Nah, that lady was a doctor or something. There had to be some chemical. I’ve just got a bit of a high right now. The voice in my head, the heat, the pounding. That’s all just got to be some hallucinations or side effects from some chemical shit they were putting together.
That must be why they wanted my cargo. Maybe they thought it would be easier to steal a few gemstones and get funding that way than to just steal some cash, con an investor. They sure couldn’t hook a user on this crap. I feel horrible. Unless that’s supposed to be the thing.
“Hurry up! I want to be gone before either the cops or the security company get here.”
“We’re not finding it, boss,” one of my questionably capable subordinates reports. “We haven’t found anything but some crap new age crystal stuff.”
“Then break it and look inside! These amateurs snatched our crap and there’s no way they’ve had time to fence it all, so at least some of it has to be here!”
New age crap, that’s the entire store. There’s a damn pentagram on the floor in the backroom and they were burning incense. That must have been where whatever they dosed me with was. They were doing some shit ritual or such when we came in the door and blasted that fucking fire everywhere.
It’s all their fault it went to crap. If their first response hadn’t been to burn everybody and drug me up, I think I might have been willing to talk out a trade to some effect. But nah, right to the violence and try to claim otherwise by saying something about a botched ritual. Well fuck you, assholes. I’ll show you something about botched rituals. You’ve botched several of my rituals. You don’t just escape by hiding in the rich part of town!
My reputation has been suffering with all the thefts you’ve been pulling on me. I’ve been losing men to false blame, desertion, and two assholes that thought they’d do better in charge.
All of this. I would just like to fucking rage sometimes.
The warehouse that Mathias told them about was a small fortress judging by how they described things. I feel a little bit bad about not being there to help them out. It sounds like they went around to the edge to find a better way around. It sounds as if the thugs were already a bit nervous about the irrational ways their boss had been behaving and it made them less than attentive according to Evan and Kelsey.
Getting in was the easy part and slipping through the shadows of the warehouse they found the smugglers preparing to make some sort of robbery. Ophelia said the shadows were littered with the souls of the dead that had been killed by these men. As they sat in the shadows, this smuggler, Merrit Travisham, was pacing about like a tiger in a cage playing with some sort of unseen fire in his hands. From what they said, it was like they could see the heat wavering in the air around his hand but not the actual flame.
There was some guy talking to Merrit, a innocent looking guy who seemed rather nervous and trying to calm the smuggler down but not doing quite a good job of it according to Evan. They learned later he was an accountant of some sort by the name of Alexei Ivanov.
Something about the scene called to Kelsey and he stepped forward out of the shadows. Almost immediately the lot of the thugs were around him and started grabbing up the guns they had been prepping for whatever job they were doing next. Ophelia put a stop to that.
When I saw her she was looking quite ragged and I had to get what was done out of Evan mostly. But all those ghosts she saw in the shadows? They came out into the world and started clawing and gripping at all the smugglers and dragging them off into the darkness. This unfortunately included pulling the soul out of Mr. Travisham, which left an empty husk filled with a violent demon.
The area around him started filling with a terrible heat and thick brimstone and the thing laughed at them trying to reach over and snatch up Kelsey to eat him. That didn't work out well and Kelsey rebuffed him, his Muse apparently was in full stride, especially as she started swallowing up and absorbing the power that had already been used in the area, like she was charging up or something.
The demon recoiled and summoned some sort of imps so Evan darted in to get Mr. Ivanov out of the area, somehow the ghosts seemed to just ignore him and now Evan wanted to make sure the apparent innocent was out of harms way. The imps attacking Ophelia were torn apart by ghosts and as for the imps attacking Kelsey.
Kelsey went nuclear. I'm told the shadows got thick and the hellfire came under her control as some sort of giant snake thing whipped out and crushed the demon into bits as it started screaming into nothingness. In the aftermath, it seemed that the effort had killed Kelsey. His body seemed to have become some sort of waxy substance...I saw some of it when I went to visit the estate recently. Ophelia called Miles up from the House of Black Feathers to come get them and get them out of there and off to Amata's house with the various blessings on it.
Meanwhile Evan had gotten Alexei well out of dodge and had a little talk with him asking for his books on the companies and people that Merrit had dealt with in his smuggling. That seems like it might be useful down the line. At least, some of it might end up with the prosecution against Prince SWAT still sitting in the hospital after his encounter at Amata's house.
Amata found that Kelsey was still alive, but apparently that waxy substance started twisting and falling away until a new Kelsey stepped out of it, sort of like a butterfly leaving the cocoon. The cult around the Eldred Estate is pushing her as a sister and that Kelsey himself is gone. I suppose it's right from an certain point of view. It'll be a bit interesting moving forward.
As to the warehouse. I went to go look at it. It smells. The news is claiming the smugglers had been bringing in some sort of chemical or biological weapon. I guess that's how they're explaining all the withered corpses left behind and the almost visible miasma of unease about the place. I'm guessing most people can't see it and all the yellow ribbon and biohazard warnings certainly keep people away. But it looks like the fight had some consequences.
I've been hearing rumors about some new gangs in the area too. Bad stuff.
|Final state of the mystery|