Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Promethean: Meet Max (and also Max)

Last night was Promethean!

The characters were at Enoch's apartment, in the evening, planning their next move. Most of that involved rest - some of the characters were getting low on Pyros, too. Feather decided she would go into the subway and sleep there (in the earth, as it were). Grimm, likewise, was low on Pyros and had a bit of damage leftover from poison, so he went for a walk and found a substation, grabbed on, and recharged. Avalon curled up with Fluffy and had Fluffy click his tongue all night, making a rhythm, so she could regenerate Pyros.

Matt decided he'd meditate and try and force a Pyros vision (first one's not dangerous). He tapped into Azothic memory (which, mind, isn't always possible for Extempore, but the thing about Extempore is that you can't really draw parallels between them). He asked about upcoming milestones and who would play an important role (not Role) in said milestone. He saw a vision of Andrew White's throng, and saw someone in the shadows shoot at them. Legion flowed in front of the bullet and absorbed it, and Andrew reached out to Matt and asked for his help...and he knew that choice would be important.

Grimm, too, was wondering about his Pilgrimage, so meditated and asked his own question. He saw himself standing in a morgue, surrounded by bodies already conveniently dismembered. He grabbed a hand replaced his, tossing the original down into a pit...and felt a growing emptiness in his stomach. He replaced a leg and felt it again. Finally, he looked in a mirror, and realized he had no idea who he was or what he should do.

The next morning, Feather came back, bearing donuts, and told them about her experience the subway.

She'd been asleep, but had awoken to someone pawing through her stuff. She realized it was a little gargoyle thing. It grabbed her backpack and held it up, saying "Max." Feather managed to get through to it; it identified her as "Promethean." But when she tried to get the backpack back, it bolted and ran into the walls. She followed it, charging up Zephyrus to make herself faster, and caught it easily...but then Max appeared behind her.

Max was deformed, ugly, and had snaggly, sharp teeth. He talked with Feather and asked if she was like the last one like her, who had come to the Undercity to find himself. She didn't know, but appreciated the offer, and they got talking. Calogero came up in conversation, and she revealed that he'd died. Max asked if it had been natural causes, and Feather said she wasn't sure - and that made him angry. He asked her to deliver a message to Prince Maxwell Clarke, and ask what, if anything, he planned to do about this. He said he could conduct his own investigation, but people would die, and he didn't figure Calogero would have wanted that. He told her that Clarke could be found at the aquarium.

Feather went back to the tunnels and went to sleep, and woke up in the morning refreshed (but grabbed the third rail to top off). And then back to the others, after getting donuts.

The characters figured they would hit the library first; they had some research to do. Grimm called up Justine Berry, his friend in Philly who hunts vampires on occasion (thus fulfilling a milestone; call Justine for help). She told him that the vampire she'd seen (here) hadn't had much in the way of cognitive faculties, certainly not enough to exhibit the kind of planning they'd seen.

Matt called up Sebastian Licavoli, whom he'd met at a synod in Denver, and asked about the situation and vampires. Father Sebastian mentioned that his brother had told him about a deformed, vicious vampire that had appeared in Boston some time back (here). He also asked if this was something that Matt (and his friends) needed to get involved with? In the meanwhile, though, he mentioned that the Zen saying "wash the dishes to wash the dishes" might be appropriate. Focus on one thing at a time, do it well, do it completely.

Matt discovered that the actor who had once had his body had once been in a SyFy movie called Nyteflyers, about vampires. It had been wisely forgotten.

Avalon got to work memorizing books that might have been in Rivers' library, looking for the cipher to break his code. Feather did a bit of digging into weird Chicago and the Undercity, and learned that the cops didn't go there - the place is, as many such places, a haven for the homeless, lots of drugs and human trafficking, but also a story that indicates that the gargoyles of the city sneak off there at night.

Enoch and Matt got to work looking at ChiTech, and after some digging (with Feather's help) figured it to be a shell company. Grimm noted that there aren't a lot of good, legal reasons to set those up, and digging might get the characters into trouble.

From there, they headed to the aquarium. It was still daytime, though, so Feather wound up talking to a manager. When she mentioned Maxwell Clarke, she was told to come back that night (but the whole experience was strangely tense).

To kill some time, the characters went to the art museum. Grimm looked at pictures of hunters and hunting dogs, while Avalon found an exhibit by a local modern artist named Emil Handley. She asked one of the docents about him, and learned he'd be doing signings there the next day.

As it grew dark, the characters headed back to the aquarium. There were no night events scheduled there that night, but there were several cars out front, drivers waiting. They tried the doors, and were met by a striking young woman in an elegant dress. They mentioned the name Maxwell Clarke, and the woman (having been informed they were coming, apparently), let them in.

Grimm, after some grousing, left his gun with a valet, and they were taken to see Prince Maxwell. Maxwell was cordial with them, and revealed that he'd known Calogero since before he became human, and had helped him set up a human identity. He knew Devon Parker by reputation - he was a benefactor of the aquarium and a very, very rich individual, but Maxwell knew nothing of alchemy and so couldn't speak to that. Upon hearing Max Maury's message, he grew thoughtful - Calogero had specifically asked that, if someone bad happened to him, no one go revenging in his name. Maury, however, was unlikely to respect that, and his brand of "justice" would leave a lot of people dead. Maxwell noted that since the Prometheans seemed to be investigating this anyway, maybe they could, like, solve this murder? They agreed, and Maxwell gave them a smartphone so they could get hold of him as necessary. They also asked about the coded documents, and why Maury's name would be attached to them. Maxwell said he didn't know, but he'd be happy to look at the documents for them.

Of note during that conversation: Feather used her alias (Robin Schwartz), but Matt referred to her as "Feather." Maxwell didn't comment; he may not have noticed.

After the visit, they were shown out by the woman (whose name was Persephone Moore, if you're interested). They walked off, and discussed this. They understand that Maxwell is using them, but they aren't opposed to the errand, at least not at the moment.

Epilogue: Maxwell Clarke on the phone. "Yes. They have it."