After dropping Samuel Haight off at the Raven Coffee Co for his own safety, Nico called his boyfriend Ryan for a place for Sam to stay that wouldn’t be associated directly with the pack. Sam agreed to depart as soon as the coast was clear, leaving the Garou to take the Carney Brothers and their Rolls Royce back to Father and his Blissful Friends Network. Upon arriving at the pack’s frat-style home at university, they were met by one of the few still-wakeful members in only her underclothing. She told them Father was both here but not, and to please come back later. Instead, they pushed their way past her and into the house, demanding to speak with any member of the pack present. Seemingly as one, the Blissful Friends rose from their slumber to form a human phalanx, blocking the pack’s progression until Silver arrived from the basement.
Unwilling to speak with Silver alone on such matters, he informs them that he is very displeased about their refusal to bring Sam to them, but he does agree that his packmates were out of line, acting in a manner Father would not be pleased about. He promises they will be set to task more properly in the future, but also states quite flatly that Sam must be brought back to his kin before the next dusk, or the Blissful Friends will find it necessary to take something of equal value from their neighboring pack.
Unhappy with the results but unable to conceive another outcome at that moment, the pack returned to the Coffee Co only to find Sam had already left. A quick call to Ryan revealed that he’d never arrived, and a cursory inquiry to the locals indicated that he had left on his own, boarding a bus toward Manhattan. Determined to see him safely returned to their protectorate, Shepherd performed the Rite of the Questing stone, guiding them into the city after him. When the needle abruptly pointed overhead, it became clear the Kinfolk had boarded a plane destined for Africa.
Awake through the night and stuck in traffic through the day, a weary pack stumbled back home to the lighthouse, only to find a message from the Detectives regarding a body in their morgue the pack might want to see. Cautioning them to arrive only after dark, so the officers had a chance to clear out the rest of the precinct, they stated they’d be waiting. That gave the exhausted Garou only a few hours to nap before setting back into action.
Contemplating diplomacy, Nico opted to bake the neighboring pack a cake, which he dubbed the ‘peace cake.’ Baked goods in hand, the pack returned to the University to speak with Father about Sam’s absence. Though they arrived early, the other Garou were ready for them as a whole, gathered around to smoke from a hookah while their alpha did the whole of the talking. He expressed disappointment but not animosity about Sam’s departure, stating that they were not directly at fault if their words were true. Regarding their concern for the Smiling One, they were told to either challenge or resolve the matter at the upcoming Moot. Given the other pack’s superior numbers and rank, the young Garou decided they would bring it to the Sept as a whole, to which the Blissful Friends agreed. In the meantime, Father promised to do what he could to convince the Smiling One to withdraw his influence from their territory. After agreeing and driving back into their home turf, it became clear Father had succeeded in his task. The terrain was eerily silent, seemingly devoid of spiritual life or resonance, like a ghost town.
Arriving somewhat late to the morgue, the pack found detective Landingham waiting outside, only to hear a crash and scream from inside. Kicking out one of the small basement-style windows leading to the morgue, they were able to see a gruesome, mangled Ajaba in crinos form assaulting detective Caldwell. His screams ended abruptly when the beast bit down on him and began sucking blood from the wounds, sluggishly regenerating as it did so. While Shepherd rushed to heal the detective, the rest of the pack engaged the crazed were-hyena. It proved remarkably strong, but still no match for a full pack of Garou. Though it was clear Ed had been deep in the throes of Delirium, it seemed Janice was not. Unable to tell friend from foe in their crinos forms, she shot Cash in the shoulder, inflicting minimal damage but dousing him with what was apparently rosemary-scented holy water as well. Opting not to destroy the Ajaba, they instead beat it until the thing stopped moving, only to have to pursue Landingham once she bundled Caldwell into the car and peeled out of the parking lot.
While Jules, Nico and Cash rushed out to chase the fleeing detective, Cleo and Shepherd stopped to pursue the strange white wolf that they had spied watching them several times before, doing so again tonight. Hoping to catch him before he could disappear, they took to lupus forms in the suburbs and pursued him to the fenced-in area of a backyard. Calming the guard dog inside, they finally forced the man to assume a human form, introducing himself as Xaviar, a vampire from a family called Gangrel. He assured them he meant no harm, but had to be sure they were the type of people he thought they were. Reasonable people, who might help him dissuade the local leadership of vampires from an outright pogrom against Garou, or ‘Lupines’ as the leeches called them. Agreeing to let him speak with the rest of their pack, they walked back to the lighthouse.
Meanwhile the others cornered the detective, who pulled out her shotgun and fired at a headlight of their vehicle. She proclaimed that they were monsters, and she only wanted to take Ed to a hospital. Fearing a breach of the Veil, the Garou explained what they could without revealing too much, promising they would meet with her at the town plaza at dawn, and that she and Ed would be safe until then.
Once the pack reconvened at the lighthouse, Xavier explained that the local vampires consisted of two major factions at war with one another. The faction currently in power was beginning to consider the Lupines allies to their enemies, and readied themselves to rally support for a full-fledged war. Wanting to avoid such a thing, the family Gangrel among the faction in power were seeking Lupine packs to help them show the vampiric leaders they were not their foes. He confessed his need for their assistance, wanting the opportunity to question the poor, damned Ajaba that had been embraced by his enemies. The pack agreed, and while Cleo went to Juno to inform her yet another number of her dwindling hyena-folk had been essentially murdered already, the questioning began.
They discovered that the vampires had assaulted Accountable Automotive several hours before attacking the Zimrom ship carrying governmental goods. While setting fire to the main building, they had used some sort of mental control to lure out this particular Ajaba and several kin, turning each and every one into vampires. Though he was in constant agony, only abated by the rapid and constant drinking of blood, he confessed to seeing a silver-furred wolf who had been similarly turned, and seemed to experience no such pain. He stated the vampires took many things from the boat while the newly changed slaughtered the guards, but he didn’t see specifics. Then the Scar Angels attacked, and he found the mental control over him broken. Attempting to flee resulted in his recapture before being hooked beneath the collarbones and dragged behind several motorcycles until he could no longer heal his wounds, succumbing to unconsciousness until waking in the morgue.
The poor beast begged to be slain, claiming he was already dead and in constant suffering. Calling Juno inside, she saw the second of her people executed in the pack’s lighthouse, but this time by her own hand. Before taking his remains and departing, she demanded the pack find and slaughter any remnants of her kin, on their honor. They agreed, and left her to her latest mourning.
In the meantime, it seemed the Scar Angels had the best information on the MS-13 and their masters, given the fact that they knew when and where to strike out at them. Xavier agreed to meet them at a bar known to be a prolific hangout of theirs, just outside the pack’s official protectorate. Known simply at The Bar, it was most likely they could find someone who knew something about where the MS-13 were headquartered there.
As it happened, the pack lucked across Easu, a long-time and rather talented taxi driver in the area. His quick hand (if reckless demeanor) brought them to the Bar in record time, even beating Xavier in his bat form. It gave the pack just enough of an opportunity to make their way inside and begin working to ingratiate themselves. Of course, that’s when the police showed up and began demanding via loudspeaker that everyone step out with their hands in the air…