After returning to the real world, Nico had a bit of a chat with Malkiah and determined that he was telling the truth (for now, at least). Nico pointed out that she would make a better blood supply than a werewolf as her human blood would have no drawbacks and her ability to regenerate would keep him well-fed. They searched through the place, taking the books for Gipontel's mountain enclave, revealing the magic door which even Gipontel couldn't open, and finding a room filled with portraits which happened to contain ghosts inside so that one of the kindred who had been brought here could feed.
They finished looking over the place and Nico showed Gipontel both the magic door (which he couldn't open) and the three sarcophagi (which he had nothing to add about). Malkiah identified the three sarcophagi and listed off their names. One was a haughty Mekhet elder from a rather hierarchical faction. Another was his rather cruel childe. A third was some young Daeva who had been sent here to try to bust out the Mekhet only to be caught herself.
Nico had the sarcophagi lids pushed down a bit before lowering a flaming torch inside, roasting the kindred within their stone boxes. All except the Daeva, whom she figured they would take but keep in her rather comatose condition as it hadn't done anything wrong (that she knew) and she was still pretty sore about killing her conversational partner all the way back in the Nosferatu's lair.
So Malkiah threw the Daeva over his shoulder and they hustled out, barely managing to avoid a bunch of men in black suits. As the men came rushing out after them, Gipontel threw down a localised earthquake which knocked them all to the ground (and re-confirmed how dangerous Fallen Angels really can be). Unfortunately, the Daeva hit the dirt and woke up from the force. The woman asked Nico for help a few times, Entrancing her to try and get her close enough so the Daeva could feed. Malkiah, feeling a bit territorial about his blood supply, grabbed the Daeva by the scruff of the neck and jerked her backwards.
In the end, they all made it back to Gruber's domain at the university. Gruber was, unsurprisingly, not happy to see them arrive with two Kindred in tow and had the vampires put in the cells for now while Gipontel went around with him repairing various machines and electronics and perhaps Enhancing the odd device. Nico had volunteered his services. When Gipontel returned to them, he seemed quite harrowed. Apparently Gruber had kept him well-informed of all those who had died while Gipontel hid.
Gruber finally managed to prod Nico into stating that she would stay for the winter and declared that she therefore had to know about his bastion. She was quite happy (in fact, preferred) to bunk down on some random floor rather than go down there but apparently it would make the locals nervous if they were never brought down there. Something about acting like an outsider....
The bastion entrance was in one of the sub-basements and it opened out into a massive place (bigger on the inside) that was about the size of a school oval with luxuriant crops in the middle around a small lake. The walls were honeycombed with homes, two layers thick, with stairs leading up to balconies on the front homes and corridors snaking down the middle, dividing one layer of homes with the next.
Nico found the whole thing rather uncomfortable. It was beautiful, an oasis, but she was an outsider. Since being evicted from her own home on pain of death, she didn't think she could ever come to think of any settlement as a 'home' again. A ruined building, sure. But this place? Besides which, it was imbued and protected by a demon, Fallen Angel or not, and that just made her doubly uncomfortable. So she let them take her to the shared three-room apartment that she would be sharing with her crew which was in the second layer (one without a view). Four flop mattresses on the bedroom floor. A rough wooden table and stools in the living room. A wooden bathtub in the bathroom. Oh well, it was a place to store her gear.
While looking around she was visited by Malkiah who had misted out of the cell to come looking for her. She soon came to an arrangement with Gruber that the vampires should be allowed out so long as they were with her. It did make her a babysitter of some deadly predators, but what are you gonna do? It gave her an excuse to avoid the oasis anyway.
During a conversation with the Daeva, she convinced her that perhaps she might be able to make a place for herself here. Once the people got used to her, she could become quite important indeed. Nico also convinced Malkiah that the Daeva might be handy to have around, rather than just another fang to feed. The two proved interested in St. Helios though they were tempted to take out the vampires inside (whom Nico had taken great care to paint as quite controlling and unlikely to let in foreign vampires).
Later, while the vampires were asleep, she went back into the oasis to check on the woman blinded and deafened by the ice-demon on that fateful night where Nico had met Jack. It turned out that Gruber had healed her senses and now she had taken up a role as a gardener, though she dearly missed her children (pre-teen girl, 8-year-old boy) who were in the hands of a certain suited and hatted fellow at Warehouse 13 who was an abusive husband to the woman who feared him coming here. Regrettably, it was the very person Nico wanted to connect with as a possible media publisher. Nico figured the kids would be better off in the bastion, anyway, and offered to fetch them in while leaving the father unawares of their location (though knowing that they were, indeed, gone). It was only later as she left that she realised that she only had the woman's word on the father's abusiveness.