Saturday, March 11, 2017

M-Com Mission Report - Operation Wild Rain: Part Two - Monster of the Week Campaign

M-Com Campaign

Leaving the self-help seminar people to their seance ritual, Katkemat and the others focus on their own ritual. Katkemat is from Hokkaido in the ancient past, Mills is from Scotland and Richards is Canadian, but Prices is complaining about the cold and the snow, mostly the snow, as compared to her hometown in Arizona. Not that Arizona doesn't get cold, but it doesn't have snow very often and certainly doesn't have snow in March.

Katkemat gets help from Mills to focus on attuning to the land and its spirits. She finds herself noting a large number of parallels between her ancient home of Hokkaido and this place of far northern Scotland. It is an island off the coast of an island nation where there is a long history of the people from the south of the island subjugating the natives who dwell in the North. This parallel history and since of familiarity helps her forge a common bond of respect between her and the spirits of the land.

The Ainu shaman has collected a four objects for this ritual, two of which she crafts in the process of attuning to the land. These are inau which are a sort of wood stake or spear about five feet tall and bedecked with sacred decorations to be placed around the area. The second is an iku-pasui prayer stick carved to appeal to the local spirits. Last she has two wooden bowls, one filled with crystal and one filled with quicksilver to represent Narcisso's present static state and the animation they hope to impart to her. 

With the items set up, they move to their assigned positions in the ritual. Price is present as someone who worked with Narcisso before she was crystallized as an anchor to what was. Mills is helping out in an acolyte's position with Richards acting as the watcher to make sure that the ritual isn't interrupted. Mills further creates a small animated crystal automaton as a further sympathetic link giving the ritual a model for their intention. Richards has used her basis in parabiology to help them design what should be a stable physiology for what they are creating for their comrade. 

The first fifty minutes of the ritual is slowly building power and making connections to Narcisso Valerio's crystalline body. There will then be twenty minutes of actually enacting the changes followed by another fifty minutes of winding down the energies and cleaning things up properly.

Things go as planned for the first forty-five minutes or so but then a wave of chaotic energy whips through the ley lines towards them. Katkemat easily responds to this and diverts the energies away and over her ritual space. The energy whips out over her and into the surrounding bubble of static energy around the island. At the edges of the coastline, she can see it flickering as it warps between various alternate timelines. In places the coastline is bathed in daylight, other places it has a completely different shape. But it mostly holds to the native reality for the moment.

Mills looks between the ritual and the chaos afflicting the coastline. Her desire to continue to impress Katkemat gets the better of her and she opts to step away from the ritual in order to try and alleviate some of the other problems. Unfortunately, her distraction causes her to disengage incorrectly resulting in a cascade of disrupting energy which knocks her unconscious.

Katkemat masterfully manages to hold control, but partially only because her brother-turned-spirit-wolf intercepts the bulk of the disrupting energy and gets knocked unconscious. Price is similarly wracked by pain but holds it together without moving her spot. In the center of this chaos, the Ainu manages to weave all the magic to a tight control and accomplish what she came to do, animating Narcisso who comes into animate motion with a sudden gasp and shock of sensation. She only barely manages to avoid freaking out and ruining the last of the active part of the ritual.

Now with the intention of the ritual completed, Katkemat turns toward the chaos of energy that almost ruined her working as well as the clean up portion of the two hour ritual. Instead of her normal cool down, she opts to collect the energy of her ritual and pour it back down the ley lines at the source of the chaos that disrupted everything. Her hope is to interrupt the flow of energy which is causing the reality flickering to advance inward and become more severe. She doesn't care what the source is, operating on the idea that their recklessness means they deserve what is coming to them. She manages to forcefully project the detritus of her ritual upstream and everything stops, the dimensional instability begins to recede.

Richards starts to move about to treat everyone after the obvious trauma they sustained when the ritual started to go wrong. The fact that she partially designed Narcisso's anatomy particularly helps her treat the crystal woman. During this time, Katkemat performs a ritual to look back in time and view a sped-up version of what occurred to cause the disruption. She sees the self-help seminar and a crowd of about two-thousand people performing some monstrous version of seance in which they all focused and chanted on finding the best versions of themselves. 

The ritual should have been a harmless sort of festival and she had seen its like before. It shouldn't have had any real power even with the instability where it is. However, she starts seeing the people flickering between alternate versions of themselves, literally starting to seek out the best versions of themselves and thus further weakening the barriers between the various alternate realities of this multiverse. Then her cascade of energy returned up the ley lines and all the participants were suddenly struck by heavy headaches before passing out. All except for the leader of the self-help group running the seminar.

The self-help guru glares about all the people knocked unconscious and then turns to stare directly at the point of perspective through which Katkemat is viewing things. The Ainu recognizes this as an advisor demon similar to what Thomas and Kasper encountered in Belarus. She makes use of her current attunement and help from the local spirits to look deeper and sees that this advisor is only a piece of wider, nameless and hungry entity.

Katkemat notes that it has a sort of formlessness that makes it impossible to guess what it might be and imagines that the first step to destroying it lies first in defining it. However, she lacks the time and circumstance to perform the sort of magic she'd need to pull off defining the entirety of the thing. However, she opts for performing a partial version of this to induce a change of sort in the piece in front of her, imposing on it a sense of ego and desire to receive credit. She has essentially given a piece of a greater thing it's own sense of individuality.

There is some talk about a terrorist attack and an attempt by the guru, Malcom Eyerson, to direct authorities towards the M-Com personnel. However, the group's official connections are enough to shut that down and the group leave Stornoway with no issue, Narcisso covered by an illusion of humanity.

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