Friday, November 21, 2014

After the Rain ep19 : Houses of the Blooded

After the Rain

Episode Nineteen

A dear friend of ours, Aina, had been wanting to play a role-playing game for a while.  We scheduled a session and had her try Fiasco (The Letter) and it was a blast!  We then got her gaming feet wet with Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space (Cat's Eyes), with Rocky handling the game mastering, and that was pretty fun!   After those two sessions, Aina asked for the big leap forward:  Houses of the Blooded.  So what could I do but grant her wish?  And best of all, tied the story to the ongoing saga of After the Rain.

Today's cast:
Oandur Bowen, Baron of Westlane, Blooded of the Bear.  A Builder of Dreams.  His skill with design and structure has crafted moving stages, transforming staircases and more.  His sister, Amaras Q'n, at times teases him for doing the hard work while she embraces the limelight.  But he does not mind.  He is not one for adulation.    His former lover, Cheska Valar, plays the role of Scarlet in the coming Operatic masterpiece, Love Is Crimson.  He hopes his Hammers (Valet) can help him deliver the most magnificent stage yet.   

Amaras Q'n, Baroness of Eastroad, Blooded of the Fox.  She deserves the limelight (or so she believes) but Cheska Valar, the woman who broke her bother's heart, has taken the lead role of the Opera.  It was the role Amaras wanted to play.  She desires revenge, but she is aware that her brother still wrongly yearns for the usurper.  Even worse, a new talent named Vyktor Krev plays the lead.  She desires to poison Cheska but has no Herbs to concoct such a thing.  Her brother, however, may have.  She owns an Ebon Knife, a gift from Ikhalu, who whispered yes.  The knife transforms any sliced Herbs into Poison.  

Ecco Uvan, Baron of Heindig, Blooded of the Elk.  Ecco and Cheska Valar have been together for three Seasons in a vibrant Romance.  Unfortunately for this Opera, however, Cheska's former lover, Oandur, is working with him.  Ecco knows Cheska left Oandur for him before.  He fears she may leave him now to return to Oandur.  He knows he will punish them all if it were to happen.  Ecco is the creator of the music of Love Is Crimson and has plans to ensure Amaras Q'n never steals the spotlight from his beloved.  Ecco has a tiny spider as a Familiar and a Bloodsword.   The spider roams silently in the Opera House to do his bidding.

Cheska Valar, Baroness of Solitar, Blooded of the Serpent.    Now the shiniest star on stage, Cheska seeks to maintain her fortune.  Her former lover, Oandur Bowen, is working with her in his opera and she knows he still hurts for the heartbreak she had dealt him (when she left him for another man he never met.)  Few realize that other man was Ecco Uvan whose shining talent provides the songs and music for this piece.  She is still with Ecco but does now feel the desire to leave him for Oandur, who always showered her with attention. Cheska plays the lead role and hopes that Amaras Q'n never upstages her in this grand moment.  She has brought  with her a vial of Hemlock, and has been a favored Actress by the Earl, Dalvinosh Steele.

And finally,  Vyktor Krev.  Blooded of the Horse, posing as a Falcon.   A grand young actor with unparalleled skill.  Few realize his acting prowess is empowered through sorcery: he has a Blessing called 1,000 Faces which allows him to perfectly embody the personality, mannerism, body language and appearance of anyone he has never personally met.  He does not recall to which Devotion his Blessing was gained. He also owns The Solace Compact, an artifact which when closed containing something of another Ven, allows the stripping of one specific moment from that Ven's memory.  He does not know who gave this to him as well.  His muse is a red-haired beauty named Liliandra.  She whispers sweet things to him, and in exchange for promises which she grants takes away the terrible moments and memories of his life.

There are so few memories left.

The scene opens with the lovers not quite... meeting eye to eye.  Cheska Valar feels the need for attention, but Ecco Uvan is too lost in the composition of a new piece for the Opera.  Ecco pens the Song of Sapphire, a vengeful, passionate song of blood and danger and so lost in his thoughts is he that Cheska feels slighted by the lack of attention.

Dalvinosh Steele has asked for a fateful adaptation of the original story, The Riddle of Blood, and Ecco Uvan has been pushing the limits of his creativity to compose it into Love Is Crimson, distilling the stories to the key events of the tale: the love and death of Kithranus Yvarai.  The Opera was to be grand, with real weapons used for all the fights (especially the key passionate duel between Scarlet and Sapphire that leads to Kithranus' demise), and even the strange guests - the Ork Ven from beyond the Mistweir - were to be invited to watch.  

Little did the actors know how things would turn out on stage.  The props which Oandur Bowen prepare somehow seem to favor Amaras Q'n more, giving her much more light and visibility during every scene.  Ecco Uvan would be so obsessed over the music, he would completely overlook these details, infuriating Cheska Valar more.

Schemes would combine with other schemes, and a spider would whisper promises.  Poison would drip from threads that Spiders then position over sleeping mouths.  And as the dance of drama and danger unfolds, the nature of Liliandra becomes exposed as the wicked temptations she lures Ecco Uvan and Cheska Valar with are resisted, and death comes to the stage.

The Storm comes.

And with the strong winds, Ecco Uvan finds himself tasting death... but not before Liliandra, in a moment of pure confidence and pride whispers to him her Secret Name just to spite him.  "It wouldn't matter.  You are already about to die.  My name... is Thalia."

Cheska Valar escapes the collapsing Opera house with Vyktor Krev, as they fall from the heights of the grand city to find themselves hooked by the infamous Madelyn Yvarai.  She demands from Cheska service which she relents to survive.   Vyktor, surprisingly embraces the identity of Kithranus Yvarai, her dead son-in-law, but the act convinces Madelyn to provide him shelter as well.  As the raging winds and water tear the city asunder, Liliandra appears before Madelyn Yvarai with a deal to make:  Protect my corporeal form and in return, she will deliver Madelyn to where she desires.  Madelyn chooses to find refuge in the Shanri the Ork ven spoke of.  And to make matters even swing more in her favor, asks to arrive there two Seasons earlier than she should have.

But sadly, these facts and whispers are truths which Galeo Silja, Nia Jalan, Jaric Thayl and Seran Thorne would have loved to have known, but they would be secrets that they would never ever uncover.  For as the Storm rages, elsewhere in the City, Galeo and Seran find themselves thrown back into Shanri in fulfillment of a wish requested by Lukas Q'n.  While the others brave the waves and soon find shelter as the orks of the Fenris House guide them to safety.

Of the theater troupe, Oandur Bowen, Amaras Q'n, and a host of other Ruk find themselves surviving the brunt of the Storm, but trapped within the Grand Opera House, to beg for food and pray for their Patrons to send them what they need to survive.  Even Liliandra, a red-haired servant of Vyktor who laments losing her Baron, fears how they will fare - will hunger or exhaustion come to claim them first?  Will the Orks stalking the lands?

And this they will remain in, for the many Seasons to come.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Barely more than a month left to go

I'm still one game behind my 12 new games for 2014 and I realize I might actually FAIL to hit it unless I find a way to squeeze in a game session using a new system soon.  I guess I got way too busy with my two day jobs that I neglected making time for the final game.

1) Demon the Descent
2) Spirit of the Century
3) Tremulus
4) Wicked Heroes
5) Storium games
6) Fiasco : The Search for the Golden Panda playkit
7) The Letter: Fiasco Medici playkit
8) Dresden Files
9) Doctor Who : Adventure in Time and Space
10) Cthulhutech
11) Mouse World
12) ???

My partner has been helping me map out gaming schedules with the many groups we have games with.  No longer being the kids we used to be, mapping out game schedules are very important nowadays in order for sessions to work out.  Currently, this is what the next few weeks are starting to look like:

Nov 22 - Dollhouse (Orpheus)
Nov 23 - After the Rain (Houses of the Blooded) [Tentative]
Nov 29 - FTC RPG Night (Scion)
Nov 30 - After the Rain (Houses of the Blooded) [Tentative]
Dec 06 - Metro Manila LGBT Pride March [Tentative Attendance]
Dec 07 - Chicago (Matinee) [Evening Game Possible]
Dec 13 - Quezon City LGBT Pride March (Attending) [Late Evening Game Possible]
Dec 14 - Scrooge (Matinee) [Evening Game Possible]
Dec 20 - OPEN
Dec 21 - After the Rain (Houses of the Blooded) [Tentative]
Dec 27-28 - Tentatively Open

Thankfully, it does show that there are still slots we can use to have a one shot game or two.  the trickier question is finalizing what game it will be.  I've been reading Jim Pinto's King for a Day lately, as well as sneaking in time to read Atsuhiro Okada's Ryuutama which some describe as Miyazaki - Oregon Trail the RPG.   And there's always the urge to run Companions, but that would mean finding a group of Whovians who'd be free for a game session soon  Oh, the choices.

Gaaah so many choices I tell you.
I'm so blessed to be in a relationship with a guy who loves gaming.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Threads and Fate ep01 : Scion

Threads and Fate
Episode One
"From Above"


After the successful Monsterhearts one-shot and the Mouseworld one-shot I ran for Lanchie, Miguel and Jonathan, Rocky and I were excited to learn they were all itching to try another game.  Perhaps, they said, one that lasts longer than a single session.  So we were more than eager to comply.  Digging through the various books and systems we had to offer, both Rocky and I realized we wanted them to at least try something that used the Storyteller system of White Wolf games.  But given the varying interests, the trick was finding was system would be best.   Mythology seemed to be the easiest niche to match up, and so we went for Scion.

The cast of characters:

Jonathan plays  Morgan Huntington
An Anthropologist whose work explores the cultural echoes existing among the fairy tales of the world, with emphasis on the concept of a Prince Charming.  Morgan's work was one of passion given he was also the heir to a massive real-estate conglomerate.   
Virtues: Duty, Endurance, Intellect, Valor

Miguel plays Max Black
Assistant to the librarian in the university library, Max is a college student studying Literature.  She comes from a foster home and is currently searching for her biological parents.  Sassy and angry at the world, Max approaches things with a no-nonsense attitude and a determined desire to find the truth to why she was abandoned at such a young age.
Virtues: Conviction, Courage, Duty, Loyalty

 Lanchie plays Gareth Malone

Despite being much older than most in the music industry, Gareth continues to express his love for his craft and find others who seek to learn from his experience.  Gareth is an International chorale conductor who is currently doing master classes all around the world. But as public he is a personality when it comes to his love for music, he remains a man of mystery when one considers his attentions towards the more passionate and sensual things in life.   Sexually ambiguous, Gareth hides a lot of mysteries behind an approachable and kind face.
Virtues: Expression, Intellect, Valor, Vengeance

Rocky plays Annika
Tough, perceptive and brave, Annika is a Reality TV show host  with her own brand on survival tactics.  Following the paths tread by shows like Man versus Wild, Annika's show pushes the boundaries of what women can achieve and fearlessly shows that ingenuity and grace can come hand in hand.
Virtues: Conviction, Harmony, Order, Piety

Our story begins with each of the scions going through their lives, unawares of the coming twists of Fate.  

Max was at the library digging up for more dirt about her family and found two possible search results when the same power outage hits.  She hears a shriek somewhere inside the library, telling her someone else is stuck in the darkness with her.  And worse, the sight of something furry moving deeper into the darkness.  She rushes to help the trapped student find her way out when they realize there is something stalking them in the darkness.

Gareth was at the concert hall, conducting a chorale and orchestra to perform a piece he knows by heart.  He sees a woman in the far side of the audience hall, staring at him unflinchingly.  Unlike everyone else, she seems to be staring intensely at him without any care for the music.  As the song hits the highest note, lightning flashes and the power cuts out.  He pushes forward, however, tapping his feet to keep the tempo and bringing the performance to reach a majestic finish.  Lighting flashes and a winged shadow is cast upon the wall.   The audience breaks into applause, perhaps thinking Gareth timed the performance to have that shadow.  However, Gareth excuses himself and heads back to his own dressing room before the last song.  While there, however, he sees a black shape upon the window which incites him to break into a run to leave the room.  He bumps into Sheryl, one of his assistants, who tries to help him in the darkness.  Gareth feels a cold breeze and finds an open window in the adjoining room.

Annika is talking with Gary about the footage showing her wading through the mud as she pushes between the fallen trees and talks about keeping a steady pace and not staying too long.  Gary had fallen backwards, tripping on a fallen tree, that moment.  When the lights go out, Annika (who keeps calling Gary something else: Jerry, Gerald, Greg... etc) even blames him for the power going out.  Gary heads to the other office to check if there's anything he can grab to fix the power outage, given even the UPS had gone out.  Annika looks out the window at the coliseum and sees some kind of shadow on the roof when lightning flashed for a moment.  Something with wings?  When Gary finds a possible light source, Annika catches sight of the hint of some movement at the far end of the corridor.  She runs to that area to check who is there and finds herself face to face with a cloaked figure with glowing eyes. 

Morgan was having an argument with his father about his plans in life and about the need for him to focus on the family business (for the next four months in South East Asia) when a power outage strikes the city.  And just when one would think things could not get any worse, a winged thing crashes through the window.   The thing is a naked woman, but wings protrude from its back and talons replace her feet.  Scales seem to cover its skin.  Strangely, Morgan's father does not seem to see the woman.  While his father complains all about the loss of power and the wasted money, Morgan sees another figure at the broken window.

Giant spiders, each the width of two open palms, are stalking the two girls.  Max and the girl smash books at them, trying to force the creatures back whenever they can.  At times the things vanish in the darkness, only to reemerge with the flashing of lightning.  Max discovers her body impossibly somehow begins to move with unexpected speed and grace, which helps her evade most of the incoming spiders.  But as they find their way to escape, the doorways they find are blocked by spider webs.  The two start tearing pages off the nearest books and lighting them to build a fire to try and ward the things back.  Max easily swats most of the spiders away, even flinging one to smack into others.  But the other girl panics as the threads of web begin to entangle around her body.  She is unable to light the books in time.  That moment, a shriek tears through the night and Max turns towards it to see a winged feathered thing emerging from the corner charging straight towards them!

Gareth sends the assistant to check the open window in the other room.  As Sheryl check the window, the door behind her slams shut leaving Gareth in darkness.  Sheryl returns, wondering why Gareth closed the door, and tells him the window is closed now.  That moment, time seems to move so slowly as Gareth's brain snaps into focus and review the details he had seen.  The shadow at the window... it was a monkey.  A monkey shape?  And Gareth suddenly understands for certain that today is one of the most important days in his life.  And true enough, a chimpanzee walks into the light of Stacey's flash light.  Stacey hurries to call for security, but this pulls the light away from the chimp.  Gareth feels a tugging sensation against his leg, and when Stacey shines the light towards it, they see the chimpanzee there.  To their shock, the thing suddenly asks, "Are we really playing this game, Gareth?"  The two stare at the talking monkey but the chimpanzee teases them and replies, "Well, you're all talking monkeys too!"    When Gareth wonders what's going on, the chimpanzee digs a mite from its hair and offers it to him, telling him that if he eats it everything is going to make sense.  The mite offered turns out to be a stupid joke which makes the chimp laugh its ass off.  The chimp then explains that "she" is looking for him and seems amused that he really does not recall anything.  When Gareth pushes to ask who "she" is, the chimp explains his wife is looking for her.

Annika finds the cloaked figure addressing her as Annika and asking for her help.  The woman explains that if Annika does not do as she says, she will not be able to save "Jareth" from dying.  And if Jareth dies, then Jareth would not be able to save Annika in the future.  A paper levitates out of the cloak to reveal a flier to Brahms Concerto E at the coliseum.   The figure asks Annika to hurry, given there is less than an hour of time left before it is too late.   Gary calls for Annika, and when Annika asks "Jerry" to wait, she turns back to find the cloaked woman gone and the flier falling to the ground.   Annika tells Gary to wait and rushes towards the concerto across the block.  She sees the winged things in the sky, surrounding the Huntington tower above.  An explosive sound erupts from above followed by the tinkling sound of falling glass.  Annika looks up to see a winged horse silhouetted by the lightning.  She rushes forward, sliding across the hoods of cars and leaping over benches as she rushes towards the coliseum.  Oddly, she notices there is a cat running alongside her. Deep down she feels if she does not help this Jareth person, she will regret it for the rest of her life.   She pushes the side door open and slides inside to find the cat there beside her, staring at her.  Questioning her sanity can wait.   Annika quickly moves through the grounds, avoiding security and making her way to what she knows is the backstage area.  Having held a meet and greet event here before, Annika remembers the route easily.

A winged horse.  The thing by the broken window is a winged horse.  And on the horse, a beautiful pale woman, naked save for a helmet with eagle wings and a spear.  The father starts complaining aloud about the damaged window, again seemingly blind to the newcomers.  Morgan tries to shush his father to go quiet and explain that something weird is going on, and it takes a while before he starts to make sense to his father.  As they crawl towards the door, keeping low, Morgan starts to hear squirming wet sounds as the woman seemingly crushes the head of the winged woman in the other side of the room.  She then asks the horse if it had found the trail of her husband and it neighs in response.

Hoping to distract the woman, Morgan flings a glass shard into the opposite direction.  But the woman detects the movement and flings the spear at the shard with just enough precise strength that it impales the glass shard against the window.    She turns and faces Morgan's direction and asks why he can see her!  Morgan stands up, imposing himself between his father and the woman.   She asks if he is one of those bound to Jareth by Fate as she reaches for the spear.  When Morgan's father stands up, asking what the hell Morgan is yelling about, Morgan rushes to his father in hopes of tackling him to the floor.   The woman shakes her head and launches the spear in their direction!  The metal of the spear seems to twist and shift mid-air, tearing into Morgan's shoulder and unfurling to act like a hook to pull him back towards her!   All Morgan's father, however, can see is his son flying backwards as if pulled by some invisible force.

The winged serpent charges, attacking the spiders that have surrounded Max.   Max watches at it swoops close, gobbling up any spiders that are too close.  The serpent gives Max some breathing room to move closer to the other girl and try to help.  The other girl has been cocooned by the webs of the spiders.  Max starts ripping off the webs that have trapped the girl, worried that she had suffocated inside the prison.  Freeing the girl, Max turns to the winged serpent and thanks it for its help.  She notices its wings flutter extremely quick, like that of a humming bird.  To her surprise, it bows in response.

"So.. you know me?"

The girl starts thanking Max as well for helping her, an odd moment given Max never introduced herself to the girl.  Somehow, the girl knows Max's name and even starts to know things about Max which she has yet to share with her.  The girl doesn't really know why she knows things about her.  It is a voice in the darkness that helps explain the events.  Just like earlier with Annika, a cloaked woman tells Max that the winged serpent is named Left Wing, which she had raised from her last incarnation.  She tells Max that the girl knows her name because she is fate bound to her.  When Max asks who the woman is, the cloaked woman admits she cannot answer who she is yet, but she does know who Max' parents are and that she should rush to the coliseum within the next thirty minutes to save Annika.  And only by saving Annika will she be able to save her own parents.  "Her hair is the color of the sun setting on the first dawn."

Max unlocks his know-it-all Knack and realizes the girl's name is Lucy.  It isn't quite clear to her, however, why Lucy knows Max's name.  They have never met before, after all.   Max tries burning the web to free Lucy but the fire spreads far too quickly!  Worried for Lucy, Max reaches into the flames to touch Lucy and a brilliant rainbow hue of light envelops around her, protecting her from the flames.  Max realizes it would be best to head to the coliseum at once.  Lucy, however, starts wondering if Max is some kind of an angel.

Regaining his breath after a long bout of laughter, the chimp starts explaining to Gareth that his wife, the woman he has sworn to love under the Eternal Tree and carries her children, is searching for her.  A shriek pierces the darkness and Stacey emerges with a fire axe in her hands.  She swings it at the chimp, who dodges to the side and yells at Gareth to keep her pet under control.  Stacey swings the axe again, clearly intent to protect Gareth from what she thinks is a rabid animal that escaped from the zoo.  Gareth asks Stacey to calm down and takes the axe from her.  The chimp admits he never understood why Gareth chose to go back, and starts explaining that Gareth had chosen to try to live a human life again, and dipped himself in some River somewhere to forget things.  Stacey, however, thinks she is merely having a mental breakdown since she is having trouble coping with her boyfriend having cheated on her.  Gareth tries to calmly explain to her that the chimpanzee isn't really talking and that she's the only one who can hear it.  He tells her it would be best for her to relax and calm down and that he will handle taking it to the zoo later.  Gareth unlocks his old powers of Epic Charisma and convinces Stacey to head to the cafeteria and get some water to drink.   He reminds her to take her time.  Alone with the chimpanzee, Gareth asks what is really going on and the chimp asks for a cigar, knowing Gareth always carries one for luck in his pocket.  He agrees to give one if she says who the wife is.  "Helga.  She is one of the Valkyrie."  The chimp however finds it odd that he got married given they would always spend time in private dressing in women's clothing and celebrating dance and art.  Gareth cannot believe this chimp knows about that secret of his!  The chimp says the aren't lies though, cause if they were... Gareth would be the first to notice.

Lightning flashes and something with wings smashes through the glass.

Annika runs past a dazed assistant towards the sound of shattering glass.  A man's voice is now screaming ahead of her.  She turns the corner and sees a professor pinned against the far wall.  There is a winged woman with taloned feet pushed against him.  One of her wings seems broken.  A chimpanzee is leaping from one side to the other, holding a cigar in its hands.  The thing flings Gareth to the far wall, and what would have been a crippling blow snaps a bone in his body but much to the old man's surprise, the fracture almost instantly begins to repair itself!   He feels the broken bone mend itself and while the pain remains intense, the damage practically fades away into nothing but a bruise.   The chimp grabs the nearby axe, and threatens the harpy, distracting it and inadvertently giving Annika an opening she needs to rush forward and strike an open palm against the Harpy's chest.  Annika feels the first touches of her Epic Dexterity allowing her to move faster than expected!  As the chimp checks on Gareth, and asks for a lighter, Annika kicks the harpy one more time in the head and snaps its neck.  The harpy dissolves into golden ashes.

"Are you Jareth?"
"Yes," Gareth responds.
"Okay..." Annika gasps, "And you're supposed to save me?"

A door slides open and Max and Lucy emerge.  Max calls out asking if the woman with the red-hair is Annika.  Annika strikes a pose and confirms her question.  All can see the feathered serpent hovering near them.  Lucy blurts out that they came to save her from something and the moment Annika asks if she looks like she needs saving... the lights go out.

"Who are you people?" Gareth calls out, confused.

The ceiling crashes open.  Glass falls around them as a body falls to the very floor in front of them.   Morgan recalls the naked woman using her headdress as a ricocheting weapon that knocks his father unconscious before bouncing back into her hand.  Morgan remembers how she pulled him to her face and demanded he explain how he could see her.  And he last remembers how, angered by his inability to explain, she threw him out of the broken window to get rid of him.

Morgan opened his eyes to see the strange gathering around him.   An old man with a chimpanzee.  An orange-haired woman with a flash light pinned to her chest.  And two women under the shadow of a feathered serpent that hovered above them.   He could barely understand how he survived the fall, given the distance he had fallen.  Or the impact to the ground.    Everyone is confused how he could have survived the fall.  Or how the animals can speak.  Or why the weather has gone crazy.  The chimpanzee admits he is only here to help Gareth head back home.  Morgan wonders if Gareth is supposed to be someone popular.  Lucy recognizes Annika as the celebrity on television.  Max tells Lucy to shut up.  Annika notices one of them is covered in blood.  Morgan thanks her for noticing, but Gareth interjects that Annika likely meant him.

Gareth shakes his head and stands up.  "I have a concert to finish.  I am not involved in this!" He begins to walk away and the chimpanzee calls out after him, "Oh come on, Jareth!  Don't do that!"


In the sky, a Valkyrie hears the winds carry the name to her ears.  She turns the winged horse towards the building below with the hole in the ceiling.    


"We have to discuss how we will hide you from your wife," the chimpanzee continues.   That moment, an impossibly long spear strikes the ground beside the chimpanzee.  As it shortens back to a normal length, the group watches as the Valkyrie descends to the ground using the spear to guide her slide.   The naked woman yanks the spear free from the floor and asks, "Jareth?  Pretending you don't recognize your own wife won't save you. Let's settle this once and for all."

"This is a domestic dispute?" Annika gasps.


The scene unfolds within swirling water.   A second woman in robes with an older face and a pregnant belly asks the younger one, "Sister.  What have you done?"    A third woman, old and wizened, responds, "This was not my doing!"

The youngest, with the glowing eyes, chooses not to respond.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

After the Rain ep18 : Houses of the Blooded

After the Rain

Episode Eighteen

Houses of the Blooded

Spring arrives.
But with the coming of spring, the Ven from the other Sharni can be seen beginning the streets, hoping for food.  Some that Galeo Silja encounters on her journey to Maja Thayl actually even beg her to name them.  When Galeo catches the fact that the two are hiding a Child, she decided to adopt him seeing the opportunity to both save a child, and gain a Vassal.   When Galeo asks for the child's Secret name from the mother, however, she learns the Child's turns out to be "Dara" which means the Balancer of Shanri.  The father becomes an Apothecarist.  The mother becomes another possible Vassal.

Jaric Thayl and Szaz Ashken inspect the Injuries she had sustained from the destruction of the Castle of Sorio Rusu.  The wounds seem to be healing, but her sight remains impaired.  Szaz feels she lost her usefulness but Jaric believes it will provide her a new perspective towards things.  He reminds her that her network was the main usefulness she had to offer towards his Province.  "One Spider is useless without a web."  Jaric spies a Roadman waiting by the door to be acknowledged and opts to ignore him for now, focusing his attention on his Spider.  He reminds her it is an opportunity to expand her network but she is to never have them visit his castle.  She will never leave the castle, to be the center of the web and to be well protected under his care.  She is to run Catan as the Mayor, and he admits he already has his own Spy Network.  When they discuss how she lost her vision, she tells him there was a woman as the castle fell around them.  The woman told her to worry not.  Jaric suspects the woman was the Demon.  Szaz shares though that the woman said, "Today's pain is for tomorrow's Transformation."  He tells her to care for the man dressed in yellow in his City.  He reminds her he is important and must be kept safe.

Maja Thayl looks unhappy, having been made to wait.  When Jaric finally steps out to meet her, she dismisses him, "Next week," and walks out of the Castle.  Even as Jaric rushes after to speak to her, she leaves.

In Catan, Jaric revisits the man in yellow and finds he has made the very chamber a tome: names fill the walls including statements relating to the names.  Kithranus, Circe, the Sword talks, Made to Forget, and more.  The man asks Jaric if he wrote it and panics that Jaric might be trying to drive him crazy.  The man claims to be a Fox, but then hesitates and thinks he is a Serpent.... an Elk.. His sense of identity is muddled.  Jaric calls him Gaius and claims he is trying to help him.  The man asks for Herbs to know if Jaric speaks the truth, but the man still seems to not register the name.  "A Mirror... give me a Mirror!  A Quill!  A Feather..." When Jaric jokes Galeo has the perfect Quill, the man refers to Galeo as "the name of the one who.... wait, it has not happened yet..."  Jaric tries to call him Kyocera this time but the man points at the marking of dead bodies on the walls.  He begs to know why he is held in the room, and even asks who is Artemisia.  Even when Jaric says Artemisia is Galeo Silja, the man admits it does not make sense.

"Maja.. Maja would know.. this is all a dream... this is all would pass... the airship.. the sky pirates.. the stone cutters... the land sharks.. the storms..."

Jaric realizes these things were in the Dreadfuls, supposedly penned by his namesake.  "I ended them," the man proudly boasts, "I formally ended our Compact."  Then descends back into nonsensical statements.  Jaric leaves, heeding to his wife's call.

At Kalien, with the intention to visit her mother's temple, that of Althea Thorne - Suaven of Journeys, Seran Thorne is unable to visit the grounds.  The queue is four-days long.  She realizes she should have opted to visit Jessie Jalan, Jaric's daughter and now Countess of Kalien first.  She turns to ask a nearby Roadman if the lines are typically this long.  The man informs her that they were longer before when the Temple wasn't built yet.  The Countess of Kalien is said to be currently indisposed which worries Seran if she is injured or just busy.  As she considers her options, one of the Merchant House, a man named Shalan, approaches her and offers his services.  The Merchant House it seems now offer to stand in line for the Ven who are willing to make a proper exchange.  He even can secret Seran closer to the front.  Seran finds it amusing that the Merchant has Permits marked by the Countess and of the talks of strips/rips as the currency.  The man reveals a leather case with strips, pieces of a Contract, and it seems to be the currency used by the Merchant House to make dealings with others.  They do, however, notarize the Contracts using a pinned ring, as well as a Ritual of some sort to "copy and send" a duplicate of the Contract to the Merchant House Scribe in the Senate.  Seran is told that any Merchant House can collect the payment.   With someone holding her place in the line, Seran opts to visit the Castle.

There, she finds her mother's Seneschal, the Caretaker, offering her condolences for Seran's loss. She tells the Staff to prepare the good wine and explains that Jessie is preoccupied in the basement levels of the Castle.  Servants seem to be bringing her Herbs, as well as what seem to be corpses.  Whitish, greenish fluid seemed to drip from the bodies.  The Caretaker refuses to explain what she is doing, however.  They discuss instead the popularity of Althea Thorne and learn she has gained a lot of Devotion from the Merchants.  Each region in the Province is to contain a Shrine devoted to her.   The Caretaker leads her to speak with someone else who can better explain things, and Seran is escorted to a structure being built.  The structure, turns out, to be a Business Holding:Port Station and here she meets the Merchant Lord, Murid Reinhold, brother of the late Rajid Reinhold who perished in Sorio Rusu's castle.  Murid is thankful to have inherited everything.  She learns the Merchants are planning a business that connects various Regions from different Provinces to allow passengers to take Voyages between them.  She asks Seran to consider being part of the connected chain. As a present, he gives her a spyglass crafted in orichalcum, uncovered from the ruins.  It is sealed with markings in Old Realm.  Seran hires another Merchant to stand as an alibi, visible in line, while she is to be secreted into the Temple itself.  She finally visits the Temple to find a moment to visit her mother.

Back at Nia's Province, in one of the unexplored Regions, the Orks are agitated.  In the camps of the Ork Tribe, five people are chained to the ground.  An Ork Hunter notes Nia's arrival.  An Ork Witch continues to curse the five on the ground.  Nia realizes neither are her vassals.  Bowen explains the five have intruded upon their lands and killed five of their people.  Nia recognizes them to be an Unblooded adventuring party.   Nia inspects the five and recognizes one turns out to be Blooded but has taken steps to hide his nature.  Cloth covers his ears and forehead.  A full beard and lack of grooming makes him look more unkempt.  Nia calls for the one in charge and the Hunter comes forward.  Nia recognizes him to be one she had met during the Festival.  The Hunter wishes to avenge the death of his sons, but Bowen has reminded him they are near Nia's lands.  Nia is handed a blade by the Ork Hunter for her own safety.  The Ork then crushes a black catterpillar upon the blade, causing it to sizzle.  Nia identifies the goo as a poison, and upon seeing the Ork lick his fingers clean, realizes it is clearly a Ven-specific poison.  Remembering Jalani was once a Tavala, Nia approaches the adventuring group.  She focused on the Ven and is curious to see the man is the group's Q'val.    Nia talks to them and tries to learn why they have done what they have done.  She learns the group came upon a lair, killed a monster within it, set camp inside to rest, and the Orks came and attacked them.  They retaliated and killed five of the Orks, forcing the rest to flee.  Bowen explains the Orks' side, of having returned from a long journey to the mountain and smelled the smoke.  As they inspected the monster, they saw the adventurer's camped in the lair.  Turning to leave, the group bumps into the Shalvar (the Warrior) who then attacked them immediately. He killed four of their number, and the Q'val slew the fifth Ork.   The Q'val is astounded that Nia would side with the Orks. She reminds him she speaks to him out of courtesy since she knows what he truly is.  If he wasn't Ven, she would have just left them to suffer what the Orks desire.   The Blackhand surround Nia with weapons drawn as the Orks pounce upon the adventuring party, massacring them, now that it is clear that she does not cast her shadow upon them.  The Q'val cries out for help, taking injuries from the Orks.  The Orks stop their assault for a brief moment when Nia asks the Q'val which Suaven he serves.  The Q'val spits out Manna Rennay's name, but Nia feels that's unlikely given he is not protected by her Blessings.  Nia pushes past her guards, holding the poisoned knife in her hands, and asks the Q'val once again whom he is devoted to.  The Q'val claims this time to be devoted to Thalia Yvarai.  Avendi.  He throws out more names but these heighten only Nia's suspicion.  "Shan'ri take me," the man suddenly intones and an earthquake comes.  Trees suddenly sway.   The blackhand close around Nia to protect her.  The orks panic in the shaking.  And as they look back at the Q'val, he is gone.  Where he was earlier, a fissure now exists.  Deep down below, Nia can see flowing water.   None know of any Blessings that invoke Shan'ri.    Of the remains, Nia collects the parts of the ork that the adventuring party had slain.  She gifts them to the Ork Chieftain and from this act, the Witch attempts to gain some ground against Nia, with claims of Nia having failed to keep promises in the past.  The Chieftain, however chooses to side with Nia, and the Witch leaves warning them of curses to come.   Nia asks the Chieftain if he would like to serve her as her Warlord.  Before a decision can be made, veth on horseback emerge escorting one of the Ven.  They surround the camp, and the Ven addresses Nia in what clearly is a clear bid to establish that this is his Region.

The new arrival asks if Nia is lost, and the two clearly are at odds to establish whose Region this belongs to.  The man even wonders if Nia's Blackhand is some Secret Army.  She identifies them as her Personal Guard, of course, and learns his name is Illudyl Q'n.  As they throw reasons to prove claim on the region, Illudyl brings up that his Adventuring Party was even sent to this location to establish his hold on the land.  Nia then reveals she did encounter the Adventuring Party and shares how the supposed Q'val could not clearly cite a Suaven he was devoted truly to but in the end how the man called for the enemy to help him.   He insults her as a Ven who sleeps with Orks.  But Nia simply deflects that he seems to have mistaken her for Dranna Ru.  As the Q'n leaves and promises to raise this to the Senate, Nia gives the Warlord freedom to attack the Ven of that man's land if they seek to attempt any invasion upon it.

Nia smiles, knowing she now has an Ork Army under her control.

Jaric arrives at Kalien and sees the long lines and Quarter houses forming to allow people to wait for their turn at the Temple.   He remembers his meeting with his mother Maja who held against him the fact he made her wait.  When Jaric arrives at the Castle, the Caretaker informs him that she is indisposed.  Jaric walks past her, and heads straight to the basement to visit his daughter.  With the Riskmen and all other Vassals made to wait, Jaric heads below and finds his daughter Jessie throwing commands upon a gathering of pained and terrified prisoners.  The prisoners she commands do not seem to be Ven nor Veth.  The things are fusions of beast and other things.  Jessie proudly shares that she had mastered the Ritual of The Corpse.    Jaric was hoping Jessie to help him identify a certain person of interest, but Jessie confuses this with another man whom she supposedly has been seeing. Jessie admits that she and the man like each other but they are not in a Romance.  Jaric tells her more about Kyocera, his fragmented memories, and his claims to be Gauis Mwrr.  He wonders if there is a way for Jessie to confirm his identity.  They discuss secret names, and Jessie suggests that her father use "the pearl" and call out the name of the man he believes him to be. If it is him, then he would answer.  As they talk, however, Jaric recognizes a scroll case among her things.  It is the same scroll case among the many they used back when they saw Isolde practicing the strange occult practice about some Transformation of Thalia Yvarai.  Jessie admits she had found them among Jaric's things.  She had been studying these at well it seems.    Jaric does not recall, however, how these scrolls reached her.  He does tell her that she should tell her mother all about the boy he is seeing, as well.

Galeo works on the marble sculpture she feels would represent her family in honor of Casselanter's adulthood.  The marble statue shows the family facing an unseen assailant at all sides, armed with roses and quills.   Hero knows better than to interfere with her during the first few days of work.  She finds Maja Thayl coming to visit her, and the two quickly discuss what she calls to be more pleasant things.  Hero and Casselanter excuse themselves to give them some privacy.  Maja immediately notices the statue is for four people, and Galeo does admit they are adopting a child.  "I feel the need for my child to have a sibling."  Maja correctly assumes Galeo adopted one of the ork ven.  Maja shares her worry that Jaric does not take her seriously, and their conversation quickly heads back to Madelyn Yvarai.  Galeo realizes Madelyn is both Maja's Court Scholar and Seran's vassal.  She asks Galeo to fulfill a task for her: to befriend Jaric Thayl and become close friends, and to strip him of his rank as Marquis.  In exchange, Maja offers to make the rest of Ven society forget about Galeo's Secret Name.  All this, supposedly, to ensure he has time to see her when she visits.  Maja then waves the whole conversation away and starts over, having Galeo then ask her for help with Casselanter.  Maja admits that to erase her secret name, she will need some time and the help of Cherno.  Maja stresses the implications of the help given only Galeo will remember this favor being granted.  Not even Maja will realize it had been granted for her.  She stresses how Galeo is to be there for Jaric even if she knows she will fail, for Jalani can only defeat the threat she has to face if she abandons him.  Maja admits she knows that Galeo is the only one she can trust because Galeo is someone who will grow up to be like her.  Maja tells Galeo how Cherno was inspired by her work and how everyone suspects Errol to be Cherno, but Maja admits she knows he is not.  Maja admits she is the one sponsoring Cherno.  "Some people seek to be in-the-know.  I create the know.  Every party is my party," she reminds Galeo.  Cherno supposedly had begged Maja to let Galeo know the truth, but Maja feels it is better to let Galeo learn of Cherno on her own.  She leaves.

Seran stares at her mother's body, suspended by the white webs that manifest upon becoming one of the Suaven.  After her prayers, she turns to look around and easily finds Havar Mwrr among those present in the Temple.  The man stands alone, unaccompanied by any Vassals, and Seran opts to walk to him and stand beside him. She confronts him, asking if he is doing anything to sully her mother.  He asks if she is sincere, and she reminds him that he threatened him in the Althua.  She asks if he had done it already, and he refuses to answer.  She demands he step out, but he reminds her he has no power to force her without breaking her own rules - given the land is not Seran's.  At first, Seran attempts to pull him outside, but he resists.  She then forcefully drags him out, declaring to all nearby that the man has threatened to sully Althea Thorne, but Havar continues to show no signs of violence.  She drags him outside the Temple, and even the Roadmen nearby who recognize Seran stand ready to help.  She demands answers from him, asking him to admit what he had done, but he refuses to answer given she has already made the choice to treat him in such a manner. Seran calls for the Roadmen to take Havar prisoner and to present him to the Countess.  Havar, however, also tells them to arrest Seran for attacking an unarmed visitor of the Temple.  

They soon arrive at the castle and have both placed in the Castle's cell.  Havar makes it a point to raise that Seran should not have special treatment for being raised here, given his imprisonment are merely words while hers were acts of violence.  In the cell, Seran reminds Havar that she will kill him and even muses he probably is some tulpa.  Havar, on the other hand, admits he does anticipate her acts of violence will escalate.  She muses he probably predicted everything she would do, but he confesses he didn't - for had he done so, it would be the wife still alive and not him.  The conversation moves towards Havar seeing Seran as someone "Not ven" given her lack of interest in many things ven normally do.  She takes offense in that, and reminds him she will kill him in time.   Havar keeps talking, stating how Seran things she had lost everything that matters to her.   When he mentions Lukas, however, the topic stings Seran - who warns him further not to talk about him.   When he continues to do so, Seran stands up and draws her Bloodsword and stabs him in the throat.  The Serpent falls, blood gushing through the wound.  Seran stares and watches as the body stays on the ground.  The hours pass.  Seran continues to watch, wondering if the body would dissolve and reveal its Tulpa nature.  Guards arrive, bringing Seran bread for dinner as well as a cloth curtain to conceal the body from Seran's view.  Seran however insists for the body to be left exposed.  She asks for word to be sent to Galeo Silja of her situation.    Letters were sent out to Haroun as well, hoping to inform him that her return would be delayed.

Dawn comes.  The body remains there.  Seran still wonders if it is just some special kind of Tulpa.  The body has not vanished.   The body remains dead.  His face, however, seems to be locked in a smile.   Seran paces around, recalling the words Havar last gave before dying - about thinking she had nothing left in life - and she realizes he may have been talking about himself.

Haroun Q'n finally arrives.  He informs Seran the Vashna are outside, keeping watch in case he were to attempt to escape.  They are not aware of her actions yet, however, and Haroun sees the body.  All he knew was that she had manhandled the Serpent.  Seran explains how Havar had threatened her mother and made fun of her losses.  Haroun, however, simply sees an act unsanctioned by the Senate.  Seran reminds him that he is not recognized yet, and that it was an action in a state of great passion.  She admits to never having killed ven before.  And that she will deal with the repercussions of the act.    Haroun however raises to her attention the actions she had taken have.. ruined her.  How the ven will not remember her as the daughter of the foremost explorer of Shanri, but instead as someone who committed an act of violence in a Temple.  And worse, she had committed the act within her mother's senses and had made her mother feel the most useless entity in Shanri - helpless to help her very daughter.   Seran asks Haroun to check if the thing is a Tulpa or not, and he shakes his head. Haroun realizes he is helpless to help her too right now.

Seran takes one of the paper nearby and writes a letter that Haroun and Errol can be vassals to serve under either Galeo or Nia.  Haroun simply tells her he will do as she says, not wanting to discuss the incident more for now.  They decide to leave the Countess of Kalien to handle informing the Vashna.  By the time Jessie returns and hears of the events that transpired, she sends word to the Senate of the incident.  She feels this shouldn't be an issue.  She feels she had failed in her duties however given it has not been a season yet and there has been a death in her lands.  When Seran wonders what will be done with the body, Jessie admits it will be her's to deal with.

Nia learns that there have been attempts upon the security of her Provinces.  It is not quite certain whose actions they were, however she suspects the Foxes of the Q'n behind them.  There is wonder if the attempts were by people like Dalvinosh Steele... scavenging upon the land.  Nia feels if it is others like Dalvinosh, they should find them and give them something productive to do.  Nia actually wonders aloud if perhaps they ate one another, they would be stronger.  Dalvinosh opts not to comment on that.  He does raise that he heard Havar made an appearance.

He asks Nia why she has him serve him and she admits its partly whim and partly use.  She even mentions even his tulpa was agreeable company, though she did not expect his earnestness.  He asks if she questions his service, and he admits he would like to share a promise with her, one she may opt to share back.  The promise is that when either of them come to a point they would rather have the other dead, they are to let the other know.  With the absolute knowledge of such a confession is to be made, then can temper their fears better and function as more efficient.  He admits as an Elk he understand the usefulness of an individual and so he would like to accomplish that better - and in many ways feel less concerned that his very existence is may be in danger.   A chance to be spared of being fearful of their very lives.

Nia finds the offer acceptable, and the two promise that if either of them feel the need to kill the other, feel the urge to harm the other, and even the urge to give the other land, the other shall be warned of it beforehand.  The two swear the vow to one another and this promise is set using the Elk Blessing: The Vow.

Dalvinosh and Nia's discussion then shifts to the matter of Havar.  Dalvinosh shares how Havar seems far different from what he remembers the man to be, given the Havar from old Shanri was a coward who never could even ride an airship to attend Senate hearings.  He was an absolute pacifist and valued life so much he showed no true capacity nor strength to inflict murder.  Dalvinosh wonders if Havar had seen the Dragon... and if it had changed him so much.

Finally, they discuss the matter of Dalvinosh's tulpa.  Dalvinosh was curious to how many were created and stresses that his tulpa's last longer than others.  When Nia admits that she would like to know how, Dalvinosh warns her that she may be breaking Senate law given Sorcery is illegal. Nia counters that talking about it is not illegal.  In exchange, Dalvinosh would love to have a bed.  Nia agrees she can have one made before winter.  When Janine calls out from below, reminding Nia that it is time for dinner, Dalvinosh asks if he can share with her the things they have discussed.  Nia admits she trusts Janine and that she has been visiting him in secret.  Dalvinosh hopes she was aware of this.  

Nia heads down to the dining hall and joins her wife for dinner.  The staff prepare the table while the two prepare to feast.  Nia notices the staff bring in sweetened juice instead of wine.  When she asked if there is a shortage of something, Janine Mwrr ushers the stafff away and admits to Nia there is something she wants her to know.  There is no shortage of wine.  Instead, Janine had been speaking with Dalvinosh Steele in private and confesses that she had been considering that it was time for another child.  Nia is confused, asking if they had not spoken of this topic the previous winter, and that Janine was okay with it.  Janine shares how she feels Dalvinosh might stand as a suitable donor, given his standing and how his age would ensure the lack of any Romantic notions in the act.  Nia admits it is a disquieting image.  Janine admits she was worried more that Nia might have ended up doing it with Haroun, but thinks she may have been just paranoid.  Nia then admits she remembered Janine saying it was okay... and now it seems it would be three children not two for them. "You said I should return to who I was and let go. And so I did."  The two pregnant ven stare at each other from across the table.   The two simply try to enjoy dinner and both stick to water and juice for now.

Inspiration: Over the Garden Wall

Cartoon Network has a new limited series called Over the Garden Wall that magically has the wondrous feel of Hayao Miyazaki films and the narrative humor of American animation.  The series tells the journeys of Wirt and Greg as they find their way home after getting lost in the Unknown.  During their journeys, they befriend a bluebird named Beatrice, learn of an imminent threat called the Beast, the danger of black turtles, and seemingly are stalked by a mysterious Woodsman.

Learn more about the series here
but be warned of huge spoilers if you read the page so best find a way to watch the series instead.

The show serves as amazing inspiration for Changeling the Lost games, with their adventures perfectly capturing the magical and frightening realm of the Hedge.  The game features many strange characters such as Auntie Whispas and others who can serve as great examples of Gentry.  Just truly inspiring stuff.

Likewise, the show's characters reminds me of how the Ven of John Wick's Houses of the Blooded can be, with their vast regions that cross over, or how the act of performing art is far more important than anything else.  My personal favorite is how in one episode, the inhabitants of a inn start singing about the roles they play and ask the two, "What are you?"  The way that episode plays out is just remarkable.  

"One cannot trade the soul of children as if they were tokens!"

This horror fantasy cartoon definitely deserves to be seen by those who love a touch of darkness within the brightness of laughter and light.

Friday, November 7, 2014

dollhouse ep02 : Orpheus


Episode Two
"The Shadow"


Shepherd awakes from a terrible dream echoing the events that lead to his death.  In his panicked attempt to save more homeless people from being beaten to death, he unleashes his Wail and destroys some of the objects in his vicinity.  He awakens to see Kate Dennison attempting to wake him and everyone else dodging to the side to avoid the destructive sonic blast that tears through the wallpaper, tables and chairs and floor tiles.  Most of Kate's clothes have been torn away.  She covers herself and thankfully, does not look too injured.  Shepherd tumbles out of the room in shame, confused that he even fell asleep.   Ellie Baker is impressed that his voice can even do that.  Wendell Pruce and Misha Rusanov explain Shepherd had used that ability even before.  The training session is moved to tomorrow and they are instead to have an exercise with John Carruthers later in the day.  When Wendell asks what happened and if Shepherd was sleeping, Kate explains Spirits do usually rest within things important to them.  Misha mentions to Ellie that he actually visited the Terrel and Squibb agent, Karen Adams, and is happy to see they are recovering.  Ellie happily shares the power was fucking awesome and adds she is trying to add swear words nowadays when she talks because she read online that people who swear are more awesome.

In the cafeteria, Wendell finds himself bumping into Alexander Carter's Crucible - all of them are now sporting office clothing like him.  Taking a detour, Wendell turns to the counter and finds Red, the Cafeteria head cook filling a tray with food she has prepared.  "A good agent should stay healthy.  This worked for the pigs.  It should work for you."  Wendell stares at the mound of corn, carrots, oats, pretzels and other things.  She even throws in a bottle of Pocari Sweat, adding how Carter mentioned Wendell loved licking sweat.  Wendell thanks Red, choosing not to explain how it was meant to be an insult.  Alexander joins him at the counter and tries asking about the Crucible, asking how things are working out.  He insults Wendell on his clothing being very... homeless chic, and tells him he's been monitoring the operations of the different groups and he's noticed Wendell's group isn't quite performing that well.    Red comes up and brings Wendell a second bowl, "Because you are special."

Wendell wonders how he will eat it all.

Misha takes his bicycle to head home, which is an apartment not too far away.  He sees an Mrs. Rosenberg at the common area and she seems terrified, clutching at her clothes tightly.  She gasps when Misha touches her shoulder and after a brief struggle to recall his name admits she is surprised to see him home.  She glances at the door leading to his flat, and tells him she will be well. She ushers him to go on ahead.  Misha heads upstairs and discovers someone has broken into his flat.  He sees the partly open fire exit window and a still-lit cigarette outside.  Sitting on the chair near his computer, Misha projects out of his body and peers to see who is there.  He finds Natalie Wick there, his ex-girlfriend whom he had broken up with in the past when she felt she could not handle all these secrets he keeps.  She has a large duffle bag beside her as she struggles to open a broken soda can.  As Misha slides back into his body, Natalie slides the window open and sees him.  She gasps and rushes to him, hugging him tight as she calls out his name.  She tells him that she is in town and is shocked to see the state he is in.  He tries to brush it off as a small accident, and she even asks if it was because of the bike he rides to work.  He notices how worries she is of him but opts not to say anything. The two clearly still have emotional ties connecting them.

Natalie mentions she was hoping to have a place to crash for a few days, and carefully tries to ask if Misha might be seeing anyone.  Misha offers his place, admitting he has another place where he can stay in for free.  When Natalie is surprised to learn he has a job, he explains the job he has is still the same one that lead to their break up.  It throws an uneasy moment between them. "That's.... that's nice."  She explains she is just waiting for some money and that's the only reason why she has to crash for a bit.  Misha offers to lend her money but she turns it down.  Misha gathers clothes and things he will need while he moves to Orpheus for a bit.  The three occasionally glance at each other.

"Ghosts, huh?" Natalie finally asks, and Misha realizes that Natalie has finally heard about Orpheus from the media.  "It is even on Ellen. She was talking about speaking to dead loved ones and the like.  You really working for that company?"  Misha admits he cannot really say anything. Natalie wonders aloud if they are actually spies, and compares them to the television show Alias.  And even teases that if Misha talks, they probably would cut his finger off or something.  Misha finds a message though telling him to head back to the "headquarters" for an operation.  When Natalie complains about the secrecy again, they end up talking about their break-up.  Natalie asks if the company is more important than her.  But Misha complains that he didn't look for her after the break up because she told him not to do so!   Misha picks her up, holds her in his arms, and tells him he has to go to work.  Out of habit, Misha gives Natalie a kiss on her forehead before he leaves.  Natalie calls out from the window as Misha walks out with the bike that maybe he doesn't have to stay in the company.  "Think about it, okay?"

Shepherd is talking to Craig Forest about what just happened.  Craig explains that its not uncommon for Spirits to sleep and even dream, despite not having a body.  More so for hues.  Resting allows them to replenish lost Vitality.  Craig asks Shepherd if he has identified his Tethers and he admits he has figured out what is keeping him from moving on.  Craig suggests maybe he should try revisiting them.  The nightmares may be clues on what he should do to reconnect with those important to him. "Let's face it, we are dead.  But the fact we are still around here shows we have a lot to think about."  Shepherd is wondering if its possible to be tethered to the act, his murder, instead of to an object.   Craig shifts the topic to weird sightings.  He asks if the word "Bishop" means anything to him and Shepherd admits having heard of stories about the bogeyman who supposedly has killed off an entire team of Projectors.  Rumor has it someone found a bishop chest piece in one of the cradles.  Shepherd wonders if that's some sort of a calling card.  Or a message.

A chirp sounds.  Craig draws out a broken cellphone that looks half-melted and cracked.  The screen flickers on and upon seeing the message on it, Craig pulls aside to take the call.  Shepherd is amazed to see it is made of gauze.  "Reach out and touch someone..."  Craig excitedly tells John that Shepherd nearly stripped Kate of all her clothes, and ignores John's protests of not being interested in women. Craig tells Shepherd that John's training session is cancelled for now; a mission has come up and their team is being called.

Wendell looks up to see the Carter group in front of his table. All dressed in suits, the group talk about being able to afford better food.  They tell him they are heading to another operation, "Our fifth straight success."  "Then again, you wouldn't know anything about being straight."  As the group breakas into a laugh, Wendell stares coldly at the one to threw the joke and asks, "Do we have a problem?"  The group goes quiet.  Alexander ushers his group to head off as he tells Wendell, "You know you'd show much more promise if you didn't distract yourself with so much dick."

"Well you'd show more promise if you weren't such a dick," Wendell snarls back.   Red feels hurt about Wendell not enjoying his food, mentioning that if he really liked his food, he would have used his tongue to wipe his lip, not the tissue.  Wendell sees the pager message for the Mission and heads to the room to find the others.

In the room, an older woman is enjoying her cigarettes while she is seated by the window.  Ellie seems to be trying to share with her the stories of the previous missions, but though she is looking at Ellie, she does not seem to be paying any real attention to her.  Wendell and Shepherd arrive to see the two and quickly recognize that the woman with the cigarette is actually a fully projected and manifested woman. 

"That's nice dear... that's nice."

Shepherd peers to Detect her Nature Group and finds it to be different from his.  Ellie introduces the woman to the others as Fiona, but the woman explains, "Ellie is it? I would have really prefer to be addressed as Mrs. Parker."  The woman addresses Wendell and asks directly if he's a Sleeper, noticing the scars on his inner elbow and the slight bruising from the medication.  She identifies Shepherd as the leader of the group and admits she was tasked to work with the group to see if she will synch well with the Crucible. She tells them she is a Skinrider.  Each time she ends a cigarette, she lights a new one.  While Projected, it seems, is the best time to smoke. She asks Wendell if he is hoping to jump, from Sleeper to Skimmer, and he tells her he's fine.  He offers her some corn, sarcastically, and she declines it knowing its from Red's cafeteria.  "You have been around long," Wendell remarks.    Fiona admits she's been under for four days now.

Kate Dennison arrives, followed by an apologetic Misha, who introduces them formally to Fiona Parker.  Fiona questions Kate if this is a good idea given the group seems to be very fresh.  Kate asks Shepherd if it will be a problem and Shepherd says it hasn't become a problem so far.  Fiona does find it a surprise to see Misha working with them, surprised to find former "enemies" working for them.  The group is puzzled if she's referring to his being a Russian.

Mission #0605

Mission Type: Intelligence Gathering, Covert
A dark shadowy figure supposedly has been stalking Taylor Gleason, 9-year old son of James and Heather Gleason, residents of 56th-Fern Rose Wall Homes.  The  father believed it to be simply an imaginary friend until the wife claimed to have seen a smiling face reflected behind her while she was working on the computer.  The mission is fully covert and none of them are to be seen by the clients, especially the son.

Fiona raises however that there have been some cases of children still being able to see Projected entities despite being unmanifested.  Kate suggests that if there are no alternatives, Ellie might have to take care of the child.  Misha adds that as a Sandman, she can put the child to sleep.  Fiona offers that Wendell, as a Wisp, can bring them in, but Shepherd counters that might be too taxing.  Wendell is amused that they are actually planning this time.  There are rumors that a pedophile priest once lived in the subdivision as well.

The plan is to have Ellie go in first, lull the child to sleep.  The rest of the team then project from across the street and make their way in.  Being residents of a private community, the group realizes they will have to deal with the guard at the gate.

Fiona asks if they are close enough to hear each others' thoughts and they admit they can't.  She is thankful that she won't feel out of place too much.  Shepherd tells Wendell to go online and search for information on the place but he reminds him that he and Ellie both have to head down to the cradles and get started on being brought under.   Misha offers to try searching online via Google.  Ellie excitedly wonders aloud if the techs can ensure they all have cradles next to each other.

Fiona admits this is the sixth group she has joined, with the previous five all failing to work out.  The last group she tried was the Carter group.  Shepherd asks about her life prior to Orpheus and she tells him she was a very caring mother, but her daughter blinded herself to reach for ambitions... or maybe she used to own a circus and collected freaks for a living.  Maybe she used to belong to a coven of witches, or used to be a nun.  The truth is she used to be in a home for the last seven years.  They left for some foreign company and they died in a plane crash, with her inheriting everything.  She hates how they died before she could get the last laugh.  Somehow she had possessed the nurse that same night and felt what it was like to be young for a day.  She was resuscitated and learned she must have done what they called Projecting. She could not relearn how to skim, however.  So now she's a Sleeper.

Misha's research finds a possible name for the pedophile priest: John Montgomery.  He also finds that the former tenants of the house were an Elmer and Anita Dune.  Oddly, these former tenants do not show any clear online traces.  No public posting nor social pages.  Nothing that stands out.  The house is also deep inside the subdivision, and the group realizes it might be better to bring the van inside and project from there.  But among the rich and famous, the Dunes did not seemingly have that much of an online presence.  When he searches for information on Father Montgomery, there are a lot of posts from a man who seems to have repeatedly been asked if he's related to the said priest: many posts are from him denying he is related to the priest.  Misha tries to message the man directly, and creates a profile on the site ATM4EVER.  When the man starts chatting back, Misha starts to realize the lawyer is just some guy who seems to be into... more interesting sexual practices... and the man clearly is in the site for some other reason. The man does share that around the 3rd of November, emails tend to flood him asking if he was the pedophile.  The man starts a video chat and things take an odd direction.  Realizing this was a dead-end, Misha logs out before the man gets too feisty. Cross referencing the name with November 3, however, he finds a forum post asking about a priest raping kids at that date.  The forum is locked up.  Shepherd takes the chance to apologize to Kate about what happened and she admits the dreams can be hard to discern between visions at times for Banshees. She also shares that the client used to work for Terrel and Squibb and that might be a reason

Wendell catches a glance of Fiona's sleeping body in the Cradle and realizes why the woman is very attached to staying projected.  Her aging body is barely recognizable as her own, with a folded wheelchair nearby.  He joins the others and the group soon makes their way to the subdivision to begin their Mission.  Fiona does share her concern that she's not sure how she can help being a Skinrider and the mission is supposed to stay covert.  Shepherd reminds Fiona to be sure to move away any other pedestrians in the area.  Misha shares the information he's gathered and the group learns of Montgomery, the pedophile's activities, and the marriage announcements.  Shepherd considers that if Smiler turns out to be violent, they will have to consider fumigation.  Fiona asks what the plan is if Smiler is a projector. Wendell is disgusted at the concept of a skimming pedophile. Ellie arrives and seems excited with her idea for the group to have a name based on their first letters.  As they drive, they drive past some people screaming as they run from an alleyway.  They glimpse a horse-headed man in the alleyway but think its just because its almost Halloween.

The first hurdle is the distance of the house from outside the subdivision.  They realize they have to go inside.  To get past the security at the gate, Fiona possess the guard.    Misha tries to lie to the guard but Fiona just tells him to get inside.  Shepherd tells her to follow after five minutes.  Fiona directs them to a blindspot among the security cameras, then finds a way to delete the tapes. When Ellie and Wendell consider walking ahead, Shepherd starts barking orders.  Ellie teases that he's Carter-ing on them.  They go ahead.  Misha starts to worry what is taking Fiona so long.  Shepherd goes back to check on her while Misha skims and keeps watch of the vicinity around the van.

Wendell and Ellie see the house is still lit up.  Ellie gets shushed by Wendell who reminds her they are in a mission; she stops chatting about movies and shows she's been seeing.  Misha stares at the distance at where Shepherd had gone, and he never notices the dark shadowy figure that stares at him from behind.  Slowly, the shadow moves closer to Misha.   Shepherd catches the guard furiously masturbating, and then realizes Fiona releases her hold on the body and head back to him with a smirk on her face.  As it turns out, she trained the camera to record him doing that and in effect taped over their arrival.  Shepherd has to admit it was good work.  When Fiona quizzes his not liking teams, he admits not relying on one means one doesn't get disappointed.

As the team monitors the family secretly, Wendell and Ellie keep tabs on the parents as they finish their chores and prepare for bed.  James Gleason seems unawares of their arrival. Heather Gleason, they learn is having some kind of an affair, with secret messages of meeting up being proposed.  The kid is carried by James to his room to tuck him into bed.  Wendell follows inside and sees the two have a tickle-fest on the bed.  As expected, the kid seems to sense Wendell in the room.  Wendell tries to ignore the sexual tension on seeing how fit the father looks as he checks under the bed, as well as in the closet.  The dad steps inside, and doesn't step out immediately.  The kid is getting worried, but when Wendell peeks through the closet to see what's going on, the Dad is looking at a cellphone message "Yes I will be online tonight.  Catch you online."  When he steps out, the dad slips the phone back on the table and tucks the kid in bed.  He grabs the phone back before he leaves the room.  Wendell stays to watch the kid in bed.

Misha turns and finds Ellie staring straight at him.  Ellie reports the house seems normal.  She shares her observations and even adds how the dad looks fit.  Fiona and Shepherd return, with Fiona worrying that there might be some truth about her being a Vitality sink to groups she used to be with. Ellie shares her findings and Fiona opts to stay in the van.  The three others make their way towards the house.  Wendell realizes that it is Heather who has plans to stay awake and remain online to chat with the man she is having an affair with; some guy nicknamed E.  James was peering into her cellphone!  Heather lies about having work to do tonight and James decides to let her lie slide for now.  Ellie is sent upstairs to make both parents fall asleep with her Sandman powers.    Misha tries summoning a dog in the area and finds a ghost dog he feels an affinity to.  He names the ghost dog Geek.  Misha plays with the ghost dog and it barks out in excitement.

While the group spread out, it is Wendell who notices there is a dark shadow in the room.   Wendell tries to move to get a better view of it and discovers the shadow is of a smiling face in the darkness.  The Smiler slowly turns to face Wendell as well!    The spirit dog's bark is heard and Wendell is surprised to see the boy peer out from under the sheets. Did he hear the dog?  The boy suddenly addresses Wendell, asking him if he sees the Smiler too.  Wendell claims this is just a dream, and the boy asks if Wendell is an angel since his mother claims an angel will protect him from danger.  Ellie steps towards the mother who is busy at the computer and she causes her to fall asleep.  She falls asleep with her face on the keyboard, leaving it typing the letter F over and over again.  Shepherd whistles and glimpses the future: What is going to happen in the next few minutes?  Shepherd sees visions of things falling from the second floor of the house, soundless and almost weightless.  He sees an almost naked man screaming at the street.  He sees a pale, blonde woman grabbing his shoulders to ask for help.  And that moment, a blonde woman suddenly manifests in front of Shepherd!  Misha moves quickly and blocks her from touching Shepherd.    Her hair is in tatters.  Embers of smoke seem to dance around her.  She panickedly talks about not being able to find her body.  She recognizes them to be from Orpheus.  Shepherd quickly attempts to calm her with a soothing sound from his whistle.  Immediately, the woman goes calm and tells them her name is Alia Green, she works for Orpheus, and she cannot find her body.  "It is still standing right?  Orpheus hasn't been destroyed?"

Wendell and the boy talk about staying calm with the boy admitting he wants to call for his dad.  When Smiler takes a step towards the boy, Wendell uses his Unearthly Repose to try to lure the Smiler away.  Wendell convinces the boy to close his eyes, then makes his glow even more irresistible.  The Smiler begins to follow Wendell. Wendell allows himself to slip through the floor, and the Smiler begins to follow.. fulfilling the vision Shepherd had seen.  Outside, Misha heads to the house to assist the others.  Shepherd tries to talk to Alia and asks her to share everything she can remember.  Alia panics however when he offers they go to the van.  Her hands distort and twist into massive fists.  Shepherd recognizes the Stain identified as Hammerfists! Shepherd tries to sense her Nature her connect but fails.  Still, he tries to help her but soon they realize she may not be remembering things well.  She even mumbles about having all been volunteers.

The Smiler reveals its distorted form, like a blackened stretched out figure.  Misha tries asking for its identity, but it does not reply.  Wendell increases the Unearthly Repose to try and lure it, but worries even the others might be affected.  They try to lure the Smiler out of the house, but it seems to refuse to leave.  Wendell increases the intensity of the beckoning power of his Unearthly Repose to do his best to lure the monstrosity away from the child.    Misha turns away in time and resists.  The Smiler's long arms reach for the ceiling, but the light makes it reconsider pulling itself back up through the ceiling.  As the Smiler moves past Misha, he tugs on the black gauze sheet covering the Smiler to reveal the body underneath.

Shepherd enters the house and sees the glow coming from Wendell.  He calls out to the others for an update and the others inform him of the thing they have lured out of the house.  The black cloth turns out to be part of the Smiler itself... an inverted cassock.  The Smiler is the ghost of the priest, Father Montgomery.  Wendell grabs hold of the Smiler and Stormwends it away from the house to the area near the van.  The Smiler realizes what's happening and tries to resist but its too late.  They emerge much further away and Montgomery shoves Wendell away from him.  Misha and Geek rush out to join them.  Looking around, Shepherd assesses the situation and sees the others now by the van.  His gaze focuses on Montgomery to try to detect its nature.

The young boy swings the window open from above, curious to the many voices he can hear.  Misha calls at Ellie to take care of the kid and she hurries to get to him.  Shepherd's gaze uncovers that Montgomery is of a different Nature grouping.  Wendell calls for Fiona to help!  Misha tries to talk to Montgomery, and it seems surprised that someone knows who he is.  Fiona reaches through the van's wall and clamps her grip on the priest, then tackles him to the ground.  Ellie emerges by the window, fully manifested, and plants her hand on Taylor's head to force him back to sleep.  Misha twists his gauze hands into tentacles to pin Montgomery down and calls for Shepherd to head back.  But the figure on the ground screams out blackfire and the terrible Stain rips into Misha and Fiona's gauze.  Misha rolls away in time to avoid the flames.  Fiona shifts her Vitality to protect herself through Juggernaut.  Wendell, unaware of Juggernaut's power, leaps into the way to protect her.  He shunts the damage his gauze takes to his sleeping body.  Shepherd runs forward, growing in size, as his Brutish form emerges.  Misha transforms his tentacles into Hammerfists, ready to support Shepherd's charge.  In pain, Wendell brings forth his Martyred Stain and returns the pain he took back to Montgomery!  Somehow, the pain causes the black stuff to get sucked back into Montgomery, revealing the lean, tired looking spirit of the priest behind.

Hammerfists pound into the priest, immobilizing him with tremendous blows.   Fiona rolls her eyes, mumbling how she thought she was supposed to be the muscle.  Wendell asks them all about why the priest for that moment shifted into the human form.  Right now, however, he retains the Smiley face once again.  Misha attempts to sense his Nature Group and finds a match: Montgomery is a Marrow.  Ellie pulls back, not wanting to see the Smiley's face.   Misha asks what he wants with the boy, but the Smiley does not respond.  Wendell focuses his will and unleashes a powerful charismatic glow, hoping to force the thing to respond.  The empowered words of Wendell begin to reach Smiley... even reaching THROUGH Smiley to the point the darkness pulls back and Montgomery is brought back to the fore.  His sunken eyes and thin gauze makes them realize he's barely present.  His gauze has been thinned by so much Spite.

"They all think its me..."

A chat box appears on the screen in the computer upstairs.  A message for Heather.  But she isn't there to reply.

Montgomery tries to explain they all thought it was him to was taking the children.  But he's the only one who understands it was the house who is after the boy.  The group tries to understand what is going on.  Shepherd quickly Forebodes to see what he means.  Another message appears in the computer: I'm coming over.

"You knew who hurt those boys," Misha asks, "Who was it?" The Priest cries out "It was me!" and Blackfire erupts once more from his lips.  Fiona pulls Wendell out of the way.  Misha takes the brunt of it.  The Priest begins to weep about the house forcing him to take the children.  About the house forcing him to make those terrible crimes.   Shepherd's Forebode sees James going down the corridor to see Heather at the computer when the door slams shut.  The Forebode sees Ellie laughing at the light switch she accidentally shutting it by mistake, not seeing the chair slam into her.  And the third scene unfolds as Shepherd sees the visual: the very house shuts itself down, locking itself closed from the Crucible.

"Guys, there is a Haunter in that house!" Shepherd announces.  Fiona mutters how bad things are going to get.  Misha reminds them a possessed place cannot be passed through and remarks it looks like a powerful one.  Ellie is suddenly displayed by the window, suspended by electric cables that hold her bound.  She can't break free or pass through the objects.  Wendell tries to use his Unearthly Repose to reach out to the House, warning the rest to look away.  Shepherd throws a Benefit to help Wendell with his Forebode, cementing the beginning of what would become their Crucible.  With Vitality-empowered words, Wendell speaks to the house and asks it who it is.  The house responds and claims the children are all his.  The Crucible realizes it is Elmer Dune, the former tenant.

"You will not touch MY children!"

Father Montgomery admits Dune has been making him take the children away for years.  Forces him to hide the children away in the house.  The house seemingly becomes transparent as Elmer shares his time with each of the children.  Images are shown of the children playing with the man, or doing even more... disturbing things.  Elmer commits suicide the day Montgomery confronts the him to stop doing what he did.  The child, however, wrote Father Montgomery's name in Elmer's blood and this leads the police to believe the Father was behind the abductions, and even murdered Elmer Dune.

Misha, realizing Ellie is still in danger, attempts to mentally reach her.  He recalls the information he had read about some Crucibles becoming so bonded that they begin to share thoughts with one another.  To his surprise, it works!  Misha suggests that Ellie create illusions of the kids he is obsessing over. Ellie finds it confusing how Misha has a British accent in her head.  Almost like some kind of telepathic chain reaction, more of them start to connect in the mental link.  Fiona and Wendell somehow link up with Misha and Ellie as well!  When Misha shares the plan she has in mind for Ellie, Wendell considers doing it himself. Montgomery turns to Shepherd asking for his help to save the boy.  As the priest rushes forward, Shepherd peers with Forebode once more to see what Elmer might do in the coming hour.  He sees the House shaking upon its Foundations and falling into pieces as Montgomery tears a figure out of it.  Seeing that, Shepherd opens his eyes and see Montgomery plunging his hands into the House as he cries out Never Again with blackfire dancing between his words.

Shepherd tells Wendell that Montgomery is about to pry the child out of the house and it will cause the house to collapse!  Misha realizes the client is still inside and staying covert might no longer work in their favor.  Shepherd runs forward, fully Manifesting to barrel down the door.  But a pair of hands clamp down on his shoulders, and Fiona throws Shepherd hurls him backwards.  Wendell conjures images of the kids, and has them appear by his side. "Are these the kids you are looking for?" he tells Elmer.    Fiona apologizes to Shepherd and tells them they've been planning something in their heads, and is annoyed to realize he really doesn't hear her thoughts.  She tells them they are drawing Elmer out with the illusions.  Wendell even mimes hugging the children.  The house begins to shift red, angered by the image before him.  Electricity dances through the floor and walls.  An arc of electricity hits the ground nearby.  Elmer warns him to leave the children be or the next one hits them.  In response, Wendell has the children run away in fear.  "It's all your fault, Elmer!  You scared them away!"  Even Fiona begins chanting the same thing, chiding Shepherd for not getting in with the program.  Inside, a light show of electricity bounces all around.  Shepherd finally connects mentally with the group when Fiona curses in the link about how frustrating it is that he isn't part of it.  Wendell shares how he attempted to lure Elmer out with the illusion of the children but it failed.  

And that's when Montgomery makes the illusion real.  Ellie shares with the group what transpired:  skeletons of the missing children began to force their way out of hiding places in the house and marched their way out of the structure.  Somehow, the dead had risen from the ground and began marching into Montgomery's body and merging with his form.  As the last skeletal body crawls into Montgomery's chest, Elmer screams out "No!"  The priest has attempted to sever the last tether of the Haunter, but he has no Vitality left to do it.  And the group has no way to empower him to do it.

"Stop me.." Montgomery screams as he taps into all the Spite within him to draw the Vitality he needs.  A shaft of light erupts outwards from the darkness of the Smiler's face and tears through the house.  The Haunter screams as the last Tether is severed... but not without a terrible price.  Montgomery is gone.  In his place stands a ten foot tall obsidian monstrosity with tentacles and undulating darkness.  An eternal smile is on its face.    It turns to look at all of them and motions to all of them a farewell, then quickly vanishes into the night.

"Are we stopping this?" Ellie screams!

"How?" Misha admits he has never seen this before.

Wendell tries delaying it of a moment, glowing enough to cause the Spectre to pause.  Shepherd unleashes a powerful Wail at the thing.  In the frenetic pace, there is no time to avoid the area effect of the Horror.  Shepherd stops the assault when he realizes it has struck his friends as well.  The Smiler gives them the sign of the cross, then vanishes as it spreads out as a swarm on the ground. The mission is somewhat a success.  The client knows nothing of what happened, but thankfully, they have succeeded in dispelling the Smiler.  

"Let's just hope whatever that Father has become, it isn't a Jason," Fiona's thoughts mumble, and all hear.  The mental link is going to be something they all have to get to used to.


During debriefing, Kate Dennison hears from each of them about the events and seems to be very surprised that they worked well with Fiona Parker.   Shepherd does admit he feels they have not seen the last of Montgomery.  Kate admits being curious to what he did.  The walking skeleton thing was definitely more than just an illusion.  Kate does reassure them that the mental link is probably just wide open right now because it is too new.  It should... filter out better in time.

Shepherd asks if Orpheus had an agent called Alia, and describes what she can of her.  Kate admits she will have to check the files but she does not recall anyone by that name.  Shepherd shares that the woman claimed Orpheus was no longer standing, and that she disappeared.  Kate promises to check the records.  Shepherd feels she was trying to warn them about something.  He tells Kate how Alia claimed to be unable to find her own body.    How Alia was afraid that he was one of those who betrayed them.    She couldn't even find where the Orpheus building was supposed to be standing, for some reason.


When alone, Kate Dennison does try checking.  To her surprise, when she attempts the search the computers show no sign of such an Agent being in the roster.    She attempts different spelling approaches and finds nothing.  Finally, she does find a match but to her surprise, her clearance is not high enough to see it. Kate visits the Cradles, searching for anyone with that name but finds nothing.  Kate wonders if there really is a projector who cannot find her way back to her body, lost somewhere in the city.

Kate meets with one of the higher ups, calling for a quick meeting.  None see John stormwend into the office while Kate keeps them busy.  None see him dig through the files and place things back the way he saw them.  None see the two  meet up again later to discuss their findings: Alia Green was in the records.  And her body was supposed to be in a Cradle in a certain location.  But in the basement where the Cradles are, Kate and John find an empty spot.  Both are confused why she couldn't just ripcord, why even more odd, why she couldn't find the building.  When a techie approaches them to ask if they need help, Kate gives an excuse that the two were merely discussing their plans for the upcoming party.  The techie reminds them to tell the new guys.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...