The City of the Dead

Ken's Vampire Game

Session Twelve

Friday Night

Jennifer and Helena both get calls from Daria. Her voice is stressed and frantic; she's sounding really wrung-out again. She tells Helena and Jennifer that someone has "stolen her face and taken her mobile phone, and is pretending to be her". She insists that if she doesn't say the word "mirror" to the girls within the first few sentences of every conversation that they have together then they should presume that it's the perpetrator that they are speaking to.

When Helena asks how she got their phone numbers if her phone had been stolen, Daria says that she had to call Alfred to get them again. But when Helena asks Alfred if he did give hers and Jennifer's numbers to Daria, he says that he had spoken to her.

Saturday Night

Jennifer and Helena are understandably keen to speak to each other about the situation with Daria. They discuss the strange situation for awhile.

Helena suggests that they continue to search more of the cemeteries around the city. When the girls meet up, Helena notices that Jennifer is seething with anger and that she seems almost unable to contain it. When Helena asks what's wrong, she says "nothing" through gritted teeth. Helena asks her if it is anything that she has done that is upsetting her, but Jennifer says that it's not, which Helena confirms through her aura.

Their perusal of the Fawkner, Altona cemeteries, and a cemetery near the Springvale Necropolis, all prove fruitless. They do not find anything at any other cemeteries either.

Jennifer gets a call from Daria amidst their investigation. Daria's name and mobile number are displayed on the screen of Jennifer's phone. Jennifer frantically signals Helena over, indicating that it's Daria calling.

Jennifer notices that whoever is on the other end of the line doesn't say "mirror". Suspicious, Jennifer slowly asks Daria what she got up to on Friday night but she says that she didn't really get up to anything in particular. Jennifer mentions that Helena has been in trouble because she got her hand burnt very badly on Thursday night at the cemetery they were searching, but Daria seems oblivious to the misinformation.

By this stage Jennifer is very concerned. Before their conversation is over, she tells Daria that they didn't find anything in any of the other cemeteries that they searched.

Sunday Night

Jennifer calls Helena and asks her if she wants to organise a meeting with Daria in the bar on Elizabeth Street to try and work out what the hell is going on with the people that are screwing around with her. It's obvious that Daria knows stuff about what is happening to her that she is holding back on. Jennifer sounds close to the end of her patience; it is obvious that being screwed around with by mysterious vampires is wearing Jennifer down. She says that she is going to resort to overcoming her with presence to get her to give her the information that she wants if necessary. Helena agrees that this is a good idea, and says that she can help out with her aura perception.

Helena and Daria are the first to get to the bar, leaving Helena struggling with conversation matter to tide Daria over with until Jennifer arrives. When Jennifer finally enters the bar, Daria is flooded with a profound sense of just how wonderful Jennifer really is. She finds it difficult to get past her beauty and to defy her by not telling her the truth to the questions that she wants answered. Although Jennifer is relentless in her questioning, saying that she wants answers quickly forthcoming, Daria keeps saying that she doesn't want to tell her what is going on because she doesn't want to worry her lovely Jennifer.

Eventually she admits that she has been involved with the Malkavians, but is mysteriously quiet when Helena asks her if she has been drinking their blood. Daria says that she was told that she would be able to get out of her involvement with them, but so far it hasn't happened. She is still reluctant to elaborate on what her involvement entails. All that she says is that it is a long, sad story and that she had gone to the Malkavians for information about what is going on in the city. During her interrogation, Daria's hands become suddenly very itchy and Helena and Jennifer watch as she scratches them frantically.

By this stage Jennifer can barely contain her fury. She gets up and storms out of the bar and is gone for a moment. When she re-enters, she storms towards Daria and screams "just tell me what you know!" with her presence ablaze. Daria cowers as Jennifer grabs her and drags her outside of the bar.

For a moment Helena contemplates following the girls, but in the end she decides that perhaps Daria's story is one that it would be best for her not to know.

A little later Helena gets a call from Jennifer on her mobile phone. Jennifer wants to know a little about blood-bonding; her specific concern is whether it is the amount or repeated feeding that bonds a vampire to another vampire. Helena says that it's the repeated feeding on multiple occasions that causes the bond. Jennifer thinks for a second and says that if that is the case, then it wouldn't matter if a vampire was given a large quantity of blood of another vampire on a single occasion. Helena says that she believes that that is the case.

Jennifer explains herself. She says that she has Daria with her and says that she has admitted to consuming Malkavian blood. She is wondering if perhaps she got Daria to expend all of the blood in her and replaced it with her own and Helena's blood, if Helena would consent to the plan, in order to get Daria back to normal. Helena says that she thinks that the idea isn't bad, but perhaps they should speak to the Knights. Yet Jennifer is concerned with getting Daria into trouble. Helena eventually agrees and arranges to meet up with the girls at Jennifer's place.

Once Helena has arrived, Jennifer fills her in on some of Daria's story. She says that Daria has been talking of a man who tries to take away her face who also takes her blood. Then, apparently, the "Other Me" rings her up and comes and takes her blood as well. Apparently Daria riped her own face off, as some guy turned to stone on a throne in front of her.

During their conversation, Jennifer's ghouls run up the stairs, flushed with excitement from their SCA fighter training, desperate to show off some of the new moves that they have learnt. One of them runs into the room wearing a metal helmet. This provokes Daria into screaming and cowering away in fear, yelling "it's Ezekiel!" The ghouls stare at her with confusion however Jennifer and Helena are beyond being shocked by Daria by now.

Helena searches the house for other vampires at Jennifer's request. Helena heightens her senses and searches the rooms. Although she doesn't find signs of a physical presence, she is nonetheless convinced that there is a presence in the house despite not being able to see it. She isn't able to give Jennifer any more information than that, which distresses Jennifer greatly.

Suddenly Helena gets a flash of an image of her hand having a nail driven through it, but doesn't know what to make of it.

Helena looks over at Daria, and catches sight of a glowering ankh suddenly flare up on her neck and then run down her arm. The image only lasts a second and then is gone. Daria tells her that she tried to pull it off in self-defence, but the conversation doesn't go any further.

Jennifer and Helena decide to press on with their plans. They ask Daria again whether she wants to go through with it, and she feebly nods her ascent. Helena becomes concerned with asking Daria to use alli of her blood as she is because it would cause her to frenzy, so she suggests that they should stake her and then give her the blood. Jennifer is horrified by this prospect and tells Helena so. Helena gives in, and they decide to get Daria to burn most of her blood, and then get her to consume some of their blood.

Jennifer instructs Daria to increase and decrease her strength to use up the blood in her system. She warns her to do it slowly. As Daria begins, Helena goes into the bathroom, cuts her wrist with a knife and fills a 2 litre pitcher with her blood. As she reaches the doorway of Jennifer's bedroom with the pitcher, she sees that Daria is looking extremely drawn and pale, and extremely hungry and that shadows are beginning to swarm around her body.

Both Jennifer and Helena can see that Daria is about to frenzy. Panicked, Helena runs into the bedroom, placing the pitcher of blood in a safe place on the floor. Both of Jennifer's ghouls are standing in the hallway behind Helena watching what is going on in the bedroom.

Meanwhile, Jennifer sees Daria looking at her with ferocious hunger and is preparing to attack her. Jennifer braces herself, preparing for the lunge, figuring that if she doesn't resist and Daria manages to take some of her blood, it may bring her back under control. She's also aware that Daria has been increasing her strength to use up her blood! Daria lunges onto Jennifer and strikes her fangs into her throat, drinking deeply.

This provokes enormous distress in Jennifer's onlooking ghouls, who are still wielding their SCA weapons. Daniel runs over to the girls and smashes Daria three times with his rattan stick, momentarily stunning her. Jennifer ducks out of the way. Daria gathers herself again and fixes her sights on Helena and lunges on her. Helena pushes her away and drags her face towards the pitcher of blood. Daria hungrily consumes the blood.

On the other side of the room, Stuart is cradling a seemingly unconscious Jennifer while Daniel looks on with horror. Jennifer suddenly becomes very aware of her own hunger steadily mounting and finds herself beginning to hungrily eye off her beloved, distressed ghoul. She fights off the urge to drain the ghoul dry, and commands them both to "GET OUT!" but being aware that she cannot maintain her control indefinitely, she picks up Daniel's broken rattan stick and drives it through her heart, immobilising herself.

By this stage Helena is becoming incredibly low on blood herself. She can feel herself losing control and staring at Daria with hunger. Helena is filled with a sudden wave of terror at the thought of involuntarily taking Daria's tainted Malkavian-laced blood, and fights to bring the urge under control. Momentarily back with her wits, Helena sees Daria licking the last of the blood in the pitcher and beginning to look around for more, and flees the house. She waits until she is a safe distance away and reluctantly gives Alfred a call and tells him what has happened.

Understandably, Alfred is angry and exasperated with the girls at having not consulted him before they went ahead with their plans. He says that from now on, the girls are all going to have to report to him every night before they go out, telling him what they are going to do. Helena automatically protests, saying that their intentions were honourable and that they did what they did out of concern for Daria and not through deliberate defiance of the Knights. Alfred says that he understands, but that the girls should be telling him what is happening anyway, afterall, he is the one who keeps on having to bail them out of trouble. Helena asks how long this monitoring is going to go on, and Alfred tells her until he says so. Eventually he tells Helena to wait for him at Jennifer's and to track down the ghouls.

Back at Jennifer's, there is a gun and a shoe lying at the front of her house. Helena picks up the gun and looks around the house. She can't see any movement inside.

A rustling in the bushes around the house reaches Helena. She can hear whispering. She calls out, asking who's there. More rustling and whispering ensues. Eventually Daniel eventually emerges from the bushes, looking uncertain and concerned, yet trying to sound gallant. "I know what you are!" he calls bravely. Helena tries to reassure him that it is okay, that she's waiting for someone to come and help Jennifer, but the ghoul is unconvinced; he thinks Jennifer is still in danger. Helena reassures Daniel that he isn't going to drink his blood or turn him into a vampire or hurt Jennifer any more until a silver Lotus screams to a halt outside of the house.

Alfred furiously emerges from the car carrying an esky, and tells the ghouls to get out of there. Helena leads Alfred into the bedroom. Shaking his head, Alfred begins to empty out blood bags into Jennifer's mouth, waiting until she absorbs them. Soon it becomes apparent that she is going to need more blood.

Alfred and Helena go back outside. Alfred, still pissed, says that he wants Helena to call Jessamy, to tell him what has gone on and to ask for his help in tracking down Daria. Helena becomes distressed, asking why don't they just get one of the Gangrel to help track her instead. But Alfred says that he doesn't want to screw around trying to track down a Gangrel at this hour, and tells her to just make the call.

Reluctantly, Helena makes the call, greeting Jessamy in a small voice. She tells him that she and Alfred are outside of Jennifer's house, that there has been some trouble and that Alfred has asked her to call him and ask for his help in tracking down Daria. Unfortunately for Helena, he asks what has happened. She recounts the story and their plans and waits to be reprimanded.

Jessamy, exasperated, says that of course Daria would have frenzied, and that their plan may not even have worked. But neither of the Knights seem interested in knowing that they didn't intend to take all of her blood, but that it was being drained away from her by something else making her blood loss faster than they had expected. Reluctantly he agrees to come over.

Eventually a large white Rolls Royce pulls up, and Jessamy steps out. He tells Helena that his driver is going to take her back to her haven, and that she should wait for him there. Feeling wrung out, she gets into the car and is driven home.

Later in the evening, Helena gets a call from "Daria" on a payphone. She says that she has just come out of the frenzy, that she doesn't remember what has happened, and that she has found herself in the necropolis. Helena becomes automatically wary and tells her that "that's nice". She says that she is going to give Alfred a call, but Daria says that she is about to call him. The girls hang up. Helena gives Alfred a call anyway, and tells him that Daria called from the necropolis, and he tells her that it's okay, that he has already caught up with her.