November 4, 2009

Filling in the Gaps

I put one hand on Nobody's shoulder and gently pushed him back down into the bed.

"Nobody. You are royally fucked up right now. If you try to go anywhere but this bed, there's a good chance you'll send yourself into shock. And I spent way too much energy stitching you back together to let you get up and fuck it all up. Your ass is staying in bed."

"Yeah, well, how else am I going to let them know? I have to go there. Now."

Nadi regarding him a moment, then asked the obvious question. "Why does it matter? I mean, whats the big deal? Aren't they just like you?"
Nobody stared at her like she'd grown a second head. "You're kidding right? the Fae? Coming here? Just like me? Oh fuck no."
Nadi gave him a withering look. "So then how about explaining it, instead of talking to me like I know all there is to know about changelings."
I nodded. "She's got a point. We don't know jack about all your changeling bullshit."
Nobody blinked at us. "Oh...I guess I've never really explained it to everyone..."
Nobody proceeded to tell us the difference between the Fae and the Changelings, how he was kidnapped, and that he escaped. He had been grabbed by a Fae when he'd tried to save a changeling girl from it. He explained Bob was his fetch, put in his place to fool people into thinking he'd never left. That's who we had met in Mexico. He explained that the Fae royalty coming here was a very BAD thing.

Gio frowned to himself. "How do we know they're even coming here?"
"Well I saw your lady of the lake, so I assumed..."
I rolled my eyes. "Its very possible that you're taking it entirely too literally. There are more legends about the Lady of the Lake then just what we know of."
Gio nodded. "I've seen three different references to her just regarding us, and each one has been different. Hell, the Lady of the Lake was part of the Arthurian Legend..."

"Either way! I need to tell them. We have to GO."

I gave Giovanni a perplexed look. "So.. when did I miss all changelings giving up technology and throwing all their cell phones in the lake?"

Nobody scowled at me. "I don't have their numbers genius!"

Gio and I both pulled out our phones, scrolled through contacts and held them out for Nobody. Gio had Mathias and Antonio, I had Antonio and Luciano. "If only there was some way to find what their phone numbers might be...."

He glowered at us both. Gio handed him the phone and he called Mathias. Voicemail.
"Mathias. It's Nobody. Something important to tell you. Call me back."

Gio took his phone back. "My God. That was brilliant. He'll know right away its a potentially life threatening situation!"

Nobody flopped back on the pillow. "Fuck it. You call them. What do I have to do for some goddamn morphine?"

I debated not giving it to him, but he was white as a sheet and obviously in massive pain. I may be a bitch, but I'm also a medic and I couldn't do that to a patient in good conscious. No matter how irritating they were. I stuck it into his IV and we walked out of the room.

I shut his door and leaned against it, facing Gio, Becca and Nadi. "Well that was great. We get stuck doing the changeling work... try calling Antonio maybe?" Gio thought about it a minute, then nodded. He dialed then made a face and put the phone away. "Won't go through."

"Right. We need to use the damn internet room." I muttered. We all looked at the door to the room. We hadn't been in there all night, since the nasty came out of the computer screen. I walked over and put a hand on the doorknob.

"You sure that's a good idea?" Nadi asked softly.
I shrugged. "He bound it, right? We can at least look."
We cracked open the door an inch and peeked inside. No monster.
We entered slowly and noticed two things. First, there were intricate carvings on the stone floor, gouged deep into the ground. Second, the far wall was glowing. Or rather, something in it was. We stepped over the glyphs in the floor and examined the wall. There was a blade in wedged into the stone nearly all the way up to the hilt. It glowed with a light that seemed almost like sunlight, but given I didn't catch fire when I got close, was obviously not.

I frowned at the wall, then at the others. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't that used to be a spear?"
Gio nodded. "Yeeeeah. Think this has something to do with Nobody's dream?"
Nadi shrugged. "Could be." Then she paused a moment, recalling something.
"Reminds me of an old Norse myth. Only then the sword was stuck in an old petrified tree. Should we try to take it out? What if it's part of Sansome's binding? Gio, could you ask him?"
I shook my head. "Probably not a good idea right now. He's probably still pissed."
Nadi examined the sword closely. "Well then what do we do?"
Gio was shaking his head over and over again. "There's no way that sword is what I think it is..."
I gave him a look that conveyed just how intelligent I felt that comment was. "After all the shit we go through, the weird stuff that happens around us, you don't think there's any way at all this is a mythical sword? Need I remind you of the shit that's happened just tonight? Or where Nobody GOT that weapon?"
He gave a sheepish shrug. "True...I guess its plausible Yusef had gotten his hands on a sword like that...Any thoughts on what to do next?"

"Do what we came in here to do, call Antonio. Maybe he can help us out." I said.

Gio agreed and pulled out his phone.
"Hey Giovanni. Wut you need?"
"Hey Antonio... sorry to bother you again.. but we've got a problem. Nobody had a weird dream, his old captors were coming, the ones who were wearing crowns. Now we have a sword stuck in a wall that's glowing. Any thoughts?"

There was silence on the other end for a few beats before Antonio responded. "Tanks for lettin' me know. We'll get back to you." And he hung up.

"Well at least they know now..." I was examining the sword closely, without touching it.
Gio put his phone away and joined me. "I really don't think you should use your voodoo on this thing."
I paused my examination to stare at him. "Really? You think? Was is the glowing, or the relation to faeries that tipped you off? Or maybe the possibility its part of the binding of a big nasty spirit? I've had enough head trauma tonight thank you."
He ignored me. Of anyone, Gio usually was the most unscathed by my sarcasm and insults. Maybe I needed to kick it up a notch... I had a feeling, however, that it wouldn't matter. Win some, lose some I suppose.

"Well, what do we do with it?" Nadi looked between all of us expectantly. We all exchanged looks.
"I ain't touching it." Rebecca held up her hands and took a step back.
I agreed. "That's probably the best idea. Let's wait for someone to get back to us about it."
Gio nodded as well. "Besides, if this is what I think we all think it is, only a certain person will be able to pull it out."
Nadi looked skeptical. "You really think its Excalibur? I thought that sword we gave to the hunters was supposed to be Excalibur?"
Gio shrugged and headed for the door. "Who knows? Stranger things have happened."

We stepped outside and closed the door behind us. "So. Anything else we need to do tonight?"
I nodded. "I think we should go talk to Mac."
"Why would you want to go talk to Mac?"
"Just to shoot the shit, talk about his day... oh, and to ask him what he knows about the early years of my sire, since we did find out tonight that he knew him back then." I gave him the idiot look again. "I'm surprised you don't want to talk to him. He knew your mother..."

Gio looked at his watch. "He'll be busy right now. It's only 2. Lets wait till he's closing up shop." He hobbled into his lab. I followed him. I enjoyed watching him work on this latest project. I imagined that it isn't very often I'd get to see a homunculus made. It was pretty fascinating. That and if I hung around I'd be ready for the eventuality that Gio would massively injure himself again in the process.

Gio had finished stitching the hide on the skeletal frame. It was nice work, there wasn't a single thread visible. Now he had the magic coins in his hand. He dug around for a crucible, put the coins in, and set it up over a Bunsen burner. He looked perplexed, drumming his fingers on the table and staring at the crucible.
"Hey Nadi! Can you come in here?"

Nadi poked her head into the lab. "Hmm?"
Gio pointed at the Bunsen burner. "Can you make that melt these coins?"
She walked over and looked at the set up for a moment. She thought about it briefly, then shrugged, making a couple small gestures. The fire changed appearance. I couldn't really say how, but it seemed different now. I didn't feel inclined to take a closer look.

"Let it sit. That should work. I think."
"Thanks." Gio turned away from the fire and started crafting a mold for the metal, carving a setting from wax.

Around 330 we struck out for Macs. Becca stayed behind to make sure the magic fire didn't get out of hand and burn down Maury's place. That certainly wouldn't end well for us.

We walked into the Crowbar as the last few patrons were leaving and Mac and his bartenders were closing up. We sat down at the bar. Mac nodded to Gio. "I heard a rumor you got back in with the family."
"You heard true."
Mac reached under the bar and pulled out an envelope, tossing it on the counter. "Your last paycheck."
Gio nodded and slipped it into his jacket. "Thanks."
Mac didn't seem particularly upset. Neither did Gio. I had a feeling Mac was just trying to cover his ass. A Mafioso works for you and it would give the cops a reason to snoop.
My phone rang. I stood up and walked away from them to answer. Less to be out of ear shot, and more to allow them to continue their conversation.

"Hey Tommy."
"Hey, you called?"
"Yeah. I had a question for you. We had some weird shit go down. We found a website with an image on it, related to our serial killer. When I went to mess with the code, a huge ugly monster came out of the computer screen at us and nearly killed Nobody. Any thoughts?"
"Uh... nothing besides that being really weird... is there anything else you can tell me? That's too vague for me to give you any other info."
"Well.. the web address was"
Tommy let out a low whistle. "Maastraac is the magelin spirit of envy. Big, nasty spirit... you sure that's what it was? It physically manifested?"
"Completely. Nobody has the intestinal lacerations to prove it."
"And the symbol?"
I described it to him.
"Yeah, that's the symbol used for binding that particular magelin."
Gio grabbed the phone from my hand, he'd walked up behind me while I was talking.
"We know the same symbol was on the wall in Nadi's friends house, covered up by paint. Along with others." I snatched the phone back with an annoyed snort.
"I don't know who would try to summon and bind a magelin like that. Most werewolves wouldn't. There are rumors of a group of twisted werewolves that make deals with really bad spirits, but its never been confirmed or denied for me. Worse than the Pure, they aren't just racist, they're destructive, malevolent and evil."

Gio grabbed the phone again.
"If its an unverified rumor about a supernatural creepy crawly, its probably true."
I glared at him and grabbed the phone back. "Do that again and Ill bury this cell phone into your skull."
He just gave me an ingratiating smirk.

"So is that normal? Should a spirit be able to do what that thing did?"
"Fuck, maybe? There aren't any hard and fast rules for dealing with spirits. Usually? no. It shouldn't be able to physically manifest like that. But hell, it could happen I guess. I don't know how, but obviously its possible. I can't really come up there to help you guys right now. I have my own shit going on."
"We're fine. It's bound, I was just curious. Thanks for the help."
"Anytime babe. Let me know if you need anything else."
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. "Tommy, I swear. Call me 'babe' again and I will start referring to you as 'Fluffy, my furry friend who doesn't like to get his hands dirty' in all polite and impolite conversation."
He didn't miss a beat. "Sure thing. Later hot lips." And he hung up.

Goddamn werewolf asshole.

By the time I was off the phone, Mac was motioning us into the back office. We all sat down. He turned to me before anyone could ask him anything. "Was that Davaro's kin you had on the line there?" I nodded.
"I ever heard you refer to him with anything less than the utmost respect again and I will personally rip your throat out."
I stared at him a moment, a bit surprised. A myriad of responses ran through my head, not the least of which was sarcasm, or the simple explanation that I didn't actually have a problem with Tommy, usually.. but in that same split second I decided I had enough werewolves pissed at me right now so I met his eyes and said one word. "Noted."

Nadi, however, did not have any werewolves mad at her yet. I think she was feeling left out, because her response was slightly less agreeable.
"What does it matter to you?"
Mac narrowed his eyes and shifted his gaze from me to Nadi. "Davaro is one of the few people who has remained strong enough to save my ass, several times. His LINE is strong."
"I guess I just don't put much stock in the power of a bloodline."
Mac snorted. "Ironic, coming from you."
Nadi just shrugged.

Mac settled back into his chair. "So what did you want?"
Gio nodded to me. I guess I was going first. "You've known Giuseppe for a long time, and I'm trying to figure a few things out. How much do you know about him?"
"I know secrets about that family that I shouldn't..."
Gio smirked. "You and us both."
I nodded. "Do you know why he did what he did back then?"
Mac shook his head. "I don't pretend to know the depths of that man's schemes. All I know if that I had to give up my daughter to them."
He had brought up the other subject we came to talk about, so I leaned back and nodded to Gio. I didn't think Mac would give me anything else on Giuseppe. Whether because he really didn't know, or wouldn't say, I wasn't sure.
Gio seemed to hesitate, but finally got it out. "You have a picture downstairs, you and a woman. Who was she to you?"

For the next few minutes, Mac recounted the story. He was actually Bella's father. He had 'won' her mother fairly. Gio's uncle, her fiance, hadn't taken kindly to that. He came back for revenge, rather ineffectively. Mac's IRA friends had taken it into their own hands with out consulting Mac and killed her fiance with a bomb under his car. Mac didn't come out and say it, but when we asked about Isabella exacting her revenge, his face clouded over when he said, "She had help with that."

That would certainly explain why Mac doesn't run with a pack. He'd killed his IRA cell for her...

He allowed everyone to believe that Bella was a Santore. That it was Isabella's fiance's child, not Macs. He opted for her to never know him, and remain protected and have the chance at a position of power, instead of being continuously hunted down.
"What do you know about Thomas Mattheson?"
He shook his head. "Not a lot. That was after my time. But there's a certain Italian restaurant you could go to and get a few answers. The one with the old man who really likes his Chicken Picatta."
"Leland Price..."
"That's the one. Any other information or painful memories you'd like to dredge up?"
Gio looked at everyone, and we all shook our heads.
Nadi started to stand. "I'm sure there will be more soon enough. Painful memories we need dredged up I mean."

We left. It was dangerously close to sunrise when we got back. Enough to make me pretty damn antsy. I think I told Gio to hurry up about 30 times on the drive.

When we got back I headed to bed after asking Gio to check on my car in the morning. When I walked past the lab, Becca was roasting marshmallows over the Bunsen burner. I smirked to myself as I shut the door. I also noticed that Gio had taped an American Express Black card to Nadi's door with a note that said "For the computer. Go Nuts." I was planning on giving her cash, since it was technically my fault, but whatever. It wasn't like either of us were hurting for money.

I thought about forcing myself to stay awake and meditate, but after the enormous amount of mental and physical activity that had happened tonight, I decided against it. I didn't get sleep deprived like a living person, but I still suffered for it. The last time I'd stayed up for several days straight I started hearing voices. I went to bed.

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