Interlude: Concertino Alto Nuovo

After having witnessed O’Neill being taken over by another of the Sixth’s ‘siblings’ and their subsequent disappearance, the coterie were also left with a second, also pressing matter: Sascha’s new childe, Jolene. Since he was the one who had Embraced her, he would be the one responsible for her care, while the rest of the neonates would handle other matters.

Sascha was able to help Jolene control her hunger by giving her a small measure of his own Vitae along with that needed to give her the Embrace (although this would result in a small mutual Vinculum between the two), but she would need to be taught to hunt and feed soon. As Sascha was himself concerned about her well-being on her own, the two decided to return to her home, which she kept known to no one but O’Neill, whose whereabouts none could now say.

Their return found her apartments windows open—all of them, presumably by the Strix that had possessed her—and door unlocked, but interior surprisingly untouched but for her cat missing; her neighbors in the secured building kept to themselves. They secured the apartment’s bedroom as much as possible against light and intruders, Sascha and Jolene went into daysleep after he tried to impart as much information about her new condition as he could.

Mila and Joseph, meanwhile, were afforded temporary accommodations by Violet, while Jan kept the jar from the dreamcatcher well-sealed. The next night, they took the container to Mila’s parents’, after another call from her mother about her father Jonathan’s ‘condition.’ After receiving them at the family home, the Sixth—still in possession of her father’s form, and running his body somewhat ragged—gleefully took the jar, promising, cryptically, that they would be rewarded, and to find the remainder of its siblings.

It strode out of sight into the house’s garden in the backyard, and before they could catch up with it, they heard the jar’s top opening, a sound like soft, furious wingbeats, brief birdlike screeches, then silence. In the yard, they found Jonathan standing in the yard, confused by his whereabouts and general state, evidently missing some of his memories from having been possessed.

Elsewhere, this new night meant Sascha having to give practical lessons in educating Jolene how to conduct herself, and the two went hunting together, sitting to drink with another couple in a dark corner of a club. Upon her first taste of prey in a successful hunt, however, she lost herself briefly in a hunger frenzy, nearly draining one of the two prey to death before barely being halted by a panicked Sascha. He and Jolene left in a hurry, although both were still hungry; Jolene managed to surprise Sascha with her quick adaptation, however, by luring a passerby into an alley near her apartment, where the two Daeva fed from him, but left him otherwise healthy and unharmed.

After their meeting with Mila’s family, Mila and Violet managed to feed without much issue, but Jan himself had some difficulty finding suitable prey, until the end of the night when he stalked and nearly killed a female student on the Berkeley campus, almost falling into a frenzy himself before Violet drew him out of it. He managed to cover the incident up as best as he could by inflicting a minor wound with a knife to explain for her blood loss, and stealing her purse to make the attack look like a mugging gone wrong, then hitting the emergency call button on a nearby ‘blue-light’ campus call post, and fleeing the area.

The next night, Sascha and Jolene returned to O’Neill’s club, managing to sneak the newly-Embraced Daeva in without incident, to see if he had left anything behind before his possession and disappearance, and to keep the place in working order. Sascha himself was not as financially skilled as O’Neill had been—but Jolene, having worked for O’Neill for years as a ghoul and head dancer, was able to begin looking over the club’s finances and schedules.

Elsewhere in town, Mila was called to meet with Adrian Pryor, who interrogated her about the financial matters she had been digging into in the east bay. Without giving too much away, she allowed that she had been working on a couple of business ventures on her own and with Sascha; Pryor warned her against being too cavalier in her work, lest it draw the wrong kind of attention.

Joseph and Jan continued their research, now also trying to reverse-engineer the dreamcatcher, with limited success, while Violet considered various options for treating with DeWitt about recovering Madame Kerensky’s stolen journal.

Later in the night, O’Neill’s club was visited briefly by Bishop Esteban, on his rounds as the city’s Sherriff, while Jolene kept well out of sight. The Bishop seemed vaguely aware of something different, but could not place it, and simply re-extended his invitation to Sascha to join him sometime, even offering a chance at Confession if he needed it. After being politely held off, the Bishop departed, leaving Sascha unsure as to what to do next, especially as he was very aware of having broken one of the city’s (and the All Night Society’s) Traditions.

Interlude: Concertino Alto Nuovo

Owls & Ashes Zsander