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Demon: Night Train Detective Agency (Actual Play)

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  • Gotta love the quirks of creating ones own cover. I really like at how involved Clytemnestra is with hers, treating them as different people rather than just a disguise, even when she is both. Maybe I should do that with my own Demon at some point...

    Ah, that makes sense. Well, Cornelius was noted as being extremely potent before. I suppose I should have figured on him being able to do something like that, particularly since he was noted to be able to jump to a new body when his current one dies. Interesting he already knows about the God-Machine, though I can't say I'm surprised at how ambitious he is towards it. Very interesting foe.

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    • There was an argument last session IC where Billy Mack was saying to Elizabeth she could restrain people or use social skills, and Elizabeth was saying Naomi also could, which confused Billy Mack until he realized she was speaking of them as two different people, while he was as one, even if she no doubt knew what he meant, she kept calling them separate rather than think of them as the same, even "Out of Character" for her.


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      [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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      • Related to this, one of the interesting thing with Demon, is being people who play people who are playing people. Some people's characters are more or less them, often their first one (Gabe, Elizabeth) while others, especially later ones, are different (Naomi, Miguel). Some people only really stay in character in a scene they need to (Kilroy, Quietus) while others do so almost relentlessly (Speed Demon, Clytemnestra).


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        [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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        • It's an intriguing practice for Demons, regarding their cover and their identities. Each supernatural has its own identity crisis that they sort out in their own way, but Demon is probably the only game that allows you to take it to such a myriad and yet casual degree. It gets even more complex if a Demon takes Living The Lie, which grants them the ability to add another Virtue and Vice to new Covers, adding yet another layer to the whole identity aspect.

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          • The fact that there is no clear 'this is how covers work' is interesting because of the way it allows different Unchained to form very different approaches to the subject. Clytemnestra has Living the Lie, since it really fits her approach that her covers are people. Kilroy, on the other hand, has actually asked, "Which cover should I wear?" in game. And initially the whole relationship between Vivian and Shelly was something he approached from a standpoint of wanting to write a 'better' ending to Vivian's life story (Vivian was bought at start but the background explanation is that she's a soul-pact.) Of course, Kilroy has come to realize that there is an actual attachment there and this is mildly troubling to him as it represents a vulnerability and impairs his ability to be reasonable and objective.

            I guess if one wanted to extend the demons as gamers analogy Kilroy is clearly the number-crunching wargamer who refers to his characters in the third person while Clytemnestra is very much the improvisational theater player. I mainly bring those two up since they're the extremes in the group with Quietus and Speed being in the middle.

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            • I just want to chime in to say Amberghylles has an excellent summery there.


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              • We got Jack back. Let’s see what havoc they get up to.

                Session LXIII


                Speed Demon’s Monologues

                Jack had just finished up installing his baseball card sized wireless capable microcomputers into the electronics system of his and my car when we headed out to bring what we had to Miranda so he came along.

                We got there and laid everything out for Miranda, the shit we’d figured out and the shit we’d stolen. While Miranda was looking things over, Naomi wandered around the kitchen. “Is the stuff in the fridge safe, or will it give me space cancer?”

                “There is nothing Abyssal in my refrigerator, miss,” Miranda said sharply, eying the documents. She glanced up at me. “OK, here’s the tricky part. The person who laid this encryption down will know it was broken. They will not know where it was broken, or who broke it. I can dispel it - it will take about an hour to do the ritual - but they will know.”

                I shrugged. “We’ve already stolen it, so...”

                She nodded. “Just wanted to make sure you knew the repercussions.”

                True to her word, exactly an hour after she started, she had the documents in a more readable state. After reading them over, she passed them on to me. “It looks like they are giving him instructions on how to find the book. They are gathering power to perform a rite to home in on them, and will be irritated with him if they have to actually do it. There’s not a long time table.” I let the others look over them. “I can look into rituals that might help, but that kind of thing is not really my forte. I can’t just throw a spell together for it. They are rather upset about the loss of the books - it’s possible they were using them, but some of the books, particularly the ones my family left, are the kind of thing that they would usually execute someone for owning. So more likely they just wanted to contain them. Or the entire cell is corrupted. That would certainly be... interesting.”

                I raised an eyebrow as I flicked through the papers. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it were that last thing. They’re all about keeping weird shit minimized, right? Or just mage shit? Cause they’ve got packs of dogs with psychic links and near human intelligence, and they are handing out superpowers to normal humans like it was goddamn candy.”

                “They work more to keep magery minimized. They are probably using magic to create better servants. It’s not necessary for reality to be mundane, for them, but rather to have it under control of the Exarchs.” She frowned. “I haven’t sensed the Abyss on Stein or Amsterdam. I haven’t used any magic on them to tell for certain, but I can sense these things somewhat.”

                Billy Mack nodded. “Stein was very intent on curbing the Abyssal taint on the Asbury Room.”

                She looked a little relieved. “That is a good point. They are not corrupted then. As fun as that might be, it would not say good things about the stability of the area.”

                Billy Mack smiled. “Can you make anything of the books or the syringe?”

                “The syringe is to enhance his power. A booster, of sorts. I imagine if you were to inject it into your DNA, you would get a version of one of his powers for a time. It is just a guess, but my guess is that it’s part of an ongoing treatment.” She glanced at the books, flipping through a little. “I’m not sure about the books. They are rare.”

                Looking over her shoulder, I caught sight of something in one of them. “Wait a second.” I picked up that one and flipped back a bit. I found an artist’s rendition, based on a second hand report of a mass ritual sacrifice that had taken place about an hour and a half south of Seattle as the regular gee drives, at Adam’s Crossing. There was some kinda fucking halo effect on the men performing the ritual, and the book described them as ‘luminous’.

                Billy Mack had been flipping through another one, one that categorized ancient sacred sites in the area. “The God Machine has been placing many sites at places sacred to She Who Watches, including the Works and Diablo Dam. In fact, they have a site at every place sacred to her. I suppose putting an Infrastructure at a site of magical importance is not unusual, it is just more circumstantial evidence that there is something to her.”

                “Maybe.” I shrugged and flipped the book around, tapping on the description. “Someone tried to use that ritual Hazard was telling us about.” I let them read the passage. “Supposedly, they opened at gate to hell, and went down into it.”

                “Interesting...” Billy Mack read carefully.

                I nodded. “Here’s my thought - you two,” I pointed at Billy Mack and Jack, “go get a motherfucker’s heart. I’ll go talk to Team Professor, let them know about Stein and get their help overcoming the time constraints that this ritual puts on us. Naomi, you can go with the boys if you want, cause you’re not coming with me to talk to anyone who is a professor.”

                “I dunno how I can help with the heart thing. Would offending someone help? I’m good at that.” Naomi smirked. “Anyway, I got shit to do.”

                “Liz might be more helpful, it’s true.” Naomi rolled her eyes. “Should give her a call anyway, she might wanna come by the school.” I stood and stretched, then went over to Miranda and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Thanks sweetheart.”

                She smiled slightly. “Of course. This is obviously relevant to me, so...”

                Billy Mack nodded. “Yes, you should likely steer clearer of Team Tomorrow than I imagine you already do. It does shed some light on their motivations.”

                That reminded her of something, and she took my hand. “Do you know my ex-boyfriend’s name?” I shook my head. “Adrian Dawes. He is one of the higher up people in the Seers of the Throne. In case it gets mentioned. He might not still be in the area, but I think you should know.”

                I gave her grin. “I’ll keep my ears open.”


                The boys made their way over to the house Liz’s contact had told her the body was being displayed at. Liz decided to come along with me instead. They settled down for a stake out, and once the hearse arrived and loaded up its passenger, Billy Mack set off after them in pursuit. He did not bad fucking job of tailing them, even in Jack’s ‘fallen off the back of the truck’ car, and made it there unnoticed.

                The two decided to try the back door first, but before they even rounded the corner, they could hear a loud argument, with two people asking for Clem and another voice telling them to clear out, that he didn’t work here anymore. As they rounded the corner, the female of a pair of emaciated, probably-junkies flashed the pair of uniformed men, one with a pistol out and pointed at the junkies. The man without a gun blanched away from the woman's individually countable ribs and the one with a gun repeated his threat to call the cops.

                Seeing as security appeared to be goddamn distracted at the moment, they slipped back around to the front. The place was still open and an older man was sitting at the front desk. He looked at them expectantly when they came in. Jack flashed his badge of indeterminate authority. “Was there a man named Clem who used to work here?”

                “Everything about him was forward along to the police, and none of his things are here anymore. I’m not certain how I can help you.” The old man frowned.

                “I just need to take a look around,” Jack reassured him.

                He nodded slowly. “As you say. I can’t really leave here, in case we have... visitors.” He looked over down the corridor that was in the direction of the back door. “Could you arrest them, please?”

                “I’ll take care of it after I’m done here,” Jack promised.

                “Thank you.” The old man frowned. “Actually, I need to use the facilities. If someone comes in, can you tell them to wait?” Jack nodded. “Thank you.” He stood creakily up and wandered off in the direction of the restrooms.

                Jack and Billy Mack made their way down the hall to the rooms. Everything was clearly fucking marked, so it was easy for them to find the room Lu’s body was in. An orderly was wandering around more focused on the end of the hallway where the security guards were still arguing with the junkies. They managed to time things so they slipped into Lu’s room while he was looking the other way.

                Billy Mack got through it easy, butting the poor gee’s heart out quickly, and neatly enough that it would take someone paying attention to notice anything different. As soon as he’d plopped it down into one of the organ donation cooler things, they heard a gunshot and commotion outside. Billy Mack took an extra moment to conceal the incision so that even if you paid attention, it would be hard to notice while Jack got rid of any evidence he’d been there, at least.

                When they headed out into the hallway, the tables had turned on the security guards. The emaciated man now had the pistol and was firing wildly. One of the guards was on the ground, and the woman was on top of him, zip tying his hands. The other has his hands up and his face to the wall. The orderly was frantically looking through the desk in the office up front, looking for something.

                Jack looked at Billy Mack after they ducked back into the room. “Go on and walk out. I’ll be right behind you.”

                Billy Mack frowned. “This is really none of our concern. We should both just walk away. There’s nothing to be gained from getting involved and it only increases the likelihood of someone remembering we were ever here. We can always call 911 and anonymously report the gunshot after we are out.”

                Jack tweaked reality to try and stop the fight. Unfortunately, since the junkies already had the upper hand, while he dropped the gun, they also got away scot fucking free with the guard in the zip tie. The orderly and the other guard ran after them, yelling at them to bring him back and not to eat him. It was plenty distracting to let them slip out though.

                Once they got to the car and stashed the heart in the trunk, Jack turned to Billy Mack. “We gotta follow them. That’s not OK. Just cause you’re a Vulcan does not mean I don’t have a conscience.”

                Billy Mack sighed heavily. “Very well. We can rescue the orderly if that’s what you wish. The main part was making sure that we were not still in the building when the police arrived.”


                Naomi swapped into Liz as I gave Dr. Hazard and Dr. Carpenter a call. As it turns out, they were both free in about half an hour, and when I asked for a discreet place to meet, Dr. Hazard suggested the history department’s faculty lounge. Once he gave me directions to it, we headed on over.

                It was a fucking swanky place, compared to some of the lounges I’d seen wandering around campus. I checked for hidden things as soon as I got there, finding a secret passage and a couple of hidden desserts. I turned to Dr. Hazard and jerked my head towards the bookcase. “So, that’s isn’t a potential security issue?”

                “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The mage had a goddamn decent poker face, I’ll give him that.

                “Nah, I don’t think so.” Dr. Carpenter shrugged, answering about the same time. “You’re talking about the secret passageway?” I nodded, Dr Hazard gave him a dirty look.

                I raised an eyebrow at Hazard. “Yeah, the one I obviously already knew was there? Yeah, I was talking about that one.” He continued with his dirty looks. I raised my hands. “As long as it’s not a security risk, I don’t care.”

                Hazard sighed. “It’s Dr. Hargrove’s. There are some arrangements. We don’t go in there, and he doesn’t take students in there for any reason. Also, he funded this nice room. Well, it and the whole building.”

                I pulled the folder out that we had put the documents in and handed it over, along with the basic synopsis of what we’d figured out, leaving Miranda completely out of it. Dr. Hazard gave me a strange look when I pointed out the Seer’s symbol, and flipped through the papers himself. “Well, it does mean they want the books and don’t have them. I’m not going to ask how you know all this.” Carpenter chuckled. Man, I need to play poker against that werewolf. Hazard looked at him. “Did you tell her about the Seers of the Throne?”

                “I dunno what the Seers of the Throne are.” He shrugged. “Though they sure do sound like your problem.”

                “Yes, but, they are after the books, so they are our problem.”

                Carpenter’s grin got sharp. “Can I deal with them?”

                The mage sighed. “They are mages...”

                “So I gotta sneak up on ‘em.”

                “They also have packs of nearly human intelligence dogs that appear to be able to fucking telepathically communicate,” I threw out there. His grin grew wider.

                Dr. Hazard sighed. “Let’s not murder them immediately.”

                Carpenter shrugged. “They’re your enemies boss.”

                “I’m not your boss, don’t ever call me that again.”

                “Whatever you say, boss.” He chuckled again.

                Hazard shook his head and turned to us. “Do you have any theories as to where the books are? It seems like they must be magically hidden.”

                I nodded. “In the books Stein had sent to himself, there was mention of a ritual that sounded like the one you mentioned to me, in a town called Adam’s Crossing. We were thinking of checking that shit out.”

                “Ah, yes.” He looked thoughtful. “It was attempted there. We don’t know exactly what happened, just that it was bad. There is what he calls a Wound there,” he pointed at Carpenter, “a very negative place where the spirit world is damaged. It’s not as bad as it was, since people don’t really live there anymore - it’s mostly overgrown, not a whole lot of people. Some criminals holed up along the outskirts mostly. It could be keyed to the ritual itself somehow, certainly worth checking out.”

                “A Wound would be able to make it difficult for magical perception to find it,” Carpenter pointed out. “It’s complicated - think of it as kinda like a magical black hole. It lets magical energy in, but not out so well. I would go armed, to check it out. Or with me. I’ll be free Saturday or Sunday.”

                I nodded. “We do have that whole ticking clock thing, since I’d rather not fight the fucking Seers for it. At least not on unfamiliar territory. But tomorrow is probably good enough.”

                Hazard frowned. “And when we get it? What then? If we make a big enough show of returning them to the school, do you think they’d try to take it then?”

                “I say we return it to the school and set a trap for them. Or set a trap in the Wound.” Carpenter looked excited.

                “Whichever, but I think we need to have the upper hand by finding it first. Would there be anyway to counter whatever ritual they’re preparing if we had the damn things?” I looked to Hazard. “Maybe put it on a different plane of existence?”

                He thought for a moment. “I could try a counterspell, but they work well in groups which is hard to counter. I’ll look into hiding it, if we find it.” He gave me a look. “Who are you representing again?” I smiled. “But you are representing a party involved with the books.”

                I nodded and Carpenter backed me up. “Yep.”

                “But you’re not going to tell me who it is?” He looked at Carpenter now.

                “No, boss.”

                Dr. Hazard sighed fucking deeply. “Have I told you that I hate you?”

                “Yes, boss.”

                The mage shook his head. “Alright, well, whenever you think you can go down there, it does sound like a good plan.”

                “I’d rather not go by myself, but I’d be happy to go with you, with your patron or with you and your patron, just let me know.” Carpenter had a more serious look on his face than when he was needling Hazard.

                I nodded. “I’ll talk to my associates and let you know.”

                Hazard frowned. “I don’t like feeling like I’m the one that doesn’t know what’s going on.”

                “Does it bug ya? Other way around now, huh?” Carpenter grinned.

                “I bet it’s a bitch.” I shrugged and got back to topic. “Still and all, we do now know how Stein knows everything that’s going on - he’s backed by a powerful group of mages. I did have another question. What do you know about the Eye of Humatuwati?”

                Hazard looked taken aback. “It can enhance magic. I haven’t ever studied it myself. Were I to have a chance to, I could tell you more. I presume since you are asking you have reason to believe it exists?” I nodded. “There are many rumors about it. Until I look at it myself, I don’t know which are true.” He closed his eyes. “Lawrence, stop smiling at me.”

                “It was found recently, and with some awfully goddamn coincidental timing. The books and necklace were not found by the same person, but the necklace was found shortly after the books were taken.” I kept from chuckling at Carpenter’s grin just barely.

                “Interesting. The school might want them back then,” Hazard mused. “I have theories about the school, that are complicated, but to sum up, I believe it has an awake and aware spirit about it. At least, something seems to subtly manipulate things towards the best interests of the school. There might be someone or something else behind it. The odd coincidences that seem to happen in the school’s favor is the primary thing I am studying here. Supernatural and even supernal things seem to happen here with a surprising regularity. They happen all over Seattle as whole, but the school is the epicenter.”

                I nodded. “I might have more questions about the necklace later, but for now it appears to be providing some level of protection for the person who found it, and we wanna to keep it that way.”

                Hazard made a considering noise. “You might want the necklace or the person to come with you to Adam’s Crossing. It might reveal the books.”

                “That is a good point.” I looked thoughtful. “We’ll take that under advisement.” I looked to Dr. Carpenter. “And I’ll be in touch about tomorrow.” I nodded to both of them. “Thanks again.”


                Back out at the car, as we were driving back to the office, I asked Liz, “So, I think taking the necklace is a good idea. Taking Angela herself, not so much. Have any ideas to keep her safe without it? It might be the spirit of the college, or whatever fucking hoobajoob he was talking about, keeping her safe at this point, but it might be tied to the necklace somehow.”

                “I don’t know much about Wounds, but if it can infect her, it will. She’s a psychic and very open. So, yeah, not taking her.” She thought for a moment. “I could put her in the pagan house and make sure Cassandra and the others were there, ready to call the cops if someone tries to push their way in.”

                I nodded. “Seems reasonable. Make sure they’re still willing to call the cops if it’s a cute vampire chick though. Though we probably won’t be going at night, so that won’t be as big a deal.”

                She chuckled. “True. I’m cuter than her anyway, so I can make sure they keep her out.”

                “That’s fair.” I smiled. “It’s your call, in the end, just let us know if there’s something we can set up to help.”

                “Part of the problem is that my best choice to protect her would be Robin, and I don’t want her making the connection between Naomi and Liz. If she knows they’re both spider gods... she might start putting things together.” She frowned.

                I parked near the office and we started walking in. “So what do you think about inviting Carpenter along?” I waited until we were past the Salvation Army bell ringer and into the office before I continued. “It would mean restricting our power use, but I think he could be fucking helpful.”

                “A ten foot shag carpet of death does sound useful. Especially with this whole Wound thing,” Liz agreed. “I think we’d be shooting ourselves in the foot otherwise. If we do need to jerk him around about our powers, we’ll need to do it carefully - from what we just observed, playing the mystery card is just going to get him to try and fuck with us. I don’t believe that was his usual behavior. Naomi’s never seen him act like that, and of all the professors with weird nicknames, he’s the one most OK with being called Dr. Talbot.”

                Liz sent the boys a text. ‘All’s good, how’s things on your end?’

                Billy Mack responded after a moment. ‘Heart acquired, doing charity work.’

                She read that to me and I winced. “I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know what he means by charity work.”

                “I think it means ‘anything good for anyone ever for any reason.’ Jack probably made him do it.” Liz crinkled her nose.

                “I dunno, I think he calls the shit Vivian gets up to with Casey charity work, the poor fuck.” I refilled my flask with the office bottle then took a swig myself.


                They had followed the junkie cannibals’ truck to a shitty part of town, not far away from the Bowling Alley of Sex when they’d gotten Liz’s text. It was a different shopping center that the beat up pickup truck pulled into, swinging around to the back alley entrances. They parked a short distance away and Billy Mack immediately switched on Clairvoyance to follow the unconscious security guard as they two scrawny fucks carried her in through a door under the fire escape, past a single unarmed Asian teenager who appeared to be sitting on guard. She was better fed than anyone else in the place.

                The place was a dump, exposed piping everywhere and starving people scattered around, about three of them - none of them armed. They all seemed impressed by the gee’s new pistol. The two we saw at the morgue deposited him in one cage among many, lined up along what looked like a medical lab that definitely wouldn’t pass any kind of code. Thankfully, the other cages were empty at least.

                After consulting for a little bit, they decided to have Jack unlock the door and Billy Mack walk in openly, but immediately jump into possessing the cannibal’s guard. While he held the door open, Jack would stealth in and be around for backup. Unfortunately, things went wrong as soon as they got to that first step. Well, second step. Jack was able to unlock the door no goddamn problem.

                Billy Mack’s attempt at Possession failed. The girl immediately faded back into the shadows and as the boys stepped forward to pursue, they found themselves in a wide fucking open freezing cave. To top it off, when they turned around, the door was no longer there. The wind was loud and howling with flurries of snow. Jack’s stomach growled.

                “Jack, we should leave.”

                Jack continued to glare around into the dark, his night vision eyes glowing softly. “I’m not sure what a wendigo is, precisely, but I don’t like it.”

                Billy Mack’s brow knit, but he sure as hell wasn’t going to pass up on an educational moment. “It’s a Native American spirit of cannibalism. The hunger of winter. The thing you become if you resort to cannibalism in the dead of winter worse than death.”

                “That’s what they keep screaming on the wind.”

                “Oh.” Billy Mack shivered. “I wasn’t listening to the wind. We should leave. I really don’t feel the life of one human is worth this.” Jack kept looking around. “Rip the Gates, Jack. Now!”

                Jack gave him a dirty look and opened a gate to the Underworld. “That was bullshit.” He started walking through the Underworld in the vague maybe direction of the car, hoping to get just far enough to be out of the building if they used the gate again.

                It didn’t take long for them to feel safe and they hopped through and hoofed it to the car.


                Shortly after we got to the office, Cecilia came back to let us know a Gabe wanted to talk to us. I had her send him into my office. Liz leaned against the doorway after he got there.

                He nodded genteelly. He cut a fucking intimidating figure - a big guy in a heavy black trenchcoat. Heavy dreads curtained his face and, as seemed to be his way, his eyes were hidden by mirrored shades. “Good afternoon. You wanted to speak to me?”

                “Yeah. We’re having a little bit of a problem, and we’re hoping we can work it out in a way that will work out for the best for both of us.” I leaned back in my seat. “We’ve got a client who is being stalked by Cornelius-slash-Ernesto-I think we’ve got another name for him...”

                “Yeah, I know Ernesto. He’s generally known as Cornelius by his prey.” Gabe cocked his head at me.

                I grinned. “That would be our problem. See, we’ve been hired his ‘prey’ and are not particularly fucking inclined to let this hunt of his play out.”

                He made a considering noise. “Ernesto’s a hard man to put the screws on. His prey is the First Nations girl, right?” I nodded. “Hrm. She’s plenty powerful, which is probably what makes her so tempting. I could probably put her under protection - make a deal with you, so that she would be under the protection of our fraternal organization, so that he would have to more outrightly defy us to continue to hunt her. It would be, to some degree, win-win. However, it will make him very angry with us so... perhaps you could do us a small favor.”

                “What kind of favor are we talking about?” I raised an eyebrow and walked a coin across the back of my fingers.

                “Have you run afoul of Ms. Kim yet?” I nodded. “There goes that idea. I’m not going to expose you to Ms. Kim then, she has the ability to watch over people who she’s seen recently.”

                I sighed. “Yeah, we spent a month in Europe last time we ran into her.”

                He nodded approvingly. “Probably wise. You’ve met Michael White then?”

                “We’ve had a conversation.”

                “You know that he’s bad news?” He raised an eyebrow.

                “Sure as hell do.” I snorted.

                He grinned slightly. “Good. That saves us a whole conversation.” He paused. “Is there something else you’d like to be called or is Gabe sufficient?”

                I grinned back. “Gabe’s good.”

                “I’ll tell you what. Lemme talk to a friend about what we might could have you do. You can refuse, of course, no binding agreements now, but if you agree, we’ll put the First Nations girl, what was her name?” I smiled. “We’ll put the First Nations girl under the protection of the Brotherhood. I have the clout to do this. I’ll be in touch within 24 hours. I don’t intend to keep you waiting, this is not some bullshit power play.” I nodded my understanding. “I would prefer a meeting in person than over the phone, I am happy to come here.”

                “Sounds great. Just let us know when to be here, since it is a day off, and we’ll be around.” I smiled and stood to take the hand he offered.

                “Here is a card with a number where you can get in touch with me.” The card was blank except for the number. “That card’s number cannot be read by anyone not of the kind, by the way. I will be in touch within 24 hours, no bullshit. Or at least, if there is bullshit, I will be protesting it most vigorously.

                I raised an eyebrow, flipping the card over a few times. “I appreciate the lack of bullshit and approve of the trick. Pretty fucking convenient.”

                “I’ve found human sorcery makes my cover have a few more options that otherwise, and if people don’t understand the limits of that human sorcery, then it just provides a few more options still.” He nodded to me and Liz. “Right handy. Talk to you two later.”

                As he left, Liz shot a look in his direction. “Well, isn’t he Mr. Badass?” I chuckled and she continued, “Well it looks we can prevent this without any bloodshed. Question is, do we want to?”

                “Probably would be better for the world if we did, but I’m not inclined to take another Demon’s big pieces off the table if I can help it.” I shrugged.

                “He’s not one of the Fools, unless they’re pulling one over on you,” Liz pointed out. She started texting the group text for the agency. ‘Not an emergency but need a conference on the Cornelius thing - have spoken with the other Gabe.’

                Naomi responded with, ‘Call him black Gabe, you racist.’

                Liz responded. ‘The other Gabe.’

                ‘Delivering the package. Other issues to go along with,’ was Jack’s reply.


                The boys, in the meantime, had pulled into another strip mall and found The Road to Hell, right where Billy Mack expected. As Jack responded to the group text, Billy Mack picked up the organ donation container and made a beeline for the creepy fucking shop. Jack quickly caught back up.

                “Hello!” Mr. Ox greeted them brightly. “It looks as if you have been successful.”

                “I have,” Billy Mack nodded and handed him the cooler.

                “Wonderful.” He accepted it gravely. “And you have stumbled upon even more interesting stories in the course of this one. Sequels, perhaps. You’ve met Kai.”

                Jack frowned. “Kai?”

                Billy Mack raised an eyebrow. “Is that the name of the young lady guarding the cannibal cult?”

                “Yes...”

                “So that was her cave we wandered into?” Billy Mack continued.

                “Yes...” Mr. Ox raised an eyebrow of his own. “I can smell her on you. She sends many people to hell.”

                Billy Mack nodded. “I imagine. We ran across her people at the funeral home.”

                “Interesting. Well...” He reached down under the counter and came back up with a small urn. “This should be able to capture any of his ilk. It has been wonderful sharing stories with you. I believe your quarry will find a very interesting twist to his own story, were you to use this. But then, I can’t tell you the ending to your story. But trust me, in it very interesting.”

                “I’m sure it is. I would hate to be disappointing.” Billy Mack returned the creepy fucker’s smile “I suppose we should be on our way.”

                Mr. Ox waved as they left. “Have a good day” followed them eerily out the door.


                Cecilia greeting the boys as they got back gave me warning enough to wander up to my door and greet them. “So who wants to go first?”

                Liz raised an eyebrow. “In my experience the men always go first, so, by all means.” She waved Billy Mack on.

                I rolled my eyes at her. “I said go, not come.”

                “Oh, just make my subtle joke vulgar then.” She sat down fucking daintily.

                Billy Mack sat down a small urn of traditional Chinese pottery. “We successfully recovered Lu’s heart, and this will apparently trap the soul of Ernesto or any other body thief that attempts to jump bodies in its presence.”

                I nodded. “Good, cause we might not need to kill Ernesto. Gabe offered to put Nikka under the Brotherhood’s protection, and he figures that Ernesto’s not gonna go against them directly. We’ll have to do a favor for them, and he’s gonna get back to us about it.”

                “Excellent.” Billy Mack smiled.

                “Whoever Gabe and the Brotherhood are, they are already hostile to Michael White. He asked us if we were aware of Ms. Kim,” Liz informed them.

                “Then definitely people we want to cultivate a friendly relationship with.” His smile got wider.

                Liz nodded. “And they’re not the Fools, unless they are fucking with us.”

                Billy Mack looked thoughtful. “It’s not really their style. They’re more...”

                “Straightforward?” Jack offered.

                “Flashy,” Billy Mack continued. “Also, we apparently ran afoul of a wendigo. Named Kai.”

                Jack broke in. “Who has a cannibal cult.”

                Liz made a face. “Why would you want a cannibal cult?”

                “Because cannibalism is what the wendigo are known for, I suppose.” Billy Mack shrugged. “They used to have a contact at the funeral home.”

                “Oh that’s grand.” Liz threw her hands up.

                I chuckled darkly. “I mean, if you’re going to eat human flesh, I gotta give fucking props for eating pre-killed people. But, back to the wendigo thing - you mean she’s some sort of Changeling?”

                Billy Mack shook his head. “A Beast, like Heather. We were pulled into her lair, a cold, dark, maze-like cave where, I believe, we were both struck with an unnatural hunger for red meat.”

                “Speaking of hunger, I could use some Aether,” Jack pointed out.

                “Lucky for you, we got a nice setup downstairs.” I grinned at him. “No cannibalism required.” I didn’t look at Liz.

                Billy Mack continued. “Speaking of luck, Jack was able to open a gate to the Underworld to let us escape from the lair.

                Liz nodded. “Nice to be able to play the ‘your game is bullshit’ card. We had some good luck with the professors. Hazard seemed to think the Adam’s Crossing might be where the books are. It’s a Wound, and that can hide things, magically speaking, apparently.” She frowned. “The last time we heard something described as a Wound, it was the Works, which as we know, is a bad place.”

                “That would create interference,” Billy Mack nodded thoughtfully.

                “Carpenter offered to go with us, and seems to know a lot about Wounds and such. I think we should, even if it does mean being careful about our powers.” I twisted in my seat around a little.

                Liz nodded quickly. “I’m all for shag carpets of death to charge those machine gun nests.”

                Billy Mack looked considering. “I agree.” Jack nodded as well.

                “Alright, I’ll let him know we’re going tomorrow, if that works - we do need to move quick.” They both nodded again.

                “As long as it’s not early,” Liz sighed, “I need my beauty sleep.”

                I raised an eyebrow. “Eleven?”

                “Alright.”

                “Right.” I ran my fingers through my hair. “The other thing from that conversation was that Dr. Hazard thinks there’s some sort of something looking after the college, and might have something to do with the necklace.”

                “He says the college is the epicenter of the weird shit going on in the city,” Liz pointed out. “I don’t like the word epicenter for anywhere that I’m standing. Anyway, he suggested taking the necklace to Adam’s Crossing, so I’ll ask Angela for it. So long as the necklace itself doesn’t interfere...”

                I chuckled. “Just make sure to mention what we’re doing in its... earshot? If it’s really wanting those books found, then it oughta play along, right?”

                She nodded. “Unless it mind controls her, I can get her to give it over.” She shook her head. “The only thing I don’t like about the school having some sort of hidden consciousness is that there was an Abyssal incursion near its heart, and that's bad for anyone. If it’s a group of people engineering these coincidences, they’re probably fine, but if it’s some sort of spirit or entity that is the college... that could be bad. Maybe Miranda ought to look into it. Though, if it’s a group of people, Miranda’s probably at least somewhat part of it.”

                “It could bear looking into,” Billy Mack agreed, “but not as urgent as the books.”

                End Session LXIII

                Kai is a Beast, of course. The PCs got yanked into her Lair. Good times.

                Some things are hopefully starting to make sense. Meeting Gabe was meant to be a big deal. Of course, there is the matter of the books before we go further.

                One thing that did not come across as strongly in Gabe’s journal was discussion as to what the force was behind the school. Shadow players? A Spirit? Mages? Something else? It’s a mystery. So many competing forces, yet something guided them to work in tandem.

                Regardless, Comments and Questions welcome


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                • New Night Train Episode. Faceless men and ghost towns. Shadows of Antigonish I suppose.

                  Session LXIV


                  Speed Demon’s Monologues

                  Since there were a few hours to go until we had our shifts watching over Nikka at Kiki’s, I decided to stop by Esha’s apartment to check up on her. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary from the outside, so I knocked on the door. There was a pause, then the door opened slightly, with whoever the hell was in there standing behind it. They didn’t say anything. So I did. “Esha?” There was no response.

                  I sent a text out to the group, letting them know where I was and what was going on. I put my hand on the door frame. “I’ve just let people know who I am. I’m gonna come inside now.” I stepped into the room, leaving my leg and foot in the door frame to make sure it stayed open.

                  There was a man inside, just beyond the door, in a blue suit with no fucking face. I tensed, my eyes widening slightly, as if I couldn’t recognize a sloppy Angel not designed to deal with humans. I felt... something looking at me and noise came from where a mouth might have been, if he had a face. “Ah. You must be Ms. Norton.” He waited for my tentative nod. “Forgive the precautions - I am a friendly acquaintance of Ms. Karnik.”

                  “Al...right. Is she OK?” I ran my fingers through my hair, trying not to stare.

                  “Yes. We have some concerns about people who are looking for her.” I was playing up the discomfort, but being stared at by something without eyes was goddamn disconcerting.

                  I took a deep breath, as if I’d confirmed something. “Right, the guys across the way?” I jerked my head towards the Team Tomorrow’s spies’ townhouses.

                  He nodded. “The ones that were across the way, yes. Now they have tubes in their head.”

                  “Oh.” My eyes widened, but I left it be. “Is it possible that I could talk to her? Or, see her, maybe?”

                  He thought for a moment. “I could put you on the phone with her or I could arrange for you to see her. You are one of the two people on the short list who I can do that for. But not right now.”

                  “Sure.” I nodded placatingly. “Talking would be great now. And maybe, potentially both?” I held up my hands and followed it up quickly. “Not that I don’t believe you’re taking good care of her, of course, but it would be nice to, you know, hear her voice, make sure she’s alright.”

                  “I’m sure it would relax you.” I held back the snort. “Her phone has been compromised.” He looked something up on his phone and told me the number. “Would you like to speak to her in the back room, for privacy? I am the only one in here, and I must remain at the door. You could also speak in the hall, though I do not know if it is being monitored now that the residents in the townhouses have tubes in their heads.”

                  I glanced at the back nervously. “That’s OK, I don’t mind not having privacy.” I turned a grimace into a forced smile. “I hope you won’t be offended when I say that the whole ‘tubes in their heads’ thing doesn’t make me super fucking excited about heading back to the back while I’m here alone.”

                  He nodded in what passed for an understanding way. “You are welcome to speak here. I presumed you would want privacy since there is a romantic connection between you two.”

                  I smiled, a little less forced. “I think I can keep it PG. Thanks.” I sent the agency an update and dialed the number he gave me.

                  Esha answered after a few rings. “Hello?”

                  “Hey doll.” I grinned.

                  “How did you get this number?” She sounded worried and tense.

                  I glanced up at the Angel. I couldn’t feel eyes on me anymore, so he was apparently trying to give me what privacy he could. “A nice man camping out at your apartment gave it to me. I guess I’m on a shortlist.” She made an uncertain noise. “You OK, doll? I’ve been a little worried.”

                  She took a deep breath. “They interrogated the people that were stalking me and decided I was in serious danger.” Another deep breath. “I don’t really know where I am. It’s very strange here. Everything is very blue.”

                  “I’m sure they’re doing their best to keep you safe.” I tried to be reassuring. She sounded goddamn close to breaking.

                  “The least reassuring person I’ve ever spoken to took my phone and told me I would be safe and that they were handling my... pursuers. It didn’t get our relationship off to the best start.”

                  “Blue suit? Lacking in, well, a face?” She made an assenting noise. “He’s got the message down pat, for sure. He’s said that he’ll work out something so I can say hi, in person.”

                  Her voice got tenser. “I would love to see you, Gabe, but I’m not sure you should get anymore involved than you already are. Don’t get me wrong, I really would love to see you. I can’t talk about everything that’s going on...”

                  I interrupted her. “And that’s probably for the best, it’s not the best time right now.”

                  “It’s much weirder than I ever guessed it would be!” She took a moment to get herself under control. “I... I’m going to suggest you not do it, but I would love to see you. I just want you to be safe. Don’t do anything to make that man suspicious!”

                  “I want you to be safe too, doll.”

                  “I think they are going to make a fake me, and have it walking around, or something. I don’t know, I try to stop listening, it’s just... so... he put tubes in their head, into their eye. Like, right in the middle of conversation, continually talking like nothing’s happening, talking over the screaming. I think he’s from space.”

                  I did what I could to be reassuring, and tried to lead things down a safer road of conversation until she got a better handle on things. “It’ll be alright, doll. We’ll get you a break, some fresh air maybe.”

                  She nodded. “I’m not completely sure that I’m not on a spaceship. I don’t recognize what the walls are made of, and there’s a bright blue glow.” She pulled in on herself tightly. “Look, if you back away and run, I won't blame you. I’m not even sure if you meet a me, it will be me, at this point.”

                  “You make a good point, and that is fucking bothersome. But, look, you just stay safe, and focus on not freaking out, and we’ll get through this.” I tried to be as soothing as possible, still shooting nervous glances at the Angel.

                  “I think I’m doing a good job of not freaking out, all things considered.” I chuckled along with her. “Today he came by, walked in, said ‘Your parents are well’ and walked out. So at least I’m getting updates? Did I mention he puts tubes in people’s heads?”

                  I smiled worriedly. “You had mentioned.” I tried to get her to calm back down a little. Once she seemed to, I went back to the plan. “I’m gonna try and see about getting you some fresh air, alright? You see about keeping yourself calm. Alright?”

                  “Alright.” She sighed. “See you later, and I won't blame you if I never hear from you again.”

                  “I hope that’s not the case. Take care.”

                  When I hung up, I felt his eyes on me again. “Was your conversation satisfactory and soothing for her?”

                  I grimaced. “I hope so.”

                  “Excellent. Is there any other way I can assist you now?”

                  I nodded. “You mentioned about that meeting?”

                  He made a considering noise. “I need to talk to some people and make sure everything would be secure, whether we take you to her, or bring her to you some place where we believe she will not be harmed.”

                  I gave him a tight lipped smile. “I think it would do her some good to get out and about for a bit, get some fresh air.”

                  “With a little patience, she will be returned to her usual life as if nothing happened soon enough. We simply have to make sure a few things are taken care of first.” He shrugged.

                  “Sure, of course. It’s just... a little break of fresh air does the human psyche good. Especially when they’re in a goddamn stressful situation.” I swallowed nervously. “And if she gets that break and meets up with me at the same time, it’ll be like two birds with one stone.”

                  He nodded thoughtfully. “Is there a number we can reach you?” I gave him a burner number and he put it in his phone. “Thank you. I had hoped to meet you, Ms. Norton, but I didn't wish to go seeking people out as I didn’t wish to disquiet anyone. But as you took the initiative to come find her, I felt you should be brought up to speed.”

                  I smiled. “A kind sentiment.”

                  “I am known for my kindness. Just remember she is completely safe, safer than she has ever been before in her life.” He nodded. “This ambush site will function better without you now.”

                  I didn’t ask for a second cue to leave. I just got the fuck out.


                  I called the others up as soon as I was far enough away from the complex that I was certain he couldn’t listen in. “So, Esha’s on a spaceship and there’s an Angel in her apartment who assures me she is as safe as she has ever been in her entire life. He also sticks goddamn tubes in people’s eyes, to read their memories, in the middle of conversations with other humans.”

                  “I’m thinking, not a Messenger.” Liz smirked.

                  “No.” I ran my fingers through my hair. “Definitely one of Kilroy’s estranged brothers.”

                  Billy Mack made a thoughtful noise. “She probably is safer than she has ever been in her entire life.”

                  I shook my head. “Sure. I put forward the case that it is important for the human psyche to get dome fucking fresh air once in awhile, and am angling for a meeting at some point in the near future.”

                  “Did he seem suspicious of you?” Liz asked, a concerned note in her voice. “Or did he think you were another human?”

                  “He had no face. Makes it hard to look for tells. Plus, he told me she was 'as safe as she had ever been in her entire life'.” I put all the nuance in that he did.

                  She nodded. “Talking down to you then. He probably thought you were human.”

                  I shrugged. “He seemed like a straightforward motherfucker as well. I’m pretty sure if he had thought I was a Demon, he would have first told me so, and then there’d be a goddamn tube in my eye. Or a bullet in his. In where his should be, if he had a face.” Patter is had to come up with when you’re talking about fuckers without faces. “So, we might be rescuing Esha from a place that will be guarded by at least one Guardian and enough other Angels that he feels she’s safe.”

                  There was a heavy pause. “I think the important things is - and remember, this is me saying this, not Kilroy - to determine if she is, in fact, going to be OK once the threat is over. If that’s the case, then that’s what we want to, and we don’t need to bring any attention down on us. If they are, say, going to keep her in their space-womb and make a replacement for her that can say ‘hi, I’m Esha’ and be more controllable, then we absolutely need to rescue her. So, I’m not saying we shouldn’t rescue her. I’m just saying, only if she needs us to.”

                  “If we do rescue her, she will be on the run, indefinitely,” Billy Mack pointed out.

                  I ran my fingers through my hair again. “Yeah. Yeah, you’re right.” I sighed. “Problem is, I don’t know how to determine that, and this might be our only opportunity.”

                  Liz nodded. “Well, she hasn’t rebelled. She was in danger. It seems reasonable that she’ll be returned. I could be wrong, and if you don’t want to bet on it, then I understand. But thinking their terms, it doesn’t make sense to take an asset like her and put a fallible duplicate in, when they could eliminate the threat to her and keep going. If they wanted to replace her, they wouldn’t care what Team Tomorrow did to her.”

                  “They would not have stashed her away if they were planning on disposing of her,” Billy Mack agreed. “I do believe it goes without saying, by the way, that they will erase all her memories of this.”

                  I nodded, frowning. “True, and it’s probably the best thing for her, honestly, even if it’s not for our plans.”

                  Liz raised an eyebrow. “Billy Mack could possibly rewrite things to be as close as possible to what happened.”

                  “Indeed,” Billy Mack agreed.

                  “OK, alright. Yeah, it’s better all around if she gets out of this clean. She might not even get her memory wiped, if they want her knowing what she’s dealing with. She’s pretty high up in the local chain of command - I don’t think this is all just cause Team Tomorrow is treading on their turf. She might be a big enough piece to be allowed to keep her memories, if she can convince them that they won’t cause her to stray...” I tapped my fingers on the steering wheel.

                  Liz hummed thoughtfully. “If we could provoke a war between those two...” There was a pause. “Do I need to say it again for the Saboteurs in the back?”

                  I chuckled. “That’d be great, if we can get Esha away from the middle of them.” I shook my head. “We have some time to make plans, I just wanted you guys to know what was up.”

                  “At least she’s OK?” Liz asked tentatively.

                  “At least she’s OK.” I managed a smile.


                  I split off Greg to go lose money at his favorite casino just in time to head for Kiki’s. We met up, so to speak, just before Nikka got there, an Alibi of Billy Mack with me, Vivian at her usual table flirting with Shelley, and Naomi with her pack of minions. The Alibi was even more important than usual. If Ernesto did show up, and he could tell Kilroy was around but not see Billy Mack, things might get iffy.

                  The place was fucking busy. Dmitri was meeting with Holt, meaning he did survive his meeting with Gone. The NGN group was there - Naomi spent some time striking out with Nick again. Carrie Black and Tiffany were at a table together, and Heroin, Tar and Pham Min had another table. Kilroy’s Last Abducted Starfighter, Bobby Heartwood, was grabbing a beer at the bar and Adria and Callie were sitting together. To top it all off, Phil the goddamn chaos spirit was there, watching porn on his phone.

                  When Naomi and her posse of Am and Penelope got there, I casually made my way over to Nikka’s table so that Naomi could stop by on her way to her own booth and make it safe for us to talk freely. I had plenty of time, since the girls were slow-walking into the building, for whatever god forsaken reason. “Still in love with me, right?” She didn’t wait for a response. “Too late, you’re too old for me.” She glanced at Nikka. “You, on the other hand...” She wandered back off again.

                  Nikka looked after her questioningly. “Aren’t we about the same age?”

                  I rolled my eyes. “Trying to apply facts or logic to her statements isn’t worth it.”

                  “I don’t know. Perhaps, almost.” She raised an eyebrow.

                  “You’ll have to let me know, if you decide.” I shook my head, and got to the topic at hand, not wanting to get in the way of her business. “We caught a break. Cornelius’ higher ups are willing to put you under their protection, so he’d have to go against them directly, which they are pretty sure he won’t do.” She looked interested. “It’ll require a favor - our contact will be getting back in touch with us about what kind of favor before we make the deal. Does that plan work for you?”

                  “I would prefer him be dead, but I understand that would be very difficult to achieve.” She gave me a grim smile. “As I said, I did not hire assassins. I will consider it to be a success at what I have paid you to do.”

                  I grinned. “Great. I’ll let you know when we hear back about that and get out of your hair for tonight.” I winked at her and headed back to my table.

                  As I walked back, I managed to overhear Naomi talking to Nick, “If you want to believe in a god, lemme put my hands under your clothes. You’ll believe in something.” I rolled my eyes again and swung by the bar to order another drink before sitting down.

                  The night was fairly quiet, so when Pham and Heroin wandered over to my table it was a welcome distraction. They walked up together, splitting up at the last minute to move to sit on either side of me. I glanced back and forth. “Hey.”

                  “Hey.” They smiled. “Whatcha drinking?” Heroin asked, picking it up and tasting it.

                  “Whiskey sour. Pass muster?” I smirked at her.

                  She shrugged. “Yeah.” She grinned at me. “So, what’s up? We’re bored.”

                  I chuckled. “I see. Well, I’m on guard duty so boring’s the kinda shit I’m hoping for.”

                  “Keep away from that guy then,” Pham said, indicating Phil.

                  “God fuck yes. As far the hell away as possible.” I glanced over at him, frowning. He was waggling his eyebrows at Shelley. “He’s bad news, a spirit of chaos.”

                  She made a face. “Good to know.”

                  Heroin played with my glass, swirling the liquid around. “You think if both of us kissed you with your eyes closed, you could tell who was who?”

                  “Hrm...” I pretended to look them each over carefully. “Probably.”

                  “Wanna make a bet?” The Changeling’s eyes sparkled.

                  I actually thought about it for a moment. I had been warned not to let her touch me, but what the hell could she do to me with a kiss anyway? “Sure. Loser buys the next round?”

                  Pham gave Billy Mack a look. “You can’t tell her.”

                  He raised his hands. “I promise to remain a fair and impartial judge.”

                  It was pretty easy to tell them apart, and nothing horrible happened to me when it was Heroin kissing me. She did shrug when I guessed right. “Ah well. Guess I’m buying drinks.” She signaled the bartender.

                  “How long are you staking out?” Pham asked. “No reason.” She smiled.

                  “Til just before closing, usually.” I shrugged and leaned back in my seat.

                  She shared a look with Heroin and said, in Vietnamese. “What do ya think, you wanna do her?”

                  Heroin glanced over at me, considering, and responded in the same. “She’s cute. It’ll probably be fun.”

                  “We might head out for awhile, but we’ll come back and pick you up then.” Pham switched back to English and smirked at me.

                  “Alright.” I crossed my arms, giving them a fucking cocky grin. It wouldn’t hurt to get more of a handle on some of the more dangerous supernaturals that shared our haunts. Sure.

                  They grinned at each other across me and each kissed a cheek before heading back to the table with Tar. I mostly ignored Naomi’s stare. And her text telling me she hated me.

                  They did in fact head out after a while and things went back to quiet. There was a little bit of excitement when Bobby tried to chat up Naomi’s table. She explained that she’d turned them all gay, and he eventually gave up.

                  At one point, Billy Mack looked down at his phone and made a goddamn disapproving noise. “Apparently, Phil has been hassling Shelley and calling her a hoodrat and offering to pay in cock. I’ll be right back.” He went over there and spoke with him for a moment before wandering back. “As Terry has been looking for him, he will go find him at Kai’s cult’s hideouts, despite it not being Tuesday. It is apparently the feast of Saint Valpurgeist, so that sufficed.”

                  I glanced back over at the chaos spirit, who was paying with Monopoly money. “Terry’s been looking for him, huh?”

                  “As far as Phil is concerned. I believe he will have an interesting time.” I chuckled in response.

                  True to their word, Pham and Heroin came back by to pick me up right around closing time, just after I’d seen Nikka off. Naomi left with her two girls, having failed at picking up a third. And Vivian stuck around until Shelley got off. Poor Jack. Hey, maybe he was having fun too.


                  I got up before Pham did, but Heroin woke up as I started getting dressed. The Christmas lights glowed softly behind her. “Pham makes killer banh cam, sesame rice balls with bean paste. Sure you can’t stay?”

                  I made a face, looking towards the door fucking regretfully. “Work calls.” I sighed. “I hate working on Saturdays.”

                  She shrugged. “Thanks for the good time.”

                  “Whas gon’ on?” Pham looked up from the rumpled bed.

                  “Nothing.” Heroin gestured at her to lay back down. “She says she doesn’t love you anymore. Go on back to sleep.”

                  I grinned and made my way out. Looking both ways, I split off an Alibi of Gabe, who turned back around. Not quite the same, but I did like banh cam, and I’d remember eating it, at least, once the Alibi dissipated.


                  When I’d gotten in touch with Dr. Carpenter the day before, we’d decided to meet on campus at 11. I made it there by then and we were all in my car and leaving by 11:10. Before Carpenter arrived, I’d confirmed with Liz that Angela was safe - apparently she was safe as goddamn houses inside the pagan club house, with plans to take compromising pictures of a naked Am with Stein, if he were to force his way into the house. Am’s own plan, in fact.

                  It was an uneventful drive, with Carpenter telling us a little bit more about Wounds and Liz helping to fill in the awkward pauses in conversation. At some point, I think after we passed the third fucking sign claiming this was Twilight country, Billy Mack chimed in. “There is a chaos spirit that frequents a favorite eatery of mine.”

                  Dr. Carpenter frowned. “Does it manifest?”

                  “I apologize, I misspoke. A Claimed, I believe it the correct word for it, frequents a favorite eatery of mine.” Billy Mack raised an eyebrow.

                  “Well that’s a different kettle of fish.” Dr. Carpenter looked thoughtful. “Chaos spirits don’t usually claim people, but they are dangerous when they do. What kind of stuff is he getting up too?” Billy Mack described the various incidents we knew about. Carpenter frowned again. “So he has what passes for an agenda. I might need to go looking for him... actually...” He thought for a moment. “I think there was a group of werewolves that were tracking a chaos spirit recently. I’ll look into that.”

                  It wasn’t too long after that we ran into the first Do Not Enter signs, and then the roadblock. It was a simple set of wooden barricades that looked a little worse for fucking wear. Billy Mack and Carpenter jumped out to move them aside, so they could put them back after I’d driven through.

                  Carpenter warned me to go slow as we got close, in case we ran into a hole to the Shadow, which I was goddamn happy to do. I needed to drive kinda slowly anyway, since the road was more and more overgrown. It was way more overgrowth than a couple of decades of abandonment could explain. It wasn’t too long until the road was unnavigable. I parked the car so it was pointing out and we started to hike.

                  The place was fucking spooky. No animals of any kind, just a vague chirping not caused by any birds. In the buildings we could see crowds of people milling around. Well, crowds of people shaped things, and ‘people shaped’ was being generous. They were a pale yellow, and had a serious case of Jack Sprat and Wife condition - they were either emaciated or fat, nowhere in between.

                  After a moment, Billy Mack stopped and looked around worriedly. “Where’s Liz?”

                  “Right there.” I frowned at him and pointed at her.

                  “No, she’s not,” he insisted.

                  I looked at Liz and said “Yes she is” right as she said “Yes I am.”

                  “Billy Mack’s right, the brunette girl's gone.” Carpenter started looking around.

                  Liz sighed annoyed, but I snapped my fingers, realizing something. “Liz, take off the necklace.”

                  She did, and Billy Mack relaxed. “Interesting.”

                  “Sure.” I gave her a look. “Why don’t you put it back on? If the spirits are in the same boat as these two, that could be good for you.” She nodded.

                  “Think I could afford to change?” Liz looked at me. “Since Lawrence can’t see or hear me?”

                  I shrugged. “We don’t know when it will let up, so...”

                  Carpenter was still scanning the buildings. “There’s an increasing number of them, and I’m pretty sure they’re hostile.”

                  “Peachy. Let’s book it to the church then, deal with what we have to along the way.” I started walking.

                  Carpenter looked at us hesitantly. “Have you ever worked with my kind?”

                  “No...” It took me a moment, but I realized what he was getting at. “We won’t flip out if you change.”

                  He immediately turned into a large wolf. He howled, and a bunch of the humanoid fuckers broke cover and charged us. As they got closer, the insect sounds got louder. They didn’t look, well, insect-y, but they were making sounds like a swarm of bees.

                  There were eight of them, coming four each from two directions. We had time to get a few shots off each before they reached us, so the three of us took down two from one group while they couldn’t hit back. Carpenter charged them right off, taking out two on his own from the other group in the same amount of time. The buzzing sound intensified each time they were hit. Thankfully, they didn’t bleed bugs or some shit like that, just green ooze.

                  The spirits were wily fuckers, so hitting them while they were right up on us, without the benefit of my rivet arm, was out of the question for me. Instead, I tried to help finish off Carpenter’s playmates so he could come get them off us. With Liz and Billy Mack’s help, we downed one on him and he put the other down quickly, tearing through it like it was made of tissue paper.

                  Liz’s invisibility held out, so it was only me and Billy Mack in bad shape by the time Carpenter rejoined us. Their claws were sharp pieces of shit, and coated in poison. I managed to shrug the poison off, but Billy Mack looked to be feeling the effects along with the deep cuts. Thankfully, the spirits continued to make the mistake of being tissue paper in front of Carpenter’s metaphorical flamethrower and he tore them apart.

                  I patched up my scratches as we moved quickly to the church, and managed to get there without being attacked again. Once we got there, I asked Liz to take a look around, since she was still invisible. She came back quickly. “There is an enormous dead, very female looking one of those in there. Big - probably 12 or 15 feet tall. But it’s dead now, carved open. I couldn’t see anything guarding the place. There are books in very good condition in there, but they were in a circle of magical symbols, so I didn’t want to touch them.”

                  I relayed all that to the others, since they still couldn't hear her. “Let’s go in together, see what we can do about the books.”

                  The big corpse Liz had mentioned dominated the scene. She was right about the height if it was standing on two legs, as best I could estimate, but it looked like it had moved around on all fours. Whatever had taken it down, it was a hard fucking fight, mostly involving some kind of bladed weapon. Inside of its belly were dozens and dozens of corpses of the kind of things we’d fought outside. And bee-like the spirits might be, but they apparently suckled, since the corpse had about 16 tits.

                  Liz had to stop me with an outstretched arm when I started walking towards the books, since I didn’t see any magical symbols around them. She tried to describe them, then shook her head. “Here.” She put the necklace on me.

                  With it on, I could see the symbols. Miranda did use symbols like that - not exactly the same, but similar - when she wanted someone not to touch something. Liz made a good call. It was at least an alarm, maybe more. I’d never quizzed Miranda about them. I let the others know where I’d seen them and considered calling Miranda.

                  Carpenter saws me glance down at my cell phone, and looked pointedly out the window. “Not to rush you too much, but this probably shouldn’t be an all day affair.”

                  I nodded my agreement. I didn't have a signal anyway. “Grab them and run? I can toss them in my... safe space, so we won’t even have to deal with carrying the fucking things as we run to the car.” Billy Mack nodded and got ready to grab them. I indicated the window. “Through there.” I looked to Carpenter. “The books’ll be safe, don’t worry. Think we can fight through, just get to the car?”

                  “Sure.” He shrugged. “They’re not making a beeline, but they’re watching. And gathering.”

                  Plan in place, we got set and grabbed the books. I was immediately struck by a sense of dread and bone deep fear of them. Thankfully, I was already in the process of tossing them through the window, and my instinctual desire to get the fuck away from them was satisfied. It felt like something else had triggered but I couldn’t tell what. Besides, I was too busy running.

                  We dashed out of the church. There weren’t a massive number of spirits waiting for us, though in the distance, more were gathering. Still, we could duck and weave around them, until we got to the car, where there were four more waiting.

                  Liz and Billy Mack stopped and started shooting. I glared at them, but stuck to the plan, dashing for the car. If nothing else, I’d do better running the fuckers over than shooting them, most likely. It worked out alright - four spirits got nothing on a werewolf, and Liz and Billy Mack did a good number on one of them for good measure, especially when Billy Mack got to use the momentum of Carpenter’s attack for his own good, before remembering the plan and following along with me.

                  On the way out, one last brave-ass motherfucker tried to grab onto my car, to keep us from getting away, I guess. He did not win that game of chicken, especially as he was diving straight for me when the bumper encountered his head.


                  A little ways out from Seattle, I gave Miranda a call. “Hey sweetheart. We have the books.”

                  “Good.” Miranda smiled. “Are you OK?”

                  “Mostly.” I rotated my shoulder, careful about the bandage.

                  She frowned. “I don’t like mostly, though I suppose it’s better than it could be. What happened?”

                  I ran my fingers through my hair. “There were some kind of bee-spirit things, and they hurt a lot. I’m more worried about the warded circle we got the books out of. I know one of the things it did, and that it did three.”

                  “I can look you over and make sure you’re OK,” Miranda offered quickly.

                  “Given what it was, I’m a little nervous about going somewhere I care about, in case it’s a tracking spell or some shit. I’ve gotta drop Carpenter off at the school. Would the Roost work?”

                  Miranda nodded thoughtfully. “I might have to cast something, but it depends on what I find.”

                  I let out a deep breath. “That’s a good point. I don't know anywhere private and not someplace we care about.”

                  “We could meet at the Roost and if necessary, go somewhere more discreet,” Billy Mack suggested.

                  I nodded to him. “Or... could you take us into the quiet place? Like you did that first time we met?”

                  “That could work.” She sounded worried.

                  “Alright, beautiful. See you there.”



                  Liz and Carpenter split off as soon as we got to campus and Billy Mack and I grabbed a booth at the Roost and ordered drinks. Billy Mack was all patched up - his tweaking of reality worked better for him, and he’d gotten better with a nap in the car. I still needed a night’s rest to be in proper fucking working order. Miranda wasn’t too long in getting there, and she settled in after a quick kiss on my cheek. “Hey sweetie. You look like you’ve seen better days.” She gave me a smile.

                  “I think I just may have.” I leaned back in the seat. “It’s getting better though. A good night's sleep’ll take care of the rest.”

                  “The restorative power of sleep is exceptional.” Billy Mack smiled genially.

                  Miranda nodded in agreement, then turned to me. “Let’s have a look at you...” Her eyes widened. “We’re going to go...” She looked around, “to the bathroom. Yes.” We got up and followed her to the back where no one could see. Once we’d broken line of sight, we were in Twilight. “You have a tracking spell on you and a spell that will cause you to burst into flames. They have to be present to activate the latter.”

                  I whistled. “That’s one hell of a burglar alarm.”

                  “There were apparently layers to their protections.” She took my hand. “Let me get those off you.”

                  As she began to prepare her ritual, Billy Mack asked, “I don’t suppose you can tell anything about who cast these spells by their spiritual nature?”

                  She shook her head. “If I could see the symbols, perhaps, but not from the spells themselves.”

                  “I’ll draw ‘em later.” She nodded to me, and got back to her ritual.

                  After a few minutes’ work, she stepped back. “OK. I got those two spells off of you, and deactivated the hidden contingency spell that was set to light you on fire if anyone tried to remove the spells. They really didn’t want anyone to find those books.” She looked completely worn out.

                  I put an arm around her waist and kissed her neck. “Thanks sweetheart. I think it’s time for a nap. For both of us.” Then I remembered that it was a busy Saturday. “Shit, no, I gotta talk to Gabe. After that though,” I looked at Billy Mack, “I don’t think I’ll be any use at our appointment tonight. If I can come by...?” I looked to Miranda.

                  She smiled tiredly up at me. “Sounds great.”


                  I got word from Gabe just a little later and we set up a time to meet with all of us. When he showed up, he got straight to business. “I’ve spoken with the others. What we’ve decided is that we will put the First Nations girl under our protection if you do a task that was given to us by a Mr. Underhill. I don't know if you’ve made his acquaintance?” We all shook our head. “I don’t know precisely what Mr. Underhill’s deal is. He does live under a hill.”

                  I smirked. “Does he have hairy toes?”

                  “I’ve only seen him in shoes.” Which sounded goddamn hilarious in his deep, serious voice. “He is a craftsman, of sorts. He’s made some special equipment with special properties for us. There is a creature that he wishes to see eliminated. It comes out on the night of the new moon. It can make itself look like any human, but with bird’s feet, large enough that it cannot wear shoes. It is a city hunter, and will try to find prey somewhere with a lot of people. Mr. Underhill suggested the industrial club - he knows it visits there from time to time.”

                  “The Grindhouse?” Billy Mack asked. Gabe nodded. “We’re familiar with it.”


                  Gabe nodded again. “Good. Mr. Underhill calls this thing a shrek, specifying that that’s his word for it.”

                  I chuckled. “Does it have layers?” At Gabe’s frown, I waved the comment aside. “Does he just want it dead, or does he want something from it?”

                  “He wants it dead, mostly, but if you can bring him its feet, that will make Mr. Underhill happy.” He got a serious look on his face. “It’s dangerous, quick and savage to attack, but it will weaken if it has the attention of a lot of humans at a time. It will try to take someone somewhere that it will not be watched so that it can devour that human’s internal organs without being noticed. I haven’t dealt with anything like it before, but Mr. Underhill’s not the type of guy to send you on a wild goose chase.”

                  Billy Mack looked fucking thoughtful. “It certainly doesn’t sound like any occult creature I’ve heard of.”

                  I shrugged. “It does sound like something that it would be good to deal with anyway, so I don’t have a problem with it.” I looked around at the other two. Liz shrugged and Billy Mack nodded. “Sounds like a deal.”

                  “It’s best to be polite with Mr. Underhill - he doesn’t get humor,” Gabe warned us. “Not that he will get offended, he’ll simply think you’re stupid. And he’s a good contact to have.” He thought for a moment. “He may or may not be True Fae. Possibly just a powerful Changeling. Almost certainly fairy though, the items he gives us are Hedge-related, with catches and such. He doesn’t seem to have a Mask I can perceive.” He gave us directions to a hill outside of town to the north. “Look for a door. You won’t find it if you’re not specifically looking for him.”

                  “Sounds good. Anything we need to do to formalize the protection? Do we need to call Nikka in?” I leaned back in my chair.

                  He shook his head. “I will contact Nikka. Please tell her I will be doing so.” He gave me a look. “She knows you are supernatural, but not what your deal is, correct?” I nodded. “Alright. Then I’ll just be a sorcerer.”

                  “We’ll pass on the word.” I smiled and stood up.

                  “Be careful out there - there’s a lot of nasty things around this city.” He shook my hand.

                  I nodded. “There are. Speaking of which - if things take you south, be careful of Adam’s Crossing. There are humanoid giant bee spirit fuckers, with venomous claws. Also, mages of some sort.”

                  That made something occur to him. “There’ve been some mages moving around the city recently, the Tik-Tok Men. The local mages are trying to deal with them.”

                  I chuckled. “Yeah, we know about those bastards. But speaking of mages - your people, the Harvesters, were approached by Team Tomorrow.” He raised an eyebrow, surprised. “Nothing official, I don’t think, and the Harvesters turned them down. But they’re mages too.”

                  “I knew there was something up with them.” He nodded, a considering look on his face. “They’re good at covering their tracks. Whatever they’re doing, it’s a really long term plan.” He shook his head. “City’s got enough masterminds. Anyway, thanks for the warning. Keep in touch, but... I’d prefer if you not talk about us too much. There are some, even on our side, that I would rather not know too much about us.”

                  I grinned. “I’m sure Louis is a great guy once you get to know him.”

                  End Session LXIV

                  The monsters were of my creation. Their poison drains 0-3 Willpower based on the results of a Stamina + Resolve roll, with 3 success meaning essentially no effect.

                  There was actually a lot of rolling and energy and Willpower expenditure to get Speed purged.

                  That’s about it, I think. Was a pretty good session. But if you have Comments or Questions they are welcome.


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                  [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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                  • Did Billy Mack/Kilroy actually finally fail an Occult roll with the Shrek?


                    Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                    Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                    • Only in the sense of not getting enough successes, which the odds were stacked against him getting.


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                      [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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                      • Back to check in on our Demons. Speed’s player had to miss, but we had Terry, so yes, it is going to get truly fucking weird. Speed is gonna take us through it though.

                        Hint: This was said during the session: "They are still tasering Hamlet. Ophelia had three before she went down. After you went over the wall the cop Angel is over it behind you...” So yes, it was that kind of session. Also, and this is a needed caveat, all sex described in the session was consensual.

                        And with that note…

                        Session LXV

                        Speed Demon’s Monologues

                        At Rapture Pines, Terry was looking over the schematics and blueprints of his hellhole. It took him a moment to realize it, but after going back over it with a fine-toothed comb, he figured out that room 312 had no plumbing. Or electrical hookups. Or any other part of the usual in-a-building infrastructure. So of course, the motherfucker wandered up there, opened the goddamn door with 312 taped in shitty apartment letting on it, and looked inside.

                        As soon as he did, he found himself suspended in a door frame floating in the infinite vastness of space. Stars floated in the unimaginable distances. Right in front of him were a pair of rotating glowing triangles. A voice resounded in Terry’s head. “Welcome to the Center of Time and Space.”

                        He had a brief conversation with Time and Space. Seems to be that Time and Space does not need facilities. Or cable. They were neutral to the sufferings of humanity. As Terry was heading out, they tossed one more thing out there. “Oh, by the way, your predecessor’s van is going to cause problems. You might want to do something about that.”

                        Terry nodded fucking politely at them. “If you guys need anything, let me know.” He turned to leave, then turned back. “Oh. Which one’s the old supers’ van?”

                        “The one marked up for a flower shop.”

                        “Thanks!” Terry grinned affably at them.

                        Because Terry doesn’t have the sense the God-Machine gave to a rank 1 kamikaze Angel, he trundled off to check out whatever the fuck this van was. He was interrupted by Kyle, who told him all about his planned trip to Mexico with his pedophile friend Leroy, which had been, fortunately for the greater humanity, cut short by Leroy’s tragic death. Apparently, he dropped a tire iron on his own head about 18 times. According to the police report, at least. This was all a distraction, but Kyle eventually got around to his original point, which was to invite him to a play that night, put on by a local community theatre group. His main selling point was that all the actors were on PCP, because there’s something wrong with him. Also, there would be hookers, and possibly a gangbang with Ophelia. Terry, the poor fuck, promised to go.

                        When the pair got to the van that proudly advertised for ‘Bob’s Friendly Family Florist’, Terry handed Kyle a wrench, since he didn’t know if there wouldn’t be a fight with whatever was in the van. This got Kyle off of complaining that it wasn't Fred's Friendly Family Florist or Fanny's Friendly Family Florist and started him going on about his glory days in high school, where he beat the head football player to a pulp while drunk to near unconsciousness. Because there’s something the hell wrong with him.

                        Terry’s screwdriver worked perfectly to jimmy open the back of the delivery van. Inside, there were pig parts. A human body with a pig’s head sewn on. A spare pig’s head. The other various and sundries one would expect of the site of a goddamn ritual sacrifice, including a katana laid out over the pig-man. Terry was briefly distracted by the collection of prayer strips scattered around, especially since he couldn’t actually read it, but he pretty quickly discovered this was because it was gibberish, not even intended to have a particular meaning, just a bad knockoff.

                        Kyle and Terry looked over everything, and eventually realized that not only was the body not as decayed as it should have been, but that there were actually legit ritual elements, prayer strips be damned. Well, Terry did. Kyle just decided he needed a spare pig’s head. Because there is something the fuck wrong with him. He left to put it in the freezer of the lady down the hall. He figured, since she was already keeping her dead husband in the freezer for Social Security fraud, she wouldn’t notice. Terry called Billy Mack.

                        After Terry had explained, Billy Mack frowned. “Have you touched anything?”

                        “Well...”

                        “Don’t touch anything else. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

                        Billy Mack was there as fast as his ‘84 Crown Vic could get him there. He was able to figure out that not only was the body surprisingly well put together, it had been enhanced, with actual good surgical and neurological connections made. As best as he could tell, the ritual was intended to animate the body, specifically, to prepare it as a vessel for a ghost.

                        Once they’d gleaned what they could from the van, they went inside, bringing the katana with them. Terry decided, since it was a decently forged bit of metal, that he was going to keep it. He did manage to talk Kyle out of finishing the ritual. The fucker wanted someone to fetch beer for him. Because there’s something wrong with him. Terry pointed out the cops probably wouldn’t take kindly to it, so it would work max once.

                        On the way in, Terry mentioned that this was not the most interesting thing that day, so of course, Billy Mack went poking around in Time and fucking Space. Not to much - he stepped in, politely thanked the Center of Time and Space for letting him know where it was, as ‘that was a convenient thing to know’ and stepped back out.

                        He turned to Terry and gave him the ten-cent lecture on weird geometrical shit that did mind-fuckery, which honestly was probably worth about a nickel. Not Billy Mack’s fault - apparently nobody knows about that shit, other than it’s related to chaos and madness with an unknown source. He was interested by the fact that they had both heard and seen the same thing - usually two witnesses to things like that would give completely different descriptions. He decided that it was most likely because they were Demons.

                        Once that was settled, Billy Mack gave Terry a serious look. “So, what do you know about the previous super? Clearly, someone with actual medical skill was involved, so he may have had partners who still have an interest.” He looked around. “We should probably head to the office.”


                        Billy Mack only had a few of hours before Vivian’s date with Shelley, so he had a look-see over what he could find right off. Jack was at the office when they got there, so he lent a hand. They were able to find high school records mostly, some community college classes taken. No sign of any medical training. He did try for the army, but failed out. Definitely not the fucker who stitched the pig-man together. Billy Mack sighed. “So, somebody’s Renfield.”

                        “He’s working for a vampire then?” Cecilia asked.

                        “Probably a hedge mage, so you are correct, the metaphor is perhaps not quite apt.” Billy Mack nodded appreciatively at her. At her confused expression, he explained more of what they’d found.

                        “That’s messed up.” She made a face.

                        Jack nodded, and raised an eyebrow. “Which reminds me, we probably should talk to the Sin-Eaters. I can’t imagine they’re cool with bringing a ghost over like that.”

                        Terry frowned. “As long as they don’t try and take over my... place. Apartment building.” He shrugged. “Anyone want to see some community theatre tonight at the junkyard? There’ll be PCP and LSD. And I hear...” he gave significant looks all around, “...it’s clothing optional.”

                        “It is Vivian and Shelley’s date night...” Billy Mack mused. “However, I believe that may not be quite to Shelley’s tastes.”

                        Terry shrugged again. “I’m only going cause I was asked to...”

                        “Comestible!” Liz interrupted him as she walked in. “How are you doing?”

                        Jack raised an eyebrow. “He’s going to the murder spirit junkyard for a play.”

                        “Oh...” Liz eyed Terry worriedly.

                        “You wanna go?” Terry smiled back.

                        Liz’s eyes widened. “Sorry, tonight’s coke and ass night.” She put an arm around Cecilia.

                        Billy Mack frowned slightly. “I thought you were keeping an eye on Nikka tonight?”

                        “I am. That’s after I keep an eye on Nikka.” Liz smirked at him.

                        “Ah, very well.” He smiled. “By the way...” He gave Liz the brief rundown of what they’d found.

                        Liz looked curiously at Terry. “Comestible. You find the strangest things. And the most unpleasant. I found Cecilia. You found an undead pig-man.”

                        Jack chuckled. “Not a great comparison.”

                        “I believe we might want to bring Robin and her friends in on this, as I am fairly certain it was intended to be a vessel for a ghost.” Billy Mack looked over at Liz, who nodded.

                        “As long as they know they’re consulting.” Terry crossed his arms. “So they don’t start laying claim, like they did in the Underworld. Not that I mind that, it’s cold and dark and everything...” He trailed off.

                        Billy Mack patted him on the shoulder. “But the Underworld is their domain. And your apartment is not.” He stood up. “And I have a date to get ready for. I will of course be only a phone call away should you need me. And you’ll have Jack with you?” He looked over at Jack.

                        “Oh.” Liz also looked at Jack. “I thought he was going to the play.”

                        “Why would you think that?” Jack frowned.

                        “The hookers? The PCP?” Terry started muttering shit to himself.

                        Liz frowned at him. “It wasn’t the hookers. Mostly, I suppose, to keep him from doing anything world destroying.”

                        Jack made a face. “I don’t have a taser that big. Yet.”

                        “It is more unconscious than intentional, so this should be awesome.” Terry grinned all around.

                        “What is?” Liz looked like she regretted it the minute she said it.

                        “My world destroying. Is more, you know, unconscious. Subconscious?”

                        Liz let out a deep breath. “Well, being unconscious with Kyle around is not something I would ever want to be.”

                        Terry sighed as well. “Well, he is my intern, kinda like a pet project...”

                        “Speaking of pets,” Billy Mack looked fucking pointedly at Jack, “have you found a home for Hugo yet?”

                        Jack glared at him, but Terry shrugged. “Just go to the zoo and ask them if they want an alligator.”

                        “That’s gonna bring out a lot of questions I don’t want to answer.” Jack frowned.

                        “So ask them if they want a free alligator.” Terry looked at him like it was the goddamn obvious solution.

                        Liz held back a laugh. “Just have Hugo eat the first one if they ask questions. Then ask the second one if they want an alligator, since the one with their torso still sticking out of the alligator’s mouth clearly didn’t.”

                        Billy Mack raised an eyebrow. “Or simply leave him in a relatively safe environment and call Animal Control.”

                        “That’s not the worst plan, though Animal Control here is not likely to have a good idea how to deal with an alligator.” Jack leaned back in his seat, arms crossed.

                        “But you are going to get him out of here?” Cecilia asked. Jack nodded. “Good. He kinda scares me.”

                        “I never intended him to stay here so long, we just haven’t had a chance to find a good place in the Undercity, which was my first plan,” Jack explained.

                        Liz shrugged. “It should be soon. Oh, Angela has the necklace back. It doesn’t seem to make her invisible now.” Terry looked at her questioningly. “There was a necklace of invisibility. Don’t worry about it.” She mimed shaking pepper onto him.

                        Billy Mack nodded as if that was expected. “It did only seem to make its wearer invisible in the immediate vicinity of the Wound.”

                        “It couldn’t have been rigged for that though, right? It must have perceived that she - I - was in danger.” Liz gave him a look.

                        He nodded again. “You were in the presence of murderous, insectoid spirits.”

                        “What?” Jack asked fucking sharply.

                        “Oh, right, you weren’t there, were you? There was a werewolf instead.” Liz smiled sweetly at him.

                        Jack raised an eyebrow. “Instead? So, you got me confused with a werewolf?”

                        Liz continued her sweet smile. “Well, you’re both kinda crabby.”

                        Terry nodded sagely. “I did notice that, with the whole punching thing earlier. I could see him as a werewolf. Or needing to have less caffeine.”

                        “Anger management is a problem werewolves have. Jack is less hairy though, which is a plus.” Liz tapped her chin thoughtfully.

                        Jack sighed heavily. “So what the fuck happened?”

                        Billy Mack and Liz filled Jack in on the trip down to Adam’s Crossing. He gradually lost some of his grumpy demeanor and was nodding along to the discussion of which mage group (obviously not Hazard’s or Team Tomorrow) might have been behind the theft. Once they’d chewed on that for a bit, Jack stood up and stretched. “So, tonight - are we expecting trouble with Nikka? When is our deal with the Brotherhood going into effect?”

                        “The other Gabe suggested we keep an eye on her through the weekend, and then things should be in place,” Liz informed him. She frowned as a thought occurred to her. “Gabe’s a Hedge-mage, though I rather doubt he had anything to do with that pig-man you found.”

                        “It doesn’t seem his style,” Billy Mack agreed.

                        Liz nodded. “I will make some careful overtures to Robin, see if she knows anything about any local necromancers. I know we would like them to not delve too much into Rapture Pines.”

                        “Indeed.” Billy Mack thought for a moment. “We could even move the van to another location entirely.”

                        “They don’t need to know about the Hell-forge anyway,” Terry pointed out.

                        Billy Mack shook his head. “No, I do not think we want them aware of that particular bit of information. So we should move it.”

                        Cecilia looked at her computer. “Will you also be looking into the flower shop?” There was a general chorus of assent. “It doesn’t have a web page, but Google does have an address for it.” She gave them the address.

                        Billy Mack nodded thoughtfully. “Tomorrow?”

                        Jack agreed. “And I think we should hold off moving the van til we look into it. And that shouldn’t be a problem - if I’m there for the move, I can make the van forget it was ever at Rapture Pines, so no worries of it even being traced back.”

                        “I can hold off talking to Robin about it then.” Liz smiled at him.



                        They split up to their various evenings - Vivian to her date with Shelley at a nice Mexican restaurant, Jack and Liz to screw around until Nikka was expecting us to be at Kiki’s, and Terry to prep for his fucking night of theatre.

                        When Terry and Kyle got to the junkyard, passing under the big sign advertising ‘The Bard in the Junk’, Terry started making a muttered inventory of potential weapons, mostly his tools. Kyle patted him on the shoulder. “Don’t worry. I got us covered if there’s trouble.” He pulled out his gun and shot a few times into the air to make sure the shit was working.

                        Terry winced. “Gotta conserve ammo, man.”

                        “Nah, I got more to reload it with.” Kyle grinned at him and tucked the gun away into the band of his pants and swaggered on in.

                        There was more of a crowd than I’d have fucking hoped for at the play. Louise was around, keeping a sharp eye on everyone. A guy who matched the description we’d been given of the Autumn King was there as well, with an entourage of Heroin and Tar. Bobby Heartwood, with a picnic basket full of rubbers, had staked out his own place. Herb was there, as was Phil, whose arm was looking a little more fucking mauled than it had been the night before. Making it better, Kai was there, on the other side of the stands from Phil.

                        Kyle pointed at Bobby as they walked in. “Hey, it’s that asshole! We should go beat him up.”

                        “Not today.” Terry shook his head. “We’ll go after his mom.”

                        “That’s a good idea!” Kyle pulled out his phone.

                        Terry pushed his hand down. “No, no, no. Not right now. Enjoy the show first. Get some hookers. Roll in on it - don’t bring the blood with it.”

                        “How about this,” Kyle started to negotiate with Terry, “if I won’t shoot him, can I at least show him I have a gun?”

                        “I’ll tell you what... no.” Terry shook his head.

                        Whatever else Terry was going to say to convince him was lost when the guy playing Hamlet came out on the stage and yelled, “Fuck, yes!” before beginning his first monologue, the words coming out as fast as humanly possible most of the time, a confused jumble of syllables the rest of the time. There was the sound of meat slapping from backstage, but no other sounds.

                        After a brief bit of distraction, Terry turned back to Kyle. “See, the secret to having a weapon is not letting anyone know you have a weapon until they’re dead because you killed them with it. Wait for my signal.”

                        “OK.” Kyle looked around furtively. “What’s the signal?”

                        “I will let you know.”

                        Kyle frowned. “But I need to know what it is, so I can wait for it.”

                        Terry thought for a short moment. “I will tell you, very directly, to shoot someone.”

                        “OK. I’ll be ready.” Kyle grinned.

                        “Just to be clear, I will literally use the phrase ‘take out your gun, and shoot X person’. Except X will be someone in particular.” Terry nodded fucking seriously.

                        Kyle nodded eagerly. “Yeah, like algebra. Except I understand it.”

                        Terry gave him a thumbs up. “Great. We are a team, Kyle, a team.”

                        “Alright!” Another yell came from on stage. “Now that my dad is dead, I am totally gonna bone my mom.” There was a pause. “Oh wait. That was the quiet part. But c’mon guys, you know that’s what he wants to do.” The actor looked around, with an ‘am-I-right?’ look on his face.

                        “Fuck your mom!” Terry yelled out. He winced. “Whoops, sorry, just slipped out.”

                        By that point, it was too late, and the entire crowd started chanting “Fuck your mom!” Hamlet glanced over at the actress playing his mom, a considering look on his face.



                        Kiki’s wasn’t too rowdy. A few of the usual crowd, Callie and Adria, sitting at a table next to Nick, in addition to Zelda, who had some business with Nikka, and, to all appearances, Esha. She was sitting there, reading a book like a good little doppelganger, hopefully luring Team Tomorrow out. Liz looked her over with a raised eyebrow, and murmured to Jack, “Angel, or lizard? Or... a something else?” Jack shrugged.

                        Once they’d gotten settled in, Jack went over to talk to Roadrash. “How’s things been?”

                        “Alright.” The bartender shrugged. “Keeping an eye out for a particular white haired guy who’s been giving our staff problems.”

                        “What’s he look like?” Roadrash described Phil to him. “Oh. Yeah, he’s a pain in the ass, no question, but... don’t put the boot to him. It won’t go well.”

                        Roadrash shrugged. “Boss told me to put the boot to him. ‘Sides, he’s the kinda people I like hurting. That and cops. When I can get away with it.”

                        Jack took a deep breath. “You know how sometimes things happen here and nobody understands it.”

                        “The drug people? I sure don’t understand that.”

                        Jack shook his head. “Nah, like when Kiki showed up.” Roadrash’s eyes widened and he nodded. “That’d be a walk in the park compared to what would happen if you tried to kick Phil out.”

                        Roadrash made a face. “I’ll keep that in mind. I still have direct orders, and I’d need a pretty good reason to give to the organized crime boss who signs my checks for not following them.”

                        “Yeah, I guess the truth wouldn’t get you very far there...” Jack nodded.

                        “Truth doesn’t get you very far in life.” Roadrash set aside the glass he’d been cleaning and picked up another. “Tends to get you arrested.”

                        Jack sighed. “Just be careful then. Anything else going on?”

                        Roadrash glanced at Nikka. “Well, there’s that suspicious Indian chick over there.” He chuckled slightly. “I’m sure it’s all nice and legal-like, whatever she’s doing. If it wasn’t for my general distaste for the filth I might tell them about it, but...”

                        Jack chuckled along with him. “Well, let me know if anything exciting happens...” He turned to go.

                        “Those hot Asian chicks picked your friend up the other day.”

                        Jack stopped and turned. “Wait, what? Gonna need a better description...”

                        Roadrash thought for a moment. “Heroin, and that other chick like her?”

                        “That other... Pham? The other Vietnamese girl?” Jack frowned.

                        “Is that what she is?” Roadrash shrugged.

                        Jack sighed. “They, collectively, picked up one of my friends?”

                        Roadrash nodded. “Gabe.”

                        “The fuck!” Jack frowned. “I’ma have a discussion later.”

                        “Not the only one who wants to - that pink haired girl kept giving her dirty looks all night.” Roadrash smiled. “Anyway, that was pretty cool, but past that...” He shrugged again. “Oh! That lady over there talking to the Indian chick, about her same color - she was in here with like 4 full hajib - I dunno if that’s the right word, but you know, the thing like Saudi Arabian women wear - covered women. I don’t know where they are now.”

                        Jack raised an eyebrow. “Four women in niqab walked in and disappeared?”

                        Roadrash shook his head. “They sat with her until she went to sit with the Indian girl.”

                        “Alright, man, thanks.” Jack saluted him with his drink and headed back over to Liz’s table. He let her know about the missing ladies.

                        She nodded thoughtfully. “Interesting. I was just sitting here thinking I didn’t have any plausible reason to not go chat Nick up.” Jack rolled his eyes at her. “It would mean I got to pick her up and not Naomi, so...”

                        Jack chuckled, then frowned. “Did you know that Gabe took Pham and Heroin home?”

                        “Yes, the bitch!”

                        “The hell was that about?” Jack tossed his drink back.

                        Liz shrugged. “I think they were cruising for sex?”

                        Jack looked down into his empty cup. “Yeah, I got that part.”

                        “I dunno, I wasn’t at the table. I came in here being all Clueless meets the Craft over there, and tried to chat Nick up.” Liz shrugged, but got a laugh out of Jack. “Next thing I know, those two were on either side of Gabe, putting the moves on her.”

                        “Hmm...” Jack frowned. “At least she didn’t initiate it, that’s a little better.”

                        Liz gave him an arch look. “Do you have a flag stuck in one of them?”

                        “Hell no.” Jack gave her a goddamn dirty look. “I have the intention of impressing Pham...”

                        Liz patted his arm. “I don’t think Pham’s found the love of her life, dear.”

                        Jack sighed. “Yeah. Still gotta find a way to burn that thing in the basement so I can get a date.”

                        “Are you just trying to get into Pham’s pants, or do you want her to fall for you?” Liz asked. “Cause I don’t think you need to go to all that trouble to get Pham to sleep with you. If you want to fall in love with you, you probably do. Presuming she’s capable of love.” She thought for a moment. “Kilroy is, so she must be.”

                        “One step at a time for now.” Jack raised an eyebrow.

                        Liz nodded. “OK. Just trying to figure out what your end goal is. I could try wingma'aming, though I’m not good at it. I tend to draw too much attention to myself.” She smiled brightly at him. “I just can’t help it.”

                        Jack smiled back. “I can’t imagine.” He glanced at his phone. “Well, I haven’t gotten a text or a screaming phone call from Terry, so I guess it’s going alright.”

                        “I hope so.” Liz looked at him fucking seriously. “I don’t want anyone to eat him before I do. Maybe I should go ahead and put a fork in him, so everyone who might be inclined to eat him knows there’s a prior claim.”


                        Terry was distracted from watching Hamlet fuck his mom while Laertes delivered his lines to no one by noticing that Phil had disappeared, Heroin and Tar were looking for him and Kai was watching them carefully. Kyle didn’t notice, too busy fondling the gun in his pants and staring intently at Bobby, who was making spaceship motions with his hands while talking to a group of girls. Terry nudged him. “Stay sharp Kyle. Things could be going down. See those two?”

                        “I see those two.” Kyle jerked a thumb towards the stage. “I see London, I see France...”

                        “Nah, those two.” He pointed at Heroin and Tar. “They’re looking for... well, you know Phil. He tends to bring a layer of what-the-fuckedness wherever he goes.”

                        Kyle looked confused. “You think he’s somehow connected to all this?”

                        “I dunno.” Terry shrugged. Laertes started giving a monologue from Richard II. “I do know those two hate him, and he’s nowhere to be seen.”

                        “Should I shoot him?” Kyle asked eagerly.

                        Terry held out a calming hand. “I will let you know, very directly.”

                        “Right, right, we have a plan!” Kyle grinned.

                        “Hey!” A yell from Bobby drew their attention. He was smirking at Kyle. “Want I should kick your ass again?”

                        Terry gave him a goddamn quelling look. “Just enjoy your show there, guy. No problems here.”

                        Kyle’s hand went to his waist band. “Are you saying I should just back down like a wuss?”

                        “No one’s fighting yet. Nothing to back down from.” Terry looked at him wide eyed.

                        “Come on over here, you damn pussy!”

                        Laertes stopped and pointed at Bobby. “Shut up or I will skull fuck you!” He glared at him crazy eyed for a moment before launching straight back into Richard II.

                        Terry put a hand on Kyle’s shoulder. “Cooler heads, man, cooler heads. They prevail.”

                        After another short scene of him being the only one acting, Laertes looked around the stage. “Fuck this. I’m gonna go find Ophelia and put the lay back in Laertes.” He stalked off. Yelling started coming from backstage.

                        The crowd started getting a little restless, as they only thing happening on stage anymore was Hamlet and his mom fucking, and that had gotten a little repetitive, especially since the PCP was the only thing keeping it going. Looking around for trouble, Terry noticed that Kyle seemed to have drawn Louise’s attention, as he made the shortlist of potential targets.

                        Terry nudged Kyle again. “Hold tight. I’m gonna go talk to that girl over there that’s been eyeing you.”

                        “Nice! A wingman...” Kyle grinned. “Should I make a tongue gesture at her? I have a long tongue.”

                        “That’s right, I’m gonna go help you out. And let’s not.” Terry nodded. “Also, don’t get in a fight with Bobby.”

                        Kyle nodded once. “I’m waiting to shoot him til you tell me to.”

                        Terry glanced that way. “Thank you.”

                        “So I should shoot him?”

                        “No. Nononono. The specific series of words has not been said.” Terry put his hands up.

                        Kyle sighed. “Alright.”

                        Terry wandered over to Louise. She gave him a look. “I’m not looking for a date, sugar.”

                        “Nah, nah, ‘course not, I just - just noticed you were looking at my friend.” Terry made a vague shrugging gesture towards Kyle.

                        “It’s not like that.” Louise made a slight face.

                        “Cool, cool. See, I just don’t want him to get hurt. He’s a fragile sort, like a brother to me.” Terry looked at her wide eyed.

                        Louise smirked. “How’s a little thing like me gonna hurt him?”

                        Terry put his hands up. “Of course, I’m not saying you would, not saying you would.” He looked around. “So, not a real serious sorta play.”

                        “Yeah. Not as bad as last time though.” She shrugged.

                        “Oh! You were here? I heard about it...”

                        She shrugged again. “Yeah, the gangbang. That Ophelia moved upstate. They’ve got a new one, not that she’s been out yet. Though...” Back on stage, Ophelia herself ran out on stage, and started reading her lines like she was in a fucking race. They watched for a little bit before Louise turned back towards Terry. “So why are you talking to me?”

                        “I get weird vibes on people...” he began.

                        “What kind of vibes do you get off me?” She raised an eyebrow.

                        He shrugged. “Dangerous.”

                        She nodded, with a hint of a smile. “Fair. And you think I’m going to hurt your boyfriend?”

                        “It’s coming across that way. Not trying to be offensive, or something, it’s just, that’s the vibe I’m getting.” He made an apologetic face. “I don’t understand my vibes myself.”

                        “He’s a nice guy?” she asked.

                        “Yeah, totally.” Terry nodded eagerly. “A little high strung, but...”

                        She gave him a dubious look. “How long have you been together?”

                        Terry started counting on his fingers. “It’s been, like, a couple of months. He does keep getting in fights, but I’m trying to stop him from doing that.”

                        “Alright.” She gave Terry a small smile. “I’ll leave him alone then.”

                        “Cool!” Terry gave her a brilliant grin and a thumbs up. “Thanks.”

                        Terry wandered back over to Kyle while Louise’s attention drifted to the other people on her shortlist. “How’d it go? Does she like me?” Kyle asked, whispering conspiratorially.

                        Terry sighed. “She thinks we’re a couple.”

                        “Did you tell her we weren’t?” Kyle asked.

                        “Yeah, but...” He shrugged. “I think she’s looking to hurt somebody.”

                        “Ooh.” Kyle got a goddamn considering look in his eyes.

                        Up on stage, Ophelia had started hitting the people fucking, trying to get them to deliver their lines. Between every punch, she’d repeat the line that was supposed to prompt a line from the Queen, who was too busy trying not to be punched to say anything back. Hamlet staggered to the side of the stage, stunned and pantsless.

                        The audience was getting back into it, so they were distracted as five police cars pulled into the parking lot. Terry nudged Kyle and whispered between gritted teeth. “Cops!”

                        “Cops!” Kyle yelled, reaching for his gun.

                        “Nonono!” Terry put a hand on the gun. His eyes widened as he recognized the Angel cop getting out from one of the cars as the captain who'd showed up at the museum. “We need to go, not shoot.” The Angel’s eyes scanned the crowd, and lingered on Terry. “Go now, Kyle.”

                        “Alright, I’m running!” Kyle took off, ducking out behind the bleachers.

                        The entire scene started devolving into chaos. Ophelia charged one of the cops - it didn’t go well. She got a lesson in tasers. So did Hamlet, despite still being stunned on the side of the stage. Terry ‘helped’ by yelling out to the audience, “Dudes!~ Those are the guys who brought the coke! Get the coke!” while pointing at the cops. Then he broke out in a run.

                        He activated a few Demon form powers as he went and eventually managed to teleport away from the scene, hopping from building to building, dodging bullets as he went.

                        The Angel followed him, sprouting white glowing wings as soon as he got out of sight of the other fuckers. Terry hunkered down, trying to dodge out of sight, but the trail of his plasma drive gave him away. The Angel drew out his flaming sword and pointed at him with it.

                        Terry looked at him wide eyed, then teleported away. A couple of hops away he tried ducking into an alley, but the fence he was perched on collapsed into a pile of molten slag as the Angel's flaming sword swiped through it. He flailed a little, but managed to hop onto a nearby building and the chase was off again.

                        The Angel stayed close behind, keeping high in the air to keep eyes on him. Terry made use of that to teleport to the bottom of bus stop roof, keeping that between him and the fucking flying cop. The Angel zeroed in on him fairly quickly, but it gave him enough time to make a few hops in random directions.

                        Nothing shook the Angel though, not for long. Terry paused at one point, chest heaving as if he'd been running. The Angel came up behind him, sword out, and demanded that he surrender. Terry put his hands up, and turned around fucking slowly, carefully not looking around to his escape routes.

                        He stepped towards the Angel, a goddamn conciliatory smile on his face. The Angel menaced him with the sword, then paused, turning slightly as if he heard something. Terry turned towards the noise he suddenly heard as well. In the blink of an eye, the Angel was covered with a sea of roaches. They all seemed to be shouting in unison. One poked up out of the swarm and looked at Terry. “Run!”

                        Terry ran.


                        Liz stood up to go talk to Nick, promising Jack she’d still be keeping an eye on Nikka. Cecilia looked questioningly at Liz. “Will she be coming back with us tonight?”

                        “Not tonight.” Liz smiled. “Just talking. I made you a promise.”

                        Cecilia smiled back. “You are a very caring goddess.” She watched Liz walk over there and turned back to Jack. “So you like this girl Pham, huh? What’s she like?”

                        “Mysterious, dangerous, and Vietnamese.” Jack took a sip of his drink.

                        “Fair enough.” Cecilia grinned at him.

                        After a little bit of Liz getting along with Nick way better than Naomi did, the Demon came back to the agency’s table. She took her seat again and looked to Jack. “Want me to introduce you to Zelda?”

                        “Sure!”

                        “You won’t give me cause to regret it?” Liz raised an eyebrow. He sighed. “OK, come on.”

                        Zelda was no longer sitting with Nikka, so Liz led Jack over to her own table. “Zelda.” Liz greeted her with a warm smile. “How are you doing?”

                        Zelda returned the smile. “Ah, Ms Covington. I’m doing well. This is... one of your associates.”

                        “Yes, this is Jack Stone.” Liz gestured towards him.

                        She offered her hand to Jack to shake and he did so. “I don’t often meet friends of Elizabeth’s. It is a pleasure.” He smiled at her.

                        Liz raised an eyebrow at the Mummy. “I don’t see you at Kiki’s much, Zelda, what brings you here?”

                        “Ah... some business.” Zelda gave Liz a goddamn guarded look. “I actually wanted to get some purchases worked out with the young woman over there, some of the ceremonial things I was telling you about. She seems safe, and certainly not tied to Mr. Erasmus.”

                        “Good.” Liz looked pleased. “I noticed you hadn’t eaten Holt yet.”

                        Zelda frowned at her, good naturedly. “I don’t eat people; that’s what you do. Besides, taking Holt out will not get me any closer to dealing with Erasmus at the moment. I need to wait until he has burned himself out some. He'll weaken with time, so I must wait until I can land the coup de grace.”

                        Liz blinked a few times. “I... understand what you're saying.” She looked around. “Your girls are here somewhere. The...” She made a double fingered snake tongue motion.

                        “Yes, they're here.” Zelda nodded. “Mostly because Ms. Nikka's an unknown quantity.”

                        “Of course.” Liz smiled.

                        The three chatted for a little bit, mostly small talk, with Jack trying to make a good impression. He did a pretty good job, all told.


                        Terry had almost ran himself out when he felt his phone buzzing. He checked it to see a text from Kyle. 'Do you have bail kinds of cash?' As he was reading it, another popped up. 'No reason.' As he was typing a response, a third fucking message came up. 'So you know, some cops wear cups.'

                        'Sure. Still working on losing the fuzz myself.' Terry glanced around himself, a little shaken up.

                        'Well, they know I'm no longer a white supremacist.'

                        Terry sent out texts to the agency as he started to make his way home. 'Had a run in with Angel cop. Full on flying Voltron and shit.'

                        Jack responded first. 'How much is left?'

                        Terry glanced behind him. 'Someone roached him. I ran. Need to bail Kyle out of jail.'

                        Liz sent a link to Harvey Cannon's website, because she has fucking deep-seated hatred of Cannon that I hadn't realized before. Terry visited it between jumps, nodding approvingly at what he saw. She followed it up a few minutes later. 'Do you need something bad enough to forestall having Cecilia's face in my asscrack in about 90 minutes?'

                        'I'm thinking no.' Terry responded.

                        The others left it at that until Nikka had wrapped up her business and headed home for the night. As he was walking out, Jack sent a text to Terry. 'You still alive?'

                        Terry had just gotten home, still glancing over his shoulder. 'Yeah. At Rapture Pines.' After a thoughtful moment, he sent out another. 'Bard in the Junk wasn't that bad. Until the cops showed up.'

                        End Session LXV

                        Strange things happen to Terry.

                        Among them, some really good die pools just kept utterly failing when he was running from the Captain. I mean repeatedly, with spent Willpower. Rarely, have I seen such poor luck; getting away should have been easy, and the player did nothing wrong (well…debatably other than going to something called “The Bard in the Junk”) I gave Kilroy an out, so I gave Terry one, with the admonition “You Get One.” What the cockroach thing means presumably will come up later.

                        Otherwise quiet session. Zelda is the Deceived they have dealt with a bit. Kai is the Wendigo from the previous session. The “Center of Time and Space” is similar, but not identical, to a Quincunx, from Summoners.

                        Comments and Questions Welcome


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                        [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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                        • They wrap up one case, but another takes something of a turn. Note that telling the latter half of the story involved a lot happening at once. Our sole Journaler sort of did different investigations in order, which thought the magic of modern technology, meant they were updating in real time. So people refer to discoveries (with context, should be clear) without you seeing the information be found till later. Should be no trouble, they did a good job, but wanted to mention.

                          Session LXVI

                          Speed Demon’s Monologues

                          Everyone made it through the night, or at least we presumed so in the case of Terry. It was a Sunday, so we were scattered around town. Greg was taking care of some business, so I had the day off. Vivian lounged around with Shelley, and Liz with... whoever the hell she was with, until it was time to watch over Nikka.

                          The college kids were there in force - Nathan, the NGN fucker everyone fawned over and Neil were sitting together, with Heather nearby, keeping a weather eye on Neil. Bobby Heartwood was there, chatting with his waitress. Otherwise, the only familiar faces were Sondra and ‘Esha’.

                          I raised an eyebrow as I walked in and saw Kayla sitting with Liz. I slid into the booth next to them, an Alibi of Billy Mack with me. I smirked at Liz. “Had a good Sunday then?” She smiled back and gave the signal that it was safe to talk. “Anything exciting happen yesterday?”

                          Liz told me all about it, a little sparse on the details. She tends to not listen to ‘Comestible’ so well. Billy Mack nodded along, pointing out that “He is presumably laying low at the moment,” referring to Terry.

                          “I just can’t believe he went to the junkyard where there was giant conglomerate hate monster thing, and that wasn’t what the problem was.” Liz lit her cigarette.

                          “It’s true. In all his texts, I don’t recall there being anything about the murder spirit, just about the Angel cop.” Billy Mack looked thoughtful. “That really sounds like a show from the eighties.”

                          Liz waved her hand airily. “Sure, but it would have some oversexed, busty girl with a ‘she’s the sheriff’ vibe going for it. I’m not sure I’d want to see that.”

                          Billy Mack smiled and shook his head. “No, if it were from the eighties, it would be a much more heartwarming, saccharine, Touched-By-An-Angel kinda thing. Where the cop was an actual angel in disguise. Total propaganda.”

                          I took a sip of my drink. “Right.”

                          Kayla was stirring her drink with her finger. “I think they water their drinks here. I would certainly serve something better.”

                          “You’ve got higher standards doll. Folks don’t come to a fucking joint like this for the giggle juice.” I shrugged. She took my drink and stirred it with her finger. I saluted her with it and had another drink. Much better.

                          “I do believe the draw is not the quality of the beverages but the discretion of the environment,” Billy Mack pointed out.

                          I was distracted from our fucking airy critique of the dive’s relative merits by Sondra grabbing a seat at Esha’s table, for some business presumably. She had been in the business of acquiring various parts, so it wasn't unusual or anything. Liz cottoned on to my distraction and started listening in, since she’d phased in a few helpers along those lines.

                          “Apparently, Neil is concerned, since every time he goes out with Nick, something bad happens to her. He thinks she’s cursed. Nathan is trying to convince him otherwise, since there’s no such things as the supernatural.” I raised an eyebrow at Liz. “Sondra and Esha are talking about Operators, and I can practically hear the capital O there. Also talking about Interfacing with something, same thing with the capital I.”

                          I nodded, frowning. “Peachy.”

                          She gave me a look. “This’ll probably come as a shock, but I am pretty sure that’s not Esha.”

                          I chuckled. “Yeah, I figured.”

                          “I’m guessing Angel - she’s less animated, so probably a low rank Angel.” Liz nodded fucking decisively. “Oh, and Bobby is trying to impress waitresses by talking about how he was a hero when people attacked the theatre he was in, leaving out that the people attacking were cops and the theatre was a junkyard.”

                          “Hardly makes for good press.” I rolled my eyes. “That boy has a goddamn serious hero complex.”

                          Liz nodded. “Do you think it’s likely he’ll become a Hero and go after Heather? That’s what happens with Beasts, right?”

                          “I don’t think he would win. And we shouldn’t encourage it certainly - I think we have a fairly good handle on her.” Billy Mack glanced over at her table.

                          “For the most part.” Liz shrugged. “I wish she would stop tormenting Nick.”

                          “We just need to get her and Neil set up,” Billy Mack opined.

                          Kayla looked at Liz. “Why don’t you just string her up like everybody else?”

                          Liz made a face at her. “Because I’m not sure she wouldn’t just suck me into her Lair. I would find myself at something of a disadvantage in that situation. She’s much more powerful than she looks.”

                          “Is that euphemism, or...?” Kayla took a quick look at Heather herself.

                          “No, it’s not.” Liz answered shortly. “She has a pocket dimension she can pull people into. And she’s strong - I’m not convinced that she would be terribly helpless, even tied up.”

                          Kayla put her hands up. “Alright, it’s fine, I just didn’t know if you were going to add her to your harem, or something.”

                          Liz looked fucking thoughtful. “I don’t think she’s a harem kinda girl.”

                          “Since when do they have to be, with you?” Kayla smirked at her.

                          “That’s fair, but no.” Liz took a sip of her drink. “I prefer to be the alpha predator in any relationship I have.”

                          Billy Mack nodded. “Besides, if you did manage to make her infatuated with you, she would likely try to murder the others.”

                          Kayla’s eyes widened. “OK. As one of the others, I approve of not going after her.”

                          Liz shrugged slightly. “We are being very careful that she doesn’t know about covers, but still...” She thought for a moment. “Very careful. If she finds out about covers, she’ll probably figure out that Naomi is one of us. Even I don’t wish that on Naomi.”

                          Our phones dinged with a text from Vivian right about the same time Ernesto walked in, heading straight for us. He stood at the end of the table, looking at me. “We need to have a conversation.”

                          “Do we?” I looked around between the others, a mock-confused expression on my face.

                          “Yes, I think we do.” He frowned at me. I gestured at the spare seat. “First of all, I have to say I am somewhat impressed. I was expecting all sorts of methods to protect my quarry, or to assassinate me. I was expecting you to do all sorts of research into my weaknesses. I was expecting you to try to turn my conduit against me. I was not anticipating you would track down the organization I am affiliated with in order to bar me from attacking a subject. That’s... that’s really the thing that an abject asshole would do, and speaking as one, well, good job, really. You are exactly the kind of shithead I am.” He had a fucking strange metric. Most shitheads do, to be fair. “It is, however, somewhat grating. So I find myself in the rather humbling position of having to ask you if there is any way I can attempt to buy you off from this.” I made a show of thinking really hard. “I would be a better long term ally than Nikka would. I am more powerful and better connected.”

                          I took in a considering breath. “But she’s prettier.”

                          He frowned. “I can be prettier than her, if I choose. Give me an idea of what you’re into and I can become exactly that.”

                          “See, now I’m just really goddamn turned off.” I made a face. “I’m gonna have to go with ‘no’ on this one. I guess it’s the abject asshole in me.”

                          “Alright.” He shrugged. “I completely understand. I wouldn’t either, out of pure unmitigated spite. I do think, in the grand scheme of things, you are making a mistake. I could make life considerably easier for you. Or harder.”

                          I raised an eyebrow. “Sometimes life is easy. Sometimes it’s hard. That’s just life, pal. We take things as they come.”

                          He sighed. “Let me put it this way. I know how to access powerful figures in this city, some of which you may have run afoul of.”

                          I looked taken aback, and glanced at the others accusingly. “We've run afoul of people? Why didn’t you guys let me know? I woulda been nicer to them.”

                          “No, you wouldn’t have.” Billy Mack played the straight man to perfection.

                          “I’ll have to send them an extra special Christmas card this year to make up for it.” I shrugged.

                          Ernesto looked unamused. “Let’s say I could hypothetically place you in a situation where you would be meeting Michael White, and he would not know what he was walking into.”

                          I waved that aside. “We’ll get there eventually.”

                          “Don’t forget also that I wouldn’t have a vested interest in not sharing information with him, if you’re not willing to work with me,” he pointed out. “I am making such a threat with the understanding that should you successfully destroy me, then the Brotherhood will attempt to destroy you. There are quite a few of them.”

                          “That’s true.” I sighed, then shrugged.

                          “As it so happens, I like you better than him, and I really dislike you,” he began.

                          “That doesn’t surprise me. Most people don’t like him.” Billy Mack looked around for confirmation.

                          I nodded emphatically. “He is a goddamn unlikable man.”

                          He raised an eyebrow and continued, “and I’ll be honest with you, I might not give him information on you purely out of spite for him. But it’s not something you can rely on, particularly should you run afoul of my schemes again.”

                          God, the smug fucker thought he had all the goddamn cards. I wanted to knock a couple of teeth out of his not-a-farmer mouth, but I played along. For Gabe’s sake, mostly. Conceited asshole he may be, but he was a powerful playing piece. “Tell you what, next time you have a ‘scheme’ make sure they don’t go running to the nearest supernatural PI, and we won’t run afoul of each other.” I shrugged. “And honestly, now that we know more of the lay of the land, if we get another client along these lines, we’ll have to look into it a little first.”

                          “There is a certain issue of professional ethics and honor at stake here,” Billy Mack pointed out

                          “I understand that, which is why, while I still hate you and respect you as an abject asshole, my complete and utter contempt for you is not as great as it could have been, in that it is not complete or utter. I do still have contempt for you - I would be trying to kill you otherwise.” He looked down his goddamn nose at me.

                          I gave him a shit eating grin. “Well damn, aren’t we lucky.” I raised my glass. “Well, here’s to not running afoul of each other in the future.”

                          He nodded and stood up. “Well then. You have my word that this hunt is ended. Well played.” he turned on his heel and left.

                          Vivian sent us a text letting us know she wasn’t the conduit anymore. I was about to get up a wander over to Nikka’s table, since she didn’t have any business at the time when Jack walked in. I waved him over. “Guess who you just missed?”

                          “Ernesto? He cause trouble?” Jack looked grumpy.

                          “Nah, Mr. Not a Farmer was just coming by to promise us the hunt was off.” I leaned back in my seat. I filled Jack in, then went over to Nikka’s table by way of the bar.

                          I raised an eyebrow as I walked up. “I see Cornelius was there to speak with you?”

                          I grabbed a seat and turned it around to sit in it backwards. “Yeah. Wanted to give us his word the hunt was off.”

                          “Thank god,” she breathed.

                          I grinned. “And to let us know we were abject assholes for going above his head.”

                          “Whatever.” She made a dismissive noise.

                          “No, really, I think I should get it on my business cards.” I waggled my eyebrows.

                          She looked at me fucking dubiously. “Maybe only the cards you give certain people.” I agreed. “Did he threaten you?“

                          I shrugged. “A little. He thinks he’s got better cards than he does.” I stood up and stretched. “Just wanted to give you the update, don’t want to get in the way of business.” I gave her a wink and sauntered back to our table.

                          “So that’s job done then?” Jack asked when I sat back down.

                          “Yep. Which means that all we’ve got on our plates is the goddamn books.” I took a drink. “Speaking of, Miranda’d like a look at them before we turn them over. But I’d like to know that Team Tomorrow won’t be breaking down the door of wherever she’d be getting that look first.”

                          “Is she going to look them over in your bolthole then?” Jack raised an eyebrow.

                          I grimaced. “That’s an option, but it’s crowded and not really conducive to studying in there. I’d rather throw them off the trail first.”

                          Jack looked thoughtful. “What options do we have for that?”

                          “I had three thoughts: one, use the books to draw them into an ambush,” I began.

                          “That’s not what I’d call throwing them off the trail, but OK...” Jack interrupted.

                          I gave him a dirty look. “Two, leave them in the bolthole til they get fucking tired of trying. Or three, implicate Blue Sun somehow. Make sure those two don’t just kiss and make up.”

                          Jack frowned. “Two could take awhile, and that would make everyone at the school twitchy.”

                          “At this point, however, they do know where they are, so presumably they would be less twitchy,” Billy Mack pointed out. “Since they are just being kept safe. For a fourth option, by the way, we might try and find out who took the books in the first place and point Team Tomorrow at them somehow.”

                          “Could we take them to the Underworld?” Jack mused. The man was never going to get in Pham’s pants if his first thought was always ‘take your problems into the Underworld’. I mean, that was more Sharon’s trigger than Pham’s, but it could cause some friction, and not the kind he wanted.

                          Billy Mack looked thoughtful. “It would depend on what kind of spell they used. It might confuse them, if nothing else.”

                          I shook my head. “I don’t think the Mafia would appreciate a goddamn ambush being set up there. Anyway, it should be some place to give either us, or Carpenter and Hazard, a leg up. My preference is throwing them at Blue Sun though.”

                          Liz nodded. “That does seem a good way to forestall a potential alliance.” She kissed Kayla again, after Kayla took a drink from her own glass. Apparently Kayla had been experimenting with flavor combinations and Liz was getting a taste testing.

                          “Which is something we definitely don’t want.” Billy Mack emphasized his point with his glass as he finished off his drink.

                          “The trick there is figuring out how we want to present that option to Hazard and Carpenter.” I tapped my fingers on the table. “We could just say there’s a group of fuckers we really don't want allied with Team Tomorrow - the truth, skimping on details.”

                          Liz glanced over at ‘Esha’. “Speaking of which, do you want to talk to Robo-Esha over there about the status at Blue Sun? You did talk to the faceless guy, maybe she’ll perceive you as a friend?”

                          I took a look over there myself. “Maybe. If there’s a moment when she’s not in the middle of business.”

                          “It might be good. Blue Sun seems unlikely to actually lash out at Team Tomorrow for threatening an employee. There’s too much to be gained with an alliance. So we might need further destabilization.” Liz glanced over at Esha again.

                          “Back to Hazard and Carpenter - how far do we want to go with telling them shit? They know we’re supernatural,” I asked.

                          Liz looked thoughtful. “We did go to some effort to hide our nature from Carpenter when we went for the books.”

                          I nodded. “Which would make a fight with them included exciting, if we went the ambush route.”

                          “We could try questioning them in a roundabout way, about Angels, Demons and the like,” Liz suggested. “They probably have some idea we exist.”

                          A light went on. “If we wanted to gauge that, we could try and use Blue Sun. I’m sure we could describe them cleverly enough to get them to twig onto the God-Machine aspects of it, without outing ourselves. Really, any right minded supernatural would be worried about the monopoly issues surrounding a merger of Team Tomorrow and Blue Sun.”

                          Liz chuckled. “That’s fair.”

                          “If we go in like that, I should be wearing sunglasses. That’s the kinda thing you wanna be sure about. I’m still goddamn leery of peeping on a mage’s brain, but their auras should be enough to let me know what they think of the kind of fuckers we’re describing.” I shrugged. Everyone nodded. “Sounds like we’ve got a plan then.”

                          “We’re gonna go in force, right? So that if Hazard decides he doesn’t like our faces after all these hints, or doesn’t like us having the books, and wants to do something about it?” Jack looked around the group.

                          Billy Mack nodded. “We probably should.”

                          I frowned. “Unless they’ve got a hard-on for the God-Machine and are big on assumptions, I don’t see us having a fucking problem. We’re not telling them they can’t have the books, just that they’re currently safe and we need a plan to keep them that way.“

                          “And I don’t know if numbers are going to help if Hazard decided to make the car explode as soon as we got in it,” Liz pointed out blithely. “Carpenter’s way more likely to go after us directly, but he doesn’t like spirits interfering with people and if he thinks the God-Machine/Angels are spirits... they are definitely interfering with people.”

                          “There’s always the slim possibility that it’s Carpenter and his mage buddies who took the books in the first place, who figured out what was in them and decided nobody needed access to them...” I shrugged. “It’s unlikely, but we can’t rule it out.”

                          Billy Mack raised a finger. “My largest objection to that is that if he was involved, the books wouldn’t have been in Adam’s Crossing. We gave him a day’s notice, and, since we didn’t know for certain they would be there, it wouldn’t have been suspicious if we hadn’t found them.”

                          I made a face. “I guess... unless they were decoy books.” I shuddered at the thought of getting them back out to check. “I mean, best way to get nosy fucking PIs off your tail, is to pretend to help by suggesting they go to a really dangerous part of town, then booby trap a pile of what looks like what they want. Bonus points if you can wrangle things to not give them the goddman time to look them over carefully.”

                          “That seems like a lot of effort.” Billy Mack looked dubious.

                          “A lot of effort to get rid of the biggest roadblock to your success. Carpenter was the one looking for them until we came along... well, him and Stein, and he’s awful fucking interested in shutting Stein down.” I tapped the table. “As far as how much effort, the real question, I think, is did it take more than a day’s effort?”

                          Liz frowned thoughtfully. “I don’t know that.”

                          Billy Mack still played the doubter. “I would have thought they’d have laid a better trap.”

                          “Not if they didn’t know how powerful we are,” Liz pointed out. “And not if they didn’t know we had a mage on our side. We’d have been in trouble without Miranda.”

                          “Fair,” he allowed.

                          “Now, to play Devil’s advocate,” I grinned, “the spell that made us afraid of the books - that one doesn’t make sense as a trap. The other three made a fucking fine triple lock, but why make us scared of them?”

                          Liz tapped ash off her cigarette end. “Maybe it was already on them?”

                          I shrugged. “Maybe. It’s a paranoid fantasy, but...”

                          “We are Demons.” Billy Mack smiled.


                          As the night went on, we stuck around. Habit mostly. Once he got back from a trip to the bar, Jack looked around at all of us. “So, about the Works...” I raised an eyebrow. “What are we looking at for dealing with that shit? That’s our Camelot right there, I think.”

                          “Our Camelot?” Liz joined me in the eyebrow raising.

                          “It’s only a model.” I took a sip of my drink and grinned at her.

                          Liz paused, and looked at me, then back to Kayla. “I’m gonna need you to pass me something strong after that.” Kayla grinned and obliged.

                          “I mean, we could make that our fortress, without doing anything special but clean it up.” Jack rolled his eyes at me.

                          “I believe the problem is that it has a gate to Hell in it. We can’t clean it up.” Billy Mack took a sip of his drink.

                          Jack sighed, but acknowledged his point. “Maybe just some of it then. The building we have a back door to? That would give us access to a couple of Infrastructures.”

                          I nodded, and saluted him with my drink. “That would let us make forays out into the rest of the shit, and get your stuff.”

                          “We could, theoretically, secure that particular building, yes,” Billy Mack agreed.

                          I chuckled. “So, first order of business being that about-to-go-nuclear Infrastructure - what I’m hearing is that next time Terry pokes his head up, we should try and distract him from doing anything stupid by taking him with us to do something stupid.”

                          Liz ran a finger along the rim of her glass. “An important consideration... when we secure it, we will need to make sure the Angels there don’t realize we’ve moved in.”

                          “True. Sealing off the entrances is also goddamn high on the priority list, but that should be easy enough, with webbing and all.” I leaned back in my seat.

                          Liz nodded, the concerned look still on her face. “That won’t be enough, with the scout robots they have. They can presumably call in backup, given how unmolested that building is. And do we need guardians?”

                          Jack glanced at Billy Mack. “With Terry and Kilroy, could we figure out how they are sending out a signal? To hack it, or block it?”

                          Billy Mack nodded. “As to guardians, I believe we were hoping the rocket launcher scorpions would help guard it.”

                          “So order of operations: scout to figure out how to block/replicate the scout bots signal and hopefully fix the about to explode Infrastructure, leave and make something to do the blocking, come back, find every hole and plug it with webbing, disable the scout bots and replicate their signal.” I looked between the others to get a round of nods. “If we only block off the first couple of floors, we’ve been over them fairly well, and the only other occupants are the rocket launching scorpions, who’ll hopefully be on our side, and the scout bots. We can expand from there if we want more of the goddamn place, slowly and at our own fucking pace.”

                          “We should talk to the spirits with Terry there - I want someone I can hurl bodily at the machine in case they get agitated and do something that destabilizes it,” Liz suggested. I chuckled. “So next time he starts talking about flower shops or Rapture Pines, we hit him over the head, I’ll web him up and only eat a little of him, we put a shock collar on him and drag him over there, prepared to shock him if he tries to actually speak to the scorpions.”

                          Jack raised his hand. “I call dibs on the button.”

                          Liz patted his arm. “Just remember I don’t like my meat cooked very long.”

                          “So how are we going to get around talking to the spirits?” Jack glanced around the table. “We know a werewolf.”

                          “After we test the waters there about this whole book thing, if it looks good, we can ask Carpenter for help on a little side project we have. We should be able to spin it to maintain some mystique.” I shrugged.

                          “That seems reasonable.” Billy Mack nodded.

                          Jack scratched his neck. “When’s that planned for?”

                          “Tomorrow,” I answered quickly. “Whenever we can get in touch with them.”

                          “Great.”


                          Sondra and Esha headed out after not too long, at about the same time. I decided not to try and pull Angel-Esha aside - if she’d been free after a point, sure, but I wasn’t gonna make a deal out of it. The college kids left shortly after that, Heather trailing along behind the two gees in a just fucking barely not suspicious way. Nikka looked like she was about to pack up when Jack turned to me. “So, since Nikka’s not in danger, wanna hustle some trivia?”

                          I smirked. “She’s probably skipping town soon, I imagine. I was figuring on a goodbye kiss.”

                          “Oh. Right.” He turned to the others.

                          Liz had her hands up. “This involve Mavericks?” Jack shook his head and named the place we’d been before.

                          My smirk got wider. “Maverick’s has strip trivia.” Liz just stared at me. “It’s why they’re divorced.”

                          “I have just realized that it is my bedtime.” Liz turned to Kayla, who nodded.

                          “Fair enough,” Jack nodded.

                          The others headed out and I lingered around for Nikka to get her things together. She stopped at my table. “Hello again.”

                          “Hey doll.” I grinned up at her.

                          “You were going to see me home?” She raised an eyebrow.

                          I shrugged. “For old times’ sake.”

                          She ran her fingers down the table as she walked away. “One cannot be too safe...”


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                          • Monday morning started off with a bunch of phone calls, trying to set up meetings to deal with the fucking book situation. First call was to Dr. Hazard. “Hello?”

                            “Dr. Hazard. It’s Gabe Norton.” He made a noise to indicate he recognized me. “Dunno if Dr. Carpenter let you know already, but we have the book.”

                            “No, he didn’t see fit to tell me that.” There was an edge to his voice.

                            I nodded. “They’re in a safe place, and untrackable. I wondered if you had a time to meet and figure out our next steps.”

                            He thought for a moment. “This afternoon? I’m free at 3:30.”

                            “3:30 works for us. I’ll check on Dr. Carpenter, and get back to you.” I leaned back in my chair. “The same place, there in the History building?”

                            “I don’t know his exam schedule, but he is hardly working so...” he grumbled. “Yes, the History lounge should be fine.”

                            When I called Carpenter I had to leave a message, but he got back to me fairly fucking quickly via text. ‘I’ll be free by then, much earlier actually, but I guess we’ll have to wait for the boss.’ A second text came right after. ‘There was a confrontation b/t Dr. Cross and Dr. Stein. Dunno if it was about the books, but they had a loud argument in her office about something.’

                            ‘Great. Can’t imagine what the hell she did to piss him off. See you at three.’ I knew well and good what she probably did, so I sent her a text - it seemed the better way to do things during exam time. ‘Everything alright? Heard there was problems with Dr. Stein.’

                            Carpenter had more to say. ‘There was a lockdown this morning, cause of a suspicious person on campus, maybe armed. Police are still here, though no more lockdown. Hoodie, of course, but white guy, for once. Don’t think they’ll mess with you, but wanted to warn why there’s so many police.’

                            ‘Thanks for the warning.’ That didn’t sound great. Or like Team Tomorrow, to think on it. Maybe the actual thieves.

                            ‘Probably nothing. Hazard thinks a gang is stealing from houses across town and this is a diversion.’

                            I chuckled. ‘Damned clever, if so. Probably shouldn’t encourage that kind of thing though.’ I also sent Kayla a text to let her know things were up. Naomi was in an exam, so it seemed like the quickest way to get a message to any of Clytemnestra.

                            After not getting word back from Cross for awhile, I called Mack. ‘Hey Gabe.”

                            “Hey man. You been alright?” I was actually a little worried - he sounded on edge. “Any strange tails?”

                            “Actually, I was hoping to talk to you later when I wasn’t on shift.”

                            I raised an eyebrow. “Sure thing man. I’ve got a meeting with a client at 3:30. After that work?”

                            He nodded. “Yeah, yeah. I’m flexible. Just gotta be free for dinner with the family.” He smiled. “But is there something you needed now?”

                            “I was wondering about the shit going on at the campus, actually. The client’s part of that community, so...” I trailed off expectantly.

                            “Huh.” He let out a deep breath. “There was a guy being mouthy at security just before sunrise and they ran him off. Since then, people have kept reporting seeing him, like, across campus or at least far enough away they can’t respond quickly. I think it’s a joke, myself, cause how else is he getting from one side of the campus to another so fast?” He shook his head. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a group of students trying to get exams called off. No threats or anything. Skeevy white guy, probably twenties, hoodie.” He thought for a moment. “Some security have claimed to see him, but always from far away.”

                            I made a considering noise. “Strange.”

                            Mac was just getting warmed up. “The weirdest thing? All of the campus security was ordered to guard the library. So they’re all holed up there, and we were called in to search the rest of campus. He hasn’t been reported in the library, or even particularly focused nearby.” He shrugged. “It is strange. I don’t think any of the kids are actually in danger though. Still, we can’t just leave.”

                            Security jumped to Stein’s whistle, so it got me wondering what the hell he wanted protected in the library. The books and the necklace weren’t there anymore... “I might head over there, be another pair of eyes. If I get anything, I’ll let one of your folks know.” I grinned. “I might name drop you, so I don’t get broken knees or something.”

                            “Just don’t wear a grey hoodie,” he warned with a smile

                            I chuckled. “Noted. Anyway, I’ll let you know when that meeting’s done.”


                            I found the boys and let them know what I’d been told. Billy Mack frowned. “Perhaps we should head to campus.”

                            “Yeah. I wanna get in touch with Dr. Cross. And if we can help track down hoodie boy, all the better.” I leaned on the wall. “I’m wondering if he’s not a manifestation of that campus spirit thing Dr. Hazard was talking about.”

                            “Seems odd that they would be belligerent or troublesome in that case,” Billy Mack pointed out.

                            I shrugged. “Belligerent towards campus security, that is being fucking influenced by an outside entity in the form of Team Tomorrow via Stein? I wouldn’t like that shit at all, if I were the spiritual embodiment of a college campus.”

                            “Possibly.” He nodded thoughtfully. “At any rate, we won’t find answers here.”

                            I let Cecilia know that we should be reachable for now and we headed over to campus.


                            As soon as we got onto campus grounds, I shuddered. “Guys, this is bad. Really bad.” It felt like we were on the edge of a fucking killer storm. Everything was tightly wound and something was bearing down on us. Something was about to break. It was not a goddamn good feeling. The large numbers of police wandering around hardly caught my eye.

                            I let the others know what I’d caught before I dropped them off for their various errands, Jack to the security office and Billy Mack to the library. I parked and made my way to Dr. Cross’ office. I was intercepted by Penelope, who came running up towards me. “Um, Ms. Norton?”

                            “Penelope, right?”

                            She nodded. “The necklace was stolen. It’s gone. Angela’s losing her shit, and I can’t get a hold of the Master, she’s... taking a test.” Her brow furrowed. “That really doesn’t sound dignified.”

                            “Shit.” I fiddled with a pen. “Do you know when it was stolen?” She shook her head. “When was the last time she saw it?”

                            “She put it in her jewelry box right after the Master returned it to her.” Shit again. That made for a couple day period for when it could have been stolen. Still, I didn’t figure this situation for a fucking coincidence. “Someone had been in her room last night. That’s why she looked.” That narrowed things down a little. Or at least made it more likely. She stood waiting while I thought. “Do you have any instructions for me?”

                            Fucking hell it felt weird to have some college kid asking me for ‘instructions’. That was Clytemnestra’s thing. Still, first place to look is the scene of the crime, and having a college student in tow would help at least. “I need to look over Angela’s room. Can you get in contact with her for me, ask her for permission? It’d be best if she was there.”

                            “OK... when?” Penelope looked like she was dredging up schedules.

                            “Soon. I need to stop by Dr. Cross’ office...” I began.

                            “She’s in an exam,” Penelope interrupted.

                            I raised an eyebrow. “Then right now.”

                            She nodded and we headed towards that dorm. When we got there, Angela wasn’t there, but Am was. “Angela’s in an exam.” She looked at me worriedly, so I nodded that it was alright. “Angela’s really agitated right now. We... we had a big fight, earlier. She’s paranoid someone took it. For some reason, she thought it was me.” She looked sad.

                            I gave the room a scan for anything hidden, just in case. It seemed unlikely to come up with the necklace, but if someone was just looking to cause trouble, they might have moved it, or if they’d gotten interrupted, they might have stashed it. I did come up with two things.

                            I turned to Am. “So, I know there’s shit hidden there and there.” I pointed at a clothes dresser and the closet. “Anything non-suspicious it might be?”

                            “Weed’s in there,” she mumbled, pointing at the dresser. “I dunno about the closet.”

                            “Mind if I take a look around?” She shook her head.

                            She frowned as I moved in closer. “That’s my side of the closet, it’s not there.”

                            I gave her an understanding look. “Look, doll, I don’t think you took it. But if someone moved it, stashed it somewhere in a hurry, they coulda put it anywhere.” She nodded, worrying at her lip.

                            It wasn’t the necklace, unfortunately, just an odd glass cylinder sewn into the lining of one of her jackets. I raised an eyebrow over at her, pulling it out. “Did you know there was something in here?”

                            She looked confused for a moment, then brightened. “Oh! I know what that is. It’s a temperature and blood monitor from Team Tomorrow, to make sure things are going well. I lost the first one, almost immediately, and then the second one, so they suggested sewing them into my clothes.”

                            I scowled internally. Maybe it wasn't so unfortunate I found it though, necklace or not. “When did you get the first one?”

                            “A few weeks ago.” She frowned. “I’m not supposed to talk about it.”

                            I grinned at her. “I won’t let anyone know. Well, it doesn’t seem to be hidden here, so I’m going to just do a general sweep, then I need to talk to Heather.” I’d gotten a text from Billy Mack, something about Nick saying the campus felt like what she feels like when Heather was stalking her - presumably not in so many words - so I wanted to at least check in.

                            I gave the place a good looking over, but there was fucking nothing to be found. There was no evidence the door had been forced, or picked by anything but the best. Fingerprints were unlikely to get us anywhere - I’d lay money whoever stole it didn’t have a record. Besides, it’s not like there was a pristine surface involved. After my third sweep, a thought occurred to me. According to Jack, the woman in the painting, the one Angela had gotten the necklace from, wasn't in her painting anymore. I described her to Am. “Seen her?”

                            “Um, yeah? That’s Angelica Walthstone, the old witch that haunts this place. It was her necklace Angela took.” Am looked confused.

                            “If you see her, you know, out and about...” I began.

                            Her eyes widened. “I’ll scream and pass out.”

                            I grinned. “Please don’t do that. Please let one of us know, then scream and pass out.” She nodded goddamn nervously. “Also, can you pass that along to the rest of the group?”

                            “I’ll try. Cassandra’s kinda lost her shit today.” Am brought her arms in close, like she was cold.

                            So all the psychics on campus were freaking out. Great. “Alright. So I have a suggestion and a favor. My suggestion is this: gather everyone you can trust and go to the Pagan House. Ward the place, use the buddy system for exams, stay safe. The favor is to vouch for me to Heather.”

                            She looked at me sideways. “Sure. I should say you are a friend of mine and Naomi’s? Naomi is her buddy, so that’d be good.”

                            I nodded and we walked across the hall. No one answered Am’s knock, so I wrote a message on the whiteboard from ‘Naomi’ asking Heather to contact her as soon as possible. I figured I’d make it up to Naomi, if she was actually fucking mad at me over it. It’s just Heather was way more likely to prioritize calling Naomi than ‘Naomi’s friend’.

                            I walked with Am over to the Pagan House. Once we got outside, she looked over at me. “So on a scale of 1 to the end of Ghostbusters, how bad is it?”

                            “Well...” I began slowly, “Angelica is not in her goddamn painting, there’s a strange hooded man showing up everywhere around campus, every psychic on campus is fucking freaking out, though one has a legitimate reason, and it feels like a storm is about to break.”

                            “OK...” Her shoulders hunched a little. “Um, thinking about it... Angela was freaking out before the necklace went missing. Well, before she knew. She went to go find it because she thought it might make her feel more safe. It didn’t.”

                            “Well shit.” I started us walking a little faster.

                            When we were almost there, Naomi sent a text to the agency: ‘Out of exams. What’s going on?’

                            Rather than go into it over the phone, I told her to meet me at the Pagan House.


                            The g-man made his way to the library, keeping a weather eye out as he went. The first off thing he noticed was the four security guards standing outside the library. As he moved towards it, they converged on him. “Why do you need to access the library?”

                            “Is something wrong?” Billy Mack frowned.

                            “There is a suspicious person on campus. We don’t know what’s going on, but we need to check the IDs of anyone entering the library. Only students, faculty and staff allowed in without a reason.” The guard was fucking expressionless.

                            “I am working on a case that is rather sensitive. I am looking for Dr. Stein?” Billy Mack looked around the group.

                            “He’s not in the library.” The guard thought for a moment. “I don’t think he’s in an exam, hold on.” He stepped aside to talk on his walkie-talkie. After a brief conversation, he came back to where Billy Mack and the group were standing and pointed across campus. “He’s in the nursing building.”

                            One of the other guards waved Jack, who'd just walked up, in with a friendly smile. Billy Mack raised an eyebrow. “Thank you.” He turned and left.

                            Seeing as it was as good a goddamn place for answers as any, really, Billy Mack decided to try for a conversation with the big guy. We were supposed to be allies after all, working together to find the books. Maybe he’d have some insight. So he headed on towards the nursing building.

                            Along the way, he ran into Nick and Nathan arguing on the path. Nathan was trying to keep things calm and composed, but Nick was having none of it, responding to his normal speaking volume level statements with screams. “Shit. Is. Happening! Something major is going on, and I think it’s after me, it may be after other people, but shit is happening and you can’t just tell me it’s not it is and it’safterme.”

                            Nathan raised his hands and said something quietly. Nick got up in his face. “Well, if you’re not going to protect me - I’m not going to stay here. I will cut your ass! I am getting the fuck out. Do you have a problem with that? Cause if you don’t believe me, then I don’t even give a fuck what you think. I AM IN DANGER! Do you even care?”

                            Billy Mack got close enough to hear Nathan. “Of course I care, it’s just - I think you’re overreacting.”

                            “I’m not fucking overreacting!” She took a swing at him, grabbed his hair and continued yelling at him.

                            It was pretty clear to Billy Mack that she was currently coked out of her goddamn mind. On a campus full of cops. And was assaulting another student. He stepped forward. “I could not help but overhear that you were clearly in danger. I am a licensed investigator and would be happy to help. But I would suggest that you stop assaulting this man while there are police around.”

                            She tossed Nathan aside and looked suspiciously at Billy Mack, who was offering her his license with a smile. “Can you get me somewhere safe? With no cops?”

                            “I can. The latter will be more challenging, considering how many of them there are on campus right now...”

                            “I know!” she interrupted him. She looked around. “I am on some meds to help me study for my exam.”

                            Billy Mack smiled calmingly. “We’ll see what we can do. Now, you mentioned someone being after you?”

                            “Yeah! I don’t know who but bad things keep happening like to me and there’s this weird feeling things going on right now and it’s like the feeling sometimes when things happen but it’s all over campus now.” She rubbed her arm.

                            “I see. There is a tension in the air.” Billy Mack looked fucking thoughtful. “Do you have a safe place I can take you?”

                            She thought. “Do you think my dorm would be safe?” He looked dubious and she kept going without waiting for a response. “Can you get me off campus?”

                            He nodded. “I don’t believe they are preventing anyone from leaving right now. How about to the Roost? Near enough to return safely when things have blown over, but outside of this feeling of tension.”

                            “OK.” She looked around sharply and grabbed his arm. “Yeah. OK.”

                            They walked together over towards the Roost, with Nick trying very hard not to look suspicious. She looked completely fucking suspicious. Between that, and the age difference, it was no wonder that one of the cops stopped them just before they got off campus. “Excuse me, where are you two going?”

                            “Away!” She glared at them.

                            “She is concerned about...” Billy Mack began.

                            Nick interrupted him. “Shit is going down!”

                            The cop put his hands out in a calming gesture. “There’s no need to panic, ma’am. There is a suspicious person on campus, but you should simply move away from him if you see him.”

                            “NO!” Nick glanced around quickly. “Like, weird stuff wants to kill me, man.”

                            Both of them frowned at her suspiciously. Billy Mack put a calming hand on her shoulder. “Nick, let me handle this please.” He looked at the cops. “I was taking her to the Roost, to get her something to eat. She is clearly having some issues with her blood sugar. Too much caffeine.”

                            The one in charge nodded slowly. “I’m going to need to see some ID.” As Billy Mack reached to pull it out, the cop turned to Nick. “What about you? Do you have ID?”

                            “Oh yeah, it’s right...” She made as if to bring out her wallet from her jacket pocket, but came out empty handed, flipping him the goddamn bird, because she wanted to get booked, apparently. Billy Mack gave her a quelling look. “Alright, alright, alright.” She handed the cop her wallet.

                            He looked it over, took a deep breath, then let it out, shaking his head. “Alright, I’m... whatever, just get rid of the fake IDs. They won’t fool anyone, Mrs. von Lustbator.”

                            She crossed her arms. “Whatever.”

                            “Like I said, too much caffeine, not enough sleep.” Billy Mack gave them a tight smile.

                            “I’m not paid enough to deal with this.” He waved them on. “Nice to meet you, Mrs. Lustbator. Sorry, Mrs. von Lustbator. I apologize.”

                            They got to the Roost without any further interruptions. Off campus the tension was much less, and Billy Mack made sure Nick ordered some food. “I have to get back to campus.”

                            “Alright.” While she was still tweaking, she was much calmer. She pulled her legs up onto her seat and wrapped her arms around herself.

                            Billy Mack hesitated somewhat, then gave the advice I’d have given from the beginning. “If something comes up... I would suggest making your way to the Pagan House. I know you’re not a member, but I am sure they would give you safe haven.”

                            Nick glanced away, muttering “the Lesbian House, more like...”

                            “They are likely to be able to deal with this supernatural occurrence,” he pointed out. She shrugged and got back to her soda.


                            Jack’s stop at the security station was brief, as they let him know that his contact, Daria Lopez, was at the library. So he made the trek over there. Once he got there, he was waved past the security that were holding Billy Mack up. Presumably they’d radioed ahead or some shit.

                            Daria was waiting for him just inside. “Kinda bad timing.” She jerked a thumb towards the crowded lobby. “What’s up?”

                            “Yeah, sorry about that.” Jack looked around, confused. “What’s all going on? Anything I can help with.”

                            “Sure?” She shrugged. “We’re looking for a male, age 20-25, grey hoodie, possibly has some kind of bladed weapon...”

                            Jack frowned. “In here?”

                            She sighed. “We’re supposed to make sure he doesn’t get in here. I don’t know why the library specifically.”

                            “I can certainly walk around, take a look,” Jack offered.

                            “If you do it anywhere else, that’d be fine. Here in the library, you’re gonna get stopped every few feet.” She rolled her eyes slightly. “Shit is seriously clamped down in here. They think he’s coming here apparently. I wasn’t on duty when he was arguing with people earlier. I guess he said something about the library to make him think he’s coming here.”

                            Jack had started them walking and talking so that they wandered over towards where the painting the necklace had come from was. He stopped in front of it, looking around carefully and lowering his voice. “This isn’t some shit Stein’s got worked up, is it?”

                            She lowered her voice too. “Maybe? It does have the kinda weird shit he asks people to do written all over it, but I don’t know if it was him.” She thought for a moment. “Dr. Hazard was in something of a tizzy earlier. He can’t order us to do this kinda thing though.”

                            Jack frowned, especially after he got a proper look at the painting. The woman in it was gone. It was just a painting of a room. He looked for those subtle changes that he can see, and figured out that a human sized figure had stepped out of the painting, accompanied by the scent of ozone, and walked out of the room. “Isn’t there supposed to be a lady in that painting?”

                            Her eyes widened, and a brief look of panic crossed her face before she shook her head. “Someone must have switched the painting,” she muttered. She raised her voice and called out to the other security standing nearby. “I think a painting’s been stolen!” She turned back to Jack. “I gotta...” She indicated the painting.

                            “Yeah, yeah, you do your thing.” Jack smiled at her. “I’ll keep my eyes open.” He nodded once and took the long route towards the Pagan House, figuring we’d meet up there eventually.


                            Naomi showed up at the Pagan House a little later, with Penelope in tow. I pulled her aside and filled her in on everything I’d learned. Her eyes widened when I got to the fucking bug in Am’s jacket. “Jesus Christ. So they've been eavesdropping on things?”

                            “Seems likely.” I leaned against the wall. “Just recently though.” I finished up with the need to talk to Heather and the message I’d left.

                            “What do you want me to tell her? I don’t officially know she’s supernatural, so the ‘I don’t know if you’re doing this but if you are please stop’ isn’t a great line.” Naomi looked torn.

                            I waved my hand. “Nah, send her to me. I’ll let her know that we keep tabs on you as our intern, and thus on your friends, and she turned up more goddamn interesting than most. Then I give her the question straight, complete with dropping Nick’s name, and it’s all reasonable PI work to blame.” I shrugged. “If it helps, I’ll be phrasing it such that if it is her, that’s a cause for us to worry a lot less, not a cause for us to try and get it her fucking way. And if it’s not, maybe she could help.”

                            She nodded. “Sounds fine to me. That should appeal to her actually.”

                            Jack showed up right about then and was escorted back by the other kids. “Hey guys.”

                            I nodded to him and looked back to Naomi. “I suggested your people stay the fuck here. If you can get Cassandra straightened up, she could even get some extra wards on this place, make it a little safer. Hopefully.”

                            “That’s where I’m headed next.” She smiled at me.

                            “Great. I’m headed to talk to Carpenter. He might have some insight, and even if he doesn’t, he should know what we know.” I fiddled with my pen.

                            “Want company?” Jack asked. I shrugged.

                            Penelope knocked on the door and came on in. “Angela and Callie are accounted for. We can’t account for Adria. She hasn’t responded to anything. I know she’s not part of the club, but...”

                            Naomi patted her shoulder. “It’s all cool. I’ll see if I can get in touch with her.”

                            “Know where her room is?” I asked. “Jack can handle talking to Carpenter, I can go find her.” I smirked. “I might not be a student, but if one of us is going to fucking wander around a girl’s dorm, it better be me.” Naomi gave me the dorm and number. It wasn’t too far away.

                            As I was walking off, escorting Am to her exam before heading to Adria’s dorm, we all got a text from Billy Mack letting us know how things had gone with Nick, the advice he’d given her and that he was heading to the nursing building. I smirked and responded to the group text with ‘So Naomi owes you one?’

                            Naomi responded with ‘<3’.

                            I was almost back to the dorms when we got another text from Naomi. ‘Heather says that Neil and Adria are “safe”.’

                            ‘Can I talk to her?’ It didn’t really change anything, and now I could ask her about what that meant too. Really, confirm what I was pretty goddamn sure that meant.

                            ‘Yeah. I let her know you wanted to talk to her, and gave her your number.’ Naomi responded.

                            Since I was already in the area, I swung by Heather’s dorm. She was standing in her doorway texting someone, no one else around. “Heather?” I asked. She looked up. “Have a minute to talk? Privately?”

                            She nodded, looking around carefully. Once I was inside, she locked the door. “So, you’re pretty good friends with our intern, Naomi.”

                            “Yeah,” she agreed. Then her eyes widened, and she elaborated quickly. “I’m not one of her girlfriends though.”

                            “‘Course not. “ I smiled. “We’re a little protective of our people - and I’m not saying that to be threatening, I’m giving it as an explanation of how I know you’re a Begotten one.”

                            She squinted at me. “OK. So...”

                            “So, we also know that - and again, no issue with this - you’ve been on a little bit of a campaign against Nick?”

                            “The slut, yes.” She frowned.

                            “The reason why that’s pertinent, the reason we're having this conversation, is that Nick has described this feeling of a storm about to break on campus as being similar to when she’s under one of your effects. Not in so many words, of course, she doesn’t know who the hell she’s pissed off, but...”

                            Heather nodded. “Something’s going on, something not good. I don’t know what. I put Adria and Neil somewhere safe. I’m going to try and put Naomi somewhere safe...”

                            I grimaced. “I think the Pagan House is fairly safe, and they could use Naomi’s leadership. They have wards and shit in place at least.”

                            “It depends on what’s going on, I guess.” She frowned again.

                            “Could it be another Begotten?” I asked.

                            She looked like she was calculating something. “A hell of a powerful one. Campus is big. I don’t know of any in the city that powerful. There’s two I know of, and one is really strong, still, I don’t think she’s here. Campus is my territory. The other I know isn’t strong enough - I’m stronger than he is.” She sighed. “I’d feel bad if something happened to Naomi, but if they’re safer with her there... Anyway, I couldn’t secret her away if she’s holed up there. Adria and Neil were much easier.” She looked regretful. “I’m going to have some explaining to do.”

                            I nodded. “That’s fair. ”

                            “Oh, by the way, I think there’s a spirit moving around that looks like a person.” She looked thoughtful. “The gray hoodie guy. Security who talked to him couldn’t even agree on hair color or eye color – no one who saw him can describe him well at all.”

                            “Angelica is out of her painting.” I traded factoids.

                            Her eyes went wide. “What the fuck is that about?” I shrugged. “This is crazy. And on exam day too! I gotta decide between searching for spirit that’s a possible threat, or for some kind of circle of wizards casting a ritual on the school, or fail school. How the hell are you supposed to balance being a college student with being a supernatural predator anyway? I wish I had some kind of second me to split off so I could do two things at once...”

                            I chuckled, keeping from choking on the irony with sheer force of will. “That does sound tough.” I moved towards the door. “Well damn. I was kinda hoping this anticipatory thing was you preparing to deal with whatever happened. We’re going to be around until this breaks or we figure out what’s going on. Keep in touch?”

                            She nodded. “Stay safe.”

                            As I slipped out the door, my phone started ringing. The caller ID gave me Dr. Cross’ name, so I answered quickly. “Hey Gabe. Um, listen, there’s something going on on campus.”

                            I glanced around. “That’s an understatement. I’m here. On campus.”

                            “That weird feeling of dread before Zelia died? It’s... similar. But, well, generalized. I don’t really know what it is, but I have an instinctive desire to flee campus. I’m not, but I’m worried about the students.”

                            “I gotcha.” I leaned on a wall once I got out of the dorm. “Look, I told the Pagan Club folks to take shelter together at their House. The appearance of their faculty sponsor and then her sticking around wouldn’t really be questioned, I’d think. Your backing might help mystically too.”

                            She nodded worriedly. “I can’t really do the magic, the magic like Cassie can do, but I can go over there.”

                            I shrugged. “A calming presence works fucking wonders anyway.” I paused for a moment. “And I’ll go ahead and apologize in advance, because Naomi’s there.”

                            She sighed. “You’re right, I should go over there anyway.”

                            “Tell her I’ll slap her if she gives you too much trouble.” I grinned. “Stay safe.”


                            I had one more call to make while I had a moment of relative privacy. Miranda answered after a couple of rings, and I explained what had been going on. “So, would a searching ritual have this much menace to it?”

                            There was a long pause. “Gabe, love, do you know what a lich is?”

                            End Session LXVI

                            I am sure the Lich is friendly, they usually are, right? Guys?

                            Not much else. Heather’s use of Lair is discussed a few times, it is a Beast: The Primordial thing. Short version she is connected to a realm she can draw people into, and she can bring aspects of it into the real world.

                            Nick was the girl Naomi has a crush on who traffics cocaine in her phone. Neil is the sports guy Nick and Heather has a crush on. Nathan is one of the “No God Necessary” people, the one everyone wants to sleep with. Adria is the Politically Canadian girl half the school also has a crush in (including Naomi, Heather, and Nathan, among others) Penelope is the poor bastard Naomi helped with Nikka and tends to pronounce as rhyming with ‘antelope.’ If someone else is foggy let me know.

                            Kilroy’s player has to miss next session, which my dumb ass forgot in planning this session, but at this writing Speed, Clytemnestra, Quietus, and Markizel should be there. See you then. Comments and Questions Welcome.


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                            [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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                            • So, major crap going down, and Terry will be there?

                              Fun times.


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                              • I know right? Was exciting.


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                                This is my mod voice. This is my goth voice.
                                [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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