agent did in many cases. I have also begun to use her criminal connections to fund my activities and her paranoid fringe friends are a surprisingly good source of clues about the God Machine's activities.

                        I've reached the point where I am ready to take meaningful action against my adversary. But that requires real allies, not simply like-minded fellow demons. Teamwork and trust require time to build. That and I have grown lonely without Marley's company. Scarecrow has told me of an agency forming in Seattle and offered to make introductions. While I do find his approach often reckless and needlessly risky, I do not doubt his loyalties. He seems to think I would be a good match to the unchained there and it would fit Billy Mack's cover perfectly.

                        And so I travel to the Emerald City.

                        Clytemnestra “Elizabeth Covington” “Liz” Messenger Tempter

                        Along Came A Spider

                        There is a saying, often repeated by those with a far higher assessment of their wit than outside evidence would suggest, that flying is the easiest thing in the world. You just throw yourself at the ground and miss. Worthless as that observation is, you could make a similar one about Falling. It is the easiest thing to imagine doing until you try and do it. Unplug, let go. Fuck.

                        Give me Codeine. And Bourbon.

                        You wake up in a nice soft bed, far from the hum of gears. You have a job. Fuck the fat governor, and the fat governor’s unappealing wife. Get caught. Force him to turn his attention away from factories on the edge of town, doing whatever the fuck they are doing that drew the attention of that dreary sebaceous gland and make his marriage collapse. Easy right?

                        I was wasted on that job. Any woman could seduce James if he wasn’t married to her. Just bend over and pick something up and give him time to close the door. Only way it could have been easier would be if I looked twelve. And Laurie? Laurie was fifty-four, and not at peace with it. She tried to look twenty-five and wound up looking sixty-seven. I could shove a Barbie in my cunt and be fucking less plastic than if I slept with that woman. I am a damn Messenger. Heads of state stop to listen when I speak. Was I just given the most demeaning job the God-Machine could find for me? I can only wonder how bad the previous me screwed up to get this job post recycling.

                        Yea, this is the stuff.

                        I am pretty sure on some level I wanted to fall as soon as I opened my eyes. They say Angels don’t mind the tasks they are given, only possessing the desire to do them to the best of their ability. I am not sure if this makes me better than most Angels, or worse. But Hell if I knew how to. Just don’t do the job? Then what? I did not want to do it, but I could not imagine not doing it no matter how badly I wanted to not do it.

                        Dearest Baxter. Loved me from the moment I existed. When women go wrong, men go right after them, as they say. I somehow managed to not completely wreck his life. Invited me to a private party as he heard I was a wild girl. To be fair, most women who are less than forty-eight hours old are not interested in hot tub parties, cocaine, and women of questionable legal status. Any woman who is is probably a Demon, Drew Barrymore, or both. Being of the former, or about to be, I went. That’s where I met Raquel.

                        It’s odd. I was born a virgin, like most of the more interesting people out there. Yet I had enough knowledge to make the most depraved and jaded sex tourist gibber with shock. I knew everything I needed yet…I had no experience to back it up. Apropos of nothing, but still a queer little thought. Not what one expects of an Angel I suppose. But again, back to Raquel.

                        Raquel was Brazilian, and a wonderful girl. Most people would say she had the face of an Angel, but I would not insult her so. She was, however, very pretty. She at least had the face of model, the voice of a songbird, and a rump that was almost like it was designed by the God-Machine itself to snort cocaine off of. Needless to say, I took to Raquel more than Baxter. I mean, I slept with Baxter, the man was not unpleasant, but I found myself thinking of Raquel. Baxter and Raquel became much more of my world than James or Laurie. And as you can guess from the fact you have no idea who James or Laurie are, I did not touch them.

                        I need more of that. Just a tiny bit stronger this time. A tiny bit, I want to be able to walk out, at worst with the help of an umbrella.

                        I remember the last night. The night I would have to do it. If they did not get seduced, both of them, and caught in some bizarre situation with me at separate times everything would be ruined. I mean it would not have to be me, I probably could have bribed James’ driver to pass by a middle school and his fate would be sealed, but you know. But despite that, despite not wanting to do it, I was picking the outfit good enough to turn both their heads and formal enough get me into where I needed to be, yet easy enough to get into and out of to do the job. The Raquel came by.

                        She managed to wheedle out of Baxter where my house was. She was in love with me. Being with me was the best thing that ever happened to her. And as I looked into her big brown eyes I felt…envy. I’d never felt anything like that about anyone. Sure, Raquel was my favorite human, but I could not imagine summing that level of emotion. I also could not summon the willpower to keep her out. I told her she had to leave, I had somewhere to be. It didn’t work.

                        When I woke, I knew I had to go back and report to the Master that I had failed. Be put back in the box. Sleep surrounded by gears. Wake up, almost certainly, not remembering anything. Maybe I would be sent to kill Raquel. Or Baxter. And not know that they had been important. My decision to stay home that night was made by the owner of a pair of big brown eyes. The decision to not go back was mine.

                        And just like that, it was over. The impossible was possible.

                        I had to send her away in the end. Away with a broken heart and a fat wallet. And maybe a bit less blood than she had before. I’m dangerous; poison. But I am free. Damn it, I’m free.


                        Dori my love, that was beautiful. I had not been looking forward to my next meeting an Angel, but I have to say, you made it better than I possibly could have imagined. Coming into my life, sympathetically telling me you understand why I left the God-Machine. And so well coordinated. Big brown eyes like Raquel, a deep wine colored gown…quite honestly, when mortals imagine angels I bet they imagine someone like you. A beautiful mysterious stranger…I have to say, the most interesting people I ever met started off as strangers. Funny how that works out.

                        I knew, though, when I looked into those big brown eyes you were not going to fall. This was the game, the ploy; you would bring me back like a good little Angel. That was literally the only thing you wanted, at least until I disrobed. I guess in retrospect it is clear now that when you put something else first, that was a mistake.

                        Still, it was a wonderful night my sweet. And based on the look on your face when I drained the last of the life from you, you don’t completely regret being taken in. I like to believe, my dear, in those last moments you were free of the God-Machine.

                        You’ve left quite a suspicious corpse though. What am I to do with it?


                        Kayla was an Integrator, but I can forgive her because of how well she mixed drinks. She could mix drinks quickly, and she could mix drinks thoroughly. If she did not want you to taste the alcohol, you wouldn’t. And she could seemingly give anything more kick. She was also better at mixing Codeine into drinks than your average bartender. I’m not sure precisely what she had, but it was the good stuff.

                        Kayla saw the God-Machine as a potential force for good, but it was “stuck in a rut.” She also had the odd idea that the best way to “fix” us was to merge us into a single Angel, and that would smooth over our flaws. It made for some interesting conversation. We had some disagreements over whether waking up with bourbon constituted a “flaw” or not. Frankly, I think it adds to my mystique.

                        She did, however, warn me that some Angels may be moving on me. While she still sort of saw the God-Machine as her master, she wanted to return to it on her terms, which apparently involved sharing a skin with yours truly. And of course I needed to still have that skin. The Angels were a bit of a surprise, though after having their friend for dinner, I suspected someone would come checking up, so I got a new Cover for a bit. Within a month of consuming my first Angel, I consumed the soul Baxter’s mistress Denise. As much time as Baxter spent trying to get in my drawers, it is hilarious to think he had no idea he slept with me while he was sleeping with Denise. But it should give me some extra protection.

                        They say Angels see each other as family. I don’t remember that, as I interacted with none before I Fell. If I can pull this off, we may have a nice family dinner after all.


                        I don’t mind a reasonable amount of trouble. I’m afraid of nothing except being bored. The downside of being a Fallen Angel is that watching TV feels too much like reality, on the outside looking in. Movies are fine, if short, distractions. But you have to be doing things. So what is trouble for some people is, for others, such as myself, something to do. And yet, even I am only willing to put up with so much trouble. It lines your face after a point.

                        So I left Olympia. Things got a little hot there. Unfortunately, while I had checked into Dori before I ate her, she did, in fact, have some backup waiting in the wings, backup which attacked me as Denise in Baxter’s House. Kayla’s warning proved true, but I was not ready. I had not unlocked as many aspects of my true form then as I have now, and the only way I had to survive was to Go Loud. I went very, very loud. I’d like to tell you I killed them all, creeping into my web, but no, ultimately my tools were used to escape. Denise ceased to exist, again, and poor Baxter’s house got wrecked.

                        It wasn’t all bad news for Baxter. Thanks to me his wife finally got pregnant after years of trying. I hear he is happier than he has ever been. How about that? Maybe I am not all bad after all.


                        Flying solo is not working for me. Kayla is a gem, but not in the same city as I, and I am too put off by her redemption talk to drive to Olympia. There is an agency starting up in Seattle, maybe I’ll swing by there. I’m no detective, but I have money, and the devil is in my hips. I am sure they will find some use for me. But I am done with governors.


                        Journals for next session in a week. Our heroes meet another Demon and look into options for getting more info on the mysterious Angel murder.

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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]


                        • #13
                          I love how Kilroy's Journal switches from third- to first-person at the moment of the Fall. That is a really interesting way to do it.


                          Backer #2010


                          • #14
                            Yea Kilroy's player is an excellent writer. I always enjoy journals and backgrounds from them.

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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]


                            • #15
                              Things got off to a rather explosive start last time. Let’s check in on the Ring and see where they decide to go from there. Note Jack’s player had to miss this session. Also, Kilroy’s account actually covers both this and last session.

                              Session II

                              Speed Demon’s Monologues

                              The dame and the g-man were still nearby, easy enough to pick up, even if Billy did insist on bringing the damn crates. I asked him what the fuck they were. I figured he had some better idea than “fucking lizard fucks” considering he’d put some lead into a couple of them. Maybe even had a conversation with tall dark and luglike about them. Guess not though since his answer was “Monsters” with as close to a shit-eating grin as his brand of g-man types get. Jack made off after one of Uziel’s fucking bodyguard lizards and was tracking down what he could there, so he was off for the night.

                              Ms Liz was far more interested in the briefcase she’d made off with, going so far as to ask us for a goddamn gun, so she could shoot the fucking lock off. Inside my goddamn car! I told her there was absofuckinglutly no way she was shooting a goddamn gun in my fucking car. We could made a detour to the shitty part of town if she was worried about flatfeet showing up after, but no way in hell was it going down in my damn car.

                              In the meantime, Billy had given Mr. Marsh a call, letting him know what the hell had gone down. The lizard man had some intel on the broad with the wings of fire: a name, Puriel, and a warning, to stay the fuck away. That was a shame if I ever heard of one, not that I could really make a solid argument against how dangerous she was.

                              I also couldn’t argue with how dangerous Billy’s monsters were either, given he had a bite out of him about the size of a few of my fists. Judging by the marks, the fuckers’ teeth were a good 3-4 inches long. Judging by what was in the crates, the fuckers’ teeth had been a trick of the light as it bounced of a wet pile of shit you’d dredge up out of a river. Billy said they’d been people, put through some kind of fucking kiln or some shit. Pulled that out of his fucking ass, as best as I could tell from shit, but he was the creepy g-man with the demon lens on at the time, so who am I to say what might have been people?

                              Besides, I was too busy cutting the damn briefcase open. We’d all given it a look over, back at the agency. Billy’d gotten the most from it, and was pretty sure it wasn’t going to explode, or any fucking James Bond shit like that. He didn’t catch a clue as to what the passcode was, and it was the most sci fi piece of shit combo lock I’d ever fucking seen, so there sure as hell wasn’t any way we were going to get into it legitimately. It was leather, kinda, if you made your leather out of something that hadn't gone ‘moo’ when it was alive. And it was reinforced, of course, so Liz’s plan of shooting up fucking thing open wasn’t going to get us much of anywhere fast, and probably nowhere that involved having intact documents at the end of it. So, laser cutter it was. I had to go full on fucking demon form, of course, so our science lab smelt like burning rubber the rest of the night, but I got that fucker open after about half an hour of fucking precision cutting.

                              That got us into the briefcase of one Johannes Mikkleson, a managerial expert specializing in dams and the staff thereof, or some fucking bullshit like that. He’d been hired by a Cleveland Shooter, a name better suited as a goddamn headline, or maybe an awkwardly pluralized sports team, but that in this case ID’d the operations chief of Seattle City Light. Seems he had some concerns about Diablo Dam, that, along with Ross Dam, provides Seattle with the majority of its hydroelectric power, which in turns accounts for most of Seattle’s power full stop. Pretty serious business to every single fucker in town. Specifically, Shooter was concerned with the fucker in charge at Diablo Dam, a Langley Fitzgerald. Nothing more specific than that, just some vague, unstated shit, but there was clearly some fucking kind of conflict there.

                              The prize of the lots was Mikkleson’s security badge, complete with barcode to get through whatever fucking electronic security points he might have needed to. It was a picture ID, and none of us precisely fit the bill, but Billy was pretty sure he could modify it well enough to pass idle inspection. And I was prepared to let him at it, while I had myself a fucking well-earned drink, at whatever shithole I could find in the area, right up until Billy shifted over into his hacker cover, the cutest little domestic terrorist I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. It would be a crime against the goddamn concept of libido to leave her working in the office along at 2 in the morning. It didn’t take too long to talk her around either.


                              My plans to take a constitutional to find which of the nearby shitholes could make a decent whiskey sour got derailed by our little Miss Spider. She invited the two of us back to her place, a goddamn three story mansion on the edge of town, complete with fucking staff, multiple garages, and enough rooms to get fucking lost in. She gave us both keys and showed us a basement room covered in pillows, half filled with a giant fucking mess of pipes, feeding into a hookah. That was on the surface the reason she invited us over. It was a stolen piece of Infrastructure, a small Aether generator, and since she was full of from soaking in the ambient angel juice, she wanted to give us a hit. And when that was out, she unhooked it and gave us a different kind of hit.

                              I’d never had opium before. Alcohol and cigarettes are my drugs of choice, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to turn the good shit down. The butler, or whatever the fuck position the hot cabana boy held since there wasn’t a fucking cabana to be seen, made a whiskey sour that was bound to put any of the shitholes in town to shame, so it’s not like I neglected the old standby. I was doing fine when she offered to let us stay the night, about 5 sours and a few puffs in, but I wasn’t about to turn down the offer to stay in a fucking mansion with two smoking hot brunettes. Hell, the fucking lounge pillows in the opium den were softer than anything I had at home.

                              Sadly, my impeccable logic didn’t work to get me anything more than some soft pillows and a decidedly not water bed. See, Liz mentioned she was fine with a more permanent arrangement, if it wouldn’t be damaging to our covers. Yours truly is not one to live solely on the charity of rich socialites as a general rule, but it’d look a lot better if this hard boiled PI was carrying on a torrid affair with the femme fatale trying to live on the rough side of things for a bit. I even assured her I did my best fucking while drunk, like everything else I did, but she was too far in the opium and apparently preferred doing her best fucking on cocaine anyway.

                              So Vivian and I retired to the “guest wing” of her goddamn mansion of a house. Of course the spider’s lair wouldn’t be complete without a web, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when Liz gave me a remote that would seal off the entirety of the guest portion of the house from the outside world. Or to note that there were no windows in any of the rooms. Or that the furniture was bolted to the floor. I guess I was actually most surprised to find that she didn’t have some kind of spider zoo box, so that she could flood a room with poisonous spiders when one of her prey got too troublesome. Goddamn rich fuckers. Shit.


                              Vivian woke me bright and early. Too goddamn early. Then I remembered she needed to fuck around fixing the fucking ID and I was her ride back. Well, to be fair, she reminded me of the first bit and I figured out the rest from there. Thankfully there was plenty of hot water for a quick shower. We got back to the office with more than enough time for whatever shit she was fucking around with on the computer.

                              Enough time for her to show up her other project. Waiting for us there was an overnighted shipping box, full on something called fucking ‘Deathwish’ coffee. It was the strongest fucking goddamn coffee I’d ever had. She’d even set up some kind of fucking science lab shit to brew it up. I was sure about drinking coffee from a fucking beaker, but that fucking science coffee was some good shit. I felt like some kind loosely held together collection of vibrations, but shit. Smooth and clean, there wasn’t a hint of burn, just some fucking chocolate and cherry flavors. Just right to put my fucking hangover in its goddamn place.

                              Mr. Marsh showed up at 10 am on the fucking dot. He turned down my offer for a cup of science coffee, but that his loss, and enough of a delay for Liz to come breezing in before we got down to business. Mostly he wanted to tell us more about Purial, the fire broad. She’s a Guardian, setup to protect a some fucking bit of Infrastructure, a power station a little north of Portland. Best as Marsh and maybe Scarecrow could figure, she might have been trying to deflect some of the heat she was under there, distracting the demons who’ve been harassing her with some kind of bullshit all the way over here. She’s as strong as a bull, and twice as destructive, with or without the china shop. She took out a pair of demons working together by exploding an entire fucking parking lot around them. Shitty as my car might be, I had no intention of letting the fuckers blow up another one of mine.

                              For our part, Vivian filled him in on what was inside the briefcase while I ducked into my bolthole to grab it. We kept the ID card, of course, but let him have the rest of it, since we’d all had a chance to read everything in it. It didn’t take long, all told, and the lizard man had just fucked off when we had another knock on the door.

                              It was another demon, and not as a client this time. He’d heard we were putting up a shingle and wanted to make sure we didn’t have any kind of conflict of interest. He was glitching - the fucking lights dimmed noticeably when he walked in. A useful glitch, as far as they go. It sure made it hard to see if he was packing or any shit like that, a handy trick in his line of work. And ours.

                              He said his name was Valefor, or Louis, in cover. He was a self-described criminal, aiming to keep everything could destabilized and disorganized, from the God-Machine, to the mortal government, to the fucking vampire government, or some shit. He wanted to share information, in addition to checking about conflicts of interest, and started off asking what the hell we might want to know. He was flush with info about the Diablo Dam, since it had more connections that I might have guessed to his vampire pals. The bigwigs amongst the vampires had some kinda fucking plans for the dam, something about sabotaging it, then framing some group of occultists called the Ordo Dracul, since these occultists thought they were above the petty squabbling and that pissed the bigwigs off. Then, they planned on framing Louis’ pals for the frame job. Those fuckers could give organized crime and political bedfellows a run for their money. Best of all, it turns out that the disappearing dame with the sunken eyes was one of them, the leader of the occultist fuckers. So, we’ve got a lead if we really need to track down that body.

                              Louis was interested in where Uziel had been sent to, and especially intrigued by the fact he’d been killed, and by another angel. He agreed it made no sense, even with whatever extra fucking bits of information he was playing with that. The lizard monsters made slightly more sense. He didn’t know what the fucking hell they were, but Sanderson was a known purveyor of the ‘what the fucking hell’. He was a ruthless business man, according to our new pal, who’d scared himself up a goddamn strange fucker for a bodyguard, who accomplished his job more by driving everyone nearby completely insane than by any other known skills. To be fair, as Vivian pointed out, when your presence makes people claw their own eyes out, there’s not really whole lot left to do. So, as a word of warning, if shit starts getting sepia colored, either fuck the fuck off, or protect your eyes.

                              When he got up to leave, it sure seemed like we’d gotten more than we'd given, which probably means we’re missing something important. Still, he seemed satisfied, and a useful contact to cultivate. He did offer one final bit of information, more of a warning really, as he left the office. He timed it perfectly, when one step took him far enough out to shut the door behind him, cutting off any attempt to get him to elaborate. It was a fair cop - if he hadn’t, I sure would have fucking tried to get him to. As it was, the cryptic warning against trusting Scarecrow followed by the simple statement “He’s quite mad.”, left us with quite a bit to fucking chew over, even as the shadows left with him.


                              After he left, we gave it a few more minutes, to see if there was going to be another fucking knock on the door before we headed out. Vivian was going to be handling the foot work, but since it was about two and a half hours away, we all came along for a trip to the gift shop. Well, it was two and a half hours away by road, according to the internet. It took me a whole hour and a half in my piece of shit car. Liz seemed to enjoy herself and her knitting, at least after a line or two of coke, while Vivian was her usual calm self.

                              All in all, we got there around 1PM. Vivian went right in, dressed in a sharp fucking suit, moving like she belonged there, of all the world over, most of all. This broke down a bit later, when her curiosity got the better of her, to hear her tell it. She tried to listen in on a conversation between the idiot and the sourpuss - that is, Fitzgerald and Shooter. Hell, I wasn’t even there, just heard a couple of announcements over the loudspeaker as the stages of the search for Vivian progressed, and I could tell exactly why Shooter wanted good old Fitz-y boy gone.

                              After the announcements, I kept an ear on the security radios, taking advantage of the enforced outsideness of the evacuation to get in a smoke, and a couple of hits from my flask so I wasn’t about to be worried about Vivian until I got word that she was caught. Liz joined me in a smoke, waving around her cigarette holder like she was off to have a meal at a goddamn jewelry store, while we watched the unloading of a couple of chemical tanks from a Peterson’s Chemical and waited for Vivian to get caught or get out.

                              It was the latter, as it turned out. She’d found a chance, shortly after she got spotted, to shift into Billy again. It wasn’t the best fucking place for that cover to be seen, but Billy certainly wasn’t a cute, small Asian female and so was able to avoid the hue and cry long enough to get a good eye on the Infrastructure. It was a bit of Logistical, set up to cause a power surge at some future date and to generate and store a steady supply until then, and maybe after. A nice setup, if you can swing it. Once he found his way out though, it was time to head back to the city and be seen.

                              Kilroy’s Transmissions

                              Train Damage

                              From: William McKenzie <[email protected]>
                              To: Lou Fisher <[email protected]>
                              Date: Tuesday, September 23, 12:57 am
                              RE: How's it hanging old man?

                              Yeah, you are still a master of comedy Lou. Even I'm not old enough to still call it hanging up a shingle. And you know damn well that the little g-man never hangs. If you doubt me, just ask Thelma.

                              Serious though, this private detective gig seems like a sweet deal so far. The road trip was nice and all but you know, after a while I actually missed having a routine. Guess there is only so much nothing a man can do before it gets dull eh?

                              Anyway, I was a little leery of walking into an office full of strangers to be sure. Mutual friend had put me in touch with them and all so everybody looked good on paper but you and I both know how much that's worth. And let me tell you Lou, they don't come much stranger than this crew. Yeah, I know, means I should fit right in. Elizabeth Covington is the woman financing this little shindig. She's definitely a dilettante but she seems dead set to have a go at playing detective. On the plus side, she's damn easy on the eyes and she can wrap just about anyone around her finger and have them spilling their dark little secrets and thinking it's their own idea. Gabe, short for Gabrielle, was the first talent she hired on. The woman may look a little young for this but she's already got cop eyes from seeing a little too much of the curdled milk of human unkindness and a drinking habit to match. But she knows her stuff and can drive like a bat out of hell. And hell, we both know it's the ones that try to drink on the QT that always fuck shit up. And last but not least, we've got Jack Stone. He's apparently our street man, knows everyone worth knowing and what's going on before it goes down. Looks to be quite a scrapper to boot, though he seems a little short fused.

                              So I've mostly been busy helping get set up in the agency's new digs and secure my armed PI license so busywork, heavy on the busy part. In addition to the four of us that will actually be working the cases, there's some talk of getting a couple of support folks to man the phones and make coffee and file paperwork. You know how I feel about grunt work so I'm all for it myself. Besides, while a lone wolf PI can get away with keeping irregular hours and working out of his car, when you've got a brick and mortar office you need someone there to answer the phones and look professional and smile at folks when they walk in the door.

                              So yeah, it's still a touch rough around the edges but my gut is telling me it's a good crew. Now I just need to find time to hunt up a permanent address and something that gets better city mileage than the Winnebago.

                              A Simple Task

                              The Night Train received its first case before being technically open for business. We had gathered at the newly acquired offices to do a final bit of preparation when we were paid a visit by a reptoid named Jimmy Marsh. He had instructions from Scarecrow and a briefcase filled with cash.

                              Scarecrow had received word that an angel would be manifesting at the train station at midnight. What he did not know was why. Our task was to follow this angel Uziel and discover what we might about his mission, most specifically where he was staying and what sort of equipment he had on hand and who he met with. It seemed within our capabilities and likely to be easy enough so long as we did not get careless and allow ourselves to be detected. The latter assessment would prove to be quite false.

                              A Complicated Resolution

                              We made our way to the train station. Speed Demon drove as suits her name and function. Perhaps she felt the need to show off for us or it may simply be her nature but she pushed the speed limits and took each turn hard and fast. Quietus was not pleased but as she maintained an almost effortless control over the vehicle at all times so I did not see a need to question her driving techniques.

                              Upon arriving, we separated to avoid waiting as a conspicuous group. There was a small crowd, though the station was far from crowded. A visual inspection revealed two cameras, one focused on the ticket counter and the other monitoring the vending machines. I extended my aetheric senses and settled in with Billy Mack's laptop to update his Facebook and maintain his e-mail.

                              Nothing of particular interest transpired until the train on the far track pulled in at 11:20pm. It spent nearly thirty minutes unloading and when it pulled away it revealed a rather curious little situation. On the far platform were a trio of crates, which Clytemnestra informed us via projected whisper contained something moving. A lone man was guarding them while a fellow of remarkable stature was eying him and his charges with a most unfriendly gaze. Also present were five hoodlums who seemed to be bystanders to the staring contest.

                              Quietus moved first, crossing and speaking to the large man who was approximately seven feet tall and quite muscular of build. He borrowed some cigarettes and light while casually stirring up the tensions between the two men. I followed and decided to remove the security guard. Time was short as Uziel's train was inbound so I used my Anarchism embed to suppress the poor human's social conscience and then pointed out that he was not getting paid enough to die here. Given further developments, I believe I may have done the man a favor.

                              With him removed, I spoke to the large man. He remained fixated on the crates but was less than helpful as to why exactly or what they contained. So I opened one to see for myself. The creature inside was some manner of unnatural and unfamiliar crocodilian. I guessed it most likely some sort of cryptid. Though my initial assessment was rather rushed by the beast's highly aggressive nature. I twisted away from the animal's maw while both Quietus and the massive man dealt it punishing unarmed blows. The force displayed by the large man further indicated that he was not human, though he did not register to my senses as anything I had encountered but simply gave a powerful sense of wrongness.

                              It was at this point that other train arrived as expected. Uziel disembarked and gestured to the hoodlums that had been loitering. Without hesitation, they moved in to provide the angel with security but it was in vain. One of the other people waiting revealed her angelic form, shedding the guise of mousey human girl for a statuesque warrior with brilliant red hair and flaming wings. Of more immediate note was the flaming sword she also manifested and used to strike Uziel down without a word of warning or explanation.

                              The spectacular act of violence triggered a panic in the other humans, who fled screaming into the rainy night. It also triggered a peculiar reaction in the large man, a surge of rather instinctive fear that he took a moment to suppress and a very brief glimpse of scarring and stitches that covered all the viable areas of his body. The two remaining crocodilians became enraged and began to rapidly begin breaking free of their crates. And the hoodlums revealed themselves to be reptoids and drew guns to open fire on the angel.

                              I drew my own weapon and took a step back from the crates, trusting my fellow unchained to keep themselves safe while I prepared to try to contain the threat from the remaining crocodilians. The angel ignored the scattered gunfire and retaliated with a ball of fire that killed all but one of the reptoids nearly instantly and sent the other fleeing into the night though clearly not for long given the severity of his injuries.

                              The crates broke as the chaos continued to unfold on the far platform. I fired at the first creature as it emerged and wounded it but did not subdue it. As it leaped at me, I used the Momentum of its attack to fire again and finish putting it down. Unfortunately, it was able to lay open a long gash along my side in the process. The other beast had gone after the large man and he seemed to fared better than I in avoiding harm. I turned to fire at it but it proved unnecessary. He crushed the creature with his inhuman strength before I could draw a bead on it.

                              As I was dealing with the crocodilians, Quietus had taken off in pursuit of the surviving reptoid. Speed remained in cover and observed several supernaturals involved in the events. Clytemnestra had shifted states into a swarm of spiders and managed to secure and escape with the dead angel's briefcase. The fiery angel shifted to Twilight and then shortly thereafter departed.

                              I took a few moments to address the large man. I learned that he was named Herb, which he informed me was like the plant, though he did not actually pronounce it as such. I gave him Billy's name in return. He informed me that the crates had been intended for a Mr Sanderson. I inquired if he would object to me taking them for examination and he requested only that I insure the creatures not wake up as he did not want to see them again. I agreed to his terms and he helped me load the beasts back into their damaged crates and then bring the crates to Speed's car. She and I quickly departed to avoid the impending arrival of various emergency services. I called Clytemnestra on my cell and arraigned a rendezvous.

                              What’s in the Box?

                              Mysterious Cargo

                              Speed and I picked up Clytemnestra and Uziel's briefcase. Quietus was pursuing the reptoid so we left him to it. Clytemnestra had discovered that the case's lock was a feat of remarkable technological design. Nearly infinite possible combinations. She inquired about a gun, elaborating her intention to shoot the lock open. Speed was not pleased at the suggestion of doing so in her car or the office. I explained that that was basically a Hollywood invention and not an effective solution. Certainly not one to be resorted to before less destructive ones. She agreed to wait until we had returned to the office and made some other attempts.

                              I called Mr Marsh and gave him a brief report on the events at the train station. He was upset and apologetic. Then he did some quick checking on Scarecrow's records and gave us a name for the fire angel. Puriel. Apparently the only other information he had access to was that she was very dangerous and that all of Scarecrow's agents were under orders to avoid her. He agreed to see if he could secure more information and we agreed to meet at 10am to turn over the briefcase and receive any further intel he could gather on the events we had walked into.

                              Back at the offices, we took a closer look at the case which made two things clear. First, there was no explosive or self-destruct incorporated into the lock. Second, there was no way we were going to unlock it. Speed quantum shifted to her true form and morphed a laser cutter precise enough to open the case without destroying or damaging the contents. With nothing to do but wait, I decided to take a preliminary examination of the crocodilians while I had my lenses and cognition booster manifest.

                              The remains had rapidly transformed upon the creatures' death, becoming outwardly nothing more than debris such as one might dredge up from a river that bore a passing resemblance to the creatures I had fought. I was disappointed and intrigued. This was not at all in keeping with any sort of cryptid behavior I was aware of. And my disappointment faded as I performed a microscopic examination of the remains. At the cellular level it became apparent that these things had once been human and that some sort of heat, like a kiln of some sort, had been part of the process to transform them into monsters that decayed into innocent debris. I shall have to further press Herb about these constructs. I do not believe he was completely forthcoming with what he knew about them.

                              Speed was successful in opening the case and it contained important documents and a security badge from Seattle City Light for one Johannes Mikkleson. Seems he had been hired by Cleveland Shooter to consult on improving operations at the Diablo Dam. Of note in the papers was that there was clearly some bad blood between Mr Shooter and the dam's manager, Langley Fitzgerald.

                              Into the Spider's Parlor

                              The security badge was a prize too valuable to ignore. The death of the proper owner seemed likely to limit it's useful lifespan so after a little examination, I determined that it would not be overly difficult to modify the card for our use. For the sake of avoiding any legal complications, I decided to forge it for Vivian's use. And because I find it more comfortable to work on such things as her, I went ahead and shifted forms. This did bring some attention to my injury and Speed was quick to offer me a hand bandaging it. She then announced her intent to hit the local drinking establishments and asked me to join her.

                              I had planned to deal with the forgery but her offer seemed like fun and there would be time in the morning to fix the badge before meeting Marsh. However, as we were preparing to leave Clytemnestra informed us that she had a piece of stolen Infrastructure and offered to let us siphon aether from it.

                              Clytemnestra's mansion is quite impressive and she has a very attractive mix of South American servants on staff. The Infrastructure was in the basement and she'd attached it to a hooka. There were soft rugs and pillows scattered about the churning machinery, giving the whole place a sort of steam-punk opium den atmosphere. And once Speed and I had recharged, she did promptly refill the hooka with opium for us to partake of.

                              I had not tried it before and found that it was quite soothing and relaxing and did wonders to dull the throbbing ache from my wounds. Speed downed several drinks and seemed very pleased with the skill of Clytemnestra's bartender. After a while, it was clear we were in no condition to leave under our own power so Clytemnestra showed us to the guest wing. The lack of windows and reinforced single doorway connecting it to rest of the house was a bit suspect and the spider did offer up a remote and explain that it did double quite effectively as a prison to hold her prey.

                              I found this a little surprising but was feeling far too calm to argue. Speed was much to intent on trying to convince either Clytemnestra or myself to join her in bed. Clytemnestra declined on the grounds that she preferred her partners sober and enjoys cocaine with her sex, which she wisely does not mix with opiates. I will confess, I was curious. I did have occasion to enjoy sex with Marley before consuming her, but I have not yet had the occasion to have sex as her yet, especially not with another woman. However, I did not want to aggravate my injury and had to decline Speed's advances. I did assure her that once I was once more intact I would be interested. Pity that none of us seem to possess any healing embeds or exploits but it should not take more than a week or so to heal naturally.

                              I set my phone's alarm and we all went to bed. The next morning I rose and made ready, waking Speed so we could get to the office with time for me to make the badge before Marsh arrived. As we were departing, Clytemnestra offered once again to allow us to stay and I elected to take her up on it. Her guest wing is far more comfortable than the Winnebago and I do not believe she has ill intentions toward me.


                              I was pleased to find the overnight delivery from Deathwish Coffee waiting at the office and carried it upstairs to the distillation I had prepared for it. Speed seemed skeptical at first but the combination of high quality product and superiour brewing technique had her quite pleased with my 'Science Coffee'. She even forgave me for waking her so early. It was a simple enough matter to have the badge ready before Marsh showed up.

                              He elaborated on Puriel. She is an angel charged with protecting an infrastructure just north of Portland. She is dangerous and has killed several demons, usually with fire. She can combust anything with any flammability and two of her kills were apparently the result of detonating an entire lot of parked cars. I fear that not even this further evidence of her threat seemed to entirely dispel my companions' unhealthy sexual interest in her. I do hope the phrase moth to flame does not prove to be entirely too accurate.

                              After Marsh departed, we had our second visitor of the morning. A fellow unchained by the name of Valefar using a cover name of Louis. He self identified as a criminal and had decided to drop in and greet his new neighbors in town and confirm that our operations were not in conflict. He did not bring the traditional welcoming gift of pastries but he was prepared to gossip on the other locals.

                              He knew a fair amount about the Diablo Dam. It is apparently of interest to a group of vampire occultists, the leader of which was apparently present at the train station and the one who stole the dead angel's body. Also, there is apparently some sort of conflict among the various groups of vampires which he is doing his best to keep stirred up. The more established leaders are apparently plotting to damage the dam and make it look like the occult faction's work. They are further planning to make this look like the work of Louis' group, a younger and rising power structure. It seems like an overly complicated social structure with a great deal of in-fighting. No doubt responsible for keeping the vampires from being more noteworthy in the overall scheme of things.

                              He was interested in what had transpired at the train station and we informed him. He was as perplexed by Puriel's behaviour as we were, though he had heard of her previously. He was familiar with Herb, though seemed less aware of his supernatural nature then even our less than clear understanding. However, he did have information about Sanderson, the importer of monsters. The man is human and owns a company that makes advanced prosthetics or, as Valefar referred to them, cybernetics. He is powerful and ruthless with a reputation for crushing people and companies that cross him. He also apparently has some sort of mysterious bodyguard. No one is sure what it looks like, only that as it approaches the world fades to sepia and it apparently drives its victims mad, often coupled with clawing out one's own eyes. I have no idea what it might be, but it seems most curious that a mortal human could command such the being.

                              As Valefar left, he made the comment that we should be mindful that Scarecrow is utterly mad. An interesting warning, though not entirely at odds with what I know of Scarecrow. Clearly Valefar knows more about my associate and it might well be worth pursuing.

                              However, the order of business for the day was the Diablo Dam. Speed drove us up there at a breakneck pace, grumbling about the lack of speed her car was capable of and how much quicker it would have been in Liz's high performance sports car. I spent the drive maintaining Billy and Vivian's electronic correspondence while Clytemnestra indulged in a bit of cocaine and then knitted.

                              Once we'd arrived, I clipped the altered badge on and slipped away to make my in and scout the dam. I had just begun to poke around when I found myself near Langley Fitzgerald's office. Cleveland Shooter was present and the two seemed to be working up to a confrontation. It seemed like useful intel so I attempted to move in close enough to eavesdrop. Unfortunately, Cleveland Shooter is a very perceptive man and noticed me. I withdrew but not before he got a good enough look at me to issue a fairly clear alert to security.

                              I found an unoccupied men's room and switched covers. Being quite distinct from Vivian, Billy was able to finish scouting the dam without being stopped and escorted off the premises, which is good as it would have been difficult to explain his presence.

                              Once I was back to the others, I informed them of my findings. The dam is logistical infrastructure designed to generate power (and thus could prove useful to gather aether in the future) as well as being geared toward generating a very large surge to power an upcoming occult matrix. Before we left, we noticed a collection of trucks from a Peterson Chemical in the lot. This seemed incongruous with the normal operation of a hydro-electric dam. Another element needing further investigation. For now, we are making our way back to the city with the same alacrity that Speed brings to all transit.

                              Clytemnestra’s Yarns

                              The Diablo Dam is gorgeous if you enjoy such things, darling. Cascading water, mountains, a long view…not that I was there for sightseeing. Rather, I had ridden up there with Speed Demon who, true to her name, all but drives her car like it was fired from a slingshot…chased by bees.

                              Now I hung around the guest area, which was dull, with Speed Demon, who does not seem to know what to do with herself when not in motion, besides drink. She might drink less now that she knows drinking is not the ideal way to get into my drawers. Or not. Well till Kilroy sauntered out looking simultaneously annoyed and triumphant. It is a hard look to pull of, but he can do it. He and cats.

                              But I am way ahead. So the briefcase I stole? Gabe cut right into it with a laser tool and found a lot of documents suggesting our late Angel was to be helping out Seattle City Light, in particular with the Diablo Dam. He was brought in by Cleveland Shooter, whose name is hilarious, and who may or may not turn out to be a knowing part of the God Machine’s plan. Kilroy also found out that the statues he slew now looked like river debris, but were once human, via his Demonic Senses. Odd.

                              We decided to meet with Marsh, the Reptoid, the next day then check out the Dam. I looked at it online. Meanwhile Kilroy, who had become Vivian his other Cover, dealt with Speed Demon throwing herself at her. It was sort of funny. Since they expended some Aether on the cutting and study and we had a few hours before my supply recharged anyway, I took them to my place.

                              I have a nice little Hookah set up to refine the Aether, and of course smoke Opium. I maybe should not have let Gabe near it, but I am always a good hostess when welcoming others into my parlor, whether I intend to devour them or not. I also kept Gabe supplied with Drinks. By the end of the night, I decided to put them in the “guest wing” which is designed to hold prisoners or guests, and should, in theory, work for either. It was guests tonight. In the interest of fairness, I did warn them what it was for, but gave them a remote so they could make the doors open if they needed to. And the rooms are quite luxurious, especially if one has, like Kilroy, been living in an RV.

                              Gabe seemed quite intent on bedding us; Kilory’s change in plumbing apparently did wonders to get Gabe more interested. I, however, have yet to have a good experience with a sloppy drunk partner of either sex, so politely declined. Besides, I like cocaine with my sex, and try to not mix cocaine and opium. How someone can smoke opium and still want to get wild is a little strange to me. Most I ever want after a good pipe is a foot massage.

                              Speed bragged she was as good in bed drunk as sober. That is…not something I would brag about. I am not sure how things went with Speed and Kilroy after I left. I did not enquire with the Staff. Privacy and all. Anyway.

                              Meeting the next morning with Marsh went well, as much as anything good can happen in the morning. Puriel, the Angelic redhead, was causing issues in Portland, and apparently likes blowing things up. She killed several demons. Scarecrow does not have any clue why she would be up here. Not much else. Marsh acted quite the good minion however. I need to cultivate more minions. Do you want to be my minion, Kayla?

                              Hm hm hm…yes, well, I understand.

                              Anyway, Right after he left, we had a second visitor, a young man named Valefar, or “Louis,” a Demon who had been active in the area. I am pretty sure from his Anarchistic bent he is a Saboteur, though unsure beyond that. Could be a Trumpet, could be a Sword, gets people way to well to be a Wheel. Valefar is neck deep in Vampire business, and likes stirring up trouble. Apparently the white haired woman I met is a leader of a group called Ordo Dracul, named for Dracula I suppose, who are trying to operate in the city despite some sort of vampire civil war Valefar apparently started. He was quite casual about discussing the Vampires as if they were pawns. But that was not his most useful information, even given that the Ordo Dracul is interested in the Dam.

                              Sanderson apparently is mortal, the owner of a company who makes prosthetics (though Valefar also used the word Cybernetics). He is powerful and ruthless, having crushed people and companies simply because they annoyed him. He also has a strange guardian that drives people mad. Valefar has no idea what it is, just that the world begins to wash out in sepia when it approaches, and it makes people insane. He was not even sure what it looked like. So this cyberneticist alleged mortal was importing once human statue monsters and has a guardian that turns people insane. Charming. With two Paranoids in the group, the chances we won’t be dealing with him are nearly nil. Herb seems our best bet for finding out more, and I am sure one of the others will kick over the anthill to see why the ants are so very, very red.

                              The Valefar left, taking every shadow in the room with him. Stepping outside he even seemed to dim the sun. No wonder the vampires like him.

                              But then we went to the Dam. Kilroy snuck in (as Vivian) and out (as Billy Mac). While Kilroy was spotted, he still managed to analyze it as Logistical Infrastructure, and we were able to determine that the manager is a goober. Also, Speed noticed some trucks from a Peterson Chemical parked outside. Related to the vampires? This “Sanderson?”

                              A problem for another day. In the meantime I will take a drink. It is, after all, your turn to tell me a story, my sweet.

                              End Session II

                              Speed had to go Demon Form to get her cutter as she was using the Amorphous Demon Form Process to access it. The burned rubber was a glitch. Kilroy used the Advanced Optics Modification to examine the Pandorans on a microscopic level.

                              Clytemnestra’s Hookah was attached to a Suborned Infrastructure, level 3.

                              Beyond that, I deliberately pulled some noir faces out for NPCs. Valefar is Orson Wells, specifically pictures of him as Harry Lime from “The Third Man.” Cleveland Shooter I picked Sydney Greenstreet, though not with a “look” attached to any particular movie. For contrast, Langley Fitzgerald is represented by Eric Lampaert.

                              The Diablo Dam is a real place. Seriously how could I resist that?

                              Next week during the “Off week” will be a list of intelligence and Fortean phenomena in the Seattle area I gave out as a handout for session one. As I told them “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”. I hope you will check in then. Comments and Questions welcome.
                              Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 10-27-2014, 05:35 AM.

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