Don't know if you still check this post office box or not, or how often, but I figured it was worth a shot. Thought I'd fill you in on what happened after our little adventure at Genova, notably the near-miraculous fact that I seem to have survived it all. Contrary to your expectations. Oh, and by the way - they know now. Yeah, all of them. And I'm still here. Weren't expecting that, were you?
Actually, I'm not sure how much of what happened in the labs you actually saw - I know you were there for part of it, but you're damn hard to spot when you want to be, so I don't know if you were around for the whole thing or not. So I'll fill in the details on that too.
You probably know we got caught trying to break into the Genova building. We got in through a maintenance shaft between the electrical fence and the power room in the basement - not easy, but wolves can fit through smaller spaces than humans can. Didn't get far, though, before reinforced plexiglass walls came down on either side of the bit of hallway we were in and they gassed us. Obviously that didn't affect all of us - Renton has some kind of Fianna gift that makes him resistant to poisons, and I - well, I don't tend to find gas much of a problem. But they were prepared for that and got us by other means. Only person they didn't get was Eli, because he has this weird thing of accidentally stepping sideways under stress, so he ended up stuck in the Umbra. They still hadn't figured out what I was fortunately, or they might have done something more effective than just shackling me with silver like everyone else. They did apparently do a bunch of tests on us all when we were out, and I was really worried once Lewis got hold of the data that he'd put two and two together on my "anomalous" test results, but apparently he didn't.
There was another werewolf in the room they put us in, who they'd apparently caught earlier. Shadow Lord puppy by the name of Vlad - the guy you threw the severed head to later on. He's kind of got a thing for severed heads... Anyway, seems he'd been sniffing around there on his own and gotten caught the same way we did. There was a lot of debate about how to get us out, but the break came when Lewis flipped the lights off with some Glass Walker ability, thinking he was going to attract their attention by making them think the power was out, and I took advantage of the darkness to do a quick change and back, which of course dropped the shackles off. I'd been worried I'd have to blow my cover to get people out, but as it was they didn't see anything. I did make them promise not to ask any awkward questions until we all got out of there, though. Once I was loose, I freed Henry - silver's a fairly soft metal and I was able to pry his shackles open with the assistance of claws and increased strength, but it took a while and I figured since he was the strongest he could get the rest loose quicker than I could. Lewis managed to score the research director's laptop, which was sitting right in the room with us - apparently he'd been observing us and making notes, but had then stepped out for a moment and ended up getting delayed by a little disturbance elsewhere in the building - Eli'd finally gotten out of the Umbra.
So by the time the scientists got there to check out the supposed power outage, we were all free, and made pretty short work of them. They did have some nasty tricks up their sleeves, which didn't look like any kind of normal science to me - who ever heard of being able to inflict some kind of nasty genetic disorder on someone instantaneously by touching them with a ring? - but we managed. The weird creatures they sent in after them were a little harder - some kind of genetically engineered things that looked like humanoid crocodiles with poisonous bites, but the Garou managed to take them out too. It was also kind of handy that they were distracted with those and not paying much attention to what I was doing with one of the recently-deceased scientists in the area they'd just left - hey, what can I say, between the shape changing, claws and having to make myself stronger, I was hungry!
Anyway, we could get through most of the building with a security passcard we'd lifted from one of the researchers, and - well, the guy's severed head, too. Damn doors had a retina scanner on them. Ran into a lot more nasties on the way up, and nearly got caught by some kind of automated decontamination thing that would have basically blasted the whole area we were in with something that destroyed living tissue, but we made it out in the nick of time. Didn't get the DNA samples they took, though - they'd already cleaned those out while we were fighting the other guys, before they evacuated the area. Renton did manage to fill his flask with pure grain alcohol though - man, that guy gets antsy when he hasn't had a drink in a while! Henry wasn't very impressed... But it turned out to be handy, though, when we were being chased by a bunch of those crocodile things, and Renton poured out the alcohol on the floor and dropped a lit cigarette on it - that slowed them down a bit! Must have broken his heart to waste booze like that, though.
Of course, you know we got stuck at the top when we couldn't get into the restricted area where the research director and his assistant were hiding out without a higher level of security clearance than we had. Came in very handy when you turned up with the assistant's head and passcard - the flowing under the door as a cloud of mist was a nice touch, though it was a little hard to conceal from the rest of the pack that I recognized you, and that did raise some awkward questions later on. I have to say, you showing up there surprised the hell out of me - I hadn't seen you since that time you popped up in the park on the edge of the city, to try and talk me out of this. I thought you'd kind of given up on me - I certainly wasn't expecting you to get right in on the action. Damn good thing you did, though, because they had us locked in and would have blown the building with us in it. Of course, Renton recognized you too - I didn't know you'd followed us to Dangerous Visions and had a chat with him! Guess you figured if you didn't get anywhere trying to convince me that some kinds of people just don't mix, you'd try convincing him. But Renton's the curious type, and it just made him more interested. Eventually, he was the only member of the pack to put two and two together on his own... But that's later.
Anyway, we didn't get the research director - he got out before we did, and with the damn DNA samples! I really panicked when the building blew, even though we were all outside by that point - you were right about the fire thing. I'd never really run into that much of it at once. Glad you caught me or I don't know where I would have ended up. But you'll be interested to know that the little chat I ended up having with Eli and Vlad when they came looking for me and overheard you and me talking didn't go as badly as you obviously thought it would. Yeah, I had to tell them everything. I think Eli would have taken it a lot worse if it hadn't been for the fact that Owl seemed to have accepted me being with them. Eli has total faith in Owl, and if Owl told him something that shouldn't have seemed OK to any sane Garou was, he was willing to try and deal with it. Why Owl accepted me, I still wasn't clear on, though later I had an idea... But we'll deal with that when it comes. Vlad also seemed to accept it just fine - maybe a little too easily. I know Shadow Lords don't have quite the same ethics as other Garou - I suspect he was more interested in whether I'd be useful to him than anything. But whatever the reason, it went OK, though they did ask a lot of questions. They even both promised not to tell the others, at least for now.
Going through the data on the disk, we found out some interesting things - apparently this company was part of some kind of organization called the Progenitors, which was in turn part of something called the Technocratic Union. None of this meant squat to us, but there were some references to their usual enemies being "tradition mages", and we had some idea what mages were and knew that we'd seen one at Dangerous Visions, so off we went to find him and got filled in more about what these people were - basically they're kind of like mages who believe technology is the only valid form of magic, and want to destroy all the other kinds. And I guess werewolves are one of the kinds they want to destroy now...
We ended up deciding to go to a Glass Walker moot and show everyone the research director's picture and call a city-wide hunt - but that meant we needed a good picture, which we didn't have. I had one idea how we could get one - but I knew it might be awkward, and risky. Still, I made the suggestion quietly to Eli, since he already knew about me by then, and he agreed it was a good one, and sent me and Renton off to Dangerous Visions without telling the rest of the pack anything too specific about who we were going to deal with other than that it was an artist. The rest probably thought it was a changeling - given who owns Dangerous Visions. But the best artist in that place is Clarence Conolly - a Toreador, and one of the very few vampires the changelings are willing to tolerate. And I knew from what you'd told me that some of them can read minds, so I figured he might be able to do a sketch from our memories.
Thing is, I'd been hoping Eli or Vlad would come - nothing against Renton, but he didn't know about me yet and I didn't want him wondering why I was hobnobbing with leeches. But it did seem like a good opportunity to scope out how strong his feelings were on the matter and whether it might eventually be safe to tell him. I explained to him what Clarence was and he didn't react too badly - he said he knew it was important and he was capable of getting past his prejudices if he needed too. And he was already in pretty good with the changelings by that point, after that Redcap haggis eating contest (I'll let him tell that story if you guys ever see each other again), which I guess is why Eli picked him. That, and the fact that "bar" and "Renton" are two words that just kind of automatically go together.
But the freaky thing that happened was that Jen, the Redcap bouncer who seemed to be in the process of becoming Renton's Very Good Friend, was a little wary about introducing him to Clarence given the whole werewolves-and-vampires thing and how much Countess Daria values Clarence as a Dreamer - I think that's what they call the artists they feed on, anyway - so she was asking him kind of the same questions I did, about whether she could be sure he'd be a good boy if she let him play with the Countess's pet. And then - I guess she must have figured he already knew about me - she said "Oh, what the hell, I guess if you're hanging out with her it's not a big issue to you." And I just froze - I'd been thinking of telling him, but I hadn't really intended him to find out that way! I was trying to think of something to say, but he just smiled and said "Don't worry about, darlin' - if I decide I've got a problem with it, I'll let you know." Which was when I realized he'd already figured it out for himself...
Anyway, we got the pic done, took it to the moot and gave them that plus the whole story and the data Lewis had lifted from both Forever Forests and Genova's systems. Only at a Glasswalker moot can you go around handing out CD-ROMs... There were actually a couple of people there who'd come down from Forever Forests after Lewis had phoned them and told them they'd better be there, and there was a dicey moment where the whole crowd nearly turned on them when we first revealed the company's connection to the whole thing - but we managed to calm everything down by telling them that as far as we could tell it had been one person there - the Director of R&D - acting on her own, and the rest of them hadn't known about it. Apparently she was Kinfolk but had had enough of feeling useless and being patronized by the Garou (hey, I can relate!), so she'd ended up getting kind of embittered and questioning whether the Garou were really useful to Gaia or not, which made her ripe pickings for Mr. Scientist to convince that technology was really the answer to saving the earth and that nasty chaotic magical creatures had to be eliminated for the good of everyone.
So that settled them down, and the moot leaders ended up turning everyone out on a hunt. Eli did a ritual and found that the guy was on the road, heading toward the northern part of the city, so we followed him and managed to corner him and the Forever Forests R&D Director in another Progenitor-owned building. We got her, but he nearly slipped us - made it right into a room with some kind teleporting device he was going to use to go their headquarters down in the US. And apparently the room was guarded with some kind of security device kind of like the decontamination thing at the lab - that would destroy any living thing in the room if activated, unless it was protected by this little field generator thing he was wearing. So if anyone set foot in there, he could zap them into oblivion.
Anyone living, anyway.
So that was when I whispered to Eli "I think I just figured out what Owl might have wanted me around for," turned into bat form (just in case there were any sensors in the floor or anything), and quietly flitted into the room while he had his eye on the werewolves - funny how distracting a bunch of ten-foot-tall monsters can be - and settled down quietly behind him on the teleporter platform while he was doing his whole movie-villain Now-that-you're-powerless-to-stop-me-I'l
Of course, after that I was a bit nervous about leaving the room - wasn't entirely sure that after that revelation my pack would want to let me walk (or fly) out of there. But Eli and Vlad kind of ran interference and got Henry, who was the one most in favour of offing me, calmed down by pointing out that (a) Owl had accepted me, and (b) without me, they wouldn't have (a) gotten into the research lab, (b) gotten out of their restraints, (c) stopped the research director from getting away with their DNA samples, or (d) even known about this whole thing in the first place. So that seemed to be enough to settle things down for the time being.
Anyway, that still doesn't bring us quite up to date, but at least it explains how I got outed as a vampire to my werewolf pack without ending up very messily dead. I'll drop you another line later - we've got a bit of a situation on our hands right now due to some ill-advised messing around Vlad did in the "old country", and I'm writing this in a moving car on our way back into Toronto from Temagami. So I'll talk to you later.
And yeah, I'll try and get you an autographed CD of Renton's band.