Thursday 4 April 2019

B+ Student

Previous Session: Cookie Cutter

A junior doctor hangs around outside the rear-loading bay of a hospital – where people usually take their smoke breaks. He’s nervous, and looks out of place (carrying a medical cooler box). A new town car pulls up alongside, and he walks over to the door. A rough (though cleans-up-well) guy gets out of the driver’s seat and opens the door for him. The blood bags are regarded with disdain, but then a hand snakes out to grab him and pull him inside.

David catches up with Earl Snr. David's mother was Beth's (Earl's wife's) sister. When Earl found out about the ritual that side of the family was planning (David's father specifically) to undertake, he sought to quietly spike it - stealing vital component of the ritual - a book with extra ritual stages required to ensure its full success.
There's more to their story, even if David doesn't suspect. He was born a few years after Beth died. Earl Snr. had an affair with her and is sure he's the father.

Gemma Wallace
Concerned sister &
local 2nd grade teacher
Gemma Wallace, Mike's daughter calls to the Browning house. That's unusual, even in a small town, they haven't talked in years. Her father and Earl Snr. were good friends, but one day he didn't come back with Earl and he's never been seen since. (His werewolf head is displayed in Earl's workshop).

That she's calling means it's serious. Her brother Sawyer, who is a junior doctor at the general hospital in nearby Monroe. He's missing, he went missing in he middle of his shift a few nights ago. But since his car is gone as well, the police down there are writing it off as a burnt out, debt-ridden doctor just upping sticks and leaving town.

Earl Snr. the Expert promises he'll find out what happened to him. He's got no reason to suspect anything supernatural, but as he explains to David the Monstrous, these things tend to find their way to the Brownings' front porch. He knows that Gemma's daughter Alison is MacKenzie's best friend, so while there's still no reason for Gemma to suspect that there is some supernatural thing going on, that's three things for her family now.

Gifted forger from Jack's old crew
and master of intimidation
Jack, the Crooked needs to fix up some fake IDs for David - who's on the run from his family and doesn't want his real name to flag any alerts. He's introducing himself as 'Jamie' now. She calls Sally and arranges to drop into his place (an Italian restaurant) down in Monroe.

He thinks they owe each other - he's much more invested in the crew they were part of, but for Jack that was just transactional. She keeps all her illicit stuff in the Brownings, her dive of an apartment is clean as a whistle (from a legal perspective, at least).

They've gotten a set of spare keys for Sawyer's apartment, so they're heading down there now. They can take a look around the apartment before they swing by the hospital and get those IDs from Sally.

Detective Donahue
Thorn in Jack's side
Just as they're leaving town, an unmarked police car pulls them over. It's Detective Donahue, Jack's local law enforcement nemesis. He makes them aware that there are some undesirables moving contraband into town - although he wont' tip his hand at what he knows - he asks them if they could alert him to anything they see that might fit the bill. Earl Snr. is driving his son's truck, but plays the detective's fishing expedition with a straight bat.

They keep an eye on the rear view mirror on the hour's drive to Monroe - but they don't see Donahue's car darken their day again.


Sally's happy to set 'Jamie' up with a driver's licence from Utah, maybe a credit card at a push (maybe even a library card - Sally reckons he looks weird enough to have some wicked books on his history!). They'll be back tomorrow to pick some stuff up

They open Sawyer's apartment - not technically breaking and entering as such, right? It's a mess, but as they enter, Jack spots a familiar looking baseball bat (marked with some black electrical tape) leaning against the kitchenette counter.
The actual tough guy
in Jack's old crew

Then, some rummaging sounds from what they assume is the bedroom. Out comes this young guy, tough and wiry - whose wariness drops a little when he recognises Jack, but he doesn't know Earl Snr or David so he's angling for some kind of advantage.

Jack introduces Ocho, who used to be in the same crew as her and Sally. David muddies the waters even further when he notices the shoebox Ocho is carrying and wonders if they can have it. It's three against one in any case.

Ocho has the baseball bat in his hand now, and Jack sees him look for a space to put the shoebox down. It ends up on the round table just behind him, and he gives the bat a quick flourish, ready to bust some heads.

Jack talks them all down off the edge and presses a little on what Ocho's doing here. Ocho knows the guy is toast, so he's just taking some stuff. Waste not, want not, right? They arrange to meet up later at Sally's place.

When he leaves, David doesn't understand how they didn't put Ocho for more. He obviously knows more than he told them. But Jack shrugs off the criticism. Let her handle her old crew. They dig around the place themselves, and turn up medical stuff - some blood bags paraphernalia and anti-coagulants. Obviously Sawyer was up to no good.

An awesome cover from 30 Days of Night
Art by Ashley Wood
The next day they start to dig deeper in town. Researching the hospital, and strange patterns in disappearances and deaths they find that about 50 years ago there was a worrying pattern, which has begun to reveal itself again in the last few months. Oh, and they see that Velasco, their friendly neighbourhood vampire was a sponsor of the hospital for a decade 40-50 years ago.

County Clerk in Monroe
Earl Snr. goes into the county hall, maybe he can pick up some extra details there - try to piece something together. Inside he queues, and Genevieve at the front desk calls him over - she's got some news on that application he had to renew his driver's licence. Seems like his previous one hasn't been renewed since 1982, and that means he's been driving with a valid one for a couple of decades now!

They really do need him to return the previous one before they can issue him with a new one. Although she warns him that the Mayor himself saw the paperwork and would like to have a chat with him as some stage about the issue. Earl says he doesn't have his old license with him, clarifying that it's in the car (no, of course he didn't drive here without it!). So he wanders out, and doesn't come back.

Jack drops in to speak to Sally again, to pick up the IDs for David (along with the quick-and dirty CDC ones that'll allow them to do some poking around at the hospital).

She's not her usual cool self. Typically she can sit through something like this without getting nervous, but she's talking non-stop. Sally and Ocho are happy to talk with her, Sally from his spot across the booth from her, and Ocho leaning against the counter.
She's realised that Sally hasn't set a price for the IDs. Which means there's a price.

Ocho brings over the refilled carafe of wine from the counter. She scooches over to make room for him - realizing that now she's trapped, but can't fight this.
Sally said he thought that she might want to join them, the crew. They're set for bigger things than they ever could've imagined.

In she walks.
Pale and beautiful, and cool as you like. Right up to the booth.
She knows who Jack is. Has heard a lot of good things about her. She doesn't introduce herself, but encourages Jack to drink the wine that's in front of her.

She'd love it if Jack joined them. Her talents and contacts will be incredibly useful for their enterprise.

Jack tries to clear her mind, asking what the pay is like. Sally smiles and the woman tells her it's $1000 a week, plus extras for dangerous duties.

She stammers, that's more than they ever took in working before. Caught in the woman's mesmerizing stare, Jack drinks the wine. And it's only then that she introduces herself as Sofia.

Jack is uneasy, trying to figure out where her loyalties lie. Almost as if Sofia can read her innermost thoughts, she reassures Jack that she won't have to burn any bridges with her friends. Just keep them out of 'our' way and they won't come to any harm.


David can't believe that Jack's left Ocho and Sally off the hook like that. She hasn't gotten any real answer out of them about their involvement with Sawyer's disappearance. He's mollified by the production of the fake IDs though. There's that at least. But he's more suspicious of Jack's connections than ever now.

Talking to Sawyer's colleagues, they paint a picture of a well-liked and conscientious doctor. All too happy to help out with them whenever they were stuck for time - obviously he was using that to get access to equipment and systems he shouldn't have.

On the hospital CCTV they catch a glimpse of Sawyer heading to the back loading bay, and on another angle they see a town car drive that way - managing to get a clear shot of the plate. There's no sign of what happened to Sawyer, but he doesn't go back the way he came.

David wanders into county hall, and sweet talks Genevieve into giving him the details of that town car - spinning a sob story about being a hitch hiker who left his rucksack in it. She grumbles but brings up the record. Telling him flat-out that it's Salvatore Usardi's - and even pointing out the restaurant he can probably find Sally in!

Jack tries to convince them all that they should leave town. They've tipped their hand to Ocho and Sally - they're both well aware what they're investigating. With all of the clues pointing to Velasco, she starts asking those awkward questions about how much they can really trust a vampire after all?

Earl Snr isn't so sure, he'd like to talk to Sally - if he owns the car then they can apply some pressure directly. But they agree to do some more research. Jack drives back in the new Mustang she's just been given by Sofia (complete with legit ownership papers) - that and a roll of $50s is her signing bonus.


They have access to a vampire hunting diary from the region from the 1880s - and the details aren't encouraging. Most of the weaknesses of vampire are shown to be wishful thinking. Only direct sunlight is effective at curtailing a vampire's power. Then decapitation is required, maybe with a little bit of help from fire.

They consider visiting Velasco, or just burning down his house entirely. But slowly come around to the need to find out if Sally is the vampire or merely a pawn.

Earl Snr and David come up with a ritual to prevent a vampire from passing a set of seals. They'll arrange for Jack to meet up with Sally again and while he's inside they'll finalize the ritual with the seals on the doorways and see what happens.

Jack speaks to Sally over the burner phone she got. She convinces him that it's in all their interests for him to sell Velasco as the killer. As the guy who hired him to deal with Sawyer for the blood.

The ritual has no effect on Sally and when he exits the back door Earl Snr and David are there waiting for him. They talk, and slowly draw out the story - but he wants to be sure that they're going to finish the vampire off before he gives them Velasco's name - he can't take the chance that he comes looking for the rat...

Next Session: Front Towards Enemy

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