The City of the Dead

Ken's Vampire Game

Session Seven

Monday Night

Jessamy enters the bar in the casino arm-in-arm with Helena, who is wearing a long elegant white dress which seems untypical of her usual style. She stands passively by his side as he stops near the bar, looking weak and pale and a little strung-out. Small cuts are evident on her body and neck. Jessamy calls out to the barman to bring him two of his personal stock, however he looks at Helena again, reconsiders, and changes the order to five. The blood is served to them and Helena desperately begins to drink it in large, hungry gulps, to which Jessamy responds by telling her to slow down.

Helena sights Jennifer sitting in the corner of the bar a little too engaged in the book that she is reading, or, more like, hiding her face in. Jessamy calls out to Alfred and presents her to him with a flourish. He tells Alfred that Helena has something to say to him, and Helena mumbles that she has come to help Alfred out in his investigations, but he is unsatisfied with her response and makes her say it again. He says goodbye and glides away, giving her a small wave.

Alfred calls over Jennifer, who seems to be trying to make herself seem as small and unobtrusive as possible, and tells Helena that he wants her to go with Jennifer to the Springvale necropolis to keep an eye out for any fires there. Alfred had told Jennifer that if anyone suspicious shows up alone, they should watch them and follow them when they leave, however if a group shows up, then they should call Alfred to organise for more help to arrive. Helena eagerly nods to show her compliance with Alfred's investigations. She tells Jennifer that she needs to go and change before she can begin romping through cemeteries, and they arrange to meet in front of the casino in half an hour.

Upon her return and their journey to the necropolis, the girls, struggling for "safe" conversation matter, talk a little about what Jennifer has found out about the attack. Jennifer says that, after quite a lot of investigation, she has found out that the defacements in the necropolis are vaguely reminiscent of a baby-sacrificing blood-ritual cult that existed in Romania around two hundred years ago, and that the words in Cyrillic that they had found inscribed into one of the headstones had been used in one of their anti-prayers. In the phrase that had been found, the term father refers to Satan, and the cult supposedly worshipped Cain as a Saint. Some of the stories about them referred to spilling blood on hallowed ground, however the stories are generally vague and not specific. However there had been no other reports of other such unusual incidences in the necropolis.

After some deliberation as to where they should choose to sit and keep watch, Jennifer and Helena settle behind a hedge of shrubs, despite their poor range of visibility. However after many hours of waiting, Jennifer becomes restless and begins to suggest easier ways for them to monitor the necropolis, as well as ways that may be more effective. Jennifer suggests that perhaps they could think about setting up a video camera surveillance system; however problems about cost, assessing hours of tape and relating to observing events after they have occurred rather than being able to act on them when they occur eventually rule out the suggestion. They discuss the possibility of mind-controlling security guards and making reports of disturbances to the managers of the necropolis to increase their security measures, yet end up discarding all of their ideas.

Eventually Jennifer mentions the possibility of setting up a series of microphones around the necropolis and tuning them all in to the same frequency and listening to them over radios. The microphones would be much smaller, therefore they could be left set up through the day and not need to be set up and taken down every night in the way that video cameras would. She even thinks that she can get her ghoul, Stuart, to make them for her.

While Helena leaves this task with Jennifer to work out between herself and her ghoul, they both agree to meet in the cemetery the next night and resume their surveillance as per their orders from Alfred.

Jennifer has some trouble getting Stuart to make all of the devices without having to justify their construction - understandably he finds the idea of needing a dozen microphones a little strange; who would Jennifer want to spy on that much? However after some vague, elusive answering, she eventually suggests that they can work on the project together, and talk about a girl that he has a crush on at the same time, which sounds good to him.

Tuesday Night

Jennifer picks Helena up at the beginning of the next night with the devices ready to be installed. They work together to distribute the microphones at various points around the necropolis. They each take one of the radios and set themselves up at various vantage points up trees around the necropolis and wait. However the night ends up passing with no more action being heard through the microphones than some possum sniffing and mating calls.

Wednesday Night

The girls return on Wednesday night, but once again their efforts are fruitless. They agree to meet the next night, however Helena tells Jennifer that she will meet her there a little late.

Thursday Night

Jennifer arrives at the necropolis and resumes her monitoring while listening to the microphones. Awhile into her lookout, Jennifer hears a loud sound like the beating of wings followed by the whoosh of a fire starting, and strange muttering sounds over the radio. Scanning the necropolis, she sees a fire in the distance. When she moves closer to the fire to see what is going on, she sees a dark form with huge wings and red, burning eyes amongst some of the graves. On her way over, Jennifer trips on a hose and lands sprawled out on her back. Her fall alerts the creature, and it turns in her direction, flies straight up and then flies away to the west. When she looked at the creature, she saw that it's eyes seemed to be on fire.

Once the creature has gone, she moves over towards where the creature had been, and sees that there is a handprint in blood on one of the graves that had not been there before. The ground around the area that the demon-like creature had been is also scorched.

Quickly she calls Alfred and tells him what has happened, and he arranges to meet her at the necropolis. When Alfred arrives, Jennifer tells him about the demonic creature, and they both agree that they don't have any idea as to what it could be. Alfred said that although his ghouls had all been working on other things recently, now he would be getting them to the necropolis as soon as possible to help monitor the grounds. Eventually Helena arrives and Jennifer fills her in on what she saw.

Alfred tells the girls that he needs them for something that is currently more important. Apparently someone matching the description of the ghoul that had made the attack outside of the nightclub in Springvale had been sighted near a club in Dandenong, and had reported it to the police. The report had been overheard by two of Luke's ghouls who work for the police. The aggressor had apparently got into a fight with someone near the nightclub and had broken their jaw. Luke's ghouls were going to be arriving there as soon as they could.

The girls leave in Jennifer's car, promising to call Alfred with any developments at the Dandenong nightclub.

As the girls begin to look around the club, Jennifer, who is now quite low on blood, manages to gather a large number of patrons in her thrall and feed from some of them as she drinks the alcohol that they keep on offering her. However not long after arriving, she is strangely overcome with the need to dance, and Helena observes as Jennifer suddenly moves to the dance floor. Knowing something is wrong, she calls out to Jennifer and tries to break her out of it, which works for awhile, but amidst their patrolling she breaks out into dance again. Once she has snapped out of it, Jennifer resumes her feeding.

Helena tries to make herself unobtrusive and blend into groups of people as she looks around. Eventually she catches sight of a tall, strongly built man with brown hair who matches the description of the ghoul that Alfred had given them. The man looks around with a sort of frantic fury; his movements are fast and aggressive. Upon looking at his aura, Helena can see that it contains a lot of bright red rapidly flickering and shifting colour which indicates that he is full of hunger, anger and hatred.

She tries to keep out of sight while observing him, but the man is scanning the room intently and sees her and approaches her quickly. He strides up and grabs her wrist with an abnormally strong grip, to which Helena responds by yelling as loudly as she can in pain until he threatens her with gripping harder should she keep on doing it.

He growls through clenched teeth as though he is barely containing his fury "where is she, take me to her; you are the same as she is; I saw your fangs".

Helena, confused but suspicious nonetheless, responds that she doesn't know who he is talking about, but if he calms down and explains himself better, then she may be able to help him. But this only makes him madder, and he says that he can't calm down; he'd been this way ever since he had met a girl with long hair looking like Helena and of her kind who had given him her blood. He had attacked her outside of a club in Springvale and had crushed her head, however she had not died. He keeps persisting, but Helena cannot get any more information out of him, and his fury is not tempering.

Jennifer who has seen what is going on, calls Alfred and tells him that he should get to the club as soon as possible. She approaches Helena and the man and uses her presence to flood him with a sense of disgust at touching Helena, which makes him sharply recoil from her, leaving her nursing a broken wrist. Jennifer then uses her presence on the patrons of the club to make them feel sorry for Helena, which quickly makes many of them run over and try to grapple the enraged man to the ground. However he is very strong, and manages to throw the patrons and staff who come to her aid off him without too much trouble.

Eventually Luke's police ghouls show up and try to apprehend the man at the door. One of them stands at the doorway as he tries to leave the club, and then shoots him in the chest when he does show any signs of beginning to stop. A gush of blood flows from the wound but seems to heal almost immediately. Furious, the enraged man moves towards the ghoul and breaks his neck and starts to run away from the club with incredible speed. The other ghoul follows him in his car.

By the time that Alfred arrives, the ghoul has already left in pursuit of the man and a whole lot of police have shown up. They discuss what they had seen the man do and what he had said.

After a moment of discussion, Alfred asks Jennifer and Helena to come with him to Jessica's house, as the Gangrel have powers that allow them to track scent. He also says something about getting Luke and his "clean-up crew" to "take care" of the situation. The girls climb into Alfred's car and he drives them to Jessica's house.

At first when Alfred knocks on Jessica's door there is no response, so Alfred starts to pound on it yelling for her to come out. Eventually Jessica comes to the door and opens it, looking very pale and swaying slightly as though she is having difficulty standing up and focussing on them. Her movements are slow and heavy. Her eyes are barely open as she looks up at them, and they keep fluttering shut as though it is hard for her to keep them open. She looks at the group and says "Yes?" with a soft, drifty voice.

Alfred informs her that he needs her to track someone for him, but she doesn't really seem to be able to register what he says to her, and he has to repeat himself a number of times. Occasionally he pats her face with his palm to get her attention. At one stage Alfred asks Jessica if she has been feeding, and she replies that she has. Eventually he gets her into his car and they leave for the last place that the man had been seen.

On the way, Alfred keeps yelling at Jessica as she seems to slip out of awareness, often looking at her with confusion and worry. He points to the place where he was last seen, and tells Jessica that that is the scent that he wants her to follow. She picks up his scent, gets down on her hands and knees and begins to softly sniff the air above the ground and slowly head off in the direction that he had fled in. Alfred, Jennifer and Helena follow her as she follows streets and climbs fences in and out of people's backyards. Occasionally she stops following the scent and seems to drift out of awareness, to which Alfred responds by continually calling out her name and sometimes slapping at her to bring her back to focus.

Eventually she stops and says, "Oh, it's Bradley". When they ask who Bradley is, Jessica says that he is a mortal that she had given all of her blood to. She said that she gave him all of her blood, which by default gave him her beast - her desire to kill and hunt, and all of her anger. Eventually she realised that she doesn't even need to hunt anymore.

Her confession brings a stunned silence to the group. Alfred eventually responds by saying "You have to take it back, Jess".

At first Helena is concerned with this; she remembers how Jessica seemed barely able to keep a hold of her humanity and keep her beast under control; how she felt the need to kill when she hunted, and is concerned with making her take back something that she was obviously happy to be rid of. But Jennifer thinks that Helena is wrong.

Alfred asks if she was the same when they had spoken to her before, but when they had first spoken to her at the meeting, she was completely different. However when they had spoken to her at her house, she was more vague, but not as drifty and unaware as she is now. Confused, Alfred says that he has never heard of a vampire being able to do what Jessica had done.