Molly Brings Her Father News of the Federal Hunters
Molly Auldington | Jean Auldington; February-March, 2010
Letter: Molly Auldington to Jean Auldington; January 25, 2010
Months ago I had brought to your attention the possibility of a potentially rather serious masquerade breach brewing in New York. I write regretfully to inform you that this situation has only magnified (dare I say exploded) since we last spoke. As I hope you were able to gather from my brief message before that Nikolaus has ordered all Kindred to vacate New York in order to preserve the Masquerade against the egregious breach. The FBI had, by the end, had access to the security cameras inside Elysium and could track every camarilla kindred whom had attended Elysium. It was a disaster. This is what I know:
I first became aware of this situation in regards to the attack on the Settite Halgoramier by parties which have yet to be fully identified (as the party whom it appeared to be is known dead - leading me to suspect a Tzmecie or one with impressive illusionary gifts). The conflict which occurred had apparently escalated to such an extent that kine authorities became involved, including some individuals from the FBI.
At this time, in what I believe was a misguided attempt to neutralize the situation, the Scourge Mr. Haldor became involved. I can only repeat what I have been informed of on this matter: If allegations are correct, Mr. Haldor fairly unsubtly used Tremere gifts to set ablaze several vehicles under the guise of merely using explosives, resulting in the deaths of several FBI agents. I have also heard (though not confirmed) that he was seen (at this time or some other, I do not know) bounding from building to building in what was later -covered up- as an imitation of 'Sabertooth' from some sort of popular film. That these events occurred I can be fairly confident in - in regards to what extent they constitute a breach of the Masquerade I cannot be certain. Was Mr. Haldor sufficiently subtle as to make the use of explosives a suitable cover for his use of powers? Was the cover-up in terms of a film promotion successful? Insinuations I have heard indicate that many lean toward the contrary - but then as Scourge in a city so rife with independents and anarchs Mr. Haldor has also not always been the most endearing of figures, so determining how damning this all is would entail considerable additional investigation.
It seems however that even if one assumes that Mr. Haldor's behavior was less egregious than rumors may indicate he still managed to capture quite a wellspring of Federal attention (as maiming FBI members is wont to do). I cannot say if what turned this from merely a criminal investigation to a supernatural one was some error of Mr. Haldors stemming from inappropriate use of Blood or some predisposition the agents may have had to come to unusual conclusions (this did all occur outside the haven of a Settite Sorcerer, in New York which has already had such horrific breaches as the "Lucasta" incident) but regardless of how such occurred it seems that he became quite a person of interest.
I heard little of this situation for quite a long time, other than mention of FBI interest which I relayed to you as a serious, but primarily academic, concern. From my perspective this incident re-surfaced when Raymond saw fit to perform an emergency evacuation of my haven due to my having acquired a watcher. I believe that he was entirely successful in evacuating me without their notice as they remained at the site of my haven after I had been moved. I then made the mistake at this point of contacting the Sheriff and informing him of the incident (as I believed immediately that this may be related to city security, regardless of my own ability to remove myself). He then proceeded to, in essence, chase them away from the scene - which admittedly was not what I had in mind when I called him (wanting to have some information in regards to why they were there) but such was the way of things. My watchers were later identified as FBI agents - please see the attached, as Mr. Dapaglia is good for _some_ investigation. (Molly includes copies of the artist sketches and names of the three officers she has).
After going through additional steps to try to ensure that I was not being followed I went and attended Elysium to discover that another individual (a Tremere, and apparent haven-mate of Haldor's) had also been so visited by men in a black van.
Further concerning is that it is not at all unlikely that several other members of the city were also being tracked. New York is a city of many very young and very inexperienced kindred. Noticing observers (even such blatant ones) requires a vigilance which I feel may be beyond many in the city. My security identified the threat promptly, and the Tremere is likely also quite cautious - but how many others were so affected without awareness of it? I would not be at all surprised if the number was in fact quite large.
This, of course, leads to the rather interesting question of why those incidents we do know of occurred to us in particular. The connection drawn by Mr. Dapaglia, which I unfortunately cannot fairly argue, is that both of us have obvious association with Mr. Haldor. I have spent a considerable amount of time with the man (as he was Scourge of New York, and in my interest in keeping the Sabbat from the city, as well as monitoring its general welfare, we often came into conversation) and the Tremere literally shared a haven with him.
I suspect, however, if Mr. DaPaglia's theory is correct that the connection between he and I was likely made on the basis of phone records - as he was not a man I saw for social outings, and if our acquaintance was discovered at Elysium than it might as well have been any kindred in the city. Mr. DaPaglia's theory holds further weight however when you consider that apparently the demand made by the FBI was the delivery of Haldor to them in exchange for their vacating the city. Obviously, contrary to Mr. Dapaglia's inclination, this would not do - this is a Masquerade breach of the highest order and giving them confirmation in the form of a live kindred is just beyond foolish. This mess needs to be cleaned up - not merely made to go away. Mr. Dapaglia seems utterly unable to appreciate that. Fortunately Nikolaus is far more wise.
Regardless, the security breach at Elysium was still more troubling than the investigation of individuals. Assuming they knew of Mr. Haldor or had succeeded in placing a tail on one of his many associates it is not terribly surprising that they located the building itself. (I have heard, though I do not know with what confirmation, that they have been known to use some sort of heat-seeing glasses which enable them to identify kindred from kine. With this, it would be a fairly trivial thing to stalk nearly all kindred from this central location.) Further worsening this situation is that from what I have gathered, The FBI managed to successfully access the security camera network in the building, granting them effective cart blanch to spy on the kindred within. I wish I could assure you that there were no breaches during this time - but I cannot. Quite the contrary, even after the Kindred were aware that they were being monitored behavior was stiff at best - the only 'up side' to all that I can note is that by this point the Masquerade was so completely shattered by this point I cannot say that the awkward performances were capable of actually worsening the situation.
Nikolaus did what was sensible, though hard: He informed the city of what had occurred and ordered everyone to vacate. It is, I confess, a bit unprecedented - but given the scale and scope of the breach I unfortunately cannot disagree with him. On the way out he informed me that he would be speaking with Paschek - I trust that he will do so, but I wished to inform you of the situation irregardless.
Regarding my own task, while it is difficult to say that Nikolaus in all technicality remained Prince with no city to command, I could not see advantage in ignoring his order. It is a known fact that there is at least a single seemingly very unfriendly Tzmisce residing in the city - though Sabbat or mad independent is difficult to decipher (it killed a kindred but a few weeks ago, or more, a kindred died a few weeks ago in a manner which seems indicative of a Tzmisce, perhaps I am over-extending my assumption here). Polyclef seems gone, and if the Revenant report is true then we have a brief window of discord before the Sabbat organize - still, standing as a lone Lasombra against the Sabbat horde would be pure foolery - with the FBI to deal with to boot. Instead these FBI agents must be dealt with, and quickly, and then the city needs to be re-populated, by those kindred or by others, if it is to be kept from the Sabbat's clutches - it is to this purpose I now endeavor.
I await your orders Father - lest I throw myself into politics the likes of which I have not yet engaged. I beg of you at least the courtesy of directing me at those in DC I may endeavor to parlay with in regards to taking care of discrediting this FBI organization. We must be rid of them as soon as possible - and there is no time to slowly or painstakingly build up the resources needed to do such a thing.
I am sorry to write you under such dire circumstances Father.
Your Loyal Daughter,
Letter: Jean Auldington to Molly Auldington; February 8, 2010
I thank you for conveying to me the depth of this grave situation. While I cannot fully condone von Metternich's actions, I shall attempt to be understanding of the circumstances which birthed them. I am glad you are safe, and as much as the fall of the city disappoints me. You do well in acting as quickly as you have in informing me of events, as your erstwhile Prince has been slow to bring the topic of his disgrace to light. Paschek, as far as I know, has not yet heard this from his lips.
Word of Helgorimir's fall and the young Tremere's transgression have for a while been a topic of some sensitivity. I shall let you know that the Setite's death had lasting consequences that many are aware of and that while his attackers remain unknown, I know enough to suspect they were not our enemy save by circumstance. I regret that more was not done at the time to prevent this outcome, and thank you for filling out many of the details I had not been made aware of. From your account, it seems that the misguided mercy given to this neonate Haldor shall at the very least prove a lesson to whomever next takes the city, as I cannot help but think that he continued to draw attention by continuing to live. I am saddened that so many Americanized ideas of egalitarianism have affected the politics of the youth that govern alongside you, Molly. I hope that times shall move to such a point that this shall not be, but fear we must in the meantime make allowances for ignorance. (O tempora! O mores! - Excuse an old man's cynicism. What has transpired would normally be unthinkable.)
As for what is to be done about members of the mortal government, I must admit that I am largely ignorant of their operations. It seems to me that the kine are becoming watchful for want of superstitions to keep them afraid.
I agree with your assessment that they should be discredited, but advise that you first make sure you understand them well enough to know how best to attack. While hesitancy is not an option, it is imperative that you uncover how far the exchange of information travels before you begin to attack the heads of this hydra. I will endeavor my best to find somebody from Washington willing to do the research for you, although Vitel and I are far from being close. Once this is accomplished, act as quickly as you can while remaining safe. This is sadly a situation gone too far out of hand to allow for the finesse one would normally need to tie up every loose end of these men's lives. Stop them swiftly even if it's inelegant. You'll have time to pay mind to details once they're out of action.
You've done well with this report and I thank you for the information recovered by the Sheriff. I shall send it to somebody better able to make use of it that I. Somebody, I cannot say whom yet, will eventually have to be sent to the city.
In the meantime, I must also give you two more imperatives: The first is that which I charged you with from the beginning - keep the Sabbat from the city as best you can. Use anything at your means to delay the inevitable surge - because they will reclaim it if it remains untended. If any Kindred loyal to the Camarilla or even disloyal but adamant against the Sabbat remain, I would have you do your best to mobilize them. The Tzimisce is obviously a priority regardless of its affiliation. Once others find and subdue it, make sure that somebody can direct an appropriate interrogation.
While I know I cannot expect success in such dire straights, daughter, I must ask you nevertheless to attempt the impossible. I shall tell you now what you already know, and instruct you to remain far behind anything that seems a battle line. Once there is a true battle, the city has already fallen beyond what you can do to save it, and while I would not see New York fall, I would more so not see you fall, yourself
The second is to see to the Tremere. It is evident that they have put the Domain in jeopardy prior and it behooves you to see to it that their Clan does not further put you or New York in danger. Stories other members of that Clan who have dwelt in New York do not speak favorably. I have spoken to several people on my own and have found that the neonate involved in the beginning of these sad events is requesting transference to another Domain. This, if accomplished, will at the very least place him as out of your immediate concern, even if it will make him harder to deal with for those who will become involved.
I have also heard that circumstances have forced an abrupt change of leadership amongst the Usurpers formerly gathered in New York. The woman now in charge of them is an ancillae named Larissa Devonshire. She is quite youthful considering the responsibility she is burdened with and has significantly less standing than you do in polite society. While I have heard nothing to suggest that she is of any threat herself, it is clear that you must either ally with this woman or subdue her. Make sure she is trustworthy. Make sure she sees what her underlings do and that they are trustworthy. look especially to the Tremere who was also monitored.
I apologize that I haven't more that I can do immediately for you, my daughter. My own duties weigh heavily on me, even though I can see the weight that this bears. Aid shall be sent once I can find someone capable enough to render it. In the meantime, what contacts I have in Washington will be at your disposal to assist in your plans for the FBI. Keep me apprised as best you can of what turns events take.
It is my sorrow to see you amidst circumstances so dire.
Always your Father,
Letter: Molly Auldington to Jean Auldington; March 9, 2010
For the first time, I am afraid.
I have confirmed the worst - SAD of New York has been holding captive kindred and experimenting with them. So far I can confirm a Tzimisce neonate which the entire city has now discovered (on a rare positive note in all this, the Tzimisce terrorizing New York currently does not appear to have Sabbat affiliations) and more personally I now know of one "Hadrian Evens" (a former Prince) and the Elder Setite Sorcerer Helgiormir. The rest of the city does not know yet and I currently have no intentions to tell them. I can think of nothing it would do for the city save whip them into action - which is ironically the last thing needed if we have intent to actually resolve this concern. I also hesitate to share this with Linden (who has allied with me in this - I think largely in fear that Rasa has been taken by them) though I think he may well know the general case if not the specifics. I will therefore probably share the more benign neonate case.
I have enclosed a copy of both of the files I have Father: the somewhat less incriminating one on the Tzimisce (which is still awful) and then the one with the former Prince (which is far worse, and raises some interesting political questions). I confess, for the first time in my young life I hesitated to send the later. The first one is bad enough, and as it is now semi-public knowledge in New York (a city notoriously bad at communicating with the outside world) it seems that it should serve should the severity of the situation need indicating. The later Father I received from someone I can only at this point call a genuine ally - probably my first outside the Coterie. He sent this to me at some personal risk (in acquisition, transmission, and by the very fact he had it). I suspect he did it out of loyalty, and I trust him in giving this to you, I pray that you will uphold my honor in this.
And in other bad news Father, for which you may at least in brief despise me: I have let a Usurper become Prince of New York, and a bare ancillae at that. His first actions were to use his Regent like some sort of dog to fetch information after apparently asking her to undertake some terribly unpleasant ritual (she stated, publicly, that she suggested he not re-attempt it - a jab at his magical abilities or self control I think? She also has taken to referring to him as her "Apprentice and Prince." I am not used to seeing Tremere internal politics so public). I doubt he'll last long, and have in fact already discussed with him what he would intend should a better candidate step forth. I did all this because my only other options were to take the seat myself or to try to press to service a Toreador recently arrived from London whom I had only met that night of roughly equal standing as myself. An attempt to push for junta at that point likely could have resulted in chaos, and I could not take that risk with the situation so utterly fragile.
So now the Tremere technically holds sovereignty, though with such shaky support I hesitate to call him such. Of the sovereigns of New York I hold the least control over him than I have any - though I wonder if he gave an order and I contradicted whom would be followed. I have not informed most of the city of my Status (though the regent seems to know) but I suspect if I did they would leap upon the excuse. It is a sad truth that I don't really know if anyone -even the other Tremere- are pleased with the situation.
So desperate is the situation here that a man I considered perhaps my one rival prior to Niklaus' abstention seemed to drip with relief when I returned. He also granted to myself a book containing a detailed list of a considerable number of politicians, criminals, and police who had been bribed previously. Note that just about everyone in the city except our new Sovereign and his regent knows of this. This rival also knows I received a second folder, and from whom - though has no idea of its contents. I am oddly confident he will not mention it to the Prince, whom he seems to like less than he does me. It is a very uncomfortable, though potentially critical, alliance.
The last real idiot of a neonate found her picture plastered on the front page of the newspaper after assaulting a woman in her home who had ties to the aforementioned Tzimisce (I've included a copy of the paper for reference, though the neonate herself has disappeared - I wonder idly by who's hand, or if she fled herself.. but I can only bring myself so much to care). It's a minor point worth dealing with if she is found again it will be handled.
Benjamin came through for me Father - he sent an Archon of considerable stature, who confessedly seemed ready to do little else besides shake his head when he got here. That said, he will likely prove invaluable if it comes to it. The next thing I will need is more competent kindred - even neonates, or even Anarchs. I just need Kindred here who can step in to assist in filling the power vacuum which exists here as there are not currently enough Kindred to really keep a handle on monitoring -let alone controlling- the city, and this vacuum will be filled with someone - Sabbat if no one else.
Take care Father. I will strive to have better news to report.
Letter: Jean Auldington to Molly Auldington; March 13, 2010
I must ask you excuse the length of time it took me to draft a fitting reply to you. I did not see it as right to write you a response in the state of vexation your tidings brought on. I can concur with you, child, that you are right in being afraid.
You are not to speak again to anyone of the information you gave me regarding your city's former Prince. I order this for your own sake, as well as your ally, whose name I am glad I do not yet know. It brings dark tidings for New York, to be sure, and I know I continue to heap burdens upon you in asking for your silence. Do what you can with the information it gave you, but only as regards the federal agents that have torn so great a rift in the Masquerade. The politics of the matter are myriad and I can say little save that I have learned that old men are sometimes entitled to their pettiness. The name of Hadrian Evans is best buried in Halifax.
I will not lie, daughter, and say that I am not grievously disappointed that some Usurper's whelp has been allowed to hold what many in the past decade believed should have been the largest and most brilliant gem in the Camarilla's crown. I try to temper my dissatisfaction with knowledge that it has not yet re-fallen to the enemy, and remind myself that years before I gave my order to you, the city had long been passed between lepers and lunatics of varying ranks. New York is by no means a proud Domain and this cannot plunge her reputation further than it has already fallen.
I have done my best to gather what information I can of your new sovereign that you might have some recourse against him if things fall as such. My attention, however, is split in a myriad of directions in these nights and you, close to my heart as you are, cannot be my first responsibility.
I have identified your Prince Johnson's Sire, one Seth Fletcher, as being named the Honorable, Cherished, twice Esteemed and Well-Connected Seneschal of Philadelphia. While the Harpies of the region have little to say on his childe (Johnson was apparently was a bit of a bore at court, save that he was passingly good at chess.), I have it on good authority that your Prince for the time being is at the very least quite loyal to his elder. My suggestion is going to seem to some degree absurd, child, but I have come to expect absurdities from the place I have sent you to. I will proffer that the best means to exert some measure of control over your Usurper may be to go through his progenitor and to make clear to him how his childe represents him and the city's regent, as hierarchy seems to be somewhat confused in that regard. I fear your city is one that is ruled by children in these nights, and you, still a child as you are, must seek someone to parent your would be betters. History has found that no good comes of Tremere playing at games of kingship.
Your intended course of action against the federal agents seems a solid one, although I would seek out a greater diversity of allies than Linden were I you, especially given the indication that one among these hunters has powers that might match some of ours. I admit that I have no great love of madman, and will say that Linden's brood has long been a troubled one from what I have heard. The death of his childe, Artemisia some years back was a source of much whispering behind closed doors. I pray you do what you can to contain the situation swiftly, and do not hesitate to ask my aid should things become irreversibly dire. I cannot fight my battles under the flames of a new Inquisition. I must trust that you have sense to know at what point my attentions must be demanded and at what point they must not.
Make use of Benjamin's acquaintance while you can, daughter. His mistress will be quick to act if she finds him dallying long.
I hope this letter finds you still safe and free from harm. I know I wish too much to hope it finds you happy.