Waltz of Flesh

Stave 1 Tyranny of the Bones Part 2

Bribes. Blood Ties. Fiery, Liquor-Fueled Brawls. Enjoy your stay in New York.

One week later – Moon Phase: Waning half

A pack’s work is never done and the hunt is ever on. The core of the pack of Lion continues to seek purpose and scratch out their territory. Nose to the ground and ear to the wind.

Following up with some leads, Joe suspects Nico might have known more than he let on, and starts to wonder just where all of the gang-banger’s new assets might be coming from. Nico dismisses his friend’s inquiries with a cool business as usual feel that a Hun lieutenant might have used after taking a new village from some barbarian tribe. “More territory,” he went on, “means more recruits, who all bring in more tribute. And the more chicos that stick it out means more we got to make sure everyone sees the greatness of the Trinitarios.”

Once regrouped, the correspondences that One-Eye found at Lab 28 were reexamined, and then passed to Claws-Like-Oak-Spears. Appearing to indicate that some form of scheduled pickup by Ardus Enterprises had not occurred at Lab 28, and also at other locations such as Lab 23, causing backups and problems. The next pickup schedule indicated that in 3 more days on Monday Lab 23 was come due. The Moon Dancer Oak-Spears set his pack to consult with Mother Larissa yet again. While studied in the Mysteries, even she was not familiar with meaning of the strange language or the watermark in these documents. During their gathering, both Jason and Joe petitioned Mother Larrissa to assist them in learning new Gifts. Through short ceremony and Name the Spirit and Call the Spirit, a conference was called of Falcon’s brood. A veneration of Falcon to the Philodox granted him the Truth of Gaia. Further communion with the spirits of Kings long gone, channelled through the Silver Fang and called forth by the Pauper Queen granted the knowledge of City Running to Jason. Tasks yet before them all, Oak-Spears put his packmates to the task of rallying back at the Caern before Monday’s dawn.

Breaks-the-Maze-Walls remained preoccupied with rear-guard duties for the pack’s recent major outing. Covering her ass was something that was nearly second nature, but a whole new beast when covering for three people. Unfortunately for her, the task of masking such a Veil incursion was no mere beast, and monsters like this don’t sleep easily. With a Gift of Persuasion and attempting to act as the Voice of Reason, she coaxed out yet another bribe tribute from her Elder. A pair of Wyrm Scale talens were produced by Hundo Chunder before leaving the Caern’s bawn. In this way in the dead of the night, Shera secured the assistance of a Stuart Stalks-the-Truth, Fianna tribemate and local legend. With a few quips, a bartering of favors, and a warning about the twisted signs of Black Spiral Dancers, Shera left the Ragabash’s office with a sense of completion.

Claws-Like-Oak-Spears was not new to the concept of leadership or of family ties. The loss of his own mate and the tormenting disappearance his sister-in-law in recent days was burned solidly into his mind and eyes. The moon-dancer set about any contacts he could locate across the Sept to watching Kinfolk more closely. Anja’s death couldn’t be discounted from the realm of possibility. Damn the consequences, her captor would pay. The Glass Walker Galliard Feedback, visiting the Sept at the time, had been alerted and would be able to get out a search net on Anja and put some more digital eyes on local Kinfolk. However accustomed to taking charge as an Alpha, the urge to take on all the burden of the search-and-rescue only heated the already-boiling desire for vengeance. He took it upon himself to find the other site mentioned in the Doctor’s letters. He hadn’t expected that a boiling pot could be so quickly iced when he discovered that Lab 23 was a public hospital.

Entrusted by Claws-Like-Oak-Spears, the task of scouting and infiltration fell to the one most able to pass between the humans. Besides, Nico was always checking in on his subordinates at the ER there. He was pretty sure he could get what they needed. Stake-outs are easier when you’re used to not eating, so why couldn’t he be great at it, even if was a Trickster’s errand? Joe was even more surprised when his efforts bore fruit days more in advance than he could have hoped. The Wyrm Mobile Ardus Inc Disposal System truck came sputtering in early on Saturday morning after the dawn. A buzzing Truth Earring let Joe know that the humans here were just doing their damn jobs and giving a smoke and a lighter to a bum…packing away biohazard bags bound for whatever living hellhole landfills Ardus felt like tossing them in later. Though they didn’t seem to have picked up anything like what he saw back at Lab 28 in the Yonkers neighborhood, he wasn’t about to let the opportunity go to waste. Joe used the careless workers’ access point and mentally mapped the layout of storage, offices, and emergency access ports on the ground floor. Turns out, rent-a-cops overlook disfigured homeless men just as much as police and nurses do. When you already smell like puke and filth, it’s easy to move around unnoticed in the rest of it, even in the Weaver’s domain.

Feedback’s promise of a 2-hour response wasn’t able to be kept, but Saturday evening visited Jason’s phone with a Facebook post: Anja had been selfied and tagged in a local college bar. At Shakey’s, Nathan Tanfield sat over a book at the bar with Anja, going over the history of the 19th Century at a professorial level discussion, encircled by wild college frat boys, red plastic cups, fist bumps, Abercrumble & Fisch khakis, and backwards ball caps. A quick plan and Gnosis guiding the intents of the Alpha to the Pack, the trio entered the bar as if three individuals with separate intentions, yet tuned as a single living being. Joe’s scruffy anonymity and Scent of the True form, Jason’s silver tongue and aura of confidence, Shera’s stalking instinct and ready Rage: ingredients coordinated for an alley ambush. No mercy for the walking dead who corrupt Gaia’s own Kin. Her friend lured out to a midnight stroll for cool air after their drinks, Anja was left to stricken horror as her Nathan was shoved into an alley and made bloody war upon. While the preternatural speed of Nathan was at first tide-turning, Jason’s merciless pythons strangled what life was left from the fireball-toting corpse man. A grain-alcoholic, glass-filled spray of fire ruined Joe’s night, and made it the vampire’s last one. While late to the party, Shera’s hasty tear through the Gauntlet afforded her the ability to tear through manifested minor Banes.

Joe’s Metis-natured healing leaves him only Mauled after the fray, but is in no condition to continue the hunt for Lab 23’s Wyrm-servants so soon. Jason’s Rage and vengeance stand fulfilled with a new bloody trophy skull and fangs pulled from the tweed clothes. Shera stands on edge after missing the kill, but reveling in the Howl of the kill’s completion and kin’s safe return. Anja clings in place against the brick walls of the alley, white as the corpse they just slew and silent as the grave. Screams of a brawl, several bright explosions from an alleyway, a shattered liquor bottle, and the bellowing howl of Crinos in bloody glory.

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