Logs:Quests and Beheadings

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Quests and Beheadings


Characters: Pan, Nicolo and Ghandara
Date: 2020-05-19
Summary: A trio of vampires discuss the recent murders and the state of the Praxis.
Disclaimers:

The Lee Circle Library's restricted section isn't so much a part of the -library-, but a subterranean auditorium filled with the constant sound of humming machinery that keeps the water pumps going and keep it dry down here. It's not usually a -crowded- place, and when the others arrive, Pan's the only one here. They're seated in one of the comfy armchairs, sitting sideways with feet bobbing up and down in time with the energetic electronic music emanating from the pink-and-blue Nintendo Switch they're playing.


This is the first time Nicolo has been down to the Elysium and he's glad he chose to when he sees other Kindred congregating down below. It seems so odd in New Orleans to have a room subteranean. God help them if that pumping mechanism ever fails! Considering his intentions for coming to Elysium, he heads straight over to Pan and greets him with a wry, restrained smile. "Good evening, I'm Nicolo - Inquisitor and Lord of the Church Eternal." He immediately offers a hand to Pan in introduction. Nicolo is dressed smartly in a black suite and dress shoes but it's in sharp contrast to his shaved head and tattoos he has up through his neck and face.


Ghandara does not arrive at the library alone, but the well-dressed gentleman who accompanied her remains upstairs among the books as she finds her way to the rather bookless Restricted Section. She's dressed for the warm weather, whether she feels much of the evening's humid warmth or not, a relaxed dress with a vibrant print of birds and mountains drooping off one shoulder, leaving her pale skin bare. Her steps echo in the openness, the emptiness of Elysium, lending a weight to her presence helped along by her bane, by the unsettling weight of far too much attention on the subject of her focus. Which, at the moment, is Pan. Is she the only one watching them? It feels like there might be more observers elsewhere, sniggering, whispering, waiting. Luckily, it abates as her focus shifts to Nicolo, as he's given all that unpleasant attention as he introduces himself to the other. Her approach is slow, but purposeful. She aims to join them, but not to impose, and so will allow time to be warned off.


"Howdy, Nicolo. I'm Conquista del Pan, uh. Honestly I'm supposed to have some kind of title but fuck if I remember what it is, to be honest, I'm -terrible- at being a mystical mystery person. But fair warning, I'm a terrible heathen who thinks Longinus can probably go fuck himself and anyone who disagrees should probably investigate this fascinating Dragon ritual I found out existed last week. It involves long wooden sticks with pointy ends." Pan peers at the Inquisitor over their Switch, without pausing it or the music. When that hand is offered, Pan is forced to pause, and to drop the switch face-down onto their chest to lean up and offer Nicolo a leather-gloved hand to shake. They do -not- get up from their seat, but instead lean over and peer -past- Nicolo to the colorfully-dressed Nosferatu. "Hey, Nic. Nudge over." Pan abandons shaking hands early to wave Nicolo to the side and make room to see the approach of the newest Primogen. Their lips are creased, eyebrows drawn together as that feeling of attention settles, the undeniable sense of -scrutiny- briefly takes hold.


Well this is off to a fine start. First this Pan person insults Longinus and those who worship him, and then dismisses him in order to greet another. Nicolo's dark eyes smoulder but he says nothing, simply stepping aside so the other can be greeted. He too feels the scrutiny, but is more curious than uncomfortable. He welcomes scrutiny. The inquisitor then waits for this new person to identify herself.


This may not be a pair Ghandara cares to get between, what with shots already fired, but she concludes her approach all the same, head dipping in a respectful nod to each in turn, Nicolo first and then Pan, as she offers, "Ghandara Sinclair. Nosferatu Primogen. Among other things." Her smile skews apologetic, albeit insincerely, a hint of mischief in her dark eyes as she regards Pan briefly. To both or neither, she notes, "I didn't mean to interrupt," in a tone that suggests maybe they ought to continue. Surely, that's not what she actually wants.


"Oh shit, I've heard of you." Pan tucks the nintendo into their coat pocket and hops up. "Yeah, no, you're not interrupting. Hi, this is Nicky, he's an Inquisitor or something, I'm Pan. I'm pretty much a nobody and happy about it, but I did just sign up to your whole Dragon thing a couple of months ago, saw from the post you're one too, yeah?" See, now Pan's got to remember how you're supposed to act around another member of the Order, and they are -not- practiced in that. They've got -plenty- of practice being rude to folks from sects they're not trying to be a member of. "Brave job, signing up for the Council, in a time like this. Y'know, what with the murders and the assassination attempts still going on. Last guy like, got a car crashed into him and a freak with a shotgun chasing him around didn't he?"


Nicolo looks down on Pan with nothing less than mild amusement flashing across his face. If what Pan says bothers or irritates him, one would never know. To the woman he reintroduces himself, ignoring Pan's effort. "Inquisitor de Vercelis, Lord of the Church Eternal. Please though, call me Nicolo." He seems happy enough to be casual once introductions are given. "Speaking of primogen, do you know where mine is? I've needed to find her for quite a while now... either she's abandoned ship, or she is very elusive. Either way, it's good to meet you, Primogen Sinclair."


Ghandara's brows lift slightly at Pan's phrasing, but she nods to confirm her association with the order all the same, even if her whole Dragon thing isn't the way she might describe it. "Pan, Nicolo," she echoes in turn, acknowledging names. "I believe Crusader Selah has been removed from her role for failure to satisfy the duties of office. The position is currently empty." With a glance to Pan, she adds, "As is that of the order, given that my easily spooked predecessor had occupied both seats."


"Yeah, there was a whole thing about it. Anybody who was anybody got personal letters and stuff, like they did when Madame Primogen here was appointed? You really gotta start opening your mail, Nic." Now that everybody's been introduced, Pan drops back to rest their butt against the arm of the chair, though their foot bounces with a sort of frenetic energy. "Still, there's so many goddamn seats empty. Ever since the murders and Viv's execution, like. -Nobody's- been brave enough to step up. I don't think -any- of the Covenants have a butt in a seat. Most of us in the Movement don't even go to meetings anymore after we lost Viv and her boy. We had an Acolyte for like what, two weeks? And then the Crusader for a bit. But everybody runs off or gets killed."


Nicolo has decided to tune this Pan person out. They seem to be rather useless as far as dead flesh goes. To Ghandara, Nicolo smiles and nods. "I will be the next Lancea et Sanctum primogen. I'm destined to be so and no one will intimidate me. To whom should I speak to about this? I am a natural leader and will fulfill the duties of the position."

For a moment Nicolo looks down on Pan again, but only with a mild, even look, then back up to Ghandara. "I also have something of interest that I'd like to share. As I'm sure you have heard, there have been several murders; one taking place right near here, which is somewhat concerning. I spoke to Detective Harrington this evening who explained all three bodies were found decapitated, and exsanguinated. Those investigating thing that a vampire was involved. Or at least Detective Harrington did... there were no fang marks however. And no bruising to indicate the bodies were held upside down and drained..."


"You could probably talk to like, the Primogen in front of you," Pan offers helpfully. "I usually try to avoid calling my shots though, just in case I look like a real idiot later." Pan flashes a bright, fangy smile at Nicolo. "Fang marks are usually only necessary if you don't cut off the head first," they observe. "And bruises only usually only happen if you bruise 'em up -before- they're dead, and since bruises are, y'know, blood under the skin? Less bruising if you drain all the blood out. Have you -never- killed a dude, chopped off his head, and hung him up to drain? What kind of Lance guy are you."


Ghandara's lips quirk with humor at something said, a faint smile remaining as she takes in the exchange while maintaining her own silence, a creature of amplified observation enjoying the show. "I can't speak to destiny," she says to Nicolo, "though I imagine it would be a matter of addressing the Triumvirate, through their Seneschals. It would seem what we truly need is a competent Sheriff to address these sorts of troubles." She glances aside, briefly, a thoughtful sort of gesture that passes in the span of... well, nobody here's breathing, so let's not worry about that measurement. When she looks back to the pair, she says, "I imagine what we should do, as members of the Shadow Accords in good standing, is offer our aid and assistance to whatever Accorded body is handling the investigation. If not the Wardens themselves, perhaps the Black Constables have taken up the work. We can offer them pay, whether it is supplemental to another's fee or not. And we will see to the proper handling of the culprit, should they be one of our own." Dark eyes set upon the Inquisitor, she asks, "Are you capable of seeing this done or shall I assign another?" Nevermind that she's not his primogen.


"Oh shit, son, you just got a -task- laid on you by somebody who could recommend you to the Triumvirate, boooooooy!" Pan is -obviously- having fun with this, and is grinning fangily alternately at Ghandara and Nicolo. "You gonna rise to the call? Are you a bad enough dude to see about -paying mercenaries to save the President's daughter-? It's for all the beans, my dude, it's your fuckin' -destiny- to go do this errand and pay some mortals to clean shit up and protect the Masquerade. I mean, they'd probably do a fine job, to be honest, I don't know, cults scare me."


"Then, that's what I will do." Nicolo offers Ghandara an easy smile. "I'm not from here and only just beginning to understand the Accords in any meaningful depth. Would it be appropriate to pay another group for this gesture? Just curious. But I'm happy to take the lead on this if you would like. Mostly I'm concerned that it could be one of our own."


Ghandara misses some of Pan's references, but the last portion earns them a curious look, brows arched high. "Would you prefer to organize our own to step up and hunt when we can't even keep our own house in order?" It's spoken with the gentleness of genuine invitation despite the inherent sharpness in the words. The critique, of course, is turned toward the Praxis rather than the Carthian themself. When her attention returns to Nicolo, she nods. "The Black Constables work for payment. They aren't an official arm of the Accords, but they are effective. More so than I imagine we'll be on our own at the moment. Though I do invite you both to prove me wrong on that point. Few things would please me more than to see what had been a thriving Praxis when I laid to rest rise back up to its strength and prove itself a proper force once more."


"Nah, Madame Primo, I'm not like, shitting on your approach. Pay mortals to do it is a great way to do things, I'm a fuckin' Daeva. Getting mortals to do shit for us is our whole thing. I'm just kinda pokin' fun at the 'it is my destiny' dude, because no offense, but the Triumvirate's so desperate for butts to fill seats that -I- could volunteer and get onto the Council, and he's talkin' about his destiny, and the quest is 'hey go give some money to mortals', it's just inherently funny for me and I'm real, -real- bad at not running my mouth." They shove hands deep into their coat pockets, the digits disappearing entirely as they curl one foot up off the ground to press against the side of the chair. "I got zero things to prove except that folks take themself too seriously are funny as fuck. Nicky says he'll go pay the mercs, I bet Nicky can go pay the mercs, I bet the mercs can do the job. And if they don't, well. I'm sure somebody will, you can't just keep chopping heads off forever."


"MMm. I wasn't indicating that you were wrong or needed to be proven wrong. I just didn't know what the custom was here. Now I know. Since we seem a bit unorganized in our own house, I think it's a good idea to pay them, /unless/ they are already handling it on their own... In that case, perhaps we just offer to deal with what is in our house should it come to roost." Nicolo offers a simple shrug. "I'm just the guy who was curious about a murder at our back door and did a little digging. That's all. I came here to find out what traditionally is done for a situation like this. I think I get the overall idea." He nods and looks around. "Well then, I'll get to it."


"I'm fairly certain you're wrong on that point, Pan," Ghandara remarks with dry humor, on the subject of endlessly cutting off heads. The little smile that amusement inspires lingers as she nods to Nicolo. "I would recommend doing what you can to acquaint yourself with the Accords and the local organizations which participate outside of the Praxis, if you mean to take up that empty seat on the council. Your curiosity will serve you well there." Her smile broadens, briefly, encouragingly. "I certainly appreciate someone taking the initiative, for whatever worth my word is." The humility is probably at least slightly insincere.


"I mean, I'm sure you'd -eventually- run out of heads to chop off, right?" The babyvamp in the long coat seems to think about that. "I mean, I do guess some of y'all lived through some times when there were a -lot- of head choppings going on, yeah?" Pan seems to ponder that. "But like, we've got cops and cameras and shit now, and you'd get caught and shot, -surely-. And once the cops arrest a vampire I'm sure whoever's got ghouls or just thralls in the cops would pick 'em up. Kinda messy, though, but that's what mind-wipes are for. It's a messy town, Masquerade-wise."


Ghandara bows her head in answer to Nicolo's words, murmuring a, "You as well," as he departs. She watches him go for a moment before her focus returns to Pan. "Modern problems require modern solutions. Not that I'd advocate the sort of mess which might have the authorities called in the first place. Proper serial decapitation, unless meant as a very direct political statement, requires a great deal of discretion." Her smile, even slight as it is, proves nearly beatific. "Much as I might enjoy discussing the finer points of murder and mayhem with a capable instigator such as yourself, I have some other business to which I must attend. I look forward to seeing what sort of trouble you get yourself into, Pan. And, more, how you might get yourself back out." Another smile, this one with some touch of genuine warmth, but then she, too, turns to leave.