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Vampire: The Requiem - Old Town
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Upon hearing that Khalida drank a Mage's blood, Sammy's eyes widen in surprise. Then that expression is quickly subdued by a look of focused attention, her eyes distant as Khalida describes the events and her visions. When she finishes, Sammy is silent for a minute or two, she then runs a hand through her curly hair and smiles.

"You drank blood of a mage," she says with barely subdued awe in her voice. "I had though there were none left - the Mikhailovs hated them and destroyed several Chantries during their reign. But to drink their blood . . . you have courage, then again you were not to have known. Mages' blood is potent, like that of Lupines and the Fey. But unlike any other, for it induces states of madness or alternate visions of reality."

Sammy stopped talking and paced the room thinking, a finger to her lips. "You saw through the veil that separates the worlds - ours and the spirit world. The syringes you saw indicated that the men were involved using drugs in less than respectable ways. The spirit world adopts changes to things depending upon the nature of things in this world. A house that has had numerous suicides in it will be reflected differently in the other world. It may be bleaker. The spirits are within everything - and they adopt the true nature, too. The feed off emotions, and so will flock to areas more akin to their nature; murder spirits will dwell in areas of high crime, and promoting further crime. The spirits are dangerous.

"As for the Eye, the beast and the signs, I have no idea. But I am aware of 22. That number comes up from time to time. I dreamed of it a week ago - a woman in the desert crying the number and pointing to a shadow with glowing golden eyes. But I do not know what it means."
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Khalida Mufarrij
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Khalida's head snaps up at the mention of the woman in the desert and the golden glowing eyes. "As you said, I should not leave anything out in my description of what I saw and heard. I did not intend to, but perhaps in my retelling this slipped by me.

"The Eye was more animal than human, a glassy golden orb that gave me a deep sense of peace as I gazed into it. It was singular and addressed me as "daughter of the desert." I had the vision about the same time as you dreamed. Could you describe the woman in the desert?

"As for feeding off the blood of a Mage...you were right, I had no idea of any repercussions. Then I should assume these visions were brought about due to the Mage's blood being in my system? I know I shouldn't, but I must admit...

"I am disappointed to think such will never occur again..."
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Last edited by Khalida Mufarrij on Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:09 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The woman in the desert was featureless, that is all I can say of her. But I feel as though it's a symbol - that it is someone who can give life where there is none. I am now suspicious it may be you, for your Middle Eastern heritage; perhaps you will bring life to the desert of unlife? Regarding the shadow, it is hard for me to say. I felt something awful coming from it - I felt that its presence in the world was unnatural.

"Now, I advise you to think carefully before you drink blood from any mage. You may lose your sanity, or worse. I know of one vampire who did that, and she's in the asylum."
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Life to the desert of unlife." Khalida smiled as she repeated the words. "I haven't any idea what that could mean, but it sounds like a goal to strive towards.

"The Eye did not cause any negative feelings in me. But are we not, as Kindred, also "unnatural?" Perhaps that is why I felt at peace with it?

"I am curious though. You said you are now suspicious the woman you dreamed of may be me. But what about yourself? The phrase that prompted you to contact me was one of the three signs, the one about The Speaker with the Dreamers will die a heathen. Did it have significance to you because of your own abilities? Do you think it may apply to you? And if so, could you protect yourself from "dying a heathen?""

She looked out the plate glass windows of the post office to the night sky and heaved a sigh. "I tried to track the Mage through one contact, and had thought of pursuing further via my client. But, your warning is causing me to rethink doing so. I thank you. Is there no hope for the vampire who had followed through?"
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sammy turned a shade paler and placed a hand again on her mouth. She reached into her jeans for a set of keys and clutched them tightly. "I should be going. Please, there is no more I can do for you. Well, one last thing. That vampire is in Doctor Montefiore's care, so I cannot say anything. He was one of my blood - a Gangrel, not a Circle member. All I can recall is that he said he saw a city of pale green stone in some cavern, hanging from the ceiling and that it was inhabited by spirits who served the golden eyed one."

She smiled grimly, and Khalida noticed that her hands were trembling. "Sorry, I must go now. I wish you luck, Daughter of the Desert."
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Thank you, Sammy. I meant not to upset you. Please keep my number and call me if I can ever be of help to you. Although in what way that would happen, I haven't the slightest idea.

"Just one last question:
If "22" is seen elsewhere, then this particular postal box means nothing on its own? It was a way of drawing my attention to the number; the location of this box here on Duncan Street means nothing else? If there is no further meaning to derive from it, I will let it go..."
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sammy opened the door and was halfway through it before she answered over her shoulder. "I think that the number should be interpreted quite literally in this instance. Open it and find out. But whatever it is that is in that postal box relates to the number reappearing in dreams and incidents in the city. It may help to see a numerologist, or an occultist. I wish you well, Khalida. May the Crone watch over you."

Sammy then left the postal office, stepping out into the night. A moment later she drove away, leaving Khalida alone in a quiet part of Old Town.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sammy wrote:
"I think that the number should be interpreted quite literally in this instance. Open it and find out.


Sammy words ran through Khalida's mind repeatedly as she watched the Gangrel drive off into the night.

"Open it."
"Open it."
"Open it and find out..."

Khalida turned and made her way back to gaze upon the p.o. box. She would think about how to research whatever was inside later. Right now, she needed to figure out how to get what was inside the p.o. box out. She had no experience with lock picking, but these boxes, as well as all the buildings and their interiors which surrounded her, were extremely old. She wouldn't be surprised if the tumblers turned easily for any key or object that would fit inside the keyhole. Or if the bolt would slide easily back with gentle prying from her boot knife...

Silently thanking the cover of dimness the lack of technological maintenance which she had only recently swore at provided her, and the apparent isolation this particular branch of the post service retained, Khalida withdrew her boot knife and took her key ring from her clutch. Looking around yet again to be sure she was alone, she began by attempting to insert each individual key on her key ring in to the keyhole and gently twisting while lightly prying at the bolt on the left side of the box's door with her knife.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Locking (Dexterity + Larceny -1 [unskilled] -1 [improvised equipment]) roll (5 successes are required): 0 successes.

Khalida inserts the keys, one at a time, into the lock on the postal box at the same as she places the knife into the bolt. She makes no progress in opening the box, realising that it will take her some time.
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Khalida Mufarrij
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Withdrawing her keyring and knife, Khalida thinks back on some of the old television shows she used to watch with her father before he remarried. It Takes a Thief did her little good, really. Mundy had professional picks, which she did not. But she recalled he never inserted anything against the bolt, so she sheathed her boot knife and focused on the keyhole and cylinder, all the while thinking to herself, What would MacGyver come up with for this?

Deciding to also put her keys away, she falls back on the stereotypical improvised tools of lock picking. Reaching up into her hair, she pulls out several hair pins and straightens them, bending the tips to different lengths and leaving one flat to apply tension on to the cylinder while she tried to set the pins with the others.

Next she searched her purse for a paperclip. She had seen one used several times on the t.v. shows, simply inserted and pulled out several times, with the character on screen muttering something about "raking" the pins first. Sometimes even the character was surprised to find that was all that was needed for the pins to set and the cylinder to turn.

Her improvised tools in hand, Khalida checked yet again that she was alone and reapproached the p.o. box. Inserting the flat hair pin first, she applies some tension on to the cylinder without any torque. Then inserting the paper clip all the way to the back of the keyhole, she begins the process of trying to force the lock by withdrawing the paper clip quickly while applying slight torque on to the flat hairpin lying against the cylinder.

"C'mon MacGyver!" she mutters to herself.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Locking (Dexterity + Larceny -1 [unskilled]) roll (5 successes are required): 0 successes.

Khalida inserts the hairpin and the paper clip into the lock, using as much finesse as she can manage with her limited understanding of picking locks. However, the lock refuses to be manipulated this way.

Perception (Wits + Composure) roll: 2 successes.

Her head close to the postal box, focusing on the narrow slit of the lock, Khalida nevertheless manages to hear someone walking towards the door.
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Khalida Mufarrij
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quickly withdrawing the paper clip and hair pin, Khalida opens her clutch and drops her improvised tools within, closing the clutch with an audible snap! Praise Allah this box is in the furthest, darkest recesses of this branch, she thought to herself.

Spotting a table at the end of the corridor of p.o. boxes with stacks of IRS forms laid out underneath it, Khalida quickly hurries over and grabs several forms and a direction manual. Spreading the forms out on the table, she opens the manual and starts muttering to herself. "Independent Contractor Status Inquiry, Form SS-8. Use Form 1099 for payments to the IRS...," while looking out the corner of her eye towards the door to see who was coming in.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An emaciated-looking man in his early thirties enters the postal office, scratching his scruffy beard as walks to the wall of postal boxes. He nods at Khalida a brief greeting, eyes lingering over her figure for a moment, then pulls out a key and opens a box. He collects two letters and then turns around to face the exit.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slowly exhaling the breath she didn't realize she was holding, Khalida gives a brief flirtatious smile in return to the nodded greeting, then returns to muttering over the forms. Go, go, go! she thinks to herself, hoping this will be the only interruption for the night.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He steps out of the office and makes a right turn, walking off into the night.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Staying where she is for an additional ten minutes, to be as sure as she can be he won't return, Khalida gathers the forms and takes them with her back to the darkened corridor. May as well keep these at hand, in case I'm interrupted again, she thinks. Besides, I need to file my tax return in a little over a month anyway...

Leaving the paperclip inside her purse, she withdraws the multiple bent bobby pins. The raking supposedly set several of the lock's pins; now she needed to apply tension against the cylinder with the flat bobby pin, and use the various length bent bobby pins to feel which pins needed to be gently manipulated up and set away from the cylinder before she attempted to turn it.

Keeping her ears open for yet another interruption, she turns her attention back on to the lock.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Locking (Dexterity + Larceny -1 [unskilled]) roll (5 successes are required): Over twenty minutes 5 successes are accumulated.

At first, Khalida found it very difficult. Not knowing the mechanical structure of the lock and having no skill in lock picking, she worked blind. For ten minutes she made no progress, and nearly succeeded in breaking a hairpin. However, a few minutes later - hands shaking with effort and concentration - she felt one of the sections of the lock give. Five more minutes passed before the lock made a clicking sound and the postal box was unlocked.

Something lightly touched the back of her neck briefly, but no one was in the office.

Khalida could see in the postal box a large, ornate metal key - tarnished black - and a folded, yellowing piece of paper.

Refer to pm.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Khalida looks at the open box, her mouth dropping open slightly in surprise at her success. The touch on the back of her neck make her insides leap, but she glances around and sees no one.

Before reaching in to the box, she stands up and, stretching her arms high over her head, bends backwards to relieve the cramping from hunching in front of the p.o. box for so long. Note to self: take heels off before attempting to pick a lock again...

A few calming breaths later, with hands still shaking, whether from effort or excitement she did not know, Khalida reaches in to the box and first removes the yellowing paper. Unfolding the letter, her eyes widen.

As she finishes, she is tempted to slam the door to the box shut and walk away; integrating herself into the world of the Kindred seemed difficult enough. Yet she knew if she did, it would do no good. The letter gave her at least that much information.

Scanning the note again, she looks for any indication of a date of composition and saw none. But the suburbs were mentioned, so it could not have been tremendously long ago.

Bright lights shining briefly through the plate glass window grab her attention. She sees a huge semi turning in to the parking lot and driving around to the back of the building.

USPS
DET - LOR

followed by a line of numbers

was written on the rear door. Faintly, she hears the sounds of stirring behind the wall separating the boxes from the non-public employee area of the postal branch. Looking at her watch, she notes the time. 9:00 pm. Must be the last evening mail pick-up truck.

Making up her mind she again reaches in to the p.o. box with shaking hands, this time from nervousness, and grasps the ornate key. Concerned if it were let loose without knowledge of what it was, she refuses to drop it in to her clutch, never knowing if the purse would be snatched or not. Holding the key in her hand, she makes her way out of the lobby back to her car. Sammy suggested I speak with an occultist or numerologist. Something of this nature, I dare not trust to a common street "psychic." Perhaps the library at school has an Occult section...

Placing the key in the coin holder in her center console, Khalida pulls out of the post office parking lot, wending her way back out of the streets of Old Town, and heads towards the library at Howell University. I do hope my student I.D. is still valid...

Continued in Howell University.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ivan takes a taxi to the suburbs, asking the driver to cruise around the area. His goal is to spot a group of idle kids on the streets, but the area just doesn't seem right. Too much wealth... too much security. Nothing that would let him do what he needs to do quickly.

So he heads to Old Town. His brief jog through there on his first night in town clearly showed it to be a bleak and hopeless place. Just what he was looking for.

"Old Town?" says the driver. "Look buddy, I don't want to be a pain, but I'm gonna need to see some money if you want me to go in there at this time of night. The fare's already up to $40 with all this circling, and I don't want to be stuck in Old Town without my money after all this.

Ivan takes out a $100 bill and hands it to him. "Here. You keep change. Is fair?"

"Yeah. That's very fair, sir. Thank you. So... where to, in Old Town?"

After a few circles around the area, Ivan spots a dimly lit gas station / convenience store on a corner. Behind the building, easily seen as they drive past, are a group of young kids sitting around. Two of them are practicing skateboard tricks on the edges of the raised sidewalk that circles the building. Most of them are smoking, but no bottles are seen. And, it looks like they've broken the lock to the bathroom in the back of the building, and they're wandering in and out.

Ivan turns forward to look out the front of the cab. He leans forward and says "Drop me off there, at next corner." He glances at the fare meter on the dashboard, which is displaying $85.25 and nods. "You still have $15 tip. But tell me... what is address here? I not read American street signs so good, yet."

"This is the corner of Thomas and Baker. I... I don't see any street numbers, so that's all I can tell you. Somewhere in the 1800 block, maybe? Look... you sure you want me to leave you here? I thought you just wanted to see the slums, but... this place is dangerous, you know?"

"Don't worry. I have friends, I meet them here. I just couldn't remember name of place, so had to see it."

"Oh... okay. Be careful, anyway."

Ivan looks around the area, and spots a housing complex a few blocks further down. It's pretty decrepit, but it looks like there are still people living there.

He then finds a working phone booth, and dials 911.

"Lordenshaw City 911, what is the nature of your emergency?"

"Yes, hello. I think I just hurt someone. I'm not drunk... but on the way home from bar, I didn't see old lady in zebra crossing. She still alive, though. Send help, right away."

"Sir, what's your location? I'm going to need you to stay there for the authorities, sir." Ivan hangs up, and then starts walking towards the gas station. He makes sure to stay on the other side of the building from where he knows the kids are loitering.

When he hears the sirens start to sound in the distance, getting closer, he heads towards the kids again. He jogs around the corner of the gas station, as if he's trying to get away from something. Then he spots the kids, and veers towards them.

"Hey. You, on skateboard. You want to make some money?"
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The boy on the skateboard steps off and pulls the it in one deft move. He turns to look at Ivan. The other kids look over, one of them lighting a cigarette at the same time.

"How much you offering?" the boy says with caution in his voice.
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