Trying to Get Out of the Frying Pan

The city was off kilter. Violence was nothing new to Chicago, but this kind of violence was unsettling to many. Police had found several bodies so far, all of which torn up as if by some massive wild animal, torn apart with huge furrows in the dead flesh. So far, there were no leads, the police was at a loss. Not only did it not match any tool marks they could find, but once it was passed on to those detectives with a more supernatural background, they discovered it did not match even the most violent were-creature in the area. The investigation was ongoing, of course, but uniforms were being told to go around to the supernatural haunts and let the inhabitants know where to bring information they might come across.

The detectives on the case were becoming increasingly sure that something magical was at work. The way the bodies were found suggested that whatever it was just wanted to kill, they were not eaten at all and had no signs of the standard markers of even a were-creature attack. It certainly wasn’t Vampires at all, nor did it match what was known about any Fae. Details had not been released to the public, but among the files with the police was that there was no DNA evidence, no footprints that could be reasonably tracked, and the killings had so far avoided any and all cameras, so no one had any real hard evidence to go on. Just the bodies with surprising lack of physical evidence. The only thing they had was some particulates found in the wounds, but while they were certainly organic and related closely to some kind of nail-like claw. The material had been sent off to a lab at U.C. Berkeley in California for further study by some experts. It was expected to take some weeks to get results back.

In the meantime, there was an increased police presence throughout the most vulnerable parts of the city. Many of those supernaturals who hunt for food in those areas have been forced underground, most notably a few gangs of younger Vampires who commonly feed in the area have withdrawn into the sewers. A watchful eye would notice that they were getting more and more desperate for blood, those in the know of vampire politics would know this small gang had disrespected the elders and thus were now allowed to feed outside of such places.

Recap / Play Log: October 29th, 2017

Erica made the call. Stepping out of the Saevae onto the Chicago streets she went about putting her nose to work to track down the unknown predator. What caught her nose was the scent of blood. She followed, and on the way meet Matthew Gudavich, who was out on his own in the city. After exchanging pleasantries they, they left together, Matt guessing at Erica’s mission, and agreeing to look out for her as she sharpened her senses in her search. Eventually they came on a few scraps of flannel cloth stuck to a chain-link fence. He sniffed it and, detected magic on it, a near-human scent, but unnatural, and unlike any he had known. He at first thought to use that sense to try and track the owner of the flannel cloth directly, but, chose a different route.

They took one of the scraps, then from it he took a thread, and tied to that thread a pewter fishing weight, his thinking that it would work best for the magic he would do next, a ritual known as ‘Rite of the Questing Stone’. He took out a map of the city on which to triangulate the position of the owner, then set about to track him, using the thread and its connection as well as the magic in the rite, to hone in on the cloth’s owner. He did not know much about his target though, and for a long time his weight did not even budge. Matty was about to think all was lost and simply report back, when suddenly, he felt a weak tug, then, the weight at last moved.

He attempted to triangulate the location of the owner of the fabric, or at least the resonant magic in the fabric, but in the end, simply found out that they were south somewhere, off the map he had, and he could not get a good enough reading for a detailed location beyond that. He packed up his ritual implements and was about to head to the Saevae with his news, when Erica assured him she could contact people, so others would know in the event they found more then they bargained for pursuing this. So that handled, they headed south.

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Recap / Play Log: October 31st + November 1st , 2017

As it turns out, they didn’t go far till they changed plans. Rather then going south, they decided to try and have a stakeout, in case they spotted the assailant. Soon the three, Konig having joined the party, climbed a nearby building, to get to a good vantage point, and place to hide and observe the surroundings. They camped out up there for several hours, passing the time with idle chatter as they watched.

Matty also realized, the fabric they had was flannel. Being a kind of plaid, it could possibly even be a clan’s tartan. He did not know enough about Celtic lore to be able to tell much from it though. He knew though, it may be a good idea to pursue this avenue of research. He brought that up and Konig suggested talking to Vance, owner of the Saevae, one of the supernatural bars in town he had been taken too. He made a note to bring the strip of fabric by to see if it could be identified.

He watched into the night, but at some point nodded off. By morning he woke, but, needed coffee, and figured his compatriots did as well. He took a trip to the Saevae, cloth in hand, to see Vance, and to get some coffee into himself, and after that would bring back some for the others, along with hopefully some information. He meet Vance Reid, but was told that while it did have a meaning, what it meant to the assailant may be difficult to determine. Honestly, had Matty thought it through, he’d probably have realized that flaw in his logic. But at least he had coffee.

He talked a bit with Vance about the local werewolf population. He also meet an odd Italian looking for work, that he was tempted to bring in to the stakeout rotation, but Vance spoke up first with what seemed a more interesting if cryptic offer, and he let it go, enjoying the pleasures of his coffee.

Eventually, Matty got back with some coffee to go for the others, and brought what news he had with him. They discussed this some, as well as bonded over a few other things, and keept an eye out as they day grew into dusk.

Recap / Play Log: November 15th

Matty was stuck in a tree.

He happened to look like a white house cat at that exact moment. A Mooncat, technically, though he supposed he was going for the housecat look so it didn’t really make too much of a large difference, few people would probably be able to tell anyway at just a glance. And, he was hanging out in a tree, at Humboldt Park Beach, waiting for someone/thing to come by, that he had on good authority, was going to be the killer he was looking for.

After his previous stakeout proved to be for naught, he let himself well… at first be distracted by helping the ‘Scientist with No Name’ to find her space capsule, kind of. Then feeling a bit better about somewhat accomplishing something, got to work on pulling together what information he could on the killings, when they happened and where they happened, to see if he could find a pattern to it, and come back at the problem.

He complied the information (he hoped, there may be gaps or errors), with a great deal of digging and effort, but didn’t find that common thread that could point him in the right direction. Things however, on the ground, did change. He ran into some PIs that came into town, expanding his network of friends, which is always helpful. More then that, though, a Fiend showed up, and approached him. Matty still had a significant fear of Demons from an unfortunate incident that he had in Maine, but this Demon seemed much more together, and, maybe Matty was also something of a fool, but he didn’t react with quite as much terror.

Fiends also, he knew, would see the future through their cosmic mechanisms, like the data he had. He took his compiled information, once he was fairly sure it was mostly complete, to the Fiend, and prayed for the best (sorry, bad pun, I know). Fortunately, he got lucky, and got a location out of it.

He first headed to the Saevae to see if he could find the PIs, and passed the story on to a few people. He eventually though, as time grew on, just texted Trevor, his PI contact, about the situation. Trevor told Matty to keep an eye on the site and, to his knowledge was on his way as well. And that’s how Matty ended up spending the night as a housecat in a tree, sending out the occasional message with a werewolf trick or two.

Recap / Play Log: November 28th

It had been days, since Trevor started tracking that spot for the next killing. Matty had been anxious to hear back from him, but a misplaced fear of interrupting his work kept him from reaching out to the PI. Also, a new and strange threat popped up on his radar and he was now directing some of his attention to that.

Matty had also found that, he choked in a recent fight, and thought he needed to improve himself. He reached out to his friends, Robert, Joseline, and Konig, to get some practice and time to train. Eventually that training did happen, and he thought they all slowly started to be better for it. Matty even reached out to Trevor at last for an update. But there was an interruption.

Some Dampier had come in and seemed to have come for Matty, it took him from the others and questioned him. It appeared to have indicated that there was a bounty on Matty’s head due to it seemed his looking into these murders. However, for the life of him, he knew nothing of value about them, at least yet. The hitman seemed to find this out and issued a warning for him to stay off the radar, that Matty disregarded admittedly, then left to find a way to fill his bounty. The bounty, being only two thousand dollars, at first seemed insulting to Matty, but researching into this, that was the going rate for this kind of thing. He was a bit surprised, but moved on.

Matty met back up with the others and then after a meal to distress they all went for drinks at the Saevae. Latter that night, Matty again reached out to Trevor, and hoped he would get some manner of response. This was starting to get serious.

Recap / Play Log November 28th

“That greatly depends on your definition of ‘good’, Matthew.” Trevor chuckles.

Matty had gotten in touch with Trevor and was contacting him via a conference room video chat in the Saevae. Joseline and Konig were there with him. They were told that there seemed to be an entity behind the killings. Not some person, but a cloud of some sort going from person to person, that then drove them into a state of anger or dizziness. Matty took this to be some kind of frenzy and moved on. Regardless, the people killed, and nearby the murders were, oddly, something else, some other body of a being, comatose, but not dead. Those were in the hospital. There were some of them that had been autopsied but Trevor did not have those reports directly. His hearsay on the matter though was that the brains of the victims seem to have been damaged, like something ate away at them from the inside. The police had no idea if there was a serious connection.

Matty passed on to Trevor that he was confronted by that hitman, and they closed the connection as Trevor had nothing else at the moment to report. The matter of pay, it was decided, would be resolved once the case was closed, or at least at a later date. Konig suggested they take this new information to Robert, and it seemed a good plan. In Matty’s mind, this sounded like it related to demons. Later, as they got to Robert’s apartment, he explained that he doubted a Fallen would jump bodies so casually, and suggested it could be a Wraith. Still this was all speculation and the next real step they needed to shed light on this were those medical reports. Robert seemed confident he could obtain them though.

Matty left with some unrelated tasks of his own to accomplish. He went to bed, to recharge so he could face these rested, as well as to give Konig and Joseline time to recover as they were planning on assisting him.

Recap / Play Log November 29th

Matty had gone out to the outskirts to train. He was under the shade of a tree shadowboxing using a lantern when he noticed Joseline’s arrival, they were able to speak briefly when his phone rang. It was Trevor, he needed to see them, it didn’t sound good.

They meet in a well known clearing not too far away. It seemed that Trevor had attracted the attentions of the CIA, and someone named McKinnon. Trevor had made a connection between the space capsule the Swedish scientist came in, and the cloud responsible for the killings. He also had a theory for what that cloud was.

“I was talking to a nurse friend of mine in the ER, she said that the frontal lobe was eaten up pretty bad on one of their coma patients, that’s where people make decisions and such. Flash back about 3 or 4 years, the police had a case where this corporate head hunter just started to draw symbols in his own blood on the walls of his office, then killed his secretary when she came in to investigate.” He pauses for a moment before he continues, “Well, no one could figure out why, until the cops found he’d bought this book on ebay about demons and ancient spells. Turns out he’d summoned a demon without realizing it, and it had possessed him. His brain looked real close to what this looked like, I consulted with the CPD on that case, only reason I remember.”

Matty nods and considers that “So, it’s a demon, but still, why the space capsule? And did you see this iconography inside it?”

Trevor shakes his head, “I didn’t get a look inside the capsule, but my nurse friend said that in 30 years of nursing, she’s never seen any other scans look like that, just the ones now and that one back then. I have no idea why, but that capsule is part of this.”

Matty had discussed it with Mastema the night before, and Mastema thought it was a Wraith, or at least that no Fallen would swap bodies like that. Matty also knew that a great many things in the world that seemed utterly unrelated would call themselves ‘demon’ in one way or another, it was a very common grab bag category that got assigned to things, so if this thing wanted to call itself a demon he wasn’t going to complain too much. Sure, maybe it was a Bane or some other kind of Spirit, though even they wouldn’t jump around necessarily like this he thought, either. And maybe it was just weird, or he just was not in Kansas any more. Both of those seemed more and more likely.

He did have one idea for how to find out more about it though. They still had that heat shielding he had collected. This thing could have left some kind of residue on that, though it would be a long shot. If it did, an it was still hanging around, maybe that witch could pick something out about it, if they were lucky.

Other then that, they needed pictures from inside that craft, to hopefully prove or disprove this theory. Trevor suggested getting them from a CIA database and Matty almost agreed, taking Trevor’s info on a hacker he used, but frankly, doing that was lunacy, and Matty knew it. That was part of why he didn’t jump on doing it himself. He then remembered Joseline was there and, given she had her Stand, they had a good chance of just seaking in that place and getting pictures themselves.

Matty had Joseline shoow her Stand to Trevor and, Trevor seemed impressed. So was Matty, who learned a great deal about it and, it really was impressive. Trevor figured they stood a good chance of doing this and headed off to a safehous to avoid the heat of the law enforcement looking for him. Matty felt for Trevor too. This was kind of his deep fear, to be hunted like that. It couldn’t be plesant.

Matty handed Joseline the contact information for that hacker. His handle was ‘Snickers’, like the candy bar. He figured that this guy could help be a voice in her head talking her through things and keeping an eye out as she ran this mission, even if Matty wasn’t there for it.

Then they went back to the camp they started at and Matty showed some of what he could do. Really at this point, there was a lot he had going on. He didn’t know any more how to really cover it all, but felt he should go over some and then they both camped under the stars.

OOC: @Navaruk, @darktrooper501, @TheChubbyGamer, can we get an update to how things are going in game right now? I’m out of the loop and need to catch up.

(( @cyclops I still need to have Joseline go to the werehouse since you said you would DM the NPCs there and such. She had to get the pictures of that woman and I was told that you and @JumpingScript would be DMing parts of the situation while Joseline does her mission))

OOC

Ok, sounds good.

Recap / Play Log: Jan 9th, 2018

Matty grips his hand, he focuses on one instance when he was helping Jinx learn to read. They were reading a book, The Bernstein Bears, he could still remember that night. It was by the gathering fire at the Caern at Eagle’s Creek. Then, the scene slowly vanishes, being replaced by a oppressive emptiness, which in turn was gone as soon as he thought of something else than the now lost memory.

Joseline had gotten back from her mission to the CIA warehouse with the pictures they needed. Robert was shown them, and tried to read them, but could not decipher the language. It was clearly demonic in nature, but, it had been interpreted by a human, and as such some of it had been lost in the difference. That did not give them enough, though, to address the problem plaguing the city, and things had gotten worse. Matty by this point even feared for his life going about there was such a frenzy in the air. The threat of attack was very real.

They went to Slicer, thinking that perhaps those of the Vampric persuasion may have the knowledge or connections to interpret it. It seemed though; Slicer did not get along with true Vampires that well. He did however share that they were attracted to power, including political power, and that a call to city hall could put them possibly on the path.

At city hall they meet with Sylvia Luna, director of external concerns, who they explained the situation in brief to. She told them she could set up a meeting with someone to address the issue of the translation and after they left her with their contact information she said she would get in touch with them once things were arranged.

And so Matty and Robert meet Daire Santiago, a old and powerful vampire, in the back room of the Saevae, and traded a memory for knowledge. Joseline and Konig had been in the meeting at first as well, but excused themselves from this deal. By far they had given enough for this already, Matty felt it fair.

Daire unleashes their hands from his almost terrifying strong grip. “The runes are of demonic nature, but drawn by a human. The picture shows the outcome of a human, who’s possessed by a demon and tries to write in the demon’s language. Demonic runes are too complex for the human mind to take. The bastardized…things you have taken a photo of show the result of such a connection.”

Matty’s stomach feel out. He lost… he wasn’t sure what… but it was something important… and he was told… HE ALREADY KNEW THIS!! It made him… it made him angry, he felt cheated and looking to Robert, it seemed he wasn’t the only one to think so.

“Well I could have told you that, what do they translate to was the deal” Robert says

Daire eventually, after a long time seeming to be still as a statue, capitulated to a full and properly researched translation. He said it would take him a week. Matty was eager to know what they would find. And if Daire still reneged, well, he supposed he’d think on what to do about that when the time came.

He did have other pressing matters to think of. It seemed the CIA had people in the area that had gone after Joseline and Konig. The names he got for them were Jack and Sarah. Honestly, at this point, the CIA’s part in this was starting to confuse and annoy Matty. He did not know what the CIA knew or why they were involved. The CIA shouldn’t even be operating like this, he reasoned, and figuring out how they fit into things and what to do about this was going to take a lot of thought.

Recap / Play Log: Jan 14th, 2018

The Swedish Scientist unfolds the map on the table and marked a site somewhere in North Sweden. “Kronogård launch site, 1965” Unsurprisingly it’s a backwater region.

It had been several days, most of Matty’s time had been dedicated to Joseline, who was attacked by a vampire, and infected with some strange virus. Vance was able to help her, and things were starting to normalize, Matty hoped, and he went to the Saevae to relax a bit. There he meet the scientist and had hoped to maybe ask her where and when she came from, in case that could get them some help. In reality, it seemed unlikely.

Matty did get an idea though. He looked around and didn’t see Vance, but saw someone else behind the counter, his assistant, he thought. He went over to talk to her.

“Do you know of a Psychic that could look into the mind of someone in a coma?”

Matty figured, they had witnesses to this, those people in comas that Robert had identified before. And maybe they held some memory, dream, something about that demon they could use to find out more details about this situation.

She thinks for a few minutes. “Aiden Lane is a psionic and a good friend of Vance and me. He comes here regularly, if you’re lucky he’ll visit us later.”

Matty asked her to point this person is his direction and they parted company. He went to speak more to the Scientist, mentioning that he’d needed guidance and spoke to the local shifters, having given them a report and asked for a meeting, the latter of which had yet to happen, and may not for a time given how the city seeming to fall apart had stretched them. The scientist noted it also put her plans on hold, though what plans those were he doubted the mysterious stranger would share simply. Still, she did suggest that he needed to contact the CIA and judge what their objectives were, guessing and working around them simply did no good. She also suggested that some of them likely knew of the supernatural and there probably was somewhere a contact he could diplomatically approach. Matty considered that, and agreed, but where he voiced he hoped the shifter contacts he spoke to would point him in that direction, she seemed to think he should talk to vampires or others for it. At the end of the day though, he was luke warm to that and the conversation petered out, A white St. Bernard kind of taking pity on him.

It had no tags, or a collar. He asked it where it was from, and it seemed bright enough to show Matty and off they went.

Recap / Play Log: Jan 25th, 2018

“We got pictures from inside the capsule and I’d hoped it would be a critical clue for how to fight this demon, but… The translation we paid for ended up being nothing more then mad ramblings about destroying the world by bringing up a demon invasion. And, while a motive, is, not really a nail in the coffin.”

Matty ran into Trevor at long last on a trip to the Saevae. He’d been talking to a new vampire, a Mr. Yuuku Ryougan, and Matty explained the recent news. They talked on the CIA a bit and the relation to the Veil. By en large Matty saw them as ‘knowing too much’. In reality though, he felt relief in this. There was only so much the rubble would bounce. The fact that the translation wasn’t much to go on though put a hole in his plans.

Matty was not supposed to share the translation, but, he only was told a rough overview. He had no details, and frankly, if Daire wanted him to keep it secret, he should have bothered with some detail that could be acted on. Instead, Matty needed guidance. How could he take this crumb and grow it into enough to move forward?

Trevor was less then encouraging though, pointing out he’d just be locked up for his troubles. That stuck in Matty’s craw. That said, he couldn’t just walk away. It would at best doom a city, and at worst fail in his duty to the Pack. Thinking on it, Trevor saw this point. After all, what was the alternative?

Of course, this was of limited value as they didn’t really have much worthwhile information to go on. He could try and use that plan with the psychic, but didn’t know if it would pay out, either. At the end of the day, he was stuck. The Psychic thing at least was a small way to try and move forward though, and probably the next option he needed to try. Trevor was right though, this was getting way too dangerous. Matty couldn’t just fix that though. In a way, he also didn’t know he wanted to. He saw the CIA people still as something he could turn around into an asset, but he was seeing that was maybe willful ignorance.

He was too trusting, like with that dog, Paul, that abducted him.

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