One by one the Black Doves awaken groggy from their trials to awaken the Crone herself, Mother Farka. They wake up in the basement of the modest Germantown house that Deep Throat keeps as his safe haven. Upstairs Marco Ramos dutifully checks the cameras and the security. Dusting themselves off, checking their valuables, clearing their dry throats, they survey the situation. Grant’s left repeated texts calling for help, fighting with one of the elusive members of Seven. Elijah was strangely quiet. And then the rapping at the door: Marco Ramos calls Deep Throat to the door, his face ashen. Mother Farka stands in the doorway like a haunt, a messenger, holding a parcel which she slowly extends to Deep Throat. He stiffly takes it in his hand and looks inside. Something cracks and dies in his eyes, but hardly reaches the rest of his face. Ash. William Blake in ashes in his hands.
Mother Farka croaked, “They were prepared for me. Burned him almost immediately, though I tore their pretty little stones apart from under them. Most of them were smart and cowardly enough to run from me, but they left that one brazen little she-devil. She used motorized blades …how do you call it…yes…a chainsaw. And fire. I was amused. But I shattered her little rib cage just the same. Then proceeded to feast on her. Oh yes, your mentor. You must be most concerned with him. Well before he left Jin Li cast burning lanterns on him. He was prepared for an attack – awoke almost instantly, as if supernaturally. No doubt he simplistic magic afforded him that small advantage at least. It certainly would not have saved his life, but he knew this. The Spear is broken on my knee. Let all men tremble, for the crone has awoken.” Deep Throat returned little enthusiasm, so Mother Farka curtailed her descriptions and took her leave.
The coterie left out of respect for Deep Throat, using the time to hunt people for blood. Eventually they returned and Deep Throat reminded them they had unfinished business at The Last Drink. Elijah was still missing, and according to Grant he was trapped inside.
Did You Tell Her That We…
The three coterie mates followed directions into Marble House territory and went straight for the club. A streetwalker cuddled up to Tyler smelling of bubblegum and cheap perfume. Deep Throat scanned the subconscious of her friend to discover that Elijah had made it this far. They dropped the password to get inside and paid their dues. Then they split up. Rowana found the right corridor, but the door was closed and guarded. Meanwhile Tyler turned to mist and let Deep Throat inside the manager’s office. There they found human trafficking numbers, descriptions of the ‘cargo’, information regarding Daniel Gagnier’s vices, and other interesting information – but nothing so incriminating that Sydney would have led them into the heart of the Marble House to find. Sure, Daniel Gagnier had a nasty predilection for the blood of pregnant women and young boys, but in kindred society that would hardly damage him terribly, and certainly not in Ambroise’s territory. While they investigated Rowana found the wife of an old friend forced to work a little too hard for her family. She’d lost her husband, a man the coterie once knew as “the fish man,” and now she was starting work as a “dancer” at the Last Drink – but she regretted the shame it brought her. Rowana had contacts of her own, and took her number. She told her to quit that night and before long she was sure the woman would get a job as a ballroom dancer. …Sophe Peregrin was sure to know someone.
Apparently, someone took notice of Rowana and invited her below. With private invitation, they came to the doorman who escorted them to the private club in the belly of the Last Drink. Naked and sculpted servers offered drinks and appetizers, powerful men and women enjoyed the pleasures of the private club, and in the soft-pillowed alcoves people explored the body’s senses – food served on naked bodies, private dances, opium dens and beauty treatments. They walked to the back which appeared to be a sultan’s den of divans and thick incense.
The Sultan and The Sultry
And there they found Daniel Gagnier in all of his glory- sprawled naked, oiled, with a pregnant woman offering her vein, and a small boy massaged his toes. Others enjoyed the cushioned seats nearby.
“My my, what pleasure. Deep Throat, you stiff little man you, you’ve finally come to indulge in ‘the life.’ And you bring with you this attractive untamed man with you.” And the three of them felt his push. They smelled his kindred presence in the air, smelled his blood on the thick smoke, and felt the rush of swelling emotion for him. Only Deep Throat kept his mind taught against Gagnier.
They tried to convince Daniel Gagnier to share what he had done with Elijah, but he enjoyed the conversation too much and reminded them that they had nothing to offer. He did find it very insulting that Elijah thought he could come to Tricia’s club and steal from her. He’d be willing to give them the information they wanted if they could tell him what Elijah was searching for. And so they learned that Elijah was no longer at the club. It seemed they had no other leads, but maybe Deep Throat could search a little more. His mind-invasion was a well-known ability amongst kindred though, so Daniel Gagnier moved the conversation to someplace more private and asked that Rowana alone join him.
They walked to a backroom. Tyler turned to mist form. While he found himself oddly attracted to Daniel Gagnier, he did not need to do everything he asked. With some effort, he broke Daniel’s trust a little and spied on the two of them. Deep Throat pursued under cloak of obfuscate. Finally Daniel told Rowana that she’d find Elijah with Papa La Croix. “And who knows what will happen from there. Ambroise is very unhappy with your trespassing and your attempt at theft. I’d go quickly.”
Tricia Bottoms came in then, holding a heavy, if somewhat archaic machine gun, and so the conversation ended. She trained it on Deep Throat and eyed the mist that swirled around her dangerously. The Black Doves left, but not before Deep Throat and Tyler noted the safe in the back of this secret room. They’d be coming back for its contents.