Ghosts of Utopia

Of Wolf and Man

Session 2 - 06/12/15

Last session, we began our story with each of our party members locked alone in a prison cell. The party was released from these cells and escorted through the unnatural darkness of the dungeon by an unremarkable looking guard with bewildering abilities. They were then brought before Farand Vilhjalmsson, the First Chair on the Council of Los Angeles. He told the party that they were to do everything he and his associates asked them to, or he would be forced to do something drastic. The party then met Aleksandr “Rex” Konstantinov, who walked them through the mission ahead. Rex provided the entire group with high-tech tactical vests to wear, and introduced them to his teammate, Booker, who would be leading the mission.

The party was subsequently driven to the warehouse they needed to infiltrate. After successfully, albeit loudly, breaking into the facility, the party was able to find the computer room where the intel was located. Then something odd happened; Booker looked very worried, and a soft laugh emanated from the party’s comm links… before the vest embedded itself into Booker, and started ticking as if it were going to explode. Diana freed Booker from his vest using her tech magic, and the party took off running for the exit. Azami went back to help Booker, as he tripped on the way out of the warehouse, and the bomb blew with the pair of them inside. They are both presumed dead. The rest of the party managed to escape the building more or less unharmed. Rex has yet to provide any sort of insight as to what happened with Booker’s equipment.

And so, our story continues…

The air is thick with dark gray dust in the wake of the explosion. Large hunks of stony debris crumble around exposed support beams. The party rises from the rubble, more or less unharmed, save for a few minor cuts and bruises. As the fog from the wreckage begins to clear, it is apparent that there is no movement within what is left of the building. It is safe to assume that your comrades are dead, along with anyone else that may have been patrolling the warehouse. The comm link is still silent, though your equipment appears to still be functional.

Before the party has time to react to anything that just happened, a voice rather loudly pierces the relative silence hanging in the air.

DARNEEZY: “Goddamn, I said goddamn! Ya’ll crackas is crazy! What is you doin’ over there is you runnin’ a meth lab?”

Looking across the street, you see a very clearly homeless man, clothed in filthy, baggy rags hanging limp on his thin frame. He shifts his shopping cart toward the edge of the sidewalk, using all of his strength to bump it down into the street, pushing it across the pavement toward the shambled remains of the building. You note that one of the wheels on the shopping cart is very clearly broken and is hindering the movement of the cart. It makes a very unpleasant screeching sound as it scrapes along the road beneath him. As he comes closer, you see his cart is simply overflowing with various tin cans and glass bottles, along with a plethora of other random bits and bobs of trash. A big grey rat is nestled on top of the pile of garbage, sleeping soundly despite the noise.

DARNEEZY: “Ya’lls friends who been here before, they want too kind to Darneezy, you know? They tol’ me, they tol’ me this place want a meth lab, I ask them a’fore, I said fellas you sellin’? They looks me dead in the eyes and they says no! I knows a meth lab when I sees one!”

He looks down at the vests you are all wearing.

DARNEEZY: “I like ya’lls jackets! They fancy! Is they like an iJacket cause you know they come out wit da watch! Did ya’ll save any of yo meth afore it blew up? Old Darneezy, he don’t got much but, got some bottles you might like! Some real nice ones, wit’ da labels off an’ all! If youse could trade me some’a dat crystal for some bottles, these is worth a pretty penny at da grocery store!”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

If players engage Darneezy in conversation… Before Darneezy can react to anything you just tried to convey to him, the comm link in your ear crackles back to life.

If players try to remove the vest… Before you are able to proceed with your attempts to remove your equipment, the comm link in your ear crackles back to life. You recognize the voice is, of course, Rex’s.

REX: “So… apparently you all suck. But, that’s okay, I got what I needed even though you’re… well. Less than good at subtlety. ‘Less than good’, you’re terrible, we’ll go with that. Also… I wouldn’t touch those if I were you. The vests. You saw how Booker’s went boom, right? Yeeeah. Yours are all rigged to do the same. I just press the button and whapoosh everything crispy dead. I put his on a timer for effect… and also to give you time to bail, too. Which some of you did more successfully than others. Anyway. Farand says since you’re still alive you might as well come back so you can make yourselves more useful. Or something. If you touch those vests though I am serious you will regret it. The car is around the corner, it should get heeere… right about now.”

On the main street, you see the car that transported you earlier slowly slide into view. It sits parked, idling and waiting for you. The comm link fizzles into a soft static and then goes silent.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

If players try to leave/take the vests off… The comm link goes live again and you hear some very soft, dry laughter. REX: “Damn do you all have a death wish. Let’s be smart, here. Get in the car, come to me and we’ll talk about fixing this situation we’ve got, ok?”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

If players try to speak to Darneezy… You try to capture Darneezy’s attention but he is entirely too occupied scouring the remains of the warehouse, mumbling to himself. Most of it is unintelligible, but he continues to repeat something about meth and iJackets.

After PC input… Once the party has entered the car, it starts toward its destination. The divider between yourselves and the driver remains up for the entirety of the drive. You never once see your driver, let alone get the chance to engage him in conversation. The drive lasts about a half an hour, and you pull up to the curb of a very familiar building. You recognize it to be the back entrance of the theater where you had been imprisoned. There are three very burly men waiting for you beside the door.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… The guards close in around the car and nudge you all into a similar formation to before — a single file line — and lead you all inside. You are escorted back through the halls of the theater, down a different corridor than before, and up an elegant staircase to a pair of gold-leafed double doors. One of the guards separates from the group and knocks.

COME IN.” A voice from within the room calls.

The guard closest to the doors opens them, and the other two bring you inside. You are standing inside of an office, styled much like the theater down stairs — darkly colored wood with rich chocolate decor. Everything within this room looks like it has been pulled out of a Victorian painting, including the man seated behind the desk toward the farthest wall. You recognize the man as one Farand Vilhjalmsson, your captor, and the man you had met earlier this evening. He draws his eyes up from the paperwork he was penning, sticking his feather quill back in an ink well, and looks over the lot of you. Waving the guards toward the back of the room. They stand silent and somber with their backs to the wall.

FARAND: “Aleksandr tells me you used next to no discretion in your endeavors and that you were nearly killed… which is rather unfortunate. I am not pleased. You now have the opportunity to relay tonight’s events as you interpret them, if you wish to do so. I will weigh what you tell me against what Aleksandr has said, and I will use this to determine my next course of action.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

If asked about Booker… FARAND: “Aleksandr has already explained to me the situation with his former footman. He’s told me he will explain that to you. I don’t care to bother with it. Now if there are any questions with actual relevancy.”

Farand sits back in his chair and remains silent for a few measured moments. The look on his face is equally as thoughtful as it is judgmental.

FARAND: “Based on everything that has been presented to me, I have decided that despite the hiccups you endured this evening, I will give all of you the benefit of the doubt. I am giving you to Aleksandr, to use as he sees fit. I’m told you all possess some skill or another that might be of use. He will provide you with lodging at one of his safehouses. From this moment forward, the lives you lived previously are placed on hold. If you please me, I will reward you. I will give you money, equipment, prestige. If you disappoint me I will give you an axe through the neck. Have I made myself abundantly clear?”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

Compel Diana

If Diana takes the compel… Farand’s brows turn downward and his mouth flattens into a thin line as his eyes narrow to slits.

FARAND: “Please, gentlemen. Escort them out. Before I change my mind regarding mercy.”

The guards start toward the party, as Farand requested. They arrange you single file once more, and lead you from Farand’s office, back down the stairs, down through the hallways, and out the back entrance once more. The car is still outside, waiting for you. The guards load the party back into the car, and begins to drive. Once again, the driver keeps the divider up, so you have no idea where exactly you are going, or what you are to do when you get there. The drive to the safehouse is only about fifteen minutes. The car rolls to a stop in front of an underwhelming slate grey building. Rex is waiting beside the front door. He has a tablet tucked under one arm, a lit cigarette pinched between the fingers of his opposite hand.

He speaks to you once you’ve exited the vehicle.

REX: “Before you decide to run away or do anything else stupid, I’ve got the program for those things on my tablet. One push and kaboom.”

He opens the door and waves you all inside, following you through the front door.

REX: “We own this place. It’s nothing fancy but you can stay here for free. For now you’ll share an apartment. It’s a two bedroom. It was short notice.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

Conversation notes: Information about what Booker did is vague. Information about the type of job the party will be performing is essentially “I’ll see.”

1) If asked about the vests… “I’ll take them off for tonight. You can’t like… shower or sleep in those. But they can still blow up if I see you doing things I don’t like. The apartment is wired with cameras. The bathroom doesn’t have cams because I’m not that much of a pervert, but it does have mics. If you try anything you will get dead. That’s it.”

After PC input… While you were talking, Rex has lead you to a stairwell and started to climb up. He stops at the third floor, and takes you to your apartment – 3C. The apartment door is very plain, but there is something peculiar about it — beside it, there is a strange looking keypad with a card slot, like something you would see in a hotel. He unlocks the door by punching a pin into the pad and then swiping a keycard through the slot. The sound of mechanical locks clicking open emanates from the door, and he takes you inside.

The apartment is very basic, and a bit small. White walls, beige furniture, a large flatscreen and a landline telephone. The appliances seem older but serviceable. Rex closes the door once everyone is inside and claps his hands together.

REX: “Okay. Down here you see the living room… which we’re standing in. Kitchen is right there, there’s a half bath over on the left side there. over there—” he points to a staircase on the righthand side of the apartment, “That leads up to the bedrooms and the full bath. Once a bigger place frees up, I’ll move you over. There’s some food in the fridge… There /should/ be hotel soaps and shit in the bathrooms. I think that’s it unless you have more questions?”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

2) If asked about the vests… “I’ll take them off for tonight. You can’t like… shower or sleep in those. But they can still blow up if I see you doing things I don’t like. The apartment is wired with cameras. The bathroom doesn’t have cams because I’m not that much of a pervert, but it does have mics. If you try anything you will get dead. That’s it.”

After PC input… Rex tells you that he is, for all intents in purposes, locking you in the apartment until he returns. He explains that once he feels he can trust you, he will remove the locks. He does, however, remove the vests from each of you before he takes his leave from the apartment with the promise that he will be back the following night with something for you to do.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… The night passes, along with most of the following day, until sunset. You pass your time using the amenities that had been provided to you. It is a little after 7 o’clock in the evening when Rex arrives back at your apartment. He calls everyone downstairs into the living room to brief you on what you will be doing.

REX: “Okay, so I thought about this. I thought about it for longer than I should have. I was going through my files, pending cases… I mostly do surveillance. Recon, that kind of thing. However. Since you all bombed major on the last job I gave you I wanted something that was kind of fool proof and hard to fuck up, so I have a solution.”

He pulls the laptop bag he’s carrying off of his shoulder and sets it on the coffee table, digging around in it a bit until he pulls out a file folder.

REX: “You’re going to hunt a werewolf. Now I know this sounds like some mega intense big job but honestly, it’s not. I’ve got like… two reports, of people saying there’s this werewolf in the city and that is… basically impossible because they all stick to the woods. But my boss says I have to look into everything, even the stupid stuff. I would have sent my guys, but most of them are vamps, and werewolves and vamps have the whole heebie jeebies thing between them… As far as where to start I’ve got two places you can go.”

He thumbs through some paperwork in the folder, pausing to look it over, before he continues.

REX: “There’s a warehouse — I know, another warehouse, there’s actually a lot of that in this job. It’s perfect preying ground since a lot of bums and kids tagging buildings go out to these places. Anyway, I got a tip that the werewolf was spotted here, it’s a place by the docks,” He handed each of them photographs of the warehouse in question. It looks much larger than the one the party investigated previously, “Or, a strip club. Well — the werewolf wasn’t seen at the strip club, but that would have been hilarious… tossing dollar bills with his little claws… ah,” he clears his throat, “One of the dancers at the club claims she saw a wolf, too. These are two people who have never met eachother but the description is the same. A big black wolf. So I guess you just have to pick one and go. You can either go right to this warehouse where I got the tip or you can go ask the dancer, Charade where she saw it. I haven’t interviewed her yet, but I doubt it’s the same place.”

[What do you do? Player Character Input. “When you find the werewolf you’re not going to kill it, that’s stupid you’re too weak I just want to know where it is.” IF THEY PICK THE STRIP CLUB, TELL THEM TO ASK FOR CHARADE AT THE DESK]

After PC input… Rex gives you a little bit of limited itinerary for the job — pictures of the location you are to visit and the testimony of the witness that was spoken to. He puts each of you back into your vests, and tells you the car is waiting for you downstairs. he guides you out of the apartment and down the stairs, to a pair of cars parked in front of the apartment building. He directs you to get into the same vehicle you’ve been chauffeured in previously. Once you are inside, you notice him pause, then walk toward the trunk of the slightly more expensive looking car in front of your vehicle. He opens the trunk and takes out a long case, carrying it back to your vehicle and opening the door to speak to you.

REX: “This is something like a tranq gun with a tracking chip. If you can shoot the thing just once, it’ll embed a microchip in its skin and I’ll be able to see where it goes… that is, if ‘it’ even still exists, which I seriously doubt. Questions? Questions… Oh yeah which of you guys can shoot…”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… Rex closes the door and walks away, back up to his car and gets into the drivers side. Rex takes off, and your driver tails him for a time before turning off onto the freeway, toward your destination.

If they pick the warehouse… Forty five minutes later, you reach your destination: An abandoned stretch of dock in Long Beach, with a lone warehouse standing in a sea of concrete. The driver parks quite a ways from the building.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

MISSION NOTES: There is nothing particularly interesting about the warehouse. It doesn’t seem to have any power. There is no sign of life around it. There are no cameras. You can’t hear anything suspicious but the sound of the waves sloshing against the deck. As you approach the warehouse, you see the dull, erratic orange flicker of a flame. Once you pass before the warehouse door, you see the source of the light — a barrel with a roaring fire within it. Inside of the warehouse, a figure dressed all in rags is stacking bottles against the left wall. He doesn’t seem to notice or hear you.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… The man looks up from what he is doing, and you recognize that it is the same homeless person from last night, who had asked you for drugs. Darneezy.

DARNEEZY: “Oh damn — ya’ll white folks scare me half to death you white as ghosts it’s like Caspa up in here. Ya’ll need to make more noise when you come up, ol’ Darneezy heart not what it used to be you know.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

If Darneezy is asked about werewolves… He cocks his head to the side and looks up at the ceiling. Contemplating your words carefully.

DARNEEZY: “Werewolf? Is you askin’ about buyin’ a big dog? Like a big ass pit bull? Mah friend Treva, he got a cousin, he in the breedin’ of those animals. Now I always thought dog breedas was nasty you know, they got to watch their dogs fuck they bitches and shit, but he got nice dogs. Ol’ Darneezy, he don’t like dogs so much, he has rats… ’EY RING DANG DOO. WHERE YOU AT BOY.”

There is rustling in a trash pile in the corner. Suddenly, a fat grey rat pops out from underneath the various junk and scurries over to Darneezy. He picks him up and sets him on his shoulder.

DARNEEZY: “This Ring Dang Doo, I calls ’im Dooey for short. Dooey, you ever seen no werewolfs?”

The rat squeaks a few times.

DARNEEZY: “Nah, he ain’t seen no werewoofs. But likes I said, you wants a pit bull I got chu. Ol’ Darneezy hook you up Darneezy a nice guy you just gots to give me some of that crystal, I know ya’ll gots to have another meth lab…”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… Darneezy has, once again, gotten lost in looking through rubbish. This time, its his bottles. You hear him counting out numbers, as if he is attempting to count how many bottles he has, but he keeps getting stuck, or skipping numbers, or starting over. You leave Darneezy to his bottle collection and return to the car. Since this turned out to be something of a waste of time, the only other option is to go to the strip club/go to the neighborhood the dancer mentioned.

If they pick the strip club… Twenty minutes later, you reach your destination: A large, darkly colored building with a neon sign that reads “Victorianna’s” in bright red, with a matching outline of a woman is draped over the name. Walking in to the crimson quilted double doors, you see the lobby area, and just beyond that the main floor of the club. It is set up like a typical gentleman’s club. In the lobby there is a desk for admission, and behind the velvet rope is the lounge, with the main catwalk and stage stretching across most of the floor. The room is dotted with couches and booths for lap dances and drinks, and there are two bars on either side of the room. There is a roped off area with stairs that is labeled “VIP”. The club is colored in a black and crimson palette, and draws, as the name suggests, many influences from the Victorian area, both in decor and in costuming. Most of the woman are more Gothic looking than not, and the speakers are blaring heavy metal music.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… The hostess picks up her phone and dials a few keys, before having a short conversation with whoever she’d dialed, presumably the dancer you asked for. You can hardly hear her over the music. After a few moments, she hangs up, and nods to you.

HOSTESS: “Go on back.”

The bouncer beside the entrance to the club draws back the velvet rope and allows you to pass. The club is fairly crowded tonight. There are several patrons and most of the employees look preoccupied. You are left standing there for a minute or so before you hear a voice behind you.

MADELINE: “I heard you needed to see one of my girls?”

You turn toward the sound and you see a curvaceous woman with long, curled and crimson hair. She’s dressed in little more than black latex straps that starkly contrast her porcelain skin. Her makeup is heavy and dark.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… MADELINE: “Yes. My name is Madeline. A pleasure. Charade told me to be expecting someone… you’re Rex’s people, yes? Forgive me, but… you don’t look like his typical fare.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… She tells you that her girl is presently occupied, and that you will have to wait, but she has some information she can divulge in the meantime. She leads you toward the VIP area stairs, and a bouncer draws back the velvet rope at a wave of her hand to let her and the party pass.

At the summit of the stairs lay a pair of doors propped open into an office that calls upon the same Gothic and Victorian influences of the club downstairs, though has a more personal touch. The desk tucked against the wall has little china dolls sitting atop it as well as other various vintage knick knacks. Various paintings are hung throughout the room, and their content brings forth emotions of romanticism, and of melancholy. Madeline takes a seat at her desk, and peers at you all expectantly until you follow suit. Then a smile graces her blood red lips as she pulls open a drawer, and digs around in it. Once she’s discovered what she was looking for, she passes the paper off to Diana. It has cross streets written on it, as well as barebones information on what transpired with this ‘werewolf’.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

MADELINE: “You’d still like to see her? Of course. I’ll have to warn you though, it may be a few minutes, as I’ve told you she’s working at the moment…”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… Madeline brings the party out of the office for the moment to go back down to the floor, letting the party know that once Charade is available, she will send her over.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… About twenty minutes pass, and Charade walks into the room. She is another well endowed lady dressed in a tiny frilly bra and panty set, and a pair of sky-high stilettos.

CHARADE: “You’re Rex’s people, right? I’m sorry about the delay… Madeline told me she gave you a little bit of information, what all did she tell you?”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… Charade goes through the events as she remembers them. She was walking home from working at the club, and she saw a large black blur at the corner of her eye, then heard a scream. She ran toward the sound of the scream, saw a body with some blood beneath it, and left to find some help. When she returned, the body was gone. The black blur ran toward a building with a broken fire escape.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… After you gather all of the possible information you can collect from the dancer, which isn’t terribly much, she regretfully informs you she has nothing else to tell you, and the party exits the club to return once more to the car. You hand the driver the directions you were given, and he starts toward your destination.

The trip to the ghetto… The car pulls up to the curb at the intersection Madeline had indicated, and the party exits the vehicle. It’s now time to find the building that the dancer had been speaking of.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

Setting: The Werewolf is in a building that is partially obscured by a few buildings closer to the street, one of which has the broken fire escape as indicated. There is movement in the far building. Perception rolls to detect this. The proceeding fight will likely be completely improved, except for Rex mentioning something about “Oh, wow, there really WAS a werewolf!”

After the werewolf encounter… With the werewolf successfully tagged, the party gets back into their vehicle, and is driven back to the safehouse. Rex briefs them on the results of the mission, stating they are tracking the werewolf’s whereabouts and another branch of their organization will be picking things up from here.

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