Jane has been doing research.
On ghouls, she learns that they are dual natured. The largest population in North America is in Chicago.
The Seekers of the Void have an information website. It was started 2 years ago in FedDeb. The comet is heralding changes in the future of mankind.
Checking Susan's diary. There are runs and symbols from old tapestries. These include Thul cults from Germany, cuniform tablet, and Mayan and Babylonian works. She didn't find anything on the spiderweb with the red dot. The unknown language is a strange dialect of sanskrit, need to pay someone for a translation.
One of the pictures in the diary appears to be children being eaten by Wendigo, adults watch in the background. One child Wendigos are orks with HMHVV. They are magically active. There old stories of wendigos. People would give up children to ensure the safty of their town. These stories aree pre-Roman, from Gaul and Germanic States. In the picutre is a human child with some sort of wings, and perhaps a child made of stone. The children are about 3 to 12, both genders. The kids are wearing ornate, medieval clothes.
The picture of a ritual has symbols, but they were scratched out. It's clearly a spell, but not a summoning. The participants are wearing some sort of monk-like robes. The Seekers robes look similar.
The sand echoes sand paintings of Native Americans.
The comet, does it indicate magic ascending (according to elven scribe Ehran). Wednesday, at 2:00pm, the Hypogriffs at the London Zoo molted and died.
The incident with the pain might be connected with the comet, it became visible to the naked eye the same day. Astral mages felt the pain astrally and were thrown back into their bodies. The force of the pain seemed related to the power of the mage; extremely powerful beings fell unconcious.
On the news Bader al Din ibn Eisa, the deceased leader of Arabia, rose from the grave. He announced that he had been granted a vision, that the Islamic Unity Movement had done its work and it was time for a new Islamic Jihad.
We discuss moving. Derek closes on the lease on the house. We need to commit to a 6 month lease.
We move in.
That evening, while we are relaxing, there is breaking news. The new disease that had VITAS-like symptoms are causing people to change form. Some people are goblinizing, some are taking on animal-like features, some are taking on elven and dwarven-like characteristics, some are simply having weird results (third-eyes, others). Some are calling it SURGE: Sudden Unexplained Recessive Genetic Expression. There is accusations of coverups, there is rioting in some places.
Early in the morning, Derek, the only person awake, notices a bright light in the sky. It looks like a fireball, there is a "Whoomp". On the news, there are large scale riots downtown. Crowds are at hospitals demanding the SURGElings. Commentators are already comparing it to the Night of Rage. The riots continue through the afternoon. Downtown is locked down by Lone Star. There is a curfew downtown. There are cordons at all major hospitals.
Around noon I get a phone call from Wrench. He's got a job. There is someone downtown who wants out. The group tenatively agrees. Wrench offers 15,000¥. *Cough*. Flint and McClintock, 314 McClintock. 5th floor, Suite 24. He can't arrange fake id at this speed, and given the fluidity of the situation he can't suggest a particular checkpoint.
We head out. En route we grab two large crates. After a half hour or so we arrive at a checkpoint. Bert listens to the car ahead, it appears the guy is going to work. Bert tells the same story, handing the cop a faked up manifest and a certified credstick with 1,000¥. The cop waves us on.
We drive on. Bert avoids major intersections. At one point we detour to avoid a mob being chased by Lone Star armed with gas grenades.
The target building has a basement ramp. Derek opens the gate (the guard post is abandoned). We head in. Bert lets myself, Bianca, and Derek off. Jane follows astrally. We go into the elevator. Passing the third floor we hear noises. It's a conversation. Derek hears something about Fitzgibbons needing to get on something, not believing there are so many. Jane checks them out astrally. There are two men in suits. They seem concerned about "things" in the area. Everyone has been pulled up to the second floor. Security is only to go for the knees, "I'm told that there is a way to take care of it."
We arrive on the fifth floor.
Bert drives around the ramp. There aren't many cars. The cars are kinda nice, they've been broken into. The lower level lights are unlit. Bert sees someone moving into a lower level. There might be two people.
Jane returns to her body to warn us to hold the elevator. She then scouts the lower levels of the garage at Bert's request. There are two dual-nature men in raggy clothes. There are looking at a third person laying unconcious on the ground. Jane tries to stay stealthy and observe them. She is pretty sure that the two are ghouls. The third looks mundane. The two ghouls are bald and have greyish skin. Their clothing is ragged suits. They are speaking some odd grunting language with each other. Something is wrong with their auras, they look unhealthy and ill, that's not what she should expect, even for a ghoul. As she is watching, suddenly she realizes something is behind her. There is a third sickly ghoul, Jane flees before it can grab her.
Heading we pass a unmanned receptionists desk. Derek remains in the elevator, he pulls down a light fixture and looks busy. The terminal is showing EverSteel's site. The paperwork is personell transfers for Aztechnology.
Bert heads back up to the first floor. Outside the garage Bert notices two grey-skinned folks run by on the sidewalk.
Bianca and I arrive at the suite. It's owned by Mr Nemets. The door opens, we head in.
Bert hears four people approaching from behind. He moves forward to have more space between him and the sound. Two ghouls come around the corner.
I call out "Wrench's Repair service, I hear you had and emergency repair?" A snuffly voice asks, "Friends of Wrenches?" He heads out of his office, the man is a satyr. He has fur, large horns, and goat legs. He's wearing boxers and a turtleneck. He mentions that there are "tall metas." They are tall and bald.
The ghoul-things run toward Bert. As they end up halfway down the ramp, Bert floors it in reverse, ending up behind them. They turn around and race toward Bert again. Bert races toward them, then stops right in front of them. One stumbles into the car. They start pounding on the van. Bert races back, knocking them off, then slams into them, knocking them back. One dies from the collision. The survivers hide behind cars.
We arrive at the garage level; the ghouls charge the elevator. The ghouls are right next to us. Bianca, Derek and I step out and open fire. Bert's pop-up turrent pops up and opens fire. Jane casts spells on them astrally, taking advantage of their dual nature. They attack. I fend one off, another injures Bianca. Two bursts from my SMG drop two more. The last one has been rolling around on the ground screaming from Jane's spell, but finally recovers. Bert finishes him off with turret.
We pile into the van. Our extractee wants to be taken to northern Auburn. We drive off. As we pass a random building a mob of 15 people pour out and try to give chase, but Bert easily pulls away.
Bert looks for an unguarded exit, but the ideal one has a gate. Two guard approach. They ask about the scratches, Bert bluffs. They ask everyone to step out, it seems they are worried about being people injured by the "things" inside. Crud, it may be contagious. Bert floors it. As he races forward, tire spikes pop up. The tires blow out. Bert barely stays in control. A moment later the tires reinflate automatically.
We head toward a repair shop, but about two blocks away we hear sirens. Bert pulls over, hopefully they arn't after us. They pull over with us. Oh, drek. One pulls in front, the other behind.
The cops from the rear vehicle get out and approach the van. They have heavy pistols drawn. The driver of the front vehicle also gets out. and approaches. Bert guns it. 3 Karma gets blown attempting to avoid the approaching cop and get away, but without benefit. Bert slams the guy into the lead cop car, and we pull away. I drop a flash grenade out the rear.
There is a small pileup in the other lane as people panic from the flash. We head off.
After a bit we arrive at a gas station/auto shop that Derek knows is a bit shady. Derek approaches the guy behind the counter, indicating that he would like to use the back lot, and could perhaps use some tires. The guy asks for 1,500¥ for each tire. Derek talks him down to 1,200¥ with installation. Installation takes about an hour and a half. The office has a police scanner, after an hour and half the APB for us drops off the normal chatter.
Bert touches up the paint, changes the plate, and changes the transponder. We head off.
We drop off the extractee without incident. Bert calls a friend and asks about a place to get a cheap, quick paint job. We head there. One hour and 650¥ later the van is blue. We head out for dinner afterward.
We search the car over, check for tails astrally and physically, and head back to the house.
The news is quiet, only covering the lockdown and riots. There is no coverage of the SURGElings.
Rioting continues according to the news, but it's dying out. Because of the riot apparently some disease spread quickly in downtown Seattle. There were many deaths, most bodies were burned, some where taken to research centers. Ghouls? There is dicussion of SURGE. A working theory is that magic switched on previously unused genetic bits.
That evening, on the news, there is a statement by Ehran the Scribe. He is a distinguished and older looking elf. He rambles on about not being a morning person. He says that the world is also not a morning person. The original Awakening was only a drowsy rousing, the world is still in bed. The world is still awakening. The Awakening is not an event, it's a process. Changes have been continuing to happen. We are only 15 years into a cycle that lasts millenia. The "SURGE" is normal, a response to changes in the manasphere. He calls for understanding.
Wrench asks to get together with the team tomorrow for lunch and to pay us.
Survival 1; Mission completion 1; Humor 1; Journal 1