Thursday, July 24, 2014

Coming soon...


"Guess what happens when the lights go out."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun : Monsterhearts

06/05/2014

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Monsterhearts

This was to be a first time game experience for Lanchie and Miguel, two friends of ours whom we've had over for game nights for months now.  Being fans of Dr. Who, Charmed and American Horror Story, we decided that a Monsterhearts game might be the easiest for them to jump into.  (Oh and I used the images from this gaming blog for the game, just because it made it feel more like a tv show)

Miguel plays Cordelia Gray, a Witch.
She stars the game with the (BLAMED) Condition.
Lithe, Smirking eyes and Gifted
Hexes include:  Wither and Ring of Lies

Her collected sympathic Tokens include:
Kara (Hair)
Principal Snyder (Glasses) : Snoopy, Strict

Cordelia has Strings on:
Kara (1) - She knows she's dead.
Aurora (1)

Lanchie plays Aurora Smith, one of the Fae.
Mysterious, Peircing eyes, she is Adopted
Faery Contract and the Lure

She has Strings on:
Cordelia (1) - Caught her snooping
Groundskeeper Willie (2) - Caught his fancy

Rocky plays Kara Maslowe, the Ghost.
All she knows of her death is that the Football team was involved.
Brooding, Pained eyes and was Left for Dead
Has Unresolved Trauma (Blamed) and is currently Vengeful

Has Strings on:
Aurora (2) - Watched her sleep

The scene opens with Cordelia, who is at home.  She had just slammed the door shut  behind her as she struggled to slow down her breathing.  She is uncertain how to react to what she had just witnessed.  She raises her left hand and in it is a clump of bloody hair.    Cordelia mutters, "Kara..."

And we cut to title sequence with this as the show's theme song.



School bell rings.

The students are moving through the corridor as they head to their classes.  Ash Gobbins, the geek in campus, is busy playing with his PSP.  The jock, Jake, walks past him and smashes his hand on Ash's PSP. It clatters to the floor amid the laughter of the football team.  Further down the hallway, Aurora is at the lockers hanging with her friend, Lilith Jones.  Aurora witnessed Jake's actions.  Lilith however is oblivious to it all and is blabbing about how much she hates her name.   With Lilith's locker open, Aurora sees the tiny altar inside which celebrates Lilith's faith.  Aurora was always fascinated with Lilith given her faith in this religion which she has never seen.  Aurora, being one of the Fae, has seen far more wondrous things which she knows are real.  She wonders how Lilith would cope to witness such things.  Lilith talks sometimes about how the dragon is the devil and all that, while Aurora secretly muses about how as a child in the Fae lands, she would play with dragons and such monsters.  One thing she loves about Lilith, however, is how straight-forward she is regarding life.  A realist.  "I guess it could be worse.  Imagine if my mother named me Eve.  Next thing you know, I'd have to find an Adam."

"Isn't that your purpose in life?" Aurora humored her.

"Well, if my Adam was someone who looked like Jake..."


Jake walks past the gang-banger in campus named Zoren, who calls out to the quarterback for a fist bump.  The call goes ignored.  The football laughs at them more.

"You're lucky.  You were given a nice name," Lilith tells Aurora.

"Aurora?"

"Yeah, it's nice. It's interesting..."

"It's common."

The two hurry off to head to their math class as the bell rings a second time.   Lilith admits she doesn't like Cordelia, who will be in the class.  Something about her always smiling even if she isn't.  Aurora thinks she's cool and when Lilith questions if Aurora thinks she would ever be Cordelia's friend, Aurora admits, "You never know."

Loretta, the goth girl, is walking down the hallway as well.  She stops to look at Ash who is still starting at the broken PSP.  "That's going to outlive you, you know that.  The human body decomposes after..."  Aurora and Lilith smirk as Loretta then walks away and Ash mutters, "She... she saw me."   As the two continue down the corridor, Aurora then notices Kara.  Standing at the far end of the corridor, Aurora can sense that something has changed.  Kara used to be a plain jane type of wallflower.  She wasn't popular but was always rushing back to the family since she never had any after school stuff.  Today, she carried herself with a strange brooding look, walking with her eyes wandering every now and then.

"Come on," Lilith tugs at Aurora who was staring at Kara, "If we don't hurry, we won't get the seats we like."

*

At the classroom, Cordelia is already inside.  Seated at the front and center seat, Cordelia is busy reading when a voice mutters, "The Shining Girls?"  Cordelia peers out from her book to see the class nerd, Mike Oscar, on the seat to her right.  "That's by David Eddings, right?  1994.  About that secret society?  It's a good book."

Cordelia flatly responds, "I know."

"I'm not to keen on how they presented the Creational Forces of Light though," he adds.



"I wasn't asking for your opinion," Cordelia grumbles.

"Oh don't worry about that, Mike.  Lesbians tend to be that mean," a voice cuts the moment and Cordelia turns to see the queen bee of campus herself, Bianca Court.  "Found a girlfriend yet?  I heard there's a lot of them available at Hot Topic.  I think you're in my seat. "

"I don't see your name on it," Cordelia replied, flatly.

"That's because you can't read-" Bianca begins but then realizes Cordelia is reading, "Stuff... on tables."

"Right," Cordelia rolls her eyes, "That doesn't mean I'll have to move to another seat."

"You don't have to be mean to her!" Mike speaks up. "Come on Bianca, can't you just leave her alone?"

Bianca throws Mike a glance, then slides it back at Cordelia.  "Well well well, looks like our little lesbie's growing up!"    Mike tries to explain that Cordelia was just minding her own business before Bianca started insulting her.  Bianca stares at the book and retorts, "Well, its clearly not Vogue.  It's not People.  It's probably not really that interesting..."

"Oh, just like you," Cordelia snaps.    Three other girls walk up to Bianca's side that moment and start jeering at Cordelia.   Cordelia adds, "Clones."  The girls continue to laugh, ignoring her words... well, all save one, who asks, "What's a clone?"   Bianca turns to one of them, the youngest one, and tells her, "Marcy!  I told you.  You can join the group but you have to stay quiet!"  Marcy pulls away.

Bianca tries to recover, "Well, that's only because they only clone the best."

"Oh, like Dolly, right?" Mike interjects, "The sheep."

"My name is Bianca.  Not dolly.  And here I thought you were the smart one," Bianca hisses.  Mike starts mumbling how Dolly is actually the name of the first sheep that was cloned and how sheep relates to how people follow her without thinking.  "She... isn't ever going to get it, is she?"   Cordelia shakes her head and whispers conspiratorially to Mike, "She probably never will."



Bianca heads away and decides instead to sit on the chair behind Cordelia.  The three others start pulling chairs to sit on as well.  Bianca turns to them and tells them, "No.  You aren't supposed to stay here.  You are not in this class!"  Marcy however shows her schedule and tells Bianca, "I made sure I was in ALL your classes!"  Bianca huffs in resignation as Marcy excitedly takes the seat to her left.

Aurora and Lilith arrive and opt to take the seats at the rear given the room only has seats for nine people.  As they get to the chairs, Bianca hears their arrival, glances and calls aloud, "Is someone wearing incense?"  Lilith shakes her head and sits down.  Bianca starts vocally rambling about how much she hates it when religious people are around her.  "It makes me feel... you know... judged."  Lilith throws a glance at Aurora and shakes her head.  The door opens.

All turn to see Zoren holding the door open for Kara.  "We have to stick together, you and I," Zoren says as Kara walks into the room without a word.  She doesn't even look at him.  "Yeah," Zoren adds, "Respect!  Silence is like a weapon stronger than any gun!"  Kara walks away from him, walks past Marcy who is busy writing on a sheet of paper "Bianca + Marcy" encircled in a heart over and over, and takes the remaining chair on the front row.   As Kara sits on the seat in front of Marcy, Cordelia feels a sudden rush of fear wash over her.  Kara, in her eyes, appears bloody and dead.  Though creeped out, Cordelia makes no outward sign of her feelings.  She checks if Marcy and Bianca can see Kara and notes neither seem to be playing her any attention.  And then she realizes Bianca is staring straight at her.  Cordelia throws her a smile to annoy her.  She glances further and sees Aurora cleaning her ears.  And then to Aurora's right, she sees Lilith piling books on her table.  Finally, her gaze reaches the corner and she sees Zoren there, who winks at her.  Cordelia throws back a peace sign.

Then Jake enters the room.

Jake crosses in front of Zoren, and as he crosses in front of Bianca, Bianca swoons at Jake.  Jake heads straight to the remaining chair and sits down.  "Bianca dear, you're drooling," Cordelia teases her.  Bianca starts nonchalantly patting her face to check.  Marcy whips out a handkerchief and offers it to her like a minion ready to serve.

*

Minutes pass.
Nothing.  The professor has not arrived.

More minutes.
Still nothing.  Lilith asks if anyone has the professor's number.  Bianca rolls her eyes.  Marcy digs through her bag and the noise annoys Bianca.   "Seriously, does anyone have the professor's number?  Maybe the professor forgot he has a class today?"

"It is easy to forget things," Kara suddenly speaks up.  Cordelia realizes that the others hear her statement.

"So, you're not dead?" Cordelia whispers to Kara.  Kara slowly turns her head to Cordelia.  She had been having trouble remembering what had happened to her.  She opened her eyes to find herself already home.  She had vague flashes of imagery of what had happened.  Of struggling against people.  Of laughter that turned into worried voices.  Of someone uttering Kara's name over and over again.  Of someone worrying she was no longer alive.

Did Cordelia know what happened to her?

"What the fuck is your problem?"  Kara hissed in response.

"So the dead can curse?"

"What's with all this dead shit?"

"Cause you're all bloody and you look dead?" Cordelia explained.

"Is that what people think?  Am I all dead to people like you?" Kara suddenly raises her voice!  Lilith realizes she left one of her books and hurries to leave.  Zoren calls out that he doesn't think she's dead.  Kara then challenges him to say her name.  "You're... Cordelia."  Cordelia corrects him that she is Cordelia.  Zoren then insists that Kara would be "Korey!"

"She's Kara, you idiot," Aurora tells her.

Bianca calls out to everyone to be quiet.  She asks why they can't all just sit quietly and wait for the professor to show up and cancel the class for starting so late.  She gets a barrage of responses from the rest to shut her up.  Marcy still tells Bianca she believes she's right.  Mike starts explaining how classes are automatically called off in twenty minutes if the class doesn't happen.

"Your name is Kara.  Kara Maslow," Jake suddenly answers.  "You like science-fiction.  You usually eat alone in the cafeteria.  And you were supporting the games for a few weeks.  You were always there on the highest aisle alone."

"What are you talking about?" Kara hisses.  Jake looks away.

Bianca snaps, hating how everyone is now a geek and how everyone thinks its cool to be one since that musical television series came out.  Cordelia corrects her that the show is Glee.  Bianca then starts saying everyone wants to be a Glee.  "They're called Gleeks, you idiot," Aurora corrects her.  Marcy tries to explain and again Bianca tells her to shut up.  Zoren injects how he feels the show is racist.

"No more racist than an African American Asian throwback," Kara hisses back.

Mike finds the number and asks who wants to make the call.  He admits he doesn't want to be the one to speak to him.  Kara mumbles, "It is so easy NOT to make the call, isn't it."

"Where is this coming from," Cordelia asks.  Kara shouts back asking if Cordelia is really asking that and pronounces how none of them will understand.  Cordelia shuts her up by saying, "It's probably cause we aren't dead."

"I'm NOT dead!" Kara screams and feels the blame lands on Cordelia and Mike.

The door slams shut.

They all turn to see a different woman standing at the front of the room.  To their surprise, it is not the professor.  She tells them that's enough and silences them all with a gaze.  She squints as she looks around, and Cordelia realizes its because she still has her glasses.    She throws her gaze upon each of them and after shutting everyone up, her focus then ends at the empty seat.

"Who is missing?  Ah, well. Unimportant.  What is important is that you are all present in class," the Principal Snyder tells them.  She motions to Mike to open the window, then motions to Zoren to watch the door.  She then lights up a cigarette and tells them all that while this was supposed to be a math class, she is taking over the class for a special reason.  While the class was supposed to be a math elective which if passed allows them to accelerate.  But she then tells them that the professor is dead, a car accident with slippery roads as the cause, and being short of a replacement she will be handling the class.  She mentions the professor was part of some kind of cult with strange paraphernalia in the car.  She tells them that he had a lot of odd things in his trunk and hands one of them back an old phone that was supposedly stolen.  Cordelia asks if they're no longer doing math, and the Principal questions her if she rather have math.  Zoren fails to tell her when Lilith shows up and Lilith goes frantic when she learns they are no longer handling math.  "We are having a more interesting class.  Let us go."

 Cordelia watches as Kara pushes against the door and realizes Kara isn't a ghost... or at least.. isn't immaterial.  As they all leave, Cordelia walks up to Kara's desk and presses her hand against it to gaze into the abyss.  Cordelia's body begins to glow and her eyes turn white.  As the glow fades, Cordelia realizes she could be a revenant - a spirit that has returned to avenge herself, or a ghoul - one of the living dead, or lastly, Kara could be a demon pretending to be her.  Cordelia realizes that if Kara recoils from the touch of a virgin, she would be a demon.  But if she is a revenant, green moss would appear when she gets angry.  There is no moss on the table though.  Or was she just not that angry yet?

The Principal calls for her and when Cordelia catches up, she muses, "It is so hard when dealing with mere mortals, hmm?  Come along.  This way."

*

Jakes tries to talk to Kara and asks about the last time they hung out.  Kara rushes away from him, which prompts Mike to ask what that was about.  Jake just says its some female thing.   The Principal leads them to the old side building where a pool used to stand.  The gym and pool had long been locked up due to many supposed reasons.  Some even whispered the place used to be some kind of Indian graveyard, locked away due to some curse. The Principal has them gather by the side of the empty pool, then tells them the rules.  They are to stay in the gym area til morning, and none are to leave.

The Principal starts telling them how the story says the dead of the burial ground would rise every four years to avenge themselves.  She asks the students to explain the significance of the pool and Lilith shares how water, like mirrors, is a doorway.  The pool can allow the spirits to escape if it were filled.  "So as you can see, even in modern times, a school like ours still carries such superstitions.  Which brings us to our first challenge:  You are all spending the night."  She motions to Groundskeeper Willie, who starts the pumps and the water begins to fill the pool.  Cordelia complains about not having clothes and how they will eat and the Principal explains she has gotten the approval of their parents for them to be present in this 3-night trial.  "You are all to stay overnight and watch the pool."

She has the groundskeeper collect their personal effects, and hands one of them a burner phone.  Kara complains that they can't take her things.  And that she doesn't like it.  Jake sides with Kara, telling them to "Stop this.."  The voice resounds in her ears and she recalls Jake himself saying that very line over and over.  She yells at her about not having stopped the last time.  The Principal tells her that it is opportunities like this that allow one to learn and understand things better.  The Principal tells them they are free to just leave if they want to.   Kara decides to stay, but throws her phone into the pool instead of to Willie.  Cordelia surrenders her tokens to the groundskeeper as well, save for the Principal's glasses which she keeps palmed.

She reassures them that they will be safe, so long as they are not stupid enough to fall into the pool.  She reminds them there must be at least one person always staring at the water.  At any point in time there is no one starting at the pool, everyone will fail the class.  The Principal recommends they work in pairs.  She heads to the side office with the groundskeeper and leaves the students to organize themselves.

As they try organizing themselves, Kara however suddenly lashes out as she asks everyone to stay away. "GET AWAY FROM ME!"  Frighteningly, the impossible occurs!  All save for Bianca see Kara vanish before their very eyes.

The Principal returns with a cart with food.  Lilith tells her someone has vanished, but the Principal just mumbles, "Already?".  When Marcy asks how she just disappeared, the Principal seems very nonchalant about things.  Kara starts telling them she's "Right here," but no one seems to hear her.  She tries to shove the food cart to the floor,but it fails.    The Principal then ask Cordelia to at least ward the place.  Cordelia is freaked out that the Principal knows about warding.  Kara tries to get the attention of others by slamming things around, but no one can see her.   Aurora finds the groundskeeper pushing something into her hand.  It is a key.

The Principal then turns to Zoren Lee and asks if Kara is still in the room.  Zoren feigns not understanding at first, but then Cordelia walks up to him, touches his shoulder and says, "Reveal what is in the room."  But the moment they make contact, Zoren recoils from Cordelia's touch.  Zoren looks at her, at the Principal, then turns towards one side of the room.  "She's crying in front of Jake."

Kara lashes out, anger released outwards towards Jake.  The jacket Jake wears rips away in a violent blast.  "Yeah, that was her," Zoren tells them.  The Principal then tells Aurora to "make a deal" with her.    Kara is pulled back to the group after Aurora makes a deal with the help of the others.  Mike demands the Principal explain why she knows what's going on. He is starting to think there's some kind of practical joke going on.  Aurora makes a deal with Mike to explain what's going on, and in exchange she shouldn't lie to him.  "You see, there are some kids in class who are.... special."  Lilith then admits to Aurora that he has a secret too.  She has an appetite thing.  Lilith turns out to be a vampire.

Jake and the others confront the Principal how she seems to know what's going on.   Jake admits that all his life his parents have told him not to let the secret slip, but yes it seems the Principal knows all about them.  She knows everything about them, and throws her gaze at Zoren, "Including.. the Connoisseur."   Zoren turns pale in worry.   Cordelia hexes Zoren, casting the Ring of Lies upon him.  She asks if Zoren is a demon and Zoren drops to the ground in pain.  He admits he's partly a demon.

The Principal tells them that she's here to teach them all about their true selves, and that they are getting a chance to accelerate in their studies.  "In the campus of 5000 students, the nine of us are the special ones."  Mike calls out, "But there are nine of us students, plus you and Mister Willie."    The Principal reminds them all that she now has things they own... tokens... that she can use if need be.   Cordelia realizes the Principal is a witch.

"I need someone to spend the next twenty-four hours staring into the pool.  If the things in there find a way out, we will have trouble."

"It still sounds like manipulation to me," Kara hisses.

"It will be," the Principal begins to glow as winds whip around her.  "You are ALL Warded from leaving this place.  And if any of you attempt to leave, you will feel PAIN that will stretch backwards across your bloodlines."

Aurora steps up and calls out, "Will you PROMISE to let us leave when you are done?"

"Only if you promise to watch the pool.  Now, shall we deal?" the Principal asks.

Mike admits he still doesn't grasp what's going on.  He still thinks everything is some kind of special effect.  Kara is starting to feel trapped.  She does not like this feeling.  She lashes out again in anger as the Principal tells her she will be trapped much longer than she wants.  Kara now blames her as well.  But delusions begin to overwhelm Kara.  All the doors in the building begin to slam shut as Kara screams, "Trapped... trapped.. can't get out!"

Marcy stands up and tells the Principal that she won't get away with this.  That people will be looking for Bianca.  And for the first time, Bianca agrees with Marcy and says she is right!  "People will be looking for me.  My clique won't allow this to happen," Bianca hisses.  "They will know, but they won't be able to get in.  You can ask Little Hermione there what will happen.  When a Ward it raised, it remains raised until it is lowered."



"Or until the person who cast it is dead.  If we all tried to kill you, we probably could," Cordelia tells her.

"If you're even brave enough to kill someone," the Principal hisses.  Kara continues to scream at the walls.  Jake admits none of them are murderers.   Mike questions if they can actually kill someone.  Cordelia thinks if the Principal is distracted enough, she probably could.  Mike finds the thought of killing someone unthinkable.  Aurora suggests they should stop and just do what they are supposed to do.  The Principal calls Willie and leaves them to have the time to themselves.  Aurora asks if she promises to let them leave when it is over.  "Watch the pool then, and I promise to let you all go when that task is done."

"Then it is a deal," Aurora seals it.

Cordelia realizes this may have to do with the Ivy Coven, the coven she is part of.  How only one woman in each line can have the power.  And how there are two other covens, and they are not their friends.  She remembers her mother warning her not to hex anyone she wants.  And that even if the covens are not in friendly terms, they are all still witches.  "And among witches, there are rules that will forever stand:  We will never betray another witch, as Salem has taught us hard.  Two, we will never teach our craft to anyone but our daughter.  And the last, we will never use our Hexes to help someone unless it benefits us. The world has made us suffer.  They will never get help from us."

*

Kara stares at the people talking.  She stares at Jake's glistening back.  She starts to remember the other football players, in states of nudity.  "We were supposed to have someone else join us but she didn't show up."  They lean close and Kara feels too terrified to move.  How are they in the room with her?

*

Aurora digs into her pocket.  She realizes the Groundskeeper Willie had slipped onto her hand a key.

*

Cordelia sits by the edge of the pool with Mike sitting nearby.  Mike stares at the burner phone and wonders aloud why they have the darn things.  Cordelia starts asking Mike what he is exactly.  He reminds her though that only nine are not human, and there are eleven of them.  Mike starts putting together that the Principal has their stuff for the same reason Cordelia has the Principal's glasses. He noticed it back when she left her bag open one day.  "I won't even ask about the clump of hair."

"Going back to my question: What are you?"

"I'm human," Mike insists.  "Don't you think you're human?"

"Of course I'm human, but with something extra.  What about you?" Cordelia prods.

"Well, I'm half Filipino.  I guess that counts?"

Cordelia touches Mike's hand, but he pulls it back.  She explains she is just touching it, but he asks him to explain.  Cordelia says she doesn't believe him.  He raises the question though about her not trusting him.  Aurora arrives and tells them both that they can't trust anyone here.  While the two talk, Cordelia casts a Hex upon Mike and casts the Ring of Lies upon him... but as the spell is unleashed, Cordelia suddenly feels her own body wracked in pain.  "So... are you human or not?"

"I can't believe her, she just did that without asking properly.  I would have said I respect you, but now I don't think you deserve it," Mike then turns to Aurora, "She's your friend."   He walks off.  Aurora runs after him, leaving Cordelia behind.  Mike admits he kind of figured there was something different about Aurora.  How she kind of always insisted that people owed her something.  Cordelia calls out, "Make him tell a lie!"  Mike barks back for her to mind her own business.  Mike does ask why they are friends and Aurora does admit they've been friends for the last two years.  And that she always knew she was a witch.  Aurora admits being Fae seems to be all about making deals like those tales of Rumpelstiltskin.  The two look in the distance and they can see the Principal in the side office in the distance, watching through the glass.     Mike whispers to Aurora and asks if she promised for everyone to not escape.

"Stop whispering to each other and make him tell a lie!" Cordelia calls out.

"Fine!" Mike screams back and suddenly feels pain dropping him to his knees as he tries to say something.  He admits to Aurora that he was about to yell that he liked her. But the hex triggered and shut him up.  They talk about Zoren who seems to be staying away from everyone else in the room.  Aurora realizes he was probably staying away from Cordelia for some reason as well.  Aurora continues to explain to Mike the differences of the Fae, of Demons, of Witches and the like.

Lilith soon shares that she is a vampire, but that she normally feeds early before leaving to sustain her for the day.  When well fed, she can walk under the sun for some period of time.  She can also stare into another's gaze to hypnotize others.  She admits she used it on Aurora before to become friends for the first time.   Aurora insists that Lilith has to make a promise to never use it on her ever again.  She explains how she needed a friend, and Aurora was the only one she felt she could trust, and Lilith finally agrees to the promise to never use it on her again.

Cordelia is still at the pool.  She hears a splash and turning to look at that direction, she sees Jake in the water.  "If we're watching it, we might as well swim in it."  Cordelia tries asking Jake what he is.  Jake smiles and invites her to join him in the water.  She asks if he's a merman or something like that.  He muses how she's not the kind of person who trusts others.  She readily admits she isn't and even blames it could be genetic.  He challenges her to guess what he is within three guesses or she has to join him in the water.  She guesses wrong that he is a sea creature and on her second guess, she asks if he's a water bender.  He jokes that is from a cartoon and admits he is not a water bender.  Cordelia uses her hotness to try to make him slip and say more.  As he wraps his arms around her legs, she notices how hairy he is.  "Oh shit.  Okay.  Are you a werewolf?"



"Guess I can't pull you in with me," Jake grins.

"Guess you can't wolfie," Cordelia laughs.

Cordelia realizes she's still uncertain what Lilith, Biyanca, Marcy Mike and the Groundskeeper are.  Jake starts asking Cordelia about where she was yesterday night, given she did  not show up for the party.  Cordelia claims to have been in the area.  Jake asks if she was there before or after he left.  His demeanor changes once she admits she was there the whole time.  Jake's voice trails off when he admits he had to leave because being a werewolf has its problems.  Jake admits he is worried because tonight is the night of the Bloodmoon, and he usually is locked up at home during such a time.  Cordelia talks about chaining him up and he growls back that maybe someone should cut off her tongue to keep her from using her hexes on everyone.  That's when Cordelia slips and mentions about Kara being dead.  This worries Jake, given he had to leave the party early because he needed to turn into a werewolf.  He was not aware Kara had died.  He now worries over the possibility that she died in the frat house.

Cordelia implies that the team probably killed her.

"Are your team mates werewolves too?"

"Of course not," Jake admits.  Cordelia admits she may have seen something weird.  Jake pulls away and ponders on what he just learned.

*

Marcy and Bianca are in one area, worried how they're stuck til morning.  Marcy tries to explain to Bianca what's going on but admittedly all she registered was that she has a broken nail.  Marcy sees the others talking, and she tries to explain how they can't not leave the pool.  Bianca laments missing her favorite show.  Aurora walks up to them and asks to talk with Marcy.  When Bianca retorts to Marcy to ignore her, Aurora tells her to shut up.  The two stare at each other, realizing they now share a desire to not talk to each other for the rest of the night.  Marcy silently walks away with Aurora.  "Why do you even have to follow her, you're the most powerful being in this room," Aurora asks Marcy.  Marcy glances at Aurora and responds, "Only if you apologize to Bianca first."  Aurora makes it a deal.

Aurora walks up to Bianca and apologizes.  Bianca looks up, surprised to hear her apologize about how she acted.  Bianca still doesn't believe her.  Aurora asks for a way to prove that she respects her.  Bianca wants to know why she wants to talk to Marcy.  Aurora explains about what's been going on and Bianca still thinks Aurora is a "Gleek."  Aurora just believes Marcy is one of the most powerful being here and only she can save them.

"Do you really want to know the truth about Marcy?" Aurora suggests to Bianca, to ask about the odd things that happen in her life.  Bianca of course thinks its about Aurora not knowing about puberty.  "If you need a tampon, I have one in my bag," she tells Aurora.  Aurora just stresses that she needs to talk to her and that she will only do so if she apologized to Bianca.  Bianca decides to let her apologize to her... but she doesn't know where she will get the flowers to do so.  Aurora decides to just ride with it and tells her, "I'll get them for you later."  Bianca asks her to promise. She agrees to.

Aurora returns to Marcy and with Bianca's permission, they can talk.  She hears something unexpected though.  "She's one of us now.  She's part of our clique!"  Aurora rolls her eyes, "Really.  Of all the magical people here.  Bianca?"  Marcy pulls her aside to talk privately, and after moving to the ladies locker room in the gym, shares her story with Aurora.  She tells her biggest secret, which is that she's a straight A student who wants to fit in by posing as a follower of Bianca.  Aurora asks what secret Bianca has and Marcy admits she doesn't know.  "I can't help but help her.  I used to think it was pity, but now I've come to realize I act a certain way and I like it."  Marcy admits that they don't do anything sexual, especially since Bianca is actually Lesbian.    As they discuss more of the past, they begin to realize that Marcy is special in her own way.  She is a cibopath and can process information based on what she tastes.

An idea hits them.  Marcy can gain information from things she tastes.  Cordelia starts to think that if Marcy can taste "hexes" she may learn to comprehend the ward as well.  Perhaps, she can find a way to locate where the hex is weaker.  "If we understand what she is using to ward the place, maybe we can break it," Marcy admits.  Others are to provide a distraction to confuse the Principal while they do so.   Marcy gets annoyed at Cordelia and stomps away.  Jake splashes water at them and they realize they have a distraction in mind.

*

A flashback.

Kara is at a frat party.  Jake was bonding with her, wanting to help her fit in as he used to a lanky thin fellow in the past.  He invites her to attend the frat party, and supposedly another girl is supposed to be present.   They look through a yearbook and see how the rest of the team had drawn all over her picture and wrote cruel stuff about them.  Jake invites her to drink.

Minutes pass.  Jake seems to be tense, scratching himself often, fiddling with his teeth and almost always lingering by the kitchen.  Hours.  The other woman has still not arrived.

Cordelia is outside, staring at the frat house.  She is undecided if she should go in or not.  Jake steps out, suddenly looking around.  She dives into the bushes to hide.  Cordelia overhears him wondering if she's still coming over and asking the guys to watch over her and take care of them.  "I just need to... jog right now."    Cordelia finds it odd that he rushes off to jog in the middle of the night.  "Just take care of the two girls.  Don't get them drunk!"

The guy mishears him.  "Get them drunk," is all he heard.  The man approaches the bush where Cordelia is at, and Cordelia freezes, worrying that he saw her.  Instead, she realizes he starts peeing on the bush she is in.    As the man heads back into the house, Cordelia peers from the window and sees the group having a crazy time with Kara.  There's talk of the bathroom being clogged up.  And the two talk further about how hot Cordelia is as they pee.  And the rumors about Bianca being lesbian and her whole clique sleeps with her.

As Cordelia tries to get to her feet, she loses her balance and hits her head on something.  By the time she comes to, there are muffled sounds coming from the house.  Cheering sounds.  Banging.  But all muffled.  Cordelia gets to her feet and realizes everything has gone silent.  Then expletives.  Cordelia moves to the side of the house and peers into the nearest window.  She sees the team in various states of undress.  They look horrified.  One guy is holding Kara's naked and unconscious body.  There is vomit down her face, on her hair, and on the floor.  Her body starts to convulse.  The men panic.    Cordelia continues watching.

The men realize she's still alive, but the others insist that no one should call 9-11.  The one holding her down starts to panic.  The others rush off to leave, worried and not wanting to be involved.  Cordelia ducks back into the shadows.  "This never happened...  We never were here.... she.. she left with Cordelia.  That's the story!"

Cordelia slowly rises from her hiding place, now that most have left.  She walks into the house and sees Kara left on the floor.  She kneels beside her and reaches for Kara's head and finds Kara isn't breathing.

"Fuck."

Cordelia turns and sees another football player standing in the hallway, still pulling his pants up.   Instinctively, Cordelia unleashes a hex of Wither upon him.  The guy rots from the inside out and drops to the ground as he ages.  He charges forward; a desperate bid to do something to stop her.   Cordelia pulls the spell back at the last second as he hits the floor.  He is now on the ground beside Kara's body.  Cordelia rushes to leave, not wanting to get involved.

*

"Show me where," Cordelia's mother simply states.

The two witches return to the scene of the crime.  The mother stops at the doorway and sees what had happened.  She calls for her daughter to come to her side.  She turns to her daughter and asks if she knows her.  "Then you best get something of her, as it is the last time you will see her."   Cordelia takes some hair.  The mother casts the Wither hex, disintegrating the vomit, the bodies, and any evidence that would suggest the party happened.  Cordelia realizes even the footprints she left, the marks she left are being withered away.  She realizes even the pee stains on her body are withering away.

"I should take away your powers," the mother tells her.

"But you won't,  I am your only daughter."

"I will remind you the rules apply to the only daughter," the mother hisses, "I am not barren yet.  Now get in the car.  This never happened."

*

Kara wakes up.  She recalls the feeling of lightness she had.  A warm glow drawing her close.  But then a silhouette blocking the way.  Then a voice saying, "Cordelia."   Kara realizes she is stuck, and some how it has to do with Cordelia.

Jake had been enjoying the pool, swimming in his underwear.  The others have been chatting away, talking to each other with secrets and occasional shouts.   Kara dangles her feet over the pool, but she does not even break the surface of the water.  "That's weird," she mumbles to herself.  The water calms her as she stares at its dark surface, relieving her of her delusions.  Mike and Kara have a moment with Kara apologizing to him for lashing out.  He admits he still isn't sure how to handle things himself, as he admittedly finds some things looking more cool than... weird.  He asks her what it feels like, and she admits she feels like all that is left is her feelings cause she can't feel anything else in the world.  Mike shares that Aurora has a plan on how to try to break free.  Kara admits she's not sure if they can trust her.  Mike admits he is uncertain of Cordelia more.  Kara apologizes to Mike and admits he wasn't even there when it happened.  Mike starts talking about Aurora asking odd questions on whether or not he was human.  He admits all he knows is he had an odd puberty moment.  "Other than that, I guess I just never want to grow up."

The two walk up to Lilith and she jokes about how this is like the part in a reality show when people are forming alliances.  Kara admits she just wants to understand what is going on.  Both notice, however, that Lilith is having moments where she uncontrollably shakes.  Kara notices how Lilith stares at Mike as he walks away to get her some food from the food cart.   Lilith admits she's worried she might end up hurting Mike, and Kara notices Lilith's eyes turn bloodshot red.  She mumbles about it having been too long, and that she's too hungry.  Kara apologizes about earlier and admits she didn't quite realize she was dead.  "Well, I guess that makes two of us," Lilith admits and when she smiles, Kara sees her fangs.  Mike throws Kara a sandwich but it passes through her and smacks Lilith on the face.  Kara tells Mike to go help Jake instead in the pool.  Lilith confesses she can't help but see Mike's veins.  They worry on how long they will end up being here.  Lilith worries about sunrise the next morning, given she can only step into sunlight after having fully fed.  She shares how they have a clinic at home and clients who get bloodletted end up giving them blood to feed on.

A splash.

Mike has left his clothes on the side of the pool and has joined Jake in the water.  Cordelia walks up to the stack and picks up Mike's and Jake's shirt.  Kara rushes to the area and confronts Cordelia, knowing she is up to something.  Cordelia admits she's getting them in order to make things happen.  Aurora, Cordelia and Kara then move to one side to discuss a plan they have in mind.   At the distance, the Principal continues to watch through the window.  A silhouette against the light.

Cordelia shakes the plan.  Marcy will "taste" the wards to locate and understand it more.  With this information, Cordelia plans to try to use her own Hexes to twist it around.  Kara questions why they should trust Cordelia, and Cordelia admits they can't.  But unlike them, she wants to do something.  But Kara screams at her about how she can't be relied on for anything. "I'm dead!"

*

Groundskeeper Willie and the Principal converse about how nice the kids are blossoming into the future group to watch over the city.  Principal Snyder orders Willie to head to Cordelia's house and kill her mother.  Only by doing so will she be able to take Cordelia as her own.   Snyder does reveal in the conversation that she was behind Jake inviting Cordelia and Kara to the party.  Cordelia is to learn things, and soon, will become part of the Thorn Coven, the group Snyder is part of.   Willie leaves.

*

Events move faster from that point.  Jake and Mike talk about the girls and how they seem to be all angry at Jake.  Jake admits he doesn't quite understand women, and that he cut sex education class.  When Mike tries to ask why, Jake swims away.   Marcy tells the others she found something. She admits she tasted Cordelia's hex when she hexed someone earlier.  So Marcy now heads to the far side to try and taste the wards.   She thinks she found a weak spot in the locker room.

Mike calls out for the others.  "Something is happening."  They all see small white mounds at the surface of the water.  They aren't quite certain what they are, and they don't seem to be bothering the water at all.  Cordelia warns Mike to get out of the water, but Kara asks Aurora what she needs to do to make her shut up.  Drawn by the Lure, Kara promises to help them and in return, Aurora will shut up.

The mounds are bigger.  There seem to be around 32 of them.  Mike admits he does not think they are dangerous.  He reaches out to touch it and his hand passes through it. "It is like ghosts or something."  Kara storms into the pool and approaches the white mound to touch it.  When she does, the mound is disturbed and they realize it has hair.  Heads.  The top of human heads rising from the water.  They all start calling for the Principal to tell her the ghosts are emerging.  "Are we doing something wrong?"

Kara realizes she's not telling them how to stop it.  She just made sure they are all here.  Cordelia admits he thinks he knows what is going to happen.  She tells Mike and Kara to stop wading in the pool and Mike flares up, yelling at Cordelia to shut up.  Mike starts admitting his feelings for Kara and admits this might be the last time he has to say it.

"Yo.. Lovebirds.  Get OUT of the pool," Cordelia tells them.

Another massive splash.  What they first though was something diving in turns out to be something leaping out.  The massive thing stands almost 9 feet tall.  The werewolf begins to shake the water out.  All stare in shock.  Kara's instincts kick in and she lashes out at Jake with her ghostly force.  The water surges with the force of her emotions and it flings the werewolf to the far wall.  The werewolf is dazed for that moment.

Cordelia panics.  She gazes into the abyss and reaches out into the darkness within her.  She sees glimpses of what will happen in the next five minutes.  The visions come clear but she feels Drained afterwards.  But she knows what they need to do.  She realizes Snyder is part of the bloodline of the Indians buried here, that her promise that they can leave did not state if they can leave unharmed.  The ward she created was meant to keep them all from leaving.  Does she want the spirits rising from the pool to find bodies to inhabit?  Their bodies?  As Cordelia turns to ask Marcy for help, she catches Bianca dragging Marcy to the locker rooms.

Aurora sees Lee in the far corner, hands dripping with blood.  Worried, she runs to him.

"Stay back you monster!" Kara hisses at the werewolf.  As it snarls at her, Kara realizes it is about to pounce again.  Kara faces off against it, not realizing it is actually Jake.  She uses her ghostly powers to lash out and slam him repeatedly against the wall, to the point the Ward begins to burn him.    He partly reverts, and Kara sees it is actually Jake.  But the blind feral anger takes over again and he rises to attack. "Jake.. this thing is Jake? The Jake who left me behind?" Kara screams and lashes out more!

Cordelia grabs Mike from behind and slaps him.  "Do I look dead?" she asks Mike.  Cordelia tells him, "I know what is going to happen and here is what we are going to do.  We need you... your blood actually, to be fed to the vampire, so she can use her hypnosis to control the werewolf and attack the Principal."  Mike doesn't quite understand but he just asks her to promise that Kara gets out of this alive.   "Wait. Not alive.. okay.."  Cordelia agrees and motions him to go to Lilith.


Lee closes in towards the fight.  His pitch black focus on the werewolf as he announces, "Have you accepted my offer, Connoisseur?"  A dark voice in his head responds, "Of course.  The power now flows to you."   He asks for whatever power he needs to stop the monster.  The dark voice replies, "You can only have what already exists."  When Lee reopens his eyes, they are a different color.

Marcy and Bianca are in the locker room.  Using a wooden bench, they bang against a gate in a feeble attempt to hammer it open.  Aurora fears that doing this will break the promise.    Aurora hesitates.

The werewolf is tremendously in pain, but continues to gain more and more mass as it transforms.  Kara flings it again at the wall, but the beast uses that moment to fling itself at Kara.  Kara panics and tries to dodge out of the way.  She leaps into the water without a sound.  Jake splashes into the water.  As Mike and Cordelia get to Lilith, they see her panicked.  She can't seem to see anything.  Her eyes are black empty holes.  "I can't see... what happened..."  Cordelia tells her to bite on Mike and get the blood she needs.

Lee stares at the werewolf with female eyes.  With Lilith's eyes.  Lee charges at the pool side.  Kara can see the ghostly heads in the pool are high enough that they can see eyes staring at them now.

Bianca wishes there was a key to open the gate.  Aurora feels the tug of Bianca's Queen Bee influence and struggles against it, fearing that she might break the promise.

The werewolf launches into the air as Kara flings him one more time.  He strikes the ground the pain is enough for Jake to completely lose himself in his Darkest Self! The thing shrugs away Kara's weak powers and closes in to strike.  Lee intercepts, standing between them, and with his cut palms, he locks his gaze with Jake's.  "Good dog.. good dog.." he tells him and forces the Werewolf to go down.     Cordelia yells at Lee to have Jake attack the Principal!  Lee fails to have a chance to answer when Kara screams, "No, JAKE IS MINE!"

Every magic is ritual, Cordelia recalls her mother telling her so many times.

Aurora stops the two and talks to Marcy about how they have to stop trying to escape or the Promise will be broken.  But Aurora's influence strikes harder and Aurora finds herself moving to help against her own will.   "Let's do this... let's break this gate open!"

Kara sinks into the water, and emerges behind Jake.  She lifts him up and throws him all the way back to the broken wall where the ward is exposed.  Jake is screaming in pain.  Lee sees how Kara isn't working with Cordelia's plans, throws a punch at Kara as he tells her they are supposed to be working together.  She dodges through the earth, but this frees Jake from the hold.

"It's like baking.. all of these things ingredients to bake a damned spirit cake... we just need to break the ritual to make it fail!"  Lee tells Cordelia.  Cordelia however is at a loss on how.  Cordelia calls for her mother through the Darkness.

*

Principal Snyder glances at the clock.  She knows it is only a matter of time.

Cordelia's mother responds, asking "Are you in trouble again?"  Cordelia explains what she can as quickly as possible and tells her she needs help.  The mother tells her she has to disrupt the ritual.  "Just make sure the ritual is incomplete.  Emptying the pool or eclipsing the pool are ways to do it.  But consider the easier thing to do.  She needs all nine present.  What if there were eight?  Wasn't Wither the first thing I taught you?"  But before the mother can finish her sentence, she is abruptly cut off from the communication.


Cordelia does not know what happened.

*

Groundskeeper Willie pulls the blade out.
And stares at the dead woman.

*

The werewolf leaps and Cordelia, tired of trying other methods, hexes him with Wither!  Mike leaps in to try and push them away from the werewolf but the shove twists Cordelia's arm and the hex strikes Mike instead.

*

Aurora knows she has to stop them, even with the growing influence from Bianca.  She realizes she needs to keep the Promise and yet somehow help them.  She pulls out the key.  Showing it to Bianca, the Queen Bee smiles and they drop the bench to the ground.  But as the key is slid in, it snaps!  Aurora realizes the broken Promise snaps the key making it even harder to open.

A terrible scream at the poolside draws them back out.

*

As Jake reaches for Kara, she can see his wounds are already healing!  Mike is in utter anguish from the Wither.  Drawing her anger as strength, Kara drags Jake into the pool drowning him in the dark waters.  Cordelia hurries to Mike and tries to recall if she can reverse the hex.    Realizing all magic has a price, undoing the hex is harder than simply choosing to kill someone else.  Cordelia hexes Jake, withering him as Kara drowns what becomes an old man.  Cordelia tries to ask for Jake's blood and tells Kara to get it for her.  She believes she can use it to heal Mike.  But Kara screams back for her to stop trying to ruin everything!

And that's when Jake's ghost emerges from the water and wraps his arms around Kara to pull her back with him!


Dark shadows rise from the waters.  Black arms and tentacles wrap around Jake and suddenly yank him away from them all, pulling him into the darkness and leaving them all unharmed.

Principal Snyder steps out of the office, lights a cigarette, and congratulates the remaining students for passing.   "Looks like you all passed."

"Well, not all of us!" Cordelia protests.

"Do you think protecting the rest of the City from such threats will be easy?"

The girls protest this doesn't seem to be about protecting the city.  Aurora shouts, "What do you want from us?"  Principal Snyder admits she was prepping them all for the job of watching over the city and dealing with other threats that may emerge.  She won't be looking over their shoulders to make sure they succeed.  But she does warn them that if they choose otherwise to be the threat, she will deal with them herself.

"Oh and one last thing, sorry about your mother," she tells Cordelia, "The Ivy Coven had to be cut down.  The last thing we needed to do was to have another blood bath in the city."

Angered, Cordelia pulls out the principal's eyeglasses and uses the sympathetic link to Wither her.  She channels all her rage and anger into the hex.  Nothing happens.  Far away, however, at Cordelia's home, Groundskeeper Willie feels himself suddenly assaulted by a powerful hex and withers away.

"The thing about having a Warlock.  You always make sure they carry things for you.  Even if they aren't your own."

Cordelia realizes the glasses were never Snyder's.

"That's strike one, Ivy witch.  I will be watching."

Lilith is surprised that her eyes have returned.  She doesn't know what happened.  Lee, however asks what will happen about the bodies?  Snyder tells them this was a controlled situation.  A test to see how they will handle it.  But assume, for instance Lee's family attempted to summon another demon... or the Smith's dragged a dragon into the city... will they be ready to handle it?

"Well then, we are not all lucky enough to be like Kara," Snyder smirks, "Unlike you my dear, I don't think any of us get to stay after we die."

Bianca steps out of the locker room, confused.  She turns to Aurora, "So does that mean we're friends?"  Marcy tells Bianca to give it a break and grabs her stuff.  She heads home alone.  Lee grabs his things and leaves without a word.  Kara starts to wonder why she's still here.  She thought all she had to do was avenge her death, but she's still here.  Lilith motions to Aurora to leave, but seeing her hesitate, Lilith leaves alone.  Aurora rushes after her.

"Maybe you're here to get Mike back to his own form?" Cordelia asks, but Kara thinks that idiotic.  Cordelia tries to suggest ways for Kara to possess a body to bring Mike back or something, but Kara basically tells her, "There's a lot you don't know.  And people deserve to die in peace."

"Does Mike deserve to die?" Cordelia asks.

Kara floats through the wall, telling her to do whatever she wants.

Cordelia walks up to Mike's fallen withered body.  She tries looking for blood but finds nothing.  Dried veins.  She hears Mike gasping.. struggling to form words... asking for Kara.   Cordelia tries offering her own blood to him but it does nothing.  "Maybe it is time for you to go," Cordelia tells Mike.

The room gets brighter.  Brighter.
Cordelia looks up and realizes she is not alone.  Luminous forms descend around her and Mike, spreading their white wings.  She is unable to stare at them long.  The angels speak in a musical voice.

Michael, it is time to leave.

I came for Kara, but she has not chosen to go.

Then you will stay.

The lights are gone.
Cordelia looks around and the angels are gone.  But Mike is now fully healed, starting at the ceiling and admits, "I guess I'm stuck here now.  I really have to find Kara."

Cordelia shakes her head.

"Oh and I can say it now: That really fucking hurt, bitch," he tells her and heads out to find Kara.  Cordelia pulls her legs close to her chest, wraps her arms around herself, and wonders what will happen next.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ghosts of Detroit ep01: Dresden Files

06/15/2014

Ghosts of DetroitEpisode One: "Seeking"

Dresden Files

Adrian, Gia and Rocky considered playing a new game.   After hearing that they wanted to try something that had a touch of modern fantasy and strange things, I realized it was a good time to get them to try EvilHat Productions' The Dresden Files role-playing game.

Gia plays Paprika
High concept:  Business (family), Middle child of business, Has a restaurant that caters to the supernatural.
Trouble Aspect:  Bored and Impulsive
Background: Well-connected family clan.  Serve the supernatural community.  Street smart.  Human education.  [Used to the supernatural]
What Shaped You: Moved out of family.  Parents understood.  [Let me note that down]
First Adventure: Lost in the Dark Tunnels.  Inhabited by angry spirits think that they are still alive.  Was able to escape with cellphone (the light bore a hole through them).
Guest star:  City guided her out.    [There's Always a Way Out]
Redux: Looked for Peddler cause brother drowning in world. Guest star: Peddler [Always have something to trade for.] 
Guest Star Redux: Errand girl of the Alchemist.  Goal: Seek a better future.  Forward thinking.
Guest star: The Alchemist [Can’t We Get Along]

Adrian plays Detroit                                  
High concept:    Personification of the City
Trouble Aspect: Decrepitude
Background:  Once a boom town (industrial:Detroit). Now dying cause jobs shifted abroad.    [Well-Oiled Machine]
What Shaped You:  Chose to automate. [Machines are better than people]
First Adventure:  People rebuild lives as it was crumbling.
Guest star:   Mother Craft (Teacher of crafters and makers.  Helped form the community.) [People are Important After all]
Redux: 
Meets Paprika.  Realizes the inhabitants don't have to be exclusively human. [A whole new world.]
Redux:
Bayza welcome as a resident.  [Make yourself at home.]

Rocky plays Bazya
High concept: Peddler of Desires
Trouble Aspect: Seeking something lost
Background: Human with family.  Middle class.  [ Simple yet Satisfying.]
What Shaped You: Met who the previous Peddler of Desires.  Chance to have anything you could desire, and in return grant one of his. [There's Always A Catch.]
First Adventure: You peddled "I'd give anything for a hot dog" (memories of childhood)
Guest star: Older Sibling : Cinnamon [Bargained well and done]
Redux:
Meets the City.  Settling in.  [There’s One Born Every Minute]
Redux: Bartender.  Human.  Runs a supernatural catering bar.  Neutral territory.
Bartender Bob.
[Leave your Troubles at the door.]
*

The scene opens with Paprika sitting on the window sill of the tower of the Alchemist's headquarters.  The place is a massive library in the southern part of the city.  The building is three storeys tall. Paprika is chatting with Robert as he works on a scale model of the city.  He has been meticulously reworking some of the buildings and talks about his plan to transmute the streets of the city into solar panels to provide free energy for all.  Paprika's thoughts wander towards how the future of the world will have discrimination between the normals and the monsters.  Paprika slips away as Robert blabs all about the fruits of free energy and makes her way instead to the streets to look for Detroit, the personification of the City.  She decides to head for the busiest part of the city.

At the City Square, an old shop that sells secondhand books stands.  A sign on its facade reads: Robins.  Quietly tucked in a corner, Detroit sits as he enjoys a book.  The owner of the bookstore, Amaya, inherited the place from her father.  The logo of the place is that of a bird.  Most are shocked that Amaya smokes her pipe of sweet tobacco in the shop.  Detroit finds the smell heavenly as do many others who find themselves drawn to the area.  
Detroit exclaims about a part of the book that he's reading that he finds hard to accept, and Amaya jokes with him about how he has always read that book over and over.  She suggests to him to try reading the modern version of the tale.  Detroit stares at book as it pops open and a pop-up of the great white whale is visible.  He finds it odd, especially the tiny companion of the hero - a green creature in a top-hat.  She laughs.  She sees a couple looking through the shelves and remarks to Detroit, "I will never understand young love.  I was never in love..."

"I was never young," Detroit admits, "And that makes us a couple."

Amaya admits she always enjoyed the stories in books.  She never liked how the new ones tend to be more tragic.  She shares how she hates it when books arrive in boxes.  How they are stacks of things that fail to do their purpose.  And how people only notice them when they get hyped up in television shows and signings.  Detroit shares how he misses gossip.  Especially about books. "If people knew that this place was really great, the smoke was really sweet, they'd spend more time here."

"Yeah, but that would mean more people.  And more people would mean more that I have to serve, and I am not to keen on that,"  Amaya hisses.  A guy asks for the price of a book and Amaya just directs him to the basket on the counter, "Whatever you can afford." 

Paprika arrives at the City Square and she sees the entertainers and artists and living statues and musicians.  She sees the stoners and the hawkers and the lovers.  And not too far away, she sees Robins.  The smoke seems thicker today.  A couple steps out, clearly happy as they leave.    As Paprika approaches, her mage senses pick something odd.  Her fine senses tune in.  She looks around and sees a figure moving among the crowd.

A ghost.
Or worse, one of those things she faced in the tunnels before.

Paprika dashes to Robins, pulling a notebook out as she slides the door open.  Amaya watches as she stops at the nearest table, draws out a pen and writes:
Meet me at the Public Library tomorrow at 10a.m.

Amaya tells her that she won't accept books that have been written on.  Paprika convinces her to just hand the book to "A guy who always goes here.  The guy who always reads the Moby Dick."  Amaya realizes the book isn't a book, but a note book and queries if Paprika is making her a messenger.  Paprika insists she isn't asking her to do it, and that it is all up to her.    Amaya shakes her head and tells Paprika she won't.

"I don't have the time for this," Paprika leaves the paper on the classic books aisle and as she scans the shelves for the book, Detroit sees her.

"City!  Hi!"


Paprika tells him to meet at the public library but Amaya interrupts and admits it makes more sense now why she was looking for him.  Paprika realizes Amaya isn't quite human either.  "You..." Amaya realizes who Paprika is, "You're from that restaurant.  I wasn't a fan of the dimsum but I did like your soup.  You're the girl who had left.  Now it makes more sense."

"Amaya, be nice," Detroit tells her.

Paprika passes the note and tells them she has to go.  Detroit offers to tag along, and they leave.  "I'll give you the soup next time," she tells Amaya as the two leave.

Amaya motions her hand and the books all return to the shelves.  She sighs, "At least, she's human."
*

Detroit asks what is so pressing to have Paprika drag him out.  She tells him that she suspects there is another spirit from the sewers on the streets.  Detroit however seems happy to know the city has another newcomer.  "I found this ghost.  She was making her way through the people.  There's something wrong.. I want to track her down as soon as I can," Paprika admits.   She shares how the last time she saw such things were from the tunnels, and thinks the tunnels are too far away from here.  Detroit however offers that she may not be from the tunnels.  There are, after all, many kinds of energy spirits.


"She could be someone looking for a home. Or a friend.  Of which, I am both," he smiles.

Paprika offers to tell Detroit about a cool thing the Alchemists are planning if he is willing to find it.  Detroit agrees to do so and he reaches out to all the CCTV and securities around the city as his eyes.  Given how this is his town, Detroit admits he can't seem to find her.

"I found four other ghosts, but they probably are not the ones you are looking for."

Paprika considers options to find her.  Detroit tries asking what she looked like and Paprika tries to recall.
*

The Peddler of Desires is standing at a street.  Bazya stares at the man who is looking at him with desperate eyes.  As they talk, the man tells Bazya that he is starting to think she is dead.  "She has been missing for almost a week now."  Bazya asks if he wants him to find her and he says he just wants her to come home.  "It's a little tricky when you want me to do something to someone else.  That is not how this thing works.  But I can help you," he explains.  "I can help you find her, and then it is all up to you."

"Times like this you just.. I really appreciate that you are talking to me about this,"  the man admits, not truly grasping how he is actually an eyelash away from making a deal with a supernatural creature that grants wishes... for a price.  "Its not... after all... as if you can really help me," he adds.  Bazya tries to steer the conversation further.  "Considering all the pain and anguish, don't you wish you can just forget the last week so far?"

"If only that were possible," the man sighs.  "All the fear.. the anger... the pain.. if it were only possible to forget all that.."

"In exchange for finding her," Bazya suggests, "Wouldn't you be okay with forgetting what the last week was"

"Baz," a woman's voice interrupts the conversation and Bazya turns to see the Mother Craft standing nearby.  He tells her he is working, but she counters that he is not the right one for this.  The man looks at them, and asks Baz if she's his wife.  Baz of course explains she's  more his mother, which Mother Craft finds incredulous.  She calls for him again and he retorts, "Kind of busy here!"


"I don't believe he even knows," Mother Craft scolds Bazya.

"It is not about knowing. It is about wanting," Baz hisses.  "You want to find her-"

"He has to understand if he is about to make the deal," Mother Craft reminds him.

"What would I give to have her come back!" the man gasps aloud.

"Close!  Very close," Baz smiles.

Mother Craft suggests instead that he looks for a clue on where to find her.  Baz still feels a week of time is worth the exchange.  The man wishes she can just magically appear, but both Baz and Mother Craft admit that's not how it works either.  As the two argue, the man decides to go instead.  Baz easily convinces the man to stay and he starts ignoring Mother Craft.  The man plays along with Baz' hypothetical proposal and agrees to the deal.

"Bargained well and done," Baz smiles.   Mother Craft calls him a name for making deals this way and he just tells her he just helped him find where she is.  "But now," Mother Craft exclaims, "He is wondering who we are as well!"

"The best deals end that way," Bazya grins.

Mother Craft complains to Bazya how he is making things too easy.  How people are gaining things without earning them.  Bazya of course tries to redirect things on how Detroit opted for machines to show up and handle the work.  Mother Craft raises the point that in as much as Baz had taken the worries of the city's inhabitants on how the machines appeared out of thin air overnight, he has not removed such worries from the future generation.   She reminds him that the mortals now are in a world where technology allows them to do things none of them used to believe possible.  She even brings up how some are starting to suspect something odd about the Kennedy assassination.

Baz remembers that day.  The car driving by and a man mumbling, "I wish he was dead," and Baz leaning to the man and asking, "I can help you with that."

The two argue a bit more about things, including religion and how things are getting - at least in Mother Craft's viewpoint - difficult.  She warns Bazya that mortals  are starting to notice.  And that the City might not be big enough for the two of them.

"You're free to leave," Baz grins.

"Oh, I was the first Mother here," she reminds him defiantly.

"We can change that," Baz smiles.

"Realize:  I can create your Nemesis.  And NO ONE has to want it," Mother Craft threatens and walks away with a huff.

"Nemesis?  Sounds like a customer to me," Baz shrugs.

A flier lands on Baz' hand. The biker giving them out continues on his way.  Baz stares at the flier and it talks about Spices: a Beer and Bar.  He notices the address used to be this noodle house which served supernaturals.  "I guess I need a drink," Baz decides.

*

Detroit still cannot find any sign of the ghost.  "She was wearing a yellow dress.  I don't know what kind.. I am not a fashionista," Paprika admits.  "Black pants... yellow tank top."  Detroit admits, "Its pretty modern.  The ones I sealed away under the tunnels were pretty old.  This is someone who had recently died."  With that, Detroit tries to search more carefully.  Paprika stands back to give him more space to work.

Still nothing.

"Okay, let's be calm about this," Paprika mumbles, "Maybe she is going to a bar?  Is she?"  Detroit admits he doesn't know.  The two decided to try going back to the bookstore and they find a bunch of people heading out with lots of books.  Amaya smiles, "Back so soon?"

Paprika asks Amaya if she's seen a girl matching the ghost's description.  Amaya sadly admits its probably a pure mortal who scored a tragic death and has not moved on.  She asks why the interest in the dead girl.  Paprika admits she finds it unusual and Detroit even supports her concern.  Amaya admits most who die nowadays don't reach the point of an angry ghost.  Most pass on come the 9th day.  Amaya inquires if the Courts are aware of this concern and Paprika tries to stress this is something the Courts would probably overlook.   Detroit does admit that if he's lost an inhabitant, he would want to know why.

Amaya suggests that if the ghost is a recent one, she would probably search for familiarity.  Or places she is used to.  But if none of them know who the girl is, Amaya suggests that the mage can scry on her.  Paprika decides to try it.  She threads a crystal and preps for the spell.  "Do you think she's ready for this," Amaya asks Detroit and he admits to her no one is ever ready.

Paprika successfully casts the spell, but realizes the toll is a painful headache that will be ringing on her forehead until she releases the spell.   "Let's go," she tells Detroit.  But as they follow the trail, it does not lead them to the bar she suspected.  The spell leads them to Spices.

*

Spices has transformed.  The place is now a hipster central place serving artisanal beers and the like.  The entrance now has a cashier who takes a flat fee, and everything instead is then a buffet that customers can enjoy freely.  The tables have been removed for side tables on the walls. There are no chairs.  Television screens are still being installed on the walls.  The center of the room has an island, with a bartender.  The waiters are prepping drinks and delivering them around.  The woman at the cashier is not any of the Asians that Bazya has been used to.

The woman tells him that they had just purchased the restaurant and that none of them know what happened to the old owners.  The place now serves Spiced Beers, it seems.  The entrance is $20 to drink as much as they want once inside.  Baz feels the concept of money bothers him.  He pays a hundred and tells her to keep it.

"Hipsters... they practically have anti-desires," Bazya groans.

Bazya sees Bob, who is actually working at the bar.  He tells him this is a second branch and that its to serve "both kinds".   He eventually soon learns that Bob has a "brother" handling the other branch, thanks to Mother Craft.  Bazya realizes he isn't quite certain which Bob is the real Bob.   

Paprika and Detroit arrive to see the changed place as well.  Paprika is overwhelmed, and horrified to see what had happened to the place.  The two step in disbelievingly and Paprika tells Detroit to pay for the bill.  She wants to find the ghost and leave.  But Detroit admits he has no cash.  Paprika tells him, he will owe her.  Paprika and Detroit ask for the management and she notices the cashier does not mention any member of her family.

"I don't have time for this," Paprika sighs, "Where is the management?"

They approach the island where they are directed to go and see Bob offering a drink to another customer.  "This is Tomato-Carrot and Spirits."  Paprika interrupts the two and asks, "Where are the Spices family?" Bob realizes she means the previous owners and exclaims, "You are that missing sister!"

"Let me just clarify, I had left by my own terms and they agreed to it."  

"What I mean is, you're the missing one.   The one who was not present when they came to claim the oath."  Bob tries to explain, "You're the one who didn't have to pay back the promise."  He tells her how they made a promise with the previous Peddler of Desires.  Bazya looks at them, surprised.  He knows nothing of this.  Turns out, Paprika's family made a promise to serve the Peddler for 16 years after being given 16 years of success.  "Where is he, the Peddler?" Paprika hisses.

Bob motions to Bazya.

"Wait wait... I am not responsible for the actions of my predecessor-" Bazya exclaims but Paprika pulls out the menu from the counter and hits him with it!  "Paprika!  What are you doing!" Detroit exclaims.  The menu smacks Bazya on the face, leaving a mild bruising.

"No, this is not how you do it," Detroit tells her.  He wraps his arms around her to hold her back.

"Hispter... Organic... What kind of a bar is this!?!" Paprika shrieks.

"Would you rather have the bar yourself?" Bazya grins.

People are staring at them now.  Bob reassures them that the whole deal was an amicable one.  Bazya offers to do that for her.  She hisses that he's the last one she would trust.   Detroit asks Bob if there is a place where they can discuss this.  Bob motions outside.

*

Bob explains that the family had to fulfill a promise.  They are now serving the former Peddler of Desires after 16 years of success.  "To be quiet honest, it was quite a fair deal considering what they had in exchange," Bob admits.  "They gained wealth.  They gained a considerable amount of Influence in the city.  There is no discounting the number of Contacts they amassed.  Your family had the better end of the bargain."

"Coming from that man over there?" Paprika hisses.

"Not me precisely," Bazya holds both hands up.

"Look, where is my family now?" Paprika demands.  Bob admits he cannot answer that.  He does not know.  If he wishes, she can speak with the Council and they might lend her the services of a Wizard to find them.  Paprika hates the red tape of these hidden societies.   Bazya offers to help again and she shuts down that offer.  She reminds him that she knows how wicked and selfish he can be.  But he counters that she knows that he always does deliver.  Detroit admits he does.  Paprika whines that Detroit is siding with Bazya.  Detroit insists he is not.  "I am only saying the truth."

The people nearby start mumbling about seeing a ghost.  Paprika and the others turn back to the bar to see the ghostly figure in the bar.  Most of the hipsters think it is simply some kind of special effect.  The ghost begins to scream and the glass in the room begins to shake.  Bob stars panicking, fearing the cost.  "How much for nothing to shatter!? How much for nothing to shatter?!?"  Bazya asks, "What are you offering?"  Bob offers, "No more hipsters in the bar!"  Bazya takes the deal.

The scream erupts.  The hipsters quickly rush out in fear.  But nothing of glass breaks.  Bazya grins.  Paprika and Detroit however are staring at the phantom, whose scream has now become fully audible.
"PAPRIKA!"


The two stare at the ghost.  The woman looks around, frantic, and asks, "Is there a Paprika here?  The sister sent me.."  Paprika stares at the ghost in shock.
End of Chapter One.






Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Century Club ep02 : Spirit of the Century

06/25/2014

The Century Club
Spirit of the Century

Episode 2
"First Night In Paris"

The Centurions are welcomed by the Paris as they open the Century Club chapter house for the first time.  The government pulled out all the stops, hosting a huge gala dinner to welcome their arrival.  A massive banquet is held, with various military officials, political dignitaries and celebrities present.  The public level of the event makes Walter Le Frogge feel uneasy - and so he opts to stay hidden behind the pillars.  Though he is the leader of the chapter house, it is Sir Victor Knightfellow who takes the role of the face of the organization.  Kenji Katana and Cosmo mingle with the military officers while Svetlana Sol graciously welcomes all compliments thrown her way.  She keeps her arm around Victor's however, and occasionally he grimaces when she gently crushes it without realizing her own strength.  Cosmo telepathically talks to Kenji how much he doesn't like how the people keep tearing off pieces of bread and offering it to him.  "Cosmo does not like being treated as a pet." Kenji sadly admits to Cosmo, "As of this point of time, sadly, you are sort of one."

As Walter quietly fumes about the frog legs being served in the event, Victor Knightfellow stands in the limelight - given how in the past the same group had saved the Eiffel Tower from being pulled into outerspace.   Svetlana asks Victor if he has decided on a name yet and inquires if he has changed his mind about calling himself, "Fantomas."  He suggests, "Sir Night Knight" which elicits a surprising response from her.  "It can work, yes.  I am Sol.  You are Night."   

Walter remembers Elijah Frost's words to him, about Svetlana having not recovered from their breakup.  And how she does tend to fall for her commissar. 

"So Victor, how come Le Frogge is not with us?"  Victor reassures her that he is here, given everyone is here.  He scans the room and he sees the Frogge behind one of the pillars.  "He is not one for public appearances."  Svetlana sighs and shares she does not understand why he would be hiding.  "Water is such a good man.  Such a nice, slippery good man."  Victor does not know how to respond.  He admits he feels guilty and that he just tagged along for the ride, speaking in reference to the Eiffel tower incident.

The President approaches Kenji and the translator explains, "You are what they call Roboto?"  Kenji asks who calls him that.  The President asks if he is all gears and tubes inside.  He asks to touch Cosmo, but Kenji says no. Cosmo turns to Kenji, clearly unhappy with the dog-eating Frenchman.

Walter then notices a red-haired bombshell walk into the room.  The woman seems a bit out place, dressed in a heavy coat and a camera around her neck.   She draws out a notepad and reaches between her breasts for a pencil.  Then digs out an ID from the same place.   *A reporter*    He watches her for a bit and begins to notice a hint of agitation in her face.  Her lips mouth out, "gun?"  Walter throws his gaze to where she was staring and sees a group of eight waiters with funny hats entering the room.  They all have trays and spread out into the ballroom.  Walter investigates for any sign of a gun and fails to see anything.  He does notice that their funny hats are different from the others.  The woman hurries to the military men and tries to warn one of them, but they remain distracted by her breasts.  

Victor's otherworldly sense picks something wrong.  The waiters with the hats... they are collapsible masks.  "Kenji!" he yells out across the room.  Kenji motions to Cosmo and the dog immediately forms the Psychic Link to connect them all.  The telepathic link, however, confuses Victor!  Having not felt it before, he mistakenly assumes it to be a psionic assault.  "I am talking to the voices in my head!" Victor calls out mentally, "What do you want with me!  What entity am I speaking with?"

"Victor, this is Kenji."
"I didn't know you were psychic," Victor gasps, but their conversation is interrupted as automatic gunfire suddenly breaks the party ambiance.  The waiters reach up and drag down the hats over their faces to reduce them to men without any features.

"Normalists!" Kenji gasps telepathically.

"We request everyone to remain where they are," a man suddenly speaks up, catching the crowd's attention.  He is standing on the stage in an all white suit in stark contrast to the waiters, "Or we will be forced to Normalize your numbers."    Victor feels Svetlana's grip tighten further against his arm.  "Do we kill them now?" Svetlana asks telepathically.   

"There could be more of them outside.  We have to know their numbers first," Victor responds through the same link. 

"We should not let people get hurt," Walter agrees in the link.  

"What? But we are here," Svetlana protests telepathically.

"This may not be all of them," Victor explains, "I'll try to see if there are others outside."

The man in the white suit has a tray in his hand.   Walter hisses in his thoughts, "Are those... frog legs?!"

"Now, it is good to see you are all obedient, as expected.  Mister President?"  The man in white addresses the President, "We have terms.  Please come forward."  His wife shoves him to step forward.  Victor's eyes scan the room and he quickly notices a woman with a Persian cat on her lap.  Her hand with the teacup is trembling, and the cat eagerly awaits to catch whatever falls out of it.  "The cat is distracted.  It's mind is mine," Victor smiles.  He projects himself into the cat a second after asking Svetlana to hold him.  She feels him faint in her arms.  

"I think our leader is cowardice..." Sveltana telepathically muses.

Victor-Cat stealthily makes its way outside without anyone noticing.  

"Mister President, will you please come up the stairs to my side," the leader of the Normalists calls out.  The President hesitates.  One of the military officers calls out in anger, "This is outrageous!  This cannot happen!"  The Normalist leader commands one of the waiters to shoot the general.  Walter tries to stealthily head up to the chandelier, but he loses his grip.   The gun is fired and the military officer is struck!    Blood sprays upon Kenji.  The gunshot startles Cosmo enough to break the telepathic link.  Walter falls to the ground beside the President.  People gasp upon seeing the human frog! The Normalists turn towards Walter and stare at the aberration before them.   Cosmo quickly reestablishes the link during the distraction.

"I know you," the Normalist hisses.

"Well, I think I know you too," Walter hisses back.  He gets back to his feet as the Normalist leader approaches him, "Yes, it is you. The Monster we should have killed.  Interesting to find you here."

"You're the Centurions!  Do something!" the President calls out at Walter.

"The Centurions?  Even more interesting," the Normalist leader spits out.  It dawns on the group that the Normalists did not come here to attack them!  They had no idea the Century Club was here!  Victor-Cat telepathically tells Svetlana to drop his body.  But Svetlana asks instead "Why?"

The Normalist Leader lifts the tray cover and reveals a bomb inside.  He asks Walter Le Frogge to hold it for him, but Walter refuses.  The President is told to hold it instead.  Victor tells them he's taking a quick look outside and that he will be back.  Victor finds the eight real naked and tied up, and a female Normalist keeping watch with a semi-automatic weapon in her hands.  Victor-Cat closes in, hoping for an opportunity to try and charm her.

Back inside, Cosmo keeps the link maintained, but admits to the others that while he can use his telekinesis to pull the bullets out, it will break the link.  Svetlana complains as the others start throwing ideas that she does not understand who is the leader.  Victor-Cat tells them he will handle the one outside.  The President is pulled close and the tray with the bomb is balanced on his head.  "Now, Mister Frog, I wonder how tasty your legs are," the Normalist admits.  He asks why Walter is in the city, and Walter deflects the question suggesting that they have no clearance for such information.  He asks how many more aberrations are present and Walter lies and says only he is present.  The Normalist admits he doubts he can trust him.  He tells the rest to search the grounds.  "There are other freaks about."

Svetlana drops Victor's body, worried that them seeing a woman carrying a man would raise suspicions.  Svetlana comes up towards the Normalist leader and surrenders.   Cosmo turns to Kenji and telepathically asks, "Act now, yes?"

Kenji begins stealthily dispatching Normalists nearby.  Using the Iaijutsu stance, he strikes down a Normalist or two, then returns the blade to the sheathe.  The other hostages would then quickly drag the bodies out of sight.

Walter launches his tongue to snatch the bomb from the President's head.    The Normalist leader, unaware that the bomb is no longer on the President's head, continues to taunt the crowd about bomb having new technology: it is detonated using remote control.  "On a single signal, my associate with cause the bomb to explode."  He hides it behind him. The Normalist leader laments at how much the world has degenerated into a terrible place, with inter-racial mingling and with women who have forgotten their place in society.  The demands are simple.  "We want the French Government to apologize.  Mister President.."

Victor-Cat tricks the woman into picking him up, and he tries to investigate the woman for this "denotator."  She picks him up and flings him away.  He lands on his feet.  Her blonde wig drops to the ground, revealing her dark hair.

During all this, Kenji takes down a few more Normalists, striking quickly and barely moving from his place.  Cosmo laments wanting to help the General who had been shot, thinking he could use his telekinesis to draw the bullets out and staunch the bleeding.  But he realizes the group needs the telepathic link more for now.

Svetlana realizes she needs to distact the man.   The leader of the Normalists gets distracted by Svetlana's beauty.  "You are one of them, aren't you?  What sort of aberration makes a woman like a mountain?"  Svetlana still keeps the man occupied as Le Frogge opts to take advantage of the situation.  He considers bringing the bomb outside.  But Svetlana telepathically tells him not to.  She worries if the bomb does detonate, Walter will "go kaput."  Victor-Cat via the link suggests he just throw the bomb somewhere.  But Svetlana calls him cruel for being willing to threaten the people of Paris.   Cosmo reminds them the general is dying and someone HAS to make a decision.   Victor, surprisingly takes the lead.  He tells Cosmo to cut the connection and that he will handle the woman outside on his own.  "She cannot push the button while I harass her.  If I cannot get rid of the button..."

Victor-Cat goes silent.  The others do not see the woman reach for the detonator.    "You naughty cat."  Angered, the female Normalist rips open her blouse to expose the detonator to the bomb, which she had strapped around her bare chest.  Victor-Cat realizes the danger is too great and uses the last trick up his sleeve; he focuses his gaze upon the woman's eyes for his own reflection.

Kenji engages with the Normalists now, as the other officers pull the civilians to safety.  Bullets fly and find themselves parried by a well thrown katana, which spins back into the hands of the living man of steel.   The attacks a Normalist at the nearby door, startling the woman staring at Victor-Cat's gaze.   The man finally introduces himself as Warner Hardings, a man who has devoted himself to bringing back Normalcy.  "And I believe that-" but Walter grabs the Normalist leader's shoulders, turns him to face Walter, and smacks him in the face with the bomb.  Svetlana gasps at Walter for his action.  "What if bomb go boom boom?"  Cosmo extends his telekinesis to pull the bullets out of the man's body, then spreads the golden light to apply pressure on the wounds.

With their locked gaze, he reaches out to speak with his Spirit Companion.  Time moves ever so slowly as the Demon teases him about having a horrible name.  He muses how Crowley and the other have an awesome name.  Victor should have one.  Victor-Cat stresses that is not as important right now and tries to make a deal with him to distract the woman.  "For a Normalist, she has a lot of abnormal ideas."  The Demon finally agrees after Victor-Cat agrees to owe it.  Time resumes and the woman is suddenly overcome by images of her uncle raping her.  The impetus of her joining the Normalists becomes the distracting force that gives Victor-Cat the moment he needs to lift the detonator from her bosom through sleight of hand.

The four remaining Normalists close in on Walter Le Frogge, firing their weapons towards the stage.  Kenji, using the sword he is destined to wield, slashes at one of the men.  Blood sprays outwards.

Warner snaps the whip at Le Frogge even while blinded by the bomb that smacked into his face.  Le Frogge leaps out of the way leaving the bomb smacked on his face.  The whip bites into Le Frogge's chest, ripping his clothes open and some purple blood sprays out.  Le Frogge leaps upwards, maneuvering into a more tactical position behind Warner Harding.  The whip is smacked blindly towards the President, who dodges left and right from the blows.  Le Frogge leaps back up onto the chandelier and considers his next move.  Warner starts shoveling the pie bomb off his face.  Svetlana runs forward, snatches the pie and bomb and using her immense speed and strength, leaps through a window away from the banquet at top speed, searching for a safe place for the bomb to detonate.

With the detonator, Victor-Cat runs back into the room.  A Normalist soldier sees the cat and begins firing at the cat that is running with some device in its mouth!  Not Normal!  The man opens fire!  The bullets do not find their mark, however.  The cat dodges past the bullets and suddenly are deflected by something golden.  Cosmo growls at the soldier.

Kenji drops to one knee and check's the General who was shot earlier.  The glow of Cosmo's telekinesis is keeping him stable, at least for now.  As the bullets continue to be deflected by the golden light, the soldier looks up to see an angry man of steel.  "Do. Not. Touch. My. Dog!" Kenji howl and charges forward, deflecting all the bullets, the rushing through with his blade gleaming in a single motion.  At the end of his charge, Kenji sheaths the blade and the Normalist's gun falls down in equal sized pieces.  The Normalist is pushed then into another guard and the two hit the floor.

Warner turns to see the Normalists are defeated.  Even the civilians have come to help out, using plates, chairs and the like to fight the other still standing soldiers.  "You have not heard the last of this!" he howls at the Centurions and begins fishing for something from his breast pocket.

A second detonator!  all exclaim in their thoughts.

Le Frogge jumps down at the perfect moment and uses slight of hand move to snatch whatever he was planning to pull out of his pocket.  The two pull the detonator out, and have their hands both on it.  Harden swings his other hand to try and smack the single button on it.  But Le Frogge then twists his other arm, using his Brotherhood Training and being the First Human Frog, he realizes it would be more effective to launch instead his tongue!  Entangled together, Le Frogge successfully prevents the bomb from being detonated.

Cosmo giggles.  Kenji sees the two entangled together and then hears a scream by the door.  It slams open as a woman with dark hair leaps into the room with a semi-automatic weapon.  "Enough!" she screams and trains the guns at others.  Victor-Cat throws the detonator at Cosmo (who catches it easily with another telekinetic bubble), and drops the link formed by the Talisman of the Wylde.  The cat looks around, stunned and confused.  The woman fires at the crowd with her semi-automatic weapon, but thankfully, most take only superficial wounds.  "Enough of this," the woman growls at them, "You realize what you are doing?  You are allowing France to not suffer for the atrocities they have done to the English."

"I'm British," Victor mutters as he stands to full height, "And I don't take offense of what happened before.  I am Scion of Merlin and I have no anger towards the French for anyone."  Le Frogge is confused.  "I'm... French and yet I'm friends with him?"

"A Scion of Merlin," the woman gasps.  "A wizard."

"Yes," Victor proudly replies.

She raises the gun.  If there was any other aberration worse, it would be a wizard.  For they look like you, but their blood is not human!  The bullets are about to fire.  Kenji flings the katana into an arc towards Victor to block the bullets, hoping the hurled blade does not strike any of the other nearby people.  The blade impales into the gun, rendering it useless.

*Click*

Warner screams, angered at his loss.  Victor begins mesmerism to calm the man down and make him stop fighting.    Warner stares, caught in the hypnosis.  Victor uses his mindshadow training to take away memories of the last hour.  "You could have never done these things.  You probably just dreamed this all up."    What Victor does not realize is that the mesmerism affects Le Frogge as well.  He tells them to drop the detonator.

Everyone else in the room screams, "NO!"

Victor corrects the command.  "Set the detonator down slowly.  Right side up."

*

The police have apprehended the Normalists.  The President thanks the Centurions again and the Parisian Guard escort the Normalists away.  The woman is hissing at Victor, "This is NOT the last of us, we will find you... you wizard!  You might be the boy who lived, but we will find you!"

But even Warner apologizes, not understanding why she is so angry.  Cosmo tries to explain to Walter what had happened.  That they had just saved the President of Paris.  That they are at a party. But Le Frogge does not recall any of this.  Cosmo considers trying to undo the mesmerism somehow using his telepathy.  The President commends the group, telling Kenji he was pretty good "for an oriental."  Kenji allows his steam to rush out to calm down.  He just tells the President not to touch his dog.

"We are so grateful that you are all here.  We are very blessed to have you all here," the President thanks Victor.  The others are eating bread and just leaving Victor to handle talking to them.  "There is something to be learned here.  It is our diversity that makes us strong! No man, or machine, or half-man half-beast, or animal is better than the other."

"Hey friend!"

They turn to see Warner in the van, about to be carted away to prison.  "Where is the woman earlier?'  The group realizes none of them have seen Svetlana.

*

Svetlana is at the top of the Eiffel tower.  Being what she felt was the tallest structure away from everything else, she had clambered up to be ready to fling the bomb skyward  had it been detonated.

"Cosmo?  Is it safe?  Hello?"

She sighs, wondering if someone will eventually tell her if it is safe to head down.

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