Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Candlestick Disturbance - Set 1: Zombie - City of Mist


Case 2: Set 4: The Real Folk Blues

Patricia's Wellness Journal

Security is always wanting to pat me down. The face and body draws them in at first but then they back off. The same beauty that tempts them also strikes them down with guilt and shame for daring to think about taking advantage of me. I tolerate it, half of my Contact utilizes it, and the other half relishes it the way paparazzi relish a drunk celebrity in public. 

“Well, we should be on the downward slope now,” Captain Tenkal noted reassuringly. “Though calling this to night court is a bit questionable.” 

I patted Hayley’s arm in my hand and glared daggers at anybody who felt like it was their place to judge with their looks. Including the police lieutenant clearly here to testify on some matter. His dress uniform’s decorations told me SWAT and heroism. His swagger and comfort with the lawyer he was standing next to told me money and privilege. It was that which had him giving me and Hayley a subtle disapproving look. 

My suit was a bit shabby, having seen a bit of rough wear and tear when we visited the Moon Bitch a couple of months ago, but I wasn’t allowed to wear a military uniform anymore and neither my normal fatigues nor an evening dress felt like the right choice. Hayley’s clothing was in better condition, being a new purchase, but her scraggly hair and the way it often hid her face probably gave her the impression of being just as shabby as I was. 

The man flinched a bit when he made eye contact with me and realized I had been returning his judgment. Sometimes having supernaturally imposing presence is a good thing. He turned away quickly to start talking with the lawyer beside him, avoiding my look so that I could go back to giving the Captain her deserved attention and my focus on supporting Hayley. 

“Night court is good for me, I’ve been nocturnal recently,” I noted. 

“I really don’t know what to say to thank you for all this help,” Hayley whispered. 
 
“You shouldn’t worry about it,” the Captain responded. “I only wish that they made this process a bit less arcane.” 

Captain Tenkal looked a bit thinner than I had seen her last and most people would have missed the signs of stress that were hanging at the edges. I remember that look from the mirror, right around the time I was hearing the first hints of a mental health discharge. As if adding job stress on top of combat stress made it easier to keep a lid on your quirks. Something was putting pressure on the Captain, and I was sure she wasn’t going to be telling me what. 

There was a clamor of motion then as three men in tactical gear minus guns stormed up to Prince SWAT and started speaking to him in low whispers and urgent postures. The lawyers paled and the rich man grimaced before starting to run off with the other three men, in the process of unbuttoning his jacket and removing his tie. 

Much as I wanted to see why the city SWAT needed to pull a guy out of court, I held firm by Hayley’s side. 

It wouldn’t do for her sponsor to take off at this stage. 

He was only a ripple of the main event anyway. A call to adventure that I turned down. The others got drawn in a bit more firmly and they gave me a debriefing later on after everything was settled. 

------ 

Kelsey's marriage hasn't been on the best of terms recently, not that I've seen it directly but you hear a little when you're friends with someone. I imagine the attractiveness of myself and Ophelia hasn't helped matters even if neither of us are interested in men that way. I can understand that a bit, if your loved one was more interested in someone else, what did it matter to you if they didn't return that interest. The bit with the police recently only made this worse. The result of this is that he's been going on long walks around the neighborhood. Not a terrible idea. If the Old Quarter is anything, it's pretty safe from random crime.

At least most of the time.

Tonight there was the sound of gun-fire and cries that drew his attention. He arrived in time to see cars pulling away in one direction and a group of people heading in the other. It was at a New Age shop, something he tells me he'd been to a few times in the past. Though this time, there was a shattered blessing interacting with the hellfire left behind by whatever fight had occurred there giving his Muse a load of spiritual feedback.

Fortunately Evan arrived soon after, there was something about a performance review with his boss. I'm not exactly sure what was up with that, something about paramedics missing a few DOAs that the hospitals later revived. Sounded like good news to me, but I can see where it would be worrisome for the EMTs.

When he showed up, he was on sight long enough to find several corpses, most of them were long dead and dressed in funeral clothes, but one was a more recently dead man, strangled by one of the others. According to him, someone had asked for help and the dead answered. Not that this was that strange to us, not with Ophelia having our backs.

They didn't have too long to look into the site though, because the SWAT team was coming on to secure the sight. Lo and behold, Prince SWAT showed up and proceeded to lock everything down as Evan and Kelsey left the area.

Ophelia was a bit hard to contact at the time, but they reconvened later in the evening at The Greasy Spoon. While they were comparing notes a shambling form walked past the window and they found themselves following a shambling corpse that somehow turned partially invisible. Following it took them to the Moore Memorial Graveyard which was littered with collapsed corpses and dug up graves.

The caretaker was not happy with things as they way they were and with Evan and Kelsey the only people on hand, he was quick to blame them, rushing off to call the police. This gave them enough to examine what had happened and they found that something other than the uncoordinated corpses had been moving through the graveyard that night. Something fast, powerful, and small framed had rushed into the graveyard and awakened the mass of the dead to their beck and call.

When the cops arrived, they recognized Kelsey from the Jack the Ripper case, and that recognition gave them a bit of pause. The caretaker likely wasn't expecting the cops to react a bit subserviently to one of his trespassers and was definitely willing to show the security footage.

Apparently the cops and the caretaker saw a bunch of kids in costumes come through and tear things up. But overlaid under that Evan and Kelsey saw a bloodied woman in hospital scrubs come into the graveyard and raise the corpses as an army before charging forward out toward the Melted Candlestick.

That gave them enough to track back the woman's trail to a King's Row apartment where they told me a number of illusions had been placed. It didn't stop them, however, neither Evan nor Kelsey have much problem with cutting through illusions, literally in Evan's case. They found the source of the illusions in an apartment where the door had been ripped off its hinges from inside.

Someone had bled a lot in that room according to what they told me. I can sort of feel my muse getting excited about that as it was. Of course, by this time, the blood was dried, but it was also clear a ritual had been going on here.

The room belong to a seminary student by the name of Mathias Schlussel had lived here judging by the collection of text books, notes, gaming paraphernalia and ritual matters that they found. Kelsey was able to determine that this person had been trying to save a person's life, probably whoever it was that did all the bleeding, but that they had the wrong sort of magic to do it.

Which is probably why there was now a rage-filled undead woman raising zombie armies out there now.

Before they could find too much more out, Evan, standing on guard, found himself facing a creature of animated air while this Mathias person launched a fireball at Kelsey from the parking lot. They came out of it fine, and when they came down to the parking lot, their attacker panicked and somehow teleported away.

With all this done, Evan and Kelsey each went home to rest after this night, though I'm told things went a little badly with Kelsey and his wife.

The Conspiracy Corkboard
Case 3: Set 2: Song of Persephone

Patricia's Wellness Journal

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