Vampire: The Endless Waltz
Episode 6: Dancers in the Shadows – Part 1
Following the events at the labs and the junk yard the coterie had revealed what they had discovered to Patrick Falken and Chamberlain Odans, who both advised that with respect to the issues with the Ordo Dracul that they should continue as if they were not aware of them. Instead they should lure them out and their Invictus allies. As for the traitors to the Carthians, Lauren Esten had gone to ground and was currently being sort out by the Myrmidon so that she could be questioned over the events of the Prefect’s death. As for the final death of Jacob Lewis as Kane’s hands, the issue was to be brushed under the carpet by Patrick Falken, Kane having previously revealed this issue to him.
It was December now and the nights were getting very long, the perfect time for any real chaos to occur within the ranks of the Kindred. Kane awoke and met with Constable Ihram in a church grave yard to discuss the issue of the Ordo Dracul and Lauren Esten. Lauren had still not been found and Kane was ordered to keep an eye out. Kane then received a call from an old work college who said that he had just met Kane’s sister and that she was in the city and she had been looking for him as it had been some time since they had last spoken or seen him.
Following this meeting Kane headed to the Great Northern centre where Club Hangman’s was located, and where he would meet Thessaly, Dimitri, Patrick, Spokesman Rain and a few others to discuss last minute preparations for the following night’s party. Happy with the arrangements Patrick congratulated Dimitri and the others before they were interrupted by Dr Hugo Emris Auldwyn. He wanted to meet with Thessaly, and in a curtained off area he asked if she, being a member of the Crone and so with not real ties to the party tomorrow, would go to the asylum and keep watch over a patient and observe him. He needs someone to watch and she will be compensated by the Chairman. But he also wishes for Thessaly to give her insight on the man, her knowledge and skills being of use.
The next evening Thessaly arrived at the Cheadle Hulme Hospital, a psychiatric centre and the former Manchester Asylum. It was a dark and imposing red brick Victorian building, and the rain only made it seem more sinister. She had been given by a ghoul of Hugo’s a uniform and access cards, and a map, that would lead her to the hidden research wing maintained by him. She walked through corridors that at this time of evening were now fairly empty. The odd orderly wheeled a patient to their room, another patient would be walking about, barely noticing her presence. As she got nearer to the west wing she noticed an empty recreation room. It was dark and then the TV blinked on. The screen was just static. It blinked off. Then on again, and from down the corridor Thessaly could hear someone moaning. She went to look, and on a bed, almost forced into the mattress, was a man, his eye wide open looking straight up. He turned to look at Thessaly and spoke.
‘One who stands in the helm of shadows and the cloak of nightmares. He is seeking his name, the fallen angel, the bringer of pandemonium, he shall take your souls and lay them bare to the beast. The crows circle and blood will seep from the land and he shall rise!’
The man then went quiet and Thessaly watched as shadows cast by the tress outside, like fingers, fell across his body and then, by some manner, began to creep closer to her. She stepped back and cast a circle of protection. The shadows backed off and all went quiet once more. Thessaly hurried on to the dining hall.
Back at Club Hangman’s the party was just getting started. Dimitri had got there early and was dressed up in a smart McQueen suit and a Venetian mask. The other Kindred present were also smartly dressed, some more than others, and they too wore masks for Dimitri had said the party was also a masquerade party and also his death day party.
Eventually the club was filled up, and Kane and Dimitri conversed with Priscus Neils of the Daeva, the Myrmidon, Chamberlain Odans, Spokesman Rain, some of the neonates and ancillea of the Carthians. A few punkish Kindred turned up at the doors, but were soon turned away by security. They were anarchs, those Carthians willing to go to extreme measures for a change in power. But then one person arrived who caught the attention of Dimitri, Annabel Barbican. It seems that the Invictus had taken his bait and accepted his invitation. He proceed to talk to her and to the Chamberlain, exchanging biting remarks until the Chamberlain reminded Annabel to be more courteous in the presence of their host. Kane then received a voice message from his sister. She said that she needed to see him and gave him an address that was located in the suburbs. Kane ignored it and continued with the party.
It was now that Dimitri hatched his plan, and offered her one of the nicest of the herd to feed on that night. Unknown to her, Dimitri had drugged the man with morphine. He took Annabel to one of the curtained areas and privately watched as she fed on the drugged man. Soon she too was feeling the effects. But before Dimitri could carry out his insidious plan, Patrick Falken had arrived and Dimitri had to present him to the gathered Carthians.
Meanwhile Thessaly had made her way to the secret underground hospital rooms. Accessed from a false freezer door the underground hospital wing was a dim and dark place. It was damp and cold, and deadly quiet. Gone were the mad ramblings of the patients from above. As she made her way down the corridor Thessaly passed a number of empty rooms and then came to the office from which Dr Hugo worked, his laboratory and a room with a large steel door. Within Thessaly could see a padded room, stained with damp and blood and bile. On the walls were things written in blood. Dr A, Dr R, Dr H, and tallies next to them. There was also the name Williamson, and one word that was new to Thessaly. Tremere.
Suddenly at the view hatch her eyes met those of another. His eyes were yellow, his pupils fully dilated. She could see little of his face and so a conversation began. The man spoke of strange things, of experiments, elixirs, his father (who he did not name), and of the things waiting in the shadows. Thessaly could see from his aura that he was quite mad, but also truthful.
Back at the party Dimitri introduced Patrick, first thanking everyone for coming and attending the party, his death day party, and of for showing their support for Patrick. With the pleasantries over Dimitri return to the curtained booth to find Annabel still intoxicated. It was now that he committed his perverse act.
Meanwhile Kane was in the club and over the radio he had heard that one of the ghouls on security in the loading bay below was not responding. Something was not going to plan.