Hard Times in the Big Easy

The scene picks up with Alandria, Ian, and Jack meeting up at Jack’s storage unit armory. Jack and Alandria receive Ian’s information on Junior and Mary Belmont‘s location. The trio spend time discussing a plan of attack, and ultimately bow to Jack’s superior knowledge of their targets and go with his plan of action: Ian would Veil them with water to hide their heat from any thermal scopes or goggles, Alandria would hide them with Glamours to hide them from visual detection, and Jack would scope out the area with his superior senses and lead the charge.

The first major hitch came when they were ready to leave: Ian’s car was parked at Jack’s apartment. Jack’s Car was parked at Ian’s house, with a bomb on it. Alandria’s motorcycle was also parked at Ian’s, also likely booby trapped. A cab would make it hard for Alandria to hide their loaded for were-bear appearances, due to the sheer amount of iron they wore and contained in the vehicle. She ended up taking them through a path in the Nevernever.

At the hotel, the trio set up their veils, Jack does his investigation, and turns up no signs of explosives … which he takes to mean there are explosives, because paranoia is safety. He decided instead to lead the charge through the Hotel window, where he found Mary cleaning weapons, and heard sounds of his father cleaning up in the bathroom. Jack hauled Mary out of her chair, and the fight was on.

Ian made repeated attempts to knock out Mary with a sleep spell, growing marginally more successful with each attempt, Alandria snuck in under her veil to grab Ian’s stuff, Jack grappled and fought with Mary, and Junior took the time to dry his hands off properly before joining the fight with a gun the size of Texas. He and Mary blasted Ian before he managed to knock Junior out with his sleepy spell. Alandria got Ian his bag of goodies, then drug Junior’s unconscious body through a portal to her demense. Unfortunately, upon opening the bag, Ian set off the bomb placed inside, wounding everybody left in the room, and knocking both himself and Mary unconscious.

Jack hauled both bodies to the portal and chucked them through, and about that time backup arrived. Bullets flew, but Jack barely even noticed them. He grabbed up Ian’s sword and the remains of his cloak, then hauled ass to Alandria’s demense.

Within the Demense, Ian was tended to by Nikki, Alandria saw to the restraint of Junior, and Jack took care of restraining Mary. Junior ended up in the grip of a tentacle monster that Alandria called her ‘pet’, Mary ended up tied up in a small bare room with nothing but herself and Jack. She didn’t wake up until Nikki was done with Ian, and began tending her wounds as well … which earned poor Nikki a vicious bite that cost her a chunk of flesh. Mary and Jack stared at each other in silence for a long time.

When Ian regained consciousness, he and Alandria got into an argument about the disposition of Junior, which resulted in Alandria changing the room multiple times, then changing Junior’s chair repeatedly, until they finally came to a conclusion they could all be somewhat comfortable with. Ian and Alandria attempted to reason with Junior, but ultimately the didn’t get anywhere, partially because Ian and Alandria are horrible negotiators, partially because Junior wanted to talk to Jack, and he was busy staring down his mother.

Back with Jack, he eventually broke the silence by giving his mother an amused grin and saying ‘Woof’. He put his kevlar on her, drew a gun, and just before he emptied it, was informed that he was ‘The worst abortion I never had.’ Then the gun was emptied into her chest, returning his seventh birthday peresent to her, she passed out, and Jack had to wake her up again. The two bitched at each other a bit, but neither one really had much to say to each other beyond ‘fuck you’, they just didn’t bother to say it that way. Eventually, Jack lost his temper and emptied a magazine full of blanks a short distance from Mary’s face, doing who knows how much damage, but not killing her.

Moments later, he joined Ian and Alandria to find Junior asking for him. He told the two to clear the room. After a short argument with Ian on the matter, Jack agreed to hand over his weapons and promise not to kill Junior unless he had to in order to defend himself, and he was left alone with Junior. He had Junior freed from his restraints, and the two had a brief discussion about the nature of monsters, the Belmonts, and Jack’s choice to become a Knight of the Autumn Court. Jack made it clear to Junior that no matter what, he intended to see both him and Mary out of the Nevernever alive, and Junior displayed a willingness to work with Jack to get him off the Belmont Radar.

Junior’s plan to escape required Alandria’s cooperation: She needed to create dopplegangers of Ian and Jack to menace Mary. Jack needed to rough up Junior (which he did with unnecessary gusto), who then busted in on the menacing dopplegangers and killed them, ‘rescued’ Mary, and led them out a door Alandria crafted directly into an industrial district in the next city over from New Orleans. Alandria tailed them under a glamour for a while, Ian left to resume his alcoholic wallowing, and Jack tracked down Nikki to finally deal with his wounds.

A short time passes, and the date of Roane‘s auction draws near. Ian spent his time at the ruins of his home, wallowing in filth and drunkenness. Jack spent his time recovering, and buying some nice clothes. He didn’t know what the date he’d picked up from Alandria was for, butr he intended to show up looking good. Alandria worked her Selkie mojo on a slew of people, until she managed to secure a lifetime pass to the playboy mansion.

Shortly before the Auction date, Ian received a package from his mentor, Simon Petrovich. It contained a ‘If you received this, I’m dead’ letter, basically telling him to kick ass and take names, along with a collection of his vampire research, almost up to date. Ian nuked the rubble of his home to the ground, took his Denarius, and set out to clean himself up and get a new home.

The day before the auction, Jack was called before the Erlking, and given an invitation to Roane’s auction, along with a chest of glowy awesome to place as his bid. Jack made overly optimistic promises as usual, and departed to prepare himself for the auction.

Jack was the first of the trio to arrive at the auction, and dear lord, the company was impressive. Mavra of the Black Court, Lara Raith, a lovely Red Court noble of indeterminate identity that totally wasn’t Bianca, Nicodemus, Shiro Yoshimo. The who’s who of the supernatural community had turned out for this.

Alandria was the next to arrive, and ran into the Winter Knight, Lloyd Slate. He made a few half-veiled threats and passes at her, before Jack showed up to exchange ‘witty’ barbs with him and play couples with Alandria until Lloyd left, since neither he nor Jack were willing to start a fight, and neither one was particularly well equipped for verbal sparring.

Around that time, Ian showed up, and was presented with a problem: He didn’t have an invitation. He claimed to be a guest of the Autumn Knight, and thankfully when questioned, Jack chose to play along. Ian didn’t even bother to come thank him for it, either. Given later events, it’s probably best he didn’t.

While Jack and Alandria plotted to gain a denarius, Ian made small talk with the only other member of the White Council there, the Gatekeeper. Not surprisingly the Gatekeeper let Ian know that he was disappointed that all of this had come to pass in a town with an active warden in it. After a bit Ian was approached by Nicodemus, who came over to console him on the death of Simon. Ian was introduced to every vampire in the room, presumably in order to goad him into starting a fight. In the end, the Gatekeeper returned shooing away the vultures.

Alandria proposed that she and Jack pool their resources to get the coin, and turn it over to the Erlking. In exchange, she wanted the Autumn court to leave her alone, and Jack to help her increase her power. In essence, if he came upon an object of power, she wanted him to turn it over to her. He added the stipulation that the item could not be something that he had been asked to fetch for Court, and for general veto power over what he would or would not hand over to her. She countered by adding on to that that he could only make three total vetoes before he was required to hand over whatever he came across. He accepted this bargain, and they pooled their resources. Jack and Lloyd exchanged a few more barbs as he went to make his bid, but again, nothing could be done to relieve the sexual tension just yet.

Roane called Alandria to the back after all the bids were in, and immediately upon her arrival, he smacked his bitch up, and demanded to know just what the hell was wrong with her. He explained that if he gave the Coin to Jack, he’d get him murdered horribly by all the angry creatures in the room, and she was an idiot, and she came back out irritated and worried.

The winner of the auction was announced, and the Denarius was awarded to none other than resident Warden of the White council, Ian Branneal. Which was … odd, if one considered that he never placed a bid in the first place. The coin (in a protective coin sleeve) was tossed to Ian, and all eyes were on him. Jack and Alandria made their way to him to ‘congratulate’ him … and tell him to shut the hell up when he started to protest that he hadn’t bid.

Ian beat a hasty retreat outside, tailed by Jack and Alandria, only to ditch them through a portal to the nevernever and hurry away from the spot. This worked out wonderfully. For Lloyd Slate. He got the drop on Ian, and demanded the coin from him. When Ian refused, Lloyd pointed out his terrible condition, and gave him one more chance to reconsider before he got his ass whooped. Ian pointed out that all he had to do was take up the coin and he wouldn’t be the one getting the ass whooping, but Llyod faced off with the warden calling his bluff.

Alandria ripped a fresh portal to the Nevernever right where Ian had, and with the aid of hound Jack’s keen nose, they tracked Ian down just in time to catch Lloyd blasting Ian full of icy shards that by all rights should have destroyed the wizard. Ian rushed Lloyd in a surprising decision to assault him physically instead of with magic and in the exchange proved that Lloyd could be in for more of a fight than he thought, severing Lloyds hand and sword in a single strike. Jack rushed in and managed to knock Lloyd further off-balance, but he didn’t manage to wound him. Alandria attempted to bargain with Ian then and there for the coin, but that didn’t work out. Lloyd fled, and nobody but Jack was even tempted to chase him. Jack stayed to watch Ian’s back, and urged them to hurry the hell up and get somewhere else as quickly as possible.

Once again, Ian ditched them through a portal. Once again, Alandria reopened his rift, but this time it went straight into Ian’s home. Jack refused to go through, because he respects the sanctity of people’s homes … so long as they respect his. She instead brought them out near Ian’s home, and Jack got himself in the old fashioned way: He knocked, and asked. The trio stood guard over Ian, and Jack made the same offer to Ian that he had bid to Roane: A chest of something wonderful, valuable, and probably powerful, plus a lifetime pass to the Playboy Mansion, for one of the coins. The two discussed the power of the coins and the Erlking, and Ian ultimately refused. Jack didn’t push the issue, partly because of their blood oath of nonagression, partly because he just wasn’t willing to.

Shiro and Ian discussed the coins and his convictions, and ultimately Ian handed over one coin. He hesitated over the other, and was hit with an uncontrolled Divination, a vision of himself, wreathed in hellfire, utterly destroying the great beast at the head of the red court, atop some Aztec temple. He managed to resist the temptation, and handed over the second coin as well, with the request that Shiro help teach him better bladework. Shiro agreed, and took the coins away to be disposed of.

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