<Sascha> is currently repairing the wall of a small abandoned looking church in the middle of nowhere, right on the outskirts of New Orleans.

<Altaryn> followed Sascha’s instructions and found the little chapel with ease. He drove down the dirt road slowly so as not to cause too much disturbance or kick up too much dust…or hell maybe just to protect the underside of his car. Either way, he tries to be quiet out of respect as he leaves his car and approaches Sascha and her work. “What happened,” he asked curiously. After all, wasn’t this sort of work what kine and vassals

were for?

<Sascha> smirks just a little as she points to some rotted boards over in a pile as she puts a new one in and starts to hammer in the nail. “It’s just old. Holes were getting bad enough to let the sunlight in. So, what’s up?”, she looks at him as she grabs another board. The whole chapel looks as though parts of it have been restored, piece by piece, to include the stained glass depictions

of angelic warriors.

<Altaryn> had never been the religious type, but he could appreciate the meditative quality of hard work and focus. He decided to help give her a hand where he could, even if just passing her materials. “Too much it would seem. I’d admit, I’m still trying to come to terms with my new reality, but there is no rest for the wicked it seems. Apparently no where is truly safe against David right now, which means my vassals are at even

greater risk than I realized. I need to find a way to keep them protected during the days, and even the nights while we concentrate on other threats. I would love nothing more to move back to my own property, but right now that seems foolish. Tell me. What do you know of a Michael Bishop?”

<Sascha> nods. “This is where I stay while in New Orleans. I have been working on the place for a while now, it needed love and some hard work.”, she nods to him as he helps her, letting him hold boards in place while she nails them in. “Bishop… He is Ventrue, and was the Prince before Dupre. He also stood against the Sabbat twenty years ago along with Dupre, Zane, and Isabo. His

dabbling with the Giovanni though was dangerous.”

<Altaryn> “Some could say the same of my associations with you and the others,” he points out softly. “What do you know of the GIovanni and Bishop’s ties with them?”

<Sascha> nods her head faintly. “Well, Bishop was tough, though there was some rumor that it was he that caused the Curse on the city, in order to keep the Sabbat from taking it. But I met him face to face a couple of times and I could respect him. The Giovanni… he sought them out over his daughter Becca, I think. And he always was at Belle’s… it was a nightclub run by Isabella, who

was of the Clan. People said they always saw him staring off, and some feared he was even possessed by one of the Giovanni.”

<Altaryn> considered her words in silence for a bit while he focused on the job at hand. It meant something to Sascha, and he could appreciate that much at least. “I came to the city too late to judge those who have come and gone before me. However I have reason to suspect many of those rumours might have been orchestrated by the Prometheans to put a more pliable figurehead in place. Are you certain it was the Giovanni who could not be

trusted in this? Is their any proof of their meddling?”

<Sascha> shakes her head as she continues to work. “No, all four of those known disappeared suddenly about the same time as Bishop. It was presumed that he killed them, or at least some of them, and the others fled. Also, there was a time… when it looked as though Bishop was being set up for assassination. And that Talwar and I would be the scapegoat. But he was forced down before that

occured.”

<Altaryn> frowns at this new revelation. “You know what this likely means….” he says as he walks over to get another board. “Someone has been playing the Sword and the Tower against each other, depending on the fact the two would never bring themselves to speak as allies, much less reveal details of their own dirty laundry. Signs also point to the Prometheans, but that could well be another decoy. I need to get to the bottom of this,”

he tells her calmly as he positions the next board.

<Sascha> glances to him, as she puts the nails into the final board. “That is possible, I have learned much from working with the others. Zane, Isabo, Dupre, and I all knew each other before… and then Bishop. Before Elliot, the city worked as a neutral city, it was Elliot that pushed for the Camarilla to take over. I was still mortal when that happened, but living in New Orleans. It

was during that two year reign of his that I was Embraced.”

<Sascha> “So, what exactly brought on this line of questioning?”

<Altaryn> “Hmm. I came upon a man the other night who claimed to be Michael Bishop. I gave him the courtesy to listen to his story, and was able to verify the base of his claims,” he said with a sigh as he leaned back against the wall. “I know, I should focus on the threats in front of us, but I worry they are as much of a distraction that allows the real threat to remain in the shadows.”

<Sascha> nods as she listens. “I suppose it is not strange that he sought you out, given your voice against the Prometheans. And he likely was not aware of your speaking with me. Or perhaps he doesn’t care anymore. He seems like he has nothing left to lose, so I have to wonder what his goals are?”

<Altaryn> “I still believe in what the Tower stands for, at least, how my sire envisions it,” he admits and looks up at the sky. “If someone is manipulating them to crumble from within…. I have to do something. And if it appears the same party has also tried, perhaps even been successful in manipulating the Sword. If we do nothing, our entire world could rumble in ruins around us. Bishop’s goals don’t matter so much, as long as our

interests align. Finding the truth…And as I’ve learned he has reason to hate David as well. I also think his claims on the Mouth have merit. At least worth investigating.”

<Sascha> nods to Altaryn. “Well, if he has some information about the Mouth, perhaps he will share it with you. We can not get close to him. A lot of people have reasons to hate David. As for manipulations against both the Tower and Sword, perhaps the Prometheans as well, be careful with that. That strikes me as the machinations of something very old.”

<Altaryn> nods, respecting Sascha’s advice. “All the more reason to work with those these forces are trying to push us away from. I will contact him again and see what he knows.” He looks at Sascha thoughtfully then and quietly asks, “should we keep this news from Kitt?”

<Sascha> looks slightly confused. “Why would we keep this from Kitt? I know that she is to steer clear of Isabo and the Tremere, though Cassian worked with her when the Mouth trapped them in the shadowlands and even carried her while she rested, as their time was much longer than ours. Still, Zaluut is very protective of her.”

<Altaryn> “Is there not a history between Kitt and Bishop,” he asked curiously. Of course he nodded at the suggestion of Zaluut being protective, but perhaps he viewed that with new light.

<Sascha> glances over at him. “Not that I am aware of, but I am hardly omnipotent. I know she was from New Orleans, I had to remove the mark on her that would have prevented her Embrace, as you saw me do for Phillip.”

<Altaryn> nodded at the memory. Removing the mark was the least offensive thing that evening that he witnessed. “I have to admit, it does make the mouth seem less of a hindrance and I have, since then, questioned if it is truly the threat I once assumed.”

<Sascha> nods at that. “Well, it is. It requires a lot to remove that mark, and if exposed to water in the city, it just comes back. Why the Sabbat never made a move in the last 20 years to claim the city, that and Athena. I think she liked toying with Bishop, I do not miss her, she served herself far more than the Sword.”

<Altaryn> “A failing of personality, afflicting kindred regardless of calling. Likely a condition carried over from their life, but not necessarily.” It was difficult these days for him to write off all Sabbat like Athena, and he had seen more useless Cam than he ever thought possible. “Still, I am of the firm belief embrace should be earned, not a decision based on a whim. Besides this inconvenience, is there a threat the Mouth

presents to our kind?”

<Sascha> “For sure, unknown. If the mages are to be believed then this thing is from the time of the Antedeluvians or earlier. It could wipe out humanity, and in that, we go with it. The Mouth is but one part, it also has a Heart, and other peices. Deveraux knows more about that than I do. It was not the Mouth I was hunting, but a Demon and a Baali.”

<Altaryn> gave a resigned sigh and grudgingly admitted, “might it be time to call these Prometheans to stand behind their claims and call an assembly to discuss all these current threats assailing us? I don’t mind standing at the forefront, but there is only so much we can do alone.”

<Sascha> chuckles faintly. “They have, and that is where this information comes from. The trouble is, others were too focused on the takeover to take any other information away from that meeting. I do not think any new information has come to light, aside from what you just spoke of regarding Bishop.”

<Altaryn> “Alright. I will learn what Bishop knows, and see what his goals are. But I still need to do something about David. It is difficult to focus on the objective when I am worried about being attacked in my home while I am away,” he admits as he stands back up and brushes his jeans off.

<Sascha> nods to Altaryn. “Well, I do not worry because my Faith protects me. But we will find him and end him. Your idea to keep pressure on him is a good idea. He’s angry, and expending a lot of energy.”

<Sascha> waves to Altaryn before she goes about getting her weapons cleaned. “Goodnight Altaryn. If you need anything, you know how to find me.”

<Altaryn> had half expected to be scolded for being so foolish, angering something he had no defenses against. “Thank you Sascha. I will see you around.” He headed back to his car and picked up his phone to send off a text.