FOLLOW THE QUEEN
Spending the night in jail wasn’t exactly the best remedy for JACK YOUNGBLOOD’S foul mood especially after he helped captured the real Hackmaster killer and saved the damsel in distress, but that is where he ended up.
By the time Jack was getting out of bed OSAMU NISHIMURA (西村修) had already done a 5 mile run, practiced a particularly difficult kata and was in the middle of some intense mediation when he was interrupted by his old friend HAMATO YOSHI. The two exchanged pleasantries and Osamu invited Hamato to breakfast with him at HYUNG-SU KIM’s. They served the best noodles in town. While dining Osamu expressed his worries that Yoshi’s manipulations could bring harm to him and his friends. The Ronin seemed to believe that his trail was well covered. Could it be that the notorious masterless warrior was lonely?
MATHEW “WOOF” RILEY recieved a call around then from MR. SQUIRE asking for a progress report. Riley assured the ogre that he would acquire the statue for ODIANNA OF WINTER. Squire explained to him that if he didn’t there would be a high price to pay. He didn’t quite seem gleeful at the prospect of ripping Riley’s arms off but it is always hard to tell with ogres. He asked if Riley was involved at all in the capture of the Hackmaster. Riley affirmed that he was and Squire told him that Odiana would like to see the killer dead. Predators do not like competition after all. Not only that she would like a trophy of his head to place in her grove. Such a magnificent killer would be a fine addition to her collection.
DETECTIVE ROY MULLENIX and his partner DETECTIVE JESSICA MONROE were deep into their investigation of the serial killer’s escape. They began by watching the surveillance footage from the jail cells and discovered that around 3am the lights went dim and the video got grainy and almost impossible to see properly. A lean and compact figure appeared in front of the door of Brown’s cell and extended a palm to the lock. In a moment the lock opened and she entered the cell. Then the figure bent down and grasped the manacles that secured the powerful man to his bed. The shackles crumbled with a quick twist of a wrist. The shadowy figure then hefted the huge man onto her shoulder and carried him out of the cell getting way. When the two of them investigated the cell itself they found the manacles have been rusted all the way through as if they had suddenly aged thousands of years. While Detective Monroe explained that it was probably some black op group using alien tech from Area 51 Roy decided to bring in Jack to see if he can learn anything more.
Jack was in the middle of a long and loud argument with a clerk at the impound cage trying to get his Warden’s Sword back. It seemed that there had been a mix up and that while the scabbard had been cleared for release the sword itself was supposed to be held in evidence (or so said the clerk). Jack was threatening to turn the bored clerk into a toad at the top of his lungs when Roy strode up. The Hero Detective demanded the release of both the sword and its sheath and told the clerk that he should treat Jack with respect. After all he was instrumental in capturing the Hackmaster and saving the life of a young lady the previous night. The clerk was completely shocked at that and gave the young Warden the sword without another word. Jack was stunned. Who would have thought that Roy would stick up for him given their troubled history?
The two of them headed to the jail cell and Jack used his sight to examine the scene after centering himself and finding his inner calm. At first all he sensed was the general despair and anger that permeates the walls of the jail. But Jack was determined to do his job and delved deeper into his sight. He sensed a powerful darkness. A shadowy presence that was fueled by intense rage yet tempered by patience and discipline. Time is meaningless to an ancient evil such as this. It can afford to wait. And it is then that he smelled a faint hint of brimstone. A demon. They are dealing with a demon. Jack’s heart nearly stopped as his first thought went to his lost love ABIGAIL. Could it be her? Can she have come back to Seattle at last?
After hurriedly filling the detective in on what he had discovered he immediately went to a phone and called his sister Caroline’s school. He explained that there was a family emergency and that he will pick her up immediately. He tore out of the police station and got his sister and explained to her that he wanted her safe at home behind the wards for the next few days. At first she balked because she had plans to see a band the next night but Jack told her that Abigail might be back in town and that she might be after her. Caroline still has nightmares about that night. When Abi was possessed she nearly destroyed them all and left her father trapped in spirit form while his body is in a coma. Caroline readily agreed to stay home, and went off to fortify her bedroom.
Riley gave Jack a call soon afterward and came on over to the house. He told Jack that he had been tasked by ODIANNA OF WINTER to get the statue through whatever means necessary. His life depends on it. After some thought Jack agreed to get the statue for his friend but only AFTER the card game. He cannot go against the White Council on hosting the event and he can’t allow anyone to cheat. This was acceptable to Riley and he seemed relieved to finally have all this out in the open.
Meanwhile, Roy checked in with his family to make sure they were safe, and got an earful from his dear daughter asking for him to look into more details about the remaining poker players. While Myst, the black court vampire, remained a mystery (and may even not be much of a poker player), he did find out that Trey Wellington was more lucky then good.
While investigating Roy came across Miss Kempler at the St. Joseph Parish on Capitol Hill. She was miserable and terrified feeling that she was still very much in danger. Somehow it just felt right to her to seek sanctuary in a church. Roy made arrangements to have Miss Kempler taken to a Venatori Safe House but he had some questions for her first. He asked her if she can help him with any information about her kidnapping. Comforted by the presence of the heroic cop, she told the detective about how, after going off campus for lunch, she had stumbled across a pretty young lady with reddish hair who was trying to fix a flat tire. She stopped to help her out and then everything went black. The next thing she knew she woke up in the back of the Killer’s van and from there, her story agreed with the events the group witnessed. Curiously, the arrival of Riley also helped pull her out of her withdrawn state.
Roy asked her if she would work with a police sketch artist and she agreed. After a while Roy has a sketch of a young lady in hand and immediately called Jack down to the church. He feared he knew what he was dealing with now but he needed confirmation. When Jack saw the sketch all the blood drained from his face. He showed Miss Kempler a picture of him and Abi from when they were still both just young kids in love. The teacher confirmed that it was her. Jack croaked Abi’s name and he turned his head and was sick in a corner of the church. Apologizing profusely to the Priest Jack ran from the church to get some air. They were dealing with a fallen angel from the Order of the Blackened Denarias. God help them all.