Owls & Ashes
Fourth Movement: Melodrama Stretto
Doctor Rosa’s home is broken into during daylight by a very young Neonate named Suraj, who upon interrogation confesses that he was put up to it by DeWitt. She spares Suraj despite his trespassing, considering him useful and wishing to favor him by showing mercy, but suggests he keep to himself tonight. Terrified by her bending the house to her will and sparing him a Final Death by which she would be within her rights to dispense, he beats a hasty retreat to a van outside, which quickly takes him away.
Once night falls, Rosa confronts DeWitt at Ruby Skye, cutting off her attempts at sweet words with a sharp slap that sends DeWitt into a frenzy . . . and results in DeWitt being literally beaten into torpor barehanded by the doctor. Nguyen is distraught, saying that he tried to dissuade DeWitt, but that she would not listen, claiming she dreamed of birds while she was last in torpor . . . and Doctor Rosa has heard of birds before.
Mila and Violet are called to an Invictus meeting where they witness Garrett declare Praxis. When Atticus protests, multiple members of the various Covenants side with Garrett—including a large number of the Invictus, their decision headed by Pryor—as well as several Unbound, among their number Stephen and the many revenant Kindred that he has adopted in a ‘family’ of sorts. Atticus refuses to back down, even outnumbered, before Garrett throws down a stack of burned papers he found investigating the Prince’s mansion: evidence of every untoward activity Tiberius collected on Atticus. The dead prince’s Judex fades almost visibly in the face of this embarrassment and the collected political weight of his opponent, almost seeming to lose something vital, then flees into the night.
Sascha acts as a bouncer at Jolene’s club, fending off various drunk MRAs and White Knights, before realizing he’s missed calls and texts from Gabriel. Upon visiting the building in the Valencia area where the Lance hold their meetings, he finds several out-of-towner Kindred, acting as inquisitors for the Lance at large, who claim that the city’s rising chaos should be blamed on Gabriel. When they tell Sascha to leave and that this is a church matter, he scornfully smears his own blood on the doorway, goading the inquisitors into a fight. After beating one of them down himself (and nailing the head invigilator’s mouth shut with one of his knives), Gabriel and the rest of the Lance defeat the other two, and thank Sascha for his timely arrival, saying that he is always welcome among their number and that they are in his debt.
Sean continues wandering the city alone in search of Amelia, and happens across another one of the bolthole havens she’s been staying in. This one has a few pieces of Prince Tiberius’ journal left there, mentioning again the use of the ‘weapon’, specifically about a political enemy centuries ago that Tiberius brought low with its use.
Later on, before the night’s end, Violet visits Ashleigh’s apartment, interrogating her as to Jan’s whereabouts. Ashleigh has known of the other kindred in general, but never met another one in person, and Violet’s appearance terrifies her into compliance. She hasn’t heard from him in a couple of nights, but promises to contact Violet if he shows up.