Jennifer managed to collect a sketching of the Cyrillic symbols etched into the tombstones in the Springvale Necropolis and take it to her academic friend at Monash to see if she could translate the symbols.
Daria called Alfred and reports what was found. Alfred reports that a witness to the attack was found and interrogated. He asks the girls to meet him at the front of the Casino.
Upon meeting Alfred, he tells Helena that she should approach Vaughn and make a formal application of aid to him as her elder ancestor (around 600 years old). Alfred wants Vaughn to go to Springvale to touch the blood on the wall outside of the nightclub to see if he can get more information about the incident in the form of visions.
Alfred introduces Helana to Vaughn’s servant Fong, an Asian vampire with his hair plated in a long cue. Fong advises Helana to be very respectful to his master then ushers her into a small, bare, dim room overlooking the Yarra with a large medieval tapestry lining the wall. Vaughn sits very still in a leather chair. He appears in his late 20s with deep blue eyes and brown hair cut in a Tudor-style bob, and of medium height. Helena introduces herself and makes her formal application of aid. Upon asking why he should concern himself with their problems, Helena informs him that the incident at the nightclub may pose a threat to the masquerade. Eventually he agrees to help. Meanwhile Vaughn is driven by a servant to the club where the rest agree to meet him.
Alfred points out the spot on the wall near a wheelie bin where there is a large splash of vampire blood and a clump of hair where the victim’s head hit the wall. Traces of human blood were found amongst the wreckage, although Alfred has already suggested that he thinks the blood belongs to a ghoul as the aggressor nearly threw the vampire through the wall.
Vaughn places his hand into the blood and grows still with concentration. He says that the victim was Kindred, yet he could not work out the gender. At the time of the attack, the victim was laughing hysterically at the aggressor. He thinks the victim may have been a Malkavian, however he is not sure. Vaughn gets the impression that the victim was hysterically amused as the victim was not just Kindred. The victim was probably of 9th generation or weaker. Much anger came from the aggressor who could be Kindred, but he was unsure.
A car pulls up and a tall man in a suit who turns out to be Luke waves police away. As he approaches the scene, he eyes Vaughn and holds his gaze. Luke is filled in on the situation. Luke tells of how the witness they got a hold of reported that he saw sharp teeth and remembered the victim’s eyes. During the attack, the witness became fixated on the blood, which is why they couldn’t get more information out of the witness. The aggressor was reported as being quite big and drove away in a car.
Alfred says that the Malkavians “act random and crazy, that they are homeless. All of them will be at the right place at the right time, and sometimes they can communicate together without speaking. They act randomly and move around a lot, yet rarely embrace. He says the leader’s name is Brin, and that he will be at the meeting on Friday.
Meanwhile, Jennifer has consulted with her friend in the Archaeology department at Monash and has gained the translation to the ancient Russian writing. It turns out the tombstones are engraved with the words “all kind, one family, one blood, under the father”. However the translation of “family” is not perfect into English, the word family in this context is likely to mean something along the lines of “clan” or “tribe”.
Jennifer leaves the group, and Helena and Daria go separate ways and feed before sunrise.
Jennifer, Daria and Helena make their own ways to the meeting. Jennifer arrives in an elaborate period SCA dress that she has borrowed from a friend, while Daria wears a black dress suit and slingback shoes and a mask. Because Helena cannot find a red leather ball gown in time, she settles for a long red velvet dress and patent leather boots with buckles on the sides.
Sophie and Peter are there in 80’s-esque looking clothing, talking to two others in similar clothes (Nosferatu).
Helena is introduced to Jesse and Jared, two of the Nosferatu. Two other Nosferatu named Jerome and James are already at the bar with their fellow clan members.
Rita, the outsider representative is introduced to Jennifer, where they start to talk about the attacked Malkavian. Rita is wearing a short dress with a low back, which strategically reveals an intricate silver snake embroidered into her skin – it is visible coiling down her back and ending around a thigh. Two others accompany Rita; a girl in dark suit, Jackie, and a man in a long trench coat named Kieran.
As the vampires are gathering, Jennifer notices that while several of them politely introduce themselves yet move along quickly after learning that she is among the outsiders. Rita is obviously used to this sort of treatment, which can be seen in the way she talks as though she is beyond caring about the social consequences of her behaviour. Instead of showing interest in the vampires trying to be polite to her, she responds with an exaggerated and sarcastic.
During a conversation about vampires in the city amongst the Nosferatu and the Toreadors, someone mentions a vampire by the name of Andrea, yet the topic provokes a quick change of topic.
The Lasombra enter the bar, all wearing masks bar one female with long blonde hair. They are introduced as Ruben (representative), Giovanna, Dereck and Samantha. Samantha wears perfectly-applied makeup. Dereck wears a mask of mirrored tiles. All of the Lasombra wear very well tailored suits and have manicured nails.
Vaughn and Fong enter, Vaughn dressed in long robes of ermine black-tipped tails – a period style of clothing made by a modern tailor. Vaughn ignores Jennifer and the other outsiders.
Alfred is already in the bar with the Prince, wearing a 1940s suit and two Samurai swords on his belt, one short and one long.
Jessamy arrives in white 1700s French garb with his hair teased up at the top, plaited down his neck and tied with a ribbon. His face is made up with white makeup and a beauty spot. He wears long leather boots, yet with modern grips on the soles. A Sabre is sheathed at his side. As he strides past Jennifer, he scrutinises her outfit and points out parts of it that “were not done that way” and tells her what was correct.
The Gangrels arrive separately. Valerie, the Gangrel representative, wears pants and a blouse and hiking boots, yet she gives the impression that the clothes are new, as though she is not used to wearing them. Two other Gangrels named Thomas and Jessica are already at the Bar.
Morgan, the Ventrue representative enters with Maryanne, the knight of the North, a short woman with red hair and lots of freckles, along with Luke (Knight of the West) and 3 other Ventrue in suits. Luke, Morgan and Maryanne are all the Prince’s childer.
Sasha, the Brujah representative and Alfred’s sire enters with a militant stride, flanked by the other Brujahs who also walk militantly in step with him.
Brin, the Malkavian representative enters alone, wearing dress shoes, jeans and a flannel shirt buttoned up back to front, looking around lots, with his features slightly shifting to those of the person he faces. Brin engages with the girls, examining them with fierce scrutiny, which he says he does so that he “knows” what everyone is like. Helena notices that Brin’s aura flits violently with fear (“of the unknown”) and curiosity. Brin turns away and starts furiously incomprehensibly ranting with snarled, twisted features seemingly at the wall. Eventually the girls engage his attention again. In the midst of one of his sentences, he airily says in a vague, sing-song voice “… and the dancers are coming…”. Among his chaotic words, he says “You”, indicating to the girls, “you’re significant”, before changing the topic once more.
He asks the girls about what they’re doing “here”, and tells them about their sires, about their backgrounds. As he talks to Jennifer, his features shift into those of Ginger.
Brin turns to Daria and his features shift to those of Malcolm. He tells of how Malcolm said that they should all fight the Sabbat, but Brin and the Malkavians thought that they wouldn’t fight. He says that Malcolm tried to lead, took up a sword and was killed. He says that “we must wait for the dancers”. As he speaks about the past, he uses a future tense.
He tells Helena of a dispute between Luke and Jeremy over feeding rights, and that Luke had wanted Jeremy killed, however the Prince had refused. The story confuses Helena as the details Jeremy had given of the reasons he had left Melbourne were somewhat vague and nonsensical, yet dissimilar to the explanation that Brin gives.
The vampires are informed that the meeting is about to begin, and move into the seats beneath their clan symbols in a room like a small lecture theatre, yet shaped so that there is a side to the circle for each of the clans. The Prince is introduced and welcomed, and his rulership over Melbourne is confirmed. Each of the knights are asked to report on the affairs in their respective areas.
Maryanne, the knight of the North, makes a brief address to the assembly and asks if any of the vampires from her region have anything to report. Jerome stands and asks for the tunnels around Collingwood back. Maryanne says that the tunnels there have been uncovered and are no longer the Nosferatu's to occupy.
Alfred stands to report on the incident with the Kindred outside of the Springvale nightclub, suggesting that the victim may have been a Malkavian, though Brin denies that that is the case. Among his report he mentions the graffiti on the gravestones in the necropolis. At the end of Alfred’s report, Helena stands to talk about Jeremy’s death, yet receives no sympathetic gestures, only curious murmurings amongst the Kindred as they discuss the incident amongst themselves.
During Alfred’s report, Vaughn leans down over Helena’s shoulder and asks her to investigate the Gangrel.
After the meeting has been concluded, there is more mingling and discussion amongst the Kindred.
Jessica approaches Helena about the phone call that she made to her on the night they were investigating the Necropolis. Helena tells her about the desiccated dead possums found in the necropolis. Although she says that she doesn’t know about what happened with the carcasses found there, she says that she understands the desire to kill and often kills animals when she feeds from them. It is an inherent element of vampiric disposition, she says, to want to kill their vessels. She says that she does not only like to feed, but that she lusts after the death associated with the kill, and entices Helena to admit that she too wishes to take the life-force of the vessels she feeds from.
Amidst the post-meeting conversation, the girls are invited back to visit the Nosferatu tunnels by Jerome, on the basis that they seem friendly. Daria and Helena accept his invitation. Jerome tells them that the Nosferatu have inhabited the tunnels for a long time, and that they are good as they keep them safe. Once inside the tunnels and away from scrutiny other than that of Daria and Helena, they begin to let their “normal” physical demeanours slip into their various natural hideous forms. Their teeth seem to elongate and become unevenly shaped, often extending out of their lips. Jerome's fangs pierce his cheek. Some have reptile eyes, their faces elongated to snouts, yellow eyes, red eyes.
They tell of how when people become lost in the tunnels, they either offer them the chance of being killed or turned into one of the Nosferatu. Jerome invites the girls to feed upon some of the homeless people that live in an inlet beside the Yarra just above a section of one of their tunnels. Before they enter the inlet, Jeremy climbs up and sings a remarkably beautiful song to the homeless, which eventually sends them all to sleep. The girls and the rest of the Nosferatu then move up into the inlet where the remnants of a fire is burning amongst the sleeping bodies and feed from them.
Before the girls leave, Jerome bids them farewell and says that they are welcome to use their tunnels anytime that they wish, as well as feed from the homeless there. Amidst their conversations, Jerome also informs them that he does not know anything about the club incident in Springvale.