We'll Always Have Paris
Session 1 Log
[15:35] <@ST> It is December 1st, 1942, more than two years after the German army occupied Paris. The winter nights are becoming longer, and the wide boulevards are nearly empty, as rationing and regular brown-outs have mostly killed off the bustling streetlife.
[15:37] <@ST> High Parisian society continues to function, and the opera houses and salons are filled to capacity every night.
[15:37] <@ST> A calm has settled over the city. Most French citizens seem to have accepted the new pecking order, and the communists and gaullists haven’t pulled off a big job in months.
[15:38] <@ST> Even among the dead, there has been a rare lull in infighting and petty feuds, remarkable for a city with nearly 500 kindred.
[15:41] <@ST> Tonight, four kindred are waking up, filled with blood from previous hunts. One of them has an appointment. Two of them are about to be invited to a special party. And the last will soon be in over his head.
[15:48] <hrolf> Jacques yawns and stretches, scratching at the stubble on his face as he shuffles out of bed. The small upscale apartment (fully paid for by his family) he lives in has a wonderful view of the Seine, and is in a part of Paris that’s relatively free of kindred.
[15:48] <mirdath> Cerise pushes the covers aside and steps into a pair of soft slippers. The upper room in the old house she’s taken over is chilly with winter. The calendar on her desk shows an empty night, so far — no telling what’s going to happen downstairs tonight, but hopefully everyone will behave themselves…
[15:49] <cbn> Gilles drags himself up from what was once an alcove in the basement of the Synagogue de la rue Pavee, but is now little more than an ash-strewn, man-sized cubby beneath the ruins of the once-great building. As ever, his hands go immediately to his face, which flickers briefly from disappointment to resignation—-or would, if it held a shape anymore. Still somewhat ‘indoors,’ he nevertheless keeps low to the ground and keeps an ear and an eye out for passerby, be they Chosen or occupier filth.
[15:50] <voxpvoxd> Night falls, and the dead rise with it. The apartment Alexis Carrel uses for his haven is small but comfortable, with fine furniture. His bedroom is windowless, but the parlor has a wonderful view of the well-lit and bustling streets below. Even in wartime Paris is alive. Alexis dresses and, after a fashion, prays, and then finds himself at this window, looking over his own diary from the past few nights. The doctor keeps meticulous notes, a skill he cultivates to supplement his own imperfect memory.
[15:53] <@ST> Jacques has only one duty to perform tonight. His nominal boss, the seneschal Hans Deichmann, left a message for him last night, summoning him to his office in the 1st Arrondissement.
[15:54] <@ST> There is a knock on Cerise’s door.
[15:55] <@ST> A note slides into Alexis’s room from underneath the door. He can hear footsteps hurrying away.
[15:56] <@ST> In the ruins of the burned out synagogue, all is silent, save for the distant sounds of the city.
[15:56] <mirdath> Cerise is startled, but quickly pulls a robe off its hook and ties it loosely around herself before opening the door.
[15:58] <@ST> Berdine, one of the girls, is holding a letter decorated with a red ribbon. “Madam, a man at the door said to give this to you.”
[15:58] <voxpvoxd> Of this, too, Alexis makes a note, before putting the slim notebook in its place and crossing the floor to fetch the note. He returns to his desk, and reaches for his letter opener.
[15:59] <mirdath> “Thank you, Berdine.” Cerise takes the letter and waves her away, closing the door and returning to her desk before opening it.
[16:02] <@ST> The letters are the same, both slightly perfumed and with identical elegant handwriting. “You are cordially invited to a performance of Carmen at the Opera Garnier. Please do not bring guests unless asked specifically. This is a private party.”
[16:02] <voxpvoxd> Is that a name Alexis recognizes, or can be made to recognize by thinking and consulting his notes?
[16:02] <hrolf> After a lengthy shower, Jacques glances at the clock hanging above his door and hurriedly dries himself off before putting on his uniform; he’s late. He’s dishevelled and not as dapper as he’d usually be, but being late would reflect badly on him. Donning his cap and hurriedly pulling on a coat, he rushes out the door, runs down the stairs and out into the cold city night.
[16:02] <@ST> You both recognize the name at the end of the letter. Hans Deichmann is the seneschal of Paris, and not someone who regularly throws parties.
[16:03] <@ST> The Opera Garnier is a name everyone recognizes. It is perhaps the world’s most famous opera house, in the 9th arrondissement.
[16:04] <@ST> The letter asks for you to attend the party at midnight. It is currently 8 p.m.
[16:08] <voxpvoxd> That gives Alexis time to make a phone call, which he does.
[16:09] <mirdath> Time enough then. Cerise dresses quickly and heads downstairs to run the bar and greet clients for a while; Marie should be coming in in an hour or so and can take over the hostess duties, leaving her free to go.
[16:11] <@ST> Jacques’s SS uniform gets him more than a few hateful glances as he walks down the street, but it also means most hurry by without making eye contact, leaving him a wide berth on the sidewalk.
[16:13] <@ST> Cerise’s clients are well-behaved, as usual. No one proposing to one of the girls, no gestapo raids, nothing to disrupt the swapping of money for warm bodies.
[16:15] <cbn> Gilles, meanwhile, removes himself from the ruins and begins his nightly circuit of the Place Saint-Paul and the surrounding area, skulking in ill-lit alleyways and clinging to the shadows, looking for either a lone Aryan to frighten half-to-death, or a good deed that need be done for the few folk who remain (not that the former isn’t already a good deed, also).
[16:16] <@ST> As the clock hits 9 p.m., a handsome man in his late twenties walks into the foyer, still wearing his coat. You recognize Gawain, the Hierophant of the Circle of the Crone. He’s obviously waiting for Cerise.
[16:20] <hrolf> Jacques strides confidently down the streets, returning cold stares to the few people out on the streets he catches looking at him. None of them maintain eye contact for long, afraid of starting a confrontation. The sound of his boots hitting the ground ring out into the silent night, Parisian streets under curfew tend to be lonely places. After a while he finds himself at the entrance to the building he’s been summoned to.
[16:20] <mirdath> “And a good evening to you, sir! What’ll your pleasure be tonight?” Cerise raises an eyebrow.
[16:22] <voxpvoxd> After a moment’s flipping through his tiny phonebook, Alexis arrives at the number of Gudrun Klier, the Prince’s Hound. A good number to have in your book, if you want to keep your ear to the ground. After exchanging pleasantries, Carrel asks if Klier has heard anything about Deichmann’s opera party.
[16:22] <@ST> “Ah! Cerise, my love.” Gawain (not his real name, but you haven’t been in the circle long enough to find out what is) makes his way through the girls and kisses your hand. “I wondered if I could have the honor of being your escort to tonight’s performance. You received your invitation, correct?”
[16:25] <@ST> Klier seems in a hurry to get off the phone. “Nothing too complicated, I get the feeling that Vogler is going to make some sort of comment after the opera. He’s asked for a few more guards than usual, but that’s probably just a precaution, what with all the elders in one place.”
[16:26] <mirdath> “You too?” Cerise laughs. “I’d be delighted. I wonder if we’ll run into that giant from the other night… Auguste or whoever it was…”
[16:27] <voxpvoxd> Carrel: “Do you know who else has been invited?”
[16:28] <@ST> Klier: “Primogens, elders…” You can hear him turning pages. “Uhh…yeah, all the clan elders, and lots of their underlings, from the looks of it.”
[16:29] <voxpvoxd> Carrel: “Will the Bishop be in attendance?”
[16:30] <@ST> Gawain: “Ah, put that brute out of your mind, my dear! Tonight is for music. I have a car waiting outside. I’ll let you get ready. Hurry, hurry! I do love Carmen.”
[16:30] <@ST> Klier: “Yep. Her Holiness and her attendants. Listen, I gotta go, Doctor. I’ll see you there. Goodnight.”
[16:31] <voxpvoxd> Carrel: “Of course. Thank you.”
[16:32] <@ST> The guard standing outside of the stately manor salutes Jacques . “Hello, Captain. You’re cleared to go through.”
[16:33] <mirdath> Cerise: “Of course. Five minutes.” She runs up to her room to fix her makeup and get her identification papers… just in case.
[16:36] <hrolf> Jacques nods and points his thumb at the door. “Been called in a bit ealier than usual tonight; anything special going on?”
[16:37] <@ST> The guard shrugs. “No idea, sir. Mr. Deichmann is in a hurry tonight. I think he’s going to a party.”
[16:40] <@ST> Gilles’s turf is quiet tonight. Everybody’s inside, away from the cold. Nothing too interesting, until Gilles spots a manhole cover that’s been left out of place…and a trail of something dark and slick leading into it.
[16:41] <hrolf> “Lucky him. Keep warm, friend.” Jacques raises his arm in a Nazi salute and steps through the door.
[16:41] <cbn> Gilles follows the trail down with all the due haste of someone who 1. should not be spotted on the street and 2. is certain that he should be the only monster around.
[16:42] <@ST> Deichmann’s manor is mostly empty. A few guards stand outside of doors here and there, but Jacques knows the route to Deichmann’s office by heart.
[16:45] <voxpvoxd> Busy, busy, busy. Alexis selects his evening wear. He’s got a few very fine suits, and a life that gave him many occasions to wear them. To match he selects a simple black bow tie. He contemplates this for a moment. Hmm… perhaps… yes. Swiftly the doctor lays the tie, untied, across his desk. Holding his hands over it in an elaborate pattern, he speaks a string of nonsense syllables, fragments of Hebrew, Latin, and Aramaic – the languages Christ cried out in as he died on the cross. A practiced swipe across his wrist with the letter opener. Dark red fluid seeps from the wound, far more slowly than mortal blood would. It soaks, drop by drop, into the tie, leaving no trace of its passing. “Excellent,” the doctor breathes, leaving it aside. For now, Alexis has another matter to attend to. Now, Alexis is hungry.
[16:46] <@ST> The sewers of Paris are enormous and maze-like. Gilles can smell the tangy copper of blood. It looks like someone with a wound slipped down here and kept walking, into the darkness.
[16:47] <cbn> Gilles picks up the pace—-he knows all too well that no one who’d be able to be seen on the street would take to the sewers in such a state, and that means that, one way or another, it may be a kindred spirit, and an injured one at that.
[16:48] <hrolf> Jacques nods at familiar faces and navigates his way through the corridors to the seneschal’s office. Having arrived, he knocks discreetly on the door.
[16:48] <@ST> “Come in!”
[16:49] <@ST> Seated behind his desk, writing something in a ledger, is Hans Deichmann, prim and proper as always.
[16:50] <hrolf> Walking in and closing the door behind him, Jacques turns smartly and clicks his heels together, raising his arm up high in a perfect salute. “Heil Vogler!”
[16:54] <@ST> Deichmann looks at Jacques quizzically. “Er, no time for jokes, Captain. I have a contact you need to rendezvous with.” He hands you an address. “There’s an entrance to the sewers just off this street. Meet the man inside. He’s a plant in the Ordo Dracul, so if he’s being followed keep on walking.”
[16:55] <@ST> Carrel’s attempts to lure someone, anyone, into a back alley fail.
[16:56] <@ST> Deichmann: “I’ve told him to meet you at midnight, so plenty of time for you to find the place. If you’ll excuse me, I have a previous engagement. Goodnight, Captain.”
[16:57] <hrolf> Jacques’ eyebrows furow. “The Ordo Dracul aren’t in the Kommandant’s good graces?”
[16:58] <voxpvoxd> In the alleys beneath his apartment, Alexis Carrel leans on his walking stick and scouts the passersby. He swears he can hear each individual pulse of blood from each individual heart that crosses the path before him. Of these, he reaches out to someone he hopes will be faint of heart, and attempts to insinuate his will against them, to draw them to him. It’s not as easy as it seems like it
[16:58] <voxpvoxd> should be, and the stranger shakes off the entrancement. Damn. And no time now. Alexis has to get ready.
[16:59] <@ST> Deichmann: “Good god, no. Ever since their Architect defied the laws and let mongrels retain their posts, it’s been bad blood between us.”
[17:03] <voxpvoxd> Hungry and frustrated is no way to show up at an important gathering, so Alexis dresses slowly, tying his tie with as exacting a precision as he can, lacking the benefit of a mirror. He feels noticeably better when he reaches for his hat and walking stick and strikes out for the opera house.
[17:07] <@ST> The seneschal throws on a hat and coat, excusing himself. “Good luck, captain.”
[17:10] <@ST> Gawain and Cerise arrive with the bulk of the guests at the opera house. The huge grand foyer, normally packed on nights like these, just has at most a hundred people standing around.
[17:12] <hrolf> Jacques nods and finds his way out. He saunters off down some side streets, walking until he finds a narrow alleyway wth no one around. Dropping down to one knee, he pretends to fiddle with his boots, surreptitiously throwing a piece of paper down a drain. Whistling, he wipes his hands on his coat and continues on his way towards his destination.
[17:14] <@ST> Ushers begin to show people to their seats. The huge theater allows everyone to sit either by themselves or next to kindred they trust. At least as much as you can trust your fellow kindred.
[17:17] <voxpvoxd> Carrel arrives on time, just after the main wave of patrons. He’s an unassuming man with an unaged face, sharp eyes behind round glasses. His smooth round head is covered by his smooth round hat. In knots and whorls among the mortal patrons Alexis can feel the undead, their eyes, their teeth, their predatory presences. He’s come to accept this anxiety as a common social hurdle, and he is not a man to be turned astray by common things.
[17:17] <@ST> Even in the stygian gloom, Gilles can follow the trail of blood as it winds its way through miles of sewers. No normal person can have lost this amount and still be standing.
[17:18] <voxpvoxd> Not wishing to interact with the Bishop – fearsome woman – any more than is necessary, but still recognizing the social virtue of standing in an elder’s shadow, Carrel seeks out Gawain, the Daeva Priscus, and finds him already accompanied. He nods to the elder, and tips his hat to the lady. “Good evening.”
[17:19] <mirdath> Cerise nods. “Good evening! I don’t believe we’ve been introduced…”
[17:19] <@ST> “Doctor Carrel, always a pleasure. Cerise, this is Alexis Carrel, a renowned physician and scholar.”
[17:20] <cbn> This cannot be encouraging. Gilles pauses. Perhaps like calls to like. Girding himself against what is certain to be an absolutely repugnant flavor, he kneels, sweeps a finger through the bloody slurry, and flicks his tongue over his finger.
[17:21] <voxpvoxd> Carrel inclines his head with a commiserating look, as if to say yes, it’s true, I know how lucky I am to be me and I sympathize with your not being so. “Guilty as charged. And you are…?”
[17:21] <@ST> “Alexis, this is Cerise Bessette, a friend of mine. I’m sure you two will become fast friends! If you’ll excuse me, there’s someone I need to have a few words with…” Gawain heads over to talk to a kindred standing alone.
[17:21] <mirdath> “A pleasure to meet you, Doctor Carrel. Gawain has been doing his best not to ruin all the details of the opera for me — have you seen it before?”
[17:24] <@ST> The blood…is delicious. It’s fantastic. You remember one time in the past, when you fed on a certain woman, intelligent, refined, beautiful. This is as good, if not better. But it’s not from your clan. It’s not from any clan you know. You’re not even sure its human.
[17:25] <voxpvoxd> Ah. Well, that’s not what Alexis was hoping for. Still, no need to be rude to the lady. “In fact I have. Never in Le Palais Garnier, though. Incomparable house. Nowhere in the world can match it. Are you a fan of the arts, mademoiselle?”
[17:25] <@ST> As he’s savoring the taste, Gilles can hear moans coming from around the corner.
[17:27] <cbn> Gilles pointlessly wipes his hand on already-soiled layered rags for clothing and advances around the corner. “…hello?” he ventures en Francais.
[17:29] <@ST> A vent on the ceiling means the sewers in this section are bathed in moonlight. Standing underneath a ladder, pacing furiously, whimpering, with one hand in his jacket’s pocket, and one clutching a gash in his side, is a man.
[17:29] <mirdath> “When I have the time, I am — but it’s not to my credit that I’ve missed this for so long. I’ve seen most of Puccini’s and some of the other Italians, but not so many of our own.”
[17:29] <@ST> He’s kine, as far as you can tell.
[17:30] <cbn> Gilles draws his hood lower. “You should not be here.”
[17:31] <@ST> An usher approaches Alexis and Cerise. “Monsieur, Mademoiselle, if you would please follow me, the opera is about to begin.”
[17:32] <voxpvoxd> “Well then, I think you are in for a treat.” Carrel gestures out on front of him. Ladies first.
[17:32] <@ST> The man jumps up startled. Gilles can see his eyes rolling wildly. When they settle on him, a shriek fills the sewer. The man’s hand comes out of his pocket, holding a revolver.
[17:33] <mirdath> Cerise follows the usher, looking back to make sure Alexis doesn’t get buttonholed by someone else, and sits.
[17:34] <@ST> Cerise and alexis can see where everyone is sitting as they come in last. Gawain settles down next to Cerise, looking distracted. Down in the front rows, they can only see the back of the head of Prince Vogler, surrounded by flunkies.
[17:36] <@ST> The man Gawain was speaking to is seated by himself in the middle rows, holding a box in his hands. You can both recognize him as Johan Gustafsson, leader of the Paris Ordo Dracul
[17:36] <cbn> Gilles slowly raises his hands from his sides, palms forward, fingers spread. “Easy. You are injured, yes? What are you doing here?”
[17:36] <hrolf> Jacques walks down an empty street, its curve slowly sloping downwards. Two yards away from a lamppost lies a hole in the pavement, leading to the sewers; the cover’s been removed and lies beside it. Jacques looks up to read the street sign. This is the place. Scoping the area to see if anyone’s watching, and satisfied that this wasn’t the case, he grabs the top rung of the ladder leading below and inches downward.
[17:38] <@ST> The man in the jacket trains his pistol on Gilles. “Who are you? Are you the marked? The Walker comes. He’s coming, I’ve seen it. Are you him?”
[17:38] <@ST> He starts walking towards Gilles, his voice rising until he’s screaming. “ARE YOU THE WALKER? WHO ARE YOU?”
[17:39] <@ST> He pulls the trigger, once, and a shot whangs off the concrete and caroms into the darkness.
[17:40] <cbn> Would his face cooperate, he’d be furrowing brows. As it is, Gilles blankly stares. “Marked beyond what you see? And while I walk I’m not known for such, precisely. I am Gilles. And you, friend? You have me at a disadvantage.” He nods towards the pistol—-and then flinches sharply, but quickly attempts to resume a neutral stance.
[17:42] <@ST> Gilles can act before the man can pull the trigger again. He’s got the pistol aimed at your head. He’s thirty feet away.
[17:43] <voxpvoxd> Carrel doesn’t allow himself to relax in his seat, a task made easier by the presence of the monsters beside him and the sea of warm blood all around. He should have eaten before he left. He should not have failed. Mistakes are unacceptable. To distract himself from his thoughts, he murmurs to Cerise. "Odd, isn’t it? Surely our maligned Scandinavian friend is close enough to the stage not
[17:43] <voxpvoxd> to need a set of glasses."
[17:45] <cbn> Gilles roars. “CALM. DOWN.” and, well.
[17:46] <@ST> The man foams at the mouth, unaffected (at least by you), and pulls the trigger again.
[17:47] <mirdath> “You’d think, yes.” Cerise glances at the box, trying to get a good look at it through Gustafsson without obviously examining it.
[17:49] <@ST> The bullet takes Gilles through the chest. You think you hear ribs snap as the round passes through you.
[17:50] <cbn> Gilles grits uneven teeth and rushes the fool.
[17:51] <@ST> The box is an ordinary cardboard box, secured on the top with string. Anything about the size of a small dog could fit in there.
[17:51] <mirdath> “That’s bigger than he’d need for opera glasses, though…”
[17:52] <voxpvoxd> Carrel frowns. “One hopes it isn’t ticking.”
[17:52] <@ST> As soon as his feet hit the concrete, Jacques hears gunshots. The acoustics down here are bizarre, though. It could be coming from either direction.
[17:54] <@ST> The gunshots are coming from your left. You can’t tell how far away, though.
[17:56] <@ST> The Opera begins. As the acts go by, kine and kindred alike begin to slowly relax and watch the actors on stage.
[17:58] <cbn> Gilles lunges for the gunman, to no avail.
[17:58] <hrolf> Jacques freezes in place and holds his breath. He takes a step back and melts into the darkness; it’s a warm, comfortable feeling. This is where he belongs. He creeps forward slowly towards the sounds the gunshots came from.
[17:59] <@ST> He weaves out of Gilles’s grasp and pulls the trigger again, shouting.
[18:00] <@ST> The bullet goes through Gilles’s thigh this time.
[18:03] <cbn> Gilles bellows again in the man’s face, locking eyes with him. And, well.
[18:05] <@ST> It’s clear that whatever has this man screaming in fear is scarier than a hulking sewer monster!
[18:06] <@ST> He fires again, this one clipping Gilles’s shoulder.
[18:07] <@ST> As Jacques creeps along, he turns the corner and sees something bizarre: a screaming man firing a revolver at a hulking…thing.
[18:15] <hrolf> Wartime has led to poor maintenance of the sewage system and the stink is overpowering. The monster – Jacques can’t tell what it is, and since he doesn’t feel his bloodrage threatening to overpower him, neither of those here are kine, and can’t be his contact. This is confusing.
[18:17] <hrolf> He steps out of the shadows. “In the name of the Militärverwaltung, halt! Drop your weapons!”
[18:18] <@ST> The man turns, even more startled.
[18:20] <cbn> Gilles snarls and roars. “RUN AND HIDE, NAZI FILTH!”
[18:23] <hrolf> Jacques remains unimpressed. “Drop your weapons and put your hands up!”
[18:24] <voxpvoxd> In the opera house, Carrel finds himself spending more time making surreptitious glances at the other Kin than he does watching the opera. It’s hard to focus. Maybe the opera isn’t as arresting as it once was. Maybe it’s not being performed as well. But maybe, he thinks, as he feels the pulse of so many beating hearts through and behind the music, the only thing that’s changed is him.
[18:25] <@ST> The man sprints past jacques and tries to scramble up the ladder.
[18:29] <hrolf> The man shows no inclination to listen as he runs, terrified. Jacques raises his pistol and shoots.
[18:30] <hrolf> The bullet pings off a wall as Jacques contrives to miss at point blank range.
[18:32] <hrolf> He shoots again as the man reaches for the ladder, right in the back.
[18:33] <@ST> It’s easy for Jacques to raise the gun as the man shambles past. The pistol barks and the man falls on his face, kicking once and then lying still.
[18:34] <hrolf> Jacques swivels immediately to turn and face the monstrous apparition, pointing his pistol right at him. “You will comply! Raise your hands where I can see them.”
[18:35] <@ST> Alexis arrives back in the theater just as the opera ends. The audience stands and claps, and the cast bows and shuffles off stage quickly.
[18:36] <voxpvoxd> Carrel murmurs an excuse to his fellow patrons and sidles out of the theater. Out of habit he reaches for his handkerchief, but there is no sweat to wipe from his brow. As he exits into the more brightly lit foyer, he sees two of the ushers talking, and watches with flat, cold eyes. One of them is wheedling his superior for a break. Bit by bit he sees the senior usher’s resolve wear down, and finally he relents, permitting the junior usher to step out for a smoke. This allows Alexis to step out for a drink.
[18:36] <voxpvoxd> He looks much more content and relaxed when he takes his seat again.
[18:37] <@ST> Down in front, Prince Vogler rises and continues to clap, walking up the stairs onto the stage. “Bravo, bravo! Thank you all for joining me here.”
[18:38] <@ST> “I apologize in advance, for I wish that I could spend time with you all in more fortunate circumstances.”
[18:38] <@ST> “But, such is the role of Prince.”
[18:39] <@ST> “Please, do not be alarmed. This will all be over shortly.”
[18:40] <@ST> Vogler raises his right hand and a score of guards pour out onto the stage. Their rifles are all pointed squarely at Gustafsson.
[18:41] <voxpvoxd> Carrel’s eyes go from Vogler, to Gustafsson, to Gustafsson’s box.
[18:42] <@ST> “Johan, I believe I passed a law last year that forbade the mongrel races from holding positions in any organization in the city. Why have you not complied?”
[18:42] <@ST> The Architect stands. “It is not your place to decide who I admit into my halls, Prince.”
[18:43] <@ST> Vogler turns to a thin kindred standing next to him. “If that is how this must proceed, fine. Moller, take him into custody.”
[18:43] <@ST> The kindred hesitates. “That box, sir…”
[18:44] <@ST> Gustafsson hurls the box onto the stage, and continues to stand. The guards move forward.
[18:45] <cbn> Gilles raises his hands and scowls, which really looks no different from his face any other part of the time. “What do you want here, Nazi scum?”
[18:46] <@ST> Vogler nods at Moller, who gingerly edges forward and picks the box up.
[18:47] <@ST> He undoes the string, and takes the top off, reaching inside.
[18:48] <hrolf> Jacques’ eyes narrow. The…thing in front of him is not something he feels he could handle without backup. Herding him with a gun up a narrow stepladder would afford him plenty of oppurtunity to overpower Jacques or get away. This could get tricky…
[18:49] <hrolf> “Who are you? What are you doing here?”
[18:50] <@ST> Moller pulls out a radio.
[18:51] <hrolf> Blood seeps from under the corpse of the man under his feet. The smell of it whets his appetite; he’s fed recently but he’s still feeling a bit peckish. He licks his lips, and accidentally lets his fangs show.
[18:52] <cbn> “Paris is my home. I was following him—-” Here, Gilles nods to the fallen gunman “—-down from my neighborhood. What are you doing here? Looking for those few Chosen you’ve not yet rounded up and slaughtered?”
[18:54] <@ST> Vogler: “Is that it? Don’t move, Gustafsson. Guards, take him in.”
[18:55] <@ST> Moller, meanwhile, has turned the radio on and holds it up to his ear. The acoustics of the music hall carry very clearly the sound of ticking coming over the channel.
[18:55] <hrolf> “Chosen…what?” The smell of blood has gotten stronger, and Jacques feels a metaphorical stomach rumble. He bares his teeth in frustration. “What is your name? Produce your papers!”
[18:58] <voxpvoxd> Carrel draws a hissing breath, thinking quickly. He wants to flee, but with the radio the bomb could be in the foyer, or backstage, to catch people as they fled. There’s no way to improve his odds by moving. He’s stuck.
[18:58] <@ST> Several things happen at once in the opera house: Moller throws the radio to the floor and turns to run, the kindred in the audience chamber stand up, Vogler roars, and the sound of a timer hitting something metallic comes over the channel.
[18:59] <cbn> Gilles snarls. “Your leash-holders call us Juden. The Lord calls us his Chosen. And my name was Gilles. Now, it does not matter.”
[19:00] <@ST> The old Opera House seems to lift itself up into the air before it crashes down. The back of the stage is hurled out in all directions and jets of flame shoot out of the boxes. The lights flicker and go out, and the theater is illuminated only by the huge curtains burning.
[19:00] <cbn> Gilles tilts his head. “And who—-what are you?”
[19:03] <hrolf> “I am a representative of the Staatspolizei authority in France. You are Juden? Where is your badge? Why was this man attacking you?”
[19:03] <@ST> The assembled kindred unleash howls and fly out of their seats. Gustafsson is nowhere to be seen. The bodies of guards litter the stage, and Vogler tears an entire wall down with his hands, running out into the night.
[19:04] <cbn> Gilles barks what would’ve been a laugh, but is more a wet, gurgling cough. “Must’ve left my papers in my other rags. And why? You really ask?”
[19:06] <mirdath> Cerise had ducked behind the seats in front of her as the blast tore through the hall, but as the flames start to consume the building her composure cracks, then shatters completely. Carrel is left in the dust as she forces her way past him and up the rows to the exit.
[19:07] <hrolf> Jacques snorts in irritation. “Yes, I ask. And you will responde truthfully, or face the consequences. What is your reason for being here? Why was this man shooting you?”
[19:08] <voxpvoxd> Alexis feels as if there’s a wild animal running circles in his ribcage. This is fire, vast fires, and fire means death, and death means- no. No! The doctor is rooted in place, struggling with all will against the base instinct to flee. He will not succumb. The fire will not master him. And his will wins out, even as Cerise and many monsters far their elder flee into the night. Alexis stands, adjusts his tie, and walks calmly out of the theater, leaving a generous tip for the woozy usher (who is so faint as to be oblivious to the chaos) as he reclaims his coat and hat and stick, and walks out into the night.
[19:08] <@ST> Elders and hanger-ons alike are sprinting out of the burning building. Valets are screamed at and cars roar up to the curb. Other kindred cannot even muster the composure to seek safety among their underlings and they take off running into the darkness. Behind them, the Opera House is being consumed by flames.
[19:10] <cbn> “I was following him. There was a trail of blood. It lead from the street and down, and I found him. He was shooting at me because I am this.”
[19:11] <hrolf> “You are what?”
[19:11] <cbn> “Golem. Obviously.”
[19:11] <cbn> “And he was intruding, of course. So he must go.”
[19:15] <cbn> “He asked if I was a…walker. Is that your new term for us?”
[19:15] <hrolf> “A..what.” Jacques shakes his head. “Do not move!” He crouches down and searches the corpse, while keeping his eyes and pistol trained on the creature in front of him.
[19:16] <@ST> In the man’s pocket Jacques find’s two pieces of paper. One is a small note, the other is a page torn from a book.
[19:16] <cbn> Gary rolls his eyes. “Golem. Servant of the Lord and his Chosen, defender of the faith. But why would you know this, I ask myself aloud. And why would you care.”
[19:19] <hrolf> The thing appears to be spouting mystical nonsense, but until a short while ago Jacques would never have believed that beings such as what he was now existed. Keeping Gilles in his peripheral vision, he lowers his eyes to look at the notes.
ST> The Opera House burns in the night, and two monsters have come face to face.