December 7th – December 11th, 2017
After the group left Lord Caldwell’s estate outside of London, they came back to the city and conducted a variety of side investigations on their own, confirming some of the details they had found at the estate. A few days following, Frankie Savage and Cal Morrison met up at Cal’s flat to discuss their next move against what appeared to be an ever widening conspiracy.
They knew Lord Caldwell had invited them to the Heal the Children fundraiser in a few days time but prior to that, they were interested in scoping out the lab of Dr. Oskar Beaufort as well as seeing what role, if any, Tabitha Holmwood played. After all, photos of both she and her uncle were found at Hillingham House some time ago, increasing the suspicion that she was involved in something unusual. Cal checked social media profiles and discovered that this evening Tabitha was scheduled to be at a soft opening for a new London club, Club Carnivale, hosted by club financier, Astor Brownbeck, one of the most influential individuals in the London club scene. Frankie suggested continuing the use of his Luigi Cardellini cover to get in as a possible investor.
Contacting Vincente Rojas to act as backup outside the club, Cal and Frankie made their way to the opening as Cal had put them on the special VIP list to get in and get close to both Brownbeck and Holmwood.
It did not take long for them to get in and using charm to get their way to the second floor where Brownbeck was entertaining some of his special guests, including Tabitha Holmwood. Frankie quickly made a good impression on not only Brownbeck but also Holmwood, who took an instant liking to the charming Italian. Cal, meanwhile, got acquainted with Holmwood’s friend, Ginger Smythe. Cal also noticed several MI5 agents at the club, most likely keeping a watchful eye on the heiress.
Impressing Tabitha seemed an easy task. Frankie was attractive and charming enough to make a solid impression. His flirtatiousness and flattery seemed to result in an invitation to a party with some friends across town after Tabitha grew bored with the scene and Club Carnivale. The group then piled into Tabitha’s limo and Vincente followed behind them in his car.
In the car ride over, Tabitha and Frankie continued their flirting, resulting in something much spicier while Ginger and Cal made small talk. A call from Tabitha’s uncle, Lord Godalming, was ignored, but Cal certainly noticed.
Arriving at the party, it was a mix of heavy drinking and drug use by many of Tabitha’s vapid friends but Cal and Frankie were quickly putting themselves in the social scene they needed to infiltrate. Cal and Frankie later excused themselves but not before Tabitha invited Frankie as her date to the upcoming Heal the Children gala, which Tabitha referred to as ‘pathetic AIDS babies.’
The following day, the group decided to use the credentials provided by Lord Caldwell to pay Dr. Beaufort a visit at Helix Labs outside of London. Taking some time to gain entry, they quickly determined why Dr. Beaufort was in such a paranoid state – he was conducting inhumane experiments.
The eccentric doctor provided them with scant details on his work, thinking they were representatives of Lord Caldwell, explaining that his work was ultimately designed for healing damaged tissue and internal organs, which he quickly demonstrated by strapping down an angry howler monkey and brutally stabbing in in the side and then administering some of his Experimental Serum on the wretched creature. Within ten minutes, the wound had healed. Dr. Beaufort did, however, there were numerous side effects that made it incapable of real human consumption, but there was something about the way he said it that made them believe Dr. Beaufort had, actually, used secret (and illegal) human trials. Cal managed to steal a sample of the serum and tried to convince the doctor that there could be an alternate method of funding if the Caldwell Foundation did not come through. Dr. Beaufort responded that he, himself, was looking into alternate funding which the group most certainly took as something altogether illegal.
Later, Cal’s analysis of the serum determined that not only was it made of numerous compounds (one of which was currently unknown) but required an electrical jolt to begin the operation but also discovered that the serum may have had rejuvenative properties, possibly either reversing aging or arresting the aging process.
The night of the Caldwell Foundation gala for Heal the Children was a grand affair, indeed. Frankie had sent Tabitha some very suggestive undergarments and her favorite champagne in preparation and a car was sent to pick up Tabatha, Ginger, Frankie and Cal, with Vincente following in a car behind them. Upon arriving at the gala, they were shocked to discover that security insisted upon giving up cell phones as only one photographer was allowed in the event. Tabitha made a horrible scene, calling over the Heal the Children director, George Landsley, giving Cal enough time to not only clone Ginger’s phone but to secretly arrange video surveillance so they could take some photos.
Cal met up with Lord Caldwell who introduced him to Countess Margo Dolinz, an elegant and graceful woman from Austria who had recently joined the board of directors. Her grace and charm was the epitome of what Cal expected nobility should be like. Vincente, meanwhile, met up with the sanctioned photographer and convinced him he was a well-known art photographer, impressing the man enough to share some techniques and allow him access to his equipment.
Frankie kept close with Tabitha and was introduced to her uncle, Lord Godalming. and it was clear that she did everything she could to get under his skin by flaunting her foreign date, whom her uncle seemingly was disapproving. Shortly after, Cal convinced Lord Caldwell to introduce him to his peer, Lord Godalming and Cal made a good impression on the conservative politician, convincing him he was an American entrepreneur with contacts in the defense industry, similar to his lordship’s.
While Tabiatha excused herself to the ladies’ room, Frankie made the acquaintance of another young lady at the event, Svetlana Tovorsky, a visiting guest from Russia and the deputy press secretary of Russian president, Viktor Petrov. Ms. Tovorsky explained she was on a visit from Russia to spread some of the Russian federation’s goodwill to the U.K. in the form of charitable events. She noticed that Frankie had been speaking to Lord Godlaming and had hoped he could get a formal introduction for her. Naturally, she had no idea that the two barely knew each other, but something about Frankie seemed impressive. The two exchanged cards and Tabatha returned.
As Cal continued to speak with Lord Godalming and Vincente continued to take photographs from the second floor, Frankie met up with his old associate, Elizabeth Cavanaugh, who was a respected member of the board of directors with Heal the Children. Despite her association with the charity, Frankie assumed that the woman’s tastes were dark and her involvement may have been for reasons other than altruism, and in fact were downright criminal and predatory. Aside from her usual air of mystery and darkness, she did mention, when asked, that her mother, Victoria Cavanaugh, had been ‘off the radar’ for months. As Elizabeth became more erratic, Frankie used his charm and intimidation in equal measures to send her off as he was a distraction for what he was here to do.
Cal, when pressing Lord Godalming on his ownership (though discretely hidden) of Hillingham House found that his lordship resorted to avoiding the topic and then excusing himself from the conversation in order to get away and not address the question.
As Cal was getting ready to approach Ms. Petrov, he got a mysterious phone call (on a phone he was not supposed to have). The digitized voice gave him a dire warning: he and his team were in danger and they should extract themselves from the gala immediately. Cal reacted by gathering the team, Tabitha, Ginger and Lord Caldwell and getting Caldwell’s car to come around immediately. As they quickly left the party, Cal began to explain the phone call (though coded in front of the drunken Tabitha and Ginger) when they all heard a loud explosion. A government building a block away from the gala had just had a bomb detonate inside minutes after they left. Lord Caldwell had his driver get them further out of town. However, the origin or identity of the voice on the phone was still a firm mystery. Was it a friend? A secret ally? Someone who had their own agenda?
As details emerged regarding the explosion, ISIS took credit for the attack, resulting in the deaths of 8 people. Lord Godalming was interviewed and threatened reprisals for the actions as well as joint meetings with international intelligence agencies to identify the threats of action. Unsure what to make of what had happened, Cal, Vicente and Frankie were very doubtful that the attack was exactly as it seemed.
The following day, when reviewing the photos, there were two stunning revelations. First, it was discovered that the photographer whom Vincente had been working with, was found dead in his studio and the studio ransacked, and photos of the party mysteriously gone (the media suggesting heroin addicts) and more troubling, all the photographs of Countess Dolinz did not capture a single image of the woman at all.
Countess Dolinz was clearly, if the legends were to be believed, one of the class of Vampires they sought.