Case File 00220070801

After closing for the night and watching a segment on the evening news about the disappearance of a model named Liza Castillo, the investigators were surprised by an elegant young woman who managed to walk into the office, despite Tizzy’s certainty that the front door was locked. The young lady identified herself as Cassandra Nox and asked to speak with Devlin Prophet. After explaining that Mr. Prophet was out of town, Jeremy offered to assist Ms. Nox. The client explained that a friend of hers was missing. She had already contacted the police but she felt as though they were reluctant to pursue as earnestly as she had hoped, due to the fact that she had only been missing for a short time and they could find no significant clues to suggest foul play.

Two nights ago, Cassandra was to meet a friend, Yasmine Kade, at the Velvet Lady at 8pm. When Ms. Kade failed to arrive, Cassandra made several attempts to contact her. After a couple of hours, Cassandra sent her driver to Ms. Kade's apartment to make certain that she was ok. The driver reported that, when he arrived, no one appeared to be at the apartment ad that he felt as though someone was watching the building. The drive noticed a grey sedan leaving the area and, suspecting that the driver was the one watching the building, he attempted to follow. Unfortunately, the driver lost the sedan in traffic on the Interstate exchange. Concerned that something unfortunate may have happened to Yasmine, Ms Nox hired Nightside to locate her. The client gave the investigators a spare key to Ms Kade's apartment and after Simon arrived from a rather secretive meeting, the team set out to examine the scene.

Upon arriving at the building, the team observed no one watching the building and proceeded inside. Looking around the apartment, the investigators were able to determine that Ms Kade had indeed showered changed clothes and readied herself to leave for the evening. They could find no evidence that anything unusual had occurred and there were no signs of a struggle or foul play of any type.

The team questioned the night security guard, Davis, at the front desk, who told them that Ms Kade was a nice young lady, who seemed to life for the nightlife. He often saw her leaving late, dressed as if she were going to a club or a party and returning in the very early hours of the morning. Usually she was alone but she often hosted parties at her apartment and occasionally had guests that spent the evening with her. He did not believe that she had a regular job but heard rumors that she lived off of a hefty inheritance and had even heard the speculation that she was a hooker (though he admitted that the last was probably just jealous speculation by one of the older tenants in the building. When further questioned, Davis said that he did think he remembered seeing Ms Kade leave for the evening, a couple of nights ago. He did not remember her returning, though she could have returned while he was checking on something or on break or not at all. He has known her to stay out all night and not return until very early the following morning. He assumed that she stayed with a friend. Davis was not aware of any regular boyfriend that she had, though he had seen some of the same people return home with her and attending her parties.

While Jeremy and Izzy were questioning the guard, the rest of the team went to the parking garage to look around. Simon began examining Ms Kade's car, attempting to determine if she had been in the vehicle over the last 48 hours. After several minutes, Jake noticed the Restless Spirit of a young woman that seemed fixated on a car parked next to Ms Kade's. Examining the car, the investigators discovered the body of a young woman in the trunk. The woman had been shot several times, by what Jeremy believed to be a 9mm submachine gun. From the volume of blood in the trunk, he also believed that she was alive yet mortally wounded when she was thrown in the trunk.

As they attempted to determine what connection that this had with Ms Kade's disappearance, Jake was overcome by the Restless Spirit, who began to speak through him. The Spirit told the investigators that she had discovered the girl the night before and had seen a black panel van (like a delivery van) speeding away from the garage. The girl was not the spirit of the victim (who they discovered was another tenant of the building, Mia Jones) but the victim of a crime that occurred in another area, some time ago.

Using his police contacts, Jeremy was able to get a look at the security camera videos in the garage. Mysteriously, all the cameras inside the garage were not functioning but the camera at the entrance was. From the information that the spirit of the girl gave them, Jeremy forwarded to the estimated time of the incident and saw a panel van, with faded black paint, leaving the garage at high speed. He also noticed another image showing through the black paint" a group of balloons tied to a candy package. After asking around, the team was able to identify this as the logo of the "Fun Time Candy Co.", a candy manufacturer that went out of business a couple of years ago. They also discovered that the warehouse that the company used had been abandoned, after the owner died and the estate was unable to find a buyer for the shoddy building. The team decided to check out the site.

Before leaving, Simon explained to Izzy that the mysterious meeting that he had attended was a conference with a potential client who wanted to hire Simon, through his personal business, to locate his kidnapped fiancée. To Izzy's shock, the photo that the client had given Simon, was a photograph of Izzy! Upset by this, she returned to the office. The rest of the team, as well as the spirit of the girl (who was still possessing Jake), went to the warehouse.

Upon arriving, the Restless Spirit, who told the investigators that her name was Grace Thompson, offered to go in first and make sure there was no danger awaiting the investigators. Deciding that it would be a good idea, the investigators sent Grace inside. As she moved into the building, Grace discovered a group of five men in tactical gear, who had another man strapped to a metal table. There were several portable coolers nearby and what appeared to be twelve bodies, most of them little but skeletons, hanging from chains on the ceiling. As the men started a chainsaw & seemed to prepare to carve up the man on the table, Grace ran out &, possessing Jake once more, informed the investigators of what was happening.
Jeremy drove quickly into the lot and crashed through the loading door. The men produced submachine guns and opened fire. Jeremy returned fire and Simon moved to take down one of the gunmen on a walkway, hand-to-hand. Yuki managed to approach one of the gunmen, unseen and took him down as well. The investigators made short work of the remaining gunmen but Jeremy suffered serious but not fatal injuries.
Checking on the man strapped to the table, the investigators discovered the most hideous looking man they had ever seen. His face was twisted and malformed. After recovering from their initial shock, they learned that his name was Claudius and that he had been assaulted by then gunmen, rendered unconscious and woke just as they were preparing to carve him up. The investigators released him from the table and began gathering up the surviving gunmen.
Once they were all disarmed, the investigators began to interrogate the gunmen, who had displayed evidence of formal combat training. The gunmen proved quite hesitant to responding to answering questions but Claudius suggested that he could help. Grabbing one of the men from behind, he opened his mouth, exposing enlarged canines and bit into the man's neck, beginning to drain some of his blood. The gunman became panicked and seemed as though he was about to give in, when suddenly he began convulsing, along with the other surviving gunmen.
Before any significant answers could be determined, the remaining gunmen all convulsed and expired, seemingly of some sort of cerebral hemorrhage. After a quick examination, the investigators agreed that it was likely the effect of some sorcerery that originated with the gunmen, perhaps placed upon them previously. Norman suggested that Claudius stop, unless he wanted something unpleasant to happen and he did so. The investigators were unsure about what to do about Claudius but he assured them he had no intention of harming them, he simply wanted to know what was going on and to have a hand in stopping it.
Searching the warehouse, the investigators found portable coolers that seemed to be filled with cuts of meat, boxes of ammunition and other equipment, a shipping crate that could hold the portable freezers and a receipt for payment of shipping a crate to South America. The receipt showed that the charges were billed to "The Sangfroid Agency". Examining the bodies, they discovered that all of them had a large hole where the heart should have been and that one of them was indeed Yasmine. The investigators called Ms Nox to let he know the news.
Cassandra arrived, in her Lamborghini, a few minutes later. After examining the bodies that they had lowered from the chains, Cassandra told the investigators that 5 of the victims, including Yasmine, were alive. They simply had their hearts removed. The investigators asked if the other victims were vampires and Cassandra told them that she and the others found that word offensive. Questioning Cassandra, the investigators learned that the victims that had not been reduced to skeletons were still "alive" so to speak and that, because their hearts had been removed, they would not expire until something happened to the hearts or, their bodies were completely burned. She told the investigators that she would pay them to recover the hearts and put an end to this horror. Claudius offered to allow them to take the bodies to his place & they loaded everything up in the truck and car, leaving Yuki there to keep an eye on the warehouse.
The group arrived at Claudius rather weathered and worn estate. Once an obviously palatial home, weather and years of wear and neglect had significantly tarnished its glory. The investigators and their allies unloaded the victims and found a place to put them. Cassandra told them that she would stay with Yasmine's body & the others as they decided how to proceed. Jake called information to get a number for The Sangfroid Agency. From the operator, he learned that it was pronounced "San-fwa" and that it was a well known modeling agency.
The investigators set up a stake-out at the agency for several hours. The noted a girl leaving the agency, very late, carrying some boxes. Simon was able to run past her and grab one of the boxes & flee. She notified the police but the investigators were long gone before they arrived. In the box, the found only several sets of photos & negatives for various models in a variety of photo shoots. The team decided that Izzy should go in and try to get a job as a model, in order to get an idea of what was happening. Upon arrival, Izzy was immediately met with resistance from the receptionist, who informed her that Mr. Sangfroid met models by reference only & that she would not be able to see him unless Rick Sterling, the talent scout, referred her. After several minutes, she was able to convince the receptionist to tell her where Rick could be found. The team traveled to the nightclub &, after several minutes of convincing and negotiating, Izzy was able to get up to the VIP room and see Rick Sterling.
Rick was quite taken with Izzy and, while the others checked out the people around him, she managed to get a card & reference to the Sangfroid Agency. As she left, the others overheard him telling someone on the phone to "make sure she is taken care of" and that there was "no reason to turn ALL of them over". They also noticed that she was being followed as she and Yuki (who was posing as her publicist) left. The rest of the investigators attempted to cause distractions in order to allow Izzy & Simon to jump into his car and escape. None were more successful than Claudius who, in an attempt to determine what the pursuers wanted, accidentally caused one of them to be hit by a passing taxi. Troy stayed behind to be an "eyewitness" to the accident as the others escaped & he was even offered a potential security job at the club.
The team went back to the Sangfroid Agency and Izzy went in, accompanied by their new friend, Grace. After much waiting, Izzy was called to the back and met Mr. Sangfroid, who was photographing a group of models. After visiting with her for a few moments, he called for a large, thuggish man to send the girls away & he began discussing Izzy's modeling possibilities. Worried about Izzy, Jake came in, pretending to turn in the box of pictures he found dumped in an alley way & allowing an invisible Yuki to slip in unnoticed. Stalling for time, Jake asked about the possibility of a reward and managed to talk her into $7,000 (which Mr. Sangfroid approved, simply to be rid of him so that he could talk to Izzy. After the receptionist threw the phone at Jake, he took the check and went back to the surveillance van.
As Sangfroid convinced the naive Izzy to come back to his apartment to "seal the deal" on the job offer, Yuki found the room that the original models were sent to. They behaved as though they were very stoned and seemed gaunt and pale. When the thug came in with trays of food, they tore at the seemingly packaged, microwave meals as though they were starving. To Yuki's surprise, the girls seemed to regain their color a bit and "fill out" a great deal. As they were eating, the thug made a phone call & invited a friend to the Agency, seemingly to take advantage of the models. They seemed to pay no attention and be unconcerned that he was suggesting to the caller that they would be able to enjoy the girls in any way that didn't leave a mark. Yuki ran back down and out to the van and the team followed Sangfroid to his home, in the ritzy Irish Town neighborhood, as Yuki told them about the "fashion zombies".
Arriving at Sangfroid's building, Izzy went inside & he offered her a drink & showed her the contract. As he was suggesting that, in order to be guaranteed a successful career, she'd have to sleep with him, the rest of the team hatched a plan to get inside. Jake rang the bell to another apartment. When the tenant asked who he was, over the intercom, Jake informed him that a BMW had been "keyed" by someone. Very quickly, 3 tenants ran out to check their cars and the team slipped in the front door. Donning ski masks and using plastic guns, picked up from a dollar store, the investigators pretended to raid Sangfroid's apartment. They dragged Izzy to the bedroom, leaving the frightened photographer in his den.
After questioning and threatening Sangfroid, he revealed that the girls were being fed on a diet plan called "Eternal Slender". He informed them that it was an idea that Rick came to him with; the special ingredients in the food kept the girls looking good, well past their prime. Eventually, they al became unusable and they were "shipped off" to some one or a group that Rick referred to as "The Coven". Sangfroid knew no other details, only that Rick set it up, got the "food" from someplace in Mexico and some of the girls acted weird when they had been on the plan for a while. The team knocked the photographer out and took Izzy and left (after Jake cleaned out what money he had in the apartment).
Heading back to the agency, the team slipped in and managed to capture and question the thug. He revealed that he was responsible for taking away the girls who became "hard to manage", like Lisa Castillo had become. He loaded them into a van and took them to meet several men, on a little used road, north of town. He knew nothing about the men except that one was named Santiago & he had a Spanish accent. The girls were taken away and he was paid well to keep his mouth shut. He also told them that some of the girls were so crazed by the time they were picked up that they had begun to tear each other and them selves apart. He had even witnessed one girl devour her own arm. The team quickly got rid of him and decided that Izzy should call Rick, claiming to have escaped out the window of Sangfroid’s apartment during the robbery and beg for his help. They could then get Rick when he came to get her.
As they waited to trap Rick at an old apartment building, they noticed a well dressed man park his car, walk into the building and meet with Izzy. He then walked out the side, got in his car and, shocking the team, shot out the tires of the van before pulling up to the building and getting Izzy in his car. Claudius attempted to jump on the car but the bodyguard put a bullet in his eye, slowing Claudius down quite a bit. Grace was able to slip into the vehicle and left with Izzy.
The team got Claudius back to his home where Cassandra was able to use a blood ritual to help heal him a bit. They then returned to the Nightside office, where Jake attempted to call Grace to him so that they could learn where Izzy was, a process that Jake informed them would put him in a comatose state for a day or three. After some concentration, Jake successfully invoked Grace, who told them that Izzy was being taken to Rick's home, which was supposedly guarded by a "security team." The investigators determined the location of Rick's home and set out to save their friends.
Upon arrival, the team took out the power to the block and snuck into the house. After dealing with guard dogs, they broke in and began searching. Once they were in the home's den, Rick "appeared" before them and declared that they would fail if they attempted to stop him. The investigators were undeterred and were suddenly set upon by the models that Izzy had been introduced to before. Each displayed vampire-like abilities and savagely attacked the team. Yuki set fire to a couch in the room (which, ironically, Izzy was hiding behind) and Norman used his telekinesis to lift burning cushions to keep the vampire-models at bay while the others attempted to destroy them.
During the battle, Rick gestured towards Grace, whom he seemed able to see, and she screamed and vanished. He then called forth several zombie-like creatures from a door in the room, which savagely attacked the investigators. Between Troy's gunfire & the spreading flames, the investigators were able to quickly dispatch the zombies. During the battle, Rick "vanished" & Simon, Yuki & Izzy ran upstairs to find him, as the others finished dealing with the vampire-models. After eliminating another minion, they searched the bedrooms and found a secret door in a walk-in closet, which concealed a set of stairs leading to the attic. As they topped the stairs, they were fired upon by Rick's bodyguard. Simon crept up the stairs and, invisibly, eliminated him. Once the bodyguard was down, the trio entered the room, where they found Rick, dressed in black robes with a dark blue trim, surrounded by a variety of necromantic trappings. They fought with Rick, who used several mystic rites to harm or impede the investigators. As they battle concluded below & the others ran to assist, Rick exclaimed that they had not seen the last of him &, once again, vanished.
Once Rick was gone, the investigators quickly searched the room & Norman found several books that dealt with dark mysticism and necromantic studies. They also discovered what Norman identified as Canopic Jars. Examining them, the investigators determined that Rick used them to contain the spirits and shades that he used to power his Necromancy and they quickly set about destroying them. In the process, they discovered and freed Grace from captivity. Norman also determined that a few were empty and he kept one for study.
At the sound of approaching sirens, the investigators exited the house. Troy went to the police and made up a story about thugs running through the area and shooting out transformers and starting fires, in order to cover the other's escape. Eventually, they all met back at Claduis' home. They informed Cassandra that Rick escaped but that they had destroyed many of his necromantic relics and likely his home. They also called their police contacts and informed them of the situation with the modeling agency and the conspiracy to "ship girls to Mexico, after drugging them and using them until they were burned out". Cassandra paid the investigators and took her friend and left, after a sincere thanks. The investigators to Claudius back to Nightside, where Mr. Prophet made him a job offer (which he accepted) and Grace asked Jeremy to look into her death and perhaps give her a proper burial.



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