Repo Mage

31OCT15
Halloween

Saturday

Jacob wakes up alone in Zara’s bed. He is nursing one hell of a headache, but is otherwise OK. He looks around and see’s Zara sitting at the table, papers and research material spread everywhere. She’s been going through both her files and Madison’s, trying to find anything that will help. She’s got lists of artifacts, books, ritual locations, encrypted files on various people in the city, etc. She wants to bring it to Mark to have him go over it, and also hoping it can server as a peace offering, as she knows he doesn’t trust her. Jacob agrees, and they plan to do that.

At Mark’s, he wakes up to find Jen getting ready to make breakfast for the gang. He talks with her about a decision he made the night before, that he wants to start training Ashley since she was using her magic at the dance. He also thinks that Antony could use something to help him with his confidence along with giving him an edge to keep him safe, namely that Jen might want to start teaching him martial arts. He also mentions that they could ask Cross for some help with that as well, both for added getting him out of his comfort zone. Jen agrees with him with him on all of it. (Ashley becomes a Sidekick)

With breakfast cooked, the kids wake up and join them. A knock at the door interrupts, them, and Mark answers it to find Jacob and Zara. He refuses to let them in, until Jen walks up and invites them in. In the kitchen, Teresa makes fun of Jacob, calling him Ben. Jacob snatches some bacon on the way out to the home office Mark brings them to. Door closed, they start to discuss all the files Zara brought him.

Ashley and Teresa bring Jacob and Zara plates and coffee before leaving. Jen joins them, and later Cross also joins them. While discussing the files, Veronica texts Cross, asking her to come over for Halloween – invited by Madison. Everyone is kind of shocked over that, and how Madison reacted last night. Cross leaves to go get ready and head over there.

One of the main things they discuss is the materials receipts that make it look like Madison had a major ritual circle created somewhere. Where and what for is unknown, but it’s something they want to find.

Jacob and Zara leave, with the plan that later tonight during the Halloween festivities they’ll sneak into some of Madison’s files on the Church and Cult. They head to Jacob’s to get his car, and spend some time alone ‘resting’ before they have to leave.

JR and Teresa leave to go get ready for tonight, where they’ll be back at Mark and Jen’s to give out candy and have fun. Jen takes Antony to go get some equipment and talk to him about training. Mark talks to Ashley about training her, and the two leave to go out to the park to do exactly that.

Jacob and Zara wake up and head over to Madison’s. She gives him a brief tour while they wait for everyone to be occupied. They see Cross and Veronica and wave to them. Eventually, they sneak their way into one of Madison’s office, and Zara starts going through files. They’re not there long before they hear screaming, then gunshots and an alarm starts blaring. Zara pulls a pistol from somewhere, and Jacob goes to open the door, only to have one of Madison’s guards go flying through it.

Looking out into the hallway, he sees Shelly. She’s been shot, and looks to be in full demon mode. She stalks up the hallway, not even noticing him. Jacob and Zara follow her. Turning down a hallway, they see her trying to break her way through the door at the end of the hallway. Madison is laying on the hall floor, broken and bloody. Zara checks her and she’s still alive, but hurt.

Jacob moves closer to Shelly, and gets her attention. He tries to find out what’s going on, only to be hit with a heavy stone table that Shelly uses as a improvised club and knocked unconscious.

Mark and Ashley get home, only to see the front door is ajar. Mark pulls a pistol and readies his magic, and tells Ash to stay close behind him. At the door he notices a bloody hand-print on the jamb, about Cross high he thinks. They follow the trail of blood into the living room, and find a mangled and dying Shelly.

Mark knows she needs to feed in order to heal, and calls Jacob hoping he’s close by, knowing that since he has powers she’ll be able to feed on him without hurting him. He gets no answer, and curses that Jacob is dead to him. Ashley is in tears, asking what happened. Mark, seeing no other option left in the time he has, explains everything to Ashley. While she knew some of the specifics about her Aunt Shelly she didn’t know all of it, and Mark explains that if they let her feed on them both, she should heal and survive. Ashley volunteers, and Mark lets Shelly feed on her first so he can be sure he can stop her before she does any harm. After feeding on Ashley, Mark lets Shelly feed on him, taking the rest of what she needed to heal and to take enough edge off her hunger to allow her to regain control of herself. In the process, Mark passes out same as Ashley did.

When he comes to, Jen is taking care of both of them. She tells Mark that she got home before Shelly left, that Shelly explained a little of what happened. She was summoned by someone, someone who knew her succubus’s name and could control it. She remembered chasing Veronica and Cross, and being hurt badly, then being here and feeding on the two of them. Mark sends a dazed and out-of-it Ashley up to go shower before the other kids show up.

Jacob wakes up in an ambulance. Zara is riding in the back with him. At the hospital, he checks out mostly OK, though his arm is in a sling, his shoulder sprained and bruised badly. Madison is stable, but hurt pretty well. Zara is going back to the mansion to try and get the files. She confirms that the guards say it appeared like Shelly was after Veronica and Cross. He calls Mark back, noticing the missed call, and they exchange stories. As soon as Mark hears that it happened at Madison’s and that she was hurt, he hangs up. Jacob grabs an Yougo to get a ride over to his place.

The kids show up, and Mark goes takes a shower of his own, trying to clear his own head. Jen goes to tell Ivy what happened to Shelly. She cleaned up enough of the blood and all to hide things, but the kids know something happened, especially once a still dazed Ashley comes down.

Jacob gets over to Mark’s, and they compare notes in more detail. During this, Murphy calls Jen. Shelly is with him, and he has her contained in a circle or something so she can’t do anything.

Mark and Jacob get ready to go to Murphy’s in order to question Shelly. An unsteady Ashley asks if she should go to, but Mark tells her to stay home. They drive out to Murphy’s, finding Sheila taking Shelly’s place at work. Murphy walks them downstairs to the basement, where Shelly is in a locked room covered in sigils and devil’s traps.

She’s unhappy they are there, and doesn’t provide them which much new information. Everything was like a dream to her, the was completely out of control of her body, a semi-conscious passenger while the succubus took over. She argues with Mark, angry that she hurt and killed people, and that she fed on him and Ashley. She makes remarks as to the fact she wished that Mark would have let her die instead of feeding her, or that they should talk about her being put down. He argues that he has a lead on Nicholas Gaines. Even this points that he might be around, for so far in all their investigation they haven’t been able to find anyone who had her demon’s name, and all signs point that Gaines would, which is why Mark has been looking for him for all this time. Mark considers opening himself up to the demon, trying to pull the memories from it, but is afraid it could gain access to his memories of how the wards are placed on Shelly, and find some way of undoing them.

Mark and Jacob leave and head back to Mark’s. Zara texts Jacob to let him know she’s OK, she has some more files, and is leaving the mansion. On the way back, Jacob starts questioning Mark more about the new world he’s finding himself in, about Shelly, Mark’s past, etc. In his words, he finds a lot of this ‘cool.’

At Mark’s house, the kids are outside handing out candy. They head inside, talk with Jen, and discuss their options. In talking, they wonder why someone would use Shelly like this, and how she managed to get back to his house. She had very little memory of it, but it had to be on purpose, she couldn’t teleport, and all signs point to that being how she got here. Mark gets the idea to try and modify a tracking spell not to find Shelly, but perhaps to backtrack her arrival here from where she came. He gathers some materials, and they head outside to where Shelly likely appeared, based on her blood trail. Mark calls Ashley over to pay attention, but because they are both still drained from Shelly, he ends up walking Jacob through the process.

Mark’s belief is that Jacob is an untrained wizard, not just a telekinetic. His powers have stagnated due to his early belief as a kid that he could move things with his mind, and that he never branched out from that. Mark walks him through drawing the circle and casting the spell, and it’s almost successful. A counter-curse races back up the spell, destroying the material components, but doing no one else any damage as the spell was so fragile to begin with. They have a rough idea where she might have been teleported from, but it’s a rather large area, and not a sure thing.

Everyone heads inside, and the kids head to sleep while Mark, Jen and Jacob have a few stiff drinks. They invite Jacob to stay the night. The kids come in to tell them goodnight, and eventually everyone heads off to bed.

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30OCT15
Ballroom Blitz

Friday

The night of the dance.

Mark went out earlier and placed the wards, as planned. Most everyone meets up at his place. Cross shows up, unsuccessful in her attempt to find and kill Charlie Gardner. The kids and her all go to change into their costumes. Jacob shows up, dressed as Ben Franklin, Teresa makes fun of him. Zara is with him, dressed in a period costume. Mark gives her Veronica’s new – warded – Batgirl costume to go with Cross’s Wonder Woman. She leaves to get to the mansion in time to ride with Veronica to the dance, and help her change along the way. Jacob and Dylan grab the weapons and equipment, and Jacob again gets his orders that he is to keep the kids safe at all times. They leave with Eddie and Harry to arrive early and prep the gym.

Once there they start setting up, and Harry and Eddie walk perimeter to check everything out. He finds a hallway that raises suspicion. The door is unlocked instead of locked, it has been unblocked of items, and the overhead light both inside and out are burned out. He steps through, checking everything carefully, and finds two garbage cans outside the door, where all the other doors only have one.

Checking one of the cans, he finds it empty save for a symbol made of trash and filth at the bottom. He calls Mark, who suggests salting and burning it. Mark, realizing that it didn’t set off his wards, knows it must have been placed before this morning when he went out to set them. Harry follows Mark’s instructions, and the ward – and garbage can – explode, peppering Harry with shrapnel. There is more discussion about just cancelling the event, but Cross decides no, it’s better to continue. No one overrides her goblin instincts, and kids start showing up.

Mark and his kids show up, and Veronica and Bianca are not long behind them. The kids start enjoying their dance, while the adults wait for their coming enemies.

A while into the party, Mark’s wards trip. On the lookout now, the group sees Doom and Moreau walk in the front door, loitering there. Mark can feel Rasmussin and his Hounds around the rear of the building. They prepare to evacuate the kids, when they notice that they no longer have eyes on Cross and Veronica, or Bianca and Fetch. They reach Cross on comms, and her and Roni show back up so that she can get her bag.

Moreau approaches Harry during this time, and tells him that they’re not here for the group, or for Veronica, before walking back to loiter at the front door with a grumpy looking Doom. Harry realizes that they’re here for the same reason, to fight off the Cultists from getting Veronica. Things settle for a while, and Cross and Veronica disappear again.

Things don’t stay quiet forever. Harry moves to Moreau, and begins to engage him in conversation when it happens. A sudden storm moves in, and with it Mark’s wards go crazy. The Cult is here.

They try to get the call out, but comms are down, as are phones. Lights go out, and the evacuation plan begins. Eddie, Ivy, Jen and Shelly work to get all the students out safely and to the school proper. Jacob and Zara grab Antony, Ashley, JR and Teresa and try to get them outside to one of the several escape routes that Harry set up before hand. JR pulls out a pocket pistol, and Ashley starts spellweaving magic to assist their escape. Mark feels Rasmussin also helping them escape, using his Hounds to run interference.

Dylan, who spent all of his reward money from Madison on a spectral camera lens, readies his weapons and starts taking pictures. The fight outside eventually spills in, and the group sees that another side is here: Agents Stonewall and Gunn.

The Cult sends waves of outsiders, summons, corpse engines and more against them. The DJ turns out to be a Cult plant, pulling out an SMG and opening up on the group. A Cult wizard heads the attack.

The students are evacuated succesfully. Jacob and Zara get the kids out to a rear entrance, but outside a hurricane is blowing and nasty summons are lurking. Jacob all but strokes out by telekinetically pulling Jen’s SUV over to the door, giving them an escape route and taking out a few monsters at the same time. Zara gets him and the kids in safely, and JR drives them out.

A sudden mystic wave rushes through the area, and Mark feels the ritual pop. The storm outside starts to die down, and they realize comms are now up. The fight is going well, with the DJ and the wizard taken care of along with most of the Cult minions. Agent Gunn has been ravaged, skin hanging from metal and bone. He pulls the leather glove off his left hand, and a beam of energy shoots from his palm, destroying some of the summoned outsiders.

The fight ends, and Doom and Moreau slink off into the night, Rasmussin having already left. Agent Stonewall lets them go, a temporary truce called. Before they go, Harry gives Moreau back his MP7 smg that Harry had stolen the night of Veronica’s rescue.

The group meets back up at Mark’s office. Shelly left to go to Legal Tender to check on Cross and Veronica, who they cannot get in touch with. She calls to let them know that they are not there. Jen takes the kids back to their house for a sleepover, her SUV beat up and having seen better days. While they’re going over ideas and plans, there is a knock on the door. Cross and Veronica are there, in her mud armor. Mark gets them towels to wrap up in, and gets them inside, where they notice Veronica is a little out of it.

They decide to head to the mansion, so they can get Veronica home, and Cross wants to have a come-to-Jesus talk with Madison. They do exactly that, and somehow the talk between Cross and Madison – where Cross calls out how lucky it was she was there, since she was the one that got Roni out and kept her safe. Surprisingly enough, Madison agrees.

Everyone excepet Jacob and Zara leave, with Mark bringing Cross to go pick up her bag. Along the way she mentions that while she and Roni were making out, something happened. Mark puts that together with the wave that broke the storm and the ritual. Cross says that it almost seemed like some of Roni’s memories had come back, that she said “I remember falling.” Not wanting to be alone, Cross asks if she can stay at Mark’s tonight, and he agrees. He stops along the way to buy her some appropriate things to wear around the kids, and once home points her to the shower.

The kids have all brought down sleeping bags in the living room, and he checks on them before heading up to check on his wife. He decides he’s sleeping downstairs with the kids, to make sure everyone behaves. Shelly shows up to check on everyone, causing him to later realize that Teresa is much more observant than he’d thought, forcing them to have a talk later.

Mark also has a talk with JR, wanting to know about the guy his daughter was dancing with. JR mentions that Donny Barnes seems an alright guy, a little nerdy but doesn’t seem to be trouble. He also says it was his dad that gave him the pistol in case it was needed. Also that while he does have feelings for Ashley, they had discussed it and realized it would probably be better to ignore them since they had grown up almost like brother and sister. Mark all but gives him his blessing in the matter, knowing that he’d be better than most of the kids at school for her.

Cross has a drink with Mark, then they go out into the living room with the kids. Mark teases the kids a lot about the dance, who was dancing with whom, etc. At one point May Weathers – a bully and the daughter of Denise Weathers, a witch Mark knows – is brought up. She’s been bullying Ashley some, and had some nasty remarks to say about Cross and Veronica being together.

Eventually, everyone falls asleep.

At Madison’s, Zara and Jacob retire to her apartment/office, where he eventually passes out from the strain of the night and how he used his powers.

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29OCT15
Prepping for the Dance

Thursday

The day before the Halloween dance.

The ritual is to a point where the city itself can feel it. Disappearances have been on the rise, and it’s obvious to everyone now that the ritual is planned to coincide with either the dance itself or Halloween night. The ritual now feels similar to the same one the Cult used the night of Veronica’s kidnapping, so they are suspect number one.

Both Harry and Mark have avoided calls from Madison on hearing in the voicemail that she knows that Cross and her daughter are going out, and plan on going to the dance together.

Dylan noticed the night before at the debate he was working for Madison that the Black Coat bodyguards that had been shadowing her and Veronica were no where to be seen. With less security at the mansion, they decide to not have Cross call off the date, as at least they know it’s coming and can prepare for it at the dance.

With the knowledge now that it’s the Cult against them, Cross leaves to try and track down Charlie Gardner and kill him, hoping it will interfere with their plans. Before that, they come up with some defensive plans and tactics.

Dylan will be bringing in some small arms hidden in with his equipment cases. He’ll also have Cross’s bag, with her pot of mud armor inside. Mark will swing by in the morning in order to put up some defensive and warning wards in place around the gym the dance will be held in.

Mark charges Jacob with the protection of his children and their friends. If anything happens, Jacob is to get them out and safe – or else. Cross is taking the same position with Veronica. If anything happens, she’ll get Veronica out and get her to Legal Tender, one of the safest places they can think of for the short term.

Mark and Jen Dreven are both attending as chaperones. Zara was pressed into service as chaperone for Veronica by Madison. Also going with them is Veronica’s older sister Bianca, and their bodyguard Fetch Wilson. Harry and Edmund “Skanks” Nelson Sr. are both going as off-duty police security, and Mark brings his best friend up-to-date on what they’re expecting. They get his wife Ivy to come along in case they need medical support, and also bring in Ivy’s sister and their friend, Shelly. As a succubus she has the strength and power to be an ace in the hole, and since she was possessed when she was young she fits in with the rest of the crowd easily.

Mark knows that Veronica wasn’t allowed a costume, only a Halloween themed dress, and comes up with an idea. He calls Ashley and has her and Teresa get Veronica’s sizes so that they can get her a costume with a mask, one that he can ward to help protect her. Shelly goes picks up the costume since she has to get one for herself as well.

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24OCT15
4 Kids, a Goblin, and Me Go Shopping

Saturday

Today is the day Mark is going to help Cross out with the favor she asked for. Veronica asked her to the Halloween dance coming up, and having never done something like this before, Cross wants help making sure she’ll fit in as best as possible and not overstep anything she doesn’t quite understand. Seeing as how his kids – Ashley and Antony – and their friends – JR and Teresa – also need to go shopping for their group costumes, he decides he’ll bring all of them at once to do so.

On the way to pick up Cross after picking up his kids’ friends, he endures a ton of questioning on who she is and why is she going buy a costume for the dance. Mark refuses to answer much beyond that she’s a friend of his, and of Veronica’s. They pick up Cross, and the intensity of the curiousity toward the girl grows.

Mark endures the shopping at one of the cheaper, tawdrier Halloween stores. The kids enjoy themselves, and there is much questioning and curiousity towards Cross. Eventually Teresa outright talks to Cross about things, and finds out that Cross is going to the dance with Veronica as a date. The kids’ heads explode, and Mark starts to wonder if they’ll all survive the day.

The next store is a local Halloween store, and one with much nicer costumes. Mark picks out Gomez and Morticia Addams costumes for him and his wife Jen. The kids have taken Cross in as one of their own, and after finding their own group Steampunk costumes, help her find a costume for herself. They end up with a Wonder Woman costume that she absolutely loves.

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23OCT15
Favors

Friday

Xander gets a call early in the morning from Tony Lao, calling in his favor for helping get Pale’s family smuggled in. A limo is coming to the Elysium. Inside is a packet of information describing what needs to be done for the job. Xander agrees to take care of it, and gets ready. He also calls Pale, so he has some backup for the job.

When the limo arrives, the driver gets out and into another car without even looking at Xander, before driving off. Xander checks the limo out, then reads the packet. He is to pickup three passengers at Richard Wilkins International Airport, and transport them safely to Tony Lao’s estate in Chinatown. He gives Pale the keys to his car so she can follow, and they drive off.

Across town, Mark heads over to Seth’s aparment. He doesn’t like Seth – mainly due to the flirting Seth does with Shelly – but last night he had an idea and has to act on it. Seth opens the door completely nude, and invites Mark into the small studio. His female guest is still sleeping, and he makes no move to cover up. Mark wants to hire Seth to help him find Nicholas Gaines. He knows that Seth always gets who he is after in the end, and Mark is desperate to find him.

Nicholas Gaines is the asshat punk that led the gang that sacrificed Shelly in a ritual to gain power. When the ritual didn’t work as planned, Shelly was possessed by the succubus that still has hold over her now. Until they can find Nicholas and use him to undo the ritual tieing them together, she is cursed to be possessed against her will. It’s been 17 years, and Mark is still after him.

Seth agrees to do the job, and Mark leaves. Seth gets dressed and sees his company from last night out, before heading to the Goblin Market. On the way there, he calls Cross to see what would be a good gift for Faith. She tells him it’s sunflowers and whiskey. He stops to pick up both on the way. He meets with her, and asks if she can get her sneaks to look into the people on his list: Seth Goldman and Nicholas Gaines. He doesn’t explain why he’s looking for them, but she agrees to look into it.

Mark goes to Legal Tender, and meets with Price. He asks how much to keep something off the books, something that will be one of the biggest things that Price has ever heard. Price makes a deal with him: tell him what the information is, and he’ll keep it to himself. Mark tells him that there is a Fallen Star in town, and after some encouragement by Price, tells him it’s Veronica. Price agrees to keep the information to himself.

Xander arrives at the airport, and finds the three young Japanese girls that are his mysterious passengers. On the way here he saw several suspicious signs of ambushes on the route he took in, so he changes and takes a different route out. Almost immediately a group of bikers with SMGs attack. Xander narrowly avoids getting hit by an 18 wheeler tractor, and Pale takes on the gang of bikers. She takes out a few, but they eventually shoot her off the road, and she is knocked out in the wreck. It’s enough to give Xander the breathing space to outrun them however, and he gets the girls to Tony Lao’s.

Across town, both Seth and Mark sense the psychic static of a large ritual being prepared, settling over the city.

That night Jacob and Zara have their date night. They finally lay everything out on the table between each other. Zara explains that she’s an undercover government agent investigating Madison Kane. She works for the same organization as Stonewall and his team, but refuses to give much more information on the agency than that. She explains that she’s investigating Madison, but Stonewall’s team is called in for other reasons, they only handle the stuff that could wipe out a city or the world. They handle things the way they see fit, and are very dangerous.

Jacob tells Zara that the group is together to protect Veronica, and that she is a Fallen Star. Zara panics a bit at this, the last time her agency dealt with a Star situation, a town disappeared. She promises to keep it to herself, and professes her love and loyalty to Jacob.

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22OCT15
Deciding to protect Veronica

Thursday

With some understanding of what’s going on now, the group struggles to find more info that can help them.

Cross sends Harry a message, asking if he can get in touch with the rest of the group to meet at Nighthawks for lunch. They all agree and get together. Cross levels with the group: she feels that she’s not a real part of the group or a real friend like the others are to each other, so she’s going to step back. Her priority is to keep Veronica safe, and not to work for Madison. She is vowing to keep Roni safe from everyone and anyone who would attempt to use or hurt her, and will go to war to make sure that happens. Since she can’t have the same priorities as the group, she thinks it’d be best to step back.

The group stand with her, pretty much as a one agreeing that the priority should be to keep Veronica safe. Cross is relieved, and secretly ecstatic about being considered part of the group. She asks Mark if he could do her a favor, and borrows some money from Dylan. She also says that she has some stuff that can help the group that she’s managed to get from Faith, and they’ll need to go pick it up.

They get to the Goblin Market, and find that she has managed to acquire a few cases of mystically enhanced small arms ammunition. It will work against Moreau and Doom, at least much better than regular ammo would. They bring it back to Mark’s office, where he has a safe room that hides a lot of his artifacts and library.

Dylan makes a meeting with Madison, where he offers his services as photographer for her election cycle. She gladly takes him on. He’s hoping to be able to sniff out some info while close to her, and also be in a position to help protect Veronica. When he finally has the meeting, Madison is pleased to hire him on. She has a debate coming up next Wednesday she wants him to attend, and she gets his services for a Halloween dance that Blake Holsey Prep is having, as she is a major contributor to them. Dylan agrees, and later asks Jacob if he will assist him at the dance.

Mark meets with Malcolm Faust, a mostly-retired Repo Mage who works for Price. They discuss Fallen Stars in general, the dangers and uses of them, and Mark asks for advice in how to keep her hidden. Faust tells him to go talk to Price and make a deal with him, as the city’s largest info broker, he’d be the main one to keep in the pocket. Faust also warns about how bad it could be if the wrong hands got on the Star, in particular meaning Laithe – his enemy. Mark promises to pull the trigger himself if necessary.

Xander has the Guild check his phone for tracking devices, etc. They do detect some weird access that they’ve never seen before from the tower side, but nothing they can detect on the phone itself. He gets a phone from them that is the most untraceable they can provide. While they are checking on his phone, he asks around about Agent Stonewall and his team. He is told that the Guild was alerted to their presence in town, and that they are Black Flagged. All Guild members are to stay away from them, and members are warned they are extremely dangerous.

Harry’s daughter, Teresa Breaux, gets in touch with him. She asks if she can borrow some money for the Halloween dance coming up. Harry remembers seeings a flyer at work about it, asking for off duty officers to sign up for security. He tells her he’ll pull some money out for her, and signs up to be there next Friday.

Seth has been doing a lot of research digging into Professor Williams, the thread that got him involved in all of this a long time ago. He was hired by Charlie Gardner to find Professor Williams months before Veronica’s kidnapping. He found the professor, and dropped him off at the safe-house as requested. The next morning, the professor was dead, and Seth was suspect number one. Madison and her lawyers helped him out of it, in return for a future favor. That favor was paid off when he helped rescue Veronica, but he had never forgotten the professor or taking the fall for his murder.

Digging into the professor, he finds out that he was a considered a near crackpot by some of his peers. He taught mythology and anthropology, and had interesting ideas about folklore regarding fallen stars and deities walking among the people. It seems his research in this started over 15 years ago, and devoured his life from that point on. Madison bought a lot of his older research at various points of his career. Several years ago, his house was broken in to and a large amount of his files stolen. A man named Winston – a member of the King’s Row Princes – was later arrested for the crime, and served time. Some of the files were recovered with Winston’s arrest, but not all. A short time after he was arrested, a break in at the police facility where the evidence was stored saw all of those files taken, along with others. They find out the professor had an aide, David Barker. The school doesn’t have any of the professor’s research stored anymore.

In researching all of this and discussing it with the group, Xander admits to Seth and the others that it was he who murdered the professor. It was the last hit that he did for Gerec, and it was after that hit that they murdered his wife and attempted to kill him in order to tie up loose threads. There is immediate bad blood between Seth and Xander, though Xander just blows it all off.

Jacob, Seth and Xander head out to King’s Row to try and track down the Princes, hoping to find Winston. They find him living in drugged up squalor in a group home. He gets cagey about answering any questions until he recognizes Xander. At that point he falls apart and spills all the beans. He broke in and stole the documents on the orders of Slim Jim, a gang lieutenant that was also a Cultist. He brought the stuff to Slim Jim’s home neighborhood church in the Numbered Streets. Now he lives here, taken care of by constant deliveries of drugs from Benny, another Church member. They take a sample of the drug, and in Seth’s Sight he can tell it’s partially mystic, a horrible mix of Outsider spiritual energy.

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21OCT15
Discovery!

Wednesday

The group has again taken some time to let the heat die down.

Veronica heard about the combat at the hospital, and called Harry to find out the details. When she found out how badly Cross was hurt and that the group barely saved her from another attack, she realized she couldn’t be scared of her feelings for the goblin girl, and embraced them instead. The two secretly started dating, as Cross healed from her injuries.

Dylan replaced his totaled (for a second time) car with a truck. Harry is part of the Violence Task Force, along with his nemesis: reinstated Detective Ronald Carver.

The group gets together for lunch at Nighthawks in order to get back to business. For the first time they don’t have Shelly as their waitress, instead it’s the day shift waitress Sheila. Some of their inquiries into the glass and dirt have come back. The glass was made from a high heat, high velocity impact: probably meteoric. Dating came back negative, it was too recent an event to be dated. The dirt is alluvial, and has plenty of markers for southern soil somewhere near the Mississippi River.

Seth shows up. He’s got with him all of the notes and books he stole from the cultists back during their rescue mission for Veronica. He’s been going through them, but hasn’t managed to make much progress with them. Mark takes them, preparing to go through them to see what he can find out. Cross arrives, looking healthy. She fills in more information for Mark, sketching out the ritual room that she had rescued Veronica from and the markings around the room.

Mark and Cross leave and head to his office, to go over everything they have and try and find out more about the ritual and the cult, and why they want Veronica.

Harry, Dylan and Jacob start working on trying to find out more information about the government agents that are still in town looking into things. They start working with contacts and digging through any information they can get their hands on to give them some insight into the mysterious agents. They find out that Roman Stonewall was a former Marine, and ten years ago he was trasnferred to some governement department, and all of his files sealed. Tandy Moore was a world famous hacker that popped up and took the world by storm, hacking into places that were thought impossible. She was only on the scene for a short time before she too disappeared, also roughtly ten years ago.

Seth and Xander head to see Tony Lao. Both have dealt with him in the past for business. Seth can almost see through his glamour with his Sight, and knows that there is something about the man: namely, he’s not a man at all. His working assumption is that he’s a dragon or something similar taking on the guise of a man. They approach him about the weapons that were sold to the church and used in the kidnapping of Veronica, but each also has other reasons to see the kingpin of smuggling. Seth is working a side job for Madison, trying to find a computer hacker also named Seth, Seth Goldman. Xander also needs to speak with Lao about trying to get the rest of Pale’s family smuggled into town.

Lao says that he is disgusted with the fact that some of his merchandise was used to assault a young girl like Veronica, and provides them information that Donald Savage – a Church of the Benevolent Orchid flunkie – was the one who purchased the weapons. He tells Seth that Goldman did in fact approach him about being smuggled out of town, but could not afford his services and did not return. He agrees to help Xander with Pale’s family, especially once Xander offers to do any favor for the service.They leave to head back to Nighthawks.

Dylan, Harry and Jacob track down the agents to a safe house in Raven’s Gate. They travel there, and Jacob cases the place. It has extremely high security: armored shutters, IR sensors, cameras, etc. While they are watching, Agent Moore shows up with several bags of takeout. They want to continue surveying the place, but some nosy neighbors start getting suspicious. They leave, and head back to Nighthawks.

Back at Mark’s, the research was still going strong. And it was the accidental piecing together of a mishmash of information collected through Cross’s interactions with Veronica, the information collected by Seth, and Mark’s knowledge that led them to the breakthrough discovery of what was going on. At last they knew why Laithe and the Church were out to get Veronica, she was a Fallen Star. As a Star, she was a being of pure Possibility: that most basic building block of the universe and the source of all magical power. The books had a ritual that the Church had used some years ago to force her to Fall, and in the process they must have made her lose her memories and knowledge of what she was. Anyone who gets their hands on her can sacrifice her to gain demigod levels of power. Cross goes into her protective mode, and does the math to decide if she needs to kill Mark for finding out. She decides to trust him, and he leaves it to her on who else gets told, having figured out her feelings for Veronica.

They meet back up with everyone else at Nighthawks. Cross questions everyone there about their intentions and why they’re working to help Veronica, also threatening them all at the same time, to Seth’s displeasure. Finally though, she and Mark explain what is going on for the most part, keeping a few things to themselves – like Cross’s relationship with Veronica.

They know that the Church wants to use her to bring about the end of the world by ripping open the veil between worlds, and summoning the Outsiders. What they need to figure out is why Laithe wants her, and what is Madison doing with her.

Cross, Mark, and Seth leave for Madison’s. They want to give her some info and ask some questions, but mainly they want Seth to get eyes on Veronica and the new Black Coat bodyguards she’s been having around her the past few weeks. So far Seth has never been around when Veronica was there, except the one time they rescued her and she was covered in goblin mud armor, blocking his Sight.

While they do that, Dylan, Harry, Xander and Jacob leave to go place some cameras at the government agent’s safe-house, hoping to keep some remote surveillance on them. Jacob has some magical trinkets from Mark, and Cross’s goblin mud armor to try and keep him from being detected.

At Madison’s, Seth tries first to peer through the glamours of the bodyguards. The male Black Coat – Brother – appears blank, a hole in his Sight. This is a rare occurance, and the usual indicator of something pretty powerful, such as the goblin mud armor. Upstairs they see Veronica walk by with the female guard – Sister. Veronica appears to be glowing brightly in Seth’s Sight, growing even more so when she sees them and waves. Her light is bright enough to wash out Sister, but as she walks through a side door, she is no longer visibile but her light still shines on Sister, showing Seth the vision of a 7’ tall Amazon woman in full medieval armor, a flaming sword sheathed at her side.

They meet with Madison, Zara and Gideon and talk with her about the case and information. To Seth’s Sight, she appears mostly normal, but a glowing thread is attached to her and drifts through the wall and out of the room, in the direction of Veronica. Cross asks to use the bathroom, and uses that to break out and sneak down to the other room where Veronica is waiting for her. Seth, trying for some misdirection and information fishing, lies about who they found bought the weapons that were used in the kidnapping. Instead of mentioning the known buyer – Donald Savage – he mentions that it was Tandy Moore that bought the weapons, working along side someone called Roman Stonewall.

Seth notices immediately that Zara seems to recognize the names, and that she didn’t hide her recognition well. She types on the tablet she’s holding, and a few minutes later the other group see a military style UAV launch from the safehouse and start heading in the direction of Madison’s. They text Mark and Seth, feeling like coincidence isn’t likely. They quickly make excuses to leave, with Cross bailing out to stay behind with Veronica again.

The UAV misses them as they drive down the hill, stopping only to get burner phones for everyone. They use one burner to contact Cross and let her know that they might being surveiled, and ditch that phone.

The other group has already made it to Nighthawks, and is waiting there for the others. Zara calls Jacob, asking what in the hells is he and the group involved in. Through their discussion Jacob drops the name of Donald Savage as the buyer, which Zara responds wasn’t the name they were given by Seth. They make plans to have a date night and talk this Friday, as she’s worried about what he’s getting wrapped up in and he’s starting to realize she knows more than she should. She tells him that he may want to try and distance himself from the group, but he tells her that they are trying to help Veronica and that the girl is part of something big. Jacob puts it all together and realizes that Zara had something to do with the drone.

The others get there – minus Cross – and Seth refuses to let anyone talk until their phones are in a bag, off, and brought outside and put in the car’s trunk. He passes out burners to everyone, and they compare notes. They realize that someone at Madison’s is dealing with the agents, or that she in under surveillance and what they said was picked up. Before they can get too involved in conversation, the door opens and Agent Stonewall walks in, along with someone they haven’t seen before, Agent Gunn.

Seth can see the diner react to Stonewall’s entry, and knows that he is some type of shaman, pulling information from the spirits of everything here. He sits with them, calling to Shelly by name and asking for food in such a familiar way that he must have gotten a good read of the place with his powers. He mentions Agent Gunn, who sits by himself at the counter. Gunn is something else, something twisted and hollow in Seth’s Sight. He’s never quite seen anything like it before, and it leaves him uneasy.

Stonewall wastes no time in telling the group that is there to stop a mystical WMD type situation, and that if they get in his way they will be smacked down like bug on a windshield. He is quite frank that he knows a decent amount about them, and that they are way beneath him and nothing but a minor annoyance that had better stay out of his way. After having his coffee and a slice of pie, he and Gunn leave. The group take their burner phones, grab their original phones, and go their respective ways.

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17OCT15
Saving Cross

Saturday

They leave and head to Nighthawks to decompress for a moment. Waiting for Xander is Pale, with his car. She offers to give him back the car and drop the hit on him, if he agrees to go to Tony Lao and get him to help smuggle in the rest of her family. He agrees, and they seal the deal with a kiss.

Also waiting there is Loomis, who listens to their tales of daring-do as they try to drink their pains down. By 3 AM they are ready to leave, but in the parking lot Harry gets a call. It’s Faith, and she’s calling in her favor. Her goblin sneaks know that a hit squad is on the way to the hospital to kill Cross, who still doesn’t have all the same protections as the rest of the group, as she doesn’t officially work for Madison.

The group rushes to the hospital. Once there, they split up. Dylan, Jacob and Xander sneak around to the back ambulance loading area, and find Moreau waiting for them there. Harry, Loomis and Mark made their way to the front entrance, only to be intercepted by Doom. Loomis could tell that there was a necromancer in hospital, and Rasmussin and his spectral Hounds were there as well.

Xander engages Moreau with gunfire, and barely avoids grenades that Moreau is using as well. Jacob sneaks past and into the hospital, trying to make his way up to Cross’s room. Dylan starts looking for a vehicle to use as a weapon versus Moreau, and possibly escape route.

In the front, Loomis attempts to take over Rasmussin’s Hounds again, with the warlock in question no where to be seen. Mark and Harry attempt to fight Doom, which is proving to be a bad idea. Harry tries to take cover behind an ambulance, and Doom charges it, slamming into it and almost crushing Harry underneath it. Doom kicks Harry into the next parking lot, and out of the fight. Mark and Doom tangle next, and while Mark’s spell works to knock out Doom, the explosion also flings him into air and into unconsciousness.

Moreau has changed into his demon werewolf form, and launches himself at Xander, who is down to Cross’s goblin daggers. They each tear into each other badly. Shot, sliced up, and thrown into a car, Xander is out of the fight. Before Moreau can do any more damage to him, he is slammed into by Dylan in his hot-wired car.

Jacob has made it past the ghostly minions of Ox, who has made it to Cross’s room and is about to shoot her with a handgun. He turns it on Jacob, who blocks the incoming rounds with his telekinetic powers before turning them against Ox. He hits him harder than he meant to, and throws him through the window into the parking lot below. He later finds out that this killed Ox.

Jacob manages to get Cross out of the hospital, and they get her to her home, where Faith has someone waiting to take care of her. The rest of the group get Ivy to patch them up, except Xander who goes back to the Elysium. He gets their doctor and Pale to help stitch him up.

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16OCT15
Ambush!

Friday

Through the last week, the group has put their plan in action to frame Carver and Ox for the mishaps at The Silky Kitty. With some of Dylan and Trey’s video magic, most of the footage was erased and what was left helps point the way to everything being an inside job.

They have been laying low, as the police response to the club shooting on top of the kidnapping of Veronica and other shootouts lately have led to the creation of a Violence Task Force to get to the bottom of it. They’ve been using their time to research the glass from Madison’s box, and to look into Gerec and his powers. Harry ties Gerec into a long running case of his, the “Shadow Man” that has plagued him for the past seven years. Things between Veronica and Cross have cooled somewhat, as Veronica is unsure about how she feels or how she can progress with things with Cross considering their differences, her mother, etc.

Xander finds that his car is stolen, a note left by Pale indicating that she has it. He borrows a car from the Elysium to replace it for now.

They meet at Nighthawks, and plan to go to Madison with some of the stuff they’ve found out since the Silky Kitty Job. Before they can get there, they are ambushed. A garbage truck slams into Dylan’s car. Moreau, Doom, Rasmussin and a group of assassins move in to attack.

Xander mentions to the others in his car, “There are probably complimentary handguns in the glove box,” and indeed there are.

The fight gets vicious, with Cross attempting to take on Doom by herself. She wounds him badly with her goblin daggers, but he hits her with a improvised metal club hard enough to fling her into Dylan’s car, through the door and partially through the rear seat. Mark and Rasmussin tangle, with Mark trying to gain control over Rasmussin’s spectral Hounds. He eventually forces Rasmussin to lose control over them, and they chase him away. The remainder of the group manage to force the other attackers to run, and police are heard to be responding.

They decide to leave, Dylan staying behind with his wrecked car and Cross, who is injured too badly to be moved. Police show up and arrest Dylan, and medical units arrive for Cross. They call Gideon on the way to Madison’s, and ask for him to send some help for Dylan. He agrees and sends the lawyers to get him out, and bring him to meet the others at Madison’s.

The rest of the group get to Madison, and give her the info that they gathered. Harry brings up his “Shadow Man” case, and passes a list of the children abducted in the case to Zara – Madison’s assistant – for her to research. They talk to Gideon and realize that Gerec tried to enter the mansion about two weeks before Veronica was kidnapped.

On the way out, they mention something about checking on Cross in front of Veronica. She gets worried and tries to get more information, giving Harry a copy of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” to pass along to Cross. When she finds out Cross was injured and probably needed to be cut out of the car, she makes Harry promise to call her and tell her how she is doing. She’s scared that their last conversation – which went poorly – might really be their last conversation.

They pass by the hospital, and meet with Ivy Nelson. She’s an old friend of Mark’s, Shelly’s sister, and married to Edmund Nelson Sr. – Mark’s best friend and one of Harry’s fellow police officers. She sneaks them upstairs to see Cross, letting them know that she was in a few hours of surgery and that she’s in guarded condition. There are not only police guarding her, but government agents are here from some organization looking into her. Ivy sneaks Xander – dressed as a nurse – into Cross’s room. Harry goes to the security office and flashes his badge, saying that he needed to see some of the security footage for a case. Inside the security office is Agent Tandy Moore. Harry talks with her for a moment, and gets a card from her in case he needs to speak to her again.

Xander – in a moment of levity – leaves a note for the unconscious Cross wishing her a speedy recovery with X’s and O’s and signed by Jacob. Leaving her room, he and Ivy run into Agent Roman Stonewall waiting in the adjoining waiting area. He questions them before eventually letting them leave.

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03OCT15
The Silky Kitty Job

Saturday

Today is the day of the Silky Kitty Job.

Xander wakes up at the Elysium. Heading downstairs to get breakfast he runs into Pale, who is also staying here. She explains that the hit is nothing personal, she needs the payday of taking him out. She takes the last croissant out from under him, and finally says that maybe she’ll honor a truce and drop the hit, if he agrees to help her.

They all meet up, and while Seth is not there, Loomis shows back up. His explaination for being missing so long? “I was dead.”

Harry had talked to a contact of his, Trey Hawkins, and pulled him in to help run hacking and electronic overwatch with Dylan for the job. They go to the club early in a van marked up to look like a city utility vehicle, and using utility uniforms get close enough to the building to place the equipment that will help them run the job. Harry uses a Stingfish to intercept the club’s calls out and backstop Dylan’s and Trey’s cover.

Mark borrows some artifacts from his wife Jen’s shop that might help, and also picks up a few sacrificial chickens to prepare rituals that may be needed.

Cross is already inside, having gone to work for the night. While riding up the elevator to the employee floor, she jumps up and bumps the camera off alignment to give a small dead spot.

Xander and Loomis use the glamour eggs that were purchased from Almira, and take on their new forms. The hope is that the glamour won’t effect the membership card that Xander has, and since there is no identfying names or numbers on it, that the card itself (which only shows a silver membership stripe when he holds it) will still work and no questions will be asked for them to get in.

Jacob strips in the van, leaving on only a loincloth to give him a modicum of modesty. He uses the goblin mud armor that Cross left with him, the entire time hoping that she isn’t playing him for a fool and that it will work.

Xander and Loomis make it through the door without any problems with their glamours or the membership card, and are met by their hostess, Cross. They’re a little taken aback by her ‘uniform’: a tuxedo bowtie, sheer black fishnets and black high heels. She brings them to a table on the first floor, the silver membership area. Above them is the gold level, where all the non-mundane stuff goes on.

Jacob makes his way to the roof of the building, with Mark providing a bit of magical assistance and overwatch. The goblin mud armor does the job, and Jacob is in position, ready to break into the elevator.

Cross makes her way back to Xander and Loomis’s table. She informs them that both Charlie Gardner and Gerec are here. The plan starts to rapidly change, as Xander informs the group that he’s going after Gerec.

Harry starts moving through the vehicles outside, his plan to place a tracker on Charlie Gardner’s limo. Jacob breaks in and meets up with Cross at the elevator, and she trips it to bring it down to the lowest level for him. Mark knocks out one of the busboys smoking on the back dock, hides his body and changes into his uniform before glamouring himself to look like him. He heads inside to help run interference and take the place of Xander. Xander and Loomis are heading upstairs, as Gerec is in the security office on the gold level with the club’s head of security, Ellis.

They are stopped by the security at the top of the stairs for the gold level, but before Xander can make a move to bypass the zombified guard (his plan being to shoot his way to the office), Loomis pulls out a gold membership card and waves it at guard, who lets them pass. Loomis used to run with one of the nastier crowds here, and was a frequent visitor. They walk to the other end of the floor, and Xander kicks in the office door and starts shooting Gerec. The bullets tear through the space where he was sitting, as his body turns into a dark shadowy mist that reforms standing a foot away from his now empty chair.

The club starts to panic at the sound of the gunshots. While Gerec and Xander fight, Loomis calmly crosses over and sits in the now empty chair in front of Ellis, dropping his glamour and starting a conversation – and sharing a drink – with him. Harry barely makes it past the multiple guards who prepare for Gardner’s exit from the club, and gets the tracker placed on the limo. In the basement inside, Mark takes on Ox while Jacob sneaks past and works his way past the undead guardians that make up the security system for the book. Cross leaps and climbs up to the second floor from the bottom, and starts to fight with some of the zombie guards making their way to Xander and Loomis.

Xander’s fight with Gerec is taking a turn for the worse, as he is unable to hurt the other man due to his shadow magic. Loomis can’t break Ellis’s contract to the club, but he can do the next best thing. He works up a powerful spell, and weakens the contract enough to slip Ellis out from under it, summoning another random demon to take his place. As soon as Myrtle is in his place, freeing Ellis, he teleports everyone out of the club in payment. Everyone except for Jacob, because the goblin mud armor is doing too good a job, and Ellis wasn’t even aware that he was there.

Jacob makes his way out of the club by himself, and meets up with the rest of the group. It wasn’t pretty, but this part of the job was done.

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