Sacred Grounds Too, Minneapolis, 1:43pm:
Brittney and Hazard duck in through the service entrance of Sacred Grounds Too and find disaster. They notice Grace comforting a sobbing barista, huddled behind the counter. The store itself was destroyed, with tables overturn, cookery shattered, walls defaced.
“Brittney, I’m glad you here, Stacy called me when she couldn’t reach you at the other store,” Grace hugs Stacy closer,“ she said some thugs came in and suggested you read your mail and get out of the neighborhood.”
Grace hands Brittney a stack of letters where she sees one addressed from Reynard Loke. She groans and turns to Grace, “You didn’t see us here and when the police come, please make a full and detailed report,” she looks around, “a very detailed report.”
Grace nods firmly and returns to Stacy. Brittney grabs Hazard Pay by the arm and guides her to the back, stepping into the Way.
Sacred Grounds, Saint Paul, 2:12pm:
“Alek!” Brittney calls out, “Can you tell me why the police haven’t contacted me, my store was trashed and they were chasing us. I should’ve heard something by now.”
She hands Alek the envelop and describes what happened at the other coffee shop. Alek nods, “Everyone has a hand in Vincent’s pockets, the last thing that he would want is someone looking too closely into the mob’s business.
Brittney sighs and looks towards Craig, “Do you know where we’re going?”
“Yes, to the Basilica,” Craig turns to Bethany, “You should wait here, rest up, we can come back to you.”
Bethany sighs and takes a seat as the rest of the investigators leave.
A Bridge somewhere between Minneapolis and Saint Paul, 2:37pm:
Alek pumps the breaks to a quick stop and a screech of tires when the green vined troll drops a hunk of concrete on the bridge, blocking passage. Before he can reverse he hears a deep voice bellow from behind, “The Wizard Hale and the Asgardian Officer of the Law, I demand justice for my slain brothers!”
Everyone looks out the back window and sees a set of Gruffs armed with high-powered assault rifles. Standing admist them is a giant one that Craig quickly identifies as an Elder Gruff. Alek goes to reverse, but notices that red laser lights are dotting the vehicle and him moving the vehicle could find everyone Swiss cheesed by bullets.
Alek, Craig and Brittney step out of the car. Brittney leans against the vehicle, relieved that this doesn’t involve her.
Alek calls out to the Elder Gruff, “Be reasonable, it was a fair contest, fairly fought. They lost, you have no beef with us.”
The Elder Gruff snorts and Alek sees that he is being everything but reasonable, “If you are too much of a coward to face me, then name your champion!”
At this point Craig notices the veiled form of Puck standing atop a street light. He sighs and whispers to Alek, “We won’t be able to reason with him, not with Puck egging him on.”
Hazard peeks her head out of the car, “Puck, like in the stories,” she looks to the sky, “Hey, can I get an autograph?”
An impish voice calls out, “Why certainly!”
Puck appears beside Hazard with a sharp quill pen and grabs her arm. He draws up her sleeve and carves his name into her forearm drawing a gasp of pain.
Brittney glares at the Sidhe Lord, “We don’t have time for this. We have to get moving.”
Puck smiles, “But if I let you through, that is so very boring.”
Brittney flashes a smile, “Elder Gruff, we will accept your challenge and face you once our current obligations are dealt with at a neutral location. You will get your battle.”
The Elder Gruff stands and nods, with Puck making a little clap. The troll removes the barrier, allowing the investigators to go on their way.