At the Edge of All Things

Session 20

Shadowplay, pt. 4

Last time, the cabal left off after contacting Lacey Chalke about the plan. 

Aurelia is busy scanning Lacey’s other follower:

Her name is Lauren Gretz; she befriended Lacey when Lacey was a neonate and talked her into joining the Carthians.  She knew that she was too plain and unpreposessing to lead the Carthians from in front, but she knew the Prince’s childe would be a celebrity and she’d have her ear. She gets annoyed that Lacey doesn’t listen to her enough.

Aurelia communicates to Lacey: “Okay here’s the plan. Give me a cell number, in a half hour we’ll text you a short message. Excuse yourself. Tell Manny and Lauren you’re going to this location. Then head there immediately, We’ll be waiting to set things up. They’ll follow in time. Then leave the rest to us.”

“….Okay, my number is 604-555-3931.”

Aurelia giggles to herself. The cabal leaves the club to prepare.

They pile in Aurelia’s car and head to Stanley Park location for the ruse chosen by Sinon in order to limit possible sleeper involvement. On the way, the four hash out a rough plan:

  • Sinon will imitate one of Maggie’s goons. He will grab Lacey at some point to ‘abduct’ her to a ritual sacrifice.
  • Blackjack will alter his and the others auras to make them seem to be vampires. He will be ready to provide fire in case any vamps get too close.
  • Elithora will ensure that the vamps show up with fortuitous timing and either speed Sinon up or slow the vamps down.
  • Aurelia will tap into Manny’s and Lauren’s minds to make the ruse more believable. She will also scare them off if necessary.

They arrive in the park and exit the vehicle.

BJ takes a moment to focus, and center himself.

Aurelia speaks up. “Okay, BJ needs to set up the pyrotechnics. Eli, you’re in charge of timing. Make sure they arrive precisely when they need to.”

Eli nods and gets ready.

Aurelia is going to prepare herself as well and sets up in a hiding spot.

Sinon has taken on the form of Maggie’s toughest looking goon and boosted his physical abilities.

Blackjack finds a nice hiding spot. Holding the flare.

Elithora draws a series of lines forced to maneuver abruptly around each other, all finishing at the same point. Looking satisfied, she folds the paper and hides it. Ready.

Aurelia gives Lacey a ‘thumbs up’

There’s a reply.  “OMW

About half an hour later, a 4Runner pulls up to the coordinates you gave Lacey.  The doors open and the coterie emerges – Lacey, tall, and blonde in leather pants and a vest; Manny, dressed in black denim with an assortment of chains, sniffing the air warily, and Lauren, pale, wan, and cautious in a long coat.

“Who’re we meeting here again?” Manny asked.  “I smell somethin’…funny…”

*"Relax, Manny.  It’s that deal I told you about, that locket the Ordo was interested in.  Just keep watch."  She steps forward.  “Hello?”

Aurelia taps into Lacey’s mind again.

She had to invent a story on the fly for why she got a text and was suddenly leaving, so she told the others there was a deal in the offing and they came along. She’s wondering if she isn’t going crazy or if this isn’t some nutty triple-cross.

Aurelia: “You were supposed to leave them. There won’t be time to prepare you. This is not good Lacey. Follow the path, but don’t step on it.”

She steps forward and starts walking up the path. “Okay, I’m walking…” Lacey thinks at Aurelia.  “Sorry I couldn’t get alone, but Lauren doesn’t trust me and Manny’s like a fuckin’ chaperone.”

Now that she’s approaching, Elithora tries subtly knitting certain invisible strands more tightly together. (Just winds of Chance which doesn’t have mechanical impact — more luck on our side.)

BJ prepares a forces compelling spell to smooth out the path of his bullets.

Lauren and Manny look at each other.  “Everything all right, dear?”  They begin following down the path, about twenty feet behind Lacey, watching around them and sniffing the air nervously.

Lacey’s approaching a park outbuilding, one of those places where equipment/snow plows/etc are stored.  The path curves around it.  “Hello?” she thinks to Aurelia.

Aurelia: “You’re about to be grabbed. Act the part, please.”

“Okay, I can do that.”  Her mocking humor of earlier is gone – she’s genuinely wary and wondering if this was a bad idea.  (If you guys were really trying to kill her this would be perfect, after all)

As Lacey rounds the corner, Sinon reaches out to grab her arm in a lock.

She follows the path’s curve around the corner of the storage building.  “We’re meeting them right back here, guys,” she says.  Then Sinon grabs her.

Aurelia: “And action! You’re doing fine, Lacey.”

“AAAh!  What the fuck!  What is this?!”

Manny rushes forward!  “God DAMN it!  I knew somethin’ was up!”

Sinon takes off, dragging Lacey with him.  “The blood of royalty shall sate the Crone!  It has been foretold!”

“Not so fast, Manuel.” Elithora mumbles. Manny has the unreal sense of moving through water. The unknown kidnapper grabs Lacey like a 33 RPM record at 45.

His eyes widen as his movement sloooowwwws.

While dragging Lacey, Sinon raises an immaculately cared for Walther PPK at the other vampire. (he has donned his Eye of Mars masque)

Half-a-second later he takes a shot at Lauren—focusing intently. She is hit center mass and falls to one knee. Her Discipline-in-progress fizzles.  “Aaah -!”

Manny looks back at her in slow motion.  It’s a bit like a bad movie.  “Noooooooo~”

Manny is slowly running at Lacey and Sinon.

BJ puts a bullet in him then.

Elithora traces an X in the air between herself and the rapidly-darkening Lauren. (casting Evil Eye)

Lauren’s too smart to keep running at 2+ people with guns. She’s diving for cover and spending a blood to heal some of the bashing.

Manny is speeding up at Chronos’ Curse wears off, and Lauren has rolled into a bush.  Sinon “has” Lacey and he and BJ are pointing their guns down range.

Aurelia from her hiding spot is casts a Hallucination on both of the vampires. First they DON’T smell the mages but rather they recognize the people they see as vampires.

Then the Crone played by Sinon drops Lacey: steps back and begins chanting.

Suddenly she bursts into flame! the screams are unbearable! the smell of burning flesh is overwhelming! It takes no time at all for her to be completely consumed by the flames.

Aurelia to herself: “I control the horizontal. I control the vertical!” To Lacey: “Okay, run north, Lacey! Great scene!”

Lacey runs where Aurelia is directing her.

Manny is screaming “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Only the ‘vampires’ are visible, and Aurelia is controlling their movements. not-Sinon growls at them and shouts "That one’s for Maggie! then starts running away… in the opposite direction we are. not-BJ scrambles, moving in a different direction that also isn’t the mages will be running in themselves.

The actual Sinon calmly drops the act. He goes back and deliberately grabs a couple of gallon bags full of ashes to scatter some of it around.  Once done the Guardian pulls out his phone and catches up on e-mails while two crazed vampires run off screaming…

Having scattered some ashes and made the most leisurely getaway ever, the cabal reunites with Lacey deeper into the park. 

Aurelia: “Okay, let’s get going. We need to get you to Maggie for real now. And hopefully no more double crosses.”

BJ is going to experiment. He’s going to make himself invisible. Apparently not with success.

Lacey is laughing when you group up with her.  “Ohhh, Manny.  He cares so much.  It’s kind of sad.  If you fooled Lauren, you’ll have everyone else believing it.  She’s one of those quiet, watchful types.”

Aurelia smiles. “Good. Unless they decide to lick your ashes, it should hold up.”

Blackjack opens the backdoor of Aurelia’s Civic. He gestures for Lacey to sit in the back and middle. Not that BJ doesn’t trust her, but he doesn’t trust her.

Sinon takes the other side in the back.

Aurelia begins the relatively short drive to Granville Island.

They pull up to a red light.

The group sits in silence in the dark car.

Lights go by.

Someone clears their throat.

Silence.

The light turns green and they keep driving.

The cabal heads south to Granville Island.  The island in recent years has become an artsy neighborhood, with (comparatively) inexpensive living spaces upstairs from gallerias and bistros.  There’s a small city park there, just a block square, and Maggie asked them to meet her underling there.

Aurelia is totally chatting up Lacey in her head. “So uh… What do you usually do?”

“Bite people and drink their blood.  It feels incredible, you know.  There’s nothing like it in the world – not that you’d know, square girl.”

“Hey… I’m not… I mean… I’m not that square.”

“Yeah, uh, the Civic we’re riding in says otherwise.  You can get people to believe whatever you want them to and you chose to have them believe you’re a college student with thirty k of debt.  Whee.”

“I’m not a college student! It’s economical.” Aurelia is losing a bit of control, just projecting her own insecurity straight to Lacey.

Blackjack watches the Vampire intently. Looking for any subtle movements or motions. BJ sees her crack a cruel grin periodically.  Her eyes never leave the back of Aurie’s head. The Arrow watches that grin. Looks to Sinon, a bit of question in his face.

Sinon looks at Lacey and then at Aurelia.  “Do I need to tap your… conversation?”

Aurelia to Lacey: “Wait… oh my god you’re negging me. What the fuck! Oh come on. Seriously? That’s just embarrassing. I’m done here.” She cuts off the telepathic connection.

They pull into the parking lot of the park.  Like a lot of parks in gentrified areas, it’s been tricked-out with “period” lighting, bike paths, exercise equipment and a dog run.  A middle-aged woman in a tie-dyed shirt sits on a bench and lookst at you significantly as you approach.

Blackjack takes a moment before the car stops, plucks one of Lacy’s hairs.

“….owwww!  What the fuck?!  I don’t get those back, you know!” She seems genuinely discomfited for the first time.

Sinon opens the door to the car and steps out, waiting for Lacey.

BJ steps out of the car, looking to Sinon. “Are all of the Vampires in Vancouver so ill informed?” He takes a magazine out of his jacket pocket and wraps the hair around it before putting it back in his pocket.

Lacey gets out, rubbing her head angrily, and follows Sinon.  “Ah, that’s Sapphire,” she says.

Aurelia steps out of the car. “God that was pathetic. Bite me, Lacey.”

“Be careful what you wish for …” Elithora says to no one in particular.

Sinon steps up to Sapphire and motions toward Lacey.  As the two vampires prepare to leave, “By the way, if Maggie would be so magnanimous—I would like to observe Shaw’s disgrace.”  A second later.  “From a distance.”

The other vampire stands as she sees you, and approaches.  “Ahhh, excellent. Word is already circulating about what you did.  The Prince is furious.  If you wish to watch, Mage, Maggie can arrange for it.  It is the least she can do, after all.”

“I look forward to seeing the Lancea bastard humbled.” Sinon nods at the Crone and at Lacey before beginning to head back toward the car. 

Lacey steps forward with a grimace.  “And I guess now I get a few days of listening to wiccan sermons.  It beats the True Death, I guess, but not by much….”

Aurelia rolls her eyes. “Yeah well you deserve it, bitch.”

Sapphire chuckles a bit at Aurelia’s retort. “I believe that concludes our business.”  She hands Sinon the card of a local import/export business.  “You may reach Miss Fang…after hours.  She considers herself in your debt and prefers to have such things settled quickly.”

Aurelia: “Excellent.”

The two vampires walk away.

Sinon looks at his cabal mates.  “Now that the deed is done, I believe I need to arrange to receive my payment.” He steps away from the others, and gets a burner phone he left in the car.  He calls Shaw.

“This is Mr. Shaw.”

“The bitch is dead, now.”

“….So I’ve been informed.  You are as capable as you led me to believe, and as I know better than to further tempt the anger of wizards, I have the item standing by to be delivered immediately wherever you wish.  I trust that will give satisfaction?”

“Indeed it will.  I will text you a mail box number at YRC.”

“Very well.  Whether you realize or care, Mr. Sinon, you’ve done the Kindred of this city a great service.  Good night.”  He hangs up.

BJ goes to Aur. “Are you alright?”

Aurelia just rolls her eyes. “That bitch was so desperate to get in my pants or neck or whatever she was pulling dumb pick-up artist crap. I mean, I can read her fucking mind!”

Elithora raises an eyebrow at Aurie. “Well done, Sinon.”

Sinon sends the number. He walks back to join the others.  “It looks as though Shaw bought it.  I am going to the airport.”

“Sometimes Monsters are just that, no matter how much myth is built up around them. Although she was a rather pathetic example.”  BJ turns to Sinon "Let us know how it goes. "

“I hope she gets roasted. To think I went so far out of my way… uuuurgh.” Aurelia just stamps her foot.

Elithora: “Maybe she just has good taste in blood types?”

Sinon looks over at Aurelia, undecided as to whether he should scold her or comfort her.  He looks over at Elithora.  “Thanks.” He walks away and meets a cab that has pulled up off in the distance.

Aurelia: “I’m glad we could get that stuff together for Sinon, at least.”

We see Sinon enter the airport, heading to the same locker the Guardians sent him to before. We see him pass by several pillars. Each time with a different face. Finally he arrives at storage locker 581321. He retrieves the key from his pocket and pulls out a silver, reinforced briefcase.

We cut to a shot from inside the case. It opens revealing Sinon inside his attic-office—lit only by a small desk lamp. A object is lifted from under our view toward the mage’s face. It is the mask. We hear the sound of a dial or gear spinning. A light flashes from Sinon’s eyes, which have changed from Brown to Blue in color. He removes the mask and places it back in the case. A smile—it’s past absence lending it a certain amount of menace—stretches across his face. A series of whispers from all corners of the room breaks the silence.

The next day…

We see shots of Blackjack, Aurelia and Elithora all trudging into work after the incredibly long night they pulled.

BJ arrives at his office, Aurelia at her cubicle. Both see small packages wrapped in a light blue paper, with a bit of gold ribbon on top of their desks. The Arrow carefully unwraps his to find a book—Commentaries on the Gallic War: Annotated by Aetas, Master of Time, Acanthus of the Adamantine Arrow. Aurelia opens hers, revealing a small red-gadget that resembles a poke-dex. When turned on, a screen reads “Tobin’s Spirit Guide.”

Each is accompanied by a simple card, “With thanks. -S.”

Elithora finds in her chair an envelope containing an invitation/RSVP card done in the same color scheme as the gifts. The address is the Searcher’s sanctum with a date and time for later that week.

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