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Immortal Desires Detritus's GURPS World of Darkness PbP game.

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Old 09-27-2009, 06:20 AM
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Default He Didn't Start The Fire (Jacob, pre-dawn Wed. 4/4/07)

Your late Tuesday flight from Miami to New Orleans is pretty dull, and mostly empty, though it does give you time to reflect on the life you're leaving, and the one that lies before you. There's no doubt, you're going to miss the night life in Miami, especially the South Beach honeys. You've heard nagging chatter about how The Crescent City is still depressed a year and a half removed from Katrina, but you're pretty sure New Orleans will bounce back. It has to -- it's The Big Easy, isn't it?

Your flight touches down around ten past midnight, and around half past you find yourself approaching baggage claim. There are two women holding signs. One holds a sign reading CORTLAND and the other bears a sign reading NORTH. Kallista is quite lovely, but you think Camille could be a lingerie model as you draw closer to her.

They appeared rather bored, but as you near them, you get the sense that some of it is affectation. The contempt each woman feels for the other is palpable, almost thick enough to be cut with the proverbial knife. When you come before them, the woman holding your last name perks up some. A droll smile appears on the other's lips, though she doesn't look in her companion's direction.

"Welcome to New Orleans, Mr. Cortland. I'm Kallista, and this is Camille." Kallista waves the CORTLAND sign vaguely towards Camille. "I trust that your flight was not too unpleasant. There is one more person we must meet before going into the city, but we can picked up your checked luggage while we wait."

"Two more, actually," Camille offers, traces of drollery still on her face, "but the second would recognize us on sight."
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:11 AM
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Jacob removes his sunglasses as he approaches. He allows his appreciation of the ladies' physical charms to pass across his face, a hint of a respectful leer that settles into an easy smile.

"Faces to names, excellent. Kallista, Camille, enchanté , to be sure. And please, even my father was never 'Mr. Cortland'... it's just Jake."

He takes their hands in turn, with a brief bow over each.

"I'm traveling light, grabbing my bag won't take but a minute."
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:23 AM
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"Very well, just Jake," Kallista says with a smile, "the pleasure is ours." Camille gives a quick, and wordless, "As you say, bruh," nod and eyebrow waggle, and her droll smile does not quite completely recede from her lips.

Baggage claim lags a bit on the overnight shift, and by the time you pick up your stuff, two others are with Camille and Kallista, a man introduced as Zack North and a woman simply identified as Bonnie. Zack looks like he could have come from the golf course, and Bonnie looks ready for a night at the opera.

"Ah, welcome to the city," Bonnie says, and you hear the accents of Paris that lie on her speech. "As soon as Zack picks up his luggage, we'll proceed to the limo and meet with Rebekka."

"A limo!" Zack exclaims in a booming voice, his lips curling upwards as he speaks. "Blasted high society decadence!"

Kallista looks at Zack kind of sideways down her nose. Camille's expression hasn't changed much, but her eyes twinkle with genuine mirth. Bonnie assays a lazy smile when she replies.

"Oh, I don't know about that. There is always call to do things with the proper flair. Wouldn't you agree, Jake?"
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:59 AM
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Jake quirks a grin:

"Well, I was kind of hoping for a palanquin borne by a crack squad of eunuchs, but I suppose that a limo will do. It still beats jogging, don't you think Zack?"
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:12 PM
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"Bah! I've clearly fallen in with a lot of decadents, dilettantes, and deadbeats. Decadents, I say! A palanquin, indeed! You'll not inveigle me with your high society trappings!" Zack shakes an index finger at the group, but his wry grin softens his rather theatrical outburst.

"As you say, Sire," Camille says. Zack makes a noise that sounds a cross between a chuckle and a harrumph, and mutters something about needing to pick up his bags. Kallista continues to give him a queer sort of look, but Camille and Bonnie merely shake their heads as Zack goes to his baggage carousel.

"It's probably best if I get to filling you in right away," Camille says to Bonnie, "a lot as happened since you left for Houston. Have Prince Casimir's... fainting spells come to an end?" Bonnie rolls her eyes at the question.

"They have, but not before Gwynnis had already left for Houston. Helena had some choice words for her, and we all know who got to hear them instead, once the Prince had learned she was gone. I tried suggesting that perhaps she should consider herself fortunate that Gwynnis went only as far as she did in making an example of her, but that seemed to have fallen on deaf ears."

"As you knew it would," Kallista says, a slow grin blooming on her face. Bonnie gives a coy shrug in reply.

"Well, let's get on with it then," Zack says, still several strides away from rejoining with the group. Bonnie nods and gestures for everyone to head for the exits.

"I do hope you won't mind pleasantries being cut short," she says to you. "Conclaves are most often convened when urgent and far-reaching matters must be addressed, and I am afraid that this one is no exception to that rule."
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detritus View Post
"Bah! I've clearly fallen in with a lot of decadents, dilettantes, and deadbeats. Decadents, I say! A palanquin, indeed! You'll not inveigle me with your high society trappings!" Zack shakes an index finger at the group, but his wry grin softens his rather theatrical outburst.
Jake chuckles good naturedly.

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Originally Posted by Detritus View Post
"As you say, Sire," Camille says. Zack makes a noise that sounds a cross between a chuckle and a harrumph, and mutters something about needing to pick up his bags. Kallista continues to give him a queer sort of look, but Camille and Bonnie merely shake their heads as Zack goes to his baggage carousel.

"It's probably best if I get to filling you in right away," Camille says to Bonnie, "a lot as happened since you left for Houston. Have Prince Casimir's... fainting spells come to an end?" Bonnie rolls her eyes at the question.

"They have, but not before Gwynnis had already left for Houston. Helena had some choice words for her, and we all know who got to hear them instead, once the Prince had learned she was gone. I tried suggesting that perhaps she should consider herself fortunate that Gwynnis went only as far as she did in making an example of her, but that seemed to have fallen on deaf ears."

"As you knew it would," Kallista says, a slow grin blooming on her face. Bonnie gives a coy shrug in reply.

"Well, let's get on with it then," Zack says, still several strides away from rejoining with the group. Bonnie nods and gestures for everyone to head for the exits.

"I do hope you won't mind pleasantries being cut short," she says to you. "Conclaves are most often convened when urgent and far-reaching matters must be addressed, and I am afraid that this one is no exception to that rule."
"I don't mind at all. Can you orient me a little on what's going on?"
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Chimaera View Post
"I don't mind at all. Can you orient me a little on what's going on?"
"Perhaps it would be best to wait until we've reached our ride?" says Camille.

"Yes, that would be best," says Bonnie. "I can say here that there has been some upheaval in the local and regional management structure."

"More than you realize," Kallista says, her face a bit glum. Silence descends on the group as you make your way to your ride. Once you're all situated in the limo, and properly sequestered from the driver, Bonnie starts filling you in.

"The Malkavian Justicar, Arcadian Walsh, was destroyed in New Orleans last week. He had sent a team of agents to investigate claims of malfeasance made by one of his clan, Samantha Drake. She accused one of the Prince's childer, a Toreador named Demetrious Slater, of harassing her, and that she was unable to receive satisfaction from the Prince due to favoritism."

"All filthy lies," Kallista says bitterly.

"I'm inclined to agree," Bonnie says, "given the way events turned out. I must say that it was unfortunate that Mr. Johnson waited until events were well in motion before contacting Gwynnis's network of agents. Or that you or one of your brood mates did not do so at a time when things could have been headed off with relatively little effort."

Kallista gives Bonnie a look of defiance, but it lasts only for a moment under Bonnie's level gaze. Once she sees that Kallista has been properly chastened, Bonnie continues speaking.

"Miss Drake was able to capture the Justicar's agents and maneuver events such that Walsh had no choice but to meet with her. Once the meeting was arranged, Miss Drake challenged the Justicar to mortal combat, and prevailed. Quite easily, actually, or so I'm given to understand, although I do not have the details."

"Maneuvered events?" Zack interjects, adopting a serious demeanor with the onset of shop talk. "How so?"

"There was an incident involving one of Walsh's agents and Samantha's envoy. Her name is Heather, and we think she was Sired by Samantha after she had diablerized one of Arcadian's childer, Delbert Villón. Miss Drake did not like the terms of the meeting set forth by the Justicar's agents, and sent Heather to negotiate for a less exposed meeting place. Words were exchanged, and then one of Walsh's agents, a headstrong young Brujah named Jocelin, proceeded to slice Heather's clothing into rags with her sword. An excellent display of swordsmanship, no doubt, yet wholly inappropriate for the situation."

"What?!" Zack exclaims. "How on earth could Walsh have possibly thought that it was a good idea to send a Brujah into delicate negotiations?"

"I don't think it was his idea to include Jocelin in any negotiations. Her prowess with the blade suggests her intended function, yet things did not play out that way. His archon in the field made that call, although the Justicar wound up paying the ultimate price for that choice."

"And how did you find about the capture of the agents? Did Miss Drake go through anyone in the city's political structure?"

"An agent of the Toreador Justicar, Anneke, was present when the meeting with Miss Drake finally occurred, at her manor, as it turned out. Anneke barely escaped the ambush herself, and warned everyone else. In the aftermath of Walsh's destruction, Gwynnis herself came to New Orleans, and she brought more of her agents to the field, including me.

"A cursory investigation revealed some serious defects in the political structure of the city that likely contributed to the ease with which Miss Drake manipulated events. In light of these findings, Gwynnis was moved to replace Mr. Johnson, the former Prince, with one named Rebekka, who is of the Tremere clan. She had come to the city from Houston when Walsh's agents had arrived there from Dallas, in order to lend Thaumaturgical assistance to the investigation of Miss Drake. She is an outsider in New Orleans, but given the circumstances of her ascension, I believe this is a desirable trait."

Kallista clenches her jaw at this statement, but says nothing, her silence all but confirming Bonnie's assessment of the situation.

"I should also remind everyone," Camille says, "that Samantha was working her way up her lineage. She had gotten to the point where Justicar Walsh was next in line. That gives timing and motive, though she might be killing two birds with one stone given the Sabbat incursion underway."

"Ah, yes, thank you for reminding me of that, Camille," replies Bonnie. "And we had decided to bring Walsh's Sire, Sylvester Simms, to the city, now that I'm thinking about it. Has there been any progress there?"

"Leo has gotten word from one of his contacts that Simms was seen fairly recently in New York. Gwynnis is still scheduled to put out a Summons for him, before dawn, if I'm remembering correctly."

"Leo?" asks Zack.

"Walsh's archon," replies Camille, "or at least he was until Samantha destroyed Arcadian. He's a Nosferatu." Camille shudders, and based on Kallista's reaction, there's at least one thing they agree on. A brief lull in the conversation ensues, after which Bonnie picks up her train of thought again.

"It is clear that Miss Drake has Sabbat allies. Rebekka is assembling a Primogen Council that will serve as a War Cabinet, and will be staffed with as many archons as she can gather to the city. That is the main reason why you are here, Zack.

"The nominal purpose of the Conclave will be to discuss sect policy with one fewer Justicar than normal. Only the Inner Circle of the Camarilla may appoint Justicars, yet I think it likely that Walsh's agents will get absorbed into the other Justicars' networks of agents. The Conclave will be the first step in redistributing the manpower.

"However, it is also likely that the Conclave will serve as a recruiting ground for new residents of the city, and in particular, residents with little in the way of ties to the former regime. I suspect that Rebekka will be keenly interested in Toreador unaffiliated with Mr. Johnson relocating to New Orleans, and you may think of that as the reason you are here, Jake."

Kallista glowers at both you and Bonnie when she speaks this last paragraph, yet offers no reply, to the poorly subdued delight of Camille.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:35 AM
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"Uhm... right. So, this would be a bad time to ask you for your phone number, then?"
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:53 PM
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"Uhm... right. So, this would be a bad time to ask you for your phone number, then?"
Kallista sneers for a reply, though Camille becomes wary, strangely.

"You all must have realized how untenable Mr. Johnson's arrangements were, had they attracted attention from sect officials," Bonnie says to Kallista, who lowers her eyes without replying. "He must be taking his new station worse than I imagined he would, if his childer are becoming unhinged."

"Mr. Johnson is gone, Seneschal," Camille says softly. "He was assassinated last night."

"I see," replies Bonnie. "How did it happen?"

"He was gunned down by Bianca," Kallista says, and you can almost see the icicles forming on her words. "Dragon's Breath rounds, I believe they are called. He incinerated before my eyes."

"You cannot possibly think that Rebekka was involved in this, Kallista," says Camille.

"Wasn't she? How far can we trust any of the Warlocks?!"

"That will be quite enough, Kallista," Bonnie says, her words a velvet glove over an iron fist. She leans forward, and her eyes glint as she continues. "You have been confronted by several uncomfortable truths in recent nights, but that does not justify slanderous outbursts. Rebekka is Prince of New Orleans, now, and if you and your brood mates do not take this fact to heart, you will be put to the stake and cast aside until we can spare the resources to deal with childish tantrums. I would not choose this route, were I you, for the methods involved may well make the sorrow you no doubt feel for your sire's demise feel like the joy of your wedding night."

After a brief but taut silence, Kallista subsides in a sulk. Bonnie holds her erect position a few seconds longer before she finally relaxes.

"Now," she says, leaning back into her seat, "have you been able to apprehend Bianca?"

"No," replies Camille, "she is still at large, but we have managed to capture the Assamite we believe was present at the meeting at Drake Manor?"

"Indeed? Have you questioned her?"

"Not yet, she was only captured earlier tonight. She attempted the life of an arms dealer. I only know him as Al; I believe he is a Brujah contact. He was put into the hospital after a shootout outside his shop, and she tried to finish the job, but was diverted from her intended course. Given Mr. Johnson's ties to the Army Reserve here in New Orleans, it seems likely to me that the common motive in the two attacks was to restrict our side's access to heavy weaponry, or possibly even a hostile takeover of such access."
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:38 AM
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"So, that's a no on the phone number then? Look, ladies, I don't really know what I've walked into here. I'm an orphan from Miami trying to find a home. It sounds like some really rotten shit went down here and I'm truly sorry to hear you've suffered losses. But I hope you'll recognize that I'm walking in cold here."
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