Through a hail of gunfire from vampires leaning out of every available opening in the ice cream truck, the car carrying Omar and Marcel tore across the manicured grass of the golf course, spitting turf high into the air as it fishtailed wildly and bounced violently over gentle hills. Its course was still taking it to the prince’s dock.
“Get off the boat,” Alan suggested. “Defend yourselves.” The other kindred jumped to do so, without much thought on the matter.
The small passenger car had taken about all the abuse it could handle. A wheel was seen flying off of it as it came down hard over a mogul hill. The windows were shot up, and its engine made awful grinding noises as it lurched closer to the edge of the grass. The truck behind it barreled recklessly over the terrain, losing a passenger and nearly tipping twice. The gunfire had subsided while its occupants held on. Still, it managed to catch and ram its target, sending the little car spinning and then tumbling over. Both vehicles came to rest on the grass, the ice cream truck on its side, the car on its wheels after a three hundred and sixty degree roll-over. Its roof was caved in, but the brujah inside could be seen punching and kicking at the doors to break them open, which they did in short order.
Omar ran with vampiric speed, clearing the crash scene and taking cover behind Alan’s car. Marcel was not quite as fast, but made it to a bench and dove for cover behind it. He had taken gunfire, and it was unclear if he had been hit.
Alan broke his cover and returned fire, sending the assailants crawling out of the ice cream truck ducking for cover, save one. A gray-skinned man with slicked-back hair wearing slacks and a jacket did not flinch at all. He instead started to charge forward, growing in size as he went, his skin turning oily black while bony protrusions erupted from his joints. The others found confidence in his defiance, and followed him, pinning the Camarilla kindred down with gunfire as they went. There were three armed men, or rather two men and one woman. They all wore red sashes over their heads to conceal their faces.
Marcel was mostly unprotected. The bench provided very little cover, and the hulking sabbat warrior, now fully eight feet tall and thick like a gorilla, was headed straight at him, shrugging off what few shots Alan could take at him. In the commotion, no one heard the motorcycle coming up the fairway.
Ryan opened the throttle, and hit the hill in front of the practice green at full speed and with as powerful a jounce as he could muster. The two-wheeler bounced high into the air, almost throwing the gangrel off. The bike leaned back, front wheel to sky, with its engine screaming in a high pitch. Ryan tucked his knees to his chest, put both feet on the seat, and laid himself out as forcefully as he could, propelling the bike forward like it had been sprung from a slingshot. The three gunman turned in time to see it coming, but the two men could not react fast enough to avoid taking the machine on their chins. Body and bike crashed and rolled and skidded across the grass. Ryan fell hard to the ground, but bounced up quickly, only to find the woman ready for him. She sprayed him with 9mm rounds, hitting him several times in the chest and head. Daniel saw chunks of the gangrel’s skull fly into the night air amid a spray of red mist. The camarilla soldier dropped like a bag of rocks and lay motionless.
Alan fired at the horrid form bearing down on the brujah, who looked to have decided that he would use the bench as his weapon. He had grabbed it by the armrest on one end, and was ready to swing it when the shot hit the creature somewhere it did not care for, as it howled and broke stride momentarily. A shadowy tendril reached out from underneath the beast and coiled its right leg, slowing him slightly but briefly before breaking into nothingness under the pull of the hulk’s momentum. Marcel heaved the bench at his attacker, who met it with a giant forearm. The force of the impact flung the brujah backward and he bounced hard off the ground to the noticeably loud sounds of his cracking bones.
The woman out on the grass dropped her weapon, its ammunition depleted, and drew a pair of knives from her belt. She made for Alan and Omar, who were using Alan’s car for cover. Focused on the horrid form, they did not see her coming. It was Daniel who did see her, however, and sent the shadow out to meet her. He, Leonora, and Cassidy ran out to engage her, Daniel firing the last of his clip and keeping tendrils of shadow whipping at her at her as he went. She was a practiced fighter, and cut back the tendrils and the Tremere before sticking Leonora with a solid blow, too. The Giovanni kept a quizzical look on her face as her vitae colored the air around her, and with Daniel’s help continued to try to hold the sabbat fighter down.
Meanwhile, Alan had jumped into and started his luxury SUV. He gunned the gas and pointed it directly at the sabbat beast, slamming into it before it could grab Marcel. The SUV pushed the thing for almost twenty feet before it got its feet under itself, planted, and heaved the vehicle aside. The sabbat killing machine took a step over Ryan Malone’s still body toward the SUV, as Alan hurriedly reloaded his gun from the driver’s seat. Quite suddenly, Malone’s arm swung in a wide arc and stuck the beast’s foot to the ground with a combat knife. The creature roared again, and grabbed the gangrel, lifting him up toward waiting fangs. Alan could see Ryan was missing a fist-sized piece of his head above his left eye, but had somehow regained consciousness. The horrid form wrapped both hands around Malone’s torso and clamped its giant mouth down on his neck. The gangrel shook violently in pain, but could not break the beast’s grasp. Instead, he managed to hug the creature tight, holding his right hand to the base of its skull. From inside his car, Alan caught the glint of the pin releasing from the grenade in the gangrel’s hand. He opened the door and ran away as quickly as he could.
As the echoes from the explosion faded, the woman who had fought Daniel and Leonora to a standstill disengaged and ran off into the night faster than either of them could pursue. The two armed kindred who had been knocked down by the motorcycle took final death from the grenade blast and resulting motorcycle shrapnel. Leonora, Caassidy, and Marcel would find enough vitae in them to help heal their wounds, however.
The beast that had ravaged the waterfront just moments ago wasn’t nearly so formidable without it’s head and most of its torso. What remained of it was slowly breaking down into an oily, viscous goo. Suprisingly, Ryan Malone was mostly in one piece. The blast had thrown him ten feet, he was blackened and burned, still with a missing piece of his head and now his right arm just below the elbow. The wounds were wet with blood, though he was unconscious. When he was offered vitae from one of the sabbat corpses, his tongue could be seen to wiggle ever so slightly as he swallowed.
“I’ll be damned, I think he’s still with us.”
Leonora smirked. “I agree. On both counts.”
It was agreed the corpses would be burned in the ice cream truck, and that Omar would try to hotwire one of the boats. They had great success on the first point, and none on the second. There were fires burning in the city, the orange glow and plumes of smoke visible even from down on the piers. Sirens still sounded. Helicopters could be heard in the air.
Omar had moved onto his third attempt, hoping somehow this one would be easier to start than the others had been. It was nearing 2 am. They were either going to get discovered by authorities, or run into dawn if they couldn’t get going soon. Talk about sneaking back into the city had started when Daniel noticed a bat swooping in from overhead. It fell out of the sky as Jack, one of the Sheriffs hounds.
“You guys gotta get out of here.” The gangrel was harrowed. He had seen combat, as well. “There’s nothing left to stay for. The prince is dead. The council is dead. There was supposed to be a boat coming, did it ever show up?”
Jack took a quick report of what had happened. While Alan was filling him in, Daniel felt the shadows move around him. He wasn’t doing it. Out on the water, shadow moved slowly toward the dock, sticking to something unnaturally.
“I think that ride is here, Jack.” The shadows pulled back to reveal a barge, and men dressed all in black ready to throw ropes to the dock. A handsome man with long black hair and dark eyes made a suspiciously long jump onto the pier.
“Sorry I’m late. Turns out this isn’t the only place with a hellish eruption happening tonight. Good evening, Daniel, glad to see you made it.”
Jack spoke quickly and seriously. “Ed will take you out of here. Do as he says until he drops you off. The prince or one of the elders made some kind of deal to get Camarilla out of here when all this shit started. This city is lost. Don’t come back.”
Alan looked puzzled. “You aren’t coming?”
“No, I’ve got shit to do. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. Good luck. If Ryan ever wakes up, tell him I think he’s a dumbass.”
Jack took to the air and disappeared into the night sky. The kindred on the pier quickly got themselves onto Edward’s barge. The men who served the pirate each gave a blood donation to an empty jar for Ryan. Edward made it clear that if the gangrel frenzied, he’d throw into the lake and be done with him. Held down by rope and chains, Ryan accepted the blood and his body showed signs of healing. His arm was still missing, but the wounds had healed over. He still had a big dent in his head, but his brain was no longer visible, and he was conscious, though complacent and seemingly not very aware of his surroundings.
Just before morning, Edward dropped his kindred cargo off on a gravel shore a short distance outside of an unnamed town, and walked them through a train yard to a rail car with an open door. A gray haired man several cars up nodded to the dark captain and he nodded back, then motioned to the car.
“It’s light tight. You’ll be safe in here until nightfall. Whatever you do, do not open this door. It will be opened for you when it is safe to do so.
The odd coterie loaded themselves into the rail car. It was sparsely cluttered with the remnants of pallets and plastic wrap. Edward slid the door closed, and the interior echoed with the sound of the lever locking it into place. Several cell phone flashlights came on. The kindred spread out a bit, not wanting to sleep close to one another. They kept quiet, no one voicing the concerns they all had. Cassidy performed some ritual at the door, placing a drop of blood in front of it. She said it would keep sunlight from sneaking through the cracks, just in case. It seemed to make her feel better.
The car started to move as the kindred within began to drift off to sleep.
The door of the rail car opened, letting the languorous light settle in. A dapper looking fellow with a BBC
accent stood outside, holding the handle, “Come on, freaky darlings. Don’t be shy. They’ll want to have a look at you before you’re formally welcomed. Just relax and line up where they can see you.” His ensemble was high fashion with strong homage to Edwardian and Victorian Europe and New England, the fine details and rakish smile contrasted sharply with the enormous firearm resting in the crook of his arm.
One by one the occupants emerged from darkness and stood in the opening of the train car. A limousine was parked a dozen or so yards out. This area of the train yard was quiet, and distant from any structures. The nearby rails were lined with container cars, blocking line of sight to anything that might be nearby. Alan noticed the quality and versatility of the dandy’s weapon, a semiautomatic 12 gauge with four manually indexed ammunition tubes. A pro could have that loaded with anything from armor piercing slugs to flechettes to incendiary rounds and change his load on the fly. Leonora noted that the limousine driver had not stepped out of the vehicle to open the doors for his passengers.
The door on the far side of the limousine opened. A solemn-looking man of martial bearing stepped out and surveyed the occupants. After his gaze fell on each of them, he gave a small nod to someone else in the vehicle. A young looking woman in a short, beaded dress popped out of the far door with excitement. She barely remembered to take the man’s arm, then tugged him forward. The nearest door opened slowly and a thin foot and leg settled on the ground…followed by a second. A rail thin gentleman rose slowly to his feet and smiled, smoothing back thin strands of white hair onto an aged head. He slowly put his broad brimmed hat on, straightened it, and shared a nod with the man and sprightly woman.
The fashionable looking man, that one who had opened the container door, doffed his hat and made a flourish to the stern looking man by the car, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I, Felix Poole, present you to Prince Patterson.” One of the occupants whispered, “I forget, do we bow or curtsy?” The prince raised one finger sharply, silencing any further comments. The elderly looking fellow and puerile lass turned towards him and conferred. The man in charge nodded to the dapper man with the weapon.
“Ah,” grimaced Mr. Poole as though someone made a gaffe at a dinner party, “there seems to be a complication. Apparently, one of you is a Sabbat spy. And since you brought the spy with you…you need to take care of the problem.”
The prince’s finger stabbed through the air with accusation, “That one.” All eyes followed the line through the air that ended at Omar.
“What? Wha-? Guys, c’mon… Who the hell is this guy, what does… you know me, Marcel… This is crazy?”
The chronicle starts now.
You may ask questions pertaining to the prologue if you like.
Everyone is at HALF blood pool (round up). No one has any wounds, EXCEPT RYAN MALONE, who is Mauled with Aggravated Wounds (-2 penalty) and down to 1 Willpower point.
If your character has a handgun (Dylan, Darin, and Nick), assume you still have a clip of ammunition.