Hourglass of the Hostile

Methods of Inquiry

12am – 3.25am Monday 28th September 2009

Having come through their ordeal bearing little more than ripped clothing, a small gash along Seb’s third rib and a strangely deformed bullet casing left clinging to the flesh above Seb’s sternum, the Scourge had managed to thwart a focused anti-vampire attack on Adelaide’s latest neonate addition to Kindred society.

Whilst Marcus Fratelli was facing some reasonable repair costs for potential water, fire and human inflicted damage, his club Feminino Machismo had survived. While no patrons were injured in the seemingly random assault, one of Marcus’ trusted doormen – Ridley, had been grievously injured, having been stabbed in the left side of the chest with a wooden stake.

Standing in water several centimetres deep, and holding two of the perpetrators captive, the four Kindred find themselves in the lobby area to Feminino Machismo looking down on the battered bodies of the two doormen, one of whom had started breathing erratically and laboriously.

Crashing to his knees in an emotional panic, Marcus pleads for assistance from those present to help his dying doorman. With focused stares Seb and Raisa attempt to administer some kind of first aid, but draw blanks on how to deal with the situation beyond diagnosing some kind of lung problem.

A burst of densely exhausted air heralds the arrival of the SAPOL, followed by a knocking at the fire resistant glass doors leading out to Peel Street. Senior Sergent Brett Gibbons, having ascertained that the Kindred were in no immediate danger, and that the perpertrators had been chased off, sends his Kine police officers off to chase down any straggling members of the assaulting group.

The doors are opened and Officer Gibbons enters, to be confronted by the scene of medical drama unfolding before him. Quickly calling for Paramedical support, he then enters a brief phone conversation with the medical advisor, who crudely diagnoses a pneumothorax and suggests a temporary thoracentesis whilst awaiting paramedical assistance. Passing step-by-step instructions to Seb Doyle, who under Brett’s verbal guidance, plunges a large round metal pouring assistant supplied from the bar area, and with a spurting burst of sanguineous splatter, relieves the pent-up bleeding and pressure resulting from the terrible stake mediated injury.

With the wail of sirens and increasing pressure for more Kine Police officers to enter the area, the Kindred are encouraged by Snr Sergeant Gibbons to depart the immediate area and take their captives so that no further complications evolve.

Making their escape through the fire exit into a small alleyway, the mouth of which faces Hindley Street, Seb speedily retrieves Raisa’s newly acquired Subaru Impreza WRX 22B. In the moments between Seb retrieving the vehicle and parking it at the opening of the alleyway, Dr Otto takes the opportunity to attempt to obtain some opening information from the two captives. From the young, tall and athletic female, Dr Otto’s enquiries are met with a wall of defiant attitude and anti-vampire zeal. The male captive, badly battered from Dr Otto’s brutal snatch and haul into the lowered portcullis, replies with responses that are closed and delivered through gritted teeth, his vocal tones filled with pain. Their defiance is met with sequined bindings over eyes and in mouth, followed by binding of hands with green bridesmaid dress.

Having been shoved into the cramped confines of the two-door Japanese rally car, the group make their way through the city. Dr Otto initiates contact with Randal Shepherd, who upon realising the Scourges’ predicament and need to question their captives provides them with an address in Unley: 3 Barrow Street.

On arrival, the group are witness to an 1800’s stone cottage, surrounded by 7 foot high brush fence, the gate to which is sitting ajar and through which the group espy a familiar black Suzuki 1100 GSX. Realising Jarrod’s presence, The Scourge suddenly derive a darker premise to what was originally intended to be a session of intimidation and questioning.

Tasked with taking their bound and gagged captives into the house, Raisa and Freda leave Seb to join Jarrod in his ‘specially prepared questioning room’. Seb embarks on closing the gate, however is interrupted by the timely arrival of Randal Shepherd. Allowing Randal inside the property, they both join the rest of the Kindred and captives inside the house.

Reluctantly handing both captives over to Jarrod and his plastic coated room, the Scourge retreat to the kitchen for a brief moment to speak with Randal about what is unfolding. Clearly uncomfortable with what Jarrod is intending to set about (gross physical torture), the group seek Randal’s counsel about attempting subtler methods of information extraction prior to allowing Jarrod to conduct his beastly work. Randal, having been taken back by the somewhat compassionate and tempered stance of the Scourge, reminds them of the threat the captives pose in context of The Masquerade. Randal makes it clear that there are now few choices for the fate of the two captives, and none of those choices stand to be pleasant in any fashion.

With the Kitchen conversation over, Randal informs Jarrod about the change of plans. The group then relocate the male prisoner, who had been zip-tie bound to a steel framed chair whilst the discussion in the Kitchen was being held. Under Dr Otto’s instruction, Seb and Jarrod relocate the chair and it’s occupant to the kitchen, who are then ushered out of the room by Freda and Raisa.

Positioning herself immediately in front of the male prisoner, and removing his blindfold and gag, Dr Otto proceeds to insinuate her vampiric presence into his emotional being. With a calm and somewhat soothing smile, warmth, security and hope are radiated towards him, ensnaring a small portion of his soul in an attempt to loosen his tongue.

In the questioning that follows, Dr Otto manages to extract a range of details from the individual. His name is Vic, he belongs to a ‘greater and higher cause’, a cause dedicated to the eradication of ‘her kind’. The group of Kindred hunters call themselves ‘Chimera’ and he claims them to have been around for quite some time. Despite Freda’s vampiric charms, Vic manages to retain a degree of defiance in his responses and Dr Otto, realising this, and also aware of the taxing nature of the questioning in light of his reasonable injuries ceases her questioning to speak with the others about what has been revealed.

In this final huddle, Randal reveals to the Scourge that whilst he had suspected the existence of a group like ‘Chimera’ but up until now had never managed to uncover anything, an impressive coup considering the volume of investigative resources at his command. Secondly, Randal detailed past occasions of suspected Kindred killings (piles of ash found near crucifixes adorned with empty bindings) and/or wire racks with human sized piles of ash in warehouses, barns and storeyards. Randal vaguely detailed these occurrences as being ‘quite some time in the past’ (some 20-30 years ago) and he also mentioned that these possible kindred killings were strange in that they didn’t involve ANY of the known Kindred of the city at the time…no one known ever went missing.

Breaking the silence the thoughts this information had produced, Jarrod brandishes a highly decorative iPhone 3, with its backing embossed in metal, imprinted with the image of a horse, he explains the item was found in a custom strap and pouch secreted in the small of the female captives back. The phone is currently switched off, much to the gathered kindred’s relief. Jarrod also describes the presence of a Chimera tattoo situated on the lower back of the female captive, matching a larger version situated on the left breast of the male captive.

Contemplating their next move Randal, Jarrod and the gathered members of the Scourge stare at the highly customised and expensive looking phone, yet another puzzle piece to be slotted in the unfolding picture…

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