February 3rd 2008

Agent Hito arrived, still holding the unconscious form of Agent Strykes, slightly disorientated, amid the chaos of shattering jade, and found himself surrounded by FBI agents, who, fulfilling their duty as patriotic Americans immediately pulled out their guns and levelled them at the newcomer. Agent Hito put down Strykes, declaring himself to be one of the FBI and slowly reaching for his badge. The tension was palpable, but the FBI lowered their weapons and Hito told them the Strykes might need medical attention, as well as the possibility that he might have been compromised by an enemy. Strykes was taken away, still unconscious as Hito headed to see his superiors.

Theodore appeared, standing over the body of a dead man, lying in the shadows of one of New Orleans alleys. Looking around, Theodore established that none of the other scions were in the area – meaning that neither was Agent Strykes. Theodore then decided to strike up a conversation with the ghost of the dead man when it became apparent that he knew the man – one of the men from a rival BGDN New Orleans gang who had been considering joining the OGHP when Theodore had last been in New Orleans three months previously. Theodore’s initial concern had been that gang warfare between the factions in New Orleans had been abated by the fact that the body had been completely drained of blood. The ghost was able to confirm that his last memory involved being attacked by a beautiful Haitian woman in the alley in which his body lay. As Theodore talked to the ghost, he thought that he caught sight of something behind him. Turning to look, he saw nothing. Remembering Boukman on his shoulder, Theodore asked the raven if it had seen anything. Boukman was only able confirm that something had been there – not what it had been. Theodore told the ghost to wait there because he needed to do a few things before they got moving – and let him know that the fires burning in Guinee pretty much precluded a trip there for the moment. Theodore then focussed on the blood of Agent Strykes on his hand and shifted his senses to those of Strykes – opening the unconscious man’s eyes as he was dragged to a cell. The lack of windows, and the suits of his guards suggested either a FBI or CIA facility, although Theodore couldn’t work out which.

Michael Ravencroft arrived on a large green lawn – white seats arrayed – be-suited guests turning to see from where the commotion was arising. Looking up, Ravencroft was able to identify the US White House – and realised that he had gate-crashed what could only have been a government press-conference – and then looking down again he saw the guns of the armed guards rising to point at him. Ravencroft turned and legged it – relying on his god-given speed to get him the hell away from what could easily turn into his first televised fight.

Hito waited patiently to talk to his superior in Washington – who was already talking to someone involved in the Cetea mission presidential bid. Hito had to wait for quite a while – eventually walking in on the meeting and insisting he be allowed to talk to his superior. The superior told him to wait again. Hito further insisted – until news came to the office that a terrorist had attacked the press conference at the White House. As the FBI engaged in organised panic, Hito headed to Strykes cell, receiving a call from Theodore on the way. Theodore wanted to know where Hito – and thus Strykes – was – Hito told him, and suggested that he and Strykes would head to New Orleans. Hito then took Strykes – who had recovered his memories of who he was – but not what had happened to him since his meeting with the Cetea scientists – from his cell, and the two of them headed for the airport.

Ravencroft, hoping that he’d got away from the White House press conference without having been identified, stopped once he thought he was far enough away – and called Chambers. Chambers, in London, agreed to head to the US to meet with Ravencroft. Ravencroft also called Hito, and although the conversation was strained, the two agreed to meet in New Orleans.

Theodore, satisfied that Strykes was in relatively good hands in the form of Hito, contacted his people to find out what had been going on New Orleans whilst he’d been away. Apparently, the moves to draw in the gang members from outside the OGHP had been progressing well – although recently several people had gone missing – only to have their bodies discovered drained of blood. So somewhat like the body right in front of Theodore. Theodore arranged for transport to pick him and the body up. Boukman flew off to contact the Baron. Theodore, the dead body, and the dead body’s ghost were driven to the Lafayette Cemetery. Theodore spoke to Marcus and Noah and requested a detailed rundown on the progress of the OGHP – as well as the names of any targets that needed to be dealt with to secure the OGHP’s position in New Orleans. Boukman returned and was quickly sent to try and locate Violet Baptiste, the child of Agwe who may possess maps to the various terrae incognitae Theodore chatted to his people for a while before picking one of the girls present for some “special attention”.

That evening saw Strykes, Hito, Alpha squad and the Tengu (in some semblance of human form) take to the bars of New Orleans for some much needed bonding. Theodore, once he’d got his groove on, took to the streets to make his presence felt in the French Quarter – spotting Hito and his people in the process.

The four scions agreed to meet in a park suggested by Chambers – the idea being to discuss where – if anywhere – they were going as a group. So they met, and started to talk about the problems they faced – the need to find a route to Guinee – and first Violette Baptiste – the concerns about the US presidential election – and the plague of “vampirism” that had seen the reported deaths of 16 young men in New Orleans.

The conversation was brought to a close when Ravencroft spotted that they were being watched by two sources. Theodore and Chambers headed after Johnny Turossa and his undead dog, whilst Ravencroft and Hito followed a grey skinned creature that had been seen watching them from a tree.
Theodore and Chambers confronted Johnny, who appeared much the worse for wear. Theodore tried to establish if Johnny was still a threat. Johnny, for his part seemed apathetic, and told Theodore that he had been hired to kill Sanite Dede – but that he didn’t know who had hired him. Getting no where, and with Johnny seemingly convinced that nothing the scions could do would make a difference now, Theodore and Chmabers headed back to where they had originally met with the others. With Ravencroft and Hito not present, Theodore and Chambers headed in the direction that the grey creature had run off in.

In the interim, Ravecroft and Hito had traced the creature to a house on the edge of the park. Confronting the creature in the house, they found it far more powerful than they had expected – although eventually succeeded in driving it off – as it resorted to leaping out the window. Hito followed, and landed on top of a car on the ground below to find the creature devouring the hapless driver. Hito drove a sword into the creature as it fed, leaving Ravencroft to decapitate it as he landed net to Hito. As Hito fixed Ravencroft with one of his best stares, the creature dissolved into blood and trickled down a drain. Theodore and Chambers arrived on the scene to find Hito tending to the drivers wounds. Theodore questioned them on what had happened to the creature, telling them that if it was one of the undead, then it would not be dead until they had both decapitated it and burned the remains. Hito proceeded to head down the nearest manhole cover to pursue the remains of the creature. Theodore and Chambers headed into the house to investigate the creatures lair. There they found a hole underneath the floorboards – with the underside of the floorboards decorated with the veve of the loa, Erzulie. In the hole, Theodore found a poppet, a necklace, and a lump of congealed blood. The poppet connected to a man who Theodore found having sex with Sanite Dede – although Theodore had to work hard to identify the man, what with Sanite clearly being the girl on top as it were – both literally, and metaphorically – she didn’t fall for “Say my name, bitch!”. Having found the man’s wallet, Theodore passed on the information to Chambers.

Hito traced the blood through the sewers, finding a nest of about 20 of the creatures – apparently daughters of Erzulie – and all quite hungry. Hito had positioned himself so that they could only attack him one at a time in the sewers, but thought better of it even as he challenged them, and headed out of the sewers.

Together again, they decided to continue their conversation in the safety of the central hounfour at the Lafayette cemetery. Hito suggested that they try to find a more long term plan – rather than spending all their time reacting. Theodore agreed, but countered that they did not have a long term plan because they did not know what they were attempting to achieve beyond the immediate reactionary situations that they found themselves in on a day to day schedule. Theodore further tried to make it clear that in order to begin considering a long term plan, they should actually try to learn who each other was – if they didn’t know each other, how could they establish a long term plan. This proved somewhat difficult and Theodore tried to get Ravencroft to give some information on who he was – being as he was the least known by the rest – and the one who’s people shot Hito just days previously.