"Maybe if your templars could hit the broadside of a barn," sniped von Ritterburg.
"Maybe if our intelligence wasn't so fucking out of date, we would have been prepared to deal with the fucking machine gun!" The Ventrue templar glared, and the inquisitor glared right back.
"Your 'intelligence' is precisely the problem. The stupidity of you and your templars just cost me three weeks of investigation! The resources invested in that strike will not be easy to replace."
"Bullshit. You 'invested resources?' What, a friggin' paper telescope? I'm seeing severe lack of accurate reports! Not one fucking mention of anything larger than a shotgun, and suddenly were running into a fucking machine gun emplacement!"
"The reports were accurate. I can't find everything. You're supposed to be the tactical genius here. Improvise!"
"Oh children?" Vanil looked back over his shoulder at his squabbling lieutenants. "Shut up. Both of you. Stop whining about what happened and figure out how to salvage this fucking mess." The Lancea Sanctum bishop leaned forward in his char, picking out a page from the papers scattered across the table before him. His lips quirked in a sardonic half-smile as the grumbling templar and sullen inquisitor sat down.
The three made an odd trio. Erich von Ritterburg, Church Inquisitor- his black leather trench coat had the hammer and spear emblem of Lancea Sanctum emblazoned across the back and over the heart. The inquisitor was a quiet man, usually preferring to work in shadow and subtly when not baiting Lexi Banner for amusement. Right now, he was glaring in earnest across the table, a change from his usually secretive and mocking smirk.
Alexander Banner, the very model of a Ventrue, immaculately dressed in the very latest of high fashion and mirror shades perched on his head, his demeanor, usually both arrogant and competent, was submerged in his current frustration. At first glance, Lexi Banner was nothing more than another yuppie businessman, but his appearance and penchant for high living belied his equal love for violence and weaponry. His fanatical devotion to Lancea Sanctum had earned him both his priesthood and his position as the leader of the templars. When presented with the three highest-ranking Sanctified in the city, people often mistook Lexi for the bishop, a situation that afforded him no end of amusement.
Bishop Vanil himself looked nothing like the usual image of a bishop, or indeed any church leader. Maybe it's the Mohawk? He thought to himself in amusement. He hadn't bothered spiking his hair in years, but between hairstyle, piercings, ripped leather jacket, and the boots, he looked like the street punk John Vanil had been before he'd picked a fight with the wrong biker. His Gangrel sire had been impressed by his tenacity, and had Embraced the 17-year-old punk after giving Vanil the most thorough beating he'd ever had, before or since.
The bishop tapped the metal ball of his tongue ring against the back of his teeth, examining the building diagram before handing it to the templar-priest. He rummaged through the papers before coming up with a dossier. Examining the photo, he spoke in a deceptively calm voice, "So does anyone want to explain how a fucking Daeva outwitted and outgunned what are supposed to be my best men?"
Shamefaced, Lexi stared at the paper in his hands. Erich didn't bother pretending to examine the papers. He'd already memorized everything of importance in the reports. After all, all the reports had either been written by him, or passed through his hands before reaching the bishop. He stayed silent, hoping he wouldn't have to actually answer the bishop.
After a moment, the bishop looked up at them both with cold eyes. "Where did the machine gun come from, Erich?"
"I… do not know. I had agents watching the place during the day, we auspexed the place at night. It… shouldn't be there. I scouted the place myself, less than a week ago, and found no signs of it."
"Then why the Hell is it shooting at my people. 'Shouldn't be there!' Dammit, where did it come from!"
"I don't know! It had to been there before we began our surveillance. But it was set up when we arrived; if it was there the whole time, they pulled it out just for us." Erich ran his hands through his short blond hair, and spark of anger lit his eyes. "We have a leak. Bah. If there's a traitor in the surveillance team, they could have brought in those armaments easily enough any time in the last two weeks."
Glad to have someone else to legitimately blame for the disaster, Lexi sneered, "What, a traitor in your precious inquisitors? Can't you even keep your own ranks loyal?"
Erich's voice was icy. "The surveillance team wasn't even primarily inquisitors. My people are loyal enough. I'll find the traitor, and deal with him."
"Find him quickly, Erich. We're going back to visit Mr. Brock. I want to know where that machine gun, and the rest of the weapons they were carrying, came from. Lexi, ready the templars." He stood, and the others followed suit. The bishop's 5'7" frame only came to Lexi's chin, but neither lieutenant doubted the whispered rumors that the three long rips down the left side of his jacket were claw marks of a Lupine. Halfway out the door, Vanil stopped and looked back at Erich. "Oh, and when you find the traitor? Make an example of him… a messy one."
The templar and inquisitor stared at each other in silence for a moment. "Well, you heard the man," Lexi said finally.