Campaign of the Month: November 2012



GM: James



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 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.


They made the headlines…on two counts.


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.





I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.