Campaign of the Month: November 2012

THE EMERALD CITY

BOOK 10: THE WALKABOUT: CHAPTER 02
GM: Justin

RED RAIDERS OF OLYMPIA

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Transcribed by: James
In Game date: March, 2009
Episode: 75

Chapter: 02

After being asked for a favor by DOZER, JACK YOUNGBLOOD, BRUNO WALSH and MATHEWWOOFRILEY had gone to Olympia to help an unnamed person in exchange for the return of Jack’s vintage Indian motorcycle. Little did they know the high price they were being asked to pay for the bike. The leader of the Pack had good reason to not tell the group the name of the person they were supposed to help. JJ MERCER was a White Court Vampire who had had many past encounters with the Warden and his allies. All of them had reason to hate him and were highly unlikely to provide him aid.

However, the idea of a Scourge of Vampires from Eastern Europe moving into the area was unacceptable even if the war between the Red Court Vampires and the White Council of Wizards had ebbed in recent months. The vampires were using the Rainmaker nightclub as a front to addict all the patrons to the vampire venom that they laced into the drinks that were served there. This would make the patrons easy to control and give the vampires a large stable of blood slaves. Mercer wanted them removed from his territory largely for selfish reasons. But, as a White Court Vampire he could not act against the Reds directly without being censured by his own family. So he had demanded DOZER repay his debt to him by destroying the Red Court Vampires. Dozer, put in an awkward position by his oath to Mercer and his obligations to the depleted werewolf biker gang, The Pack, had in turn tricked Jack and his allies into doing the job for him.

EC_COM301.pngThe group had staked out the Rainmaker club the night before. Riley had posed as a drug dealer from Afghanistan with Bruno acting as his bodyguard. Their cover had held up but they couldn’t get in to the VIP section to scout the vampires out fully. Riley had managed to slip away and infiltrated the employee only areas of the club finding little of value.

Meanwhile, Jack had made his way through the sewers under the club and ended up joining Riley. They didn’t learn much about their targets other than what kind of car they drove and decided that their best bet was to follow the vampires to their home and attack them there. Hopefully, away from any innocents that might be caught in the crossfire.

To that end they rented a hotel suite with adjoining rooms and planned to pick up the vampire’s trail the next evening. After some meditation Jack was able to tune out the buzzing from the spirit world that constantly assailed his senses and get some much needed sleep. Riley, a veteran of many campaigns, also fell asleep without any difficulty. However, Bruno could not get any sleep at all. Every time he was about to drift off he would bounce back awake. Noting Jack’s success the big man decided to try some meditation as well. He got far more than he bargained for.

Bruno saw a road leading him through cloudy and murky waters that went off into the distance. He struggled to make his way through but despite his best efforts he felt like he was going nowhere. He realized that he was surrounded by animals all around him always just beyond his reach as he got hungrier and hungrier. The Totem Warrior steeled himself and dove deeper into the vision.

He saw a mysterious knight on a massive horse charging recklessly down the road. The knight’s armor became more and more tarnished and neither he nor his mighty steed seemed to realize that they are getting nowhere. Bruno looked behind him and saw a man walking clumsily on his hands and feet who is quickly falling behind. He turned back to the knight and noticed that his horse bore a strange resemblance to Jack Youngblood’s Indian motorcycle. Both the knight and his horse seemed to be tiring. Floundering and in danger of collapsing they kept on the path disappearing over a hill. Bruno took a great breath and dove deeper still.

EC_COM302.pngHe saw the end of the road and the knight and steed stand silhouetted by a sickly light leaking in from the horizon like some obscene and disturbing sunrise. The light was oddly terrifying, its colors making Bruno deathly afraid. He realized that he couldn’t breath and lunged to reach the surface of the water as he realized he was drowning. But the undertow was dragging him deeper and deeper and his vision was going dark as he was blacking out.

Bruno jerked awake from his vision panting heavily from fear and exertion. It was morning but despite that the large man felt like he hadn’t slept all night. He grabbed the box of donuts devouring them but they did not to assuage the deep hunger that rumbled up in his belly. Jack came out of the shower looking fairly refreshed and beheld Bruno devouring the donuts. He confronted him asking him what was going on. The big man snapped at Jack telling him to mind his own business and stomped out of the suite. He slammed the door so hard that he broke the frame and accidently tore the nob off. Tossing it aside he made his way down to the ground floor and found a vending machine.

He was so hungry. Nothing mattered in that moment but getting food and ending his hunger pangs. But he didn’t have any money. Bruno easily smashed the machine open with a loud racket and began grabbing the snacks inside. The hotel manager screamed at him to stop what he was doing and drop the Twinkies. Bruno slowly and deliberately turned on the man rising to his full height. He said nothing but when he took a step forward the manager squeaked out in real fear and took off toward the office with his cellphone out. Bruno turned back to gathering the fruits of his vandalism.

Jack came down the stairs that were on the outside of the motel carrying his gear to his bike. Most notably his Warden’s sword and his staff. The police, responding to the call from the manager, pulled up in front of the Warden, saw his sword and drew their weapons screaming for him to freeze. Surprised, Jack dropped his stuff to the parking lot and raised his hands. The cops cuffed him none too gently while Jack protested asking what the hell was going on. The cops slammed him on the car telling him to shut it. They all turned in fright at the loud bellow of rage that came from Bruno at the sight of this.

Before anyone could act Bruno charged the nearest police officer and backhanded him in the head. They all heard the peculiar popping sound of the officer’s jaw breaking and he went flying back several yards into the hotel wall. He rebounded in a heap and wasn’t moving. It was unclear if he was alive or dead.

EC_COM303.pngThe second officer began firing his gun in fear and desperation at the man mountain before him. He struck Bruno several times but had no effect on the big man. Jack screamed at Bruno telling him to stop but he didn’t seem to hear him. The wizard tried to reach out into the spirit world and quiet the spirit of Yuquot that was driving the big man. But it was no use. He didn’t have enough magic to help his friend. He began squirming in his handcuffs trying to get out of them.

Just as the enraged Bruno reached the second police officer Riley appeared out of nowhere slipping between them trying to block his way to the cop. Bruno tossed him aside sending the former SEAL flying across two parked cars before hitting the tarmac in a roll with little damage. But that gave Jack enough time to throw himself in between his friend and the cop. Bruno reared back and Jack winced in fear praying that the enchantments he had laced in his leather biker jacket would be enough to protect him from his friend’s wrath. But the sight of his best friend seemed to finally reach Bruno and he hesitated. Just for a second Bruno seemed on the verge of wrestling back control of his rage. Until the cop began shooting him again.

Bruno shoved his friend aside, knocking him out of the way and charged the cop. The officer stood his ground unloading his firearm into the enraged mountain that slammed down on him harder than an avalanche. They all heard the crack of breaking bone as Bruno kicked the man in the hip throwing him into the police car door denting it deeply. The officer was a tough one though. Lying on his back, he reloaded his weapon. Crying out in pain he began to fire with abandon at Bruno as he advanced on him relentlessly.

That was when a large white hound appeared and bit at his leg barely slowing him. Jack recognized Riley in his Fae hound form at once. Realizing they weren’t going to be able to stop Bruno any other way he began gathering power for his magic. He attempted to restrain the enraged totem warrior in glowing bands of crimson spirit energy but the magic erupted from him unrestrained. He tried to absorb the power back into himself but he didn’t have enough control.

Razor edged bands of energy spooled out in all directions and would have sliced right into his new bike but Jack managed to divert them just enough. Instead they cut into the tarmac and the police car shredding them both. Bruno was untouched but it did distract him enough for Riley to trip him to the ground next to the cop.

Bruno slammed his massive paw of a fist into the cops chest and they all heard the snap as several ribs were broken by the powerful blow. Jack, bleeding from his nose grabbed Bruno’s arm as he reared it back to strike again screaming for his friend to stop. Bruno, seeing his best friend bleeding, seemed to finally come to his senses.

He looked around in confusion as Jack gathered all their stuff. Jack led him to his bike and told him to wait for him. He went back to the motel room. He quickly cast the ritual he had developed that wiped out all forensic evidence of their passing and took off down the stairs. He found Riley, still in hound form, sitting in the Indian’s sidecar. They could hear distant sirens coming their way. They left the crime scene as fast as they could without raising suspicion praying that the two officers would live long enough for their backup to arrive.

Jack drove for a while with Bruno following in a daze. He finally pulled over when he felt like they were out of danger. Angrily he slapped Bruno demanding what the hell he thought he was doing. He could have killed those cops! What were you thinking? Bruno hung his head in shame and mumbled something about how he hadn’t been able to stop BARRY GOLDMAN from kidnapping Jack’s sister, CAROLINE YOUNGBLOOD and when he saw the cops beat on Jack he just…lost it.

EC_COM304.pngJack got Bruno to look him in the eye and explained to him that he was not to blame for what happened to Caroline. The only person who should feel guilty about that is Goldman. He was the monster who needed to pay a price. As he explained that to Bruno a small part of Jack realized that he had to learn to forgive himself as well. He had long carried the burden of guilt for what had happened to ABIGAIL WHARTON. She never would have been possessed by the demon AZAEL but for his actions. But instead of letting that guilt eat him alive he had to use it to become a better person and move on.

Bruno said nothing. At least until his belly rumbled loudly with hunger. He explained to Jack that he needed food. Something fresh and hardy. They went to a grocery store and while Bruno waited outside with Riley, who was still in hound form, Jack used magic to veil himself from view and sneaked into the store to steal Bruno some fresh fish.

While waiting outside Bruno ranted to the Riley-hound explaining that he needed to hunt something. To kill it himself. He knew he would not be able to quench the hunger any other way. People who witnessed Bruno’s rant thought him a homeless madman and gave him a wide berth while Riley just stared at him head cocked slightly to the side. Jack returned and asked Bruno why he was ranting to the hound? He couldn’t respond after all. Woof whined mournfully in a very dog like fashion.

Jack led them to a different hotel across town and rented a room. On the way he stopped at a Walmart and bought a bunch of magnets. When they got to the room he demanded that Bruno give him a sample of his hair and blood. He explained that he wanted to set up a binding ritual that would restrain the big man if he lost control again. He asked for the samples and he wanted Bruno’s explicit consent for the binding. Bruno agreed without hesitation. Jack was like a brother to him and he trusted him to not use the hair and blood in a spell unless it was absolutely necessary. That was when the white hound transformed in an instant back into Riley. Jack nodded to him and began the ritual setting up the binding on his friend.

After he was done he began a second ritual. He carved some script into one of the magnets, infusing it with spirit magic and cut it in two. When he was done the trio made their way back to the night club. There they waited until the Red Court Vampires showed up in their expensive red sports car.

Jack tried to use magic to veil himself so he could place one part of the magnet on the car allowing him to track it. But, unfortunately the valet saw right through it to Jack’s surprise. The young Warden managed to pass himself off as a confused drunk and was able to place the rune carved magnet on the Vampire’s car despite the setback. Suspicious, the valet searched the car but didn’t spot the magnet.

After waiting several hours the vampires finally came out of the club with two under dressed young ladies got into the Italian sports car and took off. Woof suppressed a brief urge to change into a dog and chase the car and pulled out after them driving Jack’s Indian while Bruno followed on the Lobo bike. Jack sat in the Indian’s side car with the other part of the magnet on a string using it to guide them as they dropped well behind the sports car. After a while they ended up in an isolated suburb surrounded by woods.

Realizing that they didn’t have much time if they meant to save the young girls that the predators had brought to their lair, Jack suggested a quick and dirty plan of action. He would use magic to hex down the power of the house and sneak through the back door under a veil to find the girls while the others would go through the front door in a direct assault. After maneuvering into position Jack did his best to hex down the power. Unfortunately he was nowhere near his full strength and his best hex fried the TV, internet and cell phones in the house but did nothing to the lights.

Riley and Bruno were waiting at the front door for the lights to go out and they were confused when there was a slight flicker. Riley heard someone inside complaining loudly when the computers went down and was just about to suggest that Bruno kick the door down when it opened abruptly. A scrawny figure stood blinking in surprise at the huge man for a moment before all hell broke loose.

The vampire recovered first and charged the bigger man but Bruno was able to hold him off using his size. He quietly grappled the vampire in a head lock, cutting off his frantic cries and wrenching him out of Riley’s way. The former SEAL started to charge into the door planning on bringing shock and awe with heavy firepower but unfortunately for him he spontaneously turned into a large white hound. Another vampire was on the couch completely unaware of the struggle going on as he made out with one of the girls. Meanwhile, Jack managed to quietly pick the lock to the back door and slipped in under the best veil he could manage.

Having succumbed to the vampire’s venom the young woman didn’t even flinch when, Woof, now a massive white hound, ripped the vampire from the couch and to the floor. The vampire tried to retaliate but the hound quickly dodged his hasty attack and ripped his face almost clean off revealing the bat like monster beneath. He was about to end the fight when he was caught completely off guard by a shotgun blast from the balcony above them.

The struggle on the front porch intensified as Bruno began using his prodigious strength to crush the vampire in his grasp to a pulp. The fiend twisted and fought but could not escape the Totem Warrior’s grasp. Desperate, its long tongue snaked out of its mouth dripping venom on Bruno’s arm. The big man almost succumbed to the bliss that was promised by that single drop of the substance but Yuquot’s demanding presence shielded him from the worst of it. He redoubled his efforts and heard a satisfying crunching sound as the monster’s bones broke.

Woof, now slowed by the shotgun pellets in his side, desperately tried to finish off the first opponent before he could recover. But another blast from the shotgun forced him to dodge away. A second figure appeared on the balcony with a pistol and began firing rapidly but Woof managed to just barely stay ahead of the gunfire and even dodged a clumsy attack from the mortally wounded vampire on the floor. The young woman on the couch still sat transfixed her eyes staring off into the distance, unaware of the conflict around her.

That was when Jack appeared out of thin air behind the vampire with the shotgun. The Warden had quickly searched the rest of the house for victims while the battle raged in the living room. Hearing the gunshots he had remained veiled until he could position himself to strike. He brought his Warden’s Sword down on the vampire with the shotgun and the supernaturally sharp blade cleaved through it almost cutting it in half. It shrieked in agony its lifeblood splattering the balcony and stairs.

Using the distraction of the monster’s cries Riley tore into the vampire next to the couch with a vengeance. It exploded in black ichor splattering the living room with its foul blood. It was at that moment, covered in blood, that the lady on the couch began to scream her head off. That was when Jack learned just how tough vampires can be.

The young Warden, perhaps off his game because of the Un-man, hadn’t confirmed that the vampire he had cleaved was truly dead. He was taken completely by surprise as the horridly wounded creature struck at him with terrible speed and purpose. Jack would have been ripped to shreds except for the enchantments he had placed in his biker’s jacket. The vampire’s talons bounced across the magically enhanced leather leaving long furrows of blood across his chest where the jacket hung open. Gasping in pain and realizing that he was not a physical match for the vampire even as hurt as it was Jack lashed out at the monstrosity with all of the magical strength he could muster. Magic wracked the creature’s spirit causing it agony leaving it a shriveled, miserable thing on the floor at the wizard’s feet. Yet it was still alive and Jack was exhausted by the the spell leaving him momentarily vulnerable. The vampire moved to strike but before it could Woof landed on its back and ripped it to pieces in savage fashion covering Jack in its blood.

They realized that the figure with the pistol wasn’t a vampire, at least not fully, and she threw down her weapon and ran down the hallway towards a window obviously terrified. Jack hastily raised a shield to prevent her from jumping out the window and escaping. He called out to Riley to go help Bruno who was still struggling with the vampire on the porch. The massive hound made short work of the semi-crushed vampire tearing out its belly with his savage fangs. Bruno snapped what was left of the vampire over his knee.

The Warden did his best to assure the young woman that he wouldn’t hurt her or her companion. Perhaps he was less convincing because he was covered from head to toe in the blood of his recently vanquished opponent. In any case the girl turned back to the window and began to batter at Jack’s weak shield with surprising power. Unable to cope with the strain Jack’s shield shattered and the woman dove out the window taking off at inhuman speed. Jack screamed for Riley to stop her. Despite her speed the swift hound had little trouble catching up to her and herded her back to the front of the house.

Bruno went inside to try and comfort the screaming girl on the couch and she took one look at the massive man covered in blood and fainted. Bruno shrugged and joined his friends outside. Jack explained to the girl that she didn’t have to be a monster. She hadn’t fully turned yet and he could get her some help with the Order of St. Giles. A group that worked with infected humans to help them resist their hunger. The Warden had to be sure that she was a good candidate for the Order so he steeled himself and soulgazed her. He saw that her soul was a stark and cold place full of hunger. But there was a glimmer of hope there he believed.

Jack used his magic to forensically clean the entire house wiping out all trace of he and his friends. The group planned to take a van they found in the garage to a hotel for the night but Jack had to stop at an ATM for cash first. While they were pulled over the infected girl took off. When the group caught up to her in the early morning light she screamed that she was being abducted. Jack realized that they had no choice and told Riley and Bruno to let her go. The Warden assured them she was going nowhere. He had taken samples of both her hair and her blood. There was nowhere she could hide from him.

The group ended up at another hotel room with two suites and Jack called in his markers to the Order of St. Giles. They promised they could help the uninfected girl get over her addiction to venom. They dispatched a team to track down the infected girl and would give her the choice to join them or be destroyed. That same team also helped the Warden and his friends destroy the venom laced alcohol at the Rainmaker nightclub. Satisfied that their work in Olympia was done the trio headed back to Seattle.

END OF CHAPTER 02

NEXT

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BOOK 10: THE WALKABOUT: CHAPTER 01
GM: Justin

RED RAIN OF OLYMPIA

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Transcribed by: James
In Game date: March, 2009
Episode: 74

Chapter: 01

DFFAE_BookCover_10.pngBRUNO WALSH knew that being JACK YOUNGBLOOD’S best friend wasn’t easy. Especially lately. After the young wizard had confronted the THE UN-MAN, an Outsider who devoured all forms of mana, he had been left with a mere fraction of the power he customarily wielded as Seattle’s youngest, and most powerful Warden.


With the disruption of his power also came a degrading of his ability to control his ectomancy. Jack’s connection to the spirit world had always been under his tight control. But that control was almost nonexistent as he was under a constant buzz of spirit “noise” making it difficult for him to sleep or concentrate. His mood had soured in the month following his confrontation with the Outsider as sleep deprivation and despair at his reduced abilities set in.

It didn’t help that his wife, ABIGAIL WHARTON’S condition seemed to get worse and worse with every passing day. Her battle with cancer was looking more and more bleak and Jack was having a hard time facing that. All of his attempts to find his missing daughter had so far failed as well.

In reaction Jack resorted to his own brand of “medicine” to help mitigate the symptoms of being…er…Un-manned. Whiskey. Preferably Jameson’s neat. He claimed it was the only thing that quieted the white noise that plagued him.

Bruno entered the construction site of the Youngblood home and went to the back yard. Jack had been layering the newly rebuilt foundations of the house with elaborate and powerful wards in an effort to prevent a repeat of the attack that had left him captured and his sister, CAROLINE YOUNGBLOOD in the clutches of a mad cultist. Bruno was the foreman for rebuilding Jack and Caroline’s home after it had nearly been leveled in that assault. He approached the small trailer Jack was temporarily living in until the house was complete and nearly tripped over an empty whiskey bottle that had been discarded near the door.

Bruno picked up the bottle with a sigh and put it into the recycling bin knowing all too well what he would face inside the trailer. He knocked loudly on the flimsy door calling out for Jack to wake up. He heard a thump followed by loud crash and winced sympathetically. He could picture Jack sitting up too fast from where he had passed out on the floor and hitting his head on the built in table of the trailer knocking all of its contents down on top of him.

“Jack? Come on man,” he said cautiously. “You have to get up.”

The string of invective that came out of the trailer was impressive in both its scope and its creativity. He could hear the young wizard thrashing around in the debris throwing plates and discarded beer bottles the length of the trailer. Bruno waited patiently until Jack’s tirade wound down before trying again.

“Jack, I have to talk to you. I had a vision from YUQUOT and I need your help.”

With that all the noise in the trailer ceased immediately and the big man could hear Jack’s heavy sigh through the flimsy door.

“Shit.”
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A moment later Jack opened the door and glared at Bruno with bleary, red eyes. Bruno started to enter the trailer but Jack stopped him with a hand on his chest. He held up his other hand expectantly. Bruno gave him a large cup of coffee without a word. With a grunt, Jack backed off so Bruno could get into into the cramped trailer. It creaked and settled under the large man’s massive frame.

While Jack went to the back of the trailer and started up a shower Bruno began tidying up as much as he could. By the time Jack was done, smelling and looking like a human being again, Bruno had finished cleaning the tiny space.

“Ok. What’s up?” Jack asked nodding in thanks.

“Well, you know how ever since I got shot in the head and dumped in the Sound I’ve been feeling off? Even hungrier and not sleeping any better than you are.”

Jack nodded turning away unable to look the big man in the eyes. Bruno hurried on knowing that Jack felt responsible for getting him shot and nearly killed. Even if it wasn’t his fault.

“Well, when I do sleep, I seem to be getting deeper and deeper, and remembering more when I wake up. I’m not quite sure what is going on, but I know Yuquot is there… And this morning I had a vision. A vision that I think includes you.”

The big man went on to describe a vision to his friend:

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He swam in the dark, his vision clouded by murky water and the crushing pressure of the deep clutched him in its unwavering grasp. He sensed a great presence alongside him and beheld a massive orca that he recognized as Yuquot dragging him ever deeper into the bay with the current created by his massive wake. His vision sharpened as we swam, and he eventually came across strange rock formations at the bottom of the bay that portrayed great portents.

He saw a great hunter bringing down his prey and feeding his fellows in brotherhood. He instinctively knew that he was that hunter and that Yuquot was proud of him for his prowess. He saw himself cooking his prey over a great fire and the smell and taste of the feast was more satisfying than anything he had ever experienced before.

As he cooked the food the shadows caused by the flames danced and moved as if they were alive. In the shadows he saw a shrouded figure who appeared at one moment like a man and the next like a great hound holding something shiny like a blade or a present covered in tinsel on christmas morning. The shadow changed back and forth between the two shapes at random and seemed to have no control of the transformations except when the light reflecting off the shiny object held it steady.

Bruno witnessed a second figure with a staff who stood atop a pair of spinning wheels. Bruno couldn’t make any details out but he knew that the wheels were old. And that they had tire tread? The vision was profound but it left the large man puzzled. He felt that he needed to go on a hunt but he couldn’t figure out what his “prey” would be.

“So when I asked Craig what he thought of the vision he told me that I must go on a Vision Quest to find answers to my questions,” the large man continued.

“Vision Quest? Are you sure you didn’t take the brown acid?” Jack asked with more than a bit of sarcasm. He noted the hurt look in Bruno’s eyes at his quip and held his hands up palms out to supplicate his friend.

“No. Craig’s right. Yuquot was obviously setting you on a path and you can’t ignore that. We both know how difficult the old fish can get when you don’t do what he wants.”

“Mammal.”

“What?”

“Whales aren’t fish. They’re mammals,” Bruno corrected.

“Right. My mistake,” Jack acknowledged with a sigh. “Look. I am starved. Let’s go to the IHOP and get some breakfast and talk this over.”

EC_COM296.pngThe two sat at a nearly empty IHOP and Jack was devouring his Big Breakfast with gusto. Bruno, who usually ate enough for 3 grown men, didn’t seem as interested in the food in front of him. He realized that it was because it just couldn’t compare to the food he had eaten in his vision. It didn’t have the primal nourishment his soul craved.

“Woof,” Jack said, his mouth full.

“What?” Bruno asked puzzled.

“Come on man. Who else do you know who can change from human form to a hound? We have to get Woof. And the figure with the staff is obviously me.”

“Not sure why I should come along though,” he said his voice rising in bitterness and anger.

“I can’t do a damn thing in my current condition. Can’t save my sister from that loser, Goldman. I can’t even stop that stupid kid from being possessed by an Outsider. I couldn’t save my dad. Hell, I can’t even save Abi or find my little girl! I can’t save ANYONE!” he yelled knocking his silverware to the floor.

The few patrons of the restaurant all stopped at the commotion and stared at Jack. He seemed to wilt under their regard holding his head down trying to control the emotions that raged inside him.

The waitress came over with some new silverware and seemed to be braced for a confrontation. One of the cooks was standing watchfully to back her up if there was trouble. She eyed Jack and the very large Bruno nervously, obviously a little afraid.

“Sir? Is everythi…”

“Sorry,” Jack interrupted smiling wanly. “It’s just been a bad day is all. Nothing to worry about.”

“Well I hope things get better soon,” she replied not unkindly and refilled his coffee.

After she was out of earshot Jack almost whispered,“She kicked me out you know?”

Bruno looked up at the pain in Jack’s voice. "She told me to get out and not come back until I stopped acting like an “Emo Brat”. "

He laughed bitterly. "I guess this little “Walkabout” is just the kind of thing she would want me to do."

Riley’s quarters barely qualified as a broom closet much less a full fledged apartment. Every square inch was crammed with weapons, ammo and other tools of his very deadly trade. Bruno was forced to stand in the door while Jack propped himself up against a stack of ammo crates, his sunglasses hiding his blood shot eyes if not his disdainful attitude. Bruno was just finished explaining what he had seen in his vision.

“Are you sure you didn’t eat the wrong mushrooms?” Riley asked skeptically at the odd story. Jack smirked at that while Bruno threw up his hands in exasperation.

“Look. I don’t know why Yuquot wants me to get you and Jack involved with this but I can tell you this. You are both struggling right now. Jack has lost touch with his magic and is so twisted up over what is going on with Abi that he is ignoring his duties as Warden, brother and friend.”

“Hey! Now just one damn minu…” Jack began indignantly.

“Jack shut the hell up!” Bruno all but screamed. “I am your best friend and you are going to listen to me for once! You can’t keep blaming yourself for everything that has gone wrong in your life. Instead of drinking yourself into a stupor every night you need to man the fuck up and do something about it.”

He turned to Riley, “Woof, you have learned that you have Fae blood in your veins. Instead of treating it like a curse you need to accept it for the miraculous thing it is. Until that happens you will never get any closer to mastering your new abilities.”

“And I haven’t been able to keep Yuquot under control since I got shot in the goddamn head! I keep seeing that barrel pointed at my face over and over in my mind and it is messing me up. I feel like I am going to lose it any day now and you know how bad that can be. Not that you have noticed. You are so damn concerned with your own bullshit you can’t see that your friends and family need you!”

Jack sat stunned blinking in surprise as Bruno’s words hit him harder than any punch. In all the years he had known the big man, Bruno had never raised his voice to him. The ring of truth to his words was hard to face but the wizard knew deep down that Bruno was right. As did Riley.

The former SEAL nodded his head, “OK. So what is our next move?”

“We should go to Daybreak Star Cultural Center in Discovery Park,” Jack suggested. “It is right on Puget Sound and we will be closer to Yuquot there. Maybe he can give us more insight.”

An hour later Jack and Woof sat on the dock looking out over the placid waters of Puget Sound watchfully. Bruno had been under water for at least 10 minutes at that point. Long enough for Jack to go back to his battered old Jeep and get some donuts.

EC_COM298.png“Geeze! How long can the big guy hold his breath?” Woof asked incredulously. As a former Navy SEAL he had trained to hold his breath for far longer than most. But Bruno was well past human endurance. Riley was impressed.

“Not sure. But when he was dumped into the Sound after being shot he was under for over 20 minutes,” Jack answered sitting down on the dock.

“Here,” he said holding the box out for Woof. “They are from Sweet Tooth Bakery.”

Woof’s eyes lit up at that and he eagerly selected a slice of culinary heaven from the box.

“There he is!” Jack said pointing out to the Sound. They both saw Bruno breach the surface of the water explosively much like the whales that were his totem. Bruno looked to shore and saw Woof reach for something bright and shiny, something suited to his clearly human hands. He also had a vision of Jack with two wheels around him. They looked familiar. Like motorcycle wheels almost.

He made his way to shore and explained to the two men what he had seen while devouring the rest of the donuts. The pastries didn’t quite assuage his hunger. But they were strangely satisfying. After some discussion the three decided that they should visit the local werewolf bikers, The Pack.

They drove up to The Pack’s clubhouse situated inside an old strip club called Lynne’s Den. It was a seedy place but they couldn’t help but notice the security The Pack had in place hadn’t lost a step. They were shadowed by wolves flitting in and out of sight as riflemen on the roof with clear firing lanes kept them in their cross hairs. After he parked the three of them found themselves surrounded by menacing looking men as well as a few hungry looking wolves.

“Guys. We just want to chat,” Jack said holding up his hands. “No need to get excited. Just point me to whoever is in charge.”

EC_COM297.png“That would be me!” a voice rumbled. A massive man who was almost as big as Bruno strode out from the entrance of the club and waved his pack off. “Jack Youngblood. Just the man I was looking for,” he stated with a grim smile on his face.

Dozer? Holy crap. I didn’t realize you were back,” Jack said in surprise. “How is the Indian?”

Dozer’s face broke into a big smile, “Smooth as silk. Come inside. I have a proposition for you.”

The four of them sat at Dozer’s desk in the back of the Den. Dozer, who had taken a leave of absence after he lost his connection with the wolf spirit that enabled him to shift into a werewolf, explained to Jack that he needed his help.

“How would you like to get the Indian back?” he asked Jack. Jack’s eyes lit up at the prospect but Riley put his hand on the eager wizard’s shoulder as he was about to reply.

“That might be cool. But what would it cost?” Jack asked cautiously. Dozer smiled broadly knowing the hook had been set.

“There is someone who I am in debt to. They are having some trouble that is right up your alley and I need someone to hunt down the problem and deal with it.”

“Hunt?” Bruno asked. He looked at Jack and Riley meaningfully. Jack nodded his head in acknowledgement as the pieces of Bruno’s vision fell into place.

“Yeah. OK. We might be interested in the job,” Jack replied. “Who is it for?”

“I can’t tell you that,” Dozer said. “The job is in Olympia. I will set up a meeting between you and your contact there.”

“What are you hiding? Why won’t you tell us the name of this contact?” Jack asked suspiciously.

“Like I said before, I can’t tell you that. But if you help me out with this I will owe you. The Pack will owe you.”

“The Pack already owes us,” Woof pointed out. “We protected you when the Venatori attacked the warehouse.”

Dozer tilted his head in acknowledgement,“You are right. We will owe you another one.”

“Don’t forget when we stopped Black Agnes from killing you,” Jack piped in.

“OK. OK. More than one. The Pack will owe you big time, and if you need back-up in the city, we are there, but random debts don’t get you such a sweat bike.” Dozer said holding up his hands in surrender.

“Look,” he said matter of factly. “I can’t give you a name but I can arrange the meeting. I would do it myself but I have my own…concerns right now. And I can’t go to Olympia without igniting a full scale gang war. Something we just aren’t ready to handle right now.”

Jack nodded his head, knowing that The Pack was a far cry from the powerhouse it had been in the past. They had taken too many hits over the last few years. He looked to Bruno first with a question in his eyes and the big man shook his head in an affirmative. Riley also nodded curtly when he glanced over at him.

“OK,” Jack said standing up, holding out his hand. “We’ll do it. Now give me the keys to the Indian.”

EC_COM299.pngThe three of them were riding south just outside of Olympia a few hours later. Jack was excited to have the Indian back. He had missed his old bike. The roar of the engine and the open freeway were exhilarating. Just what he needed to take his mind of things. He gunned the engine of the vintage motorcycle accelerating far past the speed limit and Woof and Bruno had to struggle to keep up.

Woof was riding an old, battered ’92 Harley Davidson Softtail that Dozer had provided. It was a good bike but badly in need of a tuneup. Bruno was on something else entirely. The big man had been given a custom bike that supposedly resembled the one ridden by the DC comic book character Lobo. While it was impressive to look at, the bike was bulky and slow as a turtle. Which is probably why Dozer was so happy to be rid of it.

The three of them were in a good mood, enjoying the ride, when their fun was interrupted by flashing lights and a siren. Annoyed but not willing to flaunt the police over a speeding ticket Jack pulled over. They were right next to a busy McDonald’s full of children laughing and playing on the playground. A ruggedly handsome sheriff got out the car and slowly made his way over the the trio of riders, his hand never straying far from his firearm. After a moment of shock they all realized they knew him.

YOU!” Jack snarled pulling his staff and channeling power into it. The tip began to glow with mystical power, although Riley saw that it was not nearly as bright and steady as he remembered it. Bruno started walking toward the sheriff with deadly intent clearly written in his countenance.

“I am going to blast you into dust!” Jack exclaimed. Riley started to draw his pistol but noted all the surveillance cameras on the scene and the people that had so far not noticed the trouble that was brewing in their midst. This was the worst possible place and time to do this.

EC_COM300.png“Are you?” JJ Mercer drawled calmly. “With all these fine upstanding citizens as witness? Being a cop killer is a sure-fired way to end up in prison. And I am sure you wouldn’t want any of these innocent children to be hurt in the crossfire?”

Jack looked around to the kids playing on the playground. He turned back to face the White Court Vampire. Mercer had enslaved the Venatori Strike team that had attacked his home, destroying it, and turned him over to the Denarion demon, Azael. The demon had taken over his father’s body after abandoning Abigail’s form. It was only because of his friends that Jack wasn’t dead. Or worse, enslaved to the Denarion. With an effort of will Jack released the power he had gathered and lowered his staff.

“I didn’t think so,” he said smugly. Bruno, barely keeping his rage in check, started forward until Jack put a hand on his shoulder.

“What do you want, Mercer?”

“Why I want what you want my young friend. To keep the peace. You see, a group of Red Court Vampires have recently opened up a nightclub in Olympia. People are disappearing. Far too many for me to cover up.”

“And the more attention they bring to themselves the more likely the authorities will learn about your own lying, traitorous history of murder and depravity,” Riley growled.

“I’m flattered you think so well of me but yes. Yes. That could be a problem,” Mercer said without apology.

“Besides the White Court is an ally of the Red Court Vampires. You can’t make a move on them can you? Not without censure from you own family and court,” Jack pointed out. JJ Mercer beamed at the wizard like a teacher proud of their prize student and nodded his head urging him to continue.

“But if a Warden of the White Council came to town and destroyed them,” he went on. "It would simply be regarded as just another tragedy of the war. It would have nothing to do with you. "

“That is an interesting supposition. I, of course, could never suggest that any harm should come to my stalwart allies of the Red Court who just moved here from Eastern Europe,” the vampire said rubbing his chin in thought.

“So please. Let this be a warning to you,” he said with great insincerity. “I am cautioning you to leave the Red Court Vampires at the Rainmaker Nightclub alone. You are forbidden from hunting them down and destroying them. It’s too bad I won’t be anywhere near them to protect them for at least the next week.”

He flashed a predatory grin, “Y’all have a good day now. Yah hear?”

With that the smug vampire got back into his cruiser and drove off. Jack’s gaze followed the police car with murderous intent.

“I am going to kill Dozer for this,” he muttered under his breath.

END OF CHAPTER 01

NEXT

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BOOK 9: TALES OF THE 13TH PRECINCT: CHAPTER 03
GM: James

UN-MANNED

EC_Talesofthe13thPrecinct.png

Transcribed by: Bradford & James
In Game date: February, 2009
Episode: 73

Detectives Samantha Vazquez and Samuil Volkov from the 13th Precinct called the University of Washington Library When it opened in the morning and made an appointment to see an expert in rare books, Adrian Huggins for later that day.



EC_COM273.pngThe partners then set out for Ryan Delmont’s old apartment. Sokolov was suspected of murdering Delmont several years ago just before he vanished. They hoped that they could maybe find out what connection, if any, the former Vory hit man had to the UW computer geek and through that maybe track Sokolov and Goldman down.

According to the Apartment Manager (who reeked of pot smoke and cheep booze to Volkov’s unusually sensitive nose) Ryan Delmont was a model tenet who even used his superior computer and electronics skills to make the local cable and broadband go faster for the whole building. But, ever since his murder, the apartment had been difficult to rent out and never had had a tenet last longer than a week or two. Despite being a perfectly spotless, the place made Volkov’s skin crawl….

On their way out of the apartment, the partners discussed the Goldman/Sokolov case and realized a question they hadn’t asked yet, “Who was Barry Goldman’s father?” They had info on his mother, but not his dad. Something to follow up on later.

The Partners made their way to the University of Washington Library and met with Adrian Huggins. On their way in, Volkov thought he saw someone leaving out of the corner of his eye, but he really couldn’t be sure. It almost looked like CRAIG BIG EAGLE. Huggins, a nervous mouse of a man, explained that the Chertoff Codex had gone missing recently. Again. But perhaps that was because of its strange habit of moving around the library, seemingly on its own. According to rumor it kept vanishing from the locked up Rare Books section and appearing in the public stacks on random shelves. But more importantly to the detectives Troy Wilkerson had once been caught attempting to steal the old book. EC_COM274.png

Adrian looked at the crime scene photos of the dead dog from the desecration of the cemetery and said that the symbols carved into the dog pointed to the occult but he had nothing specific he could add to that at just a glance. The detectives got a sense he wasn’t telling them everything, but Huggins said that "Proper Research takes time. I can have more for you in a couple of hours. "

Volkov then tried a different tact and asked if there were any other local experts on the Occult in the area. Adrian offered four names: Craig Big Eagle was a Native American shaman with a great deal of knowledge in a variety of religions and occult practices, Zebediah Einar and his protege Jack Youngblood, were experts in the occult and they often consulted by Roy Mullenix on his weirder cases back when he was a Detective in Special Investigations, which handled all the “Mulders”, or strange cases, that cropped up in Seattle.

Yet another connection to the Youngblood Syndicate…

Volkov and Vasquez then decided to visit the Radcliffe Clinic and to see if Youngblood’s new wife could give them any information on her mysterious husband. It seemed obvious that the young man was wrapped up in something big and they needed to find out what. Especially since he seemed to be tied up to every single major clue they had on their current case. The Clinic looked normal enough, inviting but boring. You’ve seen one medical center, you’ve seen them all. Inside, the medical assistant, Emmie Mercer directed them to talk with Abigail’s attending physician.

“Doctor Wotensen, please come to the front desk. Doctor Wotenson…”

Doctor Leif Wotenson belonged on the set of his own TV show. By far the handsomest doctor either Detective had ever seen. His natural charms even caught the notice of the professionally detached Detective Vasquez….

Volkov meanwhile thought he needed to hit the gym more often…

Wotenson advised against them seeing Abigail, she was still in the ICU for Stage IV Cancer and was very weak. When asked about John Youngblood III, the doctor claimed he didn’t know him…despite being called in for questioning about the attack on the Youngblood home and kidnapping of Caroline Youngblood last year. The detectives were able to leverage the fact that Leif was clearly lying and he reluctantly caved to their demands to see Abigail.

EC_COM275.pngThe Detectives immediately regretted their decision, seeing the tragically beautiful Abigail Wharten in a hospital bed, barely able to speak. She was clear eyed despite being in obvious pain and she defended her new husband’s character fervently saying that he was a good man. Her love for her husband was clear and her passionate defense of him would have been enough to convince even the most skeptical of her husband’s innocence. But as police the two detectives had witnessed many women over the years defend the most hardened monster out of love. They remained unconvinced.

After leaving the clinic the partners decide that they should visit the nearby Youngblood house in the old part of Capital Hill. A Victorian design dating back at least a hundred years, the house was covered in plastic and in the process of being rebuilt after it had been nearly destroyed in a firefight last year. The foreman approached them warily despite being almost seven feet tall and built like an NFL offensive lineman. Bruno Walsh cut an imposing figure and had all the hallmarks of being someone you didn’t want to mess with. The recent scar from a bullet wound to his head that would have killed any lesser man made him look even more fierce and imposing.

The large man tried desperately to evade the Detectives’ questioning, but he was not gifted with social graces.

“Where can we find a mister John Youngblood the Third?” Volkov asked.

“This is just a job, I don’t know the guy that well. I don’t know where he is. He’s…uh, not here. Nope don’t see him,” Walsh replied, nervously.

“Are you sure?” Vasquez asked, point to an old Jeep parked next to the house, "That’s his jeep over there. "

“I haven’t seem him all day… If he is here I don’t see him,” Bruno’s eyes wandered to a spot behind the cops.

Volkov wheeled his head around and sniffed. He thought someone was right next to him where the large man was staring, but there was no one there. He felt something, but he didn’t know what. Vasquez motioned to him to check out the grounds.

“Can we have a look around, mister Walsh?” Volkov asked.

Bruno started acting strangely, talking to the cops as though someone were whispering lines into his ear. Jumping every once and a while as if someone were digging an elbow into his ribs when he said something wrong.

“Ah…you you can’t go inside. Ja…Ow! Errr, Mister Youngblood doesn’t want anyone but construction crew inside his house. Umm. What? A warrant? Right. You need a warrant.”EC_COM276.png

“Just want to look around.” Volkov took a stroll around the property. He looked at the extensive damage done to the house and recalled the crime scene photos showing the place practically demolished. He remembered reading that every eye witness within three blocks had said the exact same thing as if programmed to do so:

“Jack Youngblood was always getting into trouble. He ran with a rough crowd. Obviously, this was the work of gang violence.”

It was creepy as hell that this Youngblood kid could scare every single one of his neighbors into not only repeating the same cover story, but to say the EXACT same thing. What was this guy into???

Volkov felt something again, sensed someone’s presence right next to him. Someone was there…but Volkov couldn’t see, hear or smell him. While looking around he tripped over something (a stick maybe?) he couldn’t see and landed in a small puddle of dirty water. He thought he heard laughing, but still couldn’t see anyone.

“You have to leave now. Ow. Stop it. Uh. You…have no permission to be here…”

“We’re just looking for things in plain sight. You have nothing to worry about.” Volkov said.

“What? Oh, right. But you don’t have a Warrant. And, uh, you can’t go into the house…”

Vasquez almost tripped over a box full of books. They looked to be Bibles from the Venus Tabernacle Church, the one that had had that preacher , Peter Jerico, go missing last year. The box they sat in was oddly covered in strange writing and symbols. Volkov walked over and tried to pick one up, but found himself strangely disinterested in such things. It was almost as if some external force made him loose interest in the Bibles and look elsewhere.

Vasquez on the other hand, resisted the compulsion to leave the Bibles alone and picked one right up and found it was…right. She felt herself suddenly very interested in what the Venus Tabernacle Church had to offer…perhaps a new direction in life…but then she remembered her family and her good Catholic upbringing and dropped the book. The book disappeared before hitting the ground and there was the sound of metal striking something solid (a sword cutting into the Bible perhaps?) and a storm of cut pages flew in the wind. But, a second glance at the box revealed the Bible sitting on the top of the stack like nothing had happened. Vasquez was a bit freaked out by the experience. It was so overwhelming. She crossed herself, whispering a brief prayer, and struggled to clear her head.

Volkov picked up one of the cut pages and found it the right size for a bible page, but it was completely blank…and cut through by something sharp. He pocketed the page. Since they had no reason to linger the Detectives decided to leave.

“Please have mister Youngblood contact us. We’ll be in touch.” Vasquez said giving Walsh one of her makeshift business cards. She really needed to get new ones printed out. She also really wanted to get the hell away from the strange house.

Once back at the station, Detective Volkov found little on this Zebidiah Einar in the department’s computers. He discovered one mention of him being a Consultant of some kind, but no personal information of any kind.

EC_COM277.pngAfter asking around the more senior detectives at the office, the lead Investigator Detective Pauline Reed laughed at Volkov’s frustration.

“You’re not going to find anything about Ol’ Zeb.” She said, sipping her coffee, “That old fossil has been around longer than any of us. All his records are still in physical files.”

“You know him?” Volkov asked.

“Not personally. But I see him come in to consult from time to time. " Reed replied.

“Profession? "

“Retired now. Definitely was a vet before, but I’m not sure what war. But whichever one it was you could tell he had seen a lot of combat. He just had that stare. You know? Anyway, I heard he made a killing in the Stock Market… "

“What’s he consult on?”

“Weird cases. Special Investigation stuff mostly. But, I heard he was recently put in a wheel chair. Car accident’s a damn shame for someone that old.”

“Define, ‘old fossil.’”

“Well, he was best friends with Captain Routman back when he was a rookie, so…late sixties early seventies. I heard he was an old man back then too.”

Elaborating on what little she knew through the rumor mill, Pauline Reed left Detective Volkov with still more questions that he couldn’t answer.

EC_COM278.pngMeanwhile, Detective Vasquez decided to dig deeper into Barry Goldman’s records. She found that Goldman had had a restraining order placed on him by his former girlfriend, Angela Marcus several years ago. She still lived in the area. Maybe the young woman would be able to give them some insight to help them find the murderous little psycho.

Oh a whim Volkvo looked up Bruno Walsh’s record and saw that he had gone to jail on more than one occasion and was even on the Terrorist Watch List for some of his environmental protests a few years ago. Among his listed contacts was the name of Jack Youngblood. Craig Big Eagle was listed as his social worker. Of course. He did note that other than being shot in the head last year in a purported mugging and being dumped in Puget Sound the big man had kept his nose clean for the last several years. Maybe Walsh had reformed. Or maybe he just knew someone who could cover up his crimes.

On a hunch he looked up the Venus Tabernacle Churches. He learned that there had been a series of break ins recently. Several miscellaneous items were vandalized or reported stolen including thousands of dollars from the collection boxes and several boxes of bibles.

In that moment the two officers were informed of a frantic 911 call from Troy Wilkerson’s mother. The Partners hopped into their car and drove like a bat out of hell to the residence.

They found the house surrounded by uniformed cops and a distraught mother. Doctor Wilkerson’s normal professional demeanor was gone and anguish cast an ugly shadow across her tear streamed face. EC_COM279.png

“My son didn’t do this. Oh, God, please tell me my son didn’t do this…” Dr. Wilkerson said over and over in her driveway as the police moved toward the house.

As the detectives entered, they found the the house a wreck, blood everywhere. The place felt…wrong. Cold. Dead. Defiled.

And that was before they found Sam Randolph, Doug Guthrie and Lisa Griffin, three of the kids they had brought in for questioning the previous night TORN TO SHREADS, their pieces strewn throughout the home. Troy Wilkerson was nowhere to be found.

On Troy Wilkerson’s bed they found the Chertoff Codex, blood sliding off it like it couldn’t stick to it. The Detectives immediately felt it was wrong and bagged it for further review.

In the basement, the Partners found the body of Maxine Gordon, her left hand surgically removed. Oddly the basement was freezing. Their breath visible in the air.

As Detective Vasquez examined the corpse, it SAT UP, grabbed her wrist in a death grip and looked her in the eyes whispering, “Don’t let him open the door! YOU MUST….SEE…”

EC_COM280.pngVasquez found herself in another place. A rundown warehouse. She was seeing through the eyes of a uniformed officer shooting at a man with an old police issue revolver. Madness burned bright in the target’s red, murderous eyes. The bullets had no effect until a stray shot pierced the madman’s stomach. A huge amount of blood erupted from the wound and the…man started shrieking and writhing in pain. That was when its skin pulled back, revealing a bat-like monster that reached for the terrified young cop.
The Officer reached frantically and pulled a fire ax off the wall. He pushed the bat thing back to the ground with a shove and then buried the ax into it again and again, taking off its head and splattering everything with with blood. The body began dissolving into a strange goo leaving nothing behind.
The Officer dropped the bloody ax and moved to a bathroom sink to put water on his face. A bum laid passed out drunk on the floor next to the sink. In the bathroom mirror, the face looking back was a young man that resembled Captain Sid Routman…thirty years ago. Reflected in the mirror behind him, Routman spotted a beautiful woman approaching. Vasquez recognized her as Delilah Montgomery, but it must have been her mother or something. Yet the resemblance was uncanny…and her eyes were mesmerizing…impossible to resist.EC_COM281.png
“What the fuck was that? That wasn’t…real. What the hell was that monster?!?!”
“Shhh…You didn’t see a monster. Monsters can’t be real. It was just that bum. Probably hopped up on drugs. You were a hero today.” She said in a silky voice.
“I…was a hero today. It wasn’t a monster. That doesn’t make sense,” Routman replied robotically.
“That’s right, Officer Routman. It wasn’t real. It can’t be. You can’t let it be real. And it has to make sense, doesn’t it? It always has to make sense.”
The mysterious woman’s terrible smile chilled Vasquez to her core and she struggled to keep a hold of her sanity.
“There are no such things as monsters. They are only real if I let them be real. And I can’t let them be real. I have to stop them first. It has to make sense…”
Desperately, “It always has to make sense…”


Volkov’s TAP on the shoulder brought Vasquez back to reality with a jump. The corpse of Maxine Gordon lay on the basement floor unmoving.

“Little jumpy, Vasquez? Hey. You OK? You look like you just saw a ghost. Why don’t we get some air? Get forensics in here. Secure the kid’s phone.”

The partners moved up the basement stairs and started to go outside. At the top of the stairs Volkov turned and saw a sad woman staring at him intently. He looked her in the eyes and he too was overcome with a vision…

EC_COM282.pngJonothan Gordon sat at the kitchen table of a modest home with his two young children. His eyes blazed with madness as he mumbled over and over again to himself that he had to save his kids. He had to save himself.
“Oh, Maxine. She’s a part of it I know it. She’s a witch now. I can’t let her take me. I can’t let her take our children! The monster would get them all if I don’t do something. Now before she gets back from the movie. But I have to tell them. Tell the world why I did what must be done.”
Jonothan Gordon grabbed a pen and some paper and began frantically writing….
As he watched the obviously unhinged man rant about his wife Volkov’s perspective seemed to change. To narrow. Suddenly he moved toward the man’s eye and he saw inside his head. Even to his untrained eye Volkov could tell that the small tumor was malignant. Could it be what was driving Gordon mad?
EC_COM283.pngDetective Sid Routman stepped over the body of Jonothan Gordon and his two children. There was an empty pill bottle by his side. The wife, Maxine, was his prime suspect. Yet Forensics had already determined that the only fingerprints on the bottle belonged to the husband.
He reread the frantic note the man had written accusing his wife of being a witch and a monster. She had to be the killer. There aren’t any monsters in this world. Not if he had anything to say about it. I won’t let the monsters be real.
“Someone’s gotta stop the monsters,” Sid Routman’s voice echoed robotically as he placed drug residue from the pill bottle on some kitchen gloves. That should be enough to convince a jury that the reason there were no other prints on the pill bottle was because the wife wore them while poisoning her family.
“It has to make sense.”
“It always has to make sense…”


Volkov ran outside and found himself shaking uncontrollably and sweating as if he had just run a marathon.

Vasquez hadn’t noticed her partner’s distress as she moved to interview Dr. Wilkerson. She was able to establish that the doctor’s son, Troy had been hanging out with two men now identified from their mug shots as Barry Goldman and Cassimir Sokolov. They had been working on something together despite Dr. Wilkerson forbidding her son from seeing them. They seemed suspicious. Dangerous even. Eventually her son had had an argument with the two murderers and they hadn’t been around for several weeks.

“Oh, my God. Do you think they took my, son? Do you think they have him right now?!!? Please, you have to find my boy! You have to bring him back to me!!!”

Vasquez did her best to reassure the desperate mother but made no promises to bring her boy home. She could see in the doctor’s eyes that she had noticed that. That she understood that her son, her precious little boy might not be a victim of this heinous crime. But might be its instigator. Doctor Wilkerson did her best to ignore the hesitation and its implications. Volkov stood awkwardly to the side trying his best to figure out how to console the woman without giving her false hopes. He turned his head away from the distraught woman and saw Maxine Gordon’s shade standing right behind him in a car window. The apparition charged the detective and suddenly he was somewhere else…

EC_COM284.pngHe was in a Library. The University of Washington Library,with Adrian Huggins, Jack Youngblood and Craig Big Eagle all huddled together talking intently. His point of view seemed…odd. Almost as if he was seeing everything from the bottom of a lake.
Adrian spoke in a calm voice…
“So after some research I found out that the Chertoff Codex is a reference document to an ancient Russian folk ritual linked to the Old God, Chernobog. According to the translation, a Practitioner can use the severed left hand of a person who has murdered their own children and has been buried in unconsecrated ground as a Key in what is called the Ceremony of Innocence. Essentially Chernobog’s essence can be channeled into a proper vessel by using this Key.”
“A proper vessel like Ryan Delmont? Right?” Craig asked.
“Exactly. The ritual would allow Chernobog to return to this plain loosing the god of winter, murder and death upon the world.”
“You know it would be nice if, just once, the ritual made the god of rainbows and ponies come to this Earth,” Jack sighed. “OK. So if that is what is going on why is the spirit of Maxine Gordon still here? Is it because she didn’t commit the murders?”
“She didn’t?” Craig and Adrian asked in unison.
“No. No way. She showed me that she had been framed by Sid Routman. Also, her spirit is innocent of the taint such an act would produce.”
“Hmm. Well, the spirit of the vessel whose hand was used in the ritual is tied to this plane unable to move on to the afterlife until the Key is destroyed.”
“Well hopefully we can bring her peace soon,” Jack Youngblood said, turning to look directly in the detective’s direction with compassion in his eyes. That is when the policeman realized that he was perceiving these events through the eyes of the shade of Maxine Gordon. EC_COM285.png
“You will be able to rest soon, Maxine. I promise. I’ll find this thing and stop it…”
The intercom buzzed.
“Mr. Huggins, the two Detectives are here.”
“Go out the back. Go out the back now.”
Jack Youngblood seemed to vanish into thin air as Craig Big Eagle sneaked out the door. Detectives Volkov and Vasquez then came into view…


At the crime scene, Volkov rubbed his temples and staggered to lean on a nearby squad car.

“You alright, Sam?” Vasquez asked.

“This whole case is weird.” Volkov replied, “But..”

“It always has to make sense.” The partners said in unison.

They looked at each other in shock and recognition.

“Did you…see something down there too?” Vasquez asked, after explaining what she saw.

“I saw Sid Routman planting evidence falsely convicting Maxine Gordon of murder….” Volkov said. “He wasn’t right in the head. Something…happened to him.”

“If he has been doing this since the late 60s there is no telling how many people he falsely convicted. Jesus. If…if it ever got out that he was falsifying evidence every case he ever worked would be up for appeal. This is huge…”

Vasquez, clearly shaken by her own vision and its implications, shuddered.

“Let’s focus on the case… Goldman’s ex-girlfriend, Angela Marcus. Let’s talk to her.”

The Partners drove quickly to Angela Marcus’s home and had a very short but informative conversation with her.

EC_COM286.pngShe said he was always talking about how much he hated his biological father, Donald Mitchem, and wanted to make him pay for abandoning him and his sister to his do nothing mother. He was so angry about it and seemed to hate everyone. She tried to leave him and eventually had to get a restraining order because he had gotten super controlling, creepy, and threatening. He made her fear for her life. He scared her so much that Angela couldn’t sleep for months and was on medication to prevent increasing panic attacks.

At one point Barry showed up again just as she was getting home from work and this really cute guy named Jack came out of nowhere and chased him off. Afterward Jack asked her if it was OK if he and a friend of his did some kind of voodoo or something that would protect her from Barry. Jack was really charming and she could tell right away that he was only try to help her. So she agreed. Jack brought some native american guy by her house that night and he did some kind of strange dance around her home to “Consecrate it in the name of Billy-Bog” or some such nonsense. It was pretty crazy she said. But, Angela couldn’t argue with the results, she hasn’t had a nightmare or a panic attack since. And she hasn’t seen that creep Barry either.

They left Angela’s home excited by the fresh lead. Volkov was behind the wheel while Vasquez called control for an address for Donald Mitchem. If Goldman hated the man as much as Angela suggested then he was in danger. And Vasquez had a sick hunch that Barry might have already set up shop at the man’s house. Just like he did at his mother’s home. He had left 7 dead including his mother and sister and a newborn baby. She was mentally preparing herself for a possible confrontation with the murderous little bastard when she caught the reflection of Maxine Gordon in the side mirror.

EC_COM287.pngShe was floating disembodied in the University Library when Adrian Huggins, obviously terrified about something came running into his office. He dialed furiously struggling to contain his panic.
“Pick up, pick up!”
“Shit! His voicemail…Come on. Come On!”
“Craig! It’s Adrian. I finished researching the Ceremony of Innocence. And there is something Jack has to know before he confronts Gordon or whoever is possessed by the spirit. If the Key is created with the hand of someone who doesn’t meet the requirements of the ceremony then the summoner will have no power to control the summoned spirit. The Spirit will then hollow out the summoner’s soul and possess him, creating a composite being whose name is roughly translated as “Un-Man.”
The “Un-man” will attempt to gather power by attacking mystical beings and absorbing their power becoming stronger and stronger with each bit of Mana that it absorbs. Its ultimate goal is to gather enough power to open a passage to the Beyond and release its dark masters."
“Look, Craig, you HAVE to keep Jack away from this thing. If Jack is right and Maxine Gordon didn’t murder her children then we are dealing with something even more dangerous than the manifestation of a dark god on this plane. The Un-man is so much worse. You have to make Jack understand. His magic won’t work on it at all. In fact it will only make it stronger. In fact if it eats Jack’s power that might be enough to manifest the Outsiders on this plain. And if that happens we are all fucked. I have to go now. I just bought a bus ticket to get me as far away from Seattle as I can. Not that it matters. If Jack tries to stop the Un-man then we are all doomed.”


“We’re here!” Volkov said as they pulled up to the Mitchem house in a devastated part of West Seattle. The partners got out of the car and geared up with flak jackets and shotguns.

EC_COM288.png“Look who else is here…” Vasquez said, pointing to the the parked jeep of Jack Youngblood further down the street.

“Great, it must be a party,” Volkov muttered.

The officers moved towards the decrepit house on the hill. The place felt wrong…just wrong and the area cold and strangely dark. They approached quietly and tried the front door.

The front door exploded off its hinges as the insanely strong Casimir Sokolov came tumbling out, beating on the slight form of Troy Wilkerson. But Wilkerson wasn’t bleeding..in fact he was… glowing. A faint sickly green light.

Sokolov wound up to pummel Troy again despite Detective Volkov’s call to him to freeze. Then Troy Wilkerson GRABBED the much larger man. Sokolov cried in agony. A glow blossomed from the big man, as light began pouring out of Sokolov into Troy. Sokolov…shrank in size and shriveled up in an instant. He fell to the ground and curled up into the fetal position looking completely emaciated. Troy was glowing from within so brightly that his bones seemed to be black against an impossible light. He smelled of death and decay.EC_COM289.png

At least that’s what Volkov saw. Vasquez just saw a teenager who had to be on drugs, take down a much larger man and stare down a police shotgun at point-blank range without flinching.

Vasquez looked to the smashed door of the home and saw Barry Goldman standing there, gawking at the scene outside and put her shotgun in his face.

“Seattle PD, drop your weapons and get on the ground!” The partners shouted in unison, the partnership finally putting them in sync.

Goldman screeched and ran in deeper into the house, Vasquez pursuing him.

Volkov fired a shot into Wilkerson, staggering him. But it should have dropped him and it didn’t. In fact, it looked like it just made him mad.

Troy was then consumed by a light as bright as the sun. No, not a light…a laser? Coming from Jack Youngblood who appeared out of nowhere holding a staff and a sword…

The beam set fire to the lawn and kicked up debris. But as the light faded, Troy Wilkerson appeared unscathed.

“What the hell?” Jack said as Troy breathed in and glowed more intensely. In fact, Troy seemed to get bigger after the barrage his body becoming alien and more menacing.

EC_COM290.pngVolkov fired again. No matter what he kept firing. He unloaded enough shotgun shells into the teenager to drop a herd of rhinos. But they didn’t have much effect.

Jack Youngblood readied his sword and swung at Wilkerson in a series of cuts and thrusts. When he missed the sword cut THROUGH the tree and stones in the front yard like a hot knife through butter…but Wilkerson just glowed more and more with each blow becoming even less human. Then he punched Youngblood and knocked him backwards off his feet.

Inside the house, Detective Vasquez kept pace with Goldman, who was surprisingly fast. He came at her with a knife, but the former FBI Special Agent managed to fend him off.

Outside Volkov kept shooting…his shots seeming to stagger Wilkerson.

Jack Youngblood stood up and gestured to the ground. A piece of earth and soil the size of his jeep rose up and it flew at Wilkerson. But it broke up before reaching the kid disintegrating into a cloud of dust and dirt.

Troy kept glowing becoming something else…something terrible. He hit Jack again, knocking him into a bloody heap.

Wilkerson moved towards Youngblood, who helplessly crawled away. A glow began flowing out of Youngblood like it did Sokolov. Wilkerson seemed to be absorbing the light becoming more and more powerful by the moment.

Vasquez chased Goldman further, but couldn’t hit him as he ran. A voice from outside stopped her.

“You’ll have to go through me, Motherfucker!!!” Volkov shouted, putting himself between the thing and a civilian. He didn’t understand exactly what was going on here but on a fundamental level he knew that whatever Troy Wilkerson had become it was an abomination. And it had to be stopped.

Vasquez could pursue Goldman or help her partner…

Volkov reloaded and put more shells into Troy as the boy screeched in frustration at being denied his prey.

A rift began to open before him. A door that seemed to consume light and heat. A door that seemed to lead to nowhere.

But despite his terror Volkov kept shooting…

EC_COM291.pngThen Vasquez came in from another angle and the partners both emptied their guns into Troy Wilkerson. The combined effort finally seemed to have effect. The creature cried out in an inhuman voice that shivered the two officers down to their souls.

As they both ran out of shells, the door in rift closed…the boy SCREAMED and then EXPLODED in a bright flash of light. A strange goop covered the two detectives. Rancid stuff, but it seemed to evaporate almost instantly.

The explosion left Troy Wilkerson naked on the ground, the light gone out of his eyes. But he still breathed. A severed left hand lay beside him.

EC_COM292.pngAn apparition made of light and smoke appeared before Detective Vasquez. Maxine Gordon’s spirit, Vasquez knew somehow. She reached a hand out .

“Thank you…” Maxine said as she disappeared a look of pure rapture on her face.

Vasquez felt something change in her. Something grow. She looked back towards the house, but Barry Goldman was long gone. Disappeared into the night.

Detective Volkov put cuffs on Casimir Sokolov, who barely clung to life. He looked at Jack Youngblood. He could have let him go right then…but Volkov had a lot to make up for and Jack Youngblood had no right to be there, saving Sam Volkov’s life.

Jack Youngblood woke up in handcuffs, Volkov standing over him with a foot on his fallen sword.

“John Youngblood III,” Volkov said, “We need to talk.”

An hour later Jack Youngblood and Sam Volkov sat across from each other in interrogation. His Attorney, a slick looking Italian man, claimed his client was following up on a private investigation. Looking for Barry Goldman because of his involvement in Caroline Youngblood’s kidnapping and for the juicy reward the FBI was offering.

Sam Volkov scowled.

“Look Youngblood….just tell me the truth. Spare me your bullshit, ’it’s too dangerous for your loved ones…’ I’m Russian. We take care of our own. I’m already in…deep as one can be. In fact, i’d LOVE to see some dumb bastard TRY to threaten my family just to see the size of the crate they’d end up in after my older sister was done with them. "

Youngblood sat still and said, ’You’d think I’m crazy.."

“Crazy? My partner and I just put 21 loads of buckshot into a five foot four inch Goth kid, which didn’t do anything to him but make him explode in light and put him into a coma with NO bullet wounds. AND I watched him turn a Vory Hitman into something out of a concentration camp….with his bare hands. And earlier tonight I could have sworn I saw through the eyes of dead woman.

All of this…all of this because I took a case about a murdered dog. Humor me…I’m told the recording device is dead anyway. Stupid thing. I’ll listen in its stead."

Youngblood told him the truth. About Barry Goldman’s power. About Chernobog. About weird things in the night. About ghosts and the spirit world. About Powers beyond the Mortal pale.

Jack expected him to laugh. But Volkov just looked angry.

Volkov loomed over him. He put a hand on the table next to him and leaned in close…

“I believe you…” Volkov whispered as he unlocked the cuffs, ’We’ll talk more later and you owe me one."

The rest of the day proved exciting for the two new partners.

HERO COPS BRING IN MASS MURDERER AND WANTED HIT MAN AFTER LATE-NIGHT RAMPAGE

They made the headlines…on two counts.

LOCAL BILLIONAIRE’S SON ARRESTED FOR BUM FIGHTS AND DEALING METH ON COMPANY PROPERTY

Shortly after they got Chase Addison to flip on his friends with a promise of immunity for starting the bum fights and corroborated his story through interviews with people at the local homeless shelter. The partners knew the kids wouldn’t do much time, but they did the perp walk in front of cameras so it was some measure of justice.

Plus, District Attorney Addison now owed them one too.

Detective Vasquez started going through her old files, going over old cases that never made sense with new eyes. She went to the library to learn more. She knew something was out there…

EC_COM293.pngDetective Volkov ran into Roy Mullenix and Jack Youngblood as they walked out of the station. Jack had been released from custody with all charges dropped.

“You want the the truth? Talk to Markus Veit, he’ll give you some answers. " Roy said to him.

“You can also talk to Craig Big Eagle about your smelling hearing and…dog biscuit problem.” Jack chuckled…

“Dog Biscuit problem?” Volkov said as he took a brighter step into a deeper night.

END OF TALES FROM THE 13TH PRECINCT

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BOOK 9: TALES OF THE 13TH PRECINCT: CHAPTER 02
GM: James

THE GREAT GRAVE ROBBERY

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Transcribed by: Bradford
In Game date: February, 2009
Episode: 72

DETECTIVE SAM VOLKOV and DETECTIVE SAMANTHA VASQUEZ‘s second night as Detectives at Seattle’s 13th Precinct started with the unexpected. DETECTIVE JOHNNY WILLOCK sat at Volkov’s desk, scrutinizing the STICKY NOTE Volkov had written for himself describing the mysterious man he had seen the previous shift.

“What are you into, Volkov?” Willock asked, his feet up on the desk.

“Police work. Why are at you at my desk?”

“Read your report from last night. The Dead Hobo Case. That kid Freeman looks good for it…”

EC_COM266.pngAlthough Willock had been Volkov’s friend from his days as a rookie, their relationship had soured over the past year. Willock used to be a great guy, the guy who knew how to make an extra buck as a cop. Guy who made police work fun… But that was before Volkov’s epiphany changed him for the better.

“Things work a certain way around here. " Willock continued, making more suggestions about the case. “Case like that can be simple. Cut and dry. Some people round here appreciate cut and dry. You should pin this to that Freeman kid. He’ll just grow up to be a thug and you’ll end up arresting him down the line anyway. Just put him away before any upstanding citizens like Radcliffe and his friends are hurt by your baseless accusations. Otherwise things could get…dicey for you. And your partner.”

Volkov clenched his fist, “My case, my call. I’ll follow it wherever it leads like a good cop should. And Detective, if you ever make a suggestion like that to me again, I’ll punch you.”

“No need for that, Detective. You’ll learn. " Willock held up the sticky note, “You looking into this guy?”

“Smelled funny last night. Could be nothing. You know somethin’? "

Willock wrote a name on the sticky and stood up, “Since were ‘Friends’ I’ll give you this one for free. You watch your step…”

Willock walked away. After he left Volkov opened a file on his computer. One hidden away, disguised as something innocuous. He recorded every word Willock said to him and the time he did it.

Volkov knew what he was doing would mean nothing but trouble. That it was dangerous. A minefield growing bigger every day. But he had a lifetime of crap to make up for…

He closed the file and looked at the name Willock had written down. “YOUNGBLOOD”.

He did a searched for the description of the man he had seen the previous night, the one who disappeared. He then added that name to it and found some very interesting items.

When his partner, DETECTIVE SAMANTHA VASQUEZ swung by a few minutes later, Detective Volkov shared what he had found.

JOHN FRANCIS YOUNGBLOOD III, 21 years old, had a sealed Juvie record, which after a few calls to some people he knew, Detective Volkov got unsealed. What he found was a rap sheet covered in…weird.

Busted a few times for petty crimes and suspected for a dozen more. B&E. Vandalism. Possibly drugs. Gang affiliations via being former best friends with ELADIO BUENEZ of the Cross Street Kings and his social worker was none other than CRAIG BIG EAGLE. EC_COM267.png

Last Arrested during the Hackmaster serial killer case for...Brandishing a Sword in a public park on the back of an old classic motorcycle. A Motorcycle he later sold to a local Outlaw Biker Leader for a dollar. Weird…

Detained last year in Forks for Public Drunkenness, but in both cases he was not charged due to the good word of then Detective ROY MULLENIX..who was also the arresting officer for some of his Juvie cases.. Weirder…

Weirder still, he was presumed dead last year when his home was assaulted by professionals of some kind. Locals all made exactly the same statement, “Jack Youngblood was always getting into trouble. He ran with a rough crowd. Obviously, this was the work of gang violence.” He later turned back up and was confined to intensive care for a few months.

His Sister, CAROLINE YOUNGBLOOD was abducted in the raid and later found in the home of BARRY GOLDMAN the mass murderer by none other than Roy Mullenix… Further biographical information pointed to ties to the occult. Even his recent marriage to his girlfriend ABIGAIL WHARTON was weird. She had been missing for over 5 years and suddenly turned up unconscious on the street outside a hospice with a gunshot wound and was being treated for cancer at the Radcliffe Clinic on CAPITOL HILL.

Vasquez blinked, “Looks dangerous.”

“Dangerous?” Volkov said, “This guy looks Made.They hit his house with Military-grade weapons. Maybe he’s got his own syndicate. I don’t know. Pretty damn good for a 21 year old.”

“He a suspect?”

“No, just a person of interest. "

“Keep it that way unless you have solid evidence of his involvement. If we do need to bring him him in, we’ll need SWAT.”

“Screw SWAT, I think we would need to send in the frigging Marines for this guy.”

Vasquez went to her own computer and did some gumshoeing of her own. She managed to back trace the IP for SeattleBumFights.com belonging to a user ’TJ_Knockout" to TJ Radcliffe. More than enough for a warrant she got in record time and put in the orders for officers to collect the computers of TJ Radcliffe, Jason Prentice and Chase Addison.

As they worked, their attention shifted to the mesmerizing presence of DELILAH MONTGOMERY walking out of the meeting room. Michael Freeman, the kid from last night who had fingered Radcliffe and his cohorts for starting a bumfighting ring that had resulted in two deaths came out of the room a few minutes later with his Father. Michael had recanted his testimony robotically. He now claimed that he let the homeless men into his apartment and they stole the key to the roof. TJ Radcliffe and his friends were not involved and he just wanted to get them into trouble.

Something is not right…

Without Michael’s testimony they had no case. But the warrant for the 3 boy’s computers and cameras was already being served. If they hurried they might be able to legally get evidence off of them if before the morning shift since the warrant was technically valid until then. Volkov and Vasquez decided not to make it a priority to cancel the warrant and let the uniformed officers gather the evidence. It wasn’t exactly by the book but the both of them knew that Freeman was innocent and the arrogant rich kids were responsible for the death of the two homeless men. If there was to be any justice they needed to see those computers.

EC_COM270.pngVolkov noticed that Craig Bigeagle was on the other side of the busy station floor talking on his cellphone. Despite the noise and distance Sam could somehow hear what he was saying. Which shouldn’t have been possible from across a crowed room.

“So, Jack, are you saying that the graveyard was desecrated deliberately so Maxine Gordon wouldn’t be buried on Hallowed Ground? Uh, huh. Yeah. Sure. That makes sense. Well, in that case whoever was behind the desecration will have to come for her body later on, right? Then I suggest keeping an eye on the place.”

Volkov nudged his partner and suggested they go out for a quick cup of Joe down near the graveyard…

Volkov and Vasquez drove to the Graveyard in the dead of night. They arrived in time to notice some teenagers climbing over the fence leaving the cemetery. And at the exact moment from the opposite end there was a pair of adult men going in. One LARGE GUY and one SHORT GUY WITH GLASSES. After a moment’s indecision they called in their position to dispatch and followed the two going in.

As the moonlight illuminated their faces, Volkov recognized Barry Goldman the mass murderer from his wanted poster and a Vory Hitman who had worked for his father. Oddly he had gone missing for the past few years. Suddenly the area got really cold and a SHADOWY FORM with a SWORD appeared before the pair. The three exchanged heated words and a blizzard erupted out of nowhere lashing the whole cemetery dropping visibility to almost nothing. Even stranger were the crazy flashes of intense light as if from blown transformer followed by a loud boom. The pair of killers were knocked backwards as if hit by a truck. The air seemed to crackle with ionized energy making the hair on the two police officers arms stand on end. EC_COM269.png

Vasquez tried her cellphone and it nearly exploded next to her ear. Volkov keyed his radio, but it too was dead. The Cops did what they were trained to do, they gathered their courage and moved in with guns drawn. They could barely stand against the gale force winds that blasted their bodies. But they both bravely fought through the storm to confront the mysterious men.

“Seattle Police, drop your weapons!”

The larger man turned and looked at Volkov with cold dead eyes that promised nothing but pain. Sam remembered his name in that moment. Casimir Sokolov. He had vanished a few years ago after murdering a UW student named Delmont. No one knew where the assassin had gone off to. The big man’s eyes flashed with anger at the interruption and then he charged at him paying no heed to his brandished gun. Volkov fired a volley of bullets, but they did nothing. Probably body armor. It had to be!

The hit man’s huge fist looked to be powerful enough to knock Volkov’s head clean off with one blow and there was nowhere for him to escape. He braced himself for the impact but just before it would have hit him it stopped on a…BARRIER OF LIGHT an inch from his face. There was a massive impact that rang through the night like a bell sending sparks flying. Just the force of the impact was almost enough to knock the policeman and his partner to their knees. Who was this guy? The Hulk?!?!

Goldman turned on the shadowy figure who seemed to be controlling the light barrier and flung something glowing at him while he was distracted with protecting the two officers from the massive hit man. The figure cried out in pain and the barrier of light seemed to vanish.

Then the shadow man cried out some kind of chant in a foreign language that seemed oddly familiar. He slammed a staff into the ground and everyone flew backwards as if they were hit by a massive explosion of light and force. Neither detective knew what happened after that as they were both knocked unconscious by the blow.

Volkov and Vasquez woke up a few minutes later, their ears ringing and heads bleeding from bouncing off some gravestones. Strangely there was no snow on the cemetery grounds, just a strange goo that seemed to be rapidly evaporating. There were no killers either.

But most importantly, the body of Maxine Gordon was gone.

The paramedics arrived and looked the two officers over clearing them to go back to work. They began investigating the scene. Vasquez found SHOE PRINTS and a EMPTY PACK OF CIGARETTES, but no sign of the strange blizzard or of the three mysterious combatants other than an odd impact crater. It looked like someone had used dynamite to blast a hole into the earth but there was no sign of accelerant or explosive residue of any kind. Vasquez was completely stumped. She had been a forensic specialist with the FBI yet she had no idea what could have caused that kind of explosion but leave no trace evidence. It was simply…impossible.

“Vasquez! Volkov! Get in here!” A voice came through the station and hour later. CAPTAIN JEFF CLARK brought the partners into his office and proceeded to chew them out for letting two known murderers get away and with a missing dead body to boot. He told them to drop the bum fight case and find those two killers.

Luckily, the computers from the kids came in and the partners knew just the guy to help them crack them.

EC_COM268.pngEugene “Grizzly” Grizby was the 13th Precinct’s go-to Computer Forensics expert. Griz was one of the many private contractors in the business who made a lot more money consulting on cybercrime than he ever actually would committing cybercrime. And he liked to help the department financially by getting paid with unique local Root Beers he hadn’t tried yet.

Griz took one look at the computers from the three teenagers and claimed that he should be able to get whatever was on them before the warrant expired.

Meanwhile, Volkov and Vasquez went their separate ways in pursuit of more evidence.

Detective Volkov called Craig Big Eagle and asked for an explanation about the night’s events.

“What the hell just happened out there?” Volkov asked.

“I have no idea what you mean, Detective…” Big Eagle responded over and over and over again…

Volkov knew that Big Eagle knew something but he didn’t have any proof he was actually hiding anything.

He asked about the symbols being related to the Occult. Big Eagle responded that he was aware of the occult link, but nothing that would help a police investigation. Nothing relevant to the case that might produce a lead. Just superstitions that a man like Volkov wouldn’t believe.

Volkov asked about John Youngblood III and Craig stood up for “Jack”.

“He is one of my best success stories, "Craig mused, “He WAS a bad kid. But he turned his life around. He married his girl, Abby. He has more responsibility now. He is a good man.”

Volkov’s anger boiled over. He knew this guy was hiding something and then he inexplicably growled….it was such a surprise that it left Sam speechless. Craig was strangely amused.

Craig gave Sam his information in case there was anything further then got up, excused himself and politely left. But Sam Volkov knew there was more to this Youngblood, so he took a drive.

Meanwhile, Vasquez drove to follow up with the Freeman Family and upon getting out of her car was assaulted by two homeless men. She managed to fight them off and chased them down rather easily and offered to let them off of the charge of assaulting a police officer for answers.

The Homeless men said that a bunch of rich kids hired them to watch the Freeman place and chase off anyone who came by. Unfortunately, Vasquez couldn’t substantiate this even after talking with the Freeman family again since they both gave the same robotic testimony as before. It almost seemed like they were drugged. Or hypnotized maybe???

Strange…

Volkov met up with now Patrolman Roy Mullenix and asked him a few questions. Although Roy had fallen far, he was still the superior cop. He dodged all of Volkov’s questions and took no small pains to show that he felt that Volkov was still a crooked cop despite his, “Change of heart” recently.

When Volkov asked about Youngblood, Roy stood up for him and called him, “Solid.” According to popular lore around the department, Detective Mullenix rarely said that about anybody…

EC_COM271.pngBut the elder cop appreciated the effort to keep the peace and flat out told Volkov to stay out of the spooky stuff. He said, “Get in this too deep you’ll hurt everyone you love and have sworn to protect. Innocents will get caught in the crossfire,” he paused and Volkov could see some hidden pain in his eyes, “Believe me. I know what I am talking about.”

Volkov steeled himself and said, “If it means doing what’s right, it’s worth it.”

Roy smiled at the kid and took his leave to walk his beat.

The Sam and Samantha met back up at the Precinct to a load of processed Forensic Evidence.

The computers had all been wiped to the factory specs. All but one that is. Chase Addison’s computer had a video introduction to Bumfights.com on it. It was an opening credits scene that showed footage of several fights as well as listed the 3 boys as the producers of the show. It might be enough. They’d see.

Meanwhile, forensics had matched evidence from the graveyard. The Empty Cigarette Pack had fingerprints on it and they had gotten a hit when they ran them. Four teens had recently been arrested after spray-painting inverted pentagrams all over school. They got the vandal’s mug shots and showed them to the bigoted old man, Bernard Dent, who lived across the street from the Osborn’s where the dog was stolen and he confirmed they were the ones he had seen two nights ago.

This gave the partners cause to bring in and interrogate Four kids who had been identified:

Sam Randolph’s fingerprints were a match to the Empty Cigarette Pack from the graveyard. He was a nervous young black kid who had some clear sexual identity issues.

Doug Guthrie, a typical oily haired nerd was really nervous and his very expensive and rare tennis shoes were a match to the shoe prints found in the cemetery.

Lisa Griffin was an overweight goth girl from a broken home who acted out with a rebellious attitude that manifested in typical teenage angst.

EC_COM272.pngThe fourth kid, Troy Wilkerson, was a nihilistic Mallrat Goth kid. Very arrogant with abandonment Issues according to Vasquez. His mother was a divorcee who was a cardiac surgeon who was always busy with her job. Troy was often left alone. He wore a Death Metal Shirt for “Death Cult for Cutie”.

He also had a record for stealing books from the West Seattle Library, namely the Chertoff Codex, a 200 year old handwritten volume. It was from the rare books collection and when Vasquez looked into it she was told that the only person in Seattle who might have some information on it was at the U.W. library. His name was ADRIAN HUGGINS.

All of them claimed they were only at the Graveyard because they had heard on the news about the Satanic Ritual that had been done there and they were simply curious to know what was going on. When asked why they had stayed there for so long they eventually admitted to smoking some pot. They said they left when they saw three men enter the grounds who looked dangerous.

Troy, clearly the smartest of the group didn’t say anything and openly mocked the two detectives who couldn’t manage to get a good read on him.

Wilkerson continued to mock the Detectives when the kids’ legal advocates forced the detectives to let them go because they had no evidence on them…

END OF CHAPTER 02

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BOOK 9: TALES OF THE 13TH PRECINCT: CHAPTER 01
GM: James

GRAVEYARD SHIFT

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Transcribed by: Bradford
In Game date: February, 2009
Episode: 71

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Three years ago, the earthquake and storm known as BLACK MONDAY left hundreds dead and hundreds more homeless as it turned WEST SEATTLE into a No Man’s Land. A haze fell over the area, a lingering darkness that lead to a rapid increase in violence, drugs, gangs and things that went bump in the night unknown to most mortals.

Keeping order in this chaos is the Seattle Police Department. West Seattle in particular has the officers of the 13th Precinct, one of the only things to survive the disaster. But, the spirit of humanity endured…

The area began to be rebuilt thanks to Radcliffe Construction and other interests.

After former police chief Ronald Montgomery had been implicated in corruption charges and the death of SID ROUTMAN Seattle law enforcement took a heavy blow. A month ago, the death of PETER JERICHO culminated in a series of Internal Affairs Investigations that dissolved Seattle PD’s Special Investigations Division. With it came changes including the appointment of CAPTAIN JEFF CLARK as the 13th Precinct’s top cop and the reassignment of police officers all of over the city.

DETECTIVE SAMANTHA VASQUEZ & DETECTIVE SAM VOLKOV started their partnership at the 13th Precinct on a Graveyard Shift. Maxine Gordon had been convicted of murdering her family, but always claimed innocence. The case generated a national controversy and a crowd of protesters outside the 13th the night of her execution blocked Detectives Vasquez & Volkov from getting to work on time.

EC_COM260.pngOfficer Witfield of the 13th argued in the lobby with CRAIG BIG EAGLE, making an ass of himself in the process. He felt that Gordon should fry for her crimes. She had been convicted of murdering her two small children and her husband. She was scum according to him and didn’t deserve to live. Craig retorted that she may have been convicted but that did not mean that she deserved execution. What if she was falsely convicted? Isn’t it better for the State to incarcerate her for life instead of potentially executing a single innocent person?

Vasquez introduced herself by informing the arrogant and obnoxious Witfield that department regulations required personal decorum and behavior from all of its officers. Something he was sorely lacking with his crude language. Detective Volkov introduced himself by “politely” getting the officer to go take a walk. Volkov’s senses of smell and hearing had been improving over the past year and he could smell alcohol on this officer’s breath. He confronted him about it and Witfield said that he had had a beer with dinner and that he never went on the job impaired. Officer Witfield preferred to save face than continue the argument.

Craig Bigeagle was intrigued by the behavior of both Detectives and introduced himself as one of the few pillars of Seattle’s many struggling communities. Bigeagle scrutinized Detective Volkov and seemed to get a full measure of the man after only a single handshake. Volkov felt something odd pass between them but had no idea that Bigeagle was gifted with the Sight.

Weird…

EC_COM261.pngThe pair went inside and met withCaptain Clark, who was just getting off shift himself. Detective Samantha Vasquez was new to town, having just joined the SPD after a stint at the FBI and fallout from an investigation gone bad. She assured Captain Clark that under her supervision, investigations would go BY THE BOOK. Sam Volkov on the other hand was one of Clark’s people from the U-District, a cop with a reputation for being very persuasive and for getting things done in the line of duty. Legally or not. Clark was sure that Volkov would show Vasquez how things were done in Seattle PD even if it seemed that in the past year Volkov was acting…different.

Captain Clark informed the new Detectives that they had been assigned the case loads of a pair of detectives no longer with the department; One dead and one demoted to Patrolman. He thought that would keep them busy for a while on their first few shifts.

At Midnight Maxine Gordon was executed…EC_COM262.png

Not long after she was declared dead by lethal injection two bodies were discovered at an apartment building down the road.

Detectives Vasquez and Volkov found the two bodies on top of each other, splattered on the pavement in front of a five-story apartment building being renovated by Radcliffe Construction. The pair of dead men looked to be in their 50s and 60s, covered in dirt and track marks and looked to have fallen off the roof. A pair of the many homeless made by Black Monday.

To Detective Volkov though, the pair smelled of body odor and…McKellan’s Whiskey. A beverage way outside their budgets. With construction ongoing, the only tenets in the apartments were the manager, David Freeman and his 16 Year old son, Michael. When the Detectives arrived at his door, he returned with some Proletariat Pizza for his son’s late night study session for Honors courses. Michael, clearly scared of the police, claimed he hadn’t see anything, and that his music was too loud.

EC_COM263.pngBut a trail of evidence, testimony and smells proved to the Detectives that while Michael was a good kid on his way up, he was hiding something. A little Good Cop(Vasquez), Bad Cop(Volkov) later and Michael cooperated and revealed what he knew.

A bunch of kids from the uber expensive and prestigious Bush School paid Michael $50 dollars to let them onto the roof so they could give some homeless men some drugs and booze and record a Bum Fight. Apparently they had grandiose dreams of turning the video into an internet sensation that they would turn into a full fledged TV show gaining fame and fortune. Michael identified the trio as TJ Radcliffe and his friends Jason & Chase.

Further investigation turned up a website owned by “TJ Knockout”, but the rest would have to wait until morning.

At around 5am the detectives got another call. The body of a dog was found desecrated at the Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery, the place Maxine Gordon was buried after her execution hours before.

Vic Loomis, Groundskeeper showed the detectives the animal. A Show Dog with a pentagram carved into his head. According to the local priest at the scene, the murder of this animal would have desecrated the grounds of the cemetery. Meaning that Maxine Gordon had not been buried in Holy Ground which was particularly disturbing to him since she was a life long practicing Catholic. The father said that he believed in her innocence and was very upset by this horrific act. He could think of no other reason to do this to an animal other than to imperil Maxine’s immortal soul.

Sam Volkov found himself stricken with unusual passion for this crime. No decent person does this to a dog…

Getting to the 10th hour of shift, the partners split up to follow up on their two new cases. Detective Vasquez went to the Bush School and talked to the Head of School about the three boys. In confidence the Headmaster identified Radcliffe’s other two cohorts and told Vasquez to throw the book at them. In his opinion they were spoiled rotten and entitled sociopaths and deserved to be in prison.

EC_COM264.pngTJ Radcliffe is exactly who they thought, the son of Trevor Radcliffe, owner of Radcliffe Construction.

Chase Addison is the Son of a senior partner at Addison, Gilmore & Huntzberg Law Firm. It is considered the most powerful law office in the Pacific Northwest. Small kid, big glasses and very smart.

The final culprit is Jason Prentice. Son of District Attorney Malcolm Prentice. He is really tall and athletic and a star lacrosse player.

The three of them have done all sort of things like this before, but have always managed to get away with it because of their privilege.

Unfortunately, the three of them were interning at Radcliffe Construction so they had a legal right to be on that roof and there is no physical evidence directly linking them to illegal activity….

Meanwhile, Detective Volkov found that the dog, Rags had been stolen from a kid, Mickie Osborn. Taken from the Osborn family’s backyard, Volkov found the dog’s cut off collar(taking it in as evidence) and according to a neighbor, the dog was taken by a what looked like a band of hooligans lately terrorizing the neighborhood, including a tall one. But their identities are still unknown,

The two Sams met back up at the 13th and called it a night, but not before Volkov’s newfound hearing noticed a meeting around the near the back of the parking lot. Volkov recognized ROY MULLENIX from the front pages of a newspaper a few years back talking with Craig Bigeagle and someone else. Volkov didn’t recognize the third party, who looked to be in his twenties wearing a leather jacket and carrying a 6 foot staff of some kind.

EC_COM265.png“It’s similar to the ritual they used on Caroline. This is dangerous, we’ve got to do something…”

When the three noticed Volkov, the man with the staff took a step back and when Volkov rounded the corner was nowhere to be seen.

“Where’s the other guy?” Sam asked.

“What other guy? We weren’t talking to anyone.” The others said in unison, motioning to the empty space Volkov was staring at.

Sam could have sworn he saw, heard and smelled someone there.

Weird…

Volkov complemented Roy on rescuing the baby girl a few months ago. and admired how he kept at the job despite being demoted to patrolman. Roy shrugged off the complement, having head of Volkov’s sordid reputation, and walked off to get back on his beat. Craig seemed concerned about the dead dog and offered to help find out more about the crime and its unusual circumstances. When asked if he knew anyone who might know something more, he admitted he did not.

Before retiring for some much needed sleep, Sam Volkov wrote down the general description of the disappearing man he swore he saw, the details he heard and people at that meeting on a sticky note. He put the sticky note on his computer, so that he could follow up on it next shift…

END OF CHAPTER 01

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BOOK 8: THOSE WHO COME: CHAPTER 11
GM: Justin

GOING IN CIRCLES

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Transcribed by: James
In Game date: January, 2009
Episode: 70

Jack learned that the ghosts that he had recruited to delay the construction of PETER JERICHO’S building for the Venus Tabernacle Church in Seattle had largely been nullified by the efforts of the good folk in the community. The spirits were driven off by their good intent. Little did they realize that Jericho was a pawn of the Outsiders who was using the church to open a passage to this plane so they could invade this reality.

That is why JACK YOUNGBLOOD, in his role as a Warden of the White Council and his allies, LEIF WOTENSEN, MATHEWWOOFRILEY and ROY MULLENIX had attempted to kidnap the pastor. Their ambush went wrong and Jericho had been killed but the group wanted to make sure that his plans would not bare any fruit.

Roy had been assigned to look into Jericho’s kidnapping and was walking a tightrope between his duties as a Seattle Police Officer and the Venatori Umbrorum. The original lead on the case, Detective Mendosa, had been killed by a magical ward that Jericho had left behind and it had been taken over by Detective Vince Cook. To complicate matters he was being blackmailed by fellow Detective Wilcox who had witnessed Roy trying to conceal evidence in the form of a book on Outsiders. Internal Affairs, led by RAYMOND AVILA was going to bust Roy for his connection to Commissioner Montgomery’s Special Investigations unit. Fortunately for him Avila was being forced to answer questions into Mendoza’s death and wasn’t’ around to harass the disgraced detective and watch his every move.

Roy managed to concentrate the investigation on Jericho’s home where Mendoza had been slain while looking into who might be taking over Jericho’s operation and continuing his “good works”. After investigating the church’s employee files he discovered that several of them were empty. A dozen of the security guards and a few other key employees were little more than ghosts as near as Roy could tell, using false names and addresses. The head of security for the church, Don Jones, had no explanation and exhibited behavior that could indicate that he had been mind controlled mystically. Jones called in all of his employees at Roy’s request but those dozen did not show up. Bob Blackstone, a janitor at the church, didn’t show up either which was immediately suspicious. Roy called Jack and Riley and told them about Blackstone and told them to look into him.

Riley recognized him as a fellow gun nut who had sold him firearms and explosives on multiple occasions. He pointed out that Blackstone would have the skills necessary to set up the mines and booby traps they had encountered at the Queen Anne chapter of the church when they had infiltrated it.

They headed out to Blackstone’s isolated cabin in the woods north of Seattle. They arrived in Jack’s Jeep and Riley noticed a pair of Humvees parked at the cabin. They got out of the jeep and Jack veiled it. He and Riley sneaked toward the cabin spotting several men but they get in their vehicles and drive off before they can do anything about it. They search the cabin and find nothing. Although based on a few clues it seems that Blackstone may have been executed. Jack tried to commune with a local spirit named Cricket Bramble in exchange for some Twinkies. They pursue as fast as they are able but the men get away. Jack and Riley stop at a Costco to buy more Twinkies for the spirit. While there they learn that Blackstone used to come in their often but hadn’t been seen in a week. Having no more leads they give up and head home.

After some discussion Jack casts another cleansing ritual on Jericho’s body and they dump him in Puget Sound where he is quickly discovered. The murder investigation goes on for a short while but peters out without any leads. With the investigation over Roy is finally demoted to patrolman.

END OF THOSE WHO COME

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BOOK 8: THOSE WHO COME: CHAPTER 10
GM: Justin

THIN BLUE LINE

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Transcribed by: James
In Game date: January, 2009
Episode: 69

ROY MULLENIX had been called in to help work the crime scene of an apparent kidnapping. What his fellow boys in blue were unaware of is that Roy had special insight into the crime because he had been part of it. The former detective had attacked PETER JERICHO and killed him along with JACK YOUNGBLOOD, MATHEWWOOFRILEY and LEIF WOTENSEN. They hadn’t meant to kill the evangelical preacher. Their plan was to kidnap him for questioning to discover just what he was hoping to accomplish for his Outsider masters. But after an intense firefight and the arrival of the SLENDER MAN to rescue him the friends had no choice but to destroy him before he escaped.

But now the former detective, still waiting for a full ruling on his suspension and demotion, had been called in by Detective David Mendoza, an older man who was to retire after this one final case. Mendoza had taken over the case from the two detectives that had first been assigned to it, Jordan and Wilcox, after they had determined that it was the possible kidnapping of the celebrity preacher Peter Jericho. Such a high priority case required a more experienced touch apparently.

Unfortunately for Roy an additional man had joined the investigation. RAYMOND AVILA, the ambitious Internal Affairs officer who was investigating him, had joined because he was endlessly suspicious and wanted to keep an eye on Roy. Avila obviously objected to Mullinex being brought in on the case but because of some oddness at the scene it was decided that Roy was to be part of the investigation. As Special Investigation’s top detective Mendoza felt Roy’s experience with the weird would be invaluable.

And the crime scene would have totally baffled Roy if he hadn’t been there to see what Jack’s spell had wrought. The young Warden had cast a ritual spell that he was clearly practiced at that wiped the entire crime scene clear of any forensic evidence left behind. All the bullets had been shattered or melted, all the brass from the guns had been swept up and all traces of blood or DNA had been completely scoured clean. All the cameras in the area had been fried leaving no video evidence. Jack’s spell had been amazingly effective but despite that Roy did find some small clues that he passed on dutifully aware that Avila was watching him like a hawk.

Knowing that a high profile kidnapping would be kicked up to the FBI he called Leif, who had the body of Jericho with him, and suggested he leave it somewhere where it could be discovered after he finished with it. A murder would be easier for him to handle and cover up since it would stay under Seattle PD’s jurisdiction. The son of Odin said he would think about it. But for now he had to finish preparing his ritual. It was his intent to call up Peter Jericho’s spirit and get the answers they needed from it. Jack had gone back to ZEBADIAH EINAR’S house and passed out after working so much magic while Riley had gone back home to rest as well. Leif was using his own unique Norse Magic to question the dead. The procedure would take quite a while to prepare however.

Getting nowhere at the crime scene Mendoza decided that their next move would be to go to Jericho’s townhouse to see if they could discover anything. Wilcox and Avila had been butting heads all afternoon. The IA investigator apparently knew that Wilcox was dirty and he had only contempt for him. Meanwhile the slovenly detective despised the IA officer and suggested he take the stick out of his ass so he could beat him over the head with it. His insults moved the belligerent detective to the top of Avila’s shit list.

As the group of officers moved throughout the townhouse they found nothing all that interesting on the first two floors. They did note that Jericho didn’t have any electronic devices or a computer anywhere in the house. The only exception was the large flat screen TV but he believed that was mostly there as a status symbol. When they turned it on the set up screen came up indicating that it had never been used. Roy immediately realized that it was because the preacher was a wizard. He knew that magic interfered with sophisticated electronics. It confirmed once and for all that Jericho was a practitioner and a Law Breaker. Avila couldn’t prove anything but he became increasingly convinced that Roy knew something the rest of them didn’t. He watched Roy like a hawk looking for anything that would give him a reason to bust him. He was hostile and accusatory and in general everyone there hated his guts.

The study was just as innocuous as the rest of the house. Roy noticed some slight wear in the hardwood floors and deduced that there was a secret door behind one of the bookshelves. He didn’t want to say anything and planned on coming back later with Jack to fully investigate and dispose of any magic the preacher might have hidden behind the door. Avila, ever more suspicious, noted that Roy had spotted something and demanded he tell him what it was. Wilcox noticed Roy’s behavior as well and looking closer was able to find the door himself. They opened it to reveal a hidden library.

Roy, who had a better feel for the supernatural than any of his fellow police, felt the creeping sensation of magic crackling across his nerves. The library contained numerous tomes some bound in what he believed was human skin. Avila and Roy entered the library immediately and began to explore while the paranoid and cautious Wilcox hung back toward the entrance. Avila felt the urge to open and read a book that seemed to occupy a central place in the room but was able to shake off its compulsion and walked away. That was when he noticed the other door in the room that seemed to lead to the adjacent townhouse in the duplex. Impulsively he opened the door. He heard an unnerving ticking sound and that was when the thermite charges detonated.

With the charges going off in his face Avila dove through the door into the adjoining townhouse which seemed mostly empty. He frantically searched for a way out as the secret library blazed into a carefully limited inferno. It seemed that the room had been reinforced to make sure that the fire from the charges wouldn’t spread to the rest of the townhouse. Roy, seeing Avila was out of the room, grabbed the book that was obviously enchanted and hid it in his winter coat.

Avila was getting ever more frantic in the other duplex as he realized that the doors and windows were blocked off. He couldn’t find a way out! The other officers made their way out of the building as smoke filled up the adjoining rooms threatening to smother the IA Investigator. Roy, hearing Avila’s fearful cries, charged through the burning room and into the townhouse to help Avila. By that time Avila had made his way to the garage and was trying to move some heaving boxes out of the way so he could open the door. Roy showed up just in time to aid him. They both noticed a basement door as they gained safety gulping in clear air. Avila’s instincts told him Roy was hiding something again and he remained suspicious despite the detective’s aid.

After the firemen put out the localized fire all of the officers made their way back to the basement to investigate. They were far more cautious this time though. They sent in the Fire Department to make sure there were no more incendiary surprises awaiting them. After they were given the all clear Mendoza led them all down the stairs into the basement. They found a room with an ominous sacrificial altar within a magic circle. There was a door with a heavy wood latch in the room that was covered in runes. Before Roy could stop him Mendoza moved over to the door and lifted the latch. There was a flash of mystical light and Mendoza simply exploded splattering blood and viscera all over all of the men in the room.

Roy, covered from head to toe in blood and guts realized that all of his clothes and everything on him would be confiscated as evidence. Including the book he had taken from the library upstairs. If that happened he would go to jail for obstructing justice and tampering with evidence. Thinking quickly he sought to dump the book while everyone was distracted by the horrific end that Mendoza had suffered. He managed to dump the book underneath the altar without Avila spotting him. However, Wilcox saw him do it and made a mental note to have a private conversation with Roy about it later. Surely he could squeeze the disgraced detective for something useful.

The door that had been warded with the deadly magic led to the mystical passages into the Nevernever and the SEATTLE UNDERGROUND. It seemed that Jericho wanted to make sure no one could attack him from the Underground through the doors resulting in the deadly spell. Roy, using a burner phone, called Jack at Zeb’s house and told him about the hidden tome and told him he would have to steal it from the basement and make sure it didn’t fall into anyone else’s hands. Avila, still suspicious of Roy, traced the phone call to Zeb’s house but would have no idea that Jack was living there. The young Warden made his way to the scene and veiled himself and smuggled the book out. He then bound the book in a special package that would neutralize its magical compulsions and shipped it off to Wizard Peabody and the White Council to dispose of it.

After that Jack joined Leif at the warehouse where he finished his ritual to commune with the spirit of the dead preacher. Roy, realizing he was being tailed by an IA officer and unable to shake him went straight home texting Leif and letting him know that he wouldn’t be able to join them.

Leif learned that Jericho considered himself a champion of the Outsiders that he worshiped. He admitted to calling up the Slender Man but that he was unable to control him. The Slender Man still aided him but it was under his own terms not Jericho’s. The Priest’s spirit did believe that his minions, especially the ones that had been altered by his foul magics, would do their best to carry out his plans to summon the Elder Gods. Something that Leif and his allies absolutely could not allow to happen. Leif and Jack steeled themselves as they realized that their task was not finished. They had cut off the head of the beast but the body still lived. They had to put a stop to it. No matter the cost.

END OF CHAPTER TEN

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BOOK 8: THOSE WHO COME: CHAPTER 09
GM: Justin

JERICHO FALLS

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Transcribed by: James
In Game date: January, 2009
Episode: 68

JACK YOUNGBLOOD sneaked out of the Radcliffe Clinic as PETER JERICHO appeared on the morning news to claim that there was a gas main explosion that caused the damage to the Queen Anne chapter of the Mount Venus Tabernacle. He made no mention of the Outsiders that he was keeping in his basement or that Jack and his allies destroyed them in rather spectacular fashion knocking the whole side of the building off. But that had nothing to do with Jack’s morning excursion. The young Warden wanted to confirm that he had indeed found evidence of his mother’s legacy. The magic he had sensed that was concealing the ley line convergence located at the Space Needle had a signature that might very well be ALICE YOUNGBLOOD’S. Could it have something to do with her disappearance all those years ago?EC_COM254.png

Jack got to the back door of the clinic and found a note left by AUNT B along with a pastry and a cup of coffee. The note simply admonished him to “Be Careful”. Jack should have known that he couldn’t sneak out without the gruff but kindly Aunt B knowing about it. He gratefully woofed down the pastry and drank the coffee as he made his way to his own house on CAPITOL HILL.

His house had been nearly destroyed by the Venatori Umbrorum and was in the middle of being rebuilt. Jack made his way through the plastic sheeting that was tacked up to prevent further water damage and found an old box of his mother’s things in the basement. He almost reverently opened the box and was able to confirmed without doubt that the feeling he had gotten from map at the church was indeed a product of his mother’s magic.

Jack made his way back to the clinic and rendezvoused with his allies and told them about the ley line convergence and its link to his mother. After making plans Jack, along with MATHEWWOOFRILEY, headed down to SEATTLE CENTER where Jack planned on using his wizard senses to examine the Space Needle and see if he could figure out what his mother was up to. Meanwhile, ROY MULLENIX went down to the King County records office to do some research on the Space Needle to see if he could find any other leads. What the detective discovered was astonishing. Excited he left immediately for the Space Needle to pass on what he discovered.

EC_COM255.png Jack was able to center himself and commune with the spirits surrounding Seattle Center. On the surface he sensed the great optimism and a vision of the future the Space Needle imparted even decades after it had been built. It truly is the heart of the city he thought. He also sensed a powerful magic on the site. The same magic he had felt before. His mother’s magic. But it wasn’t just hers. There were many others who had been involved in an extremely powerful ritual. He recognized a second magical signature. That of the Gatekeeper.

Intrigued Jack opened his Sight fully and looked upon the iconic building. He saw the Space Needle as a spike that cemented the Nevernever and the mundane world together preventing any other realities from gaining a toe hold on this world. It specifically guarded against Outsiders and would make it difficult for any intrusion by them. That was why the ritual to bring LEVIATHAN into this reality that SAWNEY BEAN had attempted had required so many sacrifices to power it.

EC_COM256.pngWhen the Warden came out of his trance he found Roy waiting impatiently. The former detective had discovered something important. Barely able to contain himself Roy explained that he had found several things out about the Needle. First off, the roof cap resembled the kind of telemetry tracker used by NASA to locate dead pulsars. The purpose of that seemed unclear but it might have had something to do with the ritual Jack had identified. But what had Roy most excited is the name of one of the designers of the Space Needle. He showed Jack a copy of the plans he had gathered at the records office. At the bottom the design was attributed to “A. Youngblood”. Jack was floored by this definitive proof of his mother’s hand in the iconic building’s creation. Gaining resolve from his mother’s efforts to prevent Outsider incursions Jack declared that they had to do something immediately about Jericho.

The group gathered and it was decided that they would snatch Jericho that evening. They met with The Pack and made arrangements to use their warehouse in the UNIVERSITY DISTRICT. It had been the site of the cleansing ritual that CRAIG BIG EAGLE had used to save the werewolves from Chernobog’s influence. GYPSY, The Pack’s Current Alpha in DOZER’S absence, agreed to let them use the building. The biker’s owed them after all. They had defended them from a Venatori assault team allowing Craig to finish that ritual.

After securing the location Jack and LEIF WOTENSEN set out to make it impossible for Jericho to escape them. The two worked their magics combining them to make a circle that would be able to block any attempts by the priest to gain access to the spirit world or use magic of any kind. Jack made a call to the Wardens and let them know what they faced and their plans. Ramirez, chief Warden of the region, gave their plan his blessing. EC_COM257.png

With their prison ready the group set out to ambush the Outsider preacher and capture him. Riley had determined the best locale to set the ambush based on the information that ANDREW MARSHAL’S surveillance had provided them. They planned on hitting Jericho near the waterfront off of Queen Anne as he left the church for his apartment.

After waiting for a short time they spotted the preacher’s limo. Wasting no time Jack stepped out of the alley where the group was waiting and used air magic to pop all four tires of the vehicle. Or at least that is what he tried to do.

The car was heavily warded against just that kind of magic and Jack was a bit unprepared when his spell had absolutely no effect. He cried out to his allies, who were all just as surprised that Jack’s magic had been thwarted, and they reacted immediately to stop the limo. Riley fired a rapid burst from his M-14 at the driver of the vehicle but missed as it went evasive. Roy wasted no time and unloaded a long barrage of rounds from his M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon into the engine block of the car causing it to swerve into a street light with a loud crash. Two guards leaped from the vehicle and immediately began laying down suppressive fire with their submachineguns. Jericho took off down the street with impressive speed under their cover fire. Braving the fire Jack stepped out from cover and worked a quick binding magic wrapping Jericho in thick tendrils of spirit magic stopping him in his tracks while Leif cast a warding spell to protect his allies.

EC_COM258.pngWoof returned fire and noticed that while the guard was wearing a bullet proof vest it was his inhuman toughness that allowed him to survive with little damage. The guards continued to fire at the group and Roy blasted back with little effect as they dodged his fusillade with uncanny speed. Roy managed to avoid the return fire while Jack reinforced his spell holding the priest in place. Leif noticed that Jericho’s brow was wrinkled in concentration and, hoping to prevent any magic, taunted him to no effect. Jericho paid him no mind and continued to focus.

Realizing they couldn’t afford to tarry any longer than necessary Woof made his move leaping into the guard’s withering suppressive fire and causing them to duck down with his own accurate bursts. In desperation one guard threw a grenade but the group managed to take cover from the blast unharmed. Meanwhile the other guard charged the former SEAL and staggered him with a powerful blow. That was when Jack unleashed more of his magic. For a wizard as powerful as Jack it wasn’t easy to reign his power and not kill someone with it. But Jack used air magic to release a taser blast of lightning that left the Disciple of the Outsiders in shock with his muscles twitching. Leif used that moment to charge out of the alley on Sleipnir engine roaring and attempted to KO the priest with the blunt end of his spear. While his blow landed on Jericho’s head he somehow managed to stay conscious still wrapped up tight in Jack’s binding spell. That was when the SLENDER MAN arrived.

EC_COM259.pngWith contemptuous ease the dark apparition shredded Jack’s powerful magic and gathered the priest up obviously planning on spiriting him away. Knowing that they couldn’t let Jericho escape Riley blasted a hole in the man’s chest and Roy unloads the remainder of his ammo ripping him to shreds. The guards react with a fury firing on the companions and one of them throwing another grenade to little effect. Screaming “Enough” Jack cast a mighty strobe spell that blinded everyone at the scene leaving him suffering from a terrible headache after casting so much magic. The guards took off while the Slender Man seemed to acknowledge Jack’s power with a nod before vanishing himself. They had won. They hadn’t meant to kill him but Jericho would no longer enthrall his parish with false promises. For now they would have to content themselves with that.

In the aftermath of the battle Jack used his magics to wipe the entire crime scene of any forensic evidence that might tie the group to the attack and they left just as they heard the sirens of the first responders. Leif gathered Jericho’s body on his motorcycle and fled. Shortly afterward Roy got a call from his new Captain telling him that he was going to be the lead investigator in the attack on a local priest. He had no choice but to accept.

END OF CHAPTER NINE

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BOOK 8: THOSE WHO COME: CHAPTER 08
GM: Justin

CONVERGENCE

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Transcribed by: James
In Game date: January, 2009
Episode: 67

JACK YOUNGBLOOD was passed out after incinerating the Tentacled Horrors that PETER JERICHO had secreted in the basement of the Fremont chapter of the Venus Tabernacle Church. Jack was still recovering from the gunshot wound he had taken to his belly and wasn’t at full strength. The powerful ritual of cleansing fire magic had almost been more than he could EC_COM249.png handle. While ROY MULLENIX laid down suppression fire with his M-249 SAW to keep the security team’s heads down, LEIF WOTENSEN desperately tried to wake up the unconscious Warden. The guards blocked the group’s escape holding the ground floor exit from the basement to the main office of the building.

Jack sputtered into consciousness and Leif called Riley over to look after him while he prepared a magical distraction for the guards that were clearly planning on making a move against the trapped team. The injured Warden got Riley to help him make his way to the bulletin board that had a large map of Seattle on it with the region’s ley lines clearly laid out. Oddly Jack sensed a magic that he hadn’t really experienced in years and Riley was startled when the young man muttered, “Mom?!?!” under his breath with a stricken look on his face. Jack seemed to come to himself with a start and waved the former SEAL off. After making sure Jack was OK , MATHEWWOOFRILEY moved into position to have clear firing lanes on anyone coming down the spiral staircase to the dank basement.

Jack stared at the map with fascination and felt a magical compulsion to not notice that the ley lines all converged on the Space Needle in the SEATTLE CENTER. It was a subtle yet powerful magic that was familiar to him which is perhaps why he was able to overcome it so easily. It was the same spell that made his father’s old Winnebago almost impossible to remember for most people. The magic that protected the ley line convergence at the Space Needle was almost identical. Although the spell’s magical signature and feel told Jack that it wasn’t his father, JOHN FRANCIS YOUNGBLOOD JR., who had cast it. And yet it was a familiar magic. Something Jack hadn’t sensed in nearly 10 years. The young wizard was almost totally certain that it was his mother’s power that fueled the compulsion. But that couldn’t be. Mary Youngblood had vanished under mysterious circumstances and hadn’t been heard from or seen since Jack was a small child. How could he possibly be sensing her magic here???EC_COM250.png

The young Warden should have been wondering why Jericho was so desperate to find the ley line convergence but his mind raced and he thought only of his mother. Of how painful growing up not knowing what had happened to her was. Of rocking his little sister to sleep in his arms every night for months as she cried out for her absent mother not old enough to understand what was going on.

Meanwhile, Roy had run out of ammo and that was apparently what the guards were waiting for. While he was reloading his light machinegun they acted. They pushed a heavy desk down the stairs from above crashing loudly and setting off the tripwire grenades Riley had placed at the foot of the stairs. The resulting blast deafened them all in the confined space of the basement. The former detective was clipped by the plummeting desk and sent sprawling and its bulk is all that saved him from the grenade blasts. The calamity was so loud that it snapped Jack out of his fugue state.

Taking charge Leif yelled for Jack to use his magic to find them a way out of their predicament and the guards charged down the stairs into the basement guns blazing. Jack was barely able to concentrate because of the stupendous thunder of their unrelenting gunfire. Luckily for the companions the son of Odin had created a convincing illusion of the hated White Court Enforcer JJ MERCER that drew their fire. The illusory vampire ducked and dodged the guard’s attacks until one of them managed to clearly shoot it in the head. This revealed two things. First that the vampire was not real. Secondly, it revealed that some of the guards moved with an almost inhuman speed which had enabled one of them to shoot the elusive phantom.

EC_COM251.pngThe guards recovered quickly and turned their attention to attacking the companions. Riley fired a burst from his trusty M-14 and the heavy rounds of the battle rifle destroyed his target’s knees dropping him to the floor wailing in pain. As the guards began to rally Leif created a powerful whirlwind with his storm magics. The wind gathered up all the ash and grit that had been created by Jack’s immolation of the Outsider monsters and blew it into the guard’s faces causing them to fire blindly. Maintaining the wind put a great strain on the young doctor and he was only able to control it with great effort. Roy threw a tear gas grenade which only made the guard’s predicament worse as the heavy ash combined with the blinding gas. That was when Jack’s spell went off.

The young Warden had gathered his considerable will into a blast of pure spirit force that tore through the ceiling of the basement to the floor above. He even managed to direct the resulting debris into pile of rubble that wouldn’t be too difficult to climb. The expenditure of magic left him woozy though and combined with his gun shot wound to the belly left him leaning on his staff nearly spent. Riley moved to the wounded wizard and pushed him up the rubble onto the ground floor and then he began to return fire at the guards as Leif’s magic winds died down. Jack wandered off down the empty hall in a seeming stupor.

EC_COM252.pngThe guards, perhaps seeing Roy’s M-249 light machinegun as a greater threat, fired a volley at the detective while one of them managed to charge up to him displaying more inhuman quickness. Roy’s body armor saved him from being wounded as he took a couple of hits and near misses. The charging guard savagely attacked wielding his empty rifle as a club and again Roy’s body armor was tested again as he managed to land some blows. Riley, being careful not to hit his ally, managed to shoot the guard in the arm causing a mere flesh wound. Realizing the guards were not fully human Leif commanded them all to get the hell out of there while climbing to the ground floor. Riley covered Roy and was the last to make his way up to the ground floor trading fire with the guards. Leif desperately called out Jack’s name not seeing him.

While the others were engaged in the firefight the Warden had noticed a map of the building that illustrated the nearest exits in case of a fire and used it to orient himself. He had meandered down a hallway away from the main office using his magic to veil himself from the eyes of any guards or people in the area. He made his way to the outer wall of the building pausing for a moment to catch his breath. He then closed his eyes in concentration and blew the whole side of the building off to fall into an empty parking lot in a titanic blast of magic. Such a powerful working was the last straw though and the wizard passed out completely spent.

Leif had made his way to his unconscious friend and grabbed him up in a fireman’s carry and ran to their vehicle as he heard firetruck sirens heading their way. Roy and Riley were right on his heels and Leif turned toward them screaming at them to move it. What he didn’t realize is that he was recognized by one of the attacking guards who got a good look at his face in that moment.

Leif took Jack to the Radcliffe Clinic on CAPITOL HILL to tend to his wounds. The young doctor volunteered at the clinic and Jack’s new bride, ABIGAIL WHARTON was a patient there as well. After confirming that he was simply exhausted the doctor went home leaving Jack with Abby.

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The young Warden looked down at the sleeping form of his new bride and considered what he would be willing to sacrifice to save her from the cancer that was ravaging her body. Abby’s beauty was haunting and fragile and his heart ached with the knowledge that he was the cause of so much of her pain. There were a number of beings in Seattle that might could save her. THE DRAGON LADY was known to make bargains to save terminally ill people all the time but Jack had an unfortunate history with her. In his misspent youth he had tricked the Dragon Lady gaining one of her boons for what she had been led to believe was his own blood. She was not amused that he had given her chicken blood instead. Jack had always been careful whenever he was in the International District after that day. The Dragon Lady was not known for her forgiveness.

He briefly considered the Fae. ODIANNA OF WINTER was the most powerful faerie in Seattle. But Jack realized that bargaining with the Winter Rose would not likely end up in his, or more importantly Abby’s, best interest. The only Fae that he could think of that might be willing to help him and had the power to do so was Odianna’s former mistress, FERN FROST. Frost had a reputation of being a bit more compassionate than many of her fellow Winter Fae.

He also contemplated contacting Leif’s father, Odin. The All Father was a Viking god of War and Death but Jack had a feeling he wouldn’t be interested in interfering with Abby’s wyrd. As he drifted off to sleep holding Abby’s hand he finally considered contacting, AZAEL. The Demon had made it very clear that it wanted Jack to take up coin and become its host. But he couldn’t possibly concede to that? Could he? Worry knotted the Warden’s brow as exhaustion finally rendered him unconscious.

END OF CHAPTER EIGHT

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