Tucson by Night

An end to that night
and one major local player

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I’m not feeling motivated to write a full-on narrative of the night, so the bullet points below will have to suffice.

  1. Dom was grievously injured by gunfire from Doc and Viktor, stuffed in a police car by Viktor, and then he tried to escape. Viktor killed one officer and then stuffed Dom into the SUV driven by Arnie.
  2. Doc & Wayne ended up in the shadow world, moving between representations of local landmarks, eventually finding Lyle and Thomas at Cobb’s. They informed the two of the mess the city had become, and the four hurried back to the real world.
  3. While followed by the police, Viktor diablarized Dom, and Arnie crashed through the zoo gates. The two kindred took off into the zoo, pursued on foot by a growing team of police. Arnie escaped over the south wall while Viktor changed shape and hid among the coyotes.
  4. Relying on his powers of Domination, Thomas sent the police away from the tower, and then away from Arnie. Doc, Wayne, Lyle, and Thomas were picked up by Gerald, and they all headed back to Cobb’s to debrief one another.

Six months later…

  • Viktor runs the former Ten’s, now called ‘Da,’ as a Russian mafia-themed strip club. Which is to say, there are some tacky nesting dolls here and there, some Soviet flags, and a few other symbols of Russian history and criminal culture, and lots of naked girls and vodka. Vic is an assistant director for security at the San Diego Convention Center.
  • Wayne moved into a small, but elegant, old house in the Sam Hughes neighborhood, where he conducts creepy rituals that attract a group of wanna-be academics and antiquarians. He and Thomas work regularly to better understand the portal in the tower.
  • Doc weaved himself into a night rotation at UMC as a visiting expert doctor. He spends a few nights each week there, sharing his medical knowledge and taking advantage of anyone with a limp.
  • Arnie concluded his business deal in town and headed home to California. Thomas found out about him giving information to Bruce, the mustachioed Toreador prince of San Fran, and now Arnie’s not welcome in town anymore.
  • Jasper ended up on the raw end of a meeting with Sam & Dean, after being tipped off anonymously to his whereabouts and activities. He woke up near Ajo in the middle of the desert.
  • Cedric was never caught by the hunters, and continues to sell his special flavors of ice cream around the city.
  • The MIBs found the tower, and are watching it. Their presence and activities are not known to the local kindred.
  • Mortimer, prince of Phoenix, is in a political battle with Thomas behind the scenes, and is trying to muster enough forces within the Camarilla to unseat the rogue prince and absorb Tucson into his sphere of control. 100 miles of wild desert between them and the continuing Sabbat threat from the south collude to stymie his plans.
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Earlier that day
sifting through the rubble

“Refer to the jurisdiction clause on page two,” the woman repeated to the police officer, without turning her attention away from what she was doing. “You can leave us here and go back to doing whatever it is you do.”
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The TPD officer was frustrated, but it seemed that there was nothing he could do. He’d placed a call to his superior, but hadn’t heard back yet. He’d asked the two ‘agents’ to stop, but they’d handed over a thick packet of documents and gone about their work. There was something unsettling about them – intimidating – and Officer Carlson was not used to being intimidated. He didn’t know what to do. And so he did nothing but watch.

It was mid-afternoon, and the two, wearing black suits with disposable white coveralls zipped over them, had been digging around what was left of the warehouse for about 30 minutes before they decided they were finished. Collecting their things they silently walked to their car and departed, without so much as a word or nod to the officer.


“I think it’s east of us,” Agent Borneaux said as she fiddled with the tablet in her hands. Agent Warner drove as she worked with the satellite-enabled tracking sensor and tracking device, attempting to fine-tune the reception in order to track what were called ‘Omega 4 Waves,’ and give them a location of their source.

The tan Chrysler Malibu drove eastward down Broadway, the setting sun behind it.

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"This tastes like...."
'not good'

Sam spit a gob of gelato onto the sidewalk and followed it with another hack.

“This tastes like grave dirt,” he said quietly at Dean eyed him and his supposed cup of ‘Monster Mint Madness’ they’d just bought from the shabby ice cream truck.
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“What did I say? ’Don’t get anything – just browse the selection,’ but you didn’t want to take the good advice,” Dean replied as the two stepped into the alcove of two closed doors along 4th Avenue.

“We know the Good Humor Man is a friggin’ vampire – you saw how he moved. And we now know that he’s putting some ‘special sauce’ into his cream…” Dean continued, taking on a slightly mocking tone.

“So what are we going to do? Follow him some more? Take him out?” asked Sam, still clearing out his mouth with a bottle of water he had.

Dean looked up the street at the ratty truck, its massive clown head bobbing in the wind.

“No…we stake him and see what he knows,” he stated with a grin as he moved his right hand to his jacket pocket, affirming that he still had the syringe full of blood they’d gotten from a two-day old corpse at the morgue.

“Let’s keep an eye on him for a bit. Looks like business is dying down some. Maybe we go back, order a pushup, and zap him while he’s leaning out the window,” Sam said, to Dean’s nod of approval.

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Talking with Dominic

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I’m going to use this post to handle the interaction with Dom in the base of the tower. Add your comments here, and pay attention to the Player Secrets sections – any time you get an update about this post, you might have a secret or two that’s just for you.


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The empty tower lobby, musty and run-down, was about 40 feet square, with Dom standing roughly in the middle and Doc, Viktor, and Arnie near the doors. Wayne had moved to the right side of the room, near the stairs that were set into the western wall. It was almost completely dark, but for a few rays of moonlight and ambient streetlight that came in through some high windows that weren’t completely obscured by dirt and grime.

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All over town, and into the El Con tower
and elsewhere

The police proved to be easier to handle than anticipated, and the Sabbat prisoners, while annoying, weren’t that tough to work over, either – at least the one they decided to revive. After extracting some information from him and leaving the other in Gerald’s care, they headed off to the supposed Sabbat safe house, which it seems was legitimate. Wayne gave himself a motorcycle and the team chased off a group of paid thugs, watching the house, and then decided to bed down for the day, collapsing on the couches of the Elysium lounge at Cobb’s.

The next night began with a quick shopping trip to get everyone up to the same standard of dress, and then off to a fraternity party looking for Jasper, whom they hoped would have information about the warehouse fire.

Indeed, he did – and after being pushed slightly with dope and his mind pushed around by the two Ventrue in the group, admitted to having started the fire for a measly $5000. He also confirmed, if my implication, the line the Sabbat had shared: that Dominic Rance was involved, in some way, in some dirty dealings. His sense was that Dom was working closely with the prince of Phoenix, and was looking to make a power play in Tucson. And so he took wired money and set the place on fire. It seemed that neither Lyle nor Thomas had any knowledge of it, and were missing, anyway.

The dope dealing DJ/drummer did have another piece of seemingly useful information: that of the local Nosferatu, Cedric, who probably had information of his own. And so off to 4th Avenue they went, looking for the sewer rat and his ice cream truck. Both were easy enough to find, and Cedric was forthcoming with information for trade. Through him they were able to confirm – at least to a comfortable point – the notion that Dom had been double-dealing, involving himself with both the Sabbat and Phoenix Ventrue, and that he and Thomas were not on the same page.
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Following Wayne’s cosmic senses, the group drove around town for a few hours, trying to get find the source of the pulling feeling he was experiencing. They settled on the area around the El Con Mall, and once within visual range Wayne knew they were in the right place: it was the old tower, on the south side of Broadway across from the former mall.

Purchasing a set of bolt cutters from the much-protested but now open WalMart, they broke into a walled-in parking lot surrounding the base of the old tower, itself on a parcel of land sitting next to a quietly ritzy neighborhood. They found the door to the tower stuck, but unlocked, and forced their way in. It was just about 2am at this point, and once inside the empty lobby/ground floor, the first smelled smoke, then saw red eyes from across the room.

A lone figure stood from crouching against the wall and approached. Wearing a hodge podge of clothes, matching neither in color nor style, the partially burned man spoke.

“I figured someone would show up here eventually. Let’s get this town back on the right track, shall we?” he asked, his tone cocksure and smarmy.

“Who are you?” asked Viktor.

“I’m Dom, who else would I be?” he said with a lop-sided smile and no small measure of forced mirth.


Meta
Let’s try to play out this social interaction here. How I prep for the final session will depend in large part on how this goes, so I could use the help.

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The Basement
a tad messy, but functional

The basement runs the length of the block of buildings, and seems to be the combination of two separate areas, probably belonging to different buildings before Spade bought up the block and combined it. It’s a combination of dry, musty halls, rooms full of stuff, and ducts.
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The larger area, directly under Cobb’s, consists of three separate chambers, one of which is full of pipes and whatnot, while the other two look like the image below – cluttered and piled high with all manner of things.

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The other area, west of the main club area of Cobb’s – and probably under the garage – is made up of two chambers, both smaller than the three to the east. One is mostly empty, and is made up of very old brickwork, as below. The other is a cluttered room like the one above.
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Good cop, bad cop
Move along, citizen!

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Three police cars arrived on the scene almost simultaneously, albeit not right in front of the club due to the construction. Drawing their guns and jogging to positions around the outside, the three officers scanned the front of the building, now empty of people aside from one gentleman wearing a business suit and an annoyed expression. The front doors were closed, although light from inside the club glowed through the frosted glass.

The officers’ radios crackled, and Arnie could hear something about backup and other officers in the vicinity.

“We got a 911 call about shots fired – what’s going on?” demanded a large officer with a mustache.

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"Let's roll!"

The two men sat in their car for over two hours before entering the club, getting a few beers, playing some pool, casing the place, and then heading outside to watch some more. They’d not been able to get in through the VIP entrance, nor up to the VIP area once inside the club – it seemed that they weren’t cool enough.

And so they took a brisk walk around downtown, getting the lay of the land, and then returned to their car, where they waited.
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Just before closing time a small group of people burst from the club’s doors, some falling into the streetcar construction area, some turning sharply and running one way or the other along the sidewalk. Something was up, that much was clear.

The two looked at each other and quickly exited the car and began walking quickly toward the club, which was now spewing what were obviously panicked people, some screaming. By the time they were crossing the street at from the leather shop they could see inside, a little, and the scene of bedlam that was unfolding.

“Go! Go!” shouted one as they both began to draw weapons and rushed forward. Before they could navigate the ruts and equipment of the construction that cut the street down the center, they were both knocked aside by a single female figure – a pretty hot one, too – that jumped with inhuman speed and strength out of the doors and into the street, before taking another hurried leap to the other side, and then taking off north along 6th Avenue. A few seconds later a wolf followed, leaping into the street, landing only feet from one of the men, but only barely noticing him.

The beast sniffed the air and looked side to side before leaping to its left and bolting westward down the sidewalk.

The two men gathered their wits and again began approaching the doors, which were now closed, the outside crowd dispersed. Police sirens followed as they stepped onto the sidewalk. The taller of the two turned to his partner and spoke.

“No way we get what we need with the cops on the way,” he stated, and then pointed down the sidewalk. “Maybe we can get a story out of some of them,” he motioned toward a group of people who’d slowed to a trot about a block east of the club.

“Shit” muttered the other as they both stowed their pistols and quickly crossed the street, seeking to close with some of the witnesses, and put as much distance between them and the club before the police arrived and locked the place down.

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It started out pretty calm...
...our Thursday night, that is

Viktor was the first to arrive at Cobb’s, and found the Elysium chamber empty, but for a human staff member, who seems anxious at the new kindred’s presence. Dr. Maximillian Riechstaad and Wayne McIntyre arrived next, and found the same peculiar state of affairs: a single unknown kindred, sitting in an empty room. The three had a little time to chat before before a fourth kindred arrived, in dressed in an fine suit and with an air that made it clear he was used to getting his way,

Getting down to business – that of figuring out where the local residents were – turned out to be a challenge, but one that was eventually solved with direct language and veiled threats of the use of vampiric powers on the humans and ghouls.

It’d been days since anyone had seen or heard from Lyle Spade, Thomas Reginald, or even Dominic Rance. Cobb’s was, after all, Spade’s place, and his absence – now in its fourth day – was of concern.

Reginald hadn’t been seen or heard from in days, either – and not returned his calls, which was extremely unlike him. In short, the leaders of the local kindred community seemed to be missing.

Taking charge of the situation by virtue of their own powers and desire to get to the bottom of things, the four new compatriots – drawn together by mutual concern – forced Gerald, Lyle’s chief of security, to take them to Ten’s, where Dom had his office. They also dispatched Bobby and Ronny to check on Lyle’s home, the location of which they promised to keep from knowing.

Ten’s presented a similar mystery: no Dom for several days. Using stronger powers of persuasion, the four convinced Vic, Dom’s goon at Ten’s, to check on his house – where was the local leader? Meanwhile the group rifled through his office and cracked open his safe, discovering financial ledgers of Dom’s local businesses and a set of coded accounts books, keeping track of some purchase of items, along with receipts related to travel in Mexico.

Their time at Ten’s was interrupted by an urgent call from Chris, back at Cobb’s, who brought news of ‘unsavory types’ in the club – a codeword for renegade kindred, possibly even Sabbat operatives.

After a high speed ride through town, the four and Gerald returned to the club in time to see three kindred cast the Masquerade aside and go ballistic in the human portion of the club, attacking patrons and the intervening kindred alike, turning the club into a bloodbath.

The quick thinking and resolute action of the four out-of-towners resulted in the Sabbat pack leader being chased off and her two companions being beaten into near-torpor, and captured. Three humans were nearly killed, and police sirens could be heard. News was certain to get out about this…

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"I want samples..."
One day after the fire, and three days ago

The man hung up the secure line and steepled his fingers, contemplating the conversation he’d just had before addressing the two operatives sitting before his desk.

“I want samples from the site of the fire, by tomorrow. I also want whatever the local police and fire inspectors might have, and I want them to lose anything of value they might have on hand, whether they realize they have it or not.”

The man and woman sitting before him both nodded. They’d leave the city within the hour, having access to charter flights and not having to worry about airport security. The right badges and ID cards made all sorts of things easier.

Tucson was a long way off – a tiny ’burg in the middle of the desert. It might also be the place where the Agency finally cracked open their decades-long investigation.

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