Vampire: The Endless Waltz
Episode 4: Live by the Sword – Part 2
With the silent alarm triggered, Constable Ihram, along with Kane, Thessaly and Dimitri headed to the Natural History display. Kane shifted form, the power of the blood causing his form to contort into that of a large black puma.
They entered the display room, passing the cabinet containing the stuffed skin of a tiger, it’s form having been position to appear as if it was leaping at some form of prey. Looking up at the upper level of the room nothing unusual was spotted. Inhumanly agile, Ihram seemed to glide up the stair case to the floor above, followed by Dimitri and Kane. Thessaly remained on the lower floor keeping look out. Looking upward at the skylight Ihram and Dimitri noted that a window had been forced open. Ihram regarded the black cat and asked Kane to go and check the geographical display room while Dimitri and himself will go through towards the Egyptian display. Thessaly was ordered to go back and head through the party and meet them at the other side.
Dimitri and Ihram passed through the Lizard room. The displays of live animals, snakes and lizards and frogs, hissed and chirruped. Green light bathed the room. They then entered the Egyptian room and from above they could see the cabinets filled with mummies and coffins, all illuminated dimly. Dimitri headed down the stairs to the lower level and started to look about the displays while Ihram continued onwards towards the main entrance of the museum and the displays of weapons. Dimitri spotted that there was a door open that led into the hallways of the staff only sections of the museum. The door would normally be hidden by a curtain. Dimitri was then joined by Kane. Kane had followed his scent and now here he had picked up another scent.
Meanwhile Thessaly re-entered the party and quickly made her way through it and made her way to the main entrance of the museum. Here, near the gift shop and stairs to the part of the museum devoted to weaponry and unique displays, Thessaly could hear the crunching of glass above. She headed up the stairs and quietly made her way up. She could hear glass breaking and muttered voices in a language that she could not make out. She crept up on the intruders and found that there were three of them. They had broken into the Japanese weapons display and had removed a sword and a ceremonial fan. They spotted Thessaly and went to attack her. Thessaly, noting the one of them had a crowbar, fled to get the others. As she made her way out of the display room she was met by Constable Ihram. She also saw that has gnarled nails had extended into crooked and cracked claws. Ihram met the crowbar wielding man (they were Oriental) and sparks flew from the iron bar. The intruder was well skilled and fought Ihram with a flurry of kicks and swipes of the bar. Thessaly, summoning her courage, launched forward at the man, landing a blow to his side. Turning to retaliate the man missed with the crowbar, ad seeing his opening Ihram struck with his claws, raking them up the front of his chest. His rib cage was gouged apart and his entrails spilled to the floor. He slumped to the floor dead.
Dimitri and Kane moved down the corridor and found an office that was open. It was labelled as being the office of Dr Gorten, and it was filled with filling cabinets, a well stocked bookcase and a few cases displaying relics of Arabic origin. Kane picked up the scent, noting it was completely different to the scent from the Animal display. The scent seemed to originate within the museum. Kane followed the scent and found that it led to an open fire escape.
With the party over, and the guests escorted via a different exit it was found that the Oriental men had escaped. But there had been another break in at almost the same time. CCTV showed that neither group were Kindred. Ihram, Chamberlain Odans and the coterie discussed the issues of the night. The weaponry display was a personal collection of the Chairman’s and so Odans had been ordered to recover the items. As for the second break in it seems that the Chairman had been targeted twice. The coterie were to remain quiet on this matter and recover a briefcase and it’s contents that had been removed from the office. The briefcase is the possession of Dr Tobin of Astra Zeneca, a local pharmaceutical company that the Chairman has influence within. This was the main priority but the recovery of the sword and fan was to be made known to the Kindred of the city so to act as a decoy for people’s attention. Dimitri was asked to look at the CCTV images of the evening’s events as they needed to spot who the intruders were working for at the party.
Looking at the CCTV images, and with some time wasted replaying segments, two faces are made out in the corridor to the office of Gorten. Comparing to footage of the party (a very confusing mixture of images and blurs, but also of those Kindred making their reflections and images appear, Dimitri works out that the two men were the retainers of Natalia Kerkoft.
Kane meanwhile takes the form of a small cat and follows through the city the trail of the Oriental intruders. Earlier Ihram had shown them all a piece of skin he had taken from the dead man. It was a tattoo of a phoenix which Thessaly had identified as being the emblem of a Triad gang in China Town. This was further confirmed by a book of matches on the man. It was from the strip club in Chin Town called ‘Long Legs’, and had a phone number for a girl called Ebon Jubei. Kane cross numerous busy roads to get to China Town and found the scent ended at a large building that was once a warehouse and now was home to a few shops and a Buddhist temple.
Thessaly and Dimitri had made their way across town to the office of Patrick Falken. He had called them concerning the nights meeting, their opinions, and then he showed them some pictures. They were of one of the men they were seeking. It was a different photo though and then they were shown the same picture zoomed out. It was of the man talking in a café to another man and a file was being handed over. Falken said he had seen the man at the meeting last night. He revealed that the photo was one of a number that was on the hard drive that they coterie had recovered. He knew the man worked for Kerkoft. He wanted Dimitri to do his work on the photo and find out what else was going on.
That night Dimitri used his techinal skills to improve the resolution of the photo. It seemed that the file was from Astra Zeneca. Why was Natalia Kerkoft interested in the Chairman’s business there? Why were they at the meeting? How did they know the Oriental men were going to break in? What is in the briefcase? What has it got to do with Arabic history? How does this all link to the death of the Prefect?