The long and short of it….
Just after midnight on August 1, 2013
Roth finds himself surrounded by blood in the home of the Henderson’s. According to Detective Hodges and the CSI team, although the floor is covered in blood, the total amount of blood on the floor only equates to that of one person, not for the six bodies eerily placed around a table. This crime scene was set somewhere within the last day or two, however the Henderson family has not been seen for months, despite their cars in the driveway.
Brazened upon the table was the word “ANAGENNISI”. Surrounding the table are the bodies of the six missing girls from the past couple of months. All girls had been exsanguinated and their bodies posed in a cryptic manner: the first girl is in the fetal position, the second is kneeling, the third is blushing, the fourth has her skin distorted to look as if she is older, the fifth has her hands outstretched and her face has been transformed into a Joker-esque grin, and the sixth is also in a fetal position. There seems to be some speculation about the cycle of life. The blood of the women is spread across the floor adjacent to the table in the shape of a rooster. Each woman had two close puncture marks on her neck, which is where the blood was drawn from, according to the coroner. These resemble vampire bites.
Unfortunately, also at the crime scene is William Christman, another member of the Euthanatos tradition, who just happens to be Roth’s enemy. According to the paperwork, as Roth refuses to speak of this time in his life, Christman knew through magik that there was a chronic drunk driver who needed to be stopped. Christman refused and the same driver killed Roth’s wife. Later, at the trial, the driver was acquitted and Roth awakened, but his hatred for Christman is still burning strong. Due to Roth’s position in the Council, Roth will be polite in public to Christman, but does not feel obligated to help him.
Roth decides he’s seen enough and tells Hodges to keep him informed. He asks if CSI will take pictures and send them to Roth later in the day. Hodges appeases him by meeting his demands and Roth takes his leave just as Dective Rodriguez enters the scene again. Roth mocks him as he exits, wishing him good luck with the Vicks Vapor Rub clearly visible under Rodriguez’s nose.
Christman follows Roth out of the building. Roth knows he has a tail and when he’s outside of earshot of the many officers on scene, he turns to verbally assault Christman, as he knows he can’t physically touch him. Christman puts his hands up in a innocent manner and says he has a box for him from Nikos, head of the Euthanatos tradition.
Roth takes the simple, brown, wooden box from Christman and says, “Saints forgive. Men do not.”
Christman tries to soothe Roth, but quickly realizes he cannot undo what he has done. Curistman gets straight to business and tells him that there is some blood from each of the girls in the box. Nikos would like him to use it to find the rest of the blood and, with any luck, the culprit. Christman receives a call and steps away, allowing Roth to indulge in a little revenge of his own.
Roth quickly steps to the passenger side of Christman’s car and let out some air from the front passenger tire. He knew it could cause the car to veer off the side if the road, onto the shoulder, if Christman wasn’t paying attention. Roth would never risk the lives of others by causing the car to veer to the right into traffic, but felt justified in perhaps causing an accident that could have been avoidable…much like the untimely loss of his wife. It would have been avoided if Christman would have done his job.
Feeling good about his little surprise, Roth takes his leave without saying another word to the undeserving Christman.
Eleora & Dorian…Genevieve & Simon***
Both Dorian and I sit on the couch in the back room of Southside Johnny’s. I’m desperately trying to look casual next to my lover, and act as if we are not together. However, Dorian is clearly is missing my nonverbal cues and keeps getting closer. I don’t want to risk outrightly calling him out, as Genevieve and a tall brunette man just walked into the back room. They sit in an adjacent table, just far enough so I can’t hear their conversation, but the guy seems into Genevieve.
From my resting spot, I can see Ulrich Srokke, head of the Dreamspeakers and owner of Johnny’s, speaking to Hadaassah Al-Tih, head of the Cult of Ecstasy tradition. Their conversation seems to be heated in more ways than one, if you know what I mean. I can only hear brief bits of their conversation, but they seem to be fighting over her working in his club. Within seconds, Ulrich picks her up by the throat and pushes her against the wall. It seems clear that only Genevieve, Dorian, the brunette man, and I can see what is going on, as no one stops when this happens. It’s suddenly clear to me that Ulrich must have used magik to protect the public from knowing anything about the magikal undertakings within the bar. As this realization dawns on me, Hadaassah uses her sexy Cult of Ecstasy moves on Ulrich, grinding into his body, causing him to unwittingly release her. With one last brush of her body against his, she steps back, winks at him and sexily struts away. Hell, I guess she didn’t become the head of the tradition for nothing. I turn my gaze to the rest of the room, and, of course, Dorian and the brunette are ogling after Hadaassah. I even think I saw a little drool out of the corner of both men’s mouths Ulrich snapped awake and stomped off in the direction of Hadaassah, but I somehow doubted he’d be following her anytime soon.
To my right, just outside of the propped open entrance/exit door, I heard a noise. Genevieve quickly got up and strode toward me with fierce determination. “That was a gunshot. Come with me,” is all she said, and before I knew it I was up and following her out the door with the two men in stride behind us.
Zahir followed the nondescript girl into the alley. The same girl that after looking at her, it was hard to remember who you were just looking at.
Once Zahir reached the alley, he saw the girl and a man hovering over her with a gun. The gunman sensing the presence of another turned around and pointed the gun at Zahir.
“You’re making a bad decision friend…I mean idiot,” stated Zahir.
“What are you going to do about it?”
“You could do something about it or save her,” the gunman exclaimed and shot the girl in the stomach.
Zahir, Genvieve, Eleora, Dorian & Simon***
Soon after the gun went off, Genevieve and I rounded the corner to see Zahir debating helping the unremarkable girl or fighting the shooter. Dorian and Simon appear within seconds, close behind the us.
Zahir makes up his mind and decides to shoot his .44 at the guy, who is super hot, might I add.
His bullet hits him, but causes minimal damage. The man continues to climb up the ladder on the adjacent building.
I follows suit, knowing Genevieve is best suited to heal the girl. I use my magik to increase the already present breeze into a tsunami gale, and knock him off the ladder. But I’m shocked to see his fingers sink into the wall, almost as if he is some creepy form of Spider-Man.
Dorian responds to this with his ever brilliant wit, “What the fuck was that?” It’s clear Dorian doesn’t know what we are fighting. Good. At least neither of us are in the know.
Giving him no response, I move closer with Zahir while Genevieve moves toward the girl to attempt to heal her. There’s blood everywhere, and as Genevieve gets closer, it suddenly seems clear that the girl is unraveling like a twine girl. Her intestines, which were exposed by the shot, wriggle insanely as they seem to be transforming.
The brunette, whom I later found out is a Dreamspeaker named Simon, goes to assist Genevieve.
By this time, Zahir and I have closed in on our assailant. Zahir uses his .44 once more to shoot him in the hand, thus leaving him dangling with his hand inside the building. Before I have a chance to do anything, the handsome devil escaped by vanishing into thin air. Later, Zahir used his nifty goggles to see using an ether trail that the man fled to somewhere on Pikes Peak.
The girl with a last effort of life grabbed Genevieve’s hand and asked her dying question, “what’s happening?” With that, in an instant, the wriggling, bloody pieces of the girl vanished and all that was left in her place were some sticks and twine. Where her heart would have been located, had she been real, because let’s face it, at this point I’m doubting she was a person, was a lock of blonde hair.
Following the recent action of a disappearing man and a twine girl, I look at Dorian and it seems clear that my “secret mission” can no longer stay secret with him. The look on his face and his demeanor tell me that this is not going to go well, especially since our relationship is supposed to be secret. Shit.
Dorian walks toward me determinedly and asked, “what are you into?”
Simon, the brunette, says that “this seemed to be some kind of old world magik. It looks to me as if that girl was a Fetch, which are what the Fae leave behind when they steal a body. The fetch grows up in its place. Of course, the Fae take people for various reasons, so it’s nearly impossible to tell why this girl was replaced with a fetch.”
Simon volunteered to age test the locket of hair, but Zahir determined he could create something to determine it faster. He placed the locket in a Zip Lock baggie; he also pulled blood from the wall from where he shot the handsome guy in the hand to run a DNA test. That’s Zahir for you, always the mad scientist.
At this time, Roth arrives and our merry band of brothers is once again united. Genevieve fills in Roth on the details of the night.
Dorian, with the addition of Roth, is finally fed up of not knowing everything and starts yelling. Zahir involves himself and threatens Dorian.
Uh oh. This is not going to end well. Zahir thinks he’s a bad ass, but Dorian really is a bad ass.
Genevieve steps in and stops the increasingly testosterone-filled scene unfolding before us. At that moment Simon, who introduced himself at that point, offered to buy everyone a drink and cool down at Johnny’s.
I use this opportunity to pull Dorian aside. Dorian is furious and is having difficulty regulating the volume of his voice. Dorian is pissed off. He thinks I’m really into black magik here and my life is on the line. I tried to calm him down, reminding him in no uncertain terms that our relationship is secret, what I do for the Council is secret, and that he’s blowing everything out of proportion. The last statement must have gotten to him, especially since the woman he loves could’ve been shot tonight, but instead of verbalizing his feelings, he yelled incoherently and stomped away. Great…just another thing I have to deal with later. Double shit.
I return to our group as we make our way back into Johnny’s. Thankfully, they’ve all tried to pretend they didn’t hear my conversation. I’m happier this way, as I don’t want them to know any more about Dorian than they just witnessed.
Genevieve tells me that she and Roth and Zahir just figured out how to find the original copy, assuming she’s not in Fae. Honestly, I think they explained the process to me in great detail, but I was feeling a little too emotionally drained to listen.
We regroup just outside the door. Roth says he has business to take care of inside, but will join us later and leaves the group.
Zahir decides he’s done with the bar scene for the evening and creates a concoction to spray into the air to find the real girl. Zahir’s parting words were directed at Simon, “Also, don’t tell anything about stick girl.” Zahir zoomed off into the night on his moped with his goggles on. Give me a break, if the night hadn’t already been so weird, I would’ve laughed.
Genevieve and I decided we should follow Zahir, as there was no telling what he’d do once he found the girl. I walked toward the Cayenne, giving Genevieve time to say goodbye to Simon in private. There might not be anything going on between them, but they sure seemed to have chemistry to me. And after the implosion of my own love life, who was I to judge or stand in their way?
Genevieve joined me in the Cayenne and we speedily caught up with the moped. At every intersection we watched Zahir stop, straighten his goggles, mist the air around him, and go whatever direction the mist was telling him to take, assuming he wasn’t just a crazy man on a pretend motorcycle with a spray bottle.
After many twists and turns, we end up at America the Beautiful park. Here we find THE girl, but it seems improbable at first, as the girl in front of us makes me look like a dog, and that takes one seriously beautiful woman.
Sarah Johnson, as we finally learned her name, was taken by a Fae lord ten years ago when she was 12, because he lived in a world of pure beauty. Everything there was extraordinarily beautiful and he wanted something different, something ugly, for his art exhibit. There was one catch, anything in his realm turned beautiful over time, even this ugly girl. Finally, when she was beautiful, he returned her stating she no longer had a purpose. Sadly, she appeared different and couldn’t even reconnect with her family.
Genevieve told her about the demise of the fetch and asked if she’d like to assume her former appearance. Sarah excitedly agrees and cries and hugs Genevieve in appreciation once she returned to her former form. Zahir, in his typical, classy manner, immediately responded to her ugliness with harsh words, but I don’t think anything could’ve impacted Sarah’s jubilation at the time.
Sarah’s parting words are that Meaveen in Manitou (Genevieve’s head of tradition) and Hadaassah know more than they say.
Back in Johnny’s, Roth steps to the bar to speak with Brother Corin, who is drinking with Ulrich. It’s pretty clear Brother Corin, who usually only had a glass of wine here and there, has been attempting to keep up with a furious bar owner and was losing the battle. Needless to say, Brother Corin was a little drunk. At least he wasn’t wearing his collar.
Since Brother Corin is too intoxicated to share the meaning of “Anagennisi,” Roth decides a trip to France is necessary. He takes the passage to France and is promptly told that “Anagennisi” means “rebirth.” With that, Roth returns to America and calls us to find our location.
*Eleora, Genevieve, Roth, Zahir*
After going over our options for the night, we decide to follow Christman’s compass (the brown box of blood). The compass leads us to the shadier part of Colorado Springs, near Circle and the MLK bypass. It leads us to Apartment 101 in the tan bungalow buildings. A place I never thought I’d be.
Zahir breaks open the lock on the door and the first whiff we get is of dirty laundry. Although I’m a little disgusted by this, I count my blessings that it is not eau de dead bodies.
As we walk inside there are action figures lining the walls and halls and movie posters plaster the walls of the living room. The apartment appears T-shaped. It feels as if two people live here.
The compass points to the freezer. The boys take the lead and the girls hang back. I’ve seen enough Dexter to know what could be inside. Ick.
Inside the freezer, to my audible relief, was a red and white container. Roth opens it to find compartment slots to hold seven bags of blood. Each bag looks to be missing a little blood. The seventh spot is labeled “Sarah.” Oops. It looks like we prevented something from happening tonight. Also inside the box looks like an IV, but with two close puncture locations, similar to a vampire bite. It looks like we found what drained those six girls of their blood. The metal on the IV machine is impregnated with magik.
The apartment looks as if a software programmer and gaming nerd lives there. There are books everywhere that help us reach this deduction. Additionally, it looks as of this specific nerd has a fascination with occult. Triple shit.
In the back room there’s an indescribable feeling of something older and darker. Here, the work is frantic and fanatical. Markings cover the walls in Ancient Greek and Sumerian. The writer even writes over the faces on the posters, my posters in fact. I’m not sure what disturbed me more: the fact that the room held a poster of every movie I’ve made, or the fact that they wrote over my face!
“Anagennisi” is written repeatedly on the walls. There are maps that show an area north of the crags as you ascend to the top of Pikes Peak. Dollars to doughnuts, we met this guy earlier tonight. It was the hot Spider-Man, who Zahir thought went to Pikes Peak. Crap. I hate it when Zahir is right. It makes him intolerable, as he thinks his genius is unmatched.
On a side table is a binder filled with page protectors. It looks as if someone meticulously cut every page of a book out and placed it within the binder.
Genevieve placed a spell to protect her mind so she could view the pages. She guessed it was a part of the Codex Gigas. Genevieve translated thar the rooster or cock is Nergal, who is the symbol emblazoned around the room and book. Nergal was served by demons and all forms of evil. There are rituals to reach Nergal, which have been passed down by sorcerer priests though the centuries. It is thought this became the Verbena tradition.
In a loose floorboard, Roth found an old leather sheath with two knives. One knife was missing. The other had the head of a rooster on it. The knife seemed to be made of bone. Through study, we all know thar a Bone knife would send them straight to Nergal if someone was killed by it. Shit.
*Eleora, Genevieve, Roth, Zahir*
Roth calls Hodges for name on apartment. A cranky Hodges comes back on the line stating, “the owner is Jeremy Renner. No record. 23 years. Picture sent.” After viewing the picture we know our instincts were right, it was the same guy from alley, but now more gaunt.
I’m still in the back room covered with posters of me. As I look around, I realize the connection to the other realm is over the bed. Great. If it looks like possession, it probably is possession. That’s just what we need.
Zahir passes the time by trying the IV machine and blood flows through easily without hitting vessel in his forearm. When Zahir realizes his blood is pumping into the machine’s container, he removes it, but the blood confines to steadily flow from his body. More than would be normal. Genevieve looks at it and tells him the wound’s natural state is now open. After some serious effort, Genevieve heals him with some choice words muttered under her breath.
*Eleora, Genevieve, Roth, Zahir*
Roth gets call from Hodges and and said, “seventh girl is missing. Name: Jane George.” With that, he disconnects the call.
We all decide it is time to go, as it’s likely the culprit is heading home with his seventh bag of blood and we’ve gathered in his living room! Genevieve takes pictures of everything, in case we need it for reference later.
My nightmares, lack of sleep, and earlier fight with Dorian are getting to me and I feel like its hard to move, let alone think and contribute to the group.
Zahir’s blood covering the apartment, so Genevieve does a quick spell to remove it, but all doesn’t go according to plan. Something happened with her fast spell and she suddenly turns pale, as all of the blood drains from her normally pink face. We’re taking corpse pale. Jeesh. With her brilliant red hair and pale skin she looks like a porcelain doll.
Zahir realizes he can’t leave the machine behind, as it contains his blood and takes it with him. There goes our hope of getting out without the bad guy knowing we were there. Zahir motors off to his lab to work on the IV machine.
The rest of our group departs heading off in our own directions.
6:30 am: Closing Secrets
Roth is called as he departs the apartment by Nikos Onassis, Euthanatos Head of Tradition. He’s pissed and wants to know what Roth did to Christman, who is missing. The arrange to meet at Michael’s at 6:30.
Here, Roth learns that Christman has had a car accident and he disappeared. No one has seen him since last night. Roth denies that he caused anything that would cause him to go missing or any accident. He admits he might have done something to the car, but it shouldn’t have caused this and there might be other culprits.
Nikos warned Roth that although he’s the right hand man, he is still disposable. Roth must be careful in what he does from here on out.
Shortly after leaving the apartment, Zahir heads to meet with the head if his tradition, Janna at his home lab. Janna helps Zahir understand the internal workings of the machine. She realizes it would have killed him had Genevieve not helped him. Janna told him the machine is made of Damaskas steel, which they both know is rare and powerful.
The two decide they need coffee and head to the downtown Starbucks. She orders an 8 shot Americano. Her phone is a fake reader, so she pretends to pay, but winks at Zahir for taking advantage of the system. Zahir tells Janna all about the shooting of Jeremy. Janna decides she will make a bio-mechanical fetch for Zahir and herself.
Janna divulges that Iao was attacked. Zahir tells her he might have a contact with a mole at Technocracy; Janna strongly encourages Zahir to create the relationship.
Genevieve in need of breakfast after feeling weak decides to meet Meaveen at Adam’s Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs. Both women order breakfast and get down to business, although Genevieve looks like she blends in with the white walls.
Genevieve shows her pictures of the book that she took while in the apartment. Meaveen tells her the section of the book is called “The Intervation of Life”. This is a dark black magik ritual. Completing it should give the user super human strength. To use it one must funnel life and essence of power with the blood of six and the final cap is with the blood of the seventh sacrifice. This method can also permanently bind the body of the possessed.
Meaveen states that the passage reads, "bind Zeus’ power with Gaia’s flesh." Genevieve fills her in that she thinks the blood of the seventh has been claimed…
After parting ways with my group, I knew exactly where I had to go if there was any hope of me sleeping today: I headed to Dorian’s house. I knew he was too pissed to be at my house. I knew I should go see Isias instead, as he was the head of my house and grooming me to someday be his replacement, but dammit, right now, my relationship came first.
As I entered Dorian’s quaint little cottage just off of Cheyenne Boulevard, I knew he was angry. And that he hadn’t slept. Some items on the normally neat entrance table had been angrily thrown to the floor and I could smell the delicious scent of his pulled pork, a lengthy six hour process. Uh oh. He’s been up all night cooking and chopping with his big knife. I braced myself and entered the kitchen.
Dorian was standing at the counter chopping more goodies to place in with the pork so it would have the perfect taste. He chopped with a little more vigor than necessary after he noticed I entered the room. "I see you managed to stay alive," was how he greeted me.
Shit. I knew we were in for a heated argument.
I took a deep breath and prepared myself for the speech I’d been rehearsing my whole drive. "Dorian, I can’t believe how you reacted tonight. You know our relationship is supposed to remain a secret. I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone realized we are more than we say after your antics tonight. I know it was because you were upset and want to see me safe, but dammit Dorian, we have to be more careful! You know that Isias is grooming me for his replacement. You can’t risk these things. This was our mutual decision."
“Honey, I know. I am sorry. I just didn’t know you were in so deep. Especially with black magik. That is NOT something I want to see you involved in. I finally have a job that’s respectable and doesn’t cause new scars. I don’t want to lose you…not when I finally feel like I’m worthy of you.”
Our conversation continued along the same vein for some time until we came upon a mutual understanding about what’s happening and why.
We both aren’t comfortable with the relationships we’ve formed with Barrera, but we at least know she wants more from both of us. We both know our jobs and my role in the Council might test our relationship but the end goal is worth it.
We make a pact to remain honest with each other, even when we’ve asked for our secrecy to be respected in the past. Together, maybe, we can overcome his fate as a Widderslainte.
Dorian’s does ask me one favor, which I can oblige. He hands me a small .9 mother of pearl pistol with pink grips. I tell him I love it, which isn’t a lie. I promise to carry it with me from here on out! I think I’ve got an in for a concealed carry permit, and I know that it won’t be leaked to the paparazzi.
Finally, feeling like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, Dorian and I crawl into his king bed and fall asleep entwined around each other…