Friday, March 17, 2017

Night 4 -- The Heist

Night 4
The Heist
Tuesday, November 10th, 1992

Maya wakes up, darkness filling her vision. She had never been in a place so utterly devoid of light, and could never have imagined herself choosing to be in such place. But, she was alive and unharmed, and that made the darkness something to welcome.

What wasn’t welcoming was the vague scratching sound coming from somewhere close, accompanied by vague, half-heard mutterings. “He’s been at it for a while now,” she hears Trent say, quietly. She shifted her head towards the sound of his voice. “I woke up a bit ago, and he was already up. Scratching at the door. Talking about how he hears their heartbeats. How they’re calling to him.”

“That’s…not good,” Maya offers, lamely.

“Yeah, and check this out,” Trent said, and she could hear the rustles of his moving. “Close your eyes, I’m gonna turn on the flashlight.” The light momentarily seared Maya’s eyes, until they again adjusted. Ugh, how come they got the enhanced sight. What kind of vampire needs a damn flashlight? Trent aims the light at Daron, who was leaning with his face pressed again the door, whispering quietly at it, while his fingers dig lightly into the wood. And he looked horrible, his eyes almost completely sunken into his skull, his flesh the color of pale, dead ash. His skin seems to have shriveled into nothing, and could almost see each of his bones, straining to break through.

“Is he going to be ok?”

“It’s bad, Maya. I don’t think he’s going to last. Remember, he hasn’t fed since Saturday, not like us. If he gets out, I don’t know what he’s going to do. And if we stay in here…I don’t think I want to see what he’s like tomorrow. Maybe it’s three days…maybe that’s the limit? Like, three days of Christ being dead?”

“What? What are you talking about?” Maya asks, utterly baffled by his train of though.

“How long we can last? Maybe it’s linked somehow with three days. The Trinity? No, no, that doesn’t make any sense?”

“But it does with Easter?”

“Look, I don’t know, ok? I’m trying to figure this out!” He yells, exasperated. The shouting takes Daron’s attention away from the door, and his corpse eyes focuses on them. “The point is, I don’t think he’s going to make it, we need to get him blood.”

In the light, Maya could see Trent's face, too. He was bad off. Not as bad as Daron, maybe, but bad. Shit, she thinks. 

“Maybe” he says, his voice growing quiet as he looks at the door. “Maybe we could share one. That way we only need to hurt one person.”

“No,” Maya says, firmly. “I get it, he’s hungry. You’re hungry. Hell, I’m hungry. But we’re not killing, not anymore. We’re not monsters. We still have our brains, we need to think our way out.”

“Blood” Daron says, in a harsh whisper. “All that matters, is blood.”

Maya silences him, “Shut it, crazy. Ok, we need blood, and we’re not killing anyone, right? So where can we get blood? Maybe…we go to the hospital? I’m pretty damn sneaky, and you’re fast and Daron,” she says, looking at the wreck her friend has become. “Well, Daron might need to wait with the car.”

“Hospital?” Trent says skeptically. “Won’t there be, like, cops and security and stuff?”

“You have a better idea?” She responds.  He shakes his head, admitting defeat. “Ok, get him up and let’s get out of here. “

Trent gets Daron to his feet, and looks at him, trying to get him to focus. “Daron? Daron, buddy? Look pal, we’re going to go get some blood, ok? But you gotta come with us? We need to be ready to go, ok?”

“Ok,” says Daron, his voice barely audible.

“Ok?”

“Yeah, I’ll be…ok,” Daron says, walking with the unsteady gait of the drunk or the dying.

“Right,” says Trent, giving their haven a quick look over. “Guess I’ll be driving.”

They sneak out, unnoticed by the neighbors, and pile into Daron’s car, Trent and Maya up front, Daron laying in the back. Trent and Maya debate which Hospital they should go to, or even where one is. Neither is from Denver, so they stop at a payphone to look up where the nearest Hospital is. While flipping through the Yellow Pages, Trent idly looks up “blood,” more out of macabre curiosity that anything else. “Wait,” he says, looking at the listings. “We might have another option.”

They decide a blood donation center will be a better target. Not only will it be smaller, and thus easier to find the blood they need, but many of them are closed at night—which means no staff and no security. Feeling better about the new plan, they pick one on the opposite side of town from where they’ve been staying. Looking over their meager supplies, they both realize that they don’t exactly have the ideal tools for such a job.

They drive a bit out of their way to a home improvement store, figuring that’s their best bet. The plan and activity helps them to push their gnawing hunger deeper inside, as they finally feel some sense of control and direction back in their lives. Trent heads in, while Maya keeps an eye on Daron. He picks up a crowbar, wire cutters, and a few other odds and ends, spending most of what little cash they have left. After they leave, they spend the remainder to fill up Daron’s car. They have only a few dollars left between them, but that’s a concern for later.

The one they choose was part of corporate park, practically empty this time of night. Fortunately, the blood bank is on the outside of the complex, facing a small group of trees with a small trail running through it. On the opposite side of which was a thrift shop.

“You said you know how to pick a lock, right?” Maya asks. Trent nods, having, maybe, slightly, overstated his abilities (Security 1). “Ok, here’s the plan. I’ll go first, check the place out, make sure it’s empty. If there’s a problem, I’ll come back. Wait, say, ten minutes. If I don’t come back and you don’t hear anyone screaming you come over. Daron? Daron, honey? Daron, we need you to stay with the car, ok? If anyone comes, just honk the horn, ok?” She takes Daron’s vague grunt as an affirmation, and heads out across the sparse trees.

Maya needs to make a Dexterity + Stealth roll to remain unnoticed. I reduce the difficulty to 5, due to her ability to remain unseen so long as she is still. With 3 successes, no one in the practically empty office park notices her. Is there anyone in the building? No. Is there anyone nearby? Exceptional Yes, a police cruiser idles past. She is hidden by her Obfuscate, but Trent is not so blessed.

Trent is following behind Maya a few minutes later. He needs to make a Stealth roll as well, but at a difficulty of 8, due to the presence of the cop. 2 Successes—he sees a car driving through the parking lot, and takes his time, waiting for it to pass, before he comes to the tree line. Maya’s there, they whisper at each other, and then decide to go ahead with the plan. The cop, they assume, is on a routine patrol, and probably won’t be back for a while, if at all.

Is the building unusually secure? Unlikely. Yes. They do have confidential information, after all, and don’t want to risk anyone messing with the blood supply.

This is going to be tough for Trent, as I set the difficulty to 10. 8 for the quality of the locks, and two more due to him using the wrong tools. He fails, but he does get a good look at the security (5 success), and notices the alarms. He heads back to Maya and reports what he saw, but he thinks he might be able to disable the alarm. He tells her to wait while he checks out the rest of the area.

As he creeps around the area, I roll Mythic to see if anything happens—Altered Scene “PC Positive Dominate/Misfortune.” Well, what’s bad for one is good for Trent, and he finds the junction box easily. Not only that, but it looks like someone was working on this recently. If anything goes wrong, they’ll probably assume that it’s just another short in the system. His difficulty to bypass the alarms drops to 6. Intelligence + Repair: 3 successes.

Reuniting with Maya, he signals that they’re ready. She grabs the crowbar and forces the door open. It opens easily, thanks to her preternatural strength, and they head inside. It looks like a typical office, though with one large room dedicated to taking donations. The soon find the refrigerator containing the blood, and it takes little effort to force this open as well.  Is there enough blood stored? 50/50 odds (EXCEPTIONAL YES 6d10, Yes 3d10, No 1d10, and EXCEPTION NO there is none currently stored here): No, so there is only 1d10 (8) Blood Points worth of blood stored. Maya and Trent stare at each other, disappointed. There’s not much, but it’ll have to do. They gather up what they have and head off. Do they do anything else before leaving? No. They’re still worried about the cop coming back and get out as fast as they can.

Once back in the car with Daron, they tear into the packs, depressed at how little the stolen blood satiates them.  It’s still early, far too early to go back to their haven. What do they next?

(Intolerance/Expectations) They fall into bickering, their ever-present hunger urging them to say vicious and cruel things to each other, each blaming the other for their current predicament. They consider robbing another blood bank, but worry that they’ve already done too much to draw attention to themselves. They drive idly for an hour or so, until they calm down and can begin speaking again. Now what do they do? 

(Develop/Rumor.) They need to figure out what the hell is going on, especially with the investigation. Can they go home? Is it safe? What exactly do the cops know?

They stay to the outskirts of the city and stop at a diner, looking for some place to grab the news. There’s a couple of newspaper boxes outside the restaurant, and they grab one of each of the local papers, but decide to avoid entering the diner—they don’t eat, can’t afford to throw money away looking normal, and could never explain Maya anyway. Sitting in the parking lot, they flip through the papers, trying to sort things out.

On the plus side, they find out they’re probably only being looked at for questioning. Their names haven’t been leaked to the paper, nor their photos. They think, for a while at least, that they might be able to go in and explain things. But, they also find out that Suzanne is alive, and that alarms and terrifies them. FUCK, they had forgotten about her, and she witnessed everything.  Another round of accusations and recriminations follows. But…why aren’t they looking for them? They also find out that three men were seen nearby the night of the fire, and the police are looking for them as well. What do the players do? 

(Refuse/Prison) It's too risky. Sure, they figure, the cops aren’t saying they’re after them, but that doesn’t mean they’re not. And there’s too much to explain—they don’t know what Suzanne told the cops, they don’t know what the cops found, and they don’t know who these other guys are. What if the cops hold them for questioning, into the day? What if they do even a basic physical examination? None of them can stand up to that kind of scrutiny. No, they decide, better to stay on the run.

One thing strikes Trent—Jacob Prestor.  There’s hardly anything in the papers about him. Sure, they acknowledge it was his house, and they blame him for a number of things. But there’s no background. No relatives saying how nice he was, and how it couldn’t have been him. No other relatives saying he always a bit odd. Who the hell was this guy? What do they do next? 

(Oppress/Randomness) They have a decent place to lie low, and they’re starting to figure out what they are. No need to change things up now. The cops are looking for them, but they’re not being actively hunted. They just need to stay away from campus and their homes until they can figure everything out.

“Fuck this,” says Daron. “We should just leave, get in my car, and go. Just get out of town, somewhere the cops aren’t looking for us, somewhere safe.”

“No,” says Trent, cutting him off. “We need answers. Running around blindly has made shit much worse for us. Besides, if there’s any hope of undoing this,” he says, glancing at Maya, “the answer is here. And it starts with us figuring out exactly who Jacob Prestor was.” 

Vampire 5th Edition, After Action Report

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