Venatori

Patrolling the Underground
the pack investigate trouble in the tube

The chronicle started in medias res, which three members of the pack patrolling the tunnels of the London Underground network on the periphery of the restricted zone, not far from their headquarters above the disused Aldwych tube station.

The PCs have been keeping a watch on the tunnels, as the Shadow (spirit world) of the Underground has been unusually disturbed recently, even on the upper levels. In particular, there has been a significant increase in the number of disease-spirits (Noculoth) in the area in the past week or so.

The pack made their way through the tunnels wearing the Dalu (near-human) forms, able to pass for humans at first glance in the flickering and failing fluorescent lights.
Before long their sharpened scenes picked up the scent of corruption carried in the stale breezes of the underground, alerting them to the presence of a huddle of Noculth further up the tunnel.

The disease-spirits were clustered around a fallen figure, and were fully materialised in the physical world (unusual for such spirits). The pack wasted no time in attacking the intruders, Lewis brawling in Dalu form, Vellum laying about with a fire-axe that he concealed in his duster for this purpose, and Summer attacking with tooth and claw as a ferocious Urshul (dire-wolf).
The pack rapidly bested the Noculoth (bisecting one, hurling another on the the third rail, and simply crushing the remaining two), with only a few scrapes and bruises in return (their supernatural enhanced immune systems protecting them from the infection attacks of the critters).

Once the fight was over the pack took stock for a few moments and shifted back to human (Hishu) form before they began investigating the figure that the Noculoth had been swarming, moving quickly as they heard approaching footsteps from around the corner of the tunnel.
The figure turned out to be a middle aged man in a smart business suit, unconscious in a pool of his own vomit. Summer made a quick medical assessment and noticed that the man had a high fever and that his glands were significantly swollen; she then moved him into the recovery position. He was uninjured apart from a bite on his leg, which Vellum identified as a bite from a rat the size of a dog.
The group took a few seconds to bring what subtle magics they had at their disposal to bear to try and improve his condition, and then beat a stealthy retreat.

A few seconds later a pair of armed police officers arrived, drawn by the sound of the fight.
Summer lurked close by at the mouth of the tunnel and watched as the officers located the man’s wallet and radioed his name in as ‘Duncan Strick’.

The PCs fell back whilst the medics arrived and the officers conducted a cursory search of the area. Summer informed the others about the name of the unconscious man, and Vellum recognised the name as that of a minor occult author. Once the patrolmen had left, the pack pushed on into the tunnels, with Vellum and Summer shifting to wolf form in order to track the scent of Duncan Strick back through the underground.

Based on a thorough investigation of the scent trail, the werewolves deduce that Duncan Strick left the train at a platform in Holborn Station (already feeling somewhat unwell, judging by the scent of his sweat), wandered into the edge of the restricted section (where his trail criss-crosses which that of various rats) and on to where he had apparently collapsed, his condition deteriorating all of the time.

Following the trails of the rats within the restricted section of the tunnels, the pack discover the entrance to a tunnel about a meter across chewed through the concrete and going a deep as they could see in the poor light. Acutely aware that it would be foolish even for a werewolf to plunge in into the lair of a swarm of unknown creatures without preparation, the pack retreat to their headquarters over the Aldwych station.

Discussing things amongst themselves, the pack realise that there is a serious chance that the rats that they have been able to smell are none other than the ‘rat-hosts’ (AKA Beshilu) that their mentors warned them about. Lewis had briefly encountered a pair of beshilu before, and had no desire to repeat the experience. Vellum settled down to research them in his library of occult tomes, and didn’t like what he found. In particular, there was a possibility that Strick had been infected/imbued with Beshilu essence and was in fact in the process of transforming into a beshilu huybrid- not something that they would want running around in a hospital.

Far from confident of their ability to bluff/sneak their way into the hospital, the team resort to calling their Venatori mentor Sebastian Lowe, who promises that he will try and keep an eye on the local hospitals (particularly the nearest major hospital, St Bartholomew’s).

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Fixing the Plans
Denton appears, and the pack make preparations

Denton Vines, listening to the chatter on a police scanner, hears about the commotion reported in the underground, and the name ‘Duncan Strick’ called in as a man in need of urgent medical attention. Aware that the location that the man was found in was suspiciously close to the Aldwych headquarters of the pack, Denton sets about investigating the man’s background.
Thanks to his superb computer skills, he is able to quickly collate a profile of Duncan Strick, who is apparently a middle-aged author and publisher living by himself in an apartment in Bloomsbury (his wife having died some years previously). He also confirmed that Strick had been admitted to St Bartholomew’s Hospital.
Whilst hacking into the Hospital’s network, Denton also discovered that there had been a significant increase in infection rates in the area over the last couple of weeks, culminating in a massive spike in the last three days, with the homeless population and ‘fluffers’ (cleaners in the tube network) being particularly affected.

After calling his mentor Sebastian Lowe to confirm his suspicion that the pack were involved in the events in the tunnels, Denton traveled to Alydwich in his Mercedes (parking in an underground garage which his extraordinary financial resources had enabled him to purchase some time previously).
Breezing brusquely into the pack headquarters (past the somewhat surprised and slightly affronted Lewis Sanders), Vines wasted no time on small talk beyond a few brief and paranoid comments on security, and an instruction to Vellum Grey to make him some tea (echoed by Summer Tabbee).
Finally united together face-to-face for the first time, the pack quickly concoct a plan to extract Duncan from the hospital.

Denton entered a montage, making full use of his contacts (and his considerable resources) to get hold of a discarded ambulance from a junkyard, and a set of nurses uniforms (which was considerably easier). He then set about forging the transfer documents that they plan to use to get Strick out of St Barts.

Vellum ensconced himself in his library and engaged in research into Noculth (disease spirits) and the Beshilu, whilst Lewis went shopping for salt and medical kits (as precautions against the Noculoth – salt being the substance that invoked the spirits’ ban).

Summer went down into the tunnels alone, set on a direct approach to finding out what was going on with the spirits. After checking that the coast was clear, she steeled herself for a confrontation and began a summoning ritual. Defended by a warded magic circle of salt and armed with assorted detritus and rubbish from the tunnels to act as an incentive for the spirit, Summer was able to ensnare a local Noculth.
Persuaded by the combination of the carrot of the unhygienic rubbish and the stick of Summer’s intimidation and promise to devour the spirit if it disobeyed, the Noculoth revealed that its kind had been encouraged into the physical world by the Beshilu. The rat-hosts had agreed passage through their loci and a supply of nourishing victims for the Noculoth, in exchange for the Noculoth agreeing to target certain individuals (one of which was Duncan Strick).
Banishing the spirit at the conclusion for the ritual, Summer returned to the offices above to pass on what she had learned and to ponder what it could mean.

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Hospital Visit
first investigation case, and hospital heist

After a few hours sleep, the pack rose shortly after 7am and started making their preparations for the ‘patient transfer’.

Denton Vines took a 10 minute walk (with a few twists & turns to satisfy his caution/paranoia) to the Victoria Embankment near the Blackfriars Bridge. Using one the many mobile internet dongles that he habitually carries, he connected to the net and hacked into the the hospital records, and then altered them to indicate that Duncan Strick was to be moved to the Warwick Royal Infirmary to be treated by a diseases specialist.
Just as he was finishing the hack, the camera that he had secretly set up to watch the entrance to the offices registered movement. The video feed showed a woman in her late twenties, smartly dressed with a hat and coat to ward off the chill of the spring morning. Denton began running facial matching software to try and identify the caller.

Back at the office in Aldwych, Lewis answered the door buzzer and was met by a somewhat agitated woman, who introduced herself as Kelly Lloyd and explained that she had come to the building hoping to speak to the Private Investigators of the firm ‘Hunter and Lictor’ (which was the cover business that the pack had been given along, with Aldwych premises, by the Venatori).
Lewis invited her in and led her to his office/room, when she explained that she was desperately seeking to discover what had happened to her boyfriend Ryan Burnstien, a freelance journalist who was last seen on Tuesday the 13th (five days ago).

Ms Lloyd elaborated that she had last seen Ryan on the morning of the day he disappeared. He had been investigating on a story involving the homeless population of London, and his plans for that day had been to speak to some contacts in central London.
The next time she heard from him was shortly before 9pm that day, when she received a garbled call that registered as originating from Ryan’s mobile phone. The line was terrible, but above the interference she could just make out Ryan’s voice. He sounded disorientated and panicked, but the signal dropped out completely after about twenty seconds, before she was able to make out any coherent phrases.
No one had seen or heard from him since.
She contacted the police late on Wednesday having grown worried from not hearing from him all day. With nothing to go on, the police had unsurprisingly not managed to turn up any leads so far.
Kelly had grown increasingly desperate and concerned over the following days, resulting in her decision to hire a PI. Hunter and Lictor had apparently been recommended to her by Malcolm Ravenscar, the proprietor of Bond & Bind, a bookstore/antique-shop/coffeehouse.
She gave Lewis a £100 retainer, and a memory stick containing the entire contents of Ryan’s My Documents folder from the desktop PC that they shared. After promoting from Lewis, she also bluetoothed him a photo of Ryan, and gave him a list on known contacts (which included Mary Alder, Rose Price, …and Duncan Strick).

Denton returned to the office shortly after the pack’s first investigation client had left, having chewed up the SIM card and disposed of the internet dongle into the Thames. At the same time, Summer returned to the office.
Lewis then explained Kelly’s situation, and confirmed what Denton had discovered from scouring the internet- that Ms Lloyd was a junior executive at a merchant banking firm in the city, and that her story checked out.

The problem of the missing journalist would have to wait however, as the pack had more pressing concerns. They swiftly set about making their final preparations for the retrieval of Strick from the hospital, doing their uniforms and fake IDs, and rehearsing the plan.
Vellum, a talented if unconventional alchemist, went out to glare the rust off of the van (the iron de-oxogenising out of embarrassment); than than pack were ready to go.

Ever cautious, Denton drove from the underground garage to the hospital via a circuitous route. Once they arrived they masqueraded superbly as legitimate staff, barely raising an eyebrow.
They perhaps blended in too well, as when Lewis paused for a moment to glance at a wall map confirming that they were heading to the correct ward, he was seconded by an imperious and harassed doctor to help transfer a critically injured man (who looked like he had been in a car crash) to a different ward. The doctor’s pager beeped and he headed off on another urgent errand, but Lewis continued with his task, not wanting to break cover.
He was surprised when the apparently unconscious man, started sniffing the air and demanded to know who Lewis was. Now that that he was aware that there was something odd about the man, Lewis tuned his full attention to him. He was middle aged, probably in his 50s, had a robustly muscled and athletic build, and looked healthy apart from his collection of cuts and wounds; furthermore, now that he was looking for it, Lewis picked up the subtle but distinctive scent of werewolf.

Presented with the imminent problem of the potential breech of Uratha secrecy that would occur when the doctors saw a man who had been heavily wounded an hour before getting up and leaving the premises with nothing but bloodstains and a few scratches, Lewis made a snap decision and took a lift downwards, flipping the sheet over the head of the man on the trolley (who was making gristly noises and slipping in and out of consciousness as his regeneration continued to re-set bones and knit flesh).

Meanwhile, the rest to the pack successfully make it to the quarantine room where Duncan Strick was located. Upon entering the room, they discovered that Strick’s condition seems to have worsened, and he was now deeply unconscious with waxy skin, sunken eyes and ragged breathing. Summer Tabbee whispered a spell to call up her spirit vision, while Denton watched the corridor and Vellum began transferring the patient on the the gurney. Moments later the air vent near to Denton’s head burst open, and a rat the size of a dog sprang out onto Strick, hissing and spitting ferociously and glaring at Vellum with murderous golden eyes.

Summer instantly swung into action, letting her instincts guide her. She shifted into Dalu form and leapt at the Beshilu, lashing its sides but not quite managing to dislodge the agile rodent from its intended victim. Thinking quickly, Denton grapped the sheets of the bed and threw them over the creature, tangling it in a cocoon of bedding. Vellum then proceeded to beat the creature to death with the drip stand, efficiently mashing it and the rats that it discorporated into to broken and lifeless meat while his pack-mates held it down (Summer licking her lips and watching the writhing bundle hungrily, as her supernatural metabolism called out to devour it to recharge her essence).

Once the threat had been subdued, they transferred the critically ill Strick onto the top of the trolley and stashed the bundle containing the Beshilu underneath, before calmly wheeling out the trolley out (accompanied by the now wobbling and squeaky drip stand).

When they opened the van doors, they were surprised to find Lewis already inside with a different patient on a trolley. The werewolf, now mostly healed, sat up and introduced himself as Tony Williams, a member of the Guardians of the Lychgate pack. Acknowledging his debt to Lewis and the others as they drove away from the hospital, Tony explained that he had been injured in a fight with something in Soho, a creature that he had initially taken to be a vampire. The fight had been confusing, and the werewolf had found himself staggering, feeling disorientated and drunk. He gave as good as he got, but the mysterious figure has escaped into the night, just before the light of dawn had began to spill across the city. Williams had heard approaching footsteps and had passed out, only to awake a few hours later on a hospital trolley.

The pack dropped their new acquaintance off in alley in Covent Garden, having earned his thanks (and a favour for later, if he is as good as his word). They then proceeded back to Denton’s underground garage, and on the way Summer feasted on the remains of the Beshilu, replenishing her Essence reserves (the rest of the pack were not yet desperate/hungry enough to eat such a meal, or were not yet comfortable enough with their werewolf natures to try it).
Meanwhile, the rest off the pack scanned through the contacts and text messages on Strick’s phone (which was amongst his personal effects from the hospital), and turned up the names Ryan Burnstien and Mary Alder, as well as frequent (somewhat cryptic) communications with Jean-Paul Carrab, Peter Hall, Vilmos Hessig, and Kyoko Takada)

As soon as they arrived, the pack quickly set about preparing for the ritual that they were about to attempt, which they hoped would exorcise the Beshilu essence from Strick’s body.
Once the magic circle had been drawn and the runes inscribed, Lewis, the ritemaster of the group, took the lead role in the complex ceremony, and initiated the spell.

Denton called upon subtle mind magic to keep human consciousness separate from that of the rat-host, and Vellum wove life energy in Strick’s pattern, helping to drive out the supernatural infection. Summer bought her spirit arcanum to bear, calling the invading spirit out of its victim and binding it within the circles of the spell; and finally, Lewis pitted his will directly against the power of the Beshilu essence at the climax of the ritual.
The ritual circle and glyphs began to glow and smoke from the pressure of the contained energies, and Strick’s fever peaked as the half-formed spirit of the Beashilu fought for possession. Finally, following a colossal effort of will, the pack’s ritual successfully sweated the corrupted essence out of Strick, binding and containing it in place, when the fierce and entropic energies of the completed spell evaporated it.

After recovering their breath and composure from the exertion of the spell, the pack members congratulated each other on having achieved what the lore-books had deemed impossible. Though his essence pattern had been permanently scarred by the attack, they had successfully saved this man from a dark and unnatural fate. Vellum promptly began recording their observations and the details of the rite (longhand as he had a deep distrust for computers), while the rest of the pack tidied up and contacted Sebastian Lowe.

Lowe was suitably impressed by their achievements, and promised that he would arrange for Strick to be given into the care of his contacts in the Lorekeepers pack, who had the facilities and expertise to provide secrecy and medical care for the human.

Once Strick had been collected and taken off of their hands (by Benedict Walker, alpha of the Lore Keepers, the pack decided to head back to their offices in Aldwych and consider their next move.
However, whilst riding back in Denton’s lexus, they discovered that the life of a Venatori werewolf is seldom simple or easy, as the crack of a gunshot rang out through the city air…

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Gunshot: interupting a crime
the pack chance upon a crime scene

As the pack head back to their headquarters in Aldwych (Denton driving them in his top-of-the-range silver Lexus), a gunshot rings out through the London afternoon air.
The more nervous and paranoid members of the pack duck and look around for damage, but when a second shot sounds moments later they realise that the sound is coming from the nearby alleyway, and that they are not the targets.
Reacting swiftly, Denton slammed on the breaks and sharply turned the car down the alleyway, skilfully avoiding the buildings.
Directly in front of them was a middle-aged woman, collapsed on the ground with a gunshot-wound to the chest; and at the far end of the cluttered alley was a fence which they could just see someone disappearing over.

Before the car had even stopped moving, Lewis and Summer had leapt out. Lewis ran strait the the side on the fallen woman, discovering that she was still clinging on to life by a thread; whilst Summer gave chase to escaping figure that was presumably the assailant.
Moments later, Summer was overtaken by Denton, who ran down the length of the alley at full sprint, effortlessly avoiding the debris and wall-jumping over the fence with his parkour skills.
Vellum joined Lewis at the side of the dying woman and quickly called upon his life magic, pouring his determination into the spell.

Pouring on the speed, Denton and Summer were catching up with their quarry in the passageway between two rows of terraced houses. Their target was a scruffy man with a jerky but swift gait, who carried a pistol in one hand and a book in the other. Realising that he was going to be caught, the man fired off a couple if shots at his pursuers. As much by luck as skill, on of the rounds hit Denton in the shoulder, accompanied with a bloom of blood and the crack on bone.
Enraged, Denton let his instincts take over, and transformed into the fearsome Gauru form, gaining 200lbs of muscle and the ferocity of hellish rage. Sensing that a bloody fight was inevitable, Summer become a protean maelstrom of fur and essence and she shifted instantly into her dire-wolf form. Before the gunman even had a chance to react, Denton slashed him across the chest with a massive claw. As he staggered, Summer leapt and bore the figure the ground, tearing his throat out with one savagely efficient bite.
Griped by the incandescent rage of the war-form, Denton took his frustration at being shot out on the gunman. Spotting something moving in his victim’s torso, Denton buried his maw in the man’s belly and dispatched the large rat that was trying to escape.

Between the two of them, Lewis and Vellum managed to stabilise the bleeding woman with a combination of luck, first aid, and their combined healing magic.
Vellum dialled 999 and requested an ambulance, whilst Lewis managed to make out the words ‘Mary Alder’ and ‘book… stolen’ as she hovered in and out of consciousness.

Rage exhausted, Denton collapsed back into human form. As Denton collected his wits from the shock and disorientation of being shot and then carried along by the berserk fury of the war form, Summer examined their prey. It was disturbingly clear that the man was already dead before they had fought him- he seemed to been worn as a flesh-puppet by the beshilu inside him. Based up the tales that she had listened to from her blood-talon mentors, Summer deduced that the fallen man was most likely a target of opportunity (probably one of the homeless population that had gone missing recently, judging by the state of his clothes).

His librarian instincts tingling at the mention of a book, Vellum ran to catch up with Denton and Summer. He arrived to find both of his pack-mates back in human form, wondering what to do with the corpse at their feet (which would raise a few eyebrows to say the least it the emergency services were to find it). Vellum briefly considered an alchemical solution as he scanned the detritus of the alleyway for a book, but dismissed it as being too slow. Having spotted and retrieved a slim volume from the ground, Vellum examined it and discovered that it was an address book, the margins of which were littered with strange glyphs and mirror-writing. He and Denton returned to the car, Denton seeking to clean himself up and to move the car, Vellum planning to make us of the car mirrors to speed up translation.

Meanwhile, Summer tidied the alley. She called up the magic to destroy the body, her spell decaying it to compost in moment, and then kicked over a couple of bins to cover the mess.

Once Lewis had made Ms Alder comfortable (in so far as was possible) he briefly searched her house, the door of which was hanging open.
It appeared that the house had been dishevelled as if a scuffle had taken place. Based upon a cursory investigation and on the few words that the victim managed to get out, it seamed that she had returned home from work during her lunch break to discover that her house was being burgled. The thief that shot her and ran out clutching a book. In addition upon checking the phone messages there was a single message from Duncan Strick regarding a meeting to perform a ritual, not wanting the police to start investigating he promptly deleted the message.

Once Vellum has deciphered the book, he realised that some names were marked out with occult symbols and references to ‘the Bloomsbury Cabal’; the names included Duncan Strick and Ryan Burnstien. Deducing that this group were being targeted by the beshilu, Vellum and Lewis decided to send a test message from Mary Alder’s phone to the other members of the group, warning them that they were being targeted.

Once Denton had bandaged his gunshot injury and removed the gore from his hands and mouth with wetwipes, he reversed out of the alley and drove the car down the street before parking and watching from a distance.

So soon as the paramedics appeared most of the pack sloped off, but Lewis stayed with Mrs Alder until she was loaded into the ambulance and so was still there when the police arrived a few minutes later.
Detective Inspector Jennifer Warding, who had previously questioned Lewis after a fight in a boardroom in the days leading up to his transformation, arrived in the partol car and was immediately suspicious of Lewis’ story. She took him back to the station to get his statement, and questioned him for a couple of hours in an attempt to wring out the information that he was holding back. Lewis stuck to his story (which was close to what happened, but left out any mention of magic and simply concluded with the perpetrator escaping), and DI Warding eventually left him go.

Meanwhile, Denton was burning everything that he worn at the scene and then performing the rite to dedicate a replacement outfit whilst his wound healed.
Summer called her Blood Talon mentors to give them an overview of events and to seek their advice and experiences in dealing with beshilu.
Vellum acquired a halberd from a local purveyor of historical re-enactment equipment and an extendable metal pole from a local hardware store, and commenced an alchemical ritual to create a collapsible titanium halberd.
Just another afternoon, by the standards of the weirdest pack in town…

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Meeting the cabal
The pack trace the remaining members of the cabal and meet with them

Preparations complete, the pack split up in an attempt to reach the remaining members of the ‘Bloomsbury Cabal’.
Denton traced Vilmos Hessig to a hotel called the Suffolk Lodge in West London, and headed out with Summer to find the shaman.
Vellum, posing without difficulty a purchaser of rare books, arranged to meet Kyoko Takada at her office. He first made a detour to his park-bench locus for top up his essence, and then scouted out Kyoko’s office, discovering (using life magic) that it was being watched by large numbers of rats in the undergrowth and bushes of a small park area opposite the building (which he mentally filed under ‘highly suspicious’).
Lewis called Peter Hall (who was identified in the phone book as an electrician and a psychic), but was met with suspicion when he revealed what he knew of the cabal’s activities. Lewis warned Pater of the dangers and requested that he meet him somewhere to discuss things further; but Hall stonewalled him, saying that he would call back after the had checked Lewis’s story out.
Lewis settled down to wait for the call, and in the the meantime began investigating the files from Ryan Burnstien’s computer on the memory stick given to him by Kelly Lloyd.

When they arrived at the hotel Summer sneaked off round the back to the building whilst Denton when straight to reception and asked to speak to Villmos Hessig, introducing himself as a friend of Duncan Strick. The receptionist range the room and to Denton’s mild surprise the ploy apparently worked, with the receptionist directing him up a flight of stairs to room 3 (apparently with the blessings of its occupant).
Denton’s lack of faith in things going smoothly was reassuringly restored once he entered the room, as Hessig, a wiry man in his 60s with a scraggly grey beard, leveled a revolver at him.
Watching from the rear of the building, Summer had seen a man hurriedly root around in a drawer and take out what looked like a gun before standing in the corner of his room just out of her sight. She moved forward to get a better view through the window, and seeing Denton enter she quickly made her way up the stairs of the fire escape whilst trying to be stealthy.

Un-phased by the gun (despite, or perhaps because of, being shot just a few hours before) , Vines kept his cool and calmly explained to Vilmos who they were and what they knew about the cabal. Vilmos was slightly startled by as sound from outside his window (as Summer reached the top of the stairs), but recovered well and agreed to share what he knew with his unusual visitors if they proved that their story was true. In response to this, Summer promptly transformed into a wolf before his eyes.

Meanwhile. Lewis was collating and cross-referencing the information gathered by Ryan and was building up a map of reports of missing persons and the area, and of areas that had reported a spike in infection rates. He quickly discovered that various locations in the underground seeming to be a link in the stories, and that Ryan had planned to investigate some of these hotspots on the day that he disappeared.

Once he had recovered from his surprise at having a pair of werewolves in his room, Hessig confirmed that the Bloomsbury Cabal were a group gathered together under the aegis of Jean-Paul Carrab (a wealthy academic with an interest in the paranormal). The small group had a diverse range of talents (shamanism, occult lore, etc) and had dedicated themselves to resisting the incursion of spirits and apparitions through the ‘veil’ (as they referred to the gauntlet) in the tunnels beneath London.
Denton and Summer agreed to his offer to arrange a meeting with Mr Carrab, and the three of them left in the direction of Carrab’s mansion.

After spending several minutes enthusiastically discussing rare books and antiquities with Miss Takada (and arranging to purchase a couple of obscure volumes), Vellum turned the conversation in the direction of the activities of the Bloomsbury Cabal and the dangers that they were in, catching Kyoko off guard. Unsettled and wrong-footed by Vellums agenda, the startled antiquities dealer left the building with Vellum in pursuit (at what he hoped would appear as a non-threatening distance).
Moments after she left the building, a figure emerged from an alleyway with the distinctive gait of a beshilu flesh-puppet, and snatched Kyoko from the street, pressing a knife of her throat. Vellum gave chase, and as soon as he had rounded the corner of the alleyway he shifted to his more menacing Dalu form and drew his titanium halberd from his coat with a flurish to extend it. Occupied with securing his grip on Kyoko, the assailant didn’t react until too late, and Vellum struck him unconscious with a single blow of the haft of his halberd.

Vellum was surprised in turn by an a transit van reversing into a position to block the mouth of the alleyway, and the side-door sliding open to revel a man with a silenced pistol. Vellum charged forward, interposing himself between the gunman and Kyoko, but was shot before he could close the distance, taking a bullet to his floating ribs.
With a snarl of rage, Vellum charged and impaled his adversary with a single ferocious halberd thrust through the chest. The driver of the van was caught by surprise by this development and also pulled out a pistol; but before he could get an accurate shot off Vellum split his ribs with his halberd and then reached inside the chest cavity of the corpse to crush the beshilu before it could escape.
Jogging back down the alleyway, wincing in pain from the bullet would, Vellum finished off the rat clambering free of the original attacker with a contempuous swipe of his polearm.

Switching back to human form and brushing himself off, Vellum grabbed the beshilu rats and shoved them into a carrier bag, planning to devour them for their essence at a more convenient time.
He reassured the shocked and terrified Kyoko that he was here to help her, and suggested that they use the side entrance to return into the building in which her office was situated and then leave via that back entrance onto a difference road with all due haste.
He uttered a quick spell to stop his would from bleeding and then fastened his coat over it, before leading Kyoko out.

Arriving at the house of Mr Jean-Paul Carrab, Summer and Denton were ushered in by the butler and taken to the study of the master of the house, a room lined with bookcases and dominated by a huge mahogany desk.
The Frenchman greeted them with a cut-glass English accent and remained utterly composed as Summer succinctly explained their interest in the activities of cabal, and how they had chanced upon Strick in the underground and subsequently exorcised the beshilu influence from him. Seeing that they had the potential to help each other, he related what he know about the situation in the underground (confirming what they already knew) and said that he would show them the details of the ritual if they would return Mr Strick safely to them. Realising that they were essentially holding Strick hostage from the point of view of Carrab and his group, Denton called Benedict Walker and arranged for them to transfer Strick.

Meanwhile, once Kyoko had regained most of her composure (with the help of a coffee to steady her nerves) Vellum led her to his locus in the park, and coaxed out another mote of essence from it whilst discussing the general outline of the cabal’s understanding and plans with Kyoko.

As the rush hour traffic died down, the most of the pack (with the exception of Lewis) were to be found in a cafe on the northwestern edge of their territory. The cabal members waited in a couple of cars up the street, keeping an eye of the cafe.

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Underground High Jinks
A scrap in the tunnels and the battle in a car-park

After Duncan Strick was dropped off and driven away by Mr Carrab’s Butler, the Bloomsbury Cabal lead the pack towards one of the sections of the Underground where they were planning to perform their ritual.

Meanwhile, Lewis had gone of ahead to the underground on a mission of his own, following up on the leads from Ryan Burstien’s writings.
He started canvassing the homeless population of the tunnels, handing out sandwiches and making enquiries in true gumshoe fashion. He asked about any odd events in the area, and about the recent disappearances – that of Ryan Burnstien in particular.
Eventually, he got lucky and found someone who had apparently seen Ryan on the day of his disappearance almost a week ago. Apparently he had been questioning people much as Lewis was now doing- the homeless guy was concerned for his safety, because there was a madman loose in the tunnels. Upon further enquiry, Lewis was told that a burly man had been seen wandering the tunnels, dressed in torn and bloodstained clothes and talking to himself. Apparently the strange man was violent and few few people had narrowly escaped form run-ins with him.

Deciding that it was worth further investigation, Lewis pressed on deeper into the underground. As he was reaching the border of the restricted zone, he was nearly knocked over by a man with a split lip and a black eye running at full pelt. In response to Lewis’s shout, the fleeing man shouted over his shoulder that a madman was after him, and that Lewis should run if he valued his hide.
Being a werewolf, Lewis felt that he was more than capable of handling himself in a fight. Therefore he squared his shoulders and decided to press on, entering the access corridor that the running man had just hurtled out of.

The rest of the Pack arrived in the underground, and the cabal took them the that nearest ritual location. Once they arrived there, Jean-Paul grew concerned and agitated, explaining that Peter Hall should have been here, and that it was unlike him to be late without calling ahead. He headed back up the nearest escalator to the surface in order to get a decent phone signal, with Vellum following along out of paranoia as a self-appointed bodyguard.
Meanwhile Summer and Kyoko discussed the purpose of the chalk glyphs that the cabal had discreetly scratched onto the walls, and Denton scouted out the area (to his concern, he spotted a rat – but it scuttled away before he could discern whether it was a Beshilu or not).

Jean-Paul and Vellum returned to the tunnel intersection with grim faces – Peter Hall was not answering his phone. Knowing that time was off the essence, Denton told Jean-Paul to follow him to his car where he took Hall’s number and began hacking into the network in an attempt to track the location of the phone.

A short way along the tunnel, Lewis heard muttering and took a moment to mutter the simple incantation that bought up his spirit-sight.
Turning a corner, Lewis found himself face-to-face with a wild-eyed and muscular man whose clothes were splattered with dried blood and stank of stale sweat. Under the filter of spirit-vision, the muttering man was wrapped in the coils of a dark spirit, its tendrils woven deeply into his body and giving off a miasma of hate, murderous spite and fear.
As the mad-man lurched forwards, Lewis used the split second available to him to shift into Dalu form in order to increase his muscle mass.
The man lunged into Lewis and delivered a heavy body-blow, but the werewolf moved with the punch and fought back with a quick elbow jab and a forceful shove, creating a little distance and forcing his adversary’s back towards the wall. Lewis followed up with a haymaker, but was surprised by the the reflexes of his rapid opponent, who ducked to the side at the last moment and then returned a couple of heavy punches of his own.
His thoroughly rung and his right eye filling with blood from a cut on his forehead inflicted by a knife concealed in the heavier man’s fist, Lewis was dazed for a moment. Trying to shake it off, he grabbed his foe and wrestled for the knife. The insane spirit-claimed figure lost the knife, but took advantage of Lewis’s position and distraction to turn the grapple in his favour.
Applying his superior weight and strength he got his hands around the young werewolf’s neck and squeezed, crushing his windpipe under the whispered guidance of the killer spirit coiled around his withered soul. Try as he might, Lewis just couldn’t get the leverage needed to break the grip on his throat, and breathing became impossible.

Having heard the sounds of a scuttle and raced off of investigate, Summer burst through the door nearby and hit the ragged killer with the weight of her dire-wolf form. The man was supernaturally sturdy, and somehow managed to stay upright and clinging – but his grip was loosened just enough. Lewis slammed his fist into the elbow-joint of his would-be murderer, and threw him off.
Spinning around, Summer growled and darted forward to rip at the legs of the ragged man, adding more blood stains to his collection. The muscular man snarled savagely and lashed out, but he was no match for two werewolves at once. Summer feigned and deftly dodged to the side, and then Lewis laid a solid punch into the stomach of his foe and followed up up with an upper-cut that finally laid him out.
Even on the edge of consciousness the man still thrashed and snarled, until Summer pinned him down and Lewis applied his boot until he fell still.

Having successfully tracked the location of the psychic electrician’s phone (to his house, it turned out), Denton sent a message to the pack passing on the location; then he put his foot down.

Meeting up with Vellum and the cabal moments later, the pack agreed to split up. Vellum and Vilmos left by the main entrance and waved down a taxi, whilst Summer and Lewis sneaked out of a a disused passage to Kyoko’s car, with their captive unconscious and tied up.
They dumped him in a secure storage room at their headquarters with a hastily thrown up ward and left to meet up with the others.

Arriving at Peter Hall’s home, Denton immediately investigated the van that was parked in the driveway. The vehicle appeared to be Hall’s work van, and this was confirmed when Denton opened the back doors to reveal various tool boxes. Picking up a nail gun to use as a weapon if necessary, Denton proceeded round the side of the building and saw that the back door to the property was ajar.
Inside, the house seemed to have been the scene of a struggle; a chair had been knocked over and the contents of a table had been knocked onto the floor. The phone was sitting uselessly on the kitchen worktop.
Noticing a smear of blood on the sharp edge of the worktop, Denton dabbed his finger into it and gingerly licked it with an expression of distaste on his face. Instantly, his werewolf powers latched on to the scent of the blood, and told him that it had belonged to a beshilu. Following the scent outside, Denton saw Vellum arrive and explained the situation to him.
Searching the house revealed a rather strange work area in the basement, which had a bookshelf containing various books on psychics and the paranormal, and a large chunk of purple quartz attached to a chain. Vellum identified the item as a dowsing crystal.

Once Summer and Lewis had arrived a few minutes later, the pack fanned out and attempted to track the scents and figure out where Peter Hall had been taken, whilst the rest of the cabal waited inside nervously.
After several minutes of sniffing around, the pack were confident that the Beshilu had walked onto the property from the front, and had entered that house via the back door. A struggle had ensured, but it seemed that they had wanted Peter alive. The beshilu had overpowered him and dragged him over the back wall of the property, along the alleyway and up to the road. At that point the trail vanished, suggesting that Hall had been driven away in a vehicle. Their only leads now were the security cameras on the street.
Denton grabbed his laptop and began the difficult task of hacking into the security camera network, while Lewis and Summer began canvassing the neighbourhood.
At the third house on the opposite side of the street, Lewis struck gold with an elderly curtain-twitcher. In response to his polite questioning, the woman revealed that she had seen a dark blue three-door car pull up outside Hall’s house about and hour ago and drop of a man with light brown hair who walked with an odd limp.
Next, Lewis and Summer spoke to the owner of the corner shop at the end of the street, which had a CCTV camera that looked down the road and may have footage of the vehicle used by the beshilu.
Lewis explained that he was a private detective looking to a case, whilst Summer stood beside him flashing a smile and providing moral support. Successfully persuading the shop owner, the two werewolves were lead into the back room and given access to the camera footage.

After many minutes of investigation, that pack managed between them to identify the car from the footage, trace its tack records using its number plate, and confirm that it was now in a multi-story car park. Vellum’s scrying ritual also confirmed that Peter Hall was alive; beaten, but not yet seriously harmed.

Vellum instructed the cabal (Jean-Paul, Kyoko and Vilmos) to get into their car and keep driving, circling the block to make themselves an elusive target while Denton drove the pack northwards to the carpark.
After parking up in the lower story of the structure, the werewolves made their preparations. After casting various sensory and protective spells, Summer and Denton approached the dark van that Peter was held in from the side, whilst Lewis and Vellum prepared to attack from the rear.

Denton made himself a diversion- he walked up to the passenger side of the van and cheerfully enquired of the ugly beshilu hybrid that turned to glare at him whether it had a light.
At the back of the van, Lewis quietly opened the door and then activated his Celerity. Vellum darted into the van and started slashing at the beshilu there with his halberd, whilst Lewis grabbed Peter and made use of his super-speed to put some ground between the beshilu and the unconscious man.
As the hulking hybrid slammed open the passenger door to get an the wise-ass that was in its face, Denton stepped backwards and opened the sliding door on the side of the van causing two beshilu flesh-puppets sporting grievous pole-arm wounds to spill out onto the ground.
Summer (having shifted to dire-wolf form) made use of the distraction to charge out of nowhere and cannon into the rat-creature and lock her jaws onto it. Denton picked up the pistol dropped by one of the beshilu that Vellum had slain and shot at the hybrid. He missed, but Summer took advantage of the Beshilu’s surprise to take it down with a bite to the neck.
As Lewis fended off an attack by a group of minor beshilu (rats the size of cats), Vellum swiftly and silently ran around the side of the smaller car parked next to the Van and skewered the second beshilu hybrid from behind just as is was taking aim at Summer with its gun.

Once the fight was over, the pack swiftly began tidying up. They slung the beshilu into the back of the van (where upon Summer and Vellum began devouring them) and rotted the corpses of the flesh-puppets down with a spell. Lewis untied Peter Hall and checked him over for injuries whist Denton closed his eyes, leaned against the nearby pillar and activated a spell. Reaching out with his senses, his consciousness tapped into the CCTV network of the building and cast around for any further danger. He picked up a figure in a shabby trench coat and shades lurking next to a lift on the next level of the car park.
Climbing into the driver’s seat of the van, Denton drove nonchalantly over to the figure, eyes peeled for anomalies. He caught a glimpse of a huge bald rat-tail hanging out the bottom of the lurker’s coat, and slammed down the accelerator. He ploughed into the hybrid, knocking him flat, and Lewis opened the door of the van so that its payload of angry dire-wolves (Summer and Vellum) could bound out and fall upon their prey.
Whilst Lewis kept an eye out for trouble and rang the cabal to update them, Denton headed towards the security office of the building. Vellum and Summer bounced around the van pouncing on the rats that the corpse of the hybrid dissolved into, and then lounged there occasionally letting out contented beshilu-flavoured burps.

Once he reached a blind spot concealed from the CCTV cameras, Denton held his lighter up against the sprinkler system (setting of the alarm) and then made his way to the security office in time to see the guard hurrying out. Vines deleted the footage of their escapades, and then slunk off into the night, lighting up a self-congratulatory cigarette as he went.

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A New Case
a job from a femme fatale

The Pack attend their first Wolfengamot Moot, where their deeds dealing with the Beshilu problem in the city are hailed, and they are rewarded with the accolades of Renown. They officially take the pack name “the Old Town Shreds”.

As the pack relax back in their Aldwych head quarters, a beautiful, pale and regal woman arrives at their office, every inch the femme fatale.
She identifies herself as Lucinda Rutherford, the owner of the Velvet Gown nightclub in Soho, and explains to Lewis that she would like him and his associates at Hunter and Lichter investigations to look into the issue of some disappearances from the streets around her nightclub over recent nights, which are reflecting badly on her business.
Lewis cautiously agrees to take the case, and Ms Rutherford promises that she will send over one of her employees with the details later. Rutherford then leaves, followed Stealthily by Summer in Urhan form. As their new client gets into a car waiting outside, Summer notices that the mysterious woman casts no reflection in the window.

As Vellumdiscusses with his colleagues at the British Library the possibilities of translating the text that the Bloomsbury Cabal used during their gauntlet-reinforcing ritual, he learns from Helen McCannick that a statue carved in a totem-style is coming over from the States, for a joint exhibition with the British Museum.

That evening, Denton stumbles across some chatter relating to an artifact from the US on an online forum frequented by members of Network 0. It seems that someone is looking for buyers for the item, and various factions connected to supernatural underworld of London seem interested.
Denton spots the name Johhnson404 on the forums, a handle that he has come across in the past which is connected to Chiron. He contacts Johnson404 and arranges a meeting at a Bakery Cafe in the city, claiming to have information pertaining to the item.

Having arranged the rendezvous, Denton then set out to purchase the Bakery, figuring that for a man with his resources it would be the most elegant and effective way of gaining control over the venue for the meeting.

The next day Lewis is visited by “Terrence McFabulous”, a rather camp man who is the entertainment manager at the Velvet Gown. He elaborates on the details of the disappearances, providing Lewis with names and last sightings and such like.

Summer receives a telephone call from Rachel Snow, alpha of the Echoes of Thunder Pack from back home in Colorado. Rachel Informs Summer that a centuries-old document of native American origin discussing spirits and the flow of energy through the land has been stolen from a museum within their territory. The pack’s investigations suggest that the stolen item is bound for the UK, and Snow asks Summer to keep her ear to the ground for any mention of the document.

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The Bakery Job
Agents and Muffins

The pack get together at their Aldwych headquarters and discuss their recent activities. Denton, Summer and Vellum lay their plans to observe and possibly capture the Chiron operative at the meeting at the bakery, aiming to get to learn more about the artifacts being brought over from the USA.
Lewis decides to focus on the case of the disappearances in Soho, and begins correlating the information that he has been given with news reports of disappearances and crime in the area. After much work he discovers that all of the victims were in Soho for the night life, and were last seen late in the evening or early in the morning. Additionally, the information that he collects leads him to suspect that they are all drug users.

Denton goes to the bakery that is his latest acquisition, accompanied by Vellum and Summer.
To his surprise, he discovers that Adrian Larch (the big fellow from the Baker Street Irregulars) works at the bakery (and that he makes exceedingly good cakes). Denton gives all of the employees the day off, and the pack make their preparations for the meeting with the mysterious Johnson404.

When the time of the meeting arrives, there are three customers left in the cafe: a man in his late twenties dressed in fashionable business attire drinking a coffee and trying to catch the eye of Summer, a strawberry-blond woman in her early thirties working on an ipad, and a suited gentleman in his 60s reading a newspaper.

Summer wonders over to sit next to younger man and begins making conversation. The man flirting with her identifies himself as Joe Gunnel and describes himself as an up-and-coming guy at Winterblack Finance. He comes from Cambridge but Summer’s questioning reveals that he was educated at Hull.

Denton sets up his laptop to hack into the woman’s ipad, and once he is satisfied that his programs are running correctly he takes a coffee over to her, complements of the house, and sets about distracting her.

Vellum plants a coin specially prepared as a scrying focus in the elderly businessman using a space spell that he has devised for reaching into other people’s pockets from a discrete distance, and then prepares to do the same to the other two suspects whilst they are distracted.

Denton strikes up conversation with the woman, who gives her name as Rose Price, and soon the two of them are engaged in a strange conversational dance. They each seek to use their charms to discover as much as possible about the other, whilst trying to minimise what the other person learns about them. It soon becomes clear to Denton that he is pitted against a witty and guileful opponent but over the course of the conversation he manages to discover that she works in PR for a division of Chiron.

After half an hour of skillful effort, Summer is left with the telephone number of the brash young banker, Vellum has a handful of arcane sympathetic links to his targets, and Denton has a date with a charming woman who is potentially also a dangerous Chiron operative.

Back at their headquarters, they assist Vellum to scry on their suspects.
Joe Gunnel is seen playing solitaire, the older gentleman is revealed to be researching property information whilst sitting behind a desk with the nameplate “J Hartley” covered in paperwork bearing the letterhead of a firm called “Polygot & Norne".
Rose Price is seen logged on a forum, leaving messages as Jonhson404.

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Investigating Soho Alleyways
Dogs, Drunks and Drugs

The next day, the pack head to the alleyways of Soho to investigate the disappearances there.

Summer scouts around the area and finds a stray dog. After casting a spell to allow her to communicate with dogs, she discovers that the canine goes by the name of Swiftfang (though he once was known as Bob).

Upon questioning, Swiftfang informs Summer that a few nights ago he saw a young woman lured into an alleyway by a me who initially chatted and kissed her, but then bit her. Strangely, the woman didn’t scream in pain or struggle, but after a minute she passed out. The man then picked her up and carried her away, into a car.

Vellum scrutinises the mystical resonance of the area, and discovers that there is a strong level of death resonance in the alleyways, consistent with victims being injured or murdered. Additionally, there was a euphoric, intoxicated flavour or resonance; and there was a subtle tang to the death resonance, a twist that Vellum had not previously encountered.
All in all, the vampire theory was looking very strong.

Lewis bought his mundane investigation skills to bear, and discovered amongst the litter of the alleyway a business card for a Chinese restaurant in Camden town, on which someone had scrawled the name “Spandex Ted” and the word “Vision”. The also found a lighter with the word “Sandy” engraved on the side, and a handbag that belonged to a rugby player named Marcus who was out with his team on the night that he had disappeared, dressed in drag for a team initiation party.

Denton set about accessing the CCTV footage of the area, and found a recording of a red car matching the description that Bob had given. Once he enhanced the image, the car showed a woman laying unconscious across the back seat of the car, a blurry and indistinct figure in the passenger seat, and a well built man with a few days’ worth of stubble in the driving seat.

As the pack discuss their investigations back at their Headquarters, the Justice Spirit “Mi’Luad” (to whom they owe a favour) materialises before them and instructs them to investigate and disrupt the trading of a new drug, the nexus of which appears to be the Camden Market area.

Vellum rang Sebastian Lowe of the Ventatori, and questioned him on what he knew about vampires.
Lowe explained that their vary many types of vampires, unified only by their habit of stealing life from the living to sustain themselves. There are tales of physic vampires that feast on the emotions and dreams of humans, but most vampires feed on blood. Of these, the most common type refer to themselves as “the Kindred”.

These vampires drink blood to survive, but are unageing and seem to be immortal unless they are slain. Sunlight is highly damaging to them, and they can be destroyed by decapitation or other massive corporal damage. However, garlic seems to have no effect on them in most cases, and religious objects have an erratic or minor effect on them at best. A stake through the heart will always stop them, but some say that is puts them into a state of torpor rather than destroying them. They cast no reflections, and they appear blurry and indistinct on camera. Their blood has many mystical properties (such as granting a degree on vampiric power to mortals who consume it) and is highly addictive. Seb tells them that the dominant political faction of kindred in London is a group known as the Camarilla, and warns the pack that they are powerful and should not be needlessly antagonised. Finally, he suggests to Vellum the titles of some obscure tomes that may give him more information, and Vellum heads off the the British Library to track them down.

Arguing that they will need suitable attire if they are to go into the Velvet Gown to talk to Lucinda Rutherford in the course of their investigations, Lewis takes Summer (who dosn’t own much of a wardrobe of clothes in the UK, having arrived here by unplanned and supernatural means) on a shopping exhibition.

In the reading room in a corner of the library, Vellum notices that he is being watched by a tweed-clad figure, who looks to be in his thirties. The man comes over and introduces himself as Professor Philip Travers, the director of antiquities at the British Museum. Travers explains that he has an interest in the myths and legends of the supernatural, and the two fall into a conversation, discussing history, language, myths and legends as a pretext to discern the real motives of the other.

As they leave the shops, Lewis is buttonholed by an old colleague. Heading back on her own, Summer unexpectedly bumps into one of the last people that she had expected to see: Taylor Black, her best friend for back in Colorado.
After greeting each-other warmly, Summer is surprised to find that Taylor is strangely elusive about his reasons for being in London. She suggests that they grab a coffee together, giving her more time to question Taylor and try to find out what is wrong with her friend.
Summer is persuasive, and Taylor reveals that he travelled to the UK because he believe that an old friend on his named Zack Chase stole a scroll from a museum in Colorado and fled to the UK following falling into trouble with the wrong crowd of criminals. Thinking that he has perhaps said too much, Taylor makes an excuse and leaves.
Summer realises that he had been guarded with his responses because he is trying to protect her from something. She sits of a while locked in internal deliberations, before deciding to follow him.

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Non-Trivial Pursuits
Working the Streets

Continuing his research in the obscure corners of the British Library, Vellum stumbles across another tome of folklore. In the section on vampires, he discovers a reference to the mythology of the mandrake (a story suggesting that they grew in places where vampires and their spawn were buried), and in the margin finds some scrawled notes written in a faint ink, which discuss the possibility of plants infused with vampiric blood and their mystical properties. Such plants are apparently known as mandrakes, and their sap is known as lacrimosa. The word lacrimosa in underlined.

Denton decides to arrange a new set of wheels that would be difficult to track and sets about purchasing an old London taxi-cab off the books, and getting hold of a set of fake numberplates.

Summer follows Taylor at a discrete distance through the crowded streets of London, and watches as he arrives at a curio shop called “the Wishing Cat” on Gerrard Street just south of Shaftsbury, between Soho, Piccadilly circus and Leicester square.
He comes out of the building a few minutes later, looking agitated.

Lewis sets off toward Camden market, with the intention of investigating the surge of drug-related crime in the area that the justice spirit had asked them to put an end to.
The resonance of the area is complex, details washed out by the emotions of thousands of tourists and shoppers, but Lewis detects a delirious and intoxicated flavour that to the area that he is concerned about. Also, the spirits of the area seem unusably watchful and suspicious. His instincts draw him towards a suspicious Chinese restaurant and takeaway.

Denton arrives in the dingy Chinese restaurant in Soho that “Spandex” Ted (one of his contacts of the periphery of the city’s criminal circles) lives above, and gains access to the noisome apartment of the black-market goods trader and small-time drug dealer. Ted seems edgy and suspicious, but Denton’s money soon salves his nerves and he divulges the name of a junkyard contact who will have the plates that Denton needs.
The affluent werewolf hacker heads downstairs and is surprised to run into Lewis. The two of them do a double-take but manage to put on enough of a convincing act to fool the gaze of the proprietor.

Summer and Vellum meet up as they head back to Aldwych, but their ruminations are disrupted by the sound of a nearby gunshot. Running towards the sound, they come upon a man with a bullet in his chest and a woman running away carrying a heavy case.
The man has just enough time to weakly utter “the statue…” before falling unconscious as his assailant escapes round the corner.
Vellum hurries over and begins casting life-saving healing spells on the fallen man, as Summer gives chase to the shooter.

As he walks back from Camden, Lewis comes across an old man and his assistant being mugged by a group of youths. Naturally, Lewis wades into the fray.

As Denton heads back to his car parked outside the junkyard, he finds that he is being watched hungrily by a hunched figure just beyond the edge of the light. After a moment’s pause the figure lunches itself after him, and Denton runs in the direction of the junkyard.

Summer swiftly stalks her prey through the streets of London, over coming all attempts by the thief to shake her off. Eventually her prey runs into an old warehouse just a few streets west of Leicester square.

The strange pursuer is fast, but with his parkour skills Denton manages to keep ahead of it over the difficult terrain of the scrapyard, and he begins luring it in the direction of the heavy machinery as he hatches a cunning plan.

Lewis body-slams one of the thugs into a wall, and throws a bin at another. He take some heavy blows in the process, but his werewolf regeneration and burgeoning street-fighting skills keep him on top. He is distracted for a moment as one of the drugged-up muggers stares right at him and begins muttering urgently about teeth and claws and one of the older thugs brings a length of lead pipe to bear, drawing Lewis back into the fight.

Once he stabilises the wounded man, Vellum bandages him up and wastes no time in calling for an ambulance.
The police arrive at the same time as the medics (this being a shooting), and Vellum swiftly gives his statement before slipping away into the darkness.

Summer breaks into the warehouse by kicking the door down, and quickly overpowers the slightly-built Asian woman who stole the case. Dropping the shocked would-be assassin to the floor and applying a compliance hold, Summer begins interrogating her target, who grudgingly and haltingly reveals that she works for the Tong.

Back in the alleyway across town, the stoned muggers don’t last long against the werewolf private eye. Lewis beats them soundly, taking a few bruises in the process.
He helps the victim up and the old man introduces himself as Simon Ellsworth, and the younger man who had been (somewhat ineffectually) defending him as Richard, his live-in nurse and helper. After giving a statement to the police who belatedly turn up (exclaiming that this is the fourth or fifth drug-related incident this week), Lewis helps Ellsworth back to his house.

Vellum arrives at the werehouse and assists Summer in questioning the Tong member. Opening the case that she stole from the courier, they are surprised to find that rather than a statue, it contains a pair of bricks and a pithy comment.

Denton tricks the man-creature chasing him into the edge of the car-crusher, and after a brief struggle succeeds in knocking him into the machine and activating it. After several gruesome and bone crunching sounds, Denton is left with the creature that chased him reconfigured as a cube. He lights up a cigarette and admires his handy work.

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