Whitby Vandals

Whitby Vandals 46: Visionary Vandals
+20 EXP

Darcy gets dressed for party to make moves on Lionel… Michael “helps her” more out than into dress, until Darcy tells him that if he wants to get her out of it in company later she has to be in it first… Michael sits down to watch & turns cat
Troy goes looking for Brenda & co via fire rather than horse; goes near to abandoned house where they hang out; look out spots him, Brenda opens door while he listens… he calls her “yes dear”, she goes ?; he tells her he’s going to do something stupid, kisses her (kids say ewwww…) Brenda asks “you’re sure you’re not dying? Am I dying?”
as Troy asks to put kids on dinner duty, finds himself hand cuffed to her… just a precaution in case he tries to run away… Troy points out he could get out but that he’s happy she can’t… Brenda grabs his hand instead; Troy tells the kids they know the drill & teleports both of them off into nearby deserted alley;
Brenda kisses Troy after Troy being all “you’ll have to tell me how to be a good boyfriend”, snow turns to steam…
Brenda asks about party, Troy says he doesn’t know, he left before we finished; Troy checks candles to find out, sees John & Artie in corridor talking about being done & going somewhere;
Troy and Brenda return to castle, talk to mirror entity, make their way to nexus via portable mirror gps…
mirror informs Michael of party;
Michael tells Darcy she looks smashing, she says her blush isn’t done– Michael makes her blush…
finally Darcy & Michael appear; Michael steals honey cake Artie was eating, gives him a new one;
Darcy dressed over top, Artie notices, doesn’t know what to do with it;
Troy & Brenda greet them, holding hands, Michael congratulates them
Brenda asks whether everyone knew, Troy says no…
Artie and Lynette are having a nerd out over ley lines and the house being sentient and starting the ritual;
John, Troy, Brenda and Lionel have a who can come up with worst word contest…
Lionel tells Darcy she cleans up nice… she takes it as a compliment… Lionel assures her he finds her impressive;
Darcy and Lionel dance (not always on the floor…)
Lynette duplicates and offers Brenda & Troy a make over
Michael distracts Artie from what’s going on with Darcy & Lionel by faceplanting and pretending to go to sleep… Lynette draws on top of him…
Michael asks what she’s drawing, Artie gives theoretical explanation, Michael tells him to speak english, Artie says his vocabulary is lacking, Michael says “no need to get mean about it”, Artie pats his head and says there there, lets him up;
Brenda & Troy go dancing, Lynette duplicates herself again, one to dance with Michael one with John
Darcy manages to put her forehead on Lionel’s shoulder for a moment when sighing as Lionel yells over at Troy and Brenda that he’s totally not listening in… Brenda decides to help Darcy out (without explaining to Troy) and moves dance from stately ball room to tango… Michael keeps things classy, John is blushing a lot…
turns into dance competition between Brenda & Darcy, Darcy burns blood, Brenda eventually has to give up;
Lynette warns Artie & puts Darcy in a mini skirt; Lionel stumbles; “Michael – Lynette!”
Lionel sits down next to Michael, “your wife!” nods says Michael; Lionel wonders what Darcy wants, Michael is evasive, Lionel complains that’s a fae thing, he can never tell with humans, Michael ruffles his hair… Lionel asks “what does she want?” Michael tells him to ask her & makes suggestions for polite ways;
Lynette wants to know what charms we got, we all look confused;
Lynette wonders if Michael has the same as Lionel, Lionel has a tattoo under his collarbone, Michael has a closer look… Artie complains that he can’t see now & Michael moves out of the way a little… tattoo means “whimsy”.
Michael goes “well I don’t have a tattoo… oh…”
Lynette complains about guessing, Michael says more obvious than you’d think, Troy says “after tonight I’d guess passion”… Darcy glares…
Darcy ends up with ear rings, Michael bats at them… Lynette says it’s hard to translate “hides in plain sight”, usually adaptability;
Artie’s on his watch chain, Lynette goes “stubborn, should’ve known, oh sorry, steadfast”
Troy debates where to get his symbol with Brenda; Lynette guesses love or loyalty;
Darcy more or less asks Lionel outright at the end of the night, that works…
Katarina brings Artie dead mouse in the morning…
John and Artie first at breakfast; Dr Seward, then Lord Arthur…; Michael comes in from outside, is tired; Darcy is very quiet… head out for riding with Lord Arthur, take mouse as snack for Hannibal
Darcy heads off with John, Michael finds a beam of sunshine…
Troy and Brenda get rid of burned sheets, get fresh ones with sugar on top; Troy brings up potentially moving into castle & getting official job there, Troy points out Brenda has choice of positions;
Troy and Brenda bring the kids back, Artie goes stable his horse before Hannibal eats any of the small ones…
late afternoon Brenda calls: “Lucy”
she stands with Lord Arthur, Troy “you need some help”
Lucy hops down from tree; calls Troy “Lucy” and he calls her “Troy”
set up fighting demonstration for kids
Lucy vs Damien: Lucy has same strength & speed
Michael fights wolf Lucy, tries draining her, Lucy turns bat swarm, one lands on Michael’s shoulder and play-threatens to bite him, Michael coos… Darcy shows up and goes “Mother!” some kids go ?;
Darcy takes Lucy away for a talk; Michael and Lord Arthur talk, prey obsession comes up, Michael doesn’t correct his assumption that Michael’s the only one she’s biting…

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Whitby Vandals 45: ... and Artie's horse is totally innocent, honest!

John remains unconscious, we consider whether to telegraph Strange and/or consult Lionel/Lynette on behalf of him as we’re not sure what’ll happen if he has a vision while unconscious. Troy wonders whether there is some sort of master mind behind the visions, but we agree that it’s likely more a process. While we’re talking, Michael has his next vision:

Lucy tells him that there’s not much time left. Michael tries to reach Darcy in the real world by focussing on her. Instead, he gets a little voice in the back of his head telling him how similar they are instead. Michael tells it to shut up, it’s not real. He talks to Lucy about the decision to be made and tells her what Artie said to him when they talked about it in the real world. Lucy says again that time is running out before “you lose him to the other.” Michael asks “what other?” but this is when the vision ends.

Thinking about who might’ve set it off, we suspect Robin’s sister. We’ve just about decided to try contacting the fae for help when Lionel pops up in a shower of glitter, excited and looking to congratulate someone for passing, wanting to know who it is (he looks at Darcy first.) Artie points out John’s state, but Lionel says John doesn’t look so good, he’s not the one who passed. Suddenly, Lord Arthur goes pale and runs off. Michael, Artie and Troy follow while Darcy stays with John. Seeing that, Michael turns around and leaves the other two to follow Lord Arthur. He returns to Darcy and reassures her that John’s situation is not her fault.

Following Lord Arthur, Artie isn’t that surprised that they’re heading towards Lucy’s room. Lord Arthur barges right in, but Artie stops at the door and only peeks in, he also catches the back of Troy’s shirt to stop him from entering the lady’s bedroom– even though there’s a coffin. They hear Lord Arthur muttering “I left her alone in the coffin again,” under his breath, obviously upset. He pushes the lid off and a clawed hand reaches out for him. This makes Troy pull free from Artie’s distracted grip and he tackles Lord Arthur to the floor. Lucy sits up and comments on how that’s not the two men she expects to find rolling on her floor. She is also glowing and there is a faint symbol in the glow, which fades quickly, but not before Artie can memorize it. Artie explains the situation to her, mentioning that Darcy needs her help. Lucy acknowledges that she had unpleasant dreams, and asks to be left alone with her dinner. Artie starts leaving and Troy follows after Lucy asked him to introduce himself. A little ways down in the corridor, Artie has his next vision.

Darcy is plastered up against him with his wrists in one hand and the other going downwards. Artie wonders whether his magic works in the vision. He considers trying to cast a barrier, but they are too close together and he doesn’t think he could free himself from Darcy, so he uses a mental blast. It works, Darcy tightens her grip on him and kisses him, he snaps out of it.

Troy has walked up to him by then and Artie asks him if he felt the effect of the spell – he didn’t want to use any of the fire spells in case they would affect the real world. Troy says he didn’t feel anything, and they head back to join the others.

Meanwhile, Michael talks with Lionel, points out that we can’t really cheat as no one explained any rules to us. Lionel isn’t entirely convinced, but he offers the information that to wake up John, Darcy needs to change the vision so he has no reason to be there. He also advises that we need to find something that gets us through the fears, whatever works for us – there is no one specific solution. Michael and Seward share a look of understanding about Lionel being annoying. Mentally, Darcy comments on how Michael thought the glitter was cute. Michael agrees and they end up talking about possible punishments for Lionel, Michael mentions the top shelf.

As Artie and Troy return, Michael feels Artie’s queasy emotions and ushers him to the table for a honey cake and tea. Artie sips the tea, but takes the honey cake with him as he goes sit down next to Darcy. Darcy apologizes, but Artie assures her it’s not her fault. Michael wonders if anyone is controlling the visions, but Darcy and Artie don’t think so. As we talk about it, Troy has his next vision:

He feels Brenda’s energy and focusses on that. He feels her presence and gets a “film reel” of his life with her, including the proposal he’s planning. At the end, Brenda points out that “I said till death do us part.” He snaps out of it.

Artie is keeping an eye on Troy to write down the symbol if he starts glowing, however, Troy doesn’t.

Shortly after, Darcy has her next vision. It’s very long, leaving Artie concerned and keeping his fingers on her pulse to make sure she’s okay. While she’s in the vision, John suddenly snaps awake. It takes Darcy a little longer to come back out of the vision. We assure her that it worked and John is awake and fine. She says she took inspiration from 1001 Nights and convinced Von Gill that she was a good hostage, this worked until the end, where she looks at Artie: “Well, your father always wanted a noble title…” Artie is appropriately disgusted.

After some banter, we decide not to get anyone else in and head to the library to look up Troy’s symbol. Darcy and Troy talk about wedding planning while Michael and Artie bet a honey cake on who has a vision next. While talking about Lucy and cooking, someone makes a strawberry sauce comment and Darcy realizes the boys took turns donating blood at the start. She blushes furiously. John is confused by the conversation until Artie explains the context to him, then he makes the connection and blurts out how blood is like sex for Darcy, leading her to be even more scandalized.

However, they are interrupted when John has a vision. He starts glowing, and a symbol appears that Artie translates as “Protector.” John tells them that the abusive husband in his vision was trying to hurt his child and while he never wants to be a mother, he still protected his child.

Artie gloats at his victory and enjoys his honey cake. When Darcy asks what’s going on, he explains his ill-gotten gains, and Darcy bets on herself. However, the next one to have a vision is Michael.

He goes to see Artie, who is strapped down with Lord Arthur reciting over him. Michael checks his memories and sees a battle where a big black monster vampire breaks Darcy in half and then says he can get Artie, too. Michael asks Artie what he wants and if he can fight it. He remembers the plan he had with Lucy: she will try to remove the taint of the other vampire by draining Artie’s blood. Michael shares the plan with Artie and feels anger flare in him as his eyes turn red. He tells Lucy to go ahead with the plan. Lucy says she can make no promises and Michael replies that he couldn’t demand that, then he snaps out of the vision.

After sharing what happened, everyone settles down to wait out the rest of the visions. Darcy and Troy talk about having a vacation and the treasure hunt they’re planning. Michael wonders who’s next and Artie sighs “Probably me”, but Darcy says “Nope” as her eyes glaze over. This time, Michael manages to witness the vision, though he can’t hear what’s said:

He sees Darcy standing at the altar with Artie’s dad, being married to him, with the entire Pride there. She follows through with the ceremony, even the kiss. Afterwards, she addresses the crowd and speaks to them at length. Everyone listens to her speech. Then they leave the church, and outside, she whispers something to Artie’s dad, and pretends to kiss him again. While he is distracted and has his eyes closed, Darcy jumps into the waiting carriage, says something to the driver, and they drive off at full speed, Darcy wavinng her handkerchief at the angry and surprised Pride she’s leaving behind.

When Darcy comes out of the vision, she’s glowing and Artie identifies the symbol he’s seeing as “Charm”.

The next one to have a vision is Troy. In it, he has a heartfelt conversation with Brenda. He acknowledges that he loves her and would do anything to protect her. When he leaves the vision, his symbol is loyalty. He asks if the rest of us will be alright, and heads off to find Brenda.

Only Artie and Michael are left without completing their visions, and the next one to go in is Artie.

Knowing that his magic works in the vision, he warns Darcy that if she doesn’t let him go, he’ll attack, though tells her that she can have blood if she needs it. To his surprise, Darcy does step back. However, when she takes him up on his offer and bites him, it does feel sexual. Although it feels pleasant, he’s not comfortable with it and asks her to stop, which she does. She says something about how they’re back to that again and seems hurt. She wonders what his wife will say to it, and disappears. A different woman steps into the room, one Artie hasn’t seen before but recognizes as his wife. Seeing the bite marks, she’s very upset. Checking his memories, Artie realizes that in the continuity of the vision, he was the one who first went to Darcy in an attempt to be “normal”. He freely admits this to Eloise, who is first upset at his directness, but then he explains that his behaviour was wrong and inexcusable, therefore he isn’t going to make any excuses. He offers her to draw any consequences of her choice, including divorce. However, when Eloise asks whether he’ll be a good son to his father and stop being difficult, he says that he can’t do that, because he doesn’t want to be the person his father wants him to be. Stating that he won’t be the person his father wants him to be, he snaps out of the vision and finds himself glowing. His symbol is “steadfast”, although everyone agrees that it should be “stubborn”.

Eventually, Michael also has his last vision: They do the procedure with Artie, and Michael gives blood as Damien. It’s very messy, but it seems to work. However, afterwards Artie tells Michael that Darcy told him she regretted the wedding but pitied Michael too much to leave him. Artie says that it might be easier for Michael knowing that when he has to go after her. Michael remembers that in the battle, the dark vampire took Darcy with him. Lord Arthur, calling Michael “Boy”, aks him if he’s sure he’s ready for this because they can’t take any chances and he believes Darcy is gone. Michael assures him that he is.

In the crypt, Michael says he’ll take care of it and Lord Arthur goes to kill the big one. As Michael (in Damien form) stands over Darcy’s coffin, a wolf appears behind him and tells him not to trust humans and children. However, Michael is focussed on Darcy and wakes her. She wakes up as a full vampire and Michael can’t read her emotions as Damien, so he turns back into Michael but still doesn’t get anything. Darcy asks him if he’s come to safe her again and he replies that he will if he can. He asks if she’s learned how to stop him cheating from him but she says that she hasn’t been dead long and hasn’t relearned emotions yet. She asks after Artie and Michael confirms he’s okay. Darcy asks if he’ll kill her now that she’s a monster, or let her go. Michael insists that he won’t kill her if there’s a chance that she’s still herself, but he also won’t let her harm innocents. In the end, he follows her to protect both her and the people.

When Michael finally comes out of the vision, his symbol turns out to be “Principles”. Darcy and Artie poke fun at him for it. Then Artie leaves the two of them alone to find the party Lionel promised. On his way downstairs, he meets John. As they head towards the nexus, they wonder who did start the ritual, and the house pops up a little card with congratulations, prompting John to look at Artie and ask: “The house??”

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Whitby Vandals 44: Nightmare Before Christmas

John is very distressed, can barely speak. Finally explains that he had something that wasn’t a dream, he would know, but more a vision- it was him sitting in a rocking chair in a dress, and then a small child came around a corner into the room calling him “Mum!”, then he woke up. Michael decides to get Artie as Darcy comforts John. When Michael gives him a hug on leaving, John braces himself for the touch. Michael notices but treats him as he always would, punches his arm lightly.

Michael finds Artie and Lord Arthur on a ride as Pretty, teleports onto Artie’s saddle, startles Artie while Lord Arthur just calmly wishes him a good morning. Michael tells Artie he needs him & turns Damian, also tells him no one’s hurt but it’s still important. Lord Arthur grumbles about no one needing him when they take off. On the way, Michael tells Artie about John’s vision.

Brenda and Troy are on the way to Whitby for a day off when Troy also has a vision. In it, Brenda, with a wedding ring and different clothes, backs away from him in fear. His own voice thanks her for keeping his host alive all these years as he approaches her with his hands on fire.

At the castle, Artie is a bit taken aback by being taken to Michael’s and Darcy’s private rooms, but Michael warns Darcy telepathically that he’s bringing Artie, so she and John can put some clothes on (Michael doesn’t wear any at the moment). Before they enter the room, Artie also has a vision: His father is looking at him with a smile while Damian stands behind his shoulder. Artie is of a height with him, and his father thanks him for bringing him the demon.

Michael notices Artie blanking out and his emotions of terror, with some guilt and incredulous happiness, and Artie tells him of the vision. Michael takes him to the sitting room, where John is wrapped in a blanket, and Darcy for once busy feeding him, and then Arthur, sweets. Artie concludes that the visions obviously aren’t targeted at John, and that the pattern seems to be worst fears. He can’t smell any unusual magic, though, so Michael heads off to the Nexus to ask whether or how someone, like the Pride, could attack through the wards. On his way, he puts some clothes on thanks to the bracelet just before he runs into Seward. While they’re exchanging good mornings, Michael also has a vision, where Seward, older and wearing mourning clothes, slaps him and tells him he “never should have entrusted her to you.”

Troy and Brenda decide to return to the castle to investigate the weirdness, and knock on the door. Artie makes to rise, but Darcy waves him off and goes to answer the door herself. Brenda heads off to the kitchen, while Troy goes to join the Artie and John after exchanging information with Darcy. Brenda throws Darcy by commenting how women are the stronger sex, anyway.

In the Nexus, Michael meets Lynette, who floats in on an umbrella. When she hears of the visions, she gets very excited, and calls it an Aithris Geamhraidh or nadir of winter. She says that they haven’t had one in ages, but then there has been a lack of young people. Michael asks if he needs to slap Lionel for starting this and she notes that he would probably enjoy that, Michael groans “Not another one…” Lynette conveys her hopes that nobody’s going to die before skipping off.

Artie concludes that visions are not of the future, (with some relief) since John’s can’t come true and Troy isn’t a demon, is sure they are related to personal fears.

Michael returns just in time for Darcy to have her first vision, too. She describes Von Gill injecting something into her with the words “Now, be a good girl” while she can feel herself being held easily. Michael shares the information he got from Lynette, but of course can’t spell the Gaelic name for the event. Artie heads off to the library for research, with Darcy sending Troy along to help when he doesn’t seem to know what to do with himself.

Library sends him to history & folklore section, he finds one book that calls event Passage of Winter, and says it’s about overcoming fears and finding yourself, growing up; druidic ritual, people who don’t manage might be human sacrifices; other books mostly various scholars debating on how bloody druidic rituals really were; while they’re in the library, Troy has his second vision: He’s still advancing on Brenda. He tries to wrest control from the demon, but the demon announces he’s going to drain Brenda’s life and tells Troy that he is him, he just has been lying to himself ever since he burned his parents’ house down.

Michael also has his second vision on the way to the library. In it, he ignores Seward, and heads to Darcy’s room. The room is empty, and he feels the silence weigh on him.

When Michael arrives at the library, share information, Artie goes to talk to Robin to see if he knows anything about ritual, Troy goes to check on Brenda, Michael heads back to the Nexus to see if there’s a way to keep Troy’s kids out of it;

Troy and Brenda head out to look after the kids, and decide they might as well have their daily training fight, with the kids cheering them on. Artie meanwhile talks to Robin, who says he isn’t affected, but then he’s only a copy. He knows his father knew about the ritual, but it hadn’t been done in centuries and he doesn’t know any particulars. He wonders if there’s anything to worry about from the noises of the fight, Artie assures him it’s probably just training.

At the Nexus, it’s Lionel who answers this time. When Michael asks him if he’s responsible for this, he says he wish he was, but he doesn’t know, either. When asked for help, he says that would be cheating, and that this is something we have to do by ourselves, he’ll bring the celebration cake himself and mumbles about placing bets. To keep the kids out of it, he recommends getting them off the grounds. On the way back up the stairs, Michael has his third vision: Lucy enters and asks him to make a decision on whether she should “do what she can” for Artie.

As Artie heads back to castle, he has his second vision: this time, Damian is looming over him and saying how he fooled Artie all these years, but Artie keeps his head, tells them that they’re not real, Damian says something like “he’s doing that again” to Artie’s father, but Artie insists he doesn’t believe them, they’re just manifestations of his fears. His father says disappointedly how he thought Artie had grown up, Artie shoots back that apparently he has, referring to the fact that he’s of a height with his father. Damian and his father agree that they’ll change his mind yet, Damian points out how that’s more his wife’s territory. The vision ends and he sits down in the grass to calm down, this is where Michael finds him. He tells Michael about what happened in the vision, Michael is very proud of him. He tells Artie about his own vision, Artie says that in the event, he would probably prefer to die rather than become a vampire, but that he wouldn’t blame Michael if Michael chose otherwise. Michael tells him about taking Troy’s kids off the grounds and they both head towards the sounds.

During the fight, Troy manages to get Brenda into a headlock, then he gets a vision as well. He’s in the same position, but Brenda is passed out. He tries to let go of her or to turn off his fire, insists to the demon possessing him that he would never hurt her. He can’t wrest control from the demon and the demon When Troy snaps out of the vision, he’s on the ground as the real Brenda didn’t realize in time that he was zoned out because of the vision.

When Artie and Michael arrive, Brenda grudgingly agrees to take the kids to Whitby and out of harms way, and they all head back to the castle, as Michael reasons that it would be better if they were all together so they can help each other when the visions happen. Just then, Michael gets a mental cry from Darcy that she needs him, so he grabs Artie and Troy and races for Darcy’s rooms. There they find John unconscious and Seward taking his pulse, Darcy says that John has been in the vision for at least half a minute, he doesn’t look good. Lord Arthur has gotten in position by the window, out of habit watching for threats. John eventually snaps out of it, but doesn’t look good, and Seward says he lost the pulse for a moment. Darcy talks to him quietly, and passes the content on to everyone. She doesn’t give any details, but shares that in the vision, John has an abusive husband.

Michael calls everyone over, including Seward and Lord Arthur, apologizes that we didn’t ask them for advice before, explains we got used to handling things ourselves, but since this is about growing up, asks for advice. Seward and Lord Arthur exchange a look, Lord Arthur makes a comment about how this wasn’t how they dealt with growing up.

Artie, meanwhile, says quietly that, if them snapping out of visions quicker is a sign they’re doing something right, and John taking longer meaning he’s doing something wrong, if we could find out what exactly John did it might help with figuring out how to deal with things, but he realizes that’s very insensitive to ask. In the middle of the conversation, he feels another vision starting, manages to say “Oh for fuck’s sake” in front of everyone before being in it… This time, Damian and Artie’s father shake their heads and vanish from the room, and an older version of Darcy enters through a door and sashays towards Artie. She tells him that he likes her. He can feel her messing with his mind and he’s affected by her but tells her he likes the real her. She runs her fingers over his crossed arms and forces his wrists against a wall behind him.

He snaps back out of it. Everyone is looking at him to tell them what happened, and he asks to speak to Michael in private. He tells Michael about the vision, without actually putting Darcy’s approach into words beyond “she was doing the vampire thing” and “you know!”, which Michael interprets correctly. Michael is evasive as well when he tells everyone else, just says something about a threat, but Darcy blushes and Seward looks dismayed while Lord Arthur bites back a smirk, so everyone drew the right conclusion.

As they are debating how to best solve this they decide that it might be about teamwork, as all of them notice that they tend to be alone in their visions. John is the one who has dream powers so they ask him to try to break into a vision, maybe even get the others in. John agrees despite being clearly shaken, Darcy wants to advice caution but just then is pulled into her next vision. Michael and John rush into action, with Michael managing to see through her eyes into the vision and John actually breaking into the vision. However, he can not see von Gill, who shoots him in front of Michael’s and Darcy’s eyes.

While Darcy is coming to screaming, the “dads” break back into the room. Seward and Artie are doing their best to tend to John, who is unresponsive but still alive.

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Whitby Vandals 43: Look what the cat dragged in ... a battery!
25th November + 26th November

When Michael pops into the Master bedroom after he made sure that Arthur is well asleep he finds Darcy asleep over something

As he puts his arms under her to pick her up he notices that she was working on his old teddy bear through the night, prompting another rush of love from him

As Darcy can smell that it is Michael she does not wake up as he puts her to bed and Pretty snuggles up to her while keeping an ear open for Arthur waking up to immediately teleport over when he does

Arthur writes a note to Darcy for Michael as they prepare to leave and Michael positions it in front of her with a rose

When Troy asks though if he should stay behind to guard the still asleep Darcy Michael pauses and grumbles about not wanting to force her to potentially having to talk to somebody, but then Arthur valiantly offers to stay behind and look after Darcy

As much as Michael is annoyed at letting Arthur get away from going to Duke Stark’s he leaves Arthur behind while bringing the battery over to Stark’s townhouse

Michael delivers the battery to two poor servants who in contrast to him struggle with carrying it

Tony is delighted to hear the details of the investigation and insists on them coming for dinner tonight

When Darcy wakes up she finds herself in bed, the teddy propped up on Michael’s pillow and a sweet not in front of her

She notices Artie being in the other room and teddy in hand approaches. Artie is for a moment surprised at her being shy about having fixed it but reassures her that Michael definitely appreciates it

The two of them already dread the social event of the evening so they decide the use the remaining quiet time to huddle up on each side of the couch and silently read next to each other

When Michael returns he mentions that with anybody else he would suspect the silent reading to be a coverup for something else done on the couch five minutes ago, garnering him a glare from Artie

Darcy is pouting about him having ruined her surprise but he is giving her a genuine smile of happiness and she brightens up immediately

To while the day away, Michael suggests to drop Arthur at the library and to take Darcy to the Museum of Natural History

At first, Darcy is a bit reluctant out of fear of the people there but the boys tell her it will be empty so she decides to go after all and has no problems at all when Michael invites Troy to come along

Arthur happily digs himself in at the library while the others go on to the museum

Darcy ends up reading the small tags out aloud for Michael, who sometimes notices that his vision goes double and the letters have stopped again to move to his delight

Darcy is making a bad habit out of pointing out every single creature that is labelled to live in France to Troy and to ask him if he has seen that one back in France himself

At one point Michael has to move Darcy out of harm’s way as a young, blond woman rushes past them, nearly colliding with Darcy and not even fully stopping to apologize before running on

When Troy stops at a display of butterflies for a longer moment Darcy comes over to ask him about it and he confesses that his mother really liked these

Hearing that Darcy surprises and stuns Troy by musing if they maybe could import some butterflies to keep in a greenhouse so he feels more at home

He doesn’t quite know what to say as he feels he is imposing on her more than anything, not being at home, but she interjects that she might just as well have him stay there, maybe even hire on Brenda as the cook, if he would just finally get to making her a respectable woman

Michael is doing his best not to grin at his wife’s typical antics

Troy, still somewhat flabbergasted, wants to bring up the treasure hunt as the setup for anything further with Brenda but remembers that Darcy wants to surprise Michael so he pulls her aside

Darcy knows how good Michael’s ears are so she tells him to go to the next room before she is convinced he won’t be able to hear anything

Michael, of course, tries to listen in on the private conversation via the newly found sense-sharing, which leads Troy to point out Darcy’s eye colour shift and she chews out Michael mentally for trying to listen in, no matter that he only got visual contact. Michael sulks off and it takes him a whole minute to get distracted

Troy is trying to tell Darcy that while he really appreciates all her help he feels that it isn’t really his ideas about how to talk to Brenda anymore, which Darcy sees no issue with as she insists that she is only trying to give him the support he needs to get to Brenda alone

Having concluded their talk and Darcy starting to be slightly concerned about being seen publicly away from her husband she goes off to find him. In the next room, Michael is surrounded by kids and the younger nannies are looking over at him with giggles. Darcy walks right into their middle with the comment: “I hope my husband is not giving you any trouble.” They curtsy furiously and quickly grab their kids to get away from the noble lady

Michael can feel the prey obsession in Darcy subsiding as he comes over to her and quickly soothes her with a hand kiss while they walk off to reunite with Artie

Arthur is reading Stevenson when they come pick him up

Darcy is going to convince the library to allow Arthur to set up a distance account, while Michael helps Artie bring books back

There markedly are two types of books again, the ones Darcy could see and then several more scientific looking ones. When Michael inquires what Artie is researching now he is clearly not giving the full answer, but Michael just tells him it’s fine, he can tell him when he’s ready

Back at the hotel, Darcy is stalling for time before the dinner by fuzzing over outfits and every single tiny little detail until Michael insists they get going

As per usual, the moment Darcy gets going with the evening conversation she actually is starting to enjoy herself and is stealing the spotlight with her charm

Poor Artie is getting rather uncomfortable at even Darcy partaking in the risky, but always just about appropriate, bantering going on at the dinner table. Michael notices and steers the conversation a tad more safe

At one point, Darcy doesn’t notice that she slipped in a Tony-dear and Arthur can only just barely keep a straight face

In the kitchens Troy basically got adopted by the cook who is fending of the maids to preserve their honour

When Tony is sending them off he remarks they really should get a townhouse to come in for the season, he’d be delighted to introduce them to high society and Darcy, in her panic about that prospect, diverts attention by stating that she might be too taken with her duties as a wife and baroness, but she does have an eligible younger brother …

That is one of the few moments Arthur actually considers fireballing her.

Once the carriage doors have closed though, Artie is getting his vindication by Michael teasing Darcy about the “Tony-dear” which leads to her realising what she did and bursting into fog

At the groanable pun of “Precious, please, pull yourself together” Darcy’s wife instincts compel her to rematerialize, just to glare at Michael.

Some more bantering and it actually being Arthur who points out that Michael was flirting with Tony as well, which totally went over Darcy’s head, later they arrive back at the train, which Michael thoughtfully had prebooked and instructed the hotel to bring their luggage.
Arriving late at night, Troy sneaks into bed next to Brenda rather than waking her

Michael decides to simply grab Darcy and administer the promised “home edition” of bars
And Arthur happily pets Katarina before falling asleep

In the morning, Artie has two cats curled up on him but he grabs his, to protest from Pretty, and gets up for breakfast

Michael returns back to Darcy, who has in his absence grabbed possessively onto John, and the three of them settle in for some more snoozing

Michael and Darcy’s slow morning gets cut short by John bolting upright in bed, screaming.

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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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