Heresy - The Chains of the Night Loosen [ Attn: Everyone ]
#1
Kindred and Cainites following paths that err from the moral code of humanity–

Those monsters whose tethers are most loosened from the chains of Man's virtues–

Even the rabble who only veer slightly from the path of the living–


The night after the blood moon and its eclipse that happens in the early morning hours of April 15th, these vampires and others find themselves waking only an eye's blink (eyes' opening) after sunset ceases in western skies; that night they find themselves able to stay active closer to the sunrise than before, to the point where they can almost see the sky begin to lighten again in the east.

The word comes faster than the sun, faster than light itself, across telecommunication networks with voicemail and email messages waiting for the unawakened or their loyal retainers.

That night the social or restless or otherwise motivated find their halls and pits, be they Elysia or Temple or wherever Anarchs conspire for their cause, filled with arguments and theories as to the meaning of this. The Sabbat priest chant their Noddist verses with renewed fanaticism and the Camarilla tries reign in such talk, but it comes nonetheless. Some are scientific about it and that sounds hollow. The Blood and its new found vigor is the easiest rebuttal.

[ For system purposes the restrains on waking and resting based on Humanity and Path ratings are suspended. Activity during the daylight hours still remains governed by the same system. ]
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#2
Here is something that 99.9% of people who have ever and will ever know Kali will never learn. Kali's hair is a natural and very curly brown. She straightens it and dyes it every night for her appearance's sake, but when she was embraced it was in no way the unnatural red that you see from her in modern nights. This hair is curled around her head as her eyes snap open, wide with the panic that they usually are upon waking. Her nightmares haunt her each day and it's never the most welcome of awakenings, but she makes do. Rubbing images of--well, let's not get into that--out of her eyes, she sits up and she looks around.

Something is odd about this, she realizes as she looks at her clock. She knows sunrise and sunset times; she needs to know them, to plan her meetings. She never wakes up this early. She isn't a late sleeper, but still...

Tonight, the hair is forgotten as the first thing she covers. She doesn't bother to get dressed even as she pads her way around the home that is NOT her apartment and not her businesses, checking with people. She gets the word from, and this just seems wrong. Why would they possibly be waking up soo--

"Dammit," she says suddenly, as a thought occurs to her. "God motherfucking dammit son of a puta en botas de cuero futu-i pizda ma-tii..." This string of profanity--which runs through English, Spanish and Romani--lasts well over a couple minutes, uninterrupted. She's a very creative swearer.

Once it's done, she calms down. Heads to get ready for the night. (Luckily, she had extra time for this whole rant thanks to waking up early.) And just before she works her way through her hair, she drops off a text message to a certain Lasombra from her "business" phone. It has comes up as "Madame Kwan's Korean Dog Grooming and Restaraunt Delivery" for anyone who might look up the number.

Rose and shone while it was nearly shining. Have a bad feeling. You?
"The anger of a good man is not a problem. Good men have too many rules."
"Good men don't need rules. And today's not the day to find out why I have so many."
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#3
Flood's eyes open to the same darkness he usually awakens to. Down and away from the world the sun feels further away in the most comforting of senses for a Lasombra. It takes a moment before the cool restfulness of a day's respite gives way to a sudden uneasiness. At first his senses reach out and summon the Abyss to enliven the deep blackness around him, sap away the light's vestigial hold on it and calling defenders to his side, wondering at and then feeling for whatever disturbance might have roused him at such an hour. It's another moment after this wasteful (better safe than sorry) expression of his blood's power that he realizes...

Nothing awoke him so early in the evening. There is no smell of smoke. There is no pounding at the door. The earth does not shake and the ceiling of brick and mortal doesn't seem to be falling down around him as it once did many decades ago.

Nothing awoke him other than himself; that is an unsettling thought with ramifications he can't begin to consider before...

Flood can feel the vibration of a phone against his chest and reaches within his suit breast pocket. The electronic blue glow of its screen lights his face as he reads the message, the number saved under the same name as that business card, and answers a moment later.

"Me too," and whether he's referring to his own rising (he must as he's answering at such an hour) or having a bad feeling is left ambiguous. It's tapped out on the screen and shot off before he begins cycling through his other contacts and sending off another message.

"Those not of His True and Chosen rise early as well," and one can begin to guess which contact group this is sent to.

Flood flicks back to Kali's message a moment later.

"Meeting?" And it's sent off to the Ravnos. With that Flood rises for what will probably be a busy (and eventful) night.
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#4
The night passes with all the restlessness one can imagine.

Small skirmishes break out here and there.

One particularly notable showdown taks place between a small coterie of Nosferatu loyalist of the Camarilla and a pack of mostly Panders set upon burning them out of their sewers. The Sabbat are found dismembered, innards and skull interiors eaten out by the hundred thousand bites of countless rodents, by the time the Sheriff is able to arrive and the rest of their bodies begin to decay. Narcisa curses about there being no prisoners left for questioning and the Nosferatu give her the results of their unorthodox interrogation-by-buffet.

A gang of ghouls, the same Brazilian thugs left with their noses bloodied by the police raids following the suspected Sabbat car bombing and now strengthened by their Sabbat benefactor's vitae, begin pushing back against the police patrolling their streets. Their turf. Their territory. It starts off with pot shots from rooftops at undercover cruisers and ends after three firefights with a high speed chase. A patrolman is dragged behind the car by chains in the style of a public lynching. Few officers take to the streets after seeing their comrade put in a body bag. Reports will say he choked to death after being force fed hollow point bullets.

Narcisa begins to put out feelers. Gui makes a show of browbeating younger Sabbat in Elysium, knowing word will get around and his intentions with it. Both are marshaling warriors for a renewed offensive if this loosening of their kind's nocturnal restrictions will continue.

And the next night? Vampires again find themselves waking a mere moment after the light of day dies.
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#5
Finch was at Temple just before the sun crept up. He had found a place to close his eyes, but the dead quiet of a Vampires daily rest did not come. At least not as quickly or as timely as it always had before. He lay there waiting and waiting and finally things went black. When his eyes open again, he is as he was when he died not quite 20 years ago. His hair is long and befitting the style of Seattle's early 90s grunge culture. His normally clean shaven face bears a hint of a beard. Without grooming and in his crumpled suit, the young Toreador finds a crevasse in the foundation that allows him peek curiously out onto the world beyond the heavy walls surrounding him and he knows instinctively he should not be awake this early. His fangs brush his bottom lip and he stands up with a growl and weaves through passageways until he finds where the others have gathered within the building.

He had the makings of a proper Priest, but he lacked age and the skill that came with it. There are those that quote their black Bible and others that whisper of the raising of The Oldest or maybe even some who hiss about Tremere magic or curses. Finch only listens to each theory, arms crossed loose over his stomach.

The night of the 16th he remains in Temple longer than he ever has, just listening and watching to words and movements.
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#6
The response back to Flood is swift and without the Ravnos' usual snark:

Love to.

And on that most eventful of nights, the woman is all over the place. And by "all over the place" we mean her businesses and her apartment in the city; she doesn't stray from those locations. She has much to do, businesses to keep reigned in and friends to keep an eye on.

Her dealers are given strict orders to pull back a bit; it's the simple matter of strengthening their territory. The increased hunger due to more difficulty in hunting following the bombing combined with the new freedom of being up earlier and later means that there will be greater risk to kine, and drug dealers are always a prime target because so few will miss them. Opal and Bo are told that in the wake of the bombing and some recent gang violence, they should be extra on the lookout, and that Kali is going to hire a couple bouncers for the place on a short-term basis.

Bo, of course, is told the exact reasons why: the waking early and late, what's been floating through Elysium about the car bombing. The message to her ghoul is clear: "Watch your ass." She is also told about some new dangers: a guy named Finch (with description) and Amber, the girl they ran into way back when on the street, should be steered clear of.

And then she's contacting some friends. Jade, who she may or may not have a little side deal going with, along with Lux both get the same message sent to them individually:

Keep careful, hot thing. We're all light sleepers lately and it's getting very rough and tumble out there twixt Rook and Knight.

Jack gets another text, entirely his own:

Probably not a surprise, but the goatfucker sickos on the other side are waking up early too. Seems like an Old-School problem, if you get me.

And a last message, sent to Felix:

What kind of inventory you got right now? I'd like to browse.
"The anger of a good man is not a problem. Good men have too many rules."
"Good men don't need rules. And today's not the day to find out why I have so many."
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#7
The response from Jade comes fairly quickly

I noticed!

She filters word through her networks in those special ways that she has - telling this one or that one who know not to let on who truly owns all of them - to be careful going out these nights. What with all that violence going on, it would be terrible if something were to happen to any of her precious little birds.

And oh, while you're out there? Because being cautious does not mean taking the night off. Keep your ears open for any interesting whispers. Jade will do the same.
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#8
[[crap, meant to include Felix in on that!]]

Felix Oliver doesn't know about the supernatural element at work here. All he knows is that there is violence afoot, street gangs and the like (ugh, they usually are so cheap, but at least they pay in cash) it sounds like, people who might could use a little extra bang bang for their buck?

By the time he gets the message from Kali he's already sending out feelers through his own supply trains, trying to get them hooked up to Denver properly. In the meantime:

I have a few things, princess. Come by my office sometime to peruse ;-)

He does not have a proper office, of course, but one can assume a meeting is arranged shortly afterward.
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#9
Jack

There is a curse and this is part of the curse. This sleep that is more than sleep this slumber that is without breath or movement or decay an enchantment and a curse and they're all relics they're all pure when they're sleeping uncorrupted during the daylight hours with Helios overhead and their kingdom out with the tide Jack doesn't know precisely why these things work as they do work but he does understand intuitive does know the story well and when he is loosed of those chains no longer eclipsed when he wakes and the beast wakes and the monster wakes where it is that he does wake so soon with the evening sky still tinted by a memory of daylight a gloaming he is concerned.

He had watched the eclipse like it was a portent an omen he had watched it and felt a shadow slip across the ground a shadow steal from the city the city which straddles all kingdoms which is lost and it is also found and it had made him shiver, who does not often shiver, it had lifted his spirits even as he thought, no foot ever trod that face,

and now, now, now, awake so early, what is a Jack to do? A gentleman Jack, a monstrous Jack, a Jack of parts, a Jack who knows things, hopes things, a Jack of Nobody? He makes no calls that first night: he stays, for the most part, unseen -- drifts in the eddies of other calamities. He goes down to the Kingdom Below, down to the fortress that has been betrayed by a Hag, by a Witch-turned creature, to see his brethren. He goes to the castle that stands though it has been besieged again again with its rebel prince and he wonders there. He goes to the rats and he goes to his devil-cat but he does not make any personal phonecalls without first being called except one and that is off-hand once news of a lynching of chains of mortals feeling the puppet-slung string-pulling power of conditionally immortal creatures given more scope for the dark world's Things To Be Careful Of, Places To Be Ware.

That personal call is to Miss Molly Toombs and perhaps she answers her phone.

Jack and Kali. He'd brought up the eclipse last time they'd spoken hadn't he of course one needs to know when a shadow is going to pass but now that the shadow's passed: he wonders does he feel different? His response to Kali's text is:

Interesting, and yes I do get you.
Meeting?

For once there are no smileys.

--

Lux

Lux is a social creature so let us not examine what she thinks or does or says as soon as she realizes that it is early for her. Perhaps she thinks nothing of it at all. No. Of course she thinks something of it. Where-ever the Anarchs conspire for their cause: certainly, one of the first people she reaches out to is John St. Germain.

Maybe she is with him when she replies to Kali's text. We don't know. The story doesn't tell us. There are no paparazzi for the undead: or if there are, they aren't currently stalking the Toreador Anarch.

Her response is:

They would find a way to turn something delightful into a bloody brawling mess of a squall of a fuck them both. Smile I wonder how long it will last?

Then Ms Summer Barrett gets a phonecall or her warm-voiced honey-voiced agent Roderick gets a text to pass onto his mistress:

Hi, Summer. Did you wake up early? Everybody's doing it. Curious, huh? I want to know what you think, darling.

The night spins itself out. Much later on, Mr. Nathan Marszalek gets:

If you're going to be wandering the streets tonight covering stories, keep your head down. Idiot S & Js.

And a Tremere also gets a phonecall, not a text, not a message. He probably picks up. It starts with an enthusiastic: "Hi there, Kitten!"

D'you know? Lux is just such a gossip. An Amber also gets a phonecall.

Maybe a Jasper, if she knows how to contact him, also gets a nice little line-drop.

It's a regular musical number of phonecalls. It's nice to have some extra time, huh? Or it could be.
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#10
The previous night words had gotten around, a discordant chorus of words and that's to be expected from the Malkavians who are conducting, isn't it? The lunatics are known for their lunacy and with the moon how it is... Well, there is a Billy Strahan.

Billy Strahan, Malkavian rube, a young man of blond hair and blue eyes and hale form picked off some Texan oil field or cattle ranch, had a fit before storming out of Elysium. He'd said certain things.

He'd shouted other things. A few people were paying attention, if only as a distraction, because how long can you politely listen to a Toreador talk about this painting's influence on the kine or a Ventrue talk about how well she could handle your assets if you just sign, with blood, on the dotted line?

Billy! Back to Billy. Give a lunatic like Billy enough time on his hands and who knows what he'll get into? The lasting effects of the blood moon eclipse give him an overabundance. What's the last rumor that had been going around Elysium?

Billy had been shouting about them all residing in a dark house with broken windows. He'd said it would leave them all buried. It would collapse around them. They'd be drained dry and left to the earth. Left to eternity and he says that part like it's a curse.

It's all a curse!

Billy'd said that the world would sing and shake, the ground would dance, and they would remain hiding under their beds instead of facing the skeletons in their collective closet.

Billy'd said he was hungry. He said he knew a place to go and that's the last time anyone had heard from him before he'd disappeared into Colfax.

Billy has said a lot of things in his time in Denver, but never with this kind of fervor. Fanaticism. Like he was considering a conversion. Taking up a new banner. He'd walked out of Elysium eyes gazing up at the moon and whispering to himself, "I'm coming, I'm coming, I promise, I'm coming."

And Narcisa? The Sheriff of Denver? Narcisa the Mad Sheriff had made a point to get it around that she was busy with other things (like Sabbat awake at all hours), but would love a word with Billy, and you could earn a favor if your brought him in (coaxed or otherwise) for a conversation with her.

And the next night? The moon rises again and again the vampires rise unfettered by the waning western light as night does glom day.
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