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The Aesthetics of Faith

Carl "Pangloss" Davidson | Danny J. Simons | Love Cassandra Goodchild | Rasa; April 7 - May 4, 2009


Danny J. Simons; April 7, 2009



((Goal: I am talking to my Met contacts to find out if Zappelphillip has put any kind of explosives in the museum.))

Danny calls hir contacts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to ask if there has been any suspicious activity in the museum of late. Sie's heard some unsettling rumors, sie says, and wants to make sure the right people can be called in if something really is wrong.

Sie asks if they've had any new items delivered within the last few months, or if the staff has witnessed any strange activity among the patrons. Sie requests that someone check out any new items to make sure nothing is making noises it shouldn't and confirm that there are no obvious fakes or pranks snuck in among the artwork.

Danny also speaks with the guy who watches the security cameras and asks him to go through the tapes from the past two months, looking for a specific patron: a short, creepy, somewhat menacing Asian guy wearing a sweater vest and a bow tie, probably with a brown plaid newsboy hat. Does the guy appear at all? If so, what's he doing? Does he linger in any particular exhibits?

If they've seen anything at all, Danny requests that they please keep this information quiet - it would just alarm the patrons, and nobody wants the Met to lose business over a minor security breach. Instead, they should:

  • Report directly to Danny - sie knows some specialists who can take care of everything, sie says.

  • Close off any exhibits with suspicious items, especially if they're exhibiting bomb-like characteristics - ticking, etc.

  • Do a thorough search of any areas the guy in the sweater vest seemed to favor, to make sure he didn't leave anything behind.

Influence Response:

A security camera footage search shows that, perhaps - this man has been in the museum once, during late March. The footage is only of two-three minutes of someone who matches the description, as there are probably few short, menacing Asian men wandering around dressed in sweater vests and bow ties. The man seems preoccupied with his thoughts, and fiddles with his headphones and mp3 player frequently.

He lingers by a painting, which the guard identifies for you as "The Sacrifice of Isaac." The camera blacks out for a moment here - perhaps 10, 15 seconds, but it seems that the man hasn't moved or shifted at all as he continues to look at the painting. "Technical problem, I guess," the guard remarks.


Love Cassandra Goodchild; April 20, 2009


Goal: Cassandra/Columna will act as support in any endeavors that Rasa and Pangloss undertake regarding Zappelphillip. The current course of action as outline with John and Ivan was that Rasa will attempt to probe him through the network, whilst Pangloss will attempt to Telepathically scan his mind for information on Sabbat activity and possible backup plans/horrible problems/dead man's switches.

Presumably under Rasa's oversight and with Pangloss' help, Columna cleans the blood from Zappelphillip (hopefully ferreting some away into a Gerber baby food jar such as that Pansy has insurance if things go horribly horribly awry), changes his clothing, searches him for bombs and bad things, and generally keeps watch to make sure that nothing terribly bad happens. Eyes of Chaos is used at Rasa's direction if she needs to look at the bigger picture. Total Insanity is used in utter and complete absolute emergencies where she conceivably might think it would help.

Influence Response:

What you discover on Zappelphillip's body:

  • A set of headphones

  • Money totaling to $23.95

  • A fake ID (Frank Xu)

  • Several containers of powders of varying color

  • A coil of magnesium ribbon

  • A hastily scrawled note reading "the third movement"

  • A set of keys

  • A small tooth on a string

  • Something that looks suspiciously like a detonator


Danny J. Simons; April 20, 2009



((GOAL: Danny is trying to get some more information about the painting that Zappelphilip seemed to like before going to look at it hirself.))

Danny calls hir guy at the Met again and asks him to have one of the museum's experts go look at Tiepolo's Sacrifice of Isaac - don't touch the painting or try to move it, just look to see if anything about its location has been changed or if the painting has been tampered with. The expert should have one of the security personnel with him, just in case. They should keep an eye out specifically for the following:

  • Has the frame been altered or damaged?

  • Is the painting askew, as if replaced on the wall in a hurry?

  • Are there any wires visible around the painting? If they try to look behind the painting without moving it, can they see anything out of the ordinary?

  • Can they detect any sort of abnormal odor - gunpowder-y or otherwise - in the area?

If they see anything at all that worries them, Danny advises, they should quietly cordon off the area so that the painting won't be touched, but try not to call attention to it. Sie says that sie will stop by soon to check it out and confirm that everything is under control.

((OOC NOTE: Danny is planning to swing by the Met on Friday night, probably with Cassandra in tow, to check out the painting in person. I want to run this during game instead of by influences in order to avoid accidentally getting killed because she poked something the wrong way between games.))

Influence Response:

One of the curators examines the painting. He is able to tell you that it has been moved slightly, but sometimes paintings are moved all the time. The curator isn't able to detect anything else out of the ordinary - no strange odors, no gunpowdery smell. As per your advice, no one has touched it.

The painting is cordoned off. There is a sign placed by it - "In Progress of Restoration" although anyone with enough of the relevant Academics background can tell that there's nothing wrong with the painting. A guard is placed near the painting to ensure that there is no tampering.


Carl "Pangloss" Davidson; April 20, 2009


2. Fix Zappelphilip, preferably without Rasa eating him
3. Find out Zappelphilip's backstory.

Pangloss takes part in the Zappelphilip reformation campaign. He's not really in favor of the whole 'let Rasa eat Phil' thing that seems to be the plan, but in general, he'll follow Rasa's lead. If Zappelphilip wants to keep living, Pangloss isn't about to push him to make the big leap into BEING EATEN BY ELDER MALKAVIANS AS PART OF THE ONE TRUE PATH.

First though, Pangloss will be probing Zappelphilip's mind in search of horrible Sabbat plans to make things explode.

If he has time though, Pangloss will also probe Zappelphilip's mind in search of miscellaneous things; opinions, favorite color, reasons to like him, explanations of why the hell he is such a f***ing psycho, and general points of interest/anecdotes. Does/did he have a family? How the hell did he fall in with the Sabbat?

Influence Response:

1. Zappelbombs. As far as you and he know, there are no more professional explosives left in the city... so no big bang. There is a lab of sorts where Zappelphillip lived out of to manufacture all of these homebrew ingredients. There are also all sorts of hidey-holes that contain stashes of explosives. These are wired to go off if you don't know exactly what to do. One last thing - there is one more Sabbat member in the city of Polyclef. He's been left with instructions to guard a particular location.

2. Zappelphillip's mind is rather undisciplined and unorganized.Delving into the mind of Zappelphillip is like unfolding a five-dimensional childrens' singing pop-up book. It's filled with memories of childhood, delusions of grandeur, a cacaphony of voices and music, and most of all - a sheer emptiness at the core of his being.

There is a memory that unfolds itself - a young Phillip, struggling. He is impatient. He cannot wait. He cannot speak. He simply cannot. His parents are blurs within his memory - ominous figures that tell him he must succeed.

There is a memory that unfolds itself - an older Phillip, lying on a stained mattress (without sheets, of course), staring at the water-stained ceiling. The room is silent, except for the hum of the fan as it feebly attempts to circulate the humid air around the room. The sky outside is grey.

There is a memory that unfolds itself - a song plays in the background - soft female vocals, down-tempo. Vienna. A lighter flickers in the room - it is dark outside. The flame is used to heat a needle. The movements of faith, and the meaning of self-destruction - emptiness, freedom and fate, solitude, and the warm release of pain. He repeats the plunging of the needle into his skin until a pattern has been carved in the left side of his chest, right below the collarbone.

There is a memory that unfolds itself - an extension cord hangs from the ceiling. A noose is being tied. Soft piano plays in the background... a violin? One-two-three-one-two-three-one-two, one-two-three-one-two-three-one-two... And older Phillip has decided to hang himself. Blissful unconsciousness dominates the slow pain of strangulation - death has come to visit, as the ultimate release...

There is a memory that unfolds itself - the world is absurdity. The world must be shown its absurdity. Like a flower it slowly blooms and each step of destruction leads into enlightenment. The fact that I still exist means there is another dimension to unfold to the clear nothingness.


Rasa; April 24, 2009


Summary: With Zappelphilip captured, Rasa and the Anarchavians settle into passively perceiving him. Rasa focuses himself on Zappelphilip's connection to the network: his goals, the nature of his madness, what he hopes to achieve. Rasa also oversees Pangloss' more mundane investigations, though this is more just to ensure that the political needs of the domain are kept up. Especially important: Zappelphilip isn't unstaked yet!

After Zappelphilip was brought to the basement secured by the prince, Rasa was ready to begin accepting him. First, it was his scent, that nose lingering over each piece of Zappel, fingers lifting up his hair to catch the slightest wiff of even day old dead skin that had been left by the embrace. Then, touch. To feel his face, the fingers that danced with a mad genius, creating compositions that transcended the musical. On behalf of his masters, Rasa huddled close, exploring every inch of the wayward Malkavian's form. So too did he stare and lather with his tongue, drawing in the sight of his new composer, from every angle and every perspective.

It was all in preparation, like dew collecting on a spider's web. Knowing the strands, seeing how they connected, Rasa threw himself into trying to know the least of Philip's dreams, until he provided his true self. Yet, it was too early for that... as Zapplephilip slumbered, and Pangloss searched him for earthly concerns. He just wished to be able to welcome Phil correctly when he finally arose, ready to put the last marks on his ceremony.

Influence Response:

The cold spring snows that dance through the colors of the seasons - white brown green gold red. The echoes and waves of sea reflecting oblivion. The compulsions which arise from the crescendos of particular phrases - sera por ti I live here on my knees das wandern the aesthetics of faith we are only human, only human - and the elegance of particular chords. These are all signs to point the way - the movement of faith, the ascension of the tower, for ascension and destruction are one in the same...

The mind becomes carved by reality. Insanity is carved by perception which is carved by insanity. The scars of flesh are found to be insufficient. We carve scars in our mind so we may never forgive and never forget.


Love Cassandra Goodchild; May 4, 2009


Listen to the Zappelmix on the Zappelpod. One Zappelearbud for me. One Zappelearbud for Pangloss.

Influence Response:

Party Shuffle mode engaged.

  • Massive Attack - Teardrop

  • Oblivion - Astor Piazzolla

  • Belanova - Por Ti

  • Schubert - Die Liebe Farbe

  • Liszt - Consolations no. 3

  • Vienna Teng - Eric's Song

  • Avril Lavigne - Complicated

  • Mozart - Lacrimosa

  • TI featuring Rihanna - Live Your Life

  • Debussy - Clair de Lune

The iPod's batteries die as the last song finishes.

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