Jalen bit his lip as he thought about who to call and finally texted Roxy. “Hey, sorry about a while ago. On hindsight, I shouldn’t have done that, and I’m sorry about freaking out on you like that. Uh, I’ve heard about Creed being seen at the docks, and it doesn’t sound like he’s doing too hot. You mind joining me investingating, please?” he texted and stared at it for a moment before hitting send.

Roxy answered and rolled her eyes but answered and listened. “You want me to investigate? I’ll come but I have a friend far better at that than mme… and I’m sorry to, I didn’t mean to treat you like a dog, I was just scared and I could just say a whole sentence of why you should put the damn cat down.” she said and sighed. “anyway I’ll meet you there.” she added before hanging up and texting esmond. “Hey, If you wanna stick your nose around some places I’m heading to the docks with Jalen.”

The buzzing in Esmonds pocket was startling, he’d been helping some local blue collars work a murder and had been in the middle of looking over the woman’s wounds, when he recieved it. He waited for the right time to slip out of sight into an alley and proceeded to read the text. “Yeah sure, I’ll be there in a moment, taking a cab. Do you wanna be picked up or are you okay for that?” he asked, hailing down one of the yellow cars passing him by and jumping in.

Realizing that she was probably on her way, Jalen headed down to the docks and sat down on one of the dock posts while he waited for his friend to show up.

[Storyteller] As Jalen arrives first, he sees the usuals one would expect, most of them unloading from ships and there are people working cranes even at this time of night moving shipping containers around out here. Two people seem out of place though, both women. One is a fair-skinned young woman with red hair and freckles, the other is a middle aged black woman and both seem to be walking amongst the containers here as if looking for something.

It would take Roxy a bit but she headed down the docks to find Jalen and Esmond. She sorta just stood there for a moment as she got off her motorcycle, it was nothing fancy but it got her from point A to point b. She texted Jalen. “here.” she said just so she wouldn’t have to wander around to find him.

He wandered for a bit before finding Jalen and lighting a cigarette idly before approaching him and talking. The scruffy gangrel wasn’t too hard to find. “I got a text from Roxy to meet here for some sleuthing” he folded his arms and waited, eyeing off the two women that seemed to stand out.

[Storyteller] The two women move almost in unison, giving each other a look and a nod before splitting up and going around the outside of a set of containers as if trying to herd or trap something. The black woman moves around and out of sight, causing anyone watching to lose track of her completely. The redhead starts to climb up the side of one of the containers, crouching down on top of a stack for a better view of the maze these things create.

Jalen checked his phone as it bleeped at him and looked around for Roxy. He noticed her and waved to her as the guy from before approached him. He nodded. “Yeah, I got a lead on Creed,” he said as he scanned the docks and noticed the two women. “Oi,” he said softly, looking over to Roxy as well and then towards the two women, trying to see what they were surrounding.

Roxy noticed the waving and headed over. “Alright, I’m hear, I’m in actual leather pants and my man boots with no heels… what’s up?” she asked, crossing her arms.

[Storyteller] Without getting up high, there is no way to see what is in the interior area of the containers, but this is definately hunting behavior. The redhead moves to one edge, looking down and then raising her hand to signal, though the other cannot be seen anymore.

“I think somethings about to go down” he commented nodding towards the woman ontop of the containers and stepping forward to take the lead. Walking upto the container stack the woman had used and climbing it with relative ease motioning for the others to follow but keep quiet.

Roxy blinked and shook her head and just get out the way and out of sight. “No.” she answered simply, she wasn’t a fighter and she was not getting that close.

Jalen crept around to the other side opposite to where Esmond was trying to follow them at. He looked at the crates, but shrugged and crept up to the red head to see what they were up to — try to see what they were trying to sneak up on.

[Storyteller] The redhead lifts her head suddenly and turns around, her hand reaching into the interior of her denim jacket. Her eyes focus on Esmond. “Okay, you keep your distance. Not looking for extra trouble.”

[Storyteller] Creed comes around the corner, almost running directly into Jalen and screaming at the sight of him, quickly flashing his fangs and trying to go down a different path.

His own arm dips into his jacket to grip the handle of his now bigger gun, keeping it there for now and not drawing it to aggravate her further. “Any more trouble? I’m sure you’re trespassing. I want to know why.” he asked, his tone serious and almost emotionless and he found himself stabilizing his stance to avoid a thirty foot drop.

Roxy stayed back but watched carefully, seeing if she could keep an eye on her friends… she may have to get closer without being seen. She sighed and shook her head. “Why do I care enough?” she started creeping through the shadows best she could to keep an eye out.

Jalen backed off a bit as the vamp flashed his fangs but then he started trying to leave. “Wait, I need to talk to you!” he said. “What’re you fleeing?” he asked, trying to get something out of this encounter.

[Storyteller] The redhead raises an eyebrow at Esmond. “You gonna shoot me for trespassing?”, she asks as she takes a half a step back toward the edge of the container, hand still inside her jacket.

[Storyteller] Creed keeps running, bouncing off the sides of the containers here and there almost like he’s going blind. “Leave me alone! Go away!”

[Storyteller] At the other end of this path down below the other woman emerges, right in Creed’s way.

“I could but not as long as this stays civil. I don’t feel like scrapping tonight” he sighed, removing his hand from his jacket slowly and spitting out his lipped cigarette so she could understand him better. “So, are you just herding the cattle or are you hunting anything specific?” he asked, his fingers itching to get back on the handle of his gun for a feeling of security.

[Storyteller] The redhead watches his movements carefully, and slowly removes her hand from her jacket as well. “Guy down there. We may know what is wrong with him.”, she glances back for a half a second to check on the other woman, then flicks her eyes back to Esmond. “Maybe… we can be of assistance to each other.”

“That may be so but why are you looking for him?” he asked, his eyes following hers. He relaxed a little and took account of everything playing out. “Spit it out quickly, looks like time is running thin here” he continued.

Roxy rushed over best she could and crouched down seeing Creed and she looked at the woman she whimpered, before she yelled as loudly as she could. “Calm down, please!” her voice cracking a bit, praying she wouldn’t just get herself killed

Jalen was about to chase after Creed when there was a shout and instead of running he carefully followed Creed, being cautious, and edging more so towards where he heard the voice in case someone tried to dash for Roxy’s neck.

[Storyteller] The redhead growls faintly, lip curling up slightly in response to Esmond’s pressing statement. “I don’t thi-“, she stops as she hears Roxy yell from below, and glances that way to see what is going on. Another low growl as she sees her proximity to the other woman and she crouches as if ready to leap from above.

[Storyteller] Creed freezes, caught between Roxy and the other woman on one end and Jalen on the other side of him.

His head tilts back when she growls and he grabs her by the arm, focusing his will into telling her to stop before uttering the word so she could hear it. Getting a bad feeling that he was maybe out of his depth.

Roxy slowly stepped back, not wanting to ruin what she had done, but she kept her eye on the creepy voodoo woman and just wanted to hide again but unable to at this moment.

[Storyteller] The woman below looks a little confused, turning her cold gaze from Creed to Roxy. “You know not what you do, child.”, she says with a heavy accent. “We are trying to help, not harm.”

Jalen kept an eye on the woman and Creed. “We came here to converse with Creed. What is your buisness?” Jalen asked, still on guard, and ready to jump in front of Roxy if he needed to.

Roxy shrank from the woman. “That’s what I’m trying to do! Kind of!” she said, confused, now terrified this woman was going to feed her to the ghosts…

[Storyteller] The redhead tilts her head as she looks at Esmond, just inches from his face. There is a warm feeling eminating from her, something familiar and yet incredibly out of reach. It’s like a light that you can’t look directly into, and with him holding onto her it envelops them both.

[Storyteller] Atanya looks up to the pair at the top of the container and then back to Jalen, Creed, and Roxy. “Perhaps conversing is something we should all partake in.”

Roxy stood closer to Jalen but would not argue, so long as they weren’t attacked, but she was worried Creed would run off again, or that these people would do something… she literally had no idea anybody was except Jalen and Esmond, and she knew jalen was trying to stop this guy so she tried to help, now she wish she hadn’t and just hid.

Esmond lets go of the woman and realizes that whatever he just tried could win him a darwin award. The warmth startled him as he hadn’t felt anything like it since death except for the impromptu bonfire the night earlier. His hands quickly found his gun and tried the traditional method. “I said stop!” he demanded, raising the barrel at her.

Jalen stopped once he was sure he would be able to protect Roxy if something went wrong. “Why are you hunting Creed?” he asked cautiously.

[Storyteller] Sascha takes a single step forward, still focused on Esmond and not letting him put any distance between them. She stays inches from him, not letting him get a good draw on her with the gun but not attacking him either.

[Storyteller] Creed is shivering in the middle of the containers, looking left and right but not seeming to see anything, his eyes glassy.

Roxy looked down and looked worried but just kept her head down. “poor thing…” she mumbled, but let jale do all the talking, but she kept her eye on Creed just to make sure he didn’t go anywhere.

[Storyteller] Atanya stoops carefully closer to Creed and brings a pouch around from her side. “Because he was running. He knows not where he is anymore. The red light has him now.”

“What… what are you doing?” Was all the young ventrue could muster, his body language trying to pull away but being unable to he was quickly growing frustrated, albeit feeling scared.

Jalen blinked. “The what? We were told he drank something bad and was sweating… What’s this red light?” he asked.

[Storyteller] Atanya looks to Jalen and shakes her head softly. “The red light, you know it too. The Hunger, child.”

[Storyteller] Sascha leans a little closer, sniffing lightly at his clothes as she keeps looking him right in the eyes. “Why are you afraid?”

Roxy slowly let her body relax. “he hasn’t eaten?” she asked openly. “Was it the… who is this guy?” she looked at jalen now openly stating her confusion, as she had just arrived and had no idea who ay of these people were still.

Esmond swallowed, a nervous habit left from life and tried to discern watch she was doing from eye contact. “I’m just here to find the same person and I don’t want to die because I made a dumb decision” he wasn’t usually this honest but he was feeling particularly open tonight and unable to see was hoping the others were having a better time.

“This is Creed,” Jalen explained, eyeing the Kindred who definately wasn’t with it. “But it sounds like he’s lost at this point,” he realized slowly. “Creed, do you remember the last human you fed from?” he tried, seeing if he could get any information from the half-crazed man.

[Storyteller] Sascha tilts her head slightly and then slowly eases back up off of him, but she does raise a hand and touches his gun, keeping the barrel pointed away from her. “I wouldn’t kill you… I might throat you in front of your friends, make you moan a little, but not kill you.”

[Storyteller] Atanya shakes her head softly as Jalen asks his questions, and then she takes out some red powder from her pouch and forces his mouth open, putting some onto his tongue. “This will take a little time to work. Is there a safe place you can keep him? It is… medicine. An antidote for the viper’s poison.”

Roxy shook her head. “I’m being hunted by ghosts who know where I live.” she answered and looked up for Esmond. “He should though…” she blinked but assumed Esmond was fine even though he looked… busy.

He eased up again and put the gun away feeling ridiculous, running a hand through his hair as she backed off. “Throat me?” he wasn’t entirely sure what she meant but he was glad that the others had been too preoccupied to watch him get put on the backfoot.

[Storyteller] Sascha smiles, “I could show you sometime if you want.”, she purrs at him and then takes another half step away, looking down on the others from above. Without looking back at Esmond, “You may call me Sascha.”

“I have a motel room that he can stay at if there’s no where else,” Jalen offered, though Esmond might know a better place. “So you know what’s wrong with him? You’ve seen this sort of thing before?” he asked, looking to the strange woman.

[Storyteller] Atanya looks over at Roxy and then reaches back into her bag and pulls out a small figurine of a coiled boa, holding it out to her. “This spirit guardian will protect you from ghosts. Consider it a gift for the misunderstanding.”

[Storyteller] Atanya nods gently to Jalen as she stands up fully again. “I do. It is a poison of the soul, caused by the vipers.”, she says and then looks up to Sascha, giving her a nod. “We will leave him to you then.”

Roxy looked at the figure and looked worried but took it gingerly. “Uhm… thanks? I’m sorry for the misunderstanding too. I don’t have anything to give though.” she said, trying very hard to not offend the scary woman of mystery.

“Uhh, sure.” He answered with a nervous nod, not wanting to outright decline in case it came in handy later. “I’m Esmond, it’s nice to meet you Sascha.” he spoke leaning a little closer to the edge to get a better look at what was going down below. He wanted to keep asking questions but he’d clearly been licked in that regard.

[Storyteller] Sascha smiles at him and then turns around, climbing down the side of the containers and jumping only the last few feet to land on the ground by Atanya. “We should go. But perhaps we will cross paths again in the future.”

[Storyteller] Atanya puts a hand on Sascha’s shoulder and they both step backward into the shadows and quickly are gone from view, leaving Creed behind.

“Yeah, sorry for the misunderstanding,” Jalen appologized as well. He was simply glad they understood things a bit better. “Alright, ah, hopefully,” he agreed and watched as they left. Then he went to investigate how Creed was doing. “Oi, Esmond, you have a safe place? I have a motel, but it’s not exactly the best part of town,” he explained, calling up to Esmond.

Roxy sighed and walked over to creed slowly and kneeled down. “If Esmond doesn’t we’re kinda screwed.”

“A motel will do, as long as it’s out of sight and honestly probably better than me dragging it back to Haven” he called out while climbing down, burshing himself off and feeling for his cigarettes and lighting up yet again. If he was human he would have lung cancer already. “Motel in a bad part of town will be better than the burbs where I sleep. No one will ask questions” He looked at them both before taking a drag and exhaling before asking the important question “So does anyone have a car?

“No, I kind of figured I’d take him there on foot,” Jalen admitted with a shrug. “Why, do you have one?” Jalen asked. That would make things easier.

Roxy crossed her arms. “I have a motorcycle, but its not the biggest or the best I could find, not like I make a lot of money doing what I do.” she explained.

“You could throw him over the back of the bike” he suggested, taking another idle drag and leaning over him a little more. “You might wanna tie him down first though, if he falls off he could be pissed when he comes to.” Esmond considered hotwiring a car but thought better of it.

Roxy blinked. “Uhm. No. By my motorcycle is not the best, I mean it is this small, beat up little thing, sweetheart.” she explained. “Try again.”

Turns out his first idea was his best and he signaled for them to wait before leaving toward the parking lost. After a few moments a small delivery van backed up and honked the horn. A familiar head poking out of the window. “I don’t normally break the law but this is kind of justified.” he spoke to the two, tapping the door to rush them and get the cold vampire out of the open.

“Makes sense, I guess,” Jalen said with a shrug and picked up Creed, carrying him to the borrowed car and put him in the back, while taking the backseat beside him himself.

Roxy was surprised. “P.I, huh?” She climbed in and closed the door. “Lets just hurry…” she muttered, not liking any of this.

“Man of many talents, I can be complicated. Which Motel?” he asked, looking to Jalen slightly as he began to drive off from the dock lest they got caught. He was starting to regret not taking the plates off the damn thing but there wasn’t enough time and it would draw unneeded attention.

“The Motel 6 down 36th and Alavar Street,” Jalen replied.

“Alright, the motel 6. Your wallet a bit shallow? Jalen” He asked jokingly taking the required turns and beeping the horns at any driver he deemed an asshole. “He’s going to wake up thirsty so if you can bring someone back for him.” Ventrue warned, slinking a little in his seat when he saw a cop car pass them.

“Shut up, it’s someplace to hide from the sun,” Jalen glared. “I’ll bring something back,” he reassured. “Park near the back, it’s just easier to get to my room from there,” he requested.

Esmond did as he was told and nodded along as he reversed into the back of the crusty motel. Pulling the handbrake abruptly so they all jolted around in the cabin, leaning over the seat to talk to them “So, you jump out here and I’ll be back later; sans van and we can all head somewhere inconspicuous.”