Before I continue, I realize there is a character I have yet to explain in these backlogged-writeups, a character of invaluable narrative importance.
Mr. Tails was an artefact of “Elizabeth’s,” simultaneously a spirit guide and part of her psychotic Malkavian manifestations. Mr. Tails was a squirrel that only she could see, who would whisper things at her, things which might have been helpful clues and might have been traps for his own amusement. Mr. Tails was, of course, voiced by Jason in a wheedling voice whenever he felt it necessary to influence “Elizabeth’s” actions to add creepy drama to the plot. When “Elizabeth” died, one of the first thing we lamented was that we would no longer get Mr. Tails commentary.
Jason considered this fact a moment, then said nope, Mr. Tails was too useful and terrifying. Thus it was decreed that, upon Elizabeth’s death, the spirit of Mr. Tails separated from her body and attached itself to any other intact beings in the room who were able to receive him.
Which Jason decided was myself.
Since returning to the city from Marin, Mr. Tails has been whispering creepily to me at random moments, though–as I treated his master before him–I mostly try to ignore him.
Back to the story, we collect all the associated assholes and start rolling down-Peninsula, in cars provided by Clarence, heading to San Jose. On the way we pick up Doc in Colma. (It bears mentioning that after we grabbed him, an argument broke out on who was going to sit where in the cars, since few people wanted to deal with Norton and no one wanted to deal with Carlos, so we ended up drawing a diagram and rolling initiative to pick our seats.) Once we get settled, it seems like it’s going to be a straight-shot to the South Bay.
Except…. My meeting with Marcus is still fresh in my mind, as are the tasks he gave me, one of which I have absolutely no problem with: finding Slayer and getting revenge. Word has it he’s hiding out in Palo Alto, at the edge of Sabbat territory, so I convince everyone to make a detour on the way to find him. Everyone tentatively agrees, but only after Doc says he’s on board, citing Slayer as, quote, “An ignorant skunk.”
I have a plan for what to do with the asshole once we find him, something which will hopefully injure body and reputation, so before we get to Palo Alto I have the cars stop at an all-night adult store for…a few items, hiding them in the store’s opaque black bags so no one (not even Jason) can see.
We get to Palo Alto. After asking around, we track Slayer to the Nut House, the closest thing Palo Alto has to a dive bar. When we get there, the place has largely cleared out of its usual crowd of locals and grad students, which is good because the first thing Slayer does when he sees us rolling in is leap to his feet and shout at his goons–ghouls and otherwise–to smoke us sons of bitches. A firefight breaks out, with much crashing and shouting and people running in and around the back door like its the fucking Benny Hill show, but eventually we grab Slayer and subdue him.
He starts babbling, apologizing for the shit in Marin, expressing some manner of shock and awe that I’m still alive. I backhand him a couple times till he starts telling us something useful, specifically that Alejandro was the one who told him to send us to Marin.
(Me: “I don’t understand why Alejandro has it so out for me.”
Jim: “Maybe it’s cause the last time you saw him you shot him in the face.”
Me: “Yeah well the last guy I shot in the face is now my best fucking friend! …Which says a lot about the quality of my friends right now….”)
Slayer says Alejandro was also involved in this missing Semtex business, that apparently he stole it from Esteban, though later Helgi stole it from him. Slayer gives us more specific directions to Alejandro’s hideout, where he’s apparently been working on…something. Interestingly, though his operations have had limited success, they’ve apparently been enough for Alejandro to win a lot of points his his boss, the Archbishop of San Jose, a guy named Alekse Roussimov, sometimes called Andre.
Slayer gulps, says that whether or not we fuck around with Alejandro, we reaaaaally shouldn’t fuck around with Andre.
Having gotten as much usefulness out of Slayer as we can at that point, we decide to stake him. I, however, can still get entertainment value out of the asshole, so I grab my unmarked black bag and move to complete my plan.
Which is to strip Slayer, redress him in the Catholic school-girl outfit I bought at the porn store, then write, “BUFFY” in big letters across the white tanktop.
Then, to complete the quest, I take a picture of him and text it to Aitor to show Marcus.
With that, we have some of Clarence’s ghouls take Slayer back to the city to be put in the custody of the Prince, while we continue the ride down to San Jose.