WoD: Paint It Black

Episode 2: His Father's Son

Mr. Booke is pleased with his investigators progress; only a few hours on the job and they already managed to capture JTR. And while the credit for his capture is given to the FBI (Mr. Booke doesn’t want to advertise the Foundation’s involvement), Mr. Booke still wants to reward them with a weekend off.

Doctor Price sat down for an interview with JTR, who is incarcerated at Blackgate Maximum Security Prison. He determined that James Mercer has had some sort of mental breakdown, and now believes himself to be the ACTUAL Jack the Ripper. He recommends that “Jack” be transferred to Bishopsgate Asylum for long term care.

Amelia gets a phone call from Rachel Sanders‘s parents. They are worried about their daughter… she usually comes home every weekend, but they haven’t seen her in a while. For that matter, neither has Amelia. Amelia is also disturbed by the notion that someone is watching her… she wonders if it might be Samuel.

James Norris has a talk with “Shen”, a fellow blogger. While James’ posts frequently debunk the supernatural, Shen is just the opposite, a believer in all things supernatural. But Shen is well connected, and offers to advise James whenever possible.

Lydia checks in with Danielle, the city coroner. Danielle mentions the “Resurrection Man”, a grave robber who has been stealing the bodies of the recently deceased.

Justin St. James is killing time, and enjoying his day off, when the Russian corner market he walks out of explodes. The blast knocks him off his feet, and puts several glass shards in his back. He is taken to the hospital.

Once there, he is visited by some of the other members of the Foundation, and by the police. Apparently, the Russian mafia is in an uproar. A legendary mobster named ‘Alexi’ is coming to Coast City, and the various factions of the Russian mob are tearing themselves apart in an attempt to achieve dominance. Justin just happened to get caught up in the wake of their fighting.

The investigators meet Sanya, a Russian Interpol agent who has come to Coast City looking for Alexi. He offers them some background information on the situation, and asks that they contact him if they find out anything.

The next day, Mr. Booke tells the group that the Foundation has been asked to look in to the series of grave robberies Lydia was told about. The Mayor wants this problem dealt with, the city has enough problems without a series of desecrations making national headlines.

At the same time, Justin St. James and Micheal Robinson decide to investigate this ‘Alexi’ further.

Delaney has a disturbing vision about the future. A black sky, illuminated only by fires from the riots in the street. And he is standing on a skyscraper, watching the destruction, as dead birds fall in the hundreds all around him.

Micheal talks to some of the Russian immigrants around town about Alexi. He hears stories about how Alexi is a “Vor”, a Russian criminal that lives by a strict code. Something akin to a “Made Man” in the Italian Mafia. There are also less credible rumors about Alexi… that he is “Child 44”, the last survivor of a Russian super soldier program. That he is the reincarnation of Stalin. That he is a powerful sorcerer, or that he is the ghost of Rasputin.

The Foundation begins to look in to the case of the grave robber, and determine that he is only digging up the victims of the city’s violent serial killers. And not just any victims, but the most horrendous examples of each killers work. This leads the group to nickname the grave robber “The Collector”. They also determine that while the Collector seems to know exactly which victims are the most brutally slain out of a given killer’s list of victims, these are details that have not been made public. In fact, some of the victims names were never even released. The group begins to suspect that the Collector has some sort of inside line on the victims… and perhaps a connection to one or more of the killers.

The group determines that a recently slain victim fits the Collectors “profile”. A 14 year old girl, killed by a serial murderer in a suburb of Coast City is being buried tonight. They decide to stake out the area, and see if they can’t catch him in the act. Bill and James keep watch on the grave site, while the rest of the group follows up other leads or takes care of other business.

Lydia and Amelia go to the Travesty nightclub. Amelia’s band is playing there. During her set, Amelia sees Rachel in the crowd, and after the show, tracks her down to see how she’s doing. Rachel says she’s fine, but her appearance is far and away different from the quiet, mousy wallflower than Amelia remembers. Rachel is decked out in full ‘goth club girl’ regalia, and is on the arm of a pair of dark men Amelia has not seen before. Rachel thanks Amelia for convincing her to ‘get out more’, which Rachel seems to have taken to heart. Rachel leaves with the two pale men.

Unable to think of anything to say regarding her friend, Amelia decides to put the incident out of her mind, and have a good time. She and Lydia go to the VIP section of the club… and while there, they notice a striking blond man in a suit sitting in the far corner. His entourage seems to comprise of several large men with thick accents, who seems to be enjoying themselves, but this man is just staring in to space with a strange intensity. When the girls notice that the other means are speaking in Russian, they decide to inform Micheal and Justin.

Amelia calls them, and lets them know that there seem to be some Russian mafia types in the club, but as soon as she gets off the phone, she turns to see the intense man standing right behind her.
He introduces himself as Alexi, and asks her why she has taken an interest in him. Amelia plays dumb, but Alexi isn’t buying it. He asks Amelia and Lydia to drink with him, and shoos his men away.
Amelia and Lydia continue to deny they know who he is… but Alexi knows who THEY are. They work for the Booke Foundation, he knows that Lydia has a dead man hovering around her, and he wants to know who they just called.
Lydia is surprised to hear that Alexi knows about Dennis… she hadn’t told anyone in the Foundation about him. In fact, the only other person who knows about him is Mr. Booke, but she doubts he would have told someone like Alexi.
The girls continue to deny everything, and Alexi begins to get angry. He tells them to leave him alone, and not investigate him any further. He is here on family business, and he will not take kindly to anyone interfering in his personal matters. Finally, he storms out of the club, just seconds before Justin, Micheal, and Dr. Price arrive.

Amelia asks Lydia what Alexi was talking about with regards to the ‘dead man’, and Lydia reveals Dennis’ existence to her. She also apologizes for Dennis’ behavior… apparently he’s been watching Amelia. A lot.

Amelia asks Samuel about Alexi. Sam doesn’t know much, but advises her to steer clear of him. He’s a powerful man, and not to be trifled with.

Meanwhile, Bill and James see someone trying to open the as yet unburied casket at the grave site. They attempt to sneak up on the would be grave robber, but he notices them, and dashes for his truck, and begins to drive away. Bill isn’t able to catch him before he gets in the truck, but he is able to get close enough to toss his cellphone in to the bed of the truck, with the tracker enabled.

The tracker eventually stops just outside an old, abandoned meat packing plant. The investigators arrive, and determine that someone has repaired some of the equipment inside. It appears that one of the large refrigeration units is powered on. They wait for the police to arrive, and follow them inside to investigate. But when the reach The Collector’s lair, they find that they are too late… he’s been murdered by The Rorschach Killer.

In the Collector’s lair, they find several bodies in various stages of decomposition. Apparently, the Collector had been practicing necro-cannibalism. They find the Collector’s journal, and are able to identify him: he was an employee at one of the larger mortuary companies in the city. Apparently, he used his work connections to determine which victims corpses were “likely to contain the highest concentrations of hatred, rage and fear”, which he believed he could absorb into himself by consuming their bodies. He thought that doing so would grant him immortal life.

Dr. Price notices some similarities between the Collector’s mad writings and his own Sin Eater ability. He contacts his father and uncle with regards to the matter.

The next day, Micheal goes to visit his mother at the hospital. But when he arrives, he discovers that she is being treated for a panic attack. Apparently, she was highly agitated by a previous visitor… a man named Alexi. Micheal asks her what is going on, but she refuses to tell him anything. She only says that Alexi is a dangerous man, and makes Micheal promise to have nothing to do with him.

Micheal speaks with his grandmother, who tells him that Alexi knew Micheal’s father, Gregor. Apparently, Gregor was involved in some illegal business back in the old country. Something went wrong, and shortly thereafter, Micheal’s mother brought them both to America, telling Micheal (then Mikhail) that his father would be joining them soon. But Yuri never came to America, and his fate is unknown.

Upon leaving his grandmother’s house, Micheal is greeted by Yuri, one of Alexi’s men, and a high ranking figure in the local Vory. He has been looking for Micheal, and wants to take him to Alexi.

Micheal agrees to go with him, but clandestinely contacts Sanya, and allows him to trace his location. Sanya arranges for a SWAT team to go in and arrest Alexi.

Meanwhile, Justin arrives at the same location, hoping to help Micheal get out before the SWAT team goes in. He has had previous dealings with Yuri, and uses that past connection to talk his way in to the building.

The building itself is a Vory den, and on the top floor, Micheal is confronted with Alexi, who has come to Coast City to see him. He explains that the Vor live by a strict code, and are not allowed to have families. If a Vor’s woman becomes pregnant, she must have an abortion.

Alexi claims that he, not Gregor Volenko, is Micheal’s actual father. Gregor was the man Mischa began to see after breaking things off with Alexi and going in to hiding. But Alexi found out about them, and killed Gregor. When that happened, Mischa fled to America with Micheal.

Alexi explains the normally, he would have let Mischa and Micheal go. But recently, he has felt “his power” begin to deplete, and the most likely explanation for a Russian sorcerer’s power to drain in such a way is for his son to have come of age. Realizing that this meant Micheal was his son, he came to Coast City to settle things. Alexi draws a gun from his shoulder holster.

Meanwhile, Justin has talked his way through the building, and is standing outside the door to the room Alexi and Micheal are in. Yuri is blocking his way, and beginning to get angry at Justin dodging his questions. He has drawn his weapon, and is threatening to shoot Justin.

Micheal jumps out of his chair and begins to flee, and Alexi shoots him in the back. The noise startles Yuri, and when Micheal slams through the door in to him, he drops his weapon. Justin picks up Yuri’s gun, and he and Micheal flee to the roof.

Yuri draws a large knife, and attempts to kill Justin with it, inflicting several deep cuts. But Justin still has Yuri’s gun, and shoots him with it, killing the mobster. On the other side of the roof, Micheal hides above the door to the stairwell, and leaps on to Yuri when he appears.

They wrestle for control of Alexi’s gun, and finally Micheal manages to knock Alexi away. Alexi, confronted with Micheal in close quarters for the first time, seems to come to some sort of revelation. He claims that the man in front of him is NOT Mikhal Rocovich, and demands to know what this impostor has done with his son. Micheal tells him to stay back, brandishing the weapon before him.

Alexi is furious, and pays no mind to the gun. He seems fearless in the face of it, as if it poses him no threat. Finally, Micheal pulls the trigger, and when the bullet leaves the chamber, it is followed by a streamer of brilliant orange fire. The round strikes Alexi in the temple, rolling his eyes up in to his head. A large hole, about the size of a golfball, has materialized above his right eye. Through it, a clear blue sky can be seen, despite the fact that from Micheal’s prospective, Alexi is standing in front of a city skyline.

Alexi staggers back, and his eyes roll back down to Micheal. He manages to say “See? Not my power at all…” before falling backwards off the building’s roof.

Comments

Note: Doctor Price’s “Sin Eater” abilities have nothing to the with Geist: The Sin Eaters. They refer, instead, to the original practice of eating bread and wine over the body of the dying or recently deceased to absorb that person’s sin, thus allowing them to enter heaven.

See Google for more info.

Episode 2: His Father's Son
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