Myriad Thoughts

The Outsiders

Chou Fang and Malachi Pilgrim cruise along the highway through Montana. They while away the time talking about their respective journeys and the paths that led them to being hired by Patia. They agreed to locate the crackpot Lukas Hub and bring back whatever he knows about the God-Machine back to the tall cold Osirian.

On a highway in Wisconsin, two vampire cruise along at night in a towering semi-truck. Ruth doesn’t trust the academic in the passenger seat but Virgil Faraday did volunteer to deal with Lukas, his sire. The vampire is a possible threat to the Masquerade and the Ordo Dracul’s reputation. Virgil quietly wishes Lukas had learned to keep quiet when he was exiled. His mad internet posting are bad enough but it might cast an unpleasant light on Virgil as well.

A few nights later, the Fang drives her pickup the icy gravel driveway to Lukas’s farmhouse. A gentle snow is illuminated by the headlights. The farmhouse itself is dimly lit. Disturbingly light is spilling out the open front door.

Suspicious they stop the truck and creep forward to investigate. All around the house are trails in the snow leading to and from the house. Malachi sneaks around to the back door. It is open and a trail leads from it into the dark woods at the edge of the property. Fang meanwhile finds the furniture in the front room in disarray. A laptop lies broken on the floor amid some drops of blood.

Malachi joins Fang in the front room as the sound of a semi-truck comes rumbling down the rough snow clad driveway. They hide outside the back of the house. Poking from the snow, they can make out the wreckage of some sort of structure made from metal struts.

The semi comes to a halt near the house. The vampires get out and enter the building. As Ruth begins to look around for clues for what happened here, Virgil places his hand on the laptop. He sees a vision of Lukas working on some sort of radio signal when suddenly a strange clacking noise can be heard. The windows are smashed in and pale things with blood spurs of bones protruding from them attack.

Meanwhile outside the Prometheans hear a strange clacking noise from the woods, indeed from all around the house. They retreat to the house and lock the back door. Ruth hears the intruders and cloaks herself in invisibility. Virgil left on his own, hides himself in the closet. Malachi however hears him. The Wretched decides to go into the front room anyway. He locks the door and moves a cabinet in front of one window.

As he turns to the last window, Ruth appears in front of him. She snarls attempting to scare him off but the Promethean seems to lack some of those emotions. Then two pale creature of bone and frostbitten flesh tumble through the broken window. Banging can be heard from the front and back doors. Fang joins them in the front room to fend off the things.

Virgil bolts from his hiding space and, guessing Lukas’s hiding spots, pulls up the rug. He drops down the revealed trap door. Malachi swiftly follows while Fang bashes one. She takes a bite for her troubles and retreats downstairs. Ruth knocks out one with a mighty blow and then closes the trap door behind her. Malachi turns the wood steel, momentarily revealing that he is made from the stitched parts of several people.

Trapped together, the two sides talk about what happened and who each of them is. Malachi realizes from the auras these are vampires while Virgil recalls rumors of creatures like this. While they chat, Ruth examines the space they are in. There is a coffin, used by the melodramatic Lukas, but it is empty. Someone broke it open and judging from the blood, it was a Gangrel, not a Mekhet like Lukas. More promising, there is a secret passage behind it. They crawl through the hand dug tunnel to the woods at the edge of the property.

Looking back at the house they see a large floating gear. Suddenly it flies off at high speed. They return to the trail leaving the house and follow it to the road. Realizing they need vehicles they sneak back and recover them.

They drive to the nearest town but everything is quiet and closed. Virgil decides to repair the computer and so they head to a closed electronics store. As the Prometheans catch up, Ruth picks the lock. It takes Virgil an hour to repair computer at which point he finds it is password protected. Malachi rattles off the top 10 common passwords. Lukas turns out to use #9.

On the computer are aimless ramblings as well as recordings and analysis of radio transmissions picked up by his radio telescope in the backyard. The signals are clearly artificial and seem to have been coming from two locations. One is Orion’s belt. The other is a spot near the horizon that seems constant year round. Checking with Google maps, it is clear they are a series of high voltage lines south of his property. In Lukas’s analysis he determines the signal is a code. He was working out a return signal, a signal he intended to send soon. Virgil determines he would need a powerful radio transmitter, such as the KVLY tower about an hour away.

A police car pulls up out front. The supernaturals slip away. As they pull away they consider looking at local transmitters but decide to go to power lines instead.

An hour drive to the south, the power lines tower over the flat country side. Malachi can feel the power and Pyros coming off of them. Fang points out that there is Flux coming off in equal amounts. Malachi decides to climb up and investigate. As he grabs the line electricity arcs around him. His disfigurements revealed, a giant gear flies overhead. It flies off following the lines to the south. Virgil points it out to Ruth and they pursue it. Rejuvenated, Malachi climbs down and he and Fang attempt to catch up with the vampires.

The vampires soon reach a point where the power lines split. There are some new lines crossing to road, heading west. As they sit and try to decide which way to go, they spot another flying gear. They follow it along country roads west. The Prometheans trail them following the flow of Pyros and Flux.

Still not at their destination, the sky begins to brighten. The vampires and Prometheans pull over to the side of the road. they make their way to an unused barn on foot. Virgil buries himself under hay while Ruth simply melds with the earth. Fang and Malachi promise to watch over them.

As the morning turns to afternoon, Malachi and Fang hear sounds of children playing. They spot two young boys throwing snowballs at each other while two teenage girls look on. The Reanimated decide to sneak off.

They follow the power lines to a small town. As they travel the single street, they can feel the Flux saturating the area. A group of teens playing on their phones suddenly pause and begin to stare at them as one. They quickly hurry to the edge of town and wait for trouble to arrive.

A woman walks up the road to their truck and asks if they need directions. Malachi says sure and she begins bringing up a map on her phone. Then the phone begins to short out. A cracking noise can be heard from her head as the back of her skull expands. She turns to them and tells them they should leave. They are not part of the plan. Then she snaps out of it and shows them the way back.

They quickly drive back to the barn and wait until night. As night falls the vampires emerge. The group plans their next move. As they do they hear about a break in at the blood back in Fargo. They realize it must be Lukas. They decide to check out the nearby KVLY tower.

After a short drive the reach the tower. Distantly overhead they can see the red warning lights blinking at 2000 feet. The building at the base however is dark. They find an orange pickup out front, the engine still warm. Ruth brutally disables it, pulling out the spark plugs.

A scruffy looking vampire comes outside to meet them. He tells them to leave. When pressed he reveals that the local Prince has already dealt with Lukas. It is clear however that he is holding back something. Malachi ignites his hand and advances on him. while Virgil and Ruth keep their composure, the Gangrel flees.

They head inside and soon find Lukas. His bloody, bullet riddled body is lying in pool of blood on the second floor. Around him is a jury rigged set of electronic equipment. To Virgil and Malachi’s practiced eye, it looks equal parts science and occultism. Lukas was trying to complete a ritual. Everything seems to be here, except for a mystical infusion of blood.

Suddenly they can hear the sound of cracking bones from outside and the first floor. Fang looks for a way out. Malachi however decides to destroy the building. He find the main junction box and converts it to pure magnesium. It bursts into flames, sparking and cracking. Flaming debris stabs into him like shrapnel while the building catches fire.

Ruth rides her fear frenzy and jumps out a window, fleeing into the night. Fang slips out before the monsters or the flames can close. Malachi writhing in pain, jumps out the window. He lands badly and begins rolling along the ground trying to put himself out. Fang finds him still burning. She covers him with snow but he is badly burned.

Inside Virgil quickly searches Lukas, stuffing some papers on him in his coat. He then kicks his sire into the flames. He jumps out the window before the room goes up and runs to Ruth’s semi. As he feels his sire pass on, the creatures close with them.

Pales skiined former huamns, they have elogated arms with bone claws, mouths filled with needle like teeth and spurs of bone pushign out of their skin. Ruth outraces them as she tries to make it back to the truck. They claw at her coat but fails to reach her flesh. As she gets insde, one of them lands on the hood and scratches at the window.

Malachi gets in the pickup and starts it up. He slides over as Fang catches up. One of the things chips at the window. As Fang guns the engine, it breaks through. Malachi grapples it hoping to drag it along with them. It squirms free and falls behind.

The semi makes a wide turn, throwing off the one on the hood and crushes several along the way. Once they have put some distance between them, they stop and Virgil jumps out to checks if there are any remains left to study.

As he looks under the back wheels, one of the things jumps out at him. He dodges and Ruth stabs it in the back, severing its spine. Sample in hand, they leave.

Farther off in the night, they look over Lukas’s notes. It seems he realized that the God-Machine was creating these parasitic cancers that respond to electromagnetic signals. It intended to send a signal using the tower to spread the effect over the whole region. Lukas hoped to stop it. He failed but in their own way they saved everyone.

The Prometheans return to Patia while the vampires go home, their mission a success.


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