So is this where we are RPing the car ride?
Dahlia will lay out what she knows of the conflict between the Princes of Grey Haven and New Orleans (available in OP) to point out that as far as she can see the one who most benefits from taking down mayor scumbag is the NO Prince.
She’ll also bring up cigar guy and cow girl (from Oscar’s gas station). They are probably Vampires and probably not from GH. NO makes the most sense as their place of origin, but if NO had the girl vamps from there would probably not be looking for her.
K: “The two vampires from the gas station could be from Miami. The Sabbat surely have interests in which city in Louisiana has more influence over the state, just as much as the two Princes would,” Katrina replies thoughtfully.
The hoody guy, likely Eddie Bohn, is also looking for her. This likely means that he doesn’t have her right now either.
Vinnie and Freddie seem like the kinda of guys who have mob ties. Our Prince has some hold over the local Irish mob. the NO Prince has some control over the Italian mob. This leads me to preivious suspicions of NO, or the thought that our own Prince could already have her and this first quest is nothing more than an attempt to quantify our abilities.
Leftover interests me, as does his drummer side kick. Tell me more about him.
Lena squeezes her delicate frame through the narrow alleyway and back out onto the sidewalk. Strands of loose hair cling to her neck, still wet from the frantic rinsing in the campground bathroom, unable to dry anyway in this sticky sludge of a night. She waits for everyone else to come out from the alley and proceeds to walk back in the car. She walks silently, sullenly, watching her shoes as she puts one foot in front of the other. When her companions arrive at the cars, they discuss where to go next and who should ride with whom. Lost in her own thoughts, Lena sits in the back seat of Dahlia’s vehicle, staring off into the depths of the back of the passenger seat.
K: “I don’t know very much about Leftover,” Katrina admits, with a faint hint of frustration in her voice. “The other boy is named Justin. He is a music major at Grey Haven Community College. I’m an instructor there, for your reference. In any case, he’s not a student of mine, but I’ve met him before and seen him at the college. Leftover tended to refer to Justin as Jeff, for some reason. I’m guessing that Leftover’s tendency to misrepresent facts, misremember things that were just told to him and ramble about the same things over and over are either a representative of his inherent personality, a product of his excessive substance abuse, or a very clever cover for a far more intelligent person in very good control of himself. Leftover had no trouble remembering my entire name, though he couldn’t stop referring to Justin as Jeff, and Leftover did ask Lena a very pointed question, that I frankly found to be slightly disturbing, during their Truth or Dare game. It had to do with killing gas station attendants…”
Katrina trails off, her eyebrows furrowing slightly as she makes a tenuous connection between the gas station that Dahlia had just mentioned when she described seeing cigar guy and cowgirl. Katrina’s eyes slowly travel over to Lena, with a light of sudden curiosity brightening them. She quickly realizes that Lena is murmuring under her breath.
The conversation in the car is excited and inquisitive. She listens to every detail, putting the puzzle together with an intellectual distance. In the center of her world floats a pair of green glowing eyes, the frantic pounding of fists, and the warm, comforting, disturbing taste of blood. The mention of his name takes her mind to Leftover, those glazed eyes brightening and focusing on her: accusing, demanding, knowing. She shivers and kneads her hands together like Lady MacBeth. “There was someone inside,” she says, softly, pleadingly. No one hears her words, but the fact that she speaks piques the attention of the others in the car.
K:“I’m sorry,” Katrina says, sounding sincerely apologetic. “I didn’t hear you. Could you say that again, please?” It is easy to read Katrina’s expression – she is very interested in what Lena has to say, and desperately sorry that she did not hear her.
Someone asks her what she said, and Lena responds by shaking her head in denial. Her left hand goes up and smooths her bangs repeatedly. “He was one of us, maybe one of my kind. He… he was red. Blood red all over. The red of hour-old blood crusting in tiny mounds over sliced open skin. With…” her eyes blaze in recollection. “With these dark capillaries of black blotchy rot spiraling out. The black tasted bitter in my eye. He knew things. Things he should not know. He was one of us, I’m telling you, maybe one of my kind.”
She leans her head back on the seat and rubs her neck rhythmically. Those green eyes stare back at her in her mind’s eye. Was that what she saw in the momentary flash of predatory focus in Leftover’s eyes?
“His aura?” Katrina asks. Her eyes widen in surprise when she realizes that Lena does not know the specific occult term. “Leftover, his…” She gestures around her own head, as if to encompass the air there, and clarifies, “The colors that surround Leftover are his aura, if that is what you are speaking of. I feel like a fool for not looking myself.”
She frowns and looks down at her lap as if scolding herself., then looks up again at Lena. Her pale blue-grey eyes are alive with excitement when she explains, “If you are describing his aura, it could mean many different things. I did not see the shade of red, unfortunately. Dark reds can mean many things, in a range from anger to outright fury, and some shades of red indicate passion or lust rather than anger. Red means dramatic emotions, regardless. Tell me, how did the black look? Ripples of black within dark red typically indicate fury, almost uncontrollable fury, which seems odd based on Leftover’s persona. Black tendrils rather than ripples indicate diablerie.”
She opens her mouth to continue, then realizes that perhaps she should explain diablerie… The excitement of discovering that she knows so many useful facts fills her voice with a hint of arrogance, the same irritating feeling of a teacher who has years of study and love invested in a subject and feels no remorse when pounding you with their wealth of knowledge. “Diablerie is one of the greatest crimes of the Camarilla. A diablerist has killed another vampire by drinking their blood as some of our kind kill their human victims. Diablerie is only allowed when done as a punishment, and the person to enforce this punishment is always the Prince or a Justicar. Diablerie is punishable by death, and if Leftover is truly a diablerist and it becomes known by the Prince, then it is likely that the Blood Hunt will be called to destroy him. It is foolish in the extreme for any Camarilla vampire to indulge in diablerie, because it stamps itself upon your aura such that anyone with the clarity of vision could see the signs of your transgressions. Unless Leftover is a complete fool, he is either Caitiff, some independent clan or Sabbat.”
D: “Hmmm… so Leftover is one of us? That’s certainly interesting to know. What about Freddie? Did you notice anything about him? And if you don’t mind playing twenty questions with me… Do you live with someone or do you sleep alone during the day?”
L: “Freddie was… oily and repulsive. Reminded me of my brother-in-law, truth be told. He’s human, or well mortal in any case. He glowed intensely with a bright green that reminded me of spring break. It was littered with these waves of purple that shifted and blended into a color that can only be described as rich moss clinging to a large rock in the middle of the Black Forest. In the center of his aura, near his heart, was a burst of red, which pulsated with his heartbeat. It was strange. I felt oddly at peace with him. Freddie is a man who wears his half-rotting heart on his sleeve. No, I have no one to watch over me when I sleep. All of that died with my body.” Her eyes become unfocused as she sinks deeper into herself. “I have been alone, really alone, since the night I was embraced. He took me. My sire that is. He stole me away from my life, took me to toy with me, and then left me with nothing but my own two hands to get me through the nights.” Her left hand settles on her lower abdomen. She thumbs her flesh there forcefully, angrily. She looks out the window and goes on, softly. “Months went by since he left me behind the very night he took me before I knew of another of our kind. The hunger was… it nearly destroyed me. It nearly destroyed those people. They were rotten, every one of them. Cruel, self-centered, terrible rotten bastards to the core. But… maybe I took some of the rot out. Drained their abscess. Cut out their necrosis. Now perhaps they can go on to let others into their hearts.” She sighed and turned her eyes again forward, listening to Katrina.
“I know nothing, nothing,” she says, shaking her head. “I can see things but I do not know what to make of them. I know nothing of the Prince nor even what the title really means. I know nearly nothing of the clans, of their powers, or even of what to make of myself. Miami? New Orleans? Grey Haven? Even these places are new to me. Everything is new and bewildering and confusing.” She looks down at her watch and looks away, distrusting its reading. “I cannot even tell you if you exist or if you are just a figment of my imagination. The only voice that really makes sense enters through my eyes but speaks directly between my ears.” The image of Mr. Buttons blazes in her mind’s eye. Poor sweet Timmy, she thinks, wrapping her mind’s arms around the childlike man’s hunched back, stroking his cheek until he feels calm and safe.
“But, my professor, I put myself through years of intense study to become a pharmacist. With time and your tutelage, perhaps I will get just enough footing on what is going on around me to get me good and dead. Deader.” She laughs deeply, cynically. “More knowledge means more confusion. The only real clarity will come with the sting of the cold blade that will finally end me. But I will take the knowledge, the confusion, the torment, the misery, the guilt, the terror. I will take them all and gladly. The fire is all there is. Without the fire there is no life. Or unlife.” Her hand presses firmly into her abdomen again, and she pulls it away, slapping it angry onto her thigh, returning her unfocused gaze to the outside.
D: “I’m just worried about Saturday. If a bunch of vampires from New Orleans and Miami show up in town things could get ugly. Those of us who usually sleep alone might want to stick together, for safety’s sake if nothing else.”