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Disco Nuit: Open With Prejudice

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Having made it their mission to track down the creature or creatures who murdered Shannon’s coworkers, the party has just discovered, via the security tapes provided to them by Disco Nuit, that the murderers, whatever they are, aren’t visible on camera.

Unfortunately, “invisible on camera” doesn’t narrow the field much when playing “guess the supernatural boogeyman.” We spend a few more minutes discussing the possibilities, but the reality is that it could be almost anything. Practically speaking, we’re still more-or-less at square one: we have no idea who–or what–Bella and Louisa left the club with, why they were attacked, or how to find their attackers. Finding someone who remembers seeing them leave last night would be a bit like looking for a needle in a field of haystacks, but at the moment it still seems to be our best option.

The club doesn’t open for hours yet, though, and we want to keep working in the meantime. Shannon heads off to speak to Bella and Louisa’s families, wanting to offer condolences but also hoping to find out what they know.

Which, as it turns out, isn’t much. Louisa’s roommate isn’t home, or at least isn’t answering the door. Shannon does manage to talk to Bella’s family, but doesn’t get much new information: they knew Bella was planning on going out last night, but didn’t hear from her before she died; the cops say there was no molestation involved, and have apparently suggested that the girls’ deaths were the result of some sort of wild dog attack. Sensing that there’s nothing to be discovered here, Shannon offers her help if the family ever needs it, and leaves them to their grief.

John and Felix, meanwhile, pay a visit to the alleyway where the bodies were found. The alleyway, which is sandwiched between two apartment buildings, is empty but for a Dumpster, in which John’s dog develops an immediate interest. John suggests that Felix go into the apartments and start chatting up residents whose windows overlook the alleyway while he tries to find out what’s caught the dog’s attention. Felix, somewhat reluctantly, agrees.

He doesn’t have much luck in the first building, encountering mostly unanswered doors (and at least one slammed in his face). In the second building, however, an elderly woman answers the door. Felix starts by giving her the same lie that Shannon used earlier: he’s a private investigator looking into some recent deaths in the area. The woman seems happy to help, but insists that he’s no private investigator, since he has neither a fedora, nor a trench coat, nor a fat man following him around. Felix promises to work on the trench coat and fedora, but assures her that he does have a man who follows him around out in the alley, even if he’s not fat.

“One moment.” The woman marches back into her apartment and peers out the window, where she sees a seven-foot-tall man (John) and an impressively large dog (Duke) rifling through the Dumpster. Returning to the front door and Felix, she says solemnly, “he’s not a fat man, he’s a big man. He’s a villain. You should go arrest him.”

After a few moments of wild speculation about which James Bond villains John might be related to, and a riveting discussion regarding whether Hitler had a dog, Felix steers the conversation back to the subject of the two dead women. The woman replies that she didn’t see anything, but that she did hear thumps coming from the roof; she’s very definite about the fact that they came from the roof and not the floor above her, even though the roof is three floors up. When Felix starts to speculate on what might’ve happened, though, she says, “you’re the private investigator, you tell me!” and excuses herself.

John, meanwhile, discovers that the object of Duke’s interest is nothing more exciting than a pile of half-eaten cheeseburgers. It does seem, however, that the garbage has been professionally sifted through. He says as much to Felix once Felix emerges from the second apartment building. Felix summarizes his own discoveries, adding that he did attempt to check out the roof, but that the door leading to the roof was locked.

When Felix reveals that the door in question was not, so far as he could tell, connected to an alarm, John figures that it’s worth trying anyway. Mortified though he is by the possibility of being caught skulking outside of a locked door in the company of a man who reeks of Dumpster, Felix allows himself to be convinced that they should go upstairs and try the door again.

Once it transpires that the door is, indeed, still locked, John decides to unlock it the old-fashioned way. Once he’s forced it open, he and Felix head out onto the roof, and John closes the broken door as best he can behind them.

“I hope you didn’t touch that door with your ungloved hands,” Felix says. “They can track you these days, man.”

“That just tells them that I opened a door.”

“Yeah, opened it with extreme prejudice!”

“They can’t tell that from a fingerprint.” John pauses. “I think.”

The roof is mostly empty, but Felix spots a woman’s handbag languishing on the fire escape, and climbs down to retrieve it. Both John and Felix recognize it from the nightclub’s security tapes; Bella had had it with her when she entered and left the club. It seems prudent to postpone sifting through a dead woman’s belongings until he and John are no longer trespassing, though, so they retreat from the building with the bag in hand.

[This post is a continuation in a series of posts covering my group's ongoing World of Darkness campaign. The next post is scheduled to drop on Monday, January 20th, so check back then if you'd like to read more.]

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