We're hanging out in an extended stay hotel. Jane researches ghouls.
Bianca researches the warehouse Mr White headed to. 531 Campo Street. It used to be owned by Ares Motors who used it as an assembly factory for Americars. It's be abandoned since the 50s. It's in the Barrens.
Bianca researches the Tsimsham Wolves, the group that took responsibility for the bombing.. It's a cross-tribal, souther Tsimsham organization. Their goal is to expand their boundaries into the northern Saleesh Shide. Their common cause is that they have holy sites in the Salessh Shide. Rumors suggest that Mitsuhama funds them.
We head to the warehouse to look for a lead. As we drive through the Barrens the occasional bit of gunfire glances off the van. The building, like the rest nearby, is run down, all of the windows are broken. A loading dock is open.
Jane astrally scouts the building. Shipping pallets have been set on side to create some privacy areas. There is a pair of kids playing in the middle. A group of five teens is playing cards in another part.
Thinking back, when Mr White arrived the car went into the building.
Bianca and Derek head in. On orc teen talks to them. Derek asks about the limo. He's willing to recompense. The orc kid heads off to get someone. In a bit he returns with a Clarice. She was living there then. The limo pulled in. Some well dressed men got out. One was tall, heavy set, had white hair, and a dark suit. (Odd, Mr. White was wearing a white suit.) He offered the woman some chips; she declined. The man left. The woman insists it's the truth, but Bianca and Derek don't believe her. The two hear a footfall behind them.
Bianca kicks over the pallet someone was lurking behind. One kid has a pipe, two others have knives. Another is below the palette. The orc kids says they didn't mean anything, but the other teens raise their weapons. Bianca fires a warning shot; the teens hit the ground. Orc-boy pulls a pistol. Bianca levels her gun at the orc. Derek fires two darts at the orc; the orc falls to the ground.
Bert skids into the building.
The woman runs, I give chase. The woman and her kid hole up in the next "room." There is a man sleeping there, she wakes him. I keep an eye on them.
Derek asks one of the other kids about the limo. They watched the limo head in. After a bit they headed in after it. His friends went first; there were gunshots. Peering in a big guy in a white suit had shot his friends. The kid bolted. He says "Heb" will know; Heb lived there at the time.
Derek joins me in the back area. He asks the man about the man in white. "Frag. I know that guy was trouble." The guy leads Derek further back. The guy gave the man a grand to use the place for the night. The man in white wanted "People he could take." The man in white promised to not kill them, he would take them out of the place and to "a better life." Heb ensured enough people showed up; four or five people, mostly teens. The man in white narcojetted them and took them off. Derek pays Heb with a certified credstick. Heb was first contacted by a Bruce a day or two before with the deal. Bruce is "a guy like us," nice clothing, possibly a runner.
Derek faintly knows a Bruce. Bruce is a well dressed, small scale runner from southern Seattle.
We head to the Buffalo Jump. Derek heads in to look around. The building is just a shell. There is crater in the bar area.
While Derek is poking around a white haired, wizened elf walks by the van. He is wearing a tan long coat. The elf stops by the van and raps on Bianca's window. He says he was a regular of the Jump and a friend of Dank, the bartender. He lives across the street. He was folding laundry, glancing out the window, and saw the explosion. There was a long black car next door. Some guys came running from behind the bar, they leap into the car and ran off. There was a short man and tall man, both had dark hair. He mentions that Dank had an "old woman." We learn that Dank lived above the Lantern.
We head back to our place.
Bert has messages waiting. A Carlos called him back. Another message is from a tall, dark haired, amerind. It's Joseph Laughingtree. "Hello sir. I was instructed to let you know that as long as you make an effort to stay out of our business we will make an effort to stay out of your business." They know we found their "presents," they can renew them. "Stay out of the cause." Bert shares the call with us.
Bianca heads off to meet her fixer for lunch and to get some information. She gets an address for Bruce. He apparently viewed as a poser. He lives over a nightclub called the Banshee's Tits, he has a stake in the club. It's on the edge of the Barrens.
Jane scouts the place. It's a small apartment. She gets a sense of desperation. The club has a bored bartender and waitress watching the trid. Bruce doesn't seem to be around.
Jane summons a watcher. It will keep an eye out for anyone entering the apartment.
We head to see Dank's widow. We arrive in early evening. Derek heads in. He encounters an older human woman; she is wearing a nice dress with a silver pin. This is the widow Dank.
She is awfully perky. She is happy that he has gone on to a better place where is form is not corrupt. She knows that the explosion was set up. She thinks it was intended to destroy the Buffalo Jump. She knows who Derek is. Gabel was one of the True Son. She and Dank and followers of the Inner Light. She hates the subhumans who live to the north and the south. She thinks that the Minions of Set were after Gabel and us. They drove Gabel out of the City of Babylon, the corrupt place in which she dwelled. Seattle is only the earthly name. This has all become clear to her since the arrival of the Comet. She looks down on Derek's data jack. She has been working on making the Lantern "a place of light."
Jane scouts the Lantern. The bartender refers to the widow as Crazy Susan. Apparently the Comet and Dank's death drove her over the edge.
Crazy Susan is taken aback when Derek tells her that "the minion of Set" had gotten to Gabel. She was surprised, she says she spoke to Gabel just yesterday. She was performing her daily ministrations with her flensing knives, and he appeared to her. With this Derek notices that she has no teeth and deeply rank breath. She said Gabel had gone beyond and joined the light. At the center of the light was darkness. Gabel revealed that the darkness is light.
Derek sends us an image of the silver pin she is wearing. It's a complex arcane symbol. In the center is a black stone. It's the symbol of the Seekers of the Void, the crazy red-eyed people.
The woman suddenly seems to be listening to something. Jane astrally projects in. She sees a amoeboid shape with an uncertain outline. The form is black with a white outline. It is oddly dark for astral space. The woman is looking right at it. As Jane enters the thing looks back. The woman looks at Jane as well.
The woman is confused and calls to something (Jane) to go. The odd form rushes Jane. The thing wraps around Jane. The light from Jane glows brightly, the thing is driven off.
Dank's widow is confused. She staggers around for a bit, sits back down, then just stares ahead.
Astrally her aura seems odd and uneven, perhaps as though there are two auras superimposed. Jane tries to grab the second aura. A wave of revulsion fills her, but she fights it down. Jane pulls the thing out. It looks like a small version of the dark thing. It astrally screams, then fades away. The resulting aura looks sickly.
Dank's widow suddenly comes to. "Who the hell are you?" she asks Derek. "Where is my husband." Derek re-introduces himself as a friend of Dank's. He asks her what the last thing she remembers is. She thinks yesterday was Sunday the 21st. It slowly dawns on her where Dank is.
Jane sees the woman's aura fading. Jane tries to support her aura, it helps a bit.
She went to church on Sunday. On Monday morning she had lunch with Geraldine. She drew herself a bath and... with that she looks at her arm. Under the sleeve is a slice up her wrist. The skin is unnaturally grey, it's actively spreading. She starts fading again. Jane attempts to support her astrally, it helps, but it knocks Jane out. Bianca heads in. I check out Jane, she seems okay.
The woman mentions that she left a note. When asked she says she went to Saint Nichols.
Do I look like an angel? -- Derek
You do have nice hair. -- The Widow Dank.
She asks if this has anything to do with Brant Comerand, the man who owned the bar. He was an old friend of the family. Brant left to see friends in California a few weeks ago. The widow feels a bit faint, she gets up to get some water, but en route she collapses. She says something about Dank and dies. The grey pallor spreads over her skin. Bianca arrives.
Checking the bedroom, the bed has been moved aside. A large black tarp is spread across the floor. A complex circle in sand has been drawn on the tarp. It looks like a summoning circle. The trid is on the floor, it was in the way of the wall. Nailed to the wall with a spike is an easel. On the easel is a canvas. Written on it in permanent marker is a suicide note. The writer cannot live without Dank and seeks Dank's present in the light of God, please forgive her. It is signed Susan.
Jane eventually comes to. She examines a picture of the circle. It doesn't look like a shamanic symbol, nor an elemental summoning circle. Jane heads in to get an astral view. As she enters the apartment she gets a sense of an alien presence. Looking at the symbols in person they are almost painful. It seems to astrally spark slightly into physical space. Astrally perceiving she feels a wave of nausea, then seems a false image of a normal room. Jane heads out, summons a spirit, and returns. The spirit doesn't want to enter, something is wrong here. At her insistence it enters.
The rest of the group searches the apartment. Bianca finds a diary; Derek photographs the pages. The power to the kitchen is off, the food is rotting. In the bathroom the tub looks like it's been bleached clean.
The spirit looks around the bedroom, flickers, points at the easel, "the focus," points at the circle "the entry." Jane again attempts to see through the astral illusion. She succeeds. The bedroom looks like a spider web. The circle has sharp astral strands. Some of the strands run to the easel. Jane gets a sense of power out of it, but it is fading. Some of the strands are shredding.
Derek picks up the broach. The body looks recently deceased. Jane takes some of the sand. As she picks it up the astral webbing shreds. We head back to the Extended Stay Seattle.
Wrench calls and the watcher shows up.