Friday, December 23, 2005
Northport is a thriving city situated on the pacific coast, northwest of Olympia, Washington. Sea trade and the fishing industry gave the city it's humble beginnings and still play an important part in it's modern successes. Nevertheless, it's population of 122,000 have diversified and the cities economy now relies on technology, manufacturing, education and tourism in equal proportion. Northport has fine parks and museums, a moderately ranked college, is the headquarters of several national and international corporations and was ranked fourth best city in Washington in 1985.
These are things you will find mentioned on the cities official website. What you won't find there is any note on the supernatural activity centered around the city. No mention will be made of the unusually high missing persons ratings, unexplained deaths or bizarre crimes. Neither will there be statistics on the rapid increase in cult activities. No, to find such information you must talk to the people of Northport, and even then most citizens will be ignorant of the truth. To really get the scoop, you must go to the gifted of Northport, those people who know the truth, or at least pieces of the truth.
No one is certain what caused the surge in magic that has made Northport special. It has happened elsewhere in the world to be sure, in some places more than others. Beginning in the 1980's Northport became one of these magical nexuses. The population of gifted began increasing, both through birth, manifestation and immigration. The walls between realities have thinned. Spirits are prone to restless activities. Lycanthrope prowl the wilderness of forest and street. Vampires and worse creatures lurk in shadow, and sorcerers and saints wield magical powers for good and evil. This could be the reason Bill Gates chose Seattle over Northport when looking for a home.
This place is special and you may count yourself warned should you choose to call it home. Walk carefully and with both eyes open. Oh, and don't forget your umbrella, it rains a lot.
Archy Kennedy, (Seeker's council Scholar)
The average citizen in this setting will not know that the supernatural exists. Through a mixture of secretiveness on the part of the gifted and the mundane's propensity to rationalize, they either fail to see past the deception or turn a magical incident into a strange but explainable one. This is not to say that there are not "mundane" organizations and individuals aware of what's going on, only that 'the cat isn't out of the bag' when it comes to the general public. With the steadily increasing amount of gifted activity, it's anyone's guess exactly how long the cat will remain IN the bag.
Some theme words for this campaign will be: dark, mysterious, dangerous, supernatural, gritty.
Notes on the Witchcraft Campaign. (What we have written of our adventures so far.)
Rhapsody – A Summons
Rhapsody awoke a few moments before her alarm clock buzzed. She slid out from under the covers and walked barefoot over towards her kitchen to get the coffee started. Her steps slowed from as wariness crept in, her senses telling her there was someone there.
She approached cautiously, seeing no signs of forced entry as she passed the doors and windows. Seated at her preferred chair with her favored mug in his hand was an older man. He was dressed impeccably in a dark tweed suit, a matching hat resting easily on the table just to his left. And of course, at perfect ease as though he were a long time friend on a casual visit.
“Care for some coffee?”
“Who are you?” she demanded.
Unruffled, the gent motioned to a chair across from him. “Please have a seat.”
“I prefer to stand. Now, who are you?” she responded with ice in her tone. Her annoyance level was rising at the audacity of this man acting as though he had every right to be in her kitchen, uninvited
“My dear have I given you any reason to not trust me?”
She arched an eyebrow, “Breaking and entering.”
He seemed a little offended at the idea. “I assure you, I did not break anything.” Then he seemed to realize where he was and what he had in his hand. “Yes, but I see... your mug, your coffee… good coffee too… There is much to explain…. And no time… no time…
“I need your help… but I have to go.” He took a pen and a pad of paper from his coat pocket and quickly wrote before dropping the note onto the table. “I will see you soon, Rhapsody.” He picked up his hat…
The alarm went off, startling Rhapsody awake. Immediately, she went into the kitchen. On the table, was a note written in an elegant script giving only the name ‘Misty Baker’ and a phone number.
As she waited for Professor Walter’s Literature class to get underway, Rhapsody’s thoughts briefly went to the note in her pocket. The name and the number meant nothing to her. However, that did not stop her from taking a second glance at the note, the number committed to memory, and tucking the piece of paper into her pocket.
Sherri, an infrequent attendee in any of the classes they shared in common, was murmuring to her friend, Jessica as they both sat down to Rhapsody’s right.
“So what happened again?”
Jessica shrugged as she twirled her hair. “They were attacked by some homeless guys and Melissa was killed. Misty somehow got away. God, I don’t even know why they were down in that neighborhood at that time of night.”
“Well, Melissa liked her clubbing and her partying.”
“Yeah, but Misty was more sensible… Only thing I can think of is that they were there for some sort of pick up. And I’m sure Misty is totally freaked. She wasn’t in class earlier today. Ugh, could you imagine the last thing you see is some homeless guy doing what he wants to you?” she gave a dramatic shiver for emphasis.
“Where did this happen again?”
“Down on 34th and Williams… Least that’s what it said on the paper.”
Before the girls could discuss any more, Professor Walters came in and announced the pre-exam was to take place to see what was needed for review before the final test later in the week.
After class was over, Rhapsody headed towards the library to use the computers there to see if there was a listing for the phone number that she was given and also to see if perhaps it matched any numbers on public file for Misty Baker. Her path took her right behind Sherri and Jessica as they also headed to the library.
Nothing turned up, and by request, Rhapsody looked up the article in the paper and only saw the small blurb as to the incident.
Rhapsody showed the phone number to the other two, “This familiar to you?”
They shook their heads.
“Not even Misty’s number… Think I should call her?” Jessica asked.
Rhapsody nodded. “That might be a good idea, see how she’s doing.”
Jessica called and talked with Misty for a few moments. “She’s totally freaked out and hysterical, saying something about monsters.”
“Monsters?” Sherri asked. “Think maybe she took a hit of something bad?”
Jessica shook her head, “No. She doesn’t do that at all.”
“Does she live nearby at the dorms?”
“No, she and Melissa have an apartment downtown,” she replied as she grabbed for a magazine.
Rhapsody took the periodical and handed it over to Jessica. As her arm brushed against the arm of Sherri, she caught a sudden whiff of essence. She looked at Sherri who seemed staring at a distance place for a moment then snapped out of it.
“Are you still on that stupid diet, Sher?” Jessica asked. Without waiting for an answer, she announced, “Gonna be late, see you later if you’re not going to class.”
Rhapsody stood up.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m going to go see the area the murder took place. See if I find anything the cops didn’t find.”
“I’ll go with you.”
They made a stop to Rhapsody’s Harley so she could pick up her jacket and they headed down in Sherri’s SUV. As they drove, Rhapsody tried the number the gentleman gave her. She got the answering machine for a Detective Connel.
As they entered the neighborhood, Rhapsody ignored the catcalls from a bunch of would be tough teens and started stalking around the area. Sheri followed a little dubious about the whole situation. About a half an hour later, Rhapsody found a spot where there was fairly fresh blood just outside the mouth of an alley.
She turned down the alley and caught another scent of essence, just a little above the bloodstain. Wanting to get a higher view and to see if that scent came from above, Rhapsody leapt up to the fire escape latter and pulled it down. Once she had climbed above the area, there was no trace of the scent. However, as she looked around, she saw figure at the mouth of another alley that ducked out sight.
Rhapsody went back down to the ground and headed towards where she saw the woman vanish. Around the corner there was an open gate and a closed door. She proceeded in with Sheri asking what was going on.
Inside, the shadows seem more alive and are clinging to the walls. The woman stepped forward a little bit.
“Who are you?”
“Jen,” replied Sheri.
“What are you doing here?”
“Investigating the murders that happened, what are you doing here?”
She studied Rhapsody and Sheri. “You are not police.”
“Correct. The incident was brought to my attention by an older gentleman.”
“Who is this … older gentleman?”
Rhapsody shook her head. “I do not know. Who are you?”
She shook her head, "Aah, ah. I'm the one asking questions this time. My mysteries will remain my own for now."
“Are you the only one that commands the shadows?”
“There are others with that ability.” She seemed confident or at least satisfied with the responses and she turned and walked around the corner, disappearing.
Rhapsody and Sheri turned to head back to the car. As they reached the mouth of an alley, a police car passed by and slowed when they emerged. An officer walked out, looked to be fairly young, but didn’t have the demeanor of a rookie.
“Hi. Mind if I ask what you ladies were doing in there.”
Rhapsody shrugged. “I thought I saw a kitten in there, and I went to see if it was okay.”
The cop blinked. “A… kitten…”
She motioned to a pile of refuse where the shadows made things hard to see. “Just turned out to be trash.”
“I see… Do you have identification?”
Both Sheri and Rhapsody handed over their IDs.
“Please, wait there.”
Rhapsody moved, not to where she was requested, but leaned against the wall of the building by the mouth of the alley. Satisfied that neither was going to run, the officer handed the IDs to his partner. After a few moments, they were returned.
“Please be careful ladies. This is a pretty bad neighborhood, especially for girls like you.”
Suppressing a sneer, Rhapsody tucked her card away and resumed walking towards the car.
“Whew… glad that…. HEY!” Sheri threw open her car door and looked where her stereo had once been.
“At least they left the car,” Rhapsody noted. “Let’s head back; I have classes I want to attend.”
After the afternoon class, Rhapsody received a call from Detective Conell in reference to her earlier call. Her mobile number was on the caller ID and ‘Mr. Tweed’ had insisted that he call the number. Once hearing about the description of the gentleman, Rhapsody gave a brief explanation of why she was involved and only that Mr. Tweed had appeared in her kitchen.
After the call, she calls Sheri to let her know about the call from the Detective and that Mr. Tweed had paid him a visit before she heads home.
Later on that night, Sheri calls Rhapsody to see if she’s had any revelations or if anything else had come up. Rhapsody states that she doesn’t think that the Shadow Woman is the threat, but knows what is going on and what they are up against. She also thinks that allies are being gathered to fight whatever it is that killed Melissa Parker.
The following day, Rhapsody received a call from a detective Johnson regarding the report that she gave to Conell, mostly asking if she knew the victims or anything like that to which she answered without giving out any additional information
Sheri calls afterwards to report that Misty had ‘lost it’, claiming that Melissa was there with her. Rhapsody asks for Misty’s address and when Sheri cannot provide it, she intends to head downtown rather than school to see if she could find Misty’s place. Sheri notes that it may be just as well that she doesn’t go at all since the cops would probably be there in short order and there is nothing that they can do. They agree to meet at Café Galactica and go hunting for critter causing this mess.
Rhapsody calls Conell and tells him that she has a lead on Melissa’s murder over at the initial murder scene, and also tells him that she is heading down there. Conell suggests that she does not, and she replies with ‘Suggest away’ and hangs up on him before going to rendezvous with Sheri.
Rhapsody waits at the coffee shop for Sheri, who insists on getting herself a raspberry frappe before they heads out to the crime scene to meet up with Connel.
Meanwhile, Connel arrived at the site and saw a kid sitting on a dumpster. The kid stared at him for a moment before taking off. Connel made his away down the alley and towards a crossway that he recognized from his visions
Willard, having been released from the police, headed to his beautician class.
Rhapsody and Sheri arrived in The Tombs near the alley way. Sheri checked her locks as Rhapsody headed towards the mouth of the alley and saw Connel. The three met up and exchanged greetings.
Connel asked why the two were involved in this case. Again, Rhapsody told him about Mr. M and that she believes that he is gathering people for this case. Connel asked Rhapsody if she has any experience in investigation, to which she replies that she is studying for investigations and interning over at one of the precincts.
“Were you assigned to this case?” Connel asked.
“Absolutely not,” Rhapsody replied almost flippantly, which took the detective by surprise.
Connel began to insist that the girls talk to the police, and then clarified that they speak to Det. Johnson as the investigator in charge.
Behind them came a tap-tapping sound. As the trio turned, they saw Mr. M himself coming down the alley. Mr. M informed them that Det. Johnson is ill-equipped to deal with the case.
Rhapsody asked, “Who else do we need?”
At the same time, Connel asked, “What the hell are you talking about?”
Mr. M explained that there was a threat beyond what the police could handle ad noted Sheri sensing the growing shadows. He instructed the trio to go to St. Sebastian’s church where they would find more clues and someone that would be able to explain. With that, he vanishes.
Connel goes to his car to call Det Johnson who is at the murder scene of Misty Baker. Johnson tells him that the last person Misty called was Sheri’s number, so Connel decides to take the girls to the site before going for questioning. They leave Sheri’s car over at a local police station and head downtown.
While Connel is on the phone, Rhapsody sees the shadow lady for a brief moment, takes a deep breath, but doesn’t smell anything.
On the way, Connel calls Willard and ‘requests’ that he meet him at the murder scene. Connel comments about Melissa’s body being there. Sheri states that she feels that the more there are delays, the worst things will get.
Det. Johnson meets the trio and wonders, after Connel’s explanation, as to why they haven’t gone to the precinct yet. Connel goes to see the murder scene as the Detective questions Sherri.
Sherri tells what happened in the phone conversation with Misty and is asked if she ever seen Willard, as Willard walks up and asks for Connel. Det. Johnson requests that Willard leave his firearm in his car, then turns to Rhapsody and asks if she has anything to add. Rhapsody says no.
Connel sees the forced entry to the apartment and closet and the blood splatters. He notices that it is inconsistent with firearms and the victim showed signs of strangulation like the mortician, so he looks at the crime scene photos.
Finally, the four head to the church and Sheri asks if the cops ever thought of giving Misty police protection. Connel says that from what they know, it wasn’t warranted.
Connel also fills Willard into the fact that it was Mr. M that wanted them to go to the church.
St. Sebastian’s cathedral is in the middle of downtown. The sign outside shows a requiem mass for Robert Foster as they arrive.
As they enter the church, the younger members feel the power of the building. Connel heads to a priest and lets them know about why they are here. Rhapsody describes Mr. M, but Father Samson doesn’t recognize the man.
Willard asks if the padre knows of any dead people getting up and killing. A voice from behind him says that ‘he wouldn’t know of such things’. Rhapsody and Willard both turn to see the ghost of an older man wearing 40’s clothing, about 60 years old. Willard makes an excuse to go pray or something.
Rhapsody hangs back to hear what Willard and the ghost have to say. Sheri thanks the priest and goes to where it looks like Rhapsody and Willard are talking though Willard is introducing himself.
Sheri activates her divine sight and basks in the splendor of the church. The ghosts possesses Connel enough saying that there are things that cannot be revealed that are still true.
They all go downstairs after getting the priest distracted by falling candles, Rhapsody having to stop Connel from helping. There is a set of living quarters and Willard shuts the door behind the group as they enter.
As Willard starts to explain to the ghost, Connel is wondering who he is talking to. The ghost goes out after proof then returns in a solid form, introducing himself as Mr. Pennington.
Rhapsody, again, describes Mr. M and Willard recounts what has been happening. Mr. Pennington looks at Rhapsody after she introduces herself and reaches into a space behind him to pull out a book that he starts to study.
“You four are in a prophecy,” he announces. “It is a good thing you arrived; this man… is he… Mr. M” he shows a woodcut, Greek in style. “Well, you four are the seekers of the voice of Amphitrite. She was an oracle in Ancient Greece.” He excuses himself to get more information.
“Think it’s the shadow woman?” Sherri asks.
Mr. Penning returns with further information. “Amphitrite is the eldest of the daughters of Nerius, the Old Man of the Sea and she was the first wife of Poseidon. A cult built up around them, Apo cyma adelfosyni, The Brotherhood of the Wave. They said that they were into spirit summoning and had a woman that clamed to be the voice. They were imprisoned for conspiracy during WWII.
“You four will save the world from the Second Rising.
“The four will come and speak the words of the Voice. By their deed we will be freed from the reign of the Second rising.
“She who carries the curse of the line of Avendi shall appear as a member of the four.”
Connel decides he has enough and goes to check out the service. Mr. Pennington goes back to his non-corporeal state. He informs the remaining three that he used to be a professor and asks if they have any affiliations with Seekers. Rhapsody knows of them a little bit in her travels, but none are associated with them.
Above, Robert Foster’s mass begins.
Bishop Donavan walks over and takes Connel to the side to speak to him. Connel talks about the murders and that he was told that there may be leads here and confuses the elderly bishop. After getting no answers, he rejoins the group and they make to depart from the church.
As they go up to the door, they find it locked. There is a surge of power and Rhapsody goes to find Mr. Pennington, but as he said he was going to look for further information, he doesn’t appear to be present.
Above, the choir’s is held on a single note like it is paused in time.
Sheri prays for visions as the other three look for alternatives out.
Rhapsody sniffs around and they start to hear a chanting and feel another burst of power.
Willard grabs the bed frame for a battering ram. “Coincidence… yeah…”
Sheri gets a vision then collapses. From the floor she sees a vent shaft as the boys put their muscle to work against the door. “There are visions, and then there are visions.”
The girls move tables and Sheri mutters that Bob Foster is NOT a good man.
The guys punch a hole through the door and on the other side is a gargoyle-like face looking back and growling.
Connel steps back. “Whoa… ugly...” he comments.
The ventilation shaft goes in then up. Rhapsody gets a toolbox and a screwdriver, pops the lid, grabs the Mag-lite and heads in, then upwards.
At the door, a face peeks in after the creature is told to move away. Connel looks out the hold and gets grabbed, then slammed into the door.
Sheri plays relay between the guys and Rhapsody.
Connel smashes the arm and takes a shot as Willard tries to stab at the arm to make it let go of the detective. The guys and Sheri cover the stairs as they hear a deep growl.
Another voice says, “Alexi, what’s going on?!”
“A man with a gun, sir!” Alexi replies.
Rhapsody continues in the vent and sees the lid of the casket has been thrown off. The congregation is frozen, and there are two bodies laid out in front of the casket. There are 2 creatures guarding the main doors.
Sheri continues to watch the door, moving to a corner for more cover as Connel covers the hole. Willard begins to summon his magic for a shield, as he moves further into the room.
Rhapsody sees the voice belonging to the man in the suit that says, “Keep them there until we are done with the ritual.”
He takes something from a box and sets it down, then begins to murmur in what sounds like an incantation. Rhapsody scoots back towards the group, and as the box is commanded to be opened, everyone feels a sudden jolt of magic.
Sheri holds her position, looking at the others. “What are we going to do?”
No real answer emerges as Connel moves to peek again and Willard meets up with Rhapsody at the opening for the vent.
“Looks like we can get out through the vent.”
Connel shakes his head, “I can’t fit in there, and I’d have to wait till someone opened the door.”
A clawed hand reaches in through the hole and tries to snatch the detective’s gun, but he manages to pull it away and it only scratches a little at the metal. Connel fires at the hand and the owner pulls back and seems to be cowering away from the opening.
Willard starts to strengthen his shields as chanting begins again. Rhapsody reports the layout of the sanctuary above.
Connel peeks out the door again and sees a massive shape pass by. “A fur coat?” he queries.
“So bashing is a bad idea now?” Sheri asks.
Connel shrugs, “Only way I can get out. Someone want to help?”
Willard and Rhapsody head back into the ventilation shaft, though as he is going first, he manages to bang a little bit, making some sound. As he gets to the grate he draws in his power to blast the underlings until he sees the essence being funneled. He switches targets to the head guy, the soul fire causing the shield around him to diminish noticeably.
Meanwhile, Connel has picked up the bed frame and heads back to the door to bash the hole bigger, this time with Sheri’s help, and they get another chunk out of the door. Unable to do much more, Rhapsody just keeps her senses peeled.
After Willard’s attack, 2 creatures are sent in through the vents after them. They rip off the grate as Rhapsody and the mage start scooting backwards. One of them manages to grab a hold of Willard’s arm and yank him back; however, he manages to squirm away. Rhapsody, using her gymnastic ability, is able to get her self to the opposite shaft that leads to the fan and readies her gun.
The critter lunges at Willard, but he manages to drop down the shaft, and has a hard landing below. Rhapsody has her gun readied and fires at the critter, pretty much blowing half its head off.
Willard looks up as he tries to shield. “Did you kill it?” just as it screams.
The critter tries to grab Rhapsody’s gun, but she manages to scoot out of the way and double taps, killing it. “Yes,” she replies to Willard.
A voice from behind the critter that retreated says, “Come out!”
Willard replies with, “Suck me!”
Connel and Sheri start to crack the door. Rhapsody reaches forward, grabs the corps of the critter and drops it down the shaft.
“Present for you Connel.”
Willard and Rhapsody shove the body out after she sees the opening to the vent is covered with something heavy.
Sheri looks to Connel after they break out another chunk. “Cover me, I’m going in.” She glances in for a peek, but a clawed hand slashes at her face. Connel catches her as she falls, unconscious from shock and Willard snags her gun
Willard goes to widen the door more and Rhapsody helps this time. Rhapsody goes through and the critters attack, but miss as she dodges out of the way. Both Willard and Rhapsody fire at the critters, but also miss.
A feral bear approaches Rhapsody as critters leap for her. She dodges the little adversaries, but the bear hits her, causing her to snarl.
Willard: “Cool, she’s hot and mean.”
Rhapsody changes to her feral hybrid form, surprising Alexi, the bear and nearly ripping his throat out. Willard throws soulfire at one of the critters. One of them goes down the stairs after Willard and lunges, missing and falling near Connel who shoots it in the head.
Rhapsody sees a huge 15 foot tall figure at the pulpit and snarls to the folks down stairs to get the fuck up there.
The critters continue to attack and in her head, Rhapsody hears ‘Abase yourself to the spirit before you.” And she does, unable to be offensive.
The critters continue their attack as Connel and Willard go up, the detective surprised to see a tiger up there. After a few moments, Rhapsody feels the bear take a deep breath under her.
Willard miscasts one of his spells as Connel is slashed. One critter latches onto Rhapsody, doing significant amount of damage as the bear stands and throws her into the frozen congregation. She plays dead as she works on recuperating, even though she still cannot move.
Sheri finally stumbles up the stairs and calls holy fire down on the bear, again sending it prone. She realizes that if she can siphon the energy from the church, she can disrupt the spell casting up front.
Too close to use his gun, Connel slashes with a knife at a critter, but ends up getting cut for his trouble.
Outside, they hear sirens and the ritual is interrupted. The man curses and shoots at Willard and Connel, hitting the younger man and disabling him. However, the second shot to the detective misses, though ends up clipping the critter and killing it as he goes to check on Alexi.
Sheri holy fires another critter, turning it to cindery pieces and Connel shoots at the caster, which gets through the shield enough to injure him. He shoots again, this time at Connel and Sheri, missing.
The congregation awakes and panics. Rhapsody changes to her full tiger form and remains playing dead as she still cannot move.
Connel goes to check on Willard, even though that means that the bear, now up and fried, takes the injured caster out the door, scaring the hell out of cops trying to bash in the door. The freaked out congregation try to make a mass exodus.
Sheri goes over and finds the box, tapping it shut and tucks it under her arm. Connel is taken to the officers in charge as the paramedics go to Sheri and Willard. Connel starts to explain what happened, indicating he had no idea of a bear and a tiger as animal control is called.
Animal control arrives and fires some tranquilizers into Rhapsody, making her groggy as they load her up into the van and hang out to see about the bear that escaped.
Rhapsody wakes up in the truck, waiting a few moments to get her head together. As the truck stops, she bashes opens the door which surprises the car behind the van and scares the bejesus out of an elderly couple as she hops on the hood of their car. She takes off to a strip mall, but finding no clothing store, she takes off into the city. She manages to find a Salvation Army store and find clothing so changes back to her human form, gets dressed and heads back to the church.
Connel asks Sheri where Rhapsody is, Sheri says to deal with that later. She asks him to take possession of the pyramid even if it is removing evidence from the scene. Connel reluctantly agrees and then informs the sergeant in charge that he is seeing Sheri to the hospital. He overhears one of the medics saying that the guy in the casket is not dead.
Connel goes to his car and drives Sheri to the hospital as Sheri says she isn’t sure that the pyramid will be safe. Connel starts to question to what he’s being witness. He reaches to touch the box then stops and recoils from it.
Sheri suggests that Connel look into Robert Foster and find out what he can and to work on making it his case. She also states that things have become personal.
Connel expresses regret at bringing Sheri into everything and aggrees that the pyramid is not safe at the precinct.
C notes that he thinks they are being followed. Sheri asks if he can call for backup, which he does and reports the black van tailing them. They come to a stop and Connel looks back, and then begins to struggle in breathing. He stumbles out as does Sheri, trying to get away where they can breathe. Sheri grabs the pyramid and gets to the sidewalk.
The van doors open and masked men come out. Connel is unconscious and on the ground. Sheri goes down the alley, but collapses even as she hears the sirens.
Willard wakes up as he is rushed into the ER. He’s wheeled into the OR and he sees a man in a dark suit looking at him intently and he can tell the man is gifted. He tries to put up a shield, but passes out.
Rhapsody gets to the church, finds that Connel & Sheri went to the hospital and looks around. She sees Pennington and motions him to the side to chat with him. She relates what happened, which disturbs the ghost and she agrees to return to talk further with him. She catches a ride and sees Connel’s car.
She has the driver stop and ignores him as he tries to get her number. Rhapsody tells the officers she was supposed to meet up with Sheri and Connel heard they left and was trying to find them. She asks if she can look around and see if perhaps she might find something they missed. Evans takes her around and she finds the plunger of a syringe. She also smells something on it, the scent of tranquilizers. She also smells chlorine. Evans takes Rhapsody to the station to get a statement.
Sheri wakes up to the smell of chlorine. She tied and can more feel than see a bag over her head. She hears a rhythmic sound of a machine. Her wounds burn from the way her head had lolled. She tests her bonds for a moment.
“Are you awake?” she hears in a Spanish accent.
“Kind of… Don’t feel too good.”
“I imagine not. Let’s start with the simple questions. What is your name?”
“You and your friends caused a lot of trouble.”
During the verbal fencing, Sheri and her captor each believe the other is the one that did the summoning. Her captor accuses Sheri of the summoning and she starts to explain it wasn’t her. He pauses and returns a while later with another.
Again they start the questioning and Sheri feels magic being invoked.
A cultured voice states that she is a servant of the One, as they are.
They take the mask off her and Sheri sees the Spaniard in a business suit and a smaller man next to him as she is released.
“So you were there to stop those people?”
Sheri tries to explain, but she is still loopy from the injuries and she is questioned about her friends.
The smaller man heals Sheri’s wounds and then leads her to the hall and into an office to a cot, apologizing again and lets her rest after leading her to another room and sees Willard there. She is asked who she is and they are surprised that Sheri confirms he is one of her friends.
Rhapsody is down at the station as Connel shows up. They go to check on Willard, Rhapsody being the one driving. Connel calls ahead, but the hospital reports that Willard is missing and that the bear has not been found.
Connel wonders how they can lose a bear and Rhapsody mentions that he could’ve gone into his human form and escaped notice. Connel starts to question and Rhapsody answers which just beat down on Connel’s sense of reality as they head back to where Connel was ambushed.
At the site, Rhapsody tries to track Sheri unsuccessfully and so they decide to go the church. They see the bodies that are human where the critters had fallen. In the janitor’s quarters, Rhapsody calls in Mr. Pennington and he appears after a couple of attempts.
Pennington asks about selkies, Rhapsody knows a little about them. He says they are linked to the voice and that the Voice is the link as she is either with selkies or seen with them.
Connel’s phone rings and says that their friends have been found.
Sheri is roused and is told Willard is being healed. They say that the cops are looking for them. Willard looks around and tries to go back to sleep but I made to get into the van. Sheri sees Willard as she also climbs in.
Sheri questions the Spaniards as they claimed the church as their domain and mentions that they should look into Robert foster. It is explained that it is a sentinel’s crossroads.
Rhapsody and Connel pull into the parking lot of the park and Connel requests that she stay in the car. Rhapsody acquiesces after a moment.
“Detective Connel, we found your friends and they are fine.”
Sheri pokes her head out.
Connel questions the 2 who claim to be allies. Connel motions Sheri over and Willard tumbles into the back of Connel’s car to sleep. Sheri smoothes things over and Rhapsody offers her place for Sheri and Willard to rest and for everyone to be more comfy.
Sheri tries to explain to Connel and Rhapsody that the men are Sentinels, basically holy warriors for the 1 true God.
They get to the condo and Rhapsody goes to change her clothing. The summoners knew of the Sentinels and made a distraction to use their place a power. They summoned a varghest, a lesser demon and the Sentinels responded to the threat.
They do know of Mr. Pennington, but the varghest is not the monster that the 4 have been after. The pyramid is set on the table and Rhapsody relates what happened.
Connel is asked if she is convinced of things being the truth, which of course inspires mocking from Willard.
The cultured man says that the dead goblins are humans and part of a violent cult to explain why Connel had to open fire.
Robert Foster is a solitaire who died of a heart attack, but now in a coma at the hospital.
Connel gets a call, 2 murders at the boardwalk, strangulation like Melissa.
The men leave and Rhapsody requests names. The larger man is Marcus, the smaller man says to call him Priest.
The group heads down to the Tombs and along the Boardwalk to the scene of the newest murder. When they arrive, Connel insists that Sheri and Willard stay in the car, but allows Rhapsody to come out since she is an intern.
Willard looks around for gifted in the crowd gathered around and spots one of the bystanders, a guy who is wearing a black leather jacket and looks like Brad Pitt.
Rhapsody also sees the guy make eye contact for a moment as she goes with Connel under the tape. Connel is the only detective there and asks the officers who called the scene in. He’s pointed out to a homeless woman who is standing off to the side. She called it in at 8:04pm. Forensics has yet to arrive and there is an ambulance nearby. Connel and Rhapsody realize the time is when the shit hit the fan at the church. Connel goes to talk to the homeless lady and the BLJ guy heads off. Rhapsody goes to see if she can find his scent and realizes it’s the scent of the shadow woman… the smell of dead flesh.
Rhapsody sees 2 men going to where the guy went and that they are also highly essenced.
Connel calls the lady over and she asks if there is a reward. Connel asks what she saw. She was walking, saw the hole in the fence that wasn’t there before, went to look and saw the bodies. She didn’t see anyone else around that she had noticed. Connel finally gives her a fifty, a card to a shelter and his card to call if she should think of anything. She starts to leave and then comes back to return the watch she had picked off the male.
Forensics arrives and begins their investigations. One of them mentions this scene wasn’t as bad as the one across town. Time of death was around 7:30ish… not quite 4 bodies.
Connel asks the boys in blue if there was anyone else, and is told there are 2 other officers wandering around. Connel hears the forensics guy as he points to the body and said, “I've done this one already.” Connel goes over to look… and sees Misty… no rigor mortis.
The other guy hands over a wallet proclaiming the black man to be Harold Jacobs, 32 years old, lived in the neighborhood. Connel tells them to track any connections of Harold to Misty. Connel calls the detective working cross town and speaks to Monica Williams. Det. Williams tells him that their perp might be the guy who likes bodies. They decide to share info as they can.
Rhapsody tells Connel she’s going to follow someone that stood out and have Sheri and Willard go with her. Connel asks that she keep them out of trouble. Rhapsody’s response was, “Yeah, right.” She goes to the others and asks if they noticed Mr. Essence. Willard confirms. Sheri tells about her vision again, Robert Foster at the foot of a void.
They hear a trash can bang and Willard puts up an essence shield as they head forward and down an alley. Rhapsody heads down first and sees BLJ holding up someone against a wall. Behind him are the other 2 she saw head down the alley after him.
Willard says, “Hey guys, what’s up?
BLJ, woodsy looking guy and an Italian guy is what they see. The other two give a wild scent Rhapsody recognizes as those of feral. The cop in BLJ’s hand is passing out and at his feet is an unconscious cop.
BLJ guy demands to know who the group is. Willard introduces himself and asks why he’s roughing up the cop.
Rhapsody asks who he is…. And there is a question duel, BLJ not giving any information despite the group’s willingness to share. The other two do state they are not with the Sentinels. The blonde is Greg, and the Italian guy is Antonio
As the question and answer session, continues, there is a call on the cop’s radio for them to report in. As the caller on the other end gets no response, BLJ drops down and grabs one of the revolvers, training it on the two groups. He shoots Rhapsody, grazing her, Sheri and Willard duck for cover. Antonio and Greg transform to a leopard and wolf respectively.
Rhapsody also transforms and is shot again, this time hit. Sheri tries to fry BLJ with a holy bolt. Rhapsody goes up after BLJ, following Antonio. Connel hears the ruckus, gives orders for a cop to stay as he goes to check things out. Sheri goes to examine the unconscious cops; both are alive, just out.
Rhapsody goes tiger on the roof for speed as she follows Antonio who is after BLJ.
Connel finds the group and asks where Rhapsody is. Willard said that she went up.
Rhapsody follows the two into an apartment and bedroom. Going around a corner, she sees Antonio on a couch. BLJ has a woman with a claw at her neck. He states he’s willing to bet that they will not endanger the woman. Rhapsody calls his bluff by attacking. He throws the woman and the two females collide. Antonio goes after BLJ and Rhapsody checks the woman who is injured, but alive. She resumes chase.
Another cop comes to tell Connel that there is something going on at the crime scene. Connel gives Willard his backup revolver and they head to the scene.
Rhapsody goes out the window and finds the scent of BLJ and Antonio. She hears the cops who heard the breaking glass and leaps up, using her camouflage ability to hide from them until they enter the building. She hears the sounds of squealing tires and sees Antonio on top of a speeding GTO. She charges it and gets her arms into the driver windows, holding on and she’s shot at again.
Connel, Sheri, Willard all hear the shots as they go to the crime scene.
Rhapsody swings her body after nodding towards Antonio. She manages to use her weight and that of the leopard to drag the GTO to its side and leap clear as its inertia carries it a distance and grinds to a halt.
Back at the crime scene, the forensics team is dead, the black victim is missing and Connel complains that they are supposed to go to the morgue first, and then walk away. He and Willard go to check the bodies. Sheri looks around and sees a shape in the ambulance. It looks like a huge dog, with tentacles that are in the body of one of the paramedics.
Willard sees it, “Connel, this is your department.”
The dog-thing leaps at Sheri, who manages to dodge out of the way. Willard shoots it and misses so hides behind Connel. Connel shoots it and hits it in the head. It snarls and leaps away.
Meanwhile, Rhapsody notes the license plate of the car and the sound of sirens approaching grows louder.
Willard uses his soul fire to see if it takes away the marks on the paramedic, but it does not, though Connel does see the ‘flames’.
BLJ breaks through the top of his car with a gun and shot gun, the latter he aims at Rhapsody and fires. Rhapsody ducks but still gets hit, so she plays dead. BLJ fires at Antonio and hits him as well, then turns as Greg shows up. BLJ turns and fires at G, but clicks empty. He leaps to a building and goes up as G helps Rhapsody to an alley.
Sheri heads to where she heard the shots and sees the ferals limping to the alley. Greg growls at Sheri, but Rhapsody tells him she’s okay.
Willard gets in the car after handing the pistol back to Connel. The surviving and conscious cop asks if Connel saw what happened. Finally the back up arrives.
Greg leads Rhapsody into the sewers.
Connel pulls out his badge as the backup arrives. Willard is in the car and Sheri is hanging with Connel. Connel sends officers to those subdued by Leather Jacket Guy.
An officer reports the victim in the apartment. Sheri goes to rest in the car. Plain marked car comes up; a balding heavy guy comes out to scream at Connel. Apparently it’s the police commissioner.
Eventually, they take Sheri and Willard to the police station, and have some other detectives to question them. They are immediately separated.
Willard is asked what happened. He explains that detective Connel was asking questions, that he got a call in regards to the line of questioning, so took them with him, told them they couldn’t got to the scene, they wandered off, they found the cops being mugged or something and gave a description of Leather Jacket Guy and a rough and vague description of Greg. They yelled at them and they ran off because they were raising enough noise. He said he was there with his friends, checked the cops, and headed back to the crime scene and lost track of Rhapsody when there was something, a huge dog that Connel shot at that was attacking people. One of the officers said that there was something going on at the crime scene.
Meanwhile, Sheri is being questioned. Connel drove them, protecting them, said to not wander far and not to get into trouble, and there was some psycho guy that shot, then climbed up the building to escape. When they got back to the scene there was a huge dog that was mauling people. It was in the ambulance, charged Sheri, then ran off, scared of the gun fire that Connel shot. Who was with them with in the alley? Sheri and Rhapsody, she thinks Willard was in the car. One cop getting beat up the other unconscious on the ground. She remembers Willard was behind her, and first shot she lost track of him and thought he went back to the car.
They ask that the two not leave. Willard is of course flippant. Across the way, they see Connel talking to the head honchos of the precinct. The two are free to go home. Willard requests to be taken to his car. They grudgingly do so, taking him back to Misty Baker’s apartment complex. An officer offers to give Sheri a ride home or to her vehicle, she chooses to go the precinct, gets her car and goes home to rest.
Meanwhile back at the sewers, Rhapsody is in the older sewers where she is heading along. The previous injury that Leather Jacket Guy hit on her shoulder is still painful and the sewage is not helping. She makes her way up a ladder and looks around, Greg is also still in his feral form.
He leads over towards a recessed door to a warehouse and they head over a block where there is an old Toyota pickup and gives the address to her condo. He gets out a pack and gets back to his human form and escorts her up to her apartment.
Greg raids the beer stash and Rhapsody does say she’ll be okay. And they start explaining why they were at the scenes. Greg and Antonio were working under the assumption that the killer could’ve been a different sort of lycan. They exchange information and Rhapsody shares her theory that it’s a type of vampire, but not the one that pulled a gun on them.
Sheri is in a dream. She’s hit by the smell, the smell of the ocean, and she can feel the sand between her toes as she walks along the beach. The day is over cast as she walks towards the rocks, she hears flute music.
She heads towards the sounds of the flute, winding around the rocks. There is a very small man, native wearing a loincloth and a beaded necklace. In front of him is a fire, he stops playing. There is a salmon cooking on a rock next to the fire, and shell fish next to the fire also cooking.
“Welcome, Drum Sister.”
“I thank you, Flute Man.”
He seems to like the name. “Care for some fish?” He kneels down to see if the fish is done.
“Yes, share the goodness.”
He pops open a shellfish, slurps it, picks another and hot potatoes it to Sheri and he starts to eat, not talking or anything. Sheri will scan the horizon and make note of the area, looking for selkies.
Sheri looks to herself to see what she is wearing. She is wearing a burgundy gauzy skirt.
A few minutes go by and FM says, “Have you come here to simply share my fire, or is there something you seek, Drum Sister?”
Sheri ponders, “Well, I have been thinking about a big man of the waves. Maybe a god perhaps.
“A shaman of great power, perhaps. I’ve heard speak of a Brotherhood of the wave.”
“A brotherhood of the wave? I have heard… You seek an Old One? You path lies along the way of the Great Spirit. It is not often that a Drum Sister of the Great Spirit seeks an Old One.”
“Are there spirits? Swimming Sisters?”
“There is the otter sister… the salmon... what do you seek, they are all around us?”
“They are selkies.”
“Ah, you speak of the skoshas. The travelers from across the waves, they have traveled here.”
“What are they like? Are they like otter woman or different?”
“They are more like you, Drum Sister, and others.”
“What do I call you?”
“You can call me Pukwudji. Of the honochenokai. We are called the little mysteries by Mother Toad. Brother to the Raven and Brother Coyote. And what of you, Drum Sister, have you a name?”
“They call me Sheri.”
Sheri looks down and in her fanny pack, she fishes out a pouch of tobacco, which she takes out and offers to him. “Please take a gift.”
“We need no gift. We can take what we want and I have taken your measure. Have more shell fish… So you seek, ocean spirits. These, skoshas? I have spoken with them before, , but not lately. You need 3 gifts for them. Go out to their rocks at midnight, bring with you a lantern, a fish, and a gift of silver. By the lantern they will know you, by the fish they know you as friend, and by the silver they know you respect them. They are amongst Brother Seal and his kin.”
“I understand, thank you.”
“I am glad you have come, it is not often I get visitors.”
“I am glad I came too.”
She sits and watches the waves, and next thing she hears is the alarm, but wakes up refreshed.
By the morning Rhapsody is healed. She skips morning classes and goes in later.
Willard also ditches.
Sheri calls Rhapsody, mentions the dreams. Asks about the selkies and that they were talking about them in the dream. She doesn’t want to talk about last night. Sheri is surprised that Rhapsody is going to class…. Then there is a knock at the door, Sheri’s dad.
Wayne is leaning against the door. “Honey? You’ve got a message on the machine, what happened last night?”
“There was some bad trouble.”
“What were you doing? Is this something that is going to be in the papers? Are you okay?”
Sheri BS’s about what happened, something about the Russian Mafia, clues at the church, helping Rhapsody find things for her internship. Connel left the message.
“I’m glad you’re okay, but I don’t like what’s going on here… Is this gonna be in the papers, is this something I’ll have to be explaining to the other … “
Sheri calls Connel back. It rings a few times, and there is man’s voice, “This is Det Walter Harrison.”
“Det Connel. Please”
“Sheri Hanson returning his call.”
“Det Connel is taking a few days leave. Can I take a message? Sheri Hanson you said. If there is no message, he should be back next week.”
Sheri sees Rhapsody in class.
Willard wakes up, listening to Manson and NIN and starts doing some research. A knock on the door, and through the hole, he sees a man in a three piece suit, late 20’s early 30’s, clean cut. Seems mundane.
He opens the door a little. “What do you want?”
“I have a message for you. Mr. Robert Foster would like to see you.”
“Why? He was supposed to be dead.”
“An unfortunate misunderstanding. He would like to thank you for that not being the case.”
“Where does he want us to meet?”
He hands out a piece of paper with directions. Willard calls Rhapsody and lets them know of the meeting. The girls are hesitant, Valamorte Café is where Rhapsody suggests. Foster can’t make it and gives assurance that he means no harm.
Rhapsody asks Willard impression of him since he spoke to Foster on the phone. He didn’t get any impression that Foster was being false. Rhapsody prefers to not let anyone go in alone. Willard asks if Sheri is too paranoid to go.
Sheri goes to seek visions as Rhapsody and Willard go to get their phones upgraded.
Sheri sits there for a half hour and sees a series of images, and feels water, and she breaks the surface and sees rocks in the mist jutting from the rocks. She’s inside the tower and sees Foster, laying in a bed, medical equipment hooked up to him. He looks to be unconscious, and looks to be men guarding him.
She jumps as something slams at the door. She flashes to the outside, and the water is beating against the tower. She sees the water rising. She flashes inside and the guards have their guns out, the top of the tower blows off as a huge storm brews. There is a scream, and as she looks around, all the guards are wilting, their flesh decomposing as they turn to dust. She hears a loud hiss, and sees the bed and Foster is coming off the bed and over his features again is the shape she saw before. Foster is in a panic, the heart monitor flatlines and she’s back in the courtyard.
Willard tells Rhapsody of his vision for his death mobile. Rhapsody goes to call Priest. She informs him of the meeting. Priest is willing to send some men. Rhaps calls Greg, but he’s not there. She leaves a message for him to call him back.
They pass by the church, but there are still forensics, cops and government agents. Rhapsody calls Connel and no answer. She calls Priest to get Connel’s information and to find out what happened that Connel is no longer on duty.
Rhapsody tells Sheri to stop and she pulls up next to the dark blue suburban. A dark complected man rolls down his window and nods to Rhapsody. She asks for the information, and he relays that there was time to do a basic recon, there is a security force, 8 men on the outside. Looks to be expecting trouble. There are 2 entrances. There are 4 and they give a panic button and offer a wire, Rhapsody turns it down. She gives him the frequency of the walkie talkie.
They head to Foster’s. There is a video screen and they are buzzed up. They get out and head up to the door and it opens and they go into a foyer. They are asked to wait and the butler goes off and in 5 minutes, another man comes to escort them to Foster.
They get to a pair of double doors and he turns and scans them. He opens the doors and the bed matches Sheri’s vision. Foster is propped up in his bed. There are six men that are standing around.
“Ah… I’m glad you could make it. I just … I’m going to be leaving town soon, and I wanted to share what information I have of what you may be facing.”
He has one of his men bring over some papers. He opens up and takes out cashier’s checks, each for 25000 dollars.
Robert tells that he was given a drug that is a derivative of a fish poison used in voudon rituals that puts someone into a death like state. He still is partially paralyzed. He knows them as The Dread Society. They approached him 8 months ago and attempted to recruit him for 2 months for his knowledge and gifts as a practitioner. He mainly uses his gifts in the business world. He refused. They are well connected and were able to alter some of his accounts as a warning.
Sheri tells them the theory as to why he was being used at the church. He would have to assume that they had the mortician in on thing. Sheri asks if he is from an unusual family lineage. He made his fortune from the ground up.
The man who did the recruiting had a small tattoo in the shape of a wave, underneath his watchband. Willard tells of the whole incident. Willard hints to Shari to tell of the vision. Shari tries to establish contact with Willard.
Rhapsody asks what the Society was offering, which was power, everlasting life. He prefers to do things on his own and felt there was some duplicity. Shari tries some divine sight on Robert Foster. Everything in the room is warded for protection.
Rhapsody asks for more information. Robert says that what he can do is allow Willard to use his occult library. Willard prods at Sheri to tell about what she saw. During his coma and in sleep, he was plagued by dreams of a very powerful being that made some connection with him. He is trying everything in his power to not be taken over. Thus his powerful shielding.
Sheri warns about Alexi. He is versed and protected against the werebear. He did research the name but found next to nothing. They tell a little about the prophecy just because the link with water that seems more than coincidental.
Sheri thinks perhaps the people at the church might be good? Things may not be as they appear. The group goes to the library.
Reginald Winter – college professor some time colleague of Robert Foster
Patrick Shaw – guard hired on by Robert Foster
Sheri looks for selkies and the voice as Willard looks at his necromancy interest. Rhapsody looks more to the legends. Rhapsody’s walkie-talkie beeps and is informed there is a visitor arriving and he is described. Rhapsody rattles off the plate and is confirmed, she knows it is Professor Winter.
Reginald heads up to the doors, and Foster has Shaw escort him in. At the door, another guard is using a wand scan on Reginald before he’s allowed. He sees all the equipment and realizes there is something else odd.
Reginald goes over towards and asks what’s wrong and Robert said there was a mix up… and Foster confesses that he had another reason for calling him in, wanting to talk more about his apparent gifts that runs more towards healing. He wishes Reginald to try and heal his injuries and dismisses everyone but Shaw, who mumbles something about wanting a sandwich and a beer.
Robert says that there are certain dangers that he should be wary of. He has Shaw roll back the rug to display a warding circle that his enemies are after him in a metaphysical sense rather than physical.
Shaw is requested to place Foster in the circle. Reginald sees that by all appearances Foster has had a stroke. Shaw goes to watch the windows. Foster props himself up as best he can and launches into a small incantation. Reginald feels that there is something happening. Everything outside the circle seems dimmed.
Foster turns and says that the ward is activated. Reginald rubs his hands together, trying to put together his intellectual resources. He’s about to start when the intercom beeps and is informed another visitor has arrived.
Rhapsody gets another call over her walkie-talkie that there is someone else, guessing government vehicle. She requests that they are kept an eye on and to inform her if he is allowed in. He is.
Foster and Winter begin the beginning again. He feels that there is no more glass bubble around Foster once the ward went up. Reginald takes a few moments and gets into what he has to do. He feels something is working when he is distracted by something happening off on the grounds (essence spike).
Willard asks the guys in the van if they felt the essence spike, they say no and Sheri says she did feel it. Rhapsody says to go investigate as she didn’t sense anything.
Foster is placed back in bed by Shaw and the rug replaced. Shaw goes to inform the others about potential threats on the property and he tries to call the outside guys, checking their status.
Everything is good, but Shaw requests them to do another check.
Reginald asks what happened. Foster said perhaps harmful magics. Rhapsody, Willard and Sheri meet up with the inside force. Rhapsody asks if there is something going on. Shaw says there is another visitor that might have something to do with what’s going on.
Shaw is informed there is no contact and he sends a team then he goes towards the north side of the house. Willard asks to speak with Foster. The other guards come in, Jim is sent to arrange the flight ASAP. Rhapsody greets Reginald and Reginald is surprised to see her there.
One of the guards asks if the government guy has arrived. He is in the waiting area. Willard goes down with two guards to check the guy out. Rhapsody goes over towards the window to take a peek outside
Shaw heads around the house. There is another essence spike coming from a line of trees on the north side of the property. Shaw takes out his binoculars to take a look around and sees the rest of the outside security team heading towards the tree line. He notices something come out of the trees just as he was about to set the binoculars down.
There are 2 ethereal creatures heading towards the house. Shaw goes to the windows to get a mind link going with Reginald.
Reginald’s reaction to the mind speak is to look up and around at the ceiling asking, “God?”
Rhapsody looks out and sees the beings and points them out to Reg.
The beings are 7-8 feet tall, vaguely female. Shaw tries mindfire, creating a ball and throws it at the beings. The ball explodes and does nothing other than to gain attention to Shaw.
Willard gets to the room with the secretary with the guy that has been waiting. Willard looks to see if there is any essence, and it is higher than normal, though nothing active. The security is radioed that there is a problem. The two guards look at each other and bolt out of the room. Willard goes back towards Foster’s room and does see him pull something out.
Rhapsody watches but doesn’t do anything, yet. Reginald is stunned at what he’s seeing. The critter speeds up and rushes towards Shaw and he runs away from it. The first essence comes up to the bay windows and hits the ward. Its fingers sink in and looks like its trying to do something.
Rhapsody asks if Foster knows what it is. Rhapsody and Reginald move away and the second one who just wanted to scare Shaw away and joins the first. Rhapsody and Reginald know that if they are ethereal that nothing physical would affect them and that to get the summoner that had a pact with them made
Foster sends a soulfire that splits to hit the two figures and they jolt and then suck the energy. “Oh crap.”
Willard enters the room as Rhapsody turns to leave. She sees the agent by the guards and they are arguing. Rhapsody tries to get a radio and misses, but startles a guard. He lashes out but she dodges. Reginald looks out. The agent is saying he’s here to help, so Rhapsody says ‘so come with me.”
Agent goes with Rhapsody. Reginald stays put. A hairline crack works its way up the window. The two spirits converge on the crack. Shaw goes to head over to the security shed for an ATV. Willard asks what Foster wants to do.
Rhapsody goes around the outside; the agent sees the spirits and asks what they are. Rhapsody says spirits and that the summoner needs to be dealt with. They start heading towards the tree line.
Sheri tries her holy fire; Shaw sees the pillar and the spirits are unaffected. More cracks form along the glass. Shaw gets the four wheeler and is not getting the maximum power from it. Rhapsody goes to get the other ATV. Willard gathers essence. Foster asks Willard to strengthen the wards. He cannot. Reginald calls in the guards to the fracturing windows and goes by Foster. Foster says it’s time to roll him out of there, Reginald releases the breaks.
Shaw finds the next gear and manages to take off. Rhapsody gets the other ATV and takes off. The agent hops on behind her. Willard goes with Reginald and Rob and mentions to the guards to leave. The glass shatters in as one guard was about to mess up the wards, the guards look out, two guards turn.
Ethereal tendrils try to grab Willard miss. Sheri gets into the tree line he tries to gear down and gets a little bogged down, hits a rock and almost flips the ATV, but he falls off, but rolls with the fall and isn’t harmed. Willard bolts of fire at the one not swatting at him and hits, it arcs its back and the shape dims after the hit.
Rhapsody catches up with Shaw. Reginald is still pushing Rob on the bed. Sheri has no idea what the hell to do. Willard tells her to go after Rhapsody. She perched on the window and leaps out after using strength of 10.
Foster says look out and Reginald sees the one creature that got hit latches onto the bed shield. It clamps on to the shield and starts munching. The other one goes after Willard again, but he feels cold as they wrap around him and start to pull essence away. He starts to weaken. Shaw hears sounds of fighting, including loud roars.
Rhapsody slows and maneuvers through the trees, but sees a glimpse of a large creature, about 11 feet tall, no neck, huge arms, narrow waist, very ogrish in stature and appearance with a mouth full of teeth.
Willard tries to go into the pentagram, but there is no effect, so he tries to get enough essence for a bolt of soulfire. It sucks the soulfire and the creature seems to become more powerful. Reginald gets down the hallway, still pushing the hospital bed and yells at Willard to run.
The spirit looks up and yells at the one on Willard and that one leaves. Willard flips off the first one. “Foster, the ones it ain’t looking.” Foster, as if reading his mind, blasts it and it dissipates.
In the clearing, there is an average guy in a circle of sand, leaves whip around the circle. There are 6 child sized critters like at the church.
Rhapsody aims the ATV at the guy in the circle and leaps off. The agent grabs on to it and then leaps off, but the ATV goes past him... Shaw pulls out his gun to fire and just barely misses. Willard calls up some more soulfire to aim at the spirit and gets a solid hit and it slithers around foster to get away from the line of sight.
Willard: “STOP! WAIT!”
Reginald tries to get them to stop Foster says to keep going. Foster yells that he can’t hit it. The spirit latches onto the shield and it dims a bit.
Shaw double taps, the first shot hits and the guy falls. Rhapsody calls in the Sentinels for back up. The demonic ogre goes after Rhapsody and misses as she dives out of the way. A little one goes after her too and misses.
Two go for the cop and takes two shots at one, hits with one and knocks it to the ground. The other one jumps high and takes a grazing hit. Three go after Shaw and he dodges one, the other two claw him and one gnaws on the vest. The other however, latches onto Shaw’s arm.
Sheri bounds across the grounds towards the tree line. Willard jumps under the bed, holding onto the bard, leaning out to try and get a shot in. Reginald and Foster are having an argument regarding going or staying. Willard begins to summon essence.
Shaw strikes out at the critter that is gnawing on his arm, aiming for the creature's head. It skids off its head as it moves to the side. Rhapsody drops her gun and goes into her feral form. Reginald screams hysterically for Willard to hit the ethereal creature.
The little critters make their attack. The one near Rhapsody snarls and leaps up, trying to latch onto her back, but she rolls with the attack and deflects it. One of the other creatures is knocked back by two shots from the agent, though he gets hit by the other. The three near Shaw circle around. One jumps in and as Shaw attempts to deflect with his martial arts skill, but it only rakes along the armor. The second one leapt in and its side stepped and pushed aside. The third avoids the armor and gouges across the collar bone, opening him up pretty good.
Sheri keeps booking it across the grounds still. In the clearing, Rhapsody notices that the mage has pulled out a walkie-talkie and is talking into it. The wind that was whipping around the circle, then moves in the circle, and the mage is lifted up off the ground, the mage is still wounded.
Foster yells to Willard that his resources are tapped and that it's up to the necromancer to kill the ethereal being. The one spirit lifts up off of Foster’s shield and it spits out essence around Foster to make its own barrier. Willard holds his attack till he can get a better attack.
Shaw moves to attack the critter, the first strike missing, but the knee hits the face of the critter, smashing in some teeth and it falls back. Rhapsody tries to grab the goblin next to her to throw at the mage, but misses, so steps back, ready to defend herself.
The goblin leaps to try and gnaw on Rhapsody and gets a scrape. The agent goes down as the remaining critter rides him to the ground. One of Shaw’s critters leap out and Shaw easily deflects the attack. The second on Shaw tries to leap in, but misses and the third does manage to get a bite in, latching onto his leg.
Sheri enters the tree line, leaps over the abandoned ATV and keeps heading for the clearing. Sheri starts to slow down, being more wary and sees the Sentinel’s blue Chevy van speeding in with a smashed grill and broken window.
The guards slam open the doors to the elevator to get to the roof of the building. The spirit latches back onto Foster’s shield as it pulls the essence from it. Reginald pushes buttons.
Willard tries to get around behind the spirit and begins to summon essence to blast through the shield the spirit put up. He lets loose his gathered energies and it blasts in through the shield a bit, the spirit looking around back at the necromancer.
Shaw tries to grab a hold of his pistol which he had dropped, faking one critter out and rolls to his feet with his gun in his hands. He double taps, missing wide with the first and hits with the second shot as they did attack so couldn’t dodge. The critter is hit in the shoulder which is spun around and knocked to the ground. The other two attack , and he dodges the first one and tries to dodge the second, but only partially does so, but the vest takes the rest of the damage.
Rhapsody is healed up from the previous bite. She tries to grab the critter and it evades. The critter leaps high to attack and claws into her but doesn’t manage to get in a bite as Rhapsody evades.
Critter on Shaw leaps and attacks, but then scrapes off the armor. The second one attacks and hits, getting through and doing some damage, brining Shaw down to his knee. The huge thing attacks Rhapsody and she dodges out of the way, rolling under the strike.
Sheri gets into the clearing and into chaos, whipping out the borrowed kukri. Rhapsody yells out, “Mage, above!” as she notices the newcomer to the mass mayhem. Sheri looks around, sees the mage getting away, and goes towards the goblinoid critters attacking Shaw. Sheri cackles as she slices the critter in half, coming up with the blade.
The spirit lunges out at Willard who tries to dodge out of the way and does so ever so barely as misses and falls into the hall. The doors close. Foster screams to see where the helicopter is. Willard waits to replenish his essence and waits to be dodging.
Shaw double taps at the one attacking him. The first shot misses as it flings itself away. The second shot hits, exploding its head.
Rhapsody attacks the ogre, plunging her claws into its arm, ripping out its bicep and she snaps a bite at it with nip to the shoulder rather than the neck.
There is calm in the elevator. Reginald hums a bit of “The Girl From Ipanema”, Foster glares at him and he stops.
Critters grrr and the one that was shot by Shaw tries to crawl away. The big ogre tries to slam Rhapsody but just flails ineffectively at her with the first one but the return strike connects, staggering her back.
The one remaining goblin that has finished tearing up the cop lifts the gun and tries to shoot Rhapsody, managing to hit.
Sheri looks around and sees the critter that shot Rhapsody and goes for a run-by slashing. The critter shoots and misses. Sheri misses as the critter rolls away. Everyone hears the helicopter approaching the compound.
Willard says, “I hope that thing don’t fly faster than that chopper.”
The spirit flies in and latches onto the shield again. The elevator starts to get dark as something approaches. The door opens up.
Willard: “Get him out of here.”
Willard uses up the remaining essence to shoot the critter… and misses as he stumbles out of the elevator.
Shaw reloads his gun and walks towards the critter that’s crawling away to take a shot and misses as it rolls to the side.
Rhapsody rips the ogre’s throat with her claws. Reginald lets out a yell and runs down the hall with the bed. Sheri dodges as the critter shoots at her but misses as she trips. Several Sentinels come out and kill the last creature.
Willard sits down beside the elevator, depressed. “Guys, I quit. Someone else come and kill these things, I can’t. And the big bad thing is coming. And I really don’t need to go to jail right now, so I’ll see you at the car.”
The spirit finishes the shield as the chopper begins to land. Willard, Reginald and Foster are enveloped in shadow as there is evil laughter, though muffled as if under water.
“Hey guys…” and all the others hear after that is the evil laughter.
Rhapsody was running back to the mansion. The Sentinels check with Sheri and head back to the mansion as Sheri explains that the others are allies.
Willard sits down as Reginald keeps screaming. Willard feels hands grabbing him by the collar and lifting him up, saying, “I will remember you,” then he’s dropped.
Reginald is knocked out presumably.
Rhapsody sees from the field, the darkness by the chopper. She also sees something of great essence and power, wearing shadow like a cloak vestments around it. One of the guards stumbles out and his throat is slashed.
Leaning out copter is Alexi. The figure looks to Rhapsody then gets into the copter. Rhapsody goes to her hybrid form to climb up to the roof. She comes up onto the lip of the landing and the copter is ascending.
The shadow has now left the building. Rhapsody moves to throw the dead body, but as she is about to do this, she sees Alexi leveling a large rifle and leaps out of the way as he fires, missing her.
Willard is singing into the walkie–talkie, as he stands up and walks off towards the car. One of the sentinels growls to get the thing shut off. One of the Sentinels starts to bandage Shaw. Rhapsody peeks and gets shot at again, starting to swear under her breath.
Sheri shoots at the copter and misses. Shaw tries his mind fire and misses. Rhapsody goes to the elevator, checks on Reginald and he is alive. Sheri kicks the dead guard out of the way and heads down with the unconscious professor.
Shaw gets bandaged up. Rhapsody drops off Reginald by the elevator doors and heads to the library. Shaw gets to the elevator, sees Reginald and goes to the helipad. He sees the other guards with their throats ripped out, the bed and the holes made by the power rifle.
Shaw asks about the cleaning up and the large Italian guy says it will be taken care of and that they are working on a story as to what happened. One of the other guys comes back in and the large guy tosses him a wallet. He looks at it and tosses it to Shaw and there is a government ID card from the agent that got mauled.
The sentinel takes the ID card and gets on the phone. Willard goes to the roof, listens. “So they kidnapped him again, that’s a good cover story, right?”
Shaw suggests leaving the country as the Sentinel says, “Get what books you want, there is about to be a large fire.”
Willard reminds about the secretary. Two Sentinels are dispatched to go find her
Rhapsody is taking books after getting dressed.
Books are being picked and pushed to get into the van and X-tera.
Rhapsody goes to retrieve her weapon as Shaw has any ways of being identified. Rhapsody rips off the head of the agent so the body can be used to fake Shaw’s death. Shaw throws several fireballs out to set the place on fire.
The Sentinels give directions to the wharf section to a warehouse area. The garage is opened up and there is enough room to park.
People new to the group are brought up to speed a little bit. Shaw is told of the group that was after Foster and that has now succeeded in using him as a vessel for the entity they had summoned. Sheri tells of her theory of this Dread Society being part of the Brotherhood of the Wave that wish to enact a second coming or second rising, perhaps of Poseidon but that’s just a guess.
Reginald starts using his healing ability to try and do some healing on Shaw. The psychic residue of the pain is just too much and he staggers back. He tries again… he manages to do some healing, but it backlashes again at him. He goes for the third time charm and manages to do some more healing again, this time not getting the backlash thrown, so he continues… but gets the backlash.
Sheri says that she had a vision of the entity superimposed on Foster looming over a pile of corpses. Rhapsody says wryly that they DID just burn a bunch of bodies.
The leader of this Sentinel group says that the secretary is being taking care of. She will be well, but just have odd lapses in memory. He suggests that everyone lay low for a few days and asks if there is anything that needs to be done.
The garage door is pulled open for the bug and the X-tera. Rhapsody offers Shaw a room at her condo for the time being. All head to Rhapsody’s place and unload the books.
Sheri says that it should be soon that they seek out the selkies to find any information that way. They also start discussing where to go as in what they need to do, what needs to be researched, etc.
Rhapsody has a messenger go and open a new account with the cashier’s check given to her by Foster. Sheri starts helping with the research, Reginald offers his knowledge in languages. Sheri, Reginald, and Rhapsody hit the books for a while. Shaw goes to lie down and rest.
Friday morning all wake up and breakfast is both made and had. Reginald tries some more healing on Shaw and manages to a little, but ends up with another backlash. He does try for a third, doesn’t manage to heal but doesn’t get backlash.
Shaw goes shopping for weaponry and his usual gear he likes to have. Sheri also goes shopping but for silver, a lantern and will get the fish last. Reginald, Rhapsody and Willard stay to do research.
Around 10, Reginald finds a passage in the ‘Arat’s Dissertations on the Element of Water’ regarding the Voce of Amphitrite. Shaw returns around the same time Sheri does. On the television, there is a story on the Foster mansion going up in flames. Details are sketchy as the investigation continues into the possibility of criminal activity.
Reginald does some healing on Willard and does very well, but then needs a nap. He then calls Harold Mortenson, a contact of his in regards to the author who goes to do a little research on the subject.
Around lunch time, Priest calls Rhapsody saying that they found some information on the artifact and they agree to meet at her place at 8pm. Shaw takes a tour of the condo/penthouse. From the upstairs balcony, he sees a man down at the end of the block, smoking a cigarette, but something strikes him odd. He heads out as folks are researching or making dinner.
He comes around the corner and sees the guy at the far end. As he gets a little closer, he sees the guy is wearing jeans, shirt, and long trench coat, has headphones and looks to be hanging out, waiting. The guy glances over as Shaw walks over and asks for a light as he pulls out a smoke.
Shaw starts with some small talk. “I’ve never seen you around here before.”
“I’m not from around here.”
“Me neither. Thanks for the light.” And he wanders off.
Shaw takes his time and as he heads back to the condo he sees a Caddy pull up and Priest and his driver get out and head up the stairs. He doesn’t notice any weapons and heads in. The doorbell rings and Shaw asks Rhapsody to describe her visitors, which she does. As Priest enters, he is introduced to the other two.
Has any one hear of the Atalan, Pre-Lemurian culture linking to Atlantis. Said to have 2 factions within the culture, purveyors of light and higher learning, the others the ‘bad guys’. The picture of a small copper pyramid with glyphs inscribed. These glyphs are what are known of the Atalan and that the artifact is extremely old.
Spoke of it before as a conduit, which is incorrect. It’s a matrix, it store essence, and when opened, it affects another being’s essence. It can be used to change that being. The longer it’s opened, the more it spreads and changes. It is unknown if there is a limit or if it can be recharged or not.
Willard keeps offering steak to Rhapsody. The culture does have links to the ocean and water. Plato had mentioned about Atlantis. The theory is that the split society destroyed each other. Some think the Atalan were the good side, and the bad were the Balial.
Atalan went for spiritual supremacy and the Balial went for the physical.
The group tells of what happened at Foster’s. Foster had the link forged initially at the funeral via the pyramid focus which allowed the being to track Foster once the shields went down.
Silver ammunition is requested.
Priest asks what is to be one with the pyramid. Suggestions are to have it destroyed if possible, or put away. Rhapsody asks about the vamps and Priest says that the vamp case has been covered and is possibly a federal case. Connel is also under wraps, administrative leave.
Priest is told about the two ferals and the vamp, which Shaw recognizes as the guy outside as BLJ guy. He asks about the info from Pennington and the selkies, which they have not yet contacted. Priest mentions wariness about meeting now that he knows they are being watched.
Start speaking of what is to be done. Reginald says he’s not bait.
They head out to find the selkies. They go to the shore and Sheri lights the lantern as midnight approaches. Off in the distance they can hear the barking of the seals. Sheri looks for a flat enough space to put the offerings. Rhapsody keeps an eye out for the vampire. Willard goes to watch the parking spots.
Sheri goes into a visionary state in case it’s not a physical manifestation. Rhapsody sees a boat, a skiff out on the water, and there is a light coming from it. Sheri also sees it and there is a guy in the boat, wearing a hat and other fishing attire. Fairly young, mid 20’s and he’s rowing the boat. It skids in to the shore and he gets out.
“I saw your light. Is there something wrong?”
Everyone answers negatively and he goes and sees the offerings. Everyone tries to make some excuse, Rhapsody tries to say what they are doing, but is talked over.
The guy goes to his boat and Rhapsody makes a comment about selkies which gets him out of the boat again and Rhapsody mentions the voice of Amphitrite. He asks what they want with selkies and the voice and who they are.
Ladies get into the boat and they go to a bunch of rocks. The girls notice that the oars are pulled out and see that the seals are guiding the boat to shore. They’re lead up on the rock on the island to an old woman. She wears very tattered clothing, looking the part of a matron.
“Who have you brought me Eric, it’s not often we get visitors out here.”
“Friends, grandmother. Friends who come seeking advice.”
“Ahh, they wish to speak to the Voice, ahh? You seek someone that I used to be, but am no longer.”
“Grandmother, then the voice went away
“It has moved on yes”
“We sought information of the weaknesses of a dark entity that was released recently.”
“I have seen such in my dreams, though the voice has left me. You seek the voice, she is not far, and I know that. She not of the ocean as we are. As all of our kind she is tied to the water, but she is not of our kind, the term is Nereid. You have the information to find her; you must follow that to its conclusion.”
“The dark entity is also associated with the water, but in a negative way.”
“Yes. The Second Rising. It is coming.”
“What is the second rising?”
“None are sure, but the first was before the age of Greece. I can tell you that it was on the right path.”
“Was it the time of the Atalan, or Lemuria?”
“It very well could have been.”
“Thank you and is there any other advice you can give us?”
“If indeed you come across these… 'Risen', you have friends among the selkies. Remember, we will do what we can to help you.”
They bid farewell.
“There is said to be a spell to find the voice, but she couldn’t find it, but that you are in the right path.” Eric gives a card.
Late morning, Willard heads out, intending to go to class, until Rhapsody reminds him that it’s Saturday, so he leaves to go get more sleep.
Reginald had a seeking spell faxed to him. It has to be cast in the presence of a water spirit. Willard calls to say that Pennington has information. Shaw and Prof Winter offer their services, the former for employment. Prof Winter heads out to the university as the others pile in to the X-tera to head to the church.
On the way to the church they stop for gas. Sheri tries to pay and the card is denied, and she finds that she hasn’t enough cash. Sheri goes for the other card in the car and that is also denied. Rhapsody hands out some cash.
Rhapsody calls Priest and asks him to look into things as it seems that someone is working against their finances.
They pull up to the church, and the site has been cleared. They head to the side door and head to Pennington’s rooms downstairs, passing by the custodian who asks what they are doing. Rhapsody says that they are to meet Mr. Pennington, but the custodian doesn’t know who that is. Rhapsody asks if they can wait for their friend and they are directed to the break room upstairs.
They sit, and they hear a cough and Pennington walks out of the wall.
Pennington had the seekers find an original translation of the prophecy:
Shepherds of the blood are born in the northern most of harbors
Beyond the placid waves a towering wall grows that will shadow the land in emerald silence
Only the voice can lead the shepherds to calm the second rising
A dark tiger of the line of Avendi shall heed the old man's call
Four will carry the torches into the night and though they stumble or perish the brand must remain lit
From forgotten ruin, the greatest temple must never be raised again
Else the gods of perfect flesh shall rule forever
And woe befalls the world of man.
Pennington states there is more, but is more in Earl’s room below. They tell Pennington of the selkies and the spell that needs the presence of a water spirit. Pennington can point to the direction of a coven that can help with the summoning of a water spirit.
Pennington checks and Earl has left. They head downstairs and Pennington pulls out a book, and appears to be corporeal. Shaw pokes him and he is real.
In the book there is a ritual that Pennington thinks will be most helpful. The key is knowing the correct rune for the Atalan. It would pinpoint the location of Atalan energies and might be useful. Rhapsody draws the symbols from the pyramid and Pennington does some searching and researching.
He narrows it down to 3. There is a catch; each one might the key to the ritual. Each time it is tried, they must expend valuable resources. Pennington has enough for one. He upends 3 moderately sized diamonds provided by the Sentinels.
Rhapsody calls Reginald to let him know they need the books he has. He says he’ll be there in an hour. They ask about the coven. Miss Amy O’Donnell is the high priestess of the coven Pennington mentioned. Tell her it’s a seeker matter.
They head to the park to meet up with Amy, a red-headed, willowy, slender young lady. Rhapsody is straight forward about what they want. Amy does agree to help and they agree to meet the following night.
They head back to the church and Reginald is there. They have agreed on a sigil and are ready to proceed with the ritual. Off the coast, the light burns into another rune. Another light forms in an area of the boardwalk near where the first murder was. Then one by one, little dots appear around the runes in the city, numbering over a hundred, mostly in the Boardwalk area. 3 are right outside her home.
Three dots are burnt near Rhapsody’s place, two near Sherri’s, three near Willard’s and no dots near the prof’s. They go out to get money, Rhapsody checks her accounts and they’re fine. They head to Sheri’s and she calls her card company and they look into her purchases as they see a purchase for a car. Sheri gets the ball rolling to get the credit card investigated.
Back at Rhapsody, her condo has been ransacked, safe opened and everything taken. Rhapsody calls the front desk and they call the cops.
Shaw and Sheri head to her place and they see cop cars there. Shaw stays inside the car as Sheri goes up to see what was going on. The cops report ‘some’ damage done. Sheri uses her divine sight and sees that 2 of them are standard issue cops. Third one is greedy, doesn’t care about wrong or right, and she gets the sense he’s on the take.
Sheri fills in reports and heads out. Rhapsody calls Willard and gets no answer. She calls Sheri and they go to see Willard’s place and it’s also been hit. They ask to move the ritual and get it rescheduled for midnight. They go to dinner and head back to Rhapsody’s and find Willard there and they fill him in.
Willard is left behind when he goes to get food and the time comes for the ritual.
Rhapsody sees the shadowy lady. Sheri true sights her and sees that she’s a vampire but on the side of the group. Sheri has information about the other vampire.
The other vampire is named Randall and has been asking. He’s protected by something powerful. He’s looking for a book with a dragon on the cover. Perhaps thinks that they have the book. And to let them know that there will be no repercussions from their society.
Same night that they ran into Randall, there were more murders. Sheri gives more information about the critter that took Melissa. The woman had run into it. The Nomads thought it was a Feral.
Her name is Raven.
They head to Amy’s and do the ritual.
She looks around and sees a man in a dirty t-shirt, jeans, no shoes, yelling at Jenny to shut the kid up. They head into a bedroom, a 2 year old screaming and pale thin woman on the bed who gets up to see to the kid. They go outside and find the name of the complex as the Hacienda Apartments.
They return to Amy’s house and head out; Rhapsody reports what she saw to Shaw and to Sheri. They decide to go out the next day.
In the morning they head first to the college and go to the marine geology labs to find the map as it corresponds to the marine maps to see if there is anything odd in the area. They don’t really find much of anything of use.
They head to the Apartments via bus and look around. Not finding the right place, they pretend to be telemarketers and survey takers, calling the numbers from the phone book till Rhapsody finds the most likely apartment.
Heading up to see, Rhapsody does see that the woman inside is the woman she saw. As they are about to retreat and go see Pennington for more information as to how to approach the woman, 2 sedans pull up and 4 men get out of each car. Rhapsody can sense they are supernatural and Shaw looks for cover.
Rhapsody session 12
Dan tells his buddy he’s gotta work and scoots out the door. He uses his abilities for invisibility and to levitate… then decides to grab Joey’s keys off the counter to borrow his friend’s vehicle. He gives a quick apology as he tries to get away with ducking in and ducking out, taking off in the 78 Ford truck.
Sheri looks to Rhapsody and asks if she thinks that scooting into the Voice’s home might provide cover. Rhapsody says that it’s a good idea. Sheri says that she’ll try to sweet talk her. Four of the thugs pull handguns and they start to shoot as they come up the stairs. The other four are going for cover behind two of the cars where they parked.
Rhapsody says, “Forget it and let’s go!”
Shaw plans for cover, Sheri plans for cover but doesn’t see anything she can use so ducks and goes low as she can.
Rhapsody runs for the Voice’s door. The thugs shoot at Rhapsody. First takes two shots and misses completely, the shot going into the wall and the other through Jenny’s neighbor’s window. The second almost hits but Rhapsody ducks and skids to the door. Sheri keeps low. Shaw turns around and boots at the door and kicks it open. He crouches into the doorway. The other two thugs fire at Rhapsody. One shot grazes the shoulder and she ducks the second shot. The other four pull their guns to shoot.
Rhapsody bursts into the apartment and hears Jenny scream inside. She runs towards the back of the apartment and as she moves, she smells Alexi and starts to transform, just a hair before he fires a shotgun. Rhapsody dodges to the side into the bathroom. Sheri skitters into the apartment Shaw’s in. Shaw peeks around to take a shot. He nails the thug in the upper torso and sends him flying back down the stairs. More shots into the door and through the wall that destroy the home entertainment center behind Shaw.
Rhapsody finishes changing, rips off the bathroom sink, steps into the hall way and throws it at Alexi. The bear bats the sink into the drywall. He levels the gun and shoots Rhapsody with silver shot. Sheri goes to the bedroom to see posters of 80’s hair bands and a waterbed, and then tries to pull down a bookshelf in front of the window, but fails. Shaw shoots and hits, spinning the guy, but not quite knocking him off the landing. Shaw sees that his first target is getting up, shoulder mangled, but looking around for his gun. Shaw takes a hit, his vest blocking the shot, but knocks him to his back. Rhapsody hears Jenny scream and the baby start to scream, but also senses another in the bedroom.
Dan comes around the corner and continues on to around the building to NOT get shot and pulls to the side behind the building where he isn’t seen. Rhapsody pounces at Alexi so he can’t use the gun, going for the throat. He manages to redirect her into the wall and presses the attack to drive her through into the bedroom of the neighboring apartment, scaring the hell out of a guy in his 60’s who starts to babble incoherently. Sheri gets her body infused with her divine strength of 10 and tugs down the bookcase. Shaw shoots at the guy on the railing, pulping the thug’s lower neck and jaw. The body falls down with a splat. Shaw gets hit but his vest takes the damage.
Daniel starts to head towards the patio to scale the 6’ tall fence while gathering his essence, slides it the grass... and is working at getting over. Rhapsody goes after Alexi and manages to do some damage. He returns attack, the only one to get through only a glancing blow. Sheri takes a shot at a guy coming up the stairs and does hit, seeing him flinch, but doesn’t seem to slow him down at all. Shaw shoots and hits, knocking the guy backwards down the stairs. The guy that had fell down staggers to his feet, the white of bone showing in his face.
“They don’t feel pain!” Shaw yells to Sheri.
“Some sort of zombie things!” Sheri cries out.
“Zombies…that’s only in the movies,” thinks Shaw.
Thugs shoot, one missing Shaw, the other hitting. Sheri is hit through her bookcase via a perfect shot and the second at her misses.
Daniel gets his spell done and uses ‘hideaway’ so he’s not easily seen. Rhapsody and Alexi still duke it out. Rhapsody misses with one hit; the other manages to claw the bear very good. Alexi tries to grab and throw Rhapsody out the window, but doesn’t quite get a hold of her, so claws at her, ripping in as well as she did to him. Sheri fires and the guy hits the stairs, as he dodges out of the way of the first shot but gets hit with the second, a chunk of flesh and bone flies up and the zombie guys crawls up the steps. Shaw goes for a fire attack at the one crawling up the stairs and its hair catches flame.
“Great, we have flaming zombie on the steps. That made it better.”
Daniel sees a man in a suit and trenchcoat walking out with Jenny over his shoulder. The guy has a massive shield around him and he’s making his way towards a fire escape ladder and starts moving down it. Daniel moves around to the other side of the apartments and finds a covered walkway. Rhapsody aims a claw to Alexi’s throat but misses, her follow up does a good bit of damage. Again Alexi tries to get her through the window but is not able to get a hold of her. Sheri shoots and barely misses. She says that she’s getting tired of this "Mexi stand off". Shaw fires and hits and makes the target vanish in a red misty spray. Two shots are fired at Sheri and the glass breaks out from a shot and cuts her. Two shots are fired at Shaw and miss by a long shot.
Daniel waits for the trenchcoat gathering his magical energies. He sees the guy coming down, Jenny appears to be unconscious and dude has a handgun in his hand. Rhapsody tries to claw Alexi and he barely manages to block. Alexi however misses with two blows and comes with a savage hit that knocks Rhapsody to the ground. Rhaps remains conscious, but plays possum for now. Sheri heads out. Shaw gets attacked by the critter that comes out over the gun. He parries it and it falls to the living room where Shaw almost severs the head from the spinal column with the blast of the gun. It shudders for a moment and then lays still. Thug shoots and misses Shaw as do the others.
Alexi gets back down to a human form and gets the shotgun. Rhapsody goes to fly out the window and Alexi takes his shot. She makes it through the window but is unconscious. Sheri gets to the sliding glass door, gets to the balcony and hops down and heads down another apartment or two but does see the ladder down from Jenny’s apartment. Shaw shoots, the one in front that is visually impaired is hit in the hip, which spins him around and knocks him down. The second manages to dodge out of the way. Shaw does realize that he’s out of rounds. He is shot at and his vest takes the bullet that does hit, and it stuns him a little.
Daniel sees Trenchcoat and he walks by, so he follows as he keeps charging up. Trenchcoat stop and looks in Daniel’s general area and also starts to gather essence. Daniel backs up towards the corner to get to cover. Trenchcoat raises his gun and scans the area. Alexi cocks the shotgun and turns and heads out the back. He leaps out and misses Sheri as he leaps across and lands in the yard. Sheri takes a double-tap shot at Alexi, hitting him with the first shot and staggers him forward, but misses with the second. Alexi takes a shot at Sheri and hits, staggering her back as she tries to catch her breath. Shaw kicks out at the first guy and misses, then hits at the second, but the guy gets his shot off first and knocks him down. The guy that was missed tries to jump on Shaw and fails miserably.
Trenchcoat does not appear around the corner this turn. Daniel is still slowly backing away, looking for secondary cover for when he attacks. He makes it fine there and ducks down by the concrete steps. Alexi turns and sprints the rest of the way down the hall. Sheri moves to the interior of the apartment and leans against the bed. The 2 year old is huddled in the corner, crying. Sheri calls 911 on the cellphone. Shaw gets ready with a mindfire shield. Thugs at the cars start going up the stairs. The one with Shaw tries to grapple him and actually makes it through the shield. The one with a gun tries to shoot him but the shield manages to come up before then. Thug grabs a hold of Shaw in a full nelson as the fire flares up, making the guy scream. The bullet managed to get through, but was somewhat melted and even got through armor. Carpet flashes and starts to burn.
Daniel can sense the shield and stay hunkered down, capping the essence and keep it. He sees Alexi step out of the hall with a shot gun and scans the area. Daniel soulfires Alexi and turns and seems to see Daniel. Alexi brings up the shotgun and both shotgun and soulfire go off at the same time. Daniel does get hit, but doesn’t go down, just fell back a little ways.
“Devouring beasts are one thing, but devouring beasts with shotguns is another thing entirely.”
A Lexus shows up and Trenchcoat tosses the girl in. Sheri talks to 911 and tries to calm the kid down as she looks through the door and sees the opening in the hall, the sink and settling fur. Shaw goes for flaming martial kick at the guy with the gun. He gets caught up on the corpse on the floor. The thug steps back and shoots, but gets fried a little with the mindfire shield. Flames are working their way towards the couch along the rug. The other is still on fire and falls to the ground, crawling towards the bedroom. The other thug comes into view to shoot and misses. Shaw ducks into the hall. The thugs look at Rhapsody’s unconscious form and go through the window and heads towards Jenny’s apartment bedroom.
Trenchcoat hops into the car. Alexi uses suppressing fire to keep Daniel down. Daniel tries to see the license plate and is at a bad angle as he’s keeping his head down. Sheri hears someone approaching and readies a shot after setting up the dresser as cover. One of the thugs comes in and looks towards the kid, but now her. Sheri blasts at him and knocks him back into the wall, staggering him and drops his gun at the first shot. The second shot also hits and gets him underneath his jaw and almost falls, but rights himself again. Shaw is moving to get out of the flaming apartment, out the bedroom, out the back door and takes down the shield. Thug tries to crawl after the dresser after Sheri, who shoots, thug ducks down and just drops out of the line of fire. The other fires and misses.
Alexi jumps into the Lexus; Daniel is still hiding and gathering essence to cast. The Lexus pulls away and Daniel works on healing himself with a spell. Rhapsody regains consciousness and goes to full tiger form. She leaps up into the window, back into the apartment and sees the thugs, but doesn’t smell Sheri, so waits for a few moments. Sheri double-taps as the thug jumps up and she gets the gun in its mouth and blows its head off. The second shot is fired at the other thug and hits it in the shoulder and it staggers back into the doorframe.
Daniel watches the car and decides to start making his way towards the apartment, heading back into the hallway to the courtyard. He sees Shaw who’s limping over towards Jenny’s balcony. Sheri draws the kukri to be in total defense but sees Rhapsody hop out and knock the thugs head off its shoulders. Sheri picks up the girl and heads out. Rhapsody hops to the ground, growling. Shaw heads down the ladder.
Daniel is not seen and pauses to listen. Sheri is comforting the little girl (Jessica). Sheri’s Strength of 10 stops affecting her and she has someone take the kid. Shaw has her lay down and works on first aid. Sheri goes unconscious. Daniel materializes and Rhapsody growls as Shaw grabs the gun.
Daniel introduces himself and offers to get them away. They all get into the truck, Daniel makes the truck unnoticeable and they take off.