Bobby Chan was closing up shop for the night and locking down his RV when one of his most regular customers came ambling up the hill with a man whom Bobby only knew from his reputation.
Indian Mounds Park
“Bobby, wait up, I have someone who you might be interested in meeting! He has a job for you!” Crow Sings yells in his not quite real, but not quite faux Native American accent, “You’ve heard of Morgan, haven’t you? He is looking for a chemist of your ability.”
Crow Sings gestures towards the scruffy Morgan, who introduces himself by revealing a roll of $100 bills and then tossing them at Bobby’s feet. While Bobby only knew Morgan by reputation, he definitely wanted to get to know Benjamin Franklin better. Morgan seeing the interested look in Bobby’s eyes states, “ The Latin Kings have need of a chemist of your skill, and we have a new ingredient coming in soon that we would like to add to our product. You help us, you get half now and half later.”
Bobby eyes the roll of bills, “I don’t know man, is there any chance I can try some of the product?”
Morgan grins slyly and hands Bobby a pill of Red Bliss; which Bobby eagerly pops in his mouth. Seeing the glassy look in Bobby’s eyes, Morgan states, “I’ll see you at 5am at my grocery in the West Side.”
Major Case Squad HQ, St. Paul, The Morning of Alison Harper’s Disappearance.
“Hunter, Alek, get you’re sorry asses in my office NOW!” Detective Lieutenant Jack Vincent’s silvery tones echo through the corridors of the building. Alek rolls his eyes at Hunter and Hunter shrugs his shoulders as they stroll in to Jack’s office. The normally relaxed and confident Vincent looks anything but now, as he stares in disgust at the television.
Det. Jack Vincent
“This is fucking bullshit,” he snarls at the television, slamming the remote on the desk, “have you seen this god dam mess?” Vincent doesn’t wait for an answer, “Somebody up and kidnapped Alison Harper right out from her bedroom last night. Local sweet heart and former American Idol Contestant, the news media is crawling all over this like maggots on rotted meat.”
Alek lets out a small whistle, Hunter, knowing that there is always an angle with Vincent, waits quietly, “I need you both to find her quickly and quietly, this shit is happening on the tail end of the Ripper case, you know the one that you didn’t quite close.”
Hunter gives Vincent a quiet glare, as Alek lets out a nervous laugh. “I’ll get the car and drive us there boss.” The three quickly leave the station, with Alek driving. Vincent sits in back and promptly engages in a terse cellphone conversation. Hunter isn’t able to catch much, except that it sounds like Vincent is getting reamed out. Vincent hangs up the phone angrily, muttering, “This is fucking bullshit,” before talking to Hunter and Alek. “When we get there, I’ll handle the news media, you two concentrate on the case and solve it quickly and quietly. No blow-ups, no screw-ups got it?”
Hunter and Alek both state their assent with Hunter giving his partner an annoyed look. They quickly arrive to the Harper’s home in prestigious Summit Hill. The block is already cordon off by the local police, Alek drives around the wall of news vans and stops the car. Vincent runs his hands through his hair and steps out of the vehicle to engage the news media. Hunter looks to Alek, “Alek, you talk to the family and check the inside of the house, I’m going to look around outside.”
Alek gives Hunter a jaunty smile and begins to stroll into the home. Hunter can feel the stillness in the air. He feels the beasts within begin to merge with his conscious mind. His smell sharpens, his eyes focus, his ears tune into the air about him. He is better than any crime scene technician. Hunter begins to prowl about the outside of the Harper’s home, moving like a hawk on the hunt, a wolf chasing down his prey.
He firsts notices a boot print in the flower bed at the foot of the window to Alison’s bedroom. He can smell the stench of cigarettes and follows that to a hedge lining the side alley. There he finds, hidden, but not well enough, a small pile of cigarettes. He then notices signs of a scuffle and what appears to be the tracks of two motorcycles. Lastly, from the corner of his eye, almost overlooked, he finds a torn off patch reading “ Hel’s Angels.” Jack pockets the patch, before he hears his partner, yelling from Alison’s bedroom, “My God Jack, get in here, you have to see this!”
- Compel: Lone Ranger of the Midwest
Brittany Winters had a long night making the rounds and she has even a longer day lined up of grinding the grounds. She strolls into the café to start her early morning shift, one of the other baristas has the TV on and is listening to Vincent speaking to a report, assuring the public that the Major Case Squad and Local Law enforcement has everything well in hand. Brittany sees her usual morning customer, Steve McCellan, sipping a cup of coffee to finish out his late night. At one of the other tables Brittany sees two financiers from downtown having a hushed conversation with each other.
“Oh My Gawd, Brittany, have you seen the news!?” Brittany’s fellow Barista asks, not waiting for an answer, “That poor girl, from American Idol, Alison Harper, was kidnapped right out of her home! First the Roseville Ripper and now this. The cities usta be a good place to live.”
Brittany yawns in response and grabs a cup of Sacred Grounds finest for herself, when she notices the two businessman stand, one of them hanging up the phone, muttering something about a “package delivery” and head out the door. Her thoughts are interrupted by McCellan muttering, “Huh….that was interesting.”
Brittany looks at McCellan, with a mixture of wariness and wryness, “What was so interesting about that?” She already found it odd to see two bankers from DH Acquisitions starting work so early in the morning.
“Oh, just odd an all. A famous and unique girl has gone missing and suddenly employees of DH Acquisitions, a known hoarder of the unique have sudden business during illicit hours….well illicit hours for bankers. If I was the kind of person who was curious, which I’m not, I would wonder why. And if I was the kind of person who cared, which also coincidently I am not, I might be thinking of doing something about it.”
He smirks at Brittany over his cup who promptly hands the other barista her apron saying, “Some things come up, you’re going to have to cover for me.”
As Brittany leaves the coffee shop, she already hears the Barista complaining, “This is like the Ripper all OVER again.”
- Compel: Into Every Generation a SUCKER is born.
Thomas awakens to the sound of incessant wrapping at his door. He throws on a shirt and quickly, with a not so slight irritation, yells, “I’m coming!” The knocking doesn’t care and continues.
Thomas hits the cement with his bare feet and strides to the door, yanking it with a loud metal rasp. On the other side he sees the stern, plain demeanor of the Man with the Horned Rimmed Glasses (HRG) holding two cups of Sacred Grounds coffee and a bag of their fresh donuts.
“I gather you haven’t heard the news, I have need of your services.” HRG states quietly as he hands Thomas a cup of coffee and the bag of pastries, “the same rates as the Ripper gig.”
“Well, I have part of a TV,” Thomas gestures at an old television partially reconstructed, and gobbles down a donut indicating his interest.
HRG hands Thomas a paper, “Alison Harper, star of American Idol has been kidnapped. I need you to find her and bring her to me. I need someone of your skills to help with this issue, as it involves….. fairies. Someone made a deal with the Winter or Summer Courts, so you can expect their direct interference. I don’t know who cut the deal, but I do know they want her and if one of them gets their hands on her it will upset the balance of this city.”
Thomas eats another donut, “Just me?”
HRG shakes his head, “I would have also brought your partner, Brittney along, but when I got to her place of business, she was already gone. Feel free to invite her in, the same rate applies. I need this done professionally and with minimum fuss Thomas. Here is a phone number that I can be reached at for the next three days.” HRG holds out a slip of paper.
Thomas looks HRG squarely in the eyes taking the slip of paper with the number on it, “Deal.”
- Compel: Power has a Price
Creepy Caves, Somewhere not Very Nice.
Craig Hale was running out of time. He could feel his heart pounding, reminding him with each beat that he had to find the girl or she was going to die. The cave was cold and he could hear the ritualistic chants come from deeper in the cavern. Craig began to sprint towards them, knowing that they are rising to their crescendo and when they stopped, so did an innocent girl’s life.
He skirts through the shadows as he enters a wide cavern, illuminated, but some sort of shadowy mist keeps him from seeing the room and robed figures clearly. Two things catch his attention immediately, the first being the girl he had to find; the second, a large gleaming knife in the hands of a large figure in a cowl looming over her ritualistically chanting. Craig darts into the shadows, keeping his eyes on the girl chained to the alter, waiting for his moment.
The chanting begins to reach a fevered pitch and once it reaches its crescendo, Craig makes his move. He gathers up his strength and summons a shield of pure spirit with an eldritch chant, placing it between the knife wielder and the chained girl. The dark robed figure brings the knife down with supernatural force, shattering through the shield and stabbing the girl deep into her chest. Craig drops to his knees, his despair shattered suddenly by the words….
Bethany Tempest urgently shakes the slumbering Craig, who has slumped over an ancient text on Sumerian rituals. “He….an actual Warden is here! He wants to talk to you.”
Craig blinks tries to blink the vision of death mixed with the sleep from his eyes as he blurrily stands. Bethany presses a cup of Sacred Grounds brew into his hand, urging him to move faster.
“Hale, better wizards than you are dieing while you drag your ass!” The gruff voice of Senior Warden Donald Morgan echoes from the entry way of the Witch’s Hat Tower’s Public Library, shattering the silence.
Wich’s Hat Tower
Craig groans, not in the mood to deal with any of this and slugs back a gulp of brew, stumbling into the entry way with Bethany following behind, “I….I had this horrible dream, a young girl slaughtered….”
Donald Morgan grunts, a sharp cut through Craig’s worlds, “Yeah a dream,” the callous insincerity dripping from Morgan’s words, “You refused your duty once to be a Warden Hale, well the Senior Council has need of you and they will not be denied. A young girl, Alison Harper, was taken from her home this morning. While the kidnapping of a child is a tragedy, the White Council is concerned because she is the ACTUAL personification of a “Fallen Star”.
Craig blinks and looks intently at Morgan, quickly processing the ramifications of that statement through his mind. He is an expert at ritual magic and knows that the death of a human can lend immense strength to empowering dark magic, the death of a star would lend incredible power to any ritual. Craig lets out a low whistle at the thought of what could be done with the power of the sun.
“Exactly,” Morgan rasps, “this is why the White Council needs you to find her quickly and return her to her parents, we think that she was noticed by the entire supernatural world after her brief stint and exposure on “American Idol”,” Morgan’s awkwardness at fully grasping the idea of the show is readily apparent, but he continues, “There are better wizards, but you are the only one not tangled up in the war. I know this is technically Dresden’s responsibility, but I don’t want him involved. He would likely level half the city and I will not have that level of recklessness or irresponsibility damage the balance here.”
Craig takes another sip of coffee and jumps slightly when Morgan suddenly yells “YOU!” pointing at Bethany, who squeaks and nearly drops her coffee, “go and show Craig a picture of the child.”
Bethany sprints towards her desk, her speed a combination of fear and giddiness at being somewhat involved. She boots up an archaic computer and prints out a picture of Alison handing it to Craig. Craig feels a deep fear as he looks at the picture of Alison and realizes that it was the girl who was sacrificed in his dream. With a grim determination he looks at Morgan, “She’s from my dream….I’ll do it.”
“Good Wizard, because you don’t have a choice,” Morgan turns and strides out of the library.
- Compel: Low man on the Totem Pole
- Compel by Craig: I need my books. Craig wastes a scene searching in his books for answers about his dream.
Morgan’s Mexican and Lebanese Grocery, West Side, St. Paul
Bobby Chan was awake earlier than he has ever been in his life and has decided that this is something that he never needs to experience again. He showed up at Morgan’s Grocery at 5am like instructed and was quickly hustled inside and down into the basement. There, he sees a well-stocked chemist and arcane lab which pleasantly surprises him. Morgan shows him the work space when the head of the Latin Kings stomps his way downstairs.
“Morgan, is this the chemist?” Richie Hernandez asks in a rough voice.
“Yeah man, I heard he was the best,” Morgan replies.
Richie looks Bobby up and down, taking in his scruffy appearance. “We have a shipment of new,” he pause, thinking for a second, “ingredients that we would like you to mix in with our new batch of Bliss.”
“Yeah, no problem man, what are….?” Bobby never has a chance to finish asking his question Richie gets a cellphone call and raises his hand for Bobby to be silence. He steps out of the room and has a quick, terse conversation with someone on the phone.
“Morgan, come up stairs with me, there’s been a complication….see to the chemist first.”
Morgan looks at Bobby and hands him another roll of bills and says, “Oh for your troubles too, “ and hands Bobby two pills of Red Bliss.
“Hey, no problem man, you gotta do what you gotta do, you know.” Bobby then quickly takes both pills, feeling the effect course through his veins, Morgan smiles slightly and then heads back upstairs.
Now that Bobby is alone he begins to look about the basement lab. He looks past the computer screen with porn proudly being displayed and past the old television blaring news about some American Idol Chick who went missing. He takes immediate note of various narcotics and illicit drugs available for the construction of Red Bliss, pocketing some of it as he sifts through the rest of the chemicals. He finds a vial of human spit that he thinks is curious, but before he can examine it further he hears a noise from a nearby closet door.
Bobby gets quiet for a moment, only hearing the drone of the television where Detective Lieutenant Jack Vincent proudly proclaims that the Major Case Squad will find Alison Harper and see that she is returned to her parents. Just before he is about to resume his exploration of the lab, he hears a low whimper of a young woman from in the closet and can hear her scratching at the door.
“Oh man, Not good man, not good….”
- Compel: Chasing the Dragon
The Harper’s House, Summit Hill, St. Paul
Hunter hustles into the house. He immediately notices how clean and orderly it is, he can see both of the Harpers sitting teary eyed in the tidy, white kitchen crying as an officer consoles them, providing them a cup of Sacred Grounds finest. The smell causes Hunter’s stomach to growl, reminding him he hasn’t had breakfast. Alek is at the foot of the stairs leading up to the bedrooms, his face is paler than normal.
“It’s bad Jack, like Ripper bad,” Alek gestures for Hunter to follow him upstairs; passing a lab tech puking into a plastic bag.
Hunter quickly follows and he already feels his hackle rise at an unnatural feeling from upstairs. As he and Alek close in on Alison’s bedroom door, Hunter’s nostrils fill with the stench of charred flesh and terror. Holding in his own repulsion he opens the young girl’s bedroom and steps into a room that feels as if it has been defiled to its core.
His eyes, seeing more detail that he ever would wish, immediately seeing the blood red circle drawn around the bed. His nose can tell that the blood is human, but not the girl’s. On five concentric points about the circle, he sees charred remains of burned animals that appeared to be used as candle holders. He doesn’t know how, but he is certain that these animals were burned alive.
“This is fucked Hunter, just fucked, “Alek mutters to himself, careful to not disturb the bloody circle.
Hunter takes a deep breath, a breath he wish he didn’t need to take, but amongst the pain and desecration he gets another scent, surprising almost refreshing, that of a cigarettes. They smelled identical to the ones he noticed by the hedges. Suppressing the urge to get on all fours, Hunter follows it to open window and looks out to the city. It’s almost as if someone tied a string to the purveyor of the scent, because Hunter realizes that he can follow it perfectly.
Hunter turns to his partner and says, “Alek, I need you to cover for me, I think I have a lead.”
Alek nods and steps back from Hunter as he suddenly transforms into a majestic hawk and takes flight from the bedroom window.
Thomas knows that for Fairies to be involved that someone made a deal with them and most likely culprit is the mother or the father. Thomas angles his old pick-up truck through morning traffic as he makes his way to Summit Hill. He isn’t sure what questions he is going to ask, but he knows he is going to expect….CRASH!
Thomas’s truck swerves, slamming into the guard rail as a meaty fist pulls back from his smashed driver’s side window. Thomas eyes widen with surprise then narrows with anger as a large, shaggy winter troll pulls itself completely from beneath the bridge. Vehicles on the busy freeway, swerve and crash into each other, not seeing through the troll’s glamour, but the sudden accident causing more behind Thomas.
“You are meddling in affairs that are not yours mortal!” Bellows the troll as it raises its fits and brings it down atop Thomas’s car. Thomas feels the living iron course through his veins and attempts to block the blow, but just feels him blasted back into the passenger seat. He draws his iron blade from its sheath and jumps out his now shattered window, drawing a deep cut across the troll’s forearm. Instead of blood, small, almost troll doll sized, versions of the troll pour from the wound clambering across Thomas’s blade before falling to the pavement of the bridge.
Thomas squares off against the enraged troll, meeting blow for blow. The living iron in his veins pounding through him. The pavement cracks beneath them as they continue their brawl. Out of the corner of his eye Thomas catches an impending semi barreling down the freeway, unable to stop in time to avoid the combatants. (Well, to everyone else Thomas realizes, combatant, they can’t see the troll and he probably just looks like a crazy man waving a sword in the middle of the freeway.)
Thomas seizes the moment and pins the trolls foot to the concrete as he prepares himself for the oncoming semi. The troll bellows in pain and rage, trying to pull himself free, but is held fast as the semi slams into both of them. The troll is flung away to the west bound side of the bridge, Thomas’s blade still in his foot, its right arm ripped from its body; popping into hundreds of tiny trolls mid-air sailing over the Mississippi. Thomas braces his shoulder against the truck, allowing it to slam into an unmovable object because he knows it is not an unstable force. The Front of the semi flattens like an accordion in a crunch of metal, before the entire semi rolls over Thomas smashing against the concrete upside down.
Before Thomas can react, the troll grabs a stopped vehicle on the freeway and hurls it one handed at Thomas, knocking him off balanced. Thomas charges forward in silent fury and slams into the Troll attempting to push it off the bridge. He knows he has to end this conflict soon as he can already hear the approaching police sirens. The troll bellows with rage and the tiny trolls poor from his wounds biting at Thomas’s hands and arms with sharp teeth preventing him from getting a hold. Before either can react, the semi suddenly explodes, ripping the troll from Thomas’s hands throwing him from the bridge.
Thomas is unmoved by the explosion, the living iron in his blood merely heating at the contact; however the I-94 bridge is not as lucky and gives out dropping Thomas into the open air above the river.
- Compel: Troll Bridge!
- Invoke by Thomas: Busy Freeway bringing the Semi into the scene
- Compel: Truck Explodes causing the bridge collapse
Brittany heads to the IDS Tower in Minneapolis and gets there just in time to see the car pull into the private parking garage nearby. She looks towards the main entrance and see two Nordic looking security goons, with a Monoc Securities logo on their blazer vest, wanding people as they enter the build along with checking a guest list.
Most people would be taken back, but Brittany takes this in stride as she steps forward with a bag of donuts and a couple of cups of Sacred Grounds finest.
As she comes to the two security guards, she flashes them a smile and says in a chipper voice, “A delivery for…” she quickly remembers the first name that came up when she Googled the financial firm on her phone, “….Windsor Simon Pearce.”
One of the guards starts to check the list, but when the name “Windsor Simon Pearce” is uttered he looks to his companion and gets on the radio. Quickly a terse female voice orders the goons to let her through.
“Right this way miss,” one of them gestures and escorts Brittany to an elevator off to the side of the lobby. The doors quickly open and Brittany is ushered inside where she is greeted by a stern looking woman with piercing blue eyes, her blazer is embroidered with the Monoc Securities Logo, but on the other pocket is the name tag “Alice LaRue.”
The doors close behind Brittany with a whispering thud and begins it silent, swift ascent. The silence between the two women thicken with an unspoken menace, as they both subtly and slowly look the other up and down. LaRue’s eyes rest upon the bag of donuts and cups of coffee in Brittany’s hand.
“Coffee and Donuts for Windsor. Simon. Pearce.” There was no question in that statement, just flat disbelief.
Brittany shrugs her shoulders and smiles, “He has good taste.”
LaRue’s eyes turning a lighter shade of blue, almost that of ice, “I don’t think you understand the gravity of the situation. I am deciding if I should kill you before we reach the top floor and I think you should start talking to give me a reason not to.”
Brittany turns up the perky smile, “Hey, I am just a simple delivery girl,” her voice suddenly hardens, silk over steel, “and I’m here to deliver a message, I don’t like it when monsters kidnap girls in my city.”
Before LaRue can respond a deep voice fills the air in the elevator. “Send her up, I find her amusing, she is…..unique.” LaRue shrugs and leans against the side wall of the elevator, lighting a cigarette and blowing a plume of smoke towards Brittany’s face.
The elevator reaches the top floor of the IDS tower and opens into a long room with a single desk at the end. Brittany does not wait for LaRue’s direction before she moves across the plush carpet towards the empty chair before the large, mahogany desk. Windsor waits patiently, a cigar burning red as he blows out some smoke, it curly thickly about his mouth and face. His green eyes watching Brittany with almost an intense greed.
Windsor Simon Pearce
“Have a seat Ms. Winters, I offer you food and shelter and I shall treat you as a guest.” Windsor offers cordially, “Please have a seat.”
Brittany, not really understanding the significance of what he said, still does not trust him, but takes a seat, “Why did you take the girl? Why shouldn’t I take you apart?”
Windsor laughs, a deep laugh, his cigar burning brightly, “I had nothing to do with the girl’s disappearance. I want to find her, she is a person of great value to many people and my principle investor wishes to add her to his….portfolio and to protector her.”
Brittany’s voice is chilly and restrained with anger, “You want to put her in a cage, make her your prisoner. To corrupt and twist her like you.”
Windsor’s eyes turn a deeper green, flashing with annoyance, “You barely comprehend what she is, what she represents. She has the power of a sun flowing through her veins and there are many who would be eager to open them. She would have all the protection that my principle investor could provide. She would be free to go to the best schools, to have the right connections, proper management. She, like you, is uniquely gifted….” Windsor pauses in thought for a moment, “…you could benefit from my patron’s guidance as well. He finds you….interesting…what could I do to gain your alliance. I could hire you on to find the girl, to protect her, to bring her to me.”
Brittany waves away a billow of heavy smoke, “you have nothing I want and all you can offer is a cage, I think we’re done here.”
Brittany stands and looks at Windsor’s piercing green eyes as he states, “This isn’t an opportunity to turn down lightly, my patron is not one to turn down lightly. He gets what he wants one way or another.”
Brittany turns promptly striding towards the elevator, “Well tell your patron he better no get in my way.”
- Invoke by Brittany: Badass Battle Barista, to have coffee and donuts with her in a scene
- Invoke by Brittany: Badass Battle Barista, to improve her ability to intimidate LaRue, which got Windsor’s attention.
Morgan’s Mexican and Lebanese Grocery, West Side, St. Paul
Bobby takes a deep breath to steel himself, hearing again the sound of the TV news blaring information about the bridge collapse on I-94, and opens the closet door. He looks down and finds a battered, young Hispanic woman huddled on the floor. He quickly kneels down and offers her aid, getting a better look at her face and recognizes Rosalie. He doesn’t know her well, but recognizes her as a young college student who took walks around the park he “lives” at.
“Please, please, don’t hurt me, please…” Rosalie pleads holding her hands up to block the sudden influx of light.
“I’m cool man, no worries,” Bobby gives her a quick glance making note of some suspicious bite marks. Bobby has seen these bite marks and knows what they mean and something, aside from rising panic, clicks in his mind. He pulls the tube of saliva out looking briefly from it to the bite marks and knows what he is dealing with, the Red Court and what looks to be like someone who is now a Red Court infected. “Oh man, this is not good.”
He turns away, pocketing the vial, looking about the room for an easy exit. He suddenly feels Rosalie press up behind him, shivering against him in what he assumes….no hopes…is fear. He feels her presence behind his neck as she plaintively whispers, “They….they hurt me, they took something from me, they did some horrible things,” and her voice deepens slightly, “and I am so very hungry.”
Bobby steps away, turning pushing her an arms length’s distance away, “Personal Boundaries Man, now you’re going to be like….really, really hungry and I’m going to need you to stand over there, cool, ok….and I am going to give you something to drink man, like I need you to drink it right now, cause you can’t eat right NOW, even though you are like really hungry, I need to do this for man, cool?”
Bobby swaps the vial of Red Court vampire saliva for a small elixir he has in his pocket which he gives to Rosalie to drink, hoping it will hold back her cravings. Rosalie takes a drink and appears to steady herself, when suddenly they both hear the loud clomping of boots upstairs. Bobby pushes Rosalie back into the closet, quickly following after.
- Fate Point given to Bobby for just some really good roleplaying that my writing cannot fully capture. The table was in stitches.
In the Sky above the Twin Cities.
Hunter could still follow the scent even though it was beginning to fade in the morning breeze. He flew through the wind, enjoying the clean air and the freedom he always feels when he takes flight. Hunters gets his bearings realizing that he is heading towards West Side in Saint Paul. He takes notice on one of the roads of a pair of Hel’s Angels bikers with sack slung, a sack that could easily fit a human-sized person, over the shoulder of the larger one. The cigarette smell leads directly towards them and his sharp eyes notice quickly that the slender one is missing a patch, much like the one he has now.
He continues to follow them about the streets of West Side and sees them stopping in front of Morgan’s Mexican and Lebanese Foods. They park their bikes on the side of the building and stride in through the front door, carrying the sack with them. Hunter lands in a nearby alley, taking human form and strolls across the street into the store.
The tiny bell announces his presence as he takes in, what feels like an unusually tense, atmosphere of the corner store grocery. Over by the corner he sees the familiar face of Morgan Hernandez (any cop worth his salt knows the face of one the more notorious gang leaders and drug dealers in the city) along with the scrawnier Hel’s Angel suddenly stopping conversation. He walks towards the counter, the scrawny biker suddenly standing up and Morgan letting out a sigh.
“Hey man,” Morgan raises a hand, warding Hunter off, “We’re like closing soon, gotta do some construction for the health inspector, just get something and go.”
Hunter flicks his eyes towards Morgan, but like a wolf on the hunt, focuses in on the scrawnier biker, “Nice day for a ride.”
“What’s it to you?” the biker snaps back.
“Just an observation,” Hunter pats his shoulder, condescendingly, “Hey, it looks like your jacket is missing something.” Hunter tosses the patch he found at the Harper home on to the counter.
The Biker steps up to Hunter, his face inches from the cop’s, “So, why do you care?”
Hunter pulls out his badge and presses it into the biker’s face pushing him away roughly, “THIS is why I CARE!”
- Hunter Compels: Hungry like a Wolf
IDS Tower, Minneapolis
Brittany finds herself being hustled out of another building, as the Monoc Security Goons escort her swiftly out of the building and onto Nicollet Mall. She sighs and takes a moment to gather her thoughts when she notices a Nordic looking couple who appear to be window shopping, what she notices is that they are really watching HER through the reflection of the store. She begins to casually walk down the street, watching the couple follow her. Brittany suddenly speeds up darting into the alleyway and diving behind a dumpster hiding the shadows, waiting for her chance.
The Nordic couple appear to not be far behind, as they both appear at the mouth of the alley, the man drawing a gun from inside his sweater vest, while the other one pulls a gun and a radio from her purse. The man, now armed, begins to walk slowly down the alleyway; while his partner holds her pistol to cover her partner and begins speaking on the radio with what sounds like German.
The Nordic man passes Brittney and that is when she makes her move. With inhuman speed and strength she kicks the dumpster at the woman with the pistol, watching it sail into her and smashing her violently onto Nicollet behind her. Brittney’s other foot comes down hard on the man’s crushing it and forcing him to drop the gun. The Nordic man roars in rage and pain and grabs Brittney in a bear hug, smashing her against the wall, causing spider webs to form in the concrete behind them. Brittney rears her head back and smashes it into the Nordic man’s face dropping him to the ground.
She lands lightly on her feet, hearing the squeal of tires and seeing two black vans pull up onto Nicollet, with mercenaries dressed all in black, armed with rifles; even more worrying she sees Alice LaRue step out of one of the vans; giving them directions in the same German sounding language she heard earlier. Brittany turns and begins to sprint down the alleyway, she twists mid run and kicks another dumpster down the alleyway, sending it spinning to block off pursuit.
From the corner of her eye, as she turns to run, she can see LaRue throw a couple of small stones into the air. LaRue’s eyes suddenly glow with a blue light and a blast of cold air hits the dumpster enclosing it in ice, before a second gust of wind slams into it shattering it into thousands of pieces. Brittany, moving with inhuman agility, begins to run faster down the alley. She is only able to feel the two tranquilizer darts fired by the mercenaries when they hit her back.
Brittany can feel her vision blurring and her steps wobbling slightly as she continues her run, she dashes out of the alleyway to only see two other mercenaries waiting to ambush her. Before they, and she, can react, the Man in the Horned Rimmed Glasses suddenly steps from the shadows and jabs a syringe into the neck of one mercenaries, knocking him out. The other mercenary turns his gun towards HRG and Brittney dives into him at full speed smashing him against the concrete wall and knocking him unconsciousness as she finally succumbs to the blackness.
- Invoked: HRG invoked a yet to be revealed aspect
- Compel: Brittany self-compelled the medium consequence of drowsy.
Witch’s Hat Tower Public Library, Minneapolis
“This is futile,” Craig slams a book shut, frustrated that he can find nothing more to help him get more information about his dream. He takes a sip of coffee and decides to take a new tact, thinking about Alison and the information he read about stars. Craig thinks he can make use of the energy a Fallen Star has and makes a mental note of that information.
Before he can turn back to his books, Bethany calls from the reception area, “Mr. Hale, you have a phone call, its, it’s the POLICE!”
Craig stands up, a little confused and wary and walks to the reception area, taking the archaic, rotary phone from Bethany. “Hello?”
“Ahhhh, Craig Hale?” a voice tinged with a strong Minnesotan accent asks, “This is Detective Aleksander Erickson, Major Case Squad, I got your number from my partner, Detective Jack Hunter’s, rolodex. I remember him stating you were a help to him on a certain case not too long ago.”
Craig remembers Jack, “Yes, yes, I did, how can I help you Detective Erickson, I have some urgent business to attend too.”
“Just Alek,” the police detective says companionably, “and I am sorry for interrupting, but I am sure you heard the news about the missing girl, Alison Harper?” Alek continues without pausing, “Jack’s case notes indicate that you are an expert in the occult and there is something here in the Harper home that I need your opinion on something I found here. I will pay your usual consulting fee.”
Craig quickly murmurs agreement, “What’s the add——“
“I am sorry for interrupting Mr. Hale, but I already have a squad on the way, it will be much faster.”
“Thanks Alek, and it’s just Craig.”
The wizard hangs up the phone and gathers his coat, only to be confronted by an eager Bethany Tempest with a satchel of supplies and books waiting. (He thinks he sees a large magnifying glass hanging from her back pack along with several arcane tomes poking out from the top.)
“Yes, Yes, you can come along,” Hale states, hoping that maybe he can teacher her from blowing herself up, “just follow my lead.”
“Bethany squeals and follows Craig out of the library and towards the squad car that just pulled up. Craig and Bethany greet the two police officers and take a seat, heading towards Summit Hill.
- Craig creates a scene tag through a Lore Declaration that the Fallen Star has energy he can use
- Compel: Bethany self-compels, I want to be a wizard, I do, I do, I do! To go with Craig to the crime scene
Somewhere in the Mississippi River
When Thomas hits the water he loses his sword and has a brief moment to watch it plummet to the depths of the Mississippi. He lets out a brief sigh, debris from the collapsing bridge still tumbling about him as he begins to swim towards the shore. It doesn’t take him long to start developing a chill and then he watches the water suddenly begin to freeze about him.
Before the ice can entrap him, he smashes it with his iron infused limbs, keeping it from ensnaring him. Atop the ice he sees the nefarious figure of Trick, a changeling and the Winter Court’s Hit man, standing with ease atop the ice, planting his feet firmly upon the shore.
“You really have a knack for turning up where you are not wanted Thomas don’t you?” Trick asks, amusement tinging his voice.
“I gotta job to do,” Thomas answers back, only to be greeted by the loud sounds of alien purrs from invisible creatures who are now prowling about him. They state in a small chorus, “His Blood is sooo warm, we can’t wait to feed and here him screen, oh yes we can’t.”
Thomas has heard these sounds before and Malks are as vicious as they are intelligent. He hoists himself out of the cold water and onto the ice, drawing an iron railroad spike from his belt. The Malk hiss in irritation, causing the hair to stand up on the back of Thomas’s neck.
“Now, now Thomas,” Trick holds out a warning hand, “I am giving you this one chance to turn back, to get out, before you get hurt.”
Thomas eyes Trick with hard eyes and begins to walk towards him and the shore behind him, “I made a promise, I have a job to do, I am just going to get out of the water. You should do what you have to do.”
Trick cocks his head in thought, the Malks whisper murderous intent. He appears to consider them and Thomas words for a moment, and his eyes flick upwards to the gathering sirens on the bridge.
“For now Thomas, you may pass, but next time there will be no forgiveness, there will be only pain.” With those words Trick’s flesh turns bone white and suddenly a column of ice lifts him off the ice and away from Thomas, the howls of the Malks follow.
Thomas trudges to the shore and sees the familiar shape of the Man in the Horned Rimmed Glasses, leaning against a sedan watching Thomas. He waves him over, saying, “I needed this done,” he looks at the fallen bridge, “cleanly, be more careful.”
Thomas shrugs his shoulders and looks in the back of the car, seeing a slumbering Brittany Winters. HRG hands Thomas the keys and then pulls his smart phone showing it to Thomas, “You better get moving, we’re on a timer now.”
- Compel: Trick self-compels an unidentified aspect, accepting Thomas’s reasons for not having a physical contest at that moment.
The Basement of Morgan’s Mexican and Lebanese Foods, West Side, St. Paul.
Bobby quickly puts his hand over Rosalie’s mouth to stifle a small scream when they hear an angry voice upstairs yell, “THIS is why I CARE!”
“Shhh, be cool man, be cool, we are like…going to get out of here….you know all that stuff you thought were stories and, like Disney stuff?” Bobby ask Rosalie who nods, “Well, it’s like…all real, man and some of it, wants to eat your face.”
Rosalie’s lower lip quivers, “Like what those men did to me?"
“Like that man, so, I am going to take us somewhere, to get out of here, and you are going to need to, like, stay right with me.”
Rosalie nods again as Bobby summons the energy to make a portal into the Nevernever. He steps in with Rosalie following, closing the entrance behind him.
The Harper’s House, Summit Hill, St. Paul
The squad car takes Craig and Bethany through the alleyway behind the Harper Home, dodging the news vehicles out front. They are greeted by Alek upon their arrival.
“Come with me, I need to see what you make of this.” Alek gestures with one hand and guides them into the house, past the grieving parents. As they near Alison’s bedroom, Bethany shrinks back, clutching slightly at Craig’s arm. Craig gets the sense of perversion and desecration emanating from behind the bedroom door.
Alek opens the door and Craig’s sense of corruption only gets stronger. He steps in with Bethany, powered only by her eagerness, steps in with Hale. Hale sees the bloody circle, the tortured animals. He recognizes the ritual as a benign one, but that it’s been corrupted by a First Law violation, turning it much darker than it should have been. It’s a ritual that his master used on him when he was first learning magic, so Craig was quite familiar with it.
“Bethany,” Craig points to the markings with blood, his voice taking a slight lecturing tone, “you see these marks…this is a peaceful slumber circle. It is designed to make sure that the person in the center of the circle receives a gentle night’s sleep.”
Alek’s eye brow raises as he asks, “Is it normally drawn in blood?”
“No,” Craig shakes his head, “The way this was made tainted the spell. My guess is the person who is sleeping his having terrible nightmares and is being prevented from waking. This is probably how they snuck her out. Was anything wrong with the parents? What did they eat last night? Was it poisoned?”
“I will get the lab guys to double check,” Alek barks a couple of orders on his radio, then continues, “As for last night they ordered pizza, there were no reports of any oddities. The last person to visit the home was someone around 8 or 9pm, he claimed to be a representative from the Helping Hands Shelter looking for donations. We’ve contacted the shelter and have been unable to locate the volunteer.”
Craig nods again, “If they were drugged, then the practioner would have plenty of time to draw this circle.” He looks about the room, seeing the pictures, the laughing faces and smiling friends. He thinks to himself, “She’s a Fallen Star, it looks like she draws other to her, pulling them into her social orbit. Interesting.”
Alek looks imploringly at Craig as Bethany jots down some notes, Craig shakes himself for a moment, “I think I need to talk to the parents, is that possible?”
Alek nods his head and leads the way.
- Craig created the scene tag through a Lore Declaration that Alison creates a Personal Orbit that draws the people she needs to her much like a star draws in planets.
The Main Floor of Morgan’s Mexican and Lebanese Foods, West Side, St. Paul
“You had to go do that, didn’t you Detective Hunter,” Morgan says with a menacing sigh, turning the sign to close.
“Yes, yes I did and I suggest that both of you tell me what you know about Alison Harper,” Hunter says with a savage growl, causing Morgan to step back.
“Fuck you, pig,” the biker responds and punches at Hunter who neatly dodges the attack.
“If you don’t back-off you’re going to get hurt,” Hunter warns.
“No Officer, you’re the one who’s going to get hurt,” Morgan shouts from behind the counter, drawing a shot gun his faces contorting to the demonic features of a Red Court Vampire.
The biker wastes little time and suddenly shreds his clothing turning into a large wolf. He lunges at Hunter, tearing at his arm as Morgan fires a blast from the shot gun bags of potatoes chips exploding into the air as Hunter dodges the blow.
Hunter feels the savage fury rising inside of him and also transforms into a hulking wolf, lunging at Morgan, tearing away the flesh of his arm revealing the bat like creature underneath. The werewolf biker tears at Hunter’s flanks, as Morgan clubs at him from the front. Jack twists away from both blows and catches Morgan across the chest, raking him deeply. Morgan lets out an inhuman scream.
Suddenly, stepping from the back room steps the other, larger biker his beard bristling; next to him is an enraged Richie Hernandez.
“How dare you!” Richie roars at the transformed Jack and, like his uncle, takes on the horrific visage of a Red Court Vampire. Jack realizes he is dangerously out gunned but notices that the stores blinds are closed. He grabs them with his jaws and easily tears them from the windows, exposing the corner store to sunlight.
Morgan and Richie scream with pain fleeing into the backroom. Jack continues leaping away from the werewolf biker. The larger one lets out a roar of anger, his beard turning from blonde to white as his skin turns blue, his arms bulging, ripping his jacket at the seams. He charges at Hunter while continue to grow in size, scooping him up in a meaty hand and hurling him out of the window of the shop.
Frost Giant Biker
On the road in front of Morgan’s Mexican and Lebanese Foods, West Side, St. Paul
Thomas driving with a groggy Bethany winters down the road, suddenly sees a transformed Jack Hunter hurled from a store front, over their car and slamming into the brick road before landing with a whimper. Hunter is stunned from the blow and barely gets to his feet before the other werewolf bounds from the shattered window and tears into Hunter, ripping a deep furrow on his shoulder. The Frost Giant biker steps from the building, now almost two stories tall and hurls the cash register at Hunter, catching the werewolf police officer across his head. Hunter lets out a yelp as the register shatters, reigning change and bills about the street.
Thomas stomps on the breaks and rolls out of the car, lowering his shoulder and propels himself at the Frost Giant. The Frost Giants feet rip up slabs of pavement as he holds his grounds, sliding deep furrows as he is knocked back. Brittany, still groggy is slower to react, but no less effective. She steps from the vehicle and kicks the biker werewolf from Hunter, hurling him across the road.
The biker werewolf slams into the wall by his bikes and transforms to human, grabbing a pistol before darting back into the store. Hunter bounds after him, still in wolf form. Thomas jabs his rail road spike into the side of the Giant who roars in pain and pounds his fist atop Thomas; not hurting him but creating a crater in the pavement around him. Brittany runs toward the shop and dives in, knocking the gun out of the biker’s hands as Hunter slams a paw atop his head; pinning the now human biker to the ground.
Jack transform back to human in mid growl, “Give up and tell me who is in the bag or I will rip your throat…”
- Compel: Jack compelled being dazed after getting thrown from the store and hitting into the wall, causing him to miss an exchange of combat.
- Invoke: Thomas invoke the aspect of driving to be driving on the road that Jack is hurled across.
- Compel: Brittany compelled the tranquilizer consequence to start at the bottom of the initiative order
The Harper’s House, Summit Hill, St. Paul
Craig follows Alek to the Kitchen who introduces Craig as a consultant with the police department to Allen and Elizabeth Harper. Craig gets them two cups of coffee as Alek begins to review the events from last night with the distraught Harpers. As Craig listens, he gets a sense that Allen is hiding something, he makes eye contact to Alek who also notices the same thing. Alek is able to ask Allen to come speak with him and Craig outside to give Elizabeth a break while they continue their conversation. Bethany stays behind consoling the distraught mother.
On the way out Alek passes the lab tech, who informs him that it appears the pizza was drugged and that the lab will have the information on what chemicals were used in about an hour. Allen gasps with surprise and Alek continues to escort them gently outside. As they exit the home, Craig gets notice an odd scent of rotted meat and as he glances around he gets the sense that there are glamoured gruffs watching the backyard.
“Alek, maybe we should talk inside the house, there are others listening,” Craig pauses, stumbling over a simple lie, “like the uh, news media.”
“Mr. Harper, he’s right, why don’t you go into the living room, we’ll be right there.” Alek says, as Allen leaves he turns to Hale, “Now what’s going on?”
Craig looks around, “There are Fairies here, Summer Court, Gruffs, look like man shaped goats.”
Alek is not as startled as Craig thought he would be, “That complicates things, what could they want?”
Craig shakes his head, unsure, “I don’t know, but for them to be involved somebody made a deal with one of the courts and my bet is on Allen. I just don’t know how to get it out of him.”
Alek signs and nods in agreement, “I think I can get the information, but can you make Alison’s room even MORE menacing than it is?
Craig thinks for a moment and feels that he has an easy ritual that will do the trick and agrees to Alek’s plan. They both head back into the house. Alek requests Allen follow him to his daughter’s room as they have more questions.
Craig arrives to the room first and quickly inscribes a small ritual circle and gives the shadows a menacing edge. He sees that it takes effect as Allen enters the bedroom, his breath quickening. Alek follows behind and suddenly looks a lot less companionable and more menacing himself. There is an edge to the detective that Hale has not noticed before.
“Allen, this is the time in your life when you need to come clean, if you don’t there is a good chance your daughter is dead….and well….you would be responsible.” Alek’s voice is tinged with resigned rage, Craig cases the shadows to close about him, lending more menace to his words.
“Wh….What do you mean?” stammers Allen.
“What I mean is I heard everything, even strange things. Mr. Hale here,“ Alek points a thumb at Craig, “is an expert, he can help whatever mess you have gotten yourself in…you’re Family in.”
Alek waits for what he is knows to follow and as Mr. Harper breaks into tears he steadies him with a kind hand. “My….my wife and I just wanted a child,” sobs Allen, “we couldn’t conceive and we tried adopting. This women, named Mab, Mav, or whatever, I don’t remember, offered us a child to raise. A perfect baby girl. Beth was so happy. God, I was so happy. I took the deal. There was a catch though, I was supposed to turn the child to back to them when she entered puberty. I didn’t think anything of it. I thought it was a joke. I took my family, I hid them. We had a good life. Alison, she’s…special….gifted, I should have seen what would have happened. Beth, she didn’t know better, she…she took Alison to those auditions and she got on Idol. I thought, we would be ok….but then I got the threats, in my dreams. That women is horrible and now my baby is gone.”
Allen breaks down in deep sobs, and Alek has a lab technician help him from the room. Craig sighs and shakes his head at Allen, “Alison got on Idol, and every supernatural player could find her, including….I gather the Winter Court,” Hale shivers at that, “and it became easy to track them down. Yet, the magic, its flavor here, it’s not Winter’s style. There is another party involved.”
Alek sighs, “Any other ideas, I don’t relish telling my boss that Fairies did it.”
Craig looks at Alek, “I have one, can you have an officer send Bethany up here please.”
Morgan’s Mexican and Lebanese Foods, West Side, St. Paul
“Listen man we surrender,” Werewolf biker says, yelling out to his companion, “We surrender.”
The titanic struggle ceases outside, as both Hunter and Brittany glare at the prone Hel’s Angel.
“For the last time, what do you know about the girl?” Hunter puts pressure on the biker’s head.
“N…N…Nothing, I s…..swear!” Hunter relaxes his grip, “She was gone when we showed up.”
“Listen, we were hired by the Latin Kings to kidnap the girl and bring her here. We got there, she was already gone, and we came back here to let them know. Someone else got to her before we did.”
Hunter grunts, “I didn’t hear a sack in that story, do better.”
The Biker gulps, “W…w…we noticed some guy smoking cigarettes by a hedge, he looked like he was waiting for something, so we snatched him. Figured he could tell the Latin Kings what was going on and well, we might still get something for our time.”
“Where is he NOW?”
“In the backroom, I swear, we didn’t do anything to him!”
Hunter stands, picking up the prostrate biker, Brittany follows after him. In the backroom they find a mess. The sack has been torn open and it appears someone tore into the poor man draining him of all his blood. Brittany pushes at the corpse with her foot, both she and Hunter notice that he has the uniform of a volunteer from the Helping Hands Shelter.
Hunter then notices the basement, “What’s down there?”
“I…I don’t know.”
“Well, you first then.” Hunter pushes the biker towards the stairwell.
“Fuck no!” the biker stammers and before the conversation can continue the now human sized frost giant and Thomas step into the back room. The frost giant rumbles, “Don’t worry, I’ll do it.”
The frost giant goes downstairs with the rest following. Down here they find what looks like to be some kind of lab that was ransacked, an opened closet door, a TV blaring news about an assault on Nicollet Mall and multiple open browser windows on a computer in the corner.
Jack sighs and looks at the two bikers, “Get out of here, don’t let me see you again….Oh, and tell Val no hard feelings."
The frost giant shoots Jack a glare as he picks his friend up and starts to take him upstairs, “Val only has hard feelings.”
Hunter shakes his head and thinks, “another problem for another day,” and takes a look at the web browser, closing some of the windows displaying various porn. He sees an odd sight of what it appears to be an E-Bay bid window about a hunk of fallen meteorite being auctioned by Collector 666. The highest bid is for 2 million dollars by a FrostWolf67. Hunter mutters out loud to Thomas and Brittany, “and only about two hours left.”
Thomas looks over Hunter’s shoulder and says, “I don’t get any of this stuff, but a contact of mine told me that whoever has the girl is auctioning her over E-bay.”
Hunter reads through the posting quickly and sees pick-up instructions for the Mall of America. He then grabs his cellphone and calls a contact he has at the NSA, requesting a trace on two web screen names. He quickly gets confirmation that the identity of FrostWolf67 is registered to a John Doe and not much other information. The other is to “Clinton” a resident of Minneapolis with an address that matches the Mall of America.
Both Brittany and Thomas start at the mention of Clinton’s name. They both know him as a man who runs a seedy magic book shop and buys parts of monsters they have slain for more exotic ingredients. Brittany looks at Hunter, “The pick-up is going to be in the Magic Bazaar.”
Hunter then attempts to place a bid in using Richie’s account, but finds that it has auto-timed out and that he would need the password. Realizing that time is literally ticking down, he calls another number on his cellphone.
Somewhere that is, like, really, bad man, Nevernever
Bobby and Rosalie tumble into a hallway carved in ice. Bloodied corpses hang from meat hooks hammer into the frozen walls, the blood has stained the ice a deep red. Bobby shivers and not from the cold, catching a sudden hungry look from Rosalie.
“Like remember, don’t eat a thing, ok man.”
Rosalie takes a moment and steals herself, Bobby’s potion giving her strength. Bobby guides them both down the hallway. As they reach the mouth of the cave, they see a flash of light and a bloody Morgan, looking like a Red Court Vampire, slam into the wall, with terror in his eyes. Shortly behind him comes a vampirized Richie Hernandez. Bobby urges Rosalie onto greater speed.
They come to a wide open frozen tundra covered in perpetual twilight. They can see shadowy figures in the distance. Bobby’s extensive understanding of mystic lore is not needed to sense hostility from them. He looks around and a distance away he thinks he can see a Way into lands controlled by the Winter Fairy.
“It has to better there than here at least,” Bobby thinks to himself and grabs Rosalie, urging her to run. Behind him a very angry Richie Hernandez emerges from the tunnel, yelling, “Oh Chemist, you have a job to do, get back here!”
Bobby tries to outrun Richie, but with surprising speed and power Richie catches him, grabbing Bobby by the shoulders spinning him around. “How dare you take something that’s mine Chemist!” Richie howls looking at Rosalie.
“S…S…sorry man, here it is,” Bobby holds up the wad of bills that Richie swipes with a clawed hand, shredding them.
“I am going to enjoy devouring you and feeding bits of you to her.” Richie growls, his teeth glistening in the dim light.
“Whoa, whoa who, man, just like, a minute, I mean, I’m a pretty good chemist, you have to try this,” Bobby pulls a small vial from his jacket and hands it to Richie. Richie, against his better judgment, takes the vial and looks at it before popping the top of it off. A blast of pure sunlight blasts from the vial, searing the flesh mask from Richie’s face, searing the horrific bestial visage of the bat like creature from within.
“You’re dead chemist, I’m going to fucking kill you!” Richie screams in pain.
Bobby looks to the Way and realizes it is too far. He grabs Rosalie and opens a portal back to the mortal world. They both step through it and end up in the middle of a board room meeting in a plush room atop a large sky scraper. Bobby looks around for a moment and gets his bearings, he sees the opulence and knows exactly where he is; atop Foshay Tower and in the middle of Carlos Ortega, Duke of the Red Court’s, lair.
A voluptuous red haired woman stands from the table and approaches Bobby, “My, my, uninvited guests, how interesting.”
- Invoke: Bobby invoked two of his aspects to get Richie to open the bottle. I forgot which aspects, sorry!
The Harper’s House, Summit Hill, St. Paul
“Bethany can you get me like a hairbrush or something, I need something to help me link with her.” Craig asks.
Bethany jumps and finds a hair brush from the vanity and hands Craig a strand of hair from it.
“Bethany, we should keep the brush, we might need it later,” as Bethany bags the brush in a zip lock bag, neatly labeling it, Craig continues, “with this I can do a short ritual to find where she is, we can use it to track her.”
Alek gestures for Craig to continue, “Don’t let me stop you.”
Craig draws a small circle on the floor of the bedroom, placing the golden lock of hair in the middle. He channels mystical energy and quickly feels the flow of his tracking spell pulling him. Suddenly the ritual circle breaks and the spell’s energy dissipates, the strength and watery flow of the Mississippi suddenly washes away all trace of Alison.
“Damn,” Craig mutters to himself, “I knew that would be too easy,” he turns to Alek, “someone is using the strength of the Mississippi River to hide Alison’s presence magically.”
Alek nods, “My partner, Jack Hunter left this morning to get a lead, I just tried to give him a call and left him a message. I have no idea where he is. If we can meet up with him, perhaps we can start putting some of this mess together.”
Craig thinks for a moment, “If you have something of your partner’s I could do the same thing.”
Alek thinks for a moment and hands Craig a picture of Jack from their time on the force. Craig quickly draws another circle and completes the ritual, feeling its power pulling him towards West Side.
“It worked, I can guide you to him, Alek.”
Craig, Alek and Bethany leave the house getting into Alek’s unmarked squad car. He begins to take directions from Craig, taking odd turns and driving through obscure parts of the city as Craig’s directions appear to have a more dream iconography with them. Despite this, Alek seems quite adept at following Craig’s instructions.
Alek pauses Craig’s directions as he gets a call, “Jack, where, Morgan’s, yeah I know where that is, hey you will never believe what I just found out…”
As Alek talks to Hunter over the phone, Craig notices again a strong smell of rotten meat. Bethany wrinkles her nose, “Mr. Hale do you smell that?”
Craig turns to interrupt Alek when the tire suddenly explodes on the car, causing the detective to suddenly lose control of the vehicle crashing into side of the road.
- Compel: A House Divided was compelled, preventing Craig’s tracking spell from working.
To be continued…