As mentioned last week, Nico and the vampire get to talking. Apparently the tattooed-man is a kindred who was exiled from the kindred society of St. Helios. He despises demons and had attacked McCormack with one of his four vials of holy water. He explained a lot. Seemed a bit lonely. Apparently his type is specifically the Nosferatu which the other kindred don’t like as it can breach the masquerade. He even tells her his life story of being a Russian Mafioso from the nineteen thirties. There's always been kindred. He even gives a hint about them not liking sunlight through the fact his sire embraced him, left him buried in the snow, and took the snow not melting to reveal him to the sun as a sign that he had a reason for his existence.
Nico doesn't feel like killing someone who seems so chatty so she offers to lie to St. Helios about killing him if he gives her two of his holy water vials.
He agrees and tells her its downstairs. He leads her to a trapdoor in his basement and opens it up, revealing six snarling people in the tunnel below who look hungry! He shoves her inside but she uses parkour to catch herself on the edge and pull herself up and out before he slams the trapdoor closed. Cue attempts to flee an invisible man followed by a very, very long sequence of grapple checks as he tries to drag her back down. At least before he nabs her she manages to shoot him in the chest first and then again in the head when the chest shot didn't seem to do anything.
At the end of the grapple check sequences, once she'd been dragged to the trapdoor, she finally managed to slip loose and get a shot off. A really good shot. Six lethal in the brain kind of shot.
He hits the dirt and she opens the trapdoor to see what’s up with those people, hoping that it’s one of those situations where if you kill the master vampire the other vampires revert. No such luck. They start climbing over each other and getting out. Fearing they might be human, she flees into the darkness rather than shoots them.
They try to lick up the dead man's blood. They also seem severely upset (and overjoyed!) and angry at his death. When she realises they’ve spotted her and are about to attack, she takes a chance and asks if any of them is a sergeant. The St. Helios operative had told her a sergeant had been taken. One of them, surprised, says he is so she talks to him a bit about his team which calms them down for now.
Nico convinces them that they’re best off not going to St. Helios as there’s more vampires over there and they’ll just kill them all for what they know. She tells them about the university settlement and that if they want to go they can follow her. Either way they should take as many food cans as they can carry. They’ve earned it.
Nico then heads into the tunnels with them to find more people who can be saved, loot the joint, and hopefully find another way out in case McCormack was waiting upstairs. A few don't want go with her but she slowly manages to gather about a dozen people.
During her journey, she finds a big, thick door that is chained and padlocked shut. Naturally she picks the padlock and heads inside. It's a corridor lined with roughly made cells containing demon parts like some kind of trophy hall. Chained to a chair in one of the cells is what appears to be a blindfolded young man in a courier's outfit wearing red baseball hat. Initially thinking the man is either a vampire or a demon, Nicky asks some leading questions and the man plays up being an innocent kidnap victim trying to tug on her heartstrings. So she cuts her arm a little, causing him to snark her for being emo, and then she goes to give him some water - making sure to keep her wrist at the ready to snatch back.
The young man goes for the bite, revealing sharp white fangs, but Nico's quick enough to pull away.
There's some more posturing on both sides. The vampire tries to convince her to let him loose or beware St. Helios' reaction. Nico keeps telling the vampire to say something that'll make her want to let him live. It's partially extortion and partially a desire not to pop her murder cherry by executing someone who looks and talks like a person and who hasn't attacked her yet. The conversation starts going around in circles and the vampire doesn't seem to be taking her seriously so Nico shoots her in the head, knocking off the vampire's cap and revealing that the lad is actually a young woman.
"Ow!" snapped the vampiress, shocked and offended.
Now the negotiation begins in earnest and the vampiress offers information on where the Nosferatu kept his stash as the vampiress has great hearing (being a scout) and could hear where the Nosferatu went after coming in here. She also offers information on a possible back entrance to St. Helios which the other vampire scouts use but only if she is released. Nico agrees for now though she has no intention of actually letting the vampiress leave - even though the vampiress reminds her a little too much of herself, she'd be too much of a threat due to her need to feed off humans.
Nico follows the vampiress' first instructions to the Nosferatu's stash and finds an arbalest crossbow, Colt 1911, crossbow bolts, cheap tattoo kit and some inks, two silver necklaces, punch dagger, broken rifle and a couple of rusty bayonets.
Nico heads back in to the vampiress to find out about the exit. The vampiress demands to be let out of the cell first, which Nico does, and then the vampiress gives her directions. When Nicky makes a snarky comment about how she sees no reason to worry about running into any scouts on the way in, the vampiress makes a crack about her being cocky before zipping off with Celerity. An unfortunate choice of action for two reasons.
One: The vampiress lacks the blood to sustain it for long and Nicky's Speed is almost at the human maximum due to Fleet of Foot, Strength 4 and Dexterity 4.
Two: The vampiress running off galvanises Nico into action where a sedate stroll probably would have mired Nico in indecision.
In short, Nico chases her down and fills her full of lead, knocking her down and then finishing her off as the vampiress tries to crawl away.
Her first real kill of someone she's joked around with hits Nico hard but she tries not to think too hard on it for now. Instead she gathers up the survivors, knowing they'd be killed if caught by St. Helios, and guides them over to the New York University campus where she talks Dr. Alvin Gruber into looking after them while they detox. Dr. Gruber doesn't seem too pleased about this but also doesn't seem willing to leave them to the wolves either so he takes them in. He doesn't even name a price so Nico doesn't offer anything, burying her Nos-based loot that's too heavy to carry any further not far from the campus itself by a landmark.
She likes burying things, it seems.