“Black magic operates most effectively in preconscious, marginal areas. Casual curses are the most effective.” – William S. Burroughs
Neal stakes out Coffer at the police station. Coffer tends not to work with a partner, and started towards an unmarked car on his own. Neal went to his own car and waited, but after several minutes noticed that the car hadn’t moved — he might have gone into the car and out the other side. At that point Neal noticed Coffer trying to casually make his way over to Neal’s car, so Neal drives off.
MaxXx calls Spider to ask about her sire. He says he isn’t sure, but he hanging out in a graveyard with his crew. She asks him about where he stands, and he gets nervous, not wanting to talk over the phone. They agree to meet at the Warehouse. She reassures him that “If you hear gunshots, don’t worry about it.”
The rest of the coterie prepare for a busy Saturday night while MaxXx waits for Spider. Andy Andy tries to give DJ Gray a night off, but he’s worried about fading too fast, so they agree to having Gray do a secret set at 1a.m. for about 15 minutes.
As Gray is preparing his set, Henry Thurston arrives at the club and approaches him as a fellow Toreador. Henry asks about the rumors of the events of the previous evening, and offers his help and services. DJ Gray is a little concerned about the questions, and Andy Andy swoops in to try and save him from the awkward conversation, only to make it more awkward. Henry tries to explain that he is also a stage magician, and offers to provide his services. Andy Andy and DJ Gray get insulted, and the conversation becomes heated until Andy Andy offers him a job as a barback. Henry agrees, and Neal, Andy Andy, and DJ Gray talk about hazing policies for the coterie. They admit that they don’t know much about Henry, and Andy Andy is concerned about who he is.
Meanwhile, MaxXx and Spider head to a private office to talk about Gaz. Spider admits that Gaz isn’t loyal to the Cam and has been running his mouth a lot, but isn’t sure he’s a full-blown Anarch. He talks about the fine line between rebellion and full-blown chaos in vampire society. Spider’s also concerned about Jonathan’s emphasis on the Brujah clan, and what that means. MaxXx lets Spider know that Jonathan’s clamping down on the racing because he thinks Gaz is using it to recruit Anarchs. Spider hasn’t heard anything about this, but promises to look into it.
Jay arrives late to the Warehouse and sees an unknown vampire behind the bar. He asks the coterie about it, which starts the fight about Henry up again. DJ Gray leaves to do his secret set, while the rest of the coterie take Henry to the VIP room to talk to him. MaxXx recognizes Henry’s name, and Googles him to learn that he’s a vaudville magician from the end of the 19th century.
Henry is a little evasive, but the coterie talk to him extensively about his background. He admits that he’s looking for his sire, Elanor Karlstein, which none of the Kindred have heard of. He also admits to killing a few mortals for food and stashing them in an abandoned warehouse nearby. As a magician, he performs a card trick, and they ask him some occult questions (such as the reference to “cleansing fire”) which Henry answers.
The coterie decides to get word to Simone (so she doesn’t destroy him as an unacknowledged vampire) and present him to the Prince. Neal calls Simone, and she agrees to swing by and see “the vampire intern”, while Neal agrees to make Henry dispose of the bodies.
Meanwhile, Billie G calls Andy Andy with a gig at Rapture next Friday for $1,000. They talk over the offer and haggle with Billie G a bit, but ultiamtely agree to $1,000 and co-promotion. Andy Andy mentions that the owner of Rapture is a woman named Shannon Morgan, who is likely a vampire. With that, they decide to go to Rapture to see if they can catch Joey Naples.
At Rapture, they meet Ivan Leonard, the Toreador caretaker of Rapture who is overly flowery and yearns to be a Harpy. He mentions that Joey is present and wants to meet with them, and after a few moments they go to meet him in his booth.
Joey asks about Erik, and they tell him the story. They mention Coffer, and Joey tells them that Coffer used to work for Mr. Petrovsky. He tells them that he’s trying to reclaim his own police interests in the aftermath of Petrovsky’s demise, and that he’ll have his pawns call one of their ghouls when he has something. When they give the information they have on Coffer’s movements and he clarifies a few points, he tells them that they have an “infestation” of hunters. As domain holders they have a little bit of leeway, but he tells them that it’s also a domain matter, so they’ll need to pick someone to work with him. MaxXx volunteers, and he makes her a deputy. They also ask about Gaz, and Joey tells them that Gaz is a “person of interest”.
After that, they call it a night and head back to their respective havens to rest.
Sunday night, they reconvene at The Warehouse. Elliotte has a message: “Michael Coffer going to service tonight.” She doesn’t know what it means, but they quickly find out that St. Augustine’s has a midnight mass, which is probably what it means. The coterie considers going to get the bodies left by Henry, but decide to wait until later in the night.
They start to plan on how they’ll go to the midnight mass to spy on Coffer. Henry points out that he’s the person least likely to be recognized, and they agree to send him into the church with his cellphone in a conference call to the rest of the coterie while a separate group (Neal and Jay) attempts to break into his car and a third (Gray, Andy, and MaxXx) keep surveillance.
Henry gets to the church, and sees Coffer sitting with an older man in the same pew. He takes a pew two or three behind them. He can’t quite hear them (as they are talking very softly during the service) and tries to lipread, only getting a few words here and there.
Meanwhile, Jay breaks into the car. He can feels the hate emanating from the vehicle, and gets an image of the car driving Petrovsky’s neighborhood during one of the more hateful moments. Inside the car has clutter (such as discarded fast food wrappers), but nothing of value or note is left behind. The only thing he can find are some maps of Cleveland and a Google map printout to Petrovsky’s haven dated four months ago. There’s also a shelf for holding a laptop in the car, but the laptop itself is missing. Jay gets the sense that he is very careful about taking information. He closes the car back up and goes back to Neal.
Back in the church, the parishioners get up to take communion. Henry notices the older man wearing silk gloves, and he prays in Latin when taking the wine and bread. Henry takes the wine after him, and his lips burn as he tries to drink from the chalice. He manages to cover his inability to eat and his burning lips, and casually follows them outside.
Both Henry and Jay overhear the two men talking outside. They managed to hear Coffer asking why they can’t “go now.” The old man advises caution, and says “I know better than many. They’re looking for you now.” Jay also catches a reference to “knowing the cleansing fire.” Coffer heads back to a car, while the old man walks a few blocks away to catch a public bus. Neal and Jay decide to follow the bus.