I feel myself shoved and being pushed back and away. I hit the wall. How far away was it when she moved? Which wall did I hit? I think that was ten, maybe fifteen feet away. How strong did she become? That’s amazing. That’s a lot more powerful than I expected it to be.
“Wow! That was amazing! It’ll almost be a shame to…umm…where did you go?”
I try to stand up and try to focus on where she is. I track in on the pool of blood, but she’s not standing anywhere near it. It takes me a little bit to realize that the door has been shattered open. My eyes widen as I turn to the window and look down as I see her form darting across the street so fast I couldn’t really track her.
“Hey! Hey! Wait! You need to come back and…hey! Come back!”
I pause and step back to calm down and center myself.
“This is bad. This is really, really bad. Well…what’s the worst that could happen?” Immediately a parade of possibilities swarm through my head. There are several possible scenarios that I’d have to think about before deciding which of them is the worst case. “Okay, what did I do?”
I whirl about and started collecting up the books I had been flipping through. Part of me was a bit concerned what would be said when bloodstains were found in the old books later, but mostly I was just looking back over the text and going through my head just exactly what I had put together.
Maybe in that I could have some sort of idea of just where she would be going.
That thought, the word “going” makes me think about the vector she was taking as she ran across the street. It didn’t completely occur to me at first because it wouldn’t be the way I normally make the trip, but if you remove the streets then...
“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Is she going back? No! No! No! I just fixed her why would she go back into that mess?”
I’m collecting my stuff again and heading out the door.
“I can fix this. I know. I know I’ve said that about everything else tonight and I’m currently talking to an empty room. But I can fix this. I hope?”
Rift of the Wizard
We went from night court to not quite first thing in the morning at the immigration office. Hayley, the Captain and I were getting tired after waiting for her case to come up, get the judges ruling and get started as soon as possible on the next step of this process. I wasn't quite prepared to get a text from Kelsey to say that he was in the hospital. He was quick to assure me that he was in good hands and to take care of Hayley.
I'd have gone to help, but I'm glad they understood.
Ophelia had some hint of what was going on, she mentioned she was picking up some sort of static connection with a spirit that was twisting between living and dead. A doctor by the name of "Amata Dunkel." The stage manager at her place is known for being a bit free with his flirting when women are around and had expressed a liking for doctors at one point so she went to see if he recognized the name. And apparently she'd been to the House of Black Feathers once with a group from Mercy Municipal Hospital. He'd tried to talk her up and she apparently kept talking about roleplaying games, maybe to get him to leave her alone.
You know Miles. He's a nice guy and never steps over the line, but he can be a bit blind to when people aren't interested.
Mercy Municipal Hospital happened to be the hospital where Kelsey was and the same hospital where DOA cases had been recovering fairly regularly according to Evan's boss. Always love it when coincidence works out like that and no, I'm not being serious, I'm practically dripping in sarcasm.
They compared some notes on the situation and came to the conclusion that they needed to talk to Amata. Ophelia managed to distract one of the nurses at the desk giving Evan the ability to get in on their computers without having to use his own log-in. He got Amata's address and phone number as well as looking at her staff profile on the hospital website.
From there it was on to Amata's house on the edge of King's Row. The house wasn't especially big but at one time it had likely been quite valuable. But now it had been swallowed up by the industrial zone and had become a bit rundown. It was thus within the budget of a young doctor. The front door was locked, but there was a gate into the garden.
It was a blessed place according to the three. I'm not entirely sure what that all means, but given all the weirdness in our lives, I'll take their word for it. I'm mostly a soldier. The most arcane thing I know is an stocks and dividends report.
Evan found some wards or something layered in with the holy blessing, something from the doctor's friend according to him. That left it possible for them to open the back door and walk inside with no problem. They found a wall worth of gaming books and board games including a "Character Keeper" from some company called Omega Campaign Games that contained a character sheet for someone named "Lady Amilyne" a 12th level cleric or something like that. Kelsey indicated that the sheet had been a vessel for some sort of magic, but it had been long-discharged when they found it.
This seemed to confirm the theory that these two had gotten whatever powers they had from getting into gaming somehow. It seemed a bit far-fetched to me, but then I seem to have gotten vampirism from falling into a tomb from thousands of years back so who am I to judge?
The three came up with a plan to draw Amata back to her garden. Kelsey did something to change the blessing, Evan put a drop of his blood on the character sheet, and Ophelia did as she always did, sing to draw the undead woman to her.
As dusk came, Hayley and I were eating dinner and Amata was coming back home. She was feral to start, though Kelsey seemed to be able to reach out to her and bring some of her humanity back to fore. According to them, her legend or whatever, who knows what she calls it, it was trying to cling to her but could no longer find purchase.
The cursed and undead nature of the young doctor impelled Evan's sword to take its own action. Evan being Evan, he stepped in the way of the sword which stabbed him terribly. This almost pushed Amata to flee, but Ophelia was able to convince her to stay and give them a chance to save her.
Kelsey led the ritual, he seems a bit not himself lately. After his wife stabbed him, he got a lot colder than he used to be, sadly. With Ophelia and Evan's aid, Ophelia singing a song herself, Kelsey was able to call forth a new...anchor for Amata. A power that was more compatible with her new status. I guess she's a little like me now, on that edge between life and death. Evan was saying that as the ritual was completed, pomegranate trees started growing in the garden.
Which was when the car pulled up outside containing one Lieutenant Enzo Heilweig, or, as I called him earlier: Prince SWAT. Only for some reason, the SWAT lieutenant was passing himself and one of his buddies off as a plain clothes cop. This was going to go in an interesting direction.
The conspiracy corkboard
this is the way it ends? The pain is starting to fade away and I’m left
with the slightly warm and damp feeling of lying in the expanding pool
that’s spilling out over Mathias’s floor. That’s a bad sign, the body
has started to give up on the pain signals. I’m going into shock.
is futzing about the room looking for his books, looking for something
he can do to help. But that’s my job and I’ve got nothing I can do
anything with right now. I already tried to close the wound and all it
did was burn deeper into me.
want to cry. I want to cry just to know I was still feeling. I want to
cry even if it’s dry sobbing. But I can’t. The emotion is distant from
me. Everything is fading away. I’ll be having that point of light next
and moving on to wherever the dead go.
The darkness closes in and I feel like I’m drifting away. I’m heavy with regret and reluctance, clinging tight to my body.
I don’t want to go!
I was trying to help people!
I don’t want to go!
is a flash then, the light pulls away, looking almost as if it is
rotting away from my vision and I am pulled painfully back to my body
which lurches back upright. I draw in air but I don’t breathe, and I can
feel the dead flesh around me with a speck of darkness at the core.
“Oh thank god! Amata, you’re...okay. Well sort of. Okay, so now that you’re awake, you can…”
rage comes on me like a fever and I leap to my feet, pushing him aside.
I hear him hit the wall more than see it and crush down the urge to
visit greater pain on him.
He was just trying to help. He was reckless. We were both reckless.
But we were trying to help!
isn’t his fault. I know whose fault this is. I know who brought the
guns into the shop. I know who interrupted the ritual and whose bullet
rush out of the door. It doesn’t occur to me until I’m most of the way
down the stairs that I could have opened it. But it doesn’t matter. I
have something I need to do. There is someone I need to stop. A selfish
monster that will feed me...that needs to be stopped.
stop only once, when I hear the whisperings of the sleeping dead in the
ground underneath me and I know. I know how I’m going to come after
him. He brought guns and numbers. He brought a gang to kill two people.
Well, that’s fine, I’ll bring an army to kill a gang.
And we will drag his tainted soul to hell!
Damn it! Damn it! Stop it! I’m not that way! That’s not me. I’m a healer. I’m a doctor.