When they get inside Carl is nowhere to be seen. Lucinda doesn’t pass on that she has met with her contact, just that ‘he’s not here yet’. Filling in time Ivan and (a rematerialised) Hanzo go to the bar. Ivan orders Vodka and Hanzo orders Saki -inviting another bout of ridicule from Ivan. The heavily pierced hipster barkeep watches the show with amusement. Ivan eventually convinces Hanzo to order vodka and the shots are placed in front of them. Ivan promptly downs his, immediately projectile vomiting it over the bar. Hanzo not to be outdone follows suit expending willpower to hold it down while he bolts to the bathroom to wretch in privacy. Ivan curses the barman for serving cheap Japanese vodka.
As Hanzo returns they both spot Carl entering the club through the fire escape. Lucinda, who was alternating between watching the door and keeping an eye on Ivan and Hanzo…well, mainly Hanzo, suddenly realized that Carl was walking with Hanzo back to Ivan.
Ivan turns on all his charm and calls out ‘Carl, come here the boss sent me…’ He proceeds to escort Carl out of the front door towards his car talking about needing to move him for his safety. Lucinda collects Hanzo and they head back to the Crows with their prize.
Ivan navigates Carl into the front passenger seat and races off ahead -Lucinda is barely able to keep him in sight -Thankfully Hanzo has some idea of where they are going. As Ivan slides into the driveway he high beams the front windows.
Tyrone walks out the front to see what’s going on and Ivan says “here’s Tyrone he’ll help”. At the mention of Tyrone’s name Carl busts out of the car, Tyrone opens fire shooting wildly in their general direction. Ivan jumps out, trying to tackle Carl who escapes only to be cleaned up by Lucinda as she skids her car to a stop on top of him. Tyrone quickly jams a piece of wood through Carl's chest as Hanzo deftly removed its shoes. Ivan carries the now immobilised body into the house. Tyrone messages the others and they quickly arrive. Equally quickly Sunshine stamps, pouts and states that Carl is not Carl. Real studies Carl for a moment and agrees. This is not Carl.
Real sends Sunshine out to get a snack while he and Tyrone bind Not Carl and hang him by his feet. Ivan, Hanzo and Lucinda watch in morbid fascination as Sunshine skips back through the front door bare minutes later leading some helpful soul to their death. What comes next could be called art. Carefully measured drops of blood are administered to Not Carl and, as they watch, the stake is removed. He regains coherency, writhing in pain as he is decimated by fear of something they couldn’t see. He is interrogated, drained to frenzy, staked and revived as Real examines the far corners of his brain. The scope of that power, that control, is mind-blowing. Unfortunately, they don’t find out much, aside from this being a 'flesh crafted' 'dominated' double (you mean we can do this stuff???!!!) but Real can now composite an image of what Carl looks like now.
Ivan asks if they could change their appearances to look like Not Carl and Sunshine says proudly ‘Tyrone could’. While the discussion passes around who Tyrone could make look like Carl (or Not Carl) Ivan asks -Why doesn’t Tyrone do it? This leads to a very basic discussion of Viniculum, how it binds and connects the pack, protects pack members from being 'blood bound' and how it wears off after a while, but that a while would be too late -Carl will have betrayed us and we are unable at this point to retrieve him.
Ivan is hungry and allowed to finish off Not Carl -safer than keeping him around. Ivan, not sated after draining the remaining three bloodpoints from not Carl succeeding in a battle of wills against his victim and sucked a point of potence out of the now decayed corpse. Lucinda searches the remains, finding a phone and a wallet. After checking out the message history of the phone she messaged the only contact with ‘help they’ve got me’ and the location. The pack immediately runs. Real presses a small slip of paper into Ivan’s hand
and says ‘Run, hide, if you are in trouble Bishop may help’ Hanzo turns to Ruth for guidance Ruth says ‘I don’t care if you run and hide or don’t run and hide, JUST HIDE’. No one offers any advice to Lucinda.
Everyone piles out the front door, The pack clear off, Ivan and Lucinda (in Ivan’s car) drive a few driveways down and park. Hanzo climbs a tree. 10 minutes later three battered sedans pull up in the driveway and 12 men storm the empty house. Suddenly a gunshot rings out, nothing, then two more and then no more. Muzzle flashes can be seen sporadically through the windows for a few moments longer then nothing. Hanzo creeps up and peers carefully into the lounge room through a chink in the curtain. Bodies of the intruders litter the floor, he can count 7. Edging around the house he eventually accounts for every intruder and discovers Ruth casually sitting on the back step.
It is totally silent, Hanzo tries to speak but no sound comes out. He asks Ruth (in charades) what she’s doing there, she answers, waiting. He goes inside and snacks on a nearby body -it tasted much better than his previous shame ridden feed -and has a quick look around collecting phones and wallets as he goes. They all seem to be severely incapacitated near dead, some unmarked, others slashed open their own blood pooling around them.
Hanzo removed the cards from the phones and he goes back out to ‘speak’ with Ruth and ask her why she doesn’t call the bishop. She repeatedly tells him they’ve got to find Carl first. Eventually, Hanzo understands and, dropping what he thinks are the SIMs in the letterbox, walks over to Ivan and Lucinda gives them the phones and tells them it’s all clear but they have to find Carl. That done, he returns to invest some time in learning what has just happened with Ruth, he had apparently underestimated her.
While Ivan drives to the address on Not Carl’s license, Lucinda quickly hacks into the phones noting that the ringleaders were all messaged by the same number as the one Not Carl had been in contact with. They get to the house (about 20 min drive) and pull into the driveway. Ivan notices external security cameras and approaches out of their line of sight to learn more about the security system. It appears to be a back-to-base system with the phone number printed on the sticker. Ivan is determined to locate and remove footage of his car so he calls the security company to find out where their offices are. He calls in regards to property and is asked for the account password, not knowing it, he says he wants to speak about his account. He is told to call back during office hours and should they send a car past the premises? Ivan said no and hung up. (they sent a car on password fail) Ivan and Lucinda celerity sneak back to the car and reverse into the driveway across the road. Within a few minutes, a security car crawls along the street. it loops the area three times before Lucinda and Ivan decide to bail.
It wasn't long before the back of Lucinda’s neck started to prickle and Ivan, doubling back a few times, agreed. They were definitely being followed. Ivan ducked and weaved trying to push their hunters but not lose them. The persistent car amongst the collection was a dark green station wagon. A short game of cat and mouse turned into chicken when Ivan took a photo of the car and sent it to the driver. Lucinda saw him receive (and react) to the text, confirming what they suspected. SMS person was the same as Green Station wagon Driver. Ivan swung a U-turn accelerating at the station wagon, deliberately swiping into it as it flinched. The driver tried to escape but Lucinda and Ivan ran/shot him down. Using the staking process they had observed earlier on Not Carl they put the Driver in Ivan’s boot and set the station wagon to careen off into a nearby house. The return to their house in search of Hanzo.
Hanzo’s experience with Ruth: Managing the house
Ruth stands and turns to go back into the house, indicating for Hanzo to follow. She goes to a cupboard in the laundry and fishes out a couple of rolls of duct tape. Tossing one to him she fishes a pencil out of her apron and uses it to stake and tape the nearest intruder. She taped down both eyes, across the mouth, bound wrists and ankles taping the stake in around the chest. Gesturing for him to proceed with the others she stands back to observe / correct. When everyone is taped up she retrieves clingwrap sealing one up nice n tight again, indicating for him to do the rest. She then stacks them in the back of her jeep under a tarp. Ruth is critical of Hanzo's work demanding perfection and focus.
After, she writes the law of protection in the dirt for Hanzo to contemplate
When Ivan and Lucinda return they find Hanzo and Ruth. Ruth on seeing the contents of Ivan’s boot contacts the others and arranges to meet at a nearby supermarket carpark. Ruth drives her jeep, Ivan, Lucinda and Hanzo follow in Ivan’s car. It is now 0130