Bands That Brody May Have Been In and Other Adventures
Piscina Nadya; February 9, 2009
1. Pisces creates a glove that acts as a vehicle for delivering the sensation of the vampiric Kiss, the human orgasm, and simple warmth. She programs it to release the sensations in response to pressure and certain hand movements. She makes it invisible by leaving out the visible part of the illusion, and avoids losing it by wearing it most of the time. She spends a truly unnecessary amount of time testing and refining it.
(Spent: 2 will, 2 blood)
2. On Thomas St. Pierre's invitation, Pisces visits Cleveland. She spends the first week of this influence cycle planing her trip, and leaves on a Greyhound bus on Sunday evening. The drive is only about eight hours, so she hopes to make it to Cleveland before dawn, but if it looks like there's any chance she won't she'll leave the bus in plenty of time to scrounge up a temporary haven, quizzing the local animals for safe places and using Chimerstry to cover herself in disgusting illusionary garbage like she did in Europe.
In Cleveland, she'll stick close to Thomas - depending on him for a haven, to represent her at the Elysium, to introduce her to Benny, the Scourge, and to inform her if there are any members of Cleveland she might be able to take on as clients. She will not reveal her clan unless it is absolutely necessary and she'll wear street clothes instead of her skirt and scarves to blend in better (and so that she isn't immediately identifiable as "that girl with the scarves"). She will leave very quickly if the political or social climate seems hostile or dangerous.
[Sin]Assuming it seem safe to stay, she'll see if she can get Thomas to get Benny to share stories about Gene's childe-hood with her. If it seems safe to go to Elysium, she'll observe the people Gene has told her about, like Alicia Tried, the evil Harpy lady, and the Prince of the city, if he make an appearance. She'll very carefully explore the city, wary of the Sabbat presence, spending most of her time obfuscated and all of her Streetwise to stay aware and safe. She visits the law firm and the newspaper Gene worked at, his college, and whatever other places he had been and experienced that she can derive from the Internet (maybe his high school, college, or childhood neighborhood).[/Sin]
Thomas has agreed to teach her Ancient Egyptian, so she'll start taking lessons from him while in Cleveland. If everything goes as planned. She'll return to New York on Thursday.
1. Pisces' people notice an uncharacteristically dopey grin that comes and goes on Pisces's face and wonder if she's been into the catnip lately, so to speak. You can get an item card at game for your glove.
2. Courtesy of Eugene Wright's Player:
Thomas is delighted when you agree to visit, and recommends a departure time, having made the drive a few times himself. He seems beside himself that you're coming out - it's refreshing to see him this excited, considering the little metaphorical raincloud that's been following him around of late.
The drive itself is mostly uneventful: you find that February is one of the best times you could have planned a bus trip to Ohio, as the skies stay dark long after you arrive. Thomas is waiting for you at the station, which is dingy, poorly lit, and seemingly devoid of a full-time janitorial staff. Bus-ventures aside, Thomas is happy to put you up at his place - insisting that you sleep in his bed, while he takes the futon-couch thing in the living room. Although he looks quite comical on it, being so tall and lanky, he absolutely refuses to entertain the notion of any other sleeping arrangements.
On Friday (They seem to hold court on Fridays here too. You briefly entertain the suspicion that some unseen cosmic force must be guiding all these vampires, to meet so uniformly and arbitrarily - then you realize you're being silly, and stop looking for patterns where there CLEARLY ARE NONE) you arrive at Playhouse Square, where Prince Campana holds Elysium. The parking lot is still mostly empty, there are a few Hummers, one the same garish yellow as Gene's, a lexus, and one yellow cab. A smallish man in a rumpled suit comes out to greet you two, a smile on his charmingly ugly face. His nose seems too big for his head, and there are a few moles - he seems out of place in this time, like he would have fit in much better in one of your audiences, all those years ago. Sheriff Benny Sincovic, as it turns out, is very pleasant to the both of you, says he's been expecting you, and bids you come inside and hang out in his office before the 'suits' arrive. He speaks with a slight inflection common in east coast Jewish men, albeit with a heavy lisp. As he speaks, you notice that he is missing a large portion of his tongue - and is pleased as punch when you decline his offer to mask the lisp with obfuscation.
Benny's office is much like the man himself - fairly unadorned, practical, and possessed of a slight, rusty, vinegary smell. There is an uncomfortable couch, a few chairs, a half-dozen or so shotguns in various states of assembly scattered about, a post-it board with various addresses tacked to it, a few photographs with red marker notes, and some string attaching certain photographs, and the word 'SABBAT' with a red frowny face drawn after it. There is a single door to what looks like a closet, and the floor near it is stained with intermittent splotches of what might be rust, wine, or something more common to vampires. Atop his desk there sits an unopened 6-pack of Great Lakes Nosferatu with a sticky note reading "Benny - couldn't resist. ~Brode."
The conversation is genial - you get the impression of a man who is likely cheerful whether he's taking out the garbage, chatting with friends, or using one of the many, many guns to, well, do what guns are for. He's clearly very proud of Brody - who he never calls by any other name, and warns you to do the same here, as it's apparently A Thing. In his words, "Frenchy here'th good by me - Brody the'th he'th good, tho he'th good. Frenchy the'th you're good, tho I imagine that Brody'd thay the thame." You smile demurely, and awkwardly posit that you'd like to think, and certainly hope so. He asks what your clan is, and St. Pierre awkwardly tries to interject. Benny shushes the Toreador, and nods, saying that he understands, and since you're not Camarilla or anything - and not staying too long, that it shouldn't be a problem - especially since Thomas has offered to vouch for you. As he is absentmindedly polishing an abnormally large shotgun, he casually comments that so long as you're not a Sabbat spy, nothing bad should happen, and he won't have to use the closet or anything.
It is at this point that you recognize the feint rusty vinegar odor, and as Benny continues his cheerful banter about how he's been making some ground with the last Sabbat spy who came through, you feel increasingly uncomfortable and wonder if the poor whatever in the closet can hear what's being discussed.
At any rate, you do find out a few interesting things regarding Brody, and you don't have to push all that much. Apparently, Brody's introduction to the city was an unfunny comedy of errors, as in the middle of Benny's negotiating for the right to sire a childe, Brody jumped down from the ceiling, covered in blood, and began pointing his gun at most members of the court, 15 minutes deep into Kindred life and blissfully unaware of what the hell was going on. Benny had been planning to embrace the kid anyway, so he only had to twist a few arms to get him under the accounting.
Prince Taylor Campana, a Ventrue, apparently harbored an intense dislike for Brody dating back to when he was still Eugene Wright, and walking around in the daytime. Apparently, he was disrupting the Prince's influence bloc with his law firm, and ain't that a story for another day, and it didn't help that Brody did just about the worst thing you can do to Harpy Tried at his first court, 'an that's where the name comes from. Brody Day Jackson, or 'Abandon the day, son of Jack.' So they made it so you have to call him that in Cleveland, and stuck him with the scourge job, which was apparently pretty rough on him - he had to put down a bunch of his 'brothers and sisters,' and that was his introduction to being kindred. St. Pierre is quick to point out that Benny's making it sound horrible, not that it wasn't horrible, because it was, but still - Smiling Jack had apparently embraced a bunch of schizophrenics, and they didn't have enough mental stability to really fight off the Beast proper, so they went... well, whatever it's called. Brody just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, and there's a general consensus that Jack is kind of a fuck-up.
Benny is sure that you don't want to hear about Brody's war stories, and instead starts quizzing you about how he's doing in New York, what he seems like these days, asks if he's happy. You mention that he seems to be doing well, and you would guess he's happy - he did just chase off the Sabbat, after all. He seems content with what you tell him - it doesn't seem to be anything Thomas hasn't already said before.
Harpy Tried takes to you immediately, which is somewhat intimidating - she is much larger than you, and unsettlingly broad in the shoulders. Her face is a near-flawless mask - it doesn't take much to realize that it's mostly plastic. Apparently, Thomas' lacky-ing has endeared him to Tried enough that she doesn't hesitate too much in declaring you tolerated. You never see the scourge, and are in fact told that you never will see the scourge, unless the scourge has to see you. As everyone glibly smiles at this, you get the feeling that Reino might like it here, as you begin a running tally of how often your potential demise is casually alluded to. Tried has little to say about Brody, other than he's "a blackmailing cocksucker," albiet a cute one. She seems to flit back and forth between flirtatious interest and casual disgust in regards to Brody.
When Prince Campana arrives, the first thing you notice is his height - he's not much taller than you are, and he seems to have awfully thick-soled shoes. He moves through his court with measured indifference, his eyes only showing interest as he approaches Tried. He half laughs-half sneers when she mentions you're from New York. You feel smaller as he regards you - possibly because you're one of the few people he can physically look down his nose at. He asks if Brody still carries his black and white pistols with him - you mention that you think you've seen them. "Good," he says, and walks past you in a fashion that you are much more accustomed to. It's somewhat refreshing to be so far beneath notice again. Most of the court seems pleased to see someone from New York, and (much to your relief) no one seems terribly interested in you - they all want to hear about Brody. You get a lot of 'how is he holding up?' and 'damn shame, the whole business of it." but mostly "he's really the Prince? What's that like?" A weaselly man who seems to radiate hair grease (that you later discover to be Seneshcal Murray Spitzer) asks off-handedly if he's gotten any more girls killed - at which point, Benny swoops in, cheerful as ever, and whisks you away from the scene.
He explains that the court was terribly fond of the late Miss Armstrong, and not everybody "gets it." He seems somewhat - softened, by the topic. "The thing to remember 'bout Brody" he says, almost gently, "ith that he'th not a bad guy, not really. Thomthing changed when he - when Fiona died, 'bout three yearth ago. Hith voith thtill fucked up?" he asks, to no one in particular. Thomas nods, saying it's "gravelly as ever," to which Benny nods, almost sadly. Generally however, you get the impression that Brody got along well with the peons, the many, many Malkavians, and the Nosferatu, especially Benny - and everyone else considers him to still be somewhat beneath them, princeship and status be damned. You'll find people who complain about his recklessness, and how he caused a fire that cost many of the Toreador their favorite 'Rack.' Otherwise, you're ignored for most of the evening, and you get a very strong sense of pettiness from the court as a whole.
When looking for the offices of Wright & Co, you find that they've moved a little over a year ago, to New York City. The Plain Dealer on the other hand, is easy to find, and you see that most people there seem to regard him as something of a folk hero, crediting him with 'the Mike White thing' - a scandal where the Mayor was involved in a series of scandals, financial and otherwise - most of which seem familiar to you, having lived among vampires for so long, you recognize their influence when you see it. Gene - as the paper guys invariable call him - totally like, brought the hammer down on this man with COLD HARD FACTS, and now he's all kicking ass in NYC, and goddamn, but he's a heck of a guy. You wonder how much of the sentiment is genuine, and how much is due to the radiant effect of vampiric personalities. Nevertheless, the thought of someone going to jail because of a newspaper is fairly unprecedented, so some of that might be explainable.
You find little in his old neighborhood - while some seem to remember the Wrights, they haven't lived there for some time, and mostly, you get a lot of "shame, so sudden. So young," and you gather that Gene's family died in a car accident, or somesuch. There's next to nothing at Western Reserve academy - he seemed unremarkable as a student. At Kent State, you find one photo of him as Mecrucio in a production of Romeo & Juliet, and a bunch of old college newspapers that he'd written for - mostly boring things, except for the music articles, which are infectiously enthusiastic. Through these articles, you put together a list of bands that Brody may have been in during this period:
- Underground Network (in which he may or may not have sung)
- Johnny and the Dicks
- Starvation Army
The above sleuthing takes up the remainder of your stay, which would up being less frightening than anticipated. Benny gives you his number, in case you need something Cleveland-related. Tried seems bored with you when next you see her, and barely remembers you as you're getting ready to leave. Thomas seems amusingly unsure what to do with a girl staying in his apartment, and is charmingly awkward, but sweet, for the duration of your stay. As you're getting ready to leave, he asks you to do him a favor - if you wouldn't mind, just try to - he doesn't know, reach out to Brody, as he's got to be pretty broken up inside this time of year. You smile softly, and say that you will try your best, but the Prince is a very busy man. Thomas says he knows, and hopes you'll come visit again soon.