The next day after the long adventure into Wolfhome, we returned to find Ariel had went back to college, which wasn’t unexpected. She had spoken with all of the kinfolk, particularly Lindsey, and came to terms with her heritage. She told Lindsey she had a gift, which both sounded nice but a little ominous.
Rusty and Rivet had taken very nicely to the Sept. Kyle had already been working with them on bawn patrol. After seeing how they were doing, we then went to the cabin to see Mackie. He was keenly interested in everything we did in order to learn our stories. He was a true Galliard and I can tell he would be telling others are tales.
After we told him of our stories, he told us it was Fianna tradition to remember what you are fighting for. Kinfolk were the most important, immeasurably so. In addition, we should celebrate after any long quest and live life to the fullest. Bjorn took this opportunity to ask Mackie if any Fianna had ever died of alcohol poisoning to which he said no.
We then asked him about how wolf kin and human kin interact. The simplest answer was it is tricky. The wolf kinfolk will bond with us, but they might not like our human kin. They would be uncomfortable with each other at first, but Mackie did mention it was possible for them to become comfortable with each in time. Just like potential issues with human kin on human kin relations, wolf kin relations can have issues just the same.
After this conversation, Eli suggested a gathering with all the kinfolk in order for the human kin to get to know Rusty and Rivet and vice versa. However, Bjorn also suggested we make sure they can gather as the kin have their own set of issues and pushing them too hard could create strife. I suggested they might even turn to the path that Samuel Haight walked, but Mackie said that was an extreme case and shouldn’t be the norm.
It was getting late that night so we all decided to go to sleep. I slept in the heart of the Sept in the Umbra in Lupus form and was joined by Eli and Bjorn. Unfortunately, my sleep was tormented by nightmares that night. I dreamt of towering above my foster parents as they panicked at the sight of me. I grab my father by the arms and rip them off. My mother tries to head towards Ryan’s room but I grab her by the head and pull her head off like a rag doll. Blood is everywhere but I can’t stop myself. I find myself getting ready to charge to my son’s room when I’m suddenly pinned down.
With that, I was startled awake. Quetzal was trying to wake me up. I had obviously slept in again. I was shook up by the nightmare and I knew I wasn’t going to be on top of my game. Kyle told everyone to gather up as it was time for our weekly klaive duel training.
We all gathered up as Crafty sat on the porch of the cabin in his boxer shorts, eating and drinking, watching us get ready. Kyle told us this week’s maneuver would be caught steel. We all paired up with Bjorn working with me as usual. Kyle showed us the maneuver and I went first. I held out my klaive and charged Bjorn, my klaive scraping against his until I hit the hilt and twisted my arm, driving his sword to the ground. We reset and Bjorn tried to do the same but fumbled.
After that, Kyle told us to stop and then we worked on the next part of caught steel, which was taunting. After you ground your opponent’s klaive, you taunt them because a Garou who frenzies, loses the duel. I went first again, but my taunt was pretty weak. I just personally have never been that kind of person and don’t insult people. Bjorn took several tries, but he finally got my klaive down and taunted me. We all continued practicing, but I took a moment to ask Quetzal if taunting broke the ban on being rude. Quetzal said no since it was part of the challenge, but extremely vicious taunts might be considered a violation of the ban like when Jonathon peed on Eli.
As we practiced, Eli took the time to reciprocate Jonathon’s taunt by grounding his klaive and simply holding him there. Without warning, Kyle came from behind and caught Eli by the leg, sweeping him. He mentioned if he was a creature of the Wyrm Eli would be dead. It was obvious using Sense Wyrm on him was a bad move, but I personally and internally felt it was right since the Wyrm is insidious and can taint you without your knowledge.
Crafty took exception to this and told Kyle that was enough. Kyle dropped his wooden klaive and stormed off into the woods. Crafty helped Eli up and told us training was done for the day. He did mention the position of Master of Challenges was needed to be filled soon. Bjorn took to the idea and Eli agreed. We asked what would be involved in such a position.
The Master of Challenges had to oversee the rules and action of a challenge in order to maintain fairness. They would have to be unbiased, which Bjorn fit nicely, and fair. Challenges had several specific rules:
1) There must be a direct challenge issued to the individual.
2) The challenged must accept, but may deny it if the challenge is deemed unjust.
3) The challenged picks the conditions and location, but both parties must agree on them.
4) If any rules are broken, the challenge isn’t valid.
5) Finally, any frenzy in a challenge is an automatic failure.
Crafty told us to remember that the Master of Challenges must be unbiased because they are speaking for the entire Sept, not just the pack. In addition, one final rule of the challenge was in the event of no Master of the Challenge or a challenge being issued directly to the Master themselves, the parties were to use the Sept leader as the Master. We would have until next moot to decide on who it would be.
After our training, we decided it was time to eat. Bjorn went to work on preparing some of the leftover wildlife we had hunted while Jonathon and I hunted for something for our new wolf kinfolk. For the first time ever, I was able to catch something hunting all by myself. I was ecstatic in spite of my restless night’s sleep. It was only a squirrel, but I figured the wolf kinfolk wouldn’t be judgmental. Jonathon did a little better and found a rabbit so we made our way back to the cabin.
Jonathon howled for Rusty and Rivet and they made their way to the cabin shortly. Jonathon preferred to stay in Lupus form and nudge the animal to Rusty while I shifted back to Homid and fed Rivet personally while petting him. He seemed to enjoy the food and attention so that made me feel better for the day.
After we managed to eat out fill, Mackie wanted us to come into the cabin and chat with him for a moment. He wanted to go over the Litany, what we know, and how he, along with tribe, interprets it. We all took turns reciting rules though I don’t remember there being an actual order of them. The Litany was as follows:
1) Garou Shall Not Mate With Garou
2) Combat the Wyrm Wherever It Dwells and Whenever It Breeds
3) Respect the Territory of Another
4) Accept an Honorable Surrender
5) Submission to Those of Higher Station
6) The First Share of the Kill for the Greatest in Station
7) Ye Shall Not Eat the Flesh of Humans
8) Respect Those Beneath Ye – All Are of Gaia
9) The Veil Shall Not Be Lifted
10) Do Not Suffer Thy People to Tend to Thy Sickness
11) The Leader May Be Challenged at Any Time During Peace
12) The Leader May Not Be Challenged During Wartime
13) Ye Shall Take No Action That Causes a Caern to Be Violated
Most of the rules Mackie adhered to by the letter of the law, but a few things needed to be cleared up or told from his perspective. I wondered about innocent humans who were tainted by the Wyrm involuntarily if they have to be killed. I certainly never want to kill a human if I can avoid it. He told me combating the Wyrm included cleansing and the death of a human should be a last resort if you can’t cleanse them. I felt a little relieved at this.
The only one Mackie really didn’t care for was submission to those of higher station. I think this one was colored by the story he told us of the Gaian King who abused the Silver Crown. Still, Mackie believed occasional rebellion to those of higher station was actually a good thing and helped create progress in the Nation. I felt this made sense. After all, if we enforced some of the rules to the letter, there would be no Metis and we need every available Garou for this fight.
One thing I disagreed with was that respect to those lower than you. Mackie believed this was related to Garou only, but I was taught at the Glass Walkers Sept that you respect all life. It’s why we can’t just go killing every animal we want to because we’re bored. Outside of that, I agreed with everything.
After our chat with Mackie, Bjorn wanted to borrow my phone and call Gina. I noticed it was almost dead, but I figured it was for the best since Bjorn was very happy around her. He managed to get an answer, but Gina was hysterical. She was talking about someone being hurt and beaten and someone coming to get them. The phone died at that moment and we made the decision to go see her.
The run to Gina’s house took some time but I had been getting more athletic from all the exercise I now did. At Gina’s house, we found blood on the door handle of the front door and feared the worst. We entered and Bjorn called out to Gina. We could hear her upstairs so we traveled to her room to find Gina with another kinfolk named Shannon Johnson. She had been beaten bad and was afraid to go back to a Garou named Lightning Claws. He had been forcing her to have sex with many different Garou.
At the most inopportune moment there was knocking at the back door in the kitchen. It was pretty obvious who it was going to be, but Eli went to answer anyway. At the door was Lightning Claws himself. He told Eli he wanted Shannon back and that she was rightfully his. He told us he wouldn’t enter and Eli would have five minutes to get her before he considered using force.
Eli went back in and chatted amongst us. I told Eli we would have to do this by the book and issue a challenge otherwise; we risked not only looking bad in the eyes of the other Garou, but also Quetzal. William wanted to throw eggs at him to provoke a fight so we could beat him until he gave her up. Ultimately, Eli decided to return to the door and issue a challenge.
Lightning Claws wanted Gina if he won and I could tell that wasn’t going to fly with Bjorn. Eli said that wasn’t an option. Lightning Claws eventually seemed to relent since his was so confident in his ability to best Eli. He told Eli the challenge would take place at his Sept when we were ready.
Then, we could hear Gina’s parents SUV pull up. Inside were not only her parents, but also another individual dressed somewhat oddly for the area. He smelled like a dumpster and it wasn’t pleasant. He asked us to talk in the house while Gina’s parents went upstairs to take care of her and Shannon.
Eli took the time to explain the situation, but the man, who was a Garou named No-Hands-Catches-Fish, told us to drop it. He told us he understood why we were doing it, but that we couldn’t take in every kinfolk who was in trouble all the time. I personally felt Shannon was going to end up dead if she stays with Lightning Claws. No-Hands-Catches-Fish told us he would fix the situation, and if in two weeks nothing had changed, he would personally oversee the challenge.
I took the opportunity to charge my phone while No-Hands-Catches-Fish took Shannon home in Gina’s parents’ SUV but not before telling Lightning Claws to leave and return to the Sept. Bjorn went to talk with Gina for a moment while we decided what to do with the rest of the day. Eli suggested we look into Brian Cripe’s offer of a job.
We made our way to the roller derby. It took a little running, but it wasn’t too far out. We were greeted upon entering by his secretary and we told him our business with him. She summoned him and he took us into his office. He asked us what we wanted before realizing we were the kids he seen at the Fourth of July party.
The offer for a job was basically just running errands for $10 an hour. Both John and I would be able to do some driving around town errands, but anyone under 16 would have to stay at the derby. We were to leave the derby girls alone, something I didn’t have a problem with. We were allowed to work two to three hours on weekdays and eight on weekends. We choose to work just on the weekdays since we didn’t know where our journey as Garou would take us. The younger pack members would need parent’s permission and documentation while the older members just needed documentation. I handed him my driver’s license and he scanned it. Our first day would be Monday at 8 am.
Afterwards, John wanted to call Regina so I let him since my phone now had a partial charge. Regina mentioned being with Kelly at the beach house, who kept wondering about Jonathon. She also wondered about whether I was there, which I found odd. She said we could get together and have a small party. I was invited and Eli decided to get Lindsey and Gina, who had finally calmed down from the whole ordeal earlier.
Before we went there, Jonathon wanted to get Kelly a present so I offered to help him buy something. We went to the mall where Gina and I shopped and I picked up some perfume that I thought she might like. I was worried if he picked it out it would ruin any chances of him getting with her since he seemed to be love struck.
When we arrived we found not only Regina and Kelly, but also Kristin. It was obvious they weren’t expecting Lindsey to come. Kristin seemed smitten with her and it rather dawned on me why they wanted me there. In the meantime, Regina pressured Kelly to show Jonathon something. Kelly showed Jonathon her favorite superhero, Captain Amazing. It was funny to watch Jonathon’s eyes light up at it like he found his soul mate. I rather wished I had someone like that around me.
As the show started to play, a breaking newscast interrupted the show.
We break your original programming to bring you a special channel 5 report.
At 2am this morning 911 dispatchers received this call..
911 – “9-1-1 what’s your emergency?”
Male voice – “I’m coming for all of them! They will not escape me! (Screaming heard in the background) I will not stop until we have them all.”
911 – “Who is this? Is somebody hurt?”
Male Voice – “No they are all dead. Even if they are walking around right now, they will be dead soon. I have gotten to over 20 already and I know there are still more to go. I cannot be stopped!”
911 – “Where are you calling from Sir?”
Male Voice – “Do you hear me kids? I’m coming for you. Just because you think you have the upper hand we WILL get you. I will get your family, friends, Kin, Allies, and anyone else to wipe your linage from this earth. ”
911 – “Sir, what kids are you referring too? Where are you calling from?”
Male Voice – “I will cause destruction if this is not played throughout southern California. I left a message here (screaming stops and the phone is dropped and silence in the background with several voices laughing as they are apparently leaving the room.)
Now during that call police were called to the scene where they discovered a note, a video, and 3 bodies.
Police have not disclosed the contents of the note but they have discovered some grizzly news. Evidence linking the caller with missing children and unsolved child murder cases across the U.S. over the past few months was found at the scene as well. Police refused to release the information but Newscast 5 suspects they include…
11 year old Nancy Collins of Carltonville, Michigan. Nancy was kidnapped from her room while her parents slept two doors down.
Carl West,12, Boomtown, Ohio. Abducted while walking home from school in broad daylight.
Cindy Fisher, 16, Chicago, Illinois. While at her high school dance Cindy snuck outside to have a cigarette with a friend and was never seen again.
Jamie and Jimmy Burnett, 7 and 11 respectively, Washington DC. These two were at a grocery store and were abducted within a 10 minute window with no witnesses.
Sherry Orem 13 years old from Newland Nevada. Sherry went to a local park that is within a block of her home. Witnesses say that she was texting on her phone and a man was seen handing her another phone and walking off with her never to be seen again.
Paul Carver, 13, of Denver Colorado. Coming home from a babysitting job 2 houses down from his own Paul was abducted.
Beatrice and Sandy Burkshire, 17 and 5 respectively, of Charlesburg, Indiana. The sisters went on an ice cream outing, never to be heard from again.
Christopher Welling, 6, from Danville, Texas. Chris was at his grandmothers house in her back yard playing around 3pm. When she heard her phone ring she went in to get the phone, when she returned Chris was nowhere to be found.
An astounding 2,300 Americans are reported missing every day, including both adults and children. But only a tiny fraction of those are stereotypical abductions or kidnappings by a stranger. For example, the federal government counted 840,279 missing persons cases in 2001. All but about 50,000 were juveniles, classified as anyone younger than 18. Reports of missing persons have increased six fold in the past 25 years, from roughly 150,000 in 1980 to about 900,000 this year. The increase was driven in part by the country’s growing population. But the numbers also indicate that law enforcement treats the cases more seriously now, including those of marginalized citizens.
Police believe that this man is part of a group possibly even a gang that abducts and murders children. All of these children were reported missing this year and in no known pattern. Police also have been speaking to government officials as it is believed that this group has ties outside the country which link to kidnappings going on all over the world.
Now it is important to note that the 3 bodies that were discovered were not identified but channel 5 news has learned that they were teens from a San Diego High school. Police want families to keep a close eye on their kids for the next few days but not to panic. These people are dangerous but are more than likely trying to baffle authorities so that they can make their escape.
Channel 5 will return if any further details develop.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programing.
After the broadcast, Kelly was bummed it interrupted her favorite show. However, our pack was nervous. The message was clearly aimed at us. I began to worry even more about my son. I might have to get him even if the Sept isn’t ready yet.
Since the show was ruined for Kelly, she decided to take Jonathon up to her parent’s room. Because Eli didn’t want anyone going anywhere alone, he and Lindsey followed them. Up there, Kelly showed Jonathon all her and her dad’s Captain Amazing memorabilia. Jonathon was absolutely blown away by it and spent quite a bit of time with Kelly in the room, while Lindsey raided the fridge with Eli.
While Kelly, Jonathon, Eli, and Lindsey were away, we made small talk with Regina and Kristin. Kristin was really interested in Lindsey, but Bjorn told her she was committed to Eli, which depressed her. She then turned her attention to William. She nuzzled up to him and began asking questions. With each question about how wealthy he was and if he was single she began to get closer to unzipping his jeans. Then, William botched things horribly by talking about how his last girlfriend was dead and he had killed her. Turned off by this, she turned her attention to the last eligible person, Miguel. However, Miguel seemed disinterested. Thankfully, she didn’t come on to me because I would have felt awkward.
John went on later that night to have sex with Regina while Eli and Lindsey also had sex. Before we left that night, Jonathon gave Kelly his present, which she liked. She responded by kissing him on the cheek and holding hands with him. Gina asked William if what had happened to him was true, to which he responded yes. She told him he might want to keep that to himself.
Gina took us home at about 11 pm that night. We arrived to hear a voice coming from the cabin. Inside we saw nothing so we went into the Umbra. There we found Mabe speaking in her stunted style of speech. It was my best guess she wanted us to help a Fae like her. After leaving the Umbra, we found a journal, an old pack of cigarettes that were almost 100 years old, an old writing quill, and a tarot card. The card translated to “The Lovers” and Miguel had to read the journal since it was all in Spanish. It was by a girl named Adela Marcela. She had been kidnapped and taken to a strange realm. There she was raped and a creature pulled a light from her stomach and made her eat it. The journal also contained several bizarre and creepy hand drawn images.
We debated for several minutes on what to do. I know I was curious, but it was already 11:30 and a quick lookup of Adela Marcela in my phone yielded an address in San Diego. It was a two-hour run in Hispo, even at our fastest. Ultimately, we decided to make the trip and find out what these items meant.
The run was uninterrupted thanks to taking the Umbra at night. No banes were out so we were able to get there quick. Once we arrived at the address, we were stumped on what to do. There were no lights on save the porch light. There were a couple of cars in the driveway and there was no basement so sneaking in wasn’t an option. We decided to have Miguel, as the only person who knew Spanish, and I talk to her.
We all went to the porch and tried to decide what to say when without warning, William knocked on the door. The rest of the pack scurried as the lights in the house came on. A young Hispanic woman in her thirties answered and both Miguel and I could not figure out what to say. She was indeed Adela Marcela, after we stumbled to get the conversation going, and knew of the items, but acted strange about them. She didn’t know about the quill and seemed to disregard the fact the cigarettes and journal were almost a century old. After we had worn out our welcome, I offered her the items and we left.
At first, we felt like nothing was accomplished. Then, I spotted a girl in the neighbor’s backyard who could have been Adela’s daughter. I made my way to her, climbing a fence, and called out to her. She was polite, but seemed sad. She said she was the real Adela Marcela and that the woman inside was an imposter. She lived with the imposter for a while, but was eventually kicked out. She had been missing since 1996 which still didn’t provide any answers about the items we found. I offered to take her back to our Sept till we could help her. All she replied was “I’m lost.”
Things just got a little weirder in our world…