Chapter 6: The Goddamn Prince Can’t Run His Own Fucking City, Part 1

Once I finally get back to the city, I take stock of the situation. I’m beat to shit and, with my apartment defaulted, have nothing and nowhere to go, so bereft of options, I decide to roll over to Elysium, cause walking in, back from the dead, like nothing’s wrong, should be entertaining at the least.

I’m not disappointed. The Prince is flabbergasted, and angry, and drags me away for a private interrogation to find out where I’ve been for seven months and what happened to the rest of the assholes. I start laying it all out, but when it comes time to dish on Marcus I hesitate, my blood-bond making it difficult to rat him out completely. Also, I suspect that if I do betray him to the Prince, the Prince isn’t the one I’ll have to worry about. So I carefully spin a story of running afoul of a Sabbat Methusula up in Marin, who captured us, killed the rest, and somehow I was able to escape. The Prince glowers, but seems to accept it.

But not everyone in the room does. Looming over the Prince’s shoulder is another Ventrue asshole I vaguely remember seeing around but have never interacted with before. He identifies himself as Clarence Walker, owner of Kink.com–as well as other vice-related interests in the city–and “asshole” is right because it is in fact Jim’s new character! After my meeting with the Prince, Clarence pulls me aside and, in that fake-chummy Ventrue way, says he’s heard I lost my apartment and my stuff, how sad and frustrating it must be for me, but perhaps I can stay with him for awhile till I get back on my feet. He even offers me a brand new motorcycle, a Valkyrie Rune, the exact rare bike I have coveted for ages, as a token of our new friendship. I, of course, don’t trust the asshole as far as I can throw him (which is admittedly far. Potence, and all) but I do need a place to crash for the day, and a new bike to replace the one Alejandro shot up in Marin, so I agree.

Meanwhile, an entirely new face is poking around Elysium, a Tremere by the name of Georgia Johnson. She’s new in town, sent in from the Seattle Chantry to figure out not only why the hell Isaac disappeared in Portola Valley seven months ago, but why the Tremere team sent in his wake was apparently torn to shreds. Georgia is a starry-eyed Neonate, but it doesn’t take long for her to develop a rivalry with Maximilian von Strauss, the Tremere Primogen and Regent of the San Francisco Chantry, who suspects that she has also been sent to spy on him.

The Prince rounds up Georgia–who, naturally, is Kara’s new character–and introduces her to Clarence and myself, saying that we should get back on the trail of The Englishman, cause in the last few months his shit has gotten worse, running around, showing up in unexpected places, and stabbing some people. The East Bay vampire populations have been freaking out and have shut down travel across the Bay Bridge. This is funny for them, though, because the viking guy Helgi in the Oakland Docks has apparently been warring openly with the Prince of Oakland, making their own shit worse. On top of all this, there have been more werewolf sightings, in Marin and other places.

So basically everything is fucked up and the Prince wants us to solve it. Us. A useless brown-noser, a starry-eyed Tremere, and a Brujah with no weapons. Good leadership decision, that.

#

“But what about Chris’s new character?” you ask, and yes, that is an interesting subject. Chris’s new character isn’t at Elysium yet. Here, now, is what Chris’s new character is, and what he’s been up to:

Carlos (full name “Carlos the Ticklemonster,” after a throwaway line in 4th season Arrested Development that I can’t seem to find a video clip of) is a Caitiff, with a murky history that somehow involved being a groundskeeper on an old European estate in the 1800’s. His disciplines are Protean, Dominate, and Obtenebration, which doesn’t sound o.p. at all. Physically he is a withered man of indeterminate age, with wispy hair and a rasping voice, and lank, bedraggled clothes that hang off his thin, hunched frame. Most importantly, though, Carlos is on the Path of Bones, and his Great Work in life is to understand the full nature of death.

When we first meet Carlos, he is hanging out at his homestead in Bayshore, at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. By “homestead” I actually mean an abandoned gas station, and by abandoned gas station I mean the razed lot a gas station used to occupy. Carlos actually lives underground the station, in the empty gasoline tanks. Three of them, to be exact. One is an office-y sort of workspace, one is an empty space (perhaps the sort of place he’d put up guests, if he had them). The third tank, though, is the body tank, filled with the slowly decaying remains of his many victims, kept around for continued study as part of his Great Work. None of the tanks are a bedroom space, you might notice, and that is because Carlos sleeps in the body tank, just one more corpse in a pit of death. He feels comfortable there.

Yeaaaah….

Carlos hits the ground running. While making his rounds in Bayshore, he runs into some kids, whom he Dominates into taking him back to their home, where he proceeds to slash the throats of all four kids and their parents, one by one, making them watch each other die, and studying their deaths in turn.

………Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah…………

At some point, one hook or another forces Carlos to come up to Elysium–which, you can imagine, he doesn’t visit much–and the Prince somehow orders him to join the rest of us assholes.

But the first chance Carlos gets, he leaves, heading back to his hunting grounds to continue his Great Work.

 

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