Whitby Vandals

Whitby Vandals 42: The Adventure of the Noble Bride
24 November

Michael does get rather exasperated when he hears that Darcy decided to go alone to Newgate, knowing what Seward will say when he hears about this from Jekyll

After Darcy tells him she’s fine he sighs and tells Troy that they will have to make a detour, but before that, they need to wash up. It takes Troy a while to find the right fire but then he can teleport them back to the hotel directly

While washing up Michael tells Troy that they are going to prison… much to Troy’s astonishment, which comes out as a rye comment that Michael definitely brings him to the most interesting places

Darcy meanwhile muses about how strange it is to walk towards her old room, to approach the room that was her entire world from the outside. She is nearly reverent when she hesitantly opens the door. She finds that her old room is much smaller than she remembered but instead of restrictive, it simply feels safe and cozy. After taking a slow stroll around it, fondly touching her possessions and basking in the fond memories she ends up in her old spot with her back to the window, world safely kept at bay by the bars infront of the window, browsing an old diary.

Michael is for the first time in front of Troy fidgeting and clearly concerned, whereas Darcy in his mind does not have the faintest idea what his problem is. She is in the safest place she could be, all the windows are barred after all. And no, it would be even weirder if she goes and tells her Uncle that he is on the way because when he asked if her husband knows where she is, she said no.

Michael and Jekyll have a slightly awkward conversation about the whole fact that Darcy decided to come visit a prison alone and Jekyll is showing very much Darcy-like behaviour by complimenting him out of the room as soon as he can, to not have to have talk to more people.

Darcy is completely confused why Michael is bursting into the room and hugging her tightly, prompting Troy to close the door and take an interest in the corridor. Darcy is trying to convey how safe she feels in here, even the windows have bars, but she guesses that his arms will have to be the bars from now.

After about half an hour of Darcy waiting on Jekyll and Jekyll waiting on Darcy, Michael points out that they probably should go and check in with him, completely confusing Darcy with the idea that she could just leave her room

Michael opens the door and Darcy throws a wistful look back into her room, clearly not really wanting to leave, even commenting on “So out back into the world, I guess.” Michael promises her that the sooner they get home the sooner he can take her down to the dungeon and make her forget all about the mean world

Back at the office, Darcy is overwhelmed with all the environmental cues and falls back into being very shy and Michael has to prompt her to actually give Jekyll the hug she always wanted to

Jekyll apologizes for not really being of help as most of his associates are of the medical sort, although dear Viktor has taken some interest in electricity

Darcy is delighted to have Dr. Frankenstein’s calling card as she remembers the lovely Christmas cards he sends for Christmas, and even more delighted when Jekyll tells her that he is happy to see her, basically allowing her to visit when she wants to

On the way out and back to the library, Michael is for a moment asking if they should go to the theatre, getting Darcy to be torn between her love for the arts and her fear of people, which makes him shift topic, probably having some plan in mind already

Arthur completely forgot the time and is engrossed enough in the books that he does not notice Michael sneaking up on him

When Darcy offers to help carry the books back he hands her the ones on patent law and then walks off with others into a different direction (somebody found the Vampire section)

With Darcy doing her best big sister impression on Arthur, Michael keeps teasing her about mothering until she angrily fires back: “It’s the only mothering I will ever be able to do” and stomps off. Michael realizes that he kept poking again at a sore spot and rushes after her while Troy and Arthur decide markedly to not get in the middle of this

Troy is curious as to what the two in front are talking about in their heads normally, with Arthur saying distinctly that he does not want to know, and Troy joking about them getting wrinkles when talking mentally, and Arthur throwing in that they also have the weirdest facial expressions

Michael gets Darcy distracted from the issue by shifting over to talking about it as “big sister” and getting her to talk about it as being her wifely duty to take care of him anyway

Back at the hotel they have the first official dinner with Troy at the table, and he promptly manages to get Darcy to poof into a fog bank by commenting that no matter what she is wearing she’d look too good and the pub not worthy of her when the potential ploy of dressing up as commoners comes up

Michael manages to talk her out of her embarrassment about Troy suddenly making comments like that by making a French joke about Troy and they are going back to discussing the plan, after Darcy reminds Arthur about no notes at the dinner table

Given that Arthur and Michael can change into anything they want they are going for working class so that Michael can ask around for “talent”

Darcy thinks that maybe she can help with Troy’s clothing so she is putting her bracelet on Troy and tells him to try to think of the clothes he would like, sadly, this doesn’t work out as planned and Troy suddenly is standing in front of her in the fashion faux-pas of a bee striped floral print dress Michael pointed out earlier

Crossdressing and her well-fed state combined is too much and Darcy promptly faints, to which Arthur just dead-pans “That hasn’t happened in a while.”

Once Darcy has come to again, apologized to Troy, gotten her bracelet back, they decide it’s better to just teleport out. The boys dress accordingly and Rosered makes herself comfortable in one of Michael’s pockets (after having run around on him a bit more than necessary, which has nothing at all to do with his current bad boy outfit)

The atmosphere in the pub is somewhat grumpy, just the atmosphere one expects in a place where people go to drink after too long shifts, getting Michael to drop his normal cheerful demeanor

Troy is stooping down a bit to not be quite as noticeably tall, and actually, takes an interest in the gambling going on in the pub

Michael is slowly making his rounds trying to hire people, while Troy joins the gambling table and manages to keep up with the game while extracting information by pretending to be looking for some work without caring about the legality

He hears about the rumours about the factory break-in, but apart from Ernie being a troublemaker despite his wife beating him, they are glad that nobody here really has anything to do with that

Brian gets pointed out as potentially interesting person to talk to but he hasn’t been around for a week and he isn’t from around there, but you could go talk to his cousin Ernie down the street

Michael meanwhile seems to have lucked out with the bartender, who seems to know about our tooth-necklace wearer (while he is surprised that that guy supposedly got recommended). Brawny Brian is the name and he has a cousin down the street if you really have to get to him. If he isn’t here getting drunk he probably is home.

After having gotten the info, the boss, also known as Michael, pulls his man, also known as Troy, off the gambling table

Rosered has gotten fairly curious about her surroundings by now, sticking her little nose out of the pocket all the time, which makes Michael realize his oversight and Arthur nods when he excuses himself for a bit

Michael takes her up on the roofs to talk her back into human form, and after ten minutes of her bustling around on his hands wanting to sniff everything, he manages to get her to suddenly sit on his hands in human form. When he comments on him liking where his hands are she blusters and nearly gives him a “MICHAEL”

Michael is tempted to check out Ernie’s place but thinks it is probably too late. Darcy proposes a furry scouting mission but he is unsure if she should transform back so quickly

As she also does not know, Pretty can’t carry her, and she would stand out immediately in this area, it has to be Michael carrying his princess from roof to roof

Letting her stay on a neighboring roof, Pretty sneaks into Ernie’s place, while Troy and Arthur are following along on the street

Darcy “pssts” at them from the roof, and given that Troy knows her slightly lower than normal body temperature by now and recognizes her, she gestures them to check the back where she can see a horse

In the dark they can only see the cart, which is not a two-wheel as we are looking for, but after Pretty comes back out and gets thrown over the fence by Arthur he finds out that the horse indeed has the right coloration

Michael and Arthur are having the slightly awkward discussion about Darcy forgetting herself in her animal forms right in front of Troy, who just is filing that away for later

Having confirmed that she should be fine we find a bat, sitting on a cat, sitting on Artie’s shoulder

Having found a clue to the case in the horse, and combining what Troy and Michael learned, it becomes clear that we should have a talk with Ernie

Michael turns human, and Darcy (after having made an evil bat impression and being utterly adorable) turning to Lady, the two of them with Troy go to intimidate the inhabitants while Arthur takes a position giving him a good overview

Knocking on the door authoritatively, the wife opens with a tirade about the late hour until she notices the uniform, then a wolf sticks a head through the door facing in the direction of Ernie. The wife jumps back but at the first mention of Ernie’s name she shouts for him, pushes him out of the bedroom and slams the door behind him.

Ernie denies any involvement and says that he wouldna know about the horse being there because Brawny Brian, his cousin, borrowed the horse for a few days

Ernie is quick to give us Brian’s address and Lady reminds Michael that he can check if the address exists or if Ernie is cheating on us, while she keeps an eye on Ernie with Troy

Some teleports later Pretty can confirm that this is indeed Brian’s address, and Michael has to shake the man awake, ignoring the few punches Brian throws Michael is intimidating him rather successfully

The address where the goods should be now is very familiar to Michael as it is Artie’s house, the man hiring them was some Irish guy with weird gloves (has to be Jeeves), but he never showed again to pay after they nicked it so it should still be there

Michael decides to tell Brian to stay and then goes to investigate on the house

Darcy gets antsy about the waiting and asks him what he is up to, prompting her to grab Troy by the arm and drag him to Artie

With Troy having caught on that Darcy needs to talk to them he scans and gives her a “clear” she turns human in an alley and is so flustered about what Michael is doing that she slurs her entire report into one long word

Meaning that she has to slow down and explain that Michael is going alone to Artie’s father’s house alone, who at the thought is shrinking into himself

She puts an arm around him and tells him she cannot let Michael do that alone, she isn’t forcing him to go, but he needs to tell her how to get there

Artie, of course, does not let her go alone, despite his terror at the thought of his father, and after Troy inquires if his father is trouble and Darcy tells him that his father is silly… and happens to be in the Pride, he offers to teleport them over

With Arthur giving Troy an excellent map they can quickly get over there

Pretty meanwhile gets stopped on his way over as he witnesses a young man being mugged by three ruffians who Michael actually knows as guys who bullied him in earlier years. He curses and goes to the rescue, resulting in the ruffians running off after a kitty-induced bloodbath. Pretty then lectures the clearly drunk man on being out so late alone before nudging him back to a better street before vanishing in a grin (that will never end up in a book, for sure)

Just as he arrives at the house he can sense Darcy suddenly being much closer and Arthur leads her and Troy around a corner

Pretty jumps in her arms and she tells him to not do things like that ever again, which he counters by saying he was invisible, making her remind him of the last time he went into something run by a mage, and tripped some wards

Darcy takes Arthur’s hand as they go towards the house, with Pretty switching to Artie’s shoulder

Pretty does not find anybody shadowing the place so Troy goes ahead and opens the door

Inside Troy sets up some light, Michael transforms into Damien and hovers over Arthur protectively, while Darcy is taking up the front, shielding Arthur

In the old sitting room, we find the battery which Damien takes under one arm

Arthur actually seems to want to go upstairs and Darcy gives him a smile asking if he wants to show his old room

Arthur is giving one of the upstairs rooms an automatic berth, getting Darcy to stick her head in and then going “Just as I thought, your father has a horrible sense of interior design” managing to get a slight smile from Arthur

Up in the attic Darcy is playing it up by asking Michael if she should turn around so he can hide their “boy’s magazines” so that Artie can be exasperated at her rather than being disturbed at being here

Arthur and Michael grab a few of the items (some old books and when Michael feels unnoticed an old teddy bear) in the room before they decide to get back to the hotel instead of disturbing Lord Stark late at night

Back at the hotel Darcy manages to get Arthur to blush by reminding him that he can have a guard dog if he needs one to sleep, and she has to remind him about the cabin in the woods when he says that it would be inappropriate

Michael apologizes to Darcy but says he needs to stay with Arthur which she hushes him about apologizing and winks that he should bring Arthur his teddy

Michael confesses that it is actually his, and no, he is not ashamed…

He stays the night with Artie to make sure that he stays fast asleep throughout the entire night

Darcy meanwhile in the other room is washing and fixing Michael’s old teddy bear for him to surprise him in the morning

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Whitby Vandals 41: Elementary, dear Ratson!
24 November

Having sent a letter ahead in the morning, Darcy and Arthur have a lunch appointment with Duke Stark

Despite Darcy feeling shabby in her rural dress and is panicked about going to a Duke’s house both her and Arthur are on their best behaviour, and unbeknown to her she falls into a full round of charm, giving nearly risky comments as good as she gets them

Arthur is somewhat horrified at Darcy suddenly being all flirty and comfortable with “Lord Tony”

When asked who would even know what to do with the device Lord Stark says that Tesla could just have asked, Jeeves might use it (although the other Pride members didn’t seem to know enough), Edison would be capable but he’s half a world away in the colonies and would do better to steal the plans not the device

Troy in the kitchens meanwhile is nearly as charming as Darcy and has the cook wrapped around his little finger, who has to shoo some of the maids away from the charming stranger

He finds out that a few months ago the Scottish industrialist Hammer had a quarrel and lawsuit with Tony

There are many guests coming and going at the townhouse: the Mayor, local lords, some Excalibur members, maybe Captain Britain (actually, forget we ever said anything)

The staff is generally happy and well paid (especially if required to work unusual times), about three months ago one footman had to be let go for drinking on the job, he might also have talked too much for his own good about “stuff”: Martin Johnson

Currently, there seems to be no unhappy staff and nothing more than the usual people who disagree with Stark, but nothing that shouts “vengeance”

Michael meanwhile at the factory gets the list of workers on the prototype. Two of them are engineers working for Stark directly and work on projects across factories: Terrence Goodwill and Wilson Carroll. Terrence is coming by later

Michael then moves on to the tenement building and does his normal charming to not have people be cagey about talking to him

One woman tells Michael that she didn’t see anything the night of the break-in but she did notice the days prior that there were kids around who looked scruffier than the kids in the tenement. They didn’t make a nuisance of themselves so they didn’t get shooed away

Michael has to basically talk her into accepting the few schillings he wants to give her

When talking to other people Michael finds out that others noticed those kids as well, assumed they’re just there to beg, but actually, nobody remembers having seen them beg

An older woman tells him that she did notice a carriage at maybe about 1 in the morning in the alley and there was something odd about it, but she’s not quite sure what. Looked like a cab (modern two wheel), was standing at the corner and left only a few minutes later, it had one horse, either all or at least three of the legs were white

Meanwhile, Artie is smart enough to actually ask who knew about the device: people who worked on it, London personage who might have use for it (Stark’s dream is to bring electricity to the city but people where somewhat skeptical)

Leading Artie to inquire about more details, finding out that it is a primitive power source or battery (put chemicals in, electricity comes out) and it is meant to replace the gas lamps and whatever else he can come up with, no matter how much some people without vision scoff at the idea

So the gas lighting company (London and Westminster Chartered Gas-Light and Coke Company) might potentially have an interest in the device

The chemicals were produced in-house and Tony does not know yet how well it works as it got stolen before he could test it

Troy sends Darcy a note to make her ask if any additional parts might be needed for the battery and if anybody could replicate that without the plans. But Tony assures us that no parts were left behind and the plans are safe

Tony insists that Darcy comes back with her husband for dinner before they leave for Whitby given how lovely the company was

Back in the cab Darcy and Troy exchange information and Troy says that the fired man might have leaked information unknowingly at the White Stag

Troy asks who might even be able to use it and Artie says mainly Tesla or Jeeves

They then debate who might want to use or sell it. Artie wonders if somebody might want to steal the prototype to be able to sabotage the final product. Or maybe somebody would want to contest a patent.

While the coach makes its way to the factory, with at one point Darcy finally realizing that she was flirting with Lord Tony and having her typical panic attack, Michael is talking to the kids in the tenement about the street kids

The children don’t know them and they were mainly loitering around the factory, not the tenement. They were also mean and the type of kids their mothers tell them to stay away from because they were dirty and badly behaved. The kids were not from the area, likely they came down the main road.

Michael checks where the kids were hanging around and because the area is newly settled there isn’t a lot of infrastructure yet, so Michael has no luck finding people who saw the kids. The pub workers chased them off once but didn’t see them again. The kids probably mainly hang out on a hill from which you could peek into the factory compound if you climbed the trees, which explains how they figured out the guard schedules

Pretty is taking a look around the hill to find anything that the ragamuffins might have lost, so that he has a better sense of smell (a marble and a button)

Darcy is way too relieved to be directly greeted by Michael at the factory when the cab door opens, Michael is slightly indignant about her not trusting him to take care of himself but she tells him, with backup from Artie, that London is scary

When Michael pointedly asks about the luncheon with Duke Stark Darcy very quickly just says that Lord Tony was just fine

Michael grins from ear to ear at Arthur confirming that Darcy was utterly charming

After exchanging information they decide that Troy and Michael will try to find the street kids, Arthur will check the library for patent law and the newspapers, while Darcy is going to visit Uncle Jekyll, who she parted at rather abrupt terms and who as a man of science might actually know about somebody who might have an interest in the prototype

Michael is amazingly good at transforming into a grubby, smelly urchin and buys old rags for Troy as well, the two of them are walking off to case the place and find some gangs

Towards the city the area gets worse and Troy notices a pub that clearly is the place for street kids to pick up little jobs

Pretty investigates to smell if there are any of the kids around, but only outside the pub in the stables of another pub does he notice a group of kids that smells familiar. He is fairly sure that those are the right kids.

Troy jumps slightly as an invisible cat hops on his shoulder to tell him that it’s the four kids over on the railing. To Troy’s corruption sense they look like the rougher type, not murderous though.

Michael and Troy debate how to get the kids to talk to them and decide to grab either of the two apparent leaders

Troy shadows the kids, while Michael finds a decrepit house and places a storm lantern so that Troy can teleport there once they have the boy

As soon as the leader walks into an alley for a piss, Michael surprises and subdues him for Troy to teleport them to the decrepit house

They question the kid, who tries to put on the innocent act, which of course does not work on Michael who is starting to bribe the kid, while Troy threatens him

The threat falls flat, but the bribe seems to actually make him feel more cooperative

2 weeks ago a person in the pub paid them handsomely by their standards for checking out the factory and they got enough info together for the heist to go over without extra information needed.

According to the kid it’s an old guy, dark curly hair, medium height wearing a leather necklace with some big tooth on it, who occasionally comes by the area, but not daily. The bartender would know him.

Telling the kid to leave a message at the factory if the guy comes back Michael and Troy abscond.

By now it has gotten dark, 6 or 7 in the evening, so Michael thinks he should check in with his wife, who has left Arthur in the library to go to visit uncle Jekyll

The guards are confused by the lone noblewoman at the entrance asking for Dr. Jekyll personally, but as soon as her calling card is brought to him he comes running himself, ushering her past the nasty parts of the prison and asylum as best he can before ending up having a slightly awkward talk over tea with her. Once she asks about his research into dyslexia he is happy to go into a medical monologue though

When asked if he might know of anybody who might be interested in a certain type of device Jekyll says that he would need to consult his collection of calling cards, which Darcy is happy to let him do as she would like to go see her old room

As she walks towards her old room, which she actually is fond of, she hears Michael in her mind

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Whitby Vandals 40: A London Affair
23 + 24 November

Leaving the train we go to the factory first despite the late hour, while our baggage is brought to the hotel by the coachman

The foreman is slightly nervous around Darcy, clearly embarrassed that the robbery happened at his factory, and that he has to talk to a noble directly

The tenements and factory conditions are clearly above London average, showing that Stark’s philanthropy is more than just show for the newspapers

Being shown the likely route of the breaking we see that the lock to the courtyard is already replaced but the door to the second storeroom, where the prototype was, is still unlocked
The thieves ignored the first storeroom, heading directly for the second one, clearly knowing what they were after

We can assume that they had about 20 minutes for the entire operation, as the late shift ends at 11 and nothing was noticed until slightly after midnight

The most likely point of entrance is a three meter tall wall with spikes
When the foreman asks if he might entertain Darcy in his office while her men investigate she thanks him but states that she prefers to supervise, garnering her a smirk and internal snarky comment from Michael

Once the foreman has left Arthur “double-sniffs” if there really was no magic while Pretty tries to track the robbers

On the top of the wall Pretty encounters a strong chemical, metallic smell and to Troy’s surprise Darcy in the courtyard not only suddenly shifts eye colour but also asks him about the sudden strong which he cannot perceive

Neither can Arthur, who got curious at Darcy seeming perplexed and Troy asking about her eyes

Pretty cocks his head at her describing the smell he discovered and follows the trail (unseen or noticed by the others) to the storage room

Mentally calling Darcy over, who to Arthur’s surprise walks off in the opposite direction of where he thought Pretty was and actually finding him, Darcy goes into the room and confirms what Pretty thought, she was smelling what he did

Arthur is intrigued and tries to get her to replicate the setup to no avail while he takes a bunch of notes

Deciding they are not getting anywhere they return to the investigation. Pretty and Rosered scale the wall to follow the trail, while Troy and Arthur return to the foreman to investigate the lock, which seems to be cut with a tool they are unfamiliar with but assume to be a boltcutter from Stark’s notes

Pretty and Rosered are able to follow the smell up to a road where it mingles with horse and wood, while strongly diminishing. The cart trail is easily enough followed up to a bigger road where too many smells overlap

Luckily the road is faced by windows in the tenement, so somebody might have seen something. Darcy, as always paranoid about being seen shapeshifting climbs up to the rooftop after Michael does not understand her Charats, and feels slightly silly when he reminds her that she can talk to him directly now

They decide against going into the tenaments right now due to the late hour and Michael during the discussion realizes that Darcy does not understand his “Ratson” pun because she has never read Sherlock Holmes, given its unsuitable nature for young ladies

Returning back to Troy and Artie, Michael goes into the factory to talk to the persons on shift right now, but they have been on shift the previous nights as well so they were asleep by the time the crime happened

With Darcy’s permission meanwhile Troy requests a list of the workers who worked on the prototype, suspecting that somebody might have helped either due to corruption, although he does not sense more than normal from any, or because they are being blackmailed

Ruling out that Michael can go on patrol or return alone (given that Darcy has to be seen going to the hotel and is terrified of flying through London alone) our heroes settle in for the night

It is not much of a night for Arthur as he tosses and turns unable to shake the feeling of unease about being in London, while a few doors down Michael is having way too much fun with Darcy being acutely aware of having to be very quiet unless she wants the hotel staff and guests to know…

Which makes Michael grin only harder when she at the breakfast table tells Artie that he looks terrible and if he didn’t feel safe sleeping alone he could have knocked on their door, getting Artie to look deeply shocked as he has a good suspicion what those two are up to in their room

Debating the plan for the day, as the workers they want to talk to won’t be off shift until about 15:30, they are surprised by a delivery for Michael, who seems to be happy and wants to hand it to Darcy

She has learned from her mistakes and hands it over to Artie for inspection first but it seems fine

When she opens it, Troy notices again that her eye colour shifts from purple to a more reddish colour and to Michael’s astonishment he suddenly sees two perspectives at once
Arthur is asking Darcy questions but she doesn’t feel any different and Michael has not told the others what is going on, unsure if Darcy is comfortable sharing

As she gets flustered the connection breaks off and after mentally asking her Michael reveals what happened

Arthur is trying to replicate the situation, again to no avail, and starts being perplexed about this since the Vampire power normally only goes in one direction, more notes are taken
Deciding that given the lack of control over the power and the minute but noticeable to the observant onlooker change in Darcy’s eyes they should stop at a boutique on the way to buy her some sunglasses

After that Arthur is meant to go to Duke Stark to find out who might be in town who could even use the prototype, Darcy agrees to be backup for Arthur, while Troy talks to the servants and Michael goes talk to the tenament people

Nobody kept in mind that this would be the first time Darcy has been in a real fashion store in her life, so it takes her 20 seconds to start going on a shopping spree. Including matching outfits for Arthur and Michael, and whispering recommendations about which one would suit Brenda best to Troy, as well as telling him she’d pay for it

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Whitby Vandals 39: May I interest you in a Jeeves-in-the-Box, Milord?
23 November

Michael does not have much to do while guarding the box and once he hears Duke Stark’s engines approaching he calls out to Darcy about it despite being in the cellar

Darcy was having a nice chat with Lionel and John when she hears Michael shout and is so startled that she jumps up to the ceiling (and sticks to it for a moment). Given that neither John nor Lionel heard anything they are rather surprised and confused when she starts grumbling about Michael thinking she wouldn’t notice herself that the Iron Duke approaches.

John goes off to man the door and Darcy is going to grab Arthur to replace Michael at the watch given that she knows who of the two would prefer to talk to Tony

When she tells Michael that he didn’t need to shout he is surprised for a moment that she would have heard that but that is nothing to his surprise to her actually seemingly shouting at him when he switches into his private hero outfit just before entering the salon with Tony in it and Tony not reacting at all

After some short pleasantries, shorter because even Darcy knows that those two would not be very polite unless she was around, Tony is being led down to the dungeons for the box
As they pass through the dungeon Michael unconsciously is thinking rather lewd thoughts about what he could do with those metal bars and Darcy and is surprised to see her blush furiously, but at first, he just assumes that their minds work alike. The more she seems actually reacts to his specific thoughts and her emotions swinging the more he wonders what is going on, prompting him to ask himself if she is alright and to his astonishment, he can hear her answer in his mind. When he asks “Can you hear me?” she goes completely white and stammers in the affirmative in her mind

The moment they arrive at the box Darcy excuses herself by saying she has important business with Arthur and all but drags him out of the room, which he is not unhappy about given that he does not want to talk to Tony anyway

She pulls Artie just about out of hearing range before she in full panic tells Artie that Michael somehow managed to get into her head and she can hear his thoughts! For a second Artie’s reaction is “better you than me” but then he does get concerned and rushes off to the library with her

The two dhampir books they have do not mention anything fitting so they end up sitting behind a bunch of books about telepathy and vampires

Meanwhile Troy has his hands full with trying to stop his kids from spying through the windows and enacting plans to hide in the bushes to catch another glimpse of the Iron Duke. The only way the kids are letting themselves be convinced not to be a potential embarrassment for Lady Darcy is by Troy promising to grab a very specific list of sweets from the kitchen.

When Troy sneaks into the kitchen he finds a tray pre-prepared right in front of him. Unsure if that was not ordered by somebody and if it vanishes everybody will be in trouble, so he finds himself an apron and just skims off a layer of the sweets. Strangely, when he turns around the tray is suddenly gone. Remembering that there are Fay in the house he wonders if there are fairy servants so he thanks them and says to let him know if he can compensate. He finds that the apron is a lot fuller than he remembered.

In the cellar, Michael is explaining to Tony how we caught Jeeves and that the box belongs to a friend who needs it back. After making his appreciation clear Tony asks for a favour but Michael thinks Darcy needs to decide and leads Tony (carrying the box) back upstairs while mentally telling her he is coming, oh, and that Artie should be there too

Tony confesses that something got stolen from a factory in London and it is a prototype, so not important enough for Excalibur and as a Duke does not have the time, but it seems too much for the Yard so he’d like them to either bring it back or destroy it, and if they can apprehend the thieves

Info: Night of the 20th to 21st, factory in London, ladder and bolt cutters, watch schedules clearly known to the intruder, no magic sensed at all

Darcy tells Michael to go and brief Troy, she’ll get Lionel to come along so they have a reliable teleport out

Troy meanwhile goes to find Darcy, leading to Michael ending up ambushed and delayed by the kids

Artie with a vampire book under his arm opens the door when Troy rings the bell and asks if Darcy might be available. After wandering through the house for a bit without actually finding Darcy, Troy reminds Arthur that he can ask the mirror who reminds him that she was on the way to Lionel and Arthur rushes after to redirect her to Troy while hiding in his lab hoping to finally read in peace

Troy first asks if Tony left with Jeeves as he is concerned about needing to have somebody else than himself, or the lady, confirm that it wasn’t him who killed Robert’s man. Finding that he already left he switches topic.

At first, Darcy is a bit suspicious about what Troy might want when he requests a favour but when he starts talking about maybe setting up a treasure hunt for the street kids he was not counting on her jumping on the task with abundance

Completely forgetting the important mission for Tony at hand Darcy immediately draws up plans, maps, and notes together with Troy to build the ultimate educational Christmas treasure hunt for not only the kids but for Michael and Arthur as well

When Troy offers her the position of guide she muses that it would be more like a fairy tale if Lady would do it, prompting a raised eyebrow from Troy, which she misinterprets as her going overboard

Michael has finally gotten away from the kids and somehow just knows which way Darcy is, only to get her to frantically hide the notes from him when he enters the room

Grabbing the stuff off the table she runs out to leave Michael to tell Troy about the mission

Troy brings up that they still need to deal with Robert and that it might be an option to get Robert to work with them, since he might be evil, but at least he is a known evil. Michael is firm on it not being a possibility for Darcy even unofficially being seen to make deals with the likes of him but says that the two of them can figure something out after they return from London

Like Artie and Darcy, Troy is not fond of the idea of going to London but lets himself be convinced that after 7 years, probably nobody remembers him

During the mission debrief Troy brings up that he has figured out that Darcy and Lady are the same and Michael is trying to be non-committal in his answer without lying as he wants Darcy to decide how to react

Darcy goes to Lord Arthur’s room and puts on her full enthusiastic little girl behaviour to get her beloved Uncle who happens to be a mighty vampire hunter to play villain for the treasure hunt

Hearing her excited voice from inside Pretty sneaks in but as soon as he hears her tell Lord Arthur not to tell Michael he realises that he is not supposed to be there and rushes off to Arthur, who also has forgotten about their mission and is reading up on Vampires instead

When Michael pokes Darcy about what she is doing and how they have something important she again jumps up to the ceiling prompting Lord Arthur to inquire and she apologetically says that Michael somehow managed to get into her head so she can hear him in her mind

Lord Arthur has an immediate suspicion but is keeping it to himself, too split between 20 years of learned response to evil vampires puppeteering ghouls and turning their formerly loved ones undead and this being his little girl who would never hurt anybody

He just tells her that he’ll see what he can do to help Arthur

Once Darcy is walking she somehow just knows where Michael is and easily finds both him and Arthur, after a short discussion on the upcoming mission and them taking the evening train, and dropping that Troy knows that Darcy is Lady. In an attempt to not freak out about that revelation Darcy deliberately remembers that she wanted to talk to Lionel and before she goes off to do so tells Artie that Lord Arthur was looking for him

Michael meanwhile goes to Whitby to organize their travels and stay in London, as the only one being excited to go

Troy has to defend himself leaving again to Brenda and after some grumbling on her side, she promises to keep the kids safe and out of Whitby. Without her knowing Troy also asks John to keep an eye on them.

The Arthurs agree that there are two possibilities, either Darcy has made Michael a ghoul, or he is in the process of becoming a vampire, both of which she should be incapable off, but Artie points out that she seems more powerful than the dhampirs described in the book and Arthur grinds his teeth saying that might be due to her vampiric grandsire. Both agree that they have to keep a close eye on the situation

In the Nexus Darcy finds Lionel lounging on a branch above a pond, and the idyllic picture non-withstanding still doesn’t get what Michael is seeing in the guy. But that won’t stop her from being all sweet with him until she can snap the honeytrap shut. To her disdain, this time, neither charm, nor appeals to his ego can get him to come along to London, so all she can do is to ask him to keep the place safe while she is gone.

In the carriage, Darcy and Artie don’t talk very much for a while as Arthur is taking more notes on the potential vampire trouble with Darcy and Michael. After a bit Michael starts a conversation with Darcy, which Darcy gets all flustered about as she cannot decide if it is rude of him to talk to her when he should be focusing on John sitting next to him. But even Arthur and John agree that it’s just sports, Michael can manage to talk about that even while talking to Darcy.

During the ride Darcy unwittingly makes some comments about the mindlink and talking to other in their minds that make Arthur somewhat uncomfortable, but it is only Michael who picks up on it through empathy

While the others go ahead into the train and take care of the luggage Darcy takes a few minutes to convey important information to her head of security privately in the carriage, and is most definitely not dabbing her lips clean with a handkerchief when boarding the train…

On the train Artie realizes that Michael was right about teasing him for bringing only one book because he finished it already, prompting him to wander off in search of newspapers, leaving the cabin with Darcy and Troy being awkward at each other

Michael is mentally asking if he should leave so that she can talk it through with Troy and she is staring daggers at him for suggesting to leave her alone. But then she deviously uses the mind link to tell Michael that if he wants to have them talking to each other he might just as well start the conversation

Troy is slightly weirded out by Michael talking to him about Darcy with her pointedly looking away but after a bit of him not wanting to talk about her in third person and telling her that he wanted to let her know so that she does not always need to feel that she has to make an excuse for leaving in a fighting situation. Especially because in London she might not be able to and he wouldn’t want her to have to pretend in a dangerous situation

She pouts a bit but then in French haggles out a tit for tat of information as he clearly also was hiding things

Switching back to English they are having a heart to heart about his past, including him losing his family and having to flee repeatedly. Darcy is internally melting and when it comes up that Brenda has been a constant in his life for a while now Darcy cannot stop herself from poking about when he is finally going to ask her. Without even needing an explanation Troy says that he intended to ask her later tonight or at the planned event, and that is the very moment Troy gets adopted into the family, because she can’t have him ask in such an underwhelming way.

He protests that Brenda is a walking human lie detector so she’d know if he is setting something up behind her back, Darcy just answers that it’s good that she isn’t human then because she’ll set it up for him

Troy picks up on the not human comment and starts slowly working his way through the “rumours” about her, the turning into various night animals and actually being up mainly at night…

Darcy cannot help herself to not jump on the opportunity seeing his slightly disconcerted look, and with her fangs showing asks Michael: “Would you want to answer that question, Exquis?”

Some more bantering later and Artie coming back into the cabin, being rather surprised at what is going on with fanged Darcy chatting away, the discussion wanders to demons and Artie being the only human in the room

Darcy reprimands Artie for being so negative about making Michael partially demon because if he didn’t they wouldn’t actually be married, so that is Artie’s fault

Troy seems to not be so fond of Darcy stating that he isn’t human, especially because he still does not really know what he supposedly is

Darcy hasn’t quite figured out how to stop her thoughts to be audible to Michael so she gets a smirk from him when she mentally blurts “Well, I know a sure fire way to find out if you are human…”

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Whitby Vandals 38: We have the plan, what could possibly go wrong?
22 + 23 November

Darcy is going down to grab Artie for Lunch, passing by a sleeping Pretty who she can’t get herself to wake up, finding Artie with a slightly maniacal grin of enjoyment at the just exploded battery

Getting him upstairs to the dining area Artie is briefing Michael and Darcy on what he found. So far he came up with the idea of an inverse Faraday cage around Jeeves but it would somehow be prevented to get off Jeeves. Michael suggest something sticky and after lunch Artie goes right back to researching that

The tension between John and Darcy seems to have gone down and when Michael asks he is told that they need to have a talk, and that he isn’t in too much trouble…

Artie gets joined by Seward in his lab where the two men of science bond over electric sparks and mad experiments

Darcy is rather surprised to find both of them and see them so amicable when she asks if she has to grab Lucy or if both of them will follow along for dinner

After dinner Troy is allowed into the war planning again and they come up with a plan to trap Jeeves in a burning tar pit under a metal crate

Lionel provides a means of long-term “storage” via a Jack-in-the-box trap that will grab the person it’s aimed at and put them in a place where no time moves ahead until the box is opened via magic word

When Troy asks if somebody could provide a double for him because he can’t be bait and attack at the same time Lionel manifests a Troy illusion and Darcy realizes that Troy just sneakily figured out that there might have been something to the second Darcy ploy she tried to pull to have Lady and Darcy in the same room

Given that she doesn’t expect Lionel to notice mistakes like that she swallows her annoyance and goes straight on with being nice to him

Michael gets sent off to London to fetch the metal crate to seal the well to not alarm Jeeves to what they are planning

Once the well is filled with tar and sealed they strew rumors so about Troy’s supposed location to the street kids, which Jeeves does indeed follow up on

Plan:
John with backup from Darcy takes out the goons
Lionel makes a fake Troy and shields real Troy from sight
Troy throws a metal blanket over Jeeves and teleports him into the burning tar pit
Troy turns to flame and escapes the well
Pretty invisibly teleports into the well and cranks the lever of the box while Artie distracts Jeeves by firing at him

Despite Artie managing to not hit Jeeves while he is stuck in the tar the plan succeeds and Jeeves gets trapped in the box

Shortly after Bat-Darcy arrives with Lionel and John on her back while carrying the two goons (who get dropped) and the passengers hustled off before she minies out and attaches herself to Damien

When the discussion turns to just handing the goons to the police Damien gets bat wing slapped so he knows that she wants to rather bring them into their own dungeons

While they debate how bad the goons actually are, Troy making a statement that he can feel when somebody is a killer

Darcy is flapping over to Lionel and putting her best cute bat face on because she knows he can just teleport everybody over

Safely back in the house, the goons stored, and the box put into another strong box, Michael and Troy go to call Tony who is awed that they actually managed to catch Jeeves but says he’ll bring a good vintage and wants to hear the full story

Darcy meanwhile is turning human and going sugar sweet on thanking Lionel who outwardly plays along but clearly gives her a look of “I know you are up to something”, prompting John to put an arm around him and reprimanding him for being so suspicious

Artie does not want to know anything and flees as soon as Michael returns from the call and takes the first watch

Troy returns to Brenda and Darcy is entangling Lionel in pleasant conversation with John’s help

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Whitby Vandals 37.5: Plans within Plans ...
21 November

Having waited specifically for an opportunity when Michael is away John slinks into Darcy’s office, pale and clearly nervous

Still thinking she got played and again is the one who is too stupid to get social interactions right she is not very pleased with this so her tone is cold when she asks him what she may do for him

He looks her straight in the eye and with distress showing asks her: “Do you want me to leave?”

She scoffs and reminds him that she did forge a pact with a fay queen on his behalf

He nods and says he can never repay her but also does not want to cause her pain as he clearly has lately so he steeled himself to come and ask directly and make some blunt statements while Michael is not there to try to intervene

She relents a bit and tells him, that no, this is his home and she is sorry that there has been such trouble lately but he made it clear during their last that he only respects her and she just feels stupid for not realising that and the fact that everybody expects her to be this strong baroness but in her private life she just exchanged her father for a husband for running all she is doing, which yes, is how it should be as a girl, but at the same time, where is the fun in giving away power if there is none to start with

John nearly shouts back that he DOES have feelings, that he loves her but knew that there could never be something. That he would have just served as her protector and shown his feelings through devotion had Michael not approached him that there might be a possibility for play but made it clear that she has no interest at all in two husbands, so friends with benefits was the best he could hope for but then she broke that off too

She is not convinced and asks him why he said something else last time, prompting him to tell her that he wanted to make this easier on her since she was clearly struggling

She retorts that he was the one who told Michael that he would not be okay with being hers and that she does not blame him for that, she understands that he is excited to marry and have children and she of course cannot do that for him. She can accept that, but she cannot accept just being coveted for being fun. She cannot do half-measures, both because of her dhampir nature and because she cannot be seen as human

He asks why and it turns out that Michael did not explain the dhampir issue and in fact underplayed her struggle, while at the same time making it seem as if the only option was to “simply” have her stop drinking from him. Now that he learns that he has the option to stay with her if he does not mind her obsession and struggle with the feeling of entitlement to his blood he does not hesitate to tell her that he has no interest in other woman and that he is happy to come help her hunt to make sure she gets blood from enough people.

Darcy is somewhat overwhelmed and unsure what to do. She is trying to be rational and mature about this, trying hard to ignore the part of her brain that tells her to jump over the table and slam him to the floor to sink her fangs in…

She just spent a week telling herself that she has no feelings for him and thought she had made a breakthrough on understanding how to be a better monster and there he is sitting in front of her, talking about his feelings for her, smiling shyly with his infuriatingly blue eyes. Leaving the decision up to her, giving her all the power she thought she did not have… and she does not know what to do

She repeatedly tells him he needs to think it through carefully when he says he is fine with being hers, and with her inhuman nature, that he needs to be aware of what that could mean. But also that she guesses that with how much she changed just in the last few months she has no idea where she will be in a few years.

As much as his more restrained and shy nature mixed with a mischievousness reminding her of Michael, as well as his self-confessed bluntness are pulling her back in towards his charms the point that might have won her back over the most is when he states that he understands how it is to feel powerless, after all, he was brought up as a girl and knows what she feels is expected of her.

In the end restraint wins out (despite some close hugs and her fangs refusing to go away) and she tells him that he is definitely back in her good graces but she wants to wait for Michael to come back to make the final decision and do anything

That is enough for him and he hugs her so tightly that it is for the best that she is really not a fragile human girl

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Whitby Vandals 37: No skeleton IN the closet ...
21 + 22 November

Michael tells Darcy and Arthur that Jeeves is indeed in town, stalking the roofs and looking for somebody

Even when Michael let Jeeves see him for a moment (pretending that he didn’t notice Jeeves himself) Jeeves is not going after him, instead focusing on seemingly finding somebody in the crowds in town

Arthur and Darcy exchange an exasperated glance at each other that Michael would expose himself to danger like that

Calling Troy in, who at first isn’t sure if Jeeves might not be looking for something instead of somebody, they discuss what to do

Darcy is starting to be annoyed at always just fixing what the Pride breaks and argues it might be time to strike back, especially because Jeeves seems to be alone

They discuss what he can do and how to potentially incapacitate him, especially because they want information out of him given that their current working theory is that the Pride is trying to force Troy out of options and into the arms of the Pride before he starts being fully under the Vandals protection

At one point it comes up that the Pride technically is Excalibur’s problem which prompts Michael to think of Tony, and then about current guest of his for whom he saw a poster showing him calmly sitting under electrical strikes

Michael decides he’ll visit London and Tony to get Jeeves file as well as help from that Tesla fellow on dealing with Jeeves electricity

During his absence, Troy and Arthur are meant to test out what Troy can do with his teleport when the target is not cooperating

Darcy is grumbling slightly at being not very helpful and stomps off saying she’ll write Michael and introduction letter so he can talk to Tesla and then come back to play secretary for Arthur

Michael rushes after her to reassure her before asking Troy and Arthur what they want from London (Troy is getting a gift for Brenda)

She remembers that there is one more thing she could do, ask Lionel for help to entrap Jeeves. He thinks about it and tells her that he’ll go home to check because he might have some gadgets left from trying to prank his sister. Darcy is laying it on a bit thick when making googly eyes at him and saying: “And there I had hoped you consider this home…”

The testing seems to go well, with Arthur having trouble to stop Troy to actively stop him from teleporting between the kitchen and living room despite Troy noticing that it is much harder and does not work always

When Darcy returns she suggests that it would be good to test the teleportation on somebody unaware and completely forgetting that Troy does not know about her mother she makes an off-hand comment about better finding her father (the volunteered victim) potentially being involved in some indecent activity without realizing that the only other person Troy knows is in the household is Lord Arthur…

Darcy sets up in a room to calm down her father once he got teleported and Arthur and Troy go searching for papan, who they find in a corridor in his evening slippers and a hot cocoa, and while one slipper gets left behind the teleport works. Nobody was counting on Seward’s reflexes and training though as Troy immediately gets a cup of hot cocoa dumped on him and a kick between the legs

Struggling to not fall over with giggling Darcy rushes to stop her father from delivering another kick and explains the situation, managing with some rather large eyes and flattery as to his heroic and manly reaction to calm him down. Troy walks off to grab Seward a new cocoa and Arthur is bringing the lost slipper back but then leaves Darcy to take care of Seward who has trouble staying angry at her.

With the situation explained as battle preparations, his ego soothed, and the cocoa replaced Seward decides to hide in his room for the rest of the evening.

Troy gets to a bath, with Brenda, and Arthur goes back to his experimentation and planning
Darcy has finally realized what she implied earlier and is having the appropriate panic attack over it. With Michael in London she rushes to her mother for aid… who promptly nearly dies of laughter and tells her everything will be fine, no need for the drama. Darcy pouts back that this prudery is what happens when she gets left alone with papan for 16 years, prompting Lucy to be uncharacteristically melancholic and telling Darcy that she will have to leave soon for their safety but promises to write often

Still flustered by what happened Darcy returns to her study and automatically answer the knock on her door before realising who it is… (see Whitby Vandals 37.5)

Knowing full well how Darcy can get Michael sends a telegraph in the late evening that he is fine (with a very “Yes, ma” feeling to it) and will be back late this night. Darcy notices the undertone and holds it up to Lucy as if it was for her instead which Lucy counters that she would just tell him to enjoy herself

Waiting up for him Darcy (after checking closely that nobody else is still around) she actually jumps out of her window into his arms not even wanting to wait until he is through the door
The next morning has Troy finding the dress Brenda really wanted but could never afford and she is delighted

Arthur finds a box with not only the batteries he requested but a bunch of notes from Tesla himself on how to use the added electricity experimentation kit and possible ways to deal with Jeeves… after about 20 minutes of getting absorbed into it Arthur remembers that Darcy will storm his room if he doesn’t show up for breakfast

Given that he basically is vacuuming his breakfast up Darcy nevertheless cusses him out and tells him he has to actually chew his food or she’ll take his box away until he does… deciding that arguing would take longer than actually following her request he slows down a bit before rushing back to his new research. Throughout the day Pretty appears in his lab to remind him to come eat unless he wants Darcy to bring the door down

Troy spends the day teaching the children martial arts and gets found by Lord Arthur who is only too happy to provide instructions as well and Troy notices that he clearly is not fighting like a nobleman should

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Whitby Vandals 36: The Fugitive
21st of November 20XP

Michael has to kiss his wife goodbye, who just happens to actually be Lionel in disguise right now, we don’t see what happens as Michael blocks the view with his body

After that he pretties out and hops on Lady’s back, holding the leash with his teeth, posing regally, prompting Troy to comment that now Arthur has to do all the official talking, but Arthur would have none of that

Arthur and Troy are debating who the perpetrator might be and Arthur is rather adamant that no street kid would have the money or means to get the knife copied, so it might not be an actual street kid ploy

Arthur asks who else might want Troy dead, with Lady raising an eyebrow at Troy knowing that he might have inquisitors after him, but Troy comes up with the idea that maybe somebody has a problem with the orphanage

After some very unconvinced stares from a wolf and a witch-boy Troy does confess that maybe some witch hunters might be after him, too

Discussing how the street kid feud would help the witch hunter for a moment the thought of them trying to get Troy in a fight with Michael comes up, at which Michael looks intrigued which gets him nipped by Lady

When they arrive in town the street kids seem rather afraid of Troy who is under a lot of scrutiny

After strolling into the dockies’ headquarters and a strained polite conversation between Robert and Sir Michael we find that Kevin got a “sea burial” but the murder weapon is still around and Robert insists that the most likely murderer is standing right there

Analysing the knife it becomes clear that it is a rather new copy but differs in some small details from Troy’s original knives

Robert is helpful enough to assign one of the small boys to lead the Vandals to the crime scene

Which turns out to be an alleyway, leading Lady to lock her legs and not want to go in there due to the smell, leading Michael to stay outside with her

When Arthur investigates the scene he realizes that there is magic in there and to his non-delight, the magic smells familiar: Jeeves

Once Michael leaves Lady to comfort Artie, Pretty goes investigate the alley and comes back rather serious, and still manages to get a “Language!” from Lady when talking about the contents of the alley

The assailant was waiting on the roof for the kid and jumped down and stabbed him before leaving

Artie looks around uncomfortably at the thought of potential invisible metal skeletons in the vicinity, prompting the group to rush back home

Michael heads off to see to Lady

Once Michael and Darcy are off Arthur notices a very dark skinned boy coming out from behind a tree and asking how he looks

Troy is surprised to see Arthur walk up to the boy doing circles around him and gushing with how amazing this is

Asking if he finally has a new name the dragon says that the Lady is calling him Noirette, which Artie is frowning over and says that they can’t keep doing that and explaining to the confused dragon why Darcy is calling him cutesy names when he is larger than her. Artie manages to throw the pun in that Darcy likes to make things Pretty

Michael sneezes and Darcy on the way back asks if she needs to make him a scarf, which he asks if she is making one with all the erotic motives. She pouts and tell her to ask her mom, he pretends to run off but pauses as she is breathing in for the Michael shout, but she stops herself realizing that he is baiting her

Coming back to the dragon Darcy is grumbling when she is told that Noirette isn’t a fitting name, which she agrees when she sees his human form, after only a few seconds she goes: Adrien! Troy and Artie are grinning that she literally just went to the more acceptable form of “blackie”

While walking over to Brenda Arthur and Adrien are geeking out over each other, shape-shifting dragons and talking to the sorcerer supreme

Michael is complaining to Darcy that Arthur is fawning over Adrien’s shapeshifting but not over his own, getting Darcy to smirk that they now know Artie’s type. Michael goes: Tall, dark, and handsome? – No, scaly.

Still being distracted Arthur does not end up having a lot of info on the knife, prompting Michael to Pretty out (immediately being carried off by the kids) leading to Darcy having to ask to get her husband back

Pretty can figure out that somebody had a good look at the knives and the knife is no older than a week

Pretty is going to investigate in town if some of the street kids have a new generous friend and Darcy is insisting that he take at least Rosered

But once they enter the house Seward is informing her that she has a large amount correspondence to deal with, so she has to take care of that, but Adrien is offering to keep Michael safe

Troy is discussing with Brenda how to tell the kids about his lack of humanity, given that it would be good to not hear it from the rumors in town. The kids have all kinds of questions but none of the ones Troy was afraid of

Artie is helping Darcy with the paperwork and together they breeze through it while being all snarky, to Pretty’s amusement when he shows back up and Darcy proudly tells him about the underhanded insult she just gave back to a silly noble

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Whitby Vandals 35: Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A witch-boy's life for me!
20 November

Artie gets woken up by Damien and Bat-Darcy singing Happy Birthday right at the head of his bed

Letting Artie get ready Michael brings Darcy to her dressing room where she is sitting very pensive for a moment before he asks her what is going through her mind

Darcy confesses that she does not want to go with her plan to dress up as Silver’s wife, Michael says that would be a good opportunity to talk to John but Darcy is rather adamant about avoiding that debacle

She wonders if she can’t get a Trelawney outfit together, but Michael, knowing Arthur’s opinion about Trelawney says she should rather go for Smollett, which gets her to pout given that she interprets it as Michael saying she is a bitter overly strict stickler for rules and obedience

Michael defends himself by giving his interpretation of the character and telling her she would look great in Navy uniform which gets her to relinquish her protest and go hunting through her wardrobe after she helps Michael to get his hair down to fit well-behaved Hawkins

Arthur meanwhile is already all made up as the good doctor, with Seward grumbling he should have had that role but quietens down when he gets told he can be the pirate who kills Arrows who is played by Lord Arthur

When Michael appears Lucy is going full on overboard with her role as his mother by fussing over him, getting Darcy to be amused and melancholic over never having had a mother who fusses over her. In typical Lucy fashion she cannot help but flirt with Captain Smollet, embarrassing Seward and getting even Artie to snicker

During the pirate themed breakfast, ship’s tack being strangely honey flavored, John as the ship’s cook is serving the Captain and Darcy is imitating Artie by hiding behind her newspaper and only relaxes once Michael as the ship’s boy takes over

Settling down comfortably the group takes a nap to get into John’s elaborately set up play of the book, once inside the dream Darcy is about ready to strangle Jim who got John to put her in pants and she orders him to her cabin to tell him to go get to John immediately to fix it! Noticing that she really is upset about it Michael rushes to tell John, and only after he left does Darcy realize that part of why she is so upset is not just the inappropriateness of her wearing pants but John, cheered on by Michael, again tried to assert himself over her. She has had it with that human behaviour…

Meanwhile in town Troy is bringing gifts to Brenda: he grabbed the black cult cloak off the little noble to have two for gifts for Brenda, because nothing says “I like you” as slightly soiled and damaged things you take off dead people

Given that the kids are utterly stuffed with the leftover food from the reception Troy and Brenda decide that today is probably not going to be a good day for performing

Tom, a kid from one of the other gangs shows up and warns Troy that the Dockies think Troy killed one of them (Kevin) because he had a tiff with him and then he showed up dead in Troy’s area with a knife that looks like one of the throwing knives from Brenda’s and Troy’s act, and are coming for retribution

Brenda jumps into action and gets all the kids out just in time before the Dockies show up

Robert, leader of the Dockies despite only being 16, and two enforcers stroll into the den as if was theirs

After a bit of tough talk Troy suddenly has a knife sticking out of his back, which he just pulls out with a bit of fire before the wound closes, and Troy tells them coldly that if he had wanted to kill Kevin they wouldn’t have found him, and if they come too close to one his own they won’t be found either

Robert is completely confused as to why Troy is a streetkid since he could own the town with that power but Troy just tells him to be glad that he doesn’t have that ambition and Robert, unable to grasp this, walks off

Making sure that the knife thrower isn’t in the house anymore Troy starts to investigate by checking if any of his actual knives are missing but Brenda took all of them with her

Catching up to Brenda he finds out that all knives are still there, so somebody copied one

Deciding that the kids need to be safe they move to the park area of the castle and Robin helps them set up and tells Troy that the party is still going on even though they seem to be sleeping right now

When Troy sits down in the gazebo Robin offered he suddenly finds himself on a ship talking to Captain John Silver who says he looked like he had something important to talk about so he let him into the dream

Being handed a spyglass Troy can take a look at the group having a fire fight at the stockade

And after Captain Smollet valiantly gets shot and stowed somewhere, John brings Darcy over, which she misinterprets as him using the opportunity to get her alone to force her to have the discussion she keeps fleeing

He graciously informs her that no, Troy needs to talk to her, but yes, he very much wants to talk to her later

Listening to Troy’s concern and making sure that he and the children are safe on the grounds and granting them access to the kitchen (as long as they keep the place clean) she decides that Arthur deserves a day off, so she postpones the investigation until tomorrow

In an unusually sly move on her side she switches to French in the middle of a sentence talking about titles and Troy, caught off guard, responds in French without thinking, confirming her suspicions about his upbringing but she promises that she does not care, and even less does she care if his powers come from the devil or not. Fanatics are silly and if anybody is coming after him and ends up coming after her kitty they will learn why it is silly.

Given that it is time for Captain Smollett to reappear John transports her back into the action and turns Troy into a seagull so he can watch the show

Darcy is everything but happy about how striking John is as Silver so she is rather relieved when the dream ends, while Arthur is having the time of his life, and eager to learn more about his nightmare he goes out for a ride with Damien happily running along

They encounter the little streetkid encampment on the grounds but Troy, keeping his word to grant Arthur one day off, averts all questions

Which means that Arthur happily huddles up in the library reading up on nightmares and perusing his new books

Michael meanwhile has had it with Darcy and basically pulls her in front of John’s door, threatening to get a fan when she tries to flee as a fog bank

Finally seated in John’s room it turns out that Darcy really is not ready for the talk as she does not manage to say what she really feels and gets herself stuck in-between apologizing for pushing herself into John’s life, trying to make it clear to him that she is bad for him and that she does not want to be miserable about the feelings she has because a human is bad for her as well. It all just doesn’t want to come out coherently and him being all nice and concerned does not help. Feeling she did not really resolve anything she eventually leaves with Michael but is rather unhappy with the situation.

That becomes obvious the next morning when she just about manages to exchange some snarky comments with Artie but is still cold and mono-syllabic with John and downright dismissive and flippant about the murder in town.

In order to dissuade accusation of being Lady, Darcy asks Lionel to duplicate himself and impersonate her so that Lady and Darcy are being seen in the same room together. The ruse does not quite work since Troy feels the corruption levels on the double and Lady and immediately notices that something is off.

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Whitby Vandals 34: An iron-clad cat-napping!
19th of November

Dr. Strange has Artie help him with a vastly complex ritual that Arthur isn’t entirely sure should work at all, but going by how the room reeks of magic Artie keeps out of the way of the magical eye while taking notes

Returning to the others Strange informs them that Michael and Tony are on the Isle of Lewis in the far North and he can teleport them there but cannot come with them if he does but sees no other way given that Arthur is not trained enough to perform the gate spell… yet
Darcy does not miss a beat and orders Brenda and John to ensure the safety of the guests and Troy and Arthur to grab what they need, they are going in a few minutes

Troy asks if they some way to track the two missing man and since Arthur does not Troy asks if they can’t bring Lady, prompting Darcy to realize that she nearly just walked off in her party dress, all caution thrown to the wind in worry for her husband

Grabbing Arthur she vanishes to her room with him from where he reemerges with Lady on a leash, who then grabs heavy coats for himself and Troy, who shrugs and does carry it instead of wearing it. When Strange sees Lady he looks for a moment and then nods and tells her very quietly to please bring Stark back

Once they step through the portal, ready for an ambush, Arthur notices that he stepped on something and being the only one who does not see well in the dark he lowers his lantern revealing that what he stepped on was a corpse

To Darcy’s and Troy’s eyes the scene is revealed as utter carnage. They are standing in a stone circle amidst over a dozen corpses, some of which are clearly the result of a very angry Damien, some of which bear wounds from some form of energy beam

Looking around Darcy notices a deep hole filled with water in the middle of the circle and her blood runs cold when she realizes that she would have been trapped at the bottom of a muddy pit with fifteen men surrounding her. The carnage suddenly seems like a statement of love because it shows her how angry the thought of her being trapped made Damien and she can’t help a wolf grin.

Troy and Arthur are investigating the bodies, finding that all of them are at least higher middle class, some are nobles. They grab one of the more intact cloaks in case they need to pretend to be with the cult later. The tracks indicate that Michael and Stark were retreating after having wreaked havoc on the field because two new sets of footprints appear.
Between Lady’s and Arthur’s senses of smell they can figure out that one of them has to be Jeeves (Lady totally is just playing in the mud, not writing letters).

Troy notices a sound and alerted to it Lady can smell that the heat signature Troy sees behind one of the menhirs is a very, very afraid man. Not wanting to waste any time before rushing to her husband’s rescue she and Troy move in a pincer maneuver before she pounces and drags a whimpering teenager back in front of Arthur.

After some growls from Lady who is getting impatient with the kid’s incoherent rambling and begging not to kill him it turns out that he is Scott Lister, son to the Baron of Ribblesdale, or given the state of the corpses around, the new Baron Ribblesdale. He does not know why his father insisted on him coming along or why they wanted to capture Darcy but he can confirm that Damien and Tony retreated when two new men appeared, one shooting lightning, the other darkness.

Locking the kid in the carriages, the horses long broken away and fled our Vandals set out after the two missing men but spotting lightning in the distance Lady turns into the giant bat and with Troy sighing grabs both of them to rush off towards the fight

From their high vantage point they can soon see Stark taking cover in some old farm buildings and shooting an occasional energy bolt at Jeeves and the body of Justin, who reeks demon magic to Arthur, and corruption to Troy. Given that Michael is nowhere to be seen Pretty is likely around somewhere invisibly.

For very emotional reasons, that turn out to lead to the correct decision, Arthur concentrates a devastating plasma bolt on Justin, who had blocked Stark’s projectiles with a shield of darkness, but surprised cannot parry and actually crumbles to the floor

Dropping Troy off with Stark, Darcy and Arthur circle around for a second round with Jeeves, who is getting distracted by Troy playing the hero and demanding the villain should surrender. Normally Jeeves would flee but given that Troy just absorbed a full attack with no visible damage apart from his fire aura dimming Jeeves is intrigued. Intrigued enough to stay long enough for another fireball to hit him, damaging nothing but his clothes.

To our Vandal’s relief he decides he’d rather leave now and vanishes in front of their eyes. He is undetectable even to Troy’s infrared vision and Pretty decides that is good enough going by the sudden furball in bat-Darcy’s face. Troy wants to make sure and sets the hilltop on fire but that does not produce any sign of Jeeves either.

Darcy does not want to take any chances and lands next to Justin’s body before ripping his head off, not without some glee. Agreeing with Darcy, both safety and revenge, Arthur decides to start a demon body bonfire and both to Troy’s and Arthur’s senses the demonic presence is gone.

Still cuddling the giant bat Pretty accepts a still wet Tony’s words of praise for the fighting. Troy hands his coat to Tony, who does actually freeze from being wet and on a Northern Isle. Given the circumstances all of them want to leave as soon as possible and Darcy let’s Pretty and Arthur on her back while grabbing Troy (who comments: You get used to it) and Tony

Letting them off in the stone circle she lands on the carriage with the little baron, who screams, and screams again when Arthur opens the door and Darcy sticks her head in upside down

Arthur uses the device he was given by Strange and when they hear that they should step through or wait if they want to meet Captain Britain Darcy (now back in wolf form) does a quick roll and grabs Pretty by the scruff carrying him through the portal while ignoring his protest

Once through he switches to Damien hugging Lady fiercely, and while she wants to cuddle him just as much she wants to preserve the illusion, so she mini-bats out of the room, waits for half a minute and then storms back squealing as Darcy who now can officially hug her rescued husband

With the situation stabilising the guests leave, to Darcy’s relief, and Arthur is sitting in a corner after he noticed that Strange not only left him a book but personally signed it. That made it finally sink in that he spend the evening happily chatting with the Sorcerer Supreme, and Darcy reading the dedication and joking that he made a friend is not helping his sudden panic attack. Although, when Michael points out that she charmed the entire party she realizes what she did and squishes into the corner with Arthur.

To defuse the situation Michael switches the topic, remembering that it is Artie’s birthday. Given that Darcy had made him promise Artie had asked for a horse and Darcy made her biggest cute eyes at Lionell when he told her that the best one would be a nightmare but that it would be difficult to get one in time. When Lionell had managed only yesterday to his never-ending surprise Darcy threw her arms around him and called him awesome.

Artie is somewhat astounded at the massive horse and the fact that Lionel passes him a box with meat to feed to the horse but once he is riding it he knows it is the right gift, and it gets only more awesome as the mane and tail burst into blue flame (not burning him) as he passes outside of the manor’s boundary.

To Michael’s serenades of birthday songs Arthur is enjoying his cake and both Darcy and Michael get hugs for their gifts. Darcy got him a signed copy of Treasure Island and Michael got him a copy of the healing spell book that Arthur painstakingly had to reconstruct because his father’s copy had be filled with edits to pervert the spells into damage dealing instead of healing.

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