Long As I Can See The Light

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Long As I Can See The Light
LocationRedmond/Puyallup, Seattle Metroplex
Status Threat Level: Deadly
Factions Involved
Amelie and Jean-Baptiste
Hunters Inner Demons
Swerve Mercenary Hunters
Mr. Sunshine
Shades of the Past
Visions of the Future
This was an initiation run.


In which Swerve is confronted by a private investigator, makes contact with her family, gets attacked and nearly killed, follows the call of a mysterious voice in her head, has a vision of her sire, and finally crosses the Threshold.

Act 1: An Unexpected Letter

The action begins with Swerve having a dream, evidently an attempt at communion by her mentor spirit Wolf. The dream consists of a pack of wolves roughhousing with one-another before a howl is heard in the distance; the wolves turn towards the full moon and howl back until the banshee wakes up in a cold sweat, unsure of what it means. Her contemplation is interrupted however by a letter being slid under her door - understandably a bit nervous, she carefully inspects it to ensure it won't explode, only to be somewhat alarmed to find that it has her real name printed on it.

After panicking a bit, Swerve opens the letter only to find more reason to panic - inside is a simple note reading "I know", along with an address in Touristville and a meeting time set for a few hours. Along with the note are several photographs, one of which depicts her true aura on a mana-sensative film plate. Another shows a perspective shot of her with fangs barred about to feed, apparently from the point of view of one of her victims. Dismayed that someone has managed to figure this much out and is evidently willing to blackmail her with the information. Attempting to investigate further, she finds a static-y astral signature in the hallway and follows it outside, where the trail goes cold. Asking her neighbor - an amicable ghoul named Barry who was lazing around the lobby running a chillchip - she finds that person who delivered it was apparently clad in a trenchcoat and hat which concealed their face, and had an aura to them which seemed to drain the colour their surroundings (though it is difficult to determine whether or not this is simply the ramblings of a chiphead).

A quick Matrix search confirms that the address is for a small independent detective agency with a sparse, simple Matrix page, as if made by someone not entirely familiar with the idea of advertising online; aside from the mandatory UCAS government licensing information and an oddly phrased slogan about "prices all can afford", the only identifying information attached is an alias - "Informer". Calling up her fixer Amelie, Swerve nimbly lies about anything troubling her and asks if Amelie has heard the name before, saying that she had them recommended to her and wanted to find out more before engaging their services; Amelie tells Swerve that Informer is a free spirit who fancies themself a detective, but knows little else about them. She thanks her for the information and places another call to Fiendest, asking the ghoul to secure her a safehouse just in case she needs to lay low for a while.

With the appointed time fast approaching, Swerve hops on her bike and heads to Touristville, managing to avoid attracting undue attention to herself en-route. Arriving, she finds a somewhat run-down-looking PI's office with a strong ward around it, though there doesn't seem to be any sort of ambush waiting for her (at least on the outside). Finding that she's been white-listed for the ward, she heads inside the office and finds that the colour does indeed seem to drain from the scene, before hearing the noir PI monologue in her head. Sitting at the desk is Informer, who rather calmly and casually invites her inside to take a seat.

Swerve demands to know what the spirit wants from her, and they explain that they were hired by her family to find out what happened to her. Immediately panicking, Swerve offers Informer money or karma or whatever else they want to not tell her family what she's become - the spirit shakes their head however, explaining that they don't lie to clients who have hired them, and that her family deserves The Truth, or at least something close to it, so that they can have some sense of closure. They explain that this isn't the first time something like this has happened, and that the last time they told a client about a family member being vamped things got "messy" - thus, they are trying to reach out and find a better way to handle the situation. With evidence tying her to at least a couple gangland murders, they say that they are disinclined to show mercy or compassion, but at the same time they have some sympathy for her condition, and so want to appeal on a metahuman level.

After a bit of back-and-forth debating options for half-truths (e.g. telling her family that she died, or that she Awakened suddenly and ran away to the Shadows), Swerve finally breaks down and admits that perhaps telling her family the truth, or at least a version of it, is the right way to handle things. Informer cautiously warns her that they spoke with her brother, and that he did not seem the type to give up on this sort of thing, but she is resolved and begins to pen a letter for the spirit to give them. Touched by the display of sincerity, Informer offers to make sure that the money she has saved up for them so far gets to her family via an escrow account, though they privately resolve to keep tabs on the situation and quietly pass along information to the authorities should evidence of another murder be found.

Act 2: An Unexpected Warning

Returning to her apartment, Swerve spends a while crying with her cat for company, emotionally overwhelmed by everything that just happened. Eventually she is forced to leave the safety of her room (which has been accumulating bad vibes like an astral greenhouse) to acquire more blood and see to her duties for Amelie at nearby Underworld. When she leaves the confines of her magical lodge, she feels the tattoo that Charon had her get in order to seal a blood bond ritual start to itch - moments later she receives a message in her head from an unknown voice telling her that she is being followed, that they will attack soon, and to prepare herself.

Obviously concerned, she first alerts Amelie that someone might be about to attack her turf, then gets dressed in her full body armor and casts an increased reflexes spell on herself. Telling her neighbor Barry to go back into his room, she does her best to secure the lobby of the building to avoid anyone else getting hurt. Suddenly a remotely-piloted car plows through the front door, which she is barely able to anticipate and avoid thanks to magically-enhanced reflexes - Swerve responds with a paralyzing howl fit to shatter windows, which is enough to temporally deafen and disorient her assailants, though they barely manage to avoid paralysis. Out of the trunk stumbles a man in body armor - his aim is wobbly thanks to the banshee scream, but he seems to have anticipated it as his dampeners keep him on his feet and able to fire at Swerve with a shotgun loaded with silver flachette ammo, knocking her down and severely wounding her. The car is unable to advance over the rubble to run her over, but the gunman's spirit backup makes its presence known with a mana static spell that fizzles Swerve's increase reflexes.

Catching sight of the spirit (who wears a cowl covering what seems to be a sun for a face), Swerve flees the mana static and its line of sight before she can be hit with a sunbeam, rushing up the stairs. The gunman falters and starts to lose his nerve - this was just supposed to be a simple drive-by on a bloodsucker, but now the getaway car partially stuck and there's a building with an unknown number of ghouls to deal with. While his driver works to unstick the car, the gunman rushes after Swerve and takes another shot at her, putting her on the ground again, but fails to confirm the kill before rushing back to the vehicle and fleeing the scene; the sun-faced spirit calls after them, shouting about cowardice in Enochian, but the onslaught of Amelie's spirit reinforcements soon forces it to retreat as well.

Swerve plays dead in the hallway upstairs until she hears them leave, takes account of her rather severe wounds, then begins the arduous and painful task of pulling shards of silver out of her armor/flesh. While doing so, she recieves another mysterious message congratulating her on her survival and telling her to come to Puyallup for answers. Amelie soon comes by her room to check on her, casting a pain relief spell (as magical healing doesn't function on her injuries) and helping her see to her wounds; she thanks Swerve for the advanced warning and assures her that she'll have people look into how the hunters found her. Swerve admits that the warning came from an unknown voice in her head, and Amelie urges her to rest but asks that she investigate the source when she is well enough in order to determine how they knew about the threat.

After a day or two of recuperation, during which time she has another dream about wolves howling at the moon eerily similar to the first one, Swerve proceeds to Puyallup City, doing her best to spot any potential tails and stay as inconspicuous as possible; after some time lingering on a bench, she gets another message in her head telling her to go to Loveland and look to the setting sun. Confused (as it's already well past dusk), she heads in that direction, driving through the streets looking for what the voice is talking about - she finds it in the form of a mahjong parlor on Yellow Lotus turf called the Setting Sun. The doorman seems to be expecting her, letting her in without any fuss, and upon entering the smoke-filled main room she receives a message to look to the bookshelf in the back, which proves to be an illusion blocking a secret door leading to a short FAB sensor-filled hallway and an elevator.

Without much of a choice, she proceeds inside and descends into the earth, being forced to temporally stop being duel-natured to get through a strong ward before exiting into a man-trap with a screen on the wall. On it appears Agamemnon, who crafted her group bond tattoo at Charon's request before insisting that she be laesed to forget the location of his stronghold. He explains that he called her so that they could talk face-to-face, and the two paranoid banshees hesitantly agree not to start a fight with one-another before she is allowed into his lodge. Inside, he offers her blood from his freezer (she declines a "fresh from the tap" offer, hearing the sound of quiet shuffling behind a tapestry and electing not to ask any further questions). Agamemnon tells Swerve that he routinely performs divinations in order to anticipate potential threats to his safety, and has been getting unexplained portents lately regarding the Infected in general. He called her because he is aware that she is affiliated with The Night Throne and wants her to pass along a message to Amelie on his behalf; she remains skeptical of his reported good intentions, so he encourages her to think of the Night Throne as his shields from the hunters if she must put it in pragmatic terms.

The two dark mages proceed to have a rather frank and honest discussion with one-another - or at least what they are capable of given their mutual wariness around others. Agamemnon offers to smoke oneiro with Swerve so she will see what he means, and she agrees only if he also incapacitates himself for the duration; with some reluctance he acquiesces, so she takes a pull from his hookah and has her first divination vision. The portents are clouded and vague due to her inexperience with interpreting such things, however she is able to get a sense of who it was that attacked her, seeing a familiar scarred face she recalls from a previous incident speaking with a man with featureless chrome cybereyes and a mercenary look to him, dressed in body armor similar to that of her assailant. Then she witnesses a view of Underworld with a large tanker truck pulling up outside it, which subsequently explodes and destroys the building.

Alarmed by the portent of doom, Swerve's gasp lets Agamemnon know that she has indeed seen what he has. He questions her if she's ever done any divination before, explaining that it is thought to be the most complex of the High Arts to master and that he has tried for some time to learn to interpret things properly; he says he is impressed with how far she has progressed in the relatively short time she has been Awakened, noting that she has grown more powerful than himself when he has been at it much longer, all without much in the way of proper arcane tutelage outside of her mentor spirit. Offering her a few books which he has copies of, he extends an offer to stay in touch, with her serving as an intermediary between Amelie and himself - she agrees to the arrangement, thanks him for the books, and takes her leave from the bunker and the banshee shut-in.

Act 3: An Unexpected Journey

Returning once more to her home in Redmond (and beginning making plans to move somewhere more secure), Swerve contemplates everything that's happened over the last few days, deciding to throw herself into studying divination so as to avoid thinking about all the other unpleasantness. Agamemnon's books prove to be rather interesting, though she cannot read most of them - one is in Mandarin, and on in Enochian. However the English and Sperethiel texts prove enlightening in their own way, allowing her to test out different divination methods to see which one appeals to her the most, finding that gazing into bowls of water seems to do... something. When her mentor, Wolf, suggests adding a drop of blood and examine the resulting motions, she takes to the idea and pricks her fingertip to let it fall into the bowl. Studying the blood as it spreads throughout the water, she starts to get a better sense of what she's doing.

The practice continues until Swerve falls asleep, when she has the Wolf dream again - this time the wolves are near-frenzied, howling loudly at the full moon. Swerve joins in and starts to feel something reply, pulling her towards the moon; projecting from her body, she goes towards it, feeling herself start to be drawn into the void between worlds as she approaches the moon and sees a black basalt castle at the lip of a large crater. It doesn't seem to be the actual lunasphere though, as she's actually been called to visit the Dweller at the Threshold.

Inside the castle, a huge fog-shrouded hall leads to an enormous throne where the Dweller sits - a massive, cloaked, vaguely humanoid figure with a face made of an infinite starscape beneath its hood. Confused, Swerve at first simply stands still as the Dweller judges her. Then she starts to notice shadowy psychoscapes start to take form out of the mists around her, showing scenes of her life. The first ones depict the events of the run, but as they get closer to the Dweller they start to recede into the past, showing various events from her running career. Hesitantly stepping forward, the scenes further into the past start to take on more form and definition - the hall seems to go on for much longer than should be possible as her brain wraps itself around the non-Euclidean nature of this space.

Eventually, Swerve notices that there is a boundary approaching - a divide in the mist where it starts to turn red and take on a menacing aspect. Psyching herself up, she notices scenes of her life among the Infected community play out, seeing representation of her friends and mentor figures that stop their psycho-dramas and stare at her as she passes. Finally coming to the threshold, she steels herself and crosses it, falling deep into the recesses of her mind as forgotten and repressed memories begin playing themselves out in shadowy, indistinct ways around her. She barely notices though, as a more distinct scene starts to play out before her - watching from above, she sees her former self working at Stuffer Shack, when a man comes in to purchase some gum. He has an eyepatch and a scar and a pointed beard, but she cannot help but notice his palpable aura of menace as he grins menacingly at her. Then the scene changes to her leaving work, and the man waiting for her in the ally - Swerve watches as she's turned by the vampire, studying the features of her sire, as things start to fade.

Wanting to see more, Swerve attempts to focus on following the man, trying to see where he went after he left her to change. However she starts to be attacked by the manifestations of the trauma she's experienced, barely avoiding a devastating ritual magic strike and re-experiencing the time she was painfully impaled on a spike. The worst however is when she is forced back into confinement as she was in Little Dark Age, seeing a shadowy vision of the priest who spoke to her during her captivity. Lashing out in anger, she throws a manabolt to attempt to make them leave, but the woman just gives her a sorrowful look and tells her "it's not too late, for any of us, but it's up to you to prove it". Stricken, Swerve pushes through the walls of her prison and leaves without a word, pushing further into her vision of the past and watching where her sire went later on that night. She sees him drive away to Auburn, to a bolt hole in an abandoned factory, carefully memorizing it for future investigation.


Soon after, the vision starts to fade into darkness. Having faced her inner demons, Swerve has passed the Dweller's test, and gained access to the metaplanes. She spends some time just floating through the void between worlds, enjoying the peaceful serenity of the endless astral starscape and thinking on all that she's seen in the past few days. Finally she feels the urge to go to her body before she slips away completely, and with some reluctance returns back to the material plane and all of her troubles there.

Having revealed herself to her family, she anxiously awaits the consequences. Having been attacked and nearly killed, then seen something even worse coming for her community, she does her best to plan for the future. Having seen the face of her sire, she looks inward and tries to decide what to do with the knowledge. But she goes forward with some knowledge of divination and a better idea of what fate has in store for her.


6 karma 24 CDP IG 7 discount Optional Contact: Agamemnon (C4/L4 Infected Crime Lord) for 7 RVP/14 CDP Optional Quality: Memory Palace @ chargen price

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