Friday, 17 February 2017

Sovereignty (Part Three)

More actual play from my dining room, as we continue with our short campaign of The 'Hood, despite being a man down.

The Cast: A Quick Reminder

  • Mr. Benson the Bastion: caught in the undercover war between a merciless FBI agent and a psychopathic rival gang boss, he has to question whose side he is on; played by Elaine.
  • Daddy Longlegs the Matriarch: his children have been caught in the cross-fire once too often, now he's getting down to business; played by Guy.
  • Vince the Shark: with business looking very bad, a stay in the hospital to recover from food poisoning seems like a holiday; played by the absence of Dan.

Before this session, Dan had let us know that he might not be able to make it, so we were prepared to have a possibly-final session without his character. During the week between sessions, I'd had some ideas for the way the story could develop, but I needed the players co-operation in these things, even if they didn't really know what they were co-operating with. I asked them some questions about NPCs in their backgrounds (The family of Mr. Benson's henchman Turk, the mother(s) of Daddy's children and Vince's family members) and sent them each a Love Letter for their character, reproduced below.

Another day but this one is not typical: we have arrived at the vote on rezoning in the 'hood, which the Cleaner had pushed Mr. Benson to fix for him so that his business interests were protected. The boss sends his last loyal lieutenant Mercer to go and keep an eye on the proceedings for him, to avoid any unpleasant surprises, while he considers the offers he has on the table from Taft and The Douche. Daddy also goes to the Council Hall seeking Officer MacCaffrey to settle some debts with him from their past dealings and also to pump him for more inside information: minutes later, the Council Chamber is rocked by a bomb blast! Patchwork is shocked; Daddy leaves her in the care of MacCaffrey as he heroically heads into the scene to help the survivors. One of the people he manages to get to safety is Mr. Benson's right-hand man Mercer.

Back at his crib, Mr. Benson catches up with Daddy, but their meeting in interrupted by a call on Daddy's phone: the number is Juliette's but the voice is The Douche's! The psycho-bastard has Juliette and is demanding "the drive" from Daddy in exchange for her: Daddy bluffs his way through, assuming the drive is something they might have picked up when they stole the computer gear and comics memorabilia from Frank's place, so he sets off to get it all back.

Isolated from his crew, Mr. Benson decides now is the time to sort things out with Turk and goes hunting for him; luckily, he finds out from Jo at the auto-repair shop that Turk had brought in his car for servicing and she gives him the address she has for him, which will take Mr. Benson out of the 'hood. Jo also lets slip that she's closing down and selling up after receiving a very generous offer from a 'Clearwater Holdings" to give up her lease on the property (she really ought to mention this to Daddy soon, as he is renting the space above the garage from her.) Mr. Benson wastes no time in hunting down his rogue crew member and arrives at a squalid apartment ready to settle things, but it isn't Turk he finds there at first: it's Sarah, Frank's supposed girlfriend, and she's wearing a wire!

Daddy arrives at the Pawn Shop and squeezes Brian for a description of the customer who bought the computer hardware he brought in the other day: he gets one that matches Samantha Lincoln, the drug-dealing daughter of the Councilman that Mr. Benson made a deal with, who was caught in an explosion just hours before. The day is turning into quite the errand for Daddy...

Having the drop on her, Mr. Benson milks Sarah for what she knows: it turns out she's an undercover cop who was using Frank as an informant, as he was allegedly close to The Douche. Turk comes back to the apartment in the middle of this and is forced to choose between his old boss and his new girlfriend who has been keeping some big secrets from him: Mr. Benson makes it an easy choice for him, but he begs his boss to leave Sarah to him...

Image result for police tapeDaddy calls the gang boss to update him on "the drive" and they both head to the Lincoln place to see about recovering it, but as there has recently been an attempt on the Councilman's life (which we still hadn't established was successful or not) the police are at the front door guarding his daughter. Mr. Benson uses his sway over the 'hood to talk his way past the cops, but Samantha is furious to see him, especially when he puts his foot in it by offering his sympathies for "her loss." She freaks out and accuses Mr. Benson of being the one behind the bombing, spilling what she knows about his business dealings with her father in front of the cops: they are left with no choice but to bring him down to the station, along with Samantha, to take statements. Daddy makes use of the distraction to look for the hardware, but all he finds is an exchange of messages between Samantha and her friend Brad about setting up a new office for their dirty work in the slum district at the other end of the boulevard.

Things keep going south for Mr. Benson at the police station: after being kept waiting in an interview room for 15 minutes, it's Detective Sarah Vasquez who finally shows up to grill him! Bearing a grudge after their last encounter at the seedy apartment with Turk, she pressures him over the death of Frank and his involvement with The Douche: his attempt to play it cool does not impress her though and she arrests him on a stack of trumped up charges! With no-one else to call, he rings Daddy to come and help him out.

Things are hotting up for Mr. Benson, so he calls Special Agent Taft and informs him that he has heard from The Douche: they agree to meet up at  an Indian restaurant in the Social Enterprises quarter within an hour to make the hand-over. Meanwhile, Daddy heads down to the Slums looking for Brad, but gets pointed back up the boulevard to where Brad ought to be peddling his wares... in  a car park at the back of the Social Enterprises quarter. Mr. Benson meets Taft inside and they make their exchange: Taft gets the info about The Douche's potential drug-dealing in the 'hood and the gang boss gets Taft's protection in the matter (so Elaine took -2 heat for her character, as offered in her Love Letter.) Outside in the car park, Daddy is done negotiating and talking: when he finds Brad, he breaks his arm and he and his son Norville carry the stricken drug dealer back to the slums to collect the hardware.

The negotiations with Special Agent Taft have not gone totally in Mr. Benson's favour: Taft makes it clear that he considers Benson to be in his pocket now, which does not sit well with the gang boss. After Taft leaves to arrange an operation to catch The Douche tonight at the Santa Monica Pier, Mr. Benson call's Juliette's number... The Douche answers. The gang boss wastes no time in selling out Taft, giving The Douche a 'friendly warning' about the operation heading his way...

With the hardware finally in his possession, Daddy and Norville head to the pier, but Daddy gets a strange feeling of deja vu just moments before the Burger Bar he was instructed to deliver the goods to blows up! The pier collapses around them, sending himself, Norville, a lot of tourists and several members of a tactical assault team into the flaming, churning water...

In the early hours of the morning, a weary Daddy drags himself to Mr. Benson's place, which is now manned by Turk once again: the gang boss has a talk with The Douche again, the latter now assured that Daddy never had "the drive" or he wouldn't have waited so long to deliver it, so he agrees to release Juliette. By the time he gets home, Juliette is waiting for Daddy on the corner, but the last 24 hours have made him very paranoid and he frisks her for a wire... just as her mother Thureau pulls up!

Mr. Benson is still concerned over "the drive" and thinks that perhaps Sarah might have it: Turk pleads with his boss to let him ask her (though he does have to take Norville with him after Daddy insists on his son getting some 'work experience' with Mr. Benson's crew.) Turk returns later to assure his boss that Sarah doesn't have it but she does know about it: Frank told her that the one person he had trusted his whole life was looking after it and Mr. Benson realises he still has Frank's Mom's number...

Back at the auto-repair shop, Thureau angrily helps Juliette to pack her cases, throwing possessions randomly into the back of her car: Daddy decides the best thing he can do for his daughter now is to protect her from The Douche and the danger in the 'hood, so he lets her go (and Guy takes Juliette's name from his payback box.) After this, he heads to the hospital to collect Patchwork, who has recovered from her shock and minor injury by now.

Phoning Frank's Mom leads to an emotional conversation for Mr. Benson and breaching the delicate subject of stuff her son might have sent to her recently sets her off into a diatribe about clearing his things out of the attic, including the big collection of comic books that were the only thing he cared about as a child. The dreadful penny drops for Mr. Benson: the drive is in the Captain America bust! He calls Daddy, who is just about to race back to the Pawn Shop when Patchwork tells him that she liked the bust so much that she bought it back off Brian and put it in her room: the one she shares with Juliette. They race indoors only to find the bedroom virtually stripped bare and we cut to a scene of Thureau and Juliette driving out of the 'hood, with a backseat piled with Juliette's belongings, and there, proudly sitting atop them, is the bust of Captain America...

This may or may not have been the final episode: obviously, a lot of things are left hanging in the plot above, so if we feel like it, we'll carry on playing to see what happens next.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Sovereignty (Part Two)

An Actual Play report for the second part of the face-to-face game of The 'Hood being hosted in my own dining room by me: sweet!

The Cast: A Quick Reminder
  • Vince the Shark: Sunday was not a good day for Vince, as he hospitalised one of his debtors, the business of the second burned down and his third was assassinated in Mr. Benson's penthouse; played by Dan.
  • Daddy Longlegs the Matriarch: Daddy managed to keep his head above water and even turned a small profit on the day, with the help of his kleptomaniac children; played by Guy.
  • Mr. Benson the Bastion: after having two bodies removed from his penthouse in one day and losing 2 out of 3 of his best lieutenants to a combination of injury and betrayal, what he'd like most is a restful night; played by Elaine.

Image result for santa monica night

That rest will have to come at another time; as the long summer evening slowly turns into night, Mr. Benson acts on the tip-off that the police are going to hit him later today, so he prepares to receive guests. Across the road from his building at the Big O Donut Restaurant, Daddy sidles up to his contact on the force, Officer MacCaffrey to see what he can learn about Frank's death in the restaurant fire, while not far away in his pawn shop, Vince studies the phone he stole from Frank.

The peace is broken by the abrupt appearance of a helicopter shining a spotlight at Mr. Benson's building while half-a-dozen cops spill out from their hiding place and a marked van screeches to a halt to disgorge half-a-dozen more! They crash in and try to take charge, but Mr. Benson is on his own turf with his accountant & personal assistant Mercer at his hand, so the attempt to shake him up is not very successful: Mr. Benson simply chats with a Special Agent Taft for an hour or two, convincing him that he is simply an honest businessman with nothing to hide. Taft invites the ruthless gang boss to a club at the beach front later on to discuss this whole affair with him, so Mr. Benson is reluctantly pried away from his beloved 'hood.

As this takes place, Vince is trying out the numbers on Frank's phone: he strikes out with Aqua, who hangs up on him, and The Douche, whose number is no longer in service,  but he finally gets a reply from Frank's Mom. She says that when she last spoke to her son, he was excited & nervous about meeting a girl called Sarah at the Santa Monica Pier. Vince deduces that Sarah is Aqua and, working with Daddy, they come up with a plan to trick her into trusting them: Daddy calls her from another phone and pretends to be a florist wanting her address for a delivery from a Frank Carter, saying there is a sealed message with it. She enthusiastically gives her details and awaits the delivery; the message will give her Vince's number, along with an instruction from 'Frank' to call that number if he's ever in deep trouble.

During the week between sessions, I created the graphic on the right and sent it to the whole group so they could be prepared to act on the information rather than me surprising them with it and waiting to see what they did. This also had the benefit of creating an impromptu prop at the table, as Dan was able to get out his actual phone and display the image on it. The flower delivery scheme came about as a result of the players using the Plan B move to get a guaranteed success from me, with the only down side being that it would take all night to put into motion, so they wouldn't get a response from Sarah until the following morning. Also noteworthy: throughout this, Vince never once let on to Daddy that he had Frank's phone. Another note: yes, I used the UK & Europe dating protocol of day/month/year instead of the American month/day/year arrangement, because it just made reading the information easier for all of us.

After the police leave his apartment, Mr. Benson heads off to his appointment with Taft: dropping his name at the door of the nightclub is enough to usher him through the VIP entrance to a private room that overlooks the dance floor, where Taft is awaiting him. The agent apologises for the inconvenience earlier, but a determined Mr. Benson squeezes him for more: Taft spills the beans on the operation, revealing that it was actually a blind to lure their real target out into the open. Taft paints a picture of a near-psychopathic master criminal, pulling strings from behind the scenes and targeting Mr. Benson's neighbourhood: they know next to nothing about him, other than that he calls himself The Douche. Giving his business card to Mr. Benson, he asks the gang boss to contact him if he receives any overtures or offers to take over any of his businesses, as it could be The Douche behind it, especially if it involves sudden, irrational violence.

As midnight passes, Vince decides it's never too early to be taking care of business, so he heads over to the shed behind the park where the drug users hang out, now dubbed the Junkie Yard, to shake down Gonzo for his money (as Vince still doesn't know that Gonzo was murdered earlier.) There's no answer to his gentle knocking, so he bursts in... on a charnel house. His feet slip in the gore that carpets the ground and trails up the walls as he takes in the sight of the brutally murdered junkies: stepping back calmly, he calls Daddy and asks him to bring a can of gas to the Junkie Yard... shortly thereafter, they stand before the blazing pyre of dead junkies, but Daddy can't shake the itchy feeling that, just maybe, despite his protestations of innocence, Vince might have had a hand in this...

I'm editorialising a bit there, there was no action or rules invoked relating to Guy's character's distrust of Dan's character, but this was definitely the session where players embraced the idea of not trusting each other's characters, even if they knew they were telling the truth.

Mr. Benson drives himself back to the 'hood... and gets T-Boned by another vehicle at the turn-off! The gang boss is able to walk away from the collision, but the other driver pulls an automatic weapon and sprays the tarmac with bullets! Mr. Benson pulls a weapon out of his wrecked car and fires back, injuring his opponent enough to enable his getaway; he considers finishing the shooter off, but he's in no position to take that kind of heat right now.

Elaine had expressed a desire for some cathartic violence in the game, so I threw this scene her way: hey, be careful what you wish for! It didn't do much except keep the pressure up on her character and provide another dangling thread to be picked up in the narrative later by anyone who wanted it: who sent that assassin after Mr. Benson? Was it The Douche? Or someone else with a grudge...?

Finally, the morning comes: Vince and Daddy pay an urgent call on Mr. Benson to ask him what the fuck is going on in the 'hood right now. They get around to sharing everything the know about Frank, The Douche and Sarah/Aqua, as well as the death of Gonzo and the other junkies, plus Ghost's involvement in the burning of the restaurant owned by Panos (Vince's other debtor) the previous morning. A palpable miasma of mistrust hangs in the air as Mr. Benson and Vince wonder who is trying to screw who over: to break the deadlock, the gang boss has Ghost brought from the hospital to answer some questions in front of everybody. Shortly after, a partly-crippled Ghost confesses to taking some side work from some guy calling himself The Douche and arranging to have the restaurant burned down: drawing the conclusion that he has no room for traitors in his organisation, Mr. Benson throws Ghost down the elevator shaft.

Image result for body in lift shaftThere was no way Ghost was going to be saved here: he was still down from Vince's attack on him in the previous session and no-one was going to help him, so it was a foregone conclusion that if Mr. Benson wanted him dead, then he was dead. Instead of making that the stake here, I offered Elaine a one-time deal to make this move: roll+brass and on a hit, her reputation as someone not to be crossed would spread through the 'hood, so she could erase a name in her payback box. On a 7-9 though, rumours of this murder would reach the ears of the police and she would take +1 heat. Elaine took that deal, got a hit on the roll and erased Mercer's name from her payback box: her remaining lieutenant would now be too fearful to ask her for any special favours, for a while at least.

At around this time, other plans kicked into motion: Daddy got a message from Officer MacCaffrey with the autopsy report on Frank's death (along with photos) which established that Frank was killed in the restaurant before the the fire was started. Vince got a call from Sarah, but he failed a few basic questions that convinced her that he didn't know Frank at all, so she hung up on him and didn't answer any more calls. Vince decided to collect his debts from Ghost by taking stuff from the dead ganger's house, but an active neighbourhood caught him red-handed trying to break in, so he spent the rest of the day extricating himself from that mess. Daddy decided to take his kids for lunch at the Santa Monica Pier and drop The Douche's name about to see if it meant anything: it apparently did, as the patrons of the diner he was eating in treated him like somebody trying to light their cigar with the lit fuse on a stick of dynamite, so he got nothing but ostracized.

Mr. Benson decided the time was right to clear his obligation to The Cleaner who had removed all evidence of Gonzo from his apartment: The Cleaner had expressed concern at a rezoning regulation that would harm a crematorium business in the 'hood that he had an interest in and expected the gang boss to make sure the vote went against the proposal. Mr Benson decided the best way to resolve this was to approach Councilman Lincoln, the father of Samantha the drug dealer, and perhaps use what he knew about the councilman's daughter as leverage against him. Lincoln did not take kindly to comments about his family however and Mr. Benson quickly changed the subject to the quality of life in the 'hood and the vital opportunities provided by the current slum district that was due to be demolished to make way for a much-needed shopping mall. They eventually settled on a deal where Mr. Benson would let go of some other property he had an interest in at 80% of it's value, providing a new location for the mall that would save the slum and the crematorium, along with other small businesses.

We ended with a desperate and harried Vince looking for shelter from Panos and his family, hoping to lie low at their place until the residents of the 'hood got past him trying to burgle from one of their own: this was a mixed blessing for Vince, as he did indeed join the family for dinner, but their Greek cuisine did not sit well in his stomach and he reacted badly to some of the ingredients.

Perhaps some slightly dishonest play here on my part, but Vince had 4 heat and only one debtor left alive, whom he owed payback too: the only way not to get him burned in this scene was to have him go down when he missed on his roll to lie low with Panos. On the upside, all three players gained enough experience for an advance during this session, though they all remain dangerously close to getting burned.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Sovereignty (Part One)

This is the first part of a three -part Actual Play report for the short campaign of The 'Hood taking place at my home with friends who live in the region, prompted by Guy "The Teaspoon" MacDonnell.

Taking place in a little-known district of Santa Monica, CA, the prime movers in our story are:

  • Vince the Shark: he's really a nice guy who only got into money lending as a way to help a relative with a tragic back-story, but now he has interests in businesses across the 'hood; played by Dan.
  • Daddy Longlegs the Matriarch: the father of many children, three of whom stay close by his side at all times, looking for any opportunities that arise; played by Guy.
  • Mr. Benson the Bastion: a tough mover and shaker who oversees the streets below from his penthouse, sending out his minions to shape the 'hood to his will; played by Elaine.
Some online discussions prior to the game had settled on the Santa Monica location and playbooks; I was quiet intrigued by the combination of Matriarch and Bastion, as it seems there was potential for conflict for dominance of the 'hood between those two archetypes.

Image result for santa monica

Our story opens at 2am on a Sunday morning in summer: Vince is in his pawn-shop negotiating a deal; Mr. Benson is dealing with an unlicensed trader who is tied to a chair in his penthouse apartment; Daddy is watching TV with his kids in their home above the auto-shop, while Patchwork, his youngest daughter, is watching the restaurant across the road burn down. The family heads across the road to see what's happening and are soon joined by Vince, as the restaurant is owned by one of his debtors, Panos. Patchwork and Vince both find a way into the burning building; Patchwork steals a stuffed fish in a glass case and turns it over to her father to sell later; Vince finds evidence of arson.

Vince and Daddy head along the boulevard to see Mr. Benson, who has just had his loyal henchman Turk dump some rubbish in the park; as the man with his finger on the pulse of the 'hood, they want to know what he knows about the restaurant fire. His accountant, Mercer, confirms that Panos had the restaurant insured (Vince breathes a sigh of relief)  but there is no confirmation on the whereabouts of Panos himself. Mr. Benson uses his contacts to see what he can learn about the fire and gets pointed towards an old storage shed at the back of the park where the junkies drop out, while Daddy tells Norville, his middle child, to watch the restaurant for any bodies being carried away.

Elaine and Guy both asked around for the answers to their questions: Elaine picked up one consequence, which was that she would have to go to the park herself to find out which junkie actually did the deed. Guy picked up two consequences and chose ' What you find isn't quite what you expected' and 'There are strings attached to acquiring it' so I had it that a body was brought out, but it was the ex-boyfriend of his oldest daughter, who was now dating Vince, and that Norville was arrested by the police, so Daddy would have to go and free him.

The local news team are covering the fire fighters tackling the restaurant blaze as Daddy & Vince return to the scene; Daddy finds his son in the back of a police car, but his protestations to the officer nearly get him tasered! Luckily, a quick thinking Vince directs the news crew to cover the breaking story and Daddy feigns a weak heart; while everyone is distracted, Vince sidles up to the other police officer, a man he knows on the force by the name of Washington, and simply bribes him to let Norville go.

Over at the park, Mr. Benson gets pointed towards the junkie who took some money to light up the restaurant by a blonde girl in a much patched military jacket; Mr. Benson clocks that she doesn't quite belong here and thinks she might actually live in the nice part of the 'hood, but with his target in his sights, he puts that aside for now. He leaves with little hassle, dragging the junkie Gonzo by one leg, either not knowing or not caring that this is another of Vince's debtors...

I had a lot of names of residents in the 'hood from the street planning stage of preparing for the game, so when the main characters started looking for people, those are the names I used: as Guy was taking his character's kids around with him pretty much everywhere he went, and Elaine kept sending her crew in & out on errands, that pretty much meant that Vince's debtors were the only ones free for me to throw into the mix. I did toss in a couple of other potential hooks though: the dead ex-boyfriend Frank was a deliberate ploy to stir things up between Dan & Guys' characters, as they were getting too pally and co-operative. Samantha, the up-market girl at the drug den, was more speculative: I just felt that by positioning a third party in that scene, rather than making it a direct confrontation between Mr. Benson and Gonzo, I was laying the groundwork for her to become more significant later. I had a vague idea that she might actually be dealing drugs in the 'hood, but I was open to other interpretations of her character.

Sunrise finds Panos the restaurant owner being greeted at his front door by Vince & Daddy: while he resents the shark's intrusion upon his home, he is happy to see Daddy and reluctantly invites them both in. They discuss the restaurant and Frank, the now dead ex-boyfriend of Juliette, who is the daughter of Daddy and current girlfriend of Vince: Panos informs them that Ghost, a member of Mr. Benson's crew, was around last week asking how much the restaurant was worth... at about the same time, Mr. Benson is learning from Gonzo that Ghost was the one who gave him the money to set light to the restaurant.

Ghost is also another of Vince's debtors, but unfortunately he is not at home right now, as Vince had only just broken his knee-cap that morning while collecting from him! Deciding once again to pool what they know, they head back up the boulevard to see Mr. Benson, but a rifle shot rings out across the street as they near his building...

Moments before this, Mr. Benson was holding Gonzo over the edge of his balcony, wringing every last drop of information from him, when his phone rang from an unlisted number: the stranger calling instructed him to put Gonzo down carefully, referring to him as a 'commodity', and began counting down as a red-laser dot appeared on Mr. Benson's chest. The gang boss responded by swinging Gonzo around in front of him as a human shield and started backing away into his penthouse: the stranger responded with a hearty laugh and the phrase "Fuck it," before sending a bullet through Gonzo's heart!

It actually took me a while to realise this, so we didn't act on it immediately, but this move on my part had threatened Mr. Benson's livelihood: someone had gone out in the 'hood and it wasn't his finger on the trigger! This complicated the character's life considerably, as we are about to see...

Given the shit-storm going down in his penthouse, Mr. Benson declines to invite Vince and Daddy inside, so neither side shares what they know about Ghost with the other. The gang boss orders his minion Turk to dump the body, but he rebels slightly, as this is the second time in 6 hours he's had to remove 'trash' from the penthouse. He unsubtly suggests that it's time he got a pay-rise, but Mr. Benson shuts him down hard, so Turk walks, leaving the body of Gonzo for his ex-boss to deal with. He calls up a cleaning service, but with limited access to his funds right now, he'll need to collect some ready cash fast and he'll still need to do an unspecified favour for the cleaner: he has until sunset to make things right.

With no help forthcoming, Daddy decides to go to Frank's place and help himself to the deceased man's property; he doesn't want Vince along, but the shark is not so easily shaken off and Daddy realises he has been followed when he sees Vince teaching his son Norville the correct practices for acting as a look-out. It's pretty much the same story inside the house: while Daddy ineffectually pokes at walls looking for a hidden safe, his daughter Patchwork takes a Captain America bust and Vince simply slides Frank's iPad into his pocket when no-one else is looking.

Not far away, a plan to make some money fast is being cooked up by Mr. Benson; he goes through his knowledge of the 'hood and recalls that the girl he saw in the park earlier is the daughter of a local councillor, so he thinks she might be good to shake down for a few bucks as insurance against him telling her daddy what she's been up to. Bluffing his way into their family home, it seems Samantha is ready for trouble and has a gun drawn on him, but he talks her down by dropping her dad's name into the conversation and assuring her that he is a 'legitimate business associate' of her father's. By applying a little more pressure, he gets her to give up her army coat, which is stuffed with rolls of money and wraps of cocaine, enough to pay off the cleaner and keep a little back for himself too...

As an aside, Guy covered his tracks so poorly that Dan quickly built up a load of debt that Daddy owed Vince, enough to cash it in and take a move from the Matriarch's playbook; Guy was amusingly horrified when Dan chose The Greatest Tragedy, with the rationale that he had hung around with Daddy's family so much that they called him 'Uncle Vince.' The practical upshot of this is that if any bad shit comes Vince's way, he can just have Juliette take the bullet for him!