Transcribed by: James
In Game date: January, 2009
ROY MULLENIX, MATHEW “WOOF” RILEY and JACK YOUNGBLOOD rendezvoused at ZEBADIAH EINAR’S house to try and figure out their next move. LEIF WOTENSEN’S duties as a doctor called him away and he went to Swedish Hospital to make his rounds. Riley hid his van, filled to the brim with illegal explosives, in a storage facility nearby.
Roy got a phone call from his police union lawyer who made an appointment to meet and discuss his defense against the charges RAYMOND AVILA had leveled against him. The former detective was part of Avila’s Internal Affairs investigation into disgraced police commissioner Ronald Montgomery’s Special Investigation group. The commissioner was better known as LORD MONTAGUE in the supernatural community and he had been usurped and forced to flee the city by rival AARON MERCER as lord of the White Court in Seattle.
The three of them put their heads together and decided that they needed to see what they could learn about PETER JERICHO and his schedule. Jack had the idea that maybe they could ask ANDREW MARSHAL to help them out. Andrew had a connection to what he called the “Urban Wing”. Essentially he could control and view the world through the eyes of any pigeons or other birds that could be found in the city. This made him uniquely suited to spy on the reverend whose magical talents would likely enable him to sense any mystical surveillance that Jack might employ and defeat any mundane surveillance that Riley or Roy could muster. Jack knew that the best way to reach Andrew was to talk to Craig. He could handle that on his own.
Meanwhile, they decided that Riley and Roy should speak to VITALY KULIKOVA. The Kulikova Clan of ghouls patrolled the SEATTLE UNDERGROUND and were vigilant against any encroachment from other dimensional threats through the passages. It was hoped that the ghoul might have information on any movement especially from Outsiders like the tentacled horrors Jack and Riley had encountered in the basement of the Mount Venus Tabernacle in Queen Anne. The best way to set up a meeting with the ghoul was through his mistress, ODIANNA OF WINTER. Steeling himself the Navy SEAL and the suspended detective went to CAPITOL HILL to her nightclub, the Masquerade. Roy dropped Riley off and then went to pick up some lunch for the two of them.
Riley was greeted by MR. SQUIRE who informed him that the Winter Rose would be with him shortly. Riley explained that he needed to speak to Vitally about what was going on in the city. The hulking ogre ignored Riley and escorted him over the threshold to Odianna’s demesne. She reclined on her throne and two tables sat before her covered with ornate cloth. She explained, with a terrifying gleam in her eye, that it was time to continue Riley’s education.
Shuddering at what that might entail the former sailor explained to her that PETER JERICHO of the Mount Venus Tabernacle in Queen Anne had summoned and controlled tentacled monstrosities from Outside this reality. Odianna told him to kill them. When Riley suggested that they might not be able to die Odianna smiled a terrible and cold smile that chilled the very blood in his veins.
“Everything dies,” she said.
“Now it is time for your lesson,” she declared. She presented the former SEAL with a joint from a large animal that looked so juicy and tasty that he began to salivate immediately. She told Riley not to resist and to trust his instincts. But Riley stubbornly refused to give in to his urge. Odianna rang a tiny bell and Mr. Squire seemed to appear out of nowhere.
“He needs to be distracted so he can focus on his inner enlightenment,” she explained to Squire.
The huge ogre turned to Riley and towered over him with a great smile on his face. Before Riley could dodge out of the way a massive fist slammed into his gut knocking the wind out of him. Unable to concentrate Riley’s resistance to the hunger that ripped through his soul crumbled and he suddenly found himself transformed into a massive hound. Chaotic thoughts and impulses ran through his brain as he was suddenly assailed by the wants and needs of a canine. Odianna clapped gleefully at this telling him he was a “good dog” and gestured to Mr. Squire who covered the food up with the cloth.
Odianna turned to the second table and with a flourish whipped the cloth away revealing a battered old assault rifle that desperately needed cleaning. As soon as he laid eyes on the weapon Riley’s unrelenting training as a US Navy SEAL kicked in. The urge to break the weapon down, clean it and then reassemble it was palpable. Yet when he tried to reach for the weapon he realized his paws would not be up to the task. He concentrated and suddenly the great hound was transformed back into a man. Odianna seemed pleased at that and dismissed him. As he left her demesne Mr. Squire gave him Vitally’s phone number and without a word shut the door in his face. Riley turned just as Roy drove up with their lunch.
Riley, glad that his cell phone worked fine for once because neither of the Wardens were around, called the number Mr. Squire had given him and arranged to meet Vitally at Jimmy Johns downtown. The ghoul expected them to buy him lunch. When they arrived they moved to a booth in the back. They did not have to wait long as Vitally strode in along with 4 of his clan. They all looked distinctly Eastern European and Riley easily noted the large amount of firearms they concealed beneath their winter coats. Vitally commanded Roy to buy him and his crew sandwiches, two apiece, and be quick about it in his thick Russian accent. They then wedged themselves into the booth with Riley effectively blocking him into a corner.
Riley asked the leader of the Kulikova clan if anything unusual was transpiring in the SEATTLE UNDERGROUND. Vitally shrugged and explained that there was always something weird going on down there. It was connected to countless parts of the Nevernever after all. The sailor then asked him if there had been any reports of any tentacled creatures? Vitally said that there had been a giant squid that had encroached on the south tunnels a few weeks ago.
“It was delicious,” he reported.
“Boris say he saw SLENDER MAN last week. But everyone knows that he is myth,” he continued as he dug his elbow into his lieutenant’s ribs. Boris looked chagrined as the others began laughing and commenting in rapid fire Russian.
“He’s real,” Roy interrupted carrying a tray full of sandwiches. “We have seen him on more than one occasion. Was the Slender Man with anyone? A preacher by the name of Peter Jericho perhaps?”
“Who is this preacher to you?” Vitally demanded.
“He is a servitor of the Outsiders. He has summoned several…creatures that he keeps beneath his church in the basement Tentacled creatures.”
Vitally snatched his sandwiches off the tray with a look of contempt and he and his minions dug into the food with gusto. Around a mouthful of sandwich the Russian ghoul replied, “We have seen preacher enter tunnels. He never went to deep tunnels so we ignored him.”
“I assume you have mapped all the passages between worlds. Do you know where he was going?” Roy asked.
“Does not work that way,” Vitally spit out becoming more agitated. It seemed the Russian had little love for the police. “We need more sandwiches,” he said as Roy started to take a seat. They two locked eyes for a moment and then Roy headed back to the counter to get them more food.
Vitally leaned toward the Navy SEAL in a conspiratorial manner and said with his accented English, “We kill preacher for you. I cut you good deal. Just cost you arm and leg.”
He and his minions stared at the SEAL with a deeply hungry expressions for several long moments and then erupted in laughter just as Riley was starting to feel like an entree.
“Do you take credit?” Riley asked when it started to die down a bit which caused them to laugh even louder as one them pounded him on the back. Vitally eventually wiped the tears out of his eyes and looked at the SEAL with respect.
“Yes. We take credit. You give target we take care of it. No questions asked. They never seen again. Just cost you $100k,” he said completely serious as Roy made it back to the table again with another overloaded tray of food. “Think about it.”
He looked up at the detective and said contemptuously, “Make those to go.”
Meanwhile, Jack had met with CRAIG BIG EAGLE and, after explaining the situation they were in, got him to agree to accompany him to see Andrew and ask for his help. Andrew was a bit reluctant at first. It was winter after all and most of his flock had migrated for warmer climates. Plus the last time he had helped many of his birds had been killed. Jack explained that they might be faced with another incursion by Outsiders which could lead to even more death and destruction than BLACK MONDAY. To sweeten the deal he also promised to get the skater some truly Magic mushrooms from the Nevernever and offered his birds a warm birdhouse to stay in during the winter months. Andrew, understanding how serious the situation was, agreed to monitor Jericho’s movements. He even offered to get his birds to poop on Jericho’s vehicle with abandon. Jack shook his hands and they had a deal.
He met Riley and Woof at Zeb’s house and they all tried to work out a strategy on what to do about Jericho. They went round and round as they realized that they just didn’t have enough information of who the preacher was and what would happen if he was killed. For all they knew that would release a horde of tentacled horrors in the heart of Seattle to wreak untold harm on innocent lives. They had to kill the horrors no matter what. Jack proposed they just frontal assault the place and make sure to kill them in the basement. After arguing back and forth they decided that they should sneak into the facility when Jericho was elsewhere and destroy the Outsiders in the basement using a purifying fire ritual. Then they could take on the wizard who summoned them and capture or kill him. They decided they would give the surveillance a couple of days to get a feel for the preacher’s movements and to give them time to prepare. That was when Andrew called.
He told the group that he had monitored the preacher as promised. But Jericho was heading south on I-5 and was outside the city limits. And outside of Andrew’s influence. He was a shaman of the URBAN wing after all. Thinking quickly Jack asked Andrew if his pigeons had pooped on the car. When he said yes Jack asked if he could send one of the pigeons that had done so to him. Andrew reluctantly agreed.
Jack placed the bird in a circle of seeds on a tray. He used it as a ritual link connecting the poop on the car to the bird that it had come from. They knew which way to go depending on which way the pigoen faced as it pecked a the seed. They followed the preacher all the way to the docks in Tacoma and were about 30 minutes behind him. As they neared the docks Woof spotted Jericho’s vehicle pulling away from the dock and heading right back at them. They let him go because Jack wanted to see if they could discover what he was up to at the dock.
As he stretched out with his mystical senses Jack expected to sense the Slender Man or some Outsider presence. But what he found wasn’t from Beyond. It was far more…fishy than that. On a hunch he used water magic to enable him to breath and swim in the cold waters without catching his death and leaped off the dock. He tracked the mysterious presence to the edge of the water but couldn’t discover anything else about it other than it was from the deeps. Disturbed but not sure exactly why he rejoined his comrades. He was determined now more than ever to destroy Peter Jericho and his church before they could bring harm to his city.
END OF CHAPTER SIX