Chapter 6: The Goddamn Prince Can’t Run His Own Fucking City, Part 2

After waking up in Clarence’s douchey high-rise building downtown, I get a call from Don Esteban, congratulating me on being alive, and asking about his fucking Semtex. I choke down irritation and tell him no, I don’t have it yet, but people have been throwing this guy Helgi’s name around, but Oakland’s on lockdown so I don’t know what to do about him. Esteban suggests I go meet an acquaintance of his, an Anarch down in Colma who goes by the name “Doc.” He and I have something in common, both being enemies of Alejandro, and maybe he’ll be able to help with my (many) problems.

Speaking of Alejandro, Esteban tells me he’s not just a Sabbat asshole, he’s a Sabbat Bishop, and he’s been running around pretty pissed at me killing his werewolf and kicking his ass in front of his men. More to the point, though, Alejandro’s boss, an even scarier motherfucker named Andre, has been asking around about me. Andre is the Archbishop of San Jose, aka the biggest Sabbat asshole in the region, so I may want to stay off their radar if I can.

I take a mental note of that, while also reminding myself to report all this to Marcus, the actual biggest (supposed) Sabbat in the region.

I leave Clarence’s douchey mansion, taking the Rune bike he gave me, even though I know the thing is going to backfire on me somehow–and, in fact, find a LoJack tracker on it almost immediately–and ride down to Colma to meet this Doc guy.

Long story short, “Doc” turns out to be Doc Holliday, who holds his on mini card parlor in the dusty backroom of a crappy convenience store he owns in Colma. Humble surroundings aside, the man is a figure of considerable power and presence and I respect him immediately. He tells me that Alejandro has been up to some bullshit down in San Jose, and since he is, quote, “an ignorant skunk,” if I was to made an expedition against him, Doc would be happy to join. I agree and we make plans to venture down there in one nights’ time.

#

Meanwhile, Clarence is up to some bullshit. Despite being BFF’s with the Prince, he secretly wants his job, and starts doing some political machinations to that effect.

#

Meanwhile, Georgia starts making inquiries into secret Tremere business, many scenes of which happened actually-secretly, off screen, so I can’t tell you too many specifics, but the main concern seems to be not the fact that Isaac disappeared, but that the team sent to find him was killed, since signs point to it being a gargoyle attack. This is concerning because the Tremere are supposed to have total control over all the gargoyles in the world.

#

Meanwhile…*sigh*…in Carlos land….

Carlos returns to Bayshore after meeting with the Prince and picks up right where he left off. A whole gang of locals–as in, literal gang-member types–shows up at his hide-out, since word has spread he’s the monster who murdered that family. They are almost-literally a pitchfork-wielding mob, but Carlos takes them all out with liberal application of Obtenebration darkness and Protean claws. He captures two of the men, though, and ties them up in his tanks, separated from each other so that one is in each in the not-body-tanks.

(Later, when Chris asked Jason for their names so it would be easier to distinguish them, Jason came up with the name “Vontaze” for one, but was stuck on a name for the other, so we ended up calling him “Not-Vontaze.”)

I should also probably point out that during the course of the fight with the gang-members, Carlos comes across another young kid, who was apparently with the gang because he led them to Carlos’s hideout in the first place. Carlos calmly slashes the boys throat with the Protean claws, and watches cooly as he bleeds out on the weed-cracked tarmac.

#

After his networking, Clarence returns to his home-base.

Now, out of game, Jim put a lot of thought into this hideout of his. He basically wanted to build a modern castle that Clarence could retreat to, while still being able to run his businesses and networks from afar. He’s got all sorts of security goons and technology, reinforced walls, even a fucking elevator that locks down and blasts fire on the occupants, like a modern day portcullis oil-pit. He also has a helicopter, a sweet little AW109, and in fact chose his building not for looks (in real life its really fucking ugly), but because (at the time) it’s one of the only private buildings downtown with a helipad. He carefully planned out and identified all these details to Jason over the course of a couple weeks, bragging about how he was going to be almost impenetrable, unlike the rest of us schmucks running around with normal housing, or no housing at all.

Which, of course, was an insanely stupid thing to do, because Jason then took this as a challenge.

So Clarence is hanging out in his place, minding his own damn business, when suddenly gunfire breaks out, inside the building, and werewolves start walking in through the fucking walls. Clarence tries to escape, running to his helicopter, but he doesn’t get more than a few feet from liftoff before one of the attackers takes it out with a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher. The chopper crashes back to the helipad, ruined, and Clarence scurries back into his building, trying to find a new route of escape.

#

I’m riding back through the city from my meeting with Doc when I notice smoke and flames pouring from the top of Clarence’s building. I…don’t much care what happens to him, but this is certainly unusual and worth checking out. I pull up in an alley next to the building, but find it overrun with black vans and men–human men–in black-ops style gear. They shove their guns at me and force me off my bike, asking who the hell I am. I affect an ignorant expression and a lisp, saying that my boyfriend lives here and what the hell is going on? They order me off the bike, slap some zip-tie cuffs on my wrists, and shove me into the back of one of the vans. I let them do this, of course, curious where this is all headed.

Once I’m in the van, I break the cuffs and listen at the doors. Footsteps race by, trailed by muffled shouts. Finally I hear a cry of, “He’s on the roof!” and they disappear around the building. I still hear a voice talking outside, though, a softer voice, but I kick open the doors and stick my head out anyway.

It’s Sophia, holding a tablet and staring at me with equal shock.

I ask what she’s doing here, she asks what I’m doing here, something about me being Clarence’s boyfriend…? I snort. “He wishes.” I tell her that I was simply passing and saw the commotion, figured I should check it out. She looks around nervously and says I need to go, that there’s shit going down and she doesn’t want me caught in the middle of it. She won’t give me specifics on what’s happening, but she mentions the name, “Dias Ultimae” a couple times and I make a mental note of it for later.

In return, though, I start telling her about some of the vampire shit going on, how The Englishman is still running around and the Prince doesn’t have a handle on shit. She says she heard of some vampire up north, a baaaad vampire, and I mutter that yeah, I may have heard of him.

Sounds of fighting from the building get louder and she says I should go, and she’s sorry if I’m a friend of Clarence. I laugh and say no, fuck that guy, asshole is working some angle on me, he even bugged my damn bike.

“Really?” she asks with a confident smile, then taps at her tablet. “…No, he didn’t. I just deactivated it.”

I stare at her. “…Really? Um…won’t he notice that it’s suddenly stopped working?”

She grins wider. “Not if the bug keeps reporting false location data.”

I’m a little taken aback by her power there, but undoubtedly pleased. I grin back at her. “Thanks girl, I owe you one.”

“Well,” she mutters, suddenly shy again. “I still owe you, for…what happened….”

Before I can respond, a new car pulls up in the alley and Georgia, of all people, gets out. I turn back around, but Sophia has gone, melting back into the mess of vans. I go over to meet Georgia and discuss what the hell is going on.

“Who was that you were talking to?” she asks, craning past me to look down the alley.

“Um, no one,” I mutter, “Just…another tenant of the building.”

“Really? I thought Clarence owned the entire building himself?”

I tense. “She may have just been one of the…new hired help, or something.”

“I don’t know if Clarence needs any more help,” Georgia scoffs.

At that moment, Clarence crashes to the ground behind us, having just fallen off his own roof in his escape and broken his neck.

Georgia argue a bit on what to do next, then finally shove his body into her car. She leaves to take him to the Prince, while I decide I am done with vampires for the night and leave in the other direction, heading up Market street to go to a club or something.

I’m almost to the Castro when my phone rings. Caller ID tells me it’s the Prince. Dammit, I don’t want to deal with more shit tonight but I probably have to take this. I pull over to answer. “‘Yello!” I say cheerily.

“WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU!?!” He doesn’t sound pleased.

I look around calmly. “I’m out looking for a new apartment, what are you doing?”

“THE FUCK YOU ARE! THERE’S PRIVATE ARMIES AND GODDAMN WEREWOLVES ALL OVER MY CITY!! GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE RIGHT NOW!!!

I roll my eyes. “But I have an appointment for an open house in half an hour–”

RIGHT FUCKING NOW OR I AM SENDING THE ENTIRE CAVALRY DOWN ON YOUR ASS!!!

I hold the phone an inch or two from my ear until he stops shouting. “Alright,” I sigh, “I’ll reschedule.” With that I hang up and turn the bike around, heading back down Market street to Elysium at the Hyatt.

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