I really, really, really cannot make up my mind about Vito. On the one hand, Capri Son thinks he’s got the run of the land and gives a strong vibe of us being at his service. A forgivable mistake; we are relatively new to the area, so while still utterly wrong, one can understand how he would come to such an erroneous conclusion. But on the other hand he throws the best goddamned brawls.
We prepared for the ambush on his estate. A pretty pathetic one, truth be told, as Dee – the new bitch – caught sight of Bigots and Persecutors in no time flat. They might as well have sauntered up with trumpets and flare guns and 21 bloody trombones for all that their “stealth” accomplished.
Dev and Luc and Dee took care of the chaos on the ground. I bolted for the wall, ripping off some of the nasties that thought they were going to scale it, and hauling tail to the top to join Vito’s gunners for support. They took care of the long-range buggers. Me? I snagged one of the more enthusiastic Persecutors that made it to the top by the tail and began whirring it around like a bull-roarer, clearing off any and all Persecutors and Bigots that got too close to the top…and there were quite a few.
Vito proved he was actually of use in a battle; he can exude some kind of aura that makes everyone around him a bit drunk in the head. Good news for his lackeys, which feed off it; bad news for everyone else. Thankfully, I’ve got an iron constitution and it didn’t maze me fun hit.
Ok….maybe it slightly lowered my inhibitions, which was why I thought it was a good idea to jump off the ramparts and ricochet into the wrecked dining hall that Luc and a Bigot were rending asunder. Things went mostly awesomely.
Eventually, all the bastards were slain or driven off because of course they were. Vito threw a feast in our honor, because of course he would. More useful was that he gave us the location of the Pomo tribe, which we seriously needed to find, and offered us any assistance we need. Vito may have some misguided ideas about who’s in charge, but he’s not explicitly stupid; he knows that the Hangman is a threat to ALL of us.
The next morning, Walter took an 8am phone call which dear god who gets up that early?! Foxes do. Weird-ass fluffy-tailed con artists. I mean, hey, glad he’s here and on our side….but weirdo. Phone conversations about money and people and embezzlement and stuff stuff things junk stuff. The boys and I got on to more important matters: what to do with the next Indian tribe.
We figure it’s in our best interests to go visit the human ones in the material world first, though I am not terribly comfortable with leaving our Hisil territory unguarded. I’m trying to build a locus, after all, and I don’t need to start from scratch thanks to opportunistic spirits that wish to become lunch. Some council with TLE later and I figure it’s a good idea to call in on Vito’s offer and have some of his mooks guard some of the more unimportant things in the Hisil. It helps keep an eye on our territory, doesn’t give away our important bits, and for once puts him at our beck and call.
I think that was pretty well handled by me.
So off we went to the casino, with a “loving” impromptu escort by sheriff Ravenwood. Once we arrived, the good sheriff delivered us to Sasha McComb, the present tribe leader and someone who Brook already happened to know. Between Dev and Brook I’m surprised that we don’t have some intimate connection with every human female in the northern California area at this point. Anyways…McComb says she’ll help us find the burial grounds if we first help her out with the Indians protesting outside her casino, specifically by getting a “Ghost Dancer” to meet with her.
Luc offered to be the emissary. It went as well as one would expect: he made his demands to speak with the Ghost Dancer known by knocking the teeth out of one of the protesters. While undeniably persuasive, this was met with resistance by other protesters, one of whom wound up with a bucket molded around his head courtesy of the Boss, and another who got to start a motorcycle domino cascade after I hurled him into a row of bikes.
Like the video games of old, thrashing the minions brings out the boss battle, which in this case was the most appropriately-goddamned-named Indian in all of existence: a towering slab of muscle called All The Buffalo.
Fucking yes, his name was “All The Buffalo.”
All The Buffalo was no match for One Of The Werewolfs when Luc thrashed his ass into the ground, sending him to fetch the group’s leader. I enjoy a good scrap as much as anyone, but when we’re on a schedule these petty little pissing contests from self-important mortals really rev up my desire to just wolf out, drive the point home, and get shit done….especially when said mortal tries to put on his big boy shorts and assert how in-charge he is by making us wait.
Seriously: Urshul, sniff him out, drag him by the calves back inside. Easy and efficient.
The Ghost Dancer eventually deigns to grace us with his presence, some older guy named Madison Red Horse. Inside we go, with Luc and Buff bro-ing it out over drinks while the rest of us head towards the meeting…save for Brook who fucked off to go tinker with computers or somesuch.
From a verbal standpoint, the meeting between Red Horse and McComb was about as nasty as the one between Luc and Buff: Red Horse wants wants income from the casino; McComb calls it kickbacks; Red Horse accuses her of starting a fight; McComb makes a jab at Dev (I think) about hiring leg-breakers. Bicker bicker bicker, and goddammitmotherfucker Judge Judy walks in to make sure everything’s “above the table.”
An agreement is finally reached about the tribe providing meat for the casino’s restaurant and being paid for their services.
All tied up nice and neat, though Dev and Jude exchange some very nasty, quiet hostilities.
Meanwhile, Brook is doing his computer thing in the server room and sees important data of some kind being deleted before his eyes. He manages to save some at the last moment before it all vanishes, at least. Upon leaving the server room, he sees a woman make a run for it. Like a good hunter, his instincts kick in and he gives chase. They make it to the floor of the casino when the lady had the misfortune of ALSO attracting Luc’s attention.
Prey never really learns that sudden movements are what attract a predator’s undivided attention.
Luc tackles her, and then she begins crying of all things. Jesus, we don’t actually eat humans!
McComb arrives at the scene in short order, gets the skinny of it all, and lets the crying lady know that she’s banished to Ft. Bragg and is lucky to get that. Personally, I’d rather be shot, but thankfully I don’t have to make that decision.
With that little bit of silly drama done, McComb makes good on her end of the bargain. She gives us the name of the murdered boys and directs us to the burial ground: Grandmother’s Hollow, a site 20 miles out, the last 5 of which have to be hiked.
Oh, and it’s supposed to be haunted. Like that’s supposed to scare me.