Hourglass of the Hostile

Are we at War?

Excerpt from the Diary of Randal Shepherd

Diary Entry Sunday 27th of September (early morning)

Reading over my last entry, it is clear I had NO IDEA about just how average things were going to be down at Rick’s dockyards.

I managed to review things prior to the members of The Scourge getting there. Essentially, it would appear that Mr Walker-Davies has ordered up some pretty high-end tunnelling and earth moving equipment under the guise of ‘EcoSurv’. As far as I can tell, the itinerary taken from the Joost lists the origin of 50% of these items as being from Singapore. The remaining 50% leased from a company known as Tunnel Boring Australia, a legitimate billion dollar Sydney based company.

Concerned about whatever purpose may be behind Clay’s importing of such specific machinery and equipment I elected to discuss this further with Rick (more about this in a sec).
In between looking over the EcoSurv ordered machinery and discussing what to do about the equipment, The Scourge apparently have rocked up to review what has come in, only to have their ‘viewing’ of the equipment interrupted by an alarm sounding from the Industrial X-ray compound.

On arrival I discover that the place has become a murder scene. The Scourge were quick to secure the area and remove potential witnesses. What we found:

- Two bodies, both dockworkers (one a third generation dockworker, an Olivio)
- Both killed with some kind of edged weapon
- Both killed by ‘something’ which emerged from the shipping container they were X-raying

Intriguingly the boys had managed to snap off two X-rays prior to responding to whatever it was that emerged from the container. Reviewing these X-rays revealed two shots, one detailing a skeleton lying prone in a box in amongst the tightly packed electronic items (bound for Adelaide retailers). The second, a shot of the previously prone skeleton, appearing to be pulling itself out of the container it was stored in, clutching some kind of oriental knife.

Having just reviewed the post mortem reports put together by Dr Bishop, it would seem that the blows were uncannily precise, caused by a weapon wielded with force more akin to injuries created by industrial presses or hydraulic rams, not a human being… As summarised by Dr Otto, it would seem that we have some kind of Assassin loose in our city. Oh yeah, forgot to mention that the creature managed to make it clear of the compound rapidly, and that after having Kine searching for its whereabouts for the past 48+ hours, have turned up nothing. Not even a foot print in the relatively soft earth in the fields adjacent to Rick’s dockyards. A freaking ghost!
A brief inspection of the container that housed the ‘skeleton’ has revealed no skin, no hair, and most importantly, some kind of low-tech radiation device which luminesces when subjected to X-Rays. We have guessed that this is the trigger mechanism used by whatever was inside this thing to signal it was time to get out of the container.

That now makes for a total of two unknown aliens who have managed to make it into the city in the past week and have since disappeared without a trace. It’s shaping up to be a bad month, I could desperately do with Thomas’ guidance on where to start poking our noses at this stage. All of the leads the Scourge have diligently turned up have either lead to dead ends or have ended up as mere whispers and shadows.

Looking at the facts:

- Two (let’s call them vampires) Kindred, into the city in the past week, intentions unknown (well malevolence most likely)
- A narcissistic Elder Vampire, in control of vast enough resources to be able to pull in a shitload of high-end mining level equipment in a reasonably short space of time, who sits in the acting Prince’s pocket and who is up to something (but what?).
- A museum break-in where seemingly abstract indigenous artefacts are taken under mysterious circumstances (and some kind of link to the Lawson’s)
- The beginnings of some kind of Bikie or underground crime turf war, the origins of which are as yet unknown (but I have my suspicions…)
- Two factions of Garou, both with seemingly different agenda’s, one exhibiting behaviour which could almost be described as benevolent, and the other the complete opposite and this faction possibly has ties to above mentioned Elder Vampire’s private security (military?) company.

Are we at war? If so who is the enemy, I mean the real enemy here? I feel like I am flailing around in the dark, striking at shadows and sounds, hoping to god my claws strike something tangible. This is no way to police a city…

Add to the above woes, the recent brutal and sadistic killing of a high-end charity board member (and Chief Executive to a pharmaceuticals distribution company known as PosiPharm). While I will spare my diary the details of the seemingly severe torture this poor human underwent prior to him succumbing to his injuries, I will note that a pamphlet from the charity to which he sat as a board member – Little Boy Blue – was found wedged inside one of the many ‘newly acquired’ orifices in his body. The sadism surrounding this attack clearly points to one of two types of perpetrator, Kindred or some kind of VERY sick and twisted Kine, like I’m talking an evil serial killer type. Bishop has told me that the injuries closely resemble those found on a series of bodies also discovered dumped in the Torrens some 20 years ago, people who were also implicated in being involved with some kind of charity. So now I have to have a fairly serious conversation with a particular Kindred Elder. Fuck, as if I need to deal with this shit now.

Finally, I’m not sure if it’s relevant but Dr Otto discovered some kind of discarded intradermic gun canister after that little scuffle with Clays security forces and a Garou. It would appear that the chemical traces found in that canister are ‘military or experimental’ in nature. Essentially this translates to Clays grunts being fuelled up with some pretty hardcore drug technology, but the purpose of the chemical was far from clear. Another shadow?

Well that’s me for now, I’m hoping to have a few quiet nights this week to puzzle over what is happening and possibly pick over my notes from the past few weeks and see whether I have missed anything.

Reminder – probably nothing, but I should just note down something said seemingly in passing by Raisa on Friday night. She mentioned something about there possibly being other Childer of Peppi, as always she gave me a fairly sketchy answer, but there was something in her tone of voice and her body language when I suddenly turned up the heat that makes me want to not forget about a conversation I need to have with Peppi once things relax a little.
Randal out.



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