Trash to Treasure

From Dark City


Note: This plot is intended for the Vampire sphere. That doesn't mean that other people can't potentially get involved, especially if someone reaches out to them, but please try to leave the focus of the plot for Vampire characters.

Summary

Johnny Braddock's informant was offered a new 'drug' that he is unaware is Vampire Blood. A heavily guarded junkyard seems to be where the informant is getting their regular 'fix.'

Tasks

  • Investigations into the Ghoul known as Benedict Stonko have led to a node off the coast of Long Island. Exploring the node may reveal more.
  • The Ghoul known as Edward Cole is still in the custody of Dazai, and investigations have uncovered other avenues of investigation that may or may not be more trouble than they're worth.
  • The three Ghoul Initiates from the Junkyard seem to have been cut loose. They don't seem to know anything, but they haven't been directly approached yet either.

IC Rumors

  • There was a compound on Long Island where ghouls from New York City were being cultivated, until the office of the Sheriff shut it down.
  • Word is a vampire from the Ordo Dracul was at the compound working with the ghouls somehow, she's rumored to have been a survivor from the old times.

Plot Details So Far

Per Johnny Braddock-

  • There is a junkyard in Long Island, technically outside of NYC.
  • This junkyard is fenced off with barbed wire and has more guards than a junkyard needs.
  • There is a like, trailer-office thing which is specifically guarded, and other office buildings also in use.
  • The guarded trailer is one of the locations where people are being given Vitae and ghouled.
  • Oh yeah, seemingly random people are being picked up in bars and such, they are taken to meet a dealer who gives them their first dose of Vitae.
  • When they want to re-up, they come to this junkyard to get that Vitae they crave.
  • These ghouls know nothing about what they're receiving other than it feels awesome.
  • The ghouls are being told they're under some sort of probation, and if they show they've got the right stuff, they will be given more information.
  • This is a problem for us because some of these ghouls are coming from within Mab's territory, NYC residents.
  • Mab's law is basically "Unregistered Ghouls are not protected". There hasn't been any public punishment of anybody who has created unregistered ghouls.
  • Dazai sees that this could be a problem anyway and wants to know what's going on, who's behind it, and why.
  • Johnny has an informant among the ghouls, which is how he came to learn of this place.
  • The junkyard is divided between the actual junkyard's business and employees and another set who are simply using the area for their ghouling operations.
  • There are two separate security systems in play, the exterior cameras hooked up to one system and the interior ones hooked up to a different one altogether.
  • Whoever's here can seemingly see through obfuscate, morph like gangrel, and hide with obfuscate.
  • The ghouls on site are incredibly powerful, or lucky.


Miranda's research pulls a few important things from the computer system.

  • This computer controlled the internal camera networks. These were installed about four months ago, about two months after the main renovations to the junkyard. That tells Miranda that these were a separate installation.
  • The internal cameras were running on a four second delay. While she reviews the footage, she sees them catch Miranda trying to sneak into the complex, and later catching Johnny attempting to be backup. The four second delay appears to be part of a method of countering Obfuscate tricking live cameras.
  • The computer records imply there were three people running some operation separate from the junkyard. They were paying a 'fee' to the owner to use that space, as well as paying a handful of the employees 'hazard pay' to get some loyalty.
  • Miranda finds a trail that implies the computer receives an audio file at sporadic times. Sometimes multiple in a day, sometimes days apart. Only the latest file is retrievable, which is a man's voice clearly saying: "Acht Drei Neun Eins Zwei Acht Drei Neun Eins Zwei Eins Null Null Acht Null Eins Null Null Acht Null Vier Sechs Funf Vier Drei. Zwei Funf Sieben. Zwei Funf Sieben. Eins Vier Drei. Eins Vier Drei. Null. Null. Null. Null. Null."
  • Miranda speaks German! She can translate the broadcast: "83912 83912 10080 10080 46543 46543 257 257 143 143 00000"
  • Miranda's survey of the paper files, the edges singed, confirm a lot of the same data from the computer, but the one additional bit of information was a listing of three 'Initiates' or clients. Names, addresses, a few notes and details, and a schedule of when they received blood; though the files don't outright call it blood.
  • The operation seems to have started at least six months ago, when the walls of the junkyard were reinforced and an added layer of security was added, a while before the additional trailer as added.
  • One of the ghouls Miranda and Johnny encountered was able to use celerity and obfuscate.


Quinn Martin provides additional information about the messaging/communication system:

  • Based on audio disturbance, the 'Numbers Station' broadcast was likely recorded -- perhaps from a radio or some other alternate communication system. This means we can infer the broadcast was not sent specifically to the Ghouls, but they know where to pick it up. It seems to be recorded so that they can translate it. With more information, I can hopefully track this and use it like a 'police scanner' for future announcements.
  • A cypher can't be broken without some reference material. With more data -- translations of the first message or more messages -- I can attempt to break the cypher. There is no data on the computer/phones that relates to the cypher, suggesting the 'key' may be memorized; or so mundane we haven't recognized it yet.


Quinn Martin provides information on the two ghouls ("Daeva" and "Gangrel") captured:

  • Information was gathered by running face recognition software through the National Driver's Registry database.
  • The 'Gangrel' Ghoul is: Benedict Morgan Stonko. Born in 1976. He qualified in 1992 and has kept up with his licensing but has never had a vehicle registered according to the database. His address is on Long Island according to their records, and previous addresses span from Queens in 1996 to the Bronx in 2000 before he settled in Long Island in 2004.
    • Running facecapture software across NRV and social media shows that Stonko has always been a brawler/boxer. Can confirm a relationship between Stonko and Cole as old as 2004 (via photo of them attending a boxing event together). Stonko gains a stock portofolio in 2004, and still has the Long Island address.
  • The 'Daeva' Ghoul is: Edward Anthony Cole. Born in 1972, got his original driver's license in 1989 in Cleveland, OH, and renewed in 1993. His address had shifted to Hoboken, NJ, where it remained until 2005 when his address was moved to New Haven, CT, which is the current address on file to this day.
    • Running facecapture software across NRV and social media shows him gaining affluence in 2004 to mid 2005; making more appearances in nightclubs. This is before 2012 when he becomes am 'advisor' for Community Construction, earning in +$100,000 salary. Lately, has a residence in New Haven, CT and brief stops in different locations in the Bronx. Leases cars and changes them rapidly; Intentionally trying to keep from leaving a trail.
  • I will be investigating these residences for more clues, hopefully before they are torched. If anybody would like to join me, reach out.


Miranda provides additional information about the three 'Initiates'

  • Sam Dejka: Lives in Brooklyn, "struggling drug addict" with a long rap sheet who lives alone due to his parents dying of a drug overdose.
    • Recent transplant to NYC, beginning in June 2021; no social media presence
    • Main points of contact were Narcotics Anonymous group and his sponsor (John Bach), along with landlord, employers (mostly food service positions that rarely lasted long), and other numbers that were either not answered or calls lasted under 30 seconds.
    • Stopped answering calls from NA at the beginning of August, which coincides with his first visit to the junkyard. Bach begins calling at the end of August but those are ignored as well until after a second visit to the junkyard.
    • In mid-October Bach stopped taking Sam's calls and answering texts; most recent message coincides with a third visit to the junkyard and commenting about the junkyard burning down, not knowing where to go for his next fix and asking Bach if he had something to do with it.
  • Annette Sheah: Lives in the Bronx, "retired athlete" who blew out her knee playing lacrosse in high school and was supposed to get a scholarship for her schooling but is now struggling.
    • Dropped out of CUNY due to losing her scholarship, began working as a barista and bartender, working at the same bar for the last eight months.
    • Currently living in the Bronx with her parents
    • First visit to junkyard is June 2021, with accompanying daily visits to Central Park and returns to CUNY in August. Since October her social media presence has stopped and her GPS footprint has shrunk to work and home, with all calls except from her mother being ignored.
  • Reggie Madison: Lives in Brooklyn, "debt", likely gambling, and could use the abilities gained from ghouldom to stand his ground.
    • Seems to be a long-time moocher, moving from social circle to social circle leeching what goodwill and money he can from them before moving onto the next group.
    • Oldest of the three recruits, with visits to the junkyard going back to February 2021.
    • Went dark at previous known location in November but resurfaced third week of December, having lost his previous job and is in the process of doing side hustles and looking for new work. Also in contact with a group about a card game being set up, along with a possible friend named Scott who advised that folks were looking for Reggie and that he needed to get the 30 grand he owes them to them by the end of the year or they'll take it out on Scott.
  • Unsure at this time if the trio know each other outside of being chosen for the 'program', and the method of selection is still unknown.
    • Going by their digital records the trio does not know each other, nor is there any sign of contact with whomever may be running the 'program'. Further information will need to be acquired in person.


Moira Reverie performed divination and obtained the following information

  • The ghouls are not directly connected to Mab's Court - there is no reason to suspect betrayal
  • The ghouls are not obtaining their powers from a Kindred - there is something unnatural as the source: "The blood seems to curl in on itself, almost like a fractal or a ram's horn. The wide opening at the base didn't open to a beast's skull, but toward opportunity, towards plenty -- a horn of plenty or a cornucopia. Instead of pouring out produce and bounty, the cornucopia was filled with spines and spikes -- they are both terrifyingly threatening and a safe source of glory. You are unsure who 'you' are as your opinion of the sharp points changes."
  • The ghouls have many leaders. They are plentiful and cannot be easily pinned down to one location - but they are around us and among us.
  • Further research conducted with Tindalos convinces Moira that the cornucopia she saw is likely a metaphor for some other object, but she's confident that it's not a person. The spikes are significant, and likely literal or an analogue for something similar. There are many myths/stories that match the idea of 'power for pain' and there are many myths/stories about objects that 'create' vitae -- but none that match this enough or that she has enough data on. She needs more information to persue this further - or it's something entirely new.


Quinn Martin, Miranda Belmont, and Moira Reverie visited the last known address of Stonko (Gangrel Ghoul)

  • A suburban home that was still maintained. The location had clearly been cleaned and prepared for our arrival.
  • Moira's initial astral surveillance had an encounter with a painting that was tangible in astral form. It was a trap to paralyze her, but she was able to resist and overcome it. The painting has been removed and recovered, and does not seem to have any 'physical' powers. We have not confirmed that the astral properties are still in effect after Moira escaped it. The painting was of a woman with a cornucopia, and a scent of clove oil that had been mixed into the paint.
  • Miranda lead the infiltration into the house. We had to bypass multiple traps using incendiary devices and stakes.
  • Behind the painting was a safe that seemed to be part of the larger trap. Original Auspex investigations of the safe gave an image of a currently unknown woman and mocking laughter. Quinn Martin cracked the safe, which revealed the following:
    • (1) Hermetically sealed jar containing one vial of dried out vitae.
    • (2) Chess Pieces (White Pawn and Black Pawn)
  • A hidden lockbox in a desk was unlocked and contains a key. Auspex investigations of the key have offered:
    • The key belonged to Stonko himself.
    • The key activates an engine of some kind.
    • Smells of rotten eggs, sewage, salty ocean spray. The floor sways under her feet.
      • The scent is reminiscent of the red seaweed of the Long Island Coast.
  • Drone surveillance recognized two black SUVs with tinted windows and no plates heading towards the house. We barely escaped in time to see four heavily armed people leaving the SUVs to enter the house. Guards were outfitted with a crossbow with flashlight (?) accessory (Note: SUVs had similar floodlights.), extensive neck protection, and a tactical harness with: garlic, bells, rosaries, additional stakes. Two guards were in helmets, two were in balaclavas (eyes exposed). They were openly armed outside in the suburban neighborhood.
    • At this point, we are unsure of what triggered them to understand we were there. We don't understand the Painting Trap, so it is likely. We didn't encounter any other surveillance equipment. We were all under Obfuscate Cloak of Shadow, but neighbors were active.


Quinn Martin, Miranda Belmont, Moira Reverie, Eris Voltaire, and AG Silverwood followed the key found in Stonko's Home:

  • Sympathetic Investigations on the key revealed three connections: Stonko's Home; The Marina where it was parked; and a spot underwater past Long Island.
    • Following the Sympathetic connection lead us to where the boat had been sank. Further Sympathetic scrutiny and Auspex investigations revealed the boat had been sunk intentionally to hide information.
    • The boat had been sunk onto a 'nest' of spirits. Investigation implies this was unintentional.
    • The boat contained more of 'Ichor' (current term used for the corrupted blood) -- reminiscent of the Astral Trap painting (though was safe to touch in this setting). This Ichor seemed to corrupt the aquatic spirits, and we had to fight back against them to pull the boat to where we could investigate safely.
    • There is a large aquatic spirit still out there. Distance was kept to prevent provoking the large 'dragon like creature'. Coordinates available upon request.
  • Investigation of the boat revealed a GPS history that will be further investigated.

Get Involved!

  • How do I engage this plot?: Read the IC Rumors below for what information is widely known IC. If it's there, you are safe to assume your character has heard that information either through the IC grapevine off-screen (from the person who posted the info, or from a random no-name NPC who told you when you ran into each other, etc). Figure out from there how your character would react, and do it! If you want to take off-camera downtime actions like research, investigation, asking an NPC for guidance, etc, please put in a ticket.
  • I know things I want everyone to know. How do I get that out there?: Add an entry below, under IC Rumors. Feel free to specify a context under which you did or would tell people. Do you just tell every PC or NPC who asks, so the rumor is getting around? You don't have to post anything you don't want to, and are free to require people to seek you out for RP to get information, but if you're tired of explaining the same things over and over, put it up here.
  • I was just in a plot scene! Now what?' If you have a follow-up, submit a ticket! Even if you don't, it would be great if you could add to the Plot Details and Summary sections above to help keep everyone on the same page with what's being shared IC.
  • How do I connect with others related to this plot: Post below in the Count Me In section, and check out others who have opted into the plot as well. You may also wish to post in #wanted-board.
  • Don't assume everyone knows what you know, even if it was in a public scene. If you have plot detail that isn't listed below, add it.
    • This is the documentation of your IC information sharing. Take ownership of it. Include important information that took place in scenes, even if there is a log. Not everyone reads logs!
  • Do I have to share what I know? Of course not. You're free to operate at any level of shady and secretive that you like, but generally the most people have fun when information-sharing is collaborative, and plot resolution tends to progress a little more quickly. The choice, of course, is yours.

The Team So Far

Upcoming Scenes

Unless the players pursue what leads they have, this mystery may never be fully resolved.

Past Scenes / RP Logs