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IC All That Glitters Is Red (Vampire: Blood and Smoke)

smilingbandit2

Darkness is my Ally.
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LaChance stares at the ceiling for a long time, gathering his thoughts. "As one of the Kindred, I have spent more than a century swimming in an ocean of secrets and lies. It is an cold and acrid place - I cannot imagine what you've suffered to dive deeper still. I'm honored to be taken into your confidence."

"That said, this is a lot to take in. I despise the blasted Plague Nun, for reasons I feel are all too obvious. Were she to die screaming, I would not shed a single tear. However, we have little time for such indulgences. If you say Alistair Niall is the greater threat, then I shall trust your judgement."

"I know what it is to despise my maker. My sire was a godless brute in life and death. Cruelty came to him as easily as breathing, and what he could not steal he would destroy out of spite. He was born to Undeath, drawn to it like a moth to a flame."

The doctor's face grows hard and bitter as he recollects the fiend. "He was three weeks turned when he found me, dying in a crater in Verdun. He was part of a pack of gutter corpses, scouring the battlefield for blood, and he was halfway through draining me before he looked at my face."

"He recognized me - the kindly doctor who had saved his life the year before - and so he decided to "help" me. So far as I can gather, it was the only kind or selfless thought the fiend ever had at any point in his cursed existence."

"No doubt Satan laughed himself hoarse at so fine a joke."

LaChance pauses, cleans his glasses, looks at the ceiling again. "We parted ways not soon after, on poor terms. I met him again only once, in the streets of Paris in 1943. He wore a black uniform and a red armband. May God forgive me for my sins, but I removed his arms and legs with my scalpel and hung what was left at the top of the Eiffel Tower to greet the dawn."

"His screams have never left my mind since. They are my greatest shame... and my greatest pride."

"So, by all means, let us make haste for the Patricide. The commandments tell us to honor our mothers and fathers - and they are neither, no matter what lies they tell us."
 

Pandorym

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Suddenly, the coterie feels a profound and complete disconnect from their surroundings -- Elaine instantly realizes that this is a use of elder-level Obfuscate, which means that the conflict between the two old Shadows has either begun or is soon about to. Elsie immediately draws her axe and charges off, her actions completely unnoticed by the bartender and the few drunken patrons scattered about the pub. Which is quite unusual, all things considered.
 

Pheidias

herder of rampant stories
Validated User
Elaine, listening with growing fondness and relaxation to LaChance, shuddered when she felt the wave of power rippling through the astral sphere. "It begins," she whispered.

When Elsie took off, she was taken by surprise. She had wanted to make things right with her, not drag the Daeva into her own mess. Now, she had to make doubly sure to end this for good. Her family couldn't lose Elsie and neither in her heart of hearts could she.

Elaine looked at the back of Elsie as she hurried out, then at LaChance, put a few quid on the table and got up. "Thank you," she said earnestly. "Let's get on with it, then."

She hurried off into the streets, trailing her companion and casting about with her preternatural senses to locate the source of the disturbance, ready to slip into the shadows at any moment.
 

smilingbandit2

Darkness is my Ally.
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"Thank you," she said earnestly. "Let's get on with it, then."
"Quite." With rather less confidence than his companions, LaChance heads out into the night as well. He draws his pistol from his medical bag and stuffs it into his overcoat pocket - for all the good it might do. As ever, the doctor will have get by on his faith and his charm.
 

Pandorym

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The coterie finds themselves wending through alleyways and side streets until they at last come across a section of forgotten warehouses, the most prominent of the abandoned buildings facing each other like looming jagged gargoyles in the flickering street lights.

Atop one of them stands the Plague Nun, clad in her black shift that barely conceals the nudity of her thin marble-like body. Upon the other rests the Hound of London, haggard frame clad in a thick coat, hands in his pockets, with a cigarette hanging from his lips idly.

The space around them -- and for what must be at least a mile around -- feels as though it is separated from reality, a dream realm cast only in bleak, dark shades that drain away all hope and light. It is here that these two elders can fight, without being seen or noticed, without being interrupted by the petty grievances of a world they each slowly devour in their own way.

But there is no physical combat, no, not yet. These two are Mekhet, and for such timeless Shadows there is a greater landscape to deal with first: the mind. Fully apparent to Elaine, but wholly unknown to Antoine and Elsie, the two vampires are locked in a psychic battle that will determine who has the advantage in the physical fight to come.

"Th' hell are they doin' jus' peepin' och each other?" The female Daeva questions, battle axe clasped tightly in both hands and ready to cleave.
 
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Pheidias

herder of rampant stories
Validated User
Elaine motioned for the others to step further into the dark alley behind one of the ramshackle buildings, then she explained:

"This is the art of psychic assault. They're pitting their great and powerful minds against each other. Whoever wins this contest will finish off the other physically, most likely. But this is also the part where they are most vulnerable. The slightest chink in the armor, the merest moment of distraction and the other will use their chance."

She considered their chances for a moment: "Physically, none of us can match them. There's a chance, Elsie, that you are stronger and perhaps as fast, but their speed combined with their ability to blink out of existence and predict your attacks would see us come to a sticky end.

Elaine shrugged, having reached the inevitable conclusion on how best to proceed:

"So, here's my proposal. The two of you get in position to attack Alistair. I come out of the shadows and make myself known to my sire. If he's still that obsessed with me, and I guess he is considering the damage I've done, he'll be distracted. There's a good chance, he's going to try and take me out, but - again - our way is always doing things mentally first. And he loves his deceptions and illusions. The bloodline he and I are from, it's all about cutting or establishing ties, delving into the past and weaponizing memories. So...

I bet he cannot resist taking a peak before trying to crush me and I... have my answer for that... but that means he will be distracted for a second or two, which will likely give the Nun the upper hand in their battle of the wills. If we're really lucky, he will be too hurt to cloak himself once you get in there. He's still very, very fast and I hope his priorities will be so skewed that he's angry enough to forego a rational threat assessment.

I'll draw his ire and whatever damage he can bring. You assist the Nun in taking him out. That's my proposal. We only have seconds to spare to plan this. Are you in?"

And mentally she echoed that last question, addressing it to her dark Other.

I'm going to need you in a minute and for that I'm going to give you what you crave - a turn at the wheel, as I promised. Are you in?
 
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smilingbandit2

Darkness is my Ally.
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"You know both scoundrels better than I. If this is the surest path, then I shall put my trust in the Lord God and Ms Elaine Coventry."

"Would it be to our benefit to 'turn on the charm' as it were? I'm something of a specialist when it comes to drawing attention, but it may be that my approach is overkill."
 

Pheidias

herder of rampant stories
Validated User
Elaine smiled and nodded at Doctor LaChance's reassuring words. Then, she turned serious again.

"Don't let him see you coming and your charm is very distracting which might disturb the Nun as well. Better he concentrates on taking it out on me and then gets assaulted on all sides without any forewarning. I just have to hope that you're all quick enough before he can finish me off. It's worth a shot in any case."
 

Pandorym

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And mentally she echoed that last question, addressing it to her dark Other.

I'm going to need you in a minute and for that I'm going to give you what you crave - a turn at the wheel, as I promised. Are you in?
"Is Virgil Catholic?" It snarks back viciously. "Of course I'm in. Let's go rip the secrets out of that bastard's heartsblood."

Getting to the top of the abandoned warehouse where Alistair is standing is a simple task; the locks are rusted and flimsy, the stairs are rotten but sturdy, and there's no homeless or drug addicts to frighten off or creep past. In fact, thanks to the multiple undisturbed layers of dust, no one has even been in here since the place was decommissioned and shut down. How fortunate for those stepping through its shadows now.

Opening the final door to get access to the rooftop proves the only remotely challenging thing about this sojourn upwards -- the door was rusted shut, and required a portion of Elsie's strength and some leverage from her axe to open it. Luckily, Alistair doesn't seem to have heard that, as he's still standing motionless at the far edge of the rooftop with his back to the coterie.

OOC: Okay, I'm going to need Elaine and Antoine to make Stealth rolls in order to sneak up on Alistair. Antoine receives a +5 bonus to his roll, Elaine only gets a +3 due to blood ties. Elsie will, well, she's just gonna wait for the signal to come in and start slashing.
 

Pandorym

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Success! It seems that Alistair Niall is far too engrossed in his psychic battle with Erzebet, so much so that he hasn't even noticed the two of you sneak up on him. At this point, you figure out that anything short of either causing him some kind of major mental distraction or attacking him will be utterly ignored -- a semi-truck could go whizzing right past his head and he wouldn't even crack open an eye at it.

But that also means this is extremely important, and if he's distracted he's liable to take whatever measures necessary to deal with the problem quickly and efficiently before the Plague Nun can capitalize on his slip-up.
 
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