:: The strains of Elgar‘s “Pomp and Circumstance” come from Buchanan’s Sat-Phone. Recognising the pre-programmed ring-tone, he answers and waits for the hiss of an encrypted connection to cease::
Buchanan: Sire, your servant Buchanan here.
Sir Edward Stafford: Buchanan, dear boy. Report.
Buchanan: Sire, I am now Accounted by the Praxis and have made contact with the Primogen here. He is a shame to our Clan, to be honest – utterly indifferent to anything but his business dealings with the kine and his own pleasures. However, his lieutenant is most able and very helpful. I’ve been able to include the Primogen, through his good offices, in a new company I’ve set up and he has funded it with $1 million, sufficient for the present. I’ll have Edgar send you the details, in case you wish to acquire a stake yourself.
Sir Edward: That was well done, boy, and I’ll mention it to others. Getting Viennatti enmeshed in a Clan-controlled venture may well come in handy in the future. And it’s good to hear confirmation of my intelligence that McManus is the real controlling hand. The boy could go further than his Primogen, I believe, if he’d just return fully to the fold. But what of the Praxis. Is it as bad as I’ve heard?
Buchanan: Worse, my Lord. The Praxis seemed to me not entirely focused on the here and now, veering off at tangents of its own devising. The Nosferatu had asked us – my companion Albert Rosenkreuz and myself – to stage an Elysium Event to prove the Camarilla was no spent force in the City and had shaken on an agreement to turn out in force. It certainly seemed a good rallying point and we convinced McManus, who got Viennatti to fund the thing. We’d tentatively earmarked Carnegie Hall as a venue but when I asked the Praxis about the idea it became almost apoplectic, thundering that no such event was to ever be authorized. Yet, more worrying still, Priscis Dixby told us afterwards to keep planning the Elysium, and that he’d make sure the Prince went along in time. It’s almost as if the Prince isn’t…
Sir Edward: …Now, boy. Enough. Didn’t I tell you that the situation across the pond was highly confused and you’d have to tread carefully? That tendency of yours to attempt running before you can walk will be the end of you if you’re not careful. Take your time, develop your knowledge of all the players, then act. Festina Lente, young man, Festina Lente.
Buchanan: ::Chastised:: I hear and obey, my Lord.
Sir Edward: And enough of that pouty-lipped nonsense too! You’ll have explored the stance of the other Clans too, I expect? I’ve only heard about Ventrue and Nosferatu so far.
Buchanan: Well, Sire, there I’ve hit a bit of a stone wall. The Toreador Primogen has heartily backed the event but the Brujah will only turn out if the Gangrel do – and the Gangrel are nowhere to be found.
Sir Edward: Come now. The Toreador are gossips – use them to hurt the Sabbat that way boy. Use the weapons you have. If you pull off the Elysium you’ll have use for them then too. Make some of them Harpies and let them loose. But what did I tell you about the Gangrel? They’ll hide in plain sight but in the last place anyone would expect. Like Zulus in the veldt, the buggers will pop up when you least expect it. Just be careful you don’t end up singing “Men of Harlech” when they do. Get some muscle, boy, and stand alongside it!
Buchanan: In that respect I have some good news, Sire. The Brujah gave us one of their own for our little Coterie, an individual named SpYttE.
Sir Edward: Good-oh. What do you deduce from this, boy? Come on, use your brain.
Buchanan: That the Brujah already support the idea of an Elysium, Sire, and getting the Gangrel involved is more in the way of a test…
Sir Edward: …Spot on! But it’s one you still have to ace, young chap, because…?
Buchanan: Sire, because the point of the Elysium is to show a unity that hasn’t been there before and thus strengthen our apparent bargaining position even if we’ve little behind it.
Sir Edward: ::chuckles:: Well done. You can win a rubber with no trumps at all if you have the brass for it, son. Remember that. Now, tell me about the Nosferatu.
Buchanan: They’re strong, Sire, far stronger than I imagined. I’ve been in their lair and there’s dozens and dozens, all behind some fearsome fortifications – they’re deathly afraid of something, Albert says.
Sir Edward: Yes they are. And don’t you go meddling or looking for that particular bit o’ trouble, ye hear?
Buchanan: And I’m afraid I lost my temper a bit, Sire. The Nosferatu liason, name of Twat would you believe, froze Albert and SpYttE out of our last meeting. Albert being one of them took it badly and when I emerged from their lair I found him torturing some poor stray dog. I reacted quite angrily.
Sir Edward: How’d this Albert take it?
Buchanan: He seemed quite chastened, Sire. He’s a good fellow really.
Sir Edward: That’s m’boy. Show them you’re the leader and they’ll follow. But never, ever abuse it. We’ve seen too much of that sort of thing and it’s ended where you are now. So what are your plans?
Buchanan: well, Sire, we’ve been told by three separate sources to look up one woman, a Cassandra Finch. Apparently she’s a scientist and our route into the Gangrel. But we’ve only a vague idea where to find her.
Sir Edward: Use the Nosferatu and the Roses, m’boy. Between them they’ll know where she is. They also know about some treaty or other with the Sabbat. Find out about that.
Buchanan: Yes, my Lord. I need to speak to the Toreador Primogen, Cristophe, about other matters too. I still need to get some notion of the Sabbat’s stomping grounds and he’s our liason while the rest of the power players in the local Camarilla are out of town on some hush-hush mission. But I don’t think the Nos will tell me anything – last time, they wanted to trade a Toreador for information, as part of some old feud. I wouldn’t do it, of course.
Sir Edward: Pish-posh, lad. Another test! You’re going to have to get up before the sun goes down if you want to catch the early worm. Now mark my words, you hear me? No rushing things or you’ll feel the flat of my hand.