When we last saw our adventurers, everyone had gathered for a “blood party” at Zhou’s place on Mercer Island. Zhou had just finished hacking a hole in his arm, catching the distasteful results in a coffee cup, in hopes of figuring out what this “bleu” shit actually is. He’s still tripping balls, incidentally. Molly has a whole box full of lab shit with which to try and analyze the funky molecules vibrating through his body, but she’s not too impressed with the quality of the sample, so it’s decided that they’ll tie Zhou to a chair (Zhou’s idea) and draw a better one from his burning veins full of burning awesome. He’s not completely divorced from reality, looking at the universe from outside anymore, but he’s still in a completely megalomaniacal and potentially violent state.
While Casey and Raahi prepare Zhou for phlebotomy, Molly starts taking apart the blender and the dishwasher to make a much better centrifuge than that lame piece of crap that she brought with her. Raahi doesn’t exactly have a delicate touch with the needle, and Zhou manages through steely will and restraint to avoid nutting him in the face. Once the blood draw is done, Casey experimentally picks up Zhou, chair and all, because, why again?
Zhou: “This is not a palanquin, I bought this at Ikea.”
Meanwhile, Molly’s centrifuge, the unholy child of a dishwasher motor, some blender parts and Tupperware, is just straight up amazing. She’s not sure how, but she thinks she’s invented the counter-friction bearing, which actually returns slightly more energy than is put into it. She is totally taking this thing back to her workshop!
The party gets to centrifuging Zhou’s awesome, awesome blood, full of burning universes and all that shit, but it’s sort of a long process. Dayna does notice that wow, there’s like an extra striation in his plasma or something! Weird! It also has a funny greenish tint to it, like someone mixed blue in with his red. Meanwhile, all that expensive diagnostic shit that Molly brought mostly discloses that Zhou doesn’t have any STDs, but has some genetic predispositions for cancer. Zhou maintains that he is far too awesome to get cancer and what the hell does that stupid pile of junk know. It’s looking like they’ll need to go to a real lab — sorry, Molly — to find out what this “bleu” stuff is, so they decide to run the serum through a spectrometer down at Vulcan.
Zhou asks for and gets some tranquilizers — just so he can prove he’s way too awesome to be affected by such trifling chemicals! He eats a couple of benzodiazepenes. All of a sudden the universe wants to give him a hug, and hey, he’s tied up, Huh, that’s sorta awesome, he can roll with that. Anyway, it’s calming. He has less of a furious, steely look in his eyes and more of a spacey, luded-out mien, like what you’d see on a 70s Kruder and Dorfmeister devotee.
Molly has her Mystery Machine with her, and she, Raahi and Casey go zooming off to Vulcan. The guard at the gate basically treats her like the company CEO. Within moments she’s facing a dizzying panoply of incredibly pricey and rather confusing gear. They begin the rather grinding process of running analyses, pipetting stuff, and so on. It gets to be early morning before they have results. (They work out that Zhou is in pretty good health for a fiftysomething dude. They also draw some of each other’s blood as a control; whoa, they’re all in pretty good health.) There are a whole lot of trace elements that you wouldn’t remotely expect to find in blood in their sample of Zhou’s personal body fluids; his plasma seems to have different salts in it than normal. On Casey’s suggestion, they decide to run similar tests on the frost giant’s ichor, and hey, there are a lot of similarities with the weird crap in Zhou’s blood! Not a 100% correlation, but it’s pretty strong.
Zhou emails Dan and their appointment ends up being postponed for a couple weeks. Everyone gets back from the lab and they discuss the fact that someone is selling frost giant ichor, or some other weird monster blood stuff, as a recreational drug — possibly with some other psychoactives mixed in. It seems inevitable that there are Scions mixed up with this trade because who the fuck else has access to the blood of supernatural beings?
Dayna whips out some voodoo on the centrifuged sample, the part that seems to have the most weird chemicals in it. She gets a rushing, strong sensation, like she’s being pulled sharply towards something… a bare mattress in a condemned building, a little light coming in through blackout curtains. Someone big, male, someone who felt cold as they were just waking up — she realizes she’s been noticed somehow. She has the strong sense of a horrible consciousness bearing down on her. She got into the giant’s mind because it was asleep. She shares this experience. Casey notes that people have believed in fire giants; if there are frost giants why not fire giants? Zhou recalls that he felt as if his blood was burning. So maybe “bleu” is fire giant blood, not frost giant blood?
Everyone is trying to think what, if anything, to do about this new inference — Zhou’s idea that they buy into the package being shot down immediately — when Zhou has a hazy memory that it felt like someone tried to attack his mind, and he sort of casually brushed off the attack. But it might have just been that a real person got in his face about something, and he punched the guy. So perhaps the traffic in “bleu” is part of a larger scheme of some kind, and perhaps it’s just some Scion trying to cash in. Zhou does note that the guys selling bleu were basically the type you’d expect to sell drugs, and indeed they were moving the whole panoply of retail chemical joys. Does that mean anything? Nobody knows.
Meanwhile, Casey discovers that there’s no police report of the arson event that burnt his temporary roommate out of his home. However, he notes that there are nights when neighborhoods that normally get noise complaints go strangely quiet. Casey decides he wants to go out looking for bleu activity in those neighborhoods on those nights. Largely to protect him from himself. Zhou and Dayna decide to go with him. Raahi gets a text with the same address that he got before, this time with an urgent flag, and he and Molly go and investigate that.
Casey’s party finds a fight in a frat house — there are basically a number of people crowded around three people, one of whom is kind of slumped on some stairs in a way that suggests they’re badly hurt, one of whom is lying unconscious on the floor, and the last of whom is the guy, still standing, who’s responsible for the state of the two damaged individuals. People are starting to edge away from the fight. Casey is really sure he needs to defend someone, and charges in, shoving people away to make a path through the crowd. He pretty much effortlessly does a nonlethal takedown on the belligerent, and starts to hear sirens in the distance. The PCs leave this inconclusive encounter at all speed, Zhou cursing the whole “patrol” idea under his breath.
Meanwhile, Raahi is on his way to Kirkland; the last time he was there, there was a somewhat deranged Microsoft employee at the address that the text message referenced. This time, there’s nothing much happening that they can see; it’s a boring, high income suburban neighborhood, lights on in the house, boring sedan in the driveway. Their weird-ass, tricked out VW microbus is by far the most alarming thing on the block. Molly fortifies herself with some nasty beverage, walks up to the door and says, “I’m with Vulcan, we’re here about Lakshmi’s education” to the fortyish Indian guy who opens the door and stares at her quizzically. Those magic words afford them entry into the guy’s house.
In the meantime, Casey, Zhou and Raahi see a curl of smoke rising from the other side of the U district, and they have a very bad feeling.
5xp to everyone. 1 extra to Zhou for being awesome, 1 extra to Casey for being Batman, 1 extra to Molly for the centrifuge.