The City of the Dead

Ken's Vampire Game

Session Five

Sunday Night

Feeling confused at having being abandoned by Jessica in her own haven as she left to hunt, and creeped out by the bizarre encounter, the girls decide to leave for the necropolis to do some more searching around. Upon arriving, they organise to meet up again in a couple of hours, and each head off to search a separate section.

Jennifer, who heads towards the back and middle of the necropolis, finds some graffiti similar to the graffiti that they had discovered on their first visit. Sometimes the tombstones were scoured with dark brown scorch marks, while others were chiselled in manners similar to the tombstones they had found earlier. The affected tombstones seem to be randomly distributed, however a vague smattering seems to be found around the middle of the necropolis. One of the tombstones that Jennifer found had burn-marks that seemed to be dribbled down the surface, as though it had been scorched by burning petrol. In front of that particular grave is a big burn-mark on the ground. As Jennifer digs into the dirt, she finds that it is quite powdery. While touching the dirt, she feels a strange, burning sensation that starts beneath her fingernails and creeps disconcertingly up the length of her arm. The feeling is not quite one of sizzling, maybe sort of more like slight acid burn. Jennifer gathers a sample of the dirt into a makeshift paper pouch before moving on.

Helena uses heightened perception in her investigations. She finds a few similarly defaced tombstones. Upon a closer look, it seems that there have been some vague efforts to scour off the burn-marks. Particularly of interest among her findings is a large ring of burnt fire, maybe 20 feet wide, with a scorched spot in the middle suggesting that there was a fire in the middle, however this series of burn-marks looks less recent than some of the others found. Grass seeds have been scattered over the burnt areas.

After a thorough search, the girls meet up again and discuss their findings. Jennifer suggests that it may be a good idea to look into who the trustees of the necropolis are, and to try to get a hold of a copy of their meeting minutes. It may also be a good idea to get some information from the caretakers, a job which she could get one of her "marks" to do.

Eventually the girls head back to Jennifer's place to do some investigation on the net. Daria manages to find details of who the trustees are and an address to direct correspondence about the necropolis to. Among Daria's searching she looks for information in newspaper archives, and finds an article from a year and a half ago about a missing car that had been found torched in the necropolis.

Daria and Helena discuss the idea of breaking into the necropolis office to search for maintenance reports, minutes, memorandums about the graffiti and other such documents that may provide information.

Jennifer adamantly states that she would rather just stay at home and not involve herself in their plans. She says that it could be public information, therefore it may be able to be purchased. Deciding to go and do their own investigations anyway, on the basis that such documents may omit "sensitive" or secret information, Daria and Helena leave Jennifer's and head off to the address that was on the website.

Upon arrival at an office in Springvale, the girls stand outside and debate the nature of the security system. Daria is concerned about a box above the door with a blue flashing light on it, but as far as Helena is concerned, there is just a lock on the door and the flashing box is only there to "warn off" possible intruders, as there didn't seem to be any wires leading away from the device. Helena tries to pick the lock but the piece of wire she is using breaks in the lock. Daria decides to break the window, however she cuts herself on the glass in the process. Eventually the girls scramble into the building, and find themselves in a reception area with interview rooms leading off around the sides.

The girls head for the filing cabinets, and Daria finds the meeting minutes, yet a search for correspondence regarding the graffiti fails.

In the midst of their searching, Helena suddenly sees a police car pulling up outside of the office. She informs Daria, who gathers the notes in her bag, and they make a dash for the window and to Helena's van waiting beyond. While Helena has no trouble clearing the window and using her celerity to make a quick escape, unfortunately Daria manages to crash into the windowsill and cuts herself further, yet unhindered by the wounds, she tries to climb out again, but has trouble running fast enough to get a safe distance away from the officer who has begun to pursue the girls.

The policeman yells for Daria to stop, yet she keeps on running and is soon caught up to. Seeing that he is approaching, Daria stops to take on the policeman. He manages to grab her, yet she slips out of his grasp and keeps on going. He tries to grab her again, yet falls down. Daria swings to hit him, but he dodges.

Meanwhile Helena looks around to see if Daria is nearby. She sees the struggle going on and uses her celerity to cover the distance between them to help Daria. Upon catching up, Helena tries to flood the policeman with a sense of deep guilt for annoying them. However she only manages to make him stutter for a moment, yet it is enough to delay his next attack on Daria. Helena tries to hit him, but he successfully dodges her blow, to which he responds with a blow of his own, which misses the mark. After the three spend a moment in a fumbling, awkward attempt to subdue their respective targets, Daria makes a perfectly-aimed kick to the side of the policeman's head, and a resounding "crack" of his neck punctuates the air as he falls to the ground in a convulsing, gagging wreck, making the sounds and movements of a man about to die.

Both of the girls stare in a sort of dumbfounded shock at the dying man, and at least in Helena's mind, she wonders how she went from a reasonably "normal" girl, if somewhat messy, to standing in front of a man she was involved in the pending death of. As Daria watches, a piece of her already somewhat tentative humanity slips away.

Yet neither of the girls have much time to contemplate the horror of their situation, as the dying policeman's backup is approaching. However their attempt to flee is helped by the fact that the backup is a goof, and doesn't approach them enough to either catch them or get a clear shot at them. They manage to scramble into Helena's van as the policeman fires shots at it. Neither is sure of whether the backup would have managed to get down the numberplate.

Feeling rather desperate about their situation, the girls speak frantically about what had happened, and decide that while they would get into more trouble for lying about the incident if they were caught than for telling the truth, they would not get into any trouble if they blamed the death of the policeman upon the Sabbat, which was what they decided to do. They commit themselves to repeatedly replaying the made-up version of events over and over in their minds until it almost becomes more real to them than the truth of the situation for consistency upon questioning.

They decide that it would be a good idea to burn the van in case it could be traced back to them, and decide to enlist Jennifer's help. Daria makes a frantic call to Jennifer, and they go with her to burn the car in an abandoned factory area. They explain their "version" of events to her, and luckily it seemed that she believes what they said. They remove anything vampiric from the car such as the window coverings and fire extinguisher, and burn the car, with none of the girls being too overcome by the fire. Afterwards, Helena uses Daria's mobile to call Alfred.

Over the phone, Helena musters up a lot of composure and tells Alfred the story briefly, to which he responds with a reprimand for not telling him about it as soon as the incident occurred, and a request that this be done in the future. At this stage there is only an hour left until dawn. He tells Helena to stay at Daria's and not move from there, and to call him as soon as she arrives.

At Daria's place, she calls Alfred but his phone is off, so she leaves a message on his voicemail.

Monday Night

On the news is a story about a burnt van, and a story about a car crash in which a policeman was killed, but there is no word from Alfred yet. After a few hours of waiting, Alfred calls Daria's phone and tells her and Helena to wait there for him to arrive.

In the mean time, they try and decide what to do with the files that they have managed to steal. First they decide to read through them.

Among the files they find notes on the vandalism; there is some debate as to whether there should be more guards employed. They conclude that there is no reason to connect the vandalism to the burnt car. The graffiti seems to have been arising at a rate of a couple of instances per month for the past two years in no particular pattern, however the instances are not enough to justify more guards. Various dates are outlined in the papers. Within the files it is also mentioned that possibly people identified as missing have been seen within the necropolis, but no direct proof has ever been found.

Having found no other information, they settle on shuffling the files amongst papers in Daria's briefcase, and go back to reciting their "story" in their heads.

Before Alfred arrives, he visits Jennifer and asks what happened. Jennifer asks Alfred about the scorchmarks and the patterns they make, as she's worried about Jessica's ramblings about there being more vampires in the city than there appear. Alfred tells her that it sounds like blood burns from where blood is allowed to burn up in the sun. Daria and Helena don't know that Jennifer has been questioned by Alfred, nor do they know that the vampires have interrogated the policeman at the scene to establish his version of events.

Finally a couple of hours after his call, Alfred arrives and tells the girls that they are going to take them out and ask them some questions. He ushers them into the back of the van and sits in the back with them. Luke is in the passenger seat and one of the Ventrue they recognise from Friday night named Michael is in the driving seat. Michael seems really nice, and tells the girls to call him "Mike".

They drive to an empty two-storey office building in the Western Suburbs, and upon arrival ask Daria to enter an empty office with them and ask Helena to wait.

While Alfred waits outside of the closed office with Helena, inside, Luke sits in the corner, while "Mike" sits behind a desk opposite to Daria. In the interview, Mike comes across as a really nice guy. Daria warms to him really quickly. He is very friendly and makes her feel immediately at ease. When he asks for her version of what happened, Daria recounts the story they have rehearsed. The vampires note that there are a number of inconsistencies in her story among which include the fact that she described wearing different clothes to those that the policeman described and mentioned being able to see through the window in the back of the van, which is light-shielded. After the interview they thank her kindly for her help, and ask Helena to come in.

Helena, feeling terrified of the vampires, does her best to compose herself. However once she is in the "interview room", she immediately feels at ease in Mike's presence, and all of her worry begins to melt away into a warm comfort. Helena senses that it is possible that some sort of mind control may be being exerted over her, and struggles to overcome it. Yet when Mike instructs her to tell them what happened, she is not able to overcome Mike's presence and dominance, and recounts the story to them, step-by-step, as it really happened. It is not until she finishes speaking that the horror of what she has done slowly begins to dawn upon her.

As this realisation sets in, Luke calls Daria into the room, who can see in Helena's expression what has happened, and informs the girls that there have been "inconsistencies" in their stories.