28 - Vampire the Masquerade
DescriptionThe Giovanni Estate
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The Giovanni EstateFirst things first. I took Wesley to see Mercurio. Mercurio outfitted him with a shotgun, .12-gauge, of course, and a McCluskey automatic like mine. Mercurio got me a short katana, like Wesley"s, but it had a fancier handle. He also kept us up-to-date on events down at the LaCroix Towers. "The prince is really pissed off," he said. "When I went downtown for my monthly fix, you could hear him screaming all over the place. He really wants the sarcophagus found. He is going crazy about it." That was what I wanted to know. I didn"t tell Mercurio that I knew where the Ankaran Sarcophagus was; I didn"t want him in any danger. I just wanted to know what was going on inside the prince"s head. I also, well, really commanded him, not to say anything to the prince about Wesley. Mercurio agreed. Then Wesley and I started our research on the Giovanni family. The Giovanni"s first appeared in Naples, around the end of the Middle Ages. Shipping, insurance, and some banking were their fortes. They had been successful over the years, never becoming a major player but always making enough to be filthy rich. Not bad. I checked with Jeanette to see if she could get Bertram to help, and Bertram got back to me by e-mail. The Giovanni"s also dabbled a bit in drug smuggling. Wesley and I decided to head up to the Hollywood Hills and check out the estate. The estate had lovely, European-styled grounds, with a modest mansion. The mansion was quite modern in its style. Right next to it was a six-car garage. I figured if the sarcophagus was hidden anywhere on the estate, it had to be taken into the garage, and then moved somewhere else. Wesley and I decided to check it out. The next night we showed up, fully armed. Wesley let me ride up with him, and I got to drive the Mazda. Oh, yeah! The car smoked! There were four cars in the garage. Two Mercedes limos, a Maserati, and a Lamborghini. Okay, the family had expensive tastes. Nothing unusual about that if you are rich. But there were two unoccupied bays. The first bay had a pit, for changing oil or working under a car. Wesley was poking around there when he found something. "Yo! Dude!" he shouted. "Over here!" Wesley had been tapping the walls with a hammer he had found. It appeared that he had found a blind wall. "I think this portion of the wall moves," he said. "You think it is big enough to fit the sarcophagus through?" I did. We began looking for ways to open it. Wesley found it. He leaned on one of the levers for the lift, and the wall slowly slid away. We found a passage. It appeared to head down and toward the house. "Wanna explore?" Wesley asked. "No," I countered. "We come back tomorrow night, packing, and we have blood packs. We don"t know what is on the other end. We need to be prepared." "Okay," he said. "And we need a truck big enough to haul the thing if it is in here, and then a place to store it." "Man," he said. "Sometimes I think you don"t want me to have any fun." He grinned. "What the hell are you talking about, Wesley?" "We have a place to store it," he retorted, still grinning. "How about my haven? Oh, and I can get us a truck. No problem." We closed the false wall and left the Giovanni estate. But it would be two more nights before we had all of our ducks lined up.