Tucson by Night

Keepin' a low profile...

The black car came to a halt as the driver cut the engine. Two men sat in the front seat, neither speaking nor looking at each other. Instead, their attention was fixed on a building down the street, situated at the corner of a block of storefronts, all limned by the orange rays of the setting sun.

Minutes passed as the sun finally set behind the mountains, themselves blocked by buildings. The men continued in silence, eating Jack in the Box from a large bag between them.

Finally, the driver snorted. “Place’ll open in a few. We should case it,” he stated in a growl.

“You think they’ll be there tonight?” the other man asked, his mouth full of burger.

“Gotta be,” the other responded, “Robbie’s never been wrong – not with this much evidence. They’ll be there, and we’ll track’m, and we’ll take’m out.”

“Mrphmth” the other agreed, taking another bite of burger.

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Tucson? Strange place, I think...

The grizzled Nosferatu squated in the corner of the filthy bathroom, his forearms resting on his knees. Wearing a thoroughly soiled suit, he swayed from side to side slightly as he spoke.

“Strange place, I think. Something of an island. Prince…Ventrue. Strange guy….his own man. Tolerates a lot, according to his neighbor up north. Ventrue who don’t get along? ‘Round these parts? That’s strange…”

His raspy voice trailed off with the last word as he calmly reached into his jacket to retrieve a wriggling rat, into which he bit, slurping loudly for a moment as he drained it of blood.

“Yeah. Right. What else? Right. You have to get there in one night, or you won’t make it. San Diego straight through, I think. That’s best. If you go through Phoenix, you waste time, or maybe get caught there. They play Ventrue games up there. I’d skip it. Do it in one night, or the desert will claim you – no safe place out there. Show up at ”/wikis/places-of-interest" class=“wiki-page-link”> Cobb’s to present yourself. Prince doesn’t like folks who don’t make their presence and intentions clear."

FInished, he looked up at the others in the room and waited, expecting his payment.
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Late Breaking News!
...Massive fire engulfs local business...

From tonight’s KGUN on Your Side broadcast:

Guy Atchley, KGUN 9’s 5pm anchor, leads off the show, leaning forward over his news desk, one eyebrow arched, as his cute blonde sidekick looks on, an expression of controlled concern on her face…

“This just in: a massive fire has engulfed a local warehouse late this afternoon, with three fire stations responding.. Drake Fowler is on the scene…..Drake?”

The scene switches to a street and a young reporter, also with one eyebrow arched, standing a block down from the smoking ruin of a building. Several firetrucks are parked here and there, and a few dipshits are trying to get into the camera’s eye behind the reporter. A portly Hispanic man stands next to the reporter.

“Right, Guy…the fire seems to have started perhaps at roughly about 3pm this afternoon. Mario Sanchez, a business owner, noticed smoke, then flames, and he called 911. Mario, can you tell us what happened?”

Shoving the mic into the other man’s face, the reporter waits for him to speak.

“Well, I saw some y’know, some smoke, and so I thought ‘well that’s not right,’ and so I went outside, right? Then I thought ‘well they make ice cream in there so there shouldn’t be nothin’ burning or anything like that, so then I saw flames and…”

Jerking the mic back to his own face, Drake interjects

“You saw flames – describe them – what did they look like?”

“Well…they was red and orange, y’know, like flames are, but right before I went back inside to call 911 they were like WHOOOSH! and grew so fast…so fast. I knew something was wrong.”

Reclaiming the mic once again, the reporter turns back to the camera.

“That’s it, Guy. Flames: sudden, fierce, destructive. All we know at this point is that the fire has all but destroyed the warehouse that, according to Mr. Sanchez’ account, and local records and the sign on the street next to the warehouse, was the central facility for the Treat Shops across Tucson. We’ve no word yet on whether or not anyone was inside, nor of any cause for the blaze. Fire investigators will have to sift through this one to find out what happened. Back to you, Guy…"

The picture switches back to Guy Atchley, pursing his lips and shaking his head ruefully while the blonde mirrors his expression back to him. After a moment, Guy turns back to the camera, smiling.

“And in other news, the modern streetcar made its first test ride today…”

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Mr. Timmy
a side note

Mr. Timmy is a fixture in the local homeless community, and is normally found around downtown. He’s got a few frequent haunts, and also pops up in seemingly unexpected places, as well (like bars – inside and paying). He is a font of local knowledge, if you can meet whatever price he sets in the moment.

And most of what he says he knows is actually so.

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Rumors from the South
Mexico, that is

Rumors have come out of some drug and coyote gangs that operate across the border that the Sabbat are focusing less on the border and more toward something to the south. There are two known Sabbat packs that operate in Nogales and Tijuana, with the latter being the bigger one, and it seems that the pack from Nogales packed up and moved, leaving only a skeleton crew behind in the city.

With this, the pressure and oversight from the Sabbat in the drug and human trades has decreased some. There’s nothing commonly known beyond this.

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More Background: The Locals

Thomas Reginald is the Prince of Tucson, and works to balance between his overbearing northern clan neighbor in Phoenix, the threat of the Sabbat in Mexico, sometimes pushy and erratic Anarchs in California, and a disturbing number of lupines ringing his city. Although he does not rule with an iron fist, like his northern neighbor, his rules are absolute, by necessity, in Tucson, and he does not tolerate those who flaunt them – friend or otherwise. Within his rules there is flexibility; outside them there is a short trip to a sunny day west of Ajo.

Aside from Thomas Reginald, the city’s permanent residents are Cedric, Dominic Rance, Jasper, and Lyle Spade. There have been two deaths in the last few months: Alex Broden, a Caitiff loner; and Jose Ramirez, a Gangrel who’d lived in the area for decades.

The locals are tense, as always, about the surrounding threats, and now with two mysterious deaths, they are even more so.

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An Introduction to the Region
A Prologue to Our Story: Part 1

Tucson is, in effect, an island. It is surrounded by wide open expanses of desert in all directions, immediately hemmed in by rugged mountains, and far enough from any other cities that it would be decades, if not centuries, before its borders could ever start to blur. This wilderness is exceedingly hostile to Kindred, being home to many Lupines, as well as the natural problem of distance, open space, and sparse population.

This island, aside from the dangerous waters around it, is also threatened by a southern neighbor – Mexico – that is overflowing with Sabbat, eager to encroach into the United States along with illegal immigrants, drugs, and terrorists. California, the southern portion of which is in a constant state of Anarch turmoil, offers little security to the west; and New Mexico is one of only a handful of states with no known Kindred population, so overrun is it with Lupines and other supernatural beings hostile to vampires.

Phoenix is the closest city, and closest thing to a safe harbor, for those brave enough to try the highways and state roads at night. And although it’s the largest city in the state, with well over 2 million human residents, it is a difficult place for outsiders to be welcomed, and a hard place to live for those who wish to make their own decisions. The local Prince works hard to maintain control over what she sees as – and many in the Camarilla believe to be – the only bastion of civilization in the Southwestern United States.

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