Molly Requests the Assistance of Elder Linden
Molly Auldington | Esau Linden | Septimus Radclyff; February-March, 2010
Letter: Molly Auldington to Esau Linden; February, 2010
It is with some trepidation which I disturb a man of your considerable stature and standing. I am not one typically so impetuous as to directly ask the attention of my betters. Unfortunately, the matter with which I am now dealing is somewhat grave, and within the realm of enlightened interest for the general well being of all kindred.
There has been a breach of the Masquerade - a direly serious one. It involves the FBI accessing, among other things, the audiovisual security system of the Elysium during the night of a Court of New York as well as a myriad of other individual (though smaller) events. You have likely heard of New York's evacuation - this was in response to this breach, as all kindred who attended the Elysium (which included not only Camarilla kindred but also the majority of New York's Independents and Anarchs) were tracked after this point and many havens had been compromised.
I exclude details only for purposes of brevity and not asking any more of your valued attention than is necessary. If you wish me to elaborate on the details I am at your disposal to do so.
Investigation into the breach has turned up that there seems to be an actual group of FBI agents who are involved in this kindred "research." My knowledge, unfortunately, is primarily at the ground level - though I continue to press for additional information. Contained within this letter are artist renderings and names of three agents who are involved with the tracking of the New York kindred.
Hacking at a lion's tail is obviously inclined to do nothing other than rouse its anger. What I seek now is an understanding of the scope and severity of the breach as well as well as perhaps some comprehension of what ends they may have been pressing towards (was this an inquisition, or merely an inquiry?).
I have heard that you may be someone of the capability to assist me in answering these questions, and was wondering what might be arranged to facilitate such. I can be contacted most expediently via either my D.C. PO Box or via a temporary phone at 555-222-3333.
My deepest thanks for your consideration.
Molly Auldington, childe of Julia Auldington
Letter: Septimus Radclyff to Molly Auldington; February 20, 2010
"To the Cherished Miss Auldington,
My apologies that you have found need of my Sire's Sire in a matter requiring such immediate action. He is a creature that works on a different scale of time, and while he understood well the gravity of the situation you related to him, his nature is such that it only permits me to give you his response now, after he has made what an extended survey of the situation and checked what portents he considers may relate to it.
My elder Linden is, as you have ascertained, one well in the know of the inner-workings of his city of residence, and he permits me to write to you that he has passing knowledge of the group you've made mention of. Although I am instructed to relate to you that attempting to pry too much farther into their affairs will undoubtedly draw their attention, given the nature of what they are, and that it will furthermore will likely also draw attention from the esteemed sovereign of this Domain, which we believe that you will wish to avoid, given your history and whom you've chosen to contact.
The magnitude of what has transpired, however, obviously calls for drastic measures, and now that the truth behind the diaspora is made known to us, it seems that a course must be taken. My grandsire has therefore spent many long evenings in contemplation of what should be done and what should be advised. This news, you see, comes on the tail of other news which has less import to you, no doubt, but is of immeasurable importance to our Clan - and your report has opened avenues for our minds to wander down that point us to dark places indeed.
While the threat of a second inquisition is something that none can take lightly, the realization of the Special Affairs Division's impact on New York has given life to fears about the recent disappearance of a Malkavian elder who last was seen in your city - one Geoff of Bath - who has for the past eight centuries held the title of "Rasa" amongst our brethren. I cannot articulate the full force of that title to one such as you who is outside of the blood, nor can I explain the significance of the artifact he lays claim to. These things, hidden even from me, are topics which give my progenitor pause and stir within him a great fear, greater even, I think, than the fear of what you have uncovered. If the Rasa has fallen to these mortals in some way, the consequences for the Clan of the Moon are difficult to measure.
It was with this in mind that my elder has bound himself to your cause so quickly, and he gives you promise that so long as you will swear yourself to the investigation of the Rasa and his location, he will assist you in finding what he can regarding the SAD and disrupting them as far as he can. You must understand, however, that taking his aid in this pursuit means that you will commit yourself to this lost elder's recovery with the whole of your abilities as soon as you are able, even if he is fast within the clutches of those we are hunting. Linden, therefore gives you freely this knowledge. Having it requires no boon on your part. Using it, however, will imply your agreement to our terms.
The Special Affairs Division is compartmentalized from the rest of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and information within it is not shared with other branches of the government. It reports back to the FBI proper every five years, at which point the head of this department makes a judgement call as to what to communicate about it's findings. The next scheduled report is sometime in 2012, if their procedures have not changed within the past three years.
While we have no easy means of uncovering what the unit stationed in New York is aware of, we suspect that their project head has likely not fully disclosed their findings to the SAD as a whole, as several members of this court have their fingers in the goings on of the unit stationed here, and would have likely detected a change in protocol if such a breach were communicated back to them.
Linden believes that it is this shield of ignorance that helps to protect the organization. The individual cells of investigators compartmentalize who knows what such as to minimize interference from supernatural inquiries. This, however, means that they are often very slow to act save in the case of an emergency, and that when emergency's occur, the rapidly shared knowledge leaves them vulnerable.
I will go further to relate some things less immediately *palpable* that my elder wishes me to relate. I warn you, however, that their interpretation is indefinite. He mentions that in looking for the threads which connect to your problem, he has roundabout been led to a garden by the strand he chose to wind, and that in this garden there was a tree branching in the four cardinal directions.
The North branch was dead, and bore nothing of note, but when he looked in the direction it pointed he saw a serpent moving towards the horizon. The westmost branch was leaned to the ground, and it's branches were obscured by fallen leaves. The southern branch was laden with fruit which had begun to rot on the vine. The east-pointed branch had one bright star-shaped flower on it, and when he touched himself to it, it burnt his skin like the sun.
This is all he would have me say to you, although he asserts there was more to the revelation.
If this information pleases you, childe of Julia Auldington, and you would help us to recover what we fear lost, my Honorable elder claims he will at intervals to have more to speak of - and that should you give the word, he shall have forces ready to rally with yours. My elder is Well-Connected in this Domain and has long known many people entwined in the secrets of the city. He and I await announcement of your course of action.
Childe of the late Artemesia Holland,
Childe of Esau Linden
Letter: Molly Auldington to Septimus Radclyff; March 9, 2010
To the most Loyal Mr. Radclyff,
I am honored that your Grandsire has seen fit to grant me with so prompt a response and give my humble thanks for yourself in taking the task of corresponding on his behalf. I also appreciate the consideration both of you have paid me in your candidness.
In gratitude for this, as well as an understanding of gravity of the situations now which we face I will endeavor to be equally forthcoming.
To add some illumination to this situation I must first make mention of some general background on New York before it's abandonment: New York, during the time Rasa was present there, was a city filled with mostly neonate kindred whom by the standards of those of classical mind were essentially uneducated. Most Kindred in the domain lacked the background knowledge to even be able to grasp the basest meanings of Rasa's words, as he would often speak very much as a venerable Kindred of his era. I do not exaggerate regarding the city's failings. During his brief time holding Princeship of New York Rasa made use of a translator during Court in order to ensure that his meaning was properly understood by the assembled. It was necessary. At times, when he spoke of older things which his translator (the Malkavian Anarch Cassandra - I believe a neonate herself) did not have familiarity, I had to step in to explain. Such is the youth of the city.I can only envision that it was in light of this poor field of options that he decided to initiate with me politically. Truly, I can only speculate, as I do not know entirely even why he took interest in the city itself. My endeavor within the city, prior to this graver Masqurade Breach of the highest order taking precedence, was to try to stabilize New York. Perhaps Rasa knew this, perhaps he had other motives I cannot understand - regardless, we spoke sometimes at fair length and for reasons I may never fully appreciate he opted to involve me in many regards with his endeavors in the city. Though I will say this makes perhaps more sense when you realize how entangled in its affairs I was already prior to his arrival due to my attempts to right the teetering ship of its politics.
While I lay no claim to any true understanding of the significance you speak of in regards to Rasa, I may at least see the space in which that understanding would reside. You mention holding of title for the past eight centuries - I am aware of the date of his Embrace by Seren (or a public version of such history), he has spoken with me some regarding his Masters, and I have heard rumors of elders of the Moon protecting him even as a young embrace. I am likely either somewhat better informed than you would anticipate or as misinformed as you may expect, depending on whether the information I have received was intended as guile.
Regarding your offer: I cannot trade my life for Rasa's for I have oaths I must attend. Nor would I be willing to violate my honor. However, the task you set before me does not seem it would come to conflict with these things, and I suspect that my willingness for risk will outstripe that of your elder regardless of oaths. Also, my skills have never been so useful in direct confrontation as they are with investigation and the pen, and he asks an oath meaning the very nature of the restrictions I mention are what your sire hopes to bind me by, so I can only imagine that he foresaw these conditions. Within these bounds I would agree to give oath to peruse the discovery of Rasa's fate and location and in striving to recover him should he be currently waylaid in exchange for your Elder's sincere assistance in this matter. I trust that your Sire will be able to say whether or not this is sufficient - and I will await your response to such so as to avoid any possibility of misunderstanding.
Regardless, I will tell you now of what I know: I do not know why Rasa opted to take interest in New York, nor what his true plans were, but I know that he seemed to strive as I had to stabilize the city, which led me to tentatively consider him an ally. During Wright's reign the city came to a point of crisis and Wright was unavailable. The city had no Seneschal, and there was no obvious official leadership. Rasa then stepped in and declared Praxis. To complete his declaration he called former Prince Wright via cellphone and declared his intentions. Wright was (per discussion with him) in the middle of a battle with the Sabbat at the time. Wright was convinced not to attempt to resume leadership (he had never really wanted it anyway). It struck me given the situation, and Rasa's earlier desire to push me toward the throne (despite my obvious lack of qualifications and the clear challenges of a Lasombra prince in a recently contested city... the mere suggestion I think will give you an idea how desperate the situation truly was...) that he really did not want the position at all. It seemed that he only stepped up to take it at a time where failure to have some leader likely would have resulted in severe distress.
This is why when Niklaus von Metternich later declared Praxis, and Rasa disappeared, it did not seem too foreboding to me. Rasa had been absent from court on a few occasions and Niklaus indicated that he had called him and declared Praxis to him in repetition of how Rasa had done so to Wright - as matter of returning the slight bestowed upon his Clanmate. Also, I suspect Niklaus objected to Rasa's declaration that he intended to try to re-educate the neonates of New York on the Roads. Bloodless coups and power transitions are a stunningly common theme in New York.
Unfortunately, there are other stunningly common themes in New York - such as deaths and disappearances being very common, and dangerous creatures in the street. Were I to speculate that he has fallen to ill I have a longer list of threats than merely SAD - and this is to ignore the obvious possibility of any enemies he may have had using the cover of New York's chaos to take action. I cannot, however, conclusively say you are incorrect either. The report I have included with this letter is of a contained young Tzimisce neonate whom somehow managed to escape the SAD facility and is currently running rampant about New York (the city is dealing with it) but it provides evidence of what it seems you already knew - that SAD does in fact keep kindred captive for "research" purposes. The report shows a chilling picture of how deep this breach has gone.
By this understanding, the last person to have spoken with Rasa would be Niklaus - whom I will relay to you a rumor I have heard that he, also, has disappeared. He was to report on the Breach which is of my concern to the Exalted Justicar Paschek per a conversation he had with me. In my follow up I discovered that he did not do this - and he does not seem to me a man likely to back down from such a task out of hesitation or fear. It is not inconceivable of course that my information is bad - but if so then I think only Paschek himself could be responsible for the guile - which would not bode well for Niklaus.
The other obvious contact I have for Rasa would be the Anarch Cassandra (or this was what she went by, I strongly doubt it was her real name), whom he seemed to feel some kinship to. She has also passed - but in this I know by whose hand and if it is related that would be a truly great scheme indeed.
I have already tried some of the more recent contact methods Rasa put in place and discovered (unsurprisingly) that he seems to no longer be checking them. Upon receipt of agreement I will go about checking common method of egress from the city - though I realize I may well be following along the same paths you have already trod.
I do these things in thanks for that which has been provided, and out of respect for the gravity of the matter.
To respond to your comment regarding the most esteemed Sovereign of DC: verily I assure you I have no desire to put myself in conflict with him. Truthfully, when we look upon those responsibilities I have already acquired -even including only those which you are now aware- I think you will see that it is a heavy burden to yolk upon the shoulders of a youth such as myself. I can think of few things I would need less than to find myself becoming entangled in additional rivalries so above my ken. On the other hand, that such an organization as SAD exists so completely within his sphere of influence is also quite troubling - and if he opts to lash out at me for striving to clean up a breach of the Masquerade involving a nation-sponsored military/police organization - one which arguably involves those who should have been under his sway I can only hope that my elders will see which of us moves more to their interests and the interests of the Camarilla as a whole.
I thank you very much for sharing a portrait of so great a vision. I can only endeavor to apply my feeble faculties towards the understanding of its meaning. At this time its wisdom remains obscure to me, either through my failings or my lack of context, but I will strive to fully appreciate its meanings.
I await your response, though as is likely evidenced by this letter in attempts to save time I am striding ahead. Both Rasa's trail and this breach require swift attention. Thank you once again for your consideration on these matters.
Molly Elizabeth Rosalind Auldington, childe of Julia Auldington
Letter: Septimus Radclyff to Molly Auldington; March 11, 2010
To the Cherished Miss Auldington,
It was with great joy that my Honorable elder received your letter detailing your knowledge of Rasa, and with great disappointment that he heard you could not wholly commit yourself to his safety.
Though saddened that you cannot understand the necessity with which we seek Geoff of Bath, even that which you have given us offers new insight and hope. He will speak with his contacts on this matter. My elder Linden thanks you for your cooperation in this, and tells me he will provide such assistance as he is able. Though we regret we cannot yet fully turn our attention to your own grave concerns, we will assist such as time and opportunity allows.
While still dire, this news does much to calm our spirits, though there is still much to be done. He and I will continue our investigation, and await your next letter.
Childe of the late Artemesia Holland,
Childe of Esau Linden