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The Monsters

Dice System
WoD - Vampire: The Masquerade
OOC
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kevintheradioguy

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The beginning

It was a warm, but dreary winter evening. This year the temperature never fell beneath 50 degrees, leaving the large, but generally young population of the town in higher spirits. Though, on the other hand, it was a rare thing to see a bunch of students at their low. Modern youngers, whenever they found themselves sad or depressed, were quick to jump into the vices of sex, drugs, alcohol, partying, or more often - everything of that altogether. That spiced the lives of the kindred in town quite a bit, often resulting in them finding themselves under the influence of the same substance their young prey was. The ones who tried to play safe, of course, were in preference of older generation of college professors, teachers, and librarians, though, due to smaller amount of them, at least half of the kindred population were in a constant state of altered reality. This was probably the reason of the higher number of Toreador members in town.

Fresno was large, to say the least. It could hold up to half a hundred kindred, but at this time held no more than a couple of dozen. The numbers were dwindling due to the cradle of garou-filled mountains around the valley, not allowing anyone to leave or enter most of the time. One considered themselves lucky to sneak past the rocky ridges, but the town didn't seem to suffer all that much in such climate.

A night ago, the coterie was called in by the Sheriff. It was not a common occasion - usually, the Crew operated in a passive mode: managing their own business, keeping fledglings and thin-bloods in line. Life was quiet and good around these parts, and times when the Prince or the Sheriff needed assistance were few. This was a nice change of routine, though to many - peppered with unpredictability. Kindred here had a general fear of the Prince, though without solid reasoning for that. Though asking a kindred of their clan was considered as obscene as asking a woman if she had breast augmentation, by the way the Prince behaved, most considered him one of the lunatics. As the matter of fact, when the Crew passed their fledgling years, and had to be introduced to the city ruler, instead of facing the Prince, they were met by a mortal youngster. He spoke in a calm, polite manner to them, but his brown eyes, whenever they gained some clarity, were filled with absolute terror of a person that lost complete control over their own body. When the introductions were made, and the fledglings welcomed to the numbers of neonates, he shook, and almost fell, and suddenly was thrown into a state of absolute panic and hysteria, screaming, and cursing, and shaking so much, the Sheriff had no choice but break the poor sod's neck. The Prince never appeared in public. When his presence was needed, another possessed youngster came into the picture, only to be discarded later. This made the town suspect paranoia, and with it - a Malkavian. And they feared Malkavian authorieis, even if the Prince never gave any reason for mistrust.

That night, however, the night before today, they were needed, instructed to get to a law firm in which the Sheriff resided for the time being. "You will meet a man tomorrow." Sam said for a greeting, feet on the table, as soon as the Crew entered and the phone the Sheriff was typing in rapidly, was thrown onto the chair nearby. A business card slid across the table, and almost fell off on a dirty carpet of the place that should've been closed for a few hours by now. It was merely a local card, but on the other side of it in a large rounded handwriting another address presented itself, smelling of cheap oily ink so much, one might think a piece of paper was straight out of the nearest fast food joint. "His name is Robert Webber. Detective. If any of you follow local news, you'll know him as - as the press call him - a Ghostbuster. He has the most mysterious, occult, and altogether horror-cliché cases behind his belt." Sam paused, hazel eyes digging into the coterie members one by one. "For a good reason." There was weight to these words. "You are to meet him, listen to what he has to say, and help him. He will give you all the details you need. Don't ask me, I have none. I trust the man. And you. Whatever he has, figure this out. Tomorrow. At midnight. And for the love of Caine, come to the meeting well-fed. Webber is a good asset I'd rather not lose to a hungry neonate. And you..." A strict glare stung Benny. "...keep your pants on."

Sam didn't say anything else. Probably for own ignorance in the matter. Something went wrong - the Sheriff was alerted - the Crew was sent to deal with it. Easy as that. These were the benefits of being an older vampire - one could always send a youngster to deal with it. Sam was an epiphany of strict but fair. She didn't make a secret of being a fieldworker for decades before becoming a shotcaller behind the scenes, obsessively protecting the Masquerade, and trying to do that in the most lawful way possible. Many kindred, drunk on their new powers, preferred to deal with their problems by brute force. These types didn't live for long. The paranoia was high after the Second Inquisition, and the less they attracted attention, Sam said, the better. It went so far, she openly frowned on kindred owning firearms. Guns were loud. Loud attracted attention. They didn't need to attract attention. She surely didn't. Sam was Embraced in her late teens or early twenties, always dressed according to fashion, and, supporting strawberry-coloured curls, bright make-up, and voluptuous figure, looked like any other college bimbo to stay in campus for a year, fuck the whole rugby team, and then be expelled, because she never visited even one class, spending the rest of her days as a single mum working in retail.

And that was it. The address on the business card led them into an alleyway between a mall and an office building - crowded and loud enough that no one would pay attention to them, and empty enough not to be bothered by someone strolling in. Everyone would be having fun at the mall anyway.

However hard the Crew tried, there were no hints within the news about what might be going on, and why were they needed. The news spoke about the elections, a surprisingly dry winter they were having, a large car crash just outside town, a rally in the city centre to put a recently let out criminal behind bars once more, a fire that nearly destroyed a gas station and how the government should do something about fire-hazardous waste-grounds on the other side of the river, and more surprisingly - a man that spoke of a giant fish that attacked him in this very same river, nearly eating him whole. The man didn't wear a tinfoil hat, but looked the sort, of course, and by how he was placed in the end of the program, this was merely a light-hearted joke to end the news with, rather than serious news.

The web, on the other hand, provided for more information about the detective. While the information as sparse, it was interesting enough to understand that the man was at it for a long time: whenever some "funny business" popped out in Fresno, his name was mentioned. Mysterious disappearances, murders in locked rooms, rituals, cults, sudden insanity, disembodied corpses found in perfect conditions - whenever something weird happened in town, he was there. Not all of the cases were solved, but at least they were buried enough to be forgotten about. At the same time, the amount of information hinted that whoever was cleaning after Webber, did a good job for nothing too specific to be left for the public, but give just enough for it to look like old, uninteresting news. In any case, there would be time to ask the man himself about his work if anyone deems so necessary: it was late evening when it became safe for the kindred to go out from their lairs, and whole four hours before they had to meet detective Webber.
 
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spacepanda

Galaxy Elf Extraordinaire
Supporter
Catalina

In winter, when the nights were the longest, the kindred of Fresno (few that they were) awoke in their respective havens an hour or two earlier than they would be allowed in the summertime, for the threat of daylight was far behind them. For many it served as a temporal opportunity; more time to hunt, more time to meet with unscrupulous connections, and more time to attempt to climb up the high societal ladder that was the Camarilla. For the Tremere known as Catalina, it was more time to delve into her research, whatever that may be. Tonight it was a certain human detective by the name of Robert Webber.

Catalina scrolled through webpage after webpage for nearly an hour before she halted her search. She had found all that she possibly could about the man, this so-called "ghostbuster" who worked on mysterious cases. Most of the general public showed only a slight interest in his work before the cases he was assigned (or that he chose, perhaps) seemed to conveniently fade from the limelight. Whoever or whatever usually aided him with these unique investigations had enough foresight to assure that any information leaked to the public was nothing noteworthy. The man even had enough good sense about him to chose an appropriate meet-up location, a small nondescript alley between one of the city's small outdoor mall plazas and an overlooked office building that would yield them some privacy— at least for a short while.

Tapping her fingernails along the hard surface of her work-desk she glanced unenthusiastically at the small digital clock in the room over. 08:13... still plenty of time before the meeting with Webber. Next to her computer monitor sat her small flip-phone which she opened and stared at only momentarily before formulating her message to the rest of the coterie. It was an antiquated device, a burner that still utilized T9 texting, but it was enough and it did not require the conductivity of a living human to operate, unlike modern smartphones.

Are we riding together tonight?

Although it was still hours before the midnight rendezvous, Catalina was nothing if not punctual, and if she needed to pick up any of the others it was best if she knew as soon as possible. Some of them still took far too long to get ready, even if their undead status meant their bodies no longer required daily bathing.

 
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wowbobwow

New Member
Benny's arms waved above him on the dance floor, the loud pulsing of music coursing through his body like he remembered his heartbeat doing so many years ago. If he tried hard enough, he almost felt alive. Almost. The place wasn't nearly as busy as he wanted it to be, and looking around the place, there were far too many undesirables for his liking. This one a touch too fat, that one a touch to femme. He was picky. After all, he was perfection. He would be the highlight of the lives of these mortals if he chose to bring one back to his lair. The truth was, though, that he wasn't that hungry. Not hungry enough to lower his standards.

He was all too happy to get the text from Catalina, feeling the phone vibrate through his tight, skinny jeans even over the motion and sensation of the loud music pulsing through him. He smiled and touched the face of the young man that had sidled up to him for a dance and winked before he headed off the floor. He stepped over to the bar and read the text. Instead of replying, he just called himself an uber and headed straight to the Tremere's place. He flirted with the young female driver, though it was obvious he was gay. He wasn't trying to con the poor thing, just have a little fun to entertain himself. He wondered if he should invite her in to Catalina's. It was always nice to bring a snack to a friend's house, after all. He decided against it.

He knocked loudly on the door of the small house that she kept. "Cat, darling, it's your favorite," he called out, his voice sing-songy as he waited to be let in.
 

Zmandd

Alpha of the Omegas


Jessie Burnout​


Jessie Burnout had a thing for detectives, especially the hot, smoldering kind. One of "Trish's" many fantasies as a mortal was to hook up with a detective. She'd hire one to hunt for something expendable like jewelry, or maybe she'd hire one to help her with some background check or whatever. "Oh, thank you, Detective! How could I ever repay you?" Yeah, something like that. Instead, she became a lowly slave to the system. Oh well, the past is the past, and now Jessie has carved her own future now. She doesn't fully recall meeting the other members of the coterie, but they all seemed like interesting cats. It's a shame the only decent-looking one of the group is gay, but I digress.

She was just in the middle of getting ready in her bedroom when she received her text message from Catalina. Jessie began typing:

Girl, I have to get ready. I gotta decide my dress, my perfume, my heels, my contacts, do I want a wig? I'm supposed to be meeting a hot ass detective tonight and you expect me not to think about these things?

Jessie pondered for a minute before deciding not to send. Jessie decided she'd be smart for once and not discuss official coterie business over the phone. She walked over to her full-body mirror and twisted on the doorknob next to it, opening up her elaborate library of dresses. After trying on a few dresses with actual color, she decided the snooty detective would prefer black instead.

dress.png
After spending what could have been a literal eternity getting dressed (even as a vampire skin-tight dresses can be hard to get into) she finally picked up her black leather purse. "Linda! I'm heading out with my friends! If you need me, I filled Roseline in on everything!" With that, she strutted out the door and into the cab. It was a short drive, at least compared to the effort it took Jessie to get ready. She did want to feed on the driver but decided not to as her dress would've been ruined. Anyways, once Jessie arrived at Cat's place she thanked the driver and walked up to the front door, heels bouncing off the concrete so hard the whole neighborhood probably could've heard it. She stopped in front of the door where Benny also waited to be let in.

"Hello, my dear Benny! Long time no see it feels like!"
 

kevintheradioguy

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Supporter
Viorel


Between a gay man on one hand, and a rather stereotypical woman on the other, Viorel was the one who took the longest to get ready. At least, today. Not only was he working at his place, separated from a small crowd of admirers by nothing but thin walls, but he also wasn't dressed properly, given how dirty his works were. He couldn't go meet a detective all covered in dirt and bodily fluids! Of course, the man - what's his name, again? Something typical... - would be used to that by now, however, that was not the first impression Viorel was going for.

He appeared down the street looking like he often did: covered almost head to toe. Whatever the weather was, he always wore something with long sleeves - deep blue suit with turquoise shirt right now - had pointed boots on that betrayed a fancy immigrant, a scarf or a neckerchief - the latter today - and a pair of gloves. He was changing those quite often when the coterie gathered first time, trying on different fabrics to see what would allow him to manipulate objects the best. Cotton was slippery and soft; leather was too thick; linen was too coarse... he stopped at latex. He hated latex, but it did feel like second skin, allowing him to both use phones and take pictures, and feel surfaces with ease. It was like he was hiding, or more likely, had some sort of misophobia.

He left a voice message for Catalina: "Open up, l' amie, I'm at ze door." He wasn't. Viorel was a few houses from her place, and from afar saw the two other Crew members, and smiled in a crooked, almost cruel way, as if he was going to slit their throats. Not that it'd do anything to the undead, but neither he intended to.

Tap, tap, clack, was heard as he approached; tap, tap, clack - with just the slightest limp, he was leaning on a simple wooden cane as he usually did, which often made him look pathetically ridiculous, like a caricature of his own self. The tips of his hair, covering almost the entirety of the right side of his face, were dyed blue - something that would probably change the next dusk as his body would return to its original state; though his shade wasn't shaved - the only hint that he was in a rush. Old range camera's strap was thrown over his shoulder, the old device being pressed to the hip slightly, with care. Of course he used ancient cameras - the hipster he was.

"Good evening, fellow family memberz." He stopped some seven feet from the two of them. He rarely used the word 'clan', though 'family' made it look like they were a part of the mob. His glare slid over Benny first, then - Jessie, and he cocked his head slightly, wondering why did she dress like a whore today. That was not what he said, however, putting on an approving, slightly flirtations smile. "Beautiful as alvayz, I zee. Too bad vee are meeting ze man in some sort of a dirty alleyvay vere no one vill appreciate." He tapped his cane over the pavement, as if separating his compliment from the rest of a statement with a big, fat dor. "Zo! Iz our hostess home?" He was wondering how they'll be getting to the meeting place himself. The message, like with the rest of the group, was more perceived as an order rather than a question, so he hurried (read: took a scenic route) to Catalina's house. Cat was the only person in the group he would take orders like that... even if the "order" was nothing but his own imagination.
 
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wowbobwow

New Member
Benny scoffed and rolled his eyes, wondering if he should just barge into the woman's home. He was about to when Jessie rolled up. "Queeen!" He shouted at her, a wry little smile creeping on his face. "Look at you, ready to slay the night right through the fucking heart in that outfit huh?" He gave her a very exaggerated look up and down. "You in that get up just for our entertainment or did Cat pull you away from a far more exciting evening? Haven't seen you around Tessa's place for a while. You know Alibi is way more fun when you're around." He brushed a hand through his hair, which just fell back into place, looking just as good as it had a moment before, as if by magic. It was just another genetic gift that the man had been blessed with.

"Uh oh, here comes the party pooper," he said under his breath as he saw Viorel approaching. "What's up, Eurotrash?" He asked, laughing with good nature. It was hardly the first time he had called V that, and it was done with the love of a pesky little brother more than any real animosity. He was slightly peeved that Jessie got a nice compliment and V had nothing to say about him. He looked good tonight and he knew it. He sighed, looking back at the front door of the house dramatically. He reached out and banged on it again, before turning back to the other two clan members. "I assume so, but she's taking her sweet god damned time getting to the door."
 

spacepanda

Galaxy Elf Extraordinaire
Supporter
Catalina

The coterie had caught Catalina in an inopportune moment, for she had awoken, as all kindred do, with a deep hunger. For some time she was able to ignore it, her mind focused on the tasks ahead of her, but now it was nearing action time, and taking the Sheriff's words of caution as more of an outright demand, it was now time to feed. Her dark eyes scanned the surroundings of her haven, settling on the loudly humming refrigerator in the kitchen. She had gone "shopping" just a few days ago, and the fridge now held at least a week's worth of nourishment— a week and a half if she stretched it. Allowing her chair to scrape loudly against the wooden floor beneath her, Catalina stood sharply and made her way to the kitchen.

The blood inside the Tremere's fridge no longer held any medicinal use; it was either rancid, or its contents had been stored at an improper temperature and were no longer viable for patient care. The packet of blood she chose for tonight's feast was already slightly coagulated, but although it was not particularly delicious, it still soothed her hunger... for now. Choosing to procure her means of sustenance in his manner was, in some small fashion, her way of retaining some semblance of humanity.

"Cat, darling, it's your favorite."

If she had any reason to gripe, the sudden arrival of her coterie whilst she was in the middle of feeding would be it. In the half a century that Catalina and her fellow neonates had known each other, it was not too uncommon an occurrence for the Crew to visit her home on the nights of work outings (although Benny did attempt a few social calls from time to time.) Regardless, as long as she wasn't currently feeding or in the middle of some in-depth study or ritual, she tended not to pay it much mind. She had one simple rule, one they knew all too well: DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING IN THE LIBRARY. Whatever happened to them after breaking that rule was their own damn fault. Her tongue flicked out of her mouth to procure every last drop of blood from its plastic prison, and for a moment she ignored the voices at the door before making her way over to the home's entrance.

"You're early," she hissed lowly upon opening the front door to her haven, her eyes darting to the street behind the Toreadors for any signs of trouble, kine or kindred; there were none. With a nod at the trio, she opened her door wider to allow them entrance. "Come in."

The interior decor of the small one-family home Catalina currently took residence in was... outdated, to say the least. The place had come mostly furnished upon her move-in, having previously been the dwelling of her now elderly sister. The Tremere took a moment to soak in the ensembles of her companions, tilting her head slightly. The only style that surprised her was the splash of color Viorel had added to his hair; it wouldn't last, after all. Catalina herself was wearing a long black skirt that was easy to run in, a pair of work boots, and a dark long-sleeved blouse. It was very 'Goth Mom' as one of the Toreadors had put it once. She couldn't remember quite who.

"I trust you've all tended to your hunger prior to your arrival?" She crossed her arms in a matronly fashion. "Or am I to be your taxi until midnight?"

 
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kevintheradioguy

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Viorel


'Are we going in? Weren't we supposed to go out instead?', Viorel shook his head, as he entered. Maybe she needed to doll up for the detective, he thought, and they didn't give her enough time? Though, Catalina never looked like someone who enjoyed putting make-up on to meet random people - let alone mortals. He wasn't sure she cared all that much about the way she looked, albeit, this might've been an illusion, seeing how she was surrpunded by Toreador on the daily basis.

He walked in, cane clacking on the floor, and leaned over the wall once they were in, visibly wincing for one reason or another. He both was displeased with the way the place looked, and took serious offence at the woman, replying to her with his own sweetly-toned quip: "Oh, you zee, my dear, thiz iz the exact reason why when your Chapels vere burning, no one came to your help - it'z becauze you genuinely zink zat everyone around you are stoopid enof not to know primitive zingz." His eyes darkened for a moment, skin turning paler, as his quite serious offence bubbled, bringing the Beast up. Just for a moment, before it was pushed back for the sake of etiquette. He hated bigoted people - even though he was one as well. Though bigoted or not, he knew the rules. This was someone else's sanctuary - a domain of sorts - and he had to be polite and follow the rules, however banal they were. Of course a Tremere book worm would be foaming at her mouth over the precious (not) books of hers, like some cartoon character - when he first heard of that rule, he couldn't hold back rolling his eyes with an obvious groan, and a quiet comment that sounded like no language anyone here knew. He didn't remember what exactly he said that, but it was something close to "of-fucking-course".

"At any rate, for people who are zuppozed to go out for ze night, ve are suzpiciouzly going in. However I enjoy long night of tea partiez, aren't ve zuppozed to get going to meet ze what's-hiz-name?"
 
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wowbobwow

New Member
"Hello, darling, you look fabulous," Benny said as he entered the small home. He was not one to judge too harshly over someone else's sanctuary. The Tremere could keep it as clean, dirty, old fashioned, or stylish as she wanted. Besides, they weren't there for a slumber party, though as the thought passed Benny's mind, he realized it might be fun. Sit around, share a drink or two and gossip about the Camarilla with the gang. He suspected that the others would not be as into the idea as he was, so he didn't mention anything. He walked with a casual saunter, finding a grace in his movements even when he was not trying to.

He turned back toward Viorel and rolled his eyes. "Would you calm down, V? The lady herself said we were early, I thought we could have a little bit of 'hello, how do you do?' before we got to work. Are you really just all business? Now tell me, how are those wonderfully grotesque pictures going? I'll offer it again: any time you need an exceedingly handsome young man to pose for you ..." He let the sentence trail off and then smoothly moved his arms into the air, twisting at the wrists until he froze in an awkward looking pose of skinny arms and legs.

He relaxed and leaned a hand against the wall and sighed. "I was hoping to have a little fun before we had to meet this chump." He looked around, as if searching for something in particular. "Don't you have any music in this place? A record player, even?"
 
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