The Midnight Hour
As the power goes out and the howls start up, all hell breaks loose.
- As Leland, Athene, Erikson & the Paranormalists come up into the lobby, three werewolves burst in through the front door. Within seconds one disappears though, as Nichole vanishes from her orgy in the Red Room in a blur of speed through the shadows to drag it outside. Leland does his best to distract the crowd with his newfound powers to impress, and succeeds in distracting the mob from the dangerous beasts for a moment. This does not last when the two remaining lycanthropes start chewing their way through the crowd, turning the mortal party-goers into a stampede. An unfamiliar girl appears by Athene’s elbow and offers to get her to safety – an offer she accepts.
- Teejay, Altair, & Masau (shadowed by Skinny) all rush downstairs to help, only to be caught in the mob of terrified people rushing up. In the confusion they bump into Athene & their new friend, whom Altair recognizes as Dionnie, a ranking Ancillae amongst the Ordo Dracul, and the sire she would have had, had not Nichole poached her first. Concerned that this woman may be the mysterious person Athene has been so worried about comming to “claim” her, Teejay slips the gold & green vials he found in his grandfather’s chest, before the chaos pulls them apart.
- The Logans & Mina also get slowed as they rush from the Red Room to their consecutive rooms for their shotguns. Ecaterina seeks out the Count, and doesn’t let the throng of people in her way slow her as much.
- Behind the bar by the Lobby, the Count gets his own shotgun (already loaded with silver bullets) and struggles to take aim, while Jaccobi & Barney hustle into the office to get more firearms. Howls ring out in the kitchen, along with more screams, followed by the sound of gunfire. While Jaccobi simply locks himself in a closet, Barney manages to open the door connecting the two rooms, and gets caught in a desperate throng of fleeing people, only catching a gimps of two werewolves being shot up by a team of well armed, well armored men, one of whom seems to have set his fingers on fire.
- The Count notices the Paranormalists trying to get to the bar to help him, then notices Ecaterina appear behind Ralf and drag him down to feed. Ambrose struggles to get her off of his associate, as does Dancer, though she slips and gets trampled by the desperate mob fleeing the Lobby. One of the werewolves proves far more effective in distracting Ecaterina from her feeding, however, so she shoves Ambrose between the them and leaps behind the bar. Teejay & Vincent arrive just in time to distract the lycanthropes as Mina shows up, shotgun in hand, and the two monsters fall under a hail of gunfire from Ambrose, Leland & Mina.
- Having reached the safety of the loft beyond the library, Athene desperately drinks the gold vial before Dionnie can say (or do) anything. As she exults in the rush of power, Dionnie tells her she’s made her choice, and smiles – “I will claim you when you die” she states, before disappearing from sight, and memory.
- Outside the hotel Raven arrives just in time to find Nichole being menaced by two more werewolves. He slips up and draws the blood of one with his claws, making him the new center of their attention, so they in turn turn on him and rip and tear until he slips into torpor. Before they can end him however, Nichole drives them off.
With the siege broken, the gang takes stock of the damage:
- Two werewolves dead in the lobby, two more vanished from the kitchen (apparently dragged away by the mysterious gunmen). More than thirty party attendees dead or injured between the slaughter in the kitchen, lobby & “barn” (over a dozen were butchered there alone, trapped with no exit with a lone werewolf), and the feeding frenzy in the Red Room, though many more have taken superficial injuries from the mad rushes to escape the more violent confrontations. The police eventually arrive early that morning, but accept the arguments that this was, yet again, more gang violence.
- Athene finds herself feeling more alive than ever before, with a gift for excellence and grace that is a step beyond the norm. It doesn’t stop Nichole from wiping her memory of vampires and werewolves when she catches Teejay telling her all about his own changes however. For that breach in the Masquerade, Nichole takes the time to tell him of the traditions, and warns him that such breaches could land him in hot water – but he is protected for the moment as the third tradition – that of Progeny – states that until his release it is his sire who is to be punished. And for that she forces Altair to drink from her, increasing the bond between them.
- When Nichole is told by Leland of Ambrose’s “balls of steel” while standing inches from an angry werewolf, she decides to add all three of the Paranormalists to the young brood, pushing the number she’s embraced that evening to a dizzying nine – a fact that both sickens and terrifies Altair.
- No one seems to take stock of Barney or Erikson in all this confusion, or of what they saw or heard as they scrambled through the chaos of the night. Each is contacted the following day by one Cliff Medrano and given very interesting, and lucrative, new employment.
|Athene||Antiquarian Scavenger||Atlantian Psychic Dark Hero||Single-Minded||19|
|Teejay Brown||Key Grip||–||Vampire (Daeva)||19|
|“Count” Leland Murphy||Cosplay Dracula-wannabe||Vampire (Daeva)||Embarrassing Secret||22|
|Jaik Mkor||Mystery Man||Immortal (Purified)||Amnesia||10|
|Altair||Reserved Academic||Vampire (Daeva)||-||15|
|Professor Erikson||Mad Scientist||Slasher (Maniac)||-||10|
|Masau||Esoteric Dabbler||Vampire (Nosferatu)||-||7|