Andre met Padma and Marconi outside the Grand, and walked with them to the Flamingo to meet Sir Louis Frank. Frank was a little quirky (Ventrue), but was helpful. He told the characters that creating a mental trap isn't exactly difficult, but he wasn't sure who in this city did that kind of thing. He mentioned Betrand Biel, the former Lancea Sanctum bishop of the city, who had been pretty tight with the Prince until he went into torpor. Now, the bishop is a dude named Don Iltano - who's Protestant (there's friction there).
Biel had two childer who are or were in Vegas: Isabeau and Marcel. Isabeau was here for a purpose, but Frank wasn't sure what that was. He also mentioned that Cynthia Farnsworth, Lindsey's mentor, was a Ventrue of some skill at Dominate - she might be able to do it. The characters decided they should go have a chat with Maeve Blackwell and see how badly the Luxor was screwed, so they headed for the Grand (Andre was putting the Crone vampires up for a while).
Meantime, Heath went to Tolliver's club. Tolliver asked Heath to accompany him on an errand and use his money for his benefit. En route out into the desert, Tolliver explained: An acquaintance of his, on the way out of Vegas, had spotted a car that he thought belonged to Tolliver's "aunt" (that is, a vampire Embraced by the same vampire who'd Embraced Jamie Opps, Tolliver's sire - confused yet?). She'd been missing for a while, and Jamie thought that something bad might have happened to her.
They got out into the desert and there was a guardpost. Heath paid the guy off, and he raised the gate. The car was there - California plates, apparently abandoned. Heath jimmied the lock and got a face full of ashes for his trouble. In the driver's seat, they found ashes and clothes, and a wooden stake jammed into the shirt and into the upholstery. They weren't sure exactly what had happened, but they decided to drive both cars back and investigate further.
En route back, Tolliver slammed on the breaks. Heath tried to stop, and didn't - something got stuck under his brake pedal. He slammed into Tolliver's car, totaling both, and flying through the windshield. Being a vampire and everything, he wasn't badly hurt, but embarrassed. While waiting for the tow truck and the limo, they searched the car. What was blocking the brake pedal? A copy of The Vampire Lestat. Suddenly, this was sounding annoyingly familiar.
Checking the trunk, they found a plethora of
Meantime, Marconi and Padma had met with Maeve. They talked about ghosts and what Amy might want, and Maeve said that she probably didn't want to destroy all vampires - that wasn't personal enough. She offered to perform a ritual to channel the ghost, but wanted a boon. Marconi balked (this really wasn't his issue), but Andre said that he'd consider the whole "you're staying in my hotel" thing even if Maeve would perform the ritual (which is, of course, because it was Andre who fed on Amy and drove her crazy to begin with, not that Maeve knows that - confused yet?).
About then, Heath called Marconi and told him about the diary. He mentioned Yanosh, and Marconi remembered that a Daeva named William Smythe had passed through town and talked about some dork in Los Angeles named Yanosh - or, really, "John Melford." Apparently Yanosh lived up to every vampire trope ever; Smythe had expected him to start sparkling soon.
Heath also had an associate run the dead vampire's plates. Her name came up as "Mina Harker." Oy. Likewise, someone remembered a movie called Serenity that involved a "Firefly" - and the characters included Zoe, Kaylee, Inara, and Jane (spelled "Jayne"). Recall that these names show up on the message board for "the Brethren."
So what was happening? Was the dead vampire ("Mina") the Patroness? And who was "Firefly?"
Next time - rooftop seance, and some more answers, hopefully.