In the next major plot beat, we’re still looking for the Englishman, but while poking around Elysium and the Prince’s court, Sebastian–the Malkavian primogen–intercepts us and mentions how he’s heard of some guy hanging around Land’s End, with an implacable English accent and waving a sword around. Sebastian indicates he has a long history with his guy and would love for us to handle things for him, and is predictably oily and simpering as he does so (classic Sebastian). We’re like, yeah alright, and head out there the next night.
We head to the ruins of Sutro Castle, at the edge of the city, and, as promised, stumble upon a man with an English accent and a sword. But while THE Englishman was a distinguished gentleman with a rapier, this man is a bombastic force of nature with a broadsword, and I–a long term resident of the city–am the first to realize who he is, seconds before he announces it to us himself.
It is Emperor Joshua Norton the First, Ruler of these United States and Protector of Mexico, and he’s as Malkavian as the night is long.
He may be a raving madman, but he’s not a raving killer, and we realize that Sebastian’s lead is a bum one. Figuring Sebastian was misinformed, we debate what to do next….
…Moments before a trained hitsquad jumps from the trees and tries to kill us all.
Fuckery ensues (which at one point involves people falling off the edge of the ruins, a fact which I later noted while visiting the area in real life, saying outloud to Chris, “Is this where Paul threw that bitch off the cliff?” without any regard for nearby joggers who might overhear).
After defeating the assassins with the help of Norton, Norton reveals he has long been Sebastian’s enemy–in fact they’ve been jockeying for the Malkavian Primogenship in the city for years–and this whole thing must have been a setup from him to kill his rival and remove some annoying assholes on the side. We’re all frustrated by this…
…But Paul is furious. He declares that this shall not stand, we need to make a counter hit on Sebastian in revenge, and even though it is an hour until dawn, we need to do so RIGHT. FUCKING. NOW. We know Sebastian is in his private club, Salome, hidden under the Yacht Club, and right now he’s probably settling in for the day and waiting to hear on the results of the hit, so he wont be expecting this at all. We all pile into Paul’s Tesla and head over there (which includes an amusing bit where Paul pulls his Tesla into a station at 4 in the morning to buy a container of gasoline).
We arrive at Salome dangerously close to dawn, and unsurprisingly it turns out that while the attack is a surprise, Sebastian is not completely unprepared. A battle breaks out, though it ends when Paul throws a lit container of gasoline to Sebastian’s face while the rest of us G. The. F. O. The club explodes and we stumble away, finding shelter in a nearby yacht moments before dawn hits.
Or, rather, all of us do, except “Elizabeth,” Jim’s new character, a teenage Malkavian as cluelessly irritating as Norton is insane. She avoids the battle and breaks into a house on Marina Green to try and sleep for the day, but that goes tits-up and she murders a family of three to do so.