The Beautiful and the Damned

Chapter Four: Help Me

A transfer of corpses, a transfer of a prisoner, and a transfer of service.

You gotta help
To make me somebody
You gotta help
To open my eyes

Cole accelerated his car down the freeway, away from the chaotic scene that he had left behind in Altadena. Santi sat beside him in the passenger seat, and Gaius sat in the back watching over the semi-conscious and partially exsanguinated vampire hunter Mitchell Phillips. The car’s trunk contained two vampires who had been unfamiliar to the group before the frenzied combat that had ended with the pair falling to torpor from their wounds. After some discussion, Gaius, Santi and Cole decided that the evening’s happenings should be brought to the attention of Andre Laurent. A call was made, and Laurent agreed to meet with the trio at a Brujah safehouse in the Hollywood hills.

Once everyone was gathered at the safehouse, the situation was explained to Laurent. The Brujah whip offered to take the torpid vampires off of the group’s hands and investigate their origins, and so the group’s attackers were taken from the trunk and deposited in Laurent’s car. Phillips, it was decided, should be turned over to sheriff Adeline Leclerc for safekeeping and to see if the powers at the court’s disposal could extract any further information from him. With that, the two groups parted ways.

While Cole made the call to Leclerc to set up a meeting, Gaius decided to call his Caitiff broodmate, Denis Nevski, to see how he was faring. Denis reported that he his situation was much improved; his wounds were healed, he was out on the hunt, and he had acquired the friendship of a fellow Kindred named Narine. Satisfied that Nevski would keep for the moment, Gaius turned his attention to the meeting with the sheriff.

The group met with Adeline Leclerc, who took possession of Mitchell Phillips. She said that she would let them know if anything more was learned from the badly wounded vampire hunter. Santi, Gaius and Cole also gave Leclerc the address book that they’d taken from the Phillips house. They informed Leclerc of their intention to continue their investigation by seeking out hunter Shelly Alana. Leclerc said that she would follow up with them later to make sure that things had gone smoothly.

As the group departed Leclerc’s company, Gaius received a text from clanmate Molly Oxenfree. Molly informed Gaius that she had a loose end from Hector Mendoza’s past that needed handling, and requested that the group meet with her to handle it. An all-night diner along the route to Shelly Alana’s El Monte address was selected as the meeting spot. The group arrived at the diner, and shortly thereafter Oxenfree arrived with a young woman in tow. Molly explained that the young woman was Stacy Whitter, and that she had been Hector Mendoza’s ghoul before the Malkavian was destroyed by Phillips, Alana and Belski. Stacy explained that she had acted as Mendoza’s daytime go-fer, as well as being the model for some of his artistic endeavors. She knew enough about the Kindred court to know that Prince Garza would consider her too great a threat to the Masquerade to be permitted to live if she was without a domitor.

Gaius asked if Stacy could provide any information about Hector that might be of use in their investigation. Stacy said that she didn’t know much about what had happened, but she did know that Mendoza had a deep and abiding fear of the scourge, Bad Declan O’Reilly. Stacy didn’t know enough to have any idea why this might be, but she did know that Hector had often warned her about the Nosferatu scourge. Reasoning that Whitter’s service to Mendoza had likely imparted on her some usefulness, Santi agreed to take Stacy on as his ghoul. Satisfied, Molly took Stacy and departed, stating that she would get the ghoul back in touch with Santi shortly.

With that, Santi, Cole and Gaius exited the diner and returned to the car to make their way to the home of hunter Shelly Alana.


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