Shadows of San Diego

Chapter 1 Part 2 - The First Tradition

The Masquerade continued

The coterie split up to wrap up the last loose ends of the Masquerade breach they were sent to rectify. Cole and George headed to the Department of the Medical Examiner to investigate the corpse of the girl murdered at the scene. Meanwhile Wu and Alan headed to Scripps Mercy Hospital to ascertain the condition of the survivor of the attack. Leshiac claimed he had a brilliant plan to enact, and the others were too happy about not having to put up with him to ask questions.

Wu and Alan arrived at the hospital and were immediately approached by an agitated EMT. She appeared to be one of the responders that brought in the injured man from the attack. She told Wu and Alan that she had tried to have the patient diverted to Kindred Hospital like she is supposed to in cases like this, but due to the severity of his injuries was unable to do so. Alan convinced her to get them past hospital security and onto the Intensive Care Ward.

Meanwhile, George and Cole struggled to get past the security guard in the lobby of the Department of the Medical Examiner. While Cole tried his luck with the locked back door, George tried unsuccessfully to convince the guard to let him in. The guard insisted on signed paperwork from the police department, so George had him call the officer the group had spoken with at the scene of the crime, Officer Martinez. Finally, the paperwork came through and the pair were granted access.

Alan and Wu had run into their own snag. They encountered an unexpected Kindred, Rick Belham, who posed as a hospital orderly, and were only able to maintain control of their Beasts through sheer will. The orderly was extremely territorial over the confines of the hospital and demanded the other two Kindred leave immediately. Discovering that Rick was either unwilling or unable to leave the confines of the hospital, Alan convinced him to allow them ten minutes with the injured boy in return for a bottle of perfume.

At the morgue, Cole and George encountered the medical examiner on staff for the evening, [name here]. Having the impression that the duo were looking for some alone time with the corpse, the M.E. insisted on a hefty bribe before allowing them access. As neither had any cash, George resorted to calling Leshiac for a loan. While speaking to him on the phone, they overheard snippets of conversation concerning tigers and tranq darts. Eventually, Ken Brody arrived at the morgue, indicated that he was friends with Leshiac and gave George and Cole the money they required.

The boy in the hospital was still alive, but in a coma and in serious condition. Wu recommended pulling the plug on the boy to eliminate any possibility of breaching the Masquerade, but both he and Alan hesitated at the prospect of premeditatedly ending a harmless human’s life. Instead, they decided to try having the boy transferred to Kindred and hope that the Camarilla influence in that hospital would take care of the issue. Wu approached the nurse on duty, Libby Tripp, and through application of his presence and charm, persuaded her into an intimate rendezvous in an empty room, during which he was able to feed. Alan, meanwhile, had Rick Belham forge a doctors signature authorizing the transfer of the patient to Kindred Hospital.

Examining the body of the young woman, George and Cole noticed clear signs of the attacker’s true nature. Cole had difficulty maintaining his composure around the gruesome remains, and George managed to corrupt the wounds enough to destroy any evidence, though stopped well short of fully disguising the girl’s identity. As the two made their escape, Leshiac called them and insisted the entire group meet him back at the scene of the crime. George passed the word on to Alan, and eventually the entire coterie arrived back at the park.

Ken Brody was waiting and showed the group down the ravine at the back of the park to where Leshiac waited with a subdued tiger he and Ken had apparently liberated from the Zoo. The group fell to arguing about how to deal with this new kink, but were interrupted by the approach of four hulking dogs.

The hounds had red glowing eyes and had a hint of vampiric power to them, indicating they were far from your normal pets. Wu imposed himself between the dogs and his companions. He was able to slow their approach, but inevitably the dogs closed the distance and attacked.

The group fought valiantly against the enhanced dogs in the dark confines of the narrow ravine. Wu, Alan and Cole wielded their firearms against the hounds, while George was able to overcome his previous failings in melee combat and laid into the enemy with a stout branch he’d found. In the end, the Kindred won through, though not without injury.

With an edge of panic, the coterie realized the sun was not far below the horizon and they split to retreat to their havens for the day. Wu’s domain was not far from the park, so he took an extra couple minutes to deal with the still-sleeping tiger. He hauled it into the back of a camper truck, but had difficulty hotwiring the vehicle so he contented himself with smashing the dash instead. Confident that the tiger was contained and immobilized, he slipped back to his haven before the hateful rays of the sun could find him.

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