No Escape

In a pizza shop...

Dr Salt: A Visitation

I’ve just had a visitation. Not from Terry, oddly, so I imagine my letter isn’t out strumming heart strings yet, but from another like me.

Dom had decided that, having devoured a small truckload of pizza and beer, that now was the time to remove his catheter. I have to credit the guy for his ability to endure discomfort if not for his sense of priority. I don’t know what he and Sylvia were like when they were both younger. I wonder what the big guy wants, under all the layers of numb hide that his years of losing out have draped over him. He seems grateful we got him out of the asylum though. I guess having to watch the world go by is a lesser doom than Symes’ tender mind games, even if Sylvia does have a temper on her.

Out of Hell and back to Purgatory. Maybe his priorities aren’t so bad after all. He said before dinner that he didn’t want any Nosferatu blood, though he was quick enough to retract that later in the night. I wonder how different Symes and I taste.

And on the topic of blood, my visitation. A clanmate of the butcher in doctors clothing and myself, called himself Jimmy, though he seems to have acquired his wardrobe from the gangster section of a seventies police drama’s costume department. I didn’t get the rage off him, but he clearly recognised me, and he knew enough about both of us that he must be Kindred.

Still smoking, too. Old habits really are hard to break.

Jimmy filled me in on the city as the plague hit, and its subsequent division between “the family” and “the Man”. We reached a suitable detente with my not shooting him under the table and him not shoving his cane between my ribs, even though we’d both clearly had difficult nights.

He and his friends are quick on the uptake, I’ll give them that; they already knew about the guys that Ariette and Sylvia drained. I’d hoped my disfiguration gambit would buy us a little more time, but these guys know the signs so I suppose you have to respect professional aptitude. My plan would have messed with any human coroner. Jimmy gave me a quick rundown of the city since Lambert put us in the ground. The plague left the city in lockdown and under almost martial law by the CDC, with rioting and infected that my new friend described as “zombies” decimating the Kindred population. And he told me to keep a firmer hand on “my girls”, though I don’t see how that’s any of his business. He’s probably a product of his upbringing; insecurity hidden behind a veil of cheap misogyny. Nonetheless, he happily answered a couple of questions.

As I mentioned, he describes the city’s remaining Kindred as having divided their numbers between “the Man” (possibly remnants of the old Invictus powerbase?) and “the family”, which he seems to associate with a politicization of Clan Nosferatu. He left me with a dead drop to contact the family, which may be useful; apparently it was their leader Drake who turned over my little occult library. So that’s compromised as a haven, though the books can probably stay there until I find somewhere to move them. If they want to use the stuff I’ve gathered that doesn’t bother me, I just never expected to be handing out library cards to the local bogey men. He also gave me the address of a Mekhet PI who might know about local blood magic circles… fuck, that sounds so stupid. It’s not always easy to maintain skepticism, but the word “magic” still shits me. Need to think of a better word for it… no matter. Mekhet, investigator, Keller Street office above a bakery. Whoever it was murdered Terry might think they got away with it, but they didn’t reckon on Dr Salt. Don’t know where the Bastard is, but learning how he thinks is the first step.

He gave me a dead drop to get in contact with the family (Maine 723rd, remember that). Given the other events of the night, I’m not sure I value our chances with “the Man”.

As if in answer to my fervent hopes that Ariette and Sylvia would behave themselves, they returned to the pizza shop out of their fucking minds on LSD, rambling about having embarrassed themselves in front of one of the local Kindred. So that’s a good start to our lives in the new Brookemouthe. I guess I might have to tighten that leash after all.

Dom and I managed to wrangle a hotel room for the day. I was going to go back to the sewers, but Sylvia nagged until I eventually caved and agreed to stay with the two of them in the bathroom. Figured it would be best to keep an eye on them, given they were high as fucing kites. Domovoi and Sylvia were both still hungry, so I juiced up the big guy. Like I said, folk might not like eating bugs, but it tastes just fine to a starving man. Better he’s fueled in the event of trouble, and if the guy likes me he’s less likely to stake and eat me while I sleep. Or at least he’ll feel really guilty about it if he does.

I’ve been keeping pretty full myself, the stuff I’ve been pulling out of people is far more potent than the rats I’m used to. If I can glut the Clay Man then the chance of an outburst is greatly reduced. It might be in the greater interest if I keep myself sated on the strong stuff, though I may have to look into getting some new traps as well. I imported those damn white rats for a reason, no sense not eating them. Of course, for traps we need money. I don’t have money, or a secure place out of the sun for that matter.

Have to look into it. The old crack house we stayed in… before might still be there. And if there are squatters, heck. Maybe its time for some social psychology.

Well, looks like we’re all getting ready to leave, so I’ll finish this off. To do:

-See this Mekhet detective. Try and pick up the trail of any cults or ritualists with a taste for human sacrifice.

-New traps. Step one: Money

-Touch base with “the Family”, so they know we’re friendly. Maybe arrange a gift for Drake. A tasteful sweater perhaps. I imagine he’d prefer a legion of barely conscious people bundled into a giant cake, but I don’t have that on hand.

-Go and meet “William”, two nights from now. Don’t know what the significance of this is, but Ariette keeps bugging me about it.

-Check out the old crack house, maybe. You never know what your luck has in store.

-Continue to formulate plan to neutralize Symes. Maybe test the waters with the Family first, he may be a pillar of the Goddamned community if my luck holds the way it has been…

Addendum: Ariette has confided in me that, in addition to making a fool of herself in front of the neighbours, she and Sylvia killed a man in front of them. Better and better…

She’s admitted she needs help at least. That’s the first step to recovery. And I guess we’ll have plenty to talk about when we go to see William…


GM_Tim Quorg

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